Minutes of June Board Meeting by Ron Zenone, W6TUZ
Members in attendance at the June 27, 1979 meeting included N6BF, K6GPK, K6PGX, WA6MYJ, K6TOS, N6AVW, W6ABW, WB6EHO, K6GHJ and W6TUZ. George Morris called the meeting to order with a quorum present. Minutes of the May Board Meeting were read and approved.
The application/questionnaire submitted by Mike Santana (WB6TEB) for renewing his off-lab membership was reviewed by the board and unanimously accepted.
Clarification was received from the ERC regarding eligibility of JPL spouses to join the JPL ARC. It was made clear that the spouse of a JPL employee is entitled to join any JPL-sanctioned club whose membership is made available to the employee.
It was reported by WA6MYJ that approximately 90% of the Voyager 1 commemorative QSL cards printed for the occasion have been mailed to members of the amateur radio community throughout the world who have requested confirmation of the special event radio contact. Jim also mentioned that club station operations to commemorate the Voyager 2 flyby of Jupiter will begin on July 6, 1979.
Club participation in this year's JPL picnic was discussed by N6AVW. Supplies needed for the hotdog stand operation were noted as having been ordered. John requested that a cash advance of $550 be provided to pay for these supplies. The club's Treasurer (K6GPK) is to make arrangements necessary for the cash advance.
K6TOS announced that an electric car race will take place on October 31, 1979 as a prelude to the start of an energy fair that is being held at the Long Beach Convention Center. Some of the cars will be starting the race in Santa Barbara and others in Ventura or Santa Monica. The club has been asked to consider providing point-to-point communications for this race. Gil will be looking further into this matter. The meeting was adjourned by W6ABW.
Minutes of July Board Meeting by Ron Zenone, W6TUZ
A board meeting was conducted on 25 July 1979 in 238-543. Attendees included N6WU, N6BF, N6UK, WB6DRF, W6ABW, N6NO, K6SVP, WA6MYJ, W6EJJ and W6TUZ. After noting that a quorum was at hand, Mike Griffin called the meeting to order. Minutes of the June Board Meeting were read and approved without change.
It was announced by N6WU that club hotdog sales activities at the recent JPL picnic netted a profit of $334.09. In addition, John and Eileen McKinney were commended for having made the activity so successful. Information regarding good deals made in food purchases, etc. are to be gathered and filed by the Secretary as a reference source for next year's Picnic Committee Chairman.
Dick Piety reported that 2179 special event radio contacts were made during the Voyager II encounter of Jupiter. Although station activities for the event proved successful, Dick noted that it was disappointing to find that only a small number of club members actually participated in-the club event. It was also reported that the club has thus far realized a profit of $450 by selling cassette tapes that contain slow-scan television frames of pictures taken by Voyager 1 earlier this year during its Jupiter encounter.
A motion was made and carried to have WA6MYJ purchase a 220 MHZ transceiver to replace the one that had been stolen from the club station. An exact replacement rig for approximately $299 is being advertised in QST and will be looked into by Jim.
John Walsh (N6UK), the new Education Committee Chairman, announced that he was going to start a class in September for those wanting to obtain a General class amateur license. N6UK also reported that members of the current Novice class will be taken to the club station for exposure to ham radio operations.
Pictures being considered for the Voyager 2 commemorative QSL card were presented to the board for discussion by Gordon Crawford. This card is expected to be attractive as the Voyager 1 QSL card.
Jim Lumsden suggested that one or more electronic keyers be purchased to support code classes and station CW operations. Commercially available keyers and build from scratch (Curtis chip) options will be looked into by Jim to determine which option is most resource effective. At the conclusion of this discussion, the meeting was adjourned by Mike Griffin.
Hot Dog Sales at ERC Picnic
Some people can take on a job and you're never quite sure whether it'll come off on time and okay. Others pick up the ball and run with it, and you know that once they agree to do it, you've no further worries. Members John and Eileen McKinney, N6AVW and KA6DGV, showed themselves to be in the latter group with their handling of the JPL-ARC hot dog sales for the annual ERC picnic.
As John and Eileen are the first to admit, however, they had a lot of help. Some "regulars" who showed up to help out were W6ABW, WD6HEZ, WA6MYJ, K6TOS, W6TUZ, and N6WU. We also had a lot of non-ham help. XYLs Connie Morris, Faye Lumsden, and Pat Zenone did as much as anyone, while Eileen's parents, Frank and Blanche Kenworthy, did even more. Not only did they show up to help make and sell those hot ones, they helped get the operation ready to go. In particular, the club is indebted to Frank for his construction of permanent stands for use in this annual activity. They are very professional, and stand out in sharp contrast to the makeshift versions of previous years.
The bottom line in this event is profit; we're not out there for the sun tan. This year was quite rewarding, with a net to the club of $334.09. When you consider that our basic ERC budget is only $800, it is clear that hot dog sales contribute significantly to the club treasury. Contributing to the nice profit were the McKinney's sharp buying practices on the hot dogs, and an almost perfect guess on the amount required We sold out just at quitting time!
JPL-ARC Hot Dog Booth During a Quiet Moment at the ERC Picnic at Soledad Sands Park
Voyager 2 Commemorative, by Dick Piety, K6SVP
Phase 2 of the W6 Voyager In Outerspace commemorative, held between 6 July and 15 July, is now over and, as with Voyager 1, was a great success. Pile-ups were again common, and hams everywhere remarked on how beautiful the Voyager 1 QSL was. Many were eager to receive the second of the "matching pair" to go along with their treasured N6V card from the Viking commemorative.
As in the past, 20-meter slow scan was well received, as the hungry slow-scanners asked for the latest pictures from Voyager 2. The totals show just how busy the slow scan position was from W6VIO; 20 meter phone activity alone accounted for 1146 QSO's.
One highlight was a visit by Mike Davis, WD6FFV, and his brother Bob, WB6QNM. Mike, as many of you may recall, was the hero of a recent Coast Guard sea rescue assisted by amateur radio and featured in the Los Angeles Times. Mike and Bob both did some guest operating and picked up the "commemorative spiel" like pros. Another highlight was a special schedule with Tom Christian, VR6TC, to enable Tom to tape Voyager 2 pictures for later replay to the people of Pitcairn Island. A second session was later held with Tom in order to play pictures "live" to the children of Pitcairn and allow them to see pictures of Jupiter and its moons.
The excitement of the commemorative is now over, but not forgotten, and thoughts are turning to the Saturn flyby of Voyager 1 in November, l980. In the intervening 15 months, plans include upgrading our antenna system with additional beams and acquisition of a new rig.
As with the Voyager 1 phase, the operators who volunteered their time made it all possible. A special thanks to all those contributed their time.
Some basic statistics:
- OSCAR - 1
- 220 MHz - 79
- 2 meter phone - 613
- 10/l5/4O/75 meter phone - 193
- CW - all bands - 147
- 20 meter phone - 1146
- GRAND TOTAL 2179
73, and if I don't see you in the work parties, I'll see you in November of l980!
N6WU makes final adjustments on the jury-rigged antenna installation for the Voyager 2 commemorative.
Forty Meter Beam at W6VIO, by Mike Griffin, N6WU
It was manifestly impossible, but we got it done anyway. We're speaking here of the erection of the club's 40 meter two-element beam after being purchased a year ago with funds from a special ERC grant. It really does take a commemorative event to get things happening in the JPL ARC.
Stan Sander, N6MP, gets the credit for pulling things together on this project. We had decided some time ago that the only feasible mounting position-was atop the telephone pole on the mesa behind the lab. Sam Weaver, WB6EMO, fashioned a set of mounting brackets, which were put into place a few weeks ago by Dick Piety, K6SVP, and Jim Lumsden, WA6MYJ. One problem and another kept delaying the final antenna party, but on July 5, the day before the start of the Voyager 2 commemorative, we managed to get together. WB6EMO, K6SVP, WA6MYJ, N6MP, and N6WU showed up for this final phase.
We really wanted the use of one of the lab's cherry pickers (see W6VIO Calling for March 1979), but management wouldn't go for that because of the relatively precarious footing near the antenna site. We thus settled for a 24 foot ladder and safety belts. WA6MYJ and N6WU did the pole climbing, with Jim strapped in at the very top and N6WU just below on the ladder. With this arrangement, ground assistance was essential for handling tag lines, guiding the antenna up the pole, etc.
After considerable hassling with the usual details, such as the mast not quite fitting the rotor and the antenna not being assembled quite right, the final hoisting operation went very well. This despite grumbling from your author that the whole job was completely impossible. One abortive attempt was required to verify that a combined pushing and pulling approach was unworkable. We tried again, with WA6MYJ and N6WU hoisting and the ground crew furnishing essential stability with tag lines. A little planning at the top, a last massive torque from WA6MYJ, and the whole contraption went right into place atop the rotor!
Preliminary checks have been a bit disappointing, but nothing that can't be remedied. The antenna is cut for about 7100 KHz, and is quite sharp, with an SWR of about 3:1 near the low end. And it doesn't seem to be getting out as well as hoped. But a few fine adjustments are always needed, and we're hoping by the next issue to be able to report on some excellent performance.
40 meter beam immediately after being tilted into place. WA6MYJ above, N6WU below.
ARRL BOARD MEETING HIGHLIGHTS
ARRL Bulletin Nr 71, July 20, 1979
On July 18 and 19, 1979, the ARRL Board of Directors net in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, prior to the ARRL National Convention there. Directors heard the final status reports concerning amateur radio's preparations for the World Administrative Radio Conference, which will open this September in Geneva, and the Board thanked the many amateurs worldwide who have been actively involved in these efforts. Looking beyond WARC, a plan of action for the Long Range Planning Committee was approved.
Efforts will be renewed in Congress seeking amendments to the Communications Act favorable to Amateur Radio. A special ARRL committee is to be formed to address public concerns about biological radiation hazards and the possible impact of these concerns on amateurs. A new Public Relations Advisory Committee was established. Comments will be prepared in response to an FCC proposal for a new personal radio service near 900 MHz. The ARRL comments will support this and will also propose an amateur allocation in nearby unused spectrum. Amateur concerns about the so-called Russian "Woodpecker" in our high-frequency bands is to be reaffirmed to the U.S. and Canadian governments.
The Canadian Division of ARRL will be incorporated in Canada as the Canadian Radio Relay League. A new in-house data processing facility will be installed at Headquarters. The first President of ARRL, Hiram Percy Maxim, W1AW, was elected as the charter member of the ARRL Hall of Fame. The 1978 technical excellence award was given to ARRL members Harris and Cleveland for their QST articles on Narrow Band Voice Modulation. A design by ARX was adopted as the ARRL flag.
Studies were ordered of reciprocal operating problems in the U.S., ways to encourage international friendship and understanding through Amateur Radio. digital data transmission by amateurs, QST contents, and other topics. A full report will appear in September QST. (Courtesy W6EJJ)
July was an eventful month for the JPL Radio Club. We had the picnic, the Voyager 2 commemorative, the support of the MS Celebrity Marathon (article next month), and raising the 40-meter beam to keep us busy. Such a variety of events could only come off as well as they did because of the participation we had. But again, it was the same old faces...
We've had some rare good news this month. From the financial viewpoint, the club has never been in better shape. The ERC approved a $2000 grant to the club, over and above our current budget of $800, for station upgrading as outlined in our plan of August, 1978. There is always some latitude in such plans, so if you're interested in how we improve W6VIO, come to the board meetings where such issues are decided. Your thoughts will be welcome.
Additionally, as reported in more detail elsewhere, we made a tidy profit of $334.09 on hot dog sales at the ERC picnic. And Dick Piety reported at this month's board meeting (see minutes) that Voyager 1 slow-scan tapes have sold like bandits, netting the club $450 so far. So we have a lot of money, and with it the potential for some rewarding growth.
I am sorry that I will not be here to share it. For as many of you know by now, this will be my last column in W6VIO Calling and my last month as club president. I've taken a job at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, the basic motivation being that I'd like to return to my home area. I know it is treason, but I'm just not that happy with Southern California.
However, in parting I must say that the radio club has been one of the really enjoyable parts of my two years here. Novice classes, antenna parties, the Voyager commemorative, contests, all have been a lot of fun. Here's hoping I can work W6VIO from W3-land during the Saturn encounter! ]
Guest Editorial, by Merv MacMedan, N6NO
Hey gang! Have you seen the new Fall Sears catalog? Take a look at pages 1238-1239 and you will find that Sears has expanded their amateur radio equipment line from 2 meters to 2 meters and 220 MHz! Newly added are the well-known 12-channel Midland 13-509 (at a mere $199.95) and the synthesized Midland 13-513, at $479.95.
We have no objection per se to the sale of amateur radio equipment by Sears. They are violating no law. Our concern is with the possible consequences of having 220 MHz equipment made widely available to any unlicensed person who wants it, without proper instruction and orientation at the point of sale.
The fine print at the bottom of the catalog page points out that these radios can't be used except by licensed amateurs who have successfully passed the FCC exam for "Technical Class" (sic) or higher. But it is clear that the effect of the marketing policy at Sears could very well be to create a market of unlicensed buyers, as happened not so many years ago with CB. We all know how that turned out.
An amateur license requires a considerable effort to obtain. It cannot be gotten merely by applying for it or paying a fee. The only way to make the ranks of "Technician Class" licensees grow is to offer all possible help -- code courses, license manuals, study guides, and so on. Sears currently offers none of these. Moreover, the equipment description is non-technical. Nowhere are the sensitivity, selectivity, or distortion specifications discussed. Instead, much space is devoted to color, cabinet size, knobs, etc. The target market is confirmed to be a typical unlicensed person by a statement that the radio "cannot operate without an antenna." No amateur catalog description would insult the ability of a licensed amateur with such an obvious statement. For the uninitiated of course it practically guarantees the sale of a companion 5/8 wave antenna, at $24.95.
We feel that these marketing practices should be curbed in three ways: First, the ARRL should apprise Sears of the potential problems inherent in their advertising approach. Second, Sears should show prospective purchasers how to become licensed. This would require a training program for their sales people, distribution of information to prospective buyers on licensing classes in their neighborhood, and by offering code courses, training manuals, etc. for sale themselves. Third, we must get the Communications Act re-written to give the FCC power to require that a license be shown to purchase's transmitter.
The latest update on club membership reveals the following statistics:
- Total Members: 112 (8 Associate)
- Total Licensed: l04
- ARRL Members: 49
- Key Holders: 34
The breakdown on license grade is:
- Extra: 18
- Advanced: 38
- General/Conditional: 21
- Technician: 19
- Novice: 8
A note of caution should be sounded here. We are an ARRL affiliated club, meaning that 51% of our voting members must also belong to ARRL. So, if we are not to lose our affiliated status, we need about 4 more ARRL members. Some of the deficit may be due to errors, so check your list and see if you're on there correctly. If not, send a note to Ron Zenone, W6TUZ, at MS 125-147. (Tnx N6NO)
QSL Manager's Corner, by Merrill Burnett, N6BER I would like to thank publicly the following people for their support of the QSL activity for the Voyager 1 Jupiter encounter commemorative event. These people said yes to a request for help, and performed their task with great speed. They deserve our thanks. They are: W6ABW, George; KA6CBI, Bud; K6CV, Jay; K61CS, Mike; WA6MYJ, Jim; N6NO, Merv; WA6TPW, Ron; and W6WXL, Jerry. (And thank you, Merrill, for heading up a tough job as QSL Manager for W6VIO. - ed.)
CVRC Repeater Channel Assigned.
The two-meter repeater of the Crescents Valley Radio Club is now operating on the assigned channel 146.025/.625 from La Canada. The repeater is open and carrier-accessed. All amateurs are invited to use the machine. (Tnx, W6SIC)
... Pete Lyman, WB6WXK, on being appointed Manager, Information Systems Division, JPL.
Manual (for Xeroxing only) for Swan 240. Call Nash Williams, W6HCD, x90l8.
Two each, 2-meter rigs having at least 10 channels and 2 watts. Call Nash, W6HCD, x9018.
Midland 13-509 220 MHz transceiver, mag-mount mobile antenna, xtals for club simplex, APS, APR, and AZN. One year old, excellent condx. $175. Call Mike Griffin, 354-7267 or 249-4036.
Yaesu FT-22l 2-meter FM/SSB/CW/AM transceiver, $430. Call Steve Brown, N60E, 794-7323 or (from JPL only) 177-9220.
Bargain Price on Midland 13-513
Readers desiring a 220 MHz synthesized rig may never find a better price than that offered by Amateur Electronic Supply, 4828 W. Fond du Lac Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53216. As a close-out special, they're offering the rig for $299 plus $6 shipping. They'll take check, money order, or MC/Visa. Call (toll free) 800-558-0411. See p. 148 of QST, August, 1979, for details.
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