Fallbrook Amateur Radio Club Bulletin March 2021

We Will Be Doing A Virtual Zoom Meeting.

Members To Get Email Invite
Visitors Will Need To Contact Webmaster.

[email protected]

The Fallbrook Amateur Radio Club normally meet at 3:00 PM on the first Saturday of the month.

Normal Meeting Location, The Scout Hut, 231 E. Hawthorne St. Map


  • DIY Budget 12v 220ah LiFePO Battery. By: Lee, KM6UFF

Fallbrook Amateur Radio Renewals

NameCallDate Expires
Ryan, JimKJ6IHX11/30/2020
Third Notice
Harrison, KermitK6MY12/31/2020
Carlson, DavidWA6DKN12/31/2020
Second Notice
Perrine, HaydenKG6YVD2/28/2021
Beach, PaulWA6SYA2/28/2021
Perrine, KrissyKR6SSY2/28/2021
Paldino, SalKN6S2/28/2021
Paldino, BeaK6BEA2/28/2021
Eyerman, JimKI6OHO2/28/2021
Eyerman, ArleneKK6NOI2/28/2021
Skinner, MarkKF6MZQ2/28/2021

Membership Form


RATPAC Presentations


Join the SEC-ARES group for announcements and discussions

Join RATPAC group for same announcement, less discussion

Forest Fire Lookout Association (FFLA) presentation at San Diego ARES General Zoom Meeting 2-13-21

SDGARES also have more meeting videos on Youtube

de N6OUI

Earthquake lightning is grounded in rock slides

Interesting read …




TV Detector Vans Once Prowled The Streets Of England


The Little-Known Patterns On British Streets

Signs that SARS-CoV-2 is evolving to avoid immune responses


Woman who styled hair with Gorilla Glue reportedly considering lawsuit after hospital visit

Not sure any product has enough label space to describe all the ways it SHOULDN’T be used. Click & Clack on PBS “Car Talk” have suggested such people wear warning signs (STUPID).

Computer intruder tried to poison Florida city’s drinking water with lye

I’m not sure what concerns me more, the over-use of remote access or the fact that there were not hard limits on how much sodium hydroxide could be dialed up.

Breached water plant employees used Windows 7, the same TeamViewer password and no firewall

I guess they could have also posted the logon on Facebook…


Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover

What’s Different This Time?

For future communications, planets are being assigned their own internet domains (e.g. “.mars”)

AT&T and Frontier have let phone networks fall apart, Calif. regulator finds


Report: Fry’s Electronics going out of business, shutting down all stores


Illinois neighborhood of Sears-made homes


Hackers tied to Russia’s GRU targeted the US grid for years


The Secret Life of Components Series

A new series from the creator of The Secret Life of Machines.

Wind Turbines And Ice: How They’re Tailored For Specific Climates


Why N95 masks are still hard to get, even though production is up


A Windows Defender vulnerability lurked undetected for 12 years


Posing as Amazon seller, consumer group investigates fake-review industry


It’s not a Begali, but…

By Dan Romanchik, KB6NU

One of the questions I’m most frequently asked is, “What is a good paddle for a beginner?” My usual answer to this question is to look for a used Bencher BY-1 at a hamfest or on one of the online venues. You used to be able to get them for $60 or less. Now, however, there are few hamfests and the price has gone up. Now, used Benchers are close to $80.

Another option that newcomers might consider is the CW Morse paddle cwmorse.us/

, shown in photo below. They cost $60 with a steel base ($43 without), and are available from 3rd Planet Solar (https://kc9on.com/product/cw-morse-iambic-paddles/) and Gigaparts (https://www.gigaparts.com/cw-morse-orange-morse-code-double-paddle-key-37-820-s.html). I purchased one recently, and used it for a couple of days. To be honest, I was prepared to hate it, but it actually works pretty well. It’s not a Begali, but it’s good enough that I’d recommend it as a starter key.

These keys are mostly made from 3D-printed plastic parts. You can tell this from the finish. While not as bad as some 3D-printed parts, they do look a little rough. I wouldn’t be surprised if they go to molded parts, though, at some point. In high volumes, it has to be cheaper to mold the parts rather than print them.

The key does have metal parts where it counts, though. The contacts are all brass, the base is made from 1/2-in. cold-rolled steel, and the levers pivot on sealed ball bearings. My key weighed 22.5 oz (1.4 lbs.), and was quite stationary on the silicone mat that I use for my keys. The Begali is, of course, a lot heavier at nearly 60 oz. (3.75 lbs.).

A spring between the levers provides the tension. Two screws allow you to adjust the contact spacing. Unlike the Begali, whose adjustment screws have a very fine thread to give you plenty of adjustability, these screws are standard thread screws. What this means is that it can be a bit tricky to set the contact spacing. The screws are spring-loaded to prevent the adjustment from changing, but the springs don’t seem to be very beefy, and I can see where the adjustment might change after a lot of use.

The ball bearings give the key a nice action. During my tests, I had the speed cranked up to 23 wpm, and this key performed well at that speed. One thing I didn’t like very much is that the arms tend to flex more than I like, but I actually have the same problem with the plastic Begali finger pieces. That’s why I use the aluminum finger pieces on the Begali.

Overall, though, I’m quite happy with this key. And, for sixty bucks, which is about one-fifth of the price of a new Begali Magnetic Pro, I can certainly recommend this key to newcomers getting started in CW.


Dan Romanchik, KB6NU, is the author of the KB6NU amateur radio blog (KB6NU.Com), the “No Nonsense” amateur radio license study guides (KB6NU.Com/study-guides/), and often appears on the ICQPodcast (icqpodcast.com). When he’s not testing new keys, he teaches online ham radio classes and likes to work special event stations and state QSO parties.

Meeting Minutes

Fallbrook Amateur Radio Club
Virtual Meeting, Fallbrook, California
February 6, 2021

President Ron Patten, KG6HSQ, called the virtual Zoom meeting to order at 1505 hrs.

A pledge of allegiance was conducted by Lee, KM6UFF.

Ron, KG6HSQ, announced that the theme of the meeting was keeping busy on rainy days and that the Zoom meeting link is active between meeting for anyone who wants to use it.

Brent, KJ6UMY, gave the following financial report.

Checking Balance December 31, 2020 $7,381.70
Petty Cash Balance December 31, 2020 $78.81

ARRL Dues $49.00
Membership Dues $100.00
Contribution KJ6DFU $100.00

ARRL Dues $47.00

Petty Cash Balance December 31, 2020 $78.81
Expenses January 2021 $0.00
Cash Additions December 2020 $0.00
Total $78.81

Checking Balance January 31, 2021 $7,583.70
Petty Cash Balance December 31, 2020 $78.81
Total $7,662.51

Ron, KG6HSQ indicated that there are expenses for the FARC website in the near future. He called for members to offer their rainy day projects. He suggested activities such as studying your radio instruction manuals, working on radio programming, checking your Go Bag and Radio Go Bag, checking your radio batteries, taking FEMA ICS courses online, making any ham station improvements and testing your generator.

Hayden, KG6YVD, volunteered that his projects have included finding his workbench, repairing the tuning dial on his ICOM, and installing his new mast and Stepper IR antenna.

Bob, W6RMG, repaired his HF antenna feed line that his gardener had cut.

Ron, KG6HSQ, added Forest Service links to the FARC website. He also installed a new Anytone triband mobile radio in his Toyota and showed pictures of the install.

Paul, WA6SYA, had his Rohn tower fold over in the winds and had to cut it apart and jury rig it back into operation.

Brent, KJ6UMY, participated in Winter Field Day, made upgrades to the FARC FileMaker membership database and built a surge suppressor and control by for his new antenna switch, presenting pictures.

Lee, KM6UFF, installed 8 new solar panels with a 4 KW capacity. He built custom mountings to allow summer, winter and all season orientations. Lee has 180 ft of extra solar panel mounting rail that is available for purchase at his cost of $ 0.50 per foot. Normal price is $ 4.00 per foot. Lee offered recently discovered data that indicates that lead acid AGM batteries can only supply 30% of their rated capacity, previous rule of thumb was 50%. Another reason to consider LiFePO4 batteries. A discussion of solar system radio noise followed.

Hayden, KG6YVD, offered a method of repairing small diameter wires such as control cables. The method uses heat shrink connectors that contain both solder and sealant. They are installed using a heat gun to both solder the wires and seal the connection.

Ron, KG6HSQ, reported problems with the myturn.ca.gov website for signing up for COVID-19 vaccinations. The site does not work with Chrome or MS Edge, you must use Firefox or Safari. Sign-ups are updated every day between 1200 and 1300 hrs. Closest locations are in Oceanside and San Marcos.

Paul, WA6SYA, offered that sign-ups were available on mhealth.com for shots at Albertsons and Savon. New availability is released on Sunday at 1700 hrs. Sign-ups are also available via a link on the Albertsons website.

Brent, KJ6UMY, recognized Don Scott, KJ6DFU, for his contribution of $100 to the club.

Ron, KG6HSQ, adjourned the meeting at 1559 hrs.

Brent Dussia, KJ6UMY
Interim Secretary/Treasurer
Fallbrook Amateur Radio Club