Table of Contents

Calendar of Events
Meeting Notice
President's Message
October Club Meetings
W6VIO Station Status
DX News
The Art of QSL'ing DX
25 Years Ago In W6VIO Calling
Classified Section
 FCC Cracks Enforcement Whip
New Amateur Satellite in Trouble
Solar Update
Phase 3D Satellite to Undergo Testing
Upcoming VEC Exams
FCC Sequential Call Sign Update

Calendar of Events

November 11
General Meeting, Noon - 238-543
November 14
[Fontana Swap Meet, A. B. Miller HS, Fontana}
November 21
[CMRA Hamfest, Cal Poly, Pomona, 7 AM]
November 25
Board Meeting, Noon - 301-227
November 28
[TRW Swapmeet, Redondo Beach]
December 9
JPL ARC Year-End Banquet
December 12
[Fontana Swap Meet, A. B. Miller HS, Fontana}
December 18
[CMRA Hamfest, Cal Poly, Pomona, 7 AM]
December 23
Board Meeting, Noon - 301-227
December 26
[TRW Swapmeet, Redondo Beach]

Meeting Notice
The next regular JPL Amateur Radio Club will be held on Wednesday, November 11, at noon in Building 238 Room 543. The Club Board of Directors meetings are held at noon on the fourth Wednesday of each month in 301-227. Eve ryone is welcome at both meetings; bring your lunch.

President's Message
By Randy Hammock, KC6HUR

We are rapidly approaching the end of yet another year and time for elections. I have had two people step forward and state that they would be willing to run for office; Bob Dengler NO6B for President and John Cameron KF6RTA for Secretary.

We still need someone who would be willing to be Vice Presi dent and someone else for Treasurer. A point of interest is that if there are any retirees who would like running for office, you are encouraged to do so. The workloads being imposed on most members these days appear to be the greatest reason for many not becoming directly involved in the operation of the club.

Working with the Club is more a labor of love, not a chore. I'm sure that everyone gets more enjoyment out of something that they have contributed to personally. The Club needs your help!

Where is ham radio going today? What can we, the radio amateur service, provide to the community in times of disaster, what with the growing presence of cellular phones, satellite phones and the Internet?

In the November issue of QST, one article asks the same question. But I think it got some of the people wrong. We are not going to be asked out of the blue to go setup that satellite terminal so the local government can make phone calls, they have their own people to that. Perhaps there will be hams to help out, those who have joined the various disaster communications organizations. ARES and RACES are not the answer, especially in Southern California, because the various counties and cities have formed emergency/disaster communications groups and non-group members will not be welcome as part of their nets.

It is highly recommended that you contact your local group and become involved and get trained. Becoming involved with ARES or RACES could be a benefit since being a member of both the local and national organizations will allow one to serve as a conduit between the two.

There is some new hardware that has become available over the past several years that can greatly aid disaster handling. Several years, APRS made it possible to locate someone on a map. Last year, Kenwood released a handheld SSTV system which can plugged into virtually any handheld. This made it possible to go out to a location and send back a picture of what the situation was like.

This year, Kenwood has announced a new handheld which has a TNC and APRS capabilities built-in. Using a GPS receiver, the handheld SSTV system and the APRS handheld, it is now possible to send pictures of a scene and have it tagged with a position on a map. Unlike ATV, this information can be sent over ANY repeater or even relayed unit to unit (in the case of APRS position reports). This is exciting! It is not necessary to go out and spend a kilo-buck for this fancy new hardware.

If you have a TNC sitting around, installing a new EPROM may be all that is necessary to make it capable of being used as a stand-alone APRS tracker (computer-less APRS station). Perhaps, some of the old SSTV gear can be used for this pur pose, though I'm not familiar with formats used. Get creative. Ham Radio is not dead yet.

October Club Meetings
By Phil Smith, WB6LQP

October 14: General Meeting

October has been a quiet month. The General Meeting focused on the DS1 and SEDSAT commemorative operation presented and spearheaded by Mark, WB6CIA. Both spacecraft were launched from Cape Canaveral on October 24, 1998. Volunteers were gathered and the schedule of club operations discussed.

The plans included operation of W6VIO and W6JPL from October 23 through October 26 on all HF bands and selected VHF bands on all modes. The club will award contacts submitting SASE's, certificates, QSL cards and DS-1 project in formation.

October 21: Board of Directors Meeting,

The Board Meeting discussed progress concerning ongoing issues:

The repeater site has settled into a condition that will hope fully lead calmly toward its oversight by the City of La Canada. That leaves us with the same kind of supporting role that we provided in the past. This may be a classic case of no news being, in fact, very good news.

The new club call vanity application for repeater operations is in the federal millhopper and should crank around at the speed we have come to expect for such matters.

Planning for the December (dinner) meeting yielded agree ment that videotape will be the entertainment and that some investigation of available offerings will be undertaken to identify a best choice.

A few hot prospects for club officer candidates have material ized, but not all positions have yet been filled. Members in possession of dedication and desirous of honing their admin istrative skills in pursuit of their favorite hobby should not delay in stepping forward to offer their services and be placed on the ballot.

W6VIO Station Status
By Bob Polansky, N6ET

I had an absolutely wonderful time operating from our Club station during last week's CQ WW Phone Contest. Made in excess of 100 contacts with stations all over the world on all bands between 80 and 10 meters. Even got about 3 or 4 all time new countries and 8 new phone countries for W6VIO.

We now have two HF stations going with no interaction observed between them at all! The Dentron linear is back in place and is working well. Make an appointment with me to get checked out on the stations and join in the fun.

During the next several weeks, we will attempt to pressurize the hardlines going up the hill to make them more water-resistant prior to the winter rains. Later this year, we'll plan more antenna work at our hilltop site. Hope to see you there.

DX News
By Bob Polansky, N6ET

Sunspot numbers have consistently been well in excess of 100 for several months now. DX QSO's are available on all bands from 160 through 10 meters. Both the 59(9) and LI DX Bulletins have provided lots of good tips on what operations are going to be available, and when. In the list which follows are a few of the more exciting samples of DX activities planned or currently active. A more complete set of operations can be read about in DX reports hanging in the W6VIO ham shack in the center of the North wall.

COMOROS - D68BW is active through 7 November with emphasis on WARC band CW. He was spotted at 24900 kHz at 1545Z.

EGYPT - SU3YM and SU2MT have been the subject of nu merous reports on 20, 15, and 10 meters SSB just prior to 1600Z.

ERITREA - E31AA and E30HA are currently active from this new "DX Entity" on everything between 30 and 10 meters. Our Club Station still needs a phone QSO. A major multi-station operation signing E30AA will take place from 5 through 17 November. That should attract lots of DX'ers. Look for the pile-ups.

GABON - TR8IG entertains the multitudes on 10M SSB (28532 kHz) around 1700Z.

HQ UNITED NATIONS - 4U1UN made its presence known starting last week on 20 through 10 meters. They drew quite a crowd of callers, especially on 12 and 17 meter phone!

LORD HOWE ISLAND - VK9LX will be active with two stations from 22 November through 1 December on 160 through 6 meters on phone, CW, and RTTY.

MALI - TZ6DX also made numerous Contest QSO's on 10M SSB (28706 kHz) after 1500Z.

PRATUS ISLAND - BV9P will cause massive pile-ups from about 12 November for two weeks. This will be a two-station operation using high power and huge antennas manned by some excellent DXpeditioners. Pratus is #3 on the "Most Wanted List". Phone, CW, and RTTY operation is planned.

SWAZILAND - Look for 3DA0CA, a frequent patron of eve rything from 80 through 10 meters including the WARC bands. He operates almost daily. Spots include: 10104kHz-0343Z, 24962kHz-2000Z, and 28594kHz-1600Z.

TUNISIA - 3V8BB has been reported on both 10 and 15 meter SSB, again, prior to 1600Z. Frequencies were 28594 and 21287 kHz.

Good luck. See you in the pile-ups!

The Art of QSL'ing DX
By Bill Goodman, K3ANS, via ARNS

Now you have worked many DX stations, including many countries, CQ zones. Russian oblasts (counties), German DOK's (counties), etc. Do you need proof? Do you want to collect "paper?" Chasing DX awards is an extension of DXing. Cover your walls and ceilings with QSL's from all over the world. This reminds me of post card collecting, since so many QSL's are beautiful. They are often very personal expressions prepared with pride and creative artwork and photographs. These hams are proudly showing off their stations, their communities, their scenery, their club logos, their flags, their family, their equipment, and their antennas. Some of the pictures could be in Penthouse magazine' Have you seen the QSL from K4NBN? It is a nude picture of his wife, Magnolia Blossom, who weighs 643 pounds! He runs Del's Nudist Colony in Razorville, Florida.

How do you get these QSL's? The most effective and expensive method is to send your QSL to the other ham via first class or airmail. Include a self-addressed envelope along with foreign money or air mail postage from the other ham's country. You can buy foreign postage from various sources. William Plum of Flemington, NJ is a local vendor of foreign postage, appearing at many hamfests. Bill used to be a vendor at our DLARC hamfest when it was in Easton. I hope he has been invited back to the Schneeksville hamfest. He also pub lishes a useful guide on obtaining foreign QSL's.

To avoid theft, a common problem in foreign post offices, use a plain envelope with no indication of ham radio. Hide the postage or any money you include inside the return envelope. Try scenting the envelope with perfume. Use a pink envelope. That will throw off the potential thief Another method is to use a very official looking business envelope which would not contain money or postage.

Another method is to substitute an International Reply Coupon (IRC) for the foreign postage. The IRC may be purchased at major post offices around the world. Smaller post offices do not carry them, nor do they necessarily honor or understand them. If you receive an IRC you are supposed to be able to exchange it for one unit of postage to pay for surface (ground) or airmail. Thus, if you send your QSL with an IRC to the DX station, he should be able to exchange it for his local (foreign) postage to reply to you, at no additional cost. Not every country accepts IRCS, so check with your post office. Many hams never cash in the IRC's. Instead they have become an international currency among hams. When you send an IRC to the DX station, he saves it to mail to another DX station when he is seeking a QSL. They are actively sold and resold among hams at face or discount value. You may ask an American ham who serves as a QSL manager for DX stations to sell you his surplus IRC's.

Both of the above methods are too expensive for most hams when they begin to collect hundreds or thousands of DX QSL's. For example, I recently printed 22,000 DX QSO labels to stick on my QSL's. If I sent everyone via airmail with self addressed envelopes and return postage, how much do you think it would cost? Probably at least $22,000! Obviously, I cannot afford that. So, I use alternative sources. My two favorite methods are via the ARRL outgoing DX QSL Bureau and via the WF5E DX QSL Service.

The ARRL's outgoing QSL Bureau is available to only members. You sort and bundle your DX QSL's in DXCC country prefix alphabetical order. For example, if you are sending QSL's to Russia, you group the EW, RA, RV, RW, UA, UV, and UW prefix QSL's together. If you have indicated that the QSL is to go to a QSL manager, not to the actual DX station you worked, then put that QSL with the country of the manager. You send the bundle to the ARRL along with $4.00 per pound (about 150 QSLS) and the mailing label from a recent QST showing your name, call, and current membership expiration date. The ARRL Bureau workers then sort your outgo ing QSL's into different bins for each country.

Later your QSL's and many other members' QSL's are bun dled and shipped to the foreign countries' incoming QSL bu reaus, which are usually the foreign amateur radio organiza tions, equivalent to the ARRL. Smaller countries with few hams often do not have active incoming QSL bureaus. But these bureaus do handle the bulk of my DX QSOS, which come primarily from DX contesting. I often work hundreds or thousands of stations in Japan, Italy, Germany, France, Great Britain, Spain, etc. each year. Since I send a QSL to every DX station I work on each band and mode, most of them are going to countries with high populations of active hams. So ARRL outgoing bureau handle them economically. This method is slow. Some replies take many years, especially if the foreign bureau is lethargic, corrupt, disorganized, or disbanded as happened in the CIS countries after USSR dissolved. For QSL'ing consider price, quality, and speed. Pick two. The ARRL bureau is inexpensive, pretty reliable, and slow. Direct QSL'ing is expensive, more reliable, and quick.

Send some self addressed stamped envelopes, or in my case cartons, to your incoming DX QSL Bureau, which is NOT the ARRL. They are different in each call area. In the 4th call area several incoming bureaus handle the QSLS, since the volume is so great. They are separated so K4's, W4's, WA4's, KA4's, etc. use different incoming QSL bureaus. In the third call area the incoming QSL bureau is the PA DX As sociation, P. 0. Box 100, York Haven, PA 17370-0100. The manager is well known DXer, WA3HUP. I often see her and the Association set up in booths at hamfests, including York and Timonium (Baltimore). In the 2nd call area the incoming DX QSL bureau is the North Jersey DX Association.

Some DX hams refuse to reply to QSL's received via the bu reau system. I resent this because it adds additional cost. However, I understand their logic. They need money to pay for their QSL's and postage, so they insist on direct mail with self-addressed envelopes and one or two "greenstamps". Greenstamps are also known as US dollar bills. Usually, these hams are in rare countries so they are in control. If you want to confirm that country, especially on a difficult band, you must play, or pay the game. Grit your teeth and send the bucks.

F6FNU is an active DX QSL manager in France for many hams in rare French colonies and former colonies. He insists on one QSO per QSL, two dollars per QSL, and one QSL per envelope. His practices cause much anger among the US hams desiring his QSL's, but we have no choice. Many other QSL managers are just, as rigorous as F6FNU. Many QSL managers are a delight. If you are lucky, the DX station uses a good US QSL manager. Two very active, local QSL managers are W3HC and W3HNK in PA. They each represent dozens of DX stations and give quick inexpensive service, content with only US return postage plus any donation.

Several DX and specialized QSL'ing publications and CDs list the QSL managers for DX stations. CQ Magazine and World Radio Magazine monthly list QSL managers. So do many DX bulletins.

WF5E-Les Bannon, offers an attractive alternative solution to obtaining DX QSLS. I rely on Les extensively. He charges $1.00 for 5 DX QSLS. He does not, care how many QSO's are on each QSL's, so I often list 12+ QSO's on one DX QSL. He represents several thousand US DX'ers such as me. We send our QSL's to him, sorted by DX station, not by QSL manager. He then bundles them with other ham clients and sends all the QSL's directly to the DX stations or their manag ers along with self addressed boxes or envelopes AND First Class or Air Mail postage back to him. WF5E distributes his replies to each of us via our incoming DX QSL bureaus, in my case the PA DX Association. Les is very effective in obtaining QSL's from stubborn sources, although a few DX stations refuse to honor WF5E's service and still insist on direct mail from us with air mail postage. WF5E costs $1.00 per 5 DX QSLS, which is still better than paying about $2.00 for only 1 DX QSO or QSL. I use WF5E for all my rare DX QSL's when I think they will not accept he bureau QSLS. I reluctantly use direct mail for the obstinate. WF5E's address is 3400 Bedford, Midland, TX 79703. Les does not accept QSL's for QSO's over one year old.

I gladly send my QSL's direct with return postage, and a con tribution to the DX'peditions to rare countries. Some of those DX'peditions cost tens of thousands of dollars. Some cost over a hundred thousand dollars! The recent Heard Island DX'pedition cost around $300,000, including $100,000 stolen by an unscrupulous charter ship captain. So they need and deserve the money.

And then there is the downside of the QSL managers who ac cept your greenstamps but refuse to reply. Ask any DXer about FR5DX on Reunion Island. Many DX stations refuse to QSL. They merely discard your QSL and could care less if you want theirs. Of course, some US stations refuse to reply to DX QSL's too. So QSL'ing is an art, loaded with optimism, disappointment and frustration. This article appeared in the September 1998 issue of the "W3OK Corral", the newsletter of the Delaware-Lehigh ARC.

25 Years Ago in:

By Bill Wood, W6FXJ

The November 1973 issue of W6VIO Calling was largely dedicated to laying out the plan to mount a special Mariner Venus/Mercury 1973 operation during the expected planetary encounters in February, late March and early April of 1974. Author Charles Weir, W6UM, said the MVM73 commemorative would be a joint effort between the JPL ARC and the Boeing Employees Amateur Radio Society (BEARS). Both clubs will operate with special callsigns issued by the FCC just for the event.

W6UM went on to describe in detail what would be needed in the ways of equipment and manpower to bring about a suc cessful special event operation that would bring credit to JPL and the NASA mission to explore both Venus and Mercury. Here is the QSL card used for that historic period:

The full November 1973 issue can be accessed at the following Internet address:

Classified Section

Somebody generous enough to donate a 2M H.T. or Mo bile/Base rig to the newly licensed members of Boy Scout Troop 1 in Altadena. Thanks. Contact Bill Westphal or 213-633-3121

Your want ad or article for inclusion in a future issue of W6VIO Calling. Submit 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 coax 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.

Icom UT-40 Tone Squelch Option Board (CTCSS) for HT models 2GAT, 4GAT, 12GAT, 32AT or for mobiles 228, 448, 901, 1201, 2400 and 2500. Cost: $80 (AES Catalog) Sale for $40. Radio Shack, Rotor/Controller and Cable, 3 years old, never used, have box/papers, like new. Cost: $70+ Sale for $50. Scott Nolte, N6CUV 818-354-9724

Via the ARRL Letter Online, Volume 17, Number 43
FCC Cracks Enforcement Whip on Jersey Ham

The FCC has begun to crack its amateur enforcement whip. A New Jersey ham has been ordered off 40 meters until further FCC notice after allegedly causing interference to the ANARC Net on 7.240 MHz October 18. The FCC also issued an Official Notice of Violation October 21 against James C. Thompson, KA2YBP, of Waretown, New Jersey.

Thompson, 58, was accused by FCC inspectors out of the Langhorne, Pennsylvania, FCC office with illegally retransmitting programs from a Standard Broadcast (AM) station on 40 meters and willfully interfering with the amateur net. The FCC also charged Thompson with failing to properly identify.

It's the Commission's first amateur enforcement action since the FCC announced it would consolidate amateur enforcement within the Compliance and Information Bureau under the coordination of Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, the CIB's legal advisor for enforcement.

Hollingsworth said the FCC acted in the Thompson case on complaints from amateurs, but FCC inspectors did all the leg work. FCC inspectors at Thompson's home found an AM receiver "positioned adjacent to the Amateur station's microphone and tuned to 1450 kHz," the FCC said. Hollingsworth said FCC personnel used a combination of long-range and local monitoring and tracking to zero in on Thompson's QTH as the source of the interfering signal.

Hollingsworth said he anticipates additional amateur enforcement cases to develop as a result of calls to the Amateur Enforcement Line, 202-418-1184. '

New Amateur Satellite in Trouble

SEDSAT-1, Amateur Radio's newest satellite, is in trouble following its successful launch October 24 from Cape Canaveral. After fewer than two dozen orbits around Earth, problems arose with the spacecraft's batteries and solar panels.

"This should not have happened," said SEDSAT coordinator Mark Maier, KF4YGR, at the University of Alabama-Huntsville, in a posting to SEDSAT team members and others. SEDSAT-1 was fabricated by students at the UAH. It was boosted into orbit by the same Delta II rocket that carried the Deep Space One probe into space. The package contains a Mode L digital store-and-forward transponder and a Mode A analog transponder. SEDSAT-1 has been heard from at various times this week, however, and ground controllers remain optimistic.

Maier said any hope of useful recovery depends on establishing uplink communication, "and the sooner the better." He said the satellite likely would need uplinks from more than one site "because the uploads will have to be compressed into daytime periods." Maier is hoping to upload code to alter the spacecraft's power-consumption cycle so it's more conserva tive.

"We can still activate the Mode A and imaging function, but only on a conservative schedule," he said this week.

Chris Lewicki, KC7NYV, of the University of Arizona re ported earlier this week that telemetry from SEDSAT-1 indicated the spacecraft's power had dropped to zero at one point and the satellite reset itself. Intermittent telemetry suggests the batteries were not storing their specified 8 Ah. Lewicki said the satellite went quiet halfway through a pass over Tucson on orbit 27, indicating it had gone into its "power cycle" mode. Lewicki said in this state, the satellite notices that it is in extremely low power conditions and waits 10 hours until attempting to transmit again.

The solar panels appear to be producing as much power as expected, but Lewicki said they are "slow to react when exiting an eclipse period," so charging does not start until at least 10 minutes into a daylight cycle. As a result of the power cycling, images of the satellite's deployment from the booster were lost.

Maier said the team needs "full daytime data" for SEDSAT-1, and the SEDSAT team has been actively seeking monitors around the world to listen and decode telemetry for periods when the spacecraft is nearing the end of its day cycle and entering eclipse. He said the satellite's orbit "precesses out of North America for fairly long periods" a half a day or more at a time making it unavailable to ground controllers. The downlink is 437.91 MHz, 9600 baud FSK (with adjustment for Doppler shift). A telemetry program is available at the SEDSAT Web site, .

"To use it, you must put your TNC in KISS mode and must set the appropriate COM port parameters," Lewicki said. Current two-line Keplerian elements also are available at the SEDSAT Web site. E-mail telemetry reports including the orbit number, your latitude/longitude, UTC, and brief description of hardware used to .

For more information, visit the SEDSAT Web site at

Solar Update

Solar sage Tad Cook, K7VVV, Seattle, Washington, reports: Solar activity was sharply lower last week. Average sunspot numbers dropped by well over half, and average solar flux declined over 17 points to around 109. This seems to be cyclical though, since the average solar flux was down to the same level four weeks ago, roughly corresponding to the rotation of the sun. Average solar flux for the previous 90 days declined this week from 132 to 131, and the solar flux values were far below this value on every day of the past week.

Conditions were fair for the DX contest last weekend, and although solar activity was low, there was quite a bit of activity on 10 meters, where the author of this bulletin operated mobile. An old IC-730--unused since the previous solar cycle was dusted off, placed in the car, and when hooked to a quarter-wave trunk mounted whip it was clear that 10 meters was back. Here on the West Coast it was fascinating to observe the propagation following the sun, with many contacts to JA, VK and ZL around sunset.

KH6BZF sent a note on October 28 suggesting that we might have passed a temporary lull in solar activity. To support this idea, he noted several solar flux readings from the observatory in Penticton, British Columbia. These readings are taken three times per day, at 9 AM, noon and 3 PM local time, although it is the noon measurement that is used for the official solar flux number for the day. The 12 consecutive solar flux readings for October 26 through 29 were 104.8, 104.1, 104.9, 101.7, 103, 103.8, 104.8, 107.8, 108.1, 109.7, 109.5, and 112.9. You can check the progression yourself on the web at Cary Oler's Solar Terrestrial Dispatch page at , then click on "Solar Activity" in the left frame, then "10.7 cm Solar Radio Flux."

The predicted solar flux for October 30-November 1 is 115, 115 and 120, and the projected planetary A index is 10, 8 and 8. This should mean slightly better conditions for the BARTG RTTY Contest this weekend, as compared to the CQ Worldwide DX Phone Contest last weekend.

Look for unsettled geomagnetic conditions around November 3, and again from November 16-21, due to recurring coronal holes. Solar flux should remain above 120 through November 13, then retreat to 110 by November 20. This is all based on the previous solar rotation, so with luck perhaps some unseen new activity will rotate into view, improving HF propagation.

Radio Netherlands has a great collection of propagation web links. See them at:

Sunspot numbers for October 22 through 28 were 60, 71, 43, 49, 50, 17, and 33, with a mean of 46.1. The 10.7-cm flux was 114.9, 112.5, 110.9, 107.5, 104.1, 103, and 107.8, with a mean of 108.7. The estimated planetary A indices were 18, 13, 13, 16, 7, 6 and 12, with a mean of 12.1.

Phase 3d

Phase 3D Satellite to Undergo Testing

Amateur Radio's Phase 3D spacecraft undergoes pre-launch testing this month in the Washington, DC, area to analyze the satellite's ability to withstand the harsh environment of space. Thermal-vacuum testing is set to begin October 20 at Orbital Sciences Corporation in Germantown, Maryland.

The spacecraft was transported in a well-padded truck from the Phase 3D Integration Lab in Orlando to the DC area. AMSAT-NA Executive Vice President Keith Baker, KB1SF, says the satellite will be placed in a large chamber for the thermal-vacuum test, and most of the air will be removed. "Then the temperature will be cycled up and down to simulate the harsh heating and cooling environment that the satellite is expected to encounter while in space," he said. A complete thermal cycle runs about 36 hours. The Phase 3D satellite will endure five cycles.

Barring unforeseen problems with the thermal-vacuum test, Baker said, the satellite now is slated to undergo vibration testing to simulate the launcher environment either late this year or early next year.

While the satellite was in town, Maryland-DC AMSAT Coordinator Pat Kilroy, WD8LAQ, was arranging opportunities for AMSAT members and "family" to get a look at the spacecraft before it enters the test chamber.

For more information on Phase 3D, see the Phase 3D Spacecraft Integration Laboratory Web site:

Upcoming VEC Exams

The following ARRL Internet page will help you find a US amateur license exam session near you. Its database is updated on a regular basis and includes all information necessary to schedule and attend FCC amateur radio license examinations:

FCC Sequential Call Sign Update

The following is a list of FCC sequentially assigned call signs issued as of October 5 1998. For more information about the sequential call sign system, see Fact Sheet PR5000 #206S or contact the FCC, 1270 Fairfield Rd, Gettysburg, PA 17325-7245; e-mail .

District Group A
Group B
Group C
Group D
N. Mariana Island NH0F AH0BA KH0HJ WH0ABJ
American Samoa AH8R AH8AH KH8DM WH8ABF
Virgin Islands ++ KP2CO NP2KF WP2AIJ
++ All call signs in this group have been issued in this district.

Newsletter Deadline:
Friday, November 27 for the December 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.

Go back to the W6VIO Calling Index