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Meeting Notice
Prez’ Mix
Calendar of Events
January Club Meetings
DX News
1999 Dues are Due
25 Years Ago; W6VIO Calling
Classified Section
Colombian Quake Springs Hams to Action
FCC Comes a Callin' in the Carolinas
Solar Update
Upcoming VEC Exams
ARRL E-Mail Forwarding Service

Calendar of Events

February 2 Special BOD Meeting,
February 10 General Meeting, Noon - 238-543
February 13 [Fontana Swap Meet, A. B. Miller HS, Fontana}
February 20 [CMRA Hamfest, Cal Poly, Pomona, 7 AM]
February 24 Board Meeting, Noon - 301-227
February 27 [TRW Swapmeet, Redondo Beach]
March 10 General Meeting, Noon - 238-543
March 13 [Fontana Swap Meet, A. B. Miller HS, Fontana}
March 20 [CMRA Hamfest, Cal Poly, Pomona, 7 AM]
March 24 Board Meeting, Noon - 301-227
March 27 [TRW Swapmeet, Redondo Beach]
April 10 [Fontana Swap Meet, A. B. Miller HS, Fontana}
April 14 General Meeting, Noon - 238-543
April 17 [CMRA Hamfest, Cal Poly, Pomona, 7 AM]
April 24 [TRW Swapmeet, Redondo Beach]
April 28 Board Meeting, Noon - 301-227
May 8 [Fontana Swap Meet, A. B. Miller HS, Fontana}
May 12 General Meeting, Noon - 238-543

Meeting Notice

The next regular JPL Amateur Radio Club will be held on Wednesday, February 13, at noon in Building 238 Room 543. The club 1999 budget will be discussed in addition to repeater plans. 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

Prez’ Mix
By Bob Dengler, NO6B

This month we’ve begun the process of putting the club budget together. It will be presented at the next general meeting on February 10. We need to have a quorum present at this meeting in order to be able to approve this budget so we can start buying the things that our volunteers need to make our club work. If you would like to help them do their job, just show up at the February meeting at 12 noon in 238-543. What an easy way to help your club! Time permitting, we will have a discussion on how we plan to meet this year’s goals in regards to our repeater systems: linking and consolidating our 220 & 440 systems, making the club autopatch available from the 440 repeater, and improving the receive coverage of our 147.15 repeater.

As some of you know, the 224.08 repeater on the mesa has been running at reduced power for some time now. This is due to a problem with the power supply for the system. It needs to be either repaired (probably just a bad cooling fan) or replaced. There are 3 supplies sitting next to the rack, and 2 of them are supposedly in good working condition. It just takes someone to go up to the mesa, do a quick check-out of the supplies, select one & install in the bottom of the rack (some minor wiring work may be required). If you can help get our 224.08 system back to full power, contact Randy Hammock KC6HUR, or me.

At our last board meeting, we discussed the possibility of replacing Newsline on our Monday noontime net with "This Week In Amateur Radio", a more efficient & reputable amateur radio news service. Unlike Newsline, TWIAR is not distributed via phone line. It is carried live every week on Saturday at 6 PM via TVRO satellite (the live feed can be heard locally from a repeater in West LA on 446.200 MHz), and is available for download via the web at To play it on our Monday net, we will need a volunteer with a PC connected to the net, sound card, & a radio capable of transmitting for half an hour or more into the 224.08 repeater (the club may be able to supply the radio if necessary). I can assist with setting up the station & interfacing the sound card to the radio, but I’m usually not available for the net due to my work schedule. Give me a call if you’d like to help. 73 ¾

January Club Meetings
By Jonathan Cameron, KF6RTA

General Meeting

Bob Dengler (NO6B) called the meeting to order on January 13, 1999, a few minutes after Noon. Bob is the new president of the JPL Amateur Radio Club for the calendar year of 1999. After an introduction by Randy Hammock (KC6HUR) to "transfer the power", Bob took over and started with a discussion of the club repeaters.

1. Repeaters

In the last half of 1998, the trusteeships were realigned to match the current activities. This now includes Bob Polansky (N6ET) as the W6VIO Trustee, Eric Archer (N6CV) as the W6JPL Trustee, Randy Hammock (KC6HUR) as the new WR6JPL Trustee, and Bill Wood (W6FXJ) as the WR6AZN trustee. The club has applied for vanity calls of WR6JPL for some of the JPL repeaters. (These new call signs have come in and been instituted since this meeting, so the notes here have been updated appropriately.)

Randy Hammock reported on existing problems with the 220 autopatch and other repeater problems. Bob Dengler is looking forward to purchasing new hardware to control the 2-meter and 440 MHz repeaters that will allow crosslinking and autopatching from either side. He hopes to purchase this equipment and get it installed and working by the middle of the year.

Randy reported that the situation at Cerro Negro is still stable. As was worked out last year, we will continue to operate there with the City of La Canada Flintridge (LCF). They will manage it, and we will help with occasional maintenance chores. There is a possibility that LCF may put up another repeater at the same site. This raised some questions about the possibilities of interference.

Bob is also planning to do some work on the antenna for the 2 meter repeater to improve reception.

2. Other business

Bob Dengler introduced a proposed reply to the "Comments of the Southern California Repeater & Remote Base Association to the FCC in the matter of Biennial Regulatory Review - Amendment of Part 97 of the Commission’s Amateur Service Rules." After a significant amount of discussion, during which several changes to the text were suggested and accepted, the members present voted on the document and accepted it by a majority, but not unanimous, vote.

We had one visitor with us who asked what kind of license he would need to communicate to his wife when she is in various locations on business (such as remote locations in Africa). Various options were discussed and one of the club members volunteered to talk further with him.

In attendance were: Bob Dengler (N06B), Randy Hammock (KC6HUR), John Norris (KE6QEZ), Jonathan Cameron (KF6RTA), Richard Schick (KE6BKE), Jim Sutton (ND6X), Bob Stiver (KF6PSS), Bob Francis (KD6AMI), Patrick Martin, Robb Fredrickson (W1EEL), Dayton Jones (K6DJ), Mark Helmlinger, Andrew Pease (KF6BUW), Phil Barnes-Roberts (KE6PMZ), and Manny Caldera (KC6ZSY).

Board of Director’s Meeting

The meeting on January 27 was not official due to the lack of a quorum. Bob Dengler said a special BOD meeting would be held on Tuesday, February 2 in 233-303B to further refine the club budget. The goals of this meeting are to define the projected expenditures and get further information about projected income. There are several projects that are on hold until items can be purchased, and the purchases must await budgetary approval by the general membership. The final budget needs to ready for the next general meeting on February 10. ¢

DX News

By Bob Polansky, N6ET

Cycle 23 is making its presence known. It’s been months, I think, since the solar flux was below 120. As a result, 12 and 10 meters have been quite useful when it comes to working DX. European openings occur almost daily. QRZ DX and The 59(9) Report have been full of exciting opportunities for the DX-minded "Ham operator". A few of the more exciting operations planned are listed next for your listening (and working) pleasure.

AUSTRALS - FO0AWI and FO0XUU will be here from 2 through 10 February, mostly on CW.

CHAGOS - VQ9DX should be back in operation by the end of January for a four-month period. He’s been quite active on 20 and 40 meter CW if my memory serves me right.

CHRISTMAS ISLAND - VK9XX will operate from here from 6 to 13 February, primarily on 160 and 80 meters, and the WARC bands.

COCOS-KEELING - VK9YY will activate this rare QTH from 13 to 20 February, again, primarily on 160 and 80 meters, and the WARC bands.

LIBERIA - EL2WW is back on the air now for several months. He operates all bands, both phone and cw.

NAURU - C21SX and C21ZM plan operation from 27 February through 7 March.

Look for them on CW, primarily on the WARC bands.

TANZANIA - 5H3US has a big signal from this remote area. Look for him at 3505 kHz from 0315Z, also on 7005 kHz from 0400Z on.

TEMOTU - H40FN and H40MS expect to open this new entity again from 28 January through 6 February, and possibly a little longer. No frequencies given.

TROMELIN - Look for FR5ZQ/T to be active sometime between 3 February and 3 March. From his published band plan, your best chance for a West Coast QSO appears to be 1600-1800Z on 14133-14200 kHz or 28450-28505 kHz.

Now go out there and work them! ¾

1999 Dues are Due

By Scott Nolte, N6CUV

As some of you may know, Rick McKinney (KA6DAN), has passed the torch with regard to membership chairperson and the duty of mailing the newsletter to the members off lab. After having Rick do this job for the club for so many years that I had to take both shoes to count, I will be trying to fill his big shoes, so to speak.

I will soon be updating the on-lab database, so if you have any changes for that list (410) let me know. Also, at the end of this month’s newsletter, you will find a club membership renewal form. Please take a few minutes and up-date your information and mail it back as soon as possible with your dues. My e-mail address and my mail stop is 306-392. ¾

Renewal Form

25 Years Ago in:

By Bill Wood, W6FXJ

The February 1974 issue of W6VIO Calling included an article reporting that the W6VIO shack was up and running with a Collins KWM2a transceiver and a 30L1 1000 watt linear amplifier for the SSB position. A Collins 75A4 receiver and 32V1 transmitter and a Johnson Thunderbolt 1000 watt amplifier for the CW position, a Heathkit HW-16 transceiver and MosFet VFO for Novice operation and Gonset AM Communicator IV for 2-meters!

The WS6MVM Mariner Venus Mercury special event operations schedule was set for the end of March through the end of April 1974.

Nash Williams reported on a recent meeting of the Southern California and Mexico Amateur Radio Mobile group and the plans for the LMRE convention in Guadalajara in May of 1974.

Editor Elmer MacMillan thanked Merv MacMedan, W6IUV, for his fine job putting together the January 1974 W6VIO Calling completely from scratch.

Check out the updated club QSL archive on-line for the MVM QSL card and links to NASA and JPL mission data. The full February 1974 issue can be accessed at the following Internet address:

For those who are following the progress of the posting of the Club’s W6VIO Calling archive to the Internet, we now have all issues from 1971 through 1981 completed. Look them over at this address: ¢

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

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:

QST 1990-1994 CD-ROM set, new. $25 (ARRL price $39.95) Skip, W7NWY, 818-354-9674

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.

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 818-354-9724n

JPL ARC Repeaters
WR6JPL 147.150 MHz (+) PL 131.8 Open
WR6JPL 224.080 MHz (–) PL 156.7 Open
WR6JPL 224.700 MHz (–) Closed Autopatch
WR6JPL 440.125 MHz (+) PL 103.5 Open
W6JPL-1 145.090 MHz   Packet Node/BBS
W6JPL-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


Colombian Quake Springs Hams To Action

Via the ARRL Letter Online, Volume 18, Number 5

Amateur Radio nets activated in short order on 20 and 40 meters following an earthquake January 25 in West Central Colombia. The quake, measuring 6 on the Richter scale, killed more than 1000 people, injured thousands of others, and caused major structural damage. The Salvation Army reports more than 150,000 people missing in Colombia’s mountainous coffee-growing region. The initial tremor and some aftershocks were felt in the capital city of Bogota. News media in Colombia were reporting "chaos" in the city of Armenia, where some residents stormed and looted stores and supermarkets when relief supplies failed to materialize. Martial law was declared there.

"In most cases, the problem is in the distribution," said Dallas Carter, W3PP, in Laurel, Delaware. Carter monitored some of the first reports of the quake via Amateur Radio on a 20-meter relief net run by HK3SA and HK3RQA and has been assisting as a US net control -- sometimes for as long as 12 hours a day. Amateur activities were taking place on 14.347 MHz and locally on 7.085 and 7.090 MHz.

Ham radio was a major source of information out of the affected area in the hours immediately following the disaster. "They are requesting blood, water, medical assistance, rescue equipment," Carter said this week. He said HK3SA was flown into the city of Armenia and has set up an HF operation to maintain contact via 40 and 20 meters to directly handle international health-and-welfare requests as well as keep in touch with the capital. He said 2-meter repeaters were being used for local emergency coordination.

The Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) has established contact with hams in Colombia and a net on 14.265 MHz and was helping with inquiries about victims. At this point, most of the health-and-welfare traffic was coming into the US from the stricken regions, while not much was going into the area. The Salvation Army’s Michael Koenemund, KB1CKF, reported that the Salvation Army had dispatched a 10-member assessment and first response team from Bogota to the affected cities of Pereira and Ibaque. "The team will render primary services, including food, water and shelter," he said.

The International Red Cross in Colombia has dispatched a team of 80, plus relief equipment and supplies "There’s an extreme shortage of doctors," Carter said. "They’re still digging people out."

The ARRL has offered its assistance to the Liga Colombiana de Radioaficionados (LCRA), the League’s IARU sister society in Colombia.

Media in Bogota have set up Web sites with information from the affected areas including lists of individual names and status. See or (Spanish) or (English).

FCC Comes a Callin’ In The Carolinas

Via the ARRL Letter Online, Volume 18, Number 5

FCC engineering and legal staff conducted unannounced Amateur Radio station inspections January 21 and 22 in North and South Carolina, reports FCC amateur enforcement honcho Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH.

"Commission personnel inspected the stations of John A. Abernethy, K4OKA, an Extra Class licensee in Hickory, North Carolina, and Richard Whiten, WB2OTK, a General Class licensee in Easley, South Carolina," Hollingsworth said.

In both visits, FCC officials were accompanied by local law enforcement personnel. Hollingsworth said both amateurs cooperated with the inspections, which lasted approximately two hours apiece. FCC officials said that both operators "were the subjects of many complaints about their operations on the 75 and 20 meter Amateur bands." The officials said the results of the inspections were "under review," and declined further comment.

Earlier this month, the FCC issued a stern warning to an Indian River County, Florida ham who, the FCC said, had been using the amateur airwaves to transmit information on, among other things, the credit reports, criminal records, and mortgage foreclosures of other hams and their families. "You have apparently made these disclosures and broadcasts for the purpose of deliberately and maliciously interfering with licensed Amateurs operating on those bands, and for harassment or perceived retaliation," said the letter, signed by Hollingsworth.

"We view this matter as extremely serious," he told the ARRL. Hollingsworth called the alleged operation "contrary to the purpose of Amateur Radio" and said that it "endangers the entire Amateur Radio frequency allocation internationally." n

Solar Update

Via the ARRL Letter Online, Volume 18, Number 5

Solar sage Tad Cook, K7VVV, Seattle, Washington, reports: Solar activity was down slightly this week when compared to last. Average sunspot values were 35 points, lower, but solar flux was off by less than 6 points. Average solar flux for the previous 90 days was 140.1, and daily solar flux values were below this level on the last three days of the reporting week. Expect solar flux to continue lower at 112, 110 and 110 for January 29-31. Planetary A index for the same three days is projected to be 8, 5 and 8, which is not too bad for the CQ WW 160-Meter contest.

The projected solar flux for January 30-31 of 110 is quite low, all of 30 points lower than the average for the 90 days previous to the reporting week. Flux values also dipped down to this level on January 10, but prior to that had not been this low since late October. Solar flux is expected to rise next week, to above 130 around February 8, above 140 three days later, and around 155 by mid-month. Look for unsettled geomagnetic conditions around February 9-11 and February 19.

During the same week last year average sunspot numbers were 17 points lower, and average solar flux was about 55 points lower.

Sunspot numbers for January 21 through 27 were 134, 141, 117, 107, 81, 47, and 64, with a mean of 98.7. The 10.7-cm flux was 175.3, 177.9, 165.9, 161.8, 138.1, 133.2, and 125.4, with a mean of 153.9. The estimated planetary A indices were 5, 10, 16, 13, 9, 4 and 9, with a mean of 9.4. ¢

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: ¢

ARRL E-Mail Forwarding Service:

Via the ARRL Letter Online, Volume 18, Number 5

Starting February 1, ARRL members will be able to sign up via the Members Only Web Site ( for the League’s new E-Mail Forwarding Service. The forwarding - or alias - service is available at no additional charge for ARRL members. It will provide members with a uniform "" e-mail address that remains the same even if the user changes e-mail service providers. Details are available on the Members Only Web Site at The service does not affect usability of your original e-mail address, which will continue to be the one reflected in outgoing messages. ¢

Newsletter Deadline:

Friday, February 26 for the March 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.

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.