PHASE THREE SATELLITE STRUCTURAL TEST A SUCCESS
By Jim Lumsden, WA6MYJ
The Amsat-Oscar Phase Three satellite Engineering Test Model (ETM), which was designed and built in Germany, was successfully vibrated in all three axes. Both sinusoidal and random vibration tests were performed in JPL's Environmental Test Laboratory during a very hectic week in December.
The actual testing went smoothly until the vibration system shut itself down because some of the assembly screws shook loose. All six solar panel simulator panels, which had been so painstakingly installed by Jack Patzold, WB6TXG, and the Strain Gage Lab crew, had to be removed in order to access the culprit screws. This meant some 360 screws had to be removed and then reinstalled again to continue. And, per Murphy's law, this took place at night, of course.
Retest took place the next day. Vibration of the two remaining axes followed, and the tests were completed on schedule. The structure survived the test, marking a major milestone in the development of the new satellite and provided data required by the European Space Agency launch vehicle people.
Amsat's Jan King, W3GEY, awaits "Go" from JPL's Harold Conway and Kent MacDavid, checking strain gage locations on satellite structure (l. to r.) JPL's Sam Weaver, WB6EMO, machining the adapter plate needed for the test. [Both photos by K6PGX.]
The Phase 3 satellite, scheduled for a December 1979 launch from French Guiana, will be piggybacked aboard ESA's second Ariane rocket test flight. It will be placed into a highly elliptical polar orbit with a period of 11 hours, giving hams in the Northern Hemisphere view periods of several hours daily. Apogee will be some 23,000 miles, attained by use of the satellite's own, self-contained kick motor!
Amsat, represented by Jan King, W3GEY, and the JPL Amateur Radio Club, extend thanks to all who participated in making this test a possibility, both members and non-members. Special thanks go to Sam Weaver, WB6EMO, who spent an entire weekend (Friday thru Monday) machining a critical vibration table adapter plate from scratch. Thanks are also extended to Larry Bennett, Harold Conway, Kenton MacDavid and Roland Taylor for providing accelerometer and strain gage support; to Lee Albers and Russ Hansen for the conduction of the vibration test and instrumentation recording; to Norm Chalfin, K6PGX, for photo documentation, and to Jay Holladay, W6EJJ and Pete Lyman, WB6WXK, for overall coordination of the test effort.
Most of the "Lead Team" has now been assembled for carrying on the 1978 functions of the JPLARC, and that list includes more than 15% of the club's membership! I state very strongly here that the leaders in any team type organization can only accomplish what the whole team pitches in to do. An 8-horse team can pull the coach only if all 8 members pull, and in the same direction.
I feel this year's committee roster is the most ambitious yet, but they will burn out quickly if no help is forthcoming from the members. Usually, requests for assistance involve only a minimum time commitment. Please pitch in; there is much to be done!
I am pleased with the increased use of the W6VIO station. After all, that is what the facility is for (especially the trailer location.) The recent addition of a 220 MHz synthesized rig should attract more use, particularly from those members interested in finding out what 220 MHz is like before buying.
Speaking of 220, try the club repeater. It is one of the best in Southern California (by comments on the air) and therefore probably one of the best, period. The repeater system will be expanding soon, thanks to the energetic repeater committee led by Walt Diem, WA6PEA (no need to prod the team here!) Detailed system information is available at board meetings, from the repeater committee directly (contact Walt, x3186, or Booth Hartley, N6BH, x2459) or from reading W6VIO Calling. Walt is always looking for comments and desires from users of the system as well as potential users.
Mary other activities are shaping up for the year, and I will try to enumerate them next month. Remember, it takes the whole team to get it all done.
73, Jim Lumsden WA6MYJ
BOARD MEMBER AND COMMITTEE CHAIRMEN APPOINTMENTS
Here are the committee chairmanship appointments for 1978 which have been made so far. This list is current as of January 25, 1978:
- QSL Manager: Merrill Burnett, K6BER
- Station Manager: Rich Ward, N6BF
- Repeater Committee: Walt Diem, WA6PEA
- Education Committee: Ron Ploszaj, WA6TPW
- Editor, W6VIO Calling: Merv MacMedan, N6NO
- Historian: Norm Chalfin, K6PGX
- Contest Committee: Mike Griffin, WA3AZI
- Librarian: Sam Weaver, WB6EMO
- Picnic Committee: Ralph West, N6YM
- Solar Power Committee: Gil Yanow, K6TOS
- Explorer Commemoration: Gordon Crawford, WB6DRH
- LA Council of Radio Clubs Delegates:
- Jay Holladay, W6EJJ, and Jim Lumsden, WA6MYJ.
The following Board Member appointments were made and confirmed by the board:
- Trustee: Jay Holladay, W6EJJ
- Emergency Communications Mgr: Glenn Berry, K6GHJ
- Director-at-Large: Jay Bestow, K6CV
NEW RACES CALL ISSUED:
The Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services (RACES) in Los Angeles County has been issued a new call sign; WC6ABD. The new call will go into effect in the 18 county districts on March 1. Amateur Radio rules will apply. [Tnx W6HCD]
BOARD MEETING HIGHLIGHTS
The JPLARC Board meeting of January 25, 1978, had the following members in attendance:
- Jim Lumsden, WA6MYJ Gordon Crawford, WB6DRH
- Dick Piety, K6SVP Mike Griffin, WA3AZI
- Ralph West, N6YM Booth Hartley, N6BH
- Jack Patzold, WB6TXG Jay Holladay, W6EJJ
- Glenn Berry, K6GHJ Merv MacMedan, N6NO
- Norm Chalfin, K6PGX Jack Repar, WA6LWD
- Rich Ward, N6BF Sam Weaver, WB6EMO
Jim Lumsden presided, handling appointments first. The Trustee (Holladay) and Emergency Communications Manager (Berry) were unanimously approved by the board. The Director-at-Large (Bastow) was approved subsequent to the meeting by a vote of 4-yea, 1 absent. Congratulations to all!
Other committee appointments are listed in the column at the left [above].
Dick Piety reported that Viking Landing SSTV tape sales have been moving along, despite cessation of advertising. The board authorized him to buy 25 more copies in anticipation of future sales.
Gordon Crawford and Jack Repar reported on the plans for celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Explorer I on January 31. A special message will be sent to us via Oscar on the 3lst, among other activities. A transverter (28 to 432 MHz) and 2m/432 MHz antennas have been procured. A loaned 2m SSB & CW rig will be used for receiving the Mode B activity.
Jay Holladay led the discussion of a draft charter for the Repeater Committee, an action requested at the last Board meeting. Relatively few changes and clarifications were required, and a cleaned-up version should be ready for Board approval next meeting. [N6NO]
CALIFORNIA AMATEUR LICENSE PLATE FEES TO RISE IN '79
A revised bill to replace Senate Bill 915 in the California legislature has been placed in the hopper. In its revised form the bill provides for an initial fee for amateur radio call letter license plates at $15. There will be no renewal fee each year. The proposed transfer fee is 37 (to put the plates on a new car once you've been assigned the plates.) If the bill passes the legislature it is expected to become effective January 1, 1979.
Any JPL Club members who are contemplating obtaining call letter license plates in California should do so immediately because the present fee is only $3 for the initial application. Of course, in obtaining call letter plates for the first time, the fee is in addition to the normal license fees for vehicle tags. [Tnx K6PGX]
PAUL LECOQ, K6KNA WRITES...
... greetings to all. 2m FM has been a blast in all my travels, but I should have sprung for a synthesized rig - I have some wrong crystals! If the club ever does anything about a synthesizer kit project, I'll contribute and help in the project.
Two feet of snow, afternoon temps up to +4 F; kids like it, but only the first half hour! Our small company just started and we are well on the way to having our own inverter ready for testing. All we need now is test equipment! 73 - Paul Lecoq, Rt-3, Box 253, Sand Point, Idaho 83864; Work: 208-263-2166; Home 208-263-8389
... to member Cliff Moore, K6KII, on receiving his Five Band DXCC, certificate No. 602.
WR6APS - AT JPL By Booth Hartley, N6BH
REPEATER LIST TESTED
Armed with the latest 220 MHz repeater list from the SCRA (Southern California Repeater Association), N6BH drove to the Mesa on the evening of January 23, and attempted to access each repeater using 20 watts from a synthesized Midland 13-513 into a Larsen 5/8 wave antenna on his car roof. The list of open repeaters and his results are given here:
- In Out Call Location Sig Note
- 222.30 223.90 WR6ARO Glendale
- 222.32 223.92 WR6ANW Santa Cruz Is.
- 222-34 223.94 WR6AWP Highland Park S9+30 1
- 222-36 223.96 WR6AFI Santa Barbara
- 222.36 223.96 WR6AZN Table Mtn.
- 222.38 223.98 WR6AFG Pomona (Johnstone) S1 1
- 222.40 224.00 WR6AWF Upland
- 222.40 224.00 of K6BNX Costa Mesa
- 222.42 224.02 WR6AOX Ventura (Sulfur Mt)
- 222.44 224.04 WR6APS Pasadena (JPL) S9+30+ 1
- 222.46 224.06 - Reserved for Baja
- 222.50 224.10 WR6AHX Santa Ana S3 1
- 222.52 224.12 WR6AQY Montebello
- 222.54 224.14 WR6ANI/WR6AEY Long Beach/Mono Lake (Linked)
- 222.56 224.16 WR6ABA Mt. Baldy
- 222.58 224.18 WR6BBU Chino S1 1
- 222.58 224.18 K60X Antelope (Hauser Mt) -
- 222.58 224.18 Norwalk -
- 222.60 224.20 WR6ACF San Diego (Mt.Otay)
- 222.62 224.22 W6HIL Long Beach S9+3O
- 222.68 224.28 WR6AKU Palos Verdes S2
- 222.70 224.30 WR6ABR E. LA (RACES) - 3
- 222.72 224.32 WR6AVG Malibu (Rainbow) S1 2
- 222.78 224.38 WR6AVQ Carson
- 222.82 224.42 WR6AAA Catalina Island S3 1
- 222.84 224.44 R6AOY South Pasadena S9+30 1
- 222.86 224.46 WR6AKY San Diego (Pt.Loma)
- 222.86 224.46 WR6ANF Van Nuys -
- 222.88 224.48 WR6AXD Mt. Lukens S1 2
- 222.90 224.50 WR6ACB Anaheim S7 1
- 222.92 224.52 WR6AWQ Loop Canyon S9 2
- 222.94 224.54 WR6AID San Diego -
- 222.96 224.56 WR6AUJ Running Springs S1 1
- 222.98 224-58 WA6VNV Canoga Park Sl- 1
- 223.00 224.60 - Repeater Testing Channel 4
- 223.02 224.62 WR6ADL Hawthorne (Northrup) S1 1
- 223.02 224.62 WR6AUA Chuala Vista
- 223.06 224.66 WR6AIZ Lemon Heights S3 1
- 223.10 224.70 WR6AYI Laguna Beach RTTY S7 1
- 223.14 224.74 WR6ABJ LA (Hollywood Hills) S5 1
- 223.16 224.76 WR6AUT Santa Ana S7 1
- 223.16 224.76 WA6ZSM San Diego (Pt. Loma)
- 223.22 224.82 - Reserved for Baja
- 223.24 224.84 WR6AUG H'wood Hills-Solar S1 1
- 223.26 224.86 WR6ACJ Crestline S1
- 223.30 224.90 WA6HGK San Diego( Mt.Otay) -
- 223-34 224-94 WR6AJI Mt. Wilson S9+20 1
- 1 - Keyable from Mesa.
- 2 - Private repeater, but it is keyable from Mesa.
- 3 - Temporarily off the air.
- 4 - Many older Midland rigs were supplied with 223-0 simplex before 223.5 became the national simplex frequency.
Simplex Channels in Frequent Use
The following simplex channels were listed and notations supplied by SCRA:
- 222.12 - Medium use in Los Angeles, San Gabriel Valley area.
- 222.20 - Increasing use in San Diego area for SSB.
- 223.00 - Widely used in Los Angeles, San Diego area, nationwide.
- 223.46 National Remote Base Intercom channel.
- 223.50 National Simplex channel.
- 223.58 Conversation heard N6BH.
- 223.62 Widely used in LA, Orange County, San Diego, High Desert.
- 223.68 Older repeater control channel.
- 223.70 Heavy use, Carson, Orange County, RACES, Light in San Fernando Valley
- 223.78 Medium to Heavy use in San Fernando Valley and Ventura
- 223.84 Medium use in all Southern Calif. areas
- 223.86 Medium use in Orange County.
220 MHz SYNTHESIZER ANNOUNCED
A new product called the Synthacoder 509 has been announced in a brochure just distributed by Engineering Specialties of Oxnard. It is a small unit that attaches to your Midland, Clegg or Cobra 220 MHz crystal controlled rig and provides 12 switchable channels of operation independent of the crystal operation you now have. The added channels are programmed by clipping leads from 31 diode matrix IC's and each channel can be switched to "repeat" "simplex" or "reverse." Comments from those that have seen early production samples are that it is an exceptionally clean mechanical job, and a test by Walt Diem on a spectrum analyzer showed it to be exceptionally clean in the RF spectrum. They are now available at $129.95 per copy from Engineering Specialties, P.O. Box 2233, 1247 Commercial Avenue, Oxnard, Calif. 93030. Tel. 805-486-0817. Some of you that have $20 discount coupons will be able to use them until February 15, 1978.
A NOTE FROM JOHN GRIGGS, ARRL SW DIVISION DIRECTOR
I know that many of you have been concerned with the state of my health ever since I suffered a stroke September 10th, and have been recuperating either in hospitals or, since December 5th, at my home. As to my present condition, I have not yet regained the ability to walk, and to the extent my mobility presents problems, I have called upon our Vice Director, Jay Holladay, W6EJJ, to handle League matters. He will be representing your division at this month's board of directors' meeting in Newington. He has been doing an excellent job in backing me up in this time of need. I hope to be sufficiently recovered in time to attend the second ARRL board meeting later in the year, and hope especially to be able to attend the National ARRL Convention in September at San Diego.
On the air you may find me somewhat slower in speech, and sometimes I have difficulty in maintaining the pitch of my voice, but I still enjoy operating. A brain scan showed the computer portion of my brain completely intact. I wish to take this opportunity to thank all of you who sent me get-well wishes and messages of hope for my recovery. The total amount was unbelievable, and now more than ever I appreciate the fraternity and good fellowship of amateur radio.
73, John R. Griggs, W6KW
ARRL BOARD MEETING HIGHLIGHTS [Via W6EJJ]
Official Bulletin Nr 689 January 21 1978:
Meeting in annual session January 19 and 20, the ARRL Board of Directors voted to establish the position of Resident Washington, D.C., representative for ARRL, to petition FCC to extend from 30 to 45 days the period allowed for return of Novice examinations by volunteer examiners, and to urge FCC to seek legislative authority for increased volunteer assistance in administering amateur examinations. In an action related to the ARRL Code of Ethics, the General Manager is directed to publish information on manufacturers and suppliers who demonstrate a commitment to the principle of seeking means to limit the unlawful use of amateur equipment. In other actions, the Board directed the Communications Manager to continue the mailing of Official Bulletins to OBS, directed the implementation of a three tier club competition in League sponsored contests, transfer red Ocean County, New Jersey, from the Hudson to the Atlantic Division, conferred the 1976 Technical Excellence Award upon K4EWG and W4BBP, and changed the mileage limit for WAS and Five Band WAS contacts from 25 to 50 miles. A new award to recognize sixty year members of the League is to be established, and QST authors will henceforth be awarded a certificate of appreciation. Studies were ordered of several aspects of the contest program, band plans for 220 and 420 MHz bands, a possible new position of Division Technical Coordinator, guidelines for the use Of non profit mailing permits in the name of the league, how to increase participation in the Amateur Radio Emergency Service, and the establishment of a Public Relations Advisory Committee. Complete minutes will appear in March QST.
NEW ARRL-SPONSORED INSURANCE PROGRAM
Most of the details have finally been worked out for implementation of the League's new ham equipment insurance program. A general mailing to all members describing the fine points will be coming out momentarily; meanwhile, the main points are as follows: An insurance carrier will insure your ham gear (mobile or home station) against rip-off on a replacement value basis at a cost of $1 per $100 of value. In addition, automatic coverage will be provided for up to 25% of the face value of the policy to cover equipment you borrow, or new gear not yet listed on your policy. There will be a small deductible, and a minimum coverage amount, but it looks like a fine value. Look for the announcement.
STAN BROKL, ex-K6YYQ WRITES ...
Stan writes to tell everyone he is very happy in his new QTH. He has a new call to go with that QTH, too, and you should now look for him as N2YQ. He says New Jersey seems to have 60 db gain over California judging from all the DX he has worked with a piece of wire. RCA, his new employer, also seems to be very personnel-relations oriented: They supply up to 1000 cards free to every ham employee that wants them! And, fortunately his XYL found a job first day out. If anyone would like to call or write, try 201-469-2597 at home, 201-685-6276 at work, or write to 28 New Brunswick Rd., Somerset, N.J. 08873.
* * * CONGRATULATIONS TO JPL
ON THE TWENTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF
AMERICA'S FIRST ORBITING SATELLITE,
EXPLORER 1: JANUARY 31, 1978.
* * *
UPDATE TO EMERGENCY PHONES LIST
Many thanks to several people who have expressed interest in helping round out our emergency phones list provided last month by WA6KFW. Here's the complete list as we have it at this writing:
- Community Police Fire Paramedic/Ambulance
- Alhambra 282-3141 282-2121 282-2121 (A)
- Altadena 798-1131 793-7176 793-7176 (P)
- Arcadia 446-2111 446-6188 446-6188 (P)
- Duarte 448-9861 444-2581 444-2581 (P)
- East Pasadena (Uninc) 285-7171 793-7176 793-7176 (P)
- El Monte 575-2111 448-6121 448-6121 (P)
- Highland Park, El Sereno,
- and Eagle Rock 485-2681 384-3131 483-6721 (P)
- Monrovia 359-1152 359-9311 359-9311 (P)
- LaCanada-Flintridge 248-3464 793-7176 793-7176 (P)
- Pasadena 577-4241 792-4161 792-4161 (P)
- Rosemead 285-7171 444-2581 444-2581 (P)
- San Gabriel 282-1144 288-5050 288-5050 (A)
- San Marino 282-2131 282-9111 282-9111 (A)
- Sierra Madre 355-1414 355-1401 355-14Ol (A)
- South Pasadena 799-1121 441-1191 441-1191 (P)
- Temple City 285-7171 444-2581 444-2581 (P)
- Rape Hotline: 793-3385
- California Highway Patrol (Emergency Only): Zenith 1-2000
- [These calls are free but must go thru operator]
- CHP Road Condition Information: 626-7231
Part of estate of F. W. Brocksieper:
Executive size desk (beige, glass top on front half of desk) Approx. 30 x 60 inches, 28-1/2 11 high. $150
Swivel Office Armchair (Checked Green Upholstered) $75
Bookcase (New - built to accommodate ham radio publications: 67-1/4 W x 40-1/2 H x 11-1/4 D. $125.
See Ella Brocksieper, 3054 Fairesta St., La Crescenta, Calif; Home phone 248-5910; Business phone 251-2804.
TABLE MOUNTAIN - JPL REPEATER LINK
The Repeater Committee has been working with the Goldstone ARC to implement a user-controlled link between the JPLARC open repeater WR6AP5, and the Goldstone ARC repeater WR6AZN located at Table Mountain (near Wrightwood) and having extensive coverage of the northern desert. Initial testing of the link should begin in late February. Once operational, users of WR6APS and WR6AZN will (with a published touch-tone sequence) be able to connect and disconnect the link. [WA6PEA]
THE EDITOR'S CORNER
This newsletter is published monthly and sent to all club members. Those who still receive it but have not paid for 1978 - look out! We will soon be combing through the files, and only paid-up members will get future issues. [send your $2 for 1978 dues to our Treasurer, Warren Apel, K6GPK, mail stop 114-118 before it slips your mind.] The purpose of the newsletter is to help glue the membership together, through sharing an understanding of the club's vast and varied activities with those who have not been able to participate firsthand -as well as those who have! Contributions are welcome: my deadline is the monthly Board meeting (4th Wednesday). Personals, For Sale or Wanted ads are also welcome. Send to Merv MacMedan, N6NO, mail stop 114-122.
READY FOR THE AUTOPATCH, GANG?
The repeater committee needs to know if a sufficient number of members want a Club Autopatch to justify implementing the planned capabilities. Based on the response to the questionnaire below, the Board of Directors will determine if the capability will be installed.
First, some background information is in order. The planned autopatch will allow member users to make telephone calls from their car or "handi-talkie" from anywhere within range of the repeater to a telephone destination anywhere within a 40-mile radius of JPL. The calling area would include all of Area 213 and probably as far away as Thousand Oaks, Lancaster, Wrightwood, Ontario, Orange, Santa Ana and Huntington Beach. (However, it should be noted that FCC regulations forbid the use of an amateur autopatch for business calls.)
Any member of the club may use the closed repeater by installing an encoding device in their rig at a cost of about $25 to $35 per radio. However, members who want to be able to access the autopatch will be expected to participate in defraying the operating expenses of the patch. Present estimates indicate a cost per participant of an initial $20 to cover the first three months of participation, and thereafter $3 per month.
Realizing the usefulness of an autopatch (e.g., calling for assistance when your car is disabled in pouring rain two miles from the nearest telephone, or notifying the Highway Patrol of a serious accident, or calling your wife to let her know you've been delayed in traffic and will be late for dinner), you may be wondering how much it would cost to equip yourself so you can use the autopatch. Here is what is required:
- Vehicle of your choice (Your estimate)
- Amateur Radio License (Presently free)
- 220 MHz mobile transceiver $140 - 150
- Crystals $10 per channel
- 3 db gain mobile antenna $25 - 35
- Touch-tone pad (for dialing) $25 - 60
- Encoding device (for access) $25 - 35
- Total Equipment Cost: $225 - 280
Now, please fill in the questionnaire below and mail it (or a copy) to W. Diem, T-l086 before 17 February!
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