Irvine Cubesat Program Requests Amateur Radio Help

The Cube Satellite program is a program that involves the construction, deploying, and successful communication with a satellite measuring 10 cm x 10cm x 10cm. The schools involved are four from the Irvine Unified School District, and one from Tustin Unified school district. Woodbridge High School, my high school, is in charge of the communications to and from the satellite. The other schools are in charge of things from propulsion (orbital calculations and adjustments as well as hardware) to prime (the payload consisting of a 3 mega pixel camera and sun sensors. Our satellite will be launched from Russia with a tentative launch date of March 1, 2017.

Now, on to the HAM stuff. At some point during this month or next month the Communications Team and the Propulsion Team will be conducting a drill to see how quickly we can identify a satellite. We will be requesting the help of local HAMs, such as yourselves, as well as from HAMs around the world. We will be choosing a satellite, then requesting our HAM helpers to listen for the beacon from the satellite and then identify where they were when they heard it as well as when they heard it as well as where the satellite was (altitude and azimuth) when they heard it. Once the HAMs have gotten this data, we will request that they submit the data to some, as of yet undetermined, place where the Communication Team will compile the data and then forward that information to the Propulsion Team who will use that data to calculate an orbit and identify the satellite. This drill will be a test for what we will need to do when our satellite is launched and we need to locate it and establish communication with the satellite.

If you have any further questions feel free to contact me at this email address: or

Our Cube Sat Twitter: @irvinecubesat

Best Regards,
Matthew Sandoval, KM6ATX

May 16: Spring Auction

AuctionTime to clean out the HAM shack and pick up some new projects for the summer!  All are welcome to attend the next SOARA Spring Auction on Monday, May 16 at the Norman P Murray Center in Mission Viejo starting at 7pm. For more information and rules of the SOARA live auctions, check here.  A regularly scheduled FCC licensing examination will occur prior to the meeting at 6pm.

May 7: SOARA Hams Assist High Desert Trails Rally

High Desert Trails Rally
Ridgecrest, California
Release Date: 4/21/2016 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Photography – Mathew Mendoza

High Desert Trails Performance Rally – Saturday May 7th, 2016

Kicking off its 9th consecutive run, the High Desert Trails Rally has been a part of rally in Southern California since 1973. On dirt roads Southwest of Ridgecrest and North of the Jawbone Canyon Station, the rally takes competitors through fast and flowing valleys and tight and twisty forest sections in the beautiful high desert on county roads. Competitors will tackle over 100 miles of racing flat out.

The High Desert Trails Rally is a performance time trial event. Rally Racing is a motorsport where a driver and navigator (co-driver) race down closed dirt roads, one car at a time, as fast as they can. The cars race against the clock, and not head-to-head. The racing sections are called Special Stages and closed to all non-rally traffic. The vehicles stay on the road and do not go “off-road” into the desert. When not racing on the closed stages, the cars transit with normal traffic.

The cars are specially equipped production based models (Example: Volkswagen Golf, Dodge Neon, Subaru Impreza) and not buggies or tube chassis vehicles. They are all licensed, registered, and insured to drive on public roads. They have roll cages and safety features added along with heavy duty suspension and tires. We invite you to check them out on Friday night between 6:30PM – 7:30PM May 1st in Ridgecrest. Unfortunately this year, due to a change in the route caused by the winter rains, there will be no public spectating area. This means there will be no place you will be able to see the cars race without volunteering.

The rally utilizes hundreds of volunteers to help with communications, timing, and controls. Working a rally is a rewarding challenge that’s a lot of fun! This is the best way to see the event up close and get to interact with the drivers and co-drivers. Plan to spend a day outside, and plan to drive your vehicle over smooth dirt roads. We like to provide our workers with goodies like T-Shirts, lunch, waters, and giveaways. Your help is always appreciated by the competitors. Sign up at –

Approximately thirty teams will take the challenge of the High Desert Trails this year. This event kicks off the 2016 California Rally Series Championship. Supporting rally events all over the Southwest, the CRS is celebrating its 42nd season! More info –

High Desert Trails is also proud to be sanctioned by NASA Rally Sport (NRS), an organization focused on competitor fun and providing support for rally organizers nationwide. Providing tools to the racers, organizers, and fans to increase their enjoyment of rally is one of the core missions of the organization. –

For more information, check out –
Join us for some fun on the roads of the high desert!

Picture: Driver John Trucks & Navigator Chris Fine tackle a steep downhill section. Picture by Mathew Mendoza of

April 18: SOARA General Meeting

n6hcAll are welcome to the next SOARA General Meeting on Monday, April 18 at 7pm at the Norman P Murray Center in Mission Viejo.  This month’s speaker is Arnie Shatz, N6HC speaking about the TX3X Chesterfield Island DXpedition. HAM Radio Testing is available at 6pm.

April 30: Ride for Rwanda

ride-for-rwandaHams are needed:
Thank you for your previous service in supporting the 50 Mile Ride for Rwanda. The success of this ride would not have been possible without your help. Last year we had 1,292 participants and raised over $161,000 to support our causes in Rwanda and other African countries.

We are gearing up for our 10th annual ride on Saturday April 30th, 2016 and we are excited to unveil some fun new twists this year. Although we were unable to secure Oakley as our host venue, we are pleased to welcome Applied Medical as our new host this year. Our start/finish and post-ride party will be held at the Applied Medical facility (formerly Cox Communications) in Rancho Santa Margarita. Because of this change, we have also made several changes to the routes.

With all these changes, one thing remains unchanged; we need over 250 volunteers and would greatly appreciate your help again this year.

If you are able to help out, please sign up on our volunteer sign-up page. There are listings for many specific needs as well as general volunteer positions. Our biggest needs right now are for the following positions:

Course Guides – Helping guide riders at fixed points along the course
Crossing Guards – Keeping riders safe at intersections along the course
Flexible Volunteers – A variety of positions at the Start/Finish in RSM

If you would like to help out and have any questions, please feel free to email or call me directly. I look forward to serving with you.

Warmest Regards,

Rich Wood
Volunteer Coordinator
50 Mile Ride for Rwanda

March 21: SOARA General Meeting

WU6D-CarlAll are welcome to the next SOARA General Meeting on Monday, March 21 at 7pm at the Norman P Murray Center in Mission Viejo.  This month’s speaker is Carl Gardenias, WU6D, Section Manager for the Amateur Radio Relay League Orange Section.  HAM Radio Testing is available at 6pm.