- Meeting Notice - Scott Nolte, N6CUV
- Calendar of Events
- Notes from W6EJJ - Jay Holladay, W6EJJ
- October Club Meetings - Chris Zygielbaum, N6WEI
- DX News - Bob Polansky, N6ET
- Why Learn the Morse Code, anyway? - Mike Treit, KB6QOP
- Brian and the tomatoes - Rick Fainweather, K1KYI
- Help - I Need 911! - Bill Westphal, WB6YPF
- Join ARRL; Read QST - George Uebele, WW7E
- October Work Party - Bob Polansky, N6ET
- Classified Section
- The Last Word
- ARRL News
By Scott Nolte, N6CUV
The next regular JPL Amateur Radio Club meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 13, at noon in building 238, room 543. Club Board of Directors meetings are held at noon on the fourth Wednesday of each month in 301-227. Everyone is welcome at all club meetings; bring your lunch.
Save the date of December 11 for the club's Annual Banquet, it's the usual second-Wednesday-of-the-month meeting day, but in the evening. The event will be held in the upstairs banquet room at Marie Callender's Restaurant on Foothill Blvd in Pasadena, same as last year. More details to come soon. n
Calendar of Events
Date Event November 13 General Meeting, Noon - 238-543 November 16 [Pomona Swapmeet, DeVry Institute] November 16-17 ARRL Phone Sweepstakes Contest November 20 Board Meeting, Noon - 301-227 November 30 [TRW Swapmeet, Redondo Beach] December 11 JPL ARC Annual Banquet, Marie Callender's Restaurant, Pasadena December 21 [Pomona Swapmeet, DeVry Institute] December 26 [TRW Swapmeet, Redondo Beach]
Notes from W6EJJ
By Jay Holladay, W6EJJ
Field Day Results!
JPL ARC members who belong to ARRL recently received the November issue of QST. Many of us turned quickly to the Field Day results and learned that W6UE (callsign for the Caltech/JPLARC entry) placed 5th nationally in Class 2A!!!
All in all, it was a great result for an effort that experienced so many difficulties in the last few hours before the start of the contest. (See the July issue of W6VIO Calling for the full story.) Class 2A was VERY competitive this year, with 600 entries and five scores topping the 10,000 point mark. The top five were: (listing shows total QSOs, final score, and ARRL section)W5NN 3834 11,772 STX K5DX 3822 11,280 STX K3EF 2962 10,894 MDC W4ABZ 1355 10,500 TN W6UE 3159 10,046 LAX
How about that photo finish for No. 1! Competition is really tough in STX. Note that W6UE was third highest in total QSOs and top score on the West Coast. It is also interesting to note that this year's winning score in 3A (our planned entry class) was considerably less that our 3A score for last year. Wait till 1997!
Speaking of contests, I just returned from a few hours of operating W6UE at Caltech in the ARRL CW Sweepstakes. With a top notch station and the CT computer logging program to help, operating in the SS was great fun and a good way to keep up the CT skills. The Phone SS is the weekend of Nov. 167. Any volunteers for a multi-op effort? Here's a great chance to build or maintain your contesting skills for our effort in FD 97!
Elsewhere in this issue you will see the first announcement for our Christmas Banquet. Please reserve the evening of Wednesday, December 11, for this event. It will be held at the same location as we had last year, and a fine program is planned.
Finally, as we approach the end of 1996, please give some thought to potential Club officers for the next year. Is 1997 is the year you should step up and help us build a stronger JPL ARC? 73, Jay n
By Chris Zygielbaum, N6WEI
The general meeting of the JPL Amateur Radio Club was held on Wednesday, October 9, 1996. Vice President Scott Nolte (N6CUV) called the meeting to order.
The new RLC-3 multiport controller for W6VIO was replaced with the old repeaters with built-in separate controllers on Sunday. A software upgrade was applied to the controller, but it had no affect on some hardware problems. It was decided to go ahead and replace the controller so that the hardware problems can be solved.
The next work party is scheduled to organize the club's storage trailer. The trailer is shared with the JPL Bicycle and Astronomy Clubs and all are needing additional storage space. The pressure in the lines up to the Mesa will also be tested.
Gil Duke, the Lab's Emergency Preparedness Administrator, is leaving the Lab at the end of October. The club will miss him, as he has been a strong supporter of radio emergency communications and the club.
The program was a presentation by Brian Philbin, of AirTouch Cellular. Brian is "Significant Events Coordinator," responsible for setting up temporary, high use communication centers. Brian started with PacTel seven years ago as a two-way radio technician; he moved to cellular telephones and was with PacTel when it moved to AirTouch.
His group was formed after the Rodney King civil unrest when AirTouch realized that it was not capable of easily responding to large, one-time events or emergencies. Since then Brian's group has responded to the Malibu fire, Northridge earthquake, and set up for the Republican Convention in San Diego.
Brian gave an overview of the AirTouch Cellular System. The system is 90% interconnected using microwave. The efficiency and capacity of the system is based on its ability to reuse its 416 channels. (There are a total of 832 channels; AirTouch owns half and LA Cellular owns half.) AirTouch's system has evolved from omni directional cell sites to sectored sites to optimize the channel reuse.
Currently cellular phone systems are analog, and based on Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA). In the future, they will be digital, based on Code Division Multiple Access (DCMA). There will be new telephones, with new features including higher security.
Board of Directors Meeting
The JPL ARC Board of Directors meeting was held on Wednesday, October 23, 1996. Jay Holladay (W6EJJ) called the meeting to order.
Chuck Sarture (KG6NF) was absent, but submitted his report in writing. There was no income during October and the two standard expenses, W6VIO Calling postage and the Autopatch telephone bill.
Bill Wood (WB6FXJ) is repairing the Kendecom repeater and will bring it to Walt Diem (WA6PEA) this week. Walt will check it out for a couple weeks before reinstalling it as the repeater on the 224.70 MHz frequency.
The Army, who lent the club the 10 kW diesel generator may want it back. Even though the club's station trailer was set up for it, the set up will be useful for any generator.
The work party completed a major clean-up of the storage trailer with the help of the JPL Bicycle Club. They threw away and cleaned up the entire trailer to free up much-needed space. Also 2 of the 3 pressure lines to the Mesa were charged with Nitrogen. The third one has a leak and the fourth (which wasn't tested) won't even take pressure.
It is time to think about new officers for the coming year. Jay will appoint a Nominating Committee to draft a slate of candidates.
Rick McKinney (KA6DAN) has been receiving application for ARRL membership. The cost through the JPL ARC is $5.00 for new membership and $2.00 for renewal.
Rick received an application for JPL ARC membership from an individual from off-Lab. It appeared that the application was intended for the club broadcasting emergency earthquake information, which is broadcast by the Flint Peak Repeater Group. It was agreed that the board should uphold the established guidelines of club membership, that is, members should be somehow connected with the Lab, so that they can participate in the primary objective of the club, JPL emergency communications. Scott Nolte (N6CUV) will contact the individual for clarification of the request and suggest requesting contacting the Flint Peak group.
Two JPL ARC members, Chuck Sarture (KG6NF) and Walt Diem (WA6PEA) have been nominated for the Frequency Coordinating Committee for the 220 Spectrum Management Association. n
By Bob Polansky, N6ET
Propagation predictions through 8 November are high-normal. I guess that's good, given the state of sunspots at this time. Even with the quiet sun, there was lots of activity on the air during the CQ WW SSB Contest. With a stuck beam, I came close to working DXCC during the contest. The bottom line:
You can have a great time working dx even without sunspots. You just have to listen a bit harder and call CQ more often.
Now for the news:
BURMA - Look for XZ1N from 16 to 25 November. 3505,3795,10105,18070,18140 are some of the frequencies published. They have big antennas, linears, and very good operators. They'll be real obvious!
CHAD - TT8SP has been spotted on 80, 40, 30, and 20 meters cw during any time of the day when propagation exists. He's a little weak, but workable (except for me!)
FRENCH ST. MARTIN - FS/W2QM will make his presence known from 4 to 11 December.
GUINEA-BISSAU - J52IM and J59ON will be active through 1998.
MARION ISLAND - ZS8IR has been quite active on cw at the low ends of 40, 30 and 20 meters. He's also been spotted on 14195 kHz on SSB.
MAURITANIA - A major Japanese operation will take place from this West African country from 6 to 13 November.
SAINT LUCIA - J68?? promises activity from 19 November to 1 December.
SAN MARINO - T77C has been worked in Southern California on Sundays. Look for him from 18071-18074, and on 18125kHz during the local morning hours.
TOGO - 5V5A will be one of the rarer stations on the air during the CQ WW CW Contest from 23 to 24 November. Don't miss them!
WALLIS ISLAND - FW2EH is active now through 4 November. He's been heard most evenings on the low end of 30 meters. See you in the pileups. n
Why Learn the Morse Code, anyway?
By Mike Treit, KB7QOP
The greatest obstacle for some people attempting to master the art of CW, is incentive. And that's just what one should expect; it's entirely normal to cast a wary eye upon anything that requires work. The following is my philosophy on why learning Morse code is worth the bother.
First, arguments that say Morse code is out of date and no longer needed miss the point. By the same logic, you could bypass the entire hobby of ham radio. For talking to a friend in Israel, the phone and the Internet are far more effective.
We didn't become Amateur Radio operators because ham radio is the most effective communications means available - though it is certain in emergency situations - but because we love practicing the radio arts. There is something special about sitting down at that trusty transceiver, pressing the keyer paddle and greeting the world. Despite all the technical explanations, our imagination still shrouds radio in mystery.
In pursuing Amateur Radio, we enjoy exploring a variety of communication methods-some mundane, others exotic. And all of them produce a sense of accomplishment and pride. They fuel an inner fire, a drive to excel.
Communicating with Morse code is one variant of the idea, one facet of the art. Part of the appeal of CW is its simplicity. You can send it with even the most basic transmitter. And people with few English skills who can understand you in Morse may have great difficulty in any voice mode, and in the typed mode-unless both of you are CW operators, and you use the CW abbreviations.
When voice communication breaks down, Morse code can still get through. When my friend Harold, KA7MZA, was on road trip in Kansas, I tried to contact him on 15-meter SSB. I could hear his signal in the static, but he couldn't copy me. When I switched to CW-he stayed on SSB-we were able to carry on our conversation. If we hadn't been able to use Morse, our conversation would not have been possible.
Its universal standing and elegant simplicity make CW a practical tool for the Amateur. I believe everyone should learn it-if for no other reason, then as a backup for when voice communication breaks down. But there is a catch 22; you can't appreciate how fun Morse can be until you learn it well enough to relax when using it. And the only way to learn it that well, is to use it regularly.
I began learning Morse several years ago; now it's my passion. I enjoy it more than SSB, partly because of the civility of Morse operators. On-the-air CW is all about what radio should be. In pursuing Morse, we rediscover why we became a ham in the first place.
Most beginners view improving their code proficiency as just one part of their effort to upgrade. That's fine, but I urge you to take it further. Try Morse on the air. At a certain point, as you are "erring the hang of it, you may be surprised (as I was) to find yourself enjoying it.
from the January 1996 Radio Club of Tacoma "The Logger's Bark"-Kathleen Nace, N0EYK, Editor, via ARNS n
Brian and the Tomatoes
By Rick Fainweather, K1KYI
One day Brian, a new club member, rode to Charlie's house on his bicycle. Charlie greeted Brian from his tomato garden, and said, "Come over here and take a bag of tomatoes for your mom."
Brian walked over, hands in his pockets, and said, "Mister Charlie. . ." "I hear you just passed your Tech," Charlie interrupted. When Brian nodded, Charlie grinned mischievously, "So you're a ham now. Hams call each other by their first names. So it's Mister Charlie no more' Okay?" "Sure, Charlie. I'll try to remember that But ... uh ... well ... what I wanted to ask you was, where hams learn to talk?" "You mean on CW?" "No. I've been listening to the repeaters. I hear people saying, `I'll be on the side,' or `You're pushing a big S-meter to me,' or `Good numbers,' or `My personal is Fireball.' But hams I've met here at your shack and at club meetings don't talk like that. And they have ordinary names like Joe and Bob and ..."
Charlie's lip had curled into a pucker like a corkscrew. "Well, this may not be easy for me, Brian. I may even have to take some of my medication to get through it. But, you see, some hams came into the hobby from the military, some from college engineering programs, some from the Boy Scouts.
And others came from the Citizens Band. CB'ers have developed their own dialect, which is a mixture of Southern trucker, gutter talk, and Boo Reynolds' Bandit. And what you've described comes from the CB band."
Brian pondered this for a moment. "Charlie, it's not red fat, huh?" "Sorry," said Charlie, "red fat is a new one on me. But if you mean it's not the kind of language I would like to hear you use, you're right."
"Thanks Charlie. I'll give you my 73's."
"Whoa there, Brian. On CW, just send 73-singular. Its meaning, `best regards,' which is already plural. But in person, plain old good-bye still works for hams like us."
"Okay, Charlie, thanks."
"Hey Brian, don't forget the tomatoes!"
condensed from an article in the Summer `96 Blackstone Valley (FIN) ARC Leadership Corps The Messenger.-K1KYI Editor, via ARNS n
Help - I Need 911!
By Bill Westphal, WB6YPF
Have you ever heard a ham call for help over the radio? If they need an emergency reported to the Police, Fire Department or CHP, any other ham with access to a telephone can be of assistance by dialing 911.
Before you dial 911, record the details of the incident as accurately as possible including location, injuries, description of vehicles or people involved, direction of travel, etc. Have the other ham remain on frequency in case additional information is needed and then dial 911.
When you dial 911, your call will be automatically routed to the appropriate Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) for your area. Inform the 911 operator that you are relaying the report from an amateur radio operator and give them the details of the incident. If the incident is not in your city, ask the 911 operator to transfer you to the appropriate agency.
After relaying the information about the incident, remain on the line until you are sure that the 911 operator has all the inormation they need. After you hang up, inform the other ham that the incident has been reported.
If the incident is not an emergency, it may not be appropriate to dial 911. The 911 network is often plagued with non-emergency calls. Whenever possible, non emergency calls should be reported by calling the appropriate agency directly. Direct numbers to emergency agencies in your area are printed inside the front cover of your Pacific Bell White Pages. I have included a list of these numbers for your reference, however (disclaimer) they have not been checked for accuracy!
If you're really not sure if the incident would be considered an emergecny or not dial, don't hesitate to dial 911.
If you have any questions about Pacific Bell or the Pacific Bell Network, feel free to call me at 213-633-3121 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
from the September 1996 Bulletin of the Pasadena Radio Club n
Emergency Telephone Numbers CITY POLICE FIRE Agoura Hills 818-878-1808 818-889-0610 Alhambra 818-570-5151 818-570-5190 Altadena 818-798-1131 818-793-7176 Arcadia 818-446-2111 818-446-6188 Azusa 818-334-2943 818-444-2581 Baldwin Park 818-960-1955 818-444-2581 Bell 213-585-1245 213-262-2111 Beverly Hills 310-550-4951 310-281-2701 Bradbury 818-448-9861 818-444-2581 Burbank 818-238-3333 818-238-3473 Calabasas 818-878-1808 818-880-4411 C.H.P. 213-953-7378 Carson 310-830-1123 310-638-6121 Commerce 213-264-4151 213-262-2111 Compton 310-605-5600 310-605-5670 Covina 818-967-6444 818-967-6411 Cudahy 213-264-4151 213-262-2111 Duarte 818-448-9861 818-444-2581 El Monte 818-580-2100 818-448-6121 Gardena 310-217-9600 310-217-9643 Glendale 818-548-4840 818-956-4800 Glendora 818-914-8250 818-444-2581 Hidden Hills 818-878-1808 818-222-1107 Huntington Park 213-584-6254 213-262-2111 Industry 818-330-3322 818-444-2581 Inglewood 310-412-8771 310-412-8770 Irwindale 818-962-3601 818-444-2581 La Canada/Flintridge 818-248-3464 818-793-7176 La Crescenta (County) 818-248-3464 818-793-7176 La Crescenta (Glendale) 818-548-4840 818-956-4800 La Habra 310-905-9750 310-905-9794 La Habra Heights 818-330-3322 310-697-6731 La Mirada 310-863-8711 310-868-0411 La Puente 818-330-3322 818-444-2581 Los Angeles City (Metro) 213-626-5273 213-485-5971 Maywood 213-562-5005 213-262-2111 Monrovia 818-359-1152 818-446-6188 Montebello 213-887-1313 213-722-2111 Montery Park 818-573-1311 818-573-1333 Pasadena 818-405-4241 818-792-4161 Pico Rivera 310-949-2421 310-868-0411 Rosemead 818-285-7171 818-444-2581 San Dimas 818-332-1184 818-444-2581 San Fernando 818-898-1267 818-756-8561 San Gabriel 818-308-2828 818-288-5050 San Marino 818-300-0720 818-300-0720 Sant Fe Springs 310-409-1850 310-868-1711 Sierra Madre 818-355-1414 818-355-1414 South El Monte 818-285-7171 818-444-2581 South Gate 213-563-5400 310-638-6121 South Pasadena 818-799-1121 818-799-9105 Temple City 818-285-7171 818-287-9521 Vernon 213-587-5171 213-583-4821 West Covina 818-814-8585 818-814-8584 West Hollywood 310-855-8850 213-654-5445 Whittier 310-945-8250 310-868-0411
Join ARRL; Read QST
By George Uebele, WW7E
With the Amateur bands threatened by a Congress that proposes auctioning radio frequencies to the highest bidder, hams must keep abreast of the news from Washington. The ARRL watches congressional action and other activities that impact the Amateur Radio Service, and "The League" tries to influence them to our benefit. That's why every ham should support the ARRL.
One benefit ARRL members enjoy is the organization's monthly magazine, QST. Several articles in the September QST caught my attention:
- "It Seems to Us" (page 9) tells about little LEOs, big LEOs, and other commercial satellite systems. And it explains how the little LEOs threaten the 2-meter and 440-MHz ham bands.
- "The High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Program" (page 33) describes HAARP-which Popular Science covered with a "the sky is falling" slant. I found the article reassuring in that the program poses no catastrophic side effects, and has no hidden agendas. If you're concerned, or just curious, about HAARP, look up the QST article; it's a "must read."
- "SWR Analyzer Tips, Tricks, and Techniques" (page 36) is for anyone who owns one of the MFJ or Autek Research SWR analyzers.
- "The Micro M-, etc." (page 41) construction article tells the construction project aficionado how to make a regulator for charging a battery with a solar panel.
- "The Global Positioning System" (page 56) is a short primer on GPS that goes on to describe available GPS receivers, and what features to look for.
- "The Wouff-Hong and Rettysnitch: Lost Traditions?" (page 59) includes photos of those famous Amateur radio "tools." The article then discusses the responsibility of Amateur Radio operators toward law and order, decency, etc. The Wouff-Hong and the Rettysnitch have often been referenced, but this is the most comprehensive article I have seen on the subject.
- "ARRL/VEC to Extend Service Hours for New License Information" (page 99) gives the new license information number, 860-594-0300. and the hours the service is available.
Supporting ARRL political activities, and keeping informed about everything of interest to hams: what better reasons could there be for joining? from the Sept 96 Sierra Interrnountain Emergency Radio Association "SIERA News.-Dorothy Uebele N7MXA Editor, via ARNS n
October Work Party
By Bob Polansky, N6ET
We met at the W6VIO Ops trailer at 9AM for a three hour work party. Chris Carson, Daton Jones, Walt Mushagian, John Norris, and I represented the JPL ARC. In addition, several members of the JPL Bike Club joined us by prior arrangement. Accomplishments for the day were considerably greater than our plan.
The storage trailer was totally reorganized, making it a much more user-friendly place. All our wire, which had been buried forever in the unaccessable cabinet in back are now clearly in view on the open shelves. Multiple ERC Clubs have been throwing their bags of half used plates, cups, plastic eating utensils, beer and soft drinks in the trailer and then losing them! All "expendable" of that type are now stored in a new cabinet accessable to all ERC Clubs on a first come, first served basis. This is a much better working arrangement. Anyone leaving the storage trailer in a mess will be "drawn and quartered" by the management!
In addition to the above, the new diesel generator was relocated and tested into the trailer's full equipment load. It worked perfectly. The old rusty tower and several items of equipment from the storage trailer were moved outside next to the storage trailer and will be surplused. The slow scan station shelving was reinstalled after having been totally disassembled to permit the electrical work to take place. Last of all, the TH6DXX-site hardline pressure leak was repaired and all three in-use hardlines were repressurized with nitrogen.
No pictures were taken (sorry, Bill), since no one had cameras there. Besides, we were all too busy! My thanks to all the hearty souls who participated in this event. n
A 50-to-80-foot self supporting/telescoping/tilt-over tower or towers. Can be either tubular or triangular. Need to be in good condition. Motorized would be a big plus. Will pay for packaging and shipping to Prescott, Arizona. Contact Brian (KW6J) at 714-896-3514 (M-F, 8 AM to 4 PM) or via Internet at email@example.com.
New or used (but in good condition) HF large mono-band beams which were designed for high gain/good front to back ratio/good directivity etc. Contact Brian (KW6J) at 714-896-3514 (M-F 8 AM to 4 PM) or via Internet at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Icom IC-04AT 440 MHz HT. Call Joel Mosher KB6RXE at 818-791-1779 or email to email@example.com
US Tower (or Wilson) ROTATING BASE and RAISING FIXTURE for a 40 foot tubular telescoping tower. US Tower part number for the rotating base is MARB/40 and for the raising fixture is MAF-40. Please contact Brian Stapleton (KW6J) at 714-896-3514, M-F 8 AM - 4 PM.
Your want ad or article for inclusion in a future issue of W6VIO Calling. Submit either to Bill Wood, Mail Stop DSCC-33; or via Internet (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Video study course, ARRL Advanced Class includes computerized exam review software. Complete course for $50 (new cost $129). Call Bob Dye, KQ6GD, 818-249-0171
Only $4,500 for a US Tower Model HDX-589-MDPL 89-foot self supporting triangular tower with heavy duty motor, pull downs, and limit switches (original cost, over $8,100!). Tower is in great condition and is only a few years old. Contact Brian (KW6J) for further details (work number M-F, 8 AM to 4 PM, 714-896-3514).
Battery Packs (for HT's, camcorders, laptops, cordless and cellular telephones) and mobile antennas at unusually low prices. Contact Walt Diem at 818-248-7525.
Yaesu's - like new. Closing station. FT-470 2m/440 w/tone squelch, PA-6 ~ FNB-12 batteries, chargers, and two vinyl cases. Unused, in carton. $350. FT-212RH 2m mobile w/mic, spkrs. Used very few hours. $295. Astron RS-12 power supply, good condition. $50. George KC6CWA, (707) 945-0705, or via W6MEO@KJ6FY.#NOCAL.CA.USA.NOAM.
The Last Word
A woman being examined for jury duty told the judge, `I'm sorry, Your Honor, but I can't serve on this jury; I don't believe in capital punishment."
"Maybe you don't understand," said the judge. "This is a civil suit brought by a wife, to recover five-thousand dollars of her money that her husband spent on gambling and on other women."
"Oh," said the woman. "In that case, I'd be happy to serve on the jury. And I might be wrong about capital punishment." from the April-May '96 newsletter, "Legal Briefs," via the July '96 Sierra Intermountain Emergency RA SIERRA News" -Dorothy Uebele, N7MXA, Editor n
Via the ARRL www Home Page
FCC Computer Glitches Put Gate 2 On Hold
ARRL Letter Update, November 1
Once again, the word from Gettysburg is "next week." Maybe it was early Halloween gremlins, but unexpected problems that have plagued the amateur computer system at the FCC's Gettysburg office all week have all but eliminated any chance that Gate 2 vanity call signs will be issued in time for this weekend's ARRL November Sweepstakes CW contest. Hams antsy to learn when they'll get one of their vanity requests have besieged the FCC with phone calls this week. A spokesman at Gettysburg said Thursday, however, that he doubts that the FCC will be ready to issue any vanity call signs until sometime next week. "I'm 90% sure it's not going to make it this week," he said.
Some optimism flared when October 30 grants appeared in some call sign databases, leading to speculation that the vanity call signs might soon follow. However, the FCC has announced that any grants dated after October 24, 1996, are invalid because many of them were erroneous.
The unspecified computer problems are not related to the vanity call sign program. FCC personnel in Gettysburg already have entered data from the more than 4500 first-day Gate 2 applications, and are poised to start granting licenses once the computer problems are resolved, the spokesman said. The FCC anticipates that event could happen "by the end of next week." It's not known how long it will take to process all of the first-day applications, since this will be the first time the FCC has run the program using "live" data. Before processing, however, the FCC wants to "be sure everything is going to work well," the spokesman said. In the meantime, hams are asked to be patient and to refrain from calling the FCC to inquire about the status of their vanity call sign applications. n
ARRL Seeks to Delay RF Safety Regulations
The ARRL Letter Update, November 1
Meeting in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, October 24 and 26, the ARRL Board of Directors agreed to ask the FCC to extend the compliance date of new RF safety regulations--released in ET Docket 93-62--from January 1, 1997, to January 1, 1998. The League says the additional time is needed to draft acceptable implementation guidelines. Among other things, the new guidelines require hams running more than 50 W PEP to conduct routine RF radiation evaluations to determine if RF fields are sufficient to cause human exposure to RF radiation levels in excess of those specified. The League already has asked the FCC to delay the effective dates to include new RF safety questions in Amateur Radio license examination question pools.
The Board also authorized ARRL President Rodney Stafford, KB6ZV, to sign a formal agreement with the National Frequency Coordinators' Council. The agreement puts into effect the so-called single-point-of-contact concept outlined in a memorandum of understanding that the ARRL Ad Hoc Repeater Committee negotiated with the NFCC board at the ARRL National Convention in September. The ARRL Board accepted the memorandum with minor changes and voted to have Stafford sign it after the NFCC Board agreed to accept the changes. The changes will allow consultations on other than an annual schedule and will establish the National Frequency Coordination Official (NFCO) as an ARRL administrative office that will act on behalf of the NFCC.
President Stafford characterized the agreement as "the beginning of a mutually beneficial relationship among the ARRL, the NFCC and all amateurs interested in improving the process of repeater coordination." The ARRL and the NFCC now will discuss how best to implement the new agreement.
In other Board actions:
In view of the congressional mandate imposed on the FCC to auction the 2305-2320 MHz band for commercial purposes, ARRL will seek a change in the amateur service allocation status, from secondary to primary, in the 2300-2305 MHz segment.
The ARRL will petition the FCC to relax the rules governing the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) to permit stations operating under RACES to communicate with non-RACES amateur stations actively engaged in an emergency or drill. The League also will seek an increase in the time limit on RACES drills to five hours per week.
The Board adopted revised legislative positions for the 105th Congress.
The Board's WRC-99 planning committee will study an ARRL Industry Advisory Council recommendation to extend HF digital privileges to Novice and Technician Plus licensees and report back to the Board.
Effective July 1, 1997, the Board voted to increase ARRL dues of full and associate members by $3 to $34 annually. The senior dues rate will be increased from $25 to $28. Present or new members may renew memberships or join the League before July 1, 1997, at the current rates. The move to raise dues is related to a discouraging financial report presented to the Board. During 1996, League expenses will outpace income by approximately $500,000. The dues increase is only part of a multifaceted effort to improve the League's financial picture in future years without affecting essential services.
The Board declared the theme of the 1997 ARRL National Convention in Jacksonville, Florida, to be "Public Service." The Board also declared 1997 as the "ARRL Year of Public Service," in recognition of the critical importance of public service activities in the amateur community.
The Board commended retiring West Gulf Division Director Tom Comstock, N5TC, for his long-time dedication and service to the ARRL.
Details on the October special Board of Directors meeting will appear in January QST. n
Little LEOs Battle Continues Quietly, but Firmly
The ARRL Letter Update, November 1
Following the initial furor, the "Little LEOs" threat to 2 meters and 70 cm has slipped from the headlines, but efforts continue to thwart the inclusion of their commercial activities in our popular VHF and UHF bands.
Little LEO allocations for the mobile-satellite service below 1 GHz include uplink and downlink frequencies on both sides of 2 meters. Proponents of the technology claim these existing allocations are inadequate. At a May meeting of Informal Working Group 2A (IWG-2A)--where the needs of the low-earth-orbiting satellite industry were addressed in preparation for the 1997 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC- 97)--the Little LEOs sought, over League objections, to include 144-148 MHz and 420-450 MHz on their list of "candidate bands," proposing to share the spectrum with hams. That prompted a call to action by ARRL Executive Vice President David Sumner, K1ZZ, who urged a letter- writing campaign that yielded thousands of responses opposing the inclusion of 2 meters and 70 cm.
While the Little LEO proponents have not backed off, neither have they submitted any technical documentation to show that sharing with the wide variety of amateur uses could actually work. As a participant in IWG-2A, the ARRL submitted a 42-page technical rationale in late September that details why the League believes sharing to be unworkable. So far, the Little LEO industry had not responded with a technical basis in favor of sharing, and with the IWG-2A final report due November 15, the clock is running out to include any sharing studies involving amateur bands. Unless an attempt were made to short-circuit the process--a possibility that cannot be completely ruled out in the present Washington climate--a US proposal for sharing could not be made in the absence of such a study. Also, under the procedures announced for WRC-97, any US proposal must first be subjected to an FCC notice and public comment process and must be accepted by the US Department of State and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).
If other countries are working on such sharing studies, these were expected to surface at a meeting of International Telecommunication Union ITU-R Working Party 8D October 29 to November 8 in Geneva, Switzerland. ARRL Technical Relations Manager Paul Rinaldo, W4RI, and ARRL International Affairs Vice President Larry Price, W4RA, are attending the session, Paul as a member of the US delegation and Larry representing the International Amateur Radio Union. The US provided no input to the 8D meeting to suggest possible sharing between Little LEOs and amateurs. The output of Working Party 8D goes to the Conference Preparatory Meeting (CPM) in May 1997, and the CPM report will provide the technical basis for WRC-97 decisions. Without a technical basis in the record, Sumner said, WRC-97 would be "hard-pressed" to agree to a shared allocation but added, "The Little LEOs still might look for a way to get their camel's nose into our tent." n
FCC Stops Renewal Reminders
The ARRL Letter Update, October 25
As of October 22, the FCC has ceased issuing Form 610R license expiration notices--reminders to hams that their tickets are going to expire within the next 90 days and that they must request renewal. The last notices sent by FCC covered into February 1997, although the specific date was not available. A Form 610R for renewal must be returned by mail only to the FCC. An FCC Public Notice is expected within a few days.
The demise of the Form 610R means that hams--whose licenses are issued for ten-year periods--must take the initiative to remember the renewal date of their tickets and file a Form 610. An FCC spokesman in Gettysburg says the Commission hopes to have a Form 610 available soon on the World Wide Web to permit on-line renewals.
Please note that the W5YI VEC in Dallas, Texas, has begun mailing renewal reminders and FCC forms to hams whose licenses are about to expire. If you receive a Form 610R directly from the FCC, you should return it only to the FCC. If you receive a renewal notice from the W5YI Group Inc and if you wish to have the W5YI VEC handle your renewal for a fee, follow the directions and return the renewal form to the W5YI VEC, not to the FCC.
If your license will expire within 90 days, you may renew your license at no cost by completing an FCC Form 610 and returning it to: FCC, 1270 Fairfield Rd, Gettysburg, PA 17325-7245. n
Solar Activity Rises
The ARRL Letter Update, November 1
Solar seer Tad Cook, KT7H, in Seattle, Washington, reports solar activity was up slightly last week, and geomagnetic disturbances were down. Solar flux remains right around 70, however, where it has been for a long time. Flux values are expected to dip slightly below 70 until November 14, and then go back up around 70 through the end of the month. Geomagnetic indices should remain stable except around November 15 and again around November 19.
G0CAS of the RSGB comments: "The emergence of a single sunspot on the solar disc on the 20th brought an end to a 36- day period with a spotless sun. The last spotless period of this length was observed back in 1944!" The DK4LI 30-meter propagation beacon is operating on 10.144 MHz, identifying as DK0WCY. A magnetometer built by DK4VW provides the K indices. The beacon is in the town of Kiel, near the Danish border.
Sunspot numbers for October 24 through 30 were 0, 13, 26, 11, 11, 0 and 0 respectively, with a mean of 8.7. The 10.7 cm-flux was 69.9, 69.9, 71, 72.1, 68.4, 70.4 and 70.7 respectively, with a mean of 70.3. Planetary A indices for the same period were 11, 8, 5, 4, 10, 11, and 10 respectively, with a mean of 8.4.
Conditions look good for the ARRL November Sweepstakes CW contest this weekend. Some path projections: From the east coast to the west coast looks good on 80 meters from 2330 to 1300 UTC; on 40 meters from 2100 to 0100 UTC and again around 0730 to 0930 UTC and also 1300 UTC. Check 20 meters from 1630 to 2030 UTC. From Dallas to Chicago, 80 meters looks good around the clock, with strongest signals from 2330 to 1230 UTC; 40 meters should be open from 1300 to 0030 UTC. n
Phase 3D Launch Penciled In For Mid-March
The ARRL Letter, Volume 15, Number. 10
The launch of the Ariane 502 that will carry AMSAT's Phase 3D amateur satellite aloft has been tentatively set for mid-April 1997. That announcement came recently from Jean-Marie Luton, Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA), and Alain Bensoussan, Chairman of CNES (the French Space Agency), during a joint ESA and CNES press conference at ESA Headquarters in Paris. Other payloads include a pair of technological measurement packages for validation of the launch vehicle's ability to place two satellites into a geostationary transfer orbit.
The press conference also outlined the two agencies' respective plans to correct deficiencies in the Ariane 5 launch vehicle, in response to a report submitted in July by the Ariane 501 inquiry board that's been looking into the loss on launch of the first Ariane 5 booster in early June. In their announcement, Luton and Bensoussan outlined several specific actions that ESA and CNES are taking to assure the correction of software contained in the Ariane 5 inertial reference system. Software errors were cited as among the primary causes of the Ariane 501 failure. Other changes will mean that all of the launch vehicle's software will be subject to qualification reviews in which outside experts will take part.
AMSAT-NA President Bill Tynan, W3XO, confirmed outside reports that the launch delays will cost AMSAT-NA and AMSAT-DL approximately $300,000. AMSAT originally had budgeted about $4.5 million for the construction, launch and operation of the AMSAT Phase 3D satellite. It's now seeking additional contributions to help pay the extra costs associated with the launch delay.--AMSAT News Service n
FCC Issued Call Sign Update
The following is a list of the FCC's most recently issued call signs as of October 1, 1996.District Group A Group B Group C Group D Extra Adv. Tech/Gen Novice 0 AB0CW KI0EP ++ KB0YOV 1 AA1QP KE1GD N1XXL KB1BZV 2 AB2CD KG2IM ++ KB2ZXL 3 AA3OZ KE3XO N3YCJ KB3BQL 4 AE4YG KT4WL ++ KF4MIE 5 AC5JU KM5DV ++ KC5WIR 6 AC6XR KQ6JS ++ KF6GOG 7 AB7SQ KK7BP ++ KC7SVE 8 AA8YA KG8YX ++ KC8EYJ 9 AA9TJ KG9ID ++ KB9OPS Hawaii # AH6OU KH7BM WH6DCV Alaska # AL7QS KL0AV WL7CTY Virgin Is. WP2X KP2CJ NP2JL WP2AIG Puerto Rico KP3V KP3AN NP3GJ WP4NMM # New prefixes are available for this block, but none have been issued. ++All call signs in this group have been issued in this area.
Upcoming VEC Examinations
The following test session information is provided by the ARRL/VEC for the upcoming two month period. For further information, please call the test session contact person at the telephone number listed. If necessary, you may contact the ARRL/VEC at 860-594-0300 for additional information. Electronic mail may be forwarded to the ARRL/VEC via USENET at "email@example.com" or via MCI Mail to MCI ID: 653-2312 or 215-5052.
Although the test session information presented here does not indicate whether walk-ins are accepted or not, most test sessions do allow walk-ins. We encourage you, however, to always call the contact person at the telephone number provided so that the VE Team is aware that you be attending the test11/08/96, Irvine, 92717, 714-824-8477, Jack C Lockhart WD6AEI 11/09/96, Bell, 90201, 213-560-8618, Pedro Cacheiro 11/09/96, Culver City, 90230, 310-827-2538, Clive Morel AA6TZ 11/09/96, Fontana, 92337, 909-823-6818, Louis Johnson 11/09/96, Glendora, 91740, 818-966-7715, Perry Stevens P.R.C. 11/09/96, San Pedro, 90710, 310-325-2965, Elvin Lytle 11/10/96, Hemet, 92545, 909-926-9347, Steve Hennessee W6UMR 11/14/96, Colton, 92324, 909-825-7136, Harold Heydenfeldt 11/16/96, Orange, 90720, 310-598-0086, Rick Riness 11/21/96, Fountain Valley, 92708, 714-531-6707, Allan Avnet 11/21/96, Santa Clarita, 91322, 805-259-8410, John Abbott 11/23/96, Pomona, 91769, 909-949-0059, Don Warburg WA6HNC 11/23/96, Westminster, 92640, 714-638-4057, Terry Hall 11/30/96, Culver City, 90049, 310-459-0337, Scott V Swanson 11/30/96, Garden Grove, 92643, 714-534-8633, John Gregory 12/07/96, Lancaster, 93534, 805-948-1865, Adrienne J Sherwood 12/11/96, Hollywood, 91607, 818-766-1341, Elliott Bloch 12/12/96, Colton, 92324, 909-825-7136, Harold Heydenfeldt 12/14/96, Bell, 90201, 213-560-8618, Pedro Cacheiro 12/14/96, Brea, 92621, 310-691-1514, Robert Reitzel 12/14/96, Culver City, 90230, 310-827-2538, Clive Morel AA6TZ 12/14/96, Fontana, 92337, 909-823-6818, Louis Johnson 12/14/96, Glendora, 91740, 818-966-7715, Perry Stevens P.R.C. 12/28/96, Culver City, 90049, 310-459-0337, Scott V Swanson 12/28/96, Torrance, 96900, 310-834-0558, Renato Santos
Jet Propulsion Laboratory Amateur Radio Club
Attn: Bill Wood, Editor, Mail Stop DSCC-33
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109-8099
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