CLUB MEETINGS: 2nd Wednesday of each month at 12:00 noon, in 238-543. All welcome. Next one: NOV. 8!

BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETINGS: Normally 4th Wednesday at 12:00 in 198-111. THIS MONTH'S MEETING ON NOV. 29!


The program for the November 8th meeting of the JPL Amateur Radio Club will feature Col. John Browning, W6SP. John will present a talk and slide show on his OSCAR operations from Thule Air Force Base, Greenland. John is an avid DXer and OSCAR worker, and is often on WR6APS. Don’t miss this one, on November 8th! (Tnx W6EJJ)


The plaudits continue to roll in for the work the club did during its N6V Viking Mars Commemorative Operation in 1976. We are now the proud recipients of the 4th annual "GOOD IMAGE AWARD" presented to us in person by Henry Ruh, WB9WWM, editor and publisher of Amateur Television Magazine. Henry visited us at the lab September 20, 1978, and presented the award for "excellence in promotion of Amateur Radio through the use of video (slow scan or fast scan television.) The award, a plaque with a TV camera tube, will be on display in the club trailer. (Tnx WA6MYJ)

Henry Ruh (l.) presenting Good Image Award to Jim Lumsden, chairman of the N6V activity and current club President.


For a recorded listing of FCC releases and texts, call the FCC's Washington number, 632-0002. It is updated daily after 3 pm EST. (N6NO)

Visitors attending the 220 MHz Spectrum Management Association Meeting in Von Karman Auditorium. Model of Voyager spacecraft is in background. (K6PGX photo)


The JPL Amateur Radio Club hosted the second meeting of the 220 MHz Spectrum Management Association on Saturday afternoon, October 14. As an added attraction, the club also arranged for a tour of several JPL facilities in which club members provided the lectures and the radio coordination needed to handle five groups rotating to different points of interest in a synchronized manner.

The Spectrum Management Meeting.

The 220 MHz Spectrum Management Association of Southern California was formed in July, 1978, out of the realization that spectrum is needed for all forms of communication, not just FM repeaters. While current activity is predominantly FM, use of other emission types is growing. Separate spectrum management associations were formed for 220 MHz and 2 meters because of: 1) heavy 220 MHz activity, 2) different problems on the growing 220 band compared with the overpopulated 2-meter band, and 3) the desire of the 220 community to have a separate organization to concentrate on further development of the 220 band in a progressive manner.

The primary purposes of the 220 MHz SMA are:

1) To help preserve the rights and interests of all amateurs operating on the 220 MHz band;
2) To establish and maintain a plan for compatible, equitable, and effective utilization of all communication techniques and frequencies within the 220 MHz amateur band;
3) To recommend, coordinate, and sanction operational frequencies for simplex, repeaters, remote bases, auxiliary links, control channels, and specialized forms of communication.

Forty-two new members joined the 220 SMA at the October meeting. Membership is open to all amateurs interested in promoting the band and the purposes of the organization.

A committee was appointed to review the current Constitution and ByLaws and prepare proposed changes to be mailed to members prior to the next meeting. This committee will also consider the possibility of a name change for the association which is often confused with the 2-meter SMA, an unrelated group.

Because several present interim officers declined nomination for reelection, a nominating committee was formed and elections were rescheduled to the January meeting. WB6FXJ was re-elected to the Technical Board and WA6NRB was newly elected to it.

A proposed 220 SMA Auxiliary Link/Remote Base band plan was presented by interim President K6KGS:

220.0 - 221.9 MHz:
Lower portion - Two-way aux. link and remote base outputs
Middle portion - One-way links and control
Upper portion - Two-way aux. link and remote base inputs.
221.9 - 222.2 MHz: Reserved for weak signal & DX operation

A 220 MHz monitoring committee was established for the purpose of identifying unused or misused frequencies and for resolution of interference complaints

Glenn Berry (l) explains vibration test tables to visitors in Environmental Test Lab. Note "trusty 220 Hand-held" in close proximity. (Photo by K6PGX)

The primary door prize, a 220 Synthacoder by Engineering Specialties, was won by Ray Nable, WA6BGA. Additional door prizes included an ARRL Handbook, donated by Southwestern Division Director Jay Holladay, and a set of AMSAT/OSCAR slides donated by Dr. Norm Chalfin.

The next [220SMA] meeting is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, 13 January, 1979. It will be hosted by the 220 Club of San Diego. (Tnx WA6PEA)

The Pre-meeting Tour.

From 9 am to noon, prior to the meeting, the club provided a tour of some of the JPL facilities. On display were the technologies of five areas: 1) Mission Operations where spacecraft in flight are controlled using the Deep Space Net of antennas world-wide and associated communications systems, and where the data collected by the spacecraft are processed; 2) The Image Processing Lab where the pictures telemetered from space are assembled, displayed and enhanced; 3) The Environmental Test Lab, where equipment to be used in space is subjected to various tests (thermal, vacuum, vibration, shock, etc) to weed out weak designs or parts that could fail in flight; 4) The Energy Section, which provided a glimpse into the Lab's efforts to improve existing energy systems or devise newer, better ones; 5) The Command Data Subsystem a typical flight subsystem that handles commanding and telemetry with a spacecraft where visitors saw the effort it takes to design, breadboard, test and finally build such a complex, reliable subsystem. The lectures in each of these areas were given by JPLARC members.

Following an initial assembly in Von Karman auditorium, where a film, "The Universe" was shown, the tour was divided into four groups each with its Tour Guide. The Tour Guides took each group, in sequence, to the above listed five stations. A bus was provided to take groups up the hill.

All objectives were met and the tour was completed exactly on schedule, thanks to all the participants listed, to whom we extend our sincere thanks. In addition, special thanks go to Benito Casados and Mike Garcia of the JPL Public Education Department for authorizing the tour as a public education and public relations opportunity. (Tnx WB6DRH)

Tour Communications.

Each of the five tour groups had a guide and communicator with a trusty 220 MHz handi-talkie at his side. N6MP remained at Von Karman auditorium and acted as net control, with all communications being conducted over the club's own repeater, WR6APR. The bus, which provided transportation from Bldg. 230 to Bldg. 144 and again from 248 to 156, saved walking up and down the hill and was appreciated by tour members. Bus timing was coordinated with one communicator riding the bus, and movement of each group was met almost exactly at every stop. This smooth flow of people is another tribute to the capability of amateur radio communications. Besides those participating in the effort during the tour, thanks go to N6NO, WA6PEA, and K6CYY for loaning their handi-talkies to other club members so they could participate. (Tnx W6ABW)


Instructors     Guides & Communicators
K6GHJ           WA6LWD W6ABW (Bus)
                       N6MP (NCS)

PR & Photographer: K6PGX


Attending the Board Meeting of October 25, 1978, were WB6DRH, K6CV, W6EJJ, WA6MYJ, N6NO, K6PGX, K6SVP, and N6WU (in callbook order.) It was called to order by the President, WA6MYJ, and the minutes of the previous Board meeting were approved. There was extensive discussion of club policy regarding member ship eligibility, and support for a jogging club event where communications would be provided by members with 220 portable gear. One motion was carried, to reimburse Bill Wood WB6FXJ, one-half of his out-of-pocket expenses incurred in building the WR6APQ linking repeater (between WR6APS and WR6AZN on Table Mountain.) This amount was $75. No further business was transacted. (Tnx N6WU)


N0TICE! The November and December Board Meetings will be rescheduled one week later than usual because of the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Therefore the November meeting will be on Wednesday, November 29 and the December meeting will be on January 3, 1979. This way we’ll have a better chance of making a quorum and Board members won’t have to feel guilty about being away on vacation during these periods. (WA6MYJ)


Work is beginning on the 1979 Club Budget. All Committee Chairmen and other interested parties are requested to input their projected needs in writing to the Treasurer, Warren Apel, K6GPK, 114-118. The first cut at a total budget will be at the Board meeting, November 29. Inputs must be in before the Thanksgiving holiday in order to be included. Comments by members as to what they would like to see the club do with its money are also in order and should be sent to Warren. Thanks. (WA6MYJ)

ARRL NOTES de Jay Holladay, W6EJJ

Overworked and underpaid W6EJJ sends along the following ARRL Bulletins:

Official Bulletin Nr 729 From ARRL Headquarters Newington CT October 19, 1978 To All Radio Amateurs: During a meeting held Thursday, October 19, 1978, the FCC formally adopted an interpretation of Section 9779(d) of the Amateur Rules as it applies to autopatch. The Commission declared that autopatch over an automatically controlled repeater is not allowed. Any autopatch must be monitored by a repeater control operator. The FCC also directed its staff to send ARRL a letter indicating this interpretation. Further information will appear in QST.

Official Bulletin Nr 728 From ARRL Headquarters Newington CT October 12, 1978 To All Radio Amateurs: During a meeting held Thursday October 12, and widely publicized in advance as Personal Radio Day at FCC, the Commission directed its staff to prepare a Notice of Inquiry for a new Personal Radio Service to operate on 900 MHz. This decision was based on recommendations of the Safety and Special Radio Services Bureau that 900 MHz was preferable to other frequencies for this proposed service for the following reasons. 1. Better chance of coordination with Canada and Mexico. 2. Less television interference. 3. No present users who would be displaced. 4. Less expensive for FCC to administer. 5. More spectrum would be available. Further information will be released as it becomes-available, by bulletin from this station and later in QST.


Those of you expecting to run down to the DMV and put in your request for Amateur Radio Call Letter Plates for your car before the fee goes up from $3 to $15 on January 1, should be advised of new hours for the Department of Motor Vehicles offices in Pasadena and Montebello. Effective October 16, the following schedule will be in effect:

Monday, Tuesday, Friday: 8 am - 5 pm
Wednesday:               9 am - 5 pm
Thursday:               10 am - 7 pm

Workaholics should also be advised that the DMV has nine offices offering Saturday service, 8 am - 5 pm. If you need this schedule, call DMV to see which offices offer it. (N6NO)

W R 6 A P S

Conducted by Booth Hartley, N6BH

Proper ID. Recently some instances of improper station identification have been observed on WR6APS. In several cases, the ID was insufficient according to FCC rules (failure to give the call of the other station at the end of the QSO and failure to identify when keying up the repeater as a test.) In many other cases, ID's are being given so frequently (beginning and end of each transmission with both calls) that considerable repeater time is wasted. The FCC rules require that we identify with our own call at the beginning of a QSO, and with our own call and one call of another station in the QSO at the end of the QSO. Anything less is illegal; anything more is wasteful and tends to stiffen the QSO with needless formality. Push-to-talk will never be as nice as duplex, but let's not make it worse than it needs to be!

Breaking. Users are encouraged to honor "breakers" immediately. Rarely is a QSO so urgent that several seconds cannot be spared to let a fellow ham make a quick call or possibly handle an emergency. Recently one of our users had a family emergency and tried to break WR6APS. The rag chewers told the breaker to stand by until they were through, which would be shortly. Repeated attempts were to no avail. Luckily the emergency was cleared using the telephone. It seems sad to me that our repeater was unusable during such an emergency.

On the other side of the coin, users who want to break merely to enter a conversation should be considerate and wait for a convenient point in the QSO, especially NOT between a question and its answer. A little common sense and courtesy will go a long way.

Autopatch Status. The Repeater Committee is still trying to solve the problem of obtaining a residential telephone line at attach to the autopatch. The most likely solution is to install the phone line in the nearby home of a member, and link that home to the WR6APR site. A tradeoff is being made between a leased phone line and an RF link.

WR6APR Building. We have been notified that the building housing WR6APR is to be removed in a few months. We need a replacement shelter. Anyone who knows of an avail able shelter such as a Voyager Antenna Shipping Container or a portable shed should contact Walt Diem, x3186.

Radar Interference. Both repeaters are again being plagued by intermittent radar interference. Assistance is needed in locating the source(s). Loop antennas have been built. Anyone interested in T-hunting (R-hunting?) contact Walt Diem or Merv MacMedan.

Club Simplex Frequency. The club simplex frequency is 223.40 MHz: crystals are available from Ron Ploszaj, WA6TPW, x7447, Members are encouraged to equip for this frequency, and to use it when within range of each other. The more activity we have on "dot 4" the less likely that it will be selected by other groups. By the same token, continued use of WR6APR is also encouraged, especially when WR6APS becomes congested.

Possible Link to Mt. Palomar. At a recent meeting the 220 Club of San Diego voted to approach JPL about the possibility of linking Mt. Palomar 223.30/224.90 to WR6APS. Mt. Palomar's coverage is mainly of San Diego county. The envisioned link would operate similar to the existing link we have with Table Mountain. The repeater committee is interested in comments (for or against) from club members on the advisability of such a link. There are a number of pros and cons, some of which are well known to users of WR6APS and WR6AZN. One significant difference is that there are many more hams in San Diego than in the high desert and the link would likely receive more use. Another point is that the JPL and Goldstone clubs are closely related, and the San Diego club is not closely related. Send your comments to Walt Diem, T-l086.

Group Purchases. There is the possibility of having another group purchase of Midland transceivers plus base station and mobile antennas for both 2 meters and 220 MHz. Needless to say, the advantage of such a purchase lies in the quantity discount, Whether or not such a group purchase is accomplished depends on the interest shown. If you think you might want some of these items, get in touch with either Ron Ploszaj, WA6TPW (x7447) or John McKinney, N6AVW (x6610) right away.


Here is something a little different in the way of a charger for your hand-held that is operated from your automobile battery. Since the battery in your handheld is between 12 and 15 volts (depending on the manufacturer) it is impossible to recharge it directly from your car's battery. It takes at least 18 to 20 volts to get enough charging current to flow.

This circuit makes use of our old friend, the 555 timer chip, in an oscillator/voltage doubler circuit that is capable of supplying as much as 100 ma. Most hand-held radios utilize a charging current of between 25 and 60 ma to bring the battery up to full charge. Since the capability of this circuit is in excess of 100 ma it is possible to also supply additional current so that you can receive while charging.

The circuit is simple to construct and component values are not critical as you will note from the parts list. The charging resistor values (R3) apply to just about any unit whether 12 or 15 volt battery.

The frequency of the oscillator is about 5 kHz and the addition of C3 filters out the ripple so you can use the charger while receiving and transmitting. C5 effectively filters any ripple that might get into your battery line.

The addition of a 1 amp fuse, although not shown, is highly recommended. This fuse should be installed between the car's positive line and the input "plus" terminal on the charger.

Specifications: Idle current of charger (charger not connected to hand-held)- 7.5 ma. Charger current draw when charging hand-held at 25 ma: 60 ma. Charger output voltage at 13.6 v input: 23 volts at junction of CR-2, C2 and R3.

As you can see, the charger unit will have little or no effect on your car battery since it doesn't draw more than an instrument lamp. Some may wish to install it out of sight in the trunk of their car. This way the radio could be placed in the charger while you are out of the car in order to keep the battery charged up. Others may wish to install the charger under the seat and others may wish to have the charger connected at all times while they are in the car.

About the only fabrication necessary will be the construction of a sleeve to hold the radio so contact can be made to the battery terminals on the bottom of the radio in most cases. Of course, if you have more than one battery, then the charger can be charging one battery while you are operating on the other one.

Parts list:

C1, C2, C3: 25 to 50 uf 50 volt electrolytic cap. C4: Ol uf 100 volt C5: .1 uf 100 volt R1, R2: IOK, 1/4 or 1/2 watt, 20% or better. CR1, CR2: Silicon diode - 4002, 4003, etc. R3: Charge current resistor, 1 watt. The following values apply for the desired charging current:

(Ed. note: This originally appeared in Echo, Cincinnati Repeater Assn., reprinted by Worldradio. Our own WA6PEA supplied the 555 pinout information as the Worldradio diagram was illegible, and recommends that a .0l uf ceramic disc be connected from pin 5 of the chip to ground to bypass RF. - N6NO.)


The Soviet Union launched two "RS" amateur radio satellites on October 26. The announcement was made at 0900Z on that date by Radio Moscow, which called the satellites "Radio 1" and "Radio 2". The best information available at press time is that they were launched with Cosmos l045; orbital parameters are apogee, 1724 km; perigee, 1688 km; Inclination 82.6 deg; period 120.4 minutes. A reference orbit for Nov. I will cross the equator in the ascending direction at 0103Z, located at 253 deg. West. The longitudinal increment between passes is 30.1 degrees. At present the two satellites seem to be quite close together. UPLINK frequencies: 145.85 - 145-90 MHz; DOWNLINK frequencies: 29.35 - 29.40 MHz. Each satellite has a beacon at approx. 29.4 with telemetry in Morse code at about 20 wpm. The pattern is two numbers plus a letter. A frame has 7 parameters, and new frames start after "RS" sent twice. (Tnx W6EJJ)

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