Join Us for Field Day 2019

It’s time to prepare for Field Day, “amateur radio’s open house.” Once again SPARC will join forces with the Pasadena, JPL and Caltech radio clubs and operate from the Art Center College of Design campus.

Field Day 2019 begins Saturday, June 22 at 11am and ends on Sunday, June 23 at 11am. The address is 1700 Lida Street, Pasadena, 91103. Above is a flyer for the event put together by the PRC.

Come to our monthly meeting on May 1 at the SP Fire Department EOC and learn about getting the most out of Field Day.

Get Answers from the Collected Crown City HF

SPARC is proud to help distribute Crown City HF, a collection of columns written by Dr. Tom Berne, W6TAG (SK), for the Pasadena Radio Club’s monthly bulletin. You can download a PDF version of the collection using this link:

Crown City HF book (4 MB PDF)

The following is from the book’s foreword, written by John Minger AC6VV.

Tom Berne, W6TAG, followed in the footsteps of his father, Dr. Clarence J. Berne, becoming a surgeon. He was also a researcher and a professor at USC. […]

In the fall of 2007 Peter Fogg, KA6RJF, then club president-elect, suggested that Tom might consider writing a column for the monthly newsletter, The Pasadena Radio Club Bulletin, especially for our club’s technicians, to encourage upgrading and for new generals, to help them build HF equipped shacks.

Tom was modest about his experience, but Peter persuaded him to create the Crown City HF column, which he wrote every month for eight years. Ten months after the column ended, Tom became a Silent Key at age 81. We were all blessed to have had Tom with us for those many years.

Since then, Bob Ross, WA6JLP, volunteered to collect Tom’s work in a single document. We are pleased to present for you that collection of all of the Crown City HF columns.

Our thanks to PRC and Bob WA6JLP for allowing us to share Tom’s wisdom and enthusiasm for the hobby.

Pictures from B2V and Rookie Roundup

At SPARC’s April meeting, Oliver K6OLI provided a wrap-up of all the action at Baker to Vegas 2019. He has kindly shared a summary of the weekend in this Google Photo Album. The album contains photos from Oliver, Jeff W2JCL, Robert K6YZF, Mike KM6KAQ and Lew AC6LS.

Preparing for runners at the Baker to Vegas relay, March 23, 2019. Photo by Robert K6YZF

On April 14, SPARC participated in the 2019 Rookie Roundup. We made contacts in multiple states and tuned in some very clear signals from Georgia and Michigan. Below is a gallery of pictures from the day. Led by Joss KM6NXI, we took time to play a few rounds of kubb, a lawn game that’s increasingly popular here in South Pas.

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.