Santa Barbara Amateur Radio Club

Welcome, and thanks for visiting our new website. The Santa Barbara Amateur Radio Club (SBARC) was established in 1920 and has operated continuously ever since. If you are a licensed Amateur Radio operator and not yet a member, we hope you will consider joining our club. If you are not yet licensed but have an interest in Amateur Radio, contact us, and we’ll help you get started! Better yet come meet our friendly members at one of our monthly club meetings

Please Take Our Survey

The Board of Directors would really like to know what aspects of the club and Amateur Radio in general are most important to you. This will help us discover what club members (and even non-members) want and will help guide our efforts in a productive direction. You will find the survey on the right in the sidebar of this page.



Digital Voice 2m Communications – First Impressions

If you get QST Magazine, it is hard to miss Yaesu’s push for their 2m/440 digital/analog radio offerings. They have been taking out 2 page ads right after the cover for some several months now. Yaesu  digital radios use the C4FM modulation method. It is currently only compatible with other Yaesu radios.

FT1DRYaesu’s base HT radio, the FT1DR, has become very reasonably priced, with most outlets selling them for less than $300. First, they are full featured dual band analog HT radios with all the features you would expect from Yaesu. But there’s more. A lot more. This radio also has digital capabilities, GPS, and APRS.

Levi K6LCM and I decided to take the plunge and order a pair of these powerful little radios. They operate just like any other quality HT on VHF and UHF analog so they are great for every day communications. Levi and I tried our first experiment with digital using simplex between his home QTH on the far western end of the ocean side of the Mesa, and my QTH on the far eastern end of the Riviera. Between us there are two hills to overcome, so we hooked our radios to our rooftop antennas and used 5 watts of power.

Wow! The first thing I saw was Levi’s callsign come up on my radio. His voice was completely natural and absolutely clear. No static, no background noise, just an absolutely clear voice as if he was next door.

There are all kinds of other cool features we have yet to experiment with, like seeing the other person’s location and relative distance. For now the bottom line here is that digital communications is not a gimmick. It really works. We’ll continue to explore the capabilities of these little radios and post more in the future.

If you want to learn more about digital voice radio, tune into the ATV Special Modes Net on Tuesday at 8:30pm. I will be discussing this more there this week.

January 2015 SBARC Club Meeting

3dprinter

3D printer in action

The January Club Meeting featured an interesting presentation by Julianne Walsh on 3D printing. She brought along a working 3D printer to demonstrate and a couple of “home brew” printers to show. 3D printing is going to be the revolution of the decade and will soon be able to print almost everything from tools to human organs. Thanks Julianne for the great presentation!

Remember to Renew Your Club Membership!

This is a good time to renew your club membership. If you have not joined the club yet, or let your membership lapse, this is a good time to do that too! Your club dues help support the substantial infrastructure the club offers including the repeaters as well as the club station. Membership is ONLY $24 a year. That is only $2 per month and your dues are very much needed and appreciated and helps the club keep everything up and running.

Remember… the board changed the policy on when dues can be paid. You can now pay your dues any time of the year and your “anniversary” date will be on the same date each year. So joining any time during the year will cover a full 12 months.