ARRL East Bay Section

Archive for the 'Youth' Category

ARRL Field Day 2014 is at Hand, and Everyone is Invited!

Posted by ks6m on 19th June 2014

If you have not already made plans to get on the air for ARRL Field Day 2014, tick-tock, tick-tock. It’s just days away, but it’s not too late to participate. Field Day 2014 is Saturday and Sunday, June 28 and 29. Field Day is the year’s most popular operating event, and more than 35,000 radio amateurs will be setting up stations — sometimes multiple stations — in the field, at campsites, in public parks, and even on their decks or in their backyards to get in on the fun. Think of it as the first weekend of Amateur Radio’s summer. Last year, more than 2500 stations submitted entries.

Field Day is primarily a group activity, though, and if you’re not yet on the roster to operate from your club’s Field Day site, volunteer now! If you don’t belong to a club or don’t know if there’s a Field Day operation setting up in your area, check the Field Day Locator to find one. Clubs welcome new operators, especially if they are willing to take the graveyard (overnight) shift or other less-desirable time slots or if they bring some special talent or expertise to the picnic table — top-notch CW proficiency, satellite expertise, or antenna skills.

If you’d rather just stay at home, you can operate your own station as is, and work stations in the field, or you can set up to operate from an emergency power source, such as a generator, batteries, or solar panels, and work everyone else. Field Day got its start in the 1930s as an emergency communication exercise, and that tradition continues today. Some stations will be on the air from emergency operations centers.

The object is simple: To work as many stations as possible on any and all Amateur Radio bands — excluding 60, 30, 17, and 12 meters — and to learn to operate in less-than-optimal conditions. The camaraderie is special, and there’s a place for operators at all skill levels — from newbies and even prospective licensees to grizzled veterans.

Find your place at Field Day 2014, and enjoy Amateur Radio to the max!

Source: The ARRL Letter for June 19, 2014

Posted in Contesting, Emergency Communications, Field Day, Operating, Volunteer, Youth | Comments Off on ARRL Field Day 2014 is at Hand, and Everyone is Invited!

Upcoming ARISS Educational QSO in East Bay Section

Posted by ks6m on 11th November 2013

An Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (“ARISS”) educational contact will take place this week in the ARRL East Bay Section. The contact will be direct with students at Rancho Romero Elementary School in Alamo (Contra Costa County). (“Direct” ARISS contacts are entirely Amateur Radio simplex in both directions, without the terrestrial telephone linking used in “telebridge” contacts.) It is scheduled to occur on Wednesday morning, November 13, beginning as early as 1941 UTC (11:41 am PST). The session cannot last more than about ten minutes due to the motion of the space station.

During a typical ARISS contact, students at the school transmit questions on the International Space Station’s Amateur Radio 2-meter uplink frequency, with a licensed ham present and serving as control operator. The questions, which are prepared and sent to the space station in advance, are then answered by a ham-radio-licensed ISS astronaut, transmitted on the ISS downlink frequency. (The ISS uses its US callsign NA1SS for transmissions over the US.) Amateurs on the ground cannot hear the uplink transmissions unless they are very close by, but with a good 2-meter antenna it will be possible to hear the downlink transmissions from the ISS from anywhere in the SF Bay Area.

To listen in, tune your receiver to downlink frequency 145.800 MHz FM. It is a good idea to turn the squelch off, resulting in “hiss” but also maximum sensitivity to the signal. You will not hear the students asking questions on this frequency, only the astronaut answering them. You should not transmit during this event to avoid interfering with this educational experience for the students. This will be a good opportunity to listen in and interest other non-hams in the hobby and service of Amateur Radio as the students talk with the astronauts.

Tim Bosma, W6MU, from the San Francisco Section, is the ARISS Technical Mentor coordinating the contact.

Here is some background information provided by the school:

“Rancho Romero Elementary School (“Rancho”) serves a population of 10,000 in Alamo, California, about 25 miles east of San Francisco. Rancho Romero is committed to STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math] education and is working with alumna and licensed amateur radio operator Rebecca Rubsamen KJ6TWM [to] install a permanent satellite communications station in the Rancho science lab. The satellite ground station will provide a laboratory environment where students and faculty can explore concepts from basic orbital mechanics and basic radio theory.

“The Rancho satellite station is being specifically designed to be accessible over the internet by partner schools in our larger community who lack the resources to have this type of equipment available on their site. Rancho Romero will be working with other schools in its network to encourage faculty to make use of this link to access the satellite station for classroom demonstrations at their campuses by accessing one of the many orbiting amateur radio satellites.

“Pre-contact activities have featured presentations by Camilla SDO, NASA’s mascot for the Solar Dynamics Observatory and retired astronaut James Van Hoften who will talk about manned space flight.”

Here are proposed questions for the contact generated by the Rancho Romero Elementary School students and distributed by AMSAT:

  1. How much were you allowed to bring with you for your 6 month stay on the ISS?
  2. What is your specific job as a crew member?
  3. What kind of experiments do you do, and which one has been your favorite?
  4. Are there any animals (including insects) on board?
  5. How do you recycle water?
  6. As a child, were you very interested in science?
  7. How many minutes per day do you need to exercise to keep your bones strong?
  8. What are the long-term effects of microgravity?
  9. How do you keep track of what day it is?
  10. How do you take care of daily housekeeping chores, like doing laundry and taking out the trash?
  11. How does Earth look from space, and do you have a favorite view?
  12. How do you sleep in the space station, and is it comfortable?
  13. How do the docking ports on the ISS work?
  14. Does your heart beat faster or slower in space?
  15. How do you communicate with family and friends at home?
  16. How do you store food on the ISS, and do you ever get fresh fruit and veggies?
  17. What are your sources of entertainment on the ISS?
  18. How did you feel when the rocket to the ISS took off?
  19. What is your favorite moment in space so far?
  20. What do you miss the most from Earth?


James R Latham AF6AQ
Section Manager, ARRL East Bay Section
John Rabold KS6M
Section Emergency Coordinator, ARRL East Bay Section

Posted in Satellite, Youth | Comments Off on Upcoming ARISS Educational QSO in East Bay Section

Ham radio story on (broadcast) radio

Posted by ks6m on 3rd August 2012

The East Bay Section’s Technical Coordinator Kristen McIntyre K6WX and her son Christopher KG6SVI were among those interviewed August 2 on KALW-FM about the magic of Amateur Radio. The story touches on ham radio topics such as CW, youth, DX, the unpredictability of propagation, and emergency communications.

This interview neatly sidesteps a common problem with media stories about ham radio: in most cases the journalist is clueless about our hobby. Apply the Walter Cronkite solution: in this case, the reporter is himself a ham, Mike Meenan ND6MM.

Read and listen to this story.

John Rabold KS6M
Section Emergency Coordinator, ARRL East Bay Section

Posted in Emergency Communications, Field Day, Operating, Press Release, Public Service, Section News, Youth | Comments Off on Ham radio story on (broadcast) radio

Local ARISS school contact on March 5

Posted by ks6m on 3rd March 2012

On Monday, March 5, there will be an ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) contact with Dilworth Elementary School in San Jose. The contact will begin within a few minutes of 1833 UTC (10:33 am PST) on March 5 and may last as long as ten minutes.

During this pass the ISS (International Space Station) will travel across Bay Area skies from southwest to northeast. It will reach a maximum elevation of about 62 degrees, at which time it will be northwest of the zenith.

You may be able to hear the transmissions from the ISS in the SF Bay Area during this contact. To listen to the ISS downlink traffic, in which an astronaut will reply to student questions, tune to 145.800 MHz FM. Do not transmit.

The contact will be direct between NA1SS (one of the spacecraft’s ham call signs) and Don Anastasia AA6W. Tim Bosma W6MU is the ARISS mentor coordinating the contact with the school.

The Dilworth ARISS contact is taking place during the Destination Station exhibit at the nearby Tech Museum. The 4th and 5th grade students are involved in a space probe project. The 5th graders have taken a NASA-related field trip. On the day of the contact, the school is expecting Amateur Radio operators to give a presentation of how the equipment works. Immediately following the ARISS contact, the students will participate in breakout sessions (grouped by grade level) to participate in activities related to space and/or Amateur Radio. The students will make a movie of their experience which will also include student–to–student interview segments.

Posted in Satellite, Youth | Comments Off on Local ARISS school contact on March 5

KID’S CLUB Amateur Radio Exposure Units

Posted by af6aq on 14th September 2010

Hello Everyone:

Ryan is kind enough to post this announcement for your attention.

I started a project over eleven years ago now to expose hospitalized children and their families to the joys of amateur radio in an easy to manage, attractive way. This project started out with KID’S CLUB amateur radio exposure units. I gave a KID’S CLUB unit to a pediatric cardiologist who is also an amateur radio operator to supervise its use for the hospitalized children in Tampa Children’s Hospital. Since that first placement over eleven years ago, the project has grown, but no further units have been placed in children’s hospitals or Ronald McDonald Houses.

I have expanded this project greatly. The KID’S CLUB aspect of the project now has a “ComCage” unit also. The hospitalized children and their families can now be given a choice to take home a KID’S CLUB amateur radio exposure unit, or a “ComCage” amateur radio exposure unit after a monetary deposit is made with Child Life staff in the children’s hospital or Ronald McDonald House. After the young patient and his/her family enjoys the unit at home, the patient could purchase the unit by forfeiting the deposit, or return the unit to the hospital or Ronald McDonald House for a return of his/her deposit.

I have a neat video of the demonstration KID’S CLUB unit on the project blog at: .  I also have pictures of the prototype “ComCage” unit. Future ComCage units will be attractive, much smaller and lighter than the un-attractive,big and heavy prototype unit you see in the blog. However, the functionality will still be the same- everything to get on the air would be in this portable unit on wheels, including the fact that the ComCage unit can act as it’s own support for the antennas and mast during use.

I am searching for sponsors for this project to place the KID’S CLUB unit and/or ComCage units in your local children’s hospitals and Ronald McDonald Houses and supervise their use.  This would make a great club project.  I would be overjoyed to donate my demonstration KID’S CLUB unit to you if you have Child Life Specialists or local Ronald McDonald House staff in your local area willing to give this project a try.  You can feel free to contact me or Ryan. My email address is:  Thanks very much and I certainly hope for your interest in getting this started in your areas.

Sincerely yours,
Duane Wyatt WA0MJD

Posted in Public Service, Youth | Comments Off on KID’S CLUB Amateur Radio Exposure Units