California Amateur Radio Service Net
P.O. Box 2340
Novato, CA 94948-2340
Frequency: 7.248 MHz
Monday-Friday, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Pacific Time
The purpose of this net is:
1. To handle emergency traffic
We listen for emergency and priority traffic during net operations. With the advent of cell phones,
the Internet, satellite communications, and other high-tech systems, most emergency communications
can be accommodated. However, experience has taught us that when we have earthquakes, floods,
and other catastrophic events, those systems may fail. Amateur radio operators can provide emergency
communications when this happens.
2. To exchange signal reports
As most amateur radio operators are aware, radio propagation changes from time-to-time often leaving
certain amateur bands unusable. One day, 40 meters can be open, and it is possible to work stations up
and down the Pacific Coast with no difficulty. The next day, the band can be closed to that particular
region, but it is possible to work stations at a greater distance. Because band openings are not always
predictable, it is helpful to listen to stations checking into a scheduled net to determine propagation.
3. To discuss technical matters concerning amateur radio
Telecommunications technology has changed dramatically over the years. Computer-based
systems have replaced conventional radio equipment at an incredible pace. In addition, band
allocations change, and the rules governing amateur radio operations are frequently updated.
The opportunity to discuss those matters on the air helps amateurs stay informed.
Emergency Power Test
On every Friday, we conduct an emergency power exercise to establish a communications network
throughout the State of California (and into neighboring states) in the event of a commercial power
failure or other catastrophic event. Amateur radio operators participate by using batteries, generators,
solar power, and other off-grid resources. This gives us an opportunity to test and evaluate our
Emergency Incident Worksheet
Sean, K6SCM, has forwarded an excellent overview on the ever-present danger from an electromagnetic
pulse attack that would paralyze our telecommunication systems, among other things:
Click Here for Link
Visit to Elecraft, Inc. Factory
On Monday, September 24, 2012, we visited the Elecraft factory in Watsonville, California.
David Shoaf , KG6IRW, conducted the tour, and we were really impressed with the friendly
people and the high quality products they produce.
Click Here for Photos
Click Here for Photos of Walt's, KM6MQ, Asembly of the KPA500
The CHAMP Missile
Sean, K6SCM, has provided a link to an interesting story on the new CHAMP missile that can
send out an EMP pulse to disable computer centers and other telecommunication targets of
Click Here for Link
Batteries for Emergency Power Applications
Lou, AD7UT, has written a very informative paper explaining the differences between various
batteries that are available to power your amateur radio equipment in the event of a commercial
Click Here for Lou's Paper
Solar Cycle 24 Begins
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Solar Cycle 24
began on January 3, 2008, when the first sun spot appeared in the sun's northern hemisphere.
Because the sun spot's magnetic field was reversed, NOAA scientists believe this marks the
end of Cycle 23, and the beginning of Cycle 24. A solar cycle is 11 years long. Thanks to
Lou, WA6DVK, for this propagation update.
Click Here for More Information
WLW, Cincinnati, AM Radio History
Dick, W6ZPE, has provided a link to a Web site that has the fascinating history of WLW AM
radio dating back to 1930 when the station first began operations. Imagine plate modulation
transformers that are 10 feet tall, and weigh 3,700 pounds each, and water-cooled transmitting
tubes more than 5 feet tall to broadcast a fully modulated 500 kW AM signal! How about an
800 foot vertical antenna guyed at the 400 foot level with bridge cables!
When you get to the end of the story, click on the "back to go!" bar in the bottom left-hand
corner of the page. You will be transported into another world of vacuum tube history
including valuable information (and pictures) on the early Altec Lansing Corporation.
Click Here for WLW Web Site
Phase Shift Technical Paper
Lou, K4KYW, has prepared an interesting paper explaining the implications of phase shift as it
relates to AC circuits. This is a very well written technical paper that will definitely help you
understand this complicated subject.
Click Here for Paper
National Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) High Frequency Interference Report
Pat, W6PDD, has provided a link to the recent NATO report concerning Radio Frequency
Interference (RFI) on the high frequency bands. RFI is a form of electronic pollution that can
interfere with military and commercial HF communications as well as amateur radio.
Click Here for Link
Peak Envelope Power
Bob, W6OPO, has tackled the subject of PEP, and produced a paper on this often discussed
measurement that is very enlightening. There are references, graphs and diagrams to help you
understand his explanation. Larry, WA6LUT, has contributed to Bob's effort, and helped
refine the article.
Click Here for the Article
Solar Flare Breaks 15 Year Record
Thanks to Mark, KG6OKI, we have an opportunity to see what the solar disturbances look
like graphically and visually. The video is really spectacular, and the graph shows that the peak
occurred about the same time we experienced RF blackouts on 40 meters (and other bands).
Click Here for Hyperlink
RF Exposure Compliance
When it is time to renew your amateur radio license, you will be asked to verify that your
radio station meets FCC guidelines concerning RF exposure. The guidelines were established
in 1997. Don, K6IOU, brought this subject to our attention recently when he forwarded
information regarding this important issue.
This is a test that you can perform yourself without the need for any test equipment. The
University of Texas Amateur Radio Club has established a Web site that allows you to make
the necessary calculations by completing a simple questionnaire. This is the entire test, and
you are not required to forward the results to anyone.
Click here for University of Texas Amateur Radio RF Safety Calculator
Steve, N6NKS, has created a Web site to document the many years he has spent tracking
down and recording whistlers and other very low frequency phenomena. You can hear what
he has recorded, and see pictures of the aurora displays that often accompany the low
frequency tones. Steve also offers a portable VLF receiver, and instructions so that you can
make your own discoveries.
Click here for www.spaceweathersounds.com
Amateur Radio on the Internet
Now you can listen to the California Amateur Radio Service on the Internet via streaming
audio. You can also listen to other amateur radio transmissions, including your own, for
audio tests, and signal strength reports. Thanks to Bob, N7ISU, for this information.
Click here to check it out
Is Your Antenna a "Cloudwarmer?"
Most amateurs believe that the higher their antenna, the better. However, an article
provided by Pat, W6PDD, suggests something different. In fact, antennas .1 to .25 wavelengths
above ground can provide reliable communications for stations within a radius of 0-300 miles.
Click here for the NVIS: Near Vertical Incidence Skywave article Pat furnished
Would you like to know what propagation will be like on the high frequencies in the future?
Thanks to Bill, AD6OV, we have learned about a Web site that provides such information.
Click here to visit SpaceWeather.com
When you hear us on the air, please take time to check in!
73, Dave, WA6YOC
Copyright © 2009-2014 David L. Wilner