Photos from the 2018 Public Safety Open House

Thanks to all the SPARC members who staffed our table at the annual South Pas Public Safety Open House. And thanks as always to the police and fire departments for hosting such an informative and fun event! The following photos were taken by Robert K6YZF. The fire extinguisher training was conducted by SPARC and CERT member James K6CUT.

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SP Police and Fire Open House 9-16-18-7

SPARC members at the 2018 South Pasadena Public Safety Open House

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September 2018 VHF/UHF Contest Results

On September 8, SPARC set up two stations in Garfield Park to participate in the ARRL’s September VHF/UHF contest for a few hours. We made thirty contacts on FM and SSB and tested mesh nodes. Several members of the public stopped by — some who had prior ham experience and some who were just curious about all the wires. Thanks to everyone who helped with set up and clean up! Contests are a great opportunity to spend time operating and testing equipment, so don’t hesitate to stop by the next time we take part in one. Photos by Robert K6YZF.

Talk to SPARC at the 2018 Public Safety Open House

SPARC will have a booth once again at the annual South Pasadena Police and Fire Department Open House on Sunday, September 16. The open house runs from 10am to 3pm. We will be located in the courtyard behind the fire station. This fun and informative event runs in conjunction with the Cruz’n for Roses classic car show supporting the SouthPas Tournament of Roses float committee. Come meet SPARC members, see some radio gear, and learn about our activities. Hope to see you there!

2018 Public Safety Open House

Click for PDF version.

Join Us September 8 for a Contest in the Park

SPARC will be participating in the annual ARRL September VHF Contest. We’re not looking to walk away with any giant trophies, the goal is to test our gear, get some practice operating, and have fun. All club members are invited to participate. Members of other local clubs, CERT, Neighborhood Watch, and the community are encouraged to visit and see what SPARC is all about.

When: Saturday, September 8th, 11am until 5pm

Where: Garfield Park, South Pasadena — north end near the tennis courts

SPARC members who would like to help with the set up process can arrive at 9am.


Testing a mesh node in preparation for the September VHF contest.

We will set up two stations, 2m and 440. Feel free to bring your own gear for some show and tell. If you bring your own handheld or mobile and sufficent power (fully-charged battery, mobile go kit, etc.) you can connect to our antennas at a convenient moment. If you’d like to test your own antenna system, make sure to consider the safety of others and include any hardware required to set up in a stable and considerate manner.

There are a limited number of picnic benches near the Garfield Park tennis courts, so bring along a camp chair if you’d like to stay for a while.

If you can’t make it to the park, be a contact! Our talk-in frequency will be 145.600.

We hope to see you or log a contact with you on September 8.

Go Digital at Ham Basics 102 on July 28

SPARC treasurer Oliver K6OLI writes:

Our long awaited NBEMS (Fldigi) and Winlink Basics Workshop has been scheduled for July 28, 2018, that is Activity Day, at Huntington Memorial Hospital from 9:00 am to 1:00pm! Our goal is to enable participants to send and receive messages using Fldigi/Flmsg and Winlink and understand current best practices for both.

For more information, and if you would like to register, please use this link:

Tho goal of this workshop is to provide radio operators with experience and a deeper understanding of using NBEMS/Fldig and Winlink Packet for emergency communications. There will be hands-on exercises for those who want to try out their setups.

Any licensed amateur radio operator is welcome to join! We do ask that you familiarize yourself with your own radio beforehand, i.e. understand how to enter simplex and repeater frequencies and change power levels.

Thank you and 73,
Oliver K6OLI

Join Us for the 2018 July 4th Parade

SPARC been invited to march in the South Pasadena 4th of July Parade. The parade starts from the South Pasadena Public Library marshaling area and proceeds down Mission Street to Garfield Park.

The parade officially begins at 11:00 am.

If you are interested and able, please assemble in front of the library on El Centro Street before 10:30 am. We are in group #12 along with Neighborhood Watch and CERT (the street will be numbered). Invite other friends and family to participate too! Bicycles and scooters are allowed for the kids. Be sure to wear your SPARC t-shirt.
I look forward to seeing you there.


Stan KR6CV, SPARC President

fourth of july flyer

Field Day 2018 Wrap Up

Field Day 2018 was a fun-filled twenty-four hours of outreach, learning and socializing. Hams from SPARC, Pasadena Radio Club, JPL Amateur Radio Club and Caltech Amateur Radio Club joined forces to operate seven different stations atop the Arroyo Seco at the Art Center College of Design. PRC’s Jim Marr AA6QI was our Field Day captain coordinating volunteers from the four clubs. SPARC was proud to run a Get on the Air (GOTA) station where visitors could try out a radio and make contacts without needing a license. We answered lots of questions and encouraged curious guests to take the plunge into our hobby.

Here are the reported number of contacts (QSOs) from each station.

  • 80-10m CW (Morse code): 1114 QSOs covering all 50 states
  • 40m single sideband (SSB):  354 QSOs covering 41 states
  • 75m/20m/15m SSB: 266 QSOs covering 44 states
  • 160m-10m digital mode station (FT8, PSK-31 & RTTY): 51 QSOs covering 21 states
  • VHF/UHF: 121 QSOs, all in California
  • GOTA: 25 QSOs from 1pm to 5pm on Saturday

Huge thanks to Jim Marr for making everything run so smoothly. To all the participating volunteers and to all the eager visitors, thanks for making Field Day 2018 such an enjoyable and memorable experience. Hope to see you soon at a meeting and hear you on the air!

2 GOTA future ham

A future ham gets on the air.

3 GOTA red shirt

Making that first QSO.

4 GOTA hello

Open for business!

5 JPL van exterior

The JPL EmComm Van

6 JPl van Stan

SPARC president Stan KR6CV and JPL’s Jonathan KF6RTA adjust the Cushcraft ATB-34 tri-band Yagi.

7 JPL van full antenna

Antenna deployed!

8 JPL van interior

Jeff W2JCL and Jim AA6QI work 15m inside the JPL van.

8a Welcome to Ham Radio signs

A handmade introduction.

9 Bob battery box

Bob WB6YJJ set up a personal station powered by his SPARC battery box.

10 Logging contacts

Working VHF/UHF.

11 Satellite antenna

A motorized satellite-tracking antenna operated by Tom WA0POD.

12 SunspotViewing sign


13 SunspotViewing telescope

Observing sun spots at the astronomy station.

14 Pot Luck Dinner

Pot luck dinner time.

15 Jeff and Eric night

Jeff W2JCL and PRC president Eric K6EJC working the night shift.

Our local paper, the South Pasadena Review, ran an article on the GOTA station in its July 6 edition.


Photos by John KK6ZVQ and Tom WA0POD.

Updated 07/08/18 with links to South Pasadena Review article.

Join Us for Field Day 2018 on June 23 & 24

Field Day is ham radio’s open house. During this annual event, amateur radio operators set up temporary stations in public locations to demonstrate our hobby. As the American Radio Relay League phrases it, Field Day is an opportunity to explain radio’s “science, skill and service to our communities and our nation.”

This year SPARC is proud to join with the Pasadena, Caltech and JPL Radio Clubs to sponsor a station at Art Center College of Design. The station will operate from 11am on Saturday June 23 until 11am Sunday June 24. The address is 1700 Lida Street, Pasadena, 91103. Below is a flyer for the event put together by the PRC (click for PDF version).

Field Day 2018 flyer

Field Day is always a fun and family-friendly event, a perfect opportunity to see experienced operators in action, learn about radio gear, and even get on the air yourself. To learn more about Field Day, read this ARRL guide. Stop by and say hello!

Looking for a Technician License Class?

If you’ve been waiting for an entry level class to earn your ham ticket (your FCC amateur radio license), consider this one from Mark Seigel W6MES. Mark is a member of the PRC and provides printing services for their monthly newsletter.

When: April 5, 2018 – May 24, 2018
7 weeks of instruction
8th week – FCC test by licensed examiners

Where: 10034 Commerce Ave, Tujunga, CA

What you will need: ARRL Radio License Manual – 2nd or 3rd edition
Pencil and paper

Contact info: Mark Seigel W6MES – licensed instructor for 18 years – put “HAM RADIO” in the subject

Train for an Emergency with Ham Basics 101

SPARC’s own Oliver Dully K6OLI will be leading a series of training sessions at our ARES Northeast activity days, held the last Saturday of the month at Huntington Hospital. The goal is to practice emergency communications skills. If you have never had proper training or you would like a better understanding of how to put your ham skills to use, visit the first session on February 24.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact Oliver or Gary Wong W6GSW at the email addresses on the flyer below.

Click here for Activity Day Training 2018 flyer as PDF.