Calendar of Events
April 9 General Meeting, Noon - 238-543
April 12 [Pomona Swapmeet, DeVry Institute]
April 23 Board Meeting, Noon 301-227
April 26 [TRW Swapmeet, Redondo Beach]
May 14 General Meeting, Noon - 238-543
May 17 [Pomona Swapmeet, DeVry Institute]
May 28 Board Meeting, Noon 301-227
May 31 [TRW Swapmeet, Redondo Beach]
June 11 General Meeting, Noon - 238-543
June 21-23 ARRL Field Day
June 25 Board Meeting, Noon 301-227
June 28 [TRW Swapmeet, Redondo Beach]
July 9 General Meeting, Noon - 238-543
July 23 Board Meeting, Noon 301-227


Meeting Notice
President's Message
March Club Meetings
DX News
W6VIO HF Capability Status
Classified Section

Phase 3D Launch Put Off Until September
Radio Amateur Callbook Goes CD-ROM Only
Eimac Sells Glass-Tube Division
Solar Update: Looking Up?
Upcoming VEC Examinations
FCC Call Sign Update

Meeting Notice
By Scott Nolte, N6CUV

The next regular Club meeting will be held April 9, 1997, in building 238, room 543 at Noon. Topics and Speakers wanted for JPLARC meetings: If you have a idea for a topic or a speaker for a club meeting contact Scott Nolte at 354-9724 or

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

President's Message
By Randy Hammock, KC6HUR

I have some good news! Back in January, the W6VIO repeater took a lightning hit, which put the 2-Meter repeater out of commission. Several weeks ago, Bob Dengler, NO6B, repaired the repeater radio package, which only suffered minor damage. But when it was put back in service, it was discovered that the radio port card in the RLC-3 had suffered a small amount of damage. Until that can be repaired, we are using one of the spare radio port cards. The next problem discovered was that there was severe desense. Jan Tarsala, WB6VRN, traced this to one of the cans in the receive leg of the duplexer. The cost to replace this damaged can is about $375.

On the HF front, the Sommers antenna took a real beating in the winds storms and the decision was made to replace it and a new antenna was ordered. When it came time to start preparations for installing the new antenna, it was discovered that the pole on which the antenna is mounted is in very bad condition. Bob Polansky, N6ET, put together a plan [see page 3] to install a new tower to hold the new antenna. The cost for this work is about $2700.

So, you may be asking, where is the good news? Two special requests for funding were made to the ERC and both were approved. Let's all show our appreciation to the ERC for supporting our emergency communications efforts.

On another front, things seem to be moving along for Field Day. As of this writing, Bob Polansky, N6ET, and Jay Holladay, W6EJJ will be co-chairing this event. Manny Caldera has volunteered to be our cook along with the help of Richard Schick.

Finally, I inadvertently omitted a couple of names of club members who helped out on the LA Marathon, Chris, KF6HZE, and Carol Bruegge, KE6SRN, who both worked with the wheelchair pickup vehicle. This was Chris' first public service event as a ham and he was pretty jazzed about it. I hope he continues with such enthusiasm.

Until next month, 73! n

March Club Meetings
By Chris Zygielbaum, N6WEI and Walt Diem, WA6PEA

General Meeting

The March General Meeting was held on Wednesday March 12, 1997. Randy Hammock (KC6HUR) called the meeting to order. Because of an expected long program, Randy dispensed with the normal reports.

Vice President Scott Nolte (N6CUV) introduced Robert Buaas (K6KGS) who spoke about Spread Spectrum in amateur radio. Robert is a member of the Amateur Radio Research and Development Corporation (AMRAD) in Washington DC. He has been involved in Spread Spectrum for about 15 years, both in the technology and the politics.

Robert wanted to focus on the interesting aspects of the politics in spread spectrum, but spent quite a bit of time defining and contrasting two types of spread spectrum, direct signal and frequency hopping. He diagrammed a spread spectrum generator and receiver and explained the inherent problems and complexities of the signal synchronization. Information about Spread Spectrum in general and a proposal to change the spread spectrum rules (NPRM 97-10) is available at URL:

Board of Directors Meeting

The JPL ARC Board of Directors meeting was held on Wednesday, March 26, 1997 and chaired by President Randy Hammock (KC6HUR).

Bob Polansky (N6ET) presented a detailed plan to re-establish the HF capability lost due to high winds. He reported that the tower on which the wind damaged Sommers antenna resides is deemed unsafe for continued use in supporting a large multiband beam antenna. Bob proposed procuring and installing a new Rohn guyed tower about 150 feet west of the current Sommers site. He also proposed that the current Sommers tower be extended by 25 or 30 feet to support 40 and 80-meter delta loop antennas and a 160-meter inverted vee. Bob reported that the stainless steel tower, sitting in pieces next to the trailer, is not tall enough and would require too much retrofitting to use for a multiband HF antenna. He proposed using that tower to support the satellite antenna, which was also blown down by the high winds.

Jay Holladay (W6EJJ) agreed to prepare a request to ERC for a grant to cover the cost of the tower. Jan Tarsala (WB6VRN) made a motion, seconded by Walt Mushagian (K6DNS), that Polansky be authorized to proceed with the proposed plan to refurbish the club's HF capability within the 1997 JPL ARC HF budget allocations and any obtained ERC grant.

Jan Tarsala (WB6VRN) reported on lightning damage to the 2-meter repeater and a cavity of the 2-meter duplexer. Jan indicated that we need to purchase a replacement cavity and requested authorization to submit a grant request to ERC. Jay Holladay (W6EJJ) made a motion, seconded by Walt Mushagian (K6DNS), that Jan request a grant from ERC for a replacement cavity.

Chris Carson (KE6ABQ) discussed the need for grounding at Bldg. 35 for lightning protection. He has made a request to lab communications to install grounding rods and an entry grounding plate to enable grounding all transmission lines at the entrance to the building.

Walt Diem (WA6PEA) distributed a copy of the club's lightning protector inventory which includes Tx and Rx lightning protectors suitable for the 450 MHz repeater, eliminating the need to expend the $125 allocated in the 1997 W6VIO/R budget. He also pointed out that the lightning protectors allocated for the Packet and HF Stations have not yet been installed.

Walt Mushagian (K6DNS) reported that a surplus 8' x 12' solar array is available for use by the club for an indefinite period. Places that it might be used were discussed but not resolved.

In attendance were Hammock, Holladay, Nolte, Mushagian, Tarsala, Diem, Rick McKinney, Carson, Dengler, Person, and Norris. n

DX News
By Bob Polansky, N6ET

No preamble this time. Just a short list of what's coming in DX.

CAMBODIA - XU6WV has been active on 80, 40, 30, and 20meter phone and CW. He was quite loud on 30 CW a few days ago. The best part is that he has a quick-acting W0 QSL manager.

EAST MALAYSIA - 9M6TCR and 9M6TPR will be active from Spratley and Borneo through 4 April. They were easily copyable on 30 meters at local midnight, but the JA's were much louder than the W's calling. (I didn't make it!)

FAROE ISLANDS - OY/Many DL calls plan a major activity on 160 through 10 meters from 7 to 20 June. Look for lots of QRM!

GUERNSEY - Depending on when this issue publishes, you may still have a shot at GU0/W7MAE. He plans operation from 20 through 10 meters including the WARC bands. The operations terminate on 5 April.

MALI - TZ6VV continues to be active on 20 meters. A number of new hams have been recently licensed. Look for much more activity from TZ-land.

ZAIRE - 9Q5BQ is active from here for the next 2 months, primarily on 20 CW. Other band activity is planned.

That's all for now. Keep the faith! Sunspots will return. n

W6VIO HF Capability Status
By Bob, N6ET

I am pleased to report that the Club has taken possession of a new TS-850 transceiver. We traded the archaic pieces of radio equipment in the basement of B171 for this new acquisition after taking only two and one-half years to arrange the deal.

On a not so pleasant note, significant work is needed to restore the W6VIO HF capability to an acceptable state after the pounding it took during the recent hurricane-force winds. The tower on which the Sommers antenna resides is unsafe for continued use in supporting a large multiband beam antenna. I propose that a new guyed Rohn tower be procured and installed about 150 feet west of the current Sommers site. I further propose that the current Sommers tower be extended by 25 or 30 feet with a simple pole and pulley arrangement that would permit it to support 40 and 80-meter delta loop antennas and a 160-meter inverted vee. The tower currently sitting in pieces next to our storage trailer can be used to support our satellite antenna next to our ops trailer according to Chris Carson.

It is necessary that we move quickly on gaining the needed approvals to undertake this work. The Facility Division folks that can do some of the needed work for free are being outsourced later this year. We will have to pay to have the work done after they leave. The plan outlined next shows the steps needed to make this happen along with all the other restoration work needed. Order of magnitude estimates for the procurables needed are shown as well as gross estimates on when the work can be accomplished.

The Club Board has approved the following proposal subject to getting the needed $2000 of additional funds needed to do the renovation. Our fiscal needs were presented to the ERC the last week in March. They have agreed to provide the JPL ARC with the $2000 needed to complete the above work, given that we put up the $700 needed from existing Club revenues. We have the resources needed to keep our part of the deal. The above plan will be minimally modified and work started immediately to reestablish our HF antenna systems. All we need now is lots of member participation during the work parties to be conducted between now and the end of November to make this all happen.

Our first work party is scheduled for 12 April from 9AM to noon. Please let me know by Email or Voicemail (x44940) if I can depend on your support. n

HF Restoration Project

Task: Estimated Cost Completion
Install TS850, interface to Dentron   March
Move FT757 to Video station site   March
Fix Sommers tower pulley assembly   April
Fix inverted vee and feedline   April
Fix hardline leak, pressurize   April
Extend to inverted vee   April
Recondition Collins, Raycal gear


Take auction inventory   April
Set minimum bids for each item   April
Conduct auction   May
Build A3WS WARC antenna   May
Install on lower tower


Prepare for new tower  


Negotiate site w/JPL   April
Procure tower hw, guy anchors


Locate holes   May
Facility digs   May
Install base, 1ast tower section, (temp vertical)   May
Facility installs guy anchors, pours cement   May
Procure guy wire, turnbuckles


Add tower sections, guy wires   July
Install 1kw remote antenna switch  


Procure antenna switch


Locate hilltop site for switch   April
Buy five foot wooden 4x4


Dig hole   May
Set 4x4 post in cement   May
Mount antenna switch to post   May

TH7DXX (backup)

80meter loop

40meter loop

160 meter inverted vee

Field Day preparation/conduct   June
Strenghten TH7DXX


Remove, scrap Sommers antenna   July
Move TH7DXX to new tower    
Buy rotor cable extension


Buy low-loss coax extension


Extend rotor cable   August
Drill rotor plate for our rotor   August
Move rotor to new tower  


Install TH7DXX on new tower  


Retrofit Sommers tower for wire antennas  


Buy 30 foot tower extension)



Buy pulley, rope



Install tower, pulley, rope   October
Buy antenna wire


Construct 80 meter loop antenna   October
Construct 40 meter loop antenna  


Install loop antennas on tower pulley  


Install new satellite tower  


Purchase brackets, mounting hw





Install 160 meter inverted vee  








Classified Section


A 50-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

Icom IC-04AT 440 MHz HT. Call Joel Mosher KB6RXE at 818-791-1779 or email to

US Tower (or Wilson) ROTATING BASE and RAISING FIXTURE for a 40 foot tubular telescoping tower. US Tower part number for the rotating base is MARB/40 and for the raising fixture is MAF-40. Please contact Brian Stapleton (KW6J) at 714-896-3514, M-F 8 AM - 4 PM.

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 (

For Sale:

Video study course, ARRL Advanced Class includes computerized exam review software. Complete course for $50 (new cost $129). Call Bob Dye, KQ6GD, 818-249-0171

Only $4,500 for a US Tower Model HDX-589-MDPL 89-foot self supporting triangular tower with heavy duty motor, pull downs, and limit switches (original cost, over $8,100!). Tower is in great condition and is only a few years old. Contact Brian (KW6J) for further details (work number M-F, 8 AM to 4 PM, 714-896-3514). n

Via the ARRL www Home Page

Phase 3D Launch Put Off Until September
ARRL Letter Online, Volume 16, Number 13

Modifications to the Ariane 5 rocket's electrical systems and software will mean another costly delay for the Phase 3D Amateur Radio satellite. The European Space Agency (ESA) announced March 24, that the Ariane 502 which will carry Phase 3D aloft from Kourou, French Guyana, has been rescheduled for a mid-September launch. ESA said the schedule change was in response to recommendations of a board of inquiry that looked into the causes for the failure of the Ariane 501 launch last year.

"This additional action, which does not call into question the design of the launcher nor its flight readiness, is intended to improve its robustness, increase the operational margins and allow for degraded operating modes," an ESA press release said.

In a joint statement a day after the ESA announcement, Phase 3D Project Leader and AMSAT-DL (Germany) President Karl Meinzer, DJ4ZC, and AMSAT-NA President Bill Tynan, W3XO, expressed continuing confidence that ESA and CNES (the French Space Agency managing the Ariane 5 program) will succeed in completing all the tasks necessary for a successful flight test of Ariane 502. "Naturally, we are disappointed that our launch will not be as soon as we had hoped," said Meinzer. "However, I am pleased that ESA and CNES are taking care to improve the operational margins for the Ariane 5 booster. This action helps give us renewed confidence in the overall probability for a successful launch of our satellite."

Tynan said a complete analysis had not yet been done but that he believed the delay would add "on the order of $100,000" to Phase 3D's cost. That's on top of an estimated $200,000 combined funding shortfall that AMSAT-NA and AMSAT-DL were reporting in late February. So far, AMSAT-DL has invested nearly $1.6 million in Phase 3D, compared to nearly $1.4 million for AMSAT-NA.

Phase 3D fund-raising efforts will continue. "Every month adds costs," Tynan concluded. "This shortfall can only increase now as a result of this latest schedule change." Both AMSAT leaders urged everyone to continue doing as much as possible to insure the needed funds will be in place for the completion and launch of Phase 3D in September.

Earlier this year, the Japanese AMSAT group, JAMSAT, helped bridge the funding gap by transferring $50,000 to AMSAT-NA. The money represented excess donations from JAMSAT members for the Phase 3D SCOPE camera. The completed SCOPE camera, designed and built entirely by JAMSAT, has been installed and successfully powered up at the Phase 3D Integration Laboratory in Orlando, Florida, where preparation and testing continue.

Tynan emphasized that the Phase 3D team plans to take maximum advantage of the schedule change to perform additional testing. "It's not time being wasted," Tynan said, adding that the Phase 3D team "will use the delay to be even more sure about the spacecraft's readiness."

Prior to announcement of the latest delay, AMSAT-NA Vice President Keith Baker, KB1SF, had been reporting that AMSAT was racing to meet the early July launch schedule and that work on the satellite was moving along swiftly.

A series of pictures of Phase 3D work in progress is available via the AMSAT-NA Web site at Depending on its workload, the integration team hopes to be able to update these photos as work progresses. n

Radio Amateur Callbook Goes CD-ROM Only
ARRL Letter Online, Volume 16, Number 12

It's the end of an era for The Radio Amateur Callbook. Publisher Bob Hughes announced March 17 in a letter to Callbook distributors that the company is phasing out its telephone-book-size paper North American and international editions in favor of its CD-ROM product. The 1997 Callbook--the 75th edition--will be the last hard-copy version available. The letter cited "rising costs and increasing demand for electronic publishing" as the reasons for the company's decision to concentrate on the CD-ROM version, which includes worldwide listings. North American and international editions of the paper Callbook, a staple for years in many active ham shacks, sell for around $40, while the CD-ROM sells for around $50. The Callbook began publishing in 1920. Radio Amateur Callbook is produced by Watson-Guptill Publications.

The spring CD-ROM edition of the Callbook will be available at the Dayton Hamfest, Hughes' told distributors.

According to Hughes' letter, the company has "a limited supply of the printed edition" and anticipates that demand will be great once the word gets out. The last printed version will carry a label indicating "Last Edition of the Callbook." (For orders, call 800-278-8477; e-mail n

Eimac Sells Glass-Tube Division
ARRL Letter Online, Volume 16, Number 12

Eimac is out of the glass-tube business. The former Eimac glass-tube manufacturing facility has been sold and relocated from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Easton, Pennsylvania. The new company, Triton, moved the former Eimac plant "lock, stock and barrel" from Utah to Pennsylvania, said Mark Hoffman, a senior scientist at Triton. In all, it took 16 tractor-trailer loads to move the plant's manufacturing equipment and inventories across the country. For now, Triton is manufacturing 46 different Eimac and Westinghouse tube types, including the popular 3-500Z, 4-400A and 4-400C. Right now, Triton does not make the 6146, 572B, 811A or 4-1000A, but Hoffman did not rule out the possibility that the company may tool up to manufacture those tubes in the future. Triton also makes glass tube chimneys and sockets.

Hams interested in obtaining small quantities of Triton tubes should contact the company's distributor, Richardson Electronics, Lafox, Illinois; tel. 800-323-1770.

Eimac--recently purchased by an investment group, Communications and Power Industries--continues to make and rebuild ceramic external-anode tubes. It has been relocated to Palo Alto, California. n

Solar Update: Looking Up?
ARRL Letter Online, Volume 16, Number 12

Sun watcher Tad Cook, KT7H, Seattle, Washington, reports: The biggest news this week is that we are at the equinox, and hours of daylight are about equal between the northern and southern hemispheres. Look for improved worldwide conditions on HF bands as we head into spring. Otherwise, there has been no improvement in solar activity, with conditions last week showing no significant change over the previous week. Solar flux and sunspot numbers were only slightly higher, and on four days the solar flux was just slightly above the average of 75 for the previous 90 days.

The outlook for the next few weeks has solar flux remaining in the mid-70s, with a rise in geomagnetic disturbances centered around March 26 and 27. The March 1997 issue of the magazine Scientific American has a remarkable article about the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), which is held in the point where the Earth's and Sun's gravitational pulls are equal, some 1 million miles toward the Sun from Earth. There is an extensive gallery of images from the data transmitted from the satellite on the Web at

Sunspot numbers for March 13 through 19 were 18, 43, 42, 25, 15, 24 and 0, respectively, with a mean of 23.9. The 10.7-cm flux was 74.1, 75.5, 75.8, 75.7, 75.1, 74.3 and 73.7, respectively, with a mean of 74.9. Estimated planetary A indices for the same period were 7, 4, 6, 8, 5, 6, and 4, respectively, with a mean of 5.7. n

Upcoming VEC Examinations

The following test session information is provided by the ARRL/VEC for the upcoming two month 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

04/04/97, Los Angeles, Ali Hassan, 213-758-6343
04/05/97, Los Angeles, Ali Hassan, 213-758-6343
04/05/97, Northridge, Arthur Goltz, 909-780-5443
04/05/97, Riverside, Charles Peck, 909-780-2680
04/12/97, Culver City, Clive Morel, 310-827-2538
04/12/97, Fontana, Louis Johnson, 909-823-6818
04/12/97, Glendora, Perry Stevens AC6UJ, 818-966-8549
04/12/97, San Pedro, Elvin Lytle, 310-325-2965
04/12/97, Joe Lamphen WB6MYD, 310-328-0817
04/19/97, Downey, Wesley Printz, 310-923-5598
04/19/97, San Bernardino, John P Mc Cann, 909-864-2656
04/24/97, Colton, Harold Heydenfeldt, 909-825-7136
04/26/97, Culver City, Scott V Swanson, 310-459-0337
04/26/97, Pomona, Donald Warburg WA6HNC, 909-949-0059
04/30/97, Anaheim, Bob Wallar, 310-429-8275
05/03/97, Anza, Garland V Moore WB6NSX 909-763-4447
05/03/97, Hesperia, James McRae, 760-244-1396
05/03/97, Los Angeles, Ali Hassan, 213-758-6343
05/03/97, Northridge,Arthur Goltz, 909-780-5443
05/04/97, Thousand Oaks, Marco Treganza, 805-375-1385
05/10/97, Culver City, Clive Morel 310-827-2538
05/10/97, Cypress, Harrison Spain AC6TI, 714-952-6114
05/10/97, Fontana, Louis Johnson, 909-823-6818
05/10/97, Glendora, Perry Stevens AC6UJ, 818-966-8549
05/10/97, Austin Rudnicki K6IA, 805-967-3024
05/10/97, San Pedro, Elvin Lytle, 310-325-2965
05/12/97, Lancaster, Adrienne Sherwood WA6YEO, 805-948-1865
05/17/97, Big Bear Lake, Howard Wilson, 909-866-8944
05/17/97, San Bernardino, John P Mc Cann, 909-864-2656
05/17/97, Santa Clarita, Irene Oseas, 805-252-7459
05/17/97, Signal Hill, Don Boyce NN6Q, 310-420-9480 n

FCC Call Sign Update

The following is a list of the FCC's most recently issued call signs as of February 3, 1997.

District Group A, Extra Group B, Advanced Group C, Tech/Gen Group D, Novice
N Mariana Islands NH0A AH0AX KH0GF WH0ABG
American Samoa AH8O AH8AH KH8DH WH8ABF
Virgin Islands WP2Y KP2CJ NP2JP WP2AIH

# New prefixes are available, but none have been issued.
++All call signs in this group have been issued in this area.

Go back to the W6VIO Calling Index.