The Northern California DX Club Elmering Project

The Northern California DX Club Elmering Project Is Now Taking Registrations for All Classes
Class descriptions are now posted on the NCDXC web site for each class. You can register for as many classes as you wish.  To access them go to ncdxc.org and click on the Elmer Project tab. At the bottom of the page describing the Project is a red register button taking you to our Registration Page.
 There you may enter your name and contact information, read a brief description of any class and choose those that you wish to take. Dates and times for the classes are also shown.

•    Class descriptions are available to read without signing up for any classes.
•    The instructors name and email address is available so that you may contact him or her.
•    Classes begin on September 23 and are absolutely free.
•    Addition information may be found in an article in the October 2017 issue of QST Magazine or by coming to our talk on Saturday, October 21 at 1 pm at Pacificon.
•    Classes are arranged in three tracks.
•    After a couple of fun, introductory classes on the joys and benefits of HF operation there are 6 Track 1 classes designed to help prepare the General class license exam.
•    Track 2 covers basic HF operating and includes classes on equipment selection, station building and HF operating techniques.
•    Track III covers more advanced topics such as advanced SSB, CW and digital mode operation, antennas, propagation and equipment specifications.
•    Classes are taught using two methods
•    Four classes are taught by the Elmer in his shack. The Elmer has no fixed program but will be ready to answer any questions you may have and walk you through a difficult topic. He can also demonstrate and let you try various facets of HF operation. The instructor will contact you, using your sign in information, to set up a mutually agreeable time for the class. These One on One classes carry on the ham radio Elmering tradition.
•    The remaining 17 classes are taught using Power Point slides delivered by WebEx. No special software is required and WebEx works with Windows, Mac OS and Linux. When you sign up for a class you will receive a Welcome Message from the instructor containing simple instructions on how to log in to WebEx. You can see the slides and hear the instructor and he or she can hear you.
•    When in a Power Point class please MUTE YOUR MICROPHONE to avoid background noise disturbing other participants.
•    NCDXC members have invested many hundreds of hours putting the Elmering Project together. Our goal is to get you on the HF bands making QSOs. Our instructors have many years of experience in their topics. We will do our very best to make the classes fun and interesting. There are no dumb questions. We want you to succeed!
•    Just go to ncdxc.org and click the Elmer Project tab to get started!


Kathleen  McQuilling, KI6AIE SK

Kathleen Marian McQuilling
January 15th, 1947 – August 21st, 2017
Screen Shot 2017-08-28 at 10.57.16 AMKathleen McQuilling, 70, of Santa Cruz, California, passed away Monday August 21st, 2017 in Santa Cruz. Kathleen was born in Seattle, Washington to Donald W. and Carol F. McQuilling, and was the youngest of four children. The family moved to Berkeley, California during her first year. She was a graduate of Berkeley High School. She had two older brothers, Norman K. and David S. McQuilling, and is survived by her sister Anne C. McCord, and her son, Brian Gromme, born in 1964. Other surviving members of her family are nephews Beorn Whetstone and Nila Cusimano, niece Jennifer Towhee Chester, great-nephew Dustin Chester and great-niece Roxanne Chester.

She was a lifelong musician, having started as a child prodigy on the cello at age 3. Her first public performance of classical music was a duet at the age of four, along with her sister, Anne, six, who played the violin. Kathleen’s first cello was a modified viola with a peg added to the bottom. The group later added a little girl who played the piano. It was soon noted that she had recognition of perfect pitch. One of her observations was that the most prevalent tone in the environment was B flat.

Kathleen began reading at age three and was reading novels at age 5. She skipped the early grades in school and started school in the 2nd grade. Her IQ at the time was tested at 162. Kathleen became proficient with all keyboard and string instruments: Harpsichord, piano, violin, fiddle, guitar, banjo, and cello to name just a few. She was also a dynamic singer and sang in multiple bands during her lifetime. She loved to do karaoke in bars and in her 60s sang professionally with the Red Malone Quartet in Santa Cruz and surrounding areas. She was a member of the Jazz Society of Santa Cruz and secretary of the Coast Musicians Club. Kathleen loved folk music. Her favorite songs were “Losin is an Easy Game” and “Keep on the Sunny Side.” Jazz was her second favorite genre and she sang jazz songs in her karaoke sessions and with the Red Malone Quartet. She worked for several schools and colleges, one of the first jobs being as secretary at Merritt Collage in West Oakland, famous for being the home of the Black Panthers. While at Merritt College, she studied classical guitar with De La Torre. She had a beautiful hand made guitar, which of course, had beautiful resonating tone quality.

She worked in a High School in Alaska, accessible only by airplane. In the middle of a health crisis, she was rescued in a dramatic plane trip that, violating air space rules, picked her up and carried her to a hospital in a winter blizzard.
Kathleen worked for UCSC (University of California of Santa Cruz) as secretary to the Chancellor. She edited all of the Chancellor’s writings and correspondence, spearheading many large building and academic projects. She was well loved by everyone for her efficiency and attention to details, and received full retirement benefits after working there 20 years.

Her marriage to Joe Sheepskin, a Canadian Native American, lasted into the 2000s, when he passed away from Alzheimer’s and diabetes.

She volunteered for many public service clubs and projects. Kathleen was an Amateur Radio Operator, Novice call sign WN6KVH, which she earned in 1973, and then later upgraded to General Class, KI6AIE. She loved Morse Code, which she used exclusively on HF radio. She was an active member of the Santa Cruz Amateur Radio Club, serving on the Board as Treasurer and then Secretary from 2005 to 2010. She organized Christmas banquets and auctions, and kept the membership rolls. When her parents died, she managed their property east of Santa Cruz and served as secretary of the
Homeowners Association, managing road projects and the finances.

In her late 60s, after being a member of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies for many years, she began taking classes in Shamanism, working to become a healer and understanding the very basics of spirituality. All her life she loved the Earth as Gaia, the ancestral mother of all life, and the primary Mother Earth goddess. During the 60s to 70s, when Kathleen was living in Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco, her nickname was “Earth Mother”, since she was known for her love of the earth throughout the hippie


Santa Cruz Triathlon: Radio Support

We’re writing to invite you to participate in this year’s Santa Cruz
Triathlon to provide radio support.

This is a swim around the Santa Cruz wharf (1.5k, .9mi), bicycle to
Davenport and back (40k, 25mi), then run along West Cliff drive and back
(10k, 6mi).

*When*:  Sunday, September 24th from approximately 6:30AM to approx. 12PM
(the swim is scheduled to start at 8:00)
*Where*: Santa Cruz main beach to Davenport depending on the assignment.
This event mainly benefits the athletics programs for local schools. Their
website is www.santacruztriathlon.org

This is a big event (for Santa Cruz) and we can use as many hams as we can
get. We supply situational awareness for the organizers and volunteers
that can have a big impact on the safety and overall enjoyment of the

Some of you have already volunteered, so there is no need to reply to this
email – Thanks.

If you can help us please send your:

1.   Name:

2.   Call sign:

3.   Desired assignment:

4.   Special needs:

5.   Phone:

6.   Time restrictions (if any):

7.   Do you have a 70cm or dual band (2m/70cm) radio?:

7.   T-Shirt size (not sure what souvenirs there may be):

We will be using the WB6ECE 70cm simulcast system
(http://www.wb6ece.org/). let us know if you don’t have a 70cm handheld,
we have loaners.

Reply to n6rjx@arrl.net, do not click on the “Reply” button or you’ll be
sending hundreds of emails.

Thank you,
Dan and Chris

ARRL finally realizes status quo isn’t going to cut it

By Dan Romanchik, KB6NU

An item in the July 2017 ARRL board meeting caught my attention. It notes that a committee of staff members was tasked with identifying the challenges facing ARRL and possible solutions. The August 3, 2017 issue of the ARRL Letter ran the following report:

“ARRL Chief Executive Officer Tom Gallagher, NY2RF, presented the report of six Headquarters staffers who had been tasked with identifying the challenges facing ARRL and devising feasible solutions. Specifically, the committee addressed market research findings that have continued to reveal that only a small percentage of new hams join the League, and only about one-half of new hams actually get on the air.

“The committee began with the premise that ARRL must act in order to remain relevant going forward. It proposed instituting a Lifelong Learning Program to focus on developing a clear developmental path for all radio amateurs, from newcomers to established radio amateurs. The committee recommended the creation of new programs and services to increase the knowledge base of newcomers in order to get them active, as well as programs to keep experienced amateurs up to date with changing technology and practice.”

The board meeting minutes were a little more detailed:

“Mr. Roderick yielded the floor to CEO Gallagher who presented the report of a committee of staff members tasked with identifying the challenges facing ARRL and possible solutions. The members of the committee – Diane Petrilli, KB1RNF; Norm Fusaro, W3IZ; Becky Schoenfeld, W1BXY; Debra Jahnke, K1DAJ; Steve Ford, WB8IMY; and Sean Kutzko, KX9X, joined the meeting at 9:20 AM, to present this report. Their findings show the importance to ARRL of getting newly licensed hams actively on the air and how that relates to continued growth of the organization. In order to achieve that goal, the committee proposed developing a lifelong learning department, which would address the needs of all amateurs with the focus being on developing a clear knowledge path for all amateurs. They proposed creating straightforward programs and services to enhance the knowledge base of new amateurs as well as to enhance their sense of community within the hobby.

“Another recommendation involved refocusing the priorities of the emergency preparedness department to address the current trends in public service.

“A third recommendation was to improve the value proposition of membership. The committee proposed doing a survey, which would include test material that is targeted to the interests of newer hams. The content would include a strong emphasis on serving communities, agencies, and partners; digital communications, and human interest. Projects would be simple. The survey would obtain information on new ham’s interests and needs in the hobby. The survey would also try to determine the delivery system that might best meet the newcomer’s desire for receiving this type information (print, digital, messaging, etc). The test material is proposed to be delivered to recipients in fall 2017.

“From the committee’s vantage point, the status quo is no longer adequate: we need to have a vision of the future and convey it to our current membership. If we do not convey the need to change the paradigm, the ARRL’s relevancy will not move forward.”

The good thing here is that the ARRL finally realizes that there are some serious problems. I’ve written about these in the past. I’ve challenged the ARRL to set a membership goal of 25% of the licensed amateurs in the U.S (http://www.kb6nu.com/arrl-membership-is-25-asking-too-much/). I’ve also encouraged the ARRL to play a bigger part in emergency communications research (http://www.kb6nu.com/go-big-go-early-go-fast-smart/).

Unfortunately, it appears that the ARRL is approaching this issue in typical ARRL fashion. That is, working on these issues in their little cocoon in Newington and then issuing these statements as if they expect everyone to just fall in line. I quote, “From the committee’s vantage point, the status quo is no longer adequate: we need to have a vision of the future and convey it to our current membership.” That approach is doomed to failure. Any “visioning” or strategic planning that doesn’t get the membership involved right from the start just isn’t going to work.

The ARRL HQ staff just doesn’t have the horsepower to pull this off properly. The staff is already pretty bare bones, and they still have to publish QST every month, keep Logbook of the World running, process thousands of license applications, etc., etc. The only way this is going to be a fruitful effort is if they get members—and lots of them—involved in this process.

If you agree with me, please let your director know. Contact your director and tell him that you want to be involved. The status quo of having the HQ staff not working with the membership “is no longer adequate.” That’s how we got here in the first place.

Dan, KB6NU, is the author of the “No Nonsense” amateur radio license study guides and blogs about amateur radio at KB6NU.Com. You can email him at cwgeek@kb6nu.com.
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Notes from the CAKE meetingCAKE Crumbs August 12

Tom  KW6S and Ron W6WO  were the only ones present today but of course weenjoyed some good conversation. Tom brought a power amplifier for 6m which he made from scratch 40 years ago. It looked brand new and demonstrated construction to a most professional standard – a truly fine example of home brew.  Tom also showed a  WSPR lite 200mW beacon product and outlined
his plans for assessing  antennas, we look forward to hearing more.

6m Amp 70's era by KW6S

We discussed advances in solid state RF power devices and in particular those made by IXYS. These are designed for non-linear PA operation in class D and E that operate at KV levels and at frequencies well above HF. Their use in the ISM band 13.6 MHz is of particular interest. The driver can be used as a standalone QRP amplifier with a CMOS square wave input. Ron mentioned he built one a few years back that produced  sinusoidal output of 15Watts after filtering- mW input to Watts out ! Both of us are well aware of the special need for a clean DC  power supply and cautious pulse widths to avoid destruction.

The article entitled AREDN  Amateur Radio Emergency Digital Network in the  June 2017 QST was discussed.  Tom recalled that we had considered a similar project in the past but had not acted on it as a regional project.
 This final sentence of the article may revive our interest. ” Plans have been formulated to link Ventura and Santa Barbara counties in 2017 and San Louis Obispo, Monterey , San Benito and Santa Clara counties
in 2018 “. Clearly this prompts the question “Why not Santa Cruz ?” Interest anyone ?

73 for now, we  hope to see you on Sept 9th, same time, same spot on the dial
Ron W6WO

Yep, I did it again!


W2W2017Huffing and puffing on a 2m hand-held over the 6 mile course, this year I was once again pedestrian mobile for the 45th running of the Santa Cruz to Capitola Wharf-to-Wharf (W2W) race.

Thanks to Cap (KE6AFE) I was able to borrow his light weight Yaesu VX-2R 3 watt transceiver, and stay in contact with the local K6BJ repeater throughout the running of the event.

The race stated at the Boardwalk beach Coconut Grove with 15,000 runners. I think those listening on K6BJ could hear the countdown, and starting gun in the background, as I optimistically waddled towards the starting line with my running group.

I was able to keep in touch with Cap, Ron (W6WO), and Alan (K2ACK/M0WTH visiting from England) throughout the race, relaying sights and sounds from the course, and getting needed encouragement at the mile makers. If you haven’t experienced the W2W, it is dotted throughout with local entertainment.  I stopped at one local band on Seabright Ave. and High-Fived David (KG6IRW) before resuming my run. A big thanks to all the ham’s listening in, those on the course, and of course those providing entertainment for my run.

Crossing the finish line, I almost made my goal of 1 hour, but came up a few minutes behind schedule. A personal best, but leaving room for improvement in the years ahead.

Most gratifying was my walk from the finish line and down to collect my tee-shirt, I was stopped a number of times by folks saying they ‘enjoyed running and hearing a play by play (no matter how breathless) throughout their run’, and question about Ham Radio. Some runners I remember, others… well let’s just say after the first mile I was focused just on survival!

It would be fun to put together a VERY light weight GPS (yes, I carry a cell phone) to track and report live on the run. Maybe that could be my motivation for next year?!

A New Tradition for Field Day?