JUNE 1992 Volume 21 No. 6

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 many of you are probably aware, the new .080 repeater was installed at the site on June 1st. Robert Burns once stated in a poem "... "the best laid plans of mice and men." Well that most definitely applied to this situation. Despite months of preparation in the lab, testing and planning, when the repeater was installed, it didn't work.

The audio through the repeater was below the level of the PL. On June 10th, Jan Tarsala, Sam Weaver and I went back up the hill to try to determine what was causing the repeater audio to be so low. While Jan was looking for a possible defective component, I visually inspected the boards to see if there were any chips or connectors that had come loose. Jan discovered that the receiver audio gate was not being switched and that it didn't seem to be getting the control voltage.

While he was looking at the schematic, I reached into box, placed my thumb on top of the dip-header of the cable coming from the CPU and applied pressure. When Jan starts to look at signals again he notices that now everything seems to be working. Apparently the dip-header had come loose during transport up to the site and once it had been reseated, everything started working again, including the autopatch.

Thank you Jan and Sam for your assistance in getting the Kendecom installed on the hill. I would also like to thank Larry Smith and Jim Parkyn for their work in preparing the system for installation.

Though the repeater is up and running, there are still a few matters which need to be handled at the site and I will be asking for assistance in the next few weeks to go back up the hill and finish off the installation. Some of the levels may need to be tweaked and peaked but over all, everything is operating as planned.


Just as we finally start to get our act together and get meeting notices out, the ERC runs out of money for reproduced fliers. Repo costs are four cents per page (six cents for double-sided) and distribution costs are twenty-five cents per label. After some discussion, the ERC will continue to provide reproduction services for the subclubs but the individual subclubs will now be responsible for providing their own mailing labels. We think we now have a handle on this situation and hope that the club mailings will become more regular again.


After many years of dedicated service to JPL and the club, Jerry will be going off to pursue his own (or his wife's HI HI) interests off-LAB. Jerry has provided much assistance, willingness and know-how in keeping the club facilities up and running.

Jerry, we wish the very best and hope you will keep in touch with us!


At the time of this writing, Mark Schaefer has agreed to take on the post of facilities manager. Mark has been a long-time member of the club and has a deep interest day-to-day goings-on of the shack and is now in the position to do something about it. When Mark asks for help in getting the shack in shape, please give him lots of support as it takes everyone and not just one person to keep things going.

73s Randy Hammock KC6HUR

by Robert Dengler, NO6B

Well it appears that pre-field day activities are going very smoothly thanks to our sub-coordinators Larry N6PBS, Manny KC6ZSY, Jay W6EJJ, Bob N6ET, & Walt K6DNS, & no thanks to me! We are still in need of operators however, especially with respect to the VHF/UHF station. This is an excellent chance for you no-code techs to experience real contesting first-hand: 146.52 FM usually has as much contest activity during the daytime as 15 or 20 meters. If you like to join us on Mt. Gleason the weekend of June 27-28 & strain your voice or wrist, contact Larry Smith at 4-0019.

On the repeater front, I am happy to announce that through the relentless efforts of Jan WB6VRN, Randy KC6HUR & many others, the new Kendecom 224.08 repeater is finally UP AND RUNNING!!! (can you believe it?). And perking along quite nicely, thank you. The PL access has not been activated yet so that those of you who ordered PL encoders through the club & have not yet picked them up from Jim Kesterson (4- 1321) can do so & install them. The Technical Q & A net and Space & Satellite information net continue to be held Wednesdays at 7:00 & 8:00 P.M. respectively, on 224.04 thanks to a new repeater link provided by Randy Hammock. The strange burping noises you may have heard on 224.04 are probably due to a failed component in the (old) repeater controller; however, the noise goes away when you talk or when the shuttle audio is on and keying the repeater. A 51.86 MHz transmitter will be added shortly to the 224.04 system as a first step in activating our 10 & 6 meter repeaters. If you have a scanner, you should be able to listen to yourself (duplex) through the repeater by tuning in 51.86 while talking through VIO. Finally, we are looking to install the Table Mountain link repeater at our City of Industry site. In particular, we need someone who can attach N & PL-259 connectors to Belden 9913 coax. Contact me (4-9620) if you can help. 73

by Mark M. Schaefer WB6CIA

Guess who the new Facilities Chairman is - ME. I won’t tell you how I got roped into this job, I may need to use the same method someday. My first act on this job is to thank Jerry Hawks for the fine work and many hours he has put into making the W6VIO station modernized and operational. It was one of my better decisions to appoint Jerry to this job when I was President back in 1990. Don‘t be a stranger now that you're retired Jerry.

To no shock to anyone, there is a lot of work to do in the trailer and in preparing for the new shack up on Shavetail Rd. Other VIO facilities the club maintains include the antenna farm and two FM repeaters up on the mesa, a repeater on Cerro Negro, emergency stations in the basement of 171 and the Labs Emergency Operations Center. If you didn't know about these facilities, ask! All club members have privileges in sharing the use of these facilities. They also have the opportunity to help maintain and upgrade our capabilities. You don't have to be an expert, you don’t have to have a lot of time. There's plenty of work for all skill levels and time scales. They also serve, those who sit and watch. That way they will see how to do it themselves next time. By volunteering some time to keep the equipment running on Lab, you can learn how to build a better station at home. WARNING if you do a good job in helping out club, the word will spread around the Lab about your talents.

This is a partial list of what we are working on presently.

  • Improved performance of Hardlines to Mesa
  • Repair of HF Tower
  • Installation of Telrex HF Antenna
  • GAP Vertical Antenna for Novice Station
  • HF Packet Station
  • New Functions on 224.08 Repeater
  • Remote Link with Table Mountain Repeater
  • Palomar Controller for 224.04 Repeater
  • Relocation of Satellite Station
  • Construction of New Ham Shack
  • If you would like to contribute or learn more about any of these tasks, my extension is X46504 and my mail stop is 161-213. My Email address is mark@cassi.JPL.NASA.GOV and I’m on JEMS. Thanks for your support.

    By David Seidel, KC6NRL

    Minutes of the Board Meeting of May 27, 1992 Submitted by Club Secretary David M. Seidel KC6NRL

    The meeting was called to order by President Randy Hammock. Also in attendance were Jim Kesterson, Walt Mushagian, Jan Tarsala, Sam Weaver, Jerry Hawkes, Rick McKinney, Deril Schmitt and David Seidel.

    Work continues to clarify the assimilation of Goldstone ARC assets into JPL ARC. It appears that a change to the club's by-laws will not be required to add an additional repeater trustee as a board member. Some formalities remain but the process is on track. As soon as a work party is detailed, the link between JPL and Table Mountain will be established.

    The board moved to authorize the expenditure of $80 to supplement an ERC grant for the purchase of a TM 641 dual-bander (with a slot for a board to support a third band). The motion was made because the previously authorized TM 631 is shortly to become a discontinued model. The motion was made by Jan, seconded by Walt and passed unanimously.

    Jerry Hawkes W6WXL will be retiring soon. This is momentous for a variety of reasons, not the least of which has been his chairing the facilities committee. We know that old habits die hard and that Jerry will be out there for each and every work party! In other facility news, the shack in building 171 will remain as an emergency operating position but and amplifier will be removed for other use.

    If the schedule holds, there will be a SAREX flight taking place during field day. The club is planning to have a 30m bulletin station (automated) up for STS Keplerian elements and SAREX operating schedules with coverage for the Pacific basin.

    Rick McKinney reported that the club had 206 paid-up members as of 5/27.

    The meeting was adjourned.

    By Bob Polansky, N6ET

    DX conditions have been really poor this past month. Seasonal variations in addition to the downward slope of the sunspot cycle appear to be to blame. Hopefully, the conditions will improve somewhat for Field Day. In spite of the above, the DX Bulletin tells of several upcoming or active operations which you should look out for.

    ANGOLA - Look for D2/N6QHO on Sundays from 1400Z to 1800Z on 28460 kHz.

    CAMBODIA - XU8CW has been active at 1345Z on 14032 kHz and on 14235 kHz at 1400Z. Also, XU7VK should be active through July.

    CHAD - TT8ZH will be active through the end of June. Frequencies given are 3502 kHz at 0400Z, 7025 kHz at 0500Z, and 10102 kHz at 2000Z.

    LEBANON - OD5RAK likes 14205 kHz from 2300Z to 0200Z. You should have a better chance from the West Coast closer to 0200Z.

    MONGOLIA - G3NOM/JT should be on the air from 28 June through 8 July. No frequencies given. If you don't find him, JT1CS frequently operates on both 20 CW and 20 SSB from 1300Z to 1600Z.

    ROTUMA ISLAND - Bing, 3D2XV, will be active from Rotuma to June 30. Look for him on 7056 kHz at 0745Z. He frequently checks into SSB DX nets on both 20 and 40 meters.

    SOMALIA - T53UN will be active from Somalia for another 2 to 6 months. He's been heard on the 14256 kHz net from 2300Z.

    SOUTH GEORGIA - VP8CGK and VP8CKB are both on this rare island through April 1993 and April 1994 respectively. They are apparently active on all bands; although, no frequencies were given.

    YUGOSLAVIA - YU2, YU3, and YU4 may soon be separate countries from the old YU. More on this as the story unfolds.

    Good hunting. Remember, the sunspots will again increase, although, it may take a few years!

    Good DX, Bob, N6ET

    Go back to the W6VIO Calling Index.