THANKS AGAIN, STAN ...
Many thanks to Stan Hench, WB6JMP, for the professional touch he gave our "amateur" newsletter last month. Stan took care of all the graphics and copy preparation and was about to perform that function on a monthly basis making the newsletter staff grow to two people. Unfortunately for us, but fortunately for him, Stan got promoted to a big new job which will not permit him to continue. As Stan put it, he will become a "smoking word machine" writing reports for the Department of Energy's Photovoltaics Program, of which JPL is the lead center for development. We all wish Stan the best and hope he will at least find a moment to read the newsletter thru the smoke of his new position!
WA6MYJ (1.) and W6MZR make good use of the lab's Cherry Picker to remove the old 4-pole Cushcraft antenna at WR6APR. More photos inside. (photos by WA6MYJ)
WR6APR ANTENNA WORK PARTY By Mike Griffin, N6WU
If you've noticed a change for the better in coverage by the club's repeater WR6APR, don't start looking for the cause in your receiver or antenna system. The improvement is the result of a work party, which, on February 17, installed a new antenna system at the mesa site of WR6APR. This effort was the first phase of the long-awaited upgrading of APR to autopatch capability.
The new antenna is a Phelps-Dodge Super Stationmaster with a reflector aligned to produce a null in the direction of the mountains behind the lab. It features considerably higher gain, broader bandwidth, and generally better construction than the antenna we had previously. On the air checks by Walt, WA6PEA, shortly after installation indicate at least a 3 db improvement. This measured performance is backed up by subjective checks by several members who report substantially improved coverage in all directions.
The next phase is the installation of a new building to house the repeater, this time right at the base of the telephone pole supporting the antenna. This step alone should improve performance even further, as a substantial coax run will be eliminated. The new building is an ex- guard shack, located for the club by the ever-resourceful Glenn Berry, K6GHJ. It should be relocated by the time you read this.
Many thanks to the members who showed up for the work party. It's a familiar group, with Jay, K6CV; Rex, WD6EWN; Warren, K6GPK; Stan, N6MP; Jim, WA6MYJ; Bob, W6MZR; Ron, WA6TPW; and Mike, N6WU. It should also be pointed out that Merv, N6NO, did a first-rate job of planning the event and arranging for participants and equipment. The real star of the operation itself was, of course, Bob Biswell, who ran the cherry-picker with a definitely professional style and panache.
W6MZR, N6WU and K6GPK put finishing touches on the new Super Stationmaster by attaching the 7/8" hardline to the drip loop. WA6MYJ photo) A super installation! Structure to right of antenna is a reflector to reduce amount of signal directed towards the mountains to the north. (WA6MYJ photo.)
MINUTES OF FEBRUARY BOARD MEETING
By Ron Zenone, W6TUZ
A JPL Amateur Radio Club Board Meeting was held on February 28, 1979 at 12:00 noon in 238-543. Attendees included N6WU, N6NO, W6ABW, WA6MYJ, K6PGX, K6SVP, K6GHJ, K6GPK and W6TUZ. Minutes of the January Board Meeting (see January 1979 issue of W6VlO CALLING) were read and approved.
Additional repairs have been performed on the Clegg FM-DX rig which had been borrowed by the club from W6HCD and accidentally damaged during 1978 Field Day operations. A motion for the club to pay repair costs ($39.14) was carried by the Board. Action to close out this matter will be taken by the Treasurer.
Glenn Berry reported that members of a recent work party had nicely cleaned up a pad area on top of the mesa. This pad is to be the relocation site for the building that houses WR6APR. Someone commented further that the same work party had installed a new antenna for the repeater.
The club, as announced by Jim Lumsden, has been granted permission to install the 40-meter beam antenna. Mounting support brackets are presently being fabricated. Jim will be forming a work party to erect the antenna in the near future.
K6GHJ reported that "blue dot locks" are being installed on doors to Tl309 and 171-B8. On-lab members having a valid amateur radio license may obtain a new key by contacting the Secretary. A requester who does not currently have an "old" club-key will have to be checked out on equipment expected to be operated before a key will be issued.
The nagging concern of protecting club equipment from theft was discussed. Some of the ideas offered included getting equipment insurance and installing a card-key/reader to secure access and record entries. A question was also raised regarding financial responsibilities and reimbursement capability of the club if equipment belonging to a member were loaned to the club and stolen. It was concluded that there is no easy solution to the basic problem. Relative to this matter, club members who care to offer suggestions should contact a board member.
N6WU is to author and submit a memo to JPL Security regarding equipment stolen from the club. As appropriate, serial numbers will be listed in the memo.
A renewal request submitted to the board by Steve Warner (WA6TUB) was reviewed per club policy and accepted. It was noted that Steve is the second individual to renew off-lab membership this year.
George Morris offered for consideration a thought to have the club create a special category or class of Associate Membership which would have limited club privileges (repeater use only). Time not permitting, further discussion on the subject was postponed. The meeting was adjourned at this point.
LAST CALL FOR DUES
Dues for club membership in 1979 are payable on January 1 and overdue by February 1. C'mon, gang, you've had a free ride long enough this year. Get your measly $2 over to the Treasurer, Warren Apel, K6GPK, at mail stop 114-118 right away. We want to run an updated membership list in the newsletter, but if you don't pay now, you won't get any more of this good stuff to read! Fair enough?
Congratulations to Jay Holladay, W6EJJ, upon being appointed to the League's Long Range Planning Committee. Jay has long been an advocate of a strong long range planning function and the creation of this committee was partly due to his efforts. It is headed by Vic Clark, W4KFC, and also includes W1RU, W3JPT and W6ZH.
ARRD dues to rise April 1, following ARRL Board approval of the needed increase to maintain the current level of membership services at the January meeting. The current membership rate of $12 per year will jump to $18 per year at that time, a 50%~ increase, If you are promptly, however, you can still save money by prepaying memberships for up to 5 years ahead at special rates: $12 for one year, $23 for two years, $33 for three years, $43 for four years and $53 for five years. Alternatively, depending on how long you think you will live, you may save money in the long run by becoming a life member. The savings here is significant: current rate is $300, while after April I the price goes to $450. The JPLARC makes it a little easier to pay -you may pay through the club treasurer, in which case the club gets a small rebate from the League, and you save postage and mailing. See Warren Apel, K6GPK, 114-118, x7733.
JOGGING CLUB SUPPORT CALL
By Jim Lumsden, WA6MYJ
Here is a "Joggoned!' (?) good way to help your club without much effort:
- When: Friday, 30 March 1979, at Noontime
- Where: Oak Grove Park - East Parking Lot
- Who: You! The JPL Amateur Radio Club and The JPL Jogging Club
- Why: To provide status and safety communications
The Jogging Club was impressed with the radio support we provided at their Rose Bowl run last fall and has solicited our club's support for their big spring "Microthon," the 5th Annual Arroyo Seco Freako. This 3-mile Jog-For-Fun event begins at noon sharp with the joggers starting in Oak Grove Park, crossing Devil's Gate Dam, proceeding to the north end of the East Parking Lot and returning. The return route may or may not be the same (if not too wet, they will cross the arroyo for return to Oak Grove Park.) Last year's event had approximately 70 runners.
Anticipated radio support will be to communicate the "start" command simultaneously to several check points on the course so elapsed time watches can be started synchronously. Each checkpoint can then provide the runners with elapsed time information along the course. The lead runners names will also be radioed back to the start/finish line for spectator information. An important aspect of the club's participation will be to provide safety communications should a mishap occur on the course.
Here is a very easy was to help the club AND participate in a club activity. Doesn't take much time, either (11:30 to 12:30) Both hand-helds and mobiles are required. Contact Jim Lumsden at x6726 Mon & Tue, x5869 Wed & Thurs, and pot luck on Fridays. Mail stop 125-224 always works. See you there!
JPL AMATEUR RADIO CLUB POLICY REGARDING OFF-LAB MEMBERSHIP
In response to several requests, the following is a copy of the Club's policy regarding non-employee members. If this is reduced too far for your weary eyes to read, the Secretary has full-sized copies for your perusal. See Ron Zenone, W6TUZ, x3444.
Membership in the JPL Amateur Radio Club is available to all employees of the California Institute of Technology (CIT) and its contract employees. Such personnel are considered "on-lab" members. This specifically includes CIT retirees and those retired because of medical disability.
A contract employee is a person whose normal, full-time or regular part-time work is in support of the California institute of Technology, with responsibility to and supervision by CIT personnel, but who is actually employed by a third party under contract to CIT. This definition of a contract employee excludes those whose work at CIT is transient In nature or on an irregularly scheduled basis. Thus, those personnel on maintenance or service contracts which require routine but infrequent visits to CIT Installations are not considered to be contract employees. Such personnel do not normally have the time and opportunity to participate in club meetings, activities, and other functions expected of regular club members. Persons who are neither regular nor contract employees of CIT are eligible for off-lab membership if qualified according to the criteria listed below.
The basic criterion for off-lab membership shall be the applicant's real or potential value the JPL Amateur Radio Club. Each application for off-lab membership will be decided by action of the Board of Directors. Board members are instructed by this policy to consider such applications in terms of the following:
1. The applicant's past participation, or willingness to participate, in various club activities such as Field Day, Solar Energy Fair, training classes. community service activities, etc.. or the applicant's interest in and capability to provide technical assistance on various JPL-ARC projects.
2. Other factors which may be deemed relevant by the Board of Directors in individual cases.
The Intent of this policy is to allow possible off-lab membership for those with a continuing interest in a variety of club activities, and who might be an asset to the club in a variety of ways.
Off-lab membership must at all times be kept within the guidelines imposed by the JPL Employee Recreation Club. Should off-lab membership reach these limits, priority will be accorded to renewal of prior membership before acceptance of new applicants, provided such renewal is consistent with the criteria above.
This policy is consistent with the JPL Amateur Radio Club's status as part of the Employee Recreation Club, while allowing for such off-lab membership as may Me in the interests of both the off-lab member i'd the JPL-ARC.
PHOTO OF THE MONTH
Here's a neat photo submitted by Jim Longthorne, WA6XPW. Jim took it last fall during the JPLARC supported "100 Mile Bicycling Experience" up Angeles Crest Highway. Our club supplied the radio communications. According to Jim, it shows two modes of transportation, two hobbies, and two clubs working together for the betterment of both, Tnx, Jim!
FM & REPEATERS
The old standby repeater publication of ARRL, FM and Repeaters for the Radio Amateur has been regroomed, updated and improved to keep pace with new technology developments. The new edition is called For the Radio Amateur, FM & Repeaters, and has just become available for $5. There are a number of significant changes from the previous issue that make it worth considering even for those who have the older one.
Most of the chapters are the same, although with some updating to delete obsolete designs and replace them with more modern ones. Two new chapters have been added: one on "Dealing with Interference" and the other on "Repeater-Control Systems Using Microprocessors." The latter is a collection of two articles, the first describing in general what microprocessors can do for you COR, 3-minute timer, CW ID timer, end tail, Morse code ID, autopatch control routine, remote shutdown, 10 minute ID reminder signal, etc.) The second is a specific example, using a 6800 microprocessor and includes the complete program. The new edition was edited by James Kearman, WIXZ, and appears in the new 8-1/2 x 11 (WT) size. If you don't have one, all 176 pages will be of interest to you. If you have an old one, you may wish to update to new technology. (N6NO)
VOYAGER SPECIAL EVENT
As of this writing, the Voyager Special Event operation at W6VIO is in full swing. Slow-Scan and SSB have been received particularly well when "the gang gut there" realized what was going on. Unfortunately, the lack of a special call really hurts on CW where it is hard to attract attention without one. Surprisingly, when your editor tried CW, CQ's went unanswered on 21030 and 144D30, but when I changed to the Novice band (21l3O) and went to low power a consecutive string of QSOs resulted, including a comment from one youngster that he would really like to work on a space project like Voyager when he grew up and got an occupation! By the time you read this the event will be over for Voyager 1, but we hope to have more pictures and stories about the operation in the next issue.
SUNFIRE STATUS REPORT
The Sunfire Project is a 5 to 8 kW solar generator being built by the JPL Explorer Post (Boy Scouts) for use by the residents of Pitcairn Island, the home of the descendants of the Bounty mutineers in the South Pacific ocean. Their supply of fossil fuel is getting critically low in these energy-less days and they desperately need an alternative form of energy.
The builders expect to ship the equipment (about 25,000 pounds of it!) shortly after the June graduation of the team members. They will remain on Pitcairn about two months erecting the daytime-only part of the system. A second trip, 8 to 14 months later will be needed to install batteries and conversion equipment for 24 hour service. Development is being coordinated by ham radio through W6VIO with Tom Christian, VR6TC, the leader of the islanders. (Tnx W7MDF)
NEW RULES ISSUE AVAILABLE
A brand new edition of FCC's Amateur Radio rules, updated to January, 1979, has just gone on sale at the Government Printing Office. The revised part 97 is stock number 004-000-00357-8, and price postpaid is $1.40. Write Superintendent of Documents, GPO, Washington, D.C., 20402. (Tnx HR Report.)
CLUB CRYSTAL BANK
The following crystals are available for your convenience from the Club's Crystal Bank for Midland 13-509, Clegg FM-76 and Cobra 200 220 MHz rigs:
- 222T34 223R94 WA6NTW/RPT Los Angeles
- 222T36 223R96 WR6AZN Table Mtn. (Wrightwood)
- 222T44 224RO4 WR6APS La Canada
- 222T48 224R08 WR6APR La Canada
- 222T82 224R42 WR6AAA Santa Catalina
- 222T84 224R44 WR6AOY South Pasadena
- 223-44D (T & R) JPL simplex channel
- 224TO4 222R44 WR6APS-Reverse pair
- 224TO8 222R48 WR6.APR-Reverse pair
Also available is one set of WR6APR (222T48 / 224RO8) crystals for a Wilson 2202 SM handi-talkie
The cost for any of the above is $10.00 per pair. Contact Ron Ploszaj, WA6TPW, x7447 for purchase or additional information.
Icom IC-22A, 2-meter, 10-watt FM transceiver, including crystals for 34/94, 94/94, 52/52, 22/82, and 28/88. In original box, never used: $185. Additional crystals for IC-22A available at $10/pair:
- 145T3O 145R30 RACES County Common
- 145T66 145R30 RACES Repeater
- 145T42 145R42 RACES Crescenta Valley
- 146TOI 146R61 WR6ABB Hollywood Hills
- 146T04 146R64 WR6ACF San Diego
- 146TI6 146R76 WR6AFX Barstow
- 146T25 146R85 WR6ACJ Crestline
- 146T46 146R46 Remote intertie
- 146T76 146R76 Simplex
- 146T34 146R34 Simplex
- 146T82 146R82 WR6ACD Output (Pomona)
- 147T69 147RO9 WR6AAA Catalina Island
- 147T72 147R12 WR6ADH Autopatch
- 147T93 147R33 XE2RBC Tijuana, Mexico
- 147T435/ 146R4O WR6AMD Mt. Wilson
Please contact Merrill Burnett, K6BER, x6441 or mail stop 201l-225
ANTENNA OF THE MONTH
Build this one for less than two bucks and it always works! A quarter wave ground plane is made on an inverted SO-239 coax chassis receptacle by soldering in the vertical quarter wave wire to the center pin, and screwing or soldering the radials to the four mounting holes. For 220Mhz, #12 house wiring solid copper wire ("TW") is stiff enough and is 8 cents a foot at Ole's. Run the feedline up through a piece of PVC tubing and connect through a PL-259 connector to the antenna. A vent pipe TV mast clamp holds the PVC tubing in place and the feedline, running inside, is invisible. Black vinyl tape holds the antenna and its coax connector on top of the PVC mast. You hear this antenna daily from HK4CVV/W6; a copy for the VHF Marine Band was used in my boat and it too worked fine. SWR is around 1.2 to 1.4. (N6NO)
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