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Calendar of Events
Meeting Notice
Prez’ Mix
May Club Meetings
25 Years Ago; W6VIO Calling
Field Day, 1999
Classified Section
Solar Update
Field Day Signup Form

Calendar of Events

June 12 [Fontana Swap Meet, A. B. Miller HS, Fontana}
June 9 General Meeting, Noon - 238-543
June 19 [CMRA Hamfest, Cal Poly, Pomona, 7 AM]
June 23 Board Meeting, Noon - 233-305J
June 25-27 ARRL Field Day, Mount Gleason
June 26 [TRW Swapmeet, Redondo Beach]
July 10 [Fontana Swap Meet, A. B. Miller HS, Fontana}
July 14 General Meeting, Noon - 238-543
July 17 [CMRA Hamfest, Cal Poly, Pomona, 7 AM]
July 28 Board Meeting, Noon - 233-305J
July 31 [TRW Swapmeet, Redondo Beach]
August 11 General Meeting, Noon - 238-543
August 14 [Fontana Swap Meet, A. B. Miller HS, Fontana}
August 21 [CMRA Hamfest, Cal Poly, Pomona, 7 AM]
August 25 Board Meeting, Noon - 233-305J
August 28 [TRW Swapmeet, Redondo Beach]
September 8 General Meeting, Noon - 238-543
September 11 [Fontana Swap Meet, A. B. Miller HS, Fontana}
September 18 [CMRA Hamfest, Cal Poly, Pomona, 7 AM]
September 22 Board Meeting, Noon - 233-305J

Meeting Notice

The next regular JPL Amateur Radio Club will be held on Wednesday, June 9, at noon in Building 238 Room 543. The program will cover the upcoming Field Day activities, so don't miss this meeting. The Club Board of Directors meetings are held at noon on the fourth Wednesday of each month in 233-305J. Everyone is welcome at both meetings; bring your lunch. n

Prez’ Mix
By Bob Dengler, NO6B

At first glance it seems as if there hasn’t been much activity in the club this past month, but in reality a lot of equipment upgrading has quietly been taking place. Bill Wood has performed a major overhaul of our JPL to TMO link to improve the quality & reliability of this vital link in our emergency communications path between the Oak Grove & Goldstone facilities. Our packet & high-rate digital communications facility on the roof of building 180 continues to grow thanks to the efforts of Eric Archer, N6CV. Field Day preparations are being finalized by Bob Polansky, N6ET, though we’re still looking for someone to coordinate the cooking effort (maybe we should call it something else since the word "coordination" has such a negative connotation in amateur circles).

In fact things have been going so smoothly that the May Board meeting was cancelled. Seems like the team spirit that is present in so many groups & projects throughout the lab is thriving in our club too.

A new GaAsFET preamp & pass cavity filter was installed on our 447.65 MHz repeater last week, resulting in a significant improvement in sensitivity. This improvement did reveal a low-level intermodulation problem with a commercial dispatch repeater on Flint Peak on 452.65. We’ll be running some tests in the next few weeks to try to find the source. ¾

May Club Meetings
By Jonathan Cameron, KF6RTA

General Meeting, April 14

Bob Dengler (NO6B) called the meeting to order at 12:10. Those attending were: Bob Polansky (N6ET), Eric Archer (N6CV), Walt Mushagian (K6DNS), Warren Dowler (KE6LEA), Jim Sutton (ND6X), Jerry Person (KK6TS), Chris Carson (KE6ABQ), Alan DeVault (N6WDX), Phil Smith (WB6LQP), Scott Nolte (N6CUV), James Szeto (KC6WIK), John Norris (KE6QEZ), Bob Dengler (NO6B), and Jonathan Cameron (KF6RTA).

Bob Polansky - HF/Field Day

The Y2K folks want the JPL Amateur Radio Club to consider providing a voice communications backup during the critical Y2k transition period January 1st, 2000. We would help provide communications with the other NASA/DSN facilities such as Goldstone, Madrid, Canberra, all NASA centers and NASA headquarters. It is possible that the club may be able to get some new equipment out of this. Bob Polansky is putting together a proposal to respond to this request.

Field Day: Warren Dowler and Bob Polansky have built a 4-element 20-meter beam antenna at Warren’s house. The rest of the antennas are in shape. But there is still no cook or food coordinator. We will not go without food! Without food, Bob will suspend field day if no one steps forward. We expect to serve 7 meals to 35-40 people. Friday and Saturday night meals have usually been nice but could be more basic this year. Spaghetti would be fine. We need a single point of contact, but we could divide the meals up among various people. [Note: Since this meeting, two people have volunteered to help prepare food, but more people are still needed!]

Walt Mushagian - Emergency Communications

Walt reported that the regular Monday JPL Emergency Net is being held regularly and seems to be working well.

Eric Archer - Packet

We can hook up the packet unit to the JPL subnet (we received permission from JPL network security). We have checked the router and it is Y2K compliant. We have several Freewave RF spread spectrum modems that operate at 115K baud in the 900 MHz band. The range is 5-7 miles with an omni antenna, and approximately 50 miles with a yagi. Legally, we must run on the supplied omni antenna, but we can ask the FCC for a waiver to use yagi. There is a work party sat 29th. We will move satellite antennas and try to get them set up. Gerry Walsh has the gateway up and running.

Scott Nolte - Membership

The 410 mailing list was lost. We are using the old version. There were some delays in delivering the last W6VIO Calling. Scott proposed doing a mailing to the club to make sure the records are up to date. Jonathan Cameron volunteered to help him do the mail merge to send letter. They will work together to make it happen.

Jonathan Cameron - Secretary

We need to generate a new entry letter for off-site members. He will see that it is done before the June general meeting.

Bob Dengler - Repeater

Bob reported on the SCRRBA meeting results. Although we campaigned against it, 440 MHz band is going to 20 kHz frequency spacing. The plan gives approximately 45 new repeater frequencies. Most of these will be given to closed repeaters; the plan will give about 6 new open repeaters. Here is the effect of the plan:

Present Plan New Plan Notes
44x.y00 Mhz 44x.y00 Mhz No change
44x.y25 44x.y20 -5 kHz change
44x.y50 44x.y40 -10 kHz change
none 44x.y60 New channel
44x.y75 44x.y80 +5 kHz change

This means two changes for the JPL repeaters: 447.65 will become 447.64 MHz (WR6JPL) 447.325 will become 447.32 MHz (WR6AZN, Table Mountain)

Some older synthesized 440 rigs may not be able to tune in 5, 10 or 20 kHz steps. Check your owner's manual to see how to do this. Crystal controlled radios should be retuned to the new frequencies as the systems change to meet the new requirements.


There was no board of directors meeting this month. ¾

25 Years Ago in:

By Bill Wood, W6FXJ

Guest Editor Gordon Crawford, WB6DRH, gave prominent space in the June 1974 issue reporting the club Field Day results on June 23 and 24. (In those days each "W6VIO Calling" issue was prepared at the end of the month instead of the beginning as we do now).

The club 1974 Field Day effort emphasis was on QRPP, or under ten watts and portable. The total score was an impressive 1900 and was compiled from 229 voice QSO's and 90 CW QSO's for a total of 319 QSO's. Those were given a times 5 low-power multiplier and added to other bonuses for No Mains (100), natural (solar) power (100), publicity (50), messages sent (50) and messages handled (5). Three transmitters were used: two Argonauts with 2 watts each and a TR-22 2-meter rig with 1 watt.

News about club members overseas included a report that Editor-in-chief Elmer McMillan is in Dakar, Senagal; Earle Bumker, W6MVY, in the Middle East and Jesse Ball, W6BFO, in New Zealand with plans to operate as W6BFO/ZL1BFN.

Check the updated club newsletter archive. Since last month all 1992 issues have been added. The full June 1974 issue can be accessed at the following Internet address: ¾

Field Day, 1999
By Bob Polansky, N6ET and Jay Holladay, W6EJJ

It’s June and time to think once again of - Field Day! The 1999 Field Day effort by the JPL ARC will take place on June 25 through June 27 on Mount Gleason.

This year the JPL ARC will again join forces with the Caltech Amateur Radio Club, and we will approach Field Day in an even more relaxed manner than we have in the past couple of years. We will again operate in Class 2A (two HF transmitters) and will use our W6VIO call sign. Although we won’t be going for a national title, we should be pretty competitive and have a lot of fun. There will be ample opportunities to get some operating time for everyone who wishes to participate.

If you do not feel up to tackling all the FD QRM, please come up and help with setup, computer logging, dupe-sheet chores, or what have you. All hams at JPL and Caltech and their families and friends are invited to visit us at the Field Day site.

Once again we will use computers to log our Field Day QSO’s and will use the contest-logging program CT. If you would like to brush up on your CT logging skills or have an introduction to the software (or even have some practice CW QSO’s), call Jay Holladay at 354-7758 and we will set up a practice session.

How You Can Take Part:

Please fill out the sign-up sheet on page 5 of this newsletter and return it to Bob Polansky. Keep the rest of this issue and bring it with you to Field Day. Even if you do not return the sign-up sheet, please feel free to visit us at Mt. Gleason - but you’ll have to take your chances on operating time if we are not expecting you.

Come to the JPL ARC Meeting on Wednesday, June 9 (238-543 at Noon) to hear more detail on Field Day planning and ask any questions you may have about the operation. There may be a work party later in June to check out equipment and get things ready to move up the hill. Also, request a training session as mentioned above. The latest Field Day planning information will be disseminated via the Club’s e-mail list and via the Monday net on the W6JPL repeater.

Field Day activities will kick off on Friday morning, June 25. The hard-core FD types will take vacation that Friday to assist with the logistics and transportation chores. We will meet at 8:00 AM at the ham shack trailer by the East Gate to load all of the gear for the trip up the mountain. Once everything is loaded we will caravan to Mt. Gleason and begin setting up. Lunch and dinner will be served on Friday while we erect tents and the big antennas. The Field Day contest starts at 11 AM local (1800 UTC) Saturday and ends at the same time on Sunday. Our meal arrangements will also be a bit more informal this year, but food will be available for all meals while you are on the mountain, and a special meal is planned for Saturday night. After the contest is over we will have lunch and disassemble everything, leaving Mt. Gleason as we found it. Then it’s back to JPL to return the Club equipment and home for a well-deserved shower and nap.

What To Bring to Field Day:

Even if you only plan to visit for the afternoon, it is wise to be prepared for anything. You may enjoy Field Day so much you will want to spend the night. To get to Mt. Gleason, see the map and directions on the next page. The road is paved all the way except for the short bypass around the correctional facility and any car can make it to the top.

Meals will be provided by the Club-suggested donation is $3 per person per meal to help defray expenses. You are responsible for your own place to sleep and enough warm clothing to stay comfortable during the cold nights (Mt. Gleason is at 6520 ft). Be prepared for weather like the Sahara Desert during the day and the Arctic at night, along with gale force winds, and you should be OK. Seriously, light thermal underwear is a big help if you are operating in the wee hours of Sunday morning.

The following is a suggested checklist for your personal FD preparations:

Wide-brimmed hat
Long-sleeved shirt
Mosquito repellent
Toothbrush & paste
2 gallons of water per person
Favorite snack food
Sleeping bag
First-aid Kit
Heavy jacket
Thermal underwear
Several pairs of socks
220 MHz Handy-talkie
Lip balm
AM/FM Radio (for earthquake report, etc.)

Don’t forget any needed medications or aspirin and vitamins. If you do spend the night, it is highly recommended that you bring a tent or camper. The view is well worth bringing camera and binoculars.

As far as Amateur Radio gear is concerned, the Clubs will furnish rigs (with some additional loans from the members). We can always use a spare HF or VHF rig as backup, so bring one along if it’s convenient. Don’t forget the rig-compatible power supply and cables. Bring whatever specialty operating items you wish. If you have a favorite keyer, headset, or boom mike, please bring it along. All the HF rigs will use 8-pin mike connector wired for Kenwood. (We could really use a digital voice "keyer" if anyone has one!) Also a small tool kit, extra table, antenna wire, battery-operated clock, spare batteries of all types, etc., always seem to come in handy. In short, anything you might need to be self-sufficient and stay operational under emergency conditions will probably be useful at Field Day. In fact, that’s what the exercise is supposed to be all about. CU at FD!

Mt Gleason FD Map
Routes to the 1999 Field Day site at Mount Gleason

Directions to Mount Gleason Field Day Site:

Take the Foothill Freeway (210) to La Canada. Exit at Angeles Crest Highway/Route 2. Go north 9.1 miles on Route 2 up into the San Gabriel Mts. Turn left at the junction with Angeles Forest Highway (N3). Continue 3.8 miles on Angeles Forest Highway past Big Tujunja Junction. Go another 5.9 miles through the tunnel, past Hidden Springs to the Monte Cristo Campground. Continue another 4.9 miles on Angeles Forest Highway to the Mill Creek Campground at the Mill Creek Summit. Turn left on Mt. Gleason Road. (The Mill Creek Campground will be on the right.) Continue 6.2 miles on Mt. Gleason Road until you reach the Mount Gleason Conversation Camp. Take dirt road bypass left of the Correction Facility; continue 2.5 miles. Keep to the right at Y-junction just after Microwave Station. When you reach the locked gate, call on Simplex for admission. The road will end at the Summit and our FD site. Do not block the road at the far end of the Mt. Gleason operating site by parking on it. Watch out for kids, antenna wires, and loose hams

Alternate Route: 210 Freeway to Interstate 5; North to 14 Freeway; Exit at Angeles Forest Highway take Angeles Forest (N3) South, turn right on Mt. Gleason Road. n


JPL ARC Repeaters
WR6JPL 147.15 MHz (+) PL 131.8 Open
WR6JPL 224.08 MHz (–) PL 156.7 Open
WR6JPL 224.70 MHz (–) Closed Autopatch
WR6JPL 447.65 MHz (–) PL 103.5 Open
W6JPL-1 145.09 MHz   Packet Node/BBS
W6JPL-1 223.54 MHz   Packet Node/BBS
Table Mountain:
WR6AZN 145.28 MHz (–) PL 131.8 Open
WR6AZN 223.96 MHz (–) PL 156.7 Open
WR6AZN 447.32 MHz (–) PL 94.8 Open

Classified Section


A 1.2GHz Band Unit for a Kenwood TM-742A. Contact Bill Westphal at 213-633-3121 or

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


Solar Update
Via the ARRL Letter Online, Volume 18, Number 22

Solar savant Tad Cook, K7VVV, Seattle, Washington, reports: Solar flux and sunspot numbers were down slightly from last week. Average flux was down less than three points, and average sunspot numbers were down about 14 points from the week previous. Geomagnetic disturbances were down also, but only by a little. The most active day was May 25, when the planetary A index was 19 and the planetary K index was as high as five.

For the CQ Worldwide WPX CW Contest this weekend, the predicted solar flux for Friday through Sunday, May 28-30, is 155, 165 and 165, which is good. Unfortunately there was a coronal mass ejection on the sun which may cause a planetary A index of 12, 25 and 20 for those same three days. Saturday, May 29, could be difficult for the contest.

Beyond the weekend, the solar flux should reach 175 by June 7 or 8, then drop to 150 around June 11, 140 by June 16, and 130 around June 21. June 14 could be bad for HF because of geomagnetic disturbances caused by coronal hole effects.

Sunspot numbers for May 20 through 26 were 121, 128, 121, 104, 104, 130 and 152 with a mean of 122.9. The 10.7-cm flux was 142.5, 140.3, 140.2, 140.7, 136.9, 143.1 and 152.6, with a mean of 142.3. The estimated planetary A indices were 10, 7, 5, 10, 11, 19 and 8, with a mean of 10. ¾

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: ¾


JPL Amateur Radio Club  

ARRL Field Day

June 25, 26, & 27, 1999

Name: ___________________________________________ Call Sign: ____________
Address: JPL M/S: _________ Home: _____________________________________________
Telephone Number: Work: ________ Home: ____________ E-mail: _____________________
Expected Arrival Day: ________ Time: ______________
Departure Day: ____________ Time: ______________
Activities You Wish to Support:
0 Setup (June 25) 0 Tear Down (June 27  
0 Food Preparations 0 Publicity  
Preferred Operating Position(s) (June 26/27):
0 Novice/Tech Phone (28, 220) 0 Novice/Tech CW (80, 40, 15)
0 Phone (HF) 0 CW (HF) 0 VHF/UHF (50, 144, 220, 440, 1200
0 Packet 0 Satellite 0 Logging/Duping
How long would you like to operate?
A lot ________ (4 or more hours) A little _____ (1 to 4 hours)
Preferred Hours: ____________ Is late shift OK? __________
Please fill out this sheet and return it to R. Polansky at M/S 303-400 ASAP
Field Day Sign Up Sheet

Newsletter Deadline

Friday, July 2 for the July 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