Welcome to the Santa Barbara Amateur Radio Club

aspenWelcome, and thanks for visiting our 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 or at the Club Station on Saturday mornings.

Photo caption: Repeaters are the backbone of our local communication systems. SBARC operates numerous repeaters that are open and free to use, including one on Diablo Peak on Santa Cruz Island, which our team accesses with the help of Aspen Helicopters.

Buy, Sell or Trade Radio Gear NEW! Radio Equipment Auctions

March 31, 2022 - Online Auctions

Our new auction feature is now live. This is where you will find the best donations such as radios, test equipment, etc. We will begin adding items as we receive new gear. Just log in normally and you will see an item in the sidebar titled "Members Only Functions". Under this section you will see a link for "Auction Items". You can bid on timed items similar to eBay. Check in frequently and see what shows up!

March 25, 2022 - Website Membership System Upgrade

We have completed an upgrade of our membership system and joining SBARC or renewing your memberships has changed. This is all documented on this page: https://www.sbarc.org/renew-membership/. Pleas take a few minutes and see what's new!

The Santa Barbara Amateur Radio Club is a 501(c)(3) non-profit public benefit corporation. Our public service efforts and emergency communications infrastructure are supported by donations from our members and the community. Your tax deductible contributions help ensure our continued success

SBARC Designated Emergency Frequencies

  • SBARC Main Repeater Output 146.79 / Input 146.19 PL 131.8
  • In the event the repeater is not working, use 146.79 SIMPLEX
  • Also monitor 146.52 SIMPLEX

We also maintain a list of local frequencies used by first responders and emergency services. These are useful for programming consumer grade scanners. Please click here.

 



General Club Meeting – May 20, 2022 IN-PERSON

Old Time RadioThe big news is that we will be having an in-person meeting for the first time in well over 2 years. And, for our first meeting, we will be celebrating Old Timers Night. Old Timers Night is an annual event that occurs at our May SBARC Club Meeting. It is a special time where we can once more meet and greet our “most experienced” amateurs. These folks have paid their dues and are entitled to boast about all their experiences in the great hobby of Amateur Radio.

Since it has been so long since we last had a “real” meeting, we’re not having a formal program this month. It will be more of an open house style so old friends can visit and catch up. Hopefully everyone will have a good time.

We are not going to require masks or proof of vaccination. Please keep in mind that many of our members have health concerns and manage their risks very carefully. So please use your best judgement with regard to masking, distancing, personal contact and be considerate of others.

 

SBARC General Club Meeting
Friday, May 20, 2022 at 7:30 PM
Goleta Union School District Board Room
401 North Fairview Avenue in Goleta

We hope to see you all at the meeting!

Post expires at 1:13am on Saturday May 21st, 2022 but will still be available on Club News page.

Whole House Surge Protection

Most of us have expensive and sensitive electronic equipment such as radios, power supplies, amplifiers, antenna tuners, and various other pieces of amateur radio gear. Hopefully, most of us also use some sort of surge protection on any of these devices that are exposed to normal AC house power.

Of course, most of us also have computers and we have long been aware that these need surge protection to protect precious data. Unfortunately, for a lot of us, this is about as far as our surge protection efforts go.

Over the past couple of years, we have experienced numerous “planned service interruptions” by Southern California Edison. At last count, mine have totaled 12 since January 2020. Don’t even mention the number of unexpected outages! On more than one occasion voltage surges when power is restored on have damaged my electronics. I have a “smart home” with about 60 remote controlled switches and outlets that are especially vulnerable. Usually when I experience a problem after an outage, it involves reprogramming the switch or outlet. Unfortunately, sometimes the device gets fried and replacements are generally $50+.

Just about everything has some sort of “computer” in it. Last year, after a planned power outage, the main computer board in my Sub Zero refrigerator got fried and a lot of our food spoiled. Luckily I was able to troubleshoot the problem and buy a replacement main board for around $200 and replace it myself. Had it been necessary to call in a Sub Zero trained technician, the cost would have been more than $1200! After this event, I bought a surge protector specifically designed for refrigerators.

I started taking an inventory of everything in my house that used sensitive electronics and realized there were many more items potentially exposed to surge related failure. These include washers and dryers, water softeners, dishwashers, clocks, televisions, stereo components, furnaces, and the list goes on and on. Many of these devices are hard wired and it would be difficult to provide surge protection for each one.

The obvious solution would be some sort of whole-house surge protection. After some research, I found that whole house surge protection would be much easier and far less expensive than I anticipated. What I decided to go with is a simple 2 pole circuit breaker installed in my main electrical panel.

I have Eaton Panels and sub-panels, so I purchased the above surge protector from Amazon for around $75. Eaton uses a very common breaker style and this surge protector is also compatible with most panels from Siemens, Crouse-Hind, Square D, and Cutler Hammer.

My main panel is out by the street and housed the meter and a master shut-off. At the house I have 4 sub panels, one of which acts as the main feed panel with breakers for the other 3 sub panels.  This panel also has a phase coupler used for wireline signals in home automation.

Thant’s all there is in this box, so there is plenty of room. As this is the entrance panel, this is the perfect place for the surge protector. There is also a ground rod immediately below this panel so the path to ground is short.

DISCLAIMER: I have many years experience working with “hot” panels. DO NOT attempt this upgrade yourself unless you know what you are doing. Call a licensed electrical contractor to do the work. Let him get electrocuted instead of you!

Here is the inside of the panel. You will not likely be as lucky as I am to have this much room to work and as many spare spaces on the 240vac buss. That is all the more reason to call an electrician to install the surge protector. If your panel is full your electrician can install some piggyback breakers and free up some space.

After clearing out the spiders, I’ll install the surge protector under the the phase coupler. There is also an easily accessible neutral buss on the left to hook up the surge protector neutral wire.

The surge protector installs like any circuit breaker. It has a white coiled neutral wire that needs to be connected to the neutral buss so the surge protector has a path to ground in case of a voltage surge.

The bottom two photos show the surge protector installed and everything put back together again. The surge protector has a green LED that indicates it is working. You should check the LED regularly and replace the surge protector if the LED is not lit. This now adds whole house surge protection for most normal surge conditions. Total time was less than 15 minutes.

 

 

 

Post expires at 4:38pm on Tuesday May 31st, 2022 but will still be available on Club News page.

Bill Talanian, W1UUQ Joins the Ranks of The All Eight Club

SBARC Trustee Emeritus has set foot on each of the eight California Channel Islands

Talanian visited San Clemente and San Nicolas Islands on Tuesday. (courtesy photo)

Bill Talanian, W1UUQ has set foot on each of the eight California Channel Islands. The SBARC Trustee Emeritus visited San Miguel and San Clemente Islands this week checking off the last two islands on the list in his quest to visit each of the coastal outposts, an accomplishment that few can claim. More people have actually been to the International Space Station than have set foot on all eight Channel Islands.

Marla Daily, a California Channel Islands research historian and president of the Santa Cruz Island Foundation, founded the All Eight Club to recognize those who have achieved the feat. Visiting all eight islands is not a simple task. Each requires different visitation arrangements. Five of the eight islands comprise Channel Islands National Park and are open to the public, while two, San Clemente and San Nicolas Islands are controlled by the U.S. military.

“Soon after passing my 90th birthday, I finally got to join the exclusive All Eight Club,” said Talanian. “Perhaps I am only the second SBARC member after Ken Owen, N6KTH, of Channel Islands Restoration. In actuality I have nine islands after spending two days on the little known Rincon Island.”

Members of the All Eight Club. include biologists anthropologists, botanists, ornithologists, zoologists, educators, helicopter and fixed wing pilots, a retired National Park superintendent and park employees, a museum director, a lichenologist, a photographer, a retired judge, and a sea captain. According to Daily, it is the most exclusive recognized geographic club in the world with membership in the low 200s—a tenth of the famous 7 Summits Club.

Listen to “Little Known Club On South Coast has Unique Admissions Test; You Must Visit All 8 Channel Islands” a 2018 KCLU story on the All Eight Club.

We’re almost halfway to our scholarship fundraising goal!

Donate Now

*** Be sure to allocate your donation to the “Scholarship Fund” box. ***

In 2021, the Board of Directors created the Santa Barbara Wireless Foundation Scholarship Fund to provide annual support to high school seniors with excellent academic records who plan to study Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) in higher education. Each year, the Scholarship Committee will select one or more high school seniors who will receive up to $1,000 to support their undergraduate studies.

This scholarship is funded entirely through contributions made to the Santa Barbara Wireless Foundation Scholarship Fund. Tax-deductible contributions to the Scholarship Fund may be made by clicking here. Learn more and apply at scholarships.sbwireless.org.

While not requirements, preference is given to applicants who are graduating from a high school in Santa Barbara County and who hold an active FCC amateur radio license.

The SB Wireless Foundation Scholarship Fund supports SBARC and SB Wireless’ missions to develop and support an organized and comprehensive educational program in our local communities.

Thank you for your support,

Levi C. Maaia, K6LCM
Scholarship Committee Chair