FIELD DAY 1981
I would like to tell club members about our recent Field Day (FD) activities. I would also like to thank and praise a small group of energetic members and non-members who participated, each In his or her own special way, to make FD the exciting and rewarding experience that It was. Each of the fellow participants appreciate the work which the others did, from supplying equipment and building/ installing antennas, to keeping us fed, taking photos, and operating. They deserve a great deal of credit!
Mount Disappointment certainly didn't live up to its name as far as FD was concerned. Living and operating conditions were much better than were expected. We started mounting the two tri-band beams Friday afternoon after work, By dark, one was mounted on a 40-foot telephone pole, and by midmorning Saturday the second was positioned on a similar pole. Both antennas were headed toward the East coast, and they both worked exceedingly well during the entire Field Day operation.
The remaining antenna and related equipment installation took place on Saturday morning. A Yagi was put up for 220, and another for 2 meters. These were on a 15-foot pole mounted to the side of a camper which was parked at the highest, most southerly point of Mount D. From there, the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys, and the LA basin could be seen. The antennas for 80 and 40 meters were half-wave slopers. The 80-meter antenna was mounted from the top of an 80 foot telephone pole, and the 40 meter antenna from the top of a 25 foot tower on the side of a hill. Both antennas sloped to the Northeast at 45 degree angles. By noon Saturday, all antenna installations except OSCAR were complete.
This year, we operated In the three-transmitter category, with three transmitters on the air at all times. A VHF position was assigned to be operational from 1 pm until 10 pm Saturday night when it was replaced by an HF operation for 80 and 40 meters. The other two transmitters were assigned to the HF bands (primarily 10, 15, & 20 meters) on a full time basis. All stations moved from band to band as conditions and activity dictated, but we had only one transmitter on any one band at a time.
At noon Saturday, a meeting was held to inform everyone about the Field Day rules, assign operating positions and times, discuss logging, and answer questions. We had a maximum of 15 operators coming and going from the site. Each individual knew the time; mode, and operating position at which he was to work.
Our Field Day operation lasted from 1 pm Saturday until 1 pm Sunday. During that time we managed to make a total of 1814 contacts; 962 on phone, and 852 on CW (11 were Novice). The only major problem we had was when one of the AC generator's output voltage went from 117 up to 160 VAC, and blew the TS820 power supply. Fortunately, we had a spare transmitter and generator to put back on line. By mustering all the JPL skill available, and driving back to Pasadena for parts, the 820 was 'operated on' and ready for use again in just a few short, cold, windy hours! Other than this minor problem, everything ran smoothly. The Club supplied great food, and that certainly helped to keep everyone In good spirits during the entire operation. (Speaking of spirits, I kept my promise! See June 'VIO calling for details. ed.)
All bands were very active while they were open. The Mount D. location was very quiet and well located for getting out our signals, and receiving the weak ones. A special thanks goes to Doc, WB6MOQ, for the considerations he gave us related to his VHF repeater on Mount D. Without his help, our VHF activity would not have been as successful.
I would again like to thank all the FD participants for making our operation this year so successful. I had an enjoyable time and I know that you did too! Let's hope that next year we will have even more participation and contacts.
As a special note of interest, all of us who participated were pleasantly surprised to receive comments from a large number of our contacts like the following: "W6VIO, aren't you the JPL Radio Club? Keep up the good work out there. We enjoy your nice commemorative QSL cards. 73." It's nice to know that our club activities are appreciated! (Brian W6LZP)
JPL NEWSNET UP-TO-DATE!
While the Westlink tape was being aired on the Tuesday night net, June 16, Jay Holladay was busy copying the ARRL News Bulletin containing the news of a slip in the comment deadline for the "Plain Language Text Rules" from June 19 to August 21. That is keeping current! (Jim WA6MYJ)
We regret the mistake in Hal Wheelock's call sign In the June Issue. Hal's correct call was W6SCW. Rest in Peace, Hal. (Merv N6NO)
AMSAT/OSCAR-7 REACHES END OF LIFE
Verne Riportella, WA2LQQ, AMSAT Vice President, has reported that In view of the fact that AMSAT/OSCAR-7 has not responded to commands for a couple of weeks as of June 24th It Is not believed that the bird will come back to life again. No-one has heard telemetry from the spacecraft although a world wide watch was mounted.
So, at the ripe old age of 6.6 years the AMSAT/OSCAR7 spacecraft must be bid adieux. The satellite was launched on November 15th, 1974, from Vandenberg Air force Base at Lompoc, California, aboard a Delta Rocket with NOAA-4 as the host. Along with AO-7 was a Spanish spacecraft, the INTASAT, intended for science experiments.
During its lifetime, which was designed for three years, and which in fact was doubled in operation, AO-7 was used for the transmission of medical data in the form of EKG's sent coast to coast; it participated in a Canadian experiment begun with AO-6 to determine the feasibility of locating ELT's from downed aircraft. The latter demonstrated that a downed craft could be located In about one-eighth of the time that many aircraft would require crisscrossing the area to find the disabled craft.
It has been reliably estimated that several million contacts have been make through AO-7 by tens of thousands of hams during its more than 30,000 useful orbits.
A new transequatorial propagation mode was discovered when YV5ZZ heard LU7DJZ's, 2-meter uplink to AO-7 in Mode A In November 1976. An unprecedented series of satellite-to-satellite links occurred when stations transmitting to AO-7 in mode B were picked up by the then operating OSCAR-6 In the 2-meter band and translated down to 29.45 MHz.
APT Weather satellite pictures were transmitted through AO-7 in April and May 1976 by DL0VLB. W60AL transmitted through it from his airplane; W2GN transmitted from his aeromobile, and WA4JID from his marine-mobile. QRP tests on Mode B demonstrated that a few milliwatts ERP produced usable downlink signals. Thereafter, many QRP QSO's went through AO-7. With a "Summa Cum Laude" we say "vale" to AMSAT/OSCAR-7. (Norm K6PGX)
SUCCESS FOR ARIANE
On June 19, 1981, the European launcher "Ariane" carried, during its 3rd qualification flight, two satellites plus the Technological Capsule successfully into the planned elliptical transfer orbit. The satellites were:
- METEOSAT 2 The second European Meteorological satellite
- APPLE The Indian Experimental Communications Satellite
- CAT The Technological Capsule of Ariane
All two satellites and the CAT were successfully separated in rapid succession from the launcher and from each other, less than 17 minutes after liftoff. Their orbits and injection attitudes were determined to be very close to nominal.
Lift off of the ARIANE LO-3 was at 12h 32m 59s. The mission was a complete success. The functioning of the three stages seems to have been fully nominal. This result can be seen to confirm that the problem with the second test flight has been fully solved. (from Public Relations, ESA, Paris)
Success of LO-3 leads to a greater possibility of launch opportunity for, Phase IIIB OSCAR in 1982.
W6VIO COVERS ARIANE LAUNCH
W6VIO was asked by AMSAT to relay the voice net of the launch of Ariane LO-3 to the West Coast and the Pacific area for Amateurs interested in the progress of the launch and flight. Jim (WA6MYJ) and George (W6ABW) were in the shack at 4:00 am local time to receive the phone call from Goddard and patch it into the TS-820 and the, FT-101 for relay on both 40 and 20 meters simultaneously. Listening to the launch in real time really added to the appreciation of the successful launch.
A similar effort is envisioned for future launches, and advance notice will be included here if known sufficiently in advance. This time we had very few days in which to respond. (JIM WA6MYJ)
JUNE BOARD MEETING HIGHLIGHTS
1. Stan Sander indicated that Field Day plans have been finalized for Mt. Disappointment.
2. Stan will appoint a "product committee" to finalize plans for utilization of the new Club logo. It was the general consensus that the Club should make a "small" profit from the sale of various items. (Stan is looking for willing volunteers. ed.)
3. The conflict between our planned Hot Dog sales and the included meals at the annual picnic was identified. Stan appointed an ad hoc committee to assess the situation and confer with ERC. (See the hot dog article in this issue. ed.)
4. Concern was raised over the lack of budget categorized spending. It was noted that a couple of the major items are planned toward the end of the year; however, this concern was not intended to generate unnecessary spending.
John Repar, WA6LWD, for becoming permanent JPL.
FOR SALE: Lunar 2-meter low noise preamp, Model 15 teletype & misc. TTY Items, and Heathkit VHF/ UHF Wattmeter. George Morris 249-6023 or x7706.
PICNIC YES - HOT DOGS NO!
The JPL ARC Board of Directors has reluctantly decided to abandon the Hot Dog concession at this year's picnic. This decision was necessitated by ERC (our sponsoring organization) including an "all you can eat" meal in the price of the picnic ticket. The Club does plan to operate a booth to advertise Amateur Radio and JPL ARC activities.
Volunteers to work in the booth and to set up and operate radio equipment are needed and should contact George Morris, W6ABW, at x7066 or John McKinney, N6AVW, at x6610. The Picnic is being held at the Big Rock Recreation Center in Topanga on Saturday, July 18.
The impact to Club activities is being investigated, since the 1980 budget anticipated a $300 profit from Hot Dog sales. Suggestions for alternative fund raising programs are welcome and will be discussed at future Club and Board meetings. (JOHN N6AVW)
LETTERS TO THE CLUB-PARADE
"The La Canada Flintridge Memorial Day Parade was a great success this year. The communications provided by the JPL Amateur Radio Club was a key element in that success and we want to express our thanks. We would also like to express our appreciation for the initiative shown by the members of your organization by jumping in and taking over some of the jobs. George Morris deserves a special thanks for his coordination efforts.
"We. hope that you had as much fun as we did in putting on this parade. Thanks." (Roy and Glen Chafin, Parade Cochairmen)
Who said it is tough to obtain quorums at Club Board meetings? Here is a case in point:
At the May Board meeting, the Board was one member short of having a quorum for conducting official business. After about 30 minutes, one Board member had to leave due to another commitment. As he opened the door and exited the room, another Board member entered the room through the other door. (Please remember that the two doors open into the same hallway on the same wall and are only 15 feet apart!) Neither person saw the other! Thereby still leaving the Board one person short. Fortunately, someone caught the first member and he returned just long enough to conduct a couple of important matters. Close Call! (JIM WA6MYJ)
The big news for this month, as you all know, is the smashing success of the Club's Field Day effort. As detailed in the Field Day article in this issue, the QSO total was over 1800 for our effort in the three transmitter class. This is by far the highest total for any JPL ARC Field Day, and the best score obtained by any club I personally have been associated with. By comparison, last year, our QSO total was 1176, and we were in the four-transmitter class. If last year's FD scores are any indication, we may place among the top 10 entrants in the 3A category, in which there were a total of 291 entries last year. Not bad!!
The success, of course, is due to the outstanding effort of our FD chairman, Brian Stapleton, W6LZP. Hampered by a stint of jury duty in the weeks before Field Day, Brian nevertheless did a superb job in mobilizing people and equipment, and kept the phone lines and repeaters humming with calls to everyone involved. Of course, everyone worked hard and Vt. Disappointment proved to be an excellent site, but Brian's efforts were the deciding factor in the success. Hopefully, our great score and the fine time had by all will induce a few more Club members to participate next year. (STAN N6MP
DATE: Wednesday, July 8, 1981
TIME: 12:00 noon
"I'VE HEARD OF SLOW-SCAN BUT FAST-SCAN? WHAT'S THAT?"
Our guest speaker will be Tom O'Hara, W6ORG, of PC Electronics. He will describe "fast-scan" television - also known as Amateur Television or ATV. Tom will show videotaped examples of some of the unique functions performed by ATV-ers, and also describe how he and W6VIO will be providing fast-scan Saturn Encounter pictures at the Planetary Society Festival in Pasadena next month. See you there! (MERV N6NO)
NOTICE!!! CLUB ROSTER UPDATE.
Our Club Secretary, Art Zygielbaum, WA6SAL, will be updating the Club membership and capability roster very shortly. Please make any inputs or changes to Art by July 15, 1981, at x5149.
SPECIAL EVENT ------- NEXT MONTH!!
Once again W6VIO will be on the air in the "Voyager Commemorative Mode", August 15 through August 30, WT. We have promised the world they can find us between 11:30 am and 1:30 pm local time, and again between 4:30 pm and 8:30 pm local time. The station will be activated at as many other time periods as we have operator staffing available.
This will be the fourth and last of the current series of Voyager encounters until the Uranus flyby in 1985. There is intense public interest in contacting us in order to get one of the beautiful QSL cards for which we have become so well known.
As always, the key to a successful operation lies in the operators. We need all the volunteers we can get. We will use the same scheduling technique that was so successful last year.
Please fill in the "I VOLUNTEER" chart at the end of this issue. In each hour slot that you can make yourself available, put a 1, 2, 3, or 4, depending on the operating positions you desire:
- #1 - Kenwood TS-820, Collins 32S-1 amplifier.
- SSB and Slow Scan Equipment
- #2 - Yaesu FT-101, Dentron Amplifier.
- Primary CW and second phone.
- #3 - Kenwood TS-130, barefoot.
- Phone, CW, Primary Novice.
- #4 - VHF Station. 2 mtr, 220 FIV,
- 2 mtr SSB or CW.
We will provide a composite schedule, as we did for the last commemorative, from your inputs. In case of conflicts, those that volunteered first will be given preference, and those that are willing to work more than one position may find their assignments vary from their request, but in all cases, we will do our best to give you what you requested.
Classes on operating procedures and equipment will be given a week or so before the event begins.
Please mail your charts to Merv MacMedan, 233-208, by July 20. If you aren't sure of your availability, make an educated guess anyway, or as a minimum, volunteer to fill in "on call." That way, you will be on our mailing list and will receive composite schedules and notices of classes.
I'll be looking forward to the best operation we have ever had --- with your help! (MERV N6NO)
An educational satellite will be the first designed to transmit data, including pictures of the Earth's surface, in a form that can be readily displayed on a conventional television receiver. What's more, UOSAT, now being built at the University of Surrey (Guildford, England), will carry a voice synthesizer for "speaking" information on telemetry, experimental data, and spacecraft operations. Standard 2-meter FM Amateur Radio receivers will be able to listen in at 145.825 MHz using only a simple fixed antenna.
UOSAT will be launched as a secondary payload by a NASA Delta 2310 from Vandenberg, Calif. The primary payload Is the Mesosphere Explorer, managed by JPL. UOSAT will go into a polar orbit with a period of 95 minutes and an apogee of 330 miles.
Speaking of UOSAT, the JPL ARC needs someone Interested in the Amateur Space Program to help with liaison between AMSAT, WTR, and the UOSAT people for launch support arrangements. This could include assisting with the satellite checkout activities at WTR, if you are interested! Call Jay Holladay, x4443, if you can help with this effort. (JAY W6EJJ)
The comment date has been extended for the "Plain Language" proposal. Many more Amateurs now have a chance to study and comment on the FCC proposal for revising the Amateur Radio Service regulations into "Plain Language" (PR Docket 80-729). The Commission has granted a two-month extension of time to file comments, with the new deadline being August 21, 1981. ARRL will file detailed comments pointing out the many problems with the current version of this proposal, and they will hopefully convince the FCC to reconsider before acting on the matter.
However, it is very important that the Commission understand the depth of concern that Amateurs have over this docket. Therefore, we urge all Amateurs who care about the future of the ARS to file at feast brief comments on the docket. Numbers count-do your part!
Information on how to file and copies of the docket are available from Jay Holladay, x4443, or Stan Brokl, x7403. (JAY W6EJJ)
EDITORIAL - OUR LAST FLING?
Will the August Special Event be our last fling? it will be our last planetary encounter until 19851 Two things are very Important to consider right now.
First, August is certainly the last of the four special events planned for the Voyager mission. The Field Day experience proved that the people are out there waiting for us; we have the responsibility and capability to do it up right. To do that, we need, during July and early August, to polish up the facilities and to support Merv in his operator scheduling effort. There is no alternative. Merv (scheduling) and Jack (facilities) cannot do it themselves.
Second, we need to assess the dry spell between now and 1985 (Voyager @ Uranus) and decide now! Whether to support JPL near-earth activities and anniversaries, or just wait for four years. I think there is enough interest and demand that we could mount an anniversary operation in each year that there is no encounter.
So, start volunteering some time now so that we can do a bang-up job in August. There are many individual type tasks to do. Their completion will greatly enhance the operating enjoyment during the special event. (ed.)
LETTERS TO THE CLUB -- AIR RACE
"I wanted to take this opportunity to personally thank you (Nash Williams) for all your assistance with the start of the 1981 Angel Derby at Van Nuys Airport on May 7th.
"Your efforts in coordinating the ham radio operation portion of the start helped make the final success of this race possible and is greatly appreciated It was a pleasure working with you and I look forward to many more such combined teamwork efforts in races of the future.
"Almost all the racers came up to me at one time or another during and after the race and indicated that "this was the best race start they had ever attended" and "extremely well organized race start". Your efforts helped make this all possible.
"Again, thank you for everything."
(Jo Ann Linder, Start Chairman)
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