THE SLOW SCAN SAGA CONTINUES by Paul Lecoq, K6KNA
The recent N6V activity of the JPLARC demonstrated how great Slow Scan TV was, particularly when there is good visual information to be transmitted, such as our famous Viking photos of Mars. But the concept of Slow Scan TV has a much broader application than just Amateur Radio. For example, two engineers discussing a common problem over the phone from opposite ends of the country can now have visual communications as well as audio. Think how much more efficient it is to see a schematic than to have it laboriously "talked" to you. A technical conference or NASA-wide committee meeting could be effectively attended without requiring travel funds. A college course could be recorded for students on a 49¢ audio tape cassette.
Stan Brokl has been talking about all these applications ever since N6V, and finally JPL is listening. Stan, Sam Boyer, and Paul Lecoq recently put on a slow scan demonstration for Lab management, which sparked their interest in the medium for communications. Robot Research, the manufacturer of N6V's slow scan equipment again loaned their gear for the demonstration and Bill Carpenter, WA6QZY helped in the auditorium. It all culminated in an informal presentation in Bldg. 180 for the executive council. While Murphy was obviously in attendance, part of the demonstration was done well enough to convince the Lab that the concept merits further study and analysis. We got word today that the use of Slow Scan TV for both communication and education will be explored. Money may be made available to improve the resolution and to make the system more convenient to use.
NEW REPEATER IN PASADENA
The Pasadena Radio Club now has a repeater in operation located on Flint Peak, just South of JPL. It's call is WR6ANY and it operates on 147.105 in, 147.705 out. It is an open repeater and seems to have particularly good coverage into most JPLers home areas. [K6YYQ]
WARNING: NON PAYMENT OF DUES MAY BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR SUBSCRIPTION. Instant cure - send your $2 for 1977 membership in the club to our new Treasurer, Ron Ploszaj, at Mail Stop 233-307.
EX PRESIDENT COMMENDED
Jay Holladay, W6EJJ (r.) club Trustee, presents plaque to Stan Brokl at January Meeting. [K6PGX Photo]
Stan Brokl received a plaque from the club for his efforts last year. The engraving tells the story: "Presented by the JPL Amateur Radio Club to Stanley S. Brokl K6YYQ for outstanding leadership and service to the club as its president for 1976." We know how hard you worked for the club last year, Stan; now we're giving you something to cover the hole in the plaster where your wife's rolling pin luckily (?!) hit!
RECENT VISITORS TO W6VIO
On December 3rd, the club hosted George Parker, W4NS to a tour of N6V, which he had worked earlier from home. He wanted to see where that big signal came from. George is a booster of the space effort and enjoyed the tour of SFOF and other sights on Lab. More recently, Charles Schaeffer* K2LOI, sent us an order for a slow-scan tape and asked to pick it up in person when he traveled out here to escape the New York cold! He also saw the N6V he had worked and enjoyed his tour. We appreciate your interest in our little program, gentlemen!
KEY TO UNDERSTANDING RADIO
When I was in High School, I was an avid SWLer, and in my listening had come across the amateur bands. My interest was whetted and I found some help with the technical side of radio in the library - the ARRL Handbook, A Course in Radio Fundamentals, etc. but for some reason these books lacked the ability to convey a feel for how it all worked. Then I discovered Elements of Radio, a book written for several levels of understanding at the same time. As I started into the first chapter, I knew this was it. It explained wave propagation using the usual stone-in-a-pond simile, but then clarified something for me that confused me terribly up to that time. It said now imagine a cork dropped in the pond. As the waves pass out from where the stone was dropped, the cork bobs up and down but stays in place. That is, the water itself doesn't radiate out to shore. The cork sits in the water. It's the energy that reaches shore, as can be demonstrated by observing how the waves slap up and down. This visual image approach is used throughout to really convey the meaning of complex ideas and is effective because the object of the book was to teach the subject, not show off how much the authors know.
Elements of Radio, by Abraham and William Marcus was first published in 1943. It has since gone through six editions (the latest I believe is 1973) and has 42 chapters dealing with subjects like Resonance, AC theory, FM stereo, Key Clicks, Semiconductors, etc., plus Receivers and Transmitters. There are three levels of explanation, the first of which uses no math at all. The authors claim "Too often a formula is substituted for an explanation." All the needed formulas and techniques are included, however, after the idea is well planted. It must have worked - I had my Extra Class well before I left high school! I highly recommend it to those who seriously want to learn about radio, but not to those who just want to pass an exam. The license manual would be more to the point if that's your bag. Good luck! [W6IUV]
N6V MARS PICTURE CASSETTES SELLING BRISKLY
Since the club started selling its Slow Scan TV Mars picture cassettes November 25th, several hundred shipments have already gone out, according to Dick Piety, K6SVP, Tape Manager. On side A of the 60 minute cassette is a narration by Stan Brokl covering "First Pictures from the Surface of Mars Obtained by Viking Landers;" side B is called "Pictures of the Martian Surface from Viking Orbiters and Landers" and is narrated by Jim Lumsden. Robot Advertisements in January and February QST and CQ as well as other word-spreading is just beginning to be felt. Want one yourself? Send $3.75 each to Dick Piety, Mail stop 158-205.
JPLARC JANUARY BOARD MEETING
Your editor again sneaked into the Board Room on January 26th to spy on the doings of the new Board so it could be revealed to all those loyal members who pay their dues and thus keep this informative newsletter coming. Here's what happened; all reports are, of course, unofficial:
The meeting was called to order by President Lumsden, and the following members were in attendance:
- Brokl Hartley Patzold
- Chalfin Holladay Piety
- Crawford Lumsden Ploszaj
- Diem MacMedan West
The meeting led off with Ron Ploszaj contributing the Treasurer's report. A question arose as to whether mileage allowance should be paid to a member that picked up some material for the club. A vote was taken and it was decided the associated bill would be paid minus the allowance on the grounds that many of us do little jobs for the club without charge and we should not set a precedent where people expect reimbursement of time or travel.
Several off-lab people had submitted dues for 1977, and in accordance with the by-laws, the Board voted on whether to accept them. Six applicants were unanimously approved:
- Skip Reymann, W6PAJ Cliff Moore, K6KII
- Al Chapman, W6MEO Vince Humphrey
- Paul Ross, K6KNQ Dave Whitaker
Stan Brokl announced that the club had entered into a cooperative arrangement with Cal State Northridge to help promote Amateur Radio with a public demonstration of club activities. A Slow Scan converter and sample tapes were loaned to them, and initial reports are that the demonstration is very popular and has resulted in many new memberships in their club.
New Committee Chairman appointments were announced by Jim Lumsden:
- Hot Dog Sales - Ralph West, WB6YMF (3rd year!)
- Publicity - Norm Chalfin, K6PGX
- Facilities - Jack Patzold
- Librarian - Sam Weaver, WB6EMO
- Repeater - Walt Diem, WA6PEA
- Field Day - Stan Brokl, K6YYQ
These were unanimously approved by the Board, and a motion to establish a commemorative activity for both the upcoming MJS launch and a new Viking 1-year anniversary splash was approved.
Walt Diem presented a Repeater status report (carried elsewhere in this issue) and then described the 2m Table Mountain repeater status. The WR6AFX machine has been removed from the site by Mickey, and will be replaced by a machine belonging to the Goldstone Amateur Radio Club on 93/33. The Board approved a measure to operate the machine temporarily under our call WR6APR until their license arrives. Walt also noted that one of our club's other calls has been bootlegged for a year now, and the Board agreed it was appropriate for the trustee of the call to take whatever steps are necessary to suppress any further unlawful use of our call.
Merv MacMedan then lamented on a recent advisory from the Employees Recreation Club that funding for all club newsletters will be curtailed. Alternate methods of getting this newsletter out are being studied, but most mean greatly increased time and effort by the individuals responsible for its production. Meanwhile we hope Stan Locke will be successful in pleading our case that the newsletter is the glue that holds our club together (122 members as of Dec. 31!) and without it, we would expect a drastic membership drop. If next month's issue is sloppy, late, and too short, you'll all know why.
The meeting was adjourned shortly after 1 pm.
Motorola Semiconductors recently announced their MC3423 over-voltage protector chip. Built on an 8-pin DIP, it is CMOS/TTL compatible, protection threshold is resistor-adjustable, and it can be programmed for minimum duration of overvoltage condition before tripping (thus supplying noise immunity.) It is recommended as a driver for their 25 Amp 2N6504 SCR to short the output and blow the fuse. l00-lot price is $1.75! [Tnx K6GPK]
CLUB REPEATER STATUS REPORT
Problems plaguing the receiver have been solved by cannibalizing a Clegg transceiver and using those boards; It was found that parasitics and spurs that were causing the repeater committee to lose their wits were nicely cleaned up too ... by substituting the Clegg transceiver transmitter boards! The gear is finally assembled in a rack and ready for tune-up with the duplexer and antenna. It is expected to be on the air for testing out by the time you receive this newsletter. After all the adjustments are completed and any bugs worked out, it will be moved from the Lab to the Mesa and the big antenna installed. Get ready, OMs! [WA6PEA]
CLUB 220 MHz RIG POWER CONNECTOR STANDARDIZATION
In order to guarantee interchangeability of our 220 MHz transceivers among members, it has been recommended that we all use a standard type of power connector. (The only other connector is the UHF antenna connector, which is standard.) Please use the round, 2-prong in-line Jones plug (which is readily available) or equivalent, designated as follows: Plug, P-302-CCT-L; Socket, S-302-CCT-K. MAKE SURE THE WIDE PRONG IS CONNECTED TO NEG (GND.)
NEW 220 MHz GROUP PURCHASES
Another group is being formed to purchase 220 MHz FM Transceivers. If you were unfortunate enough to be left out on the first order, here's your chance to take advantage of the power of group purchasing.
220 MHz is the band to move up to. It has the range of 2 meters with the bounce of 432! And the JPL 220 machine is just about completed, so don't miss out on this one! The transceivers being considered for purchase are the Clegg FM-76 and the Midland 13-509. These rigs are identical with the exception of the front panel. The price is tentatively in the $140 range, depending on volume. If you even think you may be interested, give me a call, so I can contact you when a firm price is established by our ruthless negotiator. Steve Bednarczyk, WB6MJK, X-7749.
FEBRUARY MEETING ANNOUNCEMENT
The Speaker for our next meeting, February 9th at Noon, in 238-543, will be the JPL Frequency Manager, Howard Olsen. Howard is ex-W7GWC and will speak on "Frequency Management at JPL" which will touch on Frequency Assignments for Government Use, JPL Spectrum Usage, and JPL RFI Problems in the Deep Space Net.
SR-160 with DC Power Supply. $125. Jack Walker, WA6ZML, 805-944-1053.
One spare set (Foreign & Domestic) 1977 Call Books. List price Approx. $29. See Ron Ploszaj, X 4429.
QSL BUREAU SUPPORT
Those unsung heroes, K6YGN and K6KII continue to sort as our club's contribution to the ARRL QSL bureau. Tnx!
ARRL JANUARY BOARD MEETING HIGHLIGHTS
(The following report is a slightly edited version of Official Bulletin Nr 629 From ARRL HQ, January 22:)
Meeting in annual session January 20 and 21, the ARRL Board of Directors voted to increase the annual membership dues to twelve dollars in the US effective April 1. 1977, in order to assure adequate reserves for the World Administrative Radio Conference and other expanding programs of the League. [Note A letter is being sent to all members giving the rationale behind the dues increase. Multiple-year memberships with a sliding savings scale, or life memberships will be available at current rates (39.00 per year) until April 1. - W6EJJ]
The board authorized the filing of comments with FCC in Docket 20271 concerning WARC preparation, and in support of RM-2800, a proposal to permit former amateurs to regain licenses without examination. In other regulatory matters, the board commended the FCC for its implementation of instant upgrading effective March 1, and authorized staff preparation of draft comments in Docket 21033 [which deregulates repeater and remote base regulation] for executive committee review.
A new advisory committee was established for the VHF/UHF field. The General Manager was authorized to contract with authors as QST contributing editors. Special plaques were authorized for the first ten amateurs who earn WAS on two meters. Special orange background membership pins were authorized for QSL Bureau personnel, as were pins for holders of 5BDXCC and 5BWAS. The Technical Merit Award went to K2YUH with the Mt. Airy VHF Club receiving honorable mention.
The General Manager and General Counsel were directed to take action regarding certain ads in CB publications which do not emphasize that an Amateur license is necessary for operation on two meters. The board voted $5000 to the Personal Communications Foundation to assist in handling legal problems concerning Amateur Radio. The President was directed to reopen negotiations with the objective of expanded privileges in the 160-meter band.
Matters committed to further committee study included a comprehensive list of serial numbers of stolen equipment, Diameter Novice expansion, examination credit for holders of commercial licenses, geographical limits for WAS and 5BWAS, equalization of contest scoring, and a band plan for 1215 MHz.
The board re-elected Directors Arnold, W4WHN, and Thurston, W7PGY, to the ARRL executive committee, and elected Directors Egbert, W8ETU, and Hesler, VE1SH, to serve with them for the forthcoming year.
Among other actions, the board continued partial reimbursement provisions for legal defense of Amateur rights, endorsed continued support of the International Amateur Radio Union in its WARC preparatory efforts, and endorsed further use of volunteers in performing Amateur services. Full details and minutes of the meeting will appear in March QST. [Tnx W6EJJ]
EXTENSION GRANTED ON WARC INQUIRY
A One Week extension for filing comments on the FCC's WARC Notice of Inquiry (Docket 20271 - see January W6VIO Calling or HR Report 126) has just been granted by the Commission. The new deadline for Comments on the proposed 1979 frequency reallocations is February 7 - though the point should not be overlooked that inputs received even after that date could still be accepted and - depending on their timing - likely incorporated.
The extension is not an unmixed blessing - though it does provide the Amateur Radio Working Group, meeting January 25 in Washington, some needed breathing time. The complex preparations leading up to the 1979 conference must proceed on a rather rigid timetable, so a week's slippage now will make one of the later preparatory stages that much tighter. [Tnx HR Report 132]
TIP TO COOL A HOT ROD
Here's a less frustrating way to plant a good station ground rod. Instead of standing on a step-ladder and pounding away on an 8 ft steel rod with a sledge in the traditional way, get a piece of copper water pipe, 8-12 feet is practical. Solder to the top a brass hose connector. Attach hose and let water flow. Holding the pipe vertically, gently jostle it up and down as you let the water dig the hole. Each jostle should let the pipe sink another few inches. When sunk to the desired depth, the attaching heavy cable to your equipment or antenna system may be soldered onto the copper pipe, This method is sometimes called a hydraulic ram, and while it won't be of much help in penetrating the rocks of La Canada, it can be used to pave the way for a steel rod to crack through the rock. If successful, then perhaps it could be refitted for continuing deeper in the soil below the rock. [Tnx K6KII]
MEMBERS CITED FOR SERVICE
In the last issue of Lab-Oratory (and it was truly the last issue) we noted several club members who were cited for service to JPL. Among these were Fred Smith for 25 years, John Morecroft for 15 years and Glenn Cunningham, Horst Schneider and Fred Vescelus for ten years. We also noted several hams whom we won't mention because they aren't members of this prestigious organization. Perhaps we'll get you at your next anniversary! Then we picked up the New Universe and found members Gordon Crawford and Bob Mueller awarded 20-year pins, and Stan Hench awarded his 10-year buttonholefiller. Congratulations to all - we're proud to have you with us too.
FREQUENCIES USED IN TOUCH TONE DIALING
- Digit Low Freq. Tone High Freq. Tone
- (Hz) (Hz)
- 1 697 1209
- 2 697 1336
- 3 697 1447
- 4 770 1209
- 5 770 1336
- 6 770 1447
- 7 852 1209
- 8 852 1336
- 9 852 1447
- * 941 1209
- 0 941 1336
- # 941 1447
[Tnx Mt. Wilson Repeater Ass'n Newsletter]
NEWSLETTER DEADLINE: To guarantee making it, get any material to me by 4th Wednesday (Board Meeting) as I start typing then. Thanks! [W6IUV]
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