Greetings from Kentucky

Home QTH rear

What is of interest in the picture is, of course, the antenna, here it is at the lowest level of my crank-up tower. As far as I know it is a uniquedesign, the collaborative work of Dave KO6RS and myself  over 10 years ago.  It is a close spaced 4-ele Yagi with two driven  elements, one reflector and one director. The two driven elements act in a manner similar to a cell of a log periodic array and cover the frequency range from 14 to 18.2 MHz. Found some flat twin AC lamp chord with the requisite characteristic impedance. The antenna has survived over 10 years ofhorrendous winter weather.

Working EU is a breeze from here and today I was called on 17m cw by a G station who suggested we shift to SSB.  He commented that we had met whileworking in Jamaica over 40 years ago and recalled coming to my place for afternoon tea. Now that is my idea of social networking.

73 to you all BCNU in late Oct/early Nov
Ron W6WO

DQ2 adj


Amateur Radio Training Class


A friend passed on that a Facebook Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/SLVCC/) which was looking to see if there is an Amateur Radio training class to be offered in the county sometime soon.

 Instead of tracking down someone, I thought it would be good to send out a message to both local clubs to see if there are any plans to offer a Technician Class anytime soon.

If you plan to offer a class, or know of someone locally who is, please pass on the Facebook Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/SLVCC/) to them so they can mine the potential of new Hams in the area.  Also, if you personally are planning to offer a class, please reply to this message and let everyone in both clubs know your plans.

Thanks in advance for your support of the hobby.

73, de Don K6GHA



HAM? HAM radio? ham radio? Amateur Radio? amateur radio!

By Dan Romanchik, KB6NU

On the ARRL PR mailing list, we’ve been discussing the proper way to refer to amateur radio. What brought this up was an email from one list subscriber, Richard, WB6NAH, who was (rightfully) proud of the work that his club—the Skagit Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Club—was doing. He noted that they were even featured in the police department’s emergency preparedness brochure:

[[download image from http://www.kb6nu.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/skagit-arc-768×1024.jpg]]

As you can see, the brochure refers to “HAM radio” and “HAM radio operators.”

Referring to amateur radio in this way just drives me crazy. “Ham radio” is just a nickname for amateur radio, and “HAM” is certainly not an acronym for anything. I congratulated Richard on getting his club included in the brochure, but noted, “…it’s not HAM radio! It’s either  ‘amateur radio’ or ‘ham radio’ (ham is not an acronym). I hate to be nitpicky about this, but as a professional writer, this usage just drives me crazy.” He replied, “I agree on Amateur Radio, that was the city’s call.”

That kicked off the discussion.

One ham replied to me privately, “Thank you…I am continually trying to explain that it is not an acronym or abbreviation.”

Another replied to the list:

The most correct term is “amateur radio” or alternatively “ham radio”, both written in normal case.  If using “ham radio”, it is a best practice to first write “amateur (ham) radio” in the first non-header/non-title occurrence.

Some will write “Amateur Radio” in proper noun format (first letters in caps) and while this may be acceptable to many and in certain venues, anyone using a style handbook will say it is incorrect.  Less correct is to write “Ham Radio” in proper noun format as this is a slang term, albeit a popular one.  Of course either term may be written as proper nouns when part of a title or name of an organization.

Least correct is to write “HAM” in all caps; as stated by others, ham is not an abbreviation or acronym.  Writing it as “HAM” is completely wrong, will drive many people bonkers, and should be avoided at all costs.

Ward, N0AX, offered this explanation:

To clarify where the capitalization originated, there is a long-standing ARRL Board Directive, decades old, stipulating that the words “Amateur Radio” be capitalized in ARRL publications and documents.  Most non-amateur publications return it to the lower-case style that is used for non-proper nouns.

One guy got a little miffed that we were wasting our time discussing this at all:

You know, I’ve been reading this thread and I think people are getting too hung up on very minor details. The bottom line they got PR. So something wasn’t spelled right or capitalized, so what. The message got out and IMHO that’s the bottom line. Let’s not waste any more bandwidth on this.

I agreed that it was great that they were included in the brochure, and that we were probably beating this topic to death, but I don’t think these are minor details. I said that PR professionals pride themselves on getting the details right. So should amateur radio PR people.

I’ll give the final word to Dan, AI4GK. He wrote:

I don’t think that standardizing what we call ourselves qualifies as getting hung up on minor details. If we don’t have a standardized way of referring to us, how can we expect a public, who already is confused, to understand who we are?

I don’t think that you can argue with this. Let’s avoid confusion by using “amateur radio” when writing about our hobby/service. I’d even urge the ARRL to rethink their use of “Amateur Radio.” Sometimes, it may be OK to use “ham radio,” but it’s just not correct to use “HAM radio” or just “HAM.”

Dan, KB6NU, is the author of the “No Nonsense” amateur radio license study guides and blogs about amateur radio at KB6NU.Com. When he’s not picking nits about the name of our hobby, he teaches ham radio classes and operates CW on the HF bands. You can email him at cwgeek@kb6nu.com.


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



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


 A New Tradition for Field Day?