The Santa Barbara Amateur Radio Club had a very successful contact with the
International Space Station on Tuesday, and I would like to share it with
you. If you have not done so already, visit www.n6kth.com/iss to view
videos, photos and news stories about the contact. The web site also goes
into some detail about how the contact was arranged (it was a bit unusual).
We had crystal clear communications, and most of the scouts were able to ask
their questions. It was also a great media event for SBARC. Check it out,
and check back often, because I am constantly updating it.
Many, many thanks goes to those who helped put the event together. I would
particularly like to thank Calli Marquez, KD6OVS.
PS. I apologize in advance for duplicating some of these address.
To: SBARC List Server
From: Bill Talanian, SBARC Telecommunications Services
Subject: Interference on 146.79 system
Since last April the LaVigia Hill 146.790 system has suffered from a
very low level inter-mod signal on the input frequency of 146.190
which created sporadic and intolerable interference. We have spent
hundreds of man hours in determining that our system was free of any
orders of signal mixing and spurious radiation. In addition, we went
through a number of corrective methods to eliminate any inter-mod
source such as antenna, corrosion, tower bolts, fences, rusty
hardware, and very near field antennas. Through some very unique
testing methods the test team was able to determine the offender
signal was an extremely low level signal barely above the noise
level. This occurred only when a signal appeared on 146.790. In
repeat mode this would reverberate and trash itself regardless of PL.
A unique DF arrangement indicated the signal was emanating from the
on-site cellular tower which is about 50' away. The dilemma was how
we could provide with 100% repeatable assurance to the cellular
engineers that something in their system was related to our problem.
Meanwhile to reduce the interference problem we transferred the
146.79 system to an alternate and lower antenna which did not excite
the source of interference. This antenna did not have the coverage of
the main antenna but was adequate.
This past Monday while on site I ran into a contractor who was doing
work for the cellular company. In our technical discussion I
concluded, "well let me show you how it all happens." Much to my
surprise the offender signal did not appear. So what changed? Without
knowing I left everything connected to our original antenna and for
the past several days asked for reports of interference. None came
in. For 5 months we had interference and now it was gone.
Andy Seibold, W6AMS, made contact with engineering personnel at the
cellular company and reports the following:
"I determined that they had, in the past few weeks, re-programmed
their site on the 850 MHz GSM side and changed channels. GSM channels
are 30 KHz wide and some are used for voice and some for data (GPRS
and EDGE), they could not tell me if the changes were permanent but
they claim that nothing else was done remotely to the tower and they
do not believe that anything else has changed."
While not conclusive we shall now wait and see what happens. Cellular
tower frequencies are way beyond our 2-meter communications spectrum,
however, it should not be automatically concluded that interference
of an inordinate order is not possible. Indeed we must look beyond
harmonically related problems and normal frequency mixes for
offenders. These may be just as problematic and much more difficult
to find when it involves a cell site.
Our THANKS go to the Super Tech Team of Calli (KD6OVS), Bruce
(N6OLT), Andy (W6AMS) with side assists from Ken (N6KTH), Mike
(N6QD), and Bruce (KF6RAI) and myself.
Lastly our thanks go to the great folks at Telewave, Inc. (San Jose)
who graciously exchanged our new collinear antenna at no cost for
another factory new antenna to help eliminate one potential source.
Hello SBARC members,
Once again this year, I thought I would post a request on the club listserver to ask if anyone out there has any easy-up canopies that we could borrow for Hamfest this Sunday, or knows anyone who might let us borrow theirs. We would like to use these for some booths we will have in the Grove. We have several but would like more. They are usually 10' x 10'.
These are so much easier for the setup and teardown crew to manage than the canopy frames graciously made available by the Elks that must be assembled. We always have to use some of those, but we try to minimize how many so as to make less work for the crew.
Please reply to this e-mail or call me at (805) 967-9313. Thanks for any help!
Dave Hackleman K6VML
2008 SBARC Hamfest Chair
Santa Barbara Amateur Radio Club Hamfest
SBARC Hamfest Flyer (includes schedule, map, and registration)
THE GREAT SBARC HAMFEST AND FAMILY REUNION FOR 2008-UPDATED
by Dave Hackleman, K6VML, Hamfest Chair
This year the Hamfest is Sunday, August 10, which is this Sunday, 8:30 am to 2:30 pm, outdoors on the grounds of Elks Lodge #613 in Goleta, located at 150 N. Kellogg Avenue, just off Calle Real between Patterson and Fairview. The parking lot has abundant space for our swap tables, as well as lots of parking space. When you arrive, please park on the mountain side of the building. The other side is reserved for Elks members. Overflow parking will be readily available on nearby streets.
Vendors and swappers, we want you! Come as early as you like and take all the time you need to set up. Call Dave K6VML at 805-967-9313 or e-mail me to reserve parking spaces in the swap area. The first space is free, additional are $10 each. If you don't reserve a space we may not be able to put you in the swap area, but you can still sell from your tailgate anywhere in the parking lot.
The Elks Grove offers a beautiful, shady area for eyeball QSO's with lots of picnic tables, a barbecue pit for the tri-tip and chicken barbecue, a drinks station, and games for young and old including-of course!-the Transformer Toss and QLF Contest. As always, bring your QSL card-plain, fancy, or whatever-and fill up Darryl KF6DI's bulletin board with them. Our expert panel will judge them, and game and QSL card contest winners all get nice prizes.
We will have a Transmitter Hunt open to all to participate-novice and veteran T-hunters alike. The winner gets an especially nice prize. And as always we will have a VE Session, after which you can enjoy the Hamfest!-contact Darryl at 805-969-2326 to preregister. See the flier on our website for more details. An ARRL representative or two will be on hand. Get to know them and let them know your views. And check out what's new at the SBARC Bookstore.
We are very glad to welcome back Eric Christensen K6EJC from Ham Radio Outlet in Burbank. Check out the store's catalog at www.hamradio.com. You say you wish you could buy various lengths of coax with the PL-259 connectors already installed? They've got 'em in the store waiting!
Roger KD6CNY and Kim Deane of Wired Communications in Scottsdale, Arizona will return with their wide assortment of connectors and cables. Chances are they have adapters you never knew existed! Look for them at www.wiredco.com.
Sal N6SPD and Dorothy De Franco from Avanti Activewear in the Monterey area will also return and provide personalized mugs, T-shirts, caps, and badges with your call or whatever you like on them. A cap is waiting with your name on it hi hi! Look them up at www.avantiactivewear.com.
Niel Borden of Global Imports in Orange County is returning with his LED flashlights, including a 5 watt LED and 7 watt rechargeable light, batteries, high quality green laser pointers (useful for the stargazers among us), magnifiers, toys, and so much more! We enjoyed having him last year and so did the kids!
A big welcome this year to Jim of the DX Store, coming from out Whittier way. You've heard of it before. Check out their website at www.dxstore.com where you will find antennas, wattmeters, Vibroplex keys, plus a whole lot more for DXers, and who isn't one?\
NDF Computer Surplus, from Garden Grove, will be here with great bargains including popular educational, children's, and game software. Not to mention DVD movies for all ages, accessories, and more. See them all at www.ndfcompsurplus.com.
Swiech Communications Systems comes to us from Temecula. Some of you may remember Gene Swiech was our guest speaker at a club meeting some years back. One of his offerings is a very affordable VHF beam, and he also makes excellent DF'ing antennas. Tell him what you need and he may have it or he'll make it for you!
And now for something completely different-the Alternative Craft demonstration. Santa Barbara's own Jeanne Sayre will demonstrate how anyone can paint surprisingly beautiful flowers or other objects using single brushstrokes. (Guys, if you want to try it, it's okay.)
Continuing with demonstrations, Pat and Chuck McPartlin and others from the local astronomy club, the Astronomical Unit (www.sbau.org), will return with their solar telescopes set up for public viewing. Come by and see what ol' Sol is up to. This time you just might see sunspots in the upper latitudes from Cycle 24.
Dan (N6PEQ) and Kristin (K6PEQ) Dankert will be on hand to demonstrate the newest ICOM HF rigs. He will put them on the air and let you have at it. Will he bring the IC-7000? The IC-756 Pro III? Or even the IC-7800? Stop by their booth and find out! You'll find Dan's product reviews and some very interesting links at www.n6peq.com.
Rod Fritz WB9KMO will again have our ever-popular Amateur Television and Robots demonstration. There's always something new in ATV, whether it's repeaters, equipment, or just finding better ways to do things. Rod will tell you how you can do ATV whatever your budget. For more info and to watch some interesting videos Rod put together go to www.youtube.com/user/wb9kmo.
And back by popular demand, AMSAT Area Coordinator and SBARC's own Ken Owen, N6KTH, will demonstrate making satellite contacts on his handheld during actual satellite passes. We get requests for this every year and Ken's enthusiasm for it is contagious. Check out his website at www.n6kth.com and click on the Satellites link for more information.
Come and see what's new with the ARES Van used for emergency communications and our nimble Rover vehicle that we use for public outreach. Both will be on hand for our antenna and alternate power needs during the Hamfest.
Along with the delicious barbecue, see the flier for neat prizes again this year including the Grand Prize ICOM IC-7000 HF to 70cm all mode transceiver. Buy your tickets for the Grand Prize and Secondary Prizes, and the barbecue, using the order form on the back side of the flier.
The first 100 orders will be entered into the Early Bird drawing for a Grundig G5 AM/FM/SW/SSB receiver, which is popular among hams for casual listening on the bands. Buy your prize and/or barbecue tickets by mail and you won't have to wait in line, and the ticket orders help us determine how many people to expect. When you arrive, we'll have your tickets ready for pickup in your preregistration packet.
Come a day or two before the Hamfest and enjoy a weekend in beautiful Santa Barbara. Make your room reservations early. Take in a show at the Gladwin Planetarium in the Natural History Museum. See the shops on the wharf, or walk along the breakwater at the Harbor. Or stroll the peaceful grounds of the Stow House and Goleta Depot Railroad Museum.
We hope you'll take away some nice prizes from our Hamfest. After you've had dessert and the prizes are all raffled and the Grand Prize is drawn, you'll be all set for the drive home. Do drive carefully. We'll see you in August!
Dave Hackleman, K6VML
2008 SBARC Hamfest Chair
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