3 September 07
Change Of Mode
The weekly Yolo Amateur Radio Society net tonight went quite well, all things considered. We ran this without the help of a repeater for the first time in quite a while. This wasn’t by choice — most of the repeaters on the 440 mHz band in the Sacramento area have been taken off the air by request of the US Air Force, who are concerned about interference with their PAVE PAWS radar site at Beale Air Force Base near Marysville. Why the repeaters have just now become a problem for the Air Force after many years of coexistence is a question nobody is at liberty to answer for us, and it is also slightly disturbing to think that the missile warning radar system could be so easily perturbed by just a handful of 50-watt transmitters nearby.
Ham radio operators are nothing if not adaptable, and we operated simplex tonight. I wasn’t worried about our setup here — we have a nice portable Yagi antenna for such purposes which I can get up to about 20’ above ground on its current mast. The only stations we nor most of the participants were not able to hear were the two folks in Woodland who were trying to call in using only a handitalkie. That works fine if it is a repeater-based net, but handitalkie signals don’t propagate very far otherwise. 13 checkins total this evening, which may have been a YARS record.