Amateur Radio Club


The Oregon ACES training was held on Saturday March 18th & March 25th at San Joaquin General Hospital.  Several members attended and assisted in the instruction.  There was a great deal of information on how to effectively respond and interact with local public safety agencies for training exercises as well as actual emergencies. 


Some of our club members in attendance were Paul N6KZW, John NZ6Q, Bob N6TCE, Ron K6GKJ.  Ron K6GKJ did an excellent presentation on the workings of a repeater with a rack mounted working demo unit for people to get a “hands on” look.  The repeater was used during mock emergency message handling drills in the course. 


Bob N6TCE did a demo on Anderson Power Poles which the club got a prelude of in our last meeting.  The “in-depth” presentation had a great deal of information that we could not cover in our 15-min training window during a club meeting.  


The Meeting was called to order at 7:30PM by President John NZ6Q. We started around the room with brief introduction by everyone present. After introductions, the Treasurer Paul KC6RRR gave his report. He continues to receive membership dues via the PO Box and Paypal ad would be availabe after the meeting for members wishing to pay their dues in person  Ed N6XMA reported on the Pedaling Paths Bike Ride and stated that the Community Center for the Blind was very pleased with our efforts.  Joni, who organizes the event stated she was on board for one more year next year provided we would be there as well.  

Paul N6KZW and Bob N6TCE gave a report on the upcoming ACES Training on March 18th & 25th at San Joaquin General Hospital. Everyone was encouraged to sign up as soon as possible so enough course material could be prepared. This is one of the best "Emergency Response for Communications" training classes available

John NZ6Q and Bob N6TCE reported on the February HamCram which licensed 12 new Technicians and 4 General Class upgrades.  Congratulations to Duztynn KM6HDY for his upgrade to General Class.

Bob N6TCE gave an interesting presentation on Anderson power poles, their development and use as a standard for ARES communications.  Thank you Bob for a great presentation. 

The meeting adjourned with the prize raffle with seberal club members winning some pretty cool stuff andadding $36.00 to the club treasury. 


If you are need of transportation to and from the next meeting, please contact Paul, N6KZW or John, NZ6Q and we will arrange transportation assistance for you.

Pedaling Paths to Independence Bike Ride

Hwy 26 and Milton Road Lookout

Bob Schuldheisz K6DGQ

My assignment was originally to be a SAG Wagon. Ed, N6XMA change it to a new site for this year. This was to be known as the Hwy 26 and Milton Road Lookout. I thought this was a great assignment because I could get a good tactical test of my Emergency Go Box system. My goal was to test the system from the battery to the antenna. I had a plan for what I wanted to accomplish, but until I tried the plan under real conditions, I really did not know what kind of problems could occur.


The process of setting up the station took about 30 minutes.  I have other antennas that I have used in previous bike rides, but had never use my Ringo Range II Vertical. This meant much more work to erect an antenna and much more antenna than would be required. My assignment was to be on the air by 0930 and I checked in with Net Control fully operational at 0925.


A Ringo Ranger II is a vertical made up of three 5/8 wave radiating elements and a 1/8 wave phasing stub. The antenna has low angle of radiation and a 5.5 dBi gain. The antenna performed great and allowed me to run my FT1900 at low power with excellent signal strength and conserve battery power. I mounted the antenna on a Swing Jack mount I built about 3 years ago, but had never used it in a real setting. I could have raised the antenna higher, but for this time, about 6 feet off the ground was good enough.


I used the Jump Starter Battery and the Battery Monitor that I had demonstrated to the club at a previous meeting.  The battery only dropped about 0.3 volts all day. I used the Go Box Radio that I have brought to the club meeting a few times for various presentations also. I am very pleased with the results of the test.


That takes care of the technical details of the assignment. The operational part of the day was interesting and challenging also. The Lookout was about half way between the Milton Rest Stop and the Shelton Road Rest Stop. I needed to bring my own food and water and there were no restroom facilities. I had a work around for the restroom, but it was not convenient. The weather was great and it was very nice out in the country.


I did not have any emergencies in my area to report. I had only one rider stop to report someone needed assistance about a mile back down Milton RD. I told him that Net Control knew about the problem and a SAG Wagon was helping the rider. There were a few riders that thought I was a rest stop and were a little disappointed when they found out it was not a rest stop. I recommended that if the Lookout was to be a permanent assignment, making it a rest stop with water and restroom facilities at least. (editor’s note:  We are working with the Blind Center on making sure there is a bathroom here next year)


There were a few interesting events that had nothing to do with the bike ride. A car pulled in to the area where I had set up. I thought it was a SAG Wagon, but no, it was someone thinking I was selling something. I guess I could have made a few bucks if I had thought ahead. A few hours later another car pulled in to the area. He was lost and trying to find the way to Jackson. I pulled out a map and showed him how to get there and he was on his way. The last event was more interesting. This red pickup drove up, and the driver very sternly asked me what I was doing parked there. I told him about the bike ride and that I was an Amateur Radio Operator on a net monitoring the bike ride for problems. He did not know what Amateur Radio was and he did not believe they should be riding bikes on the Highway. He said that he noticed me that morning and wanted to know why I was parked there all day. He lived just down Milton Road about a quarter mile. I am sure he was not used to seeing someone park where I was all day. This was the first time we had a setup there.


All in all, it was a great day. I thought Ed, N6XMA, and John, NZ6Q, did a great job of organizing the ride coverage and running the net. Paul, N6KZW, helped me to take down the equipment after the last riders passed the Lookout. 

It's almost time for the International DX Convention 2017 in Visalia, California on April 21-22-23, 2017. 

IDXC 2017 will be our 68th annual International DX Convention.   DXers from around the world will gather once again to meet their fellow DXers, attend interesting and informative programs, see the latest in new products from the top vendors – and have a chance to win some great raffle prizes!  

year Friday, April 21, 2017 will be a full day of training, presentations
and vendor exhibits. 

DXers from around the world will be at IDXC 2017.  We have registered DXers 
from Germany, France, England, Scotland, Hungary, Columbia, Japan, Norway, Isle of Man, Sweden, St. Kitts & Nevis, Canada and Mexico - so far! You even get a chance to meet that DXer ham you have talked to over the years in person.  It's always good to put a face with a name, right?  Well. what about a slap on the back, a cup of coffee together and a great conversation?  This is your chance to do just that!  

Full details of IDXC 2017 are at this website:

The SFM ARC would like to announce that we will once again be running our CW beginners course.  This course will be 10 weeks long held once a week for 2 hours (7PM - 9PM) each Wednesday evening in Carmichael.  If you or someone you know are interested in taking our CW class we encourage you to sign up NOW

This class is made available to EVERYONE that wants to take it.  You do NOT need to be a licensed operator to join our class.  We have locked a date of April 5th - June 7th.  In an effort to give everyone personalized attention, seating will be very limited and on a first come first serve basis.

Everyone can benefit from this course! For those with no Morse Code knowledge this is an excellent course where you or your friends will be taught the complete International Morse Code alphabet, numbers, pro-signs, how to adjust and send on a Morse Code straight key and more interesting general information than one brain can store!  The goal of our course is to have all students up to speed around week 6, and on the air! This is also a great opportunity for those of you who may have already taken our course before.  This class offers a chance for returning students to brush up on their code, increase their speed, build on-air confidence and get a better understanding of the 'pro-signs' that CW radio ops use on-air. 

The CW class is $40 for new students. New students will all receive a FREE Morse Code straight key and a Code Oscillator to keep at the completion of the course. These items are worth more than $40 by themselves. Returning students pay only $20 and should bring their previously supplied Morse Key and Oscillator.

If you or your friends are interested in signing up or have questions regarding this course, please be sure to send an email to  Thank you and we hope to see you at our next class! 

Qualify or Repeal AB 1785 Hands-Free Driving Law re: Interactive v. Passive Devices

* Calif AB 1785 was passed in 2016 and went into effect 1/1/2017

* Among other things, by varied interpretations it effectively prohibits use of ham, CB, and commercial radios while driving. 

* The letter of the law is ambiguous vs. different or over-reaching interpretations of law enforcement officers and departments, and may or may not enforce, nor do so consistently.  One such troubling interpretation from the California Highway Patrol:

"The staid and un-moving interpretation ... is that unless the equipment is vehicle OEM, or it is an official vehicle operating in a form of governmental business with official markings, the operation of 2-way radio equipment is prohibited in a moving vehicle unless it conforms to the"dash mounted, one-swipe" form-factor prescribed in the law. No exceptions. This includes public utility vehicles, emergency responders actively in-motion (i.e. volunteer firefighters in POV's), and many more examples."

Read more about the fight to change this law and join the petition breing delivered to Sacramento here

The ARRL attorney, Chris Imlay, responded to our Pacific Division Director Bob Vallio as follows:  "While there is a risk that licensed Amateur Radio operators in California using portable transceivers in their cars while driving may be subject to sanctions from police officers, the intent of the legislation clearly is to address handheld phones and mobile data and not private land mobile, dispatch radios, or mobile radios for voice communications with handheld mics. The definitions in state mobile cellular and mobile texting laws do make a difference....

This statute is an example of poor legislative draftsmanship. It creates a motor vehicle law with citations issued for certain activity that includes the words "but is not limited to" in the language defining the violation. However, what is included does not proscribe use of mobile Amateur Radio equipment for voice communications.

There are several ways to respond to this. Perhaps the most difficult is to obtain a legislative amendment that either restores the Amateur Radio exemption from the prior legislation. Obtaining curative legislation so soon after enactment of a state statute is not politically the most simple of tasks... Another option is to attempt to obtain a favorable exclusionary interpretation of the new Statute from the California Attorney General's office, which we understand has already been attempted unsuccessfully by some California radio Amateurs, though the effort could be renewed). Finally, if there is an instance of a radio amateur being cited for violating the statute, a successful defense of that citation could be used as a precedent for precluding subsequent instances of application of the Statute to licensed radio Amateurs....

We are working with our ARRL Leadership to closely monitor the statute and its application.  If you hear of anyone being cited for using their Amateur Radio while driving, let your ARRL section leadership know. 
The ABC's of Morse Code Operating
By Ed Tobias, KR3E

This small but solid guide is the perfect read for those interested in learning 
or improving CW operating techniques!
Within its pages you'll find:

* The secret of becoming a proficient CW Operator
* Where and how to practice, practice, practice.
*  Straight Key or Paddle?
* Adjusting your Straight Key or Paddle
* Keyers, Iambic Keying and Bugs
* Contests, Events, DXing
* Operating QSK
* CW Filters
* Signs, Signals and Procedures
* Tips on Taking CW On the Road . . .  and much, much more!

Only $18.95 including shipping for the 6 X 9 paperback.  Click here for link to the CQ website to order.
KIDS DAY 2017 
Dave KG6SVF posted this picture of Dakota on the air for Kids Day 2017.  Dave reports that Dakota didn't find a lot of activity due to poor band conditions, but managed to work Stations in Hawaii, Ohio and Wisconsin.  

KM6HEB son Alex got on the SARA 2M Repeater and worked several stations around the valley for Kids Day.  

Here at the NZ6Q station, our boys Kyle KM6EQN and Shane (age 7) got on the air and we worked Dave N6LHL on 20M Phone for some good DX there! 
I am saddened to report that Life Member Shirley Rose, AA6K passed away on Wednesday February 1st.  Shirly had been battling cancer and had been improving at last reports, but complications from his treatment lead to his unexpected passing.  

Shirl's contributions to the Amateur Radio hobby, Contesting, DXing, and to this club and its membership are too numerous to begin to list here.  There were very few endeavors of the club that Shirl was not a part of.  He organized and contributed to the club's ARRL Field Day activities and acheivements for many years.  He was the W6SF Club Call Sign trustee.  He held this position for many years until he relinquished that position last year to relocate and be closer to family.  Shirl was an avid contester and DXer. Over the years he has shared his wisdom with the club through presentations supporting The California QSO Party, Contesting and good operating procedures in general and the DXers Code of Conduct.  

Shirl's family will be planning a memorial get-together with food and drink for his friends to get together and share their stories of his life and times.  This is tentatively planned for late July at his home in Stockton.  
AA6K Silent Key - Shirl, you will be missed, but not forgotten. 
73 SK
HamTestOnline - online courses for the ham radio exams


Located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains at 2500 feet, the club repeaters cover the Southern Sacramento and Northern San Joaquin Valleys. The call-sign is W6SF and can be heard on 147.165 MHz and on 442.250 MHz with a PL of 107.2 Hz. Club simplex frequency is 147.51 MHz.

SDARC also has a UHF repeater, operating independently, on 444.575+ PL 107.2.  This is a local low level Stockton repeater with the call W6SF.  As the project progresses, three receiver/voters will be installed via T1 phone lines and the addition of IRLP linking to other repeaters.  
TECH REP:  Steve - K6SCA
Coming Soon!

Plans are underway to install several voting receivers, strategically located on the 444.575 repeater (W6SF) in Stockton.  The addition of these receivers will sharply increase receive capability throughout Stockton and Lodi with the use of a hand held radio.  Check the repeater occasionally for the upgrade.


MEETINGS: Regular meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month at 1930 hours, located at the Bear Creek Community Church, 11171 Lower Sacramento Road. Members, guests and people having an interest in amateur radio are invited to attend.

WEEKLY NET: The weekly net is held each Monday at 2000 hours on the above named repeaters. Members and visitors are invited to check in. There is also an unofficial get-together on Thursday evenings (Except meeting nights) at 1930 hours on 28.457 MHz. Amateurs with the proper license are encouraged to particip

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