Permission to copy is granted provided that credit is given "W6VIO Calling"

What's Inside the September W6VIO Calling

Calendar of Events
Meeting Notice
President's Message
August Club Meetings
DX News
Hurricane Frequencies
Silent Key
Classified Section


Calendar of Events
September 9 [Fontana Swap Meet, A. B. Miller HS, Fontana}
September 12 General Meeting, Noon - 238-543
September 19 [CMRA Hamfest, Cal Poly, Pomona, 7 AM]
September 23 Board Meeting, Noon - 301-227
September 26 [TRW Swapmeet, Redondo Beach]
October 10 [Fontana Swap Meet, A. B. Miller HS, Fontana}
October 14 General Meeting, Noon - 238-543
October 17 [CMRA Hamfest, Cal Poly, Pomona, 7 AM]
October 21 Board Meeting, Noon - 301-227
October 31 [TRW Swapmeet, Redondo Beach]
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

Meeting Notice
By Mark Schaefer, WB6CIA

The next regular JPL Amateur Radio Club will be held on Wednesday, September 9, at noon in Building 238 Room 543. Don't miss this meeting as the guest speaker will be Art Goddard, W6XD, ARRL Southwestern Division Vice Director, who will discuss proposed changes to amateur radio licensing. Whatever your point of view, now is the time to make your feelings made clear to our elected ARRL people. 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.

Now some swap meet news: The CMRA Hamfest is back in business in Pomona. Starting this month it will be held on the third Saturday from 7 to 11 AM at the California Polytechnic Institute, 3801 W. Temple Avenue, parking lots F8, F9 and F10. Take the Kellogg Drive off ramp from the 10 Freeway or the Temple Avenue off ramp from the 57 Freeway. The location is at the intersection of Kellogg Drive and University Avenue. Call 714-537-4230 for recorded information. n

President's Message
By Randy Hammock, KC6HUR

While it may only be September, it is time to start looking for people who will be our next years officers. I will not be running for President again as I already have too many other duties. At this time, I am asking if there is anyone who would like to head the office nominating committee. If so, please contact me. If you are interested in running for an office, please let me know, too.

Cerro Negro Update

As it stands now, the club will continue to have access to Cerro Negro as a repeater site; however, there may be some conditions to our staying there. The City of La Canada will become the sole lessee of the site. They have mentioned that we are more than welcome to remain there, but we may have to come up with some sort of arraignment to "pay" for our stay. At this moment, this does not mean paying rent but doing possibly doing things at the site. This may include such things as clearing brush from around the site, painting the building or other such maintenance chores. Nothing is official yet, so we are just in the planning stage of the types of things we can offer for our keep.

Other Projects

Our HF station is nearly complete. Thanks to the leadership of Bob N6ET and the help of many others, we now have a very nice HF station. There are more items that need to be taken care of, but they should be completed in the near future.

Our packet operations are moving along quite nicely. Eric, N6CV, has made good progress in getting the new location in building 180 operational. We hope to have the 1200/9600-baud stations up and running soon. All equipment for the 56K station is here or on order, so we hope to have that on the air near future. The super high-speed station is still in the planning stages.

Our Repeater systems are functioning, but need some work. As I will be the new repeater trustee, I plan to have a more hands-on role and expect to get things moving there. We have ordered a new 90-watt PA for the 224.70 system. This should help to extend our coverage of this system again.

Remember that we need volunteers for officers next year. Please give some consideration. Give something back to the club, which gives you so much in return. n

August Club Meetings
By Phil Smith, WB6LQP

August 12: General Meeting

There was no mistaking that the last General Meeting was the August event, for the attendance obviously reflected folks being gone on vacation. Pity, because the program featured an excellent APRS presentation by Alan Hubbard, N6VTX. He had a nice slide show that captured the basics of amateur packet-based location reporting technology and gear. There were many action shots of systems being used for public service applications at the Rose Parade, LA Marathon, Baker-Vegas Run and other mobile events.

With the mapping software available now, such equipment is capable of tracking just about anything, anywhere. A packet TNC, an HT and a GPS receiver are all that is necessary to operate the mode. However, the addition of real-time color display of a visual map adds an exciting dimension that has an almost tactical appearance to it.

As the prices of laptop computers come down, expect to see a lot more hams playing with this in the field. Those interested in poking around now can find two-meter activity on 145.79. There is a move afoot to re-coordinate Southern California to the national frequency of 144.39 once arrangements can be made to find a place for the ATV coordinating channel that currently occupies that spot. Software for APRS is downloadable from a number of amateur web sites and operates with most common TNC's, so some of the more adventurous members should have interesting reports of experiments to discuss come next meeting.

In health news, it was reported that Larry Smith had passed away. However, Merv MacMedan is at home recovering from his bypass surgery, and Phil Barnes-Roberts has returned to work after his difficulties. Harry Enmark is ill and residing at Arcadia Methodist Hospital. A stressful time for members.

Other items: there was some discussion of the ARRL and FCC license restructuring plans. This may be a topic we would like to focus on at an upcoming meeting, since it will have an important impact on the future of the hobby. Come and express your ideas next meeting.

August 26: Board of Directors Meeting,

The Board meeting this month covered several items of interest. Foremost, there is encouraging news of progress in negotiations between the City of La Canada and LA County regarding the repeater site.

While there has not been ink applied to paper yet, it appears at this time that La Canada will occupy the site and has graciously offered to allow us to remain. This took a lot of effort and diplomacy on the part of club officers and trustees and it would seem appropriate to commend them for a job well done.

What's next? Well, the paperwork is in process for a new call for the non-repeater VHF/UHF operations of which Eric Archer will be trustee, and Randy has consented to be the new repeater trustee for the W6JPL call.

Then, to simplify matters for all concerned, it was decided to look into getting a post office box for the club. This would provide official business a place to call home rather than having to change addresses with each new election. It is anticipated that QSL processing will be expedited as well.

To complete the budgetary process it was decided to devote the remaining Emergency Support funds to the purchase of two 220 HT's, to be maintained in the trailer for use in emergency situations. n

DX News
By Bob Polansky, N6ET

Solar flux is staying above 100 almost constantly for the first time in three or four years. What good news! A quick scan of the HF bands shows that this news is getting around. 17, 15, 12, and 10 meters all provide DX "opportunities" if you listen at the right times of day. Refer to the propagation charts published in each QST edition to determine where and when propagation is likely. Now for some specifics, again, thanks to The 59(9) DX Report for most of the following information.

AMSTERDAM ISLAND - FT5ZH plans operation starting in December for a whole month. All band operation from 160 through 10 meters is planned, although, they're still looking for a WARC band beam for this operation.

BHUTAN - Two operations are in the planning stages from this remote and very rare DX country. One from a famous VK and one from a famous JA. Keep tuned for specifics. I believe that at least one of these will take place by early next year.

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC - TL5A has been very active on CW, SSB, and RTTY on 30 through 10 meters. Look for frequencies and times in the latest bulletin on the wall in the W6VIO Ham Shack.

JERSEY - PA3DSR will operate from GJ-land from 11 through 15 September including the WAE SSB Contest.

NAURU - C21JH should be active from here through 5 September. Look for him on 80 through 6 meters, primarily on SSB.

SAINT PAUL ISLAND - Look for WV2B operating portable from this North Atlantic QTH from 9 through 14 September, depending on the weather.

SOCOTRA ISLAND - Although this is not on the current Official DX Country List at present, it appears to meet the new criteria for "DX Entities". Its location is near the country of Yemen on the horn of Africa itself.

That's all for now. Keep an ear out for the rare ones I forgot to tell you about! n

Hurricane Frequencies
Via the September 1998 ARNS Bulletin

We're now into hurricane season and the following list of frequencies may be helpful. This list was published in the July 1998 issue of "Ham Chatter", the newsletter of the Brightleaf ARC, Dave Langley-W4YDY Editor.

Frequencies of Interest during Hurricane Season

Freq. kHz Mode Description
03357.0 FAX Pictures from NAM Norfolk (continuous)
03407.0 USB National Hurricane Center air-gnd "ALPHA"
04271.0 FAX Pictures from CFH Halifax (continuous)
04426.0 USB USCG Wx NMN Portsmouth (0400,0530,1000)
04724.0 USB Hurricane hunter acft - GHFS
05211.0 USB SHARES - FEMA National Emergency Coordination Net (night pri)
05562.0 USB National Hurricane Center air-gnd "BRAVO"
05610.0 USB National Hurricane Center air-gnd "CHARLUE"
06496.4 FAX Pictures from CFH Halifax (continuous)
06501.0 USB USCG Wx NMN Portsmouth (0400, 0530, 1000, 1130, 1600, 2200, 2330)
06673.0 USB National Hurricane Center air-gnd "DELTA7
06739.0 USB Hurricane hunter acft - GHFS guarded by MacDill & Ascension
07507.0 USB USN/USCG hurricane net (pri)
07508.5 USB FAA Caribbean hurricane net
08764.0 USB USCG Wx NMN Portsmouth (0400, 0530, 1000, 1130, 1600, 1730, 2200, 2300)
08876.0 USB National Hurricane Center air-gnd "ECHO"
08968.0 USB Hurricane hunter acft - GHFS
08992.0 USB Hurricane hunter acft - GHFS guarded by MacDill & Ascension
09380.0 USB USN/USCG hurricane net (sec)
10015.0 USB National Hurricane Center air-gnd "FOXTROT"
10493.0 USB SHARES - FEMA National Emergency Coordination Net (day pri)
10536.0 FAX Pictures from CFH Halifax (continuous)
10865.0 FAX Pictures from NAM Norfolk (continuous)
11175.0 USB Hurricane hunter acft - GHFS guarded by MacDill & Ascension
13089.0 USB USCG Wx NMN Portsmouth (1130, 1600, 1730, 2200, 2330)
13200.0 USB Hurricane hunter acft - GHFS
13267.0 USB National Hurricane air-gnd "GOLF"
13510.0 USB Pictures from CFH Halifax (1000-2200)
15016.0 USB Hurricane hunter acft - GHFS guarded by MacDill & Ascension
17314.0 USB USCG Wx from NMN Portsmouth (1730)
17901.0 USB National Hurricane Center air-gnd "HOTEL"
17976.0 USB Hurricane hunter acft - GHFS
21937.0 USB National Hurricane Center air-gnd "INDIA"


Amateur High-Frequency Emergency Hurricane Nets

Freq kHz Mode Description
03808.0 LSB Caribbean Wx (1030)
03815.0 LSB Antigua/Antilles
03815.0 LSB Inter-island (continuous watch)
03845.0 LSB Gulf Coast West Hurricane
03862.5 LSB Mississippi Traffic
03873.0 LSB Central Gulf Coast Hurricane
03873.0 LSB Texas Traffic
03905.0 LSB Pacific ARES (Hawaii)
03907.0 LSB Carolina Coast Emergency
03910.0 LSB Mississippi ARES
03910.0 LSB Virginia Emergency, Alpha
03915.0 LSB Louisiana Emergency
03915.0 LSB North Carolina
03915.0 LSB Massachusetts/Rhode Island Emergency
03917.0 LSB Eastern Pennsylvania Emergency
03923.0 LSB Mississippi ARES
03923.0 LSB North Carolina Emergency (Tar Heel)
03925.0 LSB Gulf Coast Hurricane
03925.0 LSB New York State Emergency
03925.0 LSB Louisiana Emergency (altn)
03925.0 LSB Southwest Traffic (altn)
03935.0 LSB Belize
03935.0 LSB Gulf Coast Hurricane
03940.0 LSB Southern Florida Emergency
03947.0 LSB Virginia Emergency, Bravo
03950.0 LSB Northern Florida Emergency
03955.0 LSB South Texas Emergency
03960.0 LSB North East Coast Hurricane
03965.0 LSB Alabama Emergency (altn)
03967.0 LSB Gulf Coast (outgoing traffic)
03975.0 LSB Georgia ARES
03975.0 LSB Texas RACES
03987.5 LSB Mexican National
03993.5 LSB Gulf Coast Health & Welfare
03993.5 LSB South Carolina Emergency
03995.0 LSB Gulf Coast Wx
07165.0 LSB Antigua/Antilles
07165.0 LSB Inter-Island 40-meter (continuous watch)
07225.0 LSB Central Gulf Coast Hurricane
07230.0 LSB Southwest Traffic
07232.0 LSB South Carolina Emergency
07232.0 LSB North Carolina Emergency (Tar Heel) (altn)
07235.0 LSB Louisiana Emergency
07235.0 LSB Baja
07235.0 LSB Central Gulf Coast Hurricane
07240.0 LSB Texas Emergency
07243.0 LSB Alabama Emergency
07243.0 LSB South Carolina Emergency
07245.0 LSB Southern Louisiana
07247.0 LSB Southern Florida Emergency (altn)
07247.5 LSB Northern Florida Emergency (altn)
07248.0 LSB Texas RACES
07250.0 LSB Belize
07250.0 LSB Texas Emergency
07254.0 LSB Northern Florida Emergency
07260.0 LSB Gulf Coast West Hurricane
07264.0 LSB Gulf Coast Health & Welfare
07273.0 LSB Texas Traffic
07275.0 LSB Georgia ARES
07280.0 LSB NTS Region 5
072:900 LSB Louisiana Emergency (altn)
07293.0 LSB Gulf Coast (outgoing only)
07290.0 LSB Capital Gulf Coast Hurricane
07290.0 LSB Gulf Coast Wx
07290.0 LSB Hawaii Emergency
07290.0 LSB Traffic
14185.0 USB Caribbean Emergency
14215.0 USB Pacific Inter-island
14222.0 USB Health & Welfare
14245.0 USB Health & Welfare
14268.0 USB United Nations Radio Readiness Network
14275.0 USB Bermuda
14275.0 USB International Amateur Radio Net
14283.0 USB Caribbean Health & Welfare
14300.0 USB Intercontinental Traffic and Maritime Mobile Service
14303.0 USB Atlantic Region Traffic (Health & Welfare)
14316.0 USB Health & Welfare
14325.0 USB Hurricane Watch (Amateur-to-Nat Hurricane Ctr)
14340.0 USB Louisiana (1900)
14340.0 USB California-Hawaii
21310.0 USB Health & Welfare (Spanish)
21390.0 USB Inter-Americas Health & Welfare
21400.0 USB Transatlantic Maritime ¢

Silent Key
By Walt Mushagian, K6DNS

It is with deep regret that I announce the passing of Larry Smith, N6PBS. Larry was active in helping get the JPL ARC Monday Emergency Net started and organized our Novice, Technician operation for Field Day for several years. He will be missed. ¢

Classified Section

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

An IC-2350H in top condition. Also need UPS/Battery Pack 12-13.8 VDC at 20 amps, 10-20 Ampere Hour internal battery, NiMH or Gel Cell. Allan Chapman, W6MEO, or 707-944-1322.

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 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

Newsletter Deadline:

Friday, October 2 for the October 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.

JPL ARC Repeaters
W6VIO 147.150 MHz (+) PL 131.8 Open
W6VIO 224.080 MHz (-) PL 156.7 Open
W6JPL 224.700 MHz (-) Closed Autopatch
W6VIO 440.125 MHz (+) PL 103.5 Open
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 to Debut Web Magazine September 1
Via the ARRL Letter Online, Volume 17, Number 34

The ARRLWeb Extra, the new ARRLWeb publication, debuts September 1 on the League's new Members Only Web Site, The ARRLWeb Extra will offer news and features, photos and sounds from the world of Amateur Radio and the ever-changing communication scene.

A totally new online publication, The ARRLWeb Extra, will publish Amateur Radio news and features-including insider news, technical and how-to topics, additional information on Product Review items, "First Looks" at upcoming products that will be reviewed in QST, and occasional offbeat items, a "Foto Gallery," and information about-and links to-interesting Web sites. From time to time, The ARRLWeb Extra will explore subjects only indirectly related to Amateur Radio.

Web publication also will make it possible for Product Review and New Products items to include sound and more pictures that we might not have room for in QST.

Members now get a chance to actually hear what a new transceiver sounds like, for example. The first edition of The ARRLWeb Extra takes a closer look at the new SGC SG-2020 transceiver, providing sound clips of CW and SSB reception (in RealAudio format), plus interior photographs not included in QST. The full-blown SG-2020 Product Review will appear elsewhere on the Members Only Web Site as well as in October's QST.

The Members Only Web Site will make current and past QST Product Review columns available in a searchable archive as Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files. The QST Product Review Columns page lists all Product Reviews from 1990 to the present.

The premier edition of The ARRLWeb Extra will feature several general-interest articles. There's an exciting narrative by Ed Petzolt, K1LNC, of how he used ham radio to help save the lives of a missionary family, caught up in a hostage situation in a remote section of Guatemala. Sound clips of actual transmissions are included. Ralph Katz, KB8ZOY, tells the uplifting tale of how "Two Honest Hams"-who also happened to be pretty good detectives-retrieved his H-T, lost at the Dayton Hamvention.

News items for the Extra will be updated as soon as possible, which means that breaking stories sometimes will be available before they're published in The ARRL Letter or issued as W1AW bulletins. Whenever available, pictures and sound cuts will augment our news coverage. The ARRLWeb Extra is free of advertising and other "commercial clutter." News and article submittals are welcome via e-mail to

In a related move, The ARRL Letter now will become more available to League members. ARRL members may subscribe to The ARRL Letter and receive it via e-mail directly from ARRL Headquarters free-of-charge and without having to go through the third-party listserver. Members can choose to receive The ARRL Letter via e-mail when they register to use the Members Only Web Site. They'll also be able to start or stop their Letter subscription at any time from the Membership Data page on the Members Only site.

Current and back issues of The ARRL Letter will continue to be available on the public ARRLWeb as well. In addition ARRL Audio News, the weekly RealAudio news broadcast that's compiled and edited from The ARRL Letter, will continue to be available via the public ARRLWeb site. ARRL Audio News also is available by telephone at 860-594-0384.

ARRL Senior Assistant Technical Editor Rick Lindquist, N1RL, will edit The ARRLWeb Extra. He will continue to edit The ARRL Letter and edit and voice ARRL Audio News.

To access the ARRL Members Only Web Site welcome page, League members need only point their browsers to Register by providing your call sign and your ARRL membership number-found on your QST mailing label. You'll also be prompted to select a password. If you're not a member, you can join the ARRL online via the ARRLWeb site at ¢

Optimism Reigns in Phase 3D Camp
Via the ARRL Online Letter, Volume 17, Number 34

Despite numerous setbacks, optimism rules in the Phase 3D camp. AMSAT officials again express tentative confidence that Phase 3D will some day ride aboard an Ariane 5 series vehicle-or another compatible launcher-perhaps next year.

That's a change from the glum mood of last June, when the European Space Agency dropped the Phase 3D payload from the third and final Ariane 5 proveout series, replacing it with a dummy Eutelsat payload. This week, AMSAT-NA Executive Vice President Keith Baker, KB1SF, said that AMSAT still considers the Ariane 503 test important, even though Phase 3D won't be aboard

Baker said a successful Ariane 503 launch increases AMSAT's chances of hitching a ride aboard a subsequent commercial Ariane 5 launch. Discussions between Phase 3D officials in Europe, the European Space Agency, and ArianeSpace continue, but no action in that arena is expected until after a successful Ariane 503 launch. Baker said AMSAT continues to be optimistic that Phase 3D will be a standby passenger for the European Space Agency program.

However, AMSAT has not ruled out "other launch agencies" in hopes of finding a safe and affordable launch for Phase 3D. The more "trucks headed our way" to space the better for Phase 3D, Baker said.

Meanwhile, Baker said that, aside from a few minor modifications, the Phase 3D satellite is "all but complete" at the Orlando, Florida, integration lab. The next major phase involves testing the satellites ability to withstand the harsh environment of space.

Phase 3D Project Manager and AMSAT-DL President Karl Meinzer, DJ4ZC, recently gave his final approval to the Phase 3D transponder frequencies. The complete table of uplink, downlink and telemetry beacon frequencies is available at ¢

FCC [Proposal] Streamlines Away Novice, Tech Plus Tickets
Via the ARRL Online Letter, Volume 17, Number 32

The FCC has proposed to phase out the Novice and Technician Plus class licenses, leaving just four amateur license classes in place--Technician, General, Advanced, and Extra. The Commission also has asked the amateur community to express its opinions on Morse code requirements for licensing and testing, but offered no specific changes. And the FCC proposed to permit Advanced class licensees to administer amateur exams up through General class. The proposals were among several suggested rules changes and invitations to comment contained in an FCC Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, WT Docket 98-143, made public August 10.

Given the December 1 comment and January 15 reply comment deadlines, it's likely that the issues the NPRM raises won't be resolved until well into next year.

In proposing to phase out the Novice and Tech Plus tickets, the FCC pointed to what it called "an unnecessary overlap between the Novice, Technician, and Technician Plus," and asserted that Technician and Tech Plus operators "predominantly" use FM and packet on VHF and UHF. The FCC said Novice applicants last year numbered fewer than 1000, while there were nearly 21,500 Technician applications.

Under the FCC plan, Novice and Tech Plus licensees would retain current operating privileges, but no new Novice or Tech Plus licenses would be granted. For examination purposes, current examination elements 2 and 3A would be combined into a new element 3A. For administrative purposes, the FCC would combine the current Technician and Tech Plus databases into a single Technician database.

The proposal would eliminate the 5 WPM code test, Element 1A, as a required element for any class of license, while retaining references to it elsewhere in the rules. This has left hams wondering exactly what the Commission intends. The elimination of the Novice and Tech Plus license classes and Element 1A as a requirement appear to effectively raise the bar for most future applicants wanting HF operating privileges, unless the FCC ultimately reduces Morse code requirements.

The FCC did not propose to change any operating frequencies or license privileges for amateurs. However, the FCC does seeks comment on the disposition of the current Novice HF bands, which carry a 200-W output power limit for all licensees. The FCC invited comment on whether it would be "appropriate" to delete the Novice bands and the power restrictions on higher-class licensees and permit Novices to operate CW anywhere on 80, 40, 15, and 10 meters at 200 W output.

The FCC opened the door to comments on all aspects of Morse code testing from the amateur community. In particular, the Commission said it wants to know if hams prefer the current three-level system or would like to see it reduced to a one or two-tier system--and, if so, at what required speeds. The FCC asked whether hams would be willing to trade a reduction in Morse code requirements for additional written elements on newer digital technologies "which, in part, are replacing the Morse code." And, the Commission asked whether it should consider specifying Morse code examination methods, such as fill-in-the-blank or one minute of solid copy, instead of allowing VEs to determine the testing method. ¢

Solar Update
Via the ARRL Online Letter, Volume 17, Number 34

Solar scholar Tad Cook, K7VVV, Seattle, Washington, reports: Feel the solar wind? This has been a very active week for the geomagnetic field, with solar flares and resulting geomagnetic storms creating lots of excitement. As this is being written, the planetary A index-which recently has typically been below 10--was at 112. It was 39 the day before. Currently, a major geomagnetic storm is raging, but conditions are expected to settle down the weekend of August 29-30.

Solar flux was down slightly from last week and the week before, while the average solar flux for the previous 90 days rose from 115 to 117. Solar flux was above these values on every day this week, indicating a general upward trend. A year ago, the average solar flux for the week was 78.9; almost 50 points lower than the current level. Average sunspot numbers were about 100 points lower.

On August 24, there was a major proton flare. This caused a major HF fadeout, plus continuing geomagnetic disturbances. The flare was big enough to merit reporting in the news wire services. Reuters reported that the aurora may be strong enough to be visible across the United States, not just in the northern latitudes.

Conditions such as this are very bad for HF propagation but create many interesting VHF contacts via the aurora. K2SMN in New Jersey reported working VE2BKL and VE2PEP in Quebec, WA4HEI in Michigan, and W9JN in Wisconsin, all on 2 meters.

Look for conditions to calm down this weekend. Solar flux for August 28-30 is forecast at 135 for all days, and the planetary A index is predicted to be 30, 15 and 10 over the same period. Solar flux is expected to drop down near 115 for September 1 and 2, then peak around 145 around a week later. There is a strong possibility of recurrent coronal holes causing geomagnetic disturbances around September 18 and 19.

Contact Tad via e-mail at or via packet at K7VVV@N7FSP.WA.USA.NOAM.

Sunspot numbers for August 20 through 26 were 120, 138, 102, 121, 99, 109, and 146, with a mean of 119.3. The 10.7-cm flux was 138.6, 132.1, 132.9, 126.4, 121.2, 122.1, and 126.9, with a mean of 128.6. The estimated planetary A indices were 18, 6, 23, 23, 11, 11, and 39, with a mean of 18.7. n

Upcoming VEC Examinations

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
Via the ARRL Online Letter, Volume 17, Number 32

The following is a list of FCC sequentially assigned call signs issued as of August 3, 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 KH0HE WH0ABJ
American Samoa AH8R AH8AH KH8DM WH8ABF
Virgin Islands ++ KP2CN NP2KD WP2AIJ

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


Go back to the W6VIO Calling Index.