CVARC welcomes new Hams, old Hams, and non-Hams who are interested in learning about radio communications and sharing the friendship and camaraderie of the local Ham community.

The Conejo Valley Amateur Radio Club is a not-for-profit international organization of amateur radio enthusiasts. We provide education forums, publications and peer interaction opportunities that enhance the knowledge, skill and professional growth of our members.

President’s Message

President’s Message
Andy Ludlum-KI6NON

I was browsing the internet recently and found a ham complaining he was hearing nothing but crickets on the 2 meter band.

He said he’d been inactive on 2 meters and 440 for a couple of years, but he recently bought an HT as he plans to spend a lot of time in the local mountains this summer. He programmed a number of frequencies, including a half dozen repeaters and started scanning them for a few days. He was stunned at how little traffic he heard, even on the repeaters.

Linked repeaters contributed to a decline in users of the National Simplex Calling Frequency, 146.520, though many of us still monitor this frequency in the shack or while traveling.

Some hams have been looking for ways to make this channel and other simplex frequencies more active again. I’m proud to say CVARC is part of that effort. I listened in on the first of hopefully many “Simplex Roundtables” April 3rd on 146.550.

This is the brainchild of Todd Kleopfer-KD6RCM.

At the conclusion of the Newbie Net (Sundays at 7pm on the Bozo repeater, 147.885), everyone was invited to switch over to simplex for a test and informal net. Unfortunately, there were too many natural obstacles for me to participate fully in this net from my QTH in Oak Park, but it did remind me that we do have club members regularly using other simplex frequencies such as 146.445 in Thousand Oaks and 146.535 in Moorpark.

Simplex is a great way to stay in touch with nearby hams. Todd hopes all of this will promote more activity on simplex frequencies and in contests like the April 11th 144 mHz Spring Sprint.

The response to our survey on the club meeting raffles was very good. An overwhelming number of those responding (82%) enjoy the raffle. A little over half (52%) spend between $1 and $5 on tickets. 38% spend between $5 and $10. It doesn’t appear members are demanding any fundamental changes in the raffle. 90% felt the ticket prices were just right, 64% favored keeping the current system of a few smaller prizes and one grand prize.

One question had the most divided responses; 55% said they would not be willing to pay more for a ticket – say $5 – in order to have more valuable prizes. 45% would be willing to go higher. We got quite a number of good comments and suggestions and we heard you loud and clear; keep it ham-related and eliminate the Harbor Freight-style prizes like voltmeters and screwdrivers.

You can take a look at the results here. This month we take a look at your areas of interest in the amateur radio hobby and in club activities. As always, it takes only a couple of minutes to complete the survey. Your responses are very important to us as it helps us to plan events and programs that you’ll enjoy. Click to start the April survey.

Preparation is underway for 2016 Field Day, June 25-26, with setup on Friday, June 24th. We’ll be returning to the Maple Elementary School location (3501 Kimber Drive, Newbury Park) which has worked well for us for the past several years. If you are new to CVARC and Field Day, we’ll have dedicated antennas for all bands and will feature operation on various modes such as phone, CW and data.

Field Day Chairman Ben Herrera-W6JWZ would love to hear from early volunteers who like to work a particular band, CW, QRP, battery power or whatever you might dream up. We’ll try to find a way to make it work, that’s what Field Day is all about!