W6VIO IS ALIVE AND WELL!!
Contrary to all of the rumors otherwise, W6VIO Calling has not gone underground, nor has it resorted to advertising in the L.A. Free Press. Ditto for the JPL Amateur Radio Club. It just goes to show that an active club must have a tangible item, such as a Newsletter, to let members and others know what's going on. This issue represents the Phoenix rising out of the ashes of good intentions, with a change in format, organization, and editorial approach. This is discussed elsewhere in this issue and we hope we can count on your cooperation to keep 'VIO Calling a regular feature of your membership in our Club.
PRESIDENT'S REPORT FOR NOVEMBER
Viability of the Club has been a concern of the Directors all year. It appears that we do not have sufficient time to develop projects of interest to the membership as a whole, and that only a small nucleus of really devoted members is active in Club projects. To make the Club activities more attractive to a larger number of members, a plan has been evolved to make a broader spectrum of interests available through this newsletter.
Our Newsletter Editor has proposed considerably expanded coverage in this publication (although not necessarily larger in size), encompassing many more areas of interest to amateurs, and particularly the type of amateur we have here at JPL. Numerous regular features will begin appearing in each issue, but these can only be reported through the use of a wide-ranging network of members providing input. A number of Club members have consented to help our beleaguered Editor in becoming 'columnists' for the Newsletter, feeding him information as it becomes available. So, if you are approached by one of the Club reporters (and it can be anyone in the Club who happens to be covering a specific subject) please give him a little of your time so he can develop a story on your particular expertise or field of interest.
Another suggestion that appears to have considerable merit for increased Club activity and interest is that of presenting seminars on subjects directly applicable to amateur radio; this is covered elsewhere in this issue.
Our Club has also been quite successful in its participation in the AMSAT/ OSCAR activity, under the guidance of Norm Chalfin and Dick Kolbly. Their hard work and long hours have paid off in OSCAR 6, now in orbit (see feature article).
The NASA Emergency Net, and associated facilities, with operations under the guidance of Merv MacMedan and planning under Nash Williams, is functioning, and the Wilson Amateur Radio Project (WARP) under Nash and Chuck Krinke is progressing nicely. The end result may be a VHF mobile and fixed system between JPL, Barstow, Goldstone, Table Mountain and Edwards AFB.
For Apollo 16, the Club conducted a commemorative operation with the distinctive call sign WP6JPL, with the entire activity being run from Goldstone. Almost a thousand contacts were logged, making it a most successful endeavor. Field Day was managed by Jerry Hawkes and other devotees of "Portable Six", and our Club Station should place respectably in the overall sweepstakes.
So, you can see that our Club does have a wide variety of projects under way and undoubtedly will have even more that will appeal to nearly every amateur at JPL. Look for regular coverage on your favorite activity right here in these pages of forthcoming issues. Let's hear from you.
EXPANSION OF COVERAGE PROPOSED FOR W6VIO CALLING
In an effort to increase the overall appeal of W6VIO Calling, and also to assure that all possible facets of amateur radio activity are covered to the fullest extent, Stan Hench has proposed that a number of regular features and/or columns be incorporated into each issue of the Club Newsletter. He has established some general headings, but these are flexible according to the type of news reported:
ARRL NEWS: New rulings, frequency allocations, FCC Dockets, W1AW news.
QSL BUREAU: Recent receipts of interest, W6VIO traffic, volume of cards
OPERATING NEWS: W6VIO station activities, band conditions, DX activity, VHF, repeaters, AREC, RACES, AMSAT/OSCAR.....
SPECIAL PROJECTS: APT, Field Day, Picnic, paraplegic assistance....
CLUB NEWS: Meeting programs & speakers, Directors' meetings, facilities construction, President's report, future plans....
CLASSIFIEDS: For sale, wanted, trade or swap, buyers guide, discounts...
GENERAL NEWS: Member activities, trips, contacts, awards, new licensees, upgradings, equipment reports & performance, hints & kinks, technical notes & information...
Naturally, Stan can't cover all of these bases by himself, so an appeal is being radiated for those particularly active in any of the above areas to become an official Columnist for W6VIO Calling, complete with a By-line. Keep in mind that this doesn't involve a lot of work on your part either, because you can assign as many "reporters" as you may deem necessary to cover any of the stories you plan for your column. All you do is gather the material, and forward it to Stan for final editing and inclusion in the next issue. The deadline will be nominally the first week in each month, so news of the upcoming Club meeting can be put out before the meeting itself. Club V.P. Maurice Piroumian has consented to become the focal point for this activity, in that he will help gather the information, give constructive suggestions, and follow up on your progress. So, here is your opportunity to make both the Club and W6VIO Calling everything you wanted them to be when you first joined. Remember, you only get out of the Club what you are willing to put into it....
CLUB SEMINARS DISCUSSED
An awful lot of good talent is hiding in the membership roster of the JPL Amateur Radio Club, which could be used for the benefit of all members and even nonmembers. Merv MacMedan/W6IUV has suggested that, as part of our educational program, a series of two-hour seminars be conducted on suitable amateur radio topics; these would be apart from our regular club meetings and guest speakers, and would draw upon the expertise of our membership in preparing the material. Subjects covered could include theory (transistor design, antennas, circuitry), construction (microwave, RTTY, SSTV), operating (traffic nets, DX, QSL's) and emergency operations (nets, portable gear, generators, batteries, etc.). If you have any good ideas on this subject, contact Gordon Crawford and pass them on.
PHONE BAND EXPANSION!
The FCC has acted in the matter of Docket 19162, regarding phone band expansion. Effective November 22, 1972, there will be 25 kHz more on 75 meters (a move down to 3775 kHz), and 50 kHz more on 40 meters (down to 7150 kHz). There will be no expansion on 20, 15, or 10 meters, and no changes in the 25-kHz CW segments reserved for Extras.
Voice sub-bands available exclusively for Extras will be:
Voice sub-bands available to Advanced and Extra will be:
Novices stay at 3700 - 3750, move to 7100 - 7150 and are reduced to 21100 - 21200 on 15 meters. They lose 145 - 147 MHz privileges completely, but will get CW privileges from 28100 - 28200. The Novice requirement for crystal control is to be deleted. Full information will appear in the November issue of QST.
APOLLO 16 FILMS TO BE SHOWN AT NEXT CLUB MEETING
The next Club meeting, on November 8, at Noon, will feature Bob and Lenore Jensen as our guest speakers. Bob, W6VGQ, is with NBC in Burbank, and will show some film footage he took of the Apollo 16 splashdown from the U.S.S. Ticonderoga. Lenore, W6NAZ, is a very active ham and has just run her 30,000th phone patch!! The meeting will be held in 238-543 -- plan to be there!!
ALUMNI NEWS 'N NOTES
Nash Williams recently had a long QSO with a former Club member, Parks Squyres (WA6AKM), who is now working at a TV station 7500 ft atop Mt. Ashland in the Siskiyou mountains, about 10 miles north of the California border. Parks, now sporting the call WA7TZW/7 sends his best regards to all of his JPL friends, and reports that it's a great life up there. Anyone wishing to have an eyeball QSO, as Dick Ulrich recently did, is more than welcome at 6775 Pioneer Road, Medford, Oregon 97501. Parks can be found on 7255 kHz (WCARS) two days a week, so listen in and give him a call.
W6IUV/HK -- A TRAVELIN' MAN
In the last issue of 'VIO Calling, we published Merv MacMedan's schedule and frequencies for his one-month DXpeditionish vacation to South America and the Caribbean. In August, Merv spent 2-1/2 weeks visiting his wife's home country, Colombia, where he operated as W6IUV/HK4, through the hospitality of friends HK4DF and XYL HK4BTY. There was so much to talk about with his congenial hosts, things of interest to see, and people to meet, that there was little time left for ham radio. However, Merv managed to make about 250 contacts on CW and SSB. From HK4 Land, he worked Club members WB6INZ (Horst Schneider) and WA60PB (Maurice Piroumian) -- the latter fixed and mobile!
Some highlights of Merv's stay in Colombia were a visit to the Ministry of Communications in Bogota, the Space Satellite Tracking Station in Choconta, and many visits with hams in Medellin; he had spoken to quite a few of them from his home QTH.
Returning from Colombia, Merv traveled via San Andres, a Colombian island in the Caribbean, 125 miles east of Nicaragua. He found himself somewhat more popular there, operating as W6IUV/HK0, since San Andres counts as a separate country for DXCC, and there are only a handful of hams on the island. The people there were so gracious that Merv found himself invited to operate from two different stations: his hotel (the owner is a ham!) and that of Pacho, HK0BKK. However, the competition from beaches, sightseeing, shopping (San Andres is a free port), the casinos, his XYL and 8-year-old Junior Op. again severely limited the time he could spend on the air. Nevertheless, in only a few hours each evening, he managed 450 contacts on 40, 20, and 15 meters CW. An attempt was made to put the station on 80 meters, but the available dipole was cut for 75 meters phone and had such a high SWR on his advertised frequency of 3530 kHz, that it was not possible to resonate the transmitter.
Merv was very pleased to have worked a number of QRP stations in the less-than-60-watt class, right through the pileups. A couple of contacts were made with stations running 1 to 5 watts, and the lowest power contacted was a WA6, running 400 milliwatts!! Goes to show you really don't need a kilowatt to work DX when conditions are decent.
Other JPL Club members were pulled through the pileups on other bands and were happily worked by Merv. These included Jay Holladay/W6EJJ, Walt Williams/W6JSO, Irv Emig/W6GC, Nash Williams/W6HCD, and Chuck Weir/W6HOH.
As expected, there was a carton of QSL cards waiting to be answered when Merv returned home in September. At this writing, all QSL's received have been answered with special cards that have a map showing the locations of his HK4 and HK0 operations.
Merv observed that there were very few time or date errors in the cards he received, making it easier and faster to reply to these QSL's promptly. However, in helping with the QSL activity of WP6JPL recently, it seemed that perhaps 75% of the cards received contained errors in the date or time that made it difficult to verify with the station logs. Queried as to a possible explanation, Merv hinted, "It must be that CW operators are just more savvy hams." (GMT refresher courses, anyone? - Ed.)
Asked what his future plans were, Merv says he is trying to save up some money to return to South America for more fun and a longer stay soon. "It was an unforgettable experience," he said.
W6VIO RECEIVES TEN-TEN NET AWARD
George Williamson/K6YGN, operating the Club Station during his lunch hours, has earned W6VIO Certificate No. 5437 from the 10-10 International Net of Southern California. This indicates that he has successfully contacted at least ten other net stations on 10 meters. The Net was organized to promote amateur activities on the 10-meter band, to expedite emergency, priority and regular traffic, and to assist all amateurs and prospective amateurs in achieving improved operating performance. The net is in operation daily (except Sundays) at 1800 GMT and sits on 28.800 MHz. For the convenience of SSB operators, the net monitors 28.780 MHZ, and 28.825 MHz for CW members.. If interested in tacking up another certificate on your wall, contact George for more information.
AMSAT/OSCAR SPECIAL FEATURE
JPL CLUB MEMBERS ACTIVE IN PROJECT
For the past two years, JPL Amateur Radio Club members have been actively supporting the AMSAT/OSCAR Project, donating their time and services to help make this the most successful satellite launched by radio amateurs yet. Their hard work has paid off in spades, and Norm Chalfin/K6PGX was on hand to document the joys and anguish of the task. Here's his story.
OSCAR 6 was launched on October 15, 1972 at 10:19:18 a.m. from the Western Test Range at Vandenberg AFB after repeated changes in the launch date. The ham satellite rode as a piggy-back payload with an ITOS-D three-dimensional weather satellite aboard a Thor Augmented Delta (TAD) launch vehicle. Orbital parameters and tracking data have been published in special bulletins.
Ten days earlier, Club member Dick Ulrich/K6KCY drove his house trailer up to Lompoc with Perry Klein, AMSAT President, and Jan King, AMSAT Exec VP, who were carrying the satellite with loving care from Goddard and other locations in the East, where it had been assembled. Dick Kolbly/K6HIJ had built the command unit for the OSCAR and sent it back East in August; this was brought up to Lompoc where final tests and assembly operations were performed at the NASA Test Lab at Vandenberg AFB. Dick's command unit worked perfectly in commanding the satellite's functions.
On the trip up, Norm Chalfin drove Perry and Mrs. Marie Marr, a full-time technician working for AMSAT, in his Volvo; Jan and Ulrich rode the trailer truck. Communication was maintained via 2-meter FM all the way up and during the stay in Lompoc.
After all tests were completed, the spacecraft was mounted on the Delta rocket, alongside the ITOS-D. Since the launch wasn't scheduled for a week, Jan, Perry and Marie returned to the East. Kolbly, Ulrich, Chalfin, and Earle Jackson returned on October 13th for the launch, which was scrubbed 30 minutes before liftoff because of high winds aloft.
The launch preparations continued on an on-off basis for the next 48 hours, with the countdown continuing through the night of the 14th and the morning of the 15th. At the last minute (4 a.m.) word was received that all was GO for launch, despite the still unsettled winds aloft, precipitating another mad dash for Lompoc. On the way up, Hike Townsend/WB6ANI joined the group, and hurriedly assembled a 450 MHz link from the Vandenberg Radio Club Station W6AB, to the Santa Inez Mountain repeater (W6ZRH) which covered the entire northern area with the countdown and launch play-by-play.
Dick Kolbly finally set up his command station and, on orbits 105, 106 and 107 (October 24th) was able to command the OSCAR 6 equipment from Barstow as it passed over the Los Angeles area.
Other Club members active in this effort during the preliminary flight tests (see 'VIO Calling, October 1971) were Maurice Piroumian/WA60PB, Booth Hartley/ K6KVC, Helmut Mecke/W6ZGC, Don Monroe/WB6IOE, Jess Ball/W6BFO, and Gil Schuler/ WA6ULA.
During the overflights, Merv MacMedan was manning W6VIO in an effort to get into the OSCAR repeater. He reported success on CW and had phoned Jay Holladay to arrange a QSO, but Jay was unable to detect the satellite because the beacon was inoperative at that time.
On the next page are some of the photos that were taken by Norm Chalfin and other members of the crew. This was an effort that we can all look back upon with a great amount of justifiable pride for a job well done!!
Yaesu FLdx 400/FRdx 400, matching mike and spkr, S530; FL2000B Linear, $235; Heath HD-15 Phonepatch, $20; trade for FT101. Horst Schneider x6532 or 791-3336.
Kohler Generator, 115 vac/40 vdc, 4 hp. 4-cyl, 1200 rpm, very quiet and clean running, easy start, Navy rated at 1.5 kw; takes more. In steel case with extra 80-gal tank. $300 firm; will help transport in LA area. Horst Schneider, x6532 or 791-3336.
Tempo One + DC Power Supply; mint condition. $275 W6EIM, 790-2707.
Vibroplex Original Deluxe Model. $25. Bob, 790-3870.
Swan-240, 117X Power Supply, matching TCU unit containing xtra VFO, VOX, 100 kHz calibrator; xcvr final has upgraded tube, good for over 300 w PEP. Rugged, reliable rig. $275. Stan Hench, x2475 or 963-2225.
Library book, borrowed from W6VIO shack: Radio Operator's License Q & A Manual, Milton Kaufman, author. Library ID No. 621.3841 K 7th Ed., Rev 1968 Cop. 1. Will current possessor please return it to the Library, or call to have it put in his/ her name? Thanks....
WARNING!!! THIS WILL BE THE LAST 'VIO CALLING ISSUE YOU WILL RECEIVE IF YOU HAVEN'T PAID YOUR 1972 CLUB DUES!! BETTER GETCHER MONEY IN....
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