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  • Calendar of Events
  • Meeting Notice
  • President's Message
  • December Club Meeting
  • DX News
  • Tower Work Update
  • Deja QRU
  • Los Angeles Council Report
  • Goldstone Emergency Operations Center Station
  • Classified Section
  • ARRL News
  • FCC Issues first Gate 4 Vanity Call Signs
  • Solar Report
  • Upcoming VEC Examinations
  • FCC Call Sign Update
  • Calendar of Events
    January 14 General Meeting, Noon - 198-102
    January 17 [Pomona Swapmeet, DeVry Institute]
    January 28 Board Meeting, Noon - 301-227
    January 31 [TRW Swapmeet, Redondo Beach]
    February 11 General Meeting, Noon - 238-543
    February 25 Board Meeting, Noon - 301-227
    March 11 General Meeting, Noon - 238-543
    March 25 Board Meeting, Noon - 301-227

    Meeting Notice
    By Mark Schaefer, WB6CIA

    For January only the regular JPL Amateur Radio Club meeting will be held at noon in building 198, room 102. For the rest of the year we will be back in 238-543.

    Eric Archer will be our speaker for the January meeting and will speak on the subject of the JPL ARC High Speed Packet Station. This station will be installed in the roof of Bldg. 180 and will be developed in stages with 9600 Baud, 56 KB, and MultiMegabit capability. Installation of HiNet for this station and the trailer will also be discussed.

    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

    I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year! I think there will be some good things happening this year. We should have our new HF station (new antennas, new tower, new rig, new tuner and fairly new hard-line) fully operational early in the year. The repeater systems are slowly expanding and improving; though it is a battle to keep some of the failing equipment going. We hope to begin the installation of our high-speed packet system where 9600 will be considered very low speed with eventual operation speeds in the megabit range.

    As can be see, there are many things that need to get done. This is where I am counting on you, the members of the JPL ARC to chip in and help with getting these projects moved to completion. Granted many of them take lots of time, but just a few minutes here and there add up quickly. Rather than looking at the entire project and seeing all that must be done to complete it, just start chipping at them and they will eventually get done. Contact the leaders of the projects and let them know that you can help out in some way, be it building a cable, constructing a circuit or locating a part, which is desperately needed.

    Finally, I would like to wish Art Zygielbaum a fond farewell as he heads off for new adventures. Art has been an active participant in our club for many years and we will miss him. Good luck! n


    December Club Meeting
    By Bill Wood, W6FXJ

    The year-end banquet was held again this year at the Pasadena Marie Callender's restaurant. Twenty-six club members and guests showed up for the camaraderie of the annual meeting. While there was a mix-up in getting the Heard Island video in time, all enjoyed the dinner, meeting old friends and swapping stories.

    The 1998 slate of officers; Randy Hammock (KC6HUR, President, Mark Schaefer (WB6CIA), Vice President, Phil Smith (WB6LQP), Secretary, and Chuck Sarture (KG6NF), Treasurer, were voted in by the members present. n

    DX News
    By Bob Polansky, N6ET

    Just couldn't resist letting you all know about these two operations:

    LAOS - XW30 (on CW) and XW30A (on SSB) have been operating and will continue to do so through 14 January. Spots on 7003 (CW) and 14195 (SSB) have been noted. Hope to catch them on CW for a new one. That'll get me on the CW Honor Roll!

    NEPAL - Look for 9N1WU, 9N1 JZ, and 9N1ZS, currently on the air through 13 January. No specific bands or modes, but there have been spots on 40 CW in the early morning.

    That's all for this time. Have some personal problems that have been keeping me very busy.

    A Happy New Year to all. n

    Tower Work Update
    By Bob Polansky, N6ET

    Our pre-Christmas work party was a huge success. Chris Carson, Art Frederickson, JR Hall, Jay Holladay, Walt Mushagian, Jerry Person, Bob Polansky, Owen Robbins, Chuck Sarture, and Sam Weaver all took part in this gala event.

    We finally figured out how to move the gin pole with much less effort than before from one tower segment to another. We found that as a result of the 90-MPH wind, our Phillystrand guy wires stretched a whole 1/8-inch! Minor turnbuckle adjustments fixed everything. All turnbuckles are now totally secured and cannot move without human intervention. It is noteworthy that even with the heavy wind, the tower remained exactly vertical. In fact, tension adjustments on the wires didn't appear to affect the "verticalness" of the tower at all. Our resident spy on the Mesa advised us that the tower guy wires really "sing" in the wind!

    Thanks to the muscle power available, we were able to move our heavy-duty 130-pound mast into position between the two thrust bearings with relative ease. The antenna rotor was tested successfully with the control box in the shack, and was installed in its new home at the top of the tower, where it was mated with the new mast. All appears well on the tower, thanks to the efforts of Jay, who spent four hours safety-belted to the 55-foot level (plus or minus a few feet) of the tower doing all the above-the-ground work.

    A second crew of workers "undressed" the roll of 7/8-inch hardline, suspended it between two vehicles on a heavy pipe and rolled out two 200-foot lengths for installation to the tower during our next work party. Final termination of the hardlines, connecting of the line pressurization tubing, RF connection to the remote-controlled antenna switch, and installation of the hardlines and rotor cable to the tower will complete preparations for TH7DXX installation. We plan to install a 160-meter dipole at the top of this tower temporarily, using the second hardline. The end of January is still looking good for completion of work on the new tower.

    After completion of the new tower work, it's on to the other tower site where we will build and install the WARC beam a month or two later. Plans are also taking place to retrofit the old Sommer's tower with an extension permitting some fantastic 40 and 80 meter wire antennas to be installed. It's getting close, guys! Pretty soon now, we'll have first class antenna installations and a world-class station. n

    Deja QRU
    By Mark M. Schaefer WB6CIA

    It's been seven years since I was president of the JPL ARC and much has changed. Yet some things will never change. When I was president we obtained a new member, newly licensed, eager to do stuff and have fun doing it. The only thing that's changed is that the new member is now more experienced and is now club president. (Go Randy; we're right behind you again.) I'll spend the rest of the year reporting on what we are doing now, but allow me a New Years digression.

    The JPL ARC has been providing public service in many local events, but it's been 9 years since our last JPL Commemorative Operation for Voyager at Neptune and 4 years since the NASA 25th Anniversary of Apollo 11. The Internet has really mushroomed all over the world in the past few years. You can get words and pictures out usually faster than a High Res SSTV frame. So what good is Ham Radio for passing on our new discoveries? It's not in the hardware, it's you! Some of my favorite moments in my 32 years in Ham Radio were spent in that W6VIO trailer down by the Arroyo. Not only was I enjoying getting pileups as a W6, but people wouldn't just QSO - QSL - QSY. They would hang out to "read the mail". Many people would ask a question about the mission we were commemorating or about the Space Program in general. For many people around the world this was there only opportunity to talk to someone even remotely involved with some of the greatest endeavors of our time.

    I had a nightly conversation with a Ham in South Africa. At that time Apartheid was still in effect. He managed to get the South African Television Station to come to his shack while he had the sked with W6VIO. I sent over several SSTV pictures of Neptune and one of which showed the JPL operators. I also managed to slip in on South African TV a few words about the contributing factors to the success of Voyager. The that fact that we have some of the most talented scientists and engineers from all over the world congregating at JPL and the combined effort of individuals from all walks of life made Voyager work. I can't take credit for ending Apartheid, but if you don't think Ham Radio can make a difference in the world, just ask Boris Yeltsin if he still keeps an ICOM radio nearby in case he's under siege again.

    One of the most important characteristics for the survival of our hobby in this technological battle for spectrum is to keep the HAM in Ham Radio. Every operator has his own "On the Air" style and this comes out even in CW. Everyone else may be dropping the mode as technologically archaic, but that just makes Ham Radio that much more unique. Any computer can pass bits over the air if there is sufficient signal to noise, but so far, only the human ear and brain can pick out Morse code and interpret the message despite overwhelming QRM, QRN, and QSB. A couple of good fists can still pass a message where computers can't get a handshake. So as we enter the next millennium we must strive to advance the state-of-the-art technologically, but with the High Tech competition out there for spectrum, our survival may rely on maintaining the HAM in Ham Radio.

    Los Angeles Area Council of Amateur Radio Clubs Report
    By Mark M. Schaefer WB6CIA

    On January 6, 1998 I attended and represented the JPLARC at the bimonthly meeting of the LAACARC. I paid the $10 dues so we are again in good standing and will receive the newsletter. The LAACARC is a council made up of representatives of all the clubs in the LA area and does work for the common benefit of the clubs.

    One of the major council activities is to help plan and coordinate such events as the ARRL Southwestern Division Convention. The 1998 Convention will take place at the San Diego Town & Country Convention Center from August 14-16. I have been to several ARRL conventions down there and always had a good time. It's only $10 registration before May 5. Call Sybil Allbright at 619-278-4282 for more info. The 99 Hamcon Convention will be held on the Queen Mary. If the JPL club is interested in participating in the volunteer work or financially, it could be quite rewarding to the club. I can provide more details at future board meetings.

    WARC97 was a big success because we did not loose any frequencies to other services.

    Next Devry Swap Meet on Saturday Jan 17 will be the last till they find a new location.

    If you know an outstanding Ham, nominate him for the Hiram Percy Maxim Award. Write or Email Phineas Icenbice by March 31. His web page is: n

    Antenna PoleGoldstone Emergency Operations Center Station
    By Bill Wood, W6FXJ

    The JPL Amateur Radio Club recently installed auxiliary stations at both JPL and Goldstone to provide an emergency means of communications between the two locations in case of a disaster that interrupts normal channels. On the Goldstone end a new Kenwood TM-642A tri-band transceiver and an Astron RS-20A power supply were installed in the old DSS-12 control room at the Echo site. Since the Echo site was situated in an area surrounded by mountains to intentionally block outside radio interference, getting a signal to and from the Table Mountain repeater site was a challenge. That was solved by mounting a Cushcraft 225WB 15-element yagi on top of an existing 90-foot light standard that was used with the old 34-meter big dish just west of the control room.

    The antenna is mounted on a stub mast above the top of the pole and is equipped with a Ham-IV rotator. The rotor allows the operator to find the right spot to bounce the signal off of to reach the 223.96 MHz Table Mountain repeater, and via the link repeater and the 224.08 W6VIO machine, to talk to it's sister station in JPL building 230. Later this year the club plans to add a second yagi and a power amplifier at Goldstone to increase the overall circuit margins.

    This new capability adds the Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex to the JPL ARC's ability to support the JPL Multihazard Emergency Response Plan. The JPL Telecommunications and Missions Operations Directorate provided the amateur radio equipment for installation at both ends of the Goldstone-JPL Pasadena path to permit reliable communications in the event normal circuits are knocked out by a disaster. n

    Classified Section


    The 40M, 20M, 11M and 10M elements for the Hustler Mobile antenna system. Call Bill Westphal, WB6YPF at 213-633-3121 (Work) or e-mail at

    Your want ad or article for inclusion in a future issue of W6VIO Calling. Submit either to Bill Wood, W6FXJ, 31094 Hemlock Ave, Barstow, CA 92311; or email

    For Sale:

    HF transceiver, Atlas 350 XL, 160 M to 10M, 140 to 200 watts output. Includes 14 VDC, 32 AMP power supply/external speaker, mobile rack mount and technical manual, $400. HF transceiver, single band, 75 M, Heathkit HW-12A, includes HP-13A 12VDC input mobile power supply and technical manual, $40. HAL ST-5000 FSK (RTTY) Demodulator/Keyer includes technical manual, $20. Call Walt Mushagian, K6DNS, (818) 354-3036 n

    Newsletter Deadline:

    January 30 for the February 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 regular mail to: Bill Wood, 31094 Hemlock Ave, Barstow, CA 92311.

    ARRL News

    FCC Issues First Gate 4 Vanity Grants
    Via the ARRL Letter Online, Volume 17, Number 2

    Be on the lookout for another round of new call signs. Right on schedule, on January 7, the FCC issued approximately 600 new call signs to those who were among the 900 or so who filed vanity call sign applications on December 2, the opening day for Gate 4! Another 300 or so applications ended up in the work in process (WIPs) stack and have been processed. The FCC issued another 79 vanity call signs on January 8.

    Earlier this week, the FCC in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, set the stage by processing all vanity applications received through December 1, 1997, the day before vanity Gate 4 opened. The FCC granted 120 new call signs on January 6. The FCC reports that during December, it got 497 paper applications and 1873 electronic applications.

    The Furr family of Chapel Hill, North Carolina-home of the University of North Carolina-took advantage of Gate 4 to standardize their suffixes to, what else, UNC! Mom and Dad are UNC graduates, and one of their daughters (19-year-old Mary, K5UNC) is about to graduate from UNC. Dad is Walter "Buddy" Furr III, who got his K4UNC call sign under Gate 2. Mom, Judy, is K2UNC. The couple's other two daughters are nine-year-old Cindy, K1UNC and 16-year-old Rebecca, K3UNC, a high school junior. Judy Furr says her husband "is a major UNC fan." The youngest daughter, Cindy, already holds a General ticket and has passed her 20 WPM code test on her way to the Extra. The Furr family-all ARRL members-plans to debut the new call signs on a local 2-meter net this week.

    In the same vein, WE4UNC went to Judy Smith of Pulaski, Tennessee.

    Among the other new call signs were KB1USA, KZ8ZZZ, and WA7AAA.

    Deb McKay of Hamburg, New Jersey, formerly N2TTP, obtained WX2DEB. She's the Skywarn coordinator for Sussex County, New Jersey. KA1THY went to Kathy Swann of Coventry, Rhode Island. Many other "name" and "initial" call signs were among the batch issued on January 7. n

    Solar Report
    Via ARRL Letter Online, Number 17, Volume 2

    Solar scholar Tad Cook, K7VVV, Seattle, Washington, reports: Solar activity was down over the past week, with average sunspot numbers about half what they were for the last week of 1997, and average solar flux down almost 9 points. In addition, there was a nasty geomagnetic disturbance on January 7 when the planetary A index shot up to 29. This was believed to have been caused by a coronal mass ejection from the sun on January 3. Average solar flux for the previous 90 days remained at 95, and the daily flux numbers were below this value over four out of seven days this week.

    Currently the solar disk is devoid of any activity, but a small active region should rotate into view over the weekend. Solar flux is expected to remain in the mid-80s until January 17 when it rises above 90 again. Flux levels should increase above 100 around January 22, then back below 90 around the end of the month. Over this weekend for the Japan International DX CW Contest look for solar flux around 84 with quiet geomagnetic conditions.

    With winter upon us and lackluster solar activity, look for less performance on the higher frequencies and to the low bands for DX. Ten meters will probably not pick up until this spring, or perhaps in the fall.

    Sunspot numbers for January 1 through 7 were 55, 50, 31, 30, 22, 23 and 0, with a mean of 30.1. The 10.7-cm flux was 101.6, 101, 101.1, 90.7, 89.3, 87 and 84.9, with a mean of 93.7, and estimated planetary A indices were 5, 4, 4, 4, 2, 14, and 29, with a mean of 8.9.

    Here are some path projections to Japan for the DX contest this weekend:

    From Seattle, check 80 meters from 0700-1730 UTC, with best signals from 1000-1530 UTC. Forty meters looks good from 0830-1130 UTC and 1530- 1930 UTC. Check 20 meters 2130-0100 UTC.

    From Los Angeles, check 80 meters 0700-1530 UTC, 40 meters 0530-1730 UTC, 20 meters 2130-0100 UTC and 15 meters 2230-2345 UTC. Ten meters might open around 2230-0000 UTC.

    From the geographic center of the continental United States, check 80 meters 0700-1500 UTC, 40 meters 0600-1200 UTC and 1200-1615 UTC, and 20 meters around 2145-2315 UTC.

    From Ohio, check 80 meters 0715-1400 UTC, 40 meters 0615-1030 UTC and 1315-1530 UTC. Twenty meters may open around 2130 UTC.

    From Atlanta, check 80 meters 0700-1330 UTC, 40 meters 0600-1400 UTC, and 20 meters 2130-2230 UTC.

    From Boston, check 80 meters 0700-1315 UTC, and 40 meters 0615-1100 UTC, 1230-1500 UTC and 2030-2230 UTC. n

    Upcoming VEC Examinations
    Via the ARRL Internet Exam Search Page

    The following test session information is provided by the ARRL for the upcoming three month period. For further information contact the test session coordinator at the telephone number listed.

    Although the information 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 so the VEC Team is aware that you will be attending the test.

    01/14/98, Alhambra, David F Mangels,  626-281-4945
    01/17/98, Culver City Scott V Swanson, 310-459-0337
    01/17/98, Homeland, Steve Hennessee, 909-926-9347
    01/17/98, San Bernardino, John P Mc Cann, 909-864-2656
    01/18/98, Fountain Valley, Lloyd T Harwood, 714-538-7081
    01/22/98, Colton, Harold Heydenfeldt, 909-825-7136
    01/24/98, Alhambra, David F Mangels, , 626-281-4945
    01/31/98, Culver City, Scott V Swanson, 310-459-0337
    01/31/98, Pomona, Donald Warburg WA6HNC, 909-949-0059
    02/14/98, Brea, Robert Reitzel, 562-691-1514
    02/14/98, Fontana, Louis Johnson, 909-823-6818
    02/14/98, San Pedro, Elvin Lytle, 310-325-2965
    02/14/98, Ventura, George Kreider III KN6LA, 805-388-2488
    02/15/98, Fountain Valley, Lloyd T Harwood, 714-538-7081
    02/21/98, Downey, Wesley Printz 562-923-5598
    02/21/98, Homeland, Steve Hennessee, 909-926-9347
    02/21/98, Long Beach, Don L Boyce, NN6Q, 562-420-9480
    02/21/98, San Bernardino, John P Mc Cann, 909-864-2656
    02/24/98, Banning, Charlene F Neitzel, , 909-922-0257
    02/26/98, Colton, Harold Heydenfeldt, 909-825-7136
    02/26/98, Pomona, Donald Warburg WA6HNC, 909-949-0059
    02/28/98, Culver City, Scott V Swanson, 310-459-0337
    03/14/98, Cypress, Harrison Spain AC6TI, 714-952-6114
    03/14/98, Fontana, Louis Johnson, 909-823-6818
    03/14/98, San Pedro, Elvin Lytle, 310-325-2965
    03/15/98, Fountain Valley, Lloyd T Harwood, 714-538-7081
    03/21/98, Homeland, Steve Hennessee, 909-926-9347
    03/21/98, San Bernardino, John P Mc Cann, 909-864-2656
    03/26/98, Colton, Harold Heydenfeldt, 909-825-7136
    03/28/98, Culver City, Scott V Swanson, 310-459-0337
    03/28/98, Pomona, Donald Warburg, 909-949-0059  n

    FCC Call Sign Update

    The following is a list of FCC sequentially assigned call signs issued as of January 5, 1998. Note that the last Group C call sign has been issued in the First District. New Technician and General class licensees are now being issued Group D call signs.

    District Group A
    Group B
    Group C
    Group D
    1 AA1TA KE1IZ ++ KB1CHB
    2 AB2EQ KG2NJ ++ KC2CWL
    3 AA3QP KF3AT ++ KB3BZY
    4 AF4HM KU4NR ++ KF4VIK
    5 AC5OQ KM5NZ ++ KD5DAE
    6 AD6EF KQ6TW ++ KF6PBV
    7 AB7XB KK7LM ++ KC7ZYZ
    8 AB8BT KI8EV ++ KC8JBN
    9 AA9VI KG9MH ++ KB9RXH
    Guam ++ AH2DF KH2TA WH2ANV
    Hawaii KH7W AH6PF KH7HL WH6DEL
    American Samoa AH8P AH8AH KH8DL WH8ABF
    Virgin Islands ++ KP2CM NP2JW WP2AIJ
    Puerto Rico NP3S KP3BE NP3TN WP4NNN

    ++ All call signs in this group have been issued in this district. n

    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.