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Calendar of Events 
Meeting Notice 
Prezí Mix 
October Club Meetings 
DX News 
Antenna Party Report 
Goldstone Y2K Backup Communications 
25 Years Ago, W6VIO Calling 
Classified Section

 Calendar of Events

November 10    General Meeting, Noon - 238-543
November 13    [Fontana Swap Meet, A. B. Miller HS, Fontana}
November 20    [CMRA Hamfest, Cal Poly, Pomona, 7 AM]
November 24    Board Meeting, Noon - 233-305J
November 27    [TRW Swap meet, Redondo Beach]
December 11    [Fontana Swap Meet, A. B. Miller HS, Fontana}
December 8    General Meeting, Noon - 238-543
December 18    [CMRA Hamfest, Cal Poly, Pomona, 7 AM]
December 22    Board Meeting, Noon - 233-305J
December 25    [TRW Swap meet, Redondo Beach]

Meeting Notice

The next regular JPL Amateur Radio Club will be held on Wednesday, November 10, 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 233-305J.Everyone is welcome at both meetings; bring your lunch.n


WR6JPL Repeater Site

Prezí Mix

By Bob Dengler, NO6B

Well it took a bit longer than expected, but we finally have our 440 MHz repeater on our permanent, coordinated frequency of 445.20 MHz.We even got our system mentioned in the latest SCRRBA newsletter as the first open repeater to be coordinated as a result of the recent 25 to 20 kHz channel spacing band plan change.Thanks to Gerry, KB6OOC, for helping to make this move possible, Scott, N6CUV, and Chris, KE6ABQ, for getting the repeater back up to the site, and Randy, KC6HUR, and Walt, W6CWD, for getting the autopatch phone line back in service.The repeater is now coordinated as an open repeater, using the same 103.5 Hz CTCSS frequency.The RLC-3 multi-port repeater controller was also installed with the 440 system, which will allow linking with the 220 repeater.This feature will be available once the 224.08 repeater is moved from the mesa, which will occur in a few weeks.

First QSO with 'VRN

After discussion at last monthís general meeting, it was decided to eliminate separate autopatch membership.This decision came primarily out of apathy, as the turnout at last monthís meeting was the smallest of the year despite the subject of the meeting being published in last monthís newsletter.This change will make it easier for the board to administer the phone line expenses, but more importantly it will make it possible for club members who arenít particularly interested in using the autopatch on a regular basis to still have access to it for emergency use.Once the RLC-3 has been fully integrated into the system, weíll be publishing a new repeater and autopatch userís guide, so unless you have a great need to use the autopatch now please wait until weíve finished making the transition.

Itís that time of year again!No, Iím not talking about taxes, but something feared almost as much: nominations for next yearís club officers.We need a nominating committee or person to round up candidates to be next yearís President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer.We never did get a VP for this year so we definitely need someone to step forward and fill that slot.Seriously, itís an easy job but the club bylaws do not allow me to do it myself.Give me a call at 4-9620 or e-mail if you can help.

The labís DSN office has received the necessary HF equipment for end-of-year Y2K backup communications activities, but is still in need of operators on December 31.Having an amateur license is not required, as operations will take place on NASA HF frequencies.Contact Bob Polansky at 4-4940 if you can help.The lab has been very good in providing HF equipment support for this activity; letís show that we appreciate this by providing an adequate supply of operators.73n

October Club Meetings

By Jonathan Cameron, KF6RTA


Due to lack of a quorum, there was no official meeting on this date.However, some notes from the unofficial meeting follow.Those present were Chris Carson (KE6ABQ), Bob Dengler (NO6B), Alan Devault (N6WDX), Walt Diem (W6CWD), Walt Mushagian (K6DNS), John Norris (KE6QEZ), Bob Polansky (N6ET), John Repar, and Jonathan Cameron (KF6RTA).

Walt Diem reported on the history of the autopatch.There was early concern that it would drain the club resources so the club bylaws require that the users pay for it.The original autopatch cost estimate was 6 dollars a month per member.But currently it generally costs approximately $300 total per year.There was some discussion of refunding new autopatch members if everyone in the club is given autopatch privileges.

Bob Polansky reported that we have been getting $2-2.5K per year from security.This next year we hope to receive 4K, but some will be earmarked for video gear.TMOD has decided to fund amateur radio backup voice support for the Y2K rollover activity.Bob has purchased three Yaesu FT-1000D radios for this.In exchange, we will provide Y2k voice comm support.We are putting up a 40m beam to support this activity and later it can be used for club communications.Upcoming work parties will set it up and tune it.Hardline fixes will be done also.Note that this is a SHARES effort on NASA frequencies, not technically an amateur radio service activity, although hams will operate it.Call signs and frequencies are already set up.

There was further discussion on the status and plans for various JPL repeaters.


Although three board members met and informally discussed a number of issues such as the autopatch situation, no regular meeting was held because there was no quorum.Note that two of the other officers were unavailable because they were at the Goldstone facility installing equipment for the DSN Y2K rollover backup communication system.n

DX News

By Bob Polansky, N6ET

Everything Iím reporting this month is third-hand.Thereís been virtually zero time to turn on my radio and listen for DX.The one exciting activity I participated in was taking delivery of several FT-1000Dís, which will make their way to each Deep Space Complex for purposes of Y2K voice communications backup.I had the pleasure of checking them out in the W6VIO ham shack.Iím in love! They are the most wonderful rigs Iíve ever worked with.Even made a few DX contacts while checking them out.They called me!

Now for the news, again, thanks to The 59(9) Report:

BHUTAN - VK9NS will be in this rare QTH for two weeks starting in early November.Heís hoping to secure authorization to operate from A51-land.Cross your fingers!

GHANA - 9G5AA and several other 9G5 calls will make their presence known starting 24 November and lasting through the CQWW CW Contest on Thanksgiving weekend.All band, all mode, activity is planned.

FINLAND - Our own Rob Smith landed an OH on 75 meter SSB the other morning heralding the beginning of the 80-meter long path season.He used the Clubís new AL-82 linear amplifier, which is capable of running the full legal amateur power limit and our full size 75-meter loop antenna.

Iíve run a bit short on inputs this month.Please forgive me.Iíll try to do better next month.Donít forget the CQ WW CW Contest on 27 and 28 November (GMT, of course).††† n

Antenna Party Report

By Bob Polansky, N6ET

On 30 October, we had an all-day antenna party on the mesa overlooking JPL.Weather was very cooperative and we successfully lofted our new 40-meter 2-element beam to the top of the 76-foot tower.

Participating in the event were Phil Barnes, Chris Carson, Rob Frederickson, Jay Holladay, Walt Mushagian, Jerry Person, Bob Polansky, Rob Smith, Mike Tope, and Rob's friend James Bockman, a visitor from NASA Langley Research Center.

We started at 8AM with final assembly of the beam, including minor dimension tune-ups.We pointed the beam straight up on a tram line connected to the 50-foot circular stairway at the antenna range and tuned it to the precisely 40-meter band segment we wanted it to operate at.

Mike Tope took up his position at the top of the tower and with the help of the assembled multitude lofted the new beam to the top of the tower where it was firmly attached.It was a real team effort.All the beam antennas at the hilltop were scoped and found to be perfectly tuned.Some minor repairs will be necessary to peak the loop antenna at the right frequency and to restore functionality to the inverted vees.Next time.

My sincere thanks to all who participated.††† n


Preparing to lift Cushcraft R-7000 antenna to SPC-10 roof

Goldstone Y2K Backup HF Installation

By Bill Wood, W6FXJ

On October 26 and 27 Bob Polansky, N6ET, coordinated the installation of an HF communications station to provide a backup voice path between the Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex and the JPL facility in Pasadena in case normal circuits become unusable.

A modified Yaesu FT-1000D amateur radio transceiver and two HF antennas were installed by station personnel at the SPC-10 Signal Processing Center in the Goldstone Mars basin.The transceiver was positioned near the Station Operations Directorís console while the R-7000 and a 40-meter and 80-meter trapped inverted-Vee antenna were installed on the roof and nearby microwave antenna tower.

A full end-to-end communications check was conducted on two NASA SSB frequencies (3395 kHz and 6982.5 kHz) between N6ET at Goldstone and Walt Mushagian, K6DNS, at JPL.Signal quality was excellent on both frequencies.

Similar equipment will be installed by station personnel at both the Canberra DSCC and the Madrid DSCC before the end of the year.These systems will make it possible to maintain direct voice communications between the DSN stations and JPL in the event of a common carrier outage.n

25 Years Ago in:

By Bill Wood, W6FXJ

The highlight of the November 1974 issue was the announcement that Jay Holladay, W6EJJ, was elected Vice Director of the ARRL Southwestern Division and coverage of the successful launch of AMSAT-OSCAR 7 from Vandenberg AFB.

Jay received 1640 votes or nearly twice the votes that either of the two other candidates tallied.W6EJJ was elected to a two-year term starting January1, 1975.

Editor Elmer MacMillen reported that JPL ARC Member Charles Weir, W6UM was part of a DX-pedition to Curacao.They operated under the call PJ9JR during the CQ World Wide Phone DX contest on October 26 and 27.They racked up 19 million points that was believed to be a world record.

Check out the club newsletter archive.The full November 1974 issue can be accessed at the following Internet address:†† ĺ


Classified Section


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

Newsletter Deadline:

Friday, November 29 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.

Updated May 3, 2000