How to Drift a Satellite: What Happens when NOAA GOES-16 is Moved into Operational Position

NOAA GOES-16, the newest and most advanced geostationary weather satellite, will begin moving into its operational orbit on November 30 – just over a year after it was first launched. After a three-week transition period known as “drift”, NOAA GOES-16 will replace NOAA GOES-13 as the primary satellite monitoring the skies over eastern North America and the western Atlantic Ocean. Here is everything you need to know about GOES-16’s journey to its new orbital position.

Paul Dickey, N6JOX SK, Mar. 3, 1933-Sept. 10, 2017

It is with sadness to report that Paul Dickey, N6JOX passed away on Sunday September 10, 2017. Paul was a long time member of the CCRA and had supported our mission since 1989.  He started Boy Scout Troop 234 out of Moraga and was an avid Scouter.  He always was cordial, had a smile on his face and was the definition of a gentleman. He will be missed.

There was a celebration of his life at the Moraga Valley Presbyterian Church, 10 Moraga Valley Ln., Moraga, CA 94556 at 1 PM on Monday, October 16th.  It was well attended by over 100 people and it was a pleasure to meet his wife Judy and their two sons, Rob and Randy.  I did speak to Paul’s two grandsons and they were interested in getting their ham licenses.  Who knows, maybe N6JOX will be back on the air one day…

Paul Dickey Memorial Service pamphlet cover.
Paul Dickey Memorial Service pamphlet cover.

Paul R. Dickey Obituary
Mar. 3, 1933-Sept. 10, 2017
Paul R. Dickey, passed away on Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017, at age 84. Born in Berkeley, California, to Paul B. and Cytha Gadberry Dickey. Married to the former Judith Ann Carter, of Seattle for 48 years. Two sons, Robert and Randy, daughter-in-law, Lisa, grandsons, Ben and Matthew. Paul earned AB degree from UC Berkeley, MA and PhD degrees from Golden Gate University. 25 year career with the IRS culminating with the position of District Director, Nevada. Retired 1983. Teaching career, University of Phoenix, East Bay and San Francisco State University, for 15 years. Devoted husband, father and community volunteer. Founding scoutmaster Troop 234, Moraga, 1983-1993. Silver Beaver recipient, highest award a Boy Scout council presents a volunteer. Licensed HAM radio operator, dedicated Bible student and member, Community Presbyterian Church, Danville. Celebration of Life at Moraga Valley Presbyterian Church, 10 Moraga Valley Lane, Moraga, Monday, Oct. 16, 1 pm. Reception following.

Update on Cal Balloon Launch details of March 18, 2017 Flight

You might recall on Saturday, March 18, 2017 a high-altitude research balloon was launched from the UC Berkeley campus carrying amateur radio equipment, including APRS, using the call sign W6BB-1 and a cross-band repeater, and other experiments.  The balloon reached an altitude of 108.346 feet, and traveled from the Berkeley campus to west of Folsom, CA. When the balloon passed through the cloud deck, the APRS data showed a velocity in excess of 100 mph.  The chase team kept in touch, via amateur radio.  The balloon team included UC staff and students including K6JEB, W6MMR, and KJ6DBZ.  All of the above and more was posted on the CCRA Blog April 12th.

WA6EKS reports there is now a link to a You Tube video that shows the complete flight.  The video has a 4 way split screen with one camera looking up towards the balloon, another camera looking down towards the radar reflector and the last camera angle looking towards the side.  The 4th screen shows time, altitude and speed.  While there are timing discrepancies in the video it does a great job of showing how the balloon expands as it gains altitude and the moment the balloon bursts and falls to earth.  It is worth checking out!

Benicia Amateur Radio Club offers One-Day Ham Radio Class October 7th, 2017

News Release and Invitation

Ham Radio Class

October 7th, 2017

An Invitation

Once again the Benicia Amateur Radio Club and its volunteers will be conducting another One-Day Ham Radio Class. This class is intended for those wishing to get a Tech Ham license, or existing Techs wishing to upgrade to General.

Conducted multiple times throughout the year, this class has been very well received by the greater Northern California community. We have helped Hams from Shasta to Santa Cruz, the San Joaquin Valley, and from the Peninsula to the Sierra Foothills.

Many of us know people that we’d love to see get into our exciting hobby but have faced opposition because they didn’t have time to study. As we know, many people typically require one to two months to prepare to pass their test.

We have the answer. Earn a license or upgrade in One Day!

Historically over 90% of attendees pass the on-site FCC licensing exam. Our exams are administered by federally accredited Volunteer Examiners (VE’s) immediately at the conclusion of the class. Our proven class pass rate easily exceeds home study results.

How your Club Benefits

We have generated a large number of very active Hams who have brought additional participation, dimension and interest to their local clubs and their CERT Teams. We’re seeing our successful attendees now volunteering for On-The-Air activities, Drills, Nets & Public Service Events, and accepting leadership roles on club boards and committees.

Expand the success of your Club and its

Public Service Capabilities

Please Share this email with your club members, friends, family, co-workers and local CERT Teams

We invite all persons interested in obtaining a Ham license – or Techs wishing to upgrade – to enroll in this One-Day class. We have over 30 Facilitators and Accredited VE’s to help deliver this successful class.

One-Day Ham Radio Class

When: October 7th, 2017, 7:30AM-5:00 PM

Where: Benicia Senior Center, 1201 East 2nd Street, Benicia, CA 94510

Cost: $30. Includes all study material, venue, day-long refreshments, handouts, freebies and the federally required exam fee. All instructors, facilitators and VE’s are volunteers.

Access: Our facility has full handicap access.

Info/Signup: Online at Class size is limited, register promptly.

Questions: or Ham Class Registrar, Art Mayoff, (925) 212-9953

Eclipse Viewing Ideas

This coming Monday, August 21st there will be a solar eclipse starting at approximately 9 AM and ending by 11:45 AM.  In the Concord, CA area we will have the sun obscured 76.5%.  For those of you who are not heading north to join the mega traffic jam’s there are at least 3 ways to virtually observe the eclipse without going outside.

NOAA’s GOES-16 satellite will have a clear view of the moon’s shadow as it travels diagonally across the United States, from the Pacific Northwest through South Carolina.

NOAA will be sharing a variety of GOES-16 images and animations throughout the day, including:
  • The beginning of the eclipse on the West Coast
  • The path of the eclipse across the entire U.S.
  • The moon’s shadow as it passes beyond the U.S.
NOAA will also have images from the EPIC camera on board NOAA’s DSCOVR satellite. Sitting one million miles from Earth, between our planet and the sun, DSCOVR will offer its own unique perspective on the eclipse!

The above information can be found at the NOAA Satellite and Information Service website.

Another way of observing the solar eclipse is to use the BloomSky weather network.  BloomSky weather stations have wide angle camera’s pointed towards the sky to show weather conditions.  Likewise these same camera’s will be capturing the sun and should show how the sunlight becomes obscured during the eclipse.  While the cameras shows a single snapshot of the sky when you visit the the site it also builds a time lapse movie that can be downloaded after sunset local time.  BloomSky’s weather map locations can be found at the BloomSky weather map website.

The last way of “hearing” the solar eclipse would be to use your AM  radio.  You may have noticed you can hear distant AM broadcast station during the evening hours.  From the San Francisco Bay Area we can hear KNX in Los Angeles on 1070 KHz; KSL in Salt Lake City on 1160 KHz; KBOI in Boise on 670 KHz; KKOH in Reno on 780 KHz; KEX in Portland on 1190 KHz and KIRO in Seattle on 710 KHz to name just a few AM broadcast stations.  These are just a few of the stations South East and North of the Bay Area and may be heard when and if the ionosphere is changed during the eclipse.

Enjoy the United States Eclipse and don’t look directly at the SUN!

ARRL Request to Contact Your US Senators Supporting S 1534 – the Amateur Radio Parity Act

Dear ARRL member,
I am writing to you today because we are at a crossroad in our efforts to obtain passage of The Amateur Radio Parity Act.
Our legislative efforts scored a major victory in our campaign when The Amateur Radio Parity Act, S. 1534 now moves to the Senate, where we need every Senator to approve the bill.  This is the companion Bill to H.R. 555, which passed in the House of Representatives in January.
You are one of over 730,000 licensed Amateur Radio Operators living in the United States.  Many of you already live in deed-restricted communities, and that number grows daily.
•       If you want to have effective outdoor antennas but are not currently allowed to do so by your Home Owner’s Association, SEND THESE EMAILS TODAY!!
•       If you already have outdoor antennas, but want to support your fellow hams, SEND THESE EMAILS TODAY!!
•       If you want to preserve your ability to install effective outdoor antennas on property that you own, SEND THESE EMAILS TODAY!!
We need you to reach out to your Senators TODAY!  Right away.
Help us in the effort.  Please go to this linked website and follow the prompts:
Thank you.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Rick Roderick, K5UR
ARRL – The national association for Amateur Radio®



KA6BQF report on the June 3rd BSA hike in the East Bay Hills

1. Nature of Activity: Special exercise, Public-Service Event
2. Activity Description: Provided emergency & routine communications for Fages II Hike, an annual 22 mile hike, run by the Boy Scouts of America Mt. Diablo Silverado Council , involving about 165 scouts and adult leaders and approximately 30 volunteers and staff.

3. Places or areas involved: Wildcat Canyon and Tilden East Bay Regional Parks, California

4. Number of amateurs participating: 10
5. Event start date/time: June 3, 2017 06:30 hrs
6. Event end date/time June 3, 2017 19:30 hrs
7. Duration of event (hours): 13.0 hours
8. Total person-hours: 79
9. Number of repeaters used: 2
10. Estimated person-power cost (79 x $19): $1,501.00

11. Estimated cost of equipment used: $10,000.00
12. Total estimated cost of service (10+11): $11,501.00

13. Nets and/or frequencies used: 145.110 WA6KQB, 145.490 WA6HAM
14. Number of messages handled: est 200+
15. Names of agencies receiving communications support: BSA Mt. Diablo Silverado Council, East Bay Regional Parks District

16. Call signs of major participants: KD6SWU, KK6BBT, KK6BBS, W6CJQ, KI6KOZ, WB6WTM, KK6QPE, KA6BQF, N6FUN, KG6ATH

17. Other comments: The San Ramon Valley Fire Department provided their Incident Command Vehicle (CS131) which was used to support the event. One incident occurred during this event.

Amateur Radio organizations providing service: East Bay Amateur Radio
Club, Contra Costa Communications Club, Contra Costa Repeater Association

Location: Contra Costa and Alameda Counties, CA
Submitted by:
Robert Randy Jenkins KA6BQF

KA6BQF requests help for a 20 Mile Boy Scout Hike on June 3, 2017.

Randy Jenkins, KA6BQF is looking for help with the FAGES II Boy Scout Hike on June 3rd. The Boy Scout event starts and finishes at Camp Herms in the Berkeley Hills; and goes over trails in Wildcat Canyon and Tilden Regional Parks. Between 50 and 200 Scouts and adult leaders participate. Randy needs 8 to 12 Hams to man staff check points along the trail, and check in and report participants by Troop. Early checkpoints are shorter duration. Net control is at the lunch stop until all participants have cleared that point, and transfers to the checkout point for the final participants. Hams may volunteer as radio equipped sweeps.

For further information please use the following link to the Boy Scout FAGES II Hike Webpage or contact Randy at

Serving the SF Bay Area since 1977