FEBRUARY 1992 Volume 21 No. 2

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-5A 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


As most old members are probably aware, Field Day is the last weekend of June which makes it the 27th and 28th of June this year. This is pretty exciting activity for the club as it Involves almost every phase of operation. Besides having one of the best sites for operation, it is just plain fun to be out on the mountain for a weekend.

There is much planning which must take place beforehand and we are currently putting the various sub-committees together to get this ball rolling.

Field Day Coordinator -- [unfilled] He makes sure that things run smoothly and when people have questions, is able to point them towards those who can answer them. Keeping the other coordinators working together is his main job.

Logistics Coordinator -- Larry Smith N6PBS; He makes sure that we have all the equipment we need, that it is working and repaired if not working, work days and equipment integration.

Food Coordinator -- John Talon N60MB and Rick McKinney KA6DAN (at least I think they said they would volunteer again); What more could be said about this except that the food is really great.

Contest Operations Coordinator -- Jay Holladay W6EJJ and Bob Polansky N6ET; These guys figure out the total operating strategy for operating. They have to come-up with the schedules of bands and operators which will allow us to maximize our points by keeping as many transmitters on the air as permitted by our chosen class of operation.

Set-up Coordinator -- Walt Mushagian K6DNS; He makes sure that when we get up on the hill, everything Is put up and functions. The teardown activities are also handled by his office.

As you can see, things are beginning to move along and take shape. If you can offer any assistance to these groups, please contact the person(s) listed. In the near future, more Information will be distributed asking for people to sign-up for various tasks as well as signing up for Field Day operations.

We have consistently moved up in our standing every year, let's not make this year any different!


In the latter part of March of this year, the Space Shuttle will carry another ham radio station into orbit, known as SAREX (Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment). On this flight, all operations will be voice on 2 meters FM affording most everyone with 2-meter capability the opportunity to talk with the astronauts on-board the shuttle.

One of things that the astronauts will be doing on this flight Is talking with students via ham radio. When this takes place our club tries to re-transmit this activity on the HF bands. We don't have a coordinator or schedule for this activity as of yet, but we will be looking for volunteers to baby-sit the HF station when the astronauts are having these student chats.

As launch time approaches, more Information will be provided so you can sign-up for this activity.

By David Seidel, KC6NRL

Minutes of Regular Board Meeting - 1/22/92

The meeting was called to order by President Randy Hammock. Also In attendance were Jan Tarsala, Scott Balzar, Wait Diem, Wait Mushagian, Sam Weaver, Rick McKinney, Jim Kesterson, Bob Dengler, Skip Harvey and David Seidel.

The minutes of the 1/6 Special Board Meeting were read and approved.

The condition of the damaged tower was discussed. Wait Mushagian will investigate the cost of a replacement tower section but that Is expected to be too expensive and not required. The rotator Is O.K.; the power was off to it (tripped circuit breaker). Adjustment will be required to avoid slippage. A February 1 work party was scheduled to lower the tower and remove the damaged section.

Gil Duke, JPL emergency preparedness coordinator, wants an ARC antenna up at the Emergency Operations Center. Larry Smith is coordinating that activity. Gil also wants a liaison group from the ARC to determine what support we can provide to the laboratory and to develop plans for incorporation in the Lab Emergency Plan. Wait Mushagian, Emergency Communication Coordinator for the club detailed David Seidel to form a working group to discuss deployment of forces, procedures, identification helmets or armbands and other appropriate issues.

The board ratified Jan Tarsala as new trustee for W6VIO, replacing Stan Sander. Jan steps down as Vice-President but remains on the board in his capacity as trustee. As specified in the by-laws, President Hammock appointed Jim Kesterson to fill out the rest of Jan's term. The board ratified the appointment. (That was a three-week vacation from board membership for Jim.)

Rick continues to work on a New Members Handbook outlining the resources and services of the club. He also Is Interested In developing a training program for new members and others In the use of the positions In the shack. Everyone with Input to this process is encouraged to put their thoughts on paper and submit them to Rick or a club officer. It would be good to have some sort of program in place by this summer when we expect to have another Novice/Tech class.

The relationship of the JPL ARC and the (apparently dissolved) Goldstone ARC's facilities and equipment were discussed. As per actions of last year's board, JPLARC was planning to reimburse Jim Young for the $100/year Forest Service permit for 1992. Issues Include: Is It necessary to pay for a permit if the JPL Table Mountain Observatory is already a Forest Service permitted facility; is there a support agreement in place between JPL ARC and GARC; Is a new memo of understanding required; are there Issues of equipment ownership? Various members are investigating these concerns.

The list of off-lab members was presented by Rick and the Individuals were reconfirmed for membership for 1992.

The meeting was adjourned.

By Robert Dengler, WB6VRN

Greetings, repeater fans!

As your new repeater committee chairperson, I am pleased to report that my predecessor, Jan Tarsala, has left us in perfect condition for massive growth to continue this year. Barring any last-minute hang-ups, the new Kendecom repeater should be operating on 224.08 shortly after you read this. Software bugs continue to plague the unit; however, Randy Hammock has come up with a fantastic microprocessor emulation system which will allow us to continue to work on the software even after the repeater has been Installed!

Negotiations are underway for obtaining a site for the Table Mountain linking system In the City of Industry. This will allow communications between the 224.04 W6VIO repeater on the Mesa and 223.96 WB6TZS at TMO covering the high desert.

We have obtained permanent frequency coordination from the Two Meter Area Spectrum Management Association (TASMA) for our new 2-meter repeater on 147.150 (+) (PL-103.5), allowing us to begin the process of replacing the current repeater equipment on loan to us with our own. This will be done when the entire repeater system on the mesa (224.04 & 147.15) is replaced with a new system built around our Palomar RBC-751 controller. The piece parts for this system are coming together quickly now, but a lot of work will be needed to get this one ready, particularly with respect to wiring. If you like making cable assemblies (mostly pygmy connector to spade terminals), then come by our weekly luncheon meeting every Tuesday around 12:30 In the Building 167 Cafeteria. Look more towards the middle of the dining area as I'm trying to get us out of the smoking area!

Paperwork has been filed with the Southern California Repeater and Remote Base Association (SCRRBA) which will merge the six-meter and ten-meter repeater systems of the new trustee for W6VIO, Jan Tarsala, into the 224.04 and 147.15 repeaters atop the Mesa. The frequencies under discussion are 29.66 MHz (PL-1B) and 51.86 MHz (PL-1A). If accepted by SCRRBA, this merger will permit users on four bands, as well as the satellite gateway, to intercommunicate simultaneously through the facilities of our Palomar controller. Stay tuned for further details on this proposal.

In closing, I wanted to pass along a thought about usage of our two 220 MHz repeaters serving the Lab. It has been brought to my attention that the main purpose of the 224.08 system is for making phone calls. As it turns out, there is a lot of rag chewing going on there which makes the repeater less available for autopatch use. At the same time, 224.04 goes unused. If you can, please redirect some of your longer conversations onto 224.04 so we can run up the phone bill on IEA. This recommendation comes at the request of the repeater trustees, who would like to see a more balanced use of the resources available to our club members. It is recognized in making this suggestion that the coverage of the two repeaters, while similar, are not equal, and that while the Shuttle is up, 224.04 is principally devoted to retransmission of the astronaut voice channel. Nonetheless, a concerted effort by club members to QSY to 224.04 for all communications other than autopatches is requested.

By C. Walter Diem, WA6PEA, and Jan A. Tarsala, WB6VRN

It is with deep gratitude that we reconfirm the existing seven control operators for the club repeaters, and announce the addition of two new control operators to assist them In their responsibilities.

The position of control operator is a high honor, carrying profound responsibility. Control operators assist the trustee for each of our club callsigns in assuring compliance with FCC regulations by our repeater operations; configure the systems for nets or other special operations; and, most of all, provide a resource of assistance and guidance to all the users of our club repeaters. Thus, being a control operator requires not only a thorough knowledge of radio law and of the technical configuration and control of the repeater hardware, but it requires good judgment and a substantial investment of time. The gentlemen listed below have amply demonstrated these qualities and have agreed to the responsibilities entailed.

Club members should never hesitate to call for a control operator. They are an invaluable resource not only for our club repeaters, but their experience and broad knowledge of communication skills recommend them for many questions about repeater operation not specifically limited to W6VIO and WB6IEA. Control operators possess the knowledge to answer many questions, and can recommend an expert to fulfill the others. Flatter them with your inquiries.

Here then are the control operators for W6VIO and WB61EA (clip and save!):

Bob Dengler    N06B   4-9620  168-314   714-594-9622
Walt Diem      WA6PEA 4-0081  198-326   818-248-7525
Randy Hammock  KC6HUR 6-6228  525-3684  818-957-5773
Sid Johnson    WB6VWH 4-2298  300-314   818-248-0582
Jim Kesterson  KA61BF 4-1321  301-320   714-596-4390
Jim Marr       AA6Ql  4-4480  156-142   818-794-9804
Wait Mushagian K6DNS  4-3036  238-343   213-255-8608
Jan Tarsala    WB6VRN 4-4564  183-701   818-447-8475
Art Zygielbaum WA6SAL 4-3564  180-701   818-952-2472

By Bob Polansky, N6ET

Band conditions have been quite good with high solar flux and fairly low K and A indices. Only a few solar flares have messed things up during the last month. A number of operations are planned in the near term that should attract the attention of DX'ers. A sample follows. For more Information, check "The DX Bulletin" posted on the North wall of the W6VIO ham shack.

BANGLADESH - WZ6C/S21 has been active on occasion around 14180 kHz, signals coming over the North Pole. He has official permission to operate yet. He is apparently using a beam, since he is putting In a strong signal during local morning hours.

CLIPPERTON ISLAND - This seldom-visited Island in the Pacific will be the host of FO0CI tentatively during the month of March. If this takes place, don't miss working them. It'll probably be a long time until the next Clipperton operation.

IVORY COAST - TU4SR plans to be active during both ARRL contests this year. He should be very popular.

LACCADIVE ISLANDS - Look for VU7LZ on SSB, CW, and RTTY, probable starting about the third week of February. Don't miss this one either.

LAOS - Lloyd and Iris Colvin are active from Laos as XW1QL. They operate 20 kHz up from the low band edge on CW, listening up 1 kHz. They also make appearances on many SSB DX nets.

PAKISTAN - AP/WA2WYR continues his activity, being reported on CW on all bands from 40 through 10 meters.

SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS - Don't forget this one! VP8SSl plans a four-transmitter activity from this very rare location starting on 14 March and ending on 28 April. OH2BH plans to join this group, which is very good news for us West Coast hams.

TOGO - 5V7JG is active from Togo through the end of February. Look for him at 14009 kHz at 2045Z and 24905 kHz at 1500Z.

Don't forget the ARRL CW Contest on 15/16 February and the ARRL SSB Contest on 7/8 March. These should be good opportunities to work some of those rare Russian zones and countries on 10 meters for maybe the last time during the current sunspot cycle.

Good DX, Bob, N6ET

By Jerry Hawkes, W6WXL

On 1 February this year we had a tower party. The tower between the water tanks was cut into two sections and laid down on the hillside. The cut was at the point where the wind bent the tower over thereby destroying the TH-6 beam. This happened just after last Thanksgiving. Transportation will move the two sections down to the shack area when we have a dry spell. (Can't believe I'm able to say that.)

The Sommer antenna was also lowered to determine why it is pointing In the wrong indicated direction. Some work needs to be done on the rotator and on the clamping off the beam to the mast. The beam will now rotate, but not the full 360 degrees. Bob (N6ET) or Jay (W6EJJ) have left beam heading information in the shack.

Unfortunately due to camera malfunction we have no pictures of Jay lying out on the boom of the Sommer antenna. Next time!!

Thanks to the following helpers to whom the club owes a lot of gratitude:

Mark was our tower climber of the day. Thanks again to all. Jerry W6WXL

Go back to the W6VIO Calling Index.