FIELD DAY, 1977: JUNE 25-26 APPROACHES!
The planning meeting went well. Stan, N6MP (ex-WB6MPM) is in charge of the CW group; Rich, WB6BTX will set up the VHF activities. Sam, WB6EMO heads our Novice station, and Wes, W6PVR will run the SSB station activities.
Thanks to an impressively cooperative group, an impressive array of equipment for the operation has been amassed. For example, we will have a new Astro all-digital transceiver; an FT-101EE; an FT-101E; a TS-700A; an Atlas 210 and more. For antennas, we will have two TA-33 tribanders, a 20-meter monobander, a 10-15 meter duobander, a 22-element 2-meter beam, a Unique wire tuner for long wires and a W2JOA tuner for ladderline fed antennas. And if that's not enough, there's more backup gear available!
The Forest Service has granted us permission to use the site, and a strategy meeting with Stan, Rich, and myself will be held June 4 at Table Mountain.
We will be running 3 stations (plus the Novice station) simultaneously, and in the battery-powered category. Seven others and myself will be going up Friday, June 24, to start antenna installation and to secure the site.
Ralph West and Gordon Crawford are planning a Western style Steak Fest (Steak, Baked Potato and salad) for our Saturday dinner. For Sunday morning, there will be ham and scrambled eggs for everyone. Ralph requests that the XYL's bake their favorite dessert (cake, pie or cookies) and bring to share for the dinner. Dick Piety, K6SVP, is beverage chairman.
Jack Patzold has arranged for all interested persons to get a tour of the JPL-run Table Mountain Observatory nearby.
Field Day 1977 looks like a winner, thanks to our active club members!
73, Stan, K6YYQ, Field Day Chairman
BOARD MEETING HIGHLIGHTS
Your reporter contributed these brief notes to keep the membership informed; nothing is official.
The meeting of May 24 was chaired by Dick Piety in President Lumsden's absence. Present were: Brokl, Diem, MacMedan, Patzold, Piety, Ploszaj, West, and Williams.
Piety presented a letter the club received from SCATS (Southern California Amateur Transmitting Society) inviting us to participate with them in an award program for contacting club members. The question was tabled until one of our club members who was thought to be a member of SCATS also, could be reached for discussion.
It was reported that Trustee Holladay received notice of rejection from the FCC regarding our request to "renew" the old N6V license. FCC said it would have to be a "new" application ... then stapled on some more papers which stated that they are not issuing any "new" special events calls at this time, and all such applications would be returned!
The issue of our club call renewal then came up, as it is affected by the same docket (21135) and a committee headed by Nash Williams, W6HCD, was unanimously established to draft a formal petition to FCC on the matter of club calls. [That petition appears on P. 3 - ed.]
It was announced that there was still some budget money for the NASA station available this fiscal year and we should recommend the most effective way of using it. Patzold agreed to set up a meeting with Berry to discuss needs of the NASA emergency station.
It was also announced that Mike Gauthier, K6ICS, is starting a "49 MHz Club" to take advantage of a new band being set up for hand-helds, license free. He will accept your donations for membership certificates and jacket patches, but don't ask about club meetings.
The Field Day budget of $150 looked a bit lean because of more people coming than previously estimated. The Board to an increase of $75 as a contingency to cover existing obligations, if required.
Norm Chalfin's request for a $55 budget increase to cover reimbursement of photo supplies was tabled pending identification of the exact budget item affected, and a plan from Norm for the rest of the year. Merv agreed to convey this information, as Norm was not present.
HOT DOG TIME AGAIN [W6IUV]
The JPLARC will be selling Hot Dogs once again at the ERC Picnic, Soledad Sands, July 9th. Help is needed to set up the stand, to sell hot dogs during the picnic, and to dismantle the stand afterward. Volunteers are needed for shifts of a half hour or an hour; most help is needed between 11 am and 1 pm. If you are not going to the picnic, you can help load and unload at JPL. Call Ralph West, WB6YMF at X 6185.
DE WR6APQ PASADENA ... By Booth Hartley N6BH
Status of Goldstone Club Repeater, WR6AZN. The Table Mountain 3-band repeater is still in test status and appears on the air only intermittently. Full time operation is anticipated in early June as all the technical and administrative problems are resolved.
The 220 MHz repeater was placed on the same frequency as the JPL machine (222.44 in/224.O4 out) to enable members of both clubs to use the other club's repeater when within range. Such exchanges have already occurred: The Goldstone machine has been used by W6IUV from Lucerne Valley, by N6BH aero mobile and at Lake Arrowhead, and by K6JUB camped in the Banning area. The JPL repeater has been used by WB6FXJ, W6PVR, and WA6QOD, while visiting the LA area. Unfortunately, the coverage from Table Mountain overlaps the JPL repeater prime coverage area, particularly on the Palos Verdes peninsula and in the Norwalk area. Thus the decision has reluctantly been reached to change the Table Mountain frequency in early August to 222.36 in/223.96 out, a frequency pair set aside for Table Mountain some time ago before the idea of a joint JPL/Goldstone frequency came up.
The 2-meter repeater is on 147.93 in/147.33 out, and the 450 repeater is 442.325 in/447.325 out. All three are open repeaters, and the repeaters can be linked together (so don't be surprised if you're on 220 in QSO with someone on 2 meters through the same machine!)
The repeater trustee is Bill Wood, WB6FXJ, who has supplied his technical talent to the JPL repeaters effort too, especially in the finer points of duplexer tuning. During Bill's 3-month tour of duty at Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, the assistant trustee, Wes Weems, W6PVR, is taking care of the project.
JPL Autopatch Status. The second JPL repeater, which is to be an autopatch generally available only to club members, is coming along. The transmitter has been checked out and the receiver is currently being checked out. The control and autopatch circuitry are further downstream.
The plans for the two repeaters are novel in that both will use the same antenna and duplexer. The two transmitters will be connected to the duplexer through circulators and hybrids. The receiver inputs will be separated by a multicoupler. Thus, one good antenna (and antenna location) will suffice and the coverage areas of the two repeaters should be comparable.
New Calls Heard on WR6APQ - Add to May list:
- WB6EMO Sam W6PVR Wes*
- WA6EYI Bill WA6QOD Jim*
- WA6KPW Jim WA6PHI Larry
- W6PAJ Skip W6RNO Vince
* - Visitors from Barstow.
A Plea to WR6APQ Users. We are trying to better define the user community for the repeater. We suspect that some "keying-up" of the repeater is by new (perhaps non-JPL) users who are naturally fearful to step into a group of strangers. Accordingly, we are requesting all users to identify, ever when keying up the repeater as a test. In fact, if your test is for repeater coverage, why not announce where you are so that we can all benefit from the knowledge. If you don't want to talk to anyone at that time, just say "W6XXX testing."
Another reason for this request is to assist the control operators in determining if and when the repeater is being keyed up by spurious signals. So far we have discovered one 2-meter transmitter that was inadvertently keying up our 220 MHz repeater, and are happy to report the cause of the problem has since been corrected. Thanks for your help.
Group Purchases arrive. All the Midland 13-509 220 MHz transceivers and Larsen antennas that were ordered at the same time have arrived. If you haven't picked yours up yet, see Walt Diem, X 3186.
Modification to eliminate spurious response. If you hear signals on your Midland 13-509 or Clegg FM-76 from other frequencies than your receive frequency, it is probably due to a design defect in the receiver oscillator in these rigs. The problem was pursued by Walt Diem, WA6PEA, and his solution described below will cure your problem. These transceivers use a third overtone crystal in the receiver first oscillator. However, some crystals have a tendency to oscillate simultaneously at two different frequencies in the stock oscillator circuit. The 3rd harmonic of the unwanted frequency is approximately 60 kHz below the desired third overtone frequency. As an example, listening to WR6APQ (224.04) one will also hear WR6AFG when they come on (223.98.)
The solution is to eliminate the undesired oscillation at approximately 17.75 MHz with a "trap" between the base of the oscillator transistor and ground. The trap consists of the following parts in series:
- 1 ea. 8.2 uh RF Choke, AC DC electronics
- Part No. RFC-S-8.2 or equivalent
- 1 ea. 10 pf mica capacitor
When you connect these in series, leave only 1/4" leads between them. Connect the combined assembly (filter) in parallel with R38 (i.e., from base of TR8 to ground.) This can best be accomplished on the PC side of the receiver board. The modified circuit is shown in the schematic below:
Even if you haven't experienced this problem, you may well want to install the modification, since the reason may be that you were merely out of range of another repeater 60 kHz off the desired one. Once you drive into the other repeater's area, your rig may not be usable on the desired channel! Many thanks to Walt for this tip.
[Ed. note: Booth Hartley has kindly consented to write this column for the newsletter each month. I already have more material than room this issue. But this is your sheet - share your experiences and views with the rest of the club, and send items on the repeater to Booth at 238-218 or phone 2459.]
CONGRATULATIONS TO ...
... Don Bodkin on receiving his new Novice license in mid-May. His call? Would you believe WD6AEC!
CLUBS FILE COMMENTS ON FCC DOCKET 21135
Responding to concern voiced at the last Board of Directors meeting by Merv MacMedan regarding the FCC's intent to do away with Club call signs, a committee composed of Nash Williams, Jay Holladay, Walt Diem and Merv MacMedan drafted the following comments, sent to FCC on May 31:
- In the matter of )
- The simplification of the )
- licensing and call sign )
- assignment systems for ) Docket No. 21135
- stations in the Amateur )
- Radio Service )
1. The Commission has described its plan for simplifying the present licensing and call sign assignment procedures for stations in the Amateur Radio Service which it believes is needed because a small portion of applications (non-primary station licenses) take up an unreasonably large portion of the Commission's processing resources.
2. We, of the undersigned Amateur Radio Clubs, believe that the Commission's proposal insofar as Club stations is concerned, will destroy a historical tradition that now exists worldwide and is a proven concept. We believe that, of all the "simplifications" proposed, to eliminate the category of "Club Station" from Part 97 of the Commission's Rules will be, in the long run, detrimental to the Amateur Radio Service.
3. Amateur Radio Clubs are the cornerstone of growth for the Service. For all practical purposes, newcomers are trained in their license requisites (code, theory and regulations) by other amateurs, nearly entirely through. the medium of Clubs. Few become hams only through self-study or commercial schools. By and large, the Clubs create the initial interest (through activities visible to the public, such as conventions, meetings, and public operating exercises) and then follow through by offering training classes for those that have become interested enough to pursue a license. Viability of a strong framework of clubs across the country is paramount to the continued strength and growth of the service.
4. Club stations are a unique focal point for most, or all of these activities, and the unique club call provides the necessary identity for this focal point. For example, W6VIO is well known, not only on the air, but through the club's newsletter which recognized the value of the call when choosing its name: W6VIO Calling. The club call provides a. continuity of identity through the years. For over half a century, W6UE (earlier, "6UE") has meant "Caltech Amateur Radio Club" to its alumni, many of whom are still active amateurs, as well as others looking for a QSO with this famous station. A loss of identity, as exemplified by the Club call, could only do harm to both the sponsoring organization and the Amateur Radio Service.
5. Club activities are based on teamwork, not individuality. If, for example, we were to operate using individual members' calls, as proposed by the Commission in lieu of a club call, we would have an unending array of problems. First, each operator would have to bring his log from home while operating the Club station. There would be QSL card confusion because each contact an outsider has with the club station may be under many different calls. Petty jealousies among member operators would occur in trying to decide which individual's call to use to represent the club in a team activity such as Field Day or pursuit of DXCC awards. But most important, we would lose the continuity of identity to the outside world during emergency operations where many operators rotate through shifts. Without the Club call, we feel many clubs would become discouraged from pursuing these and other worthwhile team activities, and without these team activities, the clubs themselves will decay.
6. We note a growing tendency on the part of the Commission to confuse the fundamental concept of an "operator license" - assigned to an individual, regardless of his location - with a "station license" assigned to a specific location, but capable of being operated by any properly licensed Amateur. In an earlier rulemaking, the Commission dropped the requirement for the portable identifier when a station was operated away from its assigned location, and in the present docket all other calls except the individual's primary call sign would be done away with. In essence, we are heading to a new definition of call signs in hat the call sign will no longer identify the station and therefore its location, but instead will identify the operator, regardless of his location. This is contrary to all other services. As an example, if this proposal were to be applied to the Maritime Service, can one imagine a ship's call changing when another operator comes on shift, or the confusion arising when a crew change occurs in port and all traffic destined to that ship must be re-addressed with the calls of the new operators? Years of experience has shown the advantages of tying the call to the location, not the operator, and we have seen no sufficient justification for making so drastic and fundamental change to the present system.
7. We are not convinced the 4500 club licenses (1.5%) impose as great a processing burden as the Commission suggests. Clubs do not change address as frequently as individuals, nor are there that many new clubs forming every year. In reality, most of the club license activity would appear to be routine renewal every 5 years, hardly that great a burden. Frivolous "club" applications (e.g. by 2 or 3 people concocting a club to get another call assignment could be reduced by reinstating the requirement to file a set of by-laws which was recently deregulated by the Commission.
8. It is our opinion that much of the current licensing burden has arisen from recent efforts at deregulation and rules changes brought on by the Commission itself. Extensive repeater rules instituted a few years ago culminated in special WR- calls for repeaters. Prior to that, many repeaters had been functioning perfectly well using regular amateur calls and licenses. This must have increased the processing burden, since there are now many thousands of repeater, auxiliary link and control licenses that were previously handled by one's primary license. Special 2-letter call signs of the requestor's choice were recently made available by the Commission to Amateur Extra Class licensees. This imposed what seems to us to be an extraordinarily laborious manual processing burden (with a high percentage of letter-writing back to the requestor when his requested calls were not available) which was created at the Commission's instigation, not in response to demands from the Amateur community. Furthermore, the event that broke the dam - the elimination of fees on January 1, 1977 -may have removed the last obstacle from the multitude of greedy applicants who, in their rush to obtain a valuable commodity while it is still free, have caused the overload on the Commission's resources. We amateurs, as a body, have never strongly protested the nominal fees previously charged for Amateur licenses (which were cheaper than those in most foreign countries) and in fact believe that with the current situation a fee may be the only way to effectively limit frivolous and abusive license requests from this group of applicants.
9. We understand that the Commission's attempt to simplify its licensing procedures is for the purpose of more effectively managing its antiquated computer and software systems. This is tantamount to admitting that the machines are running the people instead of vice versa. Furthermore, if the present system can't cope with the current situation, we question its ability to cope with the anticipated growth of the Amateur Service which we already see signs of. We feel the proposed simplification will do more harm than good, and yet will still be just a temporary patch. For the long-term future of the Service, we feel that new software (and perhaps hardware), designed to be flexible and modular so it can easily accommodate future rules changes, is mandatory. Recognizing that the reason such an adequate processor is not already in use is due to lack of sufficient resources, we cannot see any alternative than to encourage Congress to provide the added funds at the earliest possible time.
10. In conclusion, we believe that the elimination of Club Call signs as proposed in Docket 21135 would be detrimental to the Amateur Radio Service as it currently exists and also to its future growth. It would additionally complicate operating procedures and add to confusion, which is especially detrimental during emergencies. The heart of the problem which this docket attempts to solve (i.e., inadequate software for license processing) should be attacked by getting Congress to allocate funds for a new software program in view of the public service value Amateur Radio provides. To this end, we pledge our support. As an interim measure, we recommend the FCC reduce frivolous applications by 1) reinstating reasonable fees for licenses by whatever means available and 2) reinstating requirements for submission of by-laws with club station applications.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the approximately 150 members of the undersigned Amateur Radio Clubs this 29th day of May, 1977:
- /s/ Jay A. Holladay, Trustee W6VIO
- /a/ C. Walter Diem, Trustee WR6APQ, et.al.
- /s/ A. Nash Williams, Trustee W6UE (Caltech)
FOR SALE: Swan 500CX HF Transceiver with power supply and Shure desk mike. 10-40m, 550 w. pep. $400. Greg Pochadly, Cal State SLO, 555 Ramona Apt. #144, San Luis Obispo, Ca. 9340l Tel. (805)544-3058.
WANTED: Instructor to help teach amateur radio to a group of 10-15 members of the JPL Space Explorer Post involved in the High Altitude Experimentation Project (HEAP). This group is anxious to experiment in the field of 2 meter radiotelemetry and they want to get their ham licenses. They are teaching themselves at present, meeting once a week on Saturdays at 1pm in Bldg. 183 at JPL. All they need is some guidance. Call: Bill Ledeboer, 445-3924.
A LETTER TO THE EDITOR OF W6VIO CALLING
At the risk of being labeled a heretic, I take pen in hand to put down the ARRL. In the May issue of W6VIO Calling, you covered two new ARRL publications and recommended a third in passing: Tune In the World of Ham Radio. I'd like to pass on my impressions of this package for your edification and, maybe your readers.
After nearly 5 years in my new QTH, I finally set up and started operating my rig again, primarily to get my 13-year-old interested in hamming during his coming summer vacation. I bought the aforementioned publication for him, ostensibly to help get started the right way. The packaging and full-color covers looked great, but things went downhill from that point on. Thumbing through the pages quickly, I got a sinking feeling. Paper quality was akin to the old 10-cent pulp magazines - - not even coated stock like QST. Printing size was the same as the old format QST's - magnifying glass optional. Then, page after page of articles on how great ham radio can be - all of the exotic modes of operation - pictures of incredibly complex-looking rigs, equipment and antennas - - on and on, ad infinitum. Finally, tucked more than halfway back in the book was the first mention of how to get started toward a Novice license. The packed sand effect in my mouth wasn't reduced by reading this section, either. I turned to the Code Instruction Cassette. It looked okay and sounded fine. But what's this little slip of paper packed with it? An errata sheet for the cassette? Good Grief!!! All the high technology and professional expertise at Newington couldn't turn out an error-free tape? Were all the tapes produced and distributed glitched like this? What kind of operation would put up with such a shoddy product?
I'm afraid that the uninspired writing, haphazard organization, misplaced emphasis and less-than-perfect code practice material all up to a package that will make a candidate Novice tune out the world of ham radio! And, unfortunately, that's exactly what happened in my family! The tape lies about, unused and the cover on the book still cracks when you open it wide. My son is no closer to his Novice license than before, thanks to the ARRL.
- Stan Hench WB6JMP
- May 5, 1977
W6HCD's SOLUTION TO LAST MONTH'S PUZZLE:
FOR SALE: Motorola T33GGV "Twin-V" 2-meter transceiver. 20 watts, single channel tuned and crystalled up on WR6ACD (Johnstone Peak) 146.22/146.82. Includes remote control head and speaker. $35. Walt Diem, WA6PEA, Lab X3186 or home, 248-7525.
Go back to the W6VIO Calling Index.