South Pas CERT Events for 2019

Our friends at the South Pasadena Community Emergency Response Team have released their calendar of events for the rest of 2019. We’ve added these events to our calendar page and will update the listings if/when new dates are announced. Visit the CERT page to register for the refresher course or the fall training session.

May 25, 2019
8am – noon
CERT Refresher Training (held at SPFD)

July 4, 2019
9am – 2pm
CERT Booth in Garfield Park after the annual Festival of Balloons

August 6, 2019
6 -9pm
CERT Booth at National Night Out in Orange Grove Park

September 21, 2019
8am – 1pm
Basic CERT Training, fall session week 1 (held at SPFD)

September 28, 2019
8am – 1pm
Basic CERT Training, fall session week 2 (held at SPFD)

October 5, 2019
8am – 1pm
Basic CERT Training, fall session week 3 (held at SPFD)

Rookie Roundup This Sunday in Garfield Park

SPARC will participate in the ARRL Rookie Roundup this Sunday, April 14. The contest runs for six hours, from 11 am to 4:59 pm (1800 to 2359 UTC).

The contest is intended for newly-licensed hams who have had their ticket for under three years. “Old hams” are welcome, but your role will be to coach and provide additional contacts to rookie stations calling CQ. From ARRL’s explanation of the rules:

• You can be a Rookie if you were first licensed in 2019, 2018 or 2017. Send the year you were first licensed in the exchange.

• If you were licensed before 2017 you can also be a Rookie if you made your first Amateur Radio contact during 2019,  2018 or 2017 or if you haven’t made any contacts on the contest mode (SSB for April) before the Rookie Roundup contest. Send the current year (2019) in your exchange. Either of these reasons qualify you as a Rookie for just one year.

• Rookies will attempt to make as many contacts as possible during this six-hour event. Rookies work everyone, and non-Rookies work only Rookies.

This is a great way to try out contesting in an event designed for newcomers.

You can participate from your own station on the 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meter HF bands (3.840-3.860, 7.215-7.235, 14.240-14.260, 21.315-21.335, and 28.390-28.410 MHz).

We’ll be set up with a few operating positions around the northeast corner of Garfield Park. Hope to see you there!

Explore the Challenges of the AC100 Race at Our March Meeting

The South Pasadena Amateur Radio Club (W6SPR) is proud to present “Amateur Radio at the AC100: Lifeline for one of the Most Challenging Endurance Races in the World!”
featuring
John AC6VV, Assistant Director of the AC100 and Director of AC100 Amateur Radio Operations
and
Doug WA6IFY, Cloudburst Checkpoint Amateur Radio Communications Leader

Photo courtesy of and copyright Rick KK6EUH

John AC6VV is Assistant Director of the AC100 and Director for Amateur Radio Communications. He organizes and manages all Amateur Radio Communications at AC100 and will share the challenges, anecdotes and rewarding nature of radio communications at AC100!

Doug WA6IFY is Cloudburst Checkpoint Station Communications Leader. He organizes and manages the ALERT communications team at Cloudburst checkpoint, a remote location deep in the Los Angeles Forest, where Amateur Radio and Satcomm are the only means of communications. Doug will talk about the ins-and-outs of running communications at a checkpoint, the challenges that operating remotely present and the fun operators have during the race!

Like many races, the AC100 requires Amateur Radio Operators work off-grid, address challenges on the fly and excel at team work, just like they would during a disaster deployment.

Supporting the AC100 is one of the most rewarding and fun Amateur Radio activities the L.A. area has to offer. Join John, Doug and SPARC for an evening of fun and anecdotes, and learn more about AC100.

When:
Wednesday, March 6, 7:30 PM
Where:
South Pasadena Fire Station EOC
817 Mound Ave, South Pasadena, CA 91030
Who:
All interested Amateur Radio Enthusiasts

See you there!

73,
Oliver K6OLI

Get on the Air for Winter Field Day 2019

Our friends at the Crescenta Valley Radio Club will be participating in the annual Winter Field Day. You can stop by and visit their stations in Deukmejian Wilderness Park or give them a contact by operating from home.

When: 1900 UTC (11am PST) Saturday the 26th to 1900 UTC (11am PST) Sunday the 27th

Bands: All amateur bands on HF, VHF, & UHF except 12, 17, 30 and 60 meters

Modes: Any mode.

Suggested Frequencies:

  • HF CW – 1.810-1.820, 3.530-3.550, 7.030-7.050, 14.035-14.055, 21.030-21.050, 28.030-28.040
  • HF SSB – lowest 30 kHz of the US General Class Phone bands (160m- 15m), 28.400-28.425MHz (10m)
  • 6m/VHF/UHF – adjacent to, but not on, nationally recognized simplex calling channels

Full information on Winter Field Day is available from the Winter Field Day Association. More details on CVRC’s participation is available on their site.

SPARC Members Featured in This Month’s QST Magazine

This month’s QST Magazine features an article written by SPARC member Oliver Dully, K6OLI about using MESH networking to support the annual Baker 2 Vegas race. Oliver explains how the combination of MESH (wifi over amateur radio bands) and a satellite link dramatically increases the capabilities of hams in an emergency. (See our write-up of Oliver’s presentation about Baker 2 Vegas here.) Also mentioned in the article are fellow SPARC members Tran K6NHI and Brian KM6IGY, as well as members from Pasadena Radio Club and ARES Northeast.

Click here for the full article.

Reprinted with permission, February 2019 QST; copyright ARRL

A Podcast and an App to Help You Prep for a Quake

Local NPR station KPCC commemorated the twenty-fifth anniversary of the devastating Northridge earthquake with coverage on-air and on its news site LAist. They’ve also produced a new podcast to help you get ready for the next quake, one that could be even more damaging than Northridge. It’s called The Big One: Your Survival Guide, and it’s available wherever you download podcasts. The podcast’s homepage includes links to KPCC/LAist articles on earthquake prep and an interactive map to visualize faults and liquefaction zones in our area. (You may not like what you find!)

Separately, the City of Los Angeles has released an app called ShakeAlertLA. It is designed to give you an advanced warning of a quake if one is detected by the ShakeAlert system. Dr. John Vidale of the Southern California Earthquake Center gave a talk on ShakeAlert at a SPARC-sponsored community meeting last May.

More information and a video about the app can be found in this LA Times article by Ron-Gong Lin.

Photo taken Saturday, January 22, 1994 by Gary B. Edstrom, and released to the public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Ham Exam in Altadena on February 16

The following information comes from our friends at ALERT, the Altadena Local Emergency Radio Team.

An amateur radio license exam will be administered on February 16, 2019 at the Altadena Sheriff Station.

  • Review session 1:30-3:00 PM
  • Testing session begins @ 3PM.
  • Be on time. Allow about 40 min to take exam. Exam is corrected right away.

Please bring:

  • Photo identification (driver license or passport are best)
  • Federal Registration Number (FRN) from FCC website or Social Security Number
  • Pencils and/or pens
  • A pocket calculator (not really necessary, but some people like to have one)
  • $15 exam fee, cash or check. Exam fees are collected on behalf of ARRL/VEC which has an agreement with the FCC to process license exams and applications.
  • Completed FCC Form 605

CONTACT: Dep. Paige for more information and to sign up for this opportunity to earn your amateur radio license. DCPAIGE@LASD.ORG or cell # 626-241-2499.

PDF flyer from Altadena Sheriff Station

Watch the Skies in 2019

Residents of Southern California witnessed some spectacular space launches over the past year. If you’d like to receive advance notice about the next rocket taking off from Vandenberg Air Force Base, sign up for Launch Alert.  The service is a free e-mail newsletter covering launches, SoCal astronomy, and space news. The list moderators claim that many of the events they post about are visible across the southwest. Launch Alert is just one of dozens of ham (or ham-adjacent) lists maintained by the free amateur radio community site QSL.net.

 

Photo via the official Space X Flickr feed.

Meeting Change for December 5

Dear members and friends of SPARC,

Unfortunately, the EOC room at the South Pasadena Fire Department is still under construction.  The SPARC board has therefore decided to officially cancel our regular meeting tomorrow, Wednesday December 5.


Unofficially some of us are getting together tomorrow at Canoe House to talk radios, reminisce about the many fun events we have had in 2018 and enjoy each other’s company.  You are welcome to join us at Canoe House ( goo.gl/maps/DxfQWuetdRo ) from 19:30 onwards!

73,

Stan KR6CV
President
and the executive board of SPARC