Date: Wednesday, May 14, l980
Time: 12:00 Noon
FIELD DAY UPDATE
Have you filled out your Field Day questionnaire from the March issue of W6VIO Calling? The nationwide ARRL Field Day will take place on June 28-29 and although we could not compete last year because of a conflict with the Voyager Commemorative, your club has exciting plans for this year's fun activity.
Our guest speaker will be John Walsh, N6UK, who is the club's 1980 Field Day Chairman. He will introduce us to what FD is all about, review the new rules for the competition and describe what the "W6VIO Approach" will be.
Arroyo Seco Microthon, by Art Zygielbaum, WA6SAL
Due to the timely (read "planned"?) illness of George Morris, W6ABW, I was asked to honcho the JPL ARC's contribution to the Arroyo Seco Microthon on April 1. Sponsored by the JPL Joggers, this 6th rendition of the noon-time event gave us a chance to test our ability to calmly provide communications to people getting a real run around. (Some people can really work up a sweat on April Fools Day).
Fortunately, there were no disasters on the 4.2 mile course. Therefore our communications were limited to "where's the last runner now?" In any case, I would like to recognize the following people who so unselfishly concerned themselves with the safety of others: Walt Diem, WA6PEA, Bob Gosline, AE6S; Jay Holladay, W6EJJ; Dick Piety, K6SVP; and Ron Zenone, W6TUZ.
Flee to the Flea Market!
The JPL ARC is planning a small flea market/ swap meet of club member-owned radio equipment. Present plans call for a "back of the station wagon" type qf market with a 10% off-the-top profit from the seller to go to the club.
The market will be held at Dick Piety's house, 4377 Cobblestone Lane in La Canada, near Foothill Intermediate School on Saturday, June 7 from 9:00 am to 12.:00 noon. Talk-in on WR6APS. Come one and all!!
Operators Needed for JPL Open House
The Club has been asked to set up and operate an amateur station during the gala JPL Open House on May 31 and June 1. Two stations are planned for display; an "attention-getter" in the mall which will probably consist of a solar-powered VHF station, and the W6VIO club station in the trailer where slow-scan will be the main attraction. Operators are needed for both these stations on both days during the period 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Contact Jim Lumsden, x6726, to participate.
Loan Key Policy
A key to the W6VIO trailer is now available for short-term loan, i.e. overnight or weekend, from Jim Lumsden (x6726, office 233-111B). Borrowers must still be checked out on equipment per normal club policy prior to use.
Contributions for the June issue of W6VIO Calling should be sent to Merv MacMedan N6NO, at M/S 14-129. Your editor, the Fates allowing, will be wandering around the Isle of Man, among other places, with the intention of activating GD5DHU!!!
Minutes-of Board Meeting, by Norm Chalfin, K6PGX
A club board meeting was conducted on April 23, 1980 at 12:00 noon in 238-543. Present were N6MP, K6PGX, W6ABW, WA6MYJ, WB6EKO, AUK, N6BF, N6NO, N6AVW and W6EJJ.
John McKinney reported that he had entered the club finances into a data base and that henceforth readouts would be easier to obtain.
Jim Lumsden discussed the equipment checkout key to be issued to individuals who were checked out to use the equipment in the club station. As Facilities Manager, Jim will control the signing out of the key. The checkout list would be against the key list that Ron Zenone maintains. The sign out log should be entered by anyone using the key. A statement of agreement not to loan the key to anyone else will be expected from each user. Action was deferred until after a phone canvass of Board members.
There was discussion of a club contribution to Westlink in return for the use of the Westlink tapes on the club Tuesday News Net. It was suggested that the Repeater Committee be approached for the contribution. A $10 was suggested.
The meeting was adjourned by W6ABW.
Equipment Committee Update, by Jim Lumsden, WA6MYJ
This article is intended only for those who are interested in the future of the club station. Obviously, a single station cannot provide everything that everyone would like to have in a station; but with the current goal of 3 HF (10-80 meter) positions +2 VHF/UHF/OSCAR positions, we can come close to providing what is really wanted by the club.
As most of you know, our HF rigs are old and in marginal condition; our antennas are almost nonexistent. We have the financial opportunity to upgrade significantly, almost painlessly. The Board wants to purchase the right equipment, equipment you will use.
An Equipment Committee has been meeting frequently over the past few months to establish some guidelines for the upgrade. It was agreed that the major potential uses of the station are:
- 1. Commemoratives
- 2. Novice use
- 3. Contests
- 4. Opportunity for members to use equipment not available at home
- 5. Field Day and off-site uses
The trail of refurbishment complete in 1978 provided for two main operating positions at the east end of the trailer, and room for several others at convenient spacings along the trailer sides. The layout has proven adequate and fully capable of efficient operating during peak activities.
Now comes the toughest part: you have to help us in deciding what rigs and antennas to buy. We want you to tell us whether the direction we are heading is right or wrong. We are open for suggestions concerning both the class of equipment and the specific models considered.
The recommendation of the committee is to provide good, solid, operationally basic rigs with few bells and whistles as follows:
1. YAESU FT-101 - Prime with phone capabilities. We currently have this rig, complete with CW filter, external VFO, Keyer, phone patch, and 1 KW DC Amplifier.
2. Kenwood 520SE - Prime phone/SSTV station with CW capabilities. This would replace the KWM-2A currently in use at this position. A CW filter, phone patch, and remote VFO would be included. It would drive the Collins 30SI 1 kW DC amplifier.
3. Kenwood l20S - Basis station with phone and CW capabilities. No amplifier. Would include external VFO.
Items 2 and 3 above would be purchased, item 1 is already on hand. The KWM 2A transceiver will be returned to the Emergency Command Station in Building 171 and the 32Sl transmitter and 51S1 receiver would return to the trailer to support the OSCAR station. The IC-211 all-mode 2 meter transceiver and Midland 13-513 synthesized 220 MHz transceiver will equip the VHF/UHF positions.
Now for the really tough part: ANTENNAS. We have to develop two antenna sites 300 feet apart, each with multiple antennas. The use of a 3 position relay at the end of each of the 4 hardline coax lines running uphill gives us a tremendous potential of 12 antennas. These relays are controlled by applying voltage to the RF conduction in the coax, so we don't have to run any additional control lines. Through the use of the patch panel in the trailer, any antenna is available to any operating position.
Again, specific antennas have not been selected, but we want inputs to guide us. Here is the basic concept:
LINE 1: Phone Pole: - Triband beam *
- 40 mtr beam
- Dipole system #
LINE 2: Tower - Triband beam
- Hygain lO-80 mtr
HiTower on each
- 2 mtr ground plane *
LINE 3: Water Tank: - 10-80 mtr vertical
on west water tank
- Sloping-dipole guy
wires on tower?
LINE 4: Water Tank: - 2 mtr 5/8 wave collinear
- 220 MHz antenna *
*Indicates antennas to be purchased.
#Indicates antennas to be fabricated.
Now, here is my soap box: I realize I have not made a convenient check-off form to be clipped out and returned. We want and need your personal participation, no matter how great or small. Buying the rigs is going to be the easy part, but they won't talk very far without a radiator at the end of the coax. We realize that someone has to draw the big picture so that you can volunteer to do some small part. We are trying. Please help us. The November Commemorative will be another biggie. Contact:
WA6MYJ Jim Lumsden X6726 233-lO3 W6ABW George Morris X7066 238-420 K6SVP Dick Piety X2298 158-205 N6MP Stan Sander X2625 l83-6Ol N6NO Merv MacMedan x7264 114-129 W6EJJ Jay Holladay x4443 233-208
220 SMA, by Walt Diem WA6PEA
The 220 Spectrum Management Association of Southern California quarterly meeting was held on April 19th at the Los Angeles Water and Power building, 111 So. Hope.
The 220 SMA is the nationally recognized organization responsible for the band plan and coordination of repeater and relay station frequencies for the 220 MHz band in Southern California.
The membership adopted a proposed change in the band plan adding an additional 50KHz for weak signal/DX communications. This brings the total allocated for weak signal/DX communication to 390 KHz. The revised band plan now provides 19.8% of the band for non-relay direct communication. The significance of the change cannot be appreciated until one understands that 10 auxiliary links had to change frequency. This required considerable time and effort of the Coordination Board to determine suitable available frequencies and to coordinate the changes. It also required cooperation of all the Amateurs involved in the operation of the affected auxiliary links.
Since the publication of a band plan, some Amateurs have criticized the 220 SMA for allocating so much of the spectrum for repeaters and auxiliary links. What these Amateurs do not realize is that prior to the inception of the 220 SMA in July 1978, relay type stations were sanctioned on almost every even 20KHz frequency and many odd 10 KHz frequencies between 220 and 225 MHz. The 220 SMA is trying to provide equitable portions of the band for all modes of operation. To accomplish this, many existing systems have changed frequency and are now using the reduced spectrum on a shared co-channel basis.
Another significant event was the adoption of a condensed Constitution and By-Laws. The purpose of the change from the original Constitution and By-Laws was to reduce the cost of providing every member with a copy as required in the By-Laws.
The Coordination Board consists of eight elected members on a rotating basis. Walt Diem, WA6PEA, announced previously that he would not accept re-nomination. Newly elected Coordination Board members are Marsh Hall, K6MEF, and Doug Stanfield WA6ATE.
President Ray Von Neuman, K6PUW, discussed the 220 SMA's formal submittal of "Comments on FCC Docket 80-1 the "Waterways" Docket. This Docket proposed to allocate 216 to 220/225 MHz for maritime mobile use on the Mississippi River. This Docket proposed 25 KHz channel spacing with 3 MHz duplex separation. Investigation disclosed that if this plan is adopted, future needs will expand into the Amateur Band. The 220 SMA submitted "Comments" regarding the technical requirements for channel spacing and duplex separation. The submittal pointed out that Amateurs have successfully been operating with 20 KHz channel spacing and both 1.6 and 1.2 MHz duplex separation. The "Comments" illustrated the significant increase in channels obtainable by using the narrower spacing and the advantages in spectrum conservation. The significance of this to the Amateur Service is that use of the proposed spectrum conservation methods would provide sufficient channels below 220 MHz to accommodate future expansion of the proposed Waterways System. Members involved in the preparation of the "Comments" were Ray Von Neuman (K6PUW), Spud Monohan (K6KH), Al Acken (WA6KMQ), and Walt Diem (WA6PEA).
The 220 SMA General Membership meets quarterly and the Coordination Board meets monthly. Membership is open to all Amateurs. Amateurs interested in non-relay communications are especially encouraged to participate to maintain a proper balance with the more organized repeater interests. Dues are $8.00 per year. Membership applications are available from Walt Diem or by writing the 220 SMA at P.O. Box 8306, Van Nuys, CA 91409.
AMATEUR RADIO ACHIEVEMENTS SINCE 1965, AND EARLIER
Radio amateurs have contributed substantially to the electronics communications technology during the past 15 years. Through these noteworthy contributions to the art they have enhanced the value of amateur radio to the U.S. Government and the general public. This outline contains numerous examples of significant work done by amateurs, but not necessarily in the order of importance.
E.M.E. (Moonbounce): U.S. amateurs are responsible for the development and refinement of a new communications mode known as Moonbounce, or e.m.e. (earth-moon-earth). In this mode vhf, uhf and microwave CW and SSB signals have been transmitted via the moon's surfaces -- passive reflector fashion -- to distant points around the world. These distances would be impossible at vhf and higher by conventional means. Satellite communications are excepted in this discussion. Commensurate with the deployment of e.m.e. hardware came the development of sophisticated moon-tracking systems and low-noise, high-performance receiving equipment, inclusive of dual-sense antennas to compensate for left- and right-hand circularity of the transmitted and received waves (Faraday rotation).
Narrow-band FM Repeaters: Amateurs have developed sophisticated rival vhf and uhf narrow-band fm repeater systems (as equated to commercial land mobile repeater systems). These systems include telephone autopatching (Touch-Tone and dial pulse conversion methods), elaborate remote control systems and effective transmission monitoring methods. Some repeater systems contain emergency power back-up equipment that consists of solar-electric panels and storage batteries. Furthermore, the means has been developed to link repeaters for the purpose of maintaining reliable communications in time of national emergency from the West Coast to the East Coast. Systems have been developed also for remote visual inspection of repeater sites and operating equipment from a control point many miles distant. This can be done by means of amateur TV at microwave frequencies.
Microwave Techniques: Amateurs have long experimented in the microwave spectrum. Many of their techniques have been adopted by commercial designers. Currently, considerable developmental work is being conducted by amateurs at 10 GHz through the successful application of Gunn diodes in low power transceivers. A commercial version of such equipment is the "Gunn-plexer," manufactured by Microwave Associates Corp. Amateur work in the uhf and microwave spectrums has led to the development of some exceptional hardware, such as the "stressed parabolic reflector" by Richard Knadle, K2RIW.
Equipment performance improvements: Radio amateurs have been directly responsible for a continual upgrading of receiver and transmitter performance from the medium frequencies to microwaves. Amateurs have designed receivers which greatly exceed commercial, military and industrial receivers in terms of wide dynamic range, low noise and accessory features. The work done, for example by Hayward (W7ZOI) and D. DeMaw (WLFB) in modern high-performance receiver design -subsequently published in the amateur literature -has strongly influenced commercial interests to adopt those techniques. Similarly, amateurs have concentrated their design and developmental efforts in the area of spectral purity of transmitter emissions. This work has caused commercial manufacturers to vastly improve their products. Attention has been given emphasis in the area of incidental radiation from transmitter and receiver cabinets. This has greatly reduced the interference potential to commercial radio services and consumer electronics equipment. Part of the beneficial outgrowth of these amateur achievements has been the adoption of amateur derived interference filters (high-pass and low pass filters) and radiation suppression techniques by commercial manufacturers.
Narrow-band voice modulation: Amateurs have recently developed and perfected a new voice transmission mode known as "NBVM." In essence, the intelligence is digitized and processed to ensure, very narrow spectrum utilization during transmissions. The technique is essentially superior to the existing SSB transmission mode. Already, commercial operators and manufacturers are adopting this new system.
Slow-scan television: Amateurs are responsible for the development of a video transmission system known as SSTV (slow-scan television). Although the picture resolution is not as sharp as that of conventional fast-scan TV (used by commercial TV broadcasters), the integrity of the SSTV picture is excellent for non-entertainment, long-range communications in the high-frequency spectrum. The important aspect of SSTV is that the transmitted signal is as narrow in bandwidth as an SSB signal. Fast scan TV, on the other hand, requires several MHz of spectral bandwidth.
Class-E solid-state power amplifiers: N. Sokal (WAIHQC) recently developed and holds a patent for his Class E, linear amplifier. It offers the advantage of higher efficiency that that of previous modes, is exceptionally linear and has excellent spectral purity. Power amplifiers (radio frequency) of this type are especially suited to use in satellites.
Satellite Communications: Radio amateurs, through the cooperation and help of the U.S. space agencies, have done pioneering and developmental work with communications satellites. Several of these satellite packages have been designed and built exclusively by radio amateurs. They were launched through the courtesy of NASA, then used successfully for world-wide voice and CW communications. These satellites are known as OSCARs (orbiting satellite carrying amateur radio). A non-profit group of amateurs operating as AMSAT (the Radio Amateur Satellite Corp.) has overseen the development of the last three OSCAR satellites. There have been seven OSCARs launched thus far. Recent OSCARs contain telemetry facilities and transponders. They provide worldwide communications and serve as an educational instrument for the young people of America.
Low-power, miniature equipment: Radio amateurs have been responsible primarily for the design and development of highly compact and reliable HF-band QRP (low power) transmitters, receivers and transceivers. Such equipment is essential during times of local and national emergency. Many of the design concepts appear to commercial and military interests. One of the transmitter designs, for example, developed by D. DeMaw (W1FB) and published in QST Magazine, was of interest to the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. A government owned laboratory spokesman asked permission to duplicate the circuit for use as an encapsulated, throw-away field transmitter for short-distance jungle communications. Other amateur circuits have been of similar interest to the military. (from ARRL.)
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