Meeting Notice
By Jay Holladay, W6EJJ

The next regular JPL Amateur Radio Club meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 12, at noon in building 238, room 543. 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

Calendar of Events

Date Event
June 7 Mars Global Surveyor Relay Flight Test Workshop, JPL
June 8-9 JPL Open House
June 12 General Meeting, Noon - 238-543
June 15 Field Day Preparation Work Party - W6VIO Trailer
June 15 [Pomona Swapmeet, DeVry Institute]
June 16 [Santa Maria Radio Swapfest and BBQ]
June 21-23 FIELD DAY, Mt. Gleason
June 21-23 [Special Olympics, UCLA]
June 26 Board Meeting, Noon - 301-227
June 29 [TRW Swapmeet, Redondo Beach]
July 10 General Meeting, Noon - 238-543
July 24 Board Meeting, Noon - 301-227

Notes from W6EJJ
By Jay Holladay, W6EJJ

Field Day is coming! By now you've heard a lot about Field Day - both in these pages and at our May meeting. This is a special invitation from your JPL ARC president to pay us a visit this year.

Are you a new ham? Come up and see what it's all about. You can check out new modes and new bands. Perhaps you'll find some new on-the-air activities that interest you. Have a go at operating - even one or two phone contacts in a contest might be a new experience for you. We'll have a special station for Novice and Technician licensees, with phone operation available on 10 meters and 220 MHz. Even better, try your CW skills with a contact or two on the (slow speed) HF Novice bands - 80 to 10 meters.

If you are an old-timer or a jaded contester who doesn't feel like a major operating effort this year, try passing some of your operating know-how on to the newer operators. We especially need Elmers!

Field Day combines the fun of a camping trip with the challenge of an amateur radio contest. These enjoyable activities have the serious objective of sharpening our operating and problem-solving skills so we are better prepared to provide emergency communications when the need arises.

Permission to copy is granted provided that credit is given to "W6VIO Calling."

Don't feel like camping out? Then come up and visit for a few hours. Elsewhere in this issue you will find the directions. It's not a long drive - about one hour from the Lab - and on top of Mt. Gleason both the air and the view are great!

Field Day is the most popular operating event sponsored by the American Radio Relay League, with more than 2,000 stations and 35,000 individuals participating in recent years. Why not make this the year to visit us up on the hill and see what all the excitement is about? n

May Club Meetings
By Chris Zygielbaum, N6WEI

The May General Meeting of the JPL Amateur Radio Club was held on Wednesday, May 8. Vice President Scott Nolte (N6CUV) called the meeting to order. Dr. John Callas of the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Project was a visitor to the meeting.


  1. John Callas, experiment representative for the Mars Relay Flight Test, followed up on his invitation for amateur radio operators to participate in the balloon experiment. The experiment will test the UHF relay on board the spacecraft and will take place about 30 days after the November MGS launch. The balloon will have be transmitting at 437.1 MHz (CW) with 1.3 watts of power and 1-2 dB of gain. Amateur radio operators can help NASA and listen for the beacon transmission at 437.1 MHz. More information is pending, but a workshop will be held on Friday, June 7 (the day before the JPL Open House) where more detailed information will be available. More information available now from the MGS Home Page (, or by e-mailing to
  2. Callas also noted that there is a possibility of performing a UHF flight test of the Russian Mars '96 spacecraft in a similar fashion. Again, more information is available on the MGS Home Page.
  3. Attendees were reminded to check in on the Monday emergency net (Noon, 224.70 MHz). Typically there are about 12-18 people who check in.
  4. The air conditioning in the club's trailer ham shack has been fixed.


This month's program was dedicated to Field Day (June 22-23) preparations. Bob Polansky (N6ET), Field Day Co-Chairman, presented his current plan.

  1. The JPL and CIT clubs will join forces again this year at Mt. Gleason in the Angeles National Forest.
  2. The clubs will operate W6UE and KA6DAN (Novice/Tech). We will participate in the 3A class, operating HF1, HF2, HF3, UHF/VHF, Packet, Satellite, and Novice/Tech stations.
  3. The antennas will consist of: two 75/80-meter full-size delta loops; two 40-meter 2-element beams:, two 20-meter 4-element beams; one 15-meter 5-element beam; and one 20/15/10-meter Tribander.
  4. Food: $20 for all seven meals or $3 per meal.
  5. Volunteers to lead logistics, food, HF, UHF/VHF, Packet/6M, and vehicle support have been identified.
  6. Volunteers are still needed to lead Novice/Tech (from JPL), satellite, and public relations, to be a "message guru," to help set up, and to climb a tower.
  7. Two more lap-top computers (minimum 386 MHz) are needed.
  8. A safety belt for the tower climber is also needed.
  9. A tentative band plan was presented, but will be modified based on the mix of volunteers to work the bands.
  10. Sign-up sheets were passed out for those interested in working to fill out and send to Bob to complete the band plan.

The May ARC Board Meeting was held on Wednesday, May 22, 1996.


  1. Jan Tarsala (WB6VRN) reported that Communications is requesting that we consolidate the ARC equipment in Building 35. Some work (about 1 day) is necessary to consolidate the equipment. Jan recommended that a MOU with the Communications personnel be signed because there has never been a formal agreement allowing the equipment be stored in the building.
  2. Rick McKinney will check to see if the ARC will be asked to staff a booth at the JPL Open House that is scheduled for June 8,9. There will be some amateur radio club operators there because of the Mars Relay Flight Test Workshop that is taking place on Friday, June 7. Scott Nolte (N6CUV) will collect some information for flyers that are planned to be ready for Field Day.
  3. Bill Wood, W6VIO Calling editor, asked if he can exchange newsletters with another amateur club. A motion was proposed to empower Bill Wood, or the W6VIO Calling editor, to exchange newsletters with other amateur radio operator newsletters at his discretion. The motion was seconded and carried.

Treasurer's Report

Chuck Sarture (KG6NF) was absent, but had submitted the Treasurer's Report to the board members prior to the meeting. Expenses for the month included the W6VIO Calling postage and the WB6IEA/R autopatch phone bill. Chuck reported that there was no income, but Rick McKinney (KA6DAN) indicated that there had been membership dues' income of $51, which he will follow-up to have reflected in the report. n

DX News
By Bob Polansky, N6ET

Band conditions are about average for the bottom of the sunspot cycle - stinko! In spite of that, if one listens for short periods, and often, some DX can indeed be found and even QSOed. Thirty-meters still captures the bulk of my interest. It's much more fun to compete with other stations running the legal 250 watts or less, where QSO's are more a function of antennas, operating prowess, and just plain luck! As usual, the DX Bulletin and QRZ DX provided the source material for this column. Now for the good stuff.

ANDAMANS - VU2JBS will be Jim Smith's (VK9NS) call when he assaults Andamans sometime in the future. His license has just been issued and it's good through the year 2000. Foreign ham operations from this location have been non-existent or almost so in the past. Good luck, Jim!

ANTARCTICA - EM1U has frequented 80 CW from 1000 to 1045Z. Look for the pileup!

KERMADEC IS. - The ZL8RI feeding frenzy is over, their having made just under 34,000 contacts during their short stay. A great time was had by all. They were easily workable on all bands from 80 through 10 meters for us lucky Californians.

MACQUARIE IS. - VK0WH continues to hand out QSO's on 40 CW in the early morning hours. No recent spots, but I understand he operates around 7007 kHz at about 1000Z. Good luck, as there are several "pirates" also using his call!

MARION IS. - ZS8IR is now active on 20 SSB. He's been worked at 14185 kHz at 0710Z in W6-land.

NEPAL - 9N1ARB and 9N1RHM are often active near 14200 kHz at 0100Z.

RHODES - Look for SV5/DL8SET from 6 to 20 June. No frequencies given.

TOGO - From 3 to 18 June, look for 5V7HR and 5V7ML. They plan all band activity, both CW and SSB.

Enough for now. n

W6VIO Work Parties
By Bob Polansky, N6ET

In preparation for Field Day, two work parties were planned. The first was at Caltech at the W6UE station atop Winnett Student Center. We met there last Saturday, June 1, at 9 AM to do work on the tower trailers and ensure that we have all the hardware needed to erect the main antenna structures on Mount Gleason.

The second work party will be our own. We will meet at the W6VIO trailer at 9 AM on June 15 to ready our own equipment for the Field Day outing. Please let me know if you can support us. My number is 354 4940. Leave a Voice Mail if I'm not in the office, please. Hope to see you there. n

SpaceSet '96
By Chuck Sarture, KG6NF

Saturday morning, April 13, started out clear and crisp as "Spaceset '96" got underway. The JPL Space Exploration Post's 11th annual Space Settlement Design Competition was booked solid with 150 entrants between the ages of 14 and 21. Breakfast was served immediately at 7:30 AM as participants arrived from La Canada High School, where they spent Friday and Saturday nights in the gym. Saturday's segment of the competition was held at the JPL Professional Development Center, which Spaceset '96 had been granted use of the week before, greatly simplifying the need for communications support.

During the morning, five mock aerospace firms were formed, they met their "CEO's" (real industry professionals) and orientations for the various divisions generic to each were conducted by real industry experts. After lunch, the companies earnestly began designing their space settlements in response to an RFP they had received. On past dinner they labored diligently as tensions among the companies mounted. Finally, they wrapped up as 11 PM approached, anticipating "computers off." Then it was back to LCHS to get a good night's rest for the design presentations the next day.

Sunday morning began with another hearty breakfast at 7:30, then the presentations began. Four hours and five enthusiastic presentations later, lunch was served. The judges retired to weigh the merits of each design while participants took tours of JPL and watched "Welcome to Outer Space." By mid-afternoon, everyone had settled back into von Karman auditorium to hear the results. Dougledyne had won!

Although the JPL Amateur Radio Club support was light, any more would have been excessive. Throughout the event, the net was informal, but effective. Two JPL ARC members were present each of the shifts from late morning Saturday until early afternoon Sunday. Dick Mathison (KG6Y), Carol Bruegge (KE6SRN), Scott Nolte (N6CUV), Bob Polansky (N6ET), and Chuck Sarture (KG6NF) represented the club. Other club members who were present at various times primarily as JPL Explorer Post affiliates made use of their amateur skills as well: Peter Mason (N6BBP), Bob Bunker (W6MWP), Earl Bunker (W6MVY), and Andy Pease (KE6BUW). Post affiliate Tom Quayle (KB6PVH) also lent comm support.

Given the mix of radios present at the event, the 220 MHz to 2-meter cross-band linking capability of the W6VIO repeater facilitated seamless communication among the hams. The JPL ARC support was on 220 MHz, and the Post was on 2-meteres. Regardless, every staffer received a Spaceset '96 commemorative shirt, and those present at mealtimes were treated to Burger Continental gourmet fare.

The Post appreciates the support it received and looks forward to working with the club next year for Spaceset '97. n

Altadena Home Tour
By Dick Mathison, KG6Y

Twelve JPL ARC members provided communications for the annual Altadena Guild Home Tour on Sunday 5 May. This event raises funds for the Huntington Medical Research Institutes.

The tour involving five houses and two parking lots scattered over about 1.5 miles in Altadena providing an interesting communication and coordination challenge. ARC operators coordinated the movement of three buses and three vans that shuttled guests among the parking lots and houses.

George Morris (W6ABW) controlled the net and ably sorted out the transportation problems. While Dick Mathison (KG6Y) shadowed the co-chairs of the tour, Jon Adams (NW6H), Carol Bruegge (KE6SRN); J. R. Hall (WB6PTX); Jay Holladay (W6EJJ); Greg La Borde (KD6MSM); Connie Morris (KA6JAM); Bob Polansky (N6ET); Chuck Sarture (KG6NF); Bill Weber (N6CI); and Art Zygielbaum (WA6SAL), operated at the homes and parking lots. The Altadena Guild is especially grateful for this support. n

FD Volunteer Status
By Bob Polansky, N6ET

Planning is going hot and heavy for Field Day. We have team leads in place for almost all activities needed and many of our operators have already identified themselves. Our team leaders are as follows:

Folks - Rob and I have done our best to pull Field Day together. We feel we have a winning team here, but have been unable to get anyone to lead the setup and planning in the Novice/Tech area. We depend heavily on points obtained from that area, as we do for each of the other stations in our operation. We appear to have enough operators in the Novice/Tech area, but no one to ensure that that operation is set up and coordinated. This is the time for someone to step up and help point the way for the Club's Novice and Tech operators. Please, please volunteer to lead this activity. Rob and I are anxiously awaiting your call. My number is extension 4-4940 and Rob's is 3-3937. n

Field Day, 1996
By Bob Polansky, N6ET and Rob Smith, N6JKQ

It's that time again - time to shake the dust loose from all that equipment and operating expertise that may have been sitting dormant since last Field Day. The 1996 Field Day effort by the JPL ARC will take place on June 21 through June 23 on Mount Gleason.

This year the JPL ARC will again join forces with the Caltech Amateur Radio Club to retain our Number One position nationally in our category, Field Day Class 3A, using the call W6UE. There will be ample opportunities to contribute to achieving this goal for everyone who wishes to participate. It will be a challenge, and we will need everyone who is willing to help.

If you do not feel up to tackling all the FD QRM, please come up and help with setup, computer logging, dupe-sheet chores, or what have you. All hams at JPL and Caltech and their families and friends are invited to visit us at the Field Day site. 

Routes to Mount Gleason Field Day Site

This year we will again use computers to log our Field Day QSO's. We will use the contest logging program CT (ver. 9.2-) by K1EA. To learn the software and also practice CW QSO's, we will hold practice please contact Rob Smith at 393-7937 for more information.

How You Can Take Part:

Please fill out the sign-up sheet on page 9 of this newsletter and return to Bob Polansky. Keep the rest of this issue and bring it with you to Field Day. Even if you do not return the sign-up sheet, please feel free to visit us at Mt. Gleason - but, you'll have to take your chances on operating time if we are not expecting you.

Come to the JPL ARC Meeting on Wednesday, June 12 (238-543 at Noon) to hear more detail on Field Day planning and ask any questions you may have about the operation. There will be a work party on June 15 to check out equipment and get things ready to move up the hill. Also attend the noontime training sessions mentioned above. The latest Field Day planning information will be disseminated via the Club's e-mail list and via the Monday net on the WB6IEA repeater.

Field Day activities will kick off on Friday morning, June 21. The hard-core FD types will take vacation that Friday to assist with the logistics and transportation chores. We will meet at 8:00 AM at the ham shack trailer by the East Gate to load all of the gear for the trip up the mountain. Once everything is loaded we will caravan to Mt. Gleason and begin setting up. Lunch and dinner will be served on Friday while we erect tents and the big antennas. The Field Day contest starts at 11 AM local (1800 UTC) Saturday and ends at the same time on Sunday. Three meals will be served on Saturday, as well as breakfast and lunch on Sunday. After the contest is over we will have lunch and disassemble everything, leaving Mt. Gleason as we found it. Then it's back to JPL to return the Club equipment and home for a well-deserved shower and nap.

What To Bring To Field Day:

Even if you only plan to visit for the afternoon, it is wise to be prepared for anything. You may enjoy Field Day so much you will want to spend the night. To get to Mt. Gleason, see the map and directions on the next page. The road is paved all the way except for the short bypass around the correctional facility and any car can make it to the top.

Meals will be provided by the Club-suggested donation is $3 per person per meal to help defray expenses. You are responsible for your own place to sleep and enough warm clothing to stay comfortable during the cold nights (Mt. Gleason is at 6520 ft). Be prepared for weather like the Sahara Desert during the day and the Arctic at night, along with gale force winds, and you should be OK. Seriously, light thermal underwear is a big help if you are operating in the wee hours of Sunday morning.

Talk-in Frequencies
224.08 (-) W6VIO SIMPLEX 224.08 switch to simplex as you near the site
147.15 (+) W6VIO SIMPLEX 147.15

The following is a suggested checklist for your personal FD preparations:

Don't forget any needed medications or aspirin and vitamins. If you do spend the night, it is highly recommended that you bring a tent or camper. The view is well worth bringing camera and binoculars.

As far as Amateur Radio gear is concerned, rigs will be furnished by the Clubs (with some additional loans from the members). We can always use a spare HF or VHF rig as backup, so bring one along if it's convenient. Don't forget the rig-compatible power supply and cables. Bring whatever specialty operating items you wish. If you have a favorite keyer, headset, or boom mike, please bring it along. All the HF rigs will use 8-pin mike connector wired for Kenwood. (We could really use a digital voice "keyer" if anyone has one!) Also a small tool kit, extra table, antenna wire, battery-operated clock, spare batteries of all types, etc., always seem to come in handy. In short, anything you might need to be self-sufficient and stay operational under emergency conditions will probably be useful at Field Day. In fact, that's what the exercise is supposed to be all about. CU at FD!

Directions to Mount Gleason Field Day Site:

Take the Foothill Freeway (210) to La Canada. Exit at Angeles Crest Highway/Route 2. Go north 9.1 miles on Route 2 up into the San Gabriel Mts. Turn left at the junction with Angeles Forest Highway (N3). Continue 3.8 miles on Angeles Forest Highway past Big Tujunja Junction. Go another 5.9 miles through the tunnel, past Hidden Springs to the Monte Cristo Campground. Continue another 4.9 miles on Angeles Forest Highway to the Mill Creek Campground at the Mill Creek Summit. Turn left on Mt. Gleason Road. (The Mill Creek Campground will be on the right.) Continue 6.2 miles on Mt. Gleason Road until you reach the Mount Gleason Conversation Camp. Take dirt road bypass left of the Correction Facility; continue 2.5 miles. Keep to the right at Y-junction just after Microwave Station. When you reach the locked gate, call on Simplex for admission. The road will end at the Summit and our FD site. Do not block the road at the far end of the Mt. Gleason operating site by parking on it. Watch out for kids, antenna wires, loose hams

Alternate Route: 210 Freeway to Interstate 5; North to 14 Freeway; Exit at Angeles Forest Highway take Angeles Forest (N3) South, turn right on Mt. Gleason Road. n 

Goldstone DSCC Tour
By Bill Wood, WB6FXJ

Two tours of the Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex were conducted for users of the JPL ARC Table Mountain Repeater system on Saturday, May 25. Some 90 people braved uncertain weather and bad traffic conditions on Interstate 15 to get to Goldstone for the 8 AM and 12 PM tours. Each of the tours started at the G-33 Briefing room at the Echo site, where the visitors viewed a videotape depicting the worldwide Deep Space Network.

After a short orientation talk the tours were started. Stations visited included the Echo, Pioneer, Mojave Stadan, Apollo and Mars basins. A running commentary between stations was provided on 146.52 simplex with questions received on 146.52, 223.5 and 446 MHz.

Extended stops were made at the now closed Pioneer station, the Apollo basin, the Mars antenna and the Signal Processing Center. Guided tours were conducted inside the base of the 70-meter antenna and inside the SPC-10 Control room.

The weather cooperated by clearing shortly after 8 AM. Fluffy white clouds made for excellent photographs taken by the shutterbugs and videographers on the tours. The outside temperature did not exceed 75F, well below the expected 95F figure. n

Estate Sale
By Brian Stapleton, KW6J

All of the following items belonged to an ex-club member and JPL employee Carl Johansen, WB6DLK (now a silent key). If you are interested in looking at any of them, please contact Brian (KW6J) at 714-896-3514 (work number M-F, 8 AM to 4 PM).

Items are being sold in "as is" condition. Most are old and dirty and it is not known if they are in working condition. Some are 'collector items' waiting for just that right person etc.

  • Model HDX-589-MDPL, 89-foot self-supporting US Tower. Includes heavy duty motor, pull downs, and limit switches. Only a few years old with hardly any use. Buyer will be responsible for removal of tower from back yard of property (will require a crane capable of lifting at least 2 tons of weight from the back yard of Carl's QTH, up and over his house to the front street, and onto a flat bed to move to your QTH - probably no more than 2 hours for the crane to be at the job site). Complete tower package originally cost around $8,100 (including shipping to the LA area). Will sell for $5,400.
  • Yeasu FTDX-560 with internal power supply (all tube rig with analog dial) runs around 250 watts pep, 160 through 10 meters. Needs finals, good clean-up and case. Asking $100.
  • Various broadcast high voltage capacitors (Aerovox). $15-$25.
  • Three foot high standard 19-inch wide rack (on wheels), asking $25.
  • Motorola VHF transceiver (no model number, but large and in green console with slanted front panel - speaker in center). Asking $45.
  • Two other Motorola transmitters (unknown model numbers, one uses two 6146s as the finals), asking $5 each.
  • Tektronix 543A scope with CA plug-in (new condition but real dirty after sitting in the garage for a number of years...). Asking $50.
  • Sprague Tel-Ohmite model TO-5 Capacitor Analyzer. Asking $15.
  • B&Kmodel 400 CRT Rejuvenator Tester. Asking $15.
  • Hickok Model 610A Signal Generator. Asking $15.
  • Eico model 944 flyback transformer & yoke tester. Asking $5.
  • Heathkit model V-5 VOM. Asking $5.
  • Thordarson high-voltage plate transformer (for linear amp). Big and heavy, unknown voltage/current capability. Asking $40.
  • Old suitcase style record player. Asking $7.
  • Other odds & ends. Make offer(s).... n
  • Classified Section


    For Sale

    ARRL News
    Via the ARRL www Home Page

    Threat to 2-meters, 70-cm
    It Seems to Us, July 1996 QST

    Visit the ARRL WWW Site for late breaking news by clicking here!

    Write Now! Get out a pen and paper, or boot up your computer. There's work to be done! Your help is needed to defend two-meters and 70 cm. Yes, that's right - the two most popular and crowded amateur VHF/UHF bands! But don't panic, and don't "go ballistic." Here's what's happening, and what you can do about it.

    The United States is preparing for the 1997 ITU World Radiocommunication Conference, WRC-97. In the past, the public has been able to participate in the preparations for such conferences by responding to FCC Notices of Inquiry. In March, the FCC announced a streamlining of its International Bureau's preparatory processes for WRCs. Under the new scheme, the NOIs have been eliminated in favor of increased emphasis on WRC Advisory Committees.

    For WRC-97, a series of Informal Working Groups (IWGs) of the Advisory Committee has been created to address specific agenda items. The output of each IWG will go directly to a joint FCC-NTIA-Department of State Steering Committee of the Advisory Committee. There, draft proposals as received from the IWGs will be reviewed and forwarded to the FCC for possible release as preliminary U.S. proposals for public comment.

    In announcing the streamlined WRC preparatory process, the FCC tried to reassure those who might be concerned about reduced opportunities for public participation: "Interested parties should note that input to the Advisory Committee may be sent at any time directly to the Chair of the WRC-97 Advisory Committee; the Chairs of the Advisory Committee's Informal Working Groups; Cecily C. Holiday, the FCC's federal officer of the WRC-97 Advisory Committee, or to Damon C. Ladson, the alternate federal officer." Hold that thought while we shift gears to the substance of the issue.

    One of the WRC-97 agenda items includes consideration of possible additional frequency allocations for the mobile-satellite service. So-called "little LEOs," low-earth orbit satellites below 1 GHz, already have allocations. Their proponents claim these are inadequate and are trying for more. The needs of little LEOs are being addressed in IWG-2A, chaired by Warren Richards of the Department of State. The ARRL technical relations staff participates in IWG-2A to represent Amateur Radio interests. At the May 7 IWG-2A meeting, an industry representative proposed a list of "candidate bands" for little LEOs. The list includes a number of bands that would negatively impact existing services, and does not include others that would be technically more feasible but to which strong objection from incumbents could be expected - the point being that some political, rather than purely technical, judgment already has influenced the list. Incredibly, 144-148 and 420-450 MHz were included on the list! This is the first time in memory that another service has been proposed for the two-meter amateur band. We must make sure it is also the last time.

    We do not need to explain to ARRL members the extensive use that is made of these bands by amateurs. The two bands provide the backbone of our local public service communications effort. Voice and data, mobile and fixed, even television - the list of present amateur uses is a long one, and of future uses is even longer. Both are already used for satellite services and for moonbounce and extended-range terrestrial operations requiring extremely sensitive receivers and high levels of effective radiated power.

    Apparently we did need to explain all this to the little LEO industry representatives, so we did just that - both at the meeting and in a follow-up letter on May 15. We also explained that we had to regard the matter as extremely serious. No one with the slightest background in radiocommunication could possibly believe that a mobile-satellite service could be introduced into either band without disrupting existing and future amateur operations. Therefore, we said, if we did not receive assurance that they would be taken off the list of candidate bands by the deadline for this issue of QST, we would have no choice but to bring the matter to the attention of the entire membership.

    The response we received was unsatisfactory. In effect, we were told the little LEO industry would consider our views but that until their spectrum needs are satisfied, all bands must remain under consideration.

    So, this is a call to action. We must get across to the industry and government participants in IWG-2A that the 144-148 MHz and 420-450 MHz bands cannot be considered as candidates for mobile-satellite services. We need to drive the point home so forcefully, with so many grassroots responses, that no one is ever tempted to try this again. Which brings us back to that invitation for "interested parties" to send input "at any time." There's no time like the present! Here are the key addresses, including those of the mobile-satellite industry folks who seem to have started the ruckus:

  • Cecily C. Holiday, International Bureau, FCC, Washington, DC 20554; e-mail; fax 202-418-0748.
  • Warren G. Richards, Chair, IWG-2A, Department of State, CIP 2529, Washington, DC 20520; e-mail; fax 202-647-7407.
  • Tracey Weisler, FCC Rep, IWG-2A, International Bureau, FCC, Washington, DC 20554; e-mail; fax 202-418-0765.
  • Mary Kay Williams, Final Analysis, Inc, 7500 Greenway Center, Suite 1240, Greenbelt, MD 20770; fax 301-474-3228.
  • Leslie Taylor, President, LTA, 6800 Carlynn Ct, Bethesda, MD 20817; e-mail; fax 301-229-3148.
  • Do comment. But be civil. Don't abuse people who are simply doing their jobs. We have to get across that casting covetous eyes on amateur bands is counterproductive, and contrary to the public interest. To accomplish this we need a lot of comments, including yours. But remember that the objective is to educate and persuade, not to intimidate. We don't need to. The facts are on our side.

    To monitor the FCC's ongoing WRC-97 preparations, visit its WRC-97 home page at Write now. Right now! - David Sumner, K1ZZ Reprinted with permission from July 1996 QST n

    Vanity Call Signs
    ARRL Letter, May 3 Update

    The vanity call sign program has started! The FCC has announced that Gate 1 of the vanity call sign program opened May 31, and eligible hams may file applications on or after that date.

    Under Gate 1, you can file for a previously held individual or club call sign or for a call sign formerly held by a deceased close relative. [Specific eligibility criteria are detailed in the full article on the ARRL Home Page, May 3 ARRL Letter Update]. To request a vanity call sign for your primary station, you must already hold an unexpired amateur operator/primary station license. To obtain the former call sign of a deceased close relative, your license also must be of the proper operator class. To request a formerly held club station call sign, you must also hold an unexpired club station license listing you as the trustee. Vanity call sign applicants must use FCC Form 610-V to file.

    Applicants should refer to the licensee data base to make sure the call sign they are requesting is not already assigned. A call sign is normally assignable two years following license expiration, surrender, revocation, set aside, cancellation, void ab initio, or death of the grantee. FCC Fact Sheet PR5000 Number 206-V, Amateur Station Vanity Call Sign System, has details. For explanations of Groups A, B, C and D and the geographic Regions, see Fact Sheet PR-5000 #206, Amateur Station Sequential Call Sign System.

    Legibility is critical! If your application is not legible, you could experience a delay in processing, lose the opportunity to obtain a requested call sign or even obtain a call sign different from what you want. n

    Sunspot Minimum Still Ahead
    ARRL Letter, May 31 Update

    Solar prognosticator Tad Cook, KT7H, reports four consecutive days of zero sunspots for the period May 16-22. The average solar flux was down five points from the previous period. Expect similar conditions through the rest of 1996 as we experience the solar minimum.

    A note from Shel Shallon, W6EL, points out that the progress of any solar cycle is judged in terms of smoothed sunspot numbers, and that the smoothed number for a given month is an average of 13 months of data, centered on the month of interest. Therefore we won't really know when the sunspot cycle minimum has occurred until some time after the event.

    Shallon, the author of the popular Mini-Prop propagation prediction software, goes on to say: "Reports last year that the first spots from cycle 23 had been observed were erroneous. It is now believed that the first spot from cycle 23 was observed on May 10, 1996. Typically, the sunspot cycle minimum does not occur until at least 12 months following the appearance of the first spots of new cycle. Therefore, the minimum between cycles 22 and 23, and the official start of cycle 23, may not occur before May 1997."

    Current solar flux progress for the short term points to a slow rise to a peak just above 70 around June 7 or 8, followed by a drop below 70 around the middle of June. Sunspot numbers for May 16-22 were 26, 12, 0, 0, 0, 0 and 11, respectively, with a mean of 7. The 10.7-cm flux was 71, 71.2, 70.3, 68.8, 68, 66.9 and 66, respectively, with a mean of 68.9. n

    FCC Issued Call Sign Update

    The following is a list of the FCC's most recently issued call signs as of May 1, 1996:

    District Group A   Group B   Group C   Group D
             Extra      Adv.    Tech/Gen   Novice
    0        AA0BS     KI0CS       ++      KB0WHV
    1        AA1PY     KE1EO     N1XFI     KB1BXY
    2        AB2AW     KG2GV       ++      KB2YSX
    3        AA3OF     KE3WL     N3XHP     KB3BOP
    4        AE4TZ     KT4PM       ++      KF4JEE
    5        AC5HR     KK5ZR       ++      KC5UHB
    6        AC6UL     KQ6FX       ++      KF6DMG
    7        AB7QN     KJ7XJ       ++      KD7AAC
    8        AA8WV     KG8WW       ++      KC8DNZ
    9        AA9SA     KG9GG       ++      KB9NNQ
    Hawaii    ++       AH6OO       ++      WH6DAW
    Alaska    ++       AL7QI       ++      WL7CSZ
    Virgin   WP2X      KP2CJ     NP2JF     WP2AID
    Puerto Rico ++      ++         ++      WP4NLY
    ++ All call signs in this group have been issued in this area

    Upcoming VEC Examinations

    The following test session information is provided by the ARRL/VEC for the upcoming four 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 860-594-0300 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.

    06/03/96, Lancaster, 805-948-1865, Adrienne J Sherwood
    06/04/96, Culver City, 213-292-6423, C Lutz
    06/08/96, Bell, 213-560-8618, Pedro Cacheiro
    06/08/96, Brea, 310-691-1514, Robert Reitzel
    06/08/96, Fontana, 909-823-6818, Louis Johnson
    06/08/96, San Pedro, 310-325-2965, Elvin Lytle
    06/12/96, Hollywood, 818-766-1341, Elliott Bloch
    06/20/96, Fountain Valley, 714-531-6707, Allan Avnet
    06/22/96, Pomona, 909-949-0059, Don Warburg  WA6HNC
    06/27/96, Colton, 909-825-7136, Harold Heydenfeldt
    06/29/96, Culver City, 310-459-0337, Scott V Swanson
    06/29/96, Torrance, 310-834-0558, Renato Santos

    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