SANTA CRUZ COUNTY RADIO CLUB SWAP MEET — JULY 18, 8:30AM – 11:30AM
What Are Your Thoughts About Returning to In-Person Club Meetings?
Dear Santa Cruz County Amateur Radio Club Members and Guests,
Your Board discussed the matter of when and how to return our Club meetings to in-person status, in light of the improved COVID situation and Governor’s relaxation of meeting restrictions.
The Board agreed that any indoor in-person meeting would require all attendees to be vaccinated for COVID.
We would like your ideas about what you would be interested in doing.
Please respond with your thoughts about the following:
1) Are you interested in returning to in-person Club meetings?
2) If the Club resumes in-person meetings, do you think attendees should be required to present proof of COVID vaccination?
3) If the Club resumes in-person meetings, do you think attendees should be required to wear masks, even though they are vaccinated for COVID?
4) Are you interested in maintaining the ability to participate in Club meetings via Zoom, either solely or as a hybrid arrangement with in-person meetings?
5) How soon would you be interested in resuming in-person meetings, either with or without Zoom options included?
6) Because the Red Cross has indicated that the meeting room there may not be available for use until mid-2022, where would you suggest holding the Club’s in-person (and hybrid) meetings?
7) Other comments or suggestions?
Thank you for responding to these questions!
Meet Your Board – Gary K6PDL
Meet Gary Watson (K6PDL), who returned to the Board this year. Gary is a volunteer in the County EOC and was publicly recognized for his outstanding volunteer work by the County Board of Supervisors in May, 2019.
We recently interviewed Gary:
1) When did you get your Amateur Racense and what inspired you to get licensed?
After learning that morse code was no longer required, I looked at the ARRL site to see what was required to obtain a license. I have wanted my license since I was in high school when I was active in the pre-trucker days of CB and licensed as KPA-4120. I have had my ham license for 9-1/2 years.
2) What is your favorite Ham radio operating mode and use?
I enjoy operating from my car on 2m/70cm. When I use a handheld radio, I have DMR radio which also is my main carry for analog and I use it for ARES. At home I work FT8, and when the band conditions improve, I’m looking forward to operating SSB. When I find time to practice, I study CW.
3) What general area of the County do you live and/or work in?
I live in one of the steepest and deepest parts of Soquel Canyon which makes any kind of DX a challenge. In spite of the geographic challenge, I have logged contacts from Kazakhstan to Cyprus, from South Africa to the Falklands, and the Galapagos to Thailand. Hitting K6BJ repeater on 2m is a challenge, as is Happy Valley on 10m.
4) What made you want to serve on the Santa Cruz County Amateur Club Board?
I joined the board so that I would have some input on the future of our Club.
5) Anything else?
I am looking forward to the time when everyone who is fully vaccinated can get together for face to face activities again.
Thank you, Gary, for serving on the Santa Cruz County Amateur Radio Club Board!
Our May Club Meeting
Our guest speaker for our May was George KJ6VU on the topic of projects from the ham radio workbench.
Good Work Building Fire Defensible Space at the Club Repeater Shack
Are you or you ready for the new RF exposure evaluation regulations?
By Dan Romanchik, KB6NU
On Tuesday, April 27, Dan, W1DAN, ARRL Eastern Massachusetts Section Technical Coordinator, gave a Zoom presentation on the latest FCC regulations on RF exposure evaluation. These are spelled out in FCC-1926A1 (https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-maintains-current-rf-exposure-safety-standards), “Proposed Changes in the Commission’s Rules Regarding Human Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields; Reassessment of Federal Communications Commission Radiofrequency Exposure Limits and Policies.” The document is as long as the title might suggest—159 pages—but W1DAN boiled it down, focusing on what these changes mean for radio amateurs.
A recording of the presentation can be viewed by going to https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1_qIGZhHyMrha-axJt87Dcu0UZuJO0t8F.
After explaining how RF exposure can be harmful, Dan explained how the rules are changing: The biggest change, he notes, is that amateur radio’s categorical exclusion has been eliminated. What this means is that now every radio amateur will have to perform an RF exposure evaluation of their stations. This now includes mobile and portable stations, including HTs, SOTA/POTA stations, and Field Day and special event stations.
He noted that you must be able to prove that your station is safe. This includes not only performing the evaluation, but also documenting these evaluations, should this data be requested by FCC personnel.
One thing that’s not changing are the maximum permissible exposure (MPE) limits. These are spelled out in FCC OET Bulletin 65
(https://transition.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Engineering_Technology/Documents/bulletins/oet65/oet65.pdf), “Evaluating Compliance with FCC Guidelines for Human Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields.” The FCC published this document in August 1997, but it’s still the Bible when it comes to RF exposure. If you don’t have a copy, or have never taken a look at it, you really should do so.
Be careful, though, when reading it. It contains a table (Table 1 on p. 21) that contains a list of output powers at various frequencies. If your station exceeded those limits, then you were required to perform an RF evaluation. Now, however, all amateurs (and other radio services, for that matter) must perform RF exposure evaluations if their output power exceeds 1 mW. We are no longer categorically excluded from performing these evaluations.
OET Bulletin 65 goes on to give guidance on how to calculate or measure exposure levels. Explaining how to do this is outside the scope of this article, but again, you’ll want to refer to the bulletin for more information.
Besides the elimination of the categorical exclusion for amateur radio stations, what else is new is the dates on which amateur radio stations must perform evaluations. They are:
- May 3, 2021(!!) for new and modified stations
- May 3, 2023 for stations that complied under the old rules.
- An RF-exposure FAQ (http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Technology/RFsafetyCommittee/RFXFAQ.pdf) to help hams understand the new rules.
- “Learning to Live with RF Safety (http://www.arrl.org/files/file/protected/Group/Members/Technology/tis/info/pdf/QST_Mar_2009_p70-71.pdf),”QSTMarch 2009 pp. 70-71.
- RF Safety at Field Day (http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Technology/tis/info/pdf/9906048.pdf) QST, June 1999, pp. 48-51. A case study of Field Day with NSRC in a public park
- RF Exposure Station Evaluation and Exemption Worksheets (http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Technology/tis/info/pdf/rfex1_2.pdf)
- RF Exposure and You(http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Technology/RFsafetyCommittee/RF%20Exposure%20and%20You.pdf). This 8 Mbyte PDF file contains the text of the entire book by Ed Hare, W1RFI.
- Chapter 5 References (http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Technology/tis/info/pdf/RF%20Exposure%20Chapter%205.pdf) needed for filling out worksheet.
There are also links to FCC web pages with information on RF exposure.
I’m sure we’ll all be hearing more about this in the days ahead. Hopefully, someone will come out with a simple way to do the modeling or make the calculations. As always, play safe.
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 RF exposure evaluations, he teaches online ham radio classes and operates CW on the low end of the HF bands.
2021 Club Members Roster
We are finalizing the 2021 Santa Cruz County Amateur Radio Club,
SCCARC:K6BJ, member roster for use by our members. Today I emailed those
current and former club members for whom we have listed an email address.
If you have not yet seen our draft 2021 roster in email, but would like to
share it, join or renew right now.
Dues may be paid using PayPal or a credit card online, or by check in postal
For details, scroll down the webpage at
All donations welcome.
73, Cap KE6AFE
(assistant to treasurer Allen WB6RWU)
Santa Cruz County Field Day 2021 Interest Survey
The Field Day 2021 Planning Committee would like amateur radio operators to provide feedback to help facilitate planning for 2021 Field day.
I’ve created a survey on survey monkey because there’re more questions than can be asked with a poll here on groups.io.
If you’d like to participate in this survey, please go here:
Thank you for providing your input.
John Reinartz K6BJ QSL Card.
SCCARC K6MMM Field Day 2020 MOVIE
Greetings, All,My friend, Ms. Dorothee Ledbetter, just completed the edited video of this year’s Santa Cruz County Amateur Radio Club and San Lorenzo Valley Amateur Radio Club Field Day 2020 at Lago Lomita Vineyard. I think she did a marvelous job, and hope you all enjoy the video.
24-minute version (24.38, upl. 7/30/20)
2019 Holiday Luncheon