URAC February Meeting

There was a good member turnout at the February URAC meeting, held in the LAMM Break Room. Following fomalities, our speaker for this evening was my Dad, Dr. Jacques Linder, who gave us a very interesting talk on Astronomy. We learned of telescopes in use today, and future telescopes we’ll see in coming years. He presented photos taken from the Hubble Space Telescope and from the W.M.Keck Observatory (near the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii). He showed how telescopes work with the lenses that are used.

First URAC Meeting of 2015

There was a moderate showing for URAC’s January meeting in the LA Maritime Museum Break Room. Commencing as usual at 7:00pm, our guest speaker was Howard Rogers, KF6NOR.

This was a very interesting look into a battery’s chemical makeup, how to charge depending upon type, what type to use depending upon purpose, and how to maintain personal safety with their use. Presented were the many types and how they function, with explanation of the appropriate selection for space craft vs cars, cameras vs flashlights, etc.

Thank you, Howard, for a Great Talk!

howard-rogers-KF6NOR

URAC November 2014 Meeting at the VTS/Marine Exchange

Fifteen URAC members and guests attended the November meeting. Held at the Marine Exchange of Southern California which, in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard, runs the Vessel Traffic System (VTS), refreshments of cookies from Scotty K6ZNL and coffee from our host were provided.

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Following official business, which included election of officers for 2015, our Guest speaker was Capt J Kipling (“Kip”) Louttit, Marine Exchange Executive Director.

Rich in history going back to the early 1900s, Capt Louttit gave lots of detailed information on how the Marine Exchange evolved to keep ships at sea safe as they enter and leave the port, as well as tidbits concerning its location on old Fort MacArthur.

“From horseback runners and lookouts waving signal flags and using flashing signal lights — to today’s highly professional MX-VTS technicians operating state-of-the-art electronic radar tracking equipment, radio communications and computer database functions — the Marine Exchange of Southern California has evolved into one of the world’s foremost such organizations, becoming a world-class entity serving the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, El Segundo, San Diego and Port Hueneme as well as the maritime business communities throughout the Southern California region.” (http://www.mxsocal.org/Our-History.aspx)

Following the presentation, we visited the Control Center upstairs to observe the VTS in operation. It was a spectacular evening for viewing the port and ship activity.

With park gates to close and lock at 10:pm, the last of our guests didn’t depart until almost ten; a sure sign of a most interesting evening.

A Big Thank You to Captain Louttit for his hospitality, presentation, and tour of his operation!!

marine-exch2

October 2014 URAC Meeting

There was good attendance Friday night for URAC’s October meeting, held in the LA Maritime Museum’s Break Room. It was quite interesting. Our speaker, Brian Thorson from Edison, gave a talk on RFI (Radio Frequency Interference). He had a very nice powerpoint presentation and a few noise making demos as well. There were plenty of Q&As after the meeting.

Tall Ship Festival 2014

This past week was the Festival of Tall Ships in the Port of Los Angeles. There was a nice selection of Tall Ships present and, from what I heard, it was a big success with thousands visiting the ships. The SS Lane Victory was moved from its regular mooring to just behind the USS Iowa, and both ships were quite packed with visitors.

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Along with many others, I enjoyed a Harbor Cruise which provided a nice close up look at the ships. An added bonus was the Big Rubber Ducky which was towed down the channel. The Harbor Cruise was a terrific way to see the ships. As in years past, the Tall Ships were really nice to see.

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URAC Welomes the visit of the USS Anchorage LPD-23 and USS Spruance DDG-111 for Navy Days

We all welcome the US Navy to San Pedro, with the USS Spruance and the USS Anchorage on display for Navy Days. To control access, reservations were required to tour the ships. The reservations were free, and as anticipated all had been given away. One of the fortunate ones, I was able to procure tickets to visit the ships in the morning with a friend. Here are 2 Pictures of the visiting ship of the Best Navy in the World. Pictures taken from Harbor Cruise on Fiesta Harbour Cruises.

USS Anchorage LPD-23
USS Anchorage LPD-23
USS Spruance DDG-111
USS Spruance DDG-111

K6AA Field Day 2014 Results

Call Used: K6AA     GOTA Station Call: K6ZNL     ARRL/RAC Section: LAX     Class: 2A

Participants: 30     Club/Group Name: “URAC” United Radio Amateur Club

Power Source(s): Generator

Power Multiplier: 2X

Bonus Points:
100% Emergency power          200
Media Publicity               100
Set-up in Public Place        100
Information Booth             100
NTS message to ARRL SM/SEC    100
W1AW Field Day Message        100
Satellite QSO completed       100
Youth participation            40
Youth operators=2
Youth participants=2
GOTA Bonus                      0
Submitted via the Web          50
Total Bonus Points               890

Score Summary:
CW   Digital  Phone  Total
Total QSOs    1332     0      150
Total Points  2664     0      150    2814   Claimed Score = 5,628

Submitted by:
Jim Jerzycke, KQ6EA

First Saturday Breakfast – July 2014

Surprise, surprise … 15 people showed up on the day after the 4th for a gab fest with food at the Think Café. Not surprisingly, much of the talk was about Field Day. Here are some of the high (and low) lights:

Homer, K6HKT, reports that the LDG auto tuner he has previously shown to the group is finally installed. Regarding Field Day, he says he witnessed Steve (K6NT) & Ray (N6HE) operating CW together and marvels at the rhythm they can maintain.

Steve, K6NT, reports that Field Day was fun for him … the CW station made about 1300 Q’s. We reported to him that Gina’s (KF6MYQ) food was rumored to be the best in the ARRL LAX section.

Ivan, KB6ATT, also enjoyed Field Day, and “thanks to everyone who participated and helped out.” The phone part of the bands was challenging this year. He encountered numerous instances where he could hear another station but they could not hear him. (Others around the table, Doug included, agreed that this one way problem was not unique to us or to our location, others have noticed it too). He also mentioned that there had been talk of operating for the Californian QSO party (first weekend in October) and that he would be interested.

Sam, K1SL, is ‘here’. His ‘racing’ caddie has had an overheating problem when slowing down (!!) so he has installed two new fans under the hood.

Bruce, AG6BJ, has been battling an electrical interference problem at his home QTH, which affects all antennas except the double bazooka dipoles. He is continuing his investigations.

John, WA6SDK, enjoyed working the GOTA station at Field Day as well as working with Ivan on phone.

Bill, W6AJ, reports that unless he takes a test before the end of the month for an Airline Transport Pilot’s license, he will have to meet conditions that include going to a yet unspecified training school and being under 65 … so he is studying hard.

There was one test taker today for the GROL test (he passed both elements).

Doug, W6HB, updated us on the:

  • LA Council (he is our rep). The council is updating their website speakers list. ARALB is looking to coordinate amateur radio classes and may do it through the website also.
  • There is a HAM CON 2015 meeting here on July 26th. There will be no lottery drawing; instead, each paid admission will get 5 tickets to be treated like door prizes…no need for ticket sellers, just to coordinate the drawings.
  • The July 18th URAC meeting (The White Elephant Sale) will be back at the Maritime Museum. We cannot drive into the site to offload; however, if no one is parked there, you can drop off at the curb. Also you can pull into the drive just to the south of the museum to offload, but you cannot leave your vehicle there. Doug will not be able to make the meeting.
  • Possible food for the August get-together at the Point Fermin Lighthouse (for Lighthouse/Lightship Weekend): The caterer we have used for the last several years is moving out of state and will not be available. A possible alternative is the Jalisco Food Truck that can come to us and offer a Taco Bar on site. It comes highly recommended for the area. Doug is investigating, but the consensus of members present was that it sounded like a good idea.

Ana, (XYL of W6HB) had a scare last month with symptoms resembling those of a heart attack. She also shared stories of the possible effects of the new “Common Core Curriculum.” That set off much reminiscing in the group (remember Dick, Jane, and Spot?).

Gary, N6HMR, reported that his grandson ran afoul of a zero tolerance policy on guns because he repeated some information on the guns on the Battleship Iowa! He enjoyed Field Day and is on the CW team (see above).

Treva, N6HMS, shared information on converting photos to CD using a fast scan machine at Target or Sam’s Club.

Scotty, K6ZNL, enjoyed setting up, taking down, setting up and taking down again, the GOTA station for Field Day. This started a discussion on the sling shot device used to put up the Windom Antenna (see the K6AA website for photos of Doug using the sling-shot). Scotty and Tom will be on a cruise and miss both the July and August meetings.

Tom, KJ6JPZ, also enjoyed getting on the air at Field Day.

Nick, N6EFI, enjoyed and thanked everyone for making Field Day a success. He is gathering ‘stuff’ for the White Elephant Sale on 7/18.

Bill, W6AJ, won the breakfast certificate.

Respectfully submitted,

Scotty Butler, K6ZNL Still temporary Breakfast Scribe