OCTOBER 1992 Volume 21 No. 10

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

The JPL and Goldstone Amateur Radio Clubs are now one!

This merger comes after about 10 months of work and negotiation and we feel that it will result in a win-win situation for both clubs.

Around the end of the year last year, the board of directors received a letter from Jim Young, the trustee of the Goldstone Amateur Radio Club's WB6TZS repeaters, asking for financial assistance in paying for the Forest Service permit for the repeaters at the JPL facility located on Table Mountain. Though these repeaters are located at a JPL facility, they were not sponsored by our club; therefore, we could not officially provide any monetary funds for the support of these systems. Upon further investigation, we discovered that Jim was the sole surviving member of the Goldstone club and that financial support for the repeaters were either paid out of his pocket or by "passing the hat" amongst the users of the repeaters.

The members of the board of directors recognized that the repeaters at Table Mountain were a valuable resource that neither club could afford to loose. Since spectrum is very tight in Southern California, there would be many vultures ready to swoop in and snap-up these frequencies should the repeaters go down, and with our forthcoming link between W6VIO 224.040 and WB6TZS 223.960, this system would figure prominently in our emergency preparedness plan for providing communications between the JPL main facility, Table Mountain and Goldstone, we felt that these systems should have our support.

Now that all is said and done, the Goldstone Amateur Radio Club has been brought under the umbrella of the JPL Amateur Radio Club, Jim Young is an ex-officio member of the board of directors as trustee of the WB6TZS repeaters while the responsibility for the maintenance of the repeaters now falls on the JPL Amateur Radio Club.

I'm sure everyone will join me in welcoming Jim to our club and that the fusion of our two clubs will be a benefit to all.

73, Randy KC6HUR

BOARD MINUTES - September 23, 1992
By David Seidel, KC6NRL

The meeting was called to order by president Randy Hammock. In attendance were Randy, Jim Kesterson, Walt Mushagian, Mark Schaefer, Jan Tarsala and David Seidel.

Randy reported that the paperwork for Jim Young and the Goldstone club is complete and will be sent to Jim for his signature.

He also reported that the new repeater is about to go into environmental test to try to duplicate the failures that it has experienced on the hill. Randy has attempted to fix or replace all of the suspect components in the unit. The old repeater will be in use on .08 for the near future. Remember that the PL is on!

The air conditioner in the shack has failed. Mark will discuss repair or replacement with facilities. Because of the high temperatures that can occur in the shack, this is considered a priority.

Mark also discussed plans for a work party to put up the Telerex HF antenna.

It was reported that Manny Caldera KC6ZSY and Rick McKinney KA6DAN will be setting up a novice position in the shack.

Elections will be held in November for JPLARC officers for 1993. Randy will solicit nominations. He will also be looking into a site for a repeat of last year's popular and successful annual banquet. The board is also interested in nominations for club members worthy of recognition for their service to the club. Nominations for awards can be submitted for board consideration to David Seidel: mail stop 180-205/JEMS/NASAMail (DSEIDEL).


by Randy Hammock, KC6HUR

Meeting called to order at 12:05.


Vice President: nothing to report.

Treasurer: reported that we had about $2000 in our account.

Secretary: absent (minutes taken by Randy Hammock)

Trustee: both absent


Emergency Preparedness: Mark Scheafer and Walt Mushagian reported that we did check into the NASA net this month by voice but were unable to establish an AMTOR connection with anyone. Also, there will be a national emergency drill in November for the members of SHARE. This drill was postponed due to real emergencies caused by Andrew and Iniki.

Facilities: Mark Schaefer reported that the air conditioner in the shack has been repaired and is working quite well. If you go into the shack and the temperature is too low, please turn the temperature control up slightly. The reinstallation of the repaired tower should be delayed while the water tanks are being refurbished. It is felt that the tower/guylines will be damaged by the work crews. There will be a work party on Saturday 17th to do some repair work in the Sommer antenna.

Nominating Committee: Manny Caldera has mailed out forms for the nomination of next year's club officers.

Repeater Committee: Randy Hammock reported that the old WB6IEA repeater has been updated to require the use of PL and that other changes have been made as to the way the repeater is controlled. The Kendecom is in the lab and ready for testing.


Randy Hammock made a request of the general membership that the $1000 which had been budgeted to the Advanced Projects Committee be rebudgeted to the Repeater Committee. The purpose for doing this would be so that the JPLARC could purchase the Palomar Telecom controller from the West Coast ARC. The Advanced Projects people had no problem with this move. There was much discussion amongst the members both PRO and CON for doing this. A motion was made to table this decision until next month, thus giving the members a chance to think about what the significance of this purchase would be. The motion was seconded and approved by a hand vote 11 for, 0 against and 6 abstaining.


Mike Finegan and Gary Lowenbrowski of Hewlett-Packard gave a demonstration of HP's latest and greatest communications service monitor. Members were given a chance to check their radios.

Respectfully submitted

Randy Hammock


by Randy Hammock, KC6HUR

Over the past month, the "OLD" WB6IEA (224.080) has been going through a number of changes. Though we will be putting the "NEW" repeater on line again some time in the future, current events have made it necessary to implement a number of changes to the "old" machine.

A little over a year ago, a repeater was co-channeled with us in San Diego. And this year, another was co-channeled with us in Santa Barbara. When conditions were right, users of the San Diego repeater would get into our repeater whenever it was awakened since our repeater was not PLed. On top of that, the grunge has been getting worse, keeping the repeater up with all sorts of miscellaneous noise bursts.

Four weeks ago, I went up the hill and enabled the PL function of the repeater. The next week, PL encoding on the output of the repeater was added so those with CTCSS squelch functions can program their radios to open squelch only when a signal from our repeater is received making their radios much more quiet when conditions allow the San Diego repeater to be heard in our area.

This weekend (10-OCT-92), I went back up the hill and fixed the timeout timer and added a new control operator function.

Though we hope to be replacing the "old" repeater in the near future, I felt it necessary to make these changes to give us the best possible repeater NOW instead of limping along until such time as the new one goes on line.


Since the PL decoder takes a small amount of time to respond to the incoming signal, it now takes a bit longer for the repeater to respond to you, pause for half a second after you press the PTT before speaking. Failing to do this will result in the first syllable or word not making it through the repeater. The same goes for using the autopatch. It takes a good solid half-second squeeze of the PTT to reset the autopatch timer when listening to things such as "Newsline".

The autopatch timeout timer is approximately 1 minute and 20 seconds; therefore, it is necessary that a transmission be made to the repeater every minute to 1 minute and 15 seconds. Failure to make a transmission to the repeater during this time period will result in the automatic termination of the autopatch call.

With the repair of the repeater timeout timer, the timeout period is approximately 3 minutes. This means that it is now possible to talk for 3 minutes before the repeater times out. However, it is recommended that you not talk that long, giving other users a chance to break in with emergency traffic. Abuse of the 3 minute timer will result in the 90 second timer being enabled.

For those of you who wish to use the CTCSS squelch functions of your radios, it should be noted that the repeater encodes PL on the output ONLY when there is a valid signal on the input of the repeater and when the autopatch is off-hook. This means that if you have the CTCSS squelch function enabled, you will not hear the repeater/autopatch ID when they are activated and you will also not hear the courtesy beep at the end of each transmission. The only time an ID will be heard is when the repeater IDs while someone is talking. NOTE: the deviation level of the encoded PL has not been checked and seems to be a bit low, so some radios may have difficulty decoding the PL.


By Bob Polansky, N6ET

In spite of the poor sunspot numbers that seem to present these days, there is still a reasonable amount of dx waiting to be worked. If 10, 15, and 20 aren't open, try 40 and 80. 15 has been a most productive band around mid-day. In addition, conditions should improve a bit for DX as we get closer to the start of winter. A few items of interest have been gleaned from "The DX Bulletin" this month. In addition, there are 17 or so special operations that plan to participate in the 24/25 October CQWW SSB Contest. Don't miss the fun! Now for the news.

BANGLADESH - S21U, or perhaps some other call is expected to appear from 6 to 20 October, all bands all modes. Look for the pileup.

CHAD - TT8/WA4OBO should be active from mid-October for 2 or 3 weeks including the CQWW SSB Contest. Hope he operates CW too!

COCOS ISLAND - TI9JJP plans activity from 1 to 11 November. Look for his SSB signals on 14195, 21295, and 28495 kHz.

EASTER ISLAND - SM0AGD/CE0Y will put Easter Island on the air from 28 October to 5 November.

LEBANON - I finally caught up with OD5/SP1MHV, right on 14025 kHz as advertised, beaming over Europe at about 0030Z. He wasn't real strong and had few callers. Work him before he gets his linear and beam going.

MOZAMBIQUE - C9RJJ has been very active on 15, 20 and 40 CW. Look for him around 0400Z at 7010+/- and around 14020+/- kHz if 40 meters doesn't work. I was fortunate enough to work him with my QRP rig from the cabin!

SAN FELIX - XQ0X should reappear shortly for another 4 months from San Felix. On his last trip, he was very workable on 20 and 40 meter nets as well as off the nets on 10, 15, and 20 meters.

SEYCHELLES - S79IDY is JA1IDY in the Seychelles. He plans to be active from this Indian Ocean location from 21 to 26 October. 15 and 20 meters should provide the best shot at him.

Enough for now. Have fun in the upcoming SSB contest. Remember also that the CQWW CW Contest will take place on Thanksgiving weekend. That's always lots of fun.

Good DX, Bob, N6ET


by Skip Reymann, W6PAJ

Amsat-Oscar 16 is getting a major software upgrade this month. New capabilities will include BBS and file directory broadcasts more like UO-22 usage. Improved ground control is another plus. AO-16 users should make sure their PB.EXE program version is Feb 28, '92 or later to work with the new software.

Amsat operations nets on AO-13 are scheduled on Mode J (435.970) and Mode B (145.950).

SSTV sessions follow ops nets on Sat. and Sun. UTC, Mode J at 435.980 followed by Mode B on 145.960.

Current AO-13 schedule thru Nov. 23:



Packet, packet what? What the heck is packet radio? That was the first response I gave several months ago when a member of the club asked me if I was interested in "packet radio". Like any normal person, I asked what is packet radio? After purchasing "Your Gateway To Packet Radio", by Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, I obtained a better understanding of what packet radio was all about. So here is my interpretation:

Packet radio is digital communications via amateur radio. Packet radio takes any digital data stream and sends that via radio to another amateur radio station. Packet radio is so named because it sends the data in small burst, or packets via a terminal node controller (TNC), and a computer system.

Well you may ask your self "what can I do on packet?" "Is it worth the investment, and time learning a different part of amateur radio?" Well the following is what packet radio has to offer:

Keyboard-to-Keyboard contacts: Like other digital communications modes, packet radio can be used to talk to other amateurs. For those who cannot use HF frequencies, 2 amateurs can talk to each other from long distances using the packet radio network.

Packet BBS operations: Many cities have a packet Bulletin Board System (BBS) attached to their local packet network. Amateurs can check into the BBS's and read messages from other packet users on almost any topic. BBS's are networked together over the packet network to allow messages to reach a broader audience than your local BBS users. Private messages may also be sent to other packet operators, either locally or who use other BBSs. Some BBS's have the latest ARRL, AMSAT, and propagation bulletins. Many BBS's have a file section containing various text files full of information on amateur radio in general.

Currently the club has two Packet Nodes/BBS systems running. The 2 meter packet node BBS is on frequency 145.09 MHZ (S), access W6VIO-1, or JPLBBS. The packet BBS has in the neighborhood of 100 users who use the BBS as their home BBS. The packet BBS is linked to WestNet; a networked system used to forward packet mail, bulletins, and National Traffic System (NTS) over several countries. Secondly, is the 220 packet node BBS on 223.54 MHZ (S). Jerry Walsh, KB6OO6 is the control operator for both systems, and performs an outstanding job maintaining the BBSs for the club.

DX Packet Cluster:

A recent development is use of packet radio for DX spotting. HF operators connect to the local DX Packet Cluster for the latest reports on DX. Often a user will "spot" some hot DX and distribute the DX report real time.

File Transfer:

With special software, amateurs can pass any binary files to other amateurs. Currently, this is done with Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) communications, and other specialized protocols.

Satellite Communications:

Many of the amateur radio satellites contain microcomputer systems that can provide special information to amateurs. Some satellites contain CCD cameras on board and you can download images of the earth and the stars. Other provide store and forward packet mailboxes to allow rapid message transfers over long distances. Some satellites use AX.25, some use special packet protocols developed for satellite communications. A few transmit AX.25 packet over FM transmitters, but most use SSB transmissions. A few word on AX.25. AX.25 was developed in the 1970's and based of the wired network protocol X.25. Because of the difference in the transport medium (radios vs. wires) and because of different addressing schemes, X.25 was modified to suit amateur radio's needs.

Several days ago I downloaded a file from Internet with assistance from our network engineer. Pete, KA3RFE put together a straightforward and easy-to-read guide on packet radio. The guide is divided into 15 parts, and is recommended reading for all. If you wish to have a "free copy", just call me at ext. 4-5463 or send me packet mail on the 2 meter system at (i.e., SP KC6ZSY).

In the next several months, I will provide additional information on packet radio. 73's

MSG#19 09/20/92 07:30:01 FROM K6QQN TO ALL
SUBJECT: Modem fears...
(Via Manuel Caldera, KC6ZSY)


Date: 16 Sep 92 19:44
Message-ID: <26846@KA8Z>
From: N8ECW@KA8Z
Subject: BBSs, Privacy, and You!

I found the following message on a land line BBS. Since many packet users also have modems and call land line BBSs, and many sysops also run such BBSs I think that the information in the following message is something we should all be aware of.


As someone involved in the telephone industry on the level of security and data integrity... I would like to inform everyone that uses modems and/or are bbs operators of some information.

The first thing that everyone that uses a modem should know is that every time you fire up your modem your activating monitoring equipment somewhere in the U.S. I have worked for several large telephone networks that routinely monitor and reroute modem and fax transmissions through devices that allow them to view what is being transmitted and even decodes encrypted data and fax packets used by major corporations and governmental agencies. This is allowed under the heading of "Maintenance Monitoring" and may be continued for up to 6 months without the need of any legal paperwork being generated. Under an obscure pre-WWII ruling by the agency that is now the FCC... "No information may be encoded or transmitted over PUBLIC or PRIVATE forms of telephone or radio with the exception of those agencies involved in the National Security" a further designation goes on to say "with the exception of the MORSE system of 'transmittal', any communication that is not interpretable by the human ear is forbidden and unlawful."

The information gathered goes to 3 separate database facilities. The 1st is codenamed Diana and is located in Brussels, the 2nd is named Fredrick and is located somewhere in Malaysia, the 3rd is named Elizabeth and is located in Boulder, Colorado. The information stored in these systems is accessible by the US Government, Interpol, Scotland Yard and various other such agencies. Your credit rating is also affected by your modem usage... if you ever get a copy of your credit history and find a listing that has HN06443 <--= this is a negative risk rating. or a code 87AT4 <---= an even more negative risk rating.... these will usually have no description on them... and if you inquire about them they will tell you that it just comes from the system that way.

I am currently working for another major carrier as a consultant and have been able to watch these systems operate...at one unnamed long distance carrier here in Columbus Ohio in their NCC, Network Control Center, you can see several rows of computer terminals which have approximately 30 to 40 separate windows in each... these windows have data transmissions that are being monitored... banks of 9 track tapes are going constantly to record everything. Everyone should realize that even if a sysop posts a disclaimer at the beginning of his bbs about no access to governmental agencies or law enforcement...that it isn't worth the time it takes to type it in... looking forward to hearing reactions to this.


I apologize for the length of this message, but it's information that I feel is important, especially for any land-line BBS sysop. Anytime you enter a message, even if it's private, always do it with the assumption that it's going to be seen by anyone and everyone, everywhere.

Tnx 73s de Tom, N8ECW@KA8Z.#NEOH.OH.USA.NA

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