Because of his usual efficiency in getting out the newsletter, Merv, N6NO, was unable to report the results of the December elections in the January issue of W6VIO Calling. Well, I'm happy to report that I have met the President, and he is me. In a more serious vein, let me say that I think it's an honor to be nominated and elected, one that I appreciate, even if a lot of work does go with it! And, without question, it will take a lot of work to measure up to the standard set by Jim, WA6MYJ, our ex-President and new Director-at-Large.
I'd like to take a few column-inches this month and mention what I think are some of the important issues and events facing the club this year. One such issue, about the most unpleasant possible, is that of theft. Previous issues of W6VIO Calling have called attention to the fact that, over the last year or so, we've lost an expensive Bird wattmeter, and SWR bridge, a cassette recorder, headphones, and hundreds of feet of coax and expensive nylon rope. As if this were not enough, the Midland 513, our 220 MHz synthesized rig, has disappeared from the basement of Building 171.
We are in the process of completing an extensive shack renovation, and have planned to re-key at that time. But as you'll realize, unless the thief is an ex-member, we probably won't solve the problem that way. There may be no way to solve it if we are to have a modern shack easily available to the membership. Any suggestions?
On a more pleasant note, we have the upcoming Voyager commemorative activity, led by Dick Piety, K6SVP. We may not have a special call sign like N6V, but W6VIO is well known in ham radio, and the close-ups of Jupiter and its satellites might just make up for the lack of a distinctive call. Why not pitch in and give Dick a hand on phone, CW, or SSTV?
I mentioned the shack renovation, an effort led by Jim Lumsden, WA6MYJ. Jim has accepted the onerous job of facilities manager for 1979, so he'll also be taking on the job (much delayed) of getting the installation of the 40 meter beam moving. Glenn Berry, K6GHJ, and Ray Pickens, WA6SVY, have also been of assistance in this effort. When the time comes, though, we'll have a lot of work on our hands, so why not call Jim and tell him he can count on you?
Wait Diem, WA6PEA, and the Repeater Committee are working full-bore on getting the autopatch up and running. This effort will really enhance the club's repeater complement, and with it our emergency communications capability. Again, it's one of those efforts where, when the time comes, a lot of help is needed for a short time. Don't be bashful.
Next month I'll make a report on the various committees the club has, and the people heading them. For this month, let me just state that three of the most important and interesting jobs are still waiting for the right member to come along and fill them. These are the Program Chairman, Education Chairman, and Contest Chairman.
The job of Program Chairman has been filled for several years by Nash Williams, W6HCD. As regular meeting attendees know, Nash has real talent, and the personal contacts, which are necessary for digging interesting speakers out of the bushes. But like all the people who really get things done, Nash is overwhelmed and has asked that we find someone else to help out in this capacity. How about it? If you know a lot of people in ham radio, you're the perfect candidate for the job.
The education committee was headed last year by Ron Ploszaj, and, if you've followed the newsletter, you know that two very successful Novice and General courses were run. We've had a lot of requests for a second Novice course, but right now we've no one to run it! And I would personally like to see an Extra Class course started. We've got a number of members who need just that little bit of extra push in code or theory to pick up their Extra or Advanced. Whoever runs it can count on me to help with CW, and Stan Sander, N6MP, and Rich Ward, N6BF, have been reliable back-ups.
Contesting is an activity dear to my own heart, and one that can really tie the membership together for two or three weekends a year. The job consists primarily of ordering the logs and cleaning up the shack in preparation (except for Field Day, of course!). Volunteers?
I guess this month's message bolls down to one thing. If you're interested in the club, and in ham radio, whether you're a new member or an old hand, pitch in and help. The fun goes up exponentially according to the number of members involved!
TUNE-UP CLINIC SUCCESSFUL
Through the heroic efforts of Miguel Santana, WB6TEB, and the courtesy of Fanon-Courier, the second JPLARC tune-up clinic was pulled off as scheduled on 16 December. Miguel set up a test station capable of measuring frequency, deviation, spectral purity and power output on all the VHF bands. In fact, some $25,000 worth of equipment was in use. While only about 10 rigs were checked, two notable repairs were made. K6PGX's rig was found to have only 20 mW output. When it left the clinic, it was up to the normal 10 W. The other was a non-member's Heathkit synthesized rig on 2 m, which was 7 kHz off on every channel. Miguel found the right crystal circuit to tweak and that rig went back to its home in La Canada fully cured.
Our hat is off to Mike for helping us "sound good" again.
MARCH OF DIMES "SUPERWALK
Again this year, over 250 Amateur Radio Operators will combine efforts to provide communications for the annual March of Dimes "Superwalk," held simultaneously in seven locations in Southern California. The date is Sunday, I April 1979, and walks will be held in the San Fernando Valley (call WA6UOC, Vic Martin, 881-1058 or W6LPJ, Archie Willis, 767-1220) Whittier/La Mirada (call WA6GCV, Roy Johnson, 928-6002); San Gabriel Valley; South Bay/Torrance; West Los Angeles; Long Beach and; Ontario.... all at the same time.
Coordinating all communications is ARRL Vice Director WB6UIA, Pete Matthews, 547-5816. Pete says volunteers with mobile and/or hand-held equipment on "2" or "220" are needed in several areas for this great all day effort.
Funds raised by the thousands of walking volunteers are used in our own communities for research in the prevention of birth defects. The 20-km courses are a challenge to each of the 20,000 or so participants expected this year. Amateur radio efforts have been very successful in past "Superwalks," and March of Dimes officials and the hundreds of community volunteers gain a real insight into the usefulness of amateur radio during these events.
For the latest details on planning and organization meetings, listen to the "Westlink" tapes on your favorite repeaters, and especially listen to the weekly "Community Relations Net" on every Wednesday, on WR6ABN, 147.24 MHz.
Our local Club contact is George Morris, W6ABW, X7066.
VOYAGER ENCOUNTER OPERATIONS UPDATE
Plans for a Voyager Jupiter Encounter Commemorative are proceeding smoothly. The initial operating period will begin 1 March 1979, and will end on 11 March.
The following frequencies will be used, plus or minus QRM:
- CW - 30 kHz above the bottom edge, 80-10 meters
- SSTV - 3845 SSB - 3930
- 7220 7230
- 14235 14285
- 21340 21360
- 28680 28680
- Novice - 3730
Two meters, 220 and OSCAR are also planned.
Present plans call for heavier operation activity on weekends and between 4 and 7 pm local time.
Dick Piety reports that he plans to do a lot of operating on SSTV. This will be a good chance to observe the experts at work in this mode. And, of course we always need volunteers to help operate the station. Call Dick on X2998 and tell him he can count on you!
CLUB NETS KEEP GROWING
Our Club repeater is becoming well known in the ham community. We have been averaging as many as 45 checkins during our weekly net operations and the number keeps growing.
The Club has a weekly Amateur Radio News Net every Tuesday evening at 8 pm local time. For this net, our WR6APS (222.44 in/224.04 out) is linked with WR6AZN on Table Mountain (222.36 in/223.96 out) as well as the WR6AZN 2-meter machine (144.68 in/145.28 out). The net is open to members and non-members alike. Ironically, the non-member check-ins are outnumbering the members. If you can make it, we'd like to see YOU there, too!
On Wednesday evenings, at 8 pm, the Club also has an OSCAR net running. Here, the latest OSCAR news is disseminated as well as the latest word on the Soviet RS satellites. For this net, WR6APS and WR6AZN are linked together on 220 MHz, but not with the 2-meter machine because of the specialized nature of this net. Join us!
MINUTES OF DECEMBER 1978 BOARD MEETING
The December 1978 Board of Directors meeting, postponed because of the Christmas holidays, was called to order on 3 January 1979. Attendees were W6ABW, N6BF, K6CV, W6EJJ, WB6EMO, WD6EWN, K6GHJ, K6GPK, WA6MYJ, N6NO, WA6PEA, K6PGX, K6SVP, W6TUZ and N6WU. Minutes of the November Board meeting were read. K6SVP noted that he had been present at that meeting; with this correction, the minutes were approved.
Rich Ward spent a few minutes discussing the Club's possible role in exploring the use of new spectrum conservation techniques, especially NBVM (narrowband voice modulation). Walt Diem suggested that synchronous DSB detection was even more promising. It was noted that one of the Club's functions is to facilitate technical investigation of this sort, and that those interested in pursuing it should prepare a formal proposal for Board action.
A final version of the Club off-Lab membership policy was read and, with minor wording changes, accepted.
The remainder of the meeting was devoted to a discussion of the 1979 budget. Warren Apel noted that he had prepared a tentative budget for the ERC deadline of 15 December. This budget was derived by considering the previous year's requests vs the money actually spent in various areas. Small changes in the proposed budget were made; it was noted that the Club cannot afford to supply a meal for this year's Field Day activity, so the FD budget is $100. AMSAT committee funds ($40) were withdrawn. An allocation of $80 for Voyager commemorative activities was approved. Final carryover from 1978 was $41.
MINUTES OF JANUARY 1979 BOARD MEETING
The first JPL Amateur Radio Club Board meeting of this year, with the newly elected officers, was held on 24 January. Attendees were N6WU, K6SVP, K6GPX, WA6MYJ, W6ABW, WA6PEA, N6NO, K6GHJ, N6BF, and W6TUZ. With a quorum present, the meeting was called to order by Club President Mike Griffin. A motion to confirm the appointed officers, Jim Lumsden (Director-at-Large), Glenn Berry (emergency Comm. Mgr), and Jay Holladay (Trustee) was carried.
Minutes of the December 1978 Board meeting were read and approved with the following change: The last sentence should read, "Final carryover from 1978 was anticipated to be $41."
N6WU mentioned that the rig belonging to Nash Williams, borrowed by the Club and damaged during the 1978 Field Day was not properly repaired and is still having problems. Although no action was taken at this time, it was suggested that the Club may be obligated to pay for additional repairs.
Jim Lumsden (Facilities Chairman) reported that remodeling of the trailer has slowed down because of budget pressure being experienced by JPL Facilities. Jim also stated that the ERC approved the Club selling hot dogs at the JPL picnic and had suggested the selling price be raised to increase profits. He also mentioned that the ERC has not yet acted on the Club's fund request.
An update of the Repeater Committee activities was presented by Walt Diem. Work in selecting and preparing a structure to house the new repeater is in progress. A work party will be organized for installing batteries, a solar panel and a recently acquired antenna. Walt also mentioned that alternatives are still being evaluated in selecting a telephone line for autopatch. One item surveyed indicated monthly costs for a business line are approximately 2.5 times greater that that for a non-business line.
It was announced that K6GPK was appointed Net Control Station for the 220 MHz Club net that meets on the air weekly.
The finalized cover letter, questionnaire and Club policy statement pertaining to off-Lab membership was given to W6TUZ by N6WU for transmittal to prospective new off-Lab members and renewals.
Warren Apel asked the Board to evaluate an off-Lab membership renewal request for Jim Longthorne (WA6KPW). The Board determined that Jim's renewal would be accepted since he met criteria set forth in the Club's off-Lab membership policy.
With a strong plea for greater membership concern in protecting Club equipment from theft, K6GPK suggested that "portable" Club gear be locked up during the period the shack is being remodeled.
Plans for supporting the Voyager commemorative are being formulated by K6SVP. Several Club members have already volunteered to help during operations. Dick Piety commented further that the pacing item in preparing for this event is having the shack mods completed in a timely manner. Following this discussion, the meeting was adjourned.
Initial reaction to the Satellite Orbital Plotter, included with last month's issue, was very favorable. Two respondents, one on each coast, are reproducing copies for their clubs. Unfortunately, our entire supply was distributed with the mailing and we have no extras to fill additional requests, as much as we'd like to.
While the snap mount described with the assembly instructions allows you to change the overlay in the future, another, more permanent method has been used by some members. Steal your XYL's eyelet kit (they come with a punch, rollover tool and a supply of eyelets and are used for leather work), punch through both the overlay and the map. Then, push the eyelet in from the front and, with the rolling tool, carefully hammer the rear of the eyelet. Use some wood backing when hammering and roll the edge over only far enough to give a snug fit that will allow the overlay to rotate. Be careful not to overdo it, because it can either freeze your overlay in one position, or the rolled over edges can cut into the acetate.
Don't fret because you ran out of reference orbits on 31 January; you can find additional references in the February 1979 QST. Good luck!
The biggest bargain in ham radio HAS to be your JPL ARC membership! At two bucks a year, how can anyone not afford to be a member? However, as of 1 February, if you haven't paid up, you are DELINQUENT!! We will be purging our mailing list very soon. To keep W6VIO Calling coming, mail your money to Warren Apel, K6GPK, at Mail Stop 114-118. Do it NOW!!
GOLDSTONE/TABLE MOUNTAIN REPEATER NEWS
Continued interference problems with Baja California and the opening of the new sub-band by the FCC was the catalyst that prompted the Goldstone Amateur Radio Club to ask the Southern California Repeater Association for a new 2-meter frequency.
By 5 July, the 144.68/145.28 frequency was assigned and coordinated with the Northern California Relay Council (since the repeater partially covered the San Joaquin Valley) and new crystals were ordered. On 4 August, WR6AZN was first heard on the new frequency pair. Initial operation was very promising, with improved coverage in many areas. Later in August, a 6 dB power amplifier (courtesy K6SMM) and a 1.4 dB noise figure preamplifier (courtesy WA6QOD) was added to make coverage even better. At the same time, a 5-sec squelch tail and a timer reset "beep" tone was added to eliminate the double squelch tail heard before.
Since the equipment is installed in an active radio astronomy facility, there will be periods when the repeater will be turned off to prevent interference with the sensitive instruments. In the past, these periods of shutdown have been infrequent and have usually been on either Wednesday or Thursday of a given week.
Two nets of interest to area amateurs are conducted on the repeater: the JPL/Goldstone Radio Clubs Amateur News Net is held every Tuesday at 8 pm. Highlights are the weekly Westlink tape, selections from HR Report and occasional comments by the ARRL Southwestern Director, W6EJJ. On Wednesdays at 8 pm, the JPL OSCAR Net is conducted on the 220 repeater. Latest news regarding amateur radio satellites and operating techniques are discussed.
JPLARC COMMITTEE LEADERS NAMED
The following is a partial (because all the posts haven't been filled) listing of the standing committees in the Club. If you see an opening that you think you could fill, don't be bashful. Step right up and be heard.
- QSL Manager Merrill Burnett, K6BER
- Facilities Mgr Jim Lumsden, WA6MYJ
- Repeater Committee Walt Diem, WA6PEA
- Education Comm
- Editor, W6VIO Calling Merv MacMedan, N6NO
- Historian Norm Chalfin, K6PGX
- Contest Chair
- Librarian Sam Weaver, WB6EMO
- Picnic John/N6AVW & Eileen McKinney, KA6DGV
- Tour Chairman Gordon Crawford, WB6DRH
- Solar Power Gil Yanow, K6TOS
- Voyager Commem. Dick Piety, K6SVP
- LA Council of Radio Clubs Mike Griffin, N6WU
- Trustee Jay Holladay, W6EJJ
- Emergency Comm. Mgr. Glenn Berry, K6GHJ
- Director-at-Large Jim Lumsden, WA6MYJ
- Program Chairman
- JPL 220 Net News Mgr. Warren Apel, K6GPK
Nobody wants to buy, sell, rent, borrow, swap, or lend anything this month (after-Christmas shock, or just plain blahs?) Remember, this space is available for your use. Make your dues work for you. Our "audited circulation" is a whopping 150!
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