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  • Calendar of Events
  • Meeting Notice
  • President's Message
  • February Club Meetings
  • DX News
  • QST de VP
  • Work Party News
  • No-Code Tech Class
  • Classified Section
  • ARRL News
  • Phase 3D Closer to Reality
  • Solar Update
  • Saxex to be on Glenn Flight
  • Upcoming VEC Examinations
  • Calendar of Events
    March 11 General Meeting, Noon - 238-543
    March 25 Board Meeting, Noon - 301-227
    March 28 [TRW Swapmeet, Redondo Beach]
    April 8 General Meeting, Noon - 238-543
    April 22 Board Meeting, Noon - 301-227
    April 25 [TRW Swapmeet, Redondo Beach]
    May 13 General Meeting, Noon - 238-543
    May 27 Board Meeting, Noon - 301-227
    May 30 [TRW Swapmeet, Redondo Beach]
    June 10 General Meeting, Noon - 238-543
    June 24 Board Meeting, Noon - 301-227
    June 27 [TRW Swapmeet, Redondo Beach]

    Meeting Notice

    For the rest of the year the regular JPL Amateur Radio Club meeting will be held at noon in building 238, room 543. 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

    Hopefully, we will be coming to the end of the El Nino rains in the near future. There are just too many things we need to get done and the weather is just one of those things that just keeps getting in the way as if work, family and taxes were not enough.

    One thing that needs our attention is the L.A. Marathon. We had Scott Fraser come to the February meeting to talk to us about the Marathon. The JPLARC has always been instrumental in the Ham Radio support for this event and they are counting on us again this year. One point that is so interesting is the number of Hams used in the L.A. Marathon. Many big city marathons use several hundred hams, while the L.A. Marathon uses between 100 and 150 Hams.

    Regardless of this low count, all available Ham's are being asked to provide their support for this event. It is fun, provides a useful function for the community, give you some practice in emergency like conditions and it's fun.

    Contact me for more information about the marathon.

    If the weather holds out, there will be a work party on March 7th where an attempt will be made to get the TH7DXX antenna installed on the new tower. This will greatly enhance our H.F. operating capabilities.

    Eric Archer is making good headway towards getting our high-speed packet station up. The room has been completely cleaned out now and Eric has been collecting equipment to install there. Also, our Internet connection in the shack has been restored and our BBS/Gateway station should be back up and running on the net. As soon as the budget gets it's final approval, we will have the hi-net installed in 180-R6 and our packet operation will begin to be migrated to this location.

    As always, Thank You for your support! n

    February Club Meetings
    By Phil Smith, WB6LQP

    The General Meeting was held on Wednesday, February 11th, in the 198-101 conference room. It is anticipated that scheduling will allow us back into our traditional meeting room in building 238 next month, but it would be wise for members to monitor the Monday net to be properly informed. The meeting was called to order by Randy Hammock, KC6HUR. Eric Archer, N6CV, reported on status of the high-speed packet project. Special guest Scott Fraser, KN6F, announced the details of this year's LA Marathon and encouraged club members to volunteer. This year will be a slightly different route than years past (start and finish in the downtown area) and with a different sponsor. The functions will remain the same however, requiring a significant crew to make it all happen. And, as before, every participant will receive an official T-shirt. Further information is available from Scott's web site: or by inquiry on the Monday net.

    There was no Board meeting this month due to lack of a quorum. n

    DX News
    By Bob Polansky, N6ET

    Unfortunately, I will be gone at the end of the month when the article would normally be put together; therefore, it is being written one week prior to the end of the month. Sorry, but that's the best I could do this time.

    The ARRL CW DX Contest is now history. It was lots of fun with ample participation worldwide on 80 through 15 meters. (10 meters was quite quiet.) I operated without the linear most of the time and was able, through perseverance, to QSO almost everyone I called, eventually. It'll be a real ball to operate the DX contest with the W6VIO large antennas operational. The ARRL SSB DX Contest will take place in two weeks if my memory serves me correctly. Now for the DX news:

    BAKER ISLAND - Look for N4BQW/KH1 and perhaps some other calls/KH1 to create lots of calling QRM from this South Pacific island from 5 to 12 March. You may also hear their team from Palmyra and Kingman in late February and in early March on most bands.

    CHAD - TT6M, TT8JFC, and several others are currently active and that activity should continue through at least 30 March.

    CONGO - TN/5N0T should be active starting 28 February through some unspecified date. This is a very rare country and should create lots of pile-ups.

    LIBYA - Another Libyan operation, 5A21PA, is planned from 2 through 8 March. The 20-meter long path in the morning hours should provide your best chance of working this station. (Point your beam south!)

    MONGOLIA - JT1Y (in rare CQ Zone 23) will be creating huge pile-ups during an upcoming trip to Mongolia from 7 to 14 April. Another world-class group will operate from the same place in May, but the dates and call are not yet published.

    NEPAL - 9N1UD is operating now according to latest information. He plans to be active through 8 March. W6VIO needs this one.

    WAKE ISLAND - A KH9 operation is planned from 28 February through 11 March. (Another one that W6VIO needs.)

    Enough for now. I'll provide up to date DX news again next month. Enjoy! n

    QST de VP
    By Mark M. Schaefer, WB6CIA

    Before we get too far into 1998, I thought I would alert the Club to some major JPL related events that members might find interesting enough to warrants a club activity or club participation in the scheduled activity.

    March 1/7 Spaceweek
    March 17 40th Anniversary of Vanguard 1
    March 23 Cassini Perihelion .68AU
    March 29 Galileo - Europa 14 Flyby
    April 1 Pluto Lander
    April 26 Cassini 1st Venus Flyby
    April 27/3 Astronomy Week
    May 2 Astronomy Day
    May 21 Space Day
    May 30/31 JPL OPEN HOUSE
    May 31 Galileo - Europa 15 Flyby
    July 1 Deep Space 1 Launch
    July 4 Mars Pathfinder Mars Landing Anniversary
    July 21 Galileo - Europa 16 Flyby
    October 1 NASAs 40th Birthday
    November 1 Quikscat Launch
    December 10 Mars surveyor 98 Orbiter Launch

    Of course there are the usual ARRL annual operating events, parades and such. So if any of these events interest you, give me a call or bring it up at a regular or board meeting. You might be surprised at the interest you can generate and fun you can have. Even if the club does not have an event planned, letting people you talk to on the air know what's happening makes a worthwhile and informative discussion. This information was extracted from a list compiled by Ron Baalke and is available at


    One of the many things we oft take for granted is mail delivery. If you're a Ham, that may also include the ARRL QSL Bureau. The QSL Bureau is there for any Ham to take advantage of. You simply send a self-addressed stamped envelope to the QSL Bureau in your Call District, as described in any QST Magazine. Your SASE is stored by your call sign at the Bureau. DX Stations who do not have your home address can simply send your QSL to the QSL Bureau in your Call District. Volunteers at the Bureau will sort the DX Cards coming in and place them in your envelope. When your envelope reaches the weight of the affixed postage, they send it off to you. So I thought I would fill you in on the scope of this work. Archie Willis, W6LPJ, has been manager of the Sixth District QSL Bureau for 24 years. His family, Rosemary, KF6EKP, and his son Tom KC6ZSS assist him. There are many other volunteers, some of which are not even Hams. In 1997 they received 207,940 DX QSLs, and 8,632 SASEs, mailed 10,087 SASEs and 170 packages were sent UPS and Postal Service.

    You can help make this daunting task a little easier. If you have changed calls or address, you need to update you SASEs. If you get a notice that it is your last envelope, send in several more. It might even be worth sending some money or IRCs to provide for additional postage in the future. Or you can get in touch with Archie and sort some cards yourself. It's your chance to wade through mountains of exotic DX QSLs without all the expense and effort of contacting the DX for their card (and your don't have to store them). n

    Work Party News
    By Bob, N6ET

    We continue to get closer to our goal of flying a TH7DX antenna on top of our new 60 foot hilltop tower. This past weekend, 21 February, a small three-man work team consisting of Chris Carson, Jay Holladay, and yours truly completed most of the work needed to install our new antenna. The boom to mast coupling was removed from the TH7DX and installed and pinned onto the Chrome-Moly mast inserted in the 60-foot tower. Drilling the holes while perching atop the tower was a real feat and was accomplished by Jay Holladay. The gin pole was moved to its new position in preparation for elevating the TH7DX. The top shackles were safety-wired and additional U-bolts were installed to "pretty-up" the hardlines going to the tower top. Chris Carson played "mountain goat" and repaired the large breach in the currently unused hardline going to the water tower site. This gives us an additional hardline for our antenna needs up the hill.

    All that remains is to verify freedom in the rotor and thrust bearing linkages and to connect up the hardline pressurization system at the antenna switch site at the hilltop. In one or two weeks, or so, a team will be assembled to move the TH7DX to the top of the tower. n

    No-Code Tech Class
    By Phil Barnes-Roberts, KE6PMZ

    Intrepid Instructor Allen Wolff, KC70 (Shirley's husband) will be starting another session of the Pasadena Radio Club's biannual (twice-a-year, Spring and Fall) licensing class for the Novice and No-Code Technician Amateur Radio licenses, as part of our service to the community.

    Classes will run eight Wednesday evenings starting 04/01/98 (yes, April first, this is not a joke!) from 7:00 to 9:00 PM, at the Kaiser Permanente 'Walnut Center' office block, 393 E. Walnut Ave. at Los Robles in Pasadena. Enter the gated parking off Los Robles; inform the guard of your destination, park and come into the lobby to sign in.

    The eighth session will be the license exam administered by Brad Hori, KB6H and his ARRL/VEC volunteer examiner team.

    Interested applicants should call Allen at work, at 818-603-5682, or e-mail to He needs at least 15 candidates to begin the class. Books may be available through Allen (at a discount, including handout costs) or you may bring your own copy of the 1997 or newer 'Now You're Talking' from ARRL. The current edition will include the RF Safety discussion and test questions, effective 07/01/97.

    Tell a friend; bring a young person you know would be interested. See you on the air! n

    Classified Section


    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

    US Tower (MA40) 40 foot tubular telescoping tower, hinged base, 2 co-ax arms, mast extension, Hy_gain Explorer-14 beam antenna with 40 meter dipole add-on, and Hy-Gain antenna rotator (Ham IV). Original cost, less tax, was over $2200. Sell all for $800. Contact Ron Zenone (W6TUZ) at (626) 914-5585. n

    Dues Reminder

    In January the JPL ARC Board of Directors voted to continue the annual club regular membership dues at $11 and $5 for family members. There are no Autopatch dues this year. If you have not returned the renewal form send it in to Rick McKinney at M/S 168-327.

    Newsletter Deadline:

    March 28 for the April 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

    Phase 3d
    The Phase 3D satellite package is nearly ready for launch. Here it sits at the Phase 3D Integration Lab
    in Orlando, Florida. [Photo by Steve Ford, WB8IMY]

    Phase 3D Closer To Reality
    Via the ARRL Online Letter, Number 17, Volume 8

    The Phase 3D Amateur Radio satellite is approximately 90% complete, and work continues at the Integration Lab in Orlando, Florida, to get the package ready for launch later this year. AMSAT officials remain optimistic that the Phase 3D payload can hitch a ride aboard the European Space Agency's next Ariane test flight, AR-503. It's expected that AR-503 will lift off in late spring or early summer from Kourou, French Guiana.

    QST Managing Editor and satellite columnist Steve Ford, WB8IMY, recently visited the Integration Lab. He says he was impressed by the way the AMSAT Phase 3D team has managed to keep down costs by manufacturing many expensive-to-buy items themselves. "In the best ham tradition," Ford says, "they also 'shopped smart,' getting donated gear and components whenever possible or procuring components at bargain prices."

    Ford and other presenters attracted nearly three dozen satellite enthusiasts to a workshop during the Orlando Hamcation the weekend of February 13 and 14. Ford says the workshop attempted to bust the myths that satellites are hard to work and that setting up a satellite station is expensive. Other presenters in the five-hour session included Barry Baines, WD4ASW, Steve Bible, N7HPR, Dick Jansson, WD4FAB, and Keith Pugh, W5IU. n

    Solar Update
    Via ARRL Letter Online, Number 17, Volume 9

    Solar savant Tad Cook, K7VVV Seattle, Washington, reports: Solar activity retreated again last week, with average sunspot numbers down 20 points and average solar flux down about five. Geomagnetic conditions were relatively quiet. Quiet conditions are expected to continue over the next few days, with the solar flux February 27 through March 1 predicted to be 93, 92 and 90. Stable geomagnetic conditions should be good for the CQ Worldwide 160-Meter DX Contest this weekend. Currently the most active solar region is number 8164, with 18 sunspots.

    Over the next week look for solar flux to drift below 90, then rise above 90 after March 8, above 100 around March 12 and below 100 by March 18. Over the next month the hours of daylight will increase in the northern hemisphere, and we can look forward to typical spring conditions with more daylight openings on the higher bands.

    A chart on the web at compares the current solar cycle, now 21 months old, with the two previous cycles, dating back to June 1976. This is part of the DX Listener's Club of Norway Web site mentioned in a previous report. The monthly smoothed sunspot number is obviously lagging for this cycle, and the month-by-month graphic comparison makes this very clear.

    K7EEC wrote to ask: "If flux numbers are high, does this mean that propagation is probably better?" He also asked what the flux numbers measure.

    High solar flux is good for HF propagation, especially if A and K indices are low. During the peak of the sunspot cycle the solar flux is higher. Solar flux is a measurement of radio energy emitted by the sun at 10.7 cm-or 2800 MHz. This seems to correlate with ionization of the ionosphere. The denser the ionization, the higher the frequencies that it can reflect. More information can be found in chapter 21 of the 1998 edition of The ARRL Handbook for Radio Amateurs and in The New Shortwave Propagation Handbook, by Jacobs, Rose and Cohen, published by CQ magazine.

    Your questions and comments are welcome via e-mail to

    Sunspot numbers for February 19 through 25 were 57, 29, 28, 38, 59, 78, and 69 with a mean of 51.1. The 10.7-cm flux was 98, 95.7, 94.8, 95.5, 99.4, 98.6, and 94.7, with a mean of 96.7, and estimated planetary A indices were 7, 7, 4, 6, 11, 3, and 4, with a mean of 6. n

    SAREX to be on Glenn Flight
    Via ARRL Letter Online, Number 17, Volume 9

    A ham radio package will be aboard the shuttle flight that carries US Senator and astronaut John Glenn into space this fall. Word from NASA this week was that the Shuttle Amateur Radio EXperiment or SAREX payload would be carried on STS-95 when it flies in October carrying the 77-year-old space pioneer into orbit for the first time since the early 1960s, when Glenn became the first US astronaut to orbit the Earth.

    Two hams--US Astronaut Scott Parazynski, KC5RSY, and European Space Agency astronaut Pedro Duque, KC5RGG, of Spain--will be among an international crew aboard STS-95. The launch date for the only other SAREX mission scheduled for 1998--STS-93--has slipped from August to December. Glenn already has begun his astronaut training, but it's not yet known if he plans to get his ham ticket before his return to space. 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.

    03/07/98, Culver City, Clive Morel, 310-827-2538
    03/07/98, Los Angeles, Ali Hassan, 213-758-0565
    03/08/98, Thousand Oaks, Marco Treganza, R, 805-375-1385
    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
    03/19/98, Fountain Valley, Allan Avnet, 714-531-6707
    03/21/98, Homeland, Steve Hennessee W6UMR, 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, Scott V Swanson, 310-459-0337
    03/28/98, Pomona, Donald Warburg WA6HNC, 909-949-0059
    04/04/98, Culver City, Clive Morel, 310-827-2538
    04/04/98, Lancaster, Adrienne Sherwood WA6YEO, 804-948-1865
    04/04/98, Los Angeles, Ali Hassan, 213-758-0565
    04/11/98, Brea, Robert Reitzel, 562-691-1514
    04/11/98, Carlsbad, Rusty Massie, 760-747-5872
    04/11/98, Fontana, Louis Johnson, 909-823-6818
    04/11/98, San Pedro, Elvin Lytle, 310-325-2965
    04/16/98, Fountain Valley, Allan Avnet, 714-531-6707
    04/18/98, Downey, Wesley Printz, 562-923-5598
    04/18/98, Homeland, Steve Hennessee W6UMR, 909-926-9347
    04/18/98, Long Beach, Don L Boyce, NN6Q, 562-420-9480
    04/18/98, San Bernardino, John P Mc Cann, 909-864-2656
    04/19/98, Fountain Valley, Lloyd T Harwood, 714-538-7081
    04/23/98, Colton, Harold Heydenfeldt, 909-825-7136
    04/24/98, Victorville, Roy T Shelso W5RT, 714-633-1855
    04/25/98, Culver City, Scott V Swanson, 310-459-0337
    04/25/98, Escondido, Harry A Hodges, 760-743-4214
    04/25/98, Pomona, Donald Warburg WA6HNC, 909-949-0059
    05/02/98, Culver City, Clive Morel, 310-827-2538
    05/02/98, Los Angeles, Ali Hassan, 213-758-0565
    05/03/98, Thousand Oaks, Marco Treganza, 805-375-1385
    05/09/98, Carlsbad, Rusty Massie, 760-747-5872
    05/09/98, Cypress, Harrison Spain AC6TI, 714-952-6114
    05/09/98, Fontana, Louis Johnson, 909-823-6818
    05/09/98, Elvin Lytle, 310-325-2965
    05/16/98, Steve Hennessee W6UMR, 909-926-9347
    05/16/98, John P Mc Cann, 909-864-2656
    05/17/98, Fountain Valley, Lloyd T Harwood, 714-538-7081
    05/21/98, Fountain Valley, Allan Avnet, 714-531-6707
    05/28/98, Colton, Harold Heydenfeldt, 909-825-7136
    05/30/98, Culver City, Scott V Swanson, 310-459-0337
    05/30/98, Pomona, Donald Warburg WA6HNC, 909-949-0059 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.