SBCARA will be sponsoring a Ham Cram event on September 22 @ 8AM at the Morgan Hill Police Department training room (right side dbl doors when facing the front of the building).
Study sessions begins at 8AM and runs through 1 PM. Exams are from 1 PM – 4 PM.
Fee: Class and Test: $25. Test only: $14.
Registration required: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bring a photo ID, SSN, or FRN, and cash for fees. If you are testing for an upgrade, please bring a copy of your current license grant. I would recommend registering for your FCC FRN and bringing that. Just follow the instructions on the link provided.
This session is sponsored by Morgan Hill EOS, San Benito County Amateur Radio Association, and W5YI-VEC.
So, what is a ham cram? – A ham cram is where you go and study the test material for either the Technician or General Amateur Radio exam and then immediately take the exam following the study period. It is a fairly effective way for you to get your tech or general license in one day. Youth down to about 12 years old have also been very successful using this method.
But I don’t learn anything this way. I just learn to take the test! – That is true to an extent. I have always said the test is not really the test. Getting on the air is the test. Many people find the equipment intimidating or overwhelming. Some people take their test, pass, and yet never get on the air! We have great local clubs and groups that can help you with radio selection, programming, and getting you on the air. Just ask!
Get your own custom call sign plate in California? Really? No way. It has to be a total nightmare, right? You probably have to stand in endless lines at the DMV, only to be told you have the wrong form. And it probably costs way to much anyway.
Nope. Wrong on all accounts.
It is really quite easy, in spite of the horrific manner in which the DMV provides the information on their web site, all you really need to do is:
Check out the fees here ($20 for amateur radio plates).
Fill out online, or download and complete the form here.
Be sure to check “ORIGINAL” at the top of the form. Complete section 1. In section 2 you only check the box for Amateur Radio License, fill in your call sign, skip all the signature sections in section 2, and jump to section 5. Sign, date, and add your phone number and you are good to go.
Mail the form, a copy of your amateur license, and a check for the $20 to: DMV, SPU – MS D238, P.O. Box 932345, Sacramento, CA 94232-3450.
Wait about 4-5 weeks for your plates to arrive.
It is really that easy. And the plates do not have annual renewal fees like other custom plates. If you have questions you can call the DMV at 916-657-8035
It is that time of year again! Operators from MHARS, GVARC, and SBCARA will once again invade Christmas Hill Park in Gilroy, CA and operate (probably) 4A on the weekend of June 23-24. Stop by and check out what a larger amateur radio operation looks like. We will have multiple towers, dipoles, hexbeams, and yagi antennas as we operate 15, 20, and 40 meters on SSB, CW, and digital modes.
February 28, 2018 ARRL filed a petition with the FCC to expand Technician class band privileges significantly into the HF band for both phone and digital access. The proposal would open 3.900 to 4.000, 7.225 to 7.300, and 21.350 to 21.450. In addition there would be RTTY and digital privileges on 80, 40, 15, and 10 meters. Maximum power would remain 200 watts PEP.
Take a boat full of hams, gear, helicopters, fuel, and moxie, then push them out of a port in Chile and point them at the most remote island in the Pacific Ocean. That is the 3Y0Z Bouvet Island DXpedition 2018. They have already endured huge storms and a 6.6 earthquake on their journey. They have just arrived at the island and are making preparations for the landing and establishing camp. They should be on the air shortly. You can also check out their Facebook page here.
Set your calendars for December 11, 2017 as that is the kick off for the next <something> On The Air contest! Following the huge success of the National Parks on The Air contest from this past year, this new contest will include clubs from around the US which will operate from 16 NASA centers around the US. You can check out their web site for operational details. This looks like a really fun event. Check it out!
How about a new Field Day challenge? Welcome to Winter Field Day 2018, January 27-28, 2018. All you have to do is set up outside, in January, (If you want the points bonuses, and who doesn’t?) and make contacts that weekend. If you are so inclined, you may also operate from your cozy home shack, but what fun would that be? Check out the rules and points system here.
On Monday August 21st, from 1400-2200 UTC (6AM-3PM local time) there will be a total solar eclipse that will traverse the entire United States from Oregon to South Carlolina. It will cross 11 states at a speeds over 1,000 miles per hour.
A group called HamSCI is hosting the Solar Eclipse QSO Party. The pupose is to gather scientific data for Virginia Tech to study atmospheric propagation during the eclipse. If you are around on Monday, be sure to register your station, collect some QSO’s and turn in your logs.
One interesting aspect of the eclipse is that the sun rises and travels East to West, yet the eclipse crosses the US from West to East, entering the US at Oregon.
One last link is the American Astronomical Society page that has lists of safe and tested solar glasses that can be used to view the eclipse. There are unsafe glasses flooding the market. Do not mess with your peepers. If you do purchase some, make sure they are safe and from a reputable dealer.
Thank you to all that came out to support the MHARS, GVARC, SBCARA combined 2017 Field Day! We had a really great team that helped set up, feed, and operate this past weekend. This was the first year our group ran 24 hours for the event. We had several sleep on-site while others ran stations. The bands were very busy. 20 meters was a non-stop pile-up coast to coast. While we do this for fun, we still managed to wrack up over 300 contacts for the weekend. 20 metes was busy but 80 meters overnight was only slightly behind. Kudos to the overnight 80 meters team.
We ran 4A. Our station captains came well prepared with batteries and solar panels. Our antennas consisted of:
20 meter hex beam on 70 foot portable tower with rotator.
40 meter sloper off 50 foot crank up tower.
15 meter beam on push-up tower with rotator.
80 meter dipole between the 70 and 50 foot towers.
Some tallies for the weekend…
80 M – 107 contacts
40 M – 56 contacts
20 M – 115 contacts (+ about 30 CW contacts) for 135 total
15 M – 15 contacts
Arizona was the busiest state for us with 26 contacts.We covered over 60 sections.
We are already planning how we will improve for next year.
2017 Field Day is here! Join us on June 24-25 in Christmas Hill Park in Gilroy with members from GVARC, SBCARA, and the “We are not a club” club from Morgan Hill for 27 hours of Field Day. We will be operating 4A, with GOTA (Get On The Air).
If you would like to volunteer, please use the Field Day 2017 link and fill in the information for the shifts you would like to operate.
So… if you are new to amateur radio, or would like to find out more about it, stop by. Check out the map for the location in Christmas Hill Park…