Speaker Line Up for 2018 SCCARC Meetings

February 16: Michael Fluegemann (KE8AQW) speaking about DX in Spain, antenna work, and his work with Ford.

Michael, KE8AQW, became involved in ham radio at the University of Alabama where he studied electrical engineering. He is from Michigan and started working at Ford Motor Company after graduation and is currently doing a 7 month rotation in Palo Alto, CA working on a connected vehicle project as part of the Internet of Things sphere.  Michael is Also an Eagle Scout and enjoys being outdoors  hiking, camping, sailing, sometimes with a radio.  Some of his favorite parts of ham radio are kit building, portable operation, meeting new people, and Field Day.

March 16 Ed Fong (WB6IQN) will speak (via Skype) about his famous J-pole antenna work.



Dave Rank KO6RS, SK


The images are of both sides of a card handed to participants at Dave’s memorial service yesterday.  There, Dave’s urn was buried in the cemetery.  The small image under the Curie quote is of “the green flash.”  The card was put together by Dave’s son.  Two of Dave’s sons spoke at the service.
—73, Cap

My Memories of Dave Rank KO6RS 

I was intoroduced to Dave almost 20 years ago. and visited him at home in Aptos on many occaisions. Our common interest was the science of amateur (Ham) radio and in particular HF antennas. Dave introduced me to antenna modeling which became the foundation for our joint experiments from then on. We began to meet 1on1 regularly at Surf City Coffee in Aptos.  

Some of our designs became sucessful projects which included a Moxon beam combined with a Yagi. Dave desinated it a MOGI. Another was a dual 2m 70 yagi which I laced with plastic ivy to become a steath antenna. The design of a 4 element dual band 20/17m beam used an unusual combination of driven and parasitic elements and still is the principal antenna  at my home in KY.

Dave and I often argued vigorously which I believe was good for both of us. He became a close friend and later on I only stopped visiting him at his request.

Old hams never die they only QSY


Ron Skelton  W6WO


  CAKE  Session Notes Jan 27  2018

Cap opened our session with the news that Dave Rank KO6RS had passd away. Dave was a renowned scientist and mentor to many. Ron knew him well and will pass on some details to be included in Short Skip.

The fine weather lifted the spirits of those attending our meeting, present were Reed N1WC, Kerry K3RRY, Eric KK6IZY, John AI6LY,Cap KE6AFE, Ray W6LPW, John N5HBN, Jim K9YC,Ward AE6TY and me Ron W6WO

The first topic was “Trees” just as featured in QST. Much discussion ensuued, too bad Tom KW6S wasn’t with us to relate the unsucessful effort to poke a vertical wire up about 60 ft in a redwwod tree without climbing it. It was interesting to learn why palm trees might be better than deciduous, one more reason for a beach side vacation. HI

As previously mentioned Kerry is deeplyinterested in the technologies involved with space exploration and how useful the books published by Haynes Workshop Manuals are.This lead to a general discussion on errosion of Tribal Knowlege as John N5HBN puts it.This is a subject of significant concern to our ASAT community due to uncertain launch dates and mission objectives.

John AI6LY described how he determined the Azinuth directionality of his 40m Yagi  by making audio recordings of received noise as he turned his antenna. This unusual approach produced excellent plots. I think we might use the HF beacons as world-wide signal sources for other bands

Jim K9YC showed the pair of high power baluns/transformers he has built. Baluns are cause celebre for Jim and we can rely on him in this field. Somone mentioned that transformers are complex components and tough to fully understand. Ron agreed entirely and commented this is rather odd because detailed equivalent circuits were developed in the 1930s.

Ron mentioned that he will read anything written on antennas by Jack Belrose VE2CV. A book entitled International Antenna Collection, Edited by Dr George Brown M5ACN contains an article by Jack entitled “A brief overviwew of the perfomance of wire aerials in their operating environments”. The book arrived from the ARRL on the very day that I gained the small tuneable loop antenna built by AC6KW. Now I fully admit my knowledge of such antennas is vanishingly close to zero, This being the case I found a section called “The Truth about Loops  by Professor Mike Underhill G3LHZ”. This was so irresitable I have yet to read  the item by VE2CV. I measured the AC6KW loop and found it tunes from 9.85 to 16.5 MHz with respecable SWR and could be used on 30m for WSPR and on 20m.

Loop full view

AC6KW Loop Antenna

Ward can always be relied on for challenging questions and today it was related to NEC, the Numerical Electromagnetic Code used in antenna modelling programs like EZNEC. Ward asked “can NEC give misleading answers and if so would this likely be due to the data it operated on or some inherent limitations in NEC itself” ? This is a tough one and deserves more than a casual response. I will dig into it and would like to hear other comments before offering my response.

Now temporarily saturated by Tribal Knowlege, no fake news here ! Please keep in mind we would like to visit places of interest including “open shack” invitations

73 Ron W6WO  BCNU  Feb 10

PS answers to my Quiz questions are 8mW for a NVIS ground path of 400 km and 5W for 20,000 km


Handling Emergency Traffic during Hawaii’s False Alarm

– by John Keating AI6LY

During the morning of January 13, I was on the Ohana Net 14.268. There were several stations participating from the Hawaiian Islands, one from New Zealand, and over a dozen stations from the mainland. The net control operator in Hawaii was transmitting when suddenly his microphone picked up a very loud alarm from nearby. He stopped for a moment then returned to the air with a shaky voice saying that he had received a text alert about an inbound missile and it was not a drill. Very quickly, he interrupted the net and asked if anyone had other information on the apparent crisis before he goes QRT to take shelter. Both N6QS in Southern California and I in Northern California did quick google searches which turned up nothing. We relayed the info back to Hawaiian net control. Moments later we heard “break break” from another Hawaiian op whose QTH was too close to hear net control. The anxiety in his voice was readily apparent as he asked if anyone knew what was going on. I responded to his break by clearing the frequency again and delivering the message that our continued news and web searches were turning up no indication of threat. In fact, for what seemed like an interminable period, we did not even see any mention of the HEMA alert.

I’m happy to say that even in this case of false alarm, the amateur radio community did what it is supposed to do: pass emergency traffic in an efficient, professional manner. Given that the alarm sound was carried in real time over an HF QSO, those of us on the net may have been the first on the mainland to know about the alert. (I think we were way ahead of Twitter!) Several of the net members scrambled to research the situation, and N6QS and I handled traffic with the Hawaiian stations until the false alarm was confirmed. Our efforts helped to calm the nerves of the ops in the Islands and provided a quick test of skills that, hopefully, we will never need for real.


Changing, yet staying the same!


About 15 years ago, I interested my son in measuring the power output from KSCO, and plotting levels from different locations around the county. His panning, circuit building, measurements, and documentation won him an honorable mention at the Santa Cruz County science fair, and an IEEE Award.

3D printed radio

Fast forward 15 years. Now you can use a 3D Printer to “print out” most of the components and build a cat’s whisker receiver. Here is the link to an article, and video by Sage Hanson, on how without any soldering, electronics experience, electric cord, or even batteries you can print a receiver. And he’s willing to show you how to do it, too. Enjoy sharing this with a youngsters, or revisiting your youth!




HAM Class being offered at Loma Prieta Volunteer Fire Station

Would you like to talk to people around the world (without the phone bill)? How would you like to assist Fire Department or Red Cross in a disaster? Or would you just like to make new friends by talking over the radio? Want to expand your HAM skills?

A General Class license class is going to be held on Wednesdays for approximately 8 weeks starting on January 17th from 7-9PM This class will teach you all you need to know to get your 2nd HAM license. This class is open to the public and is for folks ages 7 to 109. The class is going to be taught at the Volunteer Fire Station at 17445 Old Summit Road.

The class will use the book “The ARRL General Class License Manual, Level 2, General, Eighth Edition” The manual comes with a CD with all the question set used for the FCC Technician license. This manual can be purchased for $28.45 at www.amazon.com . The manual can also be purchased off the web at  http://www.arrl.org/shop/ARRL-General-Class-License-Manual-8th-Edition/   for $29.95.

The first class will cover Chapters 1 and 2. These chapters cover 1) how to get upgrade your Amateur Technician license, and 2) operating in the HF. The second class will cover FCC rules and regulations. The third class will cover electrical components and basic circuits. The 4th class will radio signal types and HAM equipment. The next class will cover digital modes and how to connect to the Internet via HAM radio. The 6th class will cover antenna types and simple antenna design rules. The 7th Radio propagation and why with General Class rules you can reach out to the whole world. The last session will cover Electrical and radio safety and will go over the question set.

There will be a required class fee of $20.00 to be paid in cash at the beginning of the first class.

For those interested in attending the HAM class, should purchase the book The ARRL General Class License Manual, Level 2, General, Eighth Edition, show up at the volunteer Fire Station on 17 January 2018. It is recommended that participants bring pencil and paper to be able to take notes. Any questions can be e-mailed to Bert Bailey at bbailey@stellarsolutions.com.


Technician Class License Course in Ben Lomond

I will discuss the class described below at the Santa Cruz ARC meeting on Friday, January 19.

An amateur radio class will be offered in Ben Lomond during January-February 2018. This class will prepare students to pass the exam for the Technician class amateur radio license issued by the FCC. The class is offered free as a public service.

The class will be taught from 7 to 9 PM on six successive Monday nights starting on January 22. Location of the class is St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church at the corner of Glen Arbor and Riverside in Ben Lomond. The class will be taught by Ray Wentz of Ben Lomond. A textbook for this class will be available at a discounted price of $22.50. Textbooks will be available at the first class session.

To register for the class send an e-mail to Ray Wentz at W6LPW@sbcglobal.net. Please include your name and telephone number in the e-mail.

Additional information is available by telephone (831-336-8421).

Class size will be limited to about 18 people.

Ray Wentz, W6LPW


CAKE Jan 13, 2018

Along with our stalwarts  Don K6GHA,  Kerry K3RRY, Reed  W1WC and John N5HPB we welcomed Matt Spevak  from Davenport who has expressed interest in Ham Radio. 

Matt’s initial question was how can I use Ham Radio while traveling? We briefly described several options and encouraged him to take the  next opportunity to attend the license classes Reed and others run frequently. Matt was given an issue of the ARRL handbook for 2005 to become acquainted with the basics.   Based on his technical background he is certain to sail through.  

Ron described the items donated by Jeff AC6KW and several found new homes immediately. A couple of 4ele 2m Yagis are still up for grabs.  Reed in particular was very knowledgeable about many of the items. Don demonstrated that the 6pin MiniDIN data ports on Yaesu and Kenwood radios are not necessarily identical . 

You may  recall that John has been renovating an ancient signal generator and showed an image of a sine wave it has produced. It looks good and Ron suggested close inspection with  a PC based O’Scope or spectrum analyzer.

Kerry brought a copy of a book describing the Apollo Guidance System that used an early digital computer. He explained why It was very challenging to achieve the degree of precision required with logic and memory of some 50 + years ago.  On the topic of digital logic  Ron mentioned reading how coupling between adjacent wires can behave as digital logic gates. (sort of bane to boon one might say) 

Gary showed the antenna analyzer project he has been working on . Details can be found on HamRadio360.com and the kit is attributed to K6BEZ. Congratulations on your hands-on efforts  Gary , looking forward to seeing it in action.  

A not-so mysterious item was a pair of split stator variable capacitors. These have  access to the individual variable an stationary sections of each item. Perhaps there is  the prospect of switching various combinations of series and parallel values of capacitance, in an antenna tuner. 

Dual split staor capacitors

Don mentioned that for the meeting NEXT FRIDAY  Don he has arranged for 10 minute talks by members who have specific interests in Club activities . I will speak about  CAKE  sessions and will tell how special it is to be exposed to, the variety of interest and depth of knowledge, of CAKE participants.

 73 Ron W6WO 


Happy New Year


Welcome to 2018 and the K6BJ Club Meetings. This year the club will be focusing on a variety of topics around your interests. We always look forward to your feedback, input, knowledge, and recommendations on guest speakers, so let us know! 

Our first meeting of the year is on Friday, January 19th at 7:30pm, at our usual location in the Red Cross at 2960 Soquel Ave in Santa Cruz.

As a part of that kickoff meeting, we wanted to highlight how our club members promote Amateur Radio in our community. Our meeting will give you an insight into the variety of these engagements and introduce you to those ‘hero’ ambassadors for our hobby, who volunteer their time and energy. You maybe be surprised on their impact in and round Santa Cruz.

The agenda for the evening is a series of fast-paced 10-minute vignettes (like speed dating!).
The topics will introduce you to:
– Your newly elected BoD
– Served Agencies
       – Red Cross
       – ARES
       – CERT
       – Equine Evac
– CAKE (Coffee Assisted Knowledge Exchange) Meetings and Events
and maybe more!

So mark your calendar and join us for the first meeting of the New Year!


CAKE Notes for Dec 23 2017

We were delighted to welcome John KI6LY and to say how pleased we were to see Ward AE6TY back from his African travels, good also to have Tom KW6S taking a break from his time in Fresno . Our well tried and trusted crew were Kerry K3RRY, Glen KG0T, John N5HPB, Fred KJ6OOV, Peter K6UNO and Cap KE6AFE

John (K6LY) introduced himself and mentioned his main interest being HF. John described his KW station and antenna systems, many of us are green with envy. Boat-anchor radios are another interest shared with several of us. John posed a challenging question of how to determine the effectiveness of the reflector in his 2-ele beam. Several ideas were put forward and clearly there is no easy answer. Other readers are invited to make suggestions. Ron mentioned his interest in using WSPR for gainingm signal to noise data in comparing antennas, BTW shouldn’t it be (S+N)/N or possibly (S+N+D)/N ?

John N5HPB always brings interesting items. On this occasion he brought a bench-top jig for working on PCBs and more news about his work to recover an AN25D signal genr from way back. Tom told us this was a very fine instrument which says a great deal considering the accuracy we have become used to. John also does a great job making what he needs including 3D printing or using a diamond cutter to construct pads for resistors in a dummy load.

Tom amazed us by describing his new 1296 MHz array with 24 DB gain. The effort required to install it above all his other antennas is astounding.nApparently this only became possible with the aid of our intrepid antenna climber Bob K6XX. For one Ham to risk life and limb to help another is not unusual but in this case it was to be marveled at. Tom’s antenna farm has more “educated aluminum” per square ft than anyone and in addition he mentioned that his attic was also full of antennas . How he intends to cover the new LF bands is yet to be described.

Glen and Kerry continued their prior discussions on Arduino projects such as the touch pad Glen has made. Kerry brought along a recent book on Arduino projects. Regarding books, Tom handed out some very useful texts, Ron snapped up the one on vertical antennas which is a subject near and dear to his heart and fodder for future CAKE meetings.

Peter mentioned his deep interest in high performance audio and spoke of a low level distortion analyzer made by RTX in Denmark. Peter is well aware of the professional microphones made by David WA6NMF and was envious when I recalled having the privilege of being invited to see David’s work in progress . Ward mentioned that common zip-cord can be used as a balanced transmission line. While being lossy at RF, versions may have values of characteristic impedance (Zo) useful as short phasing lines and at moderate power levels.

Back to basics – Using Standard International units show that Zo for transmission line in Ohms is R+ j0 =sqrt ( inductance in Henrys divided by capacitance in Farads)

Fred was asked abut his views of the recent eclipse and clearly this was a momentous experience for him. For once Ron didn’t have much to say but remarked that the term “common mode current” is frequently referred to inamateur circles but not mentioned in classical texts including Krause, Terman and Shelkunoff. Ron prefers term “longitudinal current”. All in all a most enjoyable final session for the year. Thanks once more for showing and telling. BCNU Jan 13 Ron W6WO

Happy Holidays

As we move into 2018, it is time to remember the past, look to the future, and be thankful. I would like to thank those who guided the SCCARC’s ship for the past year. Please take the time to acknowledge and thank them for their service when you see them.

President, Cap Pennell, KE6AFE
Vice president, Don Anastasia, AA6W
Secretary, David Copp, WS2I
Treasurer, John Gerhardt, N6QX
Board member, Linda Bittner, K6GRL
Board member, Allen Fugelseth, WB6RWU
Board member, David Steinbruner, WB6DWP
Board member, Gary Watson, K6PDL
Board member, past president, Suellene Petersen, K6CPA

With the K6BJ clubs annual elections behind us, I would like to thank the NEW batch of Officers and Board Members for stepping forward to sail the ship. We are all looking for your ideas and recommendations on club speakers, activities, and/or focused events, so please feel free to share them with any board member thought the year or when we introduce ourselves at the first general club meeting in January.

In case you haven’t met the new inductees, here is a list and short introduction to the new group of Officials and BoD.

Don Taylor K6GHA (President)
First Licensed: 2007 then graduated to Extra Class in 2008
Areas of HAM Interest: HF Radio, Contesting fanatic, Disaster Services volunteer, and into collecting ham stuff that glows.
Affiliations: ARRL, ARES, SLVARC, Northern Cal Contest Club (NCCC), IDXC Convention Contest Academy
Other Bio Info: Acquired my Dad’s call (Vanity). Born and raised in Santa Cruz, USAF, Harbor High, Cabrillo, and SJSU. I’m the trustee of NG6O.

Becky Steinbruner, KI6TKB (Vice President)
First Licensed: First licensed in 2008 and now holds a General Class ticket.
Area of HAM Interest:
Amateur radio ambassador thought Community Service. Community leader and advocate through emergency service in Aptos and Santa Cruz communities during 2013 wildfire evacuation by using Amateur Radio to communicate with family, neighbors and activation of local shelters.
SCCARC, ARES, CERT, Santa Cruz Red Cross
Other Bio Info:
Proudly supporting a family of Hams; Husband Dave WB6DWP, son Stu KI6TKA, and daughters Greta KI6NTL and newest HAM Bria KM6HBM, active in the community and community government. 

Linda Bittner, K6GRL (Secretary)
First Licensed: Technician license in 2004 with call KG6WWZ. Upgraded to General in 2006, and to Extra in 2007, with a change in call to K6GRL.
Area of HAM Interest: HF contacts and contests, and digital modes.
Other Bio Info:
Resided in the Monterey Bay area since 1992.

Cap Pennell, KE6AFE (Treasurer)
First Licensed: 1993
Area of HAM Interest: For fun, using APRS and email by ham radio (Winlink). To help setup and operate Winlink I’d like to visit hamshacks with MS Windows computers.
Affiliations: Member of several local ham clubs and ARRL and ARES.
Other Bio Info: Family came to Santa Cruz County in 1964. Retired from State of California in 2002.

Allen Fugelseth, WB6RWU (Board Member)
First Licensed:
1967 then graduated to Extra Class
Area of HAM Interest: I enjoy building projects.  I am almost constantly designing and building something. I have built a microwave station and made some contacts from atop Loma Prieta. I would like to learn and build more digital projects. 
I am the trustee for K6BJ and W6TUW. I am a member of the SLVARC, 50MhzAndUp, Microwave Users Group in the UK, and member of ARRL.
Other Bio Info:
I am a life member of SCCARC K6BJ. I started attending meetings when I was a teenager.

Dale Thomas, KC6ICM (Board Member)
First Licensed: 1990 from Art Lee’s class at Cabrillo.
Area of HAM Interest:
Just moving back to the area, and rekindling interest in Amateur Radio.
Retired Branciforte Fire District Fire Chief (1984)
Other Bio Info:
At an early age developed an interest in listening to “dx” AM stations, leading to High School electronics class and hands on Ham Radio under supervision.

Ned Rice, N6ZOZ (Board Member)
First Licensed: 1992 Tech currently General N6ZOZ. Original Call KE6ZOZ
Area of HAM Interest:
Handheld and mobile 2 meter and 440 mostly, APRS, slow scan video. Public service and events
Current Board Member of K6FB
Other Bio Info:
Past SCSO Search and Rescue Team (Explorers) then went on to Volunteer Fire Fighter in Bonny Doon. Retired as a Captain. My High school Teacher (Dan White) and I were friends until his passing. He introduced me to Ham Radio. Over the years, Ham radio has been a big part of my adult life. Before my Dad passed away, I was able to share with him my passion. He and I attended two different classes together, once to get his license as a Tech then again as a General. Taking these classes together help build our adult relationship, since my dad’s passing my sister acquired his Vanity call. At some point, I want to get more into satellite communications and possibly volunteer testing and teaching.

Please welcome the new Officers and Board for 2018. We are looking forward to a lot of fun setting sail with you, and representing you, in the New Year.

SCCARC 2018 President,



CAKE  Notes for Nov 25, 2017

Those attending today were Richard W1WUH, Fred KJ6OOV, Eric  KK6IZY,Warren NR0V, Glen KG0T and Ron W6WO. This is truly a group with such a wide range of knowledge that two hours of concentrated discussion could only scratch the surface of any one topic. Fred showed a professional VHF folded dipole which he rescued from a dump. It was part of an array of dipoles that incorporated impedance matching achieved with sections of coax within the tubing. As many know Ron can become unBalUnced when coax is involved and must resist beating his chest. Forgive but how would you answer this. Given two sections of cable, one twin lead and the other coax.  Which could be described as a balanced transmission line?  Answer at the end of this note.

The conversation today had much to say about connectivity. Ron bemoaned the need to have special cables and connectors, for example the 8pin DIN connector on a typical radio and the USB connector now standard on PCs. One day we woke up and parallel ports were gone followed by serial ports what next, fiber Bluetooth ?. Glen made a kind offer to explain and assist. Eric showed a diabolical mix of connectors associated with powesupply and other subsystems in his PC. The tour of his Lenovo P51 thinkpad laptop was quite simply astounding.

Both Eric and Warren described some of the precautions they take to safeguard their data. Warren mentioned his recent work developing
software to take care of anomalies  affecting High Performance SDR behavior due to the buffering and reading of data packets. Warren is a true pioneer,  builder and problem solver.

Now to the question.  The answer is both as they are inherently balanced. The twin lead is obvious but ideal coax will carry exactly differential E and H fields internally ie balanced conditions. Consider a 50 Ohm coax terminated in two 25 Ohm non radiating resistors in series with their junction connected to some reference point. No common mode current will flow back to the source via  the reference point. It is radiation from an unbalanced system or antenna (most are to one degree or another) and the shielding property of the outer conductor that causes common-mode feedline current and radiation.  An even more engaging question is,  if it does why
should we care ?

Our next CAKE date is Dec 9 which is the date for our Club dinner at 6 PM stay tuned for details

73   Vibrate effectively
Ron  W6WO





 A New Tradition for Field Day?