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Calendar of Events

Meeting Notice

Prez’ Mix

November Club Meetings

DX News

10 Meters is Hot – Check it out

Field Day 2000 – Final Results

K7VVV Solar Report

Calendar of Events

December 7

Annual JPL ARC Banquet

December 16

[CMRA Hamfest, Cal Poly, Pomona, 7 AM]

December 27

Board Meeting, Noon - 233-305J

December 30

[TRW Swap meet, Redondo Beach]

January 6

[Fontana Swap Meet, A. B. Miller HS, Fontana}

January 10

General Meeting, Noon - T-1309

January 20

[CMRA Hamfest, Cal Poly, Pomona, 7 AM]

January 24

Board Meeting, Noon - 233-305J

January 27

[TRW Swap meet, Redondo Beach]

February 3

[Fontana Swap Meet, A. B. Miller HS, Fontana}

February 14

General Meeting, Noon - 238-543

February 17

[CMRA Hamfest, Cal Poly, Pomona, 7 AM]

February 24

[TRW Swap meet, Redondo Beach]

February 28

Board Meeting, Noon - 233-305J

Meeting Notice

By Christopher Carson, KE6ABQ


The December General Meeting of the JPL Amateur Radio Club will be held Thursday evening December 7th at 7:00 p.m. at El Torito Restaurant, 3333 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena, CA.


Your choice of one of the following entrees:

Grilled Soft Taco & Mexican Caesar Salad:  Choice of fresh grilled chicken breast, carnitas or steak soft taco.  Served with Frijoles del la Olla and our Mexican Caesar Salad.

Beef Taco & Cheese Enchilada Combo Enchilada Combo:  Two traditional favorites served with rice, refried beans and sweet corn cake.

Tostada Grande:  Crispy flour tortilla shell filled with layers of refried beans, lettuce, cheese, diced tomatoes, fresh guacamole, sour cream and shredded beef or chicken.

Enchiladas Rancheras:  Two shredded beef or cheese enchiladas topped with ranchera sauce and melted cheese. Served with guacamole, sour cream, refried beans rice and sweet corn cake.

Dinner Price for One Choice: $12.49 (Tax and Gratuity Not Included)

The December JPLARC Board meeting will be held on Wednesday December 27th in 233-305J. Everyone is welcome to attend – bring your lunch if you want.  n


Prez’ Mix

By Bob Dengler, NO6B

On Friday December 1st, I attended a general meeting of the Two Meter Spectrum Management Association (TASMA), the frequency coordinator for 2 meters in Southern California.  At this meeting I was elected TASMA Chairman for 2001. 

This will undoubtedly be the most challenging position I will have ever achieved in my amateur radio “career”, and I hope I can count on your support both as TASMA Chairman and JPLARC President.  Then again, the latter is not a done deal.  Anyone can still nominate officers at our holiday dinner meeting on December 7th, and I would be happy to step aside and let someone else take over as club president. 

Actually, it’s been a rather easy job thanks to all the hard work put in by all the other board members, trustees and committee chair people.  Our club runs like a well-oiled machine, or should I say, like “flight hardware”.

This past month the ARRL CW and Phone HF Sweepstakes took place.  I’ve been on HF from home for a couple of months now, so I thought it would be fun to make just a few phone SS contacts just to help out the serious contest stations. 

By the time I was finished I made 133 Qs in 60 ARRL sections.  What I found most interesting about this contest is that it really showed me how well my Gap Titan multiband vertical works - or doesn’t.  While 40, 15 and 10 meters contacts were easy, 20 and particularly 75 meters felt like operating QRP. 

Why a Gap wouldn’t do well on 20 I don’t know.  I suspect my difficulties there were due to the time I tried working 20 meters: Saturday morning, in the first few hours of the contest.  75 was so bad that I had trouble getting out of the state.  I did make 2 contacts in Virginia, but each one took roughly 5 minutes without QRM.  There were many other stations that were many S units above my noise floor that simply could not hear me.  So much for electrically short antennas.

73 & hope to see you at the dinner meeting Thursday!    n

November Meetings

By Jonathan Cameron, KF6RTA

General Meeting, November 8th

Those present included Eric Archer (N6CV), Darren Baird (KE6NIH), Jonathan Cameron (KF6RTA), Chris Carson (KE6ABQ), Bob Dengler (NO6B), Marvin Druskoff (K6NJ), Randy Hammock (KC6HUR), Walt Mushagian (K6DNS), Scott Nolte (N6CUV), Bob Polansky (N6ET), Chuck Sarture (KG6NF), and Michael Tope (W4EFF).

Due to a room conflict, we were forced to temporarily relocate our meeting to a conference room in Building 126.  During the meeting, we reviewed and accepted the calendar 2001 budget.

Bob Dengler announced that the November meeting for the board of directors would be moved up a week to accommodate board members who would not be able to attend the following weekend.

Board of Directors Meeting, November 15th

Those present included Eric Archer (N6CV), Jonathan Cameron (KF6RTA), Walt Mushagian (K6DNS), Scott Nolte (N6CUV), Bob Polansky (N6ET), Chuck Sarture (KG6NF), and later Bob Dengler (NO6B) by telephone.

The secretary, Jonathan Cameron, called the meeting to order because the president, Bob Dengler, had not arrived.  We reviewed the club membership roll and determined that we currently have approximately 100 members, of which 15 are associate (or non-JPL) members.  We noted that non-paid former members were not included in this account.  Therefore we determined that adding two more associate members fell within the 20 percent guideline in the club charter.  We voted to accept Marvin Druskoff (K6NJ) and Leonard Davis (KE6ZRK) as associate members.  Scott Nolte sponsored the later.

We discussed ways to encourage membership.  We noted that only paid-up members should receive “W6VIO Calling” since it is a distinct member privilege.

We also discussed the plans for the Christmas banquet.  n

DX News

MACQUARIE I. - Last chance to work this rare Australian Antarctic island for a while. Alan, VK0MM, goes QRT on December 17. For an interesting story on Macquarie I., and on Alan, see QST for November 2000, p. 78. Alan has kindly published his operating schedule on his Web site at: (that’s a “one” after the /). He has been quite workable from southern California on both 20 and 30 meters, the only bands he can use due to local RFI problems with the science experiments at Macquarie. Be sure to read Alan’s rules for QSO’s as well - he operates very efficiently but doesn’t take kindly to duplicate contacts.

LAOS - Hiroo, JA2EZD, will be operating as XW2A from December 5-12. He will then QSY to:

CAMBODIA - Where he will operate as XU7ABF from December 13 -16. Hiroo is a veteran DXer who should be easy to work from this area.

BHUTAN - If you missed the earlier operations from this exotic spot, here is your chance. Charley, K4VUD, will be operating as A52UD from December 1-12, and Jani, YB0US will operate as A52AP from December 1-7. They promise plenty of attention to the low bands plus operation in the General segments of the bands.

FRENCH ST. MARTIN - A multiop group from New Jersey will operate from this Caribbean spot as FS/W2JJ from December 5-12. An all-band operation on both CW and SSB is planned, including activity in the ARRL 10-Meter Contest.

That’s the DX news from this month’s guest columnist. Be sure to check out the action in the ARRL 10-Meter Contest on December 9-10 (see accompanying article).   n

10 Meters is Hot - Check It Out!

By Jay Holladay, W6EJJ

Since we are at (or just past) the peak of the 11-year sunspot cycle, 10 meters is at it’s best right now.  The high solar activity made low-band conditions rather poor for the CQ Worldwide DX Test over Thanksgiving, but 10-meter conditions were excellent. 

After scoring a few lucky contacts early in the contest, I decided to see how may countries I could work in one weekend on that band.  When the contest was over at 4:00 PM on Sunday my total stood at 66. 

With a linear amplifier that puts out 250 watts max on 10, plus a small triband antenna at 40 ft, that’s not too bad for a semi-casual weekend operation.  Contacts were made with all continents, and the polar propagation (point your antenna north at mid-day and work Russia, Finland, etc.) we normally get on 20 or 15 meters was available on 10 meters this year.

The point of this is that you can have a lot of DX fun with a very modest station - 100 watts out of an exciter and a dipole or similar antenna will allow you to work the world.  A simple ground plane antenna for 10 consisting  of an 8-foot vertical and four wire radials about 8 ft 6 in long can be put up in a couple of hours and you’ll be in business. 

Contacts with Hawaii, Japan, Australia, and South America are quite easy from our area; with a little luck you can work Africa and Europe as well. 

A special opportunity for 10-meter activity will be the ARRL 10-Meter Contest, which runs from 0000 UTC on December 9 to 2400 UTC on December 10.  (That’s 4:00 PM Friday, December 8 to 4:00PM Sunday, December 10 in Southern California). 

There will be lots of stations from all over the U.S. and around the world active for this one on both SSB and CW.  U.S. stations send a signal report and state, DX stations send signal report and serial number.  See November QST, p. 97 for full details, or go to the ARRL Web site at and check the contest page.

Give it a try - if you’ve ever thought about trying HF dxing, there will never be a better time.    n

Field Day 2000 - Final Results

By Jay Holladay, W6EJJ

Field Day results are now carried in December QST. I’m pleased to report that our entry this year earned us Fifth Place nationally in Class 3A (out of 344 entries). Your Field Day Committee thanks all of the JPL and Caltech Radio Club members and other interested parties who contributed to this great effort.

Get the complete story on p. 100 of December QST. Some of the sidebar stories are very interesting as well, especially the moonbounce contact from N6ME. (Just below that story I was surprised to see a photo of the current holder of my first callsign - as a teenager in South Florida I was W4SAT.)    n


The K7VVV Solar Update

SEATTLE, WA, Dec 1, 2000 -- This week we are back with the solar flux, sunspot and A index data from the past two weeks.  Average solar flux rose almost 25 points two weeks ago from the previous week and then nearly another 23 points last week.  Solar flux probably peaked around November 23 at 205.3.  It has recently dropped below 190, and the predicted solar flux for Friday through Monday is 190, 185, 180 and 180.

Geomagnetic conditions are expected to remain stable over the next week, barring some unforeseen solar flare or coronal hole.  Sunspot group 9246 has quadrupled in size since Tuesday, and if magnetic fields above this rapidly growing active region become more complex, we could see some more geomagnetic disruptions if the energy is directed toward earth.

Earlier this week conditions were quite disrupted.  Planetary A index on November 27-29 was 38, 37 and 52, and in the higher latitudes the College A index was 51, 65 and 62.  There were some spectacular auroral effects, and some great pictures are available.

W5RYA operated from Northeast Texas last weekend during the DX contest, and he reported that on the higher bands, all Northern European and Asiatic Russian stations had a raspy buzz-like quality to their signals.  I would imagine this was on Sunday, when the high latitude College K index was as high as six.  This is consistent with the distortion from aurora. He also reported "echo" on some signals as well as some severe fading on Sunday.

Solar flux is expected to drop down to 145 December 8-13, then rise to a peak near 200 around December 23-25.  Conditions should be good for the ARRL 160-Meter Contest this weekend as well as for the TOPS 80 meter CW Contest.  It is still too early to tell, but the ARRL 10-Meter Contest next weekend is during a time when the solar flux may be low, and there could be some higher geomagnetic activity due to recurring coronal holes.  Check back next week.

Sunspot numbers for November 16 through 22 were 142, 140, 171, 174, 168, 160 and 136 with a mean of 155.9.  The 10.7 cm flux was 154.2, 163.3, 177.1, 174.9, 173.7, 185.4 and 194.9, with a mean of 174.8. The estimated planetary A indices were 4, 4, 6, 7, 9, 9 and 7 with a mean of 6.6.

Sunspot numbers for November 23 through 29 were 141, 134, 110, 95, 121, 154 and 160 with a mean of 130.7.  The 10.7 cm flux was 205.3, 197.1, 202, 202.4, 191.7, 195.5 and 188.4, with a mean of 197.5.  The estimated planetary A indices were 7, 9, 7, 22, 38, 37 and 52 with a mean of 24.6.

Amateur solar observer Tad Cook, K7VVV Seattle, Washington, provides this weekly report on solar conditions and propagation.  This report also is available via W1AW every Friday, and an abbreviated version also appears in The ARRL Letter. Readers may contact the author via  n

Newsletter Deadline:

Friday, December 29 for the January 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.

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Posted December 4, 2000