image of Bold K6FB call letters The Las Cumbres Amateur Radio Club Newsletter
Summit Sentinel, October 2004
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Contents of the Summit Sentinel, mailed to members October, 2004.

The Summit Sentinel
Dedicated to the Amateur Radio Service And Emergency Communications

Oct 2004
Volume 26, Issue 4
"From the Sierra to the Sea,
...This is K6FB repeater"
Las Cumbres Amateur Radio Club
P.O. Box 2415
Cupertino, CA 95015


Pacificon, October 15-17, San Ramon Marriott Once again the Mount Diablo ARC is hosting the annual Pacificon event in San Ramon. "What's at Pacificon?", you may ask. Your $10 pre-registration fee is your ticket for most events; at the door registration is $15. There's a swap meet (Sunday), licensing exams (Saturday and Sunday), Antenna Forum (Friday, $10), QRP Forum and events (additional fee at the hotel, TBD), beginning and advanced transmitter hunts, breakfast (Saturday, $12.50) and banquet (Saturday, $39), and the secret and mysterious Wouff-Hong ceremony for ARRL members (Saturday at midnight). Review the schedule or pre-register at < >

Fifth Saturday Breakfast, Saturday, October 30, 2004, 8:30 AM. When there's a Fifth Saturday in any month we celebrate by having breakfast out! Visit with fellow members, spouses, offspring, and guests over coffee and breakfast.

Come to the Hick'ry Pit in Campbell, across the street from the Pruneyard Shopping Center, 980 E Campbell Ave, near Bascom. See the locator map on the back cover of this Summit Sentinel or on the web page. Talk-in is available on K6FB repeaters.

Alternate breakfast locations wanted! Do you have a favorite breakfast haunt? Let us know, or better yet, volunteer to organize any 2005 breakfast!

Upcoming Fifth Saturdays in 2005: January 29, April 30, July 30, October 29, and December 31.

Monday Night Net, Mondays at 7:30 PM The Monday evening Las Cumbres ARC talk nets are continuing with good discussions. The net participation ranges from 8 to 15 operators and typically lasts 30-60 minutes. The length is determined by the conversation that week. Join us! It's a fun and lively time.

Holidaze Dinner, Saturday, December 4. You'll note that the "when" parameters are rather vague. Your club needs a volunteer to organize this annual event. In recent years it's required someone to pick a place, make a reservation, and organize a few logistics. Do you have a favorite dinner place? Would you like to help organize? Please contact any director (see last page).

Bill Hamlin, K6UO/SK

Bill Hamlin K6UO became a silent key on August 29th. He died of acute leukemia. He was on the air one day, then a few days later he was gone.

Bill was one of the founders of Las Cumbres Amateur Radio Club. His stories of how it all came together are fascinating. Bill wrote a history of the club that tells how it came to be. You will find this bit of history and more on, follow links to Newsletters.

Over the years, Bill has been a strong supporter of LCARC including facilitating space for the club's ham shack in the Las Cumbres community where he resided at one time.

Besides Bill's interests in VHF and UHF, he was an avid HF operator. He participated in almost every HF CW contest and chased DX up and down the spectrum. His achievements are exemplary. He knew how to negotiate a pile-up!

Bill was also a great rag chewer. He joined some of us on 75 meters for the "morning net", a bunch of us who met at 6:15 AM almost every day. These roundtables would last about an hour. In Bill's case we would hear about his latest DX, contest or model ship building progress.

Bill is missed. We have lost a valuable personal friend. So long Bill, "CU NEXT TEST". (Hope to see you in the next contest.)

73, Bob - W6OPO

Summer Picnic Recap

- Bob, W6OPO

The annual picnic was held this year at Houge Park, near highway 85 and Bascom Avenue. About 18 people attended. It was a great day at the park. Jerry N6SWC brought a canopy that shaded one of the picnic tables. The other table was shaded by a tree, making it very pleasant.

People showed up starting at 12:30 and we closed it down at 4:00. During the 3 1/2 hours, 18 hamburgers, 16 hot dogs and 12 sausages were cooked and served. In addition there were bean salads and various desserts including Ken KN6CK's famous fudge. Dan K6PRK took a few pictures. Go to and have a look.

Technical Committee Chairman's Report

- Dan, K6PRK

There hasn't been much activity from the Technical Committee since the last newsletter.

There were plans to swap the 220 antenna and feedline. This was planned for the end of August, but didn't materialize.

The repeater has been working very well this summer. I monitor the power levels of both the 220 and 2 meter repeaters from home. There have been very little changes in the signal strengths over the months.

The problem of the 220 repeater in Sacramento getting into our remote base has been solved by the use of PL decode on our remote base receiver. Just as I thought it was fixed, the remote base started kicking up in response to the repeater in Sacramento. I think that Bob, W6OPO contacted the repeater owner about this, since our PL was still working, but our remote base was being triggered. A note from the Sacramento repeater owner revealed that he put 100 Hz output PL on his machine to link with another machine in the bay area. Once he removed the 100 Hz PL, the problem went away.

I contacted the water board representative at Las Cumbres to make sure that they recognized our electric bill payments. They had received them and will cash the ones that have been written on the new checking account. In the conversation with Trish, she said that they had a couple of low water events and didn't know it. She asked if we could hook up the water alarm to the repeater again. I told her that we would be happy to do it, but the relays would have to be wired up to sense the low water condition. I talked to Tom, K6KMT and he informed me that he had hooked up the relay in the pump shed, ran new signal wiring to our shack and had tested the connections with the Las Cumbres electrician about 3 years ago. That was a pleasant surprise.

Tom said that he didn't remember all the fine details of where the wires are in our shack and would have to go up the hill to find them. I plan on doing this ASAP.

The next thing that will have to be done is to get a list of contacts at Las Cumbres who will respond to a low water level alert. We will publish instructions for any member hearing the alert to contact a LCARC board member so the alarm can be relayed to the Las Cumbres Water Board.


Treasurer's Report

- Bob W6OPO

LCARC book balances are:
- Checking	$1702.14
- Savings	$2872.68

- Phone $28.66-$28.70 per month

- Three members at $25 each.

Call for Nominations and Candidates

Las Cumbres ARC holds elections in February of each year. In 2005 the members will select four Directors. Directors offer their guidance, plan for annual events, and ensure our repeaters remain on the air.

If you have an interest in running for Director or you know someone who would be interested (yet may be a little to bashful to volunteer) then please contact any director (see last page).

Excerpts from the ARRL Letter


Kit Blanke, WA6PWW, of Milpitas, California, has assumed the office of Santa Clara Valley Section Manager, effective October 1. He took over the reins from Glenn Thomas, WB6W, the SCV SM since March 1999, who has moved out of the section. "I've had a blast being SM!" Thomas said. "I'll be seeing you all on the air." Blanke is no stranger to the section's top job. He headed up the Santa Clara Valley Section from 1995 until 1998 and still has his SM certificate from his earlier tenure on the wall of his ham shack. He's served as the SCV Section's Technical Coordinator since last December. Blanke is a self-employed RF engineering consultant involved in the design of Part 15 devices.


Amateur Radio this past week once again was part of a storm relief and recovery effort in the wake of Hurricane Jeanne--the fourth storm in six weeks to hit Florida. Jeanne made landfall September 25 some 5 miles southeast of Stuart--not far from where Hurricane Frances struck September 5. Authorities blamed the storm--a Category 3 hurricane with 120 MPH winds--for at least six deaths, and the state was declared a major disaster area. The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) --whose members tracked the storm up through the Caribbean--wrapped up three full days of communication support September 26.

"Since the wind field was much larger than Frances', Jeanne knocked out recently restored power to much of east and central Florida quite early and easily," said HWN Assistant Manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV. He noted that since debris cleaned up after Hurricane Frances had not yet been picked up, Hurricane Jeanne had an "abundance of projectiles" at her disposal.

Other reports indicated that after Frances denuded much of the region's vegetation, Jeanne came along and tore off roofs, then dumped heavy rain into the vulnerable houses and buildings. The storm disrupted conventional telecommunications and left some 2.5 million homes without electrical power.

Over the storm's course, HWN members received reports throughout the northwestern Bahamas and eastern and central Florida. Many areas of the Bahamas also were still recovering from Hurricane Frances. As Marti Brown, KF4TRG/C6A, reported to the HWN: "Let me tell you that this storm was virtual hell."

During severe storms, the HWN works hand-in-hand with WX4NHC at the National Hurricane Center in Miami to gather ground-level weather data and damage reports from Amateur Radio volunteers in a storm's path. The net relays these to forecasters via WX4NHC, which regularly checks into the net and also disseminates weather updates.

Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) volunteers were at the ready before Hurricane Jeanne arrived, supplementing communication at emergency operations centers and shelters set up for evacuees. ARRL Southern Florida Section Emergency Coordinator Jim Goldsberry, KD4GR, said Indian River County appeared to be the hardest hit. ARES teams in Palm Beach, Martin, St Lucie, Brevard and Indian River counties also assisted American Red Cross and Salvation Army relief and damage assessment efforts.

Northern Florida SEC Nils Millergren, WA4NDA, reported that operators handled shelter duty in Flagler, Orange, Seminole, Lake and Volusia counties.

The Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) on 14.265 MHz handled health-and-welfare traffic in the aftermath of the storm on the air and via its Web site. Special sessions of the Southern Florida ARES Net were called up on 7242 kHz.

August and September have seen unprecedented activity, said the HWN's Graves, who thanked all stations that participated in the recent activation. Noting that four major tropical storms have not struck the same state in the same year since 1886, Grave said, "Let us hope and pray that record is not broken this year."


Progress Energy Corporation (PEC) this week shut down its BPL field trial in the Raleigh, North Carolina area and began removing system hardware. The utility's action came just as local amateur Tom Brown, N4TAB, had filed a "Response and Further Complaint" about the system. His filing disputes an FCC determination this summer that PEC's BPL system complied with Part 15 rules--with notched BPL emissions averaging 24 dB below Part 15 emission limits--and that ham band notching was "effective." Brown, who has an extensive background in RF engineering, says the FCC's findings have nothing to do with defining--or excusing--harmful interference.

"I can find no reference that states that equipment operating under Part 15 with an emission level below some specified value is defined as being 'non interfering,'" Brown told Bruce Franca of the FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology. Franca's July 22 report characterized the 24 dB average notch depths as "sufficient to eliminate any signals that would be deemed capable of causing harmful interference, including interference to amateur operations."

Brown disagreed. "This is a subjective leap of judgment that is unsupported under Part 15 rules and without precedent," he responded. BPL proponents have touted the FCC's conclusions in the Progress Energy field trials to debunk findings by the ARRL and others that the technology can and does generate harmful interference. The ARRL also took issue with certain claims Franca made in his July 22 letter, but the Commission has yet to respond.

Brown, who also asked the FCC to shut down the system, now has gotten his wish. The utility announced nearly two months ago that it had "successfully" completed Phase 2 of its BPL trial and would be terminating the operation. At the same time, Progress indicated that it "does not have plans for a large-scale commercial rollout of BPL in the company's service territories." PEC has since backed away from that statement and says it has not ruled out BPL.


William F. "Bill" Diaper, KJ6KQ, of Union City, California, appears to hold the honor of oldest radio amateur in the US--and quite possibly the world. Diaper, who turned 104 years old August 12, is a native of Great Britain. He now lives in a long-term care facility, but an acquaintance, Thomas "Fergy" Ferguson, N6SSQ, reports that Diaper remains alert and active and occasionally has gotten on the air from a ham shack in the facility's basement.

"He said the shack, located in the basement next to the laundry room, is damp, dark and not user-friendly," Ferguson said after speaking with Diaper by telephone. He said Diaper needs assistance operating the equipment but has been on the air within the past year, checking into the Pacific Amateur Radio Guild (PARG) net on one occasion. According to Ferguson, Diaper has been a radio amateur for a relatively short time--considering his longevity--apparently first licensed when he was around 75 years old. An Advanced class licensee, Diaper is an ARRL member.

Byrl "Tex" Burdick, W5BQU, of El Paso, Texas, who died at age 103 last May 30, generally had been regarded as the nation's oldest Amateur Radio licensee. Diaper actually was born 44 days earlier than Burdick in 1900, although Burdick--a ham for decades--had a solid claim on ham radio seniority.

Fellow residents of the Masonic Homes where Diaper lives gathered August 12 to celebrate his birthday. "He was the man of the hour," a staff member of the facility told ARRL.

Members of PARG also sent many birthday cards and letters, and Diaper called Ferguson to relay his appreciation. "It really cheered him up to get such a flurry of mail," Ferguson said, adding that he hopes Diaper will have the opportunity to get on the air again in the near future.

"When I talked to Bill, he was very clear and had excellent recall of events, places, dates etc," Ferguson recounted. "An amazing man to chat with, but it just took me a few minutes to get used to his accent."

The apparent crown prince as the oldest ham in the US is Robert Galbasin, W0MHN, of Lakewood, Colorado. He'll turn 104 on December 27.


Varberg Radio SAQ at Grimeton, Sweden, has been added to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List. The only remaining pre-electronic transmitter for transatlantic work, SAQ is maintained in perfect working order. On 2004 Alexanderson Day July 4, the 80-year-old 200 kW Alexanderson alternator--with its multiple-tuned antenna--transmitted a celebration message on 17.2 kHz. The message was copied in Europe and on the East Coast of the US. Return channels included Amateur Radio station SA6Q at the Grimeton site and the Internet. UNESCO said the 1920s-vintage radio station in southern Sweden is an exceptionally well-preserved monument to early transatlantic wireless communication. The site includes the transmitter equipment and its associated antenna system, comprised of six 127-meter (approximately 417 foot) steel towers and staff housing. There's more information on the SAQ Web site < >.--Carl Henrik Walde, SM5BF


The 47th Jamboree On The Air (JOTA) takes place October 16-17. Details on JOTA also appear in September QST, page 104. JOTA is an annual event in which Boy and Girl Scouts and Guides from all over the world speak to each other via Amateur Radio to share experiences and ideas. Since 1958, when the first Jamboree On The Air was held, millions of Scouts have become acquainted through this event.

Amateur Radio clubs and individual licensees make it possible for Scouts to get on the air. You also can contact your local Boy Scouts of America Council < > and let it know that you're planning a JOTA activity.

With assistance from ARRL HQ staff members, Education and Technology Program Coordinator Mark Spencer, WA8SME, will operate Maxim Memorial Station W1AW on Saturday, October 16, for JOTA. "This year the focus will be on achieving the radio merit badge," he noted. Spencer has set up a program that should allow Scouts participating at W1AW to walk away from the JOTA experience with the merit badge, "with some preparation and a little homework on the Scout's part," he added.

ARRL staffer Larry Wolfgang, WR1B--a veteran Scout leader--will be setting up a station at the Mohegan District Fall Camporee at Waterford Beach in Connecticut. "We will be operating WA1BSA," Wolfgang said, adding that he's expecting some 400 to 500 Scouts to turn out for the campout.

Scouts and scouters worldwide also can participate in JOTA via Internet Radio Linking Project (IRLP) Reflector 9205. There's more information on the IRLP Web site < >.

If you hear any participating JOTA stations on the air, be sure to make a contact--and don't forget to QSL. There's more information about JOTA on the Web < > < >.

[Thank you to The ARRL Letter and The American Radio Relay League for this content -ed.]

Editor: Jey KQ6DK

2004-05 Club Directors

PresidentKen Carey, KN6CK
Vice-PresidentJohn Rosica, KA2FND
SecretaryJey Yelland, KQ6DK
TreasurerBob Lanning, W6OPO
Membership ChairTom Campbell, K6KMT
Technical CommitteeDan Smith, K6PRK
TrusteeTom Campbell, K6KMT
Member at LargeNed Rice, KE6ZOZ
LCARC Voice Repeaters & Packet Systems

Voice Repeaters (All are linked)
- K6FB/R: 145.450 MHz (-) PL=100
- K6FB/R: 442.575 MHz(+) PL=100
- K6FB/R: 223.880 MHz(-) PL=100

- K6FB-1: Digipeater: 145.050 MHz
- K6FB-2: Bulletin Board: 145.05 MHz
- K6FB-7 Node (alias LCARC): 145.050 MHz
- K6FB-5 tcp/ip "losgatos" [], 145.750 MHz

© 2004, Las Cumbres Amateur Radio Club