Over 100 invited guests from neighboring radio clubs were treated to a tour of JPL's facilities dealing with "Space Communication" on April 14. After the showing of a movie in Von Karman Auditorium, the visitors were split into various groups and sent on different routes to cover the Spacecraft Assembly Facility, Space Flight Operations Facility, the Environmental Test Lab, the Image Processing Lab, and, finally the JPLARC trailer made famous by N6V.

A highlight of the tour, which was organized by Gordon Crawford, WB6DRH, was the communications liaison provided by many dedicated club members on 2 meter FM. Communicators were located at each stopping point, with each group, on the tour bus, and at a central coordinating point. Lab management especially complimented the club and members who made it all happen within seconds of the scheduled times, since they had tried to do exactly the same routine with other groups and, without the communications, had experienced all sorts of difficulties.

Audience reaction was very favorable, since each of the lecturers at the stops were club members who could explain things in terms hams would understand.

Gordon sends his heartiest of thanks to all that helped implement the tour, and believes it would be impossible to assemble a better group to put on this extensive and informative a function. Participation from the following persons is acknowledged with thanks:

Booth Hartley, K6KVC    Vince Wirth, WA6BZB
Ralph West, WB6YMF      Waldo Brown, W6QJO
Bernie O'Brian          Jerry Hawkes, W6WXL
Jay Holladay, W6EJJ     Glenn Berry, K6GHJ
Jim Lumsden, WA6MYJ     Dick Piety, K6SVP
                        Jack Patzold, WB6TXG
COMMUNICATORS           Stan Brokl, K6YYQ
Walt Diem, WA6PEA
Warren Apel, K6GPK      Dr. Louis Serrano
Gil Schuler, WA6ULA     Mike Garcia
Irv Wiebe, K6JUB
Earl Pittman, W6VHU     PHOTOGRAPHER
Dick La Belle, W6FXN    Dr. Norm Chalfin, K6PGX
Dick Nuzum, WA6RTK                       
Bill Carpenter, WA6QZY  [Tnx WB6DRH]

Jerry Hawkes explains ETL Equipment to visitors. [K6PGX]


Never let it be said that the Los Angeles Section couldn't learn anything from another section, especially involving emergency communications. Our speaker for the May 11th meeting will be Fred Pfadt, K6KNC, Assistant SCM for Orange County and Emergency Coordinator for VHF in Orange County. He will speak on the structure of the Orange County ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service, an arm of ARRL that used to be called the AREC), Red Cross Disaster Responsibilities, and how Orange County Section has achieved such a high degree of success with their ARES organization. He will describe three specific disasters and how his group served them. See you there! [Tnx W6HCD]


For some time, Chas. Weir, W6UM, and Jay Bastow, K6CV, have held the distinction of being the only current club members with 2-letter calls. In the past month, the FCC must have dumped their computers and several, more members received calls. For your reference, here are the new ones:

Name                Old Call New Call
Booth Hartley       K6KVC    N6BH
Morris Jones (Mojo) WB6DJP   N6DE
Bob Polansky        W6JKR    N6ET
Stan Sander         WB6MPM   N6MP
Rich Ward           WA6VOG   N6BF


As of this writing, we're 97 strong. If you're left out, send your $2 dues to Ron Ploszaj, 233-307. Tnx.


A valid nomination petition for SCM, Los Angeles Section, was turned in by former JPLARC President Stan Brokl, K6YYQ. Stan will be running for the position of Section Communications Manager, which is part of the Communications Department of ARRL and is the interface between the League and the active operating amateurs of Los Angeles. Elections will be held in the fall for the two-year office. Stan hopes to continue being active, so he can have a better feel for the local problems we have. To this end, his XYL presented him with a brand-new Yaesu FT-101E! With that kind of luck (or salesmanship if you prefer) how can he lose? [Tnx K6YYQ]


Three dockets are pending before FCC which could have a major impact on amateur radio as it exists today:

Docket 21135 proposes "simplification of the licensing and call sign assignment systems for ... the Amateur Radio Service." The principal effects of this proposal would be to:

a. Eliminate all types of amateur licenses except the primary station license (e.g., club station, special event station, secondary station, and repeater, auxiliary link and control stations.) Existing licenses of these other types would remain valid but would not be renewed.

b. Discontinue issuance of 1x2 call signs of applicants' choice for Extra Class licensees. 1x2's would be systematically assigned by FCC to those eligible.

c. Discontinue issuance of preferred call signs (1x3's, etc.) to former holders of this type of call.

d. Discontinue issuance of specific call signs for former holders of same.

May QST has a full description of the proposed changes. Comments are due to FCC by June 2.

In Docket 21116 the FCC proposes to solve the problem of CB linears by banning the manufacture and sale of all external power amplifiers capable of operating on any frequency between 24 and 35 MHz. This would apply to future manufacture. Use of existing amplifiers by amateurs, or future homebrew of an amplifier for 10 meters would be permitted.

Docket 21117 proposes to institute type approval of all commercially manufactured transmitters and external amplifiers under the FCC type acceptance program. Homebrew or modification of equipment by an individual amateur would be permitted.

April QST carries a full description of the changes proposed in Dockets 21116 and 21117. Comments on both are due to FCC by May 25.

All three of the above dockets involve significant changes to the amateur radio service. Please let your views be known to your ARRL Director/Vice Director so we can better represent you. And, if you feel strongly on any of these subjects, file your own comments with FCC. I can supply a copy of any of the Dockets as well as a suggested format for filing comments with FCC. How would you like to see amateur radio develop?? ... W6EJJ, Jay Holladay, Vice Director, JPL Ext. 4443.


ARRL has just come out with two new publications, which we felt are worthy of a review for our readers. The first is not strictly "new;" it is the 76th edition of our old standby, The Radio Amateur's License Manual. But it has been given a complete overhaul, including a new approach to presenting the basic material for each license class, Novice through Extra, and a new, larger size consistent with the enlarged WT.

Instead of covering the material in the traditional Question-and-Answer format, the basic knowledge needed to understand and answer the questions is given. Test questions follow each grouping of material, and at the end of each chapter for each class of license is a glossary and complete multiple choice sample test. These tests are in FCC format, and answers are included in the back of the book for self-checking.

Applicable International Rules, as well as the complete FCC rules and Regs governing the Amateur Radio Service, are presented as separate chapters. In fact, the FCC rules presentation is far more legible than the "original" put out by the Government Printing Office! Cost for the 76th edition is $3.00.

This reviewer is pleased to see this 166 page book finally available, and recommends it as a must for anyone studying for Technician or higher class license. It would also do as a refresher for someone trying for Novice that has considerable familiarity with the subject; but for someone starting cold with little or no amateur knowledge, we recommend instead ARRL's Tune In the World With Ham Radio (Book and Code Instruction Cassette, $7.)

The second new publication is really all new. It is a joint effort of Tektronix' Wes Hayward, W7ZOI, and QST's Technical Editor, Doug DeMaw, W1FB. Titled Solid State Design for the Radio Amateur, it covers theory as well as practice in the areas of solid state Transmitters, Amplifiers, Matching Networks, Receivers, Test Equipment and Modulation Methods. Many very interesting new techniques using solid state devices heretofore missing from ham literature are presented. There are several appendices, covering material such as Phasing SSB, Bandpass Filter Design, Distortion Properties of Amplifiers and Receivers, Transistor Models and Amplifier Analysis. Many projects are described that illustrate applications of the principles. Highly recommended for the experimentally inclined, serious amateur. 250 pages in the new large QST format, $7.00. [W6IUV]


Several club members have been called to duty at the Kennedy Space Center in support of the upcoming launches of Voyager (formerly the MJS'77 spacecraft.) We hope to keep in touch either through their own personal stations, or when they operate the KSC Club Station, WB4ICJ. Those who will be enjoying the warm Florida summer weather during the next few months are:

Jay Bastow, K6CV         Jim Lumsden, WA6MYJ
Glenn Cunningham, WA6TPT Bob MacClellan, WA6BNH
Harry Enmark, WA6IUR     Chas. Weir, W6UM
Jerry Hawkes, W6WXL      Vince Wirth, WA6BZB


So says the CW IDer of our 220 MHz repeater as it meters out perfect code at 20 wpm every few minutes. We thought it could also serve as the title of a regular column on repeater-related VHF activities of our members.

To start with, here is a complete list of repeater users thus far. If we left anyone out, please let us know:

W6BFA - Bill     W6LPJ - Archie
N6BH - Booth     WB6MJK - Steve
WA6BMA - Joe     WA6MYJ - Jim
HK4CVV - Elvia   WA6PEA - Walt
K6CYY - Bob      K6PGX - Norm
W6EJJ - Jay      WB6QWC - Bob
WB6FXJ - Bill    WA6SLB - Dick
W6FXN - Dick     WA6SQF - Don
WA6HHU - Len     WB6TEB - Mike
W6IUV - Merv     WA6TPW - Ron
WA6JBZ - Dick    WA6ULA - Gil
K6JUB - Erv      WB6WXK - Pete
K6KVC - See N6BH W6ZH - Pete

While it's not news now to those operating on the repeater, we feel the need to chronicle some of the giant steps the repeater has made in the past few weeks. Five antenna work parties were organized by Walt, WA6PEA. These involved antenna assembly, hardline installation and pressurizing, antenna tuning, and antenna and repeater installation on the hill.

Glenn Berry and Bob Biswell, of BOB Aerial Artists, adjust antenna element with aid of very useful Cherry Picker.


... To members Ron Ploszaj, WA6TPW, and Pete Lyman, WB6WXK, upon receiving their Outstanding Leadership Medals at the NASA Special Awards Ceremony on April 25, in recognition of outstanding contributions to the Viking Project. (Now that Viking activities will be tapering off, we hope to see more of both of you in the club! ... Ed.)

WA6PEA wrestles with cavity tuning at WRAPS.

[Both photos this page by K6PGX.]

On April 18, the 4-dipole Cushcraft antenna was installed on the antenna mesa, and on April 19 the repeater itself was moved into a temporary portable building while a search goes on for our own weatherproof enclosure. Even though the building is only 50 feet from the pole, hardline was used to minimize losses. The SWR still has to be lowered by tuning the gamma matches on the dipoles, but the improvement in performance over what we had in the JPL building is remarkable. We now cover most of the San Gabriel Valley well, and most of the San Fernando Valley with the exception of some bad spots in Sunland and Burbank. Surprisingly, we have coverage to nearly all the coastal areas including LAX and down through Orange County.

Special thanks go to the following persons who helped bring all these parties off: Steve Bednarczyk, Glenn Berry, Bob Biswell, Norm Chalfin, Walt Diem, Booth Hartley, Jay Holladay, Jim Lumsden, Merv MacMedan, Jack Patzold and Dick Wetzel. And, an extra round of applause and thanks is extended to Bill Pickett who works at the antenna range and stayed past his regular hours several times to help check out our aerial acrobats on his Cherry Picker. Without that, Bill, none of this would have come to pass!

Three GROUP PURCHASES are in the works. The first is for Clegg Model FM-DX, a 40-watt synthesized 2-meter FM transceiver having complete coverage, 143.5148.5 MHz in 5 MHz steps. List, $599; substantial discount will be obtained depending on quantity of the group. Cutoff date: June 15. See Nash Williams, W6HCD, X2047

The second group is for Larsen Kulrod antennas - 1/4 and 5/8 wave on 2m and 220, and collinears for 450 MHz. Wide selection of mounts. Cutoff date: May 13. See Walt Diem, WA6PEA, X 3186.

The third group is for Handitalkies, HF beams, tubular crankup towers, rotators -all of Wilson manufacture, including the new WE-80O portable synthesized 2m rig. Cutoff date: May 6, sharp! See Walt Diem, X 3186.


... To member Cliff Moore, K6KII, who inches up another notch in the DXCC Honor Roll with a total confirmed countries count of 343.

... To member Merv MacMedan, W6IUV, who, in spite of this newsletter, managed to reach the 200-country mark.


Here are your editor's notes from the April Board Meeting. Remember, these haven't been approved, so consider them (as a JPL rubber stamp I once saw said, "Information Only - Do Not Use."

The April 27, 1977 Board was called to order by Jim Lumsden, WA6MYJ. The following were in attendance:

Stan Brokl, K6YYQ      Merv MacMedan, W6IUV
Merrill Burnett, K6BER Dick Piety, K6SVP
Walt Diem, WA6PEA      Ron Ploszaj, WA6TPW
Jay Holladay, W6EJJ    Rich Ward, N6BF
Jim Lumsden, WA6MYJ    Nash Williams, W6HCD
Gil Yanow K6TOS

Jim announced that the club was going to try to get N6V resurrected in spite of the current special event moratorium by the FCC. Rich Ward presented a plan for a commemorative activity for the Voyager launch assuming we would have to use our regular call (W6 Voyager In Outerspace.) It would seem that CW would be impractical, though, and most activity would have to be carried on SSB, SSTV, and FM unless we could get a special call.

Ron Ploszaj announced that we now have 97 paid members for 1977. He presented the application of George Riggins, WA6DZR, for renewal as an off-lab member, which has to have Board approval. The Board unanimously approved his membership.

Jim Lumsden announced that a composite videotape had been made of all the publicity or TV that N6V got, and was being shipped to Robot in San Diego for their use at the Dayton Hamvention. Upon its return to us, it will be shown at the Fresno Hamfest also.

Stan Brokl reported that there was lots of interest in Field Day, as judged by the returned slips. We will organize into teams for CW, SSB, and VHF-UHF. We have 2 beams, inverted vees, and are even looking into 6 meters, a band that we couldn't use from the old Mt. Wilson site. Ralph West, WB6YMF, will be organizing the Cook-out.

Jim announced that ERC is counting on us to help their JPL Picnic by selling hot dogs as usual this July. Dr. Serrano was extremely pleased with the Tour of JPL that was organized and run by the club, and will be looking forward to more in the future.

Walt Diem gave a status report on the repeater, and we have included most of that or page 3. He also announced that he had been appointed to the SCRA Technical Committee for coordination of 2 meter and 220 MHz frequencies. Congratulations, Walt!

Gil Yanow, K6TOS, announced that the next Energy Fair would be held in November at the Anaheim Convention Center. He proposed that a ham radio station, showing what can be achieved operating from Solar panels, be set up and operated by us. It would run four days.

Finally, Jay Holladay presented Jim Lumsden with the framed certificate of merit that was announced at the last regular club meeting - for his contribution as N6V team leader in increasing the awareness of amateur radio among the public. Well done, Jim.

The meeting ended at 1:05. [W6IUV]


I expect to have a meeting on May 16 of all the Field Day participants, for planning our assault on Table Mountain. The signup slips received so far show excitement and interest not seen before. If anyone missed the April 29 deadline, please get me your Field Day Slip (from last month's newsletter) before May 13. It is absolutely needed for budgeting the dinner. A notice will be mailed to those who have signed up concerning the meeting.

73 -Stan, K6YYQ Field Day Chairman


The other day Nash Williams, W6HCD, was in my office when he noticed a funny looking plastic box on my desk and asked what it was. Obviously made of components from the local hardware store, I told him it was a training aid used to demonstrate a series circuit to students.

The box has a 60 Hz plug and wire connected to two switches and two light bulb sockets. A red bulb is in one socket, a green bulb in the other. One switch has a red splotch of paint on it; the other switch is painted green. The components are mounted in a clear plastic box so all circuitry is clearly visible. Nash looked at the box and agreed it was indeed a simple series circuit.

I plugged the box into a wall outlet and demonstrated how the box worked. Both switches were on, so, of course, both lights were on, burning at less than full intensity. When either bulb was unscrewed, both lights went out. When both switches were turned off, again, both lights went off. The next step was to turn off the red switch. Of course, only the red light went off. The green switch controlled the green light, and the red switch controlled the red light. Nash didn't seem too happy with the fact that each switch controlled one bulb, but I assured him it was consistent with this series circuit.

As I unscrewed the bulbs and interchanged them in the sockets, I explained another basic principle of electricity. Every 60 Hz plug is pretty much the same as any other: if I were to plug a radio in this room or one across town, one would expect the same effects. By the same token, one would expect the red and green lights to act the same regardless of which socket they were in, right? Indeed, after switching the bulbs around, the red switch still controlled the red light and the green switch still controlled the green light. Nash looked quite puzzled. I was surprised that such an experienced amateur would know so little about a simple series circuit.

About two days later I found a schematic in my mail, from Nash. He had discovered the secret of this "series" circuit. Can you? If you want an in-person demo, Nash still has the box. His solution will be in next month's W6VIO CALLING. [Tnx Paul Lecoq, K6KNA]


The Banquet at the Fresno Hamfest has been sold out. According to Dave Philips, WA6WLT, Fresno Hamfest Chairman, this is the largest turnout they ever had. Interest has been undoubtedly spurred by the Tech Talks Radio and Radar Astronomy by K6YYQ, N6V Commemorative Station by WA6MYJ, Oscar Activities and Viking Results by K6PGX, and Oven-to-Oven QSO's at S-Band by K6HIJ, all of whom are JPLARC members, and Contesting by W60AT.) In addition, K6YYQ is the Banquet speaker, and he will speak on "Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence" (SETI) describing JPL's SETI program - a real room-packer! The Fresno Hamfest is May 6-8 at Fresno's Holiday Inn Airport. Contact Dave Philips for reservations at 209-224-2333. Stan will also give the SETI talk at the Los Angeles Amateur Radio Convention in Burbank at LeRC, May 21-22. Contact Stan for info - X2715.

Go back to the W6VIO Calling Index.