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  • Calendar of Events
  • Meeting Notice
  • President's Message
  • April Club Meetings
  • DX News
  • Work Party Status
  • Field Day is Coming!
  • Goldstone Tour
  • NASA Emergency Exercise
  • Altadena Guild Home Tour
  • Classified Section
  • ARRL News
  • Preparations Continue for Next WRC
  • Solar Update
  • License Examinations
  • Calendar of Events
    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 13 [Fontana Swap Meet, A. B. Miller HS, Fontana}
    June 24 Board Meeting, Noon - 301-227
    June 26-28 Field Day
    June 27 [TRW Swapmeet, Redondo Beach]
    July 8 General Meeting, Noon - 238-543
    July 22 Board Meeting, Noon - 301-227

    Meeting Notice

    The next regular JPL Amateur Radio Club will be held on Wednesday, May 13, at noon in building 238, room 543. The meeting will be devoted to planning for the club's annual Field Day effort. Be sure to attend this important meeting.

    The 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

    First off, let me thank everyone for their concern regarding my horseback riding accident April 21st. While the initial finding at the ER indicated that I had several fractured vertebrae, a later x-ray reading dispelled these fears. I just had a bad bruise and aggravated arthritis in the lower lumbar region on my back. Guess that explains my apparent quick recovery. Sierra suffered no problems and is doing well.

    Thanks to efforts and Eric Archer and Gerry Walsh, we now have the packet Internet gateway back up. It is not fully operational because it will take too many changes around the world when we change to our new location in building 180 and the subsequent IP address change later his month. Eric has been getting things together for this move. Once completed, we will see a whole New World of digital operations begin. Interested? Contact Eric to find out how you can help.

    Don't forget to mark your calendars to reserve the last weekend of June for a fun weekend of camping and radio operations high above Los Angeles on Mt. Gleason. This is Field Day '98. We plan to run a fairly relaxed operation, concentrating on operating skills rather than points. With Manny Caldera volunteering to do out cooking again this year, it promises to be a fun weekend. See ya there.

    Until next month, 73. n

    April Club Meetings
    By Phil Smith, WB6LQP

    General Meeting

    The general meeting was held on April 8 in building 238, room 543. President Randy Hammock, KC6HUR, called the meeting to order. Bob Polansky, N6ET, reported the activation of the A3WS antenna on the mesa, with its direction fixed toward Europe until work on the rotator is completed. Funds have been authorized for the 40-meter beam. Walt Mushagian, K6DNS, said the NASA Emergency Net test on April 2 was successful, with contact achieved to Houston, Edwards and Goddard.

    Eric Archer, N6CV, reported that the Building 180 Project has progressed, with installation of the Hinet connection and development of an overall system architecture plan. On-lab access to the plan's pdf files is available on the 336EIS server. The half-inch hardline due to be installed will require connectors, so a call is being made for donations of any suitable leftover N-type items as members might have laying around. Next work party to be announced - check the Monday net for notification or contact Eric directly.

    If you missed the meeting you also missed WB6CIA's videotape presentation of the Kuiper Airborne Observatory and his participation in its deployment over New Zealand in 1986 to study Halley's Comet. Included was actual footage of through-the-lens observations from the one-meter telescope onboard, and lots of views of the hardware and activities. Mark did his usual excellent job of relating details and providing anecdotes that made the event both interesting and exciting.

    Board of Director's Meeting

    The Board Meeting was held on April 29. It was delayed a week by Randy's adventure with a horse-mobile operation. The meeting was devoted to contingency planning for possible changes in site management at the 224.70 location. More detail will be provided when it becomes available. n

    DX News
    By Bob Polansky, N6ET

    A flurry of activity has occurred this last month with the appearance of Temotu Islands, the Australs, and Marquesas, all of which meet the new criteria for DXCC countries under the new DXCC rules. All these operations were well done and provided lots of QSO's on all bands for the deserving. All that is needed now is endorsement by the DXAC that they will indeed be recognized as "new DXCC countries". The sunspot activity has noticeably increased this past month with activity rising to 140 at one point. It's been a fun time! Now for the news:

    GIBRALTAR - ZB2FX is active also through 8 May on both CW and SSB. He plans to concentrate on 12 meters. (Hurry up sunspots!)

    ST. BRANDON - A major operation from this rare location is planned from 6 through 17 May. They will run four stations on all bands and all modes. Don't miss this one. The call to be used is 3B7AZ.

    ST. PAUL ISLAND - CY9/K8RF will be active from 28 May through 1 June including the CQ WPX CW Contest on 30 and 31 May. Operation outside the contest will include the WARC bands.

    TANZANIA - 5H3PW will be active for the next four years. Look for him after his schedules that are on Saturdays and Sundays from 1900Z to 2000Z on 21245 kHz.

    VANUATU - Look for YJ0AWP. He should be active now through 5 May on 80 through 10 meters, all modes.

    40 METER DX GROUP - If you are not excited about pile-ups, you may want to check into the 40 Meter DX Group. They meet on 7208 kHz at 0600Z and listen both on their frequency and on 7094 kHz. You can work lots of exciting DX on this net if you are so inclined. My 50 watts from Big Bear permits me to work stations worldwide on this net.

    That's all for now. Enjoy the sunspots. n

    Work Party Status
    By Bob Polansky, N6ET

    Several work parties have been conducted this month targeted toward making fully operational our Club's HF capabilities. The TH7 antenna is fully operational and is performing like a champ! A 75-meter full sized delta loop is fully operational and appears to work well; although we have had nothing of substance to try to work since it became operational. It does load well on 12 meters and has produced some exciting QSO's on that band. The A3WS is now flying at 70 feet and the rotor permits us to aim the antenna wherever we wish.

    We still need to install cable guides, which are being redesigned to better fit our tower, in order to complete the installation. One more work party should do it. The HF portion of the shack has been reorganized into three stations. One is fully operational and the other two are in progress.

    It's coming together folks. By mid-Summer, the entire HF capability should be fully in place thanks to the efforts of our Club members. n

    Field Day is Coming!
    By Jay Holladay, W6EJJ

    It's Spring! The summer solstice is approaching, and soon thereafter it will be time for our annual trek up the mountain. Those of you who have been to our previous Field Day "happenings" know it is an emergency communications test, radiosport contest, and camping trip all rolled into one. If you haven't joined us in our past efforts, mark your calendars for June 26-28, come on up and see what it's all about!

    This year's effort on Mt. Gleason will again be a low-key affair with more emphasis on building operating skills and having fun than coming in No. 1. We will operate Class 2A, meaning that we can have two HF stations operating simultaneously, as well as Novice/Tech, VHF/UHF, Packet, and Satellite (the "free" stations).

    Among other goodies, we will have two tower trailers to facilitate raising the HF antennas to a respectable height. That plus being on top of Mt. Gleason gives us a VERY respectable signal! As usual, we need help in many departments. We especially need people for setup on Friday, and we are looking for someone to lead the effort to set up our satellite station. If you have a trailer hitch on your vehicle, please help by providing a tow - the tower trailers are lightweight and can be pulled by virtually any vehicle. Even if you can't spend three days on the mountain, towing a tower in one direction on Friday or Sunday would help us tremendously.

    Come to the Club meeting on May 13 to hear all about our plans for Field Day 1998. Then watch for the full story in W6VIO Calling for June and get set to participate in Field Day '98! n

    26-Meter DSS 16 Antenna, Apollo Station, April 18, 1998

    Goldstone Tour
    By Bill Wood, W6FXJ

    On April 18 two tours of the Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex were conducted for users of the Table Mountain Repeater and supporters of the Goldstone Amateur Radio Club.

    The tour, which was similar to that conducted two years ago, included the Echo, Pioneer, Apollo, Mars and Venus stations. The groups, which totaled 55 people in all, visited each of the stations, stopping to observe the big antennas and their supporting equipment.

    During the travel between each station the tour conductor provided a running commentary on 146.52 about the different stations. People asked questions by radio as well. n

    Newsletter Deadline:

    May 29 for the June 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.

    NASA Emergency HF Frequency Exercise
    By Walt Mushagian, K6DNS

    On April 2, 1998, at 9:30 AM and 10:00 AM PST, the JPL Amateur Radio Club successfully made radio contact with the Johnson Space Flight Center, Emergency Operations Center on the 20 Meter amateur band and the 14 MHz NASA emergency frequency. Additional stations participating included the Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA and Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD. This exercise was an excellent opportunity to test our emergency HF operations capability. n

    Altadena Guild Home Tour
    By Dick Mathison, KG6Y

    On Sunday April 19th, eight members provided communications for the Altadena Guild Home Tour on New York Drive in Altadena. The Tour raises funds for the Huntington Medical Research Institutes.

    While Dick Mathison, KG6Y, shadowed the co-chairs, George Morris, W6ABW, and Jay Holladay, W6EJJ, did a smooth job controlling the network. Carol Bruegge, KE6SRN, Gil Clark, N6FHC, Greg Laborde, KD6MSM, Connie Morris, KA6JAM, and Chuck Sarture, KG6NF, operated the remainder of the stations. The network consisted of five HT stations connected via WB6IEA/R. One was at each of two remote parking lots, at a van stop on New York Drive, at an information booth, and the co-chair shadow.

    The communications coordinated the movement of guests between the parking lots and New York Drive and supported logistics. The operation provided a pleasant opportunity for us to use our toys while supporting a good cause. An effort the Guild appreciates very much. 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:

    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

    JPL ARC Repeaters
    W6VIO 147.150 MHz (+) PL 131.8 Open
    W6VIO 224.080 MHz (-) PL 156.7 Open
    W6JPL 224.700 (-) Closed Autopatch
    W6VIO-1 145.090 MHz   Packet Node/BBS
    W6VIO-1 223.540 MHz   Packet Node/BBS
    Table Mountain:
    WR6AZN 145.280 MHz (-) PL 131.8 Open
    WR6AZN 223.96 MHz (-) PL 156.7 Open
    WR6AZN 447.325 MHz (-) PL 94.8 Open

    ARRL News

    Preparations Continue for Next WRC
    Via the ARRL Online Letter, Volume 17, Number 17

    With WRC-97 behind us, preparations already are under way for the next World Radiocommunication Conference. In fact, WRC-97 was barely over before the first Conference Preparatory Meeting for WRC-99 was held last fall. While it's not entirely clear right now if the next WRC will be held in 1999 or 2000, it's still being referred to as WRC-99. The ITU Council may decide the question of when WRC-99 will be held when it meets May 20-29 in Geneva. The decision could even be deferred until the 1998 ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Minneapolis October 12-November 6. At least for now, planning will continue on the assumption that the next conference will be held in the fall of 1999.

    The FCC WRC-99 Advisory Committee held its initial meeting in February. It will meet again on April 27. FCC informal working groups have been meeting over the past few weeks.

    Earlier this year, ARRL Technical Relations Manager Paul Rinaldo, W4RI, represented the League on US delegations to several ITU Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) meetings in Geneva, Switzerland. Working Party 7C met in late February. This committee is responsible for studies relating to the Earth Exploration Satellite Service that has been eyeing the 430 to 440 MHz band for use by synthetic aperture radars (SARs). These systems are capable of penetrating the upper canopy of a rain forest to monitor ecological changes. Ken Pulfer, VE3PU, who represented the International Amateur Radio Union, introduced an IARU paper expressing concerns with respect to the 420 to 450 MHz band. An ARRL-authored paper also was introduced by the US, expanding on the theme and reviewing the status of technical sharing studies.

    Working Party 8A met in mid March. This group-Amateur Radio's "home" in the ITU-is responsible for the amateur and the amateur-satellite services, among others. Representing the IARU at this session was ARRL International Affairs Vice President Larry Price, W4RA. He introduced an IARU paper detailing progress in HF data communication in the Amateur Service and setting out the characteristics of PACTOR I and II, CLOVER, and G-TOR. Several ARRL papers also were submitted by the US to update existing documentation.

    Something called "fixed wireless access" (FWA-and sometimes called wireless local loop) could become a hot topic for Amateur Radio at the next WRC. The idea is to connect user telephone or data equipment via radio instead of wirelines to an access point in the public switched telephone network. FWA proponents are looking at the suitability of more than 100 frequency bands between 27 MHz and 66 GHz-some of which involve amateur bands. A committee called Joint Rapporteur Group (JRG) 8A/9B is looking at FWA issues. Participants include those involved in the mobile and amateur services-from WP 8A-and the fixed service. Price also represented the IARU on JRG 8A/9B.

    For more information on WRC-99 preparations, see to Paul Rinaldo, W4RI, and Steve Mansfield, N1MZA n

    Solar Update
    Via the ARRL Online Letter, Volume 17, Number 18

    Solar sage Tad Cook, K7VVV, Seattle, Washington, reports: Thanks to KH6BZF for writing this bulletin while I was in Maui. Those who keep careful track of the numbers at the end of these bulletins or who use them in the WA4TTK Solar Data Display program may have noticed that there was a one day gap in last week's numbers. The complete stats for the past two weeks are at the end of this bulletin.

    A trip to another region is always interesting when one can observe propagation. For this author, it was Bahia, Brazil in late 1995 and Maui, Hawaii, at KH6X last week.

    The station and location were ideal, with no local noise sources and big antennas high above the Pacific. Being from the Pacific Northwest, the first thing I noticed was that ten meters was often open to the southern part of the United States, but never to northern latitudes, at least with the sunspot activity as it was.

    Solar flux has been declining over the past few weeks, and now it is back on the rise. The predicted flux values for this Friday, Saturday and Sunday are 104, 106 and 108. Beyond that, flux values are expected to peak near 130 around May 8 and 9, then decline below 110 around May 15 and below 100 by May 17. Geomagnetic conditions have been active due to solar flares and coronal holes. The worst days recently were April 24-26, and we should see poor conditions again this Saturday, due to a flare on April 29 at 16:37 UTC. Active conditions should return next month around May 21-23 with an active coronal hole.

    For the next few weeks, look for best worldwide propagation on 20 meters, with openings following local sunrise and continuing through the day. After dark, 20 should be excellent into the tropical regions well into the night. Because of shorter dark hours, 40 should offer fewer openings. When solar flux is up, look for openings on 10 and 15 meters, particularly when WWV reports K indices of 2 or lower.

    Sunspot numbers for April 16 through 22 were 59, 70, 28, 35, 35, 47, and 41, with a mean of 45. The 10.7 cm flux was 106.4, 101.3, 98.5, 96.2, 97.7, 92, and 87.6, with a mean of 97.1. The estimated planetary A indices were 7, 15, 6, 4, 10, 7, and 6, with a mean of 7.9.

    Sunspot numbers for April 23 through 29 were 38, 22, 50, 30, 19, 54, and 65, with a mean of 39.7. The 10.7-cm flux was 90.2, 90.6, 91.9, 90.7, 91.4, 98.4, and 100.5, with a mean of 93.4. The estimated planetary A indices were 14, 35, 22, 31, 14, 10, and 6, with a mean of 18.9. n

    Upcoming VEC Examinations
    Via the ARRL Internet Exam Search Page

    The following test session information is provided by the ARRL for the upcoming two 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.

    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  
    06/06/98, Culver City, Clive Morel, 310-827-2538
    06/06/98, Lancaster, Adrienne Sherwood WA6YEO, 804-948-1865
    06/06/98, Los Angeles, Ali Hassan, 213-758-0565
    06/13/98, Brea, Robert Reitzel, 562-691-1514
    06/13/98,Carlsbad, Rusty Massie 760-747-5872
    06/13/98, Fontana, Louis Johnson 909-823-6818
    06/13/98, San Pedro, Elvin Lytle, 310-325-2965
    06/18/98, Fountain Valley, Allan Avnet, 714-531-6707
    06/20/98, Homeland, Steve Hennessee W6UMR, 909-926-9347
    06/20/98, Long Beach, Don L Boyce, NN6Q, 562-420-9480
    06/20/98, San Bernardino, John P Mc Cann, 909-864-2656
    06/21/98, Fountain Valley, Lloyd T Harwood, 714-538-7081
    06/25/98, Colton, Harold Heydenfeldt, 909-825-7136   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.