On the Horizon
Message from the president
Greetings Las Cumbres Members! Summer is upon us - and just when will it stop raining?
The Great 1998 Summer Picnic and Potluck is coming up on Saturday, July 25th. This will be an opportunity for you to join other Las Cumbres members for some food, fun, and camaraderie. We will be assembling about noon on the National Semiconductor picnic grounds on Kifer Rd, just west of Lawrence Expressway in Santa Clara / Sunnyvale. This is the same location as the previous two years.
Dan K6PRK has graciously arranged for us to use the NSC facilities once again. Las Cumbres ARC will provide the hamburgers, hot dogs, and charcoal - if you would like to bring something else to barbecue then by all means bring it! Paper plates, utensils, and some drinks will be provided.
You get to play a role in the picnic too! Bring along a side dish to share. Do you have some hidden and legendary talent for preparing a casserole, a salad, a chip dip, or dessert? This would be a great opportunity to show off that talent! Of course chips and additional sodas are always great last minute items to grab on the way to the picnic. Be advised: no alcoholic beverages are allowed on the NSC picnic grounds.
Once again, please join us on Saturday, July 25th, at high noon, for our annual picnic! Of course your spouse, family members, or significant other is welcome to join the festivities.
Our July Member's Meeting will not be held due to the picnic. Plan to attend the picnic in lieu of our monthly evening eyeball. Look for our August Member's Meeting back on our regular schedule, the second Tuesday of each month, on August 11th, at 7:30.
Did you know that we will participate in Field Day this year? James KE6RAV has been organizing Field Day at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center site for June 27 / 28. James works at VMC and has made arrangements to partner with the facility, county employee amateurs, other hospital amateurs from around the valley, and other ham organizations to make this quite a event!
Field Day is a 24 hour long operating period to showcase amateurs and their skills. Many clubs treat this as a contest, earning points by making contacts around the globe. James stresses that this will be a fun event and points won't be important.
It will be held on one of the expanses of lawn at the southeast corner of the San Jose VMC facility, on Bascom Ave. near the signal where Bascom meets Enborg / Fruitvale. This is just off the freeway near the junctions of I-880 / Hwy 17 / I-280. Come out to join in the fun, operate for a while, bring down your own rigs and antennas.
James has planned numerous law enforcement communications vans and demonstrations, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts demonstrations, and even a few door prize drawings. Set-up will start about 9:00 am on Saturday, operating from Saturday noon to Sunday noon, followed by tear down on Sunday afternoon. Come out to support Field Day, James, and your club!
As long as you have your calendar out take a moment to mark in these upcoming dates to round out 1998...
Fifth Saturday Breakfast (8:00a): August 29, October 31
Member's Meetings (Tuesdays, 7:30p): August 11, September 8, October 13, November 10
Holiday Party (Friday, TBD): December 4
The Las Cumbres shack is due for painting. The board has selected the colors: Kelly-Moore Malibu Beige as the major color with Kelly-Moore Frost as the trim color. It's going to look great. I propose the weekend of September 12/13 as Painting Days. Would you like to join in the fun? Call Jey to secure your spot on the crew! Say, does anyone have a pressure washer or paint sprayer that we could borrow?
Have you ante'ed up your club dues for this year? The discounted dues period ended in May. Dues for renewing members are now $27. If you have not sent in your dues check for 1998, won't you take a moment now to tend to that detail? Repeater control codes will be changing before the summer is out.
Did you know that the LCARC Net is held on Monday evenings at 7:30? This weekly feature keeps you posted on upcoming club events. Drop in to catch the news and check in. Consider volunteering for net control on an upcoming Monday!
Please take a moment to complete the roster update in this edition of the Sentinel. Some of our information may be pretty dated by now. Are any of your telephone numbers affected by recent area code changes? Did you get a new call? Have you moved in the last few years? Do you have a new email address? Please let us know!
I know we just had elections recently, but it is never too early to start thinking about officers for the 1999 election. Do you have an interest in running for the LCARC Board? Talk to any of the board officers to find out more about the positions. Take a leadership role in your club.
The board has been brewing a few volunteer opportunities for individuals that would like to take a more active role in the club. If you are interested in any of the following positions please contact Jey.
Summit Sentinel Editor. This edition of the Summit Sentinel marks the end of an era. Jim KN6PE is moving on to other interests, vacating his four-plus year role as Summit Sentinel editor. If you are interested in taking on a bi-monthly or quarterly newsletter this is an opportunity waiting to happen! You would be responsible for publishing news and information of interest to Las Cumbres members. This could also be done as a shared role where two or more edit, produce, and distribute each edition.
Thank you Jim KN6PE for many happy editions of the Summit Sentinel through the years!
Flea Market Promoter. This friendly individual would help promote the Las Cumbres ARC at the monthly Foothill Flea Market (second Saturdays of each month, March through October). Board members Jim KN6PE and Tom K6KMT have created a tri-fold pamphlet with information about Las Cumbres ARC. This new position would provide an opportunity to meet fellow hams and promote Las Cumbres ARC, seeking prospective members and answering questions about the club.
Memento Coordinator. I have been approached by several members in recent months who were interested in Las Cumbres ARC "gear". Some of the items mentioned are logo hats or shirts, possibly monogrammed with individual's call signs, logo coffee mugs, logo T-shirts, etc. So, I pose the question back to the members: Is there enough interest for one or two members to take on this challenge? If so, step forward! You could choose an item or two, coordinate orders, and then follow through with the delivery.
Well! "DOW DOW -DIDI-DOW-DOW"
The author, a child crystal set constructor, was catapulted into the cruel adult world of survival via the US Civilian Conservation Corps (US-CCC).
The Government in its wisdom sent me to the Arizona District CCC. Arriving at Camp DG-46A, Kingman, Arizona; I was promptly assigned to the Technical Office as a clerk/typist (people who could type were at a premium). My camp Buddy, Chuck (Guinea) Willard and I entertained ourselves by building two QRP(?) arc transmitters using a couple of buzzer/key sets and the entertainment radios in the Rec Room and the Dispensary. Unfortunately, we were also picked up by every radio within a quarter mile radius, generating an overwhelming RFI complaint.
The good camp Commandant, Lt Yount saved us from the lynch mob by expelling me to the District Radio School being conducted at Camp BR-19A, Tempe, Arizona.
The instructors, Bob (RF) Hilbun and Jack "Horse-Face" Nolan, taught the art of Radio Operation and Maintenance (I understand these two were later used as instructors at either Jefferson Barracks, Mo. or at the Great Lakes Naval School in IL).
The school, like all good prep schools, had its own cheer call ---"Radio Radio Hash Hash--Three Dots, Four Dots, Two Dots, Dash." (I'm sure no one can misinterpret that).
This school trained operators to man the District Radio Net. The telephone systems of that era, did not provide service to the camps in outlying areas of the state, making this net essential to the Administration and Logistic support of the camps.
The original equipment consisted of Military equipment powered by the ever popular, hand-cranked generators with batteries for the receivers. These were later replaced with the Collins 30FX, 100 Watt CW transmitters and the Hammerlund Comet receivers. I have one of these receivers. Incidentally the "S" meter of today was called the "R" meter then.
Traffic handling with the hand powered rigs was limited to about 10 words/minute, otherwise your generator man was quickly exhausted (character speed was at about 20 wpm with spaces longer than average which accounted for the 10 wpm rate overall).
The newer equipment and the use of Speed-Keys (Bugs), and line power or gasoline generators and "Mills" (Typewriters), permitted the net to achieve a relatively high degree of professionalism and efficiency.
Radio shacks varied from the Security Building in Phoenix to tents in some of the temporary camps.
Power for this new equipment was a challenge. The normal Camp generators were 120 volts DC and our equipment needed 120 volts AC. Even the commercial power available at some camps varied in nature. We experienced everything from DC to 25, 60 and 85 CPS (Hertz to you late Bloomers). Incidentally, The AC/DC broadcast receivers with their line cord resistors for the filaments came out about that time. People would plug them into the camp DC generators in reverse polarity and of course they would not operate. They would then approach us ??experts?? to see why they would not play. With a little Hochas-pokus; we would reverse the plug and lo and behold they began to play (they thought we were geniuses. Ha!).
Our people also operated various Forest Service sets such as the S, the SPF, and M sets. The S set was a hand carried portable about the size of shoe box, operating somewhere around 11 meters, if memory serves. The SPF was also portable, consisting or a 4 tube superhet receiver and a two tube transmitter. The M set was basically a Collins 30FXB, AM voice transmitter with a Hammerlund receiver all mounted in a rack as one unit. This of course was a base station type of set.
The author served for two years, operating in various camps, F-34A, Cave Creek, Holbrook, Phoenix and memory fails beyond that. Released from the CCC in March of 1939, I went on active duty with the Army, serving as a radio instructor for the Artillery and latter for the Infantry before being sent to Advanced Infantry School and sent overseas as an Infantry Officer in the Pacific. Finally retiring from the military and going to work in the Atomic Weapons )see next story) and later the Aerospace Industry.
Unfortunately I have lost track of most of our operators from the CCC. We had a colorful lot. Howard "Moonlight Bay," Moon Mullins, and Willard "Lets Choose Up Sides and Sniff Arm Pitts" Kemper.
The author hopes this article brings back a memory or two and hopefully some of the gang will contact me after reading it.
Operating in the '50s
This picture shows Kieth, W6QZE and Al Bolles operating the Radio system at the Mercury, NV test site in the 1950's.
The author did countdowns for 17 atomic test blasts. During the countdowns the Head Honcho from Los Alamos and a Colonel from the Air Force stood over you to make sure there were no errors and all conversations, radio, telephone or local were recorded.
All reception of VHF and UHF came in over phone lines from remote transmitter sites on top of the hill behind the Command Post.
HF-AM was received over the two Hammarlund SP-600-SX receivers shown on the left and right of the console (see the picture on the following page). The original AM transmitters were 300 watt RCA units located in trailers at the HF antenna site (these were later replaced by Collins 30K4 transmitters). The Collins transmitters were dual frequency and were quite reliable. The Micro-barograph stations were also equipped with the Collins 30K4 transmitters and the Hamarlund SP-600-SX receivers.
Communications were also carried out between the site and micro-barograph stations circling the test site. These measured pressure waves from the blasts carried out previous to the big ones so we could tell if damage might appear from the big ones ahead of time.
Incidentally, the recording system mentioned above, in the control room, helped keep the author from being accused of a miss-count.
On air drops, the count was stopped at minus 20 seconds and the other operators continued. This was to permit anyone with trouble to stop the drop.
The Navy was flying an instrumented drone aircraft which the flew in over the area following the blast. Not understanding the procedure, they thought the countdown-stop @ minus 20 seconds) was Zero Count and flew one drone in over the blast. When the Atomic weapon went off, there were two "fire-balls" above the site; one the Atomic weapon, the other the Navy drone.
During the investigation of the "miss-cue?," the control room recording cleared the author of any responsibility for the lost drone.
What?!? You didn't bring any telephones!!!
While engaged in an Officer's Communications Training exercise, my group and I arrived at the scene of our designated point of operation.
When we started the setup of our command post, we discovered that one of our people forgot to bring a telephone. Panicsville,!! right?? Wrong!!
We had with us an extra TG-5 telegraph set which used a tone generator consisting of an earphone front-to-front with a microphone; that when powered up, generates a tone. We also had the center tapped audio transformers which permitted the transmission of tone (CW) over the parallel telephone wires, with a ground return at the same time as voice. (known as multiplexing).
We separated the microphone and earphone of one of the TG-5 sets and used them for a telephone and the battery (for the ringer). The people at the other end never knew we didn't have a telephone. (Sneaky, Huh?!?)
An old Aussie saying, "If the book doesn't work, throw the book away and do it any way."
1998 Membership Roster Update
Its time to update the club roster!. Please complete the roster update form on the back of this Sentinel. When done, separate the last page complete all information fold this PAGE (only) on the fold lines indicated on page 5 staple or tape the page closed add $0.32 postage, and drop it in the mail!
Thanks for your help!
Las Cumbres Amateur Radio Club (LCARC)
LCARC is a California non-profit mutual benefit corporation dedicated to Amateur Radio Service and Emergency Communication. It's purpose is to support scientific investigation in radio engineering and emergency communication skills development for its members.
Repeaters & Services operated by LCARC
K6FB/R: 145.450 MHz (-), PL=100, linked with
K6FB/R: 442.575 MHz (+), PL=100
K6FB/R: 223.880 MHz (-), PL=100
K6FB-1 Digipeater: 145.050 MHz
K6FB-2 Bulletin Board: 145.050 MHz
K6FB-7 Node (alias LCARC): 145.050 MHz
K6FB-5 tcp/ip "losgatos" [22.214.171.124], 145.750 MHz
News, Nets and Meetings
The LCARC Net is held every Monday evening at 7:30pm local time on the K6FB/R repeaters. Guests and visitors are welcome to check in. Volunteers for net control for the following week's net are solicited (and encouraged) at the end of each net.
General meetings are held at the Hewlett-Packard Cupertino Site, Oak Room, Building 48, located at Wolfe Road and Pruneridge Avenue (entrance on Pruneridge) at 7:30 PM, on the third Tuesday of every month unless otherwise noted. Talk-in on K6FB/R.
Club members and guests are welcome to visit us on our home page at: http://www.ihot.com/~k6prk/k6fb.html
Officers and Board of Directors
Jey Yelland / KQ6DK . . . . . . . President Mark Wunderman / KE6QCT . . . . . Vice-President Harry Workman / K6JTC . . . . . . Treasurer Ned Rice / KE6ZOZ . . . . . . . . Membership Jim Oberhofer / KN6PE . . . . . . Secretary Frank Butcher / W6SZS . . . . . . TCC Tom Campbell / K6KMT . . . . . . Trustee Dan Smith / K6PRK . . . . . . . . Member at Large
The Summit Sentinel is published monthly by the LCARC. Permission is granted to reprint from this publication with appropriate source credit. The deadline for submitting items is the first Friday following each general meeting. Send your contributions to Jey KQ6DK at:
phone: w:650.236.3870; h:408.379.6759