Because of some real hard core workers the Radio Club can now boast about having a first class antenna farm on top of the Mesa. Also these same workers have made possible a real success of the first five days of "N6V On The Air." Jim Lumsden, Dick Piety, Glenn Berry and Merv MacMedan have been outstanding contributors to this effort. [Ed. note: Don't leave out your own ramrodding self, Stan!]
A rundown on the initial phase of the N6V activity appears elsewhere in this issue. The second phase will begin shortly and all club members can help Jim by contributing one hour or so operating N6V during the remainder of its activities.
73, Stan - K6YYQ
SECOND PHASE OF N6V OPERATION POSTPONED
Just at press time, it was learned that the Viking project had decided not to attempt a landing on the surface of Mars on July 4th. The reason given was that it appeared from reconnaissance pictures taken from the orbiter that the previously selected site was rockier than had been thought. It was decided that alternate sites would be surveyed in depth and that a new landing selection would be chosen, probably within a few days. N6V will be on the air one day prior to the landing event, and continuing for 15 consecutive days. Keep informed on Viking status and plan to participate with us. Viking status reports are available by calling the recorded message on X 7237.
N6V: PROGRESS REPORT TO DATE
The first of four operating periods for N6V, June 18-23, 1976, started off with a bang. The special call sign, issued by the FCC to the JPLARC to celebrate the Viking mission to Mars, was the first single letter suffix amateur radio call issued by the FCC.
Preparations by many dedicated members took on a frantic pace during the last week before the operation was scheduled to begin. The final guy wires were not attached to the 71 foot tower, nor was it raised into place until just the night before! But all four operating positions in the trailer worked well for the following five days of "operator togetherness" in the three-man trailer. We found out that the "headphones at all positions" rule was mandatory to keep the audio QRM down, and were gratified to see even the 2-meter FM operators comply, even though it was obviously a foreign environment for them!
Some 2215 contacts were made in the first phase of operating. Jim Lumsden sorted them from the logs as follows:
- By Modes By Bands
- HF CW 962, 75/80m 81
- HF SSB 682 40m 284
- Novice 30 20m 1174
- 2m FM 540 15m 86
- 2m CW 1 10m 49
- 2m 541
As of this writing, we have received over 400 QSLs, according to N6V trustee, Jay Holladay, who is becoming well known to the mail department.
In general, the new station performs much better than the old. Reception is much improved with less noise, although at times it is still bothersome; however, we must have just about the quietest QTH on the lab, and further improvement is questionable. The next step is to get the power lines cleaned up! Some remedies are indicated to overcome losses on the RG-9/U when used on the higher bands (20m & up.) Rigs in use are a Collins 51S1 Receiver, 32S3 and 30L1 transmitter (the 30S1 2kw PEP rig will be on for the next phase) which is usually used on SSB; a Collins 75A4-32Vl-Johnson Thunderbolt at 1kw on CW; a Heathkit HW-16 with vfo for Novice, and the IC-21A on Am FM. Two RG-254/U nitrogen-pressurized hardlines up the 700 it hill feed the Am FM collinear and the TH6DXX tri-band beam; the trap vertical and inverted vees are fed with RG-9/U.
Is N6V effective PR? You bet it is. Almost everybody wished us well on the Viking Mission, and there is no doubt we boosted general public awareness of the mission and its progress. But we have to keep N6V on the air as scheduled. Jim won't twist your arm to operate; you have to volunteer. Spend just an hour or two and do something for JPL, JPLARC, Viking, NASA and the USA. Operate N6V! Call Jim Lumsden, X 6726.
BOARD MEETING HIGHLIGHTS
Board Meetings are held on the fourth Wednesday of each month and all club members are welcome. This is the place for the club business to be conducted and your voice is important at these meetings, whether or not you are on the board or a committee. If you come, you can help lend direction to your club's future. Here are my notes, with thanks to an assist from Ralph West again, and keep in mind that what you read here is not official, as the board hasn't approved their own minutes yet:
The June Board of Directors' Meeting was held on June 23 with Stan Brokl presiding.
Jim Lumsden presented a preliminary layout for the NOV QSL card. It is a beautiful piece of work, double width folded (so it can be processed by the QSL bureaus with minimum damage) and having a space photo of Mars and the orbiter on the left fold, and the lander and Viking emblem on the right. The text and data will appear on the reverse side.
The board rejected a request for unlicensed persons to have access to the trailer to use the receivers without supervision from a member. However, the board took under consideration a request for licensed Boy Scouts of the JPL Explorer Post to have operating privileges at the club station.
The board unanimously approved a motion for club use of borrowed Slow Scan Television equipment for use on N6V. It was agreed that the lender could use photographs of the N6V facility for his own publicity purposes (provided that all such pictures are approved by JPL prior to release.) Jim Lumsden has accepted responsibility for the care and operation and transportation of the SSTV equipment.
Jim Lumsden gave a preliminary report of N6V's first phase operation -2215 contacts in 5 days. Jay Holladay reported that as of meeting time, some 150 QSL cards had already been received, most with SASE's. Through 2-meter repeater links (as many as 4 in tandem) stations in Las Vegas, Phoenix and Tucson were worked, all the while N6V was on the 52 simplex frequency. The power output slowed to a trickle from the HW16 Novice rig during the affair; a new 6GE5 final is called for. But Stan Brokl suggested that since Novices will soon be allowed 250 watts, we should consider an entirely new Novice station. Stan also announced that ONLY THOSE WHO OPERATED N6V DURING THE FIRST PHASE WILL BE PUT ON THE LIST TO HAVE ACCESS ON-LAB FOR THE JULY 4 WEEKEND. See Stan if you have problems. But the affair was great, and even George Williamson lumbered over to the trailer from Bldg. 171 to check out the operation.
Stan Brokl announced that he had obtained an agreement with Earl Ivie of the Table Mountain JPL facility to have our Field Day there next year. It was cancelled this year in deference to N6V.
It was announced that we now have 99 members; those no longer members are being removed from the W6VIO Calling mailing list.
The meeting was adjourned at 1 pm. The next board meeting will take place on July 28, 1976.
JPL-ERC PICNIC, JULY 10!
Don't forget that your fellow club members will be selling hot dogs again at the annual JPL-ERC picnic at Soledad Sands on July 10. Help is needed to set up the stand, to sell hot dogs during the picnic, and to tear down. If you are not going to the picnic, you can still help load and unload at JPL. It's difficult to set a firm schedule, but we hope to start loading at 7:00 am at JPL, with the set-up activities starting at the Picnic at 9:00 am. Hot dog sales will begin soon after. Keep in touch via WR6ABQ on 147.87/.27 MHz or on the Club frequency of 145.42 MHz. Volunteer a half hour or an hour; most help is needed between 11 am and I pm. We should sell out around 3 pm. Call Ralph West, WB6YMF at X 6185. [WB6YMF]
The University of California at Los Angeles will host the 1975 World Congress of the International Solar Energy Society on July 28-August 1. Complementing the five-day technical program will be an exposition of solar energy apparatus in support of the congress theme, "Solar Use Now." Program Chairman is J. A. Duffie, University of Wisconsin, Madison. Robert Schlesinger, JPL, Pasadena [K6LZM] is exhibits chairman. [Tnx IEEE Spectrum, June, 1976.] [W6HCD]
CHECK YOUR LICENSE RENEWAL DATE!
The FCC has been having trouble keeping forms in stock recently, and as a service to Club members, the Secretary has some 100 copies of form 610 available. So, check your license and if it's time to renew, get an application form from Ralph West, WB6YMF, X 6185. The same form is used for new license applications, too. [WB6YMF]
It has been rumored recently that our club is being run by a small "clique." Upon investigation we have been forced to admit that we have found this charge to be true!
Furthermore, we have found that this clique is composed of those faithful members who are present at every meeting, accept offices, accept appointments to various committees, give willingly of their time and sincerely believe that the more one puts into his organization the more he will get out of it.
We are sorry that this is a small clique and wish it were a much larger one. We also have a suggestion which we offer in all sincerity - - WHY DON'T YOU JOIN THE CLIQUE?? [Tnx to Chain Reaction, Bulletin of West Valley REACT, reprinted in W6SD Carrier]
GARC CALL ISSUED - HISTORIC QSO
Goldstone Amateur Radio Club President Wes Weems reports that call sign WB6MXU has been issued to their club station. They are presently set up on 2 meters at the DSS-14 Console and the system was tested at the last JPLARC Club meeting on June 9th when a QSO was established between W6VIO (transceiver located at the meeting room, 238-543) and WB6MXU via the Rosemead and Table Mountain repeaters. Everyone, both at JPL and at Goldstone, was impressed with the availability of high quality communications between the two facilities, particularly in case of emergency. The next GARC meeting will be on July 16 at Southwest Gas Co., Community Room, Barstow. And, the console at DSS-14 is monitored continuously whenever a ham is on duty there. Give 'em a shout, gang![K6YYQ, W6PVR]
RFI REPORT (By Dr. Steven Lambert, WA6HVK)
There is very little that can be written about Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) that has not a1ready been written. It was decided, however, that one of the functions of an RFI committee chairman (without a committee) should be to dispense information to the members, so here goes ...
The following is a summary of some things I have found out. The RFI problem has been with us as long as RF has, and probably there are as many kinds of RFI problems as there are kinds of antennas. Not everybody has an RFI problem (thank heaven!) but those who have one have oftentimes attracted a great deal of attention.
The Problem. Just as a matter of record, of course, most RFI problems experienced by non-amateurs are attributable to equipment other than amateur radio transmitters. Naturally, there is always the probability that any amateur radio station might radiate energy of frequencies other than those intended to be used for communication. That is our affair, to insure that our station equipment conforms to technical standards designed to minimize spurious radiation. If an amateur has done everything he can to "clean up" his signal, and his neighbors still claim to feel the effects of his signals via TV, AM or FM receiver, phonograph, tape recorder, telephone, organ, etc., the problem is for the complainant to resolve, even though it is good practice for the amateur to maintain an interest in the case for good will.
It is now well established that RF receivers, etc., are, as a general rule, simply not designed to operate in the strong RF field of a nearby amateur transmitting antenna without experiencing some interference. A state-of-the-art discussion of the nature of RFI as regards amateurs appeared in QST, March, 1976 under the title "RFI Primer" by Tony Dorbuck, WlYNC. I consider this a bit esoteric for the beginning ham, but would recommend the chapter "Interference with Other Services" in the ARRL Handbook. This latter work gives recommendations for the alleviation of the more common types of RFI experienced by non-amateurs.
I keep talking about non-amateurs yes, we too get RFI of a sort as well. With summer coming on, the ham bands will start to resound with an intermittent "hash" resembling motor static: thermostats going on and off, arcing, emitting radiation unbeknownst to the consumers who have no idea that they are transmitting in the ham bands without a license! Horror stories are told by hams who have tried (sometimes succeeding) to identify the source of bothersome interference to them. All I can say about this is: Good Luck!
The Temporal Remedy. Every amateur should obtain copies of FCC form 762 and Bulletins 24 and 25, which can be requested by mail or phone from any FCC Field Engineering Office. These forms describe to complainants the nature of RFI from amateur sources, making it clear that the fault generally lies in the consumer's receiver, not the amateur's transmitter, and recommending that service be performed by a qualified technician at the complainant's expense. Your club's RFI packet contains a list of homeentertainment device manufacturers who will install high-pass filters on their products free of charge. It is interesting to note that with the exception of Zenith, all "American-made" TV sets recommend the Drake TV-300-HP. When dealing with complaining neighbors, my advice is: Be diplomatic, but businesslike.
Now, about our problems. They are not really our problems. Interference to received amateur signals can result from TV sets, motors and engines, fluorescent lights, thermostats, generators, relays, electric fences, power lines, etc. The first step is to locate, the second to cure (maybe.) The club's RFI packet contains an article from Ham Radio about such things. Southern California Edison is very cooperative with hams in clearing up noise caused by corona discharge from dirty power line insulators and other related phenomena, and a reprint discussing such is also found in the RFI packet.
The FCC Position. Recently I spoke with Jim Zuleck, Superintendent of Investigations for the 11th District FCC Field Engineering Office. Remember that passage in the rules and regulations about the FCC imposing "quiet hours" on an amateur if he caused insoluble RFI? This has never been done in Jim's 9 years here. He said that if enough "hew and cry" were raised over an amateur's alleged RFI, an administrative notice is sent to the ham, encouraging him to resolve the problem with his neighbors. Should this avail nothing, more "hew and cry" would lead to a technical investigation by the FCC. If the amateur's signal is clean, "he has nothing to worry about." If not, he is simply instructed to take remedial action. The FCC, however, will not certify that an amateur is without blame, should he be sued by his neighbors, even if his emissions are found to conform to all the standards of Part 97 and other regulations. Alas, it is still possible for a ham to be driven off the air or out of a neighborhood by those who are convinced that there is nothing wrong with their TV sets. As a result, each of us must be his own good-will ambassador to the public for the sake of all of us.
[Ed. Note: By the time you read this, Steve, our RFI Committee Chairman, will have relocated to New Mexico from Cal Tech. However, he will be glad to correspond with members on RFI problems, and has promised to try and provide us a series of articles on RFI in the months that follow. Address your correspondence to Dr. Steven Lambert, Div. 1141, Sandia Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87115.1
Assistant SCM Kevin Berasley, WB6OYN, upon his recent election to President of the Cal Tech Radio Club (W6UE.) We hope W6UE will achieve their goal of station improvement this year by installing the motorized tower and other good gear that W6VIO members helped them acquire a couple of years ago. [WB6DJP via W6HCD]
Dick Piety, K6SVP, who recently received his bicentennial WAS award from ARRL ...
Stan Brokl, K6YYQ, who received not only his bicentennial WAS but also his DXCC in May ...
Merv MacMedan, W61UV, who received CQ Magazine;s WAZ award after being stuck at 39 out of the required 40 zones for more than 4 years! He got WAZ # 3946...
Jim Atkisson, who passed his General Class exam and is anxiously awaiting his formal ticket (go-ahead!)
ARRL NOTES (de W6EJJ.)
Restructuring. FCC has issued a First Report and Order on Docket 20282, the "Restructuring" docket. The following summarizes the major points which will be implemented:
- 1. Full Novice privileges for Technician Class licensees.
- 2. A Novice reaching the end of his license term can retest for a new Novice immediately; the one year wait is discontinued.
- 3. Novices may run 250 watts d.c. power input.
- 4. All licensees using the Novice segments of .the bands are also limited to 250 watts.
- 5. Full credit will be granted for examination elements completed by mail; e.g., Conditionals are " grandfathered" to General, Technicians (C) to Technician.
- 6. Element 2, the Novice written test, will be a part of all exams.
- 7. The number of distinct license classes is reduced from 10 to five by this action.
- 8. The future availability of mail exams is limited to Novices only, except in cases of protracted physical disability.
These changes will become effective July 23, 1976 Additional action on other issues raised in Docket 20282 may be forthcoming at a later date.
Emissions Docket. FCC has granted the requested extension of filing time for Docket 20777 which would define sub-bands in terms of maximum allowable bandwidth, rather than by emission type. Deadline for filing comments is now August 4; reply comments are due on September 3. Fall text of the docket will appear in July QST.
Repeater Directory. The 1976 ARRL repeater directory is now available, listing over 2000 repeaters in the US and Canada. This year it is being offered free as a service to League members, with publishing costs being borne by advertisers. Requests for the directory should be sent to ARRL HQ along with an SASE (711 x 1011 minimum and 460 postage for first class handling, or 240 for third class.) W6EJJ will have a limited supply at the July SCDXC meeting.
Public Relations. Public relations on behalf of amateur radio have received a big boost in the L.A. area in recent months thanks to the efforts of the ARRL Public Relations Assistant, Lenore Jensen, W6NAZ, and a growing number of volunteer workers. The effort is being coordinated through the L.A. Area Council of Radio Clubs. Public Service "spot" announcements have been heard on many local radio stations and a new series of TV spots is beginning to be aired. The most urgent need now is for a local telephone number where people can call with questions related to amateur radio. Help is available for answering the telephone and financing the line, but we are in urgent need of a telephone answering recorder-type unit. Anyone with info on such a unit which could be made available to LAACRC in the form of a donation, extended loan or bargain purchase, please contact Jay Holladay, W6EJJ, or Pete Matthews, WB6UIA.
Special Call Signs. N6V operation by the JPL Amateur Radio Club in commemoration of the Viking Mars exploration program got off to a flying start during the period June 18-23. Some overseas stations were a bit cautious, apparently thinking this was another operation by "Slim;" hopefully this will be cleared up as the DX bulletins carry the news that this is a good one. Next operating period will be concurrent with the rescheduled landing.
N6RPV - The Rancho Palos Verdes Radio Club will celebrate the bicentennial on July 4 using the call N6RPV. All band operation is planned on 40-2 meters, including OSCAR 6 and 7. (Tnx WA6HXM.)
NEW CALL PREFIXES ASSIGNED
A number of new prefixes have been assigned by the ITU to governments that, in general, were former colonies and desire their own, independent prefixes. The following comes from the Southern California DX Club Bull, via K6YGN:
- Country Was Is
- The Gambia ZD3 C5
- Bahamas VP7 C6A
- Mozambique CR7 C9M
- Republic of Angola CR6 D2A
- Republic of Cape Verde CR4 D4P
- Liberia EL. D5A-Z
- State of the Comoros FH8 D6A-Z
ICOM IC-230 2-meter synthesized FM transceiver, Serial 2406312, with all 5 West Coast (Inverted) split-split channels. Stolen from locked auto. Inscribed on rear chassis: CA DL # G516583, K6ICS
Taken June 15, 1976. Contact K61CS, Dr. Michael K. Gauthier, 9550 Gallatin Road, Downey, Ca. 90240; Telephone collect: 213-923-0131. Lab, X 2126.
Schematics and/or manuals for Collins 75A2 receiver and Hallicrafters HT32A transmitter to borrow for copying. Jim Lumsden, WA6MYJ X6726; Home, 249-9367.
Tower, Approx. 71 feet. Crank up or in boltable 10-foot sections. Jim Atkisson, X 4710.
A dedicated individual within the Club to sort QSL cards for the bureau. Hours long, pay none, satisfaction rare. No future. Contact W6IUV.
NEEDED BY A NOVICE:
Instruction manual for the various parts and configurations of the ELMAC Trans-citer Model AF67; Receiver Model PMR 6A; Power Supply Model PS2V; and Cables CFS-1. Please contact Gordon A. Crawford, WB6DRH, 5153 La Canada Blvd., La Canada, Ca, 91011; Res: 790-1400. Lab: X5497.
SOME NIFTY EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS ROUTES
The Mexican Emergency Net operates on SSB on 3670 and 7090 kHz. Since it may be difficult to break them on CW, you can try to get an XE2 station on 2 meters to go to those net frequencies and pull a liaison station up into the American phone band. Sandarc suggests that XE2's generally monitor on 147-93733 (Tijuana); 146-04/64 (Otay); 147-75/15 (Laguna); 146-37/97 (Picacho del Diablo) or 146-31/91 (Mexicali). XE2's also frequent WCARS on 7255 kHz or the Amigos Net on 3855 kHz.
Go back to the W6VIO Calling Index.