EDITOR'S NOTES (de WB6JMP)
Beating down an impulse to name this segment "JMP's Junkbox" I'll make a few opening comments and then get down to the business of reporting the news. First, my thanks to the Board of Directors for allowing me another crack at putting out W6VIO Calling for the Club; the job done by the previous editors is a hard act to follow. Second, it feels good to be back into harness. In explanation to some of the newer members, I used to edit and publish this Newsletter about two years ago, but had to beg off because of more pressing matters. (Actually, the Board rode me out of town on a rail, but we won't talk about that!)
Consequently, you'll probably see some changes in format as I do some experimenting, partially in an effort to expedite production and partially to keep overall repro costs down. If anything really jars you, by all means let me know about it; after all, this is your Newsletter. Meanwhile, keep all of your news items and information feeding into Gil Yanow at M/S 79-6; he's the central collection point and will see that I get the stuff in a timely manner. Speaking of timely things, we've decided to make this a combined April-May issue to help us get back into sync with the calendar. We're aiming to get out each issue at the beginning of each month, with the deadlines for input usually set during the last week of the preceding month, i.e., deadline for the June issue will be the week of May 26th. If your items deal with upcoming events, try to keep this lead time in mind, because there's nothing worse than reading about a good hamfest/auction a week after it happened! 'Nuff said; let's get on with the news ......
VOX POPULI (Better Known as ''The Members Sound Off About Restructuring'')
"Do not need 2 kw of power," - Norm Chalfin; "Better enforcement of rules," -Ralph West; "Better to use a single ladder system than the dual ladder proposal," -Jim Lumsden; "Use plate dissipation as limiting factor for the classes. Would encourage those who want high power to develop novel techniques; also make enforcement easier, "-Chas Weir/Gil Yanow; "Add extra privileges for Extras & Advanced, but do not take away from Generals," -Stan Brokyl, "Let Novices operate on HF with limit of 25 watts to enable them to learn proper operating techniques, "-Skip Reymann; "Let Series A licensees have all the privileges of Series B, but not vice versa," -Merrill Burnett; "Power should be measured by DC input," -Mike Gauthier.
"In the British Commonwealth (i.e., G's, VK's, ZL's, etc.), the power limitation is based on power output, 400 watts PEP. The procedure to be used is to input a two-tone signal and measure the output (RMS into a dummy load). The PEP is then twice this value. ''-Anonymous.
RESTRUCTURING DOCKET QUESTIONNAIRE RESULTS
Here are the results of a survey on Docket 2028Z conducted at eight clubs in the area by ARRL SW Division Vice Director Jay Holladay, W6EJJ. Results of the survey taken at the JPL Amateur Radio Club are shown separately. There were 199 participants (19 from JPLARC):
Breakdown, by license:
Extra Adv Gen. Tech. Novice None HF VHF Inactive
JPL ARC 3 9 1 5 0 1 10 13 --
Total 33 80 29 19 5 9 146 96 14
Yes No Yes No
Should the licensing system encourage upgrading? . . . . . .. . . . 16 2 100 8
Do you support a code-free VHF license for beginners? . . . . . . . 13 6 98 93
Should CW remain a requirement for all licenses? . . . . . . . . . . 5 14 101 93
Should a Communicator be restricted to sub-bands within VHF bands? 17 1 101 32
Should Communicators be permitted use of repeaters? . . . . . . . . 11 6 73 109
Is the proposed Communicator power limit too high? . . . . .. . . . 16 1 138 42
Is the proposed Novice power limit too high? . . . . . . . . . . . 12 4 106 80
Should Novice & Communicator licenses be renewable? . . . . . . . . 13 6 85 107
Should special modes remain available to Generals ? . . . . . . . . 15 3 158 31
Should Gen. & Techs be eligible as trustees, rptr & cont licensees? 9 7 123 64
Should present Tech trustees, rptr & cont. licensees be left as-is? 13 5 137 48
Should Extra Class phone segments be deleted? . . . . . . . . . . . 7 11 64 127
Should Extra Class written exams be deleted? . . . . . . . 7 10 64 127
Is the proposed Docket 20282 license structure too complicated, . . 11 7 108 74
Would the proposed privileges in Docket 20282 be enforceable? . .. . 6 11 52 118
Does the proposal contain sufficient incentive to upgrade? . . . . 10 7 93 79
Would sep. HF & VHF licensing limit scope of an amateur's activity? 12 6 126 61
Should there be some common frequencies for HF & VHF licensees? . . 18 1 166 28
Inc. Dec. Same Inc. Dec. Same
Power limit for Gen. & Tech should be . . . . 1 7 11 9 45 138
Power limit for Extra, Adv. & Exp. should be .1 2 15 32 21 140
The number of U.S. amateurs should . . . . . 15 0 2 160 1 26
Within the JPLARC, the suggested power limit for the Communicator Class was:
3 for low, 1 for 20w, 3 for 25w, 1 for 50w, and 2 for 100w.
On the question of Novice power limits, JPLARC voted:
1 for 25w, 3 for 75w, 2 for 100w, and 1 for 150w.
JPLARC voting for the term of license for Novice & Communicator was:
1 for 1 year, 2 for 2 years, and 1 for 5 years.
Our thanks to Jay, W6EJJ, for making the above results available.
REMEMBER - - - the deadline for filing your comments to the FCC on Docket 20282 is June 15, 1975.
DO IT NOW !!
NEWS OF MEMBERS
Congratulations are in order for Stan Brokyl, K6YYQ, who went down to the FCC on March 26 and passed BOTH the Advanced and Extra Class exams! ! Guess the new rate ($4. 00) and the restructuring docket helped convince Stan to make the stab at it. He was advised that he would officially hear from Gettysburg in 3 to 6 weeks. Any more want to take the plunge??
Mike Morris received a Technician License in December with the call WA61LQ. Bob Mueller, K6ASK, is commended for his high score in the February 9th Frequency Measuring Test.
Back issues of QST, CQ, Ham Radio, World Radio, etc. For use in "New Ham" training program. Call Mike Gauthier, K6ICS, X2126.
The JPLARC nominated Dave Clingerman, W6OAL, to the AMSAT Board of Directors. Dave has participated with our club in several AMSAT activities and is one of the most active and well-known barns on the West Coast in satellite communications. He is Net Control for the 75 meter West Coast AMSAT net, the West Coast and Eastern Pacific OSCAR 6 command station, was Assistant Project Manager for the launch of OSCAR 7, helped in the finalization of OSCAR 7, and has given AMSAT talks from San Francisco to San Diego.
ARRL NOTES (de W6EJJ)
Bicentennial Callsigns - FCC has announced the plan for optional use of special prefixes for our Bicentennial Year 1976. The basic plan is that you would use your regular call with a special prefix substituted on the following basis:
WA = AA
WB = AB
W = AC
K = AD
WN = AK
For example, W6IUV would become AC6IUV. Other prefix substitutions for overseas possessions and for Novices overseas are published in the May QST. You may use the special prefixes for one year starting January 1, 1976 at 0500Z. Use of the special prefixes is optional, and no notification or paperwork of any kind is required by FCC.
WARC 179 - Preparations for the World Administrative Radio Conference in 1979 are proceeding.
The first meeting of the U. S. working group on amateur radio is scheduled for May 8 in Washington. Those interested in the background of WARC and the International Telecommunications Union should read "The Significance of the ITU to the Amateur Radio Service" on pages 92 and 93 of the May QST.
Special Events Station Docket - FCC Docket 20111 has been issued and will be effective May 27, establishing rules for licensing of special event stations. Applications will be made to the FCC, Washington, D.C. with the usual schedule of fees being applied, i. e., $29.00 total. The normal license term will be 30 days, and a special event station may not be operated as a portable station. Such licenses will be available only to holders of the Amateur Extra Class or Advanced Class license.
Survey - The ARRL hopes to mail results of their opinion survey on Docket 2028Z on May 2. A summary of my mini-survey taken at local clubs appears elsewhere in this issue of W6VIO Calling.
Coming Events - The TRW Amateur Radio Club will hold a Swap Meet and Auction of electronic equipment on May 10, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Location will be the TRW Building "S" patio, located on Compton Blvd (between Freeman Blvd and Aviation Blvd) in Redondo Beach. The swap meet starts at 9:00 am and the auction at 11:00 am.
The 10th Annual Burbank Hamfest will be presented by the Lockheed ERC Amateur Radio Club on May 17 and 18. Location will be at the W6LS QTH, 2814 Empire Ave, Burbank. Registration is $2.00.
Although most of the active hams at Goldstone are members of the Barstow Amateur Radio Club, there are plans afoot to form a Goldstone ARC (as an adjunct to the JPLARC) primarily to obtain a club call for use with club or NASA-provided equipment, in a manner similar to that done at the club station on the Lab. A request will be made to move the emergency net S-line from the Seismographic Lab at Echo to the now unused guard shack at Echo. This will make the equipment more accessible for amateur radio use.
Two Motorola P33 VHF radios have been obtained from excess and modified for 2-meter operation with the Table Mountain 16/76 repeater. One has been installed and is operational at the Apollo Station while the second will be installed at Echo when the HF station is moved. This VHF equipment completes the Table Mountain-Goldstone portion of the JPL Amateur Radio VHF Net.
The Table Mountain 2-meter repeater (146.16 in/ 146.76 out), at the JPL Astronomy Facility, has been in operation for about a year with a high degree of success. While the installation and maintenance has largely been carried out by Goldstone and Table Mountain hams, it is mainly through the time and energy of a recent JPL retiree, "Mickey" Mecke, W6ZGC, that WR6AFX is kept in operation on a nearly 24-hour basis. It is an open machine, remotely controlled by radio and operates whenever not pre-empted by Radio Astronomy observations.
Coverage by the Table Mountain repeater has proven outstanding, with contacts from as far as Taft in the west, through Fresno, Lone Pine and Furnace Creek (Death Valley) in the north, to Pahrump and Stateline in Nevada, with the whole Antelope Valley and Mojave Desert in between. It also has good coverage from San Bernardino through the lower desert to the Mexican border at Mexicali. When enroute to Las Vegas on US 15, it can be accessed from the bottom of Cajon Pass. If heading out Palmdale way, it can be picked up on US 14 right at the northern edge of the Foothills below Palmdale. Everyone with a 16/76 capability is invited to check in and get acquainted.
LOOK MA, NO HOLES!!
Electronics /March 20, 1975 comes up with this handy idea:
You can mount printed circuit boards on a prototype chassis without drilling holes in either the boards or the chassis. Simply use ordinary rubber grommets as pc-board standoffs. The pc board can be slid into the grooves of the grommets, and the grommets glued to the chassis with contact cement. If one grommet does not provide enough clearance between the chassis and the underside of the board, two or more grommets can be glued together until they are high enough. You can even mount boards vertically, rather than horizontally, using only three to four grommets. This technique is especially handy if the final board locations are not definite or if the boards must be moved frequently for modification.
Our very own secular George Williamson, K6YGN, is feeling such pangs of remorse that he just had to confess all. He actually turned on his linear to make a contact with a station in Hokkaido, using a full 50 WATTS! Blasphemy, my dear George... However, in order to redeem himself, once contact was firmly established, he tried reducing power and was able to continue the QSO with only 5 watts.
George also reports that EAlMG, a technician in the calibration lab at DSS 61/63, in Spain would like to QSO with JPLers. He is on the air Thursday thru Saturday, beginning at 2130Z, around 14.020 MHz, and works CW only. Turn on and tune in.
Chuck Weir, W6UM, recently sent the following letter to the FCC; we thought it might stir up the brain cells on this subject:
Measurement of power output is impractical
There is no way to measure output power in the Amateur Service without relatively complex circuitry. Virtually all power measuring devices in use by amateurs actually measure RF voltage and calibrate assuming unity VSWR. On a given antenna, VSWR excursions between 1 and Z are common at different frequencies within the band. Practical power measurement would require knowledge of both magnitude and direction of the phase angle pertaining to the load. These can even be significantly different for a particular antenna, whether wet or dry. The problem is further compounded if more than one antenna is used on a given band, since instantaneous switching would provide different impedances to the amplifier. If the FCC wishes to specify allowable power in terms of output, it would be simpler for all concerned to start with the desired output, apply an appropriate efficiency factor, and then write the regulations in terms of DC input power. DC measurement techniques are relatively simple and foolproof, and can be used unchanged for all license classes from the least to the most experienced.
Measurement of SSB peak power is subjective
Peak envelope power, in terms of which present regulations are written, is very difficult to measure unless the test instrument is specified. An oscilloscope or meter with defined maximum scale value and ballistic characteristics is necessary. Even so, some syllables have higher peak values than others, and if a linear amplifier is used, the input will increase if the operator speaks louder. PEP control of power limit actually requires hard limiting of the output, which is technically impractical to calibrate and implement. A better means of specification should be used.
Ultimate Regulations should allow an amplifier to be used for SSB or CW with identical operating conditions.
Current regulations, permitting 1 kw DC on CW and 2 kw PEP on SSB, require the operating parameters of an amplifier be changed between modes if the same plate tank circuit Q is to be maintained. This is commonly done by higher plate voltage for SSB than for CW. Having one amplifier for maximum allowed power on both modes then results in a unit with significantly greater power supply and power handling capabilities than can be legally used on CW. Many individuals, since the facility is routinely available, are thus operating their amplifiers at maximum SSB settings on CW, in direct violation of the regulations. Any power regulations ideally would allow the use of the same amplifier with unchanged operating conditions on both modes. Bandwidth requirements for CW are so much less than for SSB that it might be allowed equal peak power.
More power than the present limit is not needed on HF.
Increased power limits would allow nothing worthwhile to be accomplished on the HF bands that is not possible with the presently available power. In the days of public awareness of the need for overall energy conservation on all fronts, an increase in the amateur power limit is anachronistic. So many foreign governments base their amateur regulations on U.S. policies and equipment available in this country that a change in our regulations would likely produce many corresponding changes elsewhere, arguing even further against an increase here.
Regulations on amplifier tube plate dissipation eliminate measurement problems.
With all the attendant problems of measuring SSB PEP, some easier method of limiting power should be used. The most obvious and best solution is to limit the dissipation of the devices, either tubes or transistors, used in the final amplifier. The fundamental and absolute definition of power is as a rate of energy, which seems to preclude its measurement except as a long term (long in terms of syllable length) average. Tube plate dissipation of transistor collector dissipation is a measure of just such an averaged quantity. For maintenance of presently allowed power levels, 500 watts final amplifier dissipation seems sufficient; however, because of the number of larger units in use, 1000 watts might be a more practical limit.
Regulations are meaningless without rigid enforcement.
There is no need to have updated or even present regulations on maximum power if there is no intention of enforcement. FCC control of persons using excessive power has, to the present, been ineffective, since some individuals who have been cited are continuing the practice. Penalties should be severe and long lasting, but equally important, should be promptly administered. Above all, the FCC should undertake an immediate active program to identify and punish the offenders. Those of us who engage in competitive activities cannot effectively compete against stations using much more power, and the consequent use of more power has snowballed in recent years. If legal power were defined in terms of amplifier plate dissipation, illegal equipment could be identified at time of FCC inspection whether or not it is actually in use at the time. Such illegal equipment should be promptly confiscated and held for at least three years, with suspension of the license of the person involved for a like period. If the FCC is really interested in gaining compliance with power regulations, immediate affirmative action is necessary to convince many persons.
It is a pleasure to welcome the following new members to the JPL ARC:
Al Kanze/Ex W2GVV, Jim Melrose/K6PJO, Ervin Wiebe/K6JUB, Harry Enmark/WA61UR, and Mary Lorette Donnelly.
EQUIPMENT SURVEY RESULTS (de W6HNQ)
The following list is the result of the equipment survey conducted during the past several months. The list is ordered according to the total number of times an item was mentioned in the nine survey responses. The numbers (1-6) after each item indicate the position on each responders' list. Those items mentioned only once were not listed. The Club must now decide if it is to buy any equipment and, if so, which items:
Equipment Choice of Responders
Frequency Counter 1, 1, 4, 4, 5, 6, 6
Oscilloscope 1, 2, 2, 2, 5, 5
Antenna Noise Bridge 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
RF Signal Generator 1, 2, 3, 4
Function Generator 1, 2, 3
SWR/Wattmeter 3, 3, 3
Grid Dip Meter 1, 4, 6
Spectrum Analyzer 3, 4, 6
Vari. Low Volt. Pwr Supp. 4, 5
GROUP PURCHASE OPPORTUNITY
If interested in a group purchase of Wilson 2-meter handitalkies, contact Walt Diem for more information on X3186.
Go back to the W6VIO Calling Index.