Bill Talanian’s Presentation at the February 2015 General Meeting

If you missed the February 2015 General Meeting, you really missed out on a good presentation. Bill Talanian W1UUQ gave us a great presentation on the various repeaters we use in the Santa Barbara area. Most of us probably have no idea how sophisticated how Club communications backbones are, but in an hourlong presentation that went by way too fast, Bill gave us plenty of detail illustrated with pictures about the unbelievably sophisticated infrastructure we all take for granted when we press the transmit button on our radios. Starting with  the main repeater site on the Mesa, Bill took us on a guided tour through it’s humble beginnings with a couple of leaky shacks and equipment covered with blue tarps, to the sophisticated communications center it is today. His tour continued give us a behind the scenes look at La Cumbre Peak,  Santa Ynez Peak, Broadcast Peak, UCSB, and Santa Cruz Island. Most of us think our repeaters are only for 2m, 220 and 440 voice communications. Not so fast. Bill showed us many of the other things he and a handful of volunteers maintain on a constant basis. These include weather stations, APRS digipeaters, AIS reporting for maritime purposes, aviation, and many other things. One of the more interesting aspects of the presentation was how Bill and others have bartered and wheeled-and-dealed over the years to get the club access to literally hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of top quality equipment, towers, and whatever else it has required to make us a first class club. He is a master at horse trading and scavenging and fruits of his many years of work are largely unknown. If you missed this meeting, you missed one of the best presentations we have had. The amazing number of resources available to the club made possible through Bills hard work truly deserve our appreciation. You can listen to audio recording of the the meeting below. The presentation is 1 hour 37 minutes and you will need to stay on this page to ensure you do not interrupt playback.

Technical Mentoring and Elmering Net – February 5, 2015

There were some interesting discussions on last night’s net including K6HMD Eric’s issue he’s been experiencing with his iCom IC-7600 transceiver. It seems that Eric was attempting to set up FM split mode operations to access the K6TZ 6 meter repeater when he began seeing unexplained signals every 100 Khz at the same amplitude on the rigs spectrum analyzer. Even changing bands didn’t help. After a fair amount of troubleshooting Eric finally opted to reset the rig to factory specifications and the problem was solved, no more weird signals. Shackmaster Dave (K6HWN) offered a very plausible cause for the anomaly, while Eric was trying to set up split mode operations he may have pushed a button on the rig enabling the crystal calibrator. The calibrator would emit signals at specific intervals to calibrate the rigs frequency output by. Eric’s perusal of the operating manual didn’t offer up any information about a crystal calibrator being on-board the rig so he’ll contact the manufacturer. Tune in to the next Technical Mentoring and Elmering Net and hopefully learn the answer to this puzzle! Other discussions involved HF noise and troubleshooting, automatic gain control and signal to noise ratios. All club members and visitors are encouraged to check in to the Technical Mentoring and Elmering Net each week and join in with questions and /or answers to and contribute the edification of new and experienced hams alike.