Date: Wednesday, January 9, l980
Time: 12:00 Noon
Place: 238-543


Our guest speaker for the January Meeting will be Joe Merdler, N6AHU, who will discuss the status of a number of activities that have recently taken place to alleviate malicious interference on the ham bands, and will suggest some ways in which the ham community can help rid the bands of this plague.

Joe, an avid DXer, has also been practicing law for 16 years, and combines his profession and hobby well. He is President of the Personal Communications Foundation, Legal Advisor to the Two Meter Spectrum Management Association, an Assistant Director for the ARRL Southwestern Division, and an Advanced Class licensee.


The Club's third annual Tune-up Clinic, conducted by Miguel Santana, WB6TEB, will take place on Saturday, January 12, from 9am to 12 noon at Miguel's home, l05O Monte Verde Drive, Arcadia. This is located on the corner of Altura and Monte Verde, 1 block East of Michillinda and 1 stop sign South of Colorado Blvd.

The purpose of the Clinic is to get your VHF or UHF rig on frequency, and to set deviation levels for proper operation with our repeaters MAPS and WR6APR. This clinic should be particularly useful to those that have recently joined the Autopatch, for setting tough-tone pad levels. Club members and guests are encouraged to take advantage of the clinic and come out sounding great! Talk-in service will be available on MAPS.

Ham TV Covers Rose Parade in Color, by Norm Chalfin K6PGX

When the Rose Parade began its trek down Colorado Boulevard on New Years Day, commercial TV coverage carried images of the floats to the entire country and globe via satellite. But this was not the only TV coverage. In one of the parade's behind-the-scenes activities, amateur radio volunteers also were posted along the line of march to provide eyes and ears to parade officials by FM radio and amateur television.

This was the second year in which ham TV was available to the Rose Parade Committee to help them follow the floats and marchers and to see immediately when a float or other breakdown occurred so emergency vehicles can be dispatched when and wherever needed. Amateur radio operators with television cameras, transmitters, hand-held FM units and repeaters provided sound reporting and color views along the parade route on a volunteer basis and at their own expense. They provided emergency status reports of parade progress, location and mishaps in real time.

Members of the JPL ARC were a part of this public service activity. Walt Diem, WA6PEA, was a member of the amateur coordinating committee which met with Rose Parade officials throughout 1979 to plan the amateurs' operations. During the parade he was a communicator in an official car. Norm Chalfin, K6PGX, drew the assignment as "roving photographer" but wound up in addition helping with the setup of W60RG's "camera 2" ATV position and tearing down the setup on KA6AGE's TV van (camera 4). Gil Yanow, K6TOS, and off-lab member Skip Reymann, W6PAJ, were assigned mobile locations on the line of march.

The equipment complex included a Tournament command trailer installation with ATV receivers, 2-meter FM on simplex and repeater channels and TV voice communications on 2-meter simplex. 220 MHz. remote links to the S. Pasadena Amateur Radio Club repeater and to an elevated repeater site for the 2-meter frequencies together with the other channels were routed through a command console in the trailer.

The ATV cameras on each of the four sited beamed their transmissions to an ATV repeater, WA6EVG, on Mt. Wilson operated by the Southern California ATV Club to the street locations and the command trailer. This repeater is in continuous operation throughout the year.

One might ask why the parade managers couldn't use the images provided by the TV networks. Network commercial commitments are such that any problems that may arise during a commercial will be missed. Furthermore, all commercial TV coverage is concentrated at Orange Grove Ave. and Colorado Blvd. There would be no coverage at other points along the parade route.

In addition the assistance that amateurs provided to the Rose Parade operators, their volunteer communications freed public safety officials for necessary crowd control and police emergency communications.

Amateur radio operators have been volunteering their time and equipment for at least the last seven years. Prior to the 1979 Tournament of Roses Parade, all ham participation was by radio, providing communications along the parade route to advise of breakdowns, slowdowns, etc. In 1979, ATV was added for the first time. The results were of such great value to the parade operators that the amateurs were invited again to bring their cameras to the parade this year.

For most of this past year, amateurs have been organizing and planning the l980 Rose Parade communications operation. The Positions for the TV cameras and mobile operators were assigned early in December. Participants worked in two shifts. A pre-parade operation coordinated communications for the assembly of floats from the construction barns, marchers and equestrian groups at the parade formation area. The second shift operated during the parade along the line of march. Special transportation was arranged for the amateur radio participants. Each transport vehicle had an amateur radio operator aboard.

The parade itself was not without its tense moments. The turn at the Colorado-Sierra Madre intersection was so tight that the crowds at that location were treated to the thrill of several near-missed as the floats rounded the corner. W6PAJ's van was nearly mobbed by the crowd as he attempted to pull into his position along the parade route. It seems that his vehicle blocked the view of several of the not-too-sober overnighters who were camped there. Fortunately, a compromise was struck to the satisfaction of everyone.

Pictures of the parade activities will appear in next month's "W6VIO Calling".


A work party has been called for Saturday. Jan. 12 at the WR6APS repeater site. Contact Ron Plosjaz, WA6TPW, at ext. 7447 for details.

Preliminary Results from the USSR "Radio" Satellites

A preliminary report on the Soviet amateur radio satellites Radio-1 and Radio-2 recently appeared in the journal "Pauno". Both satellites were launched in October 1978 with the first telemetry data being received on 26 October 1978. The launches had been expected by AMSAT members in this country and elsewhere but practically nothing was known about the capabilities, mission or operating characteristics of the spacecraft before their launch.

It was later determined that both satellites carried mode-A transponders (2-meter uplink, 10-meter downlink). Data on repeater operation from Radio-1 and Radio-2 over an operating period of about 500 hours indicated that amateurs from 70 countries used the systems making a total of about 8000 QSO's. The operating mode was primarily CW (80%) with SSB (15%) and RTTY, SSTV, AM and FM (5%) also being used. Both transponders contained an automatic shut-off feature that disabled the system if the summed up-link power exceeded a certain threshold. Because the satellites could be reactivated only by command from ground control stations in the Soviet Union, this feature discouraged the use of ERP's in excess of that required for normal operation.

Both Radio-1 and Radio-2 are currently inactive due to power supply problems. Radio-1 suffered a failure in one of its four buffer batteries after one month of operation and the remaining three were unable to carry the load. The failure was diagnosed as being due to excessive internal temperatures which reached +50 C when the satellite was in an area of 100% solar illumination. Temperature control in Radio-1 was accomplished by a passive system based on the differential painting of the satellite surfaces. This system proved to be inadequate. The failure in Radio-2 was due to the dehermeticizing of one of the two accumulator batteries. Temperature control in Radio-2 was accomplished by an active system in which an external thermal radiator was activated by an internal heat sensor. This arrangement evidently worked much better than the passive system and will serve as a model for future Soviet attempts in amateur radio satellite communications. (N6MP)


Club dues for 1980 are now payable to Treasurer John McKinney, N6AVW. Send $2 (cash or check, no stamps or IRC's please) to John at M/S 233-208 or catch him at the next meeting.

Never have two dollars bought so much; 12 full issues of "W6VIO Calling", full use of the club station, W6VIO, eligibility for use of the new autopatch repeater, WR6APR, and much more. Such a deal!


- The new club officers,

President: George Morris, W6ABW
Vice-President: Warren Apel, K6GPK
Secretary: Ron Zenone, W6TUZ
Treasurer: John McKinney, N6AVW

elected at the December meeting from a slate presented by the Nominating Committee. - George Morris, W6ABW, who placed third in the Los Angeles section operating W6VIO in the September ARRL VHF QSO Party.

Go back to the W6VIO Calling Index.