Meeting Notice
By Jay Holladay, W6EJJ

The next regular JPL Amateur Radio Club membership meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 11, at noon in 238-543. Our guest speaker will be Catherine Deaton from the FCC field office in Cerritos. Catherine is a specialist in dealing with the public on FCC-related matters. She will tell us the latest on Amateur Radio topics from the FCC's point of view, including rulemaking and efforts to deal with RFI to home entertainment devices. Please join us and help ensure a good turnout for our speaker. 

Club Board of Directors meetings are held at noon on the fourth Wednesday of each month in 301-227. Everyone is welcome at both meetings; bring your lunch. n

Upcoming Events

W6VIO Operations Trailer Work Party: October 7, 9-12 AM

CalTech ARC Meeting: The next meeting will be Wednesday, October 18, around 7pm or so with free Pizza and Cold drinks. Program will be on the N6DLU Gallapagos DX'pedition. This meeting is open to JPL people who are members of the CalTech ARC as well. (Membership is open to the "Caltech Community" which includes JPL Dues are $25 per year; shack key deposit is $5). Contact Dave Ritchie, 818-683-8800 (w), Internet, or 818-683-8900 (FAX) for more details. n

By Merv MacMedan, N6NO

Over the years the club has accumulated various pieces of equipment which it no longer needs. Some of it was home-brewed, some is commercial gear that was donated to the club. Some stuff works fine, other stuff needs some TLC. The problem is how to dispose of it so that the club gets fair market value. Several of us (in particular Mark Schaefer WB6CIA and Rick McKinney KA6DAN) have been working on how to do this in a way acceptable to both the ultimate owner of the equipment, ERC, and the club members. It is not fair to expect one individual to bear the burden of satisfying the members that he/she extracted the best price at a swapmeet, and most stores won't take this kind of stuff for resale. So, we have decided to conduct an auction. Anybody interested will have a chance to bid (not just members) in order to come as close as possible to establishing the "fair market."

Steve Bednarczyk, NJ6J, has graciously consented to be our "auctioneer" and will prepare a list of the equipment and the rules for the auction. Here's an opportunity to pick up a new project to tinker with, re-generate the "new ham" excitement by getting on the novice band again, or acquiring a museum piece. Maybe you know a kid that is interested in becoming a ham, but needs a carrot to make the final effort. Look for an announcement on e-mail and a special flyer in the next week or two. n

September Club Meetings
By George Morris, W6ABW

The regular JPL Amateur Radio Club membership meeting was held Wednesday, September 13. President Merv MacMedan called the meeting to order.

Activities reported on included a tour of the W6VIO Operations trailer by approximately 40 members of the Mile High Radio Club on Wednesday, September 6. The JPL ARC also supported the Angeles Crest Century bike ride with several radio operators on Saturday, September 9. The event was well organized and the communications worked well. There were no emergency incidents.


Photo by N6NO

Merv MacMedan announced the winners of the WB6IEA Contest. Merv presented a trophy and QRZ-DX subscription to the winner, Mike Gauthier, K6ICS, who scored 1236 points. Second place went to Walt Diem with 1209 points. Merv announced that a nominating committee will be named at the October meeting to prepare for election of next year's officers.

Vice President Jay Holladay introduced Mark Schaefer, WB6CIA, who gave us a video tour of the Very Large Array (VLA) in New Mexico, consisting of 27 antennas, each 25 meters in diameter. The antennas are moved on tracks to many different configurations.

The regular Board of Director's Meeting was held in Room 301-227 on Wednesday, September 27. The meeting was called to order by secretary George Morris. The President and Vice President were unable to attend. A quorum was present. Treasurer Jim Marr gave a detailed treasurer's report.

Membership Chairman Rick KcKinney presented the applications of two people who want to become off-lab members of the Club. Following a discussion, the Board approved the off-lab memberships of John Norris, KE6QEZ, and Ross Snyder, N0GSZ. John is retired from Southern California Edison after working 12 years at JPL in the 60s and 70s. Ross was active in the MIT Radio Society and is a patent attorney. He also visited our Field Day site this year. n

DX News
By Bob Polansky, N6ET

News of early sunspots from the new "cycle" has all of us DX'ers very excited! We all need to start looking extra hard for all that DX that will materialize as a result. The DX Bulletin and QRZ DX have teamed up to give us the visibility we need to succeed in working all that elusive DX. I've included a sampling of "what's to be" in the near term. Hope we're all lucky enough to work some of this good stuff.

CROZET - Look for FT5WF and FT5WG from December this year through February, 1997.

GAMBIA - C53HG is frequently reported on the low end of 17 meter CW around 1800Z. I've heard him on numerous occasions with loud signals and a big pile-up. Maybe one of these days I'll make it through!

JAN MAYEN - JX4CJA and JX3EX should be active now through 15 April of next year. 10 through 80 meter activity including the WARC bands are planned.

LIBYA - 5A0A should be active through no later than 5 October. This operation may be over by the time this article is published. Good luck!

RWANDA - 9X/ON4WW has been reported on the low end of 17 meter CW from 1900 to 2000Z. Propagation may stretch to W6-land on a good day!

SABLE ISLAND - CY0TO or perhaps CY0TP (it depends on which bulletin one believes) will surface from 30 September to 10 October. They promise all band, all mode operation with linear amplifiers, beams and the works. Sounds like they should be very workable targets.

TUNISIA - 3V5A plans operation from 26 October to 3 November, and again from 22 to 30 November to participate in both the SSB and CW CQ World Wide Contests. He should have lots of takers.

ZAIRE - 9Q2L and 9Q5MRC have been reported on the low end of 17 meter CW around 2000 and 2100Z.

Enough for now. The FT-757 at W6VIO is operational again and the Sommers is connected to it. The Dentron is on its way back to the shack and should be operational in about a week. The hardlines should be pressurized shortly, which should help to propagate the W6VIO RF to the beam. Let's give it some exercise! n

Chris and Jay
Chris Carson, KE6ABQ, and Jay Holladay, W6EJJ, Terminating Hardlines During August 26 Work Party (Photo by N6NO)

Volunteers Needed
By Bob Polansky, N6ET

We will be having another W6VIO work party on Saturday, October 7, from 9 AM until noon or so. The parts for completing the guying for our new tower have arrived and I'd like to get them installed so we can make our TH7DXX operational. We'll need some help, including a tower climber, to pull this off. If you can help us leave a message on my voice mail (JPL 4-4940). In addition, I'd like to complete pressurizing our hardlines at the same work party. There is a lot of work that needs to be done in preparation for the December commemorative operation. We need lots of people. Please, please, help support your Club! n

Amateur Radio Classes
By Joe Sabutis, NW0A

The Cresenta Valley ARC will be sponsoring the following activities: On 28 September 1995, we will start a No-Code Tech class, at the Crescenta Valley Sheriff's Station. This 6-week class will meet on Thursday evenings between 7-9:30 PM. There will be a 10-15 minute break in there at some time. Students will be accepted as late as October 5 for this class.

On 9 November 1995 (the 7th Thursday of the No-Code class), we will have the ARRL VEC test session for this class. However, all are welcome if they need to take the test. The tests will start at 6:30 PM on this date.

Beginning on 2 October 1995, we will be hosting a 5 WPM beginners' Morse Code class over the S.W.A.P.S. repeater on Mt. Tom, 147.120 MHz, +600 kHz, no PL. Although this repeater is located in Glendale, it has a wide coverage reaching into Orange County and the eastern and western portions of the Valley. Hopefully, some people listening to these lessons will be taking their 5 WPM code test on the 9th of November. I have prepared a small package that includes the class schedule, helpful hints in learning the Morse code, and a printout of all the lessons so people can check their copy. If anyone is interested, this package is free for the asking, just leave a message to where to send it on our answering machine: 818-247-1126.

If anyone is interested in attending the No-Code classes at the Sheriff's Station, please have them call the above number and leave a message that they would be attending, or if they want more info. This helps in knowing how many handouts to prepare and bring on the fist day of class. By the way, there is no charge for any of this, except for purchasing the "Now You're Talking" book and the VEC test fee ($5.90). n

20 Years Ago
By Mike Frantz, KM6QZ

There was an interesting story in the September-October 1975 issue of W6VIO CALLING from a ham who just received his General class license. His first contact on 20m was to a mobile station in Montana, then he was called by several stations here in the USA and South America. Six meters, he said, "was never like this."

"Although I'm sure this is old stuff", he wrote, "for the old timers, the excitement for me was really something. For those who are still trying to master the code and theory, HANG IN THERE - IT's A BALL!!"

Sounds familiar, doesn't it? n

Angeles Crest 100
By Gerry Walsh, KB6OOC

The 10th Annual Angeles Crest 100 Mile Endurance Run took place during the weekend of September 30th and October 1st. This "ultra marathon" started Saturday morning at 5AM in Wrightwood and finished just over 101 miles later at a little known place called Johnson Field in the Arroyo Seco just South of the JPL East parking lot.

Approximately 150 amateur radio operators were scattered throughout the Angeles National Forest with countless numbers of checkpoint volunteers supporting over 170 runners.

Once the race begins, the runners run on city streets to the Acorn Trail, then they tour the Pacific Crest Trail, the Silver Moccasin Trail and the Gabrielino Trail until they reach Johnson Field. The run gains 21,610 feet and loses 26,700 feet in altitude, for a total change in elevation of 48,310 feet. There are 88 miles of mountain trails, 10 miles of dirt road and 2 miles of paved road. The runners must reach Johnson Field by 2:00 PM Sunday in order to be considered a finisher and eligible for an award.

Amateur radio operators are located at each of the 19 checkpoints and communicate via 2 and 1.25 meters using both voice and packet radio. Each checkpoint is responsible for maintaining four different times for each runner - departure time from the previous checkpoint, arrival time at the current checkpoint, departure time from the current checkpoint and arrival time at the next checkpoint. These times are relayed back and forth between successive checkpoints and to the finish line by packet radio using a complex network of 1200 and 9600 baud digital links designed specifically for this race. Family members waiting at the finish line area are kept up-to-date on the position of their loved one at all times via a large poster board updated with data acquired by packet radio.

Over the years, the JPL Amateur Radio Club has supplied a vitally important linked system to the race. Bill Wood, WB6FXJ, and Jan Tarsala, WB6VRN, have linked the 224.08MHz repeater with the Table Mountain 145.280MHz and 223.960MHz repeaters. This is the ONLY LINK that can establish reliable communications from the start of the race in Wrightwood (including the first few checkpoints) back to the finish line area near JPL.

I would like to extend a very special thanks to Bill Wood, on behalf of all the amateur radio operators participating in the race for working so hard to ensure that the entire system was up and running and especially for getting out of bed at 3AM Saturday morning!

This is my eighth year participating in the race at the same checkpoint at Newcomb's Saddle (74.9 miles into the race). This is one of the most exciting amateur radio public service events of the year. As usual, there is always room for more volunteers. The race takes place on the last weekend of September each year. Maybe you can join in on the fun next year! n

JPL ARC Repeaters


W6VIO   147.150 MHz(+) PL 131.8 Open
W6VIO   224.080 MHz(-) PL 156.7 Shuttle Audio
WB6IEA  224.700 MHz(-)          Closed Autopatch
W6VIO-1 145.090 MHz             Packet Node/BBS
W6VIO-1 223.540 MHz             Packet Node/BBS

Table Mountain:

WB6TZS  145.280 MHz(-) PL 131.8 Open
WB6TZS  223.960 MHz(-) PL 156.7 Open
WB6TZS  447.325 MHz(-) PL 94.8  Open

Classified Section


A50-to-80-foot self supporting/telescoping/tilt-over tower or towers. Can be either tubular or triangular. Need to be in good condition. Motorized would be a big plus. Will pay for packaging and shipping to Prescott, Arizona. Contact Brian (KW6J) at 714-896-3514 (M-F, 8 AM to 4 PM) or via Internet at

New or used (but in good condition) HF large mono-band beams which were designed for high gain/good front to back ratio/good directivity etc. Contact Brian (KW6J) at 714-896-3514 (M-F 8 AM to 4 PM) or via Internet at

Your want ad or article for inclusion in a future issue of W6VIO Calling. Submit either to Bill Wood, Mail Stop DSCC-33; or via Internet (; or ccMail direct (Wood, Bill). n

Roster Changes
Welcome to following new club members:

Michael Morris, WA6ILQ  Tech Plus
Anthony Stein,  KO6DR   Advanced

Provided by Jan Tarsala, WB6VRN

FCC Office Closure Proposal
ARRL Letter, Volume 14, Number 16

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Reed Hundt has proposed actions to save money, including personnel reductions and facility closings. At least one FCC commissioner immediately opposed the plan, which was announced when some commissioners were on vacation and Congress was in recess.

Hundt said that although the FCC currently has fewer than its authorized personnel ceiling of 2271, steps would be taken to reduce the number of FCC employees to about 2050. In addition to retirements and buyouts, the closing of some regional and field offices would result in about 120 jobs lost, of which some 50 would be involuntary. Hundt said these 50 "reductions in force" (RIFs), would be the first in FCC history.

Regional offices would be closed in Atlanta, Boston, and Seattle, leaving their functions to regional offices in Chicago, Kansas City, and San Francisco.

The following field offices would be closed (leaving 16 still open): Buffalo, Miami, St Paul, Norfolk (Virginia), Portland (Oregon), Houston, San Juan, Anchorage and Honolulu.

All nine monitoring stations would be closed, as well as monitoring operations within four FCC field offices. "Fortunately," Hundt said, "technological advances will permit us to replace these monitoring stations with a national automated monitoring network by the summer of 1996."

These nine monitoring stations are at Vero Beach, Florida; Belfast, Maine; Allegan, Michigan; Douglas, Arizona; Livermore, California; Ferndale, Washington; Grand Island, Nebraska; Kingsville, Texas; and Powder Springs, Georgia.

Hundt said "No monitoring function will be impaired." One facility, in Laurel/Columbia, Maryland, would be the central site for "electronic monitoring."

If approved by the full Commission, the monitoring stations and field offices would close by July 1996. No timetable was given for closing of the three regional offices.

Long-time FCC Commissioner James H. Quello said, in a separate statement, that he was "not prepared" to support Hundt's proposal. "I am concerned," Quello said, "with the rushed timing of [Hundt's] administrative approach. I believe any reductions should have been discussed with Commissioners in advance of a one day notice, particularly while Congress is in recess and some Commissioners are on vacation.

"In my view, any reorganization of this commission must take careful account of our core functions," Quello said, "and assure that their integrity is not compromised. I am not sure the plan described ... will achieve this, particularly in light of the sharp disagreement that has arisen over the staffing and functions of the field offices of our Compliance and Information Bureau. In my opinion, there are other areas for reductions that do not involve the vital local public service of the Compliance and Information bureau in numerous large cities.

"I will pay particularly close attention to assuring that those parts of the Commission that allocate the spectrum, safeguard its integrity, and license its use are not adversely impacted." n

Upcoming VEC Examinations

The following test session information is provided by the ARRL/VEC for the upcoming six week period. For further information, please call the test session contact person at the telephone number listed. If necessary, you may contact the ARRL/VEC at 203-666-1541 x282 for additional information. Electronic mail may be forwarded to the ARRL/VEC via USENET at "" or via MCI Mail to MCI ID: 653-2312 or 215-5052.

Although the test session information presented here does not indicate whether walk-ins are accepted or not, most test sessions do allow walk-ins. We encourage you, however, to always call the contact person at the telephone number provided so that the VE Team is aware that you be attending the test. n

10/07/95, Fontana, 909-823-6818, Louis Johnson
10/14/95, Camarillo, 805-388-2488, George Kreider III KN6LA
10/14/95, Fontana, 909-822-4138, E William Gruber
10/14/95, Lancaster, 805-948-1865, Adrienne J Sherwood
10/14/95, Torrance, 310-328-0817, Joe Lanphen,  WB6MYD
10/19/95, Fountain Valley, 714-778-1542, Thomas Harris
10/21/95, Long Beach, 310-431-8998, Ken Newkirk,  KN6EC
10/21/95, San Bernardino, 909-864-2656, John P Mc Cann
10/26/95, Colton, 909-825-7136, Harold Heydenfeldt
10/28/95, Culver City, 310-459-0337, Scott V Swanson
10/28/95, Garden Grove, 714-534-8633, John Gregory
10/28/95, Pomona, 909-620-2089, Frank Westphal
11/04/95, Fontana, 909-823-6818, Louis Johnson
11/10/95, Irvine, 714-824-8477, Jack C Lockhart  WD6AEI
11/11/95, Fontana, 909-823-6818, Louis Johnson,  K6UMX
11/11/95, Fontana, 909-822-4138, E William Gruber
11/12/95, Thousand Oaks, 805-375-1385, Marco Treganza,

FCC Issued Call Sign Update

The following is a list of the FCC's most recently issued call signs as of September 1:

District Group A   Group B   Group C   Group D
         Extra      Adv.    Tech/Gen   Novice
0        AA0ZA     KG0YW       ++      KB0TVP
1        AA1OJ     KE1CX     N1VTZ     KB1BTW
2        AA2YK     KG2DW       ++      KB2VRO
3        AA3MK     KE3US     N3WAX     KB3BKX
4        AE4LW     KT4CY       ++      KF4DBD
5        AC5EQ     KK5SM       ++      KC5QOW
6        AC6PM     KO6ZL       ++      KE6YHD
7        AB7ML     KJ7QY       ++      KC7MYR
8        AA8UQ     KG8TG       ++      KC8AXZ
9        AA9QB     KG9DX       ++      KB9LLB
Hawaii    ++       AH6OE       ++      WH6CYA
Alaska    ++       AL7QF       ++      WL7COU
Virgin   WP2U      KP2CH     NP2IK     WP2AIA
Puerto Rico ++     KP4ZY       ++      WP4NBC
++ All call signs in this group have been issued in this area

FCC Rules Change Proposals
ARRL Letter, Volume 14, Number 16

The ARRL has filed reply comments on FCC proposals of several rules changes, in WT Docket 95-57. The League reiterated its original comments (detailed on page 59 of September 1995 QST) and responded to several comments and suggestions by others.

On the matter of a lifetime amateur operator license (an original ARRL proposal) versus granting to an expired licensee credit for licenses previously held (the FCC's proposal), the League said that while comments were mixed, those comments on the FCC's proposal failed to consider a lifetime license as a superior alternative.

The League cited its strong opposition to the idea of a volunteer examination "session manager," saying that the shared responsibility of three volunteer examiners is crucial for continuing the integrity of the VE program.

The League in its reply comments said that most others who commented supported its proposal to increase from two to four the number of licensed members required to constitute an Amateur Radio "club" for the purpose of obtaining a club station license.

Finally, the ARRL noted that almost no comments had been received, pro or con, on proposals to expand the ways to "sign portable" and to offer temporary 1X1 call signs to special event stations. n

Demise Of CW On Mars Circuits
ARRL Letter, Volume 14, Number 16

According to a letter released in early August by the US Department of Defense's Emmett Paige Jr, assistant secretary of defense for command, control, communications and intelligence:

"Effective October 1, 1996, it is directed that the CW mode of communications will no longer be used on any Department of Defense (DoD) MARS circuits, networks, or frequencies.

"MARS has been steadfastly evolving to newer technologies to improve service. Technology such as single sideband replaced amplitude modulation to provide greater frequency efficiency. Likewise, packet radio, AMTOR, PACTOR, GTOR, and CLOVER modes of operation have replaced radio teletype.

"CW use and need in MARS communications has diminished over the years. It is recognized that CW can no longer compete with the rapid developments in radio technology. Therefore, CW is to be retired from use within the DoD MARS."

The use of CW on MARS circuits has been declining for some years. n

California 1996 Radiosport Event
ARRL Letter, Volume 14, Number 16

A second World Radiosport Team Championship (WRTC) is scheduled to be held the weekend of July 13 and 14, 1996, in the San Francisco Bay area, sponsored by the Northern California Contest Club (NCCC).

The competition will run in conjunction with the IARU HF World Championship, and the NCCC, WRTC-96's host organization, hopes to publish formal rules soon.

The first WRTC was held in Seattle in 1990; a Washington, D.C., group, headed by the PVRC, had begun plans for a second, to have been held in the D.C. area in July, 1995, but that event did not materialize. WRTC-96 co-chairman Bruce Sawyer, AA6KX, said that the NCCC expects to make a number of changes to the team selection criteria the PVRC had planned to use, and to contact those contesters who had submitted applications for WRTC-95.

The WRTC pits two-person teams comprised of some of the world's top operators in head-to-head competition. To emphasize operator ability, each team runs the same amount of power and operates from stations having similar antenna systems and located in the same geographical area.

Lew Gordon, K4VX, will head WRTC-96's Judging Committee as chief judge. Assisting Lew as judges will be Roger Western, G3SXW; "Bear" Kumagai, JA7RHJ; Fred Laun, K3ZO;

Dick Frey, K4XU; Tom Taormina, K5RC; Glenn Rattmann, K6NA;

Gene Walsh, N2AA; Dick Norton, N6AA; Phil Goetz, N6ZZ; Ville Hiilesmaa, OH2MM; Tine Brajnik, S50A; John Brosnahan, W0UN; and Rush Drake, W7RM.

For additional information about WRTC-96, contact Rusty Epps, W6OAT, at 651 Handley Trail, Redwood City, CA 94062, USA, or via e-mail at epps@NetCom.Com. n

Amateur Radio On Mir
ARRL Letter, Volume 14, Number 16

German Cosmonaut Thomas Reiter, DF4TR, has joined the Russian space station Mir, and will operate signing DP0MIR, during the European Space Agency's EUROMIR 95 mission that began September 2.

Reiter will use the 2-meter FM rig aboard Mir during the 135 days planned for his flight. Primary frequencies to be used (preferably in split mode) are 145.800, 145.550, and perhaps 145.200 MHz.

QSLs for DP0MIR should be sent to the DARC QSL bureau. n

Jet Propulsion Laboratory Amateur Radio Club
Attn: Bill Wood, Editor, Mail Stop DSCC-33
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109-8099

Go back to the W6VIO Calling Index.

Updated August 27, 1999