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Meeting Notice

Calendar of Events

Prez’ Mix

August Club Meetings

DX News

Classified Section

Calendar of Events

September 9

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

September 13

General Meeting, Noon - 238-543

September 16

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

September 27

Board Meeting, Noon - 233-305J

September 30

[TRW Swap meet, Redondo Beach]

October 7

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

October 11

General Meeting, Noon - 238-543

October 21

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

October 25

Board Meeting, Noon - 233-305J

October 28

[TRW Swap meet, Redondo Beach]

November 4

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

November 8

General Meeting, Noon - 238-543

November 19

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

November 22

Board Meeting, Noon - 233-305J

November 25

[TRW Swap meet, Redondo Beach]

Meeting Notice

By Christopher Carson, KE6ABQ

The September General meeting will be held September 13th at noon in 238-543.  Everyone is welcome and you are invited to bring your lunch.  The topic is nomination of Club Officers for the coming year.

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

Prez’ Mix

By Bob Dengler, NO6B

Well here I am again at the last minute writing my column for the newsletter.  You’d think with a three-day weekend that I’d have no problem getting it done in time.  Well things didn’t go as planned with my other weekend projects. 

One of them was repairing my Yaesu FT-627R 6 meter FM radio.  It had developed a problem whereby it would sort of jump around in frequency when spinning the VFO knob and as a result would not tune to many frequencies. 

I thought the problem was a bad memory IC that’s been out of production for many years (the radio is about 20 years old).  After searching the web and asking around for advice on where to find it, I finally had a brainstorm: call Yaesu!  They had it and shipped it to me within a couple of days, in plenty of time for this past weekend when I had planned to replace it. 

After desoldering the 24 pin IC and popping in the replacement, the radio exhibited the same problem.  So I went back into troubleshooting mode and discovered an 800-ohm short between two address lines going to a 100 K resistor SIP. 

At this point I was getting tired of the whole thing, so I unplugged all the connectors and IC that were attached to the SIP, ran a pair of leads from my 12V 20 A power supply directly into the radio and onto the two shorting pins and ZZZZZAAAAP!!!  Fixed!  See you on 52.525!!!

I’ve also been playing around with a 440 MHz MOSFET preamp made by Hamtronics.  I normally don’t consider anything Hamtronics makes to be any good since I ordered a VHF repeater receiver from them many years ago and it failed to meet their own selectivity specs.  However, I thought for only $29 for a fully wired preamp with a claimed noise figure of 0.8 dB I couldn’t go wrong.  Even a 3 dB NF preamp would help my G.E. Mastr Pro receiver I use at my home as part of my own repeater system, so I ordered it. 

Again, it arrived just in time for the weekend.  I had to buy a box for it, but since the board was only 1” x 2.5” X 0.5”, a nice RF tight box of just the right size (read “barely fits”) was only $6.25 at Orvac’s.  The feed thru capacitor was easy:  I have a “lifetime supply” I bought at TRW about 10 years ago.  I had to scrounge through the house to find a pair of suitable chassis-mount BNC connectors; these should be easy to come by at any local ham swap meet. 

Another half-day later, I was ready to try it out.  I put it on my Yaesu FT-8500 that has a 12 dB SINAD sensitivity of about -123 dBm.  With the preamp inline I initially saw no change in sensitivity, so I got out the tweaking tools and started tuning.  I ended up getting about a 2 dB improvement in sensitivity, or -125 dBm.  Since the FT-8500 uses a GaAsFET in its own front-end, I think this is pretty good. 

Someday I hope to actually measure the noise figure, but I suspect it’s very close to the advertised 0.8 dB.  The gain spec did fall a bit short: I measured 16.5 dB versus the claimed 18 dB.

Well there you have it: why this column is late AGAIN.  Next time we’ll just have to tell those electrons to behave themselves and only go where we tell them the first time!  n

August Club Meetings

By Jonathan M. Cameron (KF6RTA)

General Meeting, August 9

Chris Carson (KE6ABQ) called the meeting to order.  Those present included Eric Archer (N6CV), Darren Baird (KE6NIH), Jonathan Cameron (KF6RTA), Chris Carson (KE6ABQ), Alan DeVault (N6WDX), Bob Dengler (N06b), Warren Dowler (KE6LEA), Randy Hammock (KE6HUR), Walt Mushagian (K6DNS), Jerry Person (KK6TS), Carl Puckett (K7UFO), Phil Smith (WB6LQP), and Jim Sutton (ND6X).

After Chris Carson opened with brief announcements, Randy Hammock gave a short review of the situation at the Cerro Negro site.   Randy told us that it is difficult to deal with the repeater problems due to the difficulties of accessing the Cerro Negro site.  The city of La Canada is revamping the facilities and has limited access to the site by anyone except their own personnel.

Eric Archer told us about the new 6 meter Yagi antenna on roof of building 180.  From our meeting room in building 238, we could look directly out at the roof of building 180 and see the new antenna.  Eric said that the installation was nearing completion and that the 6-meter setup would be operational soon.

Chris Carson gave the main program on the exciting new band of 6 meters.  He showed us a portable 6-meter dipole antenna that he had constructed with PVC and some tent pole hardware.  You can see a similar antenna at the following web site:

He recently used his new antenna during a camping trip and reported that it worked well.  Chris gave us a list of some of the most common 6-meter frequencies:

International CQ (DX)

50.110 MHz



50.200 MHz


US CQ (Domestic)

50.125 MHz


So Cal FM

50.300 MHz


European CQ

50.150 MHz


European CW

50.090 MHz



50.700 MHz


6 Meter enthusiasts locate each other using “Grid Squares”.  More detail about grid square maps can be retrieved from the web page:

Chris also mentioned quite a few other web sites with information relevant to 6-meter communication:


TV Transmitter Links:



Far East/Pacific:

50 MHz Clusters:



Band Plans:

IARU Region 1 -- 6 meters:

US Band plan 6m--23 cm:

Distance and Bearing Calculators:

By Lat/Long or Location Name:

Callsign Prefix List:

Antenna Plans:

6 meter dipole:

6 meter J-pole:

Copper Cactus J-Pole

6-meter wire antenna dimensions:

Board of Directors Meeting, August 23

The meeting was called to order with a quorum at approximately 12:10pm.  Those present were: Bob Dengler (N06b), Randy Hammock (KE6HUR), Walt Mushagian (K6DNS), Robert Polansky (N6ET), Carl Puckett (K7UFO), Bill Wood (W6FXJ, by telephone) and Jonathan Cameron (KF6RTA).

Bob Polansky suggested that we consider networking the notebook computers for the next field day.  When networked, the logging software can cross check between computers to detect duplicate contacts.  It may require some additional hardware.  Bob will look into the possibility.

There was discussion regarding whether the money for the fiscal year had been spent yet, since the year is nearly over.  After some discussion, it was decided that if Eric Archer is unable to spend the $1K for ATV hardware before the end of the fiscal year, that it would be allocated to Bob Polansky for various repairs and equipment upgrades.  We were also reminded that we need to keep Eric Fuller (of the Emergency Committee) updated on our budget and spending related to his are of responsibility.

Bob Dengler will start to develop the FY 2001 budget.  He will break it into two sub-budgets: one for ERC-related activities and another for the Emergency Committee expenses. Randy Hammock reported that access to Cerro Negro was still limited due to the refurbishing efforts under way by the city of La Canada-Flintridge.  When the site becomes more accessible, we will move the 224.08 MHz frequency there. Randy will start the paperwork of coordinating with the 220 SMA before then.

We welcomed new member Carl Puckett (K7UFO) to the meeting.  Carl has some ideas for programs and in particular had a suggestion for the Christmas party.  Carl is a good friend of Wayne Hauser (W6VOA) who has a colorful history in ham radio and is friends with Arthur C. Clarke.  Carl will talk with him and see if he is willing to give us a presentation at the Christmas party.  He also suggested that the club put together a plaque for presentation to Arthur C. Clarke that Wayne would deliver for us.

Jonathan Cameron agreed to contact Manny Caldera regarding the Christmas party - particularly to see if a location had been found and to determine if a date was known for it yet.¾

DX News

By Bob Polansky, N6ET

Solar flux has been up and band conditions have in general followed the solar flux.  There have been a few of those “events” occurring that destroy reliable DX communications, but if you turn on the rig every so often, you will probably hear the bands alive with DX. 

The Saint Peter & Paul Rocks DXpedition that was to last for 10 days or so lasted only 2 days.  We don’t know what caused the operation to be so short, but there are several other operations shortly opening which will be looking for QSO’s.  Here’s a sampling:

BHUTAN - Look for A52?? starting 3 September through the 14th.  A call will be assigned upon their arrival.  This is the same group that gave out so many fine contacts from Clipperton several months back.

CHRISTMAS ISLAND - VK9XV will entertain the multitudes from the 2nd to the 13th of September.  This on the tail of another recently completed operation to the same place, which I actually heard once.

DL AFRICAN TOUR - German DXers will be operating from “5V-land” from 3 to 9 October and then from “XT-land” from 10 through 15 October.  For frequencies, look at The 59(9) Report on the W6VIO shack wall.  Operation is planned on 160 through 6 meters, phone, CW, and RTTY.

KINGMAN REEF - Although the dates aren’t firmed up yet, in early October, there will be a major DXpedition to this very rare site in the Pacific.  Lots of tents, aluminum, generators, and transceivers will magically appear.  All band, all mode operation is planned.  Don’t miss this opportunity.

MALDIVES - 8Q7XX will be active by the time you read this through 11 September.  Hope he operates lots on the WARC bands.

PALMYRA - KH5/KH6ND has been quite active on 30,20,17,12, and 10 meters at the low end of the CW bands.  He’s an excellent CW operator and he’s making lots of DXers happy!

TRISTAN DA CUNHA - ZD9ZM will keep the ether energized from 5 through 24 September. Don’t miss this South Atlantic DX delicacy.

Enough for now.  Enjoy the sunspots.  ¾

Classified Section


Reliable Person to receive about 40 copies of “W6VIO Calling” each month to address and mail to retired and other off-lab club members.  Job involves applying club supplied adhesive address labels and postage stamps.  Takes only 30 minutes each a month.  Contact Bill Wood, W6FXJ, at 760-256-5529 or for details.

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 818-354-9724 n

Newsletter Deadline:

Friday, September 29 for the October 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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