Club Awards

Our club, Riverside County Amateur Radio Association has existed for 65 years and there are several awards that our club has achieved.  Many of those awards have gone unclaimed and the efforts of our past members have gone unrecognized.

 

If there are any additional awards that should be posted for RCARA, please notify Alan Serl KM6KPW at km6kpw @ scrnet.com.

Riverside County Amateur Radio Association is a member of eQSL.cc and actively reports QSO’s from members using the club call sign.  Please forward contact logs made using the club callsign to the webmaster so the contacts can be claimed (ADIF export prefered)

Field Day 2020

Riverside County Amateur Radio Association Field Day 2020

Here is the picture slideshow from Field Day 2020

  • RCARA Members and visitors pause for a pic along side a VW Bus
  • Moving the supplies and equipment from the parking lot
  • Juan KM6CFH packing in his portable rig
  • A new battery technology was introduced at FD this year.
  • For 2020, there was no line power in out location for even non-radio gear. Battery and solar powered the show this year!
  • Power management in a box with power pole connectors and a built in volt meter.
  • Rick KK6CTT - large battery box and solar panels included an inverter which provided line power for laptops and HT & Cellphone charging.
  • John W7RSO operating under an EZ-UP, socially distanced but racking up the QSO numbers
  • John W7RSO came wearing his FD 2020 hat.
  • APRS Map showing that Alan KM6KPW is at the park
  • An APRS controller with GPS and simple telemetry. This module uses a Baofeng UV-5R type of HT for it's transmitter and receiver.
  • An APRS controller with GPS and simple telemetry. This module uses a Baofeng UV-5R type of HT for it's transmitter and receiver.
  • Steven W7DTH brought out his shelter and portable rig
  • Steven W7DTH displays a clean power distribution module. LED indicators and fuses are a great features.
  • Field Day is great to see what others are using in their portable and mobile rigs
  • Just waiting for the 11:00 AM whistle to start making contacts
  • Our newest Extra class operator making contacts. Congrats to Juan AJ6PH !!
  • Juan finding the balance between sun for the solar panel and shade for the operator
  • Alan KM6KPW ran 10M FT8 on 15 watts QRP power.
  • Alan KM6KPW on the Xiegu working FT8 on 10 meters. The band was like a revolving door
  • John W7RSO brought out the hitch mounted extending mast antenna.
  • A close up of John W7RSO's trailer hitch mast mount
  • Alan KM6KPW brought out a 10 meter dipole that fits into the go bag.
  • Rails to save the face and rear connectors of his mobile transceiver. Lite and solid, nice!
  • All gathered around the picnic table
  • Both the US flag and our ARRL FD mascot on display in front of the pavillion


Updated Q&A from the ARRL about club totals – (PDF or Original Article)

Members operating from home, please remember to include “RIVERSIDE COUNTY AMATEUR RADIO ASSOCIATION” (NOT “RCARA” or “W6TJ”) on your submission.  See the ARRL COVID-19 2020 Waver document for more information

 

 

We may have to be away from each other but that does not mean we have to be out of reach!

Stay Safe and keep making contacts!

First ‘Meeting on the Air’ success

To the RCARA members,

Holy cow, we did it!  This thing really worked!

Thank you all who made this “Meeting on the Air” a success.  We had a good working check in round and an even better round of discussion about the 2020 Field Day.  The discussion for all the ideas worked out great with members contributing to all sides of Field Day in world where we all have to live in our own isolation bubble. 

I want to say a sincere “Thank You” to the members that pointed out the faults and flaws in some of the ideas brought up – “It’s easy to stay quiet and go with the flow but pointing out the bad idea and why it’s a bad idea is honestly just as important.  Sometimes more so.”

Thank you Rick KK6CTT for turning the “Parking Lot Picnic” into the “Mobile Simplex Breakfast“.  You turned a good intentioned idea into a working Ham Radio exercise that we can still keep as a social event within the club.  Please join us this Saturday (Apr 11, 2020) for breakfast in your driveway!

73!

Alan KM6KPW

Simplex Social Breakfast

Please join us on the third Saturday of the month for a for a social simplex breakfast Net!  Grab your coffee and bagel or other breakfast items, get on your rig and be social!  Our original Net plan is to be a round robin Net with relays from operators that are able to hear a weak signal and pass on the traffic where possible.

This Net will be a once a month Saturday morning Net to hone your Amateur Radio skills in Simplex communications.  The frequency being used will rotate from month to month, please see the frequency plan below. 

The members that participated in the July Simplex Social Breakfast Net were sent an eQSL card via eQSL.cc


Take a break, grab your coffee and join us on the air!

 

When: The third Saturday of the month at 11:00 AM

Where: Your choice

How: 11:00AM to 11:30 AM, Simplex mode – No offset / No PL tone

Send topic suggestions to: km6kpw @ scrnet.com

 

Monthly Frequency Plan

Month Band Frequency Coordinator
January 70 CM 446.00 Mhz
February 2 M 147.510 Mhz
March 70 CM 446.00 Mhz
April 2 M 147.510 Mhz Alan KM6KPW
May 70 CM 446.00 Mhz Alan KM6KPW
June 20, 2020 2 M 147.510 Mhz Alan KM6KPW
July 18, 2020 70 CM 446.00 Mhz Alan KM6KPW
August 15, 2020 2 M 147.510 Mhz Alan KM6KPW
September 19, 2020 70 CM 446.00 Mhz
October 17, 2020 2 M 147.510 Mhz
November 21, 2020 70 CM 446.00 Mhz
December 19, 2020 2 M 147.510 Mhz

Additional Net Coordinators are needed!  If you are interested in hosting a net, please notify Alan (KM6KPW) or any other Board member know.

 

Club Officers for the year 2020

Riverside County Amateur Radio Association

Elected Officers for the Year 2020

 

Alan Serl KM6KPW

President

km6kpw @ scrnet.com

Mike Yasmer KM6LOR

Vice-President

coyotegrad @ gmail.com

Jim Wiley AG6EA

Treasurer

jameswiley757 @ gmail.com

Margaret Albanese KC6UDH

Secretary

malbanese @ dslextreme.com

 

Ron Braley KE6RYX

Director of Communications

(951) 369-5149

 

Marlene KK6CTX

Director of Membership

xmadamxx @ aol.com

Appointed Positions for 2020

Pending

Sunshine Chair

Rick Schirmer KK6CTT

Photographer

rngr86 @ juno.com

Alan Serl KM6KPW

Webmaster

km6kpw @ scrnet.com

 

KM6KPW 10 Meter Vertical Stick Dipole Antenna

I needed 10 Meter capability but have power lines just behind my property that keep me from putting up a nice big ground plane.  I’ve been messing around with horizontal dipole antennas for a while and found this assembly from MFJ.  This is a mount that lets you use a pair of stick antennas in a dipole configuration.

I purchased the MFJ-347 mount and a pair of 10 Meter stick antennas.  The assembly is intended to be used in a horizontal dipole configuration but as a group, the RCARA 10 Meter Net has agreed to using vertically polarized antennas.  My existing 10 Meter horizontal dipole had very bad reception already.

Why not put it into a vertical placement and see how it works.  So far I have to say that the response from the tuesday night 10 Meter Net crew is a huge improvement!

A new arm for my antenna mast was assembled using galvanized gas pipe fittings from the corner hardware store.  I will be adding the second arm to this mount to relocate my 2 Meter antenna so the two are six feet apart.  I have another five foot section to go above where I plan to mount a Ubiquiti Mesh network radio but that’s another project.

KM6CFH’s Go-Bag

After our 2019 Field Day I decided that making three trips to my truck to gather my gear was two trips too many. I had to figure out a way to get my power supply (including solar charging system) all of my essential gear into one bag and that would allow me to have both hands free. The following is what I came up with. You will see pre-holed sections because these are pictures of the frame after it was reconfigured.

I started off by taking some measurement of a Rush 24 backpack I purchased from 511 Tactical on Indiana in Riverside. This purchase was made in 2018 and was never intended to become a go-bag, but its durability made it the perfect choice. I came up with a PVC frame that sits in the bag. I used a box of #8 X ½” Phillips-head sheet metal screws to keep the PVC joined instead of glue in case I needed to make any future modifications (which I did for this version). I used plexiglass to make shelves and panels for the accessories and the battery.

 

The next step was to strap a Bioenno LiFePO4 12V, 12Ah battery to the bottom shelf and bolt an Epic PWRgate to the plexiglass on the top panel. I installed a 30A switch which I constructed to work with Anderson Powerpole connectors to turn power off/on.

 

I made the holes for the accessories using a step drill bit. I modified a Powerwerx Panelpole so that I could plug in the solar panels through it (in blue) and kept the black/red for powering the rig. The center is a Powerwerx Panel DVM to monitor battery voltage and the other accessory is a Powerwerx PanelUSB-Plus to power an LED light that I use at night.

The final step was to make all the connections and place the “top” panel on the frame.

I used two heavy duty GRIFFITI Bands to keep the plastic and metal from sliding around on smooth surfaces. The reason I made it this size was not only to have it fit in the bag, but to also provide a base for my Yaesu FT 991A.

 

The next pics are of the power frame and FT991A in the bag. As you can see I have room above for some extra supplies I may need and use a piece of plexiglass I have to keep pressure off of the knobs on the rig.

The only thing I needed to purchase to make the frame was, 8 90-degree socket X socket X socket elbows, 8 tees and a box of #8 ½” screws. I purchased a 28” X 30” of clear acrylic sheet (plexiglass) to create the shelves. These items were purchased from Lowes for under $50.

I already had about 8ft of ½” schedule 40 PVC for the actual frame. All the electronic components and the battery were from other builds and projects I have worked on. Everything I carry in the bag, including the two solar panels strapped on the outside, weighs about 38 pounds which is very manageable and allows me to have two free hands while walking to my destination.

73

Ham License Study Guides

Here are some of the Ham License Study Guides that our club members have found useful:

Get your FRN number

Register with the Federal Communications Commission to obtain your FRN number.  Every Amateur Radio Operator needs to have a FRN at the test time.

eHam.net

The practice exams on eHam.net are up to date pools of questions.  This is great for checking your readiness for a real test.

Ham Test Prep (Android App)

This is a great practice test app.  Webmaster comment – “I used this to study for the General exam on lunches and breaks at work”

 

Testing at Field Day 2019 – One Tech and Two General!

RCARA 10 Meter Net

Please join us on Tuesdays nights at 7:00 PM on 28.420Mhz USB for a 10 meter Round-Table Net.  If the frequency is in use the alternate is 28.410MHZ USB.  Antenna polarization: Vertical.

The purpose of the 10 meter Net is to develop and improve our skills in bands of radio communications that are available but unfamiliar to many club members.  Adding in some friendly chat and signal reports is an added side benefit!

Technician Class license holders have Voice (Phone) privilege on 10 Meters between 28.300 Mhz and 28.500 Mhz meaning all licensed operators can participate.  

Due to the current sunspot activity limiting 10 Meter propagation, our anticipated RCARA Net coverage area is the Riverside and immediately surrounding communities.  We are happy to welcome guests – Local and DX.

Anyone interested in taking a turn as Net Coordinator, please contact KM6KPW (Alan).

 

Many Thanks & 73!

Alan – KM6KPW

 

 

Tally for the Tuesday Night 10 Meter:

Sept 8, 2020 Sept 15, 2020 Aug 22, 2020 Aug 29, 2020
Regular Check-ins: 6 6 6
Guests/Visitors: 0 0 0
TOTAL CHECK-INS: 6 6 6
Coordinator: Alan KM6KPW Alan KM6KPW Alan KM6KPW Alan KM6KPW