Newly Elected SCCARC 2024 Board
Thanks to Cap’s prescience in suggesting the By Laws change
that set our 10% quorum requirement, we did have a quorum last night and were
able to successfully elect the slate of officers to lead your club in the coming year.
Our thanks to all who took the time to join us at La Posada in person or to log in
remotely to the election meeting via the zoom link. The members below will be
installed next month during our holiday party at Woodhouse Blending and Brewing
on Sunday, Dec 17th. (2pm-~4:30 families welcome).
- President Jerry Lucha W6OJE
- Vice Pres. Ben Irao KN6NDM
- Treasurer Rich Cannings W6RGC
- Secretary Mike Bryks W6MLB
- At Large Jim Wason KN6NCG
- At Large Martin Greatorex KN6GWQ
So thank you again for heeding the call and we hope to see many of you at the party.
SCCARC Holiday Party and Installation of Officers 12/17
The members below will be installed next month during our holiday party at Woodhouse Blending and Brewing
on Sunday, Dec 17th. (2pm-~4:30 families welcome).
The Latest Update W6WLS Tower Restoration
You can read the latest update from Matt Kaufman about the Empire Grade
tower restoration project here:
o the tower’s up
o needs equipment room and power
o send money!
Will AI help us have more fun with amateur radio?
by Dan Romanchik, KB6NU
In this morning’s email was a message from Inc. magazine with links to some articles in the magazine. At the top of the list was, “4 Unimaginable Ways A.I. Will Change Your Life Within the Next 5 Years, According to Bill Gates” (https://www.inc.com/minda-zetlin/4-unimaginable-ways-ai-will-change-your-life-within-next-5-years-according-to-bill-gates.html) Gates says that in the next five years, you will have your own artificial intelligence assistant, or agent, that will be a frequent voice in your ear and will help you with everything from deciding where to go on vacation to managing your friendships and more. Let’s think for a minute about Gates’ 4 Ways and how they might help us enjoy amateur radio more.
1. You won’t bother with software or operating systems anymore.
Hey, HAL. Let’s operate 20-meter FT8 this afternoon!
How cool would this be. You could simply tell your AI amateur radio assistant, “Hey, HAL. Let’s operate 20-meter FT8 this afternoon,” and the agent would set up the radio and begin looking for contacts. If the band wasn’t open, it would come back and tell you, “I’m sorry, Dave, but propagation on 20 meters is terrible this afternoon. May I suggest 30 meters instead?”
2. Your agent will be a frequent voice in your ear.
Gates believes that most of us will wear at least one earbud most of the time so that our agents can talk to us whenever they need to. So, for example, it might be monitoring the activity on 6 meters and notify you when the band is open. Or, you might want it to notify you when a particular contest or operating event is coming up so that you don’t miss it. “Dave,” it might say, “remember that the 2-meter club net is at 8 pm tonight.”
3. Your agent will get involved in your personal relationships.
We often don’t think of amateur radio as having a personal aspect, but it really does. For example, don’t we enjoy talking to some people more than others? Your personal agent could monitor your club’s 2-meter repeater or 40-meter CW and notify you when your friends are on the air.
Gates also notes that you could have your AI assistant talk to your friends’ assistants and set up lunch for you. If those friends are also radio amateurs, you could also use that capability to set up an on-air sked.
4. It might even help you solve personal problems.
The article notes, “One of the most intriguing predictions Gates made is that your agent could also become your therapist” While many hams probably do need therapy, I’m not so sure how applicable this will be to amateur radio.
What I could see happening is using an AI assistant to help you choose your next rig or maybe help you troubleshoot a problem. Here are some scenarios:
• You ask your AI assistant what rig you should buy next. Since it already knows what bands you like to operate—and the state of your finances—it can analyze all the options and find a radio that meets your operating needs and fits into your budget.
• You might describe your backyard and the bands that you want to operate, and your AI Assistant could come back with antenna suggestions.
• You ask your AI assistant about a problem that you’re having with your rig. It comes back with, “Dave, if you would just RTFM, you will find the answer on page 67 of the operating manual.” Or, after scanning the appropriate online forums, it would tell you, “Dave, several other owners seem to be having a similar problem. Here’s what they’ve done….”
All of this sounds kind of fun to me, but I can understand some of you having reservations. What do you think? Can you think of other ways an AI assistant would make amateur radio more fun for you?
Dan Romanchik, KB6NU, is the author of the KB6NU amateur radio blog (KB6NU.Com), the “No Nonsense” amateur radio license study guides (https://KB6NU.Com/study-guides/), and often appears on the ICQPodcast (https://icqpodcast.com). When he’s not trying to decide if artificial intelligence will help us have more fun with ham radio—or destroy humanity—he tinkers with electronics projects and works CW on the HF bands. You can email your AI comments to Dan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scouts Visit K6BJ Repeater
Boy Scout Troop 604 were given a tour of the K6BJ repeater as part of the “Radio Merit Badge”requirements by Craig Harlamoff N6SBN. Craig did a show & tell of describing how each piece of equipment in the repeater works, including the antenna & grounding. He did a great job explaining the many questions from the scouts about the repeater.
Here is the description of the requirement from the BSA Radio Merit Badge . Visit a radio installation (an amateur radio station, broadcast station, or public service communications center, for example) approved in advance by your counselor. Discuss what types of equipment you saw in use, how it was used, what types of licenses are required to operate and maintain the equipment, and the purpose of the station.
Club Meeting Oct. 20
Everything You Wanted to Know About FT8 (and possibly more)
FT8 quickly swept the ham radio world by storm soon after its appearance in 2017. Some call it a curse. Others call it a blessing. DXers call it another useful way to chase DX.. NJ2X (Michael Maher) will give a talk on FT8 along with a live demonstration. The talk will delve into practical matters as well as tips on how to exploit FT8 for DXing. Bring your FT8 questions.
About the Speaker
Michael (NJ2X) enjoys chasing DX and constructing homebrew antennas. NJ2X is the first amateur radio operator to earn the ARRL Triple Play award three times: 1) Hillsborough, NJ; 2) Export, PA, and 3) Aptos, CA. Michael has also earned ARRL DXCC awards for phone, digital, 10 Meters, 15 Meters, 17 Meters, 20 Meters, and 30 Meters. He is presently working on completing the DXCC Challenge award (with 770 confirmed contacts so far) and completing contacts with all 3007 US counties for the Worked All US Counties award (with 2024 confirmed contacts so far). Michael also posts articles on his website NJ2X.com.
JUST OVER ONE WEEK TO GO!
Please help spread the word to your section about the October 14, 2023, annular solar eclipse.This celestial event will be followed widely by hams because of the sudden and dynamic changes that occur in the ionosphere during an eclipse. While much is known about ionospheric propagation, much is still to be learned.
The ARRL is partnering with HamSCI – the Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation to encourage amateurs to get on the air and operate as part of the The HamSCI Festivals of Eclipse Ionospheric Science. Propagation experiments will include the Solar Eclipse QSO Party using CW, FT4/8, SSB and other digital modes and The Gladstone Signal Spotting Challenge (GSSC) using CW, WSPR and FST4W modes.
The October 14 th event will run from 1200-2200 UTC and amateurs may operate on any band and any mode from 6-160 meters (except the WARC bands). Many clubs are participating in a Field Day setting and more than one thousand individual hams/clubs have already registered to participate.
All the details may be found at www.hamsci.org/eclipse. If you have any questions or know of a club that would be interested in having a presentation to learn more about the science around this and the April 8, 2024 total solar eclipse please contact the HamSCI Public Relations Officer, Ed Efchak WX2R at email@example.com. Ed is
also the PIC for the ARRL Northern New Jersey section.
Again, event details can be found at www.hamsci.org/eclopse.
Help your local hams to save the dates…get on the air…and send in a log.
Learning About Radio does Matter
By Dan Romanchik, KB6NU
I recently received an email from someone who reads my blog that struck a chord with me. He wrote:
“I’ve been a ham for decades, operate all modes (but mostly CW), and do a lot of Parks on the Air (POTA). I also spend a lot of time recruiting people into the ham radio hobby and mentoring new hams. It’s that last focus that prompts this question.
“For a variety of reasons that I can’t put on my finger on, it seems like more and more hams don’t really care about how radios or antennas work, and don’t want to invest much time or effort into learning such things. They just want to turn it on and use it. How it works, and what’s going on inside of the box, aren’t important.
“For example, I know of one guy—a General-class licensee—who decided his top-of-the-line Yaesu HT was ‘defective’ because whenever he pressed the push-to-talk switch on one of the repeater frequencies, the radio transmitted on a different frequency. Ugh. Another guy I know thought that his hamstick wouldn’t tune because the wire coil was installed upside down. As you’d guess, the hamstick tuned and worked just fine.
“Some people say that we should get hung up on this. Get new hams into the hobby and they’ll learn as they go on. Except that doesn’t seem to be happening, at least not consistently. Even very experienced, highly educated hams can be clueless on very simple, fundamental radio concepts.
“So, here’s the question: does any of this matter? I don’t know how my microwave oven works, and I don’t’ need to, and I don’t want to. All I want to do is push a button. So maybe it’s perfectly fine that hams don’t know about radio technology and we should stop pretending that any of this matters. Put ‘em through a ‘ham cram’ and get them on the air. Or maybe amateur radio transceivers are different than microwave ovens and it does matter. I don’t know. I go back and forth on this and don’t really have a clear assessment in my mind.
“Anyway, since this seems like the kind of thing you’ve already thought about, I wonderwhat you make of all this. If you’re sitting around with nothing to do, I’d be curious to know what you think.”
Yes, learning about radio does matter
This struck a chord with me because I teach ‘ham cram’ classes, and I often encounter people who think this way. They just want to push buttons and talk on the radio. They say, “I’m only going to use it when I go off-roading with friends,” or “I’m only going to use it when my CERT team is activated.”
I always ask them what they’re going to do when something goes wrong (and we know that at some point, something is going to wrong). I tell them that without some basic knowledge of how radios and antennas work, they aren’t going to be able to fix problems or work around them, and if they can’t do that, they’re not going to be very effective communicators and their experience is going to be very frustrating. Not only that, I explain that they’ll have a lot more fun with ham radio if they understand how the technology works.
So, the question is how to get these people to be more curious about radio technology and how to encourage them to learn more. Being insulting or negative isn’t the way to do it. I hope, for example, that when the guy complained about his Yaesu HT, that someone patiently explained how repeaters work. Sure, he should have known that already, but belittling him for not knowing this would only do more harm than good.
I don’t think that you can fault people for not knowing things, but you can fault them for not wanting to learn things. There’s a lot to learn in ham radio, and you can’t learn it all before you get a license. In fact, I’d argue that most things you can only learn after you get a license and start doing things.
Having said all that, our challenge is to make ham radio a place where those that want to learn things can thrive. I think that we’re doing better at that. Look at all the YouTube channels where you can learn about just about anything that ham radio has to offer. The ARRL is getting in on this as well, with its “Learning Center.”
I’d say not to worry about those who don’t want to invest the time and effort. They’re not going to be hams for very long. They’re going to get frustrated when they can’t get things to work and drift off to something else. Let’s concentrate those who are curious and able and willing to invest the time and effort and make good hams out of them.
Dan Romanchik, KB6NU, is the author of the KB6NU amateur radio blog (KB6NU.Com), the “No Nonsense” amateur radio license study guides (https://KB6NU.Com/study-guides/), and often appears on the ICQPodcast (https://icqpodcast.com). When he’s not writing about amateur radio, he tinkers with electronics projects and operates POTA and works CW on the HF bands.
Sept 15 Club Meeting – Speaker K6GHA and Pizza
Hi everyone. I am very happy to announce that the speaker at our September
live/zoom hybrid SCCARC meeting will be none other than Don Taylor, K6GHA.
The subject will be entitled “WRTC 2022: Participating in the Olympics of Amateur Radio”.
As many of you know, Don is a very upbeat and interesting voice on the airwaves and his talk should be interesting and entertaining. So, please save the date: Friday, September 15th.
To make things even more interesting, your board of directors has decided that we’ll have
Pizza and Salad available for the live attendees. Because of this, we will be starting at
7 PM at La Posada to give folks time to find a table, fill your plate and settle in for Don’s
talk which will begin at 7:30–the regular meeting time.
Jerry Lucha W6OJE
Location: La Posada Retirement Community Lounge
609 Frederick St.
Santa Cruz, CA
The entrance is on Frederick Street between Gault and Hanover.
Visitor Parking spaces inside the facility are few but there is
usually adequate on-street parking on Frederick or Gault. Also
the medical facility directly across the street will be empty
Friday evenings and that would be a possibility. Please do not
park in La Posada resident spaces as you could get blocked in by
the assignee and have no way of leaving after the meeting.
W6OJE is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting
Topic: K6BJ SCCARC Zoom Meeting
Time: Aug 18, 2023 07:30 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 869 8329 4191
One tap mobile
For a telephone-only join, Dial:
(669) 900 9128
Meeting ID: 869 8329 4191
Proposed Bylaw Changes
Here is the background on why your board believes that we should change the Bylaws:
At our SCCARC club meeting on August 18, had the formal reading of
the proposed change (which we discussed at our last board meeting). This reading was so that
the proposal can be voted upon at the September meeting.
Change our Bylaws, Article V, Section 4.
“Fifteen percent of the membership of the Club shall constitute a quorum.”
“Ten percent of the membership of the Club shall constitute a quorum.”
This proposal will be voted on at our following regular club meeting Friday, September 15.
Here is the article in our Bylaws that governs changing them:
“ARTICLE IX. AMENDMENT OF BYLAWS:
These bylaws can be amended at any regular meeting of the
Club by a two-thirds vote, providing that the amendment has been
submitted in writing at the previous regular meeting.”
Our club Bylaws say we must hold a election at our November meeting each year. At times we’ve had unfortunate trouble reaching the number of participants to achieve a quorum for the needed annual election.
(now we have 154 members total)
10% = 16 members
15% = 24 members
According to Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, the “requirement for a quorum is protection against totally unrepresentative action in the name of the body by an unduly small number of persons.”
Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (pre-Covid pandemic) also states that the quorum set in an organization’s bylaws “should approximate the largest number that can be depended on to attend any meeting except in very bad weather or other extremely unfavorable conditions.
It pains me to mention it. But, we have not had 24 members at any of our meetings in recent memory. Hence the desire
to have a more practical quorum.
Radio Swap Meet Saturday August 19 -8am till noon
Saturday August 19 will be another. Radio Swap Meet in the parking lot near our Club Repeater. 8am-noon. Since Shakespeare Santa Cruz is now in performance season, we must clear out by noon. Free vendor space. Bring your own tarp, tables and tailgates.
Fox Hunt at 10am with a “How to Find the Fox” instruction meeting at about 9:30am. Aluminum foil will be provided. Free coffee and donuts! Tours of the Club Repeater Station available.See you there
. 73, Becky. KI6TKB
Scouts 2023 National Jamboree – K6BSA on the air
The Scouts 2023 National Jamboree begins in a few days at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia. Once again K2BSA will be operating from the Jamboree and requests the help of hams around the world to make contacts with scouts in attendance, helping introduce them to our exciting hobby and complete a requirement to earn the Radio Merit Badge.
Operations at the Summit begin early next week, with Scouts present from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Scouts arrive on Wednesday, July 19. Operations will continue until Friday, July 28.
Suggested Ways to Contact K2BSA at the Jamboree:
SSB in Mhz: 28.390; 24.960; 21.360; 18.140; 14.290; 7.190; 3.940
EchoLink: K2BSA-R Demonstration Station (node 4566); WV8BSA-R VHF Repeater (node 6544); W6BSA-R UHF Repeater (node 8977); Conference *JOTA-365* (node 480809)
D-Star: WV8BSA and Reflector 033A
Any help you can give is appreciated. Thank you in advance for helping introduce youth to Amateur Radio. They are the future.
SCCARC / SLVARC Field Day 2023 Slideshow
Field Day 2023
The San Lorenzo Valley Amateur Radio Club and the Santa Cruz County Amateur Radio Club have joined forces for Amateur Radio Field Day 2023 (info) at the Monterey Bay Academy in La Selva Beach, CA. We set up on Friday, June 23 and operated on Saturday, June 24, and on Sunday, June 25, 2023.
K6MMM Aggregate Club Score for Field Day
Whew! Field Day is over!
If you made contacts using stations at the clubs’ Monterey Bay Academy Field Day site in Watsonville, then your contacts will be part of the clubs’ Field Day score, which I will submit. (We used the callsign K6MMM.)
However, If you made contacts at your own QTH, then you used your own callsign and you will submit your own Field Day score. When submitting your own score, you can contribute your contacts to the K6MMM “aggregate club score.” You still will get credit for your own contacts, but your score also will become part of the K6MMM aggregate club score.
Here is how.
1. Collect the information needed for your submission.
2. Go to the form linked to below, and enter the data. Here are the values to use for the first four fields:
- “Your Call” is your call sign (which you used to make contacts).
- “GOTA Station Call” can be left blank.
- “Location” is the ARRL section that you used in the Field Day exchange, which probably was “Santa Clara Valley” (find it in the pulldown under US Call Area 6).
- “Club or Group Name” is “k6mmm”.
That last item is the important one. As you start to type “k6mmm”, the form will autofill. Accept the value “k6mmm”. Here is the link to the form.
3. Enter the rest of your information.
- If you have questions about the fields, each one has an i link (a green “i” in a circle) that shows Field Day Entry Form Help for the field.
- You also can consult the Field Day Rules at https://contests.arrl.org/ContestRules/Field-Day-Rules.pdf
If you want more information about the Aggregate Club Score, then check this PDF:
I hope that you enjoyed Field Day, wherever you were!
The weather changed from warm to cold and back again depending on which way the wind was blowing. We had some interference on 40 meters.
There was a great team effort setting up and breaking down the stations. We had very good attendance. There was a wall of people watching the
Digi station running all day. Gota made a number of contact’s with new people. The use of Lithium batteries allowed us to work without generator noise. The operators worked as a team solving a dozen issues before starting this event.
Included are a few pictures of us breaking down the stations.
Craig , Capitol Village N6SBN
West Valley College Flea Market Report
This morning I packed in the last sale items I was to take up to the flea market at West Valley College and arrived about 7 AM to set out my stall. Mostly re-homing a number of consumer electronics items with a few hammy ones as well.
Weather was good and cleared up early, sales went in waves, mostly at 9 AM, then again about 9:30 AM, by 11 AM it was mostly bargain hunters. A couple of familiar faces stopped by and acquired some items, Don K6GHA and Bob K6XX, they were more successful than I in eluding the siren song of whatever it was my neighbor was selling out of an oft visited plastic tub labled: Phidgets / Weights
By 11:30 AM most of my sales had concluded and I was about to pack up, but not without exploring the contents of said tub. Sales had exceeded expectation so I was feeling I could possibly acquire something very small if deemed necessary. The board in the tub were Phidget 1046 bridges and a variety of load cells 1, 3, 5, 10, 20 Kg. These we have all encountered without likely knowing so. The items were part of a project in building a store where items taken from shelves would be known by their weights. I acquired a couple boards and eight load cells each for a meager sawbuck. They look like they could have possibilities, such as measuring windload on a mast or such.
By 12 noon all sellers are required to be packed up and out of the lot. Further information about the Electronics Flea Market may be found here:
Phidget 1046 and load cell information may be found here:
June 17 Swap Meet and Fox Hunt
Yesterday’s Radio Swap Meet at Upper DeLaveaga Park was fun! The morning started of with heavy fog, but the sun made a guest appearance near the end.
Many thanks to Michael (NJ2X) for loaning us the use of his Fox Box!
Below are some photos.
We will have monthly Swap Meets on the third Saturdays (8am-noon) through October. Look for monthly topics of hands-on educational workshops each month.
73, Becky. KI6TKB
The Santa Cruz County Amateur Radio Club will once again hold monthly Swap Meets at the Club Station parking lot in Upper DeLaveaga Golf Course area and Shakespeare Santa Cruz, beginning this month.
The Meets will be the third Saturday of each month, May through October, 8am-noon.
Please bring items you want to sell, trade or give away,and tell your friends to do the same.
Tentative Fox Hunt at 10am. Monthly hands-on workshops each month, TBA. For May, refreshments of coffee and doughnuts only. BBQ possible in the future.
Write this on your calendar and please invite others from the area to join in.
The Olympics of Amateur Radio
The Olympics of Amateur Radio – WRTC 2022
– Don K6GHA 6/12/2023
The World Radio Team Championship (WRTC) 2022 (postponed to 2023, due to COVID) will be held for 24 hours on the second full weekend in July from Bologna, Italy. This event is a ‘once every four year’ radio contest and has been called the Olympics of Amateur Radio. The world’s best operators qualify regionally based on contest scores, and it has worldwide participation.
WRTC tests operator’s contesting abilities in CW and SSB operation by defining a common playing field (antennas and power) and scoring contacts to determine world champions in two-man team over 24-hour of nonstop competition.
Bottom line, it is the best test of one’s radio operation acumen, and in one weekend crowns the best operating team in the world for the next four years!
There is a lot of background on the WRTC including WRTC History, the contestant selection process, the completion rules and regulations, and the judging (yes, each team has an a “on-site referee”. Judges are also on duty, but they are behind the scenes). I’ll include some links for those who want to dive deeper into the dits-and-dahs of the WRTC.
However, you may ask at this point why I’m writing about this event? It is a bucket list item for me to travel to a WRTC location. And it all started from just trying to make a contact with just one of the WRTC 2014 teams on SSB with 100w. A half dozen QSL Cards confirming my success came from WRTC teams in 2014. I did it, I was hooked! From Santa Cruz this year may be a bit more challenging, but it will be a great contact if you can make it, and if you do you should receive a COOL QSL Card.
Santa Cruz and Central California is a hotbed of exceptional world class contest operators. In fact, this will be the third time Bob K6XX will be a participant and reaching for the gold. He will accompany the team captain Alan KH6TU/AD6E, who is representing Oceania in this year’s competition. OC2 is mainly Hawaii, plus some minor islands in the region.
As for me, I’ll be part of the support crew. I like to think of my role like being a pit crew in auto racing. Well, maybe more like the ‘auto hauler’ getting the car to the track. There is a lot of equipment which has to be hand carried from Santa Cruz to Bologna, and I’ll be part of the transport and set up team.
You may ask why you would go to half way around the world to attend this event. I’ll be meeting some of the world’s best operators, and I’ll be in close proximity of the 60+ teams that make up the WRTC. While operating as I4/K6GHA from my hotel room, I’ll be running a QRP (5 watt) rig to do my best to ‘work’ all of the WRTC Teams, and collect those QSL Cards during the competition! By adding the “I4/” in frontof my call I’ll taking advantage of the “reciprocal license agreement” with Italy (To find out more look at the link provided).
There is a lot more to come from this adventure. At some future date I look forward to sharing a slide presentation on “what it is like from the sidelines at WRTC 2022”.
The contest Exchange information and Rules for the contest are under the IARU (International Amateur Radio Union) HF World Championship contest. Yes, the contest does really has that highfalutin’ name! The WRTC is a superset of this contest and runs concurrently.
My recommendation is to try to jump into the action, you never know with who around the world you will make a contact. But if you listen for only WRTC Special Call signs the QSL card from the participants is cool! Sunspots should help us here in six land for 10, 15, 20, or 40 Meters. If you dodecide to try, the sent exchange is really simple: signal report (Phone 59, or CW 5NN) and ITU zone 06. When a WRTC or IARU Op acknowledges your call sign, they will call you and give their signal report and ITU Zone Number, your response is simply “five nine six”. You need nothing more. So:
1) Be ready to break the pile-up with your call
2) listen well
3) be brief!
4) and, send in your log!
The team hopes to work you from Bologna, Italy.
Grazie Mille, Ciao!
73, de K6GHA- (I4/K6GHA in Bologna Italy).
References and links:
IARU Rules and Information: http://www.arrl.org/iaru-hf-world-championship
WRTC Italy 2022 Home – https://www.wrtc2022.it/
WRTC History – https://wrtc.info/wrtc-history/
WRTC Qualification Rules – https://www.wrtc2022.it/en/selection-criteria-7.asp
Amateur Radio Reciprocal Agreement – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amateur_radio_international_operation
Hams at Dayton
Hams start going to Dayton for the technology. They keep going for the people.
Dayton, Ohio becomes the center of the amateur radio universe every third weekend in May. That’s when the Dayton Amateur Radio Association holds Hamvention, the largest gathering of radio amateurs in the world. This year, approximately 30,000 converged for the event.
Most people start going to Hamvention for the technology, and there was plenty of that this year. All the major manufacturers were there, including (in alphabetical order) Elecraft, Flex, Icom, Kenwood, MFJ, and Yaesu. There were some less well-known manufacturers there, too, including Alinco, HobbyPCB, QRPLabs, and QRPWorks. They were joined by a host of niche suppliers, who make and sell everything from antennas to Morse Code keys to batteries. And, of course, there’s the flea market, where you can find all kinds of weird and wonderful electronic stuff.
People come for the forums, too. The theme for this year’s Hamvention was Innovation! and many of the forums emphasized this aspect of amateur radio. This year’s forum lineup included presentations on digital communications, software-defined radio, fast-scan TV, and Linux-based ham radio software.
People over technology
Technology was certainly the initial draw for me, but it’s not why I keep returning. I didn’t buy a single thing this year. What keeps me going back are the people. Every year, I meet old friends, hams who I’ve only met on the air, and make new friends.
Last year, for example, I had dinner on Saturday with a fellow with whom I’d had many CW contacts, but never met in person. In fact, because we were operating CW, I’d never even heard his voice. We hit it off so well, that we again met for dinner this year. Not only that, we expanded our circle to include several other hams who we’ve worked before.
Here’s another example. On Friday, an old friend came up to the booth to say hello. As it turns out, he was recently elected to the board of directors of the Quarter Century Wireless Association (QCWA). About 15 years ago, I was a member of QCWA, but let my membership lapse when I became disenchanted with the organization.
One of the reasons for my departure was that they actively discouraged me from starting a chapter here in Southeast Michigan. Their reasoning, as I recall, is that there was already a chapter in Michigan, even though its activities were mostly on the west side of the state. That made no sense to me at all.
This didn’t seem to make much sense to my friend–the newly-elected QCWA board member–so we plan to explore this further at a later date. Who knows? We may yet form a SE Michigan chapter of QCWA.
This is just a small sample of the people I met this year. I also got to talk to some podcasters and YouTubers, a couple of fellows who recognized me from reading my blog or listening to me on the ICQ Podcast, and hams out in the flea market who had some interesting stories about the stuff they had for sale. You never know who you’ll run into, what stories they’ll tell you, and what you’ll learn from them.
It’s meeting people that keep me returning to Hamvention. If you’ve never been to a Dayton Hamvention, I’d encourage you to go at least once. If you do, I”m going to guess that you’ll go back, and it won’t be for the technology, but for the people.
Dan Romanchik, KB6NU, is the author of the KB6NU amateur radio blog (KB6NU.Com).hen he’s not at Hamvention, he teaches ham radio classes and operates CW on the HF bands.
The Return of CAKE
CAKE Crumbs April 8, 2023 10 AM to Noon or thereabouts
CAKE returned, located at Loft Coffee, 2701 Cabrillo College Drive, Aptos
CAKE – Coffee/Caffeine Assisted Knowledge Exchange was initiated in
the days of yore by W6WO Ronald Skelton (SK) to assist fellow hams in
the exchange of ideas, sharing new tools or simply an opportunity to
observe what others brought to the meeting.
April 8, 2023 CAKE was attended (at the very least) by
Ann H. KE6BQA
Bruce H. KN6DBR
Eric S. WA6HHQ
Eric Z. KK6IZY
Mike B. W6MLB
Jim W. KN6NCG
Ben I. KN6NDM
Gary W. K6PDL
Richard A. K8SQB
Rich C. KN6UZL
Discussions covered many and varied topics from the current solar
cycle, DXing, antenna placement and inexpensive durable sunglasses.
Ann H. brought a broken adapter cable Richard A. offered to fix (part on order.)
The main presentation was Eric S. who brought an Elecraft K4 and some
fascinating gadgets which allow for recording a band of radio signals
to laptop computer, which may be played back into a
receiver/transceiver for demonstration purposes (because the moment
you need everything to work right there’s a solar flare or such), a
GPS time reference by Leo Bodnar Electronics and LIME SDR (using GNU
SDR,) which play a roles in this endeavour. It was really something
to tune around and hear radio signals without and antenna hooked up.
Such a setup would be very useful for introducing new hams to net
operations or working HF.
Another topic was various HF nets, including the local 10m net, run
Mondays from 7 PM to 7:30 PM on 28.308 USB and California Hawaii Net,
Saturdays at 7 AM (local time) on 14.340.
Next CAKE will be at Loft Coffee on April 22nd, 10 AM to Noon.
John Reinartz K6BJ Testimonial Banquet 1960
The testimonial banquet program for John Reinartz K6BJ February 1, 1960 at the Villa Hotel, San Mateo.
Watsonville 147.945 repeater status update
As I’m sure you all know, the Watsonville 147.945 linked repeater was taken out of service a few weeks ago due to the sale of the tower at Fire Station II.
The repeater has been transported to my home shop and re packaged into a simpler foot print. I am attempting to put it back on the air shortly in a temporary location, utilizing the make-shift link.
The new anticipated location for the repeater is going to be the roof of the Watsonville Hospital. WCH management has given their blessing and will not require any rent. Several path studies have been run and the simplex UHF link path appears to be as good as was the case at the Fire Station location.
In order to make an installation into the Hospital building, management has informed me that a set of plans will need to be generated and approved by a State Hospital Management agency before we can cut a hole for coax entry into the radio vault. Once we get an approval that Hospital Management said they would press for, the hospital staff said they would do the work to create the coax entry hole.
I’ll put out another status update as soon as there’s a change to report. K6BJ can currently be accessed from the Pajaro Valley region using the K6RMW 443.050 repeater; PL 94.8. The repeater is being disabled on Sunday evenings to help with the Internet based nets.
73 . . .
Bob Wiser K6RMW
The club met on Sunday December 18, for our annual Holiday Gathering and installation of new Club Officers.at Woodhouse Blending & Brewing in Santa Cruz.
New 2023 SCCARC Club Officers
Congratulations to the 2023 Club Board leaders elected at last night’s meeting. Thanks to good Club member response, we easily had a quorum, with 41 operators checking into the meeting! Thank you!
President: Jerry (W6OJE)
Vice President: Richard (K8SQB)
Secretary: Mike (W6MLB)
Treasurer: Cap (KE6AFE) Incumbent
At-Large: Ben (KN6NDM)
At-Large: Jim (KN6NCG)
Ex-Officio: Craig (N6SBN)
Many thanks to the outgoing Board for their service:
President: Craig (N6SBN)
Vice President; vacant
Secretary: David (N6DTA)
Treasurer: Cap (KE6AFE) remaining in office
At-Large: Gary (K6PDL)
At-Large: Vince (KM6YHE)
73 and Happy Thanksgiving,
Ray Wentz W6LPW SK
Ray was the son of a ham radio operator, and had been licensed since
he was a teenager. He had worked in the electronics and aerospace
industries. He was an active member of St. Andrews Church in Ben
For many years, Ray taught evening classes which enabled many SLV
residents to obtain their ham licenses. He was also a captain of the
Get-On-The-Air station on Field Day, coaching newcomers to make voice
contacts on 40 meters.
Ray wonderfully assisted and promoted ham radio operations in our community for many years. Among other fine efforts, I remember Ray’s work in support of our club’s 100-year anniversary event at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History in 2016.
We won’t forget Ray’s cheerful smirk.
73, Cap KE6AFE
Last Swap Meet of the Season
Pictures from the last swap meet on October 8 at the Shakespeare Santa Cruz site by our club repeater.
September Club Meeting -Craig, N6SBN will finally talk about SDR
The September 16 K6BJ club meeting will have a presentation on the basics of SDR radios given by our club president Craig N6SBN. There will be discussions on the set up and operation of SmartSDR. Following the presentation, we will open up the meeting for a question and answer period. Craig running the SDR station at field day.
SCCARC is inviting you to our monthly meeting.
Note: Due to county’s currrent restriction, Santa Cruz County Amateur Radio Club meeting are held on the third Friday at 7:30pm via ZOOM.
Topic: SCCARC Monthly Meeting
Time: 07:30 PM Pacific Time Every month on the Third Fri, until Nov 18, 2022
Russ Mackey NW6U SK
My dear friend and favorite ham radio mentor/elmer Russ Mackey, NW6U, passed away yesterday. Russ was a member of our Club these last 32 years and was our vice president when I was first licensed. Chairing the repeater committee, Russ spent countless hours over years working on our Club’s repeaters, remotely and in-person.. Supremely knowledgeable in many fields, and he knew more about repeaters than anyone I’ve ever known. Russ was always kind and supportive. 73, Cap KE6AFE
SCCARC – SLVARC Field Day 2022
A joint Field Day of the Santa Cruz County Amateur Radio Club and the San Lorenzo Valley Amateur Radio Club held June 25-26, 2022 at the Bonny Doon Airport in the Santa Cruz mountain’s