Meeting Notice
By Scott Nolte, N6CUV

The next regular Club meeting will be held January 8, 1997, in building 238, room 543 at Noon. 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.

Calendar of Events

Date Event
January 8 General Meeting, Noon - 238-543
January 18 [Pomona Swapmeet, DeVry Institute]
January 22 Board Meeting, Noon - 301-227
January 25 [TRW Swapmeet, Redondo Beach]
February 12 General Meeting, Noon - 238-543
February 15 [Pomona Swapmeet, DeVry Institute]
February 19 Board Meeting, Noon - 301-227
February 22 [TRW Swapmeet, Redondo Beach]
March 12 General Meeting, Noon - 238-543
March 15 [Pomona Swapmeet, DeVry Institute]
March 19 Board Meeting, Noon - 301-227
March 29 [TRW Swapmeet, Redondo Beach]
April 9 General Meeting, Noon - 238-543
April 19 [Pomona Swapmeet, DeVry Institute]
April 23 Board Meeting, Noon - 301-227

Notes from W6EJJ
By Jay Holladay, W6EJJ

It was great to have such a nice turnout at our Annual Banquet on December 11. An evening of good ham radio fellowship together with a fine meal, door prizes, and an entertaining program by Marty Woll, N6VI, were enjoyed by 31 members and their guests.

During a short business meeting at the Banquet, club officers for 1997 were elected. My thanks to Randy Hammock, KC6HUR, for taking on another term as President, and to our returning officers in the other positions. We all tried to encourage some fresh faces to step into one of the leadership positions, but with the increasing job pressures and uncertainties these days, volunteers are becoming more and more difficult to recruit. On the positive side, the club will have an experienced leadership team to help us continue the progress of recent years.

Several of my columns in the past year have dealt with communications and how radio amateurs receive information about the hobby. A couple of recent examples show how fast things are changing in this area:

First, I just received the final printed edition of The ARRL Letter. In the future it will be distributed by the League only in electronic form - available via the ARRL Web site and through various e-mail outlets and on-line services.

Second, the latest "Mega-DXpedition," just getting underway to Heard Island (in the Antarctic latitudes of the Indian Ocean), makes extensive use of the Internet for information dissemination. A very informative web page ( describes the expedition plans, logistics, planned operating frequencies, and more. An elaborate communications setup makes use of everything from 75-meter phone to PACSAT to pass information between the DXpedition team and "pilot stations" in Europe, North America, and Japan, who will post the latest on the Web page, as well as to regular progress bulletins via an email reflector (mailing list). You can even use the Web page to verify that you are in the log! A DXpedition of this magnitude is the amateur radio equivalent of climbing Mt. Everest, and the thoroughness with which this group approaches the undertaking is really impressive. (The team of 21 radio operators from 10 countries departs from Reunion I. on January 3, and they expect to open up from Heard I. as VK0IR about January 15.)

Well, that's about it for this month, and for this column under my byline. It has been an interesting year, and I believe the Club has made good progress overall. Some areas need additional work, such as planning for future development of our repeater system. Please give our incoming officers and other volunteers your support as they work to build a stronger JPL Amateur Radio Club. 73, Jay - W6EJJ

The crowd in attendance at the Christmas Banquet

December Meetings
By Chris Zygielbaum, N6WEI and Scott Nolte, N6CUV

General Meeting

The December General Meeting of the JPL ARC was held at the annual Christmas Banquet on Wednesday December 11, 1996. This year, 31 people attended the banquet, which was held at the Marie Callendar's Restaurant in Pasadena. It was a good turnout for a rainy night.

After the dinner, Jay Holladay (W6EJJ) conducted a short business meeting. The meeting was called to order and Jay immediately went to the only order of business for the evening, election of 1997 club officers. Jay presented the following slate of officers from the Nominating Committee:

With no additional nominations from the floor; a motion was seconded and passed to close the nominations. A motion was heard to unanimously approve the slate as presented. It was seconded and passed.

Jay opened the meeting up to general announcements. Bob Polansky (N6ET) thanked Jay, now the outgoing President, for his efforts and the time that he devoted to the club in 1996. This has been another good year for the JPL Amateur Radio Club.

Jay then adjourned the "official" part of the meeting.

Jay presented a special award [above] to Bill Wood (WB6FXJ) for his contributions over the years to the JPL ARC. For many years, Bill has contributed significantly to the maintenance of club repeaters, and he also serves as trustee for the Table Mountain repeater system (WR6AZN). In addition, he is now doing an excellent job as the editor of the W6VIO Calling Newsletter. Thanks again Bill, and congratulations. This is a well-deserved award.

Jay introduced the evening's program; Marty Woll, N6VI, [photo to the right] whose topic was "Hamming from Paradise." Marty shared some of his experiences while living and working in Hawaii for four years and contesting from an outstanding ham location.

Board of Directors Meeting

There was no Board of Director's meeting this month.

Jay, W6EJJ, reads off the names of the lucky door prize winners, while Sylvia Moreno, KF6EFZ, draws the winning tickets

John Norris, KE6QEZ, with the Handbook he won in the drawing

DX News
By Bob Polansky, N6ET

Christmas is fast-approaching and my time for preparing this W6VIO-Calling input rapidly shrinking. This being the case, let me just state that the source for the following DX news has changed for the second time in two months with a further change in ownership of our DX bulletin source.

We are now automatically subscribed to the 59(9) DX Report published in Spring Brook, New York. The content of their report looks fine to me, the only problem is in the time it may take the report to get across the USA to my mail box. We have upgraded our mail service for this bulletin to first class, which will help lots! What's upcoming DXwise? Read on DXer, read on!

BOSNIA - T9/WA5IKQ is active on 80 through 20 meters, both CW and SSB. He is an AT&T site engineer, so he should be there for a while.

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC - For you French speaking readers, TL8CK much prefers speaking French over English. He can be QSOed on 14165 kHz at 2000Z.

CROZET - Keep an eye out for FT5WE, primarily on 30 and 40m CW. He will be leaving about 8 January.

GHANA - Looking for a YL QSO from Ghana? Keep an eye out for Marcia, 9G1TM, on 20 through 10 meters, including 17 and 12 meters.

NAMIBIA - V5/WA1JBB (ex C53HG) is now in this South African QTH running low power into a dipole until his big station arrives. We should hear lots of activity from him in the future. Until then, look for V51BP and V51CM on 20 and 15M SSB after 1900Z.

SPRATLEY - This Asian rarity will be activated by a JA group in April 1997. Should create some good pileups!

SWAZILAND - 3DA0CA has been making his CW presence known on everything from 80 through 12 meters. He is quite copyable on 80cw, but the pile is quite large. One of these days, I will catch him on 80m.

One additional note. I've been spending lots of time on 30 meters. There's little QRM there and you can work almost anything you can hear with 100 watts and a modest antenna. It's just like ham radio used to be three or four decades ago. Try it, you'll like it!

For now, 73. Enjoy the holidays (or perhaps I should say - I hope you enjoyed the holidays).

CPR, First Aid Classes
By Phil Barnes-Roberts, KE6PMZ

The recent passing of Chris Brozek, KF6FET by electrocution working in an attic reminded me of the usefulness (no, the Necessity!) for anyone working around electricity (show me a ham who doesn't!) to know how to take care of our fellow humans who are having a problem.

Chris was a new member of the Pasadena Radio Club who died on August 6, 1996. His widow is Liza West of JPL Section 314. She made her CSCE for Novice in the Pasadena Radio Club Fall class.

Since I have an extra hat at work of floor warden in my building, I received a reminder about CPR and First Aid training, and last week, received the training. The instructor, Chris Munro, is a JPL firefighter who has had call to use these techniques, and is an enthusiast for getting the word out there. She offered to teach anybody who we could bring on-lab, in groups of up to 8, on a weekend (Saturday and Sunday) for the cost (about $3.50 for the Red Cross certificate. Some charge $150 for this-go figure!)

So here's the deal; get in touch with me (Phil KE6PMZ, 818-354-2813w, 818-791-0851h) and I will put together a visitor list for Security (JPL'ers no problem). This will likely be four hours Saturday, and another four hours Sunday, and the best weekend you ever spent if you use any of it once. Once the first 8 seats are taken, I will start a list for another session, until everybody in PRC or JPLARC who wants to is taught how to do something at the scene. Bring some picture ID for the gate, and your $3.50.

Now it's up to you. 73, health and peace to you.

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).

Battery Packs (for HT's, camcorders, laptops, cordless and cellular telephones) and mobile antennas at unusually low prices. Contact Walt Diem at 818-248-7525.

Yaesu's - like new. Closing station. FT-470 2m/440 w/tone squelch, PA-6 ~ FNB-12 batteries, chargers, and two vinyl cases. Unused, in carton. $350. FT-212RH 2m mobile w/mic, spkrs. Used very few hours. $295. Astron RS-12 power supply, good condition. $50. George KC6CWA, (707) 945-0705, or via W6MEO@KJ6FY.#NOCAL.CA.USA.NOAM.

Via the ARRL www Home Page

FCC Delays New RF Exposure Rules
ARRL Letter Online Special Update, December 24

The FCC has postponed for one year, until January 1, 1998, the date for hams to comply with its new RF-exposure regulations. The ARRL was among those requesting the delay this fall. The League said that the additional time was needed for the FCC to draft implementation guidelines that amateurs could use to help them comply with the regulations released on August 1, 1996, as ET Docket 93-62. Among other things, the regulations would require hams running 50 W PEP or more to conduct "routine RF radiation evaluations" to determine if RF fields were sufficient to cause human exposure to RF radiation levels in excess of those specified in the proposed regulations. The ARRL also has asked the FCC to reconsider the 50-W threshold, but the FCC report (DC 96- 112) extending the compliance deadline did not address that issue.

The FCC announcement--which the ARRL obtained just before noon on Christmas Eve--noted that more time would be needed for affected licensees to determine that they comply with the new requirements. The extension also will allow required changes to Amateur Radio operator examinations to be made at the time other, routine revisions are made between now and July 1, 1998. In announcing the extension, the FCC said it disagreed with those petitioners who suggested that the time extension "will have significant adverse effects on public health."

Since the FCC announced the RF-exposure regulations, the ARRL has worked with technically knowledgeable volunteers to assist the staff, the RF Safety Committee and the FCC in coming up with a workable ham radio approach toward RF safety. ARRL Laboratory Supervisor Ed Hare, KA1CV--the ARRL HQ liaison to the ARRL RF Safety Committee--has spearheaded the ARRL's effort. "The ARRL is very pleased that the FCC extended the compliance date," Hare said. "As all parties involved tried to fully understand the new requirements, it soon became obvious that neither the FCC nor the ham radio community was ready for the January 1, 1997, implementation deadline."

Hare said the delay will give both the FCC and hams more time to better understand the implications of the rules and will give hams an opportunity to evaluate their stations as the regulations will require (see "The FCC's New RF-Exposure Regulations," QST, Jan 1997, p 47).

The entire text of Report DC 96-112 may be found on ARRL Web at (or click on What's New or RF Safety News). See Happenings in February QST for additional information.

And, to all, a good night!

Solar Cycle 23 Project: Stellar Conclusions
ARRL Letter Online Update, December 20

The Solar Cycle 23 Project--carried out by the NOAA Space Environment Center (SEC) with the support of the NASA Office of Space Science--predicts big things for Cycle 23! The panel, which met earlier this fall in Boulder, Colorado, found "reasonable consensus" for "a large solar cycle with a smoothed sunspot maximum of 160." The panel says this is comparable to the last two cycles, but won't exceed Cycle 19, "the largest cycle on record."

"While the month of solar minimum is yet to be determined, recent low levels of activity imply that the minimum is at hand, and will occur during the final months of 1996," the panel found. "If so, Solar Cycle 23 will most likely peak in early 2000."

The panel said geomagnetic activity during the cycle would be comparable to that experienced in recent cycles, resulting in annual average levels among the highest in the 128-year record, and the probability of severe geomagnetic storms "will be the greatest during an extended period lasting from 1999 through 2005."

The goal of Solar Cycle 23 Project was to survey forecasts for the amplitude and phasing of the most common indicators of solar and geomagnetic activity and to recommend a forecast or group of forecasts for operational use. The Center recruited a scientific panel to assess prediction techniques and arrive at a reasoned consensus, including uncertainty, on how the solar cycle will develop. The panel of 12 scientists from 10 agencies included representatives from Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the US. Panel findings were authored by J. A. Joselyn, J. Anderson, H. Coffey, K. Harvey, D. Hathaway, G. Heckman, E. Hildner, W. Mende, K. Schatten, R. Thompson, A. W. P. Thomson, and O. R. White. See on the World Wide Web for a summary of the panel findings. A more detailed report will be available as a NOAA Technical Memorandum, and as an article in the open literature.

Solar Flurries
ARRL Letter Online, Volume 15, Number 12

Solar seer Tad Cook, KT7H, in Seattle, Washington, reports: Solar flux has still been moving off the recent flurry of activity caused by region 7999. More activity wasn't expected until this region returned and solar flux rose after December 17, but it looks as if we are seeing increased activity a bit early as the flux rises in the past couple of days. Average sunspot numbers were down about 8 points compared to last week, solar flux was down over 11 points, and the average A index was up about 1.7 points.

The projection from the NOAA Space Environment Center a few days ago says the flux should rise again and peak around 94 right around Christmas, and geomagnetic conditions are expected to remain quiet.

Paul, 5X4F/5Z4FO writes this week about 10-meter openings from Arua in the northwest corner of Uganda. "I have had two 10-meter openings into the US from here since July 1995." He said the first was October 30, 1995, when 24 East Coast stations were worked between 1744 and 1832 UTC. The second was during the CQWW CW contest on November 24, 1996, when 17 East Coast stations were worked between 1447 and 1535 UTC. "The last opening corresponds to the high solar activity on that day," he said. Paul mentions the ARRL 10-Meter Contest this weekend, and he says that he made 53 contacts in the 1994 contest and 95 in 1995.

Alan, NS0B, says he believes the solar minimum already has occurred, based upon his analysis of moving averages of solar flux and sunspot numbers. He does a smoothed 365-day running average and says that the solar flux bottomed out between May 15 and May 23, and has been rising since, while the bottom for sunspot numbers was during the same period around May 19. Based on this observation he says that the recent solar cycle has been one of the shorter ones at 9 years, 8 months.

Sunspot numbers for December 5 through 11 were 0, 0, 12, 13, 20, 17 and 31, respectively, with a mean of 13.3. The 10.7-cm flux was 69.6, 69.7, 69.2, 68.6, 73.7, 72.4 and 77.6, respectively, with a mean of 71.5. The planetary A indices for the same period were 2, 1, 4, 3, 7, 18, and 10, respectively, with a mean of 6.4.

Vanity Callsign Update
ARRL Letter Update, December 20

The FCC reported December 18 that it's processed vanity applications received through November, which means the FCC is less than three weeks away from being completely caught up with its current application backlog. However, a spokeswoman at the FCC office in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, said she didn't expect the FCC to get to the applications received during December until after the first of the year.

Gettysburg issued more than 700 new Vanity grants this past week. But, some 640 applications were set aside for special handling, including those for which the FCC was unable to grant any of the applicant's call sign choices. However, the FCC said many applicants failed to include their current call signs under Item 6 on the Form 610V application, and this also can delay issuance of a new call sign.

The FCC has not announced an opening date for Gate 3. -- Bart Jahnke, W9JJ

MGS Relay Test A Success
ARRL Letter Online, Volume 15, Number 12

The Mars Global Surveyor relay test in late November was a tremendous success (see "DXing enroute to the Red Planet," QST, Jan 1996). The MGS was launched on November 7 from Cape Canaveral, Florida. By the time the relay test arrived, the MGS was 3.1 million miles from Earth. For several hours, the spacecraft sent a steady carrier of 1.3 W at 437.1 MHz into a near-isotropic antenna. Many amateurs around the world participated in trying to detect the extremely weak signal, a lot of them successfully using the AF9Y FFTDSP program. On his Web page (, Mike Cook, AF9Y, of Huntertown, Indiana, displays the FFTDSP spectrograms of MGS for the initial CW Mode at 1413 UTC on November 25, 1996, using two 5-foot helix antennas. He reports that his receiver was set so that 800 Hz on the FFTDSP screen corresponded to 437.09551 MHz--which was estimated to be the receive frequency at the start of CW mode. MGS actually was detected 180 Hz lower, at 980 Hz (Cook says that in CW mode, the receiver will shift the FFTDSP trace to the right as the receive signal moves down). AF9Y says the signal level dropped below detection for 45 minutes during the worst-gain period of the spacecraft's rotation.

At the station of Darrel Emerson, AA7FV, in Tucson, Arizona, the approach was to try very high frequency resolution to pull the signal out of the noise, allowing for changing Doppler shift from the heliocentric orbital motion of the Mars Relay transmitter. Using a stable reference tone injected into the receiver passband to measure--and then compensate for--receiver phase and frequency drift, a resolution of 0.013 Hz was achieved. The signal width measured from the MGS with this system was 0.0175 Hz, yielding a signal-to-noise ratio of 19 dB from a single 15-element Yagi. Emerson summarized some of his results on Emerson reports heavy Internet use during the test to communicate among participants and for the control station at the Stanford dish to update the spacecraft's status.

"It was quite an exhilarating, but exhausting, event for all those who took part," Emerson said in thanking those at Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) and Stanford University "who made it all possible." -- SpaceNews

Upcoming VEC Examinations

The following test session information is provided by the ARRL/VEC for the upcoming three 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.

01/10/97, Irvine, Jack C Lockhart WD6AEI, 714-824-8477
02/01/97, Los Angeles, Ali Hassan, 213-758-6343
03/01/97, Los Angeles, Ali Hassan, 213-758-6343
03/04/97, Culver City, Edward Walker, 213-292-2183
03/14/97, Irvine, Jack C Lockhart WD6AEI, 714-824-8477

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

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