WA6BGS
P.O. Box 50
El Cajon, California  92022

Founded 1960 ~ Incorporated 1976

PURPOSE

WELCOME TO THE AMATEUR RADIO CLUB OF EL CAJON

The Amateur Radio Club of El Cajon, Inc. (ARCEC) exists to encourage the furtherance of amateur radio and allied interests; to foster public service by the amateur radio community; the development of acquaintances; to increase our technical skills and knowledge of electronics as well as good operating practices for the increased enjoyment of amateur radio as a hobby.

What you put into Ham Radio is what you get out of it. Volunteer as much as you can. It is a lot of fun to see all the smiles.

ARCEC is an Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL) special services club and club members are encouraged to be members of the ARRL as well as the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES). Many of our members also participate in the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) and VIP Red Flag Patrol (CAL Fire).


MEETING TIMES

Our monthly meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month, at the First Lutheran Church in El Cajon
867 S. Lincoln Ave
El Cajon, CA 92020

See the calendar below for details.
STARTING IN FEBRUARY 2023, we will begin our meeting at 6:30 pm. Doors open at 6:00, meeting starts at 6:30 and we're usually done before 8:00. Bring your interests and ideas each month, and help us keep things interesting.  Thank you for participating and helping this radio club thrive. -Jon KK6VLO


UPCOMING MEETINGS AND EVENTS


2024

June, 2024

FIELD DAY 2024

Planning meeting and final prep for Field Day 2024.  This should be interesting for many as we're going to try and do several things this year.

June 22-23 - Field Day at Santee Lakes, Padre Water District.  

The SCOUTS can use your volunteer help.  Read more here.  https://www.wa6bgs.us/SCOUTING 

May, 2024

INTERNATIONAL STYLE ON-FOOT T-HUNT & BBQ
Saturday May 18th, 2024
Mission Bay Park, Vacation Village, San Diego, CA.

Sponsored by the San Diego T-Hunt Group & CQ Magazine World Wide Fox Hunt Weekend
Starting times will be 10:00 AM to 1:30 PM at 5-minute intervals. If you start at 1:30 you will have until 3:30 to complete the course. NO REGISTRATION FEES! There will be 5 hidden T’s using the MOE-MOI-MOS-MOH-MO5 format. You will be issued a “Punch Card” and there will be orange & white flagging tape at each punch located close to the hidden T. Antennas will all be vertically polarized with approximately the same radiated power from each “T’. This is a flat, fun and easy course and there will be experienced Hams present to demonstrate hunting techniques for those that want to learn about “On-Foot” Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) and “Practice T’s” to experiment with before you start the course. For information on International Style T-Hunts you may go to Joe Moell’s, (k0ov) website www.homingin.com. You do not need a Ham Radio License to participate. Limited ARDF equipment will be available for practice and possibly to use for hunting for those that do not have small 2-M beams. Bring a connector to go from your HT antenna connector to a BNC cable (Chinese HT’s not recommended.) You will be issued a map of the area with major features delineated. A compass, clipboard and pencil may be handy for plotting bearings. Check weather and dress appropriately. There are several restrooms in the park area. 

 
A BBQ is planned starting 2-2:30 for those interested who would like to hang around, socialize and “Talk Radio”. We will have burgers & hot dogs, buns,   condiments, potato salad, drinks, cookies, chips and salsa. Bring a chair as seating is limited! BBQ donations can be made on site. For further information  contact:  Joe Corones, N6SZO C-858-603-5545, jcorones@gmail.com    Joe Loughlin, KE6PHB C-619-403-3149, ke6phb@cox.net  

DIRECTIONS: On W/B I-8, west of I-5, take the W. Mission Bay Drive exit and turn right. Stay on the main street (no turns). It changes name to Ingraham St. Proceed for about 3⁄4 mile and after crossing the bridge turn left on Vacation Rd. Make a quick left and follow road south to Gazebo. Look for T-Hunt/Fox Hunt signs. Coordinates are: 32 46’ 18” N. 117 14’ 07 W.   COME OUT AND EXPERIENCE A DIFFERENT ASPECT OF HAM RADIO


April, 2024

What: EARS Ham-radio-related auction
Cost: Sellers $2 for first tag, $1each additional tag, buyers are free (everyone bring a chair, sellers bring a table or tarp to put your items on)
When: Saturday April 20th, 2024. Open at 9AM, auction begins at 10:00AM (outside parking lot)
Where: 230 E 4th Ave, Escondido, CA 92025 (near 4th & Kalmia), Parking lot of Dirk Reschly CPA
More Info: http://www.earsclub.org
Payment: Cash, Check, Paypal/Credit.
Lots of great donations this year. 


Bring your AREDN equipment to the April 11 meeting and lets all compare notes.  Frank NB1Z wil bring his three node AREDN portable config to show how this commodity hardware can be built into something useful.  If you still need help with your TNC kit, bring that too.  We might have some opportunities this year to partner with other groups and help youth with their own ham adventures. - Developing!

Donut Net is back on Mondays, but we can create a new format as much time has passed.  Come for the regular format, stick around for some conversations.

April 30, the SD ARES group may be using the 2m repeater as part of their hospital drill.  8a till 12p.

March 20, 2023
THE 2M REPEATER IS WORKING AGAIN.  Phase 1 of a 3 part repair task, the new Motorola unit is installed and works.  Please get back on the air and use it!
There will be some costs associated with this repair as old parts need to be replaced and the fiberglass shell on the antenna is becoming see-thru.  Years of baking in the sun...  that part has worn out too.

March 2024

Get your AREDN hardware acquired and read the documentation on how to flash firmware, and lets do something useful and fun with AREDN.  There are three of us who already have some inexpensive WiFi gear ready to be upgraded.  The more nodes in the mesh, the more resilient the mesh.   A bunch of this technology started here in San Diego, so lets keep it going.  It doesn't have to be a permanent install.   

CHECK OUT PROJECT UPDATES AND DOCUMENTATION IN PROJECT TNC

WA6BGS-10 Winlink RMS Gateway is on the air, using a Nino-TNC and installed near the summit of Dictionary Hill.  WA6BGS-10  on 145.070 MHz
https://winlink.org/ is your easy step toward using this gateway and others around the county.

February, 2024

Bring your TNC project back for some final debugging, testing, firmware, or cable up to a working computer and verify it works as advertised.  We will be bringing our club Winlink gateway to the meeting so you can test winlink mail right there in the room.    We'll be looking at future projects for packet and other projects we might find interesting in the future.

January, 2024 - Happy New Year!  10m is FINALLY open for service!

TNC project build workshop.  We're going to dedicate the entire evening to helping those solder the Nino TNC kit we ordered last month.  Bring whatever soldering tools you want (put your name on them) and we'll help you get this project started and built.  Check out the PROJECT TNC page for information.  We have JUST A FEW extra kits if you couldn't make up your mind last month, but now want in on the action.  Kits cost $40.




2023


December, 2023

Ham Dinner Potluck - sign up now.  Send an email to president@wa6bgs.us  and tell me how many are coming and what category of food item you are bringing.  Mix it up a bit.  The club will provide ham and drinks, and we will have plates and utensils and some to-go boxes for those who need to bring something home.  Potluck dinner starts a litte bit after 6:30pm!


November, 2023

Bring scrap aluminum and copper for recycling.  We'll take this into the recycle place and get the best price.  Proceeds from the recycle metals will go into the club general fund.  If you bring soda cans, please crush them and bag them so they don't drip all over the place.  UPDATE:  we got $255.48 and cleaned up a bunch of stuff we had laying around.  

We are going to build something!   

After seeing a kit TNC demonstrated at Hamtastic, I thought this would be a great project for our club and anyone else who is looking for a new thing to try using inexpensive radios, a laptop you probably already have, and a little bit of soldering skills.    Everybody in attendance at our November meeting also thought it was a great idea.  Click here for more Project TNC information. 


October, 2023

Business meeting, status of the repeaters and future plans for the next two months.

We will be taking a closer look at AREDN in the months ahead.     

https://www.arednmesh.org/

We have a great location to install an AREDN node, and the equipment is inexpensive.  Any ham can participate at their home or can use an established node with distance.   This is something we want to investigate and possibly install as a club.

The club repeaters are due for some maintenance.  Since being deployed in 2015, they have been very reliable until now.  The 2m repeater final amplifier is not working very well and will be coming out for service.  The plan is to reprogram the other Yaesu repeater to function on 2m, and the 70cm will be offline during this time.  

Be sure to visit Hamtastic on Saturday, October 28.  Fiesta Island, starting at 7:00a.  Bring a hat and sunscreen.

www.hamtasticsd.com


September, 2023 - Meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.

Regular meeting location and time.  We will have a general club business update, and continue with DMR and soldering projects.  If you have a soldering project or radio DMR config you need help decoding, bring your stuff and get connected with our wealth of experience.


August 2023 - Meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.

Somebody needs to suggest a practical pre-meeting place where we can get some snacks.

DMR programming workshop.  with help from Rich NJ6F

I know at least one of you has a DMR radio still sitting in a drawer, unprogrammed or incomplete and you haven't spent any time figuring it out.  I'm right there with you, but I took mine out of the drawer.  With some help from experienced operators who have mastered the DMR process, we would like to dedicate a Thursday evening to the process of properly programming a DMR HT.  

Participants will need to have a fully functional laptop and data cable, a DMR radio, DMR ID, and a fairly current release of radio firmware.  We will provide power and a table to get setup, but we can't spend any time debugging windows or faulty wiring.  In the workshop we will all step through the building blocks of a DMR code plug.  Hopefully this will give you all the skills necessary to take your DMR configuration to the next level, and teach others how to navigate the configuration complexities of a code plug.  BRING A USB STICK if you want a copy of some very useful code plugs.

Create channels for local analog and digital repeaters.
Populate local and regional talkgroups.
Create a DMR simplex configuration.
Get on the air and make a contact within those talk groups.
Make a contact with digital and analog simplex.
Show users where they can get meaningful repeater and talkgroup information.


 Email us if you have interest in learning or coaching during this workshop.  president@wa6bgs.us  or   treasurer@wa6bgs.us

Reply with the DMR radio brand (Anytone, TYT, BTech, etc) and model number you have, and let us know your skill level. 
1 - Total Newbie  ----- 10 - Master of Time and Space


Update August 11, 2023

Update August 11, 2023:  For those who did not make it to our August DMR workshop, here is an artist rendition (from my daughter Lindsay) depicting the events of our evening.  Rich gave a lot of information on DMR, and most of us were able to program and make a contact on a local DMR repeater.  We used almost the entire meeting covering DMR topics, fundamentals, tips tricks, and probably needed two more hours to continue.  I don't think we're all masters of DMR yet, so we might incorporate another workshop in a future meeting.  You can see everybody is having a great time, except Steve K6RSH and Jerry W6KIN, who were struggling with a problematic USB cable.  If you are still interested in learning more about DMR, don't worry.  I'm working with Rich to compile his notes into a recipe that is easy to digest, with the same examples we used on Thursday.  Rich has a lot more pages and images about his code plug and how he organizes channels and zones to get the most from the radio, and there are dozens of quality examples and tutorials online from other clubs, DMR enthusiasts, and even professionals.  Don't feel overwhelmed -- we're working through this together.  I learn best by doing, so we should do this again.

Lindsay is really good at digital art, but I said STICK FIGURE.  This was fun.

July 2023 - Meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.

Stay tuned for an updated SCARF pre-meeting location.  Manana's is closed.


Charles Doerr -- a freshly minted Ham - KO6ANB


June 2023  -- MEETING BEGINS AT 6:30 p.m.

PLANNING MEETING IN PREPARATION FOR FIELD DAY 2023

Our Field Day is June 24-25, at in the parking lot ofPadre Water District, located 

9300 Fanita Pkwy, Santee, CA 92071

https://field-day.arrl.org/



June 24-25 - FIELD DAY 2023
Padre Water District



May 2023 -- MEETING BEGINS AT 6:30 p.m.

Joe  KE6PHB  and Joe N6SZO will be at our May 2023 meeting to talk about this upcoming event.  Get your young technical friends to join us at the meeting or just come to the event on May 20.

INTERNATIONAL STYLE ON-FOOT T-HUNT
Saturday May 20th 2023

Balboa Park, Morley Field by Archery Field
Sponsored by the San Diego T-Hunt Group &
CQ Magazine World Wide Fox Hunting Weekend
Click here for more information 


Field day planning


April 2023 -- MEETING BEGINS AT 6:30 p.m.

Field Day planning.

Bring your ideas for what our club can be doing that supports the efforts described at www.ardc.net  I have one suggestion I learned at the Southern California Linux Expo that is inexpensive and offers an opportunity for many to get involved.


What: EARS Ham-radio-related auction
Cost: Sellers $2 for first tag, $1 each additional tag, buyers are free (everyone bring a chair, sellers bring a table or tarp to put your items on)
When: Saturday May 13th, 2023. Open at 9AM, auction begins at 10:00AM (outside parking lot)
Where: 230 E 4th Ave, Escondido, CA 92025 (near 4th & Kalmia), Parking lot of Dirk Reschly CPA
More Info: http://www.earsclub.org
Payment: Cash, Check, Paypal/Credit.
Lots of great donations this year.  Here are some of the donations plus many more items will be brought. 
https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtsGnCVZHplvlDl9cd1_jrezYLbp?e=RL6x6K
Auction rules at https://www.earsclub.org/ears-events/ears-auction

Click here for more information 



March 2023 -- MEETING BEGINS AT 6:30 p.m.

General club updates. 
https://hackaday.com/2023/02/23/supercon-2022-tap-your-rich-uncle-to-fund-your-amateur-radio-dreams

If you watch the presentation and then go to https://www.ardc.net/apply/grants/  you can see what this foundation has funded over the past few years.  Listen closely to what John Hays describes for suitable projects.  I'd like to hear what you have in mind for things our club might do that would qualify for this kind of support and publicity.  If the El Cajon club can't find something to start, I'd recommend other clubs in our county take a look and see what they could do.  We should do things to advance the art, science, and enjoyment of Amateur Radio, and if this foundation is willing to fund such a project, lets get onboard!


February 2023 --  MEETING BEGINS AT 6:30 p.m.  Swap Meet Night - Free or Affordable! Bring radio things to swap or cheaply sell to our meeting and we'll provide a table where you can display them. You must take all un-gifted or un-sold items home with you. One HAM's junk is another HAM's new treasure.

Mark Wohlschlegel, WC3W will be presenting an overview of the CQ DX Marathon program on February 9, 2023.  Mark has been an active operator for over 50 years and thoroughly enjoys working DX.  He has recently taken over the helm of the program from longtime administrator John Sweeney, K9EL.  The DX Marathon Program over the past two years is the fastest growing DX program in the world and in his presentation, he will explain how any licensed ham radio operator that works DX should participate in this program.  The DXMarathon is a year long program starting on January 1st and ending on December 31st of each year.  Countries and zones are worked with no confirmation required.  Clubs can participate as well by combining their scores.  Come join for this interesting presentation.



JANUARY 2023 -- Happy New Year!