APRIL MEETING ON VOICE PRINTS
Our guest speaker for the April 12 meeting will be Investigator Jack Percy, W6OZW, of the Los Angeles Police Department. Jack is one of the leading experts in the nation in the subject of voice print analysis, and will have an informative slide-illustrated talk on this fascinating subject. Put it on your calendar NOW! Wednesday, April 12, Noon, in 238-543. See you there! (Tnx W6HCD)
PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE By Jim Lumsden, WA6MYJ
But What Can I Do?
Our club is no different from any other major organization in that it needs all types of talent to keep it going. As I promised, here is a short list of this year's activities and the Committee Chairman to contact to volunteer your services.
OSCAR - Skip Reymann, W6PAJ 799-9161. We have proven we can work OSCAR with a minimum of equipment right from our W6VIO trailer. We have budgeted some dollars to get started on our own OSCAR capability. OSCAR 8 offers a new challenge and more passes to spur activity in this area.
Training Classes - Ron Ploszaj, WA6TPW, x4429. Informal code classes have been conducted during the past few months by Mike Griffin, N6WU, for which we are very grateful. There is much interest on lab at this time for complete ham license training classes. Instruction kits containing "all you need" to teach are available. Call Ron and let him know you will help support this vital outreach. Class announcement is elsewhere in this issue.
Hot Dog Stand - Ralph West, N6YM, x6185. The Hot Dog Stand at the annual JPL Picnic in July has become a landmark, and, judging from the sales figures for the past few years, people are beginning to rely on the availability of this superb product. This activity requires support mostly on the day of the picnic. If enough people plan ahead to spend some time in the booth, nobody will get stuck with an all-day stint. P.S. - ERC considers this support of their picnic when we ask them for financial aid!
Emergency Communication - Glenn Berry, K6GHJ, x4710. With the advent of our repeater, we have a tremendous emergency capability on VHF. Let Glenn know your capabilities and willingness to participate when the need arises.
Repeater System - Wait Diem, WA6PEA, x3186. The Repeater System is a reality and is growing, as evidenced by the recent inauguration of the link between JPL's repeater and the Table Mountain repeater. It has a solid foundation and is supported with enormous enthusiasm. You can get on the repeater with new equipment for less than you think!
Facility/Station Improvement - Rich Ward, N6BF, x2027Numerous relatively small tasks need doing to continue the improvement of W6VIO. A couple of very enterprising members have been doing their bit, but there are many small, individual tasks that need you.
Field Day - Mike Griffin, N6WU, x7267. I missed last year's Field Day, but have heard it was well liked by all and well attended. If so, let Mike know what you would like to see this year, and what phase you will participate in.
Contest - Mike Griffin, N6WU, x7267. This year, Field Day and all other contests fall under one chairman, but their character is sufficiently different to warrant separate listing. The antennas on the Mesa (around the water tanks) have received some TLC recently, and provided W6VIO with a score of over l04,OOO points and 100 band-countries in the ARRL DX Contest. Mike, along with Stan Sander, N6MP, are doing all the organizing and legwork; give them a few hours of your time to help make W6VIO known in Contests.
Special Event/Commemoration - You? The time is now to lay the plans for the Voyager Encounter Commemorative Series. At least 4 major encounters, and maybe more. If we start now, the job will be easy. I will even assist. It really is fun, and maybe even the QSLing can be made easier.
Well, quite a list, isn't it? With over 100 members, it shouldn't seem like too much. It wouldn't be if every member would volunteer for just one project. Some members now participate in nearly everything. We don't need all organizers, nor do we need all helpers. We need a mixture. Please call and offer your help.
LOS ANGELES HAMFEST
Mark your calendars now so you won't tie yourself up on May 20 and 21. The Los Angeles Hamfest will take place on those dates, at the Lockheed Radio Club in Burbank. This is the only annual hamfest in our area and is bigger and better each year, with substantial prizes awarded. We'll have full details next issue!
WR6APS AT JPL Conducted by Booth Hartley, N6BH
Link to WR6AZN on Table Mountain.
A major milestone was achieved with the start of operation of the JPL/Goldstone ARC 220 MHz link repeater on 5 March, 1978. WR6APQ, now located at the QTH of WB6RFR in Bellflower, provides a user controllable link between WR6APS (222.44 in/224.04 out) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and WR6AZN (222-36 in/223.96 out on Table Mountain, near Wrightwood.
This link fulfills two of the prime objectives of the JPL ARC repeater project:
1. Provide a VHF emergency communication capability between JPL and Goldstone.
2. Provide open, operator controlled, linked repeater communications between the Los Angeles area and the Mojave Desert.
The link uses a unique technique (conceived by Bill Wood, WB6FXJ) to accomplish with one receiver and one transmitter what would conventionally require four receivers, four transmitters, and four additional frequencies. The link repeater is fully self-contained, including duplexer and battery power, in a 7" high x 19" wide x 11" deep specially fabricated cabinet. Design, fabrication, assembly and checkout were done by Bill Wood with assistance from the Goldstone and JPL ARC's.
The link repeater uses a scanning concept to alternately switch between 224.04 and 223.96 looking for a valid signal. When the linking function is enabled, and a signal is received from either WR6APS or WR6AZN, the link will automatically retransmit that signal to the opposite repeater. When the user drops his carrier, the link repeater detects this and switches back to the other side and starts scanning again for another signal from a user.
When user control of the link is enabled, a touchtone # for one second, followed by 9 will bring up the link, while a # 0 will drop the link. The link repeater will respond to a valid control input with a verification tone one second long after the controlling station drops his carrier. If an interrupted tone is heard, the link configuration cannot be changed by a user. If a verification tone is not received back, the touch-tone signals may have been distorted or off-frequency. Persons accessing the link repeater should identify themselves before making a change in link status and after completing the link so that persons on the far end will be aware of the presence of the link. Those bringing up the link should take the link back down after using it or ask someone else to take it over for further use. Use of the link during the heavy morning and afternoon commuting periods should be kept to a minimum.
Since the link repeater only transmits in one direction at a time, breaks must be timed carefully. If you wish to break after a station at the far end of the link, press your mike button immediately after the "beep," then wait a half second with the mike button still pressed, then announce the break by giving your call once. When breaking after a station on your end of the link, press your mike button immediately after the station stops transmitting, wait the half second then give your call. This procedure will ensure that you have the maximum chance to be heard on both ends of the link.
If the link is inadvertently left up and the repeater on the far end is busy when you want to use the repeater on your end, break in and advise the people on the far end that you will be taking down the link. The link is intended to expand the capabilities of both repeaters and not to tie up both when only one is needed.
The next major Goldstone ARC project will be the installation of a 220 MHz repeater at the Goldstone facility proper. This repeater will operate on the same frequency as the JPL WR6APS repeater (222.44 in/ 224.04 out) and will be linked to the Table Mountain repeater, WR6AZN. It will completely cover the Goldstone complex (There are presently many shadowed areas from Table Mtn. at Goldstone - Ed.) and should be usable in the China Lake/ Ridgecrest area as well as the surrounding upper desert area. It will increase the emergency communications capability of the link by providing "handi-talkie" coverage between Goldstone and JPL.
On the Goldstone club finance front, the many equipment improvements as well as the recent construction of the 220 link repeater has kept the Goldstone club treasury largely in the red (at this time we are about $500 in debt.) Goldstone ARC Associate Membership for 1978 is available to any interested amateur who helps out the club with a $10 contribution. JPLARC members can become full members of the Goldstone ARC. Support from many hams over the past year has made possible the systems now operating. Your continued support will be greatly appreciated. Make checks payable to: Goldstone Amateur Radio Club and mail to Box 789, Barstow, Ca. 92311 or send in JPL internal mail to Bill Wood, DSCC/07
2 Meters on Table Mountain.
Use of the 147.93/.33 two-meter repeater has increased steadily since the start of operation last year. As of this writing (March 8 - Ed.) there are approximately 75 regular users taking advantage of the unique coverage of this fine repeater. For the most part, this growth in usage has been orderly and well controlled. However, on 7 March an incident occurred that brought into sharp focus the fact that Table Mountain is operating on 147.93/.33 only with the kind cooperation of our ham friends south of the border; on that day amateurs in Baja California were using XE2RBC to coordinate emergency activities in the aftermath of the heavy rainstorms that devastated much of the Tijuana area. During the evening interference was experienced from users of our repeater in the Long Beach/ Huntington Beach area. Several attempts by English speaking Mexican hams were made to try to get a clear frequency. These repeated requests went unheeded and as a result, our two meter repeater was shut down for the rest of the night so that XE2RBC could continue the vital relaying of emergency communications.
The two-meter repeater on Table Mountain is there on a strictly noninterference basis to the operation of XE2RBC. If we are to continue two-meter operation (and there are no other viable frequencies for us at this time,) the cooperation of all people using the repeater is necessary. Our friends from Mexico have been most patient and tolerant of our operation up to now. We must redouble our efforts in this area if we are to keep this spirit of mutual cooperation alive. (Tnx Goldstone ARC Newsletter, WB6FXJ, WA6PEA.)
BOARD MEETING HIGHLIGHTS
The March 22 JPLARC Board meeting had the following in attendance:
- Jay Bastow, K6CV Jim Lumsden, WA6MYJ
- Gene Breazier, WD6EEM Merv MacMedan, N6NO
- Gordon Crawford, WB6DRH George Morris, W6ABW
- Walt Diem, WA6PEA Dick Piety, K6SVP
- Bob Edmonds, K6ELH Ron Reasoner, N6QV
- Mike Griffin, N6WU Ralph West, N6YM
- Jay Holladay, W6EJJ Nash Williams, W6HCD
Jim Lumsden presided, with the first business consisting of Board approval of three off-lab memberships. Dick LaBelle, W6FXN and Skip Reymann, W6PAJ were renewals; Mike Santana, WB6TEB was accepted as a new member. Jim pointed out that "retired" employees are not counted by ERC as "off lab" members for purposes of establishing our off-lab quota.
Jim was also pleased to announce that he has obtained another benefit for your measly $2 membership fee. For club-related projects, such as contest operation of W6VIO, you may drive on-lab during other than normal working hours by showing the guard your badge and JPLARC membership card. FB!
Walt Diem, WA6PEA was appointed Repeater Trustee.
Jay Holladay reported that Ron Ploszaj would start a Novice Class in April. Details elsewhere.
Mike Griffin is having ERC print us some specially designed Club Station Logbooks for W6VIO that are more appropriate to a club station than the usual ARRL Log Book. These will have space for Control Operator signatures, etc. He also reported on our successful DX contest operation: 107,000 points and 100 band-countries.
Jim Lumsden reported that the financial situation has finally been settled on the Jamsat Transponder aircraft test flight. After contributions from the other sources were all accounted for, the JPLARC share of the expenses came to $39.
Walt Diem announced that WR6APS is having a net at 8 pm Monday nights for Club News and another at 8 pm Wednesday nights for OSCAR News. These were started March 13 and are conducted with the link up so that our desert friends may listen and participate via WR6AZN at Table Mountain. (Tnx N6YM)
JPLARC NOVICE CLASS TO START
In response to several requests, an on-lab Novice licensing course will begin in April. The initial meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 18 in Von Karman Auditorium, beginning at Noon. Full details of the class will be announced at that time, and there will be a showing of the 12-minute film "Moving Up To Amateur Radio." Tell your CB friends and others who have expressed interest in amateur radio!
Education Committee Chairman Ron Ploszaj, WA6TPW, will be the class coordinator. Ron is looking for a couple of additional associate instructors lesson plans and other material are already available. Any volunteers? Call Ron at x4429. (W6EJJ)
SIXTH DISTRICT QSL BUREAU MOVES
The Sixth District QSL Bureau address has been changed from W6LS to the following: Sixth District DX-QSL Bureau P.O. Box 1460 Sun Valley, California 91352 All cards and envelopes on file have been moved to the new address, but if you send new envelopes, please use this address from now on.
ARRL NOTES By Jay Holladay, W6EJJ
Repeater Regulations Changes (Docket 21033).
On Wednesday, March 22, the FCC acted on the eight petitions for reconsideration in Docket 21033, and on other matters pending. There has been no official release from the Commission yet, but a summary of their actions is this:
a) Amateurs would be allowed to operate repeater, control, and auxiliary link stations using their primary station licenses, as adopted by the Commission in the original Report and Order. This effectively makes permanent the rule waiver presently in effect. A minor change was made to allow repeaters to identify on CW by using /R as an alternative to /RPT.
b) Technicians will be authorized to use all amateur frequency privileges above 50 MHz. This was accomplished by a Second Report and Order in Docket 20282. Another, somewhat unrelated, action in Docket 20282 was to make the term of the Novice License five years, renewable. The effective date is not yet known, but could not be sooner than late April.
c) The FCC opened up new subbands for repeater use, but reserved specific segments for nonrepeater use. In addition to the present repeater subbands, the following frequencies will be available for repeater operation: 144-5 to 145.5 MHz and all frequencies above 220 MHz with the exception of 220.0 to 220.5, 431 to 433, and 435 to 438 MHz. These new allocations will not be in effect until the effective date of FCC action, which will be announced over WlAW.
RF Amplifier Ban.
The FCC took action on February 16 to ban the manufacture, importation, and marketing of any external amplifier capable of operation from 24 to 35 MHz. Also, type acceptance of HF power amplifiers marketed for use in the Amateur Radio Service will be instituted. Amplifiers currently owned by amateurs will be exempted and may continue to be bought and sold. Effective date for the new regulations is April 28, 1978.
W6EJJ has a copy of the complete Report and Order (Dockets 21116 and 21117) or you can obtain a copy from ARRL Headquarters. The League is planning to request reconsideration of at least the amplifier ban; further information will be provided when it is available.
March 1 FCC License Figures:
- Novice 56,915 Advanced 77,892
- Technician 65,250 Extra 18,942
- General 113,271 Total 332,270
There are, for comparison, 12,808,341 CB permits extant as of the same date.
MEXICAN HAM CONVENTION SCHEDULED
The 1978 convention of LMRE (Liga Mexicana de Radio Experimentadores) will be held in Morelia, Michoacan, at the new Hotel Morelos from May 25 through May 27. Those interested should contact Duke Ellington, W60ZD, at (213)-3503511. Temporary operating permits will be obtainable. (Tnx W6HCD)
ANTENNA 0F THE M0NTH
Because of the number of antenna ideas recently submitted, your editor has decided to have an "Antenna of the Month" feature instead of an "Antenna Issue." Do you have a pet antenna. idea worth sharing? Let's hear from you, tool Now for our feature this month ...
220 MHz 5/8 WAVE ANTENNA CONVERSION FROM A CB OR VHF ANTENNA
By Mike Santana, WB6TEB
Nearly all base-loaded CB mobile antennas are copies of the original Antenna Specialties design that has a vertical radiator 39 inches long (including spring) and a bottom housing containing a loading coil consisting of 24-1/2 turns close-wound with a tap at 3 turns from the bottom.
Modification of this antenna for 220 MHz requires removal of the press-fit PVC (plastic) tube cover. On some antennas, this tube is glued on and tapping the exterior with a hammer first will ease the removal of the plastic cover.
Remove turns and spread out the loading coil so it consists of 5-1/2 turns equally spaced. Install the tap at 1-112 turns from the bottom. The whip length should be approximately 28-1/16 inches long, measured as shown. (For 220 MHz, don't use the spring - it begins to look like an inductor!) Adjust length for best SWR. If not mounting this antenna on a car body, remember to provide a suitable ground plane.
Conversions for other bands. The original antenna may be converted to 10-meter use by simply cutting the whip for lowest SWR. The spring should be left on in this case. For a 5/8-wave 2-meter antenna, the loading coil must be modified as above, but it should have a total of 10 turns equally spaced, with the tap at 2 turns from the bottom. The whip, including spring, should be approximately 39 inches long. Adjust for best SWR.
Bulk purchase: Speakers in mobile enclosure, $4.19 ea; Power supplies (Regulated, 13.8v nominal, 12.6v loaded, including speaker in cabinet w/opening for CB radio overcurrent resistor set for 2.5 amp, but can handle up to 3-5 amp intermittent) $21.15; CB antennas (similar to type described in article above) $5.25 ea; Larsen Antenna group purchase - outstanding prices, purchase not to be repeated in near future. Contact Ron Ploszaj, WA6TPW, x4429. These will close very soon - don't delay!
Instruction manual and schematic for SBE-33 Transceiver and Power Supply, to copy and return unharmed. Pete Hoover, W6ZH, 793-8791
LOS ANGELES SECTION COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER
As most of you know, our former President, Stan Brokl, K6YYQ (now N2YQ) was elected last fall as Los Angeles SCM of ARRL. Unfortunately, he moved to the East Coast before he could barely get started in his office. ARRL has appointed his runner-up as the new SCM to fulfill his term. Please offer your support and send your activity reports to Perry Masterson, W6RHS, 485 South Euclid Ave., Pasadena, Calif. 91101. Perry's telephone is 793-8557.
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