DECEMBER 1992 Volume 21 No. 12

Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Attn: Eileen McKinney
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, California 91109






W6VIO Trailer: (818) 393-6312
Voicemail & BBS: (818) 354-1751 (Future)


WB6IEA 224.08 MHZ (-) Closed/Autopatch
W6VIO 224.04 MHZ (-) PL-54 Open/Shuttle Audio
W6VIO 147.15 MHZ (+) PL-1A Open
W6VRN 51.86 MHZ (-) PL-1A Future
W6VIO-1 145.09 MHZ (S) Packet Node/BBS
W6VIO-1 223.54 MHZ (S) Packet Node/BBS

Club Meetings:

Everyone is welcome - Bring your lunch.
12 Noon
Program - Second Wednesday of month in 238-543
Business - Fourth Wednesday of month in 180-703B

Newsletter Article Deadline: The 5th day of each month. If the 5th falls on a weekend, the following Monday will be the deadline.

Your articles, ads, photos, diagrams, Letters to the Editor, or technical instructions should be submitted to Editor at address above.


Permission is granted to copy enclosed articles providing credit is given to "W6VIO CALLING".


by Randy Hammock, KC6HUR

After many years of providing the club with dedicated service in producing our newsletter, Eileen McKinney will be stepping down from her position as editor.

I would like to extend my most sincere thanks for a job well done and for providing a professional publication all these years. Your skills and services will be missed.

I wish you the best in your latest endeavors.

73 and 88 de KC6HUR Randy


by Eileen McKinney KA6DGV

After 11 years of being the Editor of W6VIO Calling I find it hard to write a farewell message to you. This issue would have been the beginning of my 12th year. I am proud to be the Editor of such a fine publication. I hold the distinction of being Editor longer than anyone else. Once they gave me my pen - I wouldn't give it back. Oh! If Stan Sander and Jim Lumsden had only known.

My heartfelt thanks go to my friend Bob Polansky N6ET. Bob and his wife Dory (the sweetest person in this world) have been my friends forever. Bob graciously helped me out 11 years ago when he started writing a DX Column for me. He was faithful for all these years and has done an outstanding job.

My thanks go to Norm Chalfin K6PGX for all the wonderful articles he provided me with when I first took over. A lot of the guys helped me out so that I wouldn't fall on my face. I'll eternally be grateful to them all.

I've seen 11 Presidents come and go (including my husband John - who was the hardest one to work for. ha ha) and have enjoyed working with them. I've made many friends over the years and have enjoyed all the letters and notes from members and their spouses.

Last year I was awarded a Service Plaque at the Awards Dinner and treasure it. I never considered it a thankless job. I was thanked by the people that counted. I've written editorials that have made the masses cringe, I've written poems that made the poets cringe, I've always done my best and have been proud of the finished product. I also hold the distinction of being the only Editor to have a baby while holding down the job. I also NEVER missed an issue. That's quite an accomplishment in itself in 11 years.

When I took over the job our oldest son Michael N6TJL was 11 years old and in the 5th grade. He's now 22 (23 on Dec 26) and a graduate student at USC. Our youngest son Matthew N6AVW 1/2 is now 8 years old and in the third grade. The years have flown by.

My final thanks is to my husband John N6AVW. We'll be married 25 years on March 1st and throughout our time together he has always been supportive and loving. He has been my on-Lab liaison throughout this 11 years. He's been copyboy, transportation chief, printing specialist, delivery person, reporter, JPL ARC President and Treasurer, the straight-man for my jokes and articles, and most importantly the very best friend I have in this world. Thank you John for all your hard work these 11 years. One half the credit for these 11 years goes to you.

I'll miss all of you and hope that I'll continue to hear from some of you. My home address is 17419 S. Jeffrey Avenue, Cerritos, California 90701. My love and best wishes to all of you this holiday season and throughout the years ahead.

Double 88's Eileen, KA6DGV


by Randy Hammock, KC6HUR

Here we are at the end of the year. Seems like time just flew by but at the same time, it seemed like it would never end. I guess the thing to do is sit back and reflect on all the things that were accomplished as well as the thing that were not.

Our favorite subject is the "new" .08 repeater. One of my goals was to get that system on the air. This was done, three time no less. The only problem was that it was also taken down three times. Since it appears I'm being put back into office for another year, I just may get the chance to get this thing going yet.

The tower that was destroyed a year ago has been repaired and is waiting for some final tweaks and it will be ready to be placed back into service.

We added the ability to handle digital modes on HF which will allow us to continue to function with the SHARES National Emergency Communications Network. The TNC can be by members for normal digital communications in time of non-emergency and provides the ability to receive WEAFAX pictures.

Our VHF/UHF operating position received a new addition in the form of a Kenwood TM-741A Tri-band transceiver. This means that we no longer have to use the equipment from the OSCAR station for VHF/UHF communications.

With the merging of the Goldstone Amateur Radio Club and the JPL Amateur Radio Club, we accepted the responsibility of maintaining the three repeaters located at the Table Mountain Observatory site. Many people question the sanity of that decision, but the best way to get something taken care of is to give the job to someone who is already busy. This step was also necessary to protect a vital link in the JPL Emergency Prepared Plan utilizing amateur radio communications to communicate with other JPL facilities.

As for Field Day, we enjoyed a fairly successful Field Day activity this year. We managed to move up one slot for the state of California, but moved down one slot nationwide. All things considered, 'we done good'.

For this coming year, we have many projects which are going to require assistance form the membership in getting them completed. The repaired tower needs to be re-installed as soon as possible. The antenna system is shaky at best and we need to bolster our capabilities for emergency preparedness as well as recreation. We will again attempt to get the new .08 repeater up and running. The new .04 repeater system should be installed sometime this year as should the link to Table Mountain. Much work needs to be done on the Mesa to repair damage caused by time, the elements, man and neglect. We have some very nice equipment in the shack, but it needs good antennas and feed lines to be of any use. There are other projects in the works as well. Get involved! You may not know about some aspect of your hobby and think that will keep you from being of any help, just volunteer to work with a group to get something going and learn in the process. The best way to find out about something is to jump in with both hands and feet.

Best wishes for the Holiday Season!

73 de KC6HUR



by Robert Dengler, NO6B

Well, by the time you read this the long awaited Table Mountain link repeater should be operational. We'll get you the instructions on how to use it once it has been installed and debugged.

Randy Hammock, Jan Tarsala and I made a visit to Table Mountain on Nov. 24 to check out our 3 open repeaters located there: WB6TZS on 145.28 (-), 223.96 (-), and 447.325 (-, PL-94.8 or ZA). In case you haven't heard, the Goldstone ARC had operated these 3 repeaters at the Table Mountain Observatory since the mid 70s. Not too long ago someone discovered that the Goldstone ARC had essentially shrunk to one member: Jim Young WB6FNI, the trustee.

Since Goldstone has always been a JPL facility, it was felt that ownership and control of the three repeaters should officially be transferred to the JPLARC. With this transfer now comes the responsibility of our repeater committee to maintain these systems.

What we found was a very neatly installed professional-looking installation: all 3 repeaters are using Phelps Dodge Stationmaster antennas fed with hardline neatly dressed on telephone poles and buried between the poles and the building. The 2 meter duplexer was found to be also of excellent quality: a Phelps Dodge full size 6-section pass-notch. The 2 meter repeater itself, however, showed signs of fading as just the vibration caused by working on other equipment in the cabinet apparently caused the receiver squelch to tighten up.

An examination of the repair log kept by Bill Wood, WB6FXJ (who by the way did an excellent job in constructing & maintaining the system for many years & kept thorough notes!) showed that among other things the squelch control had a chronic stability problem. We have plans to replace this unit with a high quality/ low cost General Electric radio identical to the one we're using now on 147.15. The 220 & 440 systems seemed to be in better shape; a PL decoder set to 156.7 Hz (5A) will soon be added to the 220 repeater to help resolve a co-channel interference problem. This decoder will be configured like the one on 224.04: PL will be required only for weak signals. The hardwire- designed controller for the 3 repeaters was found to be partially working and hard to configure; plans are underway to replace it with a state of the art microprocessor-based system.

The acquisition of the Table Mountain repeaters combined with the re-establishing of the Table Mountain link now gives our club a VHF communications link with all JPL facilities. This capability can be used as part of our emergency communications plan.


By Jim Kesterson, KA6IBF

A note from the Vice President at the end of busy year for the Club. Even though I started this year as an ex Club officer I didn't stay that way long, being pressed into service for this position after Jan (WB6VRN) became the trustee for the VIO station. I want to say I appreciate all that Jan had done before the position was turned over to me. I think we had interesting meetings all year and I hope the good stuff continues next year with the new Board.

Thanks to all those Club members who contributed to making this a year of progress for the Club. I will look forward to this coming year when I don't have to be involved in Club decisions, but can offer help in other ways.

Since this note will appear in the December issue of our newsletter I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone Happy Holidays and provide to those who might be interested a recipe which my family has enjoyed for many years at holiday time. I hope you try it and enjoy it as much as we do. It is GOOOOOOOOD.

English Egg Nog:

6 Egg Yolks

6 Egg Whites

1 Cup Granulated Sugar

1 Pint (16 oz.) Cognac (I use Martells)

1 Cup (8 oz.) Light Rum

2 Quarts Light Cream (I substitute half & half - It's rich enough)

1/2 Cup Confectioner's Sugar

1. In a LARGE bowl beat egg yolks until thick. Gradually add granulated sugar, beating until light.

2. Slowly stir in cognac and rum. Add 1 1/2 quarts cream and about half the egg whites, beating until very well combined.

3. Beat remaining egg whites until foamy. Gradually add confectioner's sugar, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until soft peaks form when beater is slowly removed.

4. Gently stir beaten egg whites and remaining cream into egg yolk mixture.

5. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.


By Jan Tarsala, WB6VRN

SAREX news, as transcribed from The AMSAT Journal, Volume 15, Number 4, September/October 1992:

The Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX) will be on-board the first three Shuttle flights for 1993. The three SAREX flights scheduled for 1993 are STS-55, STS-56, and STS-57 which are tentatively scheduled for launch on February 18, March 11 and April 28 respectively.

STS-55 will fly SAREX Configuration C which is 2-Meter voice and packet. The primary payload for this mission is planned with a 28.5 degree inclination orbit. Steve Nagel, N5RAW and Jerry Ross, N5SCW are two U.S. radio amateurs on this flight. Also on-board will be the German SAFEX Amateur Radio station which will operate 70 cm voice using a dual band (2m/70cm) whip mounted on the exterior of the Spacelab module [editor's note: Yea! It's about time!].

STS-56 will carry radio amateurs Ken Cameron (Commander), KB5AWP, Ken Cockrell, KB5UAH, Mike Foale, KB5UAC, and Ellen Ochoa, KB5TZZ on a nine day mission. The primary payload for STS-56 is ATLAS-2. SAREX will fly on Configuration D (i.e. Voice, packet, SSTV and ATV uplink). A 57 degree inclination, night launch is planned for this mission.

The third SAREX flight for 1993 is STS-57, a seven day mission which will carry the Space Hab module and retrieve the European Eureca spacecraft. STS-57 will be launched into a 28.5 degree orbit. SAREX Configuration C (2-meter voice and packet) is planned. Brian Duffy, N5WQW is the radio amateur flying on this mission.

By Bob Polansky, N6ET

This year's CQ CW Contest was a great event. The conditions were fantastic on all bands but 80 meters. Even 10 meters had fine openings to Europe, Asia, and Africa. Winter conditions are back and even though we are on the down side of the sunspot cycle, there's lots of great dx available. Just the other morning Europe was coming in so well on 75 meter SSB that I got some QSO's! New countries on 80 meters are always pleasant surprises. The DX Bulletin advises that there is much do activity planned for the coming month. Here's a sample. Don't forget the yearly 10 Meter Contest on 12/13 December.

ANGOLA - N2QHO advises that he will be active /D2 on SSB for the next two years.

BANGLADESH - S21A has been reported as being active between 2200 and 0200Z frequently around either 14025 or 14004 kHz. He also checks into the W7PHO Net on 14227 kHz at 2200Z.

DESECHEO ISLAND - This operation is scheduled to activate around 2300Z on 28 December and run through 4 January. Look for CW operation on 3505,7005,14020,21020,and 28020 kHz and SSB operation on 3790,7090,14195,21295, and 28395 kHz.

GUINEA - 3X0HNU is reported as follows: 28030 kHz at 1600Z and 21022 kHz at 1535Z. I had a QSO with him on 40 meter CW at 7002 kHz at 0730Z, very few callers.

IVORY COAST - TU4SR has been very active (and very loud during the CQ WW Contest. Look for him at 14025 kHz from 0130 to 0400Z, and 21025 kHz from 2100 to 0100Z.

KINGMAN REEF - KH5K will be active for 8 or 9 days starting late in February. Up to 12 operators may participate.

LEBANON - OD5/SP7LSE has been active on 7002 kHz at 0200Z. I haven't heard him, but propagation should permit QSO's from the West Coast with a reasonable antenna system at that time.

MOZAMBIQUE - C9RJJ is quite active from this African country. Look for him at 14025 kHz at 0400Z, 21029 kHz from 2000 to 2200Z, and on 10 CW from 1530 to 1700Z.

PAKISTAN - It's the time of year for Pakistan to be workable on the West Coast on the early-evening long path. Look for AP2AL on 14184 kHz at 0230Z.

SOMALIA - Problems in this African country have brought with them outside help from the UN and especially the US. Look for KA1PM signing T5CB to operate from here for 2 weeks sometime this month. In addition, T5BLU has been reported on 21361 kHz at 1840Z.

TAIWAN - BV2A, BV7JA, and BV2DJ have all been reported around 3505 kHz at 1430Z. This is "a first" for BV amateurs!

Enough for this issue. Have a Merry Christmas and may the dx gods look favorably upon your log book!

Good DX, Bob, N6ET


by Jan Tarsala, WB6VRN

Club members are advised that the 147.15 MHz and 224.04 MHz repeaters will probably be in use at various times around New Year's in support of the Tournament of Roses Radio Amateurs (TORRA). TORRA provides communications for the Tournament of Roses to assist in parade float convoy operations from the construction sites to the Formation Area, to assist the parade participants during the parade, and to assist the public both during the parade as well as after the parade in the viewing area along Sierra Madre Boulevard. As our members are keenly aware, the coverage of these two boxes makes them ideal along the parade route. JPLARC members are asked to studiously monitor the channel before transmitting during these few days, and to follow the instructions of any Net Control Station that may be present and conducting TORRA operations. Club members interested in participating in TORRA can do so by checking in to the TORRA net held at 7:27 P.M. every day after Christmas on the 147.27 MHz repeater on Mt. Disappointment.


By David Seidel, KC6NRL

Board Meeting Minutes of 11/25/92

In attendance were Randy Hammock, Jan Tarsala, Walt Mushagian, Mark Schaefer and David Seidel. The meeting was brief due to schedules.

Jan moved, and Mark seconded a motion to honor a specific club member for his/her service to the club. The award will be announced and presented at the December banquet. A special certificate will also be presented at that time.

The slate of club officers was discussed. Because each office is uncontested the by-laws state that a printed ballot vote is not required. At the December banquet meeting a voice vote will be taken to affirm the slate. With the expectation that the slate will be elected at that time, congratulations to the 1993 board. The club officers will be Randy Hammock KC6HUR continuing as President, Manny Caldera KC6ZSY as Vice-president, Greg Kazz KC6OMM as Secretary and Scott Balzar KC6NRP continuing as Treasurer. Thanks to Manny for serving as the nominations committee.

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