Meeting Notice

The next regular JPL Amateur Radio Club meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 9, at noon in building 238, room 543.

Dave Ritchie, N7UE, will discuss and show slides of his two-man mini-DXpedition to St. Barts as FJ5AB. 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

There are we going as a club? What is it we should be doing and supporting? These are questions that each member, as well as each club officer, should be asking of themselves.

People like to point to the things we have done in the past regarding our special event station operations whenever there was something big happening on Lab, such as the various encounters by the Voyager spacecraft. We just experienced yet another big event; the landing of Pathfinder on Mars. We never gave a special event operation a second thought. As far as I am aware, not one member (regular or officer) brought up the subject. Just hams in the general public have been asking if there is going to be such a thing. Apparently, there just is no interest in our group for such activities any more.

This brings up the subject of why we are supporting some of the things that we are doing. The question has been raised as to why we are adding more repeaters instead of deleting them, getting ready to install a high speed packet system and so on. It is called interest. As we are dependent upon volunteers to get work done in the club, we can only get done what volunteers will work on.

Therefore, the club has gone through a paradigm shift where we used to have large single goals in which ALL members would work towards, to where the club is now a resource for getting pet projects done. We have a cadre of members whose only interest is the repeater systems, another whose interest is HF and another whose interest is packet. There may even be a satellite group in there, too.

The point is, if we cannot get members to support an activity, no matter how grand it is, we might as well not even have the activity. If there is something that needs to be supported by the club, come to the BoD meetings with a proposal AND be prepared to chair that activity. Now-a-days, if you do not like the way something is going, it is not sufficient to complain about it, you must take the responsibility to see that it gets taken care of.

Unless I get directed to do otherwise, I will continue to support these various activities. It is in my mind, the best way to keep the greatest number of members active within the club while enhancing our capabilities to provide communications in the event of an emergency. n

June Club Meetings
By Chris Zygielbaum, N6WEI

General Meeting

The General Meeting was held on Wednesday June 11, 1997. Randy Hammock (KC6HUR) called the meeting to order.

Introductions were made for the several visitors that were attending the meeting. Janette Dean was visiting with Manny Caldera from the Los Angeles Times. Ivan Munoz, Albert Vega, and Carlos Villalva were interested learning about amateur radio. Liza West Brozek had just passed her No-Code Tech exam and was waiting for her call sign.

Walt Mushagian (K6DNS) reported that the Monday Emergency Nets, held on 220, 2 meter, and 440 frequencies, are continuing to be successful.

Bob Polansky (N6ET) reported that the repair work on the Sommers antenna is progressing nicely. He is not planning a work party for June due to preparations for Field Day.

Bob Polansky spent the balance of the meeting providing an update to the plans for the June 28 and 29 Field Day. See other articles in this newsletter for complete reports of the day.

Board of Directors Meeting

The BOD meeting was held on Wednesday, June 25. Randy Hammock called the meeting to order. Bill Wood (WB6FXJ) attended the meeting via conference call.

Rick McKinney (KA6DAN) received three years membership dues from Mike Morris (WA6IOQ). The Board agreed that he should accept the dues and extend Mike's membership for three years.

It was suggested that the JPL ARC join the Caltech Radio Club in selling excess equipment at the TRW Swap Meet. Bob Polansky, who brought the suggestion to the table, preferred to follow our original plan of an auction. He suggested that we could probably get more money from the auction. The Swap Meet is always available for equipment that is not sold at the auction. The board concurred.

Bob also wanted the Board's reaction and recommendation to a suggestion to move the existing station to a new location either on the top of the Mesa or as close to the top as possible. Dave Ritchie (N7UE), of the Caltech Radio Club, offered to advise in the preparation of the proposal. There are issues to consider, such as wind and accessibility, etc., but Bob is initially interested to know if there is enough interest to support the work required setting up a new location. Bob agreed to write an article, to appear in the July W6VIO Calling, to solicit feedback from the club members.

After Randy Hammock sent out the Table Mountain Repeater Codes to the JPL ARC members, he has received inquiries about JPL ARC members sharing the Table Mountain repeater codes with friends. Bill Wood, Table Mountain (WR6AZN) trustee, felt that because we use the ability to cross-link the repeaters there as incentive for TMO support on the north side of the San Gabriel Mountains, that the codes not be disseminated outside JPL club members.

Scott Nolte (N6CUV) has lined up programs for the next three General Meetings. The first is Dave Ritchie, who will share his experiences on a DXpedition. Eric Archer (N6CV) will discuss his plan for a satellite station on Lab. Eric Fuller, the Lab's new Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, will speak to the club. Scott is expecting that this program will be a two-way discussion of Eric's plans and expectations for the JPL ARC and the club members' capabilities and expectations of the Emergency Preparedness program.

Bob Dengler (NO6B) proposed moving the W6VIO 449.975 repeater to a frequency that we would share with individuals that we can have a cooperative relationship. Currently we are coordinated for 449.975, but there is other traffic on that frequency and the competing parties have not been willing to negotiate a mutually agreeable arrangement. Bob has made contact with Jack Halem (KA6DLX) who has a station on 446.475, a clear frequency. Jack offered to share the 446.475 frequency and even supply crystals for a repeater. Bob requested permission to test the coverage and use of 446.475 from Cerro Negro . A motion was proposed to allow Bob to set up the test on 446.475 (co-channel with Jack Halem) from Cerro Negro, using club and borrowed equipment. The motion was seconded and passed. Bob will report back to the Board on the results of the test and request directions for further action. n

DX News
By Bob Polansky, N6ET

No preamble this time other than to thank the 59(9) DX Report for source information.

BURKINA FASO - XT2DP is active again. Look for him at 2100Z from 21282 kHz.

DODECANESE - SV5/OM3LA/P should be active from 9 to 23 July. Look for him on 7004, 7044, 10104 14004, and 14184 kHz. Propagation on other bands is improbable.

FAROE ISLAND - OY1CT has been spotted on 10104 kHz around 0100Z. Should be workable from W6-land.

IRAN - EP2MKO has been active on 14004 kHz at 0130Z. I could use that one myself.

MACQUARIE ISLAND - VK0TS plans activity each Tuesday and Wednesday at 0345Z on 14222 kHz.

MALAWI - 7Q7SB will return to the ham bands on 16 July. He'll be active for 2 to 3 years.

NEPAL - 9N1VUD will burn up the airways from to 28 July on 20 and 40 meters. Look for him on 14195 and 14226 kHz during band openings.

SVALBARD - Look for JW6RHA and JW9THA from 14 to 24 August. JX6RHA may also be activated from 25 July to 1 August by one of the above. If that's not enough, JW2PA plans operation from 18 to 26 July on 80 through 10 meters.

That's all for now. Good luck in the pile-ups! n

W6VIO Facility Rehabilitation Status
By Bob Polansky, N6ET

We've made good progress on our W6VIO rehabilitation activities this month. The following was accomplished:

Field Day preparations put this activity on hold for a few weeks. More on this next month. n

Attention Club Members

By Bob Polansky, N6ET

The Club needs to make a quick decision with regard to the future of the W6VIO Ops trailer. As most of you are aware, our current trailer is in advance stages of decay. We have several options that the Club members need to consider:

Option 1 is to repair the trailer we have as best we can and continue to operate from our current location. This is by far the least manpower-intensive option.

Option 2 is to relocate, hopefully with a better trailer at a more attractive location, like perhaps at the top of the hill by the JPL Antenna Range, close to our antennas and with a great view in all directions.

Option 3 is to locate a more attractive building we could use somewhere on-Lab at a location within range of our existing and planned antennas.

Option 2 or 3 are the most attractive and I believe would attract many more of our members once fully in place. There would have to be a sizeable commitment from our members to do the needed work assuming I successfully won the political fight allowing us to re-site our station. Let's discuss this at our next Club meeting. n

Mount Gleason FD Site
JPL ARC Mount Gleason Field Day Site, June 28, 1997

Field Day, 1997
By Bob Polansky, N6ET and Jay Holladay, W6EJJ

Field Day this year was a real challenging experience. Attendance was a bit sparse compared to past years due to a variety of problems. Non-the-less, all who made it up to the site got to enjoy the view, set up the stations and antennas, and very importantly, got to eat the culinary preparations of our excellent Field Day cooking staff.

We got our tents, the UHF/VHF station, and one of the two tower trailers up by end of day Friday. At 5:30 AM on Saturday, preparations continued on the second tower trailer the Novice/Tech station and the outfitting of the HF-1 and -2 tents. By start time, all was in place. We delayed our start by a joint JPL/CIT ARC presentation to Dave Ritchie for his years of service on behalf of both Clubs. (Dave is moving north, but agrees to return next year to participate in Field Day.)

We kept all stations busy for the entire contest and managed to make just about 2200 QSO's, even with the crummy conditions we had for Field Day this year. As usual, the computer logging was fun and made CW operations much easier. Next year, we hope to be able to scare up an additional computer or two so we can have enough for all stations.

We had a few 'close calls' on the hill, primarily due to very high winds that kept us company for most of the weekend. Putting up and taking down tents and heavy towers and beams in gusting winds is a real trying experience! The wind chill factor, especially at night, made the inside of tents and motor homes great places to be. The new tents we rented from Sport Chalet made the operators most comfortable and kept the wind from disturbing their operations. No bugs this year! Hope we can say the same for next year. You missed a fine time if you couldn't make Field Day this year.

In concluding this year's event, we had enough people to put away, in an orderly manner, all the stuff we took along on Field Day. Our storage trailer looks orderly for the first time immediately after Field Day. 73 until next year this is N6ET and W6EJJ, your JPL Field Day coordinators signing off. (Whoops, I forgot --- 2A LAX from W6VIO, or was it KA6DAN.) n

VHF Station
Skip Reyman's W6VIO Field Day VHF Station

Paul Gordon, N6LL, (CIT ARC President) presents Dave Ritchie, N7EU,
a "high power" gift pencil holder, while Jay Holladay, W6EJJ, looks on

Field Day Scrapbook

Dave Ritchie, N7UE, setting up the new tower trailer

Setup crew getting ready to lift the 40-meter beam

Bob, N6ET, John, N6OMB, and Bradley, KE6UKA, at the Novice Tent

Paul Gordon, N6LL, and Yin Shih, N9YS, rack up HF voice contacts
while Sam Weaver, WB6EMO, looks on

Skip Reymann, W6PAJ. Running up points on VHF

Leif Harcke, N3EEN, works CW on the South Station

John, N6OMB, and Brad, KE6UKA, gather Technician points

Jay Holladay, W6EJJ, and Bob Polansky, N6ET, working HF voice

Walt Mushagian, K6DNS, and Bob Dye, KK6B, garnering points

Field Day Chef's Richard, KE6BKE, Manny, KC6ZSY, and John, N6OMB,
serve up tri-tips and other goodies to Dave, N7UE, and Paul, N6LL

The crowd enjoying the evening meal on Mount Gleason

Randy Hammock, KC6HUR, working packet on his palm-top

Classified Section


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:

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

Via the ARRL Letter On-Line, Volume 16, Number 27

FCC to Open Vanity Gate 3

The long wait is over for Advanced class amateurs. The FCC has just announced that it will open filing Gate 3 of the Vanity Call Sign Program on Wednesday, August 6, 1997. Advanced class hams will be able to apply for a call sign appropriate to their license class on or after that date. Applicants must file either a paper FCC Form 610V or electronically via the FCC's Web site at and pay the current $30 fee.

The August 6 deadline squeaks under the implementation of the FCC's new fiscal year 1997 fee schedule adopted June 16. Under the FY 97 schedule, which becomes effective September 16, 1997, the vanity application fee will jump to $50 a year. The ARRL had asked the FCC to suspend implementation of the higher FY 1997 fee until after the remaining gates have been opened and applicants had an opportunity to file under the old schedule. The FCC's response, buried within the Report and Order adopting the higher fees, suggests the FCC could also be planning to open Gate 4 fairly soon. "We expect our remaining vanity call sign 'gates' to open before the effective date of our FY 1997 regulatory fee payment requirement," the FCC said in turning down the request for a delay. But, the FCC added that applicants "are expected to pay the fee applicable at the time they file."

The bottom line is that hams applying for a vanity call sign on or after September 15 must pay the $50 fee.

Payment of fees may be made by check (payable to FCC), bank draft, money order or credit card. If paying by credit card, you must also complete and submit FCC Form 159 with your FCC Form 610V. Do not send cash. Send your application package to: Federal Communications Commission, Amateur Vanity Call Sign Request, Box 358924, Pittsburgh, PA 15251-5924

If you file a paper application, remember that legibility is critical! If your application can not be deciphered easily by FCC personnel, 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. Be sure to include your current Amateur Radio call sign on your vanity application.

Under Gate 3, you must hold an unexpired Advanced class operator/primary station license to request a vanity call sign for your primary station. To request a vanity call sign for a club station under Gate 3, you must also hold an unexpired club station license grant listing you as the license trustee. Applicants should refer to the licensee database to verify that a requested call sign 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.

Using Form 610V or its on-line electronic equivalent, applicants may request up to 25 call signs in the order of preference. The first assignable call sign on the list will be the one the FCC assigns. Remember: When requesting a call sign under Gate 3 for your primary or club station, the call sign must have been unassigned for at least two years. As an Advanced class operator, you may request a call sign only from groups B, C or D.

Any call sign requested must be one designated for the region of your mailing address, as follows:

One of the contiguous 48 states: Regions 1 to 10. Alaska: Regions 1 to 11. American Samoa: Regions 1 to 10, or Region 13 having numeral 8. Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands: Regions 1 to 10, or Region 13 having numeral 0. Guam: Regions 1 to 10, or Region 13 having numeral 2. Hawaii: Regions 1 to 10, or Region 13 having numeral 6 or 7. Puerto Rico: Regions 1 to 10, or Region 12 having numeral 3 or 4. Virgin Islands: Regions 1 to 10, or Region 12 having numeral 2.

For explanations of Groups B, C and D and the geographic regions, see Fact Sheet PR5000 Number 206S, Amateur Station Sequential Call Sign System (or see The ARRL Letter Electronic Update, August 16, 1996, available on the ARRLWeb at For more information on the vanity call sign program, see Fact Sheet PR5000 Number 206V Amateur Station Vanity Call Sign System.

If you file before the opening date or do not qualify under the Gate 3 eligibility standards, your application will be dismissed. General, Technician Plus, Technician, and Novice class operators will become eligible to request vanity call signs under Gate 4. The FCC has not indicated when it plans to open Gate 4.

For further information, contact the Consumer Assistance Branch at 800-322-1117 or call the FCC's National Call Center,

Mir Ham Radio Back On The Air

Ham radio aboard the Mir has been getting some casual use again as the three-man crew continues efforts to get life back to normal aboard the Russian space station. General ham radio operation was suspended in the immediate wake of the mishap last week that damaged one of the Mir's compartments. But this week, US ham-astronaut Mike Foale, KB5UAC, expressed "thanks for all your good wishes" to hams around the world. The British-born Foale is using both 2 meters and 70 cm "sparingly," according to SAREX Principal Investigator Matt Bordelon, KC5BTL. Werner Staubitzer, VO1CAT, in Pouch Cove, Newfoundland, reports he had "a lengthy QSO" with Foale over the weekend. Foale told VO1CAT that the crew was "feeling fine and is making repairs to the damages as best they can while waiting for the required parts to arrive." Ray Webber, ZS6RSW, in Pretoria, South Africa, reports that he connected to Mir on packet (using the 145.800/200 split-frequency pair) on June 28.

Foale and his Russian cosmonaut crewmates again found themselves in crisis mode at mid-week when the spacecraft lost attitude control. In a packet message to MIREX CEO Dave Larsen, N6CO, Foale related how, after the alarm sounded, "we go rushing from one dark module to another, trying to look out windows, and point the solar arrays. The station dies very quickly if we don't do this." Foale compared the situation to "being on a yacht at sea, with the wind changing all the time, and having to rush around pulling sails down, or putting them up, before a storm comes."

Foale said the attitude failure has made the crew very wary of the next Progress rocket docking, set for Monday, July 7. "Life on Mir is characterized by long periods of monotonous, serene calm, and short interludes of extreme frenzy, I am learning," Foale said.

The Progress rocket will supply cables and a special plate to fit over the hatch of the damaged Spektr science module. The crew will try to make cable connections to get the station back up to full power. Another Russian crew is scheduled to fly up in August to seal the leak and put the Spektr module back on line. Meanwhile, Foale and the cosmonauts are working on their new-but faulty-oxygen generator to get it back on line. They are using incendiary candles to supply oxygen temporarily.

Although the cosmonauts have begun practicing the repair routines, they and Foale still have a lot of time on their hands, and much of that is spent in darkness to conserve electricity. This means Foale has time for hamming, and, so far, no one's objected to his using a few watts of power for the radio. While Mir remains a space station in trouble, Foale is providing Amateur Radio with an intimate view of the danger and drama.

KB5UAC plans to operate frequently, whenever NASA and Moscow are not using their main communication channels. Look for him on 145.800 MHz, operating split. Occasionally, while Mir is over the US, you also may find him on 145.985 MHz (simplex).

To track the Mir spacecraft, check out http://liftoff.msfc.nasa. gov/temp/Mir_loc.html. The page presents a graphical representation of Mir's location and updates every minute. Thanks to Roy Neal, K6DUE, for his contribution to this report.

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.

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

FCC Issued Call Sign Update

The following is a list of the FCC's most recently issued call signs as of July 2, 1997.


Group A Extra

Group B Advanced

Group C Tech/Gen

Group D Novice
Virgin Islands ++ KP2CJ NP2JQ WP2AIH

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

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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