MAY 1992 Volume 21 No. 5

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


On Friday April 24, the ERC held a birthday celebration on the Mall. All of the subclubs were asked to participate. The Amateur Radio Club was one of the many clubs that had a booth setup displaying equipment, passing out informational brochures and ERC provided goodies and answering questions from passers-by.

I had a working packet radio station on display connected to the clubs BBS (too bad you can't read a plasma display in daylight), while Scott Balzer had a 220 mobile radio operating and tuned to CONDOR. Others who helped out with the booth were Jim Kesterson, Sid Johnson, Jerry Hawkes, Warren Ring and several others who stopped by for various periods of time.

Thanks to everyone who participated and made the day a success!


Every May, the city of La Canada has a celebration along with many public activities concluding with a parade. This year, I was contacted by Pasadena Radio Club to ask for assistance with Fiesta Days "Bike Ride for Pride". This ride will be taking place on the 23rd of May and will be using the JPLARC 147.15 repeater for communications. Contact Peter Fogg at (818) 799-9125 for more information regarding this public service event. Also, the JPLARC usually helps out with the parade. If you wish to participate in this event, contact Sid Johnson at 4-2298.


That time is rapidly approaching! Information packs should be going out soon. If you can help out in any area, please call Bob Dengler at 4-9620 to volunteer.


Last year, Art WA6SAL showed us a signed facilities request for a new ham shack. About two weeks ago, we were contacted by the architect who is going to be doing the design for the facility. We are in the process of putting together the requirements for power, heating, cooling and other aspects of the building. In order to get some items done for us, we may have to perform a few things ourselves to keep costs down. More information regarding this project will be given as it becomes available.

In Closing...

If I've been a bit hard to reach lately, I've been having some rather trying times (jury duty for the past month, one case with no end in sight). Things appear to moving right along and I appreciate everyone's assistance. 73 de Randy KC6HUR

By Rick McKinney, KA6DAN

A New MEMBER HANDBOOK for the JPL Amateur Radio Club has been prepared and published. The handbook is an attempt to gather information about the Radio Club in a handy reference form for new members. It contains information on the organization, personnel, facilities, and operations of the club.

Although the Handbook is intended for new members, it is being issued to all current members. This will enable all current member to comment on the handbook. Comments received will be used to provide guidance for future revision of the handbook.

THANKS to all persons who contributed to the first edition of the New MEMBERS HANDBOOK.

73, de KA6DAN, Rick McKinney, Membership Services.

By Dick Mathison, KG6Y

On Sunday May 3rd, nine members provided communications for the Altadena Guild Home Tour on Mendocino Lane in Altadena. The Tour raises funds for the Huntington Medical Research Institutes. While Dick Mathison, KG6Y, shadowed the co-chairmen, George Morris, W6ABW, and Bill Weber, N6CI, did a smooth job controlling the network. Gil Clark, N6FHC, Michele Marr, KC6FSP, Jim Marr, AA6QI, Connie Morris, KA6JAM, Ron Ploszaj, WA6TPW, and Ron Zenone, W6TUZ, operated the remainder of the stations.

The network consisted of six stations connected via W6VIO/R. One was at each of two remote parking lots, at each end of Mendocino Lane, at an information booth and the co-chairmen shadow. The communications coordinated the movement of guests between the parking lots and Mendocino Lane and supported logistics. One message summoned emergency aid for a person who fainted. The operation provided a pleasant opportunity for us to use our toys while supporting a good cause. An effort the Guild appreciates very much.

By David Seidel, KC6NRL

Minutes of Board Meeting of April 22, 1992

Vice President Jim Kesterson presided in the absence of President Randy Hammock who was doing his civic duty. Also in attendance were Scott Balzar, Walt Mushagian, Bob Dengler, Mark Schaefer, Jerry Hawkes, Art Zygielbaum, Walt Diem, Phil Smith, and myself.

Art discussed work and plans for the new ham shack. Architect plans include air conditioning and heating and building refurbishment. The building is 143, formerly known as the "Solid Rocket Dock," and is located on Shavetail Road (grid E4 on the JPL Lab map). If anyone knows the origin of the road's name, please speak up. That sort of information may be important to the legacy of the Club.

Bob gave a status of the repeaters. Jim said that the new ".08" repeater manual should be distributed ahead of the repeater installation so as to avoid confusion and extra work for the control operators.

Art will periodically maintain a table at the TRW swap meet for anyone interested in swapping things. Be sure to contact him in advance to be sure that he will be there on any given date.

The next board meeting will be on May 27.

By Sid Johnson, WB6VWH

Tues May 2, 1992 the City of La Canada and La Canada Kiwanis held their 2nd annual bicycle race. Despite it being canceled on Friday morning May 1, because of the riots in LA, the Kiwanians were able to convince the city to proceed and the race was back on. As it was, the Sheriff's support was canceled which left traffic control with deputies that were on regular city duty and which would have had to leave if any city emergencies arose. Fortunately that never happened.

A near potential disaster occurred when two private cyclists were discovered on the course, near turn 3, riding against race traffic during the men's race. When asked to leave the course they REFUSED, and were cleared from the course only seconds before the main pack barreled into turn 3 at 45 mph. The lady cyclist involved wrote a letter to the City of La Canada strongly protesting their treatment by race officials. Seems someone reportedly called her an obscene name.

Otherwise the race(s) were for the most part uneventful, the biggest mishap occurring in the first lap of the women's race where a crash occurred in turn number two resulting in one rider out with a dislocated shoulder. There were no less than 3 world class women riders in this race, by the way, and total prize money for the three races (intermediate, women's, men's) amounted to $10,000. Conversation with several riders and bike clubs found all to feel that the La Canada race is one of the best courses, and one of the best organized races in the country. Next year should be even better. (No I don't belong to the Kiwanis).

Behind the scenes, 9 members of the JPL Amateur Radio Club quietly, although sometimes frantically, coordinated traffic into and out of the blocked residential streets near Descanso Gardens, summoned the Paramedics when needed, made sure push brooms appeared when needed, chased down the source of surface water on the course (usually from automatic lawn sprinklers), and relayed messages for various officials and race organizers. In other words, a normal public service event for HAM radio.

To all that supported the race, the City of La Canada/Flintridge and the Kiwanis has asked me to convey their sincere thanks and gratitude to the JPL Radio Club and the operators that supported them last Sunday. Take a bow: Chris Zygielbaum N6WEI, Bob Layne W6LTC, Bob Blakely N6MTI, Larry Smith N6PBS, Joel Mosher KB6RXE, Gerry Walsh KB6OOC, Chuck Sarture KG6NF, and Randy Hammock, KC6HUR.

By Bob Polansky, N6ET

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I have been unable to contribute a DX column for the past several months. Although the conditions have only marginally improved, I'll try to make amends here. There's some pretty exciting DX planned or in progress as I write this article. Hopefully the band conditions will continue in shape adequate to work it all. Again, our gratitude to "The DX Bulletin" for providing source material for most of the information herein.

AFRICA (A rare spot) - DJ6SI is in Africa, looking to put on one of the rarer countries, possibly even a new one. Past operations have him operating around 20 kHz up from the low band edge on CW. He doesn't announce his operations in advance, so keep an eye out.

BHUTAN - A5/HA5BUS has been reported as being active through either May 15 or May 22. Hope for the later and look for them 20 kHz up from the low band edge on CW as well as 7045, 14275, 21375, and 28575 on SSB. Good luck!

BOTSWANA - A22MN is the new call of 9L1US. Dave is a very active DXer and should make A2 very available on all bands.

IVORY COAST - TU4SR will be active through 15 June from this West African country. He regularly operates from 0100 to 0500Z on 14024 kHz.

KAMPUCHEA - XU7VK is active from this semi-rare location in Asia. He plans to be there for about three months. He has been reported on 21225 kHz.

MALYJ VYSOSKIJ ISLAND - Look for lots of activity from here from 26 may through 9 June, including the CQ WPX CW Contest on 30/31 May. Published frequencies are 7001, 14025, 21025, and 28025 on CW and 7095, 14195, 21295, and 28495 on SSB.

PAKISTAN - AP/WA2WYR will be active during the WPX CW Contest later this month. He's quite active and has been reported on 40 through 10 meter CW during the last several months. Best of all, he has a stateside QSL manager.

VIETNAM - Anyone still needing Vietnam might find XV7TH on 21295 kHz from 1300 to 1600Z.

Enough for now. Use the band conditions before they fade. We're certainly on the way toward the bottom of the sunspot cycle now.

Good DX, Bob, N6ET

by Skip Reymann, W6PAJ


New OSCAR TO Be Launched July 23, 1992

In 1990, the University of Surrey started a collaborative educational program with the Korean Advanced Institute of Technology (KAIST). As a result of this program, KAIST student engineers are constructing the KITSAT-A satellite at Surrey, under the guidance of experienced UoSAT engineers. KITSAT-A will be launched as a secondary payload onboard the Ariane V-52 mission. The primary passenger for this mission is the oceanographic satellite TOPEX/POSEIDON. The target orbit is nearly circular, with semi-major axis 7700 km and inclination 66 degrees. There are no other OSCAR satellites in such an orbit.

KITSAT-A is based on the same satellite bus used by UO-14 and UO-22. This bus can carry several mission specific payloads. The KITSAT-A payloads are the PACSAT Communications System (PCS), Earth Imaging System (EIS), Digital Signal Processing Experiment (DSPE), and Cosmic Ray Experiment (CRE).

PCS is an open access store-and-forward digital communications system using the standard protocols of the PACSAT Protocol Suite for message forwarding. The PCS will have 13 Mbytes of CMOS SRAM for message storage, and will use data links of 9.6 kbps or higher. It has recently been noted in the amateur press that all of the existing store-and-forward satellites (UO-14, PACSAT and LUSAT) are full to capacity over some parts of the world; the addition of a new high-speed satellite will help to solve this problem.

KlTSAT's EIS will be an upgraded version of the UO-22 EIS. The images can be downloaded and displayed by fairly simple ground stations. Unlike previous CCD systems, the U0-22 and KITSAT systems use standard, widely implemented protocols for image downloading. EIS will consist of two charge-coupled device (CCD) imagers, two lenses, and a Transputer Image Processing Experiment. One of the imagers will provide a wide field of view with approximately 4 km ground resolution similar to the U0-22 camera but covering a larger area of the Earth. The second imager will provide telephoto facility giving approximately 400 meters ground resolution. The use of the wide-angle camera as a spotting camera for detailed images from the narrow-field camera will greatly enhance the Amateur Satellite Services imaging capabilities.

The KITSAT-A DSPE will be used for speech synthesis, store-and-forward speech relay, and high-speed modulation experiments. The primary mission will be similar to DOVE's transmitting multi-lingual greeting messages. These will periodically replace data transmissions on the downlink. As well as supporting these easy-access speech broadcasts, the DSPE will be used for experimentation in digital voice relay and high-speed modulation. These experiments have not been completely defined, but are likely to include real- time conversion of a digital uplink signal to an FM voice downlink signal for "repeater" type operations.

The Cosmic Ray Experiment provides an interesting capability for true space science on a radio amateur satellite. Radiation encountered in orbit can damage integrated circuits and can upset data stored in solid state memories. Amateur satellites now use advanced semiconductors in many critical systems, and designers are becoming increasingly interested in radiation. (AO-10 and FO-12 have both been crippled by radiation damage). UO-14 and UO-22 have p73 already begun to measure the space radiation environment and its effects on advanced electronics. These measurements have been from the relatively benign environment of a low-altitude, high-inclination orbit. KITSAT-A will be placed into a high-altitude, low-inclination orbit, which has much worse radiation characteristics. In this orbit, KITSAT-A will measure the total radiation dose and the occurrence of highly-energetic cosmic rays. In parallel with this environment data, effects of the radiation on microcomputers, power systems, memories and solar panels will be monitored. This information, which will be freely available to amateur satellite designers, may be of great importance for future amateur satellite missions.

By Jan Tarsala, WB6VRN

Jon Adams, NW6H, has suggested that our club offer amateur radio license examinations here on-lab, either during lunch or immediately after work. These will supplement the examinations conducted locally on the last Saturday of each month at either the Eagle Rock City Hall or Clark Junior High School. To this end, Jon, Courtney Duncan (N5BF), Stan Sander (N6MP), and I have applied for accreditation to become Volunteer Examiners under the auspices of the ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator. We expect to all receive our credentials shortly. Persons interested in examinations should express their needs to one of us so that a mutually convenient testing time and location can be arranged. Our initial opinion is that exams should be scheduled quarterly, but if there is sufficient demand, the frequency of testing can be increased.

Other club members holding Amateur Extra licenses who would like to volunteer to assist our test team should first complete the Volunteer Examiner accreditation procedure described in the QST advertisement placed by the ARRL-VEC. Put simply, this involves filing an application, and either forwarding copies of an existing VE accreditation obtained through another VEC to the ARRL-VEC, or the completion of a seventy-page self-paced tutorial and comprehensive examination if one is to become a VE for the first time.

Questions regarding amateur radio license examinations may be directed at any time to one of the aforementioned Volunteer Examiners. All of us firmly believe that the vitality of our hobby is critically dependent on individual hams taking the time and putting forth the effort to bring newcomers into our fold and to assist already-licensed hams in the process of upgrading their license class. We have made the commitment: now, will you?

By Scott Nolte, N6CUV

Here's the information the CHP is looking for when reporting a problem

Tell the operator you're using a ham radio, and that you're not at the location shown on the computer - Then give the following information:


"I'm calling from a ham radio mobile telephone, there's an accident in the Pasadena area, west bound 210 freeway, 1/4 mile east of Lake Ave., in the number 1 and 2 lanes, no apparent injuries, both drivers are outside the cars, a red Toyota pick up and a blue Chevy sedan".

by Jerry Hawkes, W6WXL

The tower, laying in front of our shack, has had the bent sections cut off. Sam Weaver, WB6EMO, is making the insert rods in preparation for having the weld shop weld the two sections back together.

We are planning a storage container clean-out party on June 13. This will be combined with a pre-field day prep party. Anyone interested in any of our stuff had better be there! Operating areas in the shack are being cluttered with unrelated items.

By Gerry Walsh, KB6OOC

Thanks to several club members, the packet BBS was able to provide SAREX information to the amateur community days ahead of everyone else making it the most popular place in Southern California to connect to for the latest information!

AMSAT had requested that we post the latest Keplerian Element set and Mission Status Reports to the LA area BBS's. Cliff Yamamoto, KA6JRG, upgraded some software he has had running on a Sun SPARCstation for the past year. These upgrades were to specifically support SAREX. Cliff's software allowed AMSAT to send the Keplerian Elements by electronic mail to the Sun computer. At that point the software took over, dialed up the BBS and posted the information for the LA area BBS's and hams all automatically! Additional Mission Status Reports were picked up off the Internet news by Cliff's software and posted on the BBS.

Before SAREX, the BBS was logging about 15 to 20 connections per day. During SAREX that climbed to about 50 to 60 connections per day! About 75 percent of those connections were new users registering to use the BBS!

During SAREX we had several messages left by the users to tell us how happy they were to see the latest information available so quickly. Many people were connecting to get the latest Keplerian Elements so they could run tracking programs on their home computers. With the tracking program they were able to know exactly when the Shuttle Atlantis would be rising and setting so they could be ready to join in with thousands of other amateurs as the attempted to contact the astronauts. Here are some of those messages we received:

"You guys have been great during the whole STS-45 mission! I look forward to working with you again in the future!" - Dino, KC6RIX

"By the way I am very impressed with your system.. Hope you can send that to the powers that be... Thanks again for all of your help..." Randy, KB6AVW

Many thanks to Cliff Yamamoto, KA6JRG for his work on the forwarding software and Jan Tarsala for his work on the contacting Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, who sent us the information from AMSAT.

If you are equipped for packed operation, then check into the BBS! The callsign and frequency information can be found on the front page of this issue of VIO Calling.




Skip Reymann, W6PAJ
ext. 4-9465; Home: (714) 592-6107

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