Regular membership meetings: 2nd Wednesday each month, 12 noon, 238-543
Board of Directors meetings: 4th Wednesday each month, 12 noon, 198-211
NEW CLASS IN AMATEUR RADIO
A new class is offered, covering both theory and code practice, at the Monrovia High School. The class meets every Thursday evening, from 6:30 PM to 10 PM in Room 723, Monrovia H.S., 845 Went Colorado Blvd. Additional information can be obtained by phoning the Adult Education Office at 358-8124 or 358-4501.
SPECIAL MVM73 OPERATION by Charles Weir W6UM
The Directors of the JPL ARC unanimously voted in October to support the special operation in connection with MVM73. This operation will require the personal support of many members of the club if it is to attain the degree of success desired. Since there hen as yet been no opportunity to discuss the matter at the regular club meetings, and since W6VIO CALLING reaches individuals who may happen to miss a meeting, some further explanation is in order here. This is one project that can involve all members and interested parties, licensed or not, to the limit of whatever time they have available.
Briefly, the idea is to operate a station with a special callsign from W6VIO during the approximate periods 5-11 February, 1974 and 28 March-3 April, 1974, corresponding respectively to the MVM encounters with Venus and Mercury. We would be joined in the effort by the Boeing Employees' Amateur Radio Society (BEARS) operating their club station K7NWS with a counterpart special call similar to ours. The Boeing people are rightfully proud of the work they have done on the spacecraft and are enthusiastic to make this a joint project.
The purpose of the operation is very simply to render some publicity to our space efforts, in particular the unmanned missions that are the real reasons for JPL's existence. Mariners don't have the popular appeal the manned missions do, and get nowhere near the degree of media publicity.
A properly run special call operation should net well over 3000 QSL's. We can be sure everyone who works us will learn more about the program by sending everyone we contact a QSL card, (Boeing has agreed to supply all the cards') and we can even engage the attention of the mailmen who handle it and anyone who might see it posted on the wall at the recipient's station. The space business is in competition for tax dollars, so telling our story to as many people as we can is a legitimate purpose. The actual operation itself should be fun-operating with a special prefix is the next best thing to being rare DX--but making the whole effort pay off will require lots of hard work before, during and after the days on the air. The application for the special call has already been submitted; there still remains much to be done before the operation begins if it is to be a success.
Overall planning can be divided into three phases: 1. Planning and upgrading station capability. 2. On the air operation. 3. Preparing and mailing QSL cards. These will be taken in turn.
1. Planning and upgrading station capability. The number of contacts possible during the operation is a strong function of the station capability. Here's one area where we are really hurting. W6VIO has needed significant upgrading for some time. Fortunately, many of the things needed are available to us, but changes do require significant manpower. However, we are dependent upon volunteer labor for everything, which means ostensibly we can't go around twisting arms. One special incentive for volunteering for any task is that if you do, you get to do the task without having anyone tell you how to do it' One prerequisite for a successful operation is to provide improved capabilities at W6VIO that have been previously lacking. A benefit is that the upgraded capability will remain after the special MVM operation. The goal for station capability in connection with the MVM event is to have two separate operating positions, one for SSB and one for CW, each capable of 1 kw on 80, 40, 20, '5 and 10 meters, with the possibility of simultaneous operation of both stations on different bands. The novice rig will remain a separate entity for independent operation. To attain the desired configuration requires completion of the following tasks:
Erect 80/75 meter antenna with balun. Reposition and tighten 40 meter antenna. Install balun. Refurbish and test Thunderbolt for cw operation. Obtain cw filter for 75A4 receiver. Install foot switch and changeover relay for cw position. Obtain VFO and driver for Thunderbolt. Obtain VFO for novice rig. Arrange operating positions for efficient use.
Target date for completion of the above is 18 January 1974. None of the tasks alone should require excessive time expended by any individual, but unless someone takes the responsibility for getting them done, we will not be able to make the most of the opportunity to operate with a special call.
2. On the air operation. The intended operating periods, 5-11 Feb and 28 Mar-3 Apr. allow for 336 total hours of operation. The contact total will depend upon how much of that period the station can be kept on the air. The periods have been chosen to be relatively free of competing weekend contest activity. We need operating commitments from persons willing to spend some hours at the position over the weekend and during non-working hours. There is plenty of operating time available, but it would be dreadful waste to let any of it go. One especial objective of the operation should be to contact as many as possible of the amateurs in foreign countries who may not otherwise even hear of MVM--central and eastern Europe in particular--and openings to such spots come only during limited periods. Part of the desire to have an effective cw station stems from this desire. We should not even neglect working novices. A very plaintive note was received from A novice quite legitimately taking us to task for not giving them a chance during the WP6JPL operation. Most of them are enthusiastic about anything to do with the space program and deserve as much consideration as any other group. We need as many operators as possible for the entire effort, but we need those who are willing to spend some time working WN's or JA's at 5 wpm as well as enjoying the glamour of using a special call on SSB.
3. Preparing and mailing QSL cards. The real payoff i; to get the cards sent out for the operation. Any station we work may forget about us a month later, but a QSL in his file will remind him of us a year afterward. The work--and it is work--of making out cards is not too exciting, but it is important. This is a service that non-licensed members, friends, relatives or anyone coercible can be of help. If it takes 30 seconds to fill out and address a card, it will take 25 man hours to complete the job for 3000 QSO's. It would be best to get the job completely done within two weeks of the close of the operation by 17 April. If there were 25 volunteers for the job each would have to spend only one hour each, but if there are only 5 volunteers they might be excused for getting tired and quitting before the whole job is done.
The whole operation amounts to a major undertaking and will require extensive support from the members of the JPL Amateur Radio Club if it is to go well. It does represent A special chance to propagate our message and to contribute something overall to JPL.
(Ed's note: The W6VIO CALLING Newsletter is most anxious to publish special editions pertaining to this project. All info, regardless how brief, should be posted to Ed c/o 183-701, or phone X-6640.)
ANTENNA DE-ERECTION PARTY
Back last Sept 8th, a group of JPL'ers dismantled a ham station in Bel Aire and assisted CIT in delivery to the CIT ham club W6UE. The donated equipment is valued at about $7K. The affair took place prior to CIT's class activities. The JPL team members to assist CIT are all ARC members: Jay Bastow, Dick Baugh, Jim Burke, Nash Williams, Cliff LaGreide and Waldo Brown. It is my understanding that it was a very difficult backbreaking task; the antenna system was exceeding bulky and heavy, complicated by critical body placement to avoid damage to flower beds and other property.
Manual for SB100 or SB101 transceiver. Will pay for Xerox copy. Call Steve at 790-2666 after 8pm.
CW Mechanical Filter for Collins 75A4 receiver. This is needed for W6VIO MVM commemoration in Feb. Phone Ed at 6640, if no answer, call Merv at 2112 or Nash at 2047.
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