CQ ... CQ ... CQ ... DE N6V By Jim Lumsden, WA6MYJ
N6V is still alive and going strong, calling attention around the world to the Viking successes. As of this writing, we have reached-over 80% of our initial goal of 10,000 contacts ... a goal that seemed highly optimistic and unreachable not too long ago. However, we have not done it within the initially planned 40 days operating time. Spreading words, improving band conditions, and general reluctance to shut down just when we are getting the publicity due the effort are all factors in the decision to keep N6V active until the license expires on November 15, 1976. The continuing high level of interest and good response on the air are proving this decision to be prudent.
Publicity for N6V has taken some major jumps. A few weeks ago, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation aired a three-minute interview as part of their national network news broadcasts at 6 and 11 pm, The interview took place at the QTH of Bob, VE3AXC, near Ottawa, as he was contacting N6V on Slow Scan TV. Bob has graciously supplied us with a video cassette of the news segment. Locally, the KABC-TV Channel 7 Eyewitness News Team recently visited N6V and subsequently aired a 5-minute segment showing our operation. Since the airing was scheduled at a later date, and on very short notice, most members missed the program, but KABC-TV is supplying us with a video-tape of the segment. Both the CBC and KABC tapes will be put on a single tape to be presented at one of our club meetings in the near future.
Jim Lumsden being interviewed by Pete Pepper, Ch. 7.
Distinguished visitors to the N6V shack recently have included Bill Pickering, ex-Z2BL, and Roy Neal, K6DUE, both of whom thoroughly enjoyed the visit. Bill had the pleasure of using the 2m FM high desert link (through the Rosemead and Table Mountain repeaters) first-hand, to talk to the Goldstone Amateur Radio Club (WB6MXU) set up at the control console for the 64-meter antenna. Both Bill and Roy got some hand-on SSTV experience, too.
Stan Brokl, K6YYQ, Roy Neal, K6DUE, and Dr. Bill Pickering, ex-Z2BL watch the playback of a Slow Scan TV scene at N6V.
Another visitor to N6V was John, WN6PTC, who made his very first contact at our key. John had received his Novice ticket one week earlier after taking the new ham class at Widney High School for the Handicapped in Los Angeles. The club is providing the school with a videotape of his visit as a record and as an inspiration to others.
WN6PTC is ecstatic as he makes his first QSO at the key of N6V's Novice operating position.
The last word in publicity for this month is that a manuscript, complete with photos, has been submitted to QST for publication as an article, probably in the November issue. Believe it or not, there was so much to talk about that it was hard to limit the article to 2,000 words* In fact, I was surprised when I counted the list of N6V contributors at the end and found it 24 names long! (sorry, but several operating period were required to qualify for listing as an operator.) We plan to reprint the article in a future W6VIO CALLING with an updated list of credits. So, c'mon, the N6V family is getting bigger!
There is still plenty of operating time until Nov. 15th, but don't put it off! I heard through the grapevine that someone thought the N6V operation was limited to certain people. Nonsense! I have requested volunteers from the very beginning. All who submitted operator slips from a previous W6VIO Calling have put in their fair time. Now it's time for the rest of you to help. Please come and give us a hand. We're getting tired (after all, the same guys that "built" the station are also the major operators) but the interest is still there on all bands. N6V is still popular. I still refuse to mount a campaign by phone for support. It's up to you. The activity belongs to W6VIO, your club. Let's finish it right. Choose your operating times and call me for scheduling. Thanks.
Jim Lumsden X 6726.
MEMBER INJURED IN CRITICAL SPOT
Elmer McMillan, W6RBR, spent most of August on the NASA 990 hunting for hurricanes. The object was to get radar images of high wave activity, but required some risky flight plans - like flying right into a hurricane. You can imagine my fright when I got call from Elmer after my return from vacation and he said he was laid up in the hospital! But it turned out that he just slipped and fell in the JPL parking lot, smashed his nose and broke an elbow. Nothing had happened on the flights at all. The worst part of the accident was that the elbow belonged to his keying arm and during all that relaxing recuperating time that he is now able to take advantage of, he can't get on the air. Cheer him with a card to 5106 Earl Dr., La Canada, Calif. 91011. [W6IUV]
ARRL NOTES By Jay Holladay, W6EJJ
Elections. Southwestern Division Director John Griggs, W6KW, and Vice Director Jay Holladay, W6EJJ were unopposed for re-election. Both were declared reelected for the 1977-78 term during a recent meeting of the ARRL Executive Committee.
Two-Letter Calls. will be available October 1 to holders of the Extra Class license who were licensed prior to November 22, 1967. ARRL will publish a list of available two-letter calls in late September. Send an SASE with 24¢ postage to ARRL HQ for a copy, or contact W6EJJ to find out which calls are still available.
WN Prefixes for Novices will be discontinued on October 1, 1976 in FCC's latest deregulation action. Starting on that date the Commission will issue call signs which will not require changing when you upgrade (ie., WA, WB, WD, etc.) Current Novices whose licenses expire after October 1 will automatically be issued a new license and prefix in the near future. Continue using your WN call sign until you receive a new license.
ARRL Outgoing QSL Bureau will begin operation on November 1. At that time, League members will be able to make bulk mailings of cards to foreign amateurs via ARRL Headquarters. Any volume of cards may be submitted, accompanied by a flat fee of $1.00 and a QST mailing label for the October 1976 or later issue. See October OT for full information. Please do not submit cards to the outgoing bureau before November 1!
Personal Communications Show will be held on Nov. 10-14 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Aimed at members of the general public interested in communications and electronics (CB, amateur, computers, etc,) it will be an excellent opportunity to publicize amateur radio before a large audience. The L.A. Council of Amateur Radio Clubs will sponsor an amateur radio exhibit, with support to be requested from member clubs like ours. More information next month.
Licensed Amateurs. Our numbers continue to rise. July figures from the FCC:
- Extra 15007
- Technician 50798
- Advanced 69445
- Novice 30045
- General 80600
- Cond'l 25449
- Total 274769
HAM RADIO HORIZONS
A new amateur radio magazine aimed primarily at the newcomer has been announced by the publishers Of Ham Radio and will be introduced in January. Many members of the Ham Radio crew will also be on the new monthly, including Jim Fisk, W1DTY as Editor-in-Chief. The first issue is expected to be 96 pages. Prospective authors are encouraged to submit articles of good fiction, humor and other non-technical areas, (They have plenty of technical stuff from Ham Radio.) Write to Tom McMullen, Ham Radio Horizons, Greenville New Hampshire 03048. Good luck, gang! [Tnx HR Report]
JPL ARC N6V SUCCESS PARTY SATURDAY, OCTOBER 9, 1976 - 1:00 PM AT DICK PIETY'S QTH - K6SVP
Please RSVP to Dick at 790-1991 or 354-2298. He will send you a map on how to find the place. XYL's, YLIs invited; refreshments provided! 73 -Stan, K6YYQ
RFI REPORT ... By Steve Lambert, WA6HVK/7
The first article in this series dealt with the general nature of RPI from various sources, as it affects the amateur, and general approaches toward remedying it, At the encouragement of the editor, the next few articles in your RFI column will deal with various aspects of the subject in a "tutorial" format. The author welcomes suggestions and criticisms from the membership, since he himself has been licensed in the amateur radio service only since November, 1974 (many thanks to JPLARC The subject of this month's article is ...
Maintaining a "Clean" signal By "clean" signal, I mean amateur emissions of adequate bandwidth to facilitate communication in the mode of your choice, but with spurious emissions (harmonics, parasitics, unwanted sidebands, etc.) attenuated below the levels specified in the technical standards of Part 97 of the FCC's Rules. In other words, we strive to improve the quality of our signals to the point where, if our neighbors experience television interference (TVI), it is attributable to the nonselectivity of their receivers, not the extraneous emissions of our transmitters in the VHF TV band.
Antenna Geometries, Let us assume that a ham has a good clean signal. A ham's neighbors often get nervous when they see the erection of a 70-foot tower with a rotatable Yagi antenna for 20, 15, and 10 meters in his backyard. Actually, emissions from such an antenna are not likely to cause serious radio frequency interference to the neighbors. Reason: an antenna high on a tower is up above most of the immediately-surrounding antennas which receive AM, TV and FM signals for input to home entertainment devices. Radiation angles from high Yagis tend to be moderate with respect to the earth. Result: neighbors farther away may experience RFI! Because of high radiation angles, Hertz (ordinary halfwave dipole) and inverted Vee antennas also tend to be "safe" from causing RFI, because most radiation from these passes over the neighbors' antennas. The worst antenna for RFI: the Marconi (quarterwave vertical ground plane.) The radiation angle is low, and these antennas are generally mounted low, so radiation will probably more easily get into the neighbor's antennas. Now to complicate matters, let us suppose we have a trapped vertical, with wavetraps to enable multiband operation on, say, 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 meter bands. This brings us to ...
Sources of Harmonics. Considering again the 80 through 10 meter trapped vertical antenna, we notice that the very nature of the beast favors harmonics. If we have a fundamental of 3.5 MHz, the 2nd, 4th, 6th and 8th harmonics will also be looking into a nice resonant condition in such an antenna. On 80 and 40 meters, harmonics will probably not be a source of TVI (TV bands are above 54 MHz) because the 8th harmonic of, for example, 7 MHz will not be strong enough to interfere with Channel 3. Unless ...
Other harmonic generators might be active. Consider a corroded joint between two pieces of antenna tubing. Or a corroded coaxial connector. These are, in effect, primitive diodes. Diodes tend to rectify signals, producing almost square corners from an excitation signal that was originally a smooth sinewave. Those who know about a Fourier Series realize that waveforms with square corners are full of harmonics, and often very high order ones, at that. See how easy it is to get the 8th harmonic of 7 MHz? Moral: keep joints and connections clean and conductive. Seal them from the weather.
Keeping Harmonics Off The Antenna. Harmonics in a transmitter can be kept off the transmission line by properly grounded shielding. However, this alone may not solve the problem. It may be necessary to use a lowpass filter on HF, many types of which are commercially available. I am not sure that it is always necessary, for a properly designed and implemented transmatch helps to attenuate harmonics as well as to match the antenna-transmission line system to the transmitter so that the transmitter works into an optimum impedance. It is not advisable to use a transmatch with a trapped antenna, because the compensating reactances in the transmatch may contribute adversely to the reactances in the wavetraps. With a trapped antenna, the filter alone may help. In general, both could be used in a configuration such as this:
Notice that the filter is between the transmitter and the transmatch. Most filters work best with low SWR's so the SWR monitor is included to assist the transmatch adjustments. The positions of the SWR monitor and the filter could be interchanged with little effect.
But beware! Spurious emissions (if present) generated in a transmitter have a talent for getting around poorly shielded filters and transmatches, and onto the antenna. Also remember that once the signal leaves the transmatch, even a clean signal can become distorted, as mentioned above. Besides corroded joints, another source of waveform distortion at the antenna, I am told, is impedance mismatch between antenna and transmission line. That will have to be saved for discussion next time..
CODE AND LICENSING CLASSES
Pasadena City College is again offering their famous "Amateur Radio Licensing" course given by instructor Stan Coutant. This year classes are on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, 7-9:30 pm in V202 at PCC. The Fall semester started Sept, 13, but late registrations are admitted. There is no fee for this course. For further information, call PCC at 578-7261. A number of allied courses may also be of interest - ask for their "Schedule."
Here at JPL, code classes are being run informally by Nash Williams, W6HCD, and Bill Weber, W6HNQ in Bill's laboratory (161 Basement.) There is a "fast" and a "slow" group. The groups are growing, and there is a real need for an additional instructor or two* If you wish to join as a student, or can help as an instructor, call Nash (X2047) or Bill (X 3845) before you forget about it! Records, tapes and other helpful instructional material is also available from the club's Education Committee chairman, Norm Chalfin, K6PGX (X 6833.) Now is the time to get going and buckle down to get that first license or upgrade! Good luck!
BOARD MEETING HIGHLIGHTS
Your editor, freshly back from vacationing in HK-land, had the pleasure of once again observing your club officers in action. Nothing much was missed on the 4th Wednesday of August, as so many members were on vacation that they couldn't make a quorum. Here's.what went on at the September 22 meeting, and the usual cautions about officiality of these notes should be observed.
The following members were present, asterisks indicating voting members of the board:
- Stan Brokl K6YYQ
- Walt Diem WA6PEA
- Jay Holladay W6EJJ
- Chas. Weir W6UM
- Jim Lumsden WA6MYJ
- Nash Williams W6HCD
- Ralph West WB6YMF
- Merv MacMedan W61UV
President Brokl called the meeting to order and announced that he had appointed Nash Williams to head the Nominating Committee with an assist by Merv MacMedan on the committee.
Jim Lumsden reported as treasurer that some $610 had been spent for N6V QSL cards, $41 for a tape recorder for the Slow Scan TV operation at N6V, and some $280 for the synthesizer/scanner for our IC-21A 2-meter FM rig. Our current balance is somewhat over $800.
Stan announced that Dick Piety had volunteered his house (including pool) for a N6V party. With the understanding that the party is for all club members to join together in a big celebration and not just the N6V crew, the board approved the expenditure of a maximum of $75 for the party. The date is set for October 9 (Saturday) at 1 pm. There is an announcement elsewhere in this issue.
Brought up for board consideration was the possibility of purchasing a club-property HF SSB/CW transceiver for ease in handling off-lab affairs such as field day and emergencies. Stan appointed Dick Piety K6SVP chairman of a committee to review the equipment on the market and match our needs with a suitable rig,
Because of a heavy work load, members of the proposed repeater project were unable to provide a design review of the project at this meeting. Board feeling was that a decision has to be made promptly to go ahead or not, and a proposal to survey the membership for interest (through this newsletter) was made. (The vote to do this was 2 for, 2 against, with the President breaking the tie.) A coupon for member responses is included on this page for guidance of the board. Please indicate your vote.
CONGRATULATIONS TO ...
... Phil Evans who passed his Technician exam and received his call, WA6QJE, on September 14th!
... Paul Leooq who successfully retrieved his call from many years back by becoming a Technician again. The FCC lost his application and he had to send two applications, but the fight was worth 'it even if it took a year. His call is K6KNA!
... The Facilities committee under Dick Piety K6SVP who got the trailer QTH working for N6V. Seems that the recent rains flooded out the basement of Bldg. 17l and the old shack was under several inches of water. Redundant emergency locations always better than only one, say Confuscious!
DONATED - To Club archives by Paul Lecoq, K6KNA: Original schematic for Heathkit AT-1 transmitter. Contact Merv, W6IUV, for appointment to see this rare document!
WANTED - Technical Readers in Math, Physics, Electronics, Chemistry, and Computer Technology, For "talking books" provided free to blind students. Contact Bob Jensen, W6VGQ, if you can help: 784-8517 or 872-1089.
FOR SALE - Tempo 2000 Bookshelf linear. Mint condition with fresh pair 3-400 tubes and manual. Made by Johnson for Henry. Cost $695; sell $375. WB6FGO, 790-1218.
NEW ADDRESS - For one of the club's old Oscar Test Flight participants. W6HDO's new QTH is; Cliff Buttschardt, Route one, Box 420, Glenn Ca. 95943.
SEE A HIGHWAY ACCIDENT WHILE FLYING? - The California Highway Patrol Flight Service monitors 122.4 MHz so that you may request assistance from them if you see an accident requiring their attention while flying. [Tnx C. Ivie]
PROFESSIONAL AMATEUR RADIO - The National Telecommunications Conference '77 will be held in Los Angeles toward the end of 1977. A session dealing specifically with professional papers on amateur radio topics will be included. The call for papers is imminent, but here's your advance notice. Specific details as to topics will appear in a future issue, but meanwhile if you think you may be able to contribute something worthwhile, get in touch with the organizer, Bill Weber, W6HNQ, at Extension 3845. Maybe the club will offer a prize for any paper accepted by a club member! Good Luck!
ATTENTION ALL MEMBERS
Member interest is vital to a project's success. The board needs to know how much interest there is among our membership to carry out a repeater project by and for the JPLARC. The repeater committee has obtained commitments for donations of most of the equipment if we decide to go ahead.
Briefly, the planned project would provide repeaters and autopatches on one or more VHF bands, serving the area where most JPLers live. Frequencies have been obtained on 220 MHz and the committee is continuing efforts to obtain 2 meter frequencies. Please let the board know your interest (and comments) by returning the questionnaire by Oct. 8.
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CLIP & MAIL TO RALPH WEST, SECRETARY, 156-142
I agree with the idea of a Club repeater Yes No
I will probably use the repeater if it is on 2 meters Yes NO
I will probably use the repeater if it is on 220 MHz Yes NO
I would be interested in an autopatch available only to club members Yes N0
I will probably help build, maintain, or monitor the repeaters Yes N0
Name & Call (Optional) ____________________________
Go back to the W6VIO Calling Index.