• Calendar of Events
  • Meeting Notice
  • President’s Message
  • July Club Meetings
  • DX News
  • W6VIO Work Parties
  • Field Day Final Results
  • ACC Volunteers Needed
  • 200 MHz and Down
  • Columbia, this is El Segundo
  • Classified Section
  • ARRL News
  • Meeting Notice

    The next regular JPL Amateur Radio Club meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 13, at noon in building 238, room 543. Eric Fuller, JPL's Emergency Preparedness Administrator will address the club. 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

    President’s Message
    By Randy Hammock, KC6HUR

    We’ve had a lot happen so far this year. We are very near getting our HF station back on the air with a new antenna system thanks to the efforts of Bob Polansky. The repeater system is in pretty good shape, but still needs some work. Field Day was a success. Keep tuned to these pages and your email system for more updates.

    I know this may be a might bit early, but it is time to start thinking about club elections again. We’ve been a little late each year in getting this handled, so I thought it would be good to start the gears turning now. After all, we are supposed to have the new officers elected in November so that they will be ready to work with the outgoing administration on the next year’s budget.

    Until next month, 73. n

    July Club Meetings
    By Chris Zygielbaum, N6WEI

    General Meeting

    The July General Meeting was held on Wednesday July 9, 1997. Scott Nolte (N6CUV) called the meeting to order. Walt Diem (WA6PEA) reported that he is planning to install the Kendecom repeater for WB6IEA, because the current repeater needs to be removed and retuned. Walt also has a new rack that is ready to be set up with the new repeater. He will be asking for a work party to complete the installation and move equipment.

    Chuck Sarture (KG6NF), Treasurer, is accepting Field Day receipts to balance the accounts and determine the cost for Field Day.

    Bob Polansky (N6ET) reported that more progress has been made on the Mesa facilities. The antenna switch is installed and a hole has been dug by Facilities. A work party, scheduled for the following Saturday, July 12, will pour cement and should finish the site preparation for the antenna.

    Bob Polansky presented a proposal to the general club membership to move the radio club operations center to a better location at the top of the Mesa, or as close as possible to the top. There are a number of political, logistical, and technical obstacles, but Bob feels that at this time, they could be overcome. He was asking the members if there was sufficient support and commitment to the work that would be required to move the club equipment. Bob felt that, in order to proceed, there should be at least 15 individuals who would commit their time to the task. A show of hands indicated that 8 of the 19 members present would support the move. Bob felt that this was sufficient and he will press on.

    Scott Nolte, Vice President, has Eric Fuller, JPL’s Emergency Preparedness Administrator, scheduled for the August meeting and Dave Ritchie (N7UE), who was originally scheduled for the July meeting, planned for the September meeting program.

    The program for the meeting was supplied by Bruce Nolte (N6TFS). He presented a white paper on the Perception of Amateur Radio in the Public Eye.

    Bruce has done quite a bit of thinking about this subject. Consider "Amateur" Radio v. "Ham" Radio. The Amateur designation is the official name, but Ham is used more often and may not infer the proper respect for the technical aspects of our hobby. Bruce did some research on the possible origins of the term "Ham." Among the possibilities are: an early magazine on amateur radio was the Home Amateur Mechanic; or a poor CW operator has been called to be "ham-fisted."

    To improve the perception of amateur radio, some individuals have requested to be called "licensed radio operators" or "communication volunteers," rather than amateur or ham radio operators.

    Bruce conducted an unscientific public survey, which resulted in his concluding that the public does not have a clear understanding of amateur radio.

    Bruce feels that the future of radio service may depend on how well we integrate the service with science and technology.

    Board of Directors Meeting

    Meeting called to order 12:06 PM with the following board members in attendance: R. Hammock (KC6HUR), W. Diem (WA6PEA), J. Holladay (W6EJJ), W. Mushagian (K6DNS), B. Wood (WB6FXJ) and J. Tarsala (WB6VRN). Others in attendance were R. Polansky (N6ET), R. McKinney (KA6DAN), and R. Dengler (NO6B).

    Bob Polansky reported on the progress of the HF antenna project on the Mesa. The concrete will be poured this coming Friday (7/24/97). He also reported that there was not enough money available in the budget to complete the project in full. It is going to take about $1859 to purchase the remainder of the equipment. Bob stated that there would be enough funds if we took all budget items related to the HF station upgrade, maintenance and the sale of some Collins and Racal equipment that was donated to the club from an estate. However, since the sale of the equipment has not yet taken place, we would have to split the Mesa upgrade order into two separate orders. That would cost the club an additional $150, which Bob considers to an undue burden on the Club. He would like to purchase the remainder of the upgrade equipment in a single order. This would require the expedited sale of the above mentioned equipment rather than waiting for the auction to occur. Bob already had a buyer for it and thought he could get an additional $100 for it.

    The chair said that it would entertain a motion to authorize Bob and Jay to expedite the sale of the equipment in order to save the additional $150 in shipping expenses. The motion was made by Walt Diem and seconded by Jay Holladay. A vote was called and passed unanimously. Bob Polansky recommended that, in future budget meetings, we set up an escrow account to fund future HF station upgrade and repairs.

    Walt Diem discussed moving the WB6IEA repeater into a new cabinet in a better position in the tower. The current cabinet is too cramped and is located in a position that makes it difficult work on the equipment. We have a 6-foot tall DSN cabinet to replace the current one; however, it needs to have a door installed on it so that it can be made secure. Sam Weaver will do the door installation; however, the cabinet must be transported to Sam’s house to have this work done. Randy Hammock said that he would see about having that taken care of.

    Walt also reported that the repeater has some problems and must be brought down off the hill to perform this work. The Kendecom will go back up in its place. This should happen shortly as soon as he finishes some setup on the Kendecom. Walt also reported that we need some sort of low loss foam filled hardline for the 900MHz remote receiver antenna.

    Walt Mushagian said that he would be out of town the next week.

    Jan Tarsala reported on the current situation with the 449.975 repeater system. According to SCRRBA, the coordinatee of one of our co-channels system does not have any problems with us being there; however, the users do. SCRRBA has suggested another frequency. Bob Dengler and Jan are doing feasibility studies. There was some discussion.

    Rick McKinney reported that we had one new member who paid $6 for membership.

    The Meeting was adjourned at 1:00 PM. These minutes respectfully submitted by Randy Hammock for Christine Zygielbaum. n

    DX News
    By Bob Polansky, N6ET

    The expected DX newsletter did not arrive as expected, so my article is about a week out of date. I don’t believe that will be a big problem, though, so here goes:

    ALAND ISLAND - Look for OH0/SM calls from 14 to 17 August.

    FRANZ JOSEF LAND - R1FJL is active through spring of next year.

    IRAN - EP2MKO continues to make appearances on 20 meters, as I understand it. This is a pretty rare country now. Yours truly would certainly like a CW QSO, if only I could find him! His QSL route is UA6HCW.

    IRAQ - YI1VK was worked from California on 14025 kHz at 0445Z. Again, a pretty rare one. Gotta listen for that myself!

    SOUTH COOK - ZK1AAT should make his presence known starting 1 August through 11 August. He will operate on both 40 and 30 meter CW.

    UGANDA - 5X1T was also worked from California. He was on 18133 kHz at 2041Z. 17 meters lives!

    That’s all for now. Pickings were pretty slim this month, but solar flux is rising. There’s hope for the future. n

    W6VIO Work Parties
    By Bob Polansky, N6ET and Jay Holladay, W6EJJ

    July 12

    We conducted another W6VIO work party. Participating (in no specific order) were Walt Mushagian, John Norris, Merv MacMedan and his visitor Alberto Moreno from Colombia, Jerry Person, Randy Hammock, and yours truly.

    Our goal was to complete preparations on the main tower hole and the guy anchor holes for our new HF antenna installation. Wood concrete forms were installed on the remaining two holes, re-bar cages were installed, the areas behind the wood forms were backfilled with dirt and gravel, as needed, and the above-ground cement form around the tower was fabricated and put in place. The base section was mated to the first section of the new Rohn tower, was put into the tower hole, and was leveled by tying it to three temporary guy anchors.

    All that remains now is to tie the main anchor bolts into place (mate them to the re-bar cages) and secure the concrete footing form under the tower. One more brief party should do it and we’ll be ready for the cement pour. Good work guys!

    August 2

    Seven hardy JPL ARC members braved record heat on Saturday to complete preparatory work for the new JPL ARC tower to be erected on the Mesa. Concrete for the base of the tower, as well as three very sturdy guy anchor points had been poured previously.

    The task for this work party was to clean up the site and fill in several cubic feet of dirt on top of the "dead-man" guy anchors. This was accomplished in fine style and we are now ready to begin installing and guying the tower sections - as soon as they are received from the manufacturer.

    Thanks to the following JPL ARC members for coming out to support this effort:

    Sam Weaver, WB6EMO; J. R. Hall, WB6PTX; Walt Mushagian, K6DNS; Randy Hammock, KC6HUR; Ross Snyder, N0GSZ; Bob Polansky, N6ET; Jay Holladay, W6EJJ. n

    Newsletter Deadline:

    August 29 for the September issue of W6VIO Calling. Your articles, ads, photos, diagrams, letters to the editor, or technical material should be submitted to the editor via email ( or at the return address shown on the last page.

    Field Day Final Results
    By Bob Polansky, N6ET and Jay Holladay, W6EJJ

    Once again the final results have bee compiled, and the Field Day entry package has been shipped to ARRL Headquarters. Your Field Day Committee is quite pleased with this result.

    With resources rather limited this year, we opted for simpler antennas and gave it our best shot. CW QSO's were almost on a par with last year, but phone QSO's were off by almost 50%. Still, the above score would have been good for 11th in the country in our category (Class 2A) last year. We may actually have done better than that this year, since conditions really seemed to be off relative to recent years. This was particularly true of 15 meters, where the openings were very spotty. We’ll see what news the November QST brings! Here is a summary of the final results:

    Band CW Phone
    80 90 114
    40 475 205
    20 540 237
    15 34 77
    10 0 20
    6 0 72
    2 0 110
    222 0 1
    432 0 10
    PKT 102 *
    10N 0 112
    222N 0 27
    Subtotal 1241 985
    Total QSOs 2226  
    Total score with multipliers:
    1241x4=4964 pts plus 985x2 =1970
    Total QSO points = 6934
    With all bonus points (800) added, the final score should be 7734

    Thanks to the following operators for contributing to our successful and fun effort in Field Day 1997:


    ACC Volunteers Needed

    It’s that time of year again! Radio operators are needed to help out with emergency and logistical communications for the Angeles Crest Century, a 100-mile bike ride up in the mountains put on by the JPL Bike Club. W6VIO has a long history of supporting this ride, so please help if you can! It’s usually a lot of fun.

    The ride is Saturday, September 6. Both full-day and half-day shifts are available. No experience necessary. For that matter, no equipment necessary; we’ll find you something. If you can’t make it, but have a 2m or 220 mobile rig or amp that we could borrow, that would be a big help as well.

    Contact me: Randy Hammock (818) 393-1214 or email at:

    N5BF200 MHz and Down

    By Courtney Duncan, N5BF

    Two quotations from the April 1997 issue of QST made me pause and reflect on the future for amateur radio operators. The first is from the Straight Key Night results on page 101, Al Brogdon (W1AB) moderating:

    "Many of my fellow old-timers bemoan the demise of CW on the ham bands but I doubt that it will ever die. It will be kept alive by aficionados of the sort who still sail small boats and feel the salt spray in their faces... who tap their toes to Dixieland jazz... who spent untold hundreds of hours rebuilding that 1948 Plymouth four-door sedan. Good things just don’t die...they are too lovely to let pass."

    Or the ability to play a musical instrument, I thought. People do not need to produce their own music. Synthesis and recording bring music to anyone anywhere, yet, there are those who choose the struggles, joys, and imperfections of doing it themselves. "Too lovely to let pass" indeed.

    Dave Sumner, K1ZZ, makes the point more directly in his editorial on page 9. He waxes eloquent about the Magic of radio, specifically with reference to the recent Heard Island DXpedition. He talks about how this was all enhanced, not superseded, by advanced communications technologies. The operators were able to take faxes with suggestions and to upload their logs daily to amateur packet satellites (e.g. AO-16) while still on site, for example.

    "Yes, it is possible to communicate over long distances without Amateur Radio. It is also possible to get to the tops of most mountains without climbing them yourself. It is possible to travel 26 miles without having to run a Marathon. It is possible to cross the ocean without your own sailboat. It is even possible to fly around the world without having to do it in a balloon."

    This rhapsody fits well with the National Parks model justification of the amateur spectrum and my own sentiments, but I was left unsettled by the implications.

    The two statements seem to relegate my avocation. Either to the realm of has-beens who want only to relive old glories in their leisure, or to the small realm of those who are so wealthy that they are enabled to follow their inclinations to engage in challenging adventures just because they are hard. Nothing that Sumner lists, apart from low end Amateur Radio, is even nearly within my reach, middle class American wealth notwithstanding. Is this what it will come to? Pastimes of the idle rich? Nostalgia?

    I got into ham radio to impact and be impacted by events far away via the magic of wireless; to explore the world and the universe from some purely personal platform like my own home; to travel vicariously through space; and to be part of a worldwide community that can interact without much regard for the limitations of physical location. The frequencies I can use as a ham are expanded far beyond what I can directly see or hear. Must I live in the past or beyond my means to continue in such dreams?

    Not immune from nostalgia, I find my own callsign on page 106, the Top Band Results and my own reminiscent words in the Key Clicks of the SKN report. While I enjoy these events, I find it a necessary personal discipline to push back on the past and face into the future. Will amateur radio continue to be an adequate vehicle for the latter as well as the former?

    The well-trained ham will cite amateur satellites and packet radio as modern and forward looking. The story of the amateur satellites is one of the classics in amateur radio. Hams took seriously the idea of small, budget spacecraft and produced working models with sophisticated capabilities. After decades of watching, when faced with their own budget pressures, government and industry finally began to follow. Now the field is very crowded. Affordable space for the amateur leaders is rapidly vanishing. Soon, anyone with a job will be able to afford personal satellite communications that works like a telephone. Not only are the hams squeezed out, but the motivating novelty fades.

    Here is a question. What resource is now thought to be so valueless that it is left largely uncontested for the hobbyists? Certainly not the microwave spectrum. Certainly not personal communications. Certainly not infrastructure in earth orbit.

    A friend recently forwarded me an article from the ARRL letter under his heading, "Merry (HF) Xmas." It detailed "HF Planning Options, a document released December 13 by the NTIA" in which expansions of existing high frequency amateur bands and the addition of a new band were contemplated. Reasoning and details were given; the report was said to "cast the hobby in a favorable light."

    This is good news indeed. The features that make HF useful and recreational to hams are ionospheric propagation that is about as predictable as the weather and which provides temporary, low data rate paths to destinations chosen mostly at random. Antennas are large and awkward; power levels are high for personal devices. These same features are counter to the smaller, cheaper, higher bandwidth trends everywhere else. Perhaps chiseling away at some of these limitations, demonstrating some serious viability of HF (once again, remember 200 Meters and Down?) is one of the signal tasks for the next few decades in amateur radio. We surely have our own motivations. More live in apartments and fewer on acreage: small, efficient antennas are needed. New tricks to improve shortwave accuracy, reliability, and bandwidth efficiency would also be a boon. The signal processing needed for research and implementation of new ideas is well within the capacity of low-end off-the-shelf personal computers right now.

    Many of the immediate challenges to amateur radio are legal, political, and social. Wouldn’t a technical challenge be fun once again?

    I suggest these enduring purposes for amateur radio: Preserve the beauty and challenge of a technological past. Demonstrate the viability of ideas that are not otherwise taken seriously. Move on with pride to the next frontier when the point is made. n

    Columbia, this is El Segundo!
    By Randy Hammock, KC6HUR

    The alarm clock just sounded at 4:00 AM. I roll over, shut it off and sit on the edge of the bed for 5 minutes. Mmmm, 3 hours and 25 minutes to go.

    After a shower and shave, I hit the freeway for the drive to El Segundo thinking, "I’ve got enough gas to get me there." 45 minutes later I pull into a 7-11 for a cup of coffee and a banana. Half a mile further down the road, I arrive at my destination.

    As I head up the walk, I notice a large antenna on the roof of the building. "Wow, that’s bigger than I thought." I find Dave back in the corner room with several other people. The control room is dark, but in the studio where the commentators sit and prepare for the program, it is very bright. Hellos are exchanged and we head off for the room where the main event will be taking place in another hour and a half.

    Steve is sitting at the console talking to someone on a radio link saying, "It’s not going into flip mode. Something is wrong. Let’s try this again." There are a few other people standing around and a few other making final preparations for the big event. Hellos are exchanged again and everyone returns to completing their assigned tasks.

    A couple of newspaper and television reporters show up, ask a few questions and begin setting up their equipment. At 6:41AM, the program in the studio begins.

    Steve is still having problems on the console. It’s C-minus 32 minutes and counting. At 7:00 AM Steve decides to reload the computer data by hand rather than use the diskette.

    7:05 AM, C-minus 20 minutes, Steve announces that the problem has been corrected and we are GO. 7:10 AM, the phone rings and it is Houston calling for a status check. Clocks are in sync, and we agree on the current shuttle position and AOS times.

    All of the involved people have now arrived and are milling about. There is electric feel in the air. The program from the studio is progressing nicely. C-minus 10 minutes, Houston calls again. We verify clocks, shuttle position, primary and secondary frequencies. C-minus 5 minutes, everybody assumes their positions waiting for the countdown to reach zero. C-minus 30 seconds, the commentator in the studio picks up an HT and calls us in "mission control" and the program switches to us.

    C-minus zero and Katie picks up the microphone and says, "KC5RNI this is KE6UYC, over." SHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHHSHSH is all that is heard from the speaker. "KC5RNI this is KE6UYC, over," SHSHSHSHSHSHSHSH is all that is heard for the next minute and a half. Then, Katie calls "KC5RNI this is KE6UYC, over" again and this time, there is almost no noise from the speaker, but no voice either. Katie calls "KC5RNI this is KE6UYC, over." One more time and this time, Susan Still the shuttle pilot comes back almost full quieting! There is a brief cheer as greetings are exchanged and for the next seven minutes, using amateur radio, the students from the Center Street Middle School in El Segundo get to talk to an astronaut on-board the Shuttle Columbia.

    The preceding story started about 9 months ago when Frank Bauer asked me if I would volunteer to work with the Center Street Middle School in El Segundo on their STS-83 SAREX contact. I had several meetings with the people who would be working with the school, at the school and at AeroSpace Corp. and acted as their technical lead and interface to AMSAT. It was very disappointing when the Shuttle returned to Earth early. In fact, they were touching down right about the time we were originally scheduled to contact them. It was a real joy to be able to make the contact just a few months later when the mission was reflown as STS-93. n

    Thank You "JPL ARC"

    The club received the following note:

    Dear JPL Amateur Radio Club,

    On behalf of the Webelos Den of Pack 208, we want to thank you for permitting us to attend your field day.

    The boys and myself found it to be very exciting and filled with new adventures that made learning fun.

    It was a pleasure to spend time with a group of people that were friendly and so enthusiastic that it was contagious.

    Thank you again.

    Cindy Alvaiado
    Assistant Den Leader
    Pack 208

    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

    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:

    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).

    Yaesu FT-470 2m/440 mobile w/tone squelch, PA-6, FNB-12 batteries, charger and vinyl cases. Like new, $250 or best offer, + shipping. FT-212RH 2m mobile with mike, speakers, Diamond antenna. Like new, $195 plus shipping, or best offer. KC6CWA Geo Kendall (916) 383-1652. For more info contact W6MEO @ KJ6FY.#NOCAL or n

    ARRL News

    September Phase 3D Launch Doubtful

    Via the ARRL Letter On-Line, Volume 16, Number 30

    The September 30 launch of the Phase 3D Amateur Radio satellite was put in grave doubt this week. It appears extremely unlikely that Phase 3D will be able to meet revised mechanical specifications in time to fly on schedule aboard the Ariane 502 rocket. AMSAT officials are holding out a glimmer of hope that the Ariane 502’s schedule will slip just enough to let Phase 3D catch up again, but those chances are considered very slim. In a statement, AMSAT called the turn of events "very bad news."

    AMSAT-NA President Bill Tynan, W3XO, confirmed that, in order to include Phase 3D, the Ariane 502’s overall launch schedule would have to slip a month or two. But, he said, "if it goes on schedule, we won’t go on ‘502."

    The latest setback for the next-generation Amateur Radio satellite came when the European Space Agency (ESA) significantly increased its estimate of vibration levels the Phase 3D payload would be exposed to aboard the Ariane 502. The revised estimates mean AMSAT will have to move fast to make structural changes in the Phase 3D spaceframe in order to withstand the anticipated rougher ride. Phase 3D Project Leader Karl Meinzer, DJ4ZC, told ESA in mid-July that the work required by the agency’s new information would prevent AMSAT from delivering the spacecraft to Kourou, French Guiana, by the specified August 10 date. AMSAT brought in an independent structural engineer to review the spacecraft’s design and construction. Since his report, AMSAT said that "substantial effort has been taking place at the Phase 3D Integration Lab in Orlando, Florida" to make and install the recommended structural reinforcements. That work continues. The cost of making the necessary changes to the Phase 3D spaceframe would be in the vicinity of $20,000, Tynan said.

    If the Phase 3D payload is not going to be available on time, AMSAT must supply a "mass simulator" representing the Phase 3D spacecraft by September 5.

    Tynan was philosophical about the latest complication for the Phase 3D program. "This is the way engineering works sometimes. It’s trade-offs and give-and-take with other people." He said it was too early to speculate on future launch possibilities. n

    Electronic Vanity Applications To Get Priority

    Via the ARRL Letter On-Line, Volume 16, Number 29

    When vanity call sign Gate 3 opens on August 6, 1997, the FCC will process electronic applications ahead of paper applications each day. Previously, the FCC did not distinguish in how it handled electronic and paper Form 610V applications. In recent months, the FCC has been receiving more electronic applications than paper applications. The FCC says it will process electronic applications, then paper applications received on any given day.

    The FCC also has established a firm deadline for receipt of application fees to accompany electronic applications. After Gate 3 opens, fees for electronic applications must be received by the FCC’s fiscal agent, Mellon Bank, within 10 days of the date of application or the application will be dismissed. The fee will remain at $30 for the ten-year term until September 15, 1997, when it will increase to $50 for the ten-year term.

    Applicants can find the electronic Form 610V on the FCC’s Web site at Electronic applications require a Form 159 for any method of payment. Mail payments accompanying electronic applications to Federal Communications Commission, Box 358994, Pittsburgh, PA 15251-5994.

    Paper applications require an FCC Form 159 if payment is by credit card or if the application package contains multiple applications being paid for with one check. Individual applications do not require a Form 159 if payment is by personal check or money order. Send paper applications containing payments to Federal Communications Commission, Box 358924, Pittsburgh, PA 15251-5924.

    To avoid processing delays, applicants should make sure the information on their license is up to date. If you have changed your name or address, you must file Form 610 with the FCC to request modification of your license to show the correct information. In the case of a club station, you must file Form 610B.

    Gate 3 opens the vanity call sign program to Advanced class amateurs. The FCC has not said when it will open Gate 4, for General, Technician Plus, Technician and Novice class operators. For more information, call the FCC’s toll-free Consumer Information line at 888-225-5322 (CALL FCC). Please note the 888 area code! n

    Go to the ARRL Letter On-line Number 30 for a new FAQ page put together by Bart Janke:

    Solar Update

    Via the ARRL Letter On-Line, Volume 16, Number 29

    Solar sage Tad Cook, K7VVV, in Seattle, Washington, reports: This week finally saw a welcome rise in solar activity and the accompanying improvement in HF radio conditions. Solar flux rose above 70 on July 19, was above 72 on July 22, and then at 1700, 2000 and 2300 UTC on July 23 it reached 75.6, 75.7 and 75.8, and at the same times on July 24 it was 77, 78.7 and 79. The 2000 UTC measurement at Penticton, BC is the one reported in this bulletin.

    The really great news is that with three active regions on the solar disk, this trend is expected to continue, with flux values around 80, 82 and 82 expected for July 25, 26 and 27. Fortunately, there is no expected rise in geomagnetic indices to go along with the increased activity, so HF conditions should remain stable.

    R. Brendle wrote to say that he operates several commercial and GMRS UHF repeaters in Eastern Nebraska, and that the seasonal ducting this year is the longest and most sustained he has ever seen. Normally this only happens during overcast and humid conditions during a severe weather watch, but the most recent period lasted over two weeks. On HF, look for excellent worldwide propagation over the next few days with higher solar flux and continued low A and K indices.

    Sunspot numbers for July 10 through 16 were 17, 0, 0, 0, 11, 0 and 0 with a mean of 4. The 10.7-cm flux was 68.5, 68.6, 67.4, 67.1, 68.1, 69.2 and 69.6, with a mean of 68.4, and estimated planetary A indices were 8, 4, 4, 4, 3, 14, and 5, with a mean of 6.

    Sunspot numbers for July 17 through 23 were 11, 11, 0, 12, 0, 11 and 31 with a mean of 10.9. The 10.7-cm flux was 69.9, 70.1, 71, 71.2, 71.3, 72.2 and 75.7, with a mean of 71.6, and estimated planetary A indices were 8, 10, 11, 6, 5, 4, and 5, with a mean of 7. /EX n

    Upcoming VEC


    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.

    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

    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.