Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays ! I hope that you’re all doing well, and enjoying the substantially improved band conditions. I continue to hunt rare, weak signal CW DX using fully operational analog gear from the 1970s. To be sure, some things never change. Ongoing research in wire antenna design has yielded increased gain and directivity. The CQ Worldwide DX contest was especially productive.

Congratulations to Kristen McIntyre / K6WX, who is our new ARRL Pacific Division Director, following the untimely passing of Jim Tiemstra / K6JAT in late October. Kristen previously served as the division’s Vice Director. SCV section staff is ready to assist you, Kristen. http://www.arrl.org/news/kristen-mcintyre-k6wx-is-new-arrl-pacific-division-director

Here’s a wonderful tribute to Jim Tiemstra that was published by SFGate https://legcy.co/32K6BFS This reference courtesy Jim Siemons / W6LK, East Bay Section Manager.

If you haven’t already done so, please visit our new section website www.arrlsantaclaravalley.org, which has been expertly designed and implemented by Wayne Opp, N6BTU. The site is a central hub for our section activities, and will emphasize active and dynamic content, going forward.

Radio clubs, ARES groups, and section members — let’s continue to get the word out. If there are any articles or missives regarding your current activities that you’d like me to include in our newsletter and website, please advise, and I will retransmit your content in its entirety, with attribution. The input that I’ve received from several organizations to date has been substantial.

New Section Appointment — welcome aboard !

Daniel Ryan / K6DJR has joined us as a Technical Specialist. Daniel’s qualifications are extensive: Public Safety Radio Technician (APCO Certified); GROL with Radar Endorsement; GMDSS Operator/Maintainer; Motorola ASTRO 25 systems, and MOSCAD training California Emergency Services Specialist Certificate; CalOES EOC COML Type II, Credential CalOES EOC Planning and Intel Type II; Credential Member San Mateo County Sheriff Communications Unit County of San Mateo; Advisory Engineer, Radio and IT Facilities; Senior Member, IEEE.

QST: Notice of ARRL Foundation Scholarship Application Deadline From Dr. David Woolweaver, K5RA; November 21, 2020

The ARRL Foundation scholarship application period for the academic year 2021 ends on December 31, 2020. The Foundation issued nearly $300,000 in scholarships in 2020, and for the academic year 2021 there has been a significant increase in the number of large dollar scholarships thanks to a generous contribution from the Amateur Radio Digital Communication group (ARDC).

For the academic year 2021, there are two new $25,000 scholarships, thirteen $10,000 scholarships, nine $5,000 scholarships as well as dozens of $1,000 and $500 scholarships. A description of the many scholarships is available here: http://www.arrl.org/scholarship-descriptions

Since only amateur radio operator students may apply, the chances of being selected for a scholarship are good. The ARRL Foundation offers over 100 scholarships and it only takes this simple online application to apply — http://www.arrl.org/scholarship-application

Since 1973, the ARRL Foundation, with the generosity of many donors and the hard work of a long line of dedicated Foundation Directors, has had a positive impact on the lives of many amateur radio operator students. Being awarded an ARRL Foundation scholarship could mean the difference in whether a student can pursue their education in 2021, or not.

Thank you and the Foundation and I wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Dr. David Woolweaver, K5RAV
President, ARRL Foundation

Thanks, David Minster / NA2AA, ARRL CEO, for this reference.

The following article was published by ARRL Headquarters on November 19, 2020, and is reproduced here in its entirety:

ARRL Seeks Waiver of Proposed FCC Amateur Application Fees

ARRL has urged the FCC to waive its proposed $50 amateur radio application fee. The Commission proposal was made last month in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in MD 20-270. The proposal already has drawn more than 3,200 individual comments overwhelmingly opposed to the plan. The fees, directed by Congress and imposed on all FCC-regulated services, are to recover the FCC’s costs of handling and processing applications.

“Amateur radio applications were not listed when the Congress adopted its 1985 fee schedule for applications, and therefore amateur license applications were excluded from the collection of fees,” ARRL said on November 16 in its formal comments on the proposal. “Similarly, a decade later when regulatory fees were authorized, the Amateur Service was excluded, except for the costs associated with issuing vanity call signs.” The new statutory provisions are similar. Amateur radio license applications are not addressed in the application fees section and explicitly excluded from regulatory fees,” ARRL said, and there is “no evidence of any intent by Congress to change the exempt status of amateur applications and instead subject them to new fees.”

ARRL argued that the FCC has explicit authority to waive the fees if it would be in the public interest, and should do so for the Amateur Radio Service. Unlike other FCC services, the Amateur Radio Service is all volunteer and largely self-governing, with examination preparation, administration, and grading handled by volunteers, who submit licensing paperwork to the FCC, ARRL pointed out.

“Increasingly, the required information is uploaded to the Commission’s database, further freeing personnel from licensing paperwork as well as [from] day-to-day examination processes,” ARRL said. “The addition of an application fee will greatly increase the complexity and requirements for volunteer examiners.”

The Communications Act, ARRL noted, also permits the FCC to accept the volunteer services of individual radio amateurs and organizations in monitoring for rules violations. In 2019, ARRL and the FCC signed a memorandum of understanding to renew and enhance the ARRL’s Volunteer Monitor program, relieving the Commission of significant time-consuming aspects of enforcement.

These volunteer services lessen the regulatory burden — including the application burden — on the Commission’s resources and budget in ways that licensees in other services do not, ARRL said.

Amateur radio’s role in providing emergency and disaster communication, education, and other volunteer services also justifies exempting radio amateurs from FCC application fees. For example, ARRL noted, last year more than 31,000 participated as members of the ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES), and local AREA teams reported taking part in more than 37,000 events, donating nearly 573,000 volunteer hours, providing a total value of more than $14.5 million.

Amateur radio also has motivated many students to develop critical science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills. ARRL noted that the Amateur Radio Service contributes to the advancement of the radio art, advances skills in communication and technology, and expands the existing reservoir of trained operators, technicians, and electronics experts — all expressed bases and purposes of the Amateur Radio Service.

“Accomplishing these purposes entails working with young people, many of whom may have difficulty paying the proposed application fees of $50, $100, or $150,” ARRL said. “The $150 fee would be the cost of passing the examinations for the three amateur license levels in three examination sessions,” ARRL said. “Such multiple application fees to upgrade would dampen the incentive to study and demonstrate the greater proficiency needed to pass the examinations for the higher amateur classes.”

ARRL concluded that the FCC should exercise its authority to exempt amateur radio from application fees generally. If the FCC cannot see its way clear to waive fees for all amateur radio license applications, the fees should be waived for applicants aged 26 years and younger. Such individuals, ARRL contended, have the most to contribute to the future of radio technology and other STEM-related activities and are the most likely to find the proposed application fees burdensome.

Kudos to one of our own: Angelo Dragone / N6QAD, Emergency Coordinator for La Honda, led the SC4ARES team 24/7 through thirteen days of emergency communications during August’s disastrous mountain fires. The SC4ARES team has been recognized in the following November resolution by San Mateo County.

Thanks, Lisa Chupity / W6LSC, Public Information Officer, for this reference:


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
La Honda Fire Brigade
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

WHEREAS, on Sunday, August 16, 2020, a historic fierce lightning storm struck the Santa Cruz Mountains and sparked the CZU Lightning Complex fire; and

WHEREAS, the La Honda Fire Brigade is staffed by a dedicated corps of professional volunteer firefighters; Who have served the community of La Honda and the South Coast of San Mateo County since 1953; and

WHEREAS, the La Honda Fire Brigade staffed fire apparatus in anticipation of this forecasted weather event and monitored lightning strikes throughout the area and began aggressive fire patrols as the storm passed through the county; and

WHEREAS, the La Honda Fire Brigade located and controlled the 5-5 fire that imminently threatened the communities of Middleton Tract, Portola Heights and Portola Redwoods State Park the morning of August 16th working with CalFire E-1765, E-1781 and Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space Area Manager Craig Beckman using only hand tools and the water they could carry on their backs as the fire was over a mile hike from vehicular access in rugged and steep terrain; and

WHEREAS, the La Honda Fire Brigade worked cooperatively with the San Mateo County Parks Department, Menlo Park Fire Protection District, Woodside Fire Protection District, Redwood City Fire Department, North County Fire Authority, Midpeninsula Regional Open Space and CAL FIRE to establish and maintain a fire break on the Old Haul Road from the community of Loma Mar past Trestle Creek to the San Mateo County line; and

WHEREAS, the establishment and maintenance of the fire break on the Old Haul Road was critical to defending the southern portion of San Mateo County from the threat of wildfire; and

WHEREAS, the La Honda Fire Brigade patrolled the fire to monitor for hot spots and worked under the direction of Cal Fire Division K to control the Northern progression of the CZU fire for two days with the Kings Mountain Fire Brigade, Loma Mar Fire Brigade, Menlo Park Fire Protection District, San Mateo County Parks, and CalFire; and

WHEREAS, the La Honda Fire Brigade responded throughout San Mateo County in the subsequent weeks to many reported fires from the Southern County line to the City of San Bruno; and

WHEREAS, the La Honda Fire Brigade aided by SC4ARES Ham radio group, South Coast CERT, South Skyline CERT, Coastside CERT and the San Mateo County Large Animal Evacuation Group provided firefighting resources, emergency incident communications, animal evacuations and logistical support to firefighters working the Fireline on the Old Haul Road during the incident at no cost to San Mateo County or the State of CA.; and

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Supervisors of San Mateo County hereby recognizes, commends, and is grateful to the members of the La Honda Fire Brigade for their heroic effort to combat the CZU Lightning Complex of August 2020.

Dated: November 17, 2020






Attest: __________________________________
Deputy Clerk of the Board of Supervisors

Initial Steps in Emergency Communications (EmComm) Training :

There are two online classes offered by ARRL that are worthy of your time — Introduction to Emergency Communications (EC-001), and Public Service and Emergency Communications Management for Radio Amateurs (EC-016). Both are accessible on the Canvas platform, and are available 24/7. Details are here http://www.arrl.org/online-course-catalog

Winlink: there’s a tremendous amount of information available as to the operation of this integrated RF and internet-based system. Fortunately, there’s a quick start; a reference that will have you up and running in a short time — https://www.mcaraweb.com/resources/Documents/WinlinkEmailPrimer.pdf.

Just register at https://www.winlink.org/ and download the client application, which works with Apple and Windows operating systems. Pay careful attention to the instructions regarding the Telnet function.

Using only these references, I was able to participate in the American Red Cross drill that took place on November 14, 2020. This was a practice exercise in its entirety, emphasizing the Red Cross form ARC-213. Here’s a confirming electronic message that I received through the Winlink server, and entirely through Telnet.

Winlink has automatically forwarded this message…

Subject: ACK: ARC 213-DR#: ARCDRILL1120, Red Cross Message Drill, Msg#:
001, Routine
Message ID: XWSC 2K17
Date: 2020/11/14 16:47
To: NV6W

[message acknowledgement]

The following message was received by ARCPACIFIC

Subject: ARC 213-DR#: ARCDRILL1120, Red Cross Message Drill, Msg#: 001,
Sender: NV6W
Received: 2020-11-14 16:17 UTC
Acknowledged: 2020-11-14 16:47 UTC
Message-ID: T5BQBHFDY07Y
Number of attachments: 1
Size: 1142

[No changes or editing of this message are allowed]

A summary of the proceedings in their entirety appears here google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=1Ep-rXb_aOExZAZSlXb0Jx6DRyRuqgfp4

Here’s another confirmed contact that was initiated through Winlink Telnet. What might appear as a trivial email message is proof that the system actually works —

Winlink has automatically forwarded this message…

Subject: FL WL NET REPORT – 11/10/2020 – 194 CHECK INS – 84 STATIONS
Date: 2020/11/10 15:45
From: KK4SHF
To: NV6W
Source: KK4SHF

– – Here is your FL WL Net W4AKH, Rpt: 11/10/2020 9:39:13 AM
TOTAL Check-ins: 194
TOTAL Stations: 85

Detailed Report can be found at the usual place: https://johnsails.com/RADIO/W4AKHNET/W4AKHrpt.txt (We put detail report on web site to shorten report message) Map also available at this URL. A very wide geographical coverage for the net. Could be helpful in an emergency.

*Note make sure the date is correct on the website. If cached in your Browser, reload page [F5] Any questions, suggestions to KK4SHF and/or KM4UFN

VARA= 62
(VHF)= 1
Includes types:
P2P= 10 (It was tough – for us – this week with weather)
[Forms Attached]= 7


Thanks to all for checking in. This is also a practice net. Practice Forms too. Participants are testing antennas, checking batteries , generators, rigs, prop, everything.

Anyone, anywhere, any time, any day welcome to check into the net. We will accumulate ALL check-ins Tuesday morning after 9am. ALL invited.

Best to all, Stay safe, and exercise…


For a more in-depth discussion of Winlink and other training areas, check out these references, courtesy the Monterey County ARES and Tim Takeuchi / W6TST. https://www.mc-ares.org/ham-test-training-resources


Until next month, be safe, and enjoy the holidays with your families.