****** MEETING NOTICE ******
DATE: Wednesday, April 8, 1981
TIME: 12:00 Noon
T-HUNTING COMES OF AGE ON 220
Our guest speaker will be Russ Andrews, K6BMG, who has been instrumental in the development of novel, state-of-the-art HF and VHF direction finding equipment. His talk, illustrated with slides and equipment demonstrations, will be accompanied by handouts describing the techniques, procedures, equipment and camaraderie of T-hunting, from the basics to highly advanced levels.
Russ was one of the principal investigators that pinpointed the recent 220 MHz spurious signal from Mount Disappointment. That spur had interfered with nearly every operation on 220 in the LA basin. Russ works at Xerox Systems in Pasadena and will be joining us at the noon hour on a tight schedule, so please don't be late! (Merv, N6NO)
SATURN I QSL CARD
The long awaited QSL card for the November 1980 commemorative of the Voyager I Encounter with Saturn has been received. Those who volunteered to fill out cards should have received them already from Ron Zenone. Ron really had the total job broken down and organized so that logs and cards were distributed complete with instructions within hours of their arrival on Lab.
The card was designed by Brian and Mimi Stapleton, W6LZP and WA6CWR, based upon the previous designs but with a couple of slight changes. The two separate images on the face of the card make it complete and attractive in the folded state; and the group photo on the back adds a personal touch.
Even if you did not work W6VIO for an official QSO, club members may obtain a blank card by contacting Jim Lumsden, WA6MYJ, at x6726. This card makes the third in a series of four for the Voyager mission. I wonder how many hams have been able to work all three commemoratives so far? (Jim WA6MYJ)
MARCH MEETING REACHES A HIGH POINT
With a lively change of pace, the March 11th meeting consisted of a tour of the JPL Antenna Range located at the Mesa North of the Main Lab Complex. Rudy Constantino of ERC arranged for a bus and driver to, transport the 30 members attending from the Main Gate to the Mesa and back. At the range, the group was divided into two smaller groups. Hal Marlin, JPL Range Supervisor, conducted the outdoor tour of the various facilities for antenna gain and pattern measurements. The longest range available is 3300 feet, using a remotely controlled site on another hill north of the lab. Forrest Holdcraft, Range Manager, conducted the indoor tour which included the 40 and 60 foot Anechoic Chambers. A sample pattern in one plane was run using far-field techniques at 20 GHz. Then the newest techniques of making near-field measurements of large antennas in the chamber and extrapolating the far-field characteristics using computer processing was described.
Everyone enjoyed the tour and felt both tour guides helped us better understand the capabilities and functions of our neighbors on the Mesa. We thank Hal and Forrest for taking time to do this for us. (Merv N6NO)
This is just a quick reminder to club members that a complete set of up-to-date 1981 CALLBOOKS is kept in the trailer for your convenience. The supplements will be kept current for both the US and DX editions. If you do not have a key to the trailer facility, contact any of the officers or board members. This service represents an outlay of approximately $40 per year, so the more members that use them the better. (Jim WA6MYJ)
SE HABLA ESPANOL?
I received a letter recently from Richard Baldwin, W1RU, General Manager of ARRL, concerning the availability of Spanish language material. An excerpt from that letter is included here for your consideration:
We have an arrangement with an Argentine Publisher whereby, on a royalty basis, he translates and publishes the ARRL Handbook almost every year. I say "almost" because occasionally on account of difficulties at his end, an edition may not be printed in Spanish. He distributes the Spanish ARRL Handbook throughout South America, and provides us with copies to sell in the States. Last year was one of those years in which he did not provide an edition, so now we have no copies left for distribution. At the moment he is, he tells us, working on a Spanish edition translation which hopefully will be available sometime later this year.
I wish we had the staff skill to handle the Spanish translation of a large amount of text, but we don't. We are about to hire a Japanese lad who majored in Spanish in university, but his energy will have to be devoted to our international conference work.
So, I share your concern that we don't have more Spanish language material, but have no solution at the moment.
The need is very great; do you have a solution? (Nash W6HCD)
1981 DUES ARE PAST DUE
THIS IS YOUR LAST COPY OF W6VIO CALLING if your 1981 dues are not paid. As of 25 March 100 members had re-enlisted, leaving about 50 stragglers. This compares favorably with last year, as it seems that procrastination is a HAM trait. Dues ($3 this year) should be sent or carried to the club treasurer John McKinney, N6AVW, Bldg. 233 Room 208. If you cannot remember if your dues have been paid, John can be contacted at x6610. (John N6AVW)
The JPL Amateur Radio Club by no means has a corner on the commemorative market. At least four separate operations are planned for the upcoming first flight of the Columbia. As of press time the launch is planned for April 10, 1981, with the touchdown scheduled for the 12th. The known operations are:
WB4ICJ Space Center ARS: Launch + rest of day
7.280 14.285 21.380
Business size SASE for certit. to:
WB4ICJ C/O AA4MI
P.O. Box 21073
Kennedy Space Center, FL 32815
WA4NZD Marshall ARC Launch and flight
3810, 3910 (night), 7210 (day),
14.310, 14.240, 21.310, 28.610.
Certificate: QSL to
c/o NASA Exchange CM2IX,
Marshall Space Flight Center, AL 35812.
K6OX Antelope Valley ARC, Launch-touchdown
3.935, 7.260, 14.275, 21.310, 28.650
Certificate, QSL to
P.O. Box 1221,
Lancaster, CA 9234
WA3NAN Goddard ARC, Minimum of 3 hours at launch
and 3 at re-entry. As much as possible
during remainder of flight. CW: 60 Khz
up from bottom edge, all bands.
NOVICE: 3.725, 7.1250 21.150, 28.160.
SSB: 3.960, 7.260, 14.306, 21.360,
FM: 29.60, 144.835/235.
Maximum of 6 stations on different bands Simultaneously. SASE to:
P.O. Box 86,
Greenbelt, MD 20770.
Some of these details are sketchy at best. I will try to obtain more QSL information, so if you work any or all of these stations, try to obtain more accurate QSL directions and I will print them in the next issue. (It isn't that far away, believe me). (Jim WA6MYJ)
NOTES FROM THE MARCH BOARD MEETING
Treasurer John McKinney indicated that 100 of last year's 150 members have renewed their dues, leaving about 50 yet to pay. He indicated that the April issue of the newsletter will be the last one sent to members who have not paid.
Jim French made a short presentation on the Pasadena Planetary Festival, sponsored by the Planetary Society, and requested the Radio Club support for the video presentation portion of the Festival. He requested assistance in defining requirements for the video link to the Pasadena Center and possible implementation of the link and display. A motion was passed that the Club would provide the assistance requested.
Jim Lumsden reported that the "Equipment Disposition Committee" consisting of himself and Stan Brokl recommended that the antennas donated by Henry Radio by disposition as follows:
The 10-40 vertical be used to replace the ailing Hustler or used as a loaner to make a complete transceiver/antenna package for novice use. (The Heathkit is being repaired.)
The 2-meter magmount mobile whip be disseminated to a club member through a simple contest of some ' sort. A motion to accept the recommendation of the committee was passed.
Jim Lumsden reported that the Voyager 1 QSL cards have been received from the printer.
John McKinney reported that the Club has received the Hot Dog concession for the JPL Picnic to be held on July 18th at Big Rock in the Topanga Canyon. He sure would like to know if you can help.
The motion concerning the linking of WR6APS/WR6APR with other repeaters outside the JPL/Goldstone Clubs was removed from the table (see March Board Meeting Notes) and discussed further. It was recognized that any action regarding undesired linking of repeaters would be difficult, if not impossible, to control, even though there may be a legal basis on which to prevent it. The motion was defeated. Further commentary expressed the opinion that, even though the motion was defeated, the Board was not condoning the indiscriminate linking of repeaters for the weekly news nets. Discretion should still be exercised. (Jim WA6MYJ)
TASK SPONSORS SOLICITED
The club trailer facility is in need of manpower support to (1) complete modifications to the facility, and (2) repair equipment that has exhibited operational problems. Tasks requiring support include:
1. Physical realignment of the KT34XA antenna system on the phone pole (can be tipped down so you don't have to climb the poie!).
2. Adding a second phone to the phone-patch in the shack.
3. Repair of the elevation rotor for the Oscar array.
4. Replacing the wounded Hustler vertical.
In addition to the above tasks, I would like to offer the facility to any club member who would be interested in designing, fabricating, and installing any form of antenna system. This could be an experimental design or just a favorite type to be used by all club members. I believe that we have the resources available within our club to develop improved antenna designs and certainly we have equipment and space enough to be able to install and properly evaluate these systems. Feed lines from the Mesa to the Trailer are available, so start thinking and call me.
ln closing, if anyone has ideas on improvements to any of our facilities, please call me at x4926. I will be happy to discuss your thoughts. (Jack WB6TXG, Facility Chairman)
ARRL BOARD MEETING HIGHLIGHTS
The Board of Directors of the ARRL met in Orlando, Fla., on March 11 & 12, 1981, just before the ARRL National Convention. Among the Board concerns was the effect of continuing high rates of inflation on ARRL financial reserves. Following a Management and Finance Committee report on the outlook for the next three years, the directors voted to increase the annual dues rate from $18 to $25 effective July 1, 1981. However, to ease the impact on older members licensed amateurs 65 years of age or older may request a special rate of $20 per year. Postal surcharges make the rates slightly higher for members in Canada and overseas. Before July 1 members may apply for Life Membership or term membership for up to three years at the present rate.
In other matters, the Board adopted recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee on Ethics for extensive changes in director and vice director election procedures. Directors Anderson, Powell, Stevens, and Zak were elected to the Executive Committee for the coming year. The Phase I report of the Long-Range Planning Committee was accepted with the final report scheduled for the September meeting of the Board. ARRL co-founder Clarence Tuska was inducted into the ARRL Hall of Fame. An additional $10,000 was authorized for a matching fund drive for amateur satellites by the ARRL Foundation. League participation in the International Year of the Disabled Person was urged.
In FCC matters, the Board has requested that the Commission once again issue new club station licenses. To curb abuses involving third party traffic in the amateur bands, the Board directed that the FCC be asked to not grant third party privileges to holders of reciprocal operating permits except in emergencies. ARRL will continue to press for return of full privileges in the band 1.8 to 2.0 Mhz. A plan for developing and submitting an ARRL response to the FCC Plain Language regulation proposal was adopted. The Plans and Programs Committee was asked to reconsider the proposal for limited phone privileges in the 7 Mhz band below 7.100 Mhz and to consider opening of the segment 3.825 to 4.000 Mhz to General class operation. A complete report on the meeting of the ARRL Board of Directors will appear in the May issue of QST. (Jay W6EJJ, Southwestern Director)
As most of you know, in January I shifted my responsibilities within the Club from News letter Editor to President. Being Newsletter Editor was time-consuming in that a fair amount of effort was required soliciting articles, typing, and preparing the final copy. However, most of the work can and must be done by one person; it doesn't really require a group effort to put together the final product.
In many respects, the President's job is the exact opposite. If the President were to personally take on all or even part of the Club activities or responsibilities, he would soon become a raving lunatic. Fortunately, there are others who are willing to volunteer. Perhaps the key to the job is finding these people and persuading them to take on certain responsibilities. This is often quite difficult because there are usually more jobs than willing volunteers. It is easy to assign tasks to people who would like to help, but for one reason or another, do not make their wishes known.
All clubs seem to have an active membership minority that does most of the work. In our club of about 150 members, that minority consists of about 20 people. My guess is that this is actually a larger fraction than in most clubs. While there is undoubtedly a certain fraction of the membership that belongs to the Club out of interest with no time (or desire) to participate in club activities, I believe that there is a large number who would like to get more Involved but have not done so, perhaps because they feel that all the fun jobs are in the exclusive domain of the active and highly visible minority.
My feeling is that one of the best ways to offset this feeling is to get people together in a group activity. While our club has a large number of different projects it undertakes, such as operating and maintaining the club stations, race support, the hot dog concession at the JPL picnic, and many others, there are two major activities that have the potential for bringing people together in a big way: The Voyager Commemoratives and Field Day. Much has and will be said about the Commemoratives. The next one is in August for the Voyager 2 Saturn encounter. The second activity is Field Day, and we are now getting organized for this year's event. The dates to keep in mind are June 27-28. The next issue of W6VIO CALLING will have the full details and a questionnaire to clip and mail back indicating your interest. Field Day is fun even if you don't operate because it's one of the few activities we support in which we see each other outside of the usual JPL coat-and-tie (?) context.
Be sure to mark the dates and plan to be there! (Stan N6MP, President)
PASADENA PLANETARY FESTIVAL
The Planetary Society is a non-profit organization, privately funded, which is devoted to promoting public awareness of planetary exploration. Originally founded by Bruce Murray and Carl Sagan, the Society now boasts an international membership of several thousand persons.
As part of its activities, the Society is planning an event called "THE PASADENA PLANETARY FESTIVAL" at the Pasadena Center in conjunction with the Voyager 2 flyby of Saturn on the 25th and 26th of August. An extensive program is planned of which a major part is the presentation of the picture data as it comes back from the spacecraft. The Planetary Society has invited the JPL Amateur Radio Club to help in the planning of the video system required to do the job. Please contact Stan Sander (x6265) or Jim Lumsden (X6726) if you wish to support the Club in this endeavor.
Anyone interested in membership in the Planetary Society should contact Dr. Louis Friedman, Executive Director, at (213) 793-5100. (Jim French)
AVON WOMEN'S HALF MARATHON SUPPORT
Five Club members provided communications again this year for the Avon Women's Half Marathon long distance race (roughly 13 miles) held on March 15. The race started in Brookside Park in Pasadena, circled the Rose Bowl, and continued on city streets to the South Pasadena border and back again. The winner of the event, Kathy Mintey of UCLA, was going for the World's Record, but missed it by only 25 seconds.
Club members participating were Bob Layne, W6LTC, on the press truck, Bruce Beaudry, WD6HEZ, at the first water station, Connie Morris, KA6JAM, at the 10 Kilometer mark (OM George, W6ABW, was home with a bad back), and Warren Apel, K6GPK, at the start/finish line. The major radio traffic using the club 220 Mhz repeater, WR6APR, consisted of progress reports on the leaders back to the start/finish line area which were then relayed by public address to the spectators. As usual for this event, it was a beautiful day and everyone had a good time. (Warren, K6GPK)
Carl Franck (r) and Jay Holladay, W6EJJ,(l) inside the La Canada/Flintridge Rose Parade float. Computer interface control box and all animation wiring were done by Radio Club volunteers. (Photo by Jim, WA6MYJ)
SEARCH FOR THE SPURS THAT PLAGUED THE 220 BAND (Sherlock Holmes in the World of Radio)
In February 1981, Los Angeles area 220 Mhz band repeaters started keying up periodically due to spurious signals. Signals with low level hum were also heard on repeater output frequencies. As the month grew older, the spurious signals grew stronger, timing out some repeaters while capturing the inputs of others.
Warren Andreasen, N6WA, was one of the first to observe and report the family of spurs that extended above and below the 220 Mhz amateur band. He also reported that he could not find any correlation with any 220 Mhz station. The bearing from his fixed station in Van Nuys pointed toward Mt. Wilson. Steve Cullings, W6XT, reported from his QTH in Laguna Beach that the bearing was slightly West of Mt. Wilson, possibly the Verdugo Mts.
On February 24th, Marty Howard, WB6ZYY, and Wait Diem, WA6PEA, independently found full scale S-meter readings on different frequencies at the exact same location in La Canada (Foothill Blvd. and Beulah Drive). The signal could not be detected without an antenna as one would expect within a few hundred yards of such a strong, wide-coverage signal. Driving several blocks in any direction resulted in a weaker signal. Walt noted that there was mobile flutter on the signal indicating multipath cancellations, and deduced the source was not in the immediate vicinity.
Using a spectrum analyzer at JPL, Walt obtained the photo shown above. The tallest signal is a marker at 223.50 Mhz. The other spikes are the spurious signals which were playing havoc with the 220 band. The two strongest signals are 820 Mhz apart, and measured 17 Microvolts at JPL (3 microvolts = S9 on a calibrated 13-509 or 13-513). Submultiples at 410, 205, 102.5, and 51.25 KHz are visible.
Several Amateurs were independently looking for the source and were led to the La Canada area. As a result, they started comparing notes and coordinating efforts through the JPL Amateur Radio Club Repeater WR6APS (224.04 Mhz), located in La Canada.
Neil Banks, WA6GGL, and Bill Du Haime, WA6NTW, reported strong spurs in the hills of Highland Park. Bill Carpenter, WA6QZY, reported a fairly strong spur in the Southbay area. Willie McAlister, WB6LHK, Jack Patzold WB6TXG, and Ray Von Newmann, K6PUW, reported relatively strong spurs in the San Fernando Valley.
A portable beam antenna led Warren, assisted by Bill, WA6NTW, to the Verdugo Hills Hospital, nestled on the North slope of the mountains Southwest of La Canada. But further testing disclosed that the extremely strong signals were not coming from the hospital area.
Wayne Rankin, WA6MPG, and John Russell, WB9RNW, drove to the top of Mt. Wilson on March 4th right into the arms of a snowstorm. Signals were weak with multipath, indicating the source was definitely not on Mt. Wilson. Bearings from Angeles Crest Highway, where they could see the towers on Mt. D, were weak and phase distorted, indicating the source was not Mt. D. Further DFing led them to conclude that the signal was coming from over a ridge North of Altadena, possibly the Millard Canyon area. Walt reported a bearing further North than Millard Canyon.
Art Zygielbaum, WA6SAL, arranged for Russ Andrews, K6BMG, one of the most knowledgeable T-hunters in the Los Angeles area, to join the search. Russ and Walt went mobile with Russ's equipment. The signal got very weak as they went East on the 210 Freeway past Altadena. Bearings led them into the foothills North of Altadena and up a dirt road. They decided not to go any further for fear of getting stuck in the mud. As Russ was-turning the car around at a smooth widened area, it felt like the left front wheel fell off the car. Examination disclosed that the wheel had broken through the surface to a subterranean cavity. The frame and front cross arm were resting on the surface. Ron Ploszaj, WA6TPW, and Steve Bednarczyk, WB6MJK, responded to the call for assistance on WR6APS. Steve called the Automobile Club. Russ and Walt continued the T-hunt on foot while waiting for the tow truck.
Russ's bearings confirmed that the source was in the mountains North of Altadena but he had insufficient data to determine how far North. The existence of multipath on the 210 Freeway indicated that that the source was on the far side of a ridge-possibly in a canyon. This information coupled with John's report indicating the source was not on Mt. Wilson or Mt. Disappointment ("Mt. D") seemed to further indicate that the source was in the mountains between La Canada and Mt. D; however, the spurious signals contained hum indicating the source was AC powered. Investigation disclosed there are no facilities with AC power in the suspected area. The closest place with such power is Mt. D.
Since Mt. D was inaccessible due to snow drifts, Wayne obtained a Forrest Service permit and headed up forest road 2N50 from Altadena toward Mt. D. on Thursday, March 5. When he reached the water tank on the last ridge Southwest of Mt. D he finally got a very strong signal without multipath and a good bearing. Due to heavy fog, he could not see Mt. D and had difficulty in determining where he was. Once he did determine his location and plotted the bearing, it pointed to Mt. D. Having run out of time for the day, he headed back down the fire road. On Saturday, March 7, Russ took bearings from high points away from the San Gabriel Mountains to get a better cross bearing and determine if the source might be further North than Mt. D. While Russ was obtaining this data, Wayne and John headed toward Mt. D prepared to go up the snow covered access road in a Bronco equipped with one pair of chains. Russ plotted his data, confirming the Mt. D area. He was just leaving La Canada with Walt when Wayne and John reported that they could only get within one mile of the top. However, they had gotten close enough to confirm that the source was on Mt. Disappointment.
Walt returned home and contacted Doc Nordland, WB6MOQ, to determine who has equipment on Mt. D. Meanwhile, Warren had not coordinated his efforts with the other stations and headed toward Mt. D after checking Mt. Wilson. He was at the Mt. D access road entrance about 6 PM when the spurious signals suddenly vanished!
At 10 PM, Doc discovered the power was off on his equipment on Mt. D. He notified Walt, who searched for the spurs, found none, and asked for confirmation from other stations. The other stations reported that the spurs still existed. Walt spent several hours determining that all the reported signals were from other sources.
By Sunday evening, Doc had determined that the power was off in only one building on Mt. D. The emergency power for the building is under the cognizance of the Corps of Engineers, who had to hike the last mile to restore power. The lightning had vaporized a power switch-over relay earlier in the week and the Diesel generator had carried the load until it ran out of fuel at 6 PM on Saturday.
Using a spectrum analyzer, Walt was able to confirm that the spurious signals returned with the restoration of power on the mountain. Walt contacted the cognizant individual for each system in the building and had them key the transmitter while he watched the spectrum analyzer. On Tuesday, March 10, the source was located. It was an Amateur 2 meter system. When the exciter was keyed, the family of spurs was replaced by one single spur in the 220 Mhz band. This made it appear like a 220 band transmitter. The single spur was generated in the exciter. To prevent this spur, the exciter had been disabled remotely; however, in accordance with common practice, power remained on the power amplifiers. With the exciter disabled, one of the power amplifiers was oscillating.
Once he was aware of the problem, the system owner made immediate plans to go to Mt. D and correct the problem. Aware of the road conditions, he arranged for a 2.5-ton 10-wheel-drive truck. The truck was unable to get through the snow, so they hiked the last half-mile to the top. Since they had to leave their spectrum analyzer in the truck, Walt monitored locally at JPL while they performed tests to determine the exact source of the spurs. The system configuration was as shown in the block diagram. The tests indicated that the spurious signals were generated by the reactance (at 220 Mhz) of the bandpass cavity between the two solid state amplifiers. Radiation was from the cabinet, cavity, transmission lines, power lines, and conduit!
The bandpass cavity was removed and the family of spurs was gone. The exciter was replaced with a new exciter to eliminate the single spur that the old one had generated.
This investigation pointed out some of the problems that can result from the common practice of leaving DC power on a solid state RF amplifier. For example, Amateurs have installed a solid state amplifier in their car for use with a handi-talkie. They park the car, take their HT with them, and then return to the car to find the power amp is radiating at full power!
Jim Longthorne, WA6KPW, and Walt hiked to the top of Mt. D on snowshoes to investigate the source and analyze the unexpected propagation. Radiation was primarily from the building which is 150 feet North and 15 feet below the Southwest edge of Mt. D. The South edge is obstructed by Mt. Lowe. The signal was 'indeed coming over a ridge, just as Russ, Wayne, and John had indicated! Analysis indicates the source would have had to be 40 feet above ground level to have been line-of-sight on the 210 Freeway.
The inaccessible terrain, unexpected propagation, and lack of modern Thunting equipment for the 220 band made it difficult to find the source.
At the April 15th Club meeting, Russ will describe modern T-hunting equipment used on 2 meters and how to build similar devices for 220 Mhz T-hunting.
- K6BMG Russ Andrews K6PUW Ray Von Newmann
- WA6GGL Neil Banks WA6QZY Bill Carpenter
- WA6KPW Jim Longthorne WB9RNW John Russell
- WB6LHK Willie McAllister WA6SAL Art Zygielbaum
- WB6MJK Steve Bednarczyk WA6TPW Ron Ploszaj
- WB6MOQ Doc Nordland WB6TXG Jack Patzold
- WA6MPG Wayne Rankin N6WA Warren Andreason
- WA6NTW Bill DuHame W6XT Steve Cullings
- WA6PEA Walt Diem WB6ZYY Marty Howard
POLY-PAK AT ERC
The JPL Employees Recreation Club offers a very useful service for Amateurs, with their universal propensity for collecting things ,like certificates and other pieces of paper that should be thrown out.
POLY-PAK is a clear laminate process mounted on wood plaque. Any of your prize photos and certificates can easily and inexpensively protected for life at a very reasonable cost. Many kinds of wood are available to choose from. A typical price is $12.75 for an 8 x 10" document. (Merv N6NO)
- 250TH $100 ea.)
- 100TH 100 ea.)
- 304TL 120 ea.) Sell as pair or
- 813 60 ea.) singly
- 811 13 ea.)
- 803 50 (1 only)
- Stu WB6WLM, 351-0572
Go back to the W6VIO Calling Index.