June 2024 Meeting: Preparing for Field Day

At our June monthly meeting, we discussed SPARC’s upcoming joint deployment with the Pasadena Radio Club for Field Day. This will be our clubs’ first in-person Field Day since 2019. SPARC has volunteered to set up a VHF/UHF station and organize its operators. The details are:

Start: Saturday, June 22 at 11:00 a.m.
End: Sunday, June 23 at 10:59 a.m.
Location: Art Center College of Design parking lot
Enter at 1700 Lida St., Pasadena, CA 91103
What3Words location: help.rock.vouch

If you were unable to attend the meeting and would like to operate with us, please reach out to us through our contact form.

Click this link or the image below to download a copy ( 1.9 MB PDF) of this year’s Field Day presentation.

If you can’t be with us in person for Field Day, we hope to hear you on the air!

SPARC and Friends Support Family Bike Ride

SPARC was proud to provide communication assistance to South Pas Active Streets during a community cycling event on Saturday, March 16. Jason KM6WJQ and David KK6DA, two active members of ARES LAX NE who recently worked the Firecracker 10k in a similar capacity, lent their considerable expertise. Together with John KK6ZVQ, they monitored the progress of a bike caravan along Mission Street and informed ride marshals whenever the group became split up by red lights or delays.

South Pas Active Streets organized over eighty bicyclists to ride from Garfield Park to the South Pasadena Nature Park and back. Over half of the riders were children, many of whom had never visited the Nature Park or Arroyo bike path before. Several community groups participated in activities at both parks, including South Pasadena Beautiful, Friends of the South Pas Nature Park, the D.U.D.E.S., a local Lionsheart chapter, and The Hive which provided a craft station. Mayor Evelyn Zneimer and Councilperson Janet Braun joined the group and spoke about the importance of community involvement with our civic planning.

Below are two embedded Instagram posts showing a selection of photos from the event.

We look forward to helping with similar events in the future!

New Net Schedule for 2024

Starting on January 10, SPARC will experiment with adding a simplex net to its monthly schedule. We will adjust the net based on need and experience if necessary. Here is the current monthly schedule.

1st Wednesday of the month, 7:30 p.m.
Monthly member meeting — NO NET

2nd Wednesday of the month, 7:30 p.m.
Simplex net on 145.600 MHz, no PL tone

3rd and subsequent Wednesdays, 7:30 p.m.
Check-in Net on the TELCO Repeater
145.180 MHz
PL 156.7 
Negative offset

Our goals for the simplex net are to practice emergency communications skills and to develop a propagation map of the city so that club members know “who can hear me” without a repeater.

Please join our Groups.io announcement mailing list for news about meetings, events, and changes to the net schedule. We hope to hear you on the air soon!

Wrapping Up 2023 and Looking Ahead to 2024

The Canoe House

Our November 2023 membership meeting was cancelled due to a guest speaker falling through, but spirits were high at our annual December social at the Canoe House restaurant. Over a dozen members gathered to catch up and discuss their various radio-related projects.

A week later, during our December 13 on-air net, participants described their favorite ham radio gifts, either received or purchased for themselves. The fond memories included:

To inspire future hams, Mark WB6CIA suggested donating a pair of walkie-talkies to a Toys For Tots drive.

On behalf of everyone at SPARC, we hope you have a happy, healthy, and radio-active 2024!

Participate in the Great Shakeout with Winlink on October 19, 2023

September is National Preparedness Month, so now is a great opportunity to get ready for the Great Shakeout, the world’s largest earthquake preparedness exercise. SPARC member, and ARES LAX Northeast District Emergency Coordinator, Oliver Dully, K6OLI has written a guide to using Winlink’s built-in “Did You Feel It?” form during the Shakeout.

Send Winlink DYFI (“Did-you-feel-it?”) Exercise reports with your group. We encourage you to send reports with Modified Mercalli Intensity V (5) or greater.

Step-by-Step Winlink USGS DYFI Instructions
=> Winlink USGS DYFI Exercise Youtube Video
=> Winlink USGS DYFI Exercise Instructions (Downloadable)
=> Winlink USGS DYFI Example Report with point-by-point answers indicating an earthquake with Modified Mercalli Intensity V. If you have never experienced an earthquake you may use the example answers (or make up your own).

Read Oliver’s full article here. Preparedness will be the topic of our next monthly membership meeting on October 4.

Festival of Balloons 2023

SPARC members ready to march on July 4, 2023

SPARC was proud to march in South Pasadena’s annual July 4th parade and reconnect with friends from across the community. Our thanks go out to the Festival planning committee for hosting another fantastic celebration.

Pictures from the June VHF Contest 2023

Members and friends of the South Pasadena Amateur Radio Club gathered in Eddie Park on June 10 for the annual ARRL June VHF Contest. Propagation conditions varied over the course of several hours, and most of our contacts were located in LA or Orange counties. We were happy to be ambassadors for the hobby to several passersby, and we discussed the city’s emergency preparedness plans with a representative from the South Pasadena police department. We look forward to the next opportunity to get on the air together and share our expertise.

Our contest site in Eddie Park

Photos courtesy of John, AC6VV and Carol, KE6SRN.

Pictures from Winter Field Day 2023

Thank you to everyone who dropped by Eddie Park to hang out and make contacts on Winter Field Day! SPARC members and friends operated with the club call sign W6SPR and a “Two Oscar” class designation, meaning two simultaneous transmitters. Highlights of the afternoon included a visit from YouTube/TikTok personality Natalie NW6S (aka the Glam Ham), and one visitor making his first-ever HF contact. We hope to see you at our next “SPARC in the Park” opportunity!