VIEWPOINT - A guest editorial by Stan Brokl, K6YYQ.
Electronics, the respected McGraw-Hill magazine, published an article in the April 15th issue that implied that amateur radio frequencies should be made available to CB users, where the need is greater. The article dangerously misrepresented the facts, a not-uncommon tack in attempting to persuade the uninformed public. Over and over, one hears CBers and their profit-thirsty proponents claiming the amateurs have more frequencies and fewer operators and for this reason alone the FCC should turn over ham frequencies for CB use. Our frequencies are not wasted ... they are in use daily, and for good purposes. Why not find someone else to take frequencies from?
While the Citizens Radio Service presently has exclusive use of their frequencies, proponents of the above argument fail to realize that we amateurs share most of our allocations with other services. Both CBers and hams would do well to do some homework with the allocation charts and expose some "exclusively owned" allocations.
The Electronics article points out that amateurs have 42 MHz of allocated spectrum up to 450 MHz; it fails to state that only 2 MHz of that is truly exclusively Amateur! A little study of the allocation charts shows that the Broadcast industry is the exclusive owner of some 387 MHz of spectrum!
I agree with the FCC Commissioner who, as a criticism of program content, labeled TV broadcasting as a "vast wasteland;" I doubly agree with him in this situation because of television's wastefulness of available frequencies.
TV Guide recently published a study of the Los Angeles TV Broadcast industry (the largest in the U.S.) in which it was shown that this market is already saturated. There is no further incentive to profitably add more broadcast transmitters in the UHF band (channels 14-83) although there is spectrum space available. In other cities, even more spectrum space is going to waste.
Let us face facts. CB radio is as much entertainment as TV broadcasting. Many of the same manufacturers (CB equipment and TV sets) are reaching for the same markets. Would it not be possible for the FCC to reallocate even just one 6 MHz unused TV channel to the Citizens Radio Service? Just one such channel could provide some 1000 CB communication channels! And doesn't it make more sense to make better use of presently wasted TV frequencies for those same people the frequencies were set aside for in the first place?
If we want to stop this fight between CB and amateur for frequencies, we amateurs, with the additional technical expertise that we can bring to bear on the problem, should support the CB search for frequencies. Perhaps we can help with technical justification of a proposal as outlined above, or to help them plead their case before the FCC. But above all, let's not allow ourselves to be pitted against each other clamoring for the same frequencies!
LOCKHEED HAMFEST COMING UP
The Annual Hamfest of the Lockheed Employees' Radio Club (W6LS) will be held at the club facilities, 2814 Empire Avenue, Burbank, Ca. 91504, on the following schedule:
- Saturday, May 15 10 am - 5 pm
- Sunday, May 16 10 am - 4 pm
There will be prizes, contests, lectures, a flea market and some 34 equipment exhibits. The AMSAT Committee of your own club will be there, with an Oscar information booth that will include a model of yet-to-be-launched Oscar 8. Donations are $3 per person, available at the door; children 12 and under are free. You can also get a free ticket if you bring 60 back issues of QST. See you there!
Contrary to my comments at the last Board meeting, the Moonbounce project is still on. Thanks go to Dick Kolbly who is now writing a proposal of the project for NASA approval. If all goes well, sometime in September or October for one weekend, the combined forces of the JPL and Goldstone Radio Clubs will sponsor our first amateur Moonbounce experiment.
Nash Williams and Ralph West are commended for their support in installing mobile FM communications equipment for the Pasadena Chapter of the American Red Cross.
I thank Steve Decho for his prompt response to our need for the corner reflector from Mt. Wilson. Steve assures me he will have a schedule for the return of the rest of the WARP equipment shortly. He expects to have it all returned or compensated for by the end of the summer.
Due to a changing situation at Mt. Wilson and the high RF field that made it impossible to use direct conversion equipment for field day last year, I have asked Earl Ivie to look into possible alternate sites for us near Table Mountain. Although it is far from here, if you consider field day as a camping experience, the Table Mtn. area may be a good choice. Your ideas are solicited.
Larry Bornhurst is leaving Mt. Wilson and heading for Kitt Peak observatory in Arizona shortly, and we all thank him for the outstanding support he has given our club these past years for our activities on Mt. Wilson. Metromedia has sold the property and I believe Cal Tech has withdrawn its support of the facility; it continues to support Palomar observatory.
I wish to thank Bill Carpenter for his quick response to outside amateur TV enthusiasts and his drafting and forwarding of an addition to the N6V authorization to allow remote control for amateur TV access to the historic Viking Mars pictures. Bill will give a full report in next month's W6VIO Calling on just what was accomplished and how we may be able to view the pictures via amateur TV.
I believe that this year we should support N6V and use it during field day from the Lab facilities. I have had no offers from anyone to head a W6VIO/6 field day and I believe that because of the significance of the Viking Space mission which occurs during the field day event we should forego trying to overextend ourselves with too many operating activities. If someone steps forward to head a field day event (W6VIO/6) I will be glad to support it and be there. Otherwise we can still enter FD as a class D or E station with the call N6V at JPL we just can't use N6V mobile or portable.
I wish to thank Walt Diem for securing and installing the crystals for W6VIO to work the Rosemead repeater. Last week I was privileged to talk directly to Mecke, W6ZGC through the Rosemead link to the Table Mountain repeater. Mecke informed me he had waited years for this historic event! So now we have a good link to the High Desert via Rosemead and Table Mountain.
This message is getting too long now. If I've forgotten something, I'll pick it up next month. Thanks for all your support and have fun!
73, Stan, K6YYQ..
BOARD MEETING HIGHLIGHTS
Since your editor was again unable to attend the April board meeting, here are some informal notes of the goings-on, kindly supplied by Ralph West, WB6YMF. Since these have not been approved by the board, they can neither be considered true or complete; or, as the used car salesman said, "Caveat Emptor."
The April 28, 1976 meeting of the Board was chaired by President Stan Brokl, K6YYQ; also present were the following:
- Merrill Burnett, K6BER
- Marshall Fong, K6AOC
- Bill-Carpenter, WA6QZY
- Jay Holladay, W6EJJ
- Norm Chalfin, K6PGX
- Jim Lumsden, WA6MYJ
- Gordon Crawford, WB6DRH
- Dick Piety, K6SVP
- Walt Diem, WA6PEA
- Ralph West, WB6YMF
Brokl reported that ERC has pledged to support up to $500 for QSL cards for the N6V operation. Balance can be made up from the club's budget for cards. Postage monies have not yet been identified. The formal authorization for N6V has been received from the FCC.
Dick Piety reported that the vertical antenna is now installed on the water tank above the trailer on the mesa, but there is no beam up yet. A historic contact via 2 meters between JPL and Barstow was made using double repeater links - WR6ALH and WR6AFX. The Collins KW in the trailer is working.
Brokl announced that the corner reflector was returned from the WARP project with other equipment to follow. The Moonbounce project at Goldstone is once again viable but not fully firmed up.' There is no chairman yet for Field Day which also poses a conflict with the special event activity; a new location is being researched for us at Table Mtn. by Earl Ivie.
West stated that Red Cross received 9 GE Progress line 2-way mobile radios which require refurbishment and alignment. The board unanimously approved manpower to help but no dollars.
Chalfin announced that JPL will have an Oscar booth at the Lockheed hamfest May 15 & 16 with a mockup of Oscar 8 available for inspection.
Brokl decided that because of uncertainties of propagation at this time, a Pitcairn communications demonstration will not be pursued.
Diem displayed the new 220 MHz repeater license application for 2 repeaters - Mt Wilson and JPL. (The mesa is a possible JPL site.) Frequencies have been coordinated with SCRA. Dollar needs: Crystals, $22; duplexer, $220 or make in-house; antenna, $170 or make in-house; 450 MHz cavities from WARP. The design review is scheduled for 3rd Wednesday in August at 12 noon.
Board actions: The board approved the purchase of crystals for 220MHz up to $22 with the provision that this approval does not imply approval of the entire repeater project, Per Art, 4, Sec. 2. dues were waived for H. Schneider and D. Bodkin. The board unanimously endorsed the ATV project as an adjunct to the N6V special event activity under Bill Carpenter's technical supervision with provision that it involve no cost to the club.
The meeting was adjourned at 1 pm.
CQ CQ CQ DE N6V NASA 6 VIKING!
The letter of authorization for the Viking special event call sign of "N6V" was received the last week of April and our publicity campaign is now in full swing. Articles have already appeared in local newspapers and have been forwarded to other magazines and newsletters to inform the world of the JPL ARC special Viking commemorative event. Many thanks to Gordon Crawford for his work in the PR area. Please help Gordon by clipping articles from publications and-forwarding to him (156-142.)
Much needed financial support for the upcoming QSL activity was given a huge shot in the arm when the JPL Employees Recreation Club pledged support of most of the cost of printing the 12,000 or so cards necessary for this event. We hope to soon be able to report 100% financing of the cards.
The plan for the event will be to operate the station(s) for a minimum of 40 days in discrete periods centered around the four main events of the mission: Viking I and II orbit insertion, and Viking I and II landings. Peak activity is scheduled for mornings and evenings, with round-the-clock operation at the most significant periods. Shifts will be tailored to operators available, and will be held to 1-2 hour shifts during normal working hours. Now is the time for all good club members to come to the aid of our club. So I don't have to call everyone, please fill in the coupon and return to Jim Lumsden, 233103, so that shift planning can begin. Please sign up even for short shifts! We need Novices, too!
Dick Piety et al has been making great strides in assembling the new trailer station. This location will be the mainstay of the Viking operation because of its superior noise environment, with the Bldg. 171 facility carrying the overload during peak activity periods. Any volunteers for building and testing some wire dipoles to be installed at the water towers?
No effort is currently being expended on SSTV or RTTY. Anyone interested in arranging such an operation please contact Dick Piety X2298 or Jim Lumsden X6726.
Approximate dates of operation will be as follows:
- June 18-23 August 6-12
- July 3-18 August 31-Sept. 15
Planned frequencies are on or near:
- CW: 30 kHz above bottom edge, 80 through 10 meters
- SSB: 3810, 3930, 7230, 14230, 14330, 21360, 28630 kHz
- Novice: 3730, 7130, 21130, 28130 kHz
- FM% 2 meters and 220 MHz, as capabilities exist.
Thanks for your support! [WA6MYJ]
ARRL NOTES (de Jay Holladay, W6EJJ)
Callsign Docket: FCC has issued a Report and Order on Docket 20092 which will allow Extra Class licensees to pick an unassigned two-letter call of their choice. First in line will be those Extra Class licensees currently holding two-letter calls or eligible for them under current rules (licensed 25 years or more.) Effective July 1. 1976, these individuals may apply for the call of their choice. Beginning October 1 1976, licensees who held an Extra before November 22, 1967, may request a specific twoletter call. Beginning January 1. 1977, those who had an Extra before July 2, 1974, may apply. Beginning April 1, 1977. those who held an Extra before July 1. 1976, may apply. Beginning July 1. 1977, those who obtain an Extra after July 1, 1976, may apply. FCC will NOT accept any application prior to the above dates. One by three callsigns will be covered by a later FCC action.
Call Letter License Plates: Fees for Call Letter license plates for radio amateurs in California will be raised drastically if assembly bill 4271 becomes law, This bill, introduced by Assemblyman Wornum (D. Marin County) would result in a $25.00 fee for new call letter plates, Plus $10 for each renewal and a $12.00 fee for transfer of such plates. (Fees for other special plates would also be raised.)
The first step for this bill is a hearing before the assembly Transportation Committee. Since the bill is not yet up for vote by the full assembly, the time is not yet ripe for a deluge of letters to members of the assembly.
At the moment, the urgent need is for documented cases in which the amateur call letter plates served their intended purpose - i.e., enabled local law enforcement or emergency officials to identify an amateur radio operator who subsequently provided communications assistance. Anyone who can provide such information is asked to contact ARRL Director John Griggs, W6KW, or Vice-Director Jay Holladay, W6EJJ, or Jon Gallo, WA6PTM, as soon as possible. Having information such as this may well be the only way that amateur plates can be exempted from this increase in fees.
INTERNATIONAL DX CONVENTION AT FRESNO MAY 15-16
All hams who are interested in DX from beginners to the big guns are invited to attend the 27th Annual International DX Convention at the Hilton Hotel in Fresno, California. Banquet speaker will be Nob, JAlKSO, presenting his new program on outstanding DXers from around the world. There will be slides and tapes from OH2BH of the Mt. Athos expedition, and the Northern California DX Club will describe their CR9AK operation in Macao. Technical speaker will be Ted Cohen, W4UMF, who will describe his recent studies of ionospheric propagation and prediction of solar activity. Preregistration cost is $21.00 before May 5; after that it goes to $231 Make your check payable to "SCDXC" and mail it to Treasurer Marty Woll, WB6VZI, 15532 Tupper Street, Sepulveda, Calif. 91343. Fresno Hilton rates are $19 single, $24 twin or double; phone them for reservations at 209-485-9000. Meet the gang! [W6EJJ]
MAY MEETING PROGRAM
The next general meeting of the Club will be on May 12 at 12 noon in 238-543, as usual. Our guest speaker will be Mr. Wes Hobbs, W6ZMJ, who will discuss the "Development of Paramedic Communications in Los Angeles County." He will describe the system as it exists today and will discuss the recently completed plans for a fully integrated county-wide communications system. Wes is Section Head, Department of Communications, Project Engineering Division, County of Los Angeles. [WB6YMF]
JPL ANNUAL PICNIC
The JPL Annual Picnic is tentatively scheduled for July 10 this year. The club, as always, will be in charge of the Hot Dog concession. If you can help set up, tear down, or if you plan to attend the picnic anyway and can volunteer an hour or two to sell and help your club's treasury, contact Ralph West, WB6YMF, at X6185. [WB6YMF]
Wes Weems, W6PVR, President of the Goldstone Amateur Radio Club reports in his Newsletter No. I that membership is now 20 regular with 5 associates. The club station has been moved into a room opposite the Nurse's office, but all that good gear has to be installed yet! The license application is in and they are in "wait" mode. Congrats! [W6PVR]
THE EDITOR GROANS
The past few months have been pretty hectic with a three-week production schedule so we could catch up. Now, however, we appear to be on schedule. I plan to put these issues out right after the Board meeting at the end of each month. If you have classified ads or articles to submit, remember that deadline. Please remember this is YOUR newsletter. You must enjoy it or else you wouldn't have read this far! Let's hear what's on YOUR mind. You can write me at 114-122 or phone me at X7264.
Apologies to the Trustee of GARC, Roland Bibeau, whose call I listed erroneously in a previous issue. Roland's correct call is W6GXZ. Your attention is also called to an error in Rupert Penner's article on improving the accuracy of the EP-45 as a timers The battery drain saving of 25 us was a typo and should have read 25 %. Sorry!
2-meter FM transceiver, Clegg FM27B. Transmit and receive any frequency between 146.000 and 147.999 MHz or any frequency between 145-000 and 146.999 MHz. Reduced to $200. Ralph West X6185 or 284-7592 (Rome.)
2-meter FM amplifier, 8db to 90 watts. New "WATTS UP #110011 Group purchase opportunity for $68.85 if we can get 10 or more at once. Al Chapman, W6MEO, 213-289-7486.
Monster home-brew solid state power supply & 30 amp. variac. Supply has input taps for any voltage. Output 3000 V to ? $95.
Home-brew linear amplifier for 6 meters, 3-50OZ final with blower, includes Dow-key DPDT coaxial relay $150.
Drake Model 1000 Low Pass Filter, $8. S-meter, 1-3/4 inches square, $2.50. Monarch MC-131 crystal mike with stand, $5. Tubes, 3 each, type 4E27, $10 lot.
All above: Dick Piety, K6SVP, X2298; Home, 790-1991.
Information from anyone that has set up a VW Beetle or VW Dasher Wagon for a 2-meter whip. Dick Piety, K6SVP, X2298 or Rome, 7901991.
Someone to take over QSL card sorting for the QSL bureau - one suffix letter. Must be JPLARC member. Contact Editor.
DAMAGE ASSESSMENT COURSE
If all you can do is communicate in an emergency, youre only half prepared. The Red Cross gives a 2-hour course in damage assessment that will certify you to provide this type of service from your mobile location to the Red Cross. Contact Nash Williams, W6HCD, at X 2047 for full details. [W6HCD]
Rubber stamps to make QSL cards out of picture post cards would come in handy for the-occasional QSLer. Report forms and Call letters are available reasonable from Dick Greenwood, X6028. [K6YGN]
REPLACEMENT JAPANESE TRANSISTORS
Replacement Japanese Transistors are available from Western Pacific Electronics Box 25837, Los Angeles 90025. Catalog on request. [SCDXC Bull, April 1976]
Go back to the W6VIO Calling Index.