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Meeting Notice
Passing the Torch
Calendar of Events
Prez' Mix
Packet Station Update
Year-End Banquet
25 Years Ago; W6VIO Calling
Classified Section
Late DX News
FCC Enforcement Honcho Done "Taking Names"
Solar Update

Calendar of Events

January 9 [Fontana Swap Meet, A. B. Miller HS, Fontana}
January 13 General Meeting, Noon - 238-543
January 16 [CMRA Hamfest, Cal Poly, Pomona, 7 AM]
January 27 Board Meeting, Noon - 301-227
January 30 [TRW Swap Meet, Redondo Beach]
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

Meeting Notice

The next regular JPL Amateur Radio Club will be held on Wednesday, January 13, 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. Everyone is welcome at both meetings; bring your lunch. n

Passing the Torch

By Randy Hammock, KC6HUR

Seems like I’ve been President of the JPLARC as long as I have been a member. With the exception of my first year and the two years I was at Goddard, I’ve held this office. I think the club has accomplished quite a bit during my tenure. While I do not necessarily provide a strong leadership, I do try to provide an environment where other can freely accomplish what is needed. I have felt that the best way to get people involved, is to let them do what they feel is needed and that these activities go towards advancing the club’s interests.

We revitalized the Table Mountain Repeaters and the link between JPL and the Table Mountain. This link has now become a vital link between JPL and Goldstone, serving as an emergency communications link to help keep the DSN running should all phone communications be lost. There are several other activities throughout the year, which also utilize this link. By moving the business portion of our Monday noontime net over to the linked system, we perform a weekly test of both repeater systems at JPL as well as extending our reach to our High Desert membership. Bob Dengler, NO6B, and Jan Tarsala, WB6VRN, have expanded our repeater capabilities beyond two 220 repeater and brought us 2M and 440 as well. We provide a valuable community service by allowing the Pasadena EOC use our 2M repeater for their Monday evening nets and emergency use.

Through the efforts of Bob Polansky, N6ET; Jay Holladay, W6EJJ; Chris Carson, KE6ABQ; and many others, we now have an excellent HF station. Once the new 40M beam is put up, we will have a station, which will be right up there when it comes to performance. Through Bob and Jay’s leadership on Field Day, we have soared to the top in our customary class of 3A and have made a reasonable assault on the extremely competitive 2A class.

Eric Archer N6CV has started to make good inroads on getting some very fascinating digital operations going. A few years ago, Gerry Walsh, KB6OOC, Cliff Yamamoto, KA6JRG, and Jim Szeto, KC6WIK, put us on the map with the Packet <> Internet Gateway. Now Eric will be pushing the envelope with 57K capabilities and plans to expand into the multi-megabit world.

Bill Wood, W6FXJ, has provided us with a most excellent Newsletter as well as seemingly untiring support for the Table Mountain repeaters. Since Bill is also on the Board of Directors, I started making him a part of our monthly meeting through the use of teleconferencing. This has really helped to keep thing moving by helping to improve our ability to obtain a quorum of board members.

I would like to thank Walt Diem W6CWD for all the hard work he has provided during his term as trustee of the WB6IEA/WR6APR repeater.

If I have forgotten anyone, please accept my most sincere apologies. I have not gone, just moving onto newer things. Best wishes for the New Year! n

Prez' Mix

By Bob Dengler, NO6B

As the last year of the 1000’s (I didn’t say millenium!) begins, the JPL ARC board is faced with an unprecedented dilemma: we have no vice-president! If you know of ANYONE who can fill this position PLEASE contact me. All the VP has to do is to fill my shoes if I’m not around or have to resign, and help us get some programs together for the general meetings.

As for me, I can only hope to do as good of a job as Randy has for the past two years. His policy of empowering those who volunteer countless hours for the good of the club has definitely paid off. How many clubs do you know of that have their present & past newsletters on the web, linked wide-coverage repeater systems, multiple HF stations, cutting-edge amateur packet technology development AND a first-class FD effort every year that routinely scores in the top few percent? I wanted to name names here, but I think there’s just too many. So if you’ve helped out on any of these activities, give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back. If not, consider that most people volunteer not just for the good of the club, but because it’s FUN, so consider being an active player in our club.

I tried watching some of the ATV transmissions from the Rose Parade this year from my home in Diamond Bar. I only saw a couple of minutes of video out of the over 3 hours that they were on the air, but considering that the ATV'ers were using directional antennas pointed away from me, I was lucky to see anything. If you live in the Pasadena vicinity, try connecting your cable-ready TV to your 440 base antenna & tune to cable channel 59 next New Year’s morning for some unique Rose Parade coverage. 73 n

W6VIO Packet Station Update

By Eric Archer, N6CV

Well friends, here we are at last! I hope everyone had happy holidays and a good New Year. I finally delivered my hardware on the DS-2 Project. The months of August through December were very busy for me. I had to set aside my activities on Amateur Radio so I could focus on delivering DS-2 and also my family. So now that I am finished with DS-2, it’s time to resume the construction of the JPLARC Packet station. I plan to resume the once monthly work parties in late January.

Here’s our current status:

We have a room on the roof of Bldg. 180 that houses our Packet Station. The room has been recently rekeyed to allow access by all JPLARC members. The key to the room is the same key as the JPLARC club shack (a key that all JPLARC members should have!).

JPLARC members can access the room (180-R6) by following this procedure:

We now have a modest set of test equipment. We have an older HP 141-T Spectrum Analyzer (good to 18 GHz), an HP 8753 Network Analyzer and other pieces of equipment, all placed in equipment racks. I’m still attempting to get other pieces of used test equipment for JPLARC use.

Come by, look at it and try it out. We’ve installed about 6 pieces of ½ inch hardline from the station operating position out to the tower. We have more hardline, enough for about 2-3 more runs to the tower and about 500 feet of RG-8/9/11/214 coax too! In addition, the previous two 2-meter dishes have been removed from the tower and we’ve installed an antenna mounting bracket for our (future) antenna farm. The bracket has positions for 44 antennas! (Yes, that’s 44 antennas).

Practically speaking, we will be able to mount about 15-25 antennas, depending on their size. The satellite station has been moved to the room and is ready for reassembly. The satellite station antennas need to be moved from the JPLARC shack at the east gate up to the Bldg. 180 tower.

As for our packet station, we are about ready to move the 1200 BPS (145/220 MHz) and 9600 BPS (439 MHz) stations into Bldg. 180. The first priority here is to install the packet station antennas for all three bands, which we’ll try to do in January of February. We have a 220 MHz StationMaster antenna ready for installation and plan to move the other packet station antennas. Once the antennas are installed, we’ll move the actual packet station hardware.

We also have a working Hi-Net (intra/inter-net) connection and a couple of 486 vintage PC’s. As for the long term issues, I’ve reworked the Spread Spectrum STA request and am beginning to look for other ARC partners before submitting the STA request to the FCC. More on this later.

So you can see that much progress has been made in the past year. We have hopes for continued progress this year, so I hope you will be able to join us during our work parties. If you want to help out, please feel free to contact me.

73’s n

Year-End Banquet

By Jonathan Cameron, KF6RTA

On Thursday evening, December 17, 1998 the JPL Amateur Radio Club met in the upper room at Marie Callanders in Pasadena for the annual year-end dinner meeting. We had a good showing with approximately 25 members and family present.

After a nice time of mingling, we sat down to a tasty dinner of chicken, trout, or steak. After the hubbub of eating had died down, Randy Hammock, KC6HUR, the outgoing president called the meeting to order. The main order of business was to elect officers for the next year. Since there is only one candidate (at most) for each office, they officers were approved by acclamation. The officers elected are: Bob Dengler, NO6B, for President, Chuck Sarture, KG6NF, for Treasurer, and Jonathan Cameron (KF6RTA) for Secretary.

At this point the official meeting was closed and the entertainment for the night was presented. Dr. Michael J. Klein of JPL gave an interesting presentation on the GAVERT project. This public project, which is facilitated by JPL, involves kids from schools across the country in the operation of a 34-meter radio telescope. Under the supervision of a trained teacher, the school kids devise and execute plans to collect science data from Jupiter and the Sun. The project uses the former DSS-12 antenna at the Goldstone complex, which was released by NASA to support this activity. It is operated from a control center in Apply Valley.

After the presentation, we enjoyed pie and the meeting was adjourned. n

25 Years Ago in:

By Bill Wood, W6FXJ

The January 1974 issue of W6VIO Calling is full of news and information. Merv MacMedan, then W6IUV, and Walt Diem, then WA6PEA, were elected President and Secretary of the club. The general meeting was addressed by then JPL Director Dr. William Pickering, ex Z2BL.

Editor Elmer MacMillan put together an article on the Mexican DX Award and Spanish Morse characters to fit in better when QSO'ing stations below the border.

The FCC granted the club permission to use the WS6MVM special event callsign for the Mariner Venus Mercury encounters. A call was put out for operators to support this activity. The full January 1974 issue can be accessed at the following Internet address:

W6VIO Calling Archive on the Internet Update

Thanks to Merv MacMedan’s collection, past issues of "W6VIO Calling" are being added to the club’s web site. Each edition has been scanned and OCR’ed so the web version will look as close as possible to the original. All of the issues from 1971 through 1978 have been posted there. More to come as time is available. Be sure to check out the growing collection: ¢

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:

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
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

Late DX News

By Bob Polansky, N6ET

No time for a formal report, however there are a number of operations that you should be aware of. I will list them as follows:

Elsewhere TU2XZ, TZ6DX, TL5A and T31AF are quite active on many of the bands.

Have a happy New Year and best DX. n


FCC Enforcement Honcho Done "Taking Names"

Via the ARRL Letter Online, Volume 17, Numbers 49

The FCC's Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, is making his list and checking it twice. And now that he knows which hams are naughty, not nice, he's ready to take enforcement actions against the most flagrant amateur offenders.

"Fully half of the amateur problems on HF relate to a specific group of jammers--malicious interferers who apparently enjoy disrupting as much amateur communication as possible," said Hollingsworth, the FCC's point man for amateur enforcement within the Compliance and Information Bureau. "Enforcement action against this group is long overdue."

Coal could be showing up in some Christmas stockings. Hollingsworth has prepared a report to his boss, CIB Chief Richard D. Lee, detailing his findings and fingering the most serious violators in a "top 10" list which he declined to make public just yet. His memo urged "immediate enforcement action."

Hollingsworth said he's talked with more than 250 people on the amateur enforcement line (202-418-1184) since the end of September, when the FCC's latest amateur enforcement initiative kicked into high gear. In addition, he has received more than four dozen letters and e-mailed comments concerning problems in the Amateur Service. Hollingsworth has concluded that, while most amateurs abide by the rules, a few habitual offenders continue to flout the law.

"We are not going to stand for the Amateur Service to be further degraded or destroyed by them," he said. Hollingsworth says that jamming and deliberate interference is the most common problem, accounting for 31% of all complaints. Repeater misuse and jamming account for another 29%. But he considers the HF abuses--most typically reported on 75 and 20 meters--to be the more serious offenses because they can be national or international in scope. Other general problems accounted for another 17% of the complaints, Hollingsworth said. A full 10% of complaints concerned an unlicensed individual in California who already has spent time in jail for past convictions.

Hollingsworth has sent out 30 informal "warning letters" to individual operators as a result of complaints. The letters warn the recipients that a complaint has been received about the recipient or someone using his or her call sign, indicate that the allegations--if true--could jeopardize the amateur's license, and request the recipient to contact the FCC to discuss the matter.

"In almost every case the recipient has contacted us," he said. "In one case, the licensee contacted us, apologized, and reports since that time indicate that the licensee has become a model operator." Some amateurs have reported to the ARRL that amateur behavior has improved--dramatically in some areas--since word hit the street that the FCC was taking amateur enforcement seriously. For its part, the League has said it is willing, for now, not to pursue its request to further privatize amateur enforcement.

Hollingsworth says the warning letters will continue, but now he's taking aim at the hard-core scofflaws within the Amateur Radio community. "We have now let everyone out there know we're back," he said. Continued violations will "guarantee" license revocations, fines, or--in extreme cases--equipment seizures.

"Church is out now," he said. "We mean business and we're strapped in and ready to ride." Hollingsworth said Amateur Radio rulebreakers "continue these violations at their own risk." n

Solar Update

Via the ARRL Letter Online, Volume 17, Numbers 51

Solar Santa Tad Cook, K7VVV Seattle, Washington, reports: The last propagation bulletin of 1998 is going out one day early so it can be distributed before the Christmas holiday. The author wishes everyone a warm holiday greeting, and promises better HF DX for all in 1999 [We'll hold you to that one, Tad!--Ed].

Solar activity was off a bit the past week, with average sunspot numbers lower by almost 55 points, and average solar flux down by only two points. Average solar flux for the previous 90 days was 133, and flux values were above this level on every day except December 22, indicating a general upward trend. For the next few days, solar activity should be higher. The December 24-27 solar flux is predicted to be 145, 148, 150 and 154, with planetary A index for each of those days at 9.

Recently we have reported optimistic news on the recovery of the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, or SOHO project. There is a new report this week that the remaining gyro has failed, making future recovery operations when the craft is pointing away from the sun impossible. After SOHO was off for a long period earlier this year, only one of the three gyros remained working, and now that last one has failed. Currently there are no scientific operations planned until new flight software for gyroless operations is implemented. For more details, see

In VHF news this week, KD4ESV in Florida worked TI2ALF in Costa Rica on 6 meters, and heard K2OY, also in Florida, working HP2CWB in Panama. WA5JCI in Texas heard strong signals on 6 from ZF1DC in the Cayman Islands.

Sunspot numbers for December 17 through 23 were 93, 76, 88, 98, 72, 56, and 78, with a mean of 80.1. The 10.7-cm flux was 146.1, 154.7, 137.3, 134.7, 135.3, 128.8, and 139.8, with a mean of 139.5. The estimated planetary A indices were 2, 3, 7, 11, 3, 5 and 8, with a mean of 5.6. ¢

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: ¢

Newsletter Deadline:

Friday, January 29 for the February 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

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