HAROLD J. WHEELOCK, W6SCW, 1912-1981
Hal left Cedars-Sinai Hospital on April 20, 1981, to recuperate at home with his newly implanted pacemaker, but on Saturday, April 25, 1981, Hal wasn't going to be with us any more to brighten out days with a wry pun or the flip of a coin, usually the odd-man-wins. No longer would Hal be available to serve the Lab with his outstanding skills as a technical writer.
Hal wasn't very active as a ham, but he put his superb expertise to use for us when the first airborne test flight of OSCAR 6 was being wrapped up by Booth Hartley (N6BH) and Maurice Piroumian (WA6OPB). In fulfillment of a carefully laid plan, 73 Magazine was standing by in New Hampshire with a tape recorder ready to receive the story of this historic first test on the West Coast of the Satellite Communications System. An HF net had been set up by the JPL ARC to provide both mission coordination and a data dump for Hal's article when Booth and Maurice landed in Palo Alto at the end of the day. Seated at his trusty typewriter in a quiet corner in my home (W6HCD) awaiting the results of the all-day test flight, Hal listened carefully to the tapes of the report, then attacked the typewriter with ferocity, having the fastest fingers in the West! When the first six pages of the story had accumulated, I phoned "73" at midnight (their time) and began dictating. The data flow was almost in-sync as Hal formulated the story and simultaneously typed it out. The well-organized article was published in '173 Magazine", Nov 1971, on page 73. You would never know that Hal had to write it under pressure in real time --- a fantastic accomplishment, and a unique contribution to the JPL Amateur Radio Club.
Our fine colleague came to JPL in 1952 with a BA from USC. His skills in written communications as a key member of the Technical Documentation Section were fully utilized by Dr. William Pickering for many years. Hal was Section Manager at the time he became a Silent Key. We all miss you, Hal. (Nash W6HCD)
*** MEETING NOTICE ***
DATE: Wednesday, June 10, 1981
TIME: 12:00 NOON
FIELD DAY PLANS AND FCC RULES REWRITE
Two important items will form the program for our June 10th meeting. First, we will hear from Brian Stapleton, W6LZP, what W6VIO's plans and strategy will be for Field Day (June 27-28) at our new site. This time, we plan to win! Come and see how!
The second topic will consist of a brief review by George Morris, W6ABW, of the major problems we have found so far in going over the FCC-proposed "PLAIN LANGUAGE" rewrite of the Amateur rules. While "no substantive changes" in the rules were supposed to come out of this, see what they did to us then, armed with this information, you will be prepared to file your protests with the FCC prior to the comment cutoff date of June 21. (Merv N6NO)
FIELD DAY 1981
This year our JPL encounter with FD will be at Mt. Disappointment. This location is only a short 45-minute drive from JPL up the Angeles Crest Hwy. to the Red Box Ranger Station, turn right on the road to Mt. Wilson and its TV transmitters, and follow that road about a quarter mile. Make a hairpin right turn at the first road you come to. You will then see an iron Forestry gate. with one of our Club members waiting to let you through. The remaining trip to the top of Mt. D is via a winding, semi-blacktopped road. Any vehicle in good operating condition can make it up to the top. A map will be handed out at the June Club meeting. (The road is not that bad. ed)
This year, twelve rough and ready Club members returned their FD questionnaires and volunteered for FD duty. Mt. D is a rugged and exciting location. It has a 360 degree horizon look-angle and a partial view of LA. The amenities may, not be quite as nice as other FD locations the Club has used in the past, but the operating location should make up for any inconveniences. There are no water or restroom facilities immediately available on the site. If you come to participate or visit, be prepared to rough-it. The Red Box Ranger Station has the nearest available facilities and is close to two miles away.
This year our Club will operate FD in the three transmitter classification. There will be two full-time HF stations and one VHF. When VHF is worked out, and during the late evening hours, another HF station will take its place. We will also have a full time Novice station, part time OSCAR, and a solar powered station to help us gather extra points. All stations will operate from 117 vac generators (except solar).
From the twelve volunteers, station setup and operation teams are being formed. Supporting team members will be notified which team(s) they will be assigned to provide assistance. Obviously, with only twelve FD participants, team members will have to do some time sharing among equipment installation, and operating positions.
Station/antenna installation activities will begin at 5 pm PDT on Friday, June 26. They will continue beginning at 7 am PDT Saturday morning, June 27. Actual FD operation begins at 1 pm on Saturday afternoon and will continue until 1 pm Sunday afternoon, June 28.
Talk-in frequencies for participants and visitors will be available Friday night from 4:30 pm until 6 pm, and Saturday morning from 6:30 am until 1 pm. Frequencies used will be WR6APS (222.4/224.04). and the Club Simplex frequency (223.4). Use simplex when nearing the Red Box Ranger Station since coverage into APS is spotty from the backside of the hills. We will not be able to keep the gate open all the time because the road is normally closed to public use. We also can't monitor the gate all the time because it is two miles away from the actual FD location. If you are planning to participate or visit, please come during the times stated when the gate can be easily opened. Otherwise special arrangements will have to be made to let you in and out.
If you have questions regarding this year's Club activities for FD, or if you would like to join the group of twelve eager rough and ready participants, please give me a call at 796-4316 between 8 am and 4:30 pm. Also plan to attend the June Club meeting on June 10 to hear the latest.
See you at Field Day! (Brian W6LZP)
June promises to be a busy month for the Club with a number of activities taking place or in the planning stage. Topping the list is Field Day, June 27-28. Nearby Mt. Disappointment has been tentatively selected as the site (see W6LZP's article). "Mt. D", as it is called, offers a superb location for both HF and VHF stations and has the advantage of being closer than. our previous site of Table Mt. Unfortunately, interest in Field Day within the Club has not been as high as we had hoped. It is not too late to get involved, so give Brian a call if you haven't already done so.
Other major activities in the works are the Voyager 11 Commemorative (Dick Piety, K6SVP, chairman), the hot dog concession at the JPL Picnic (Eileen, KA6DGV, and John, N6AVW, co-chairpersons), and the Fast-Scan ATV Project for the Planetary Society Festival (Jim Lumsden, WA6MYJ, chairman). Naturally, help on all these projects is welcome, so give the appropriate chairman a call it you'd like to participate. (Stan N6MP)
Cecil Wiggins, KA6PIQ, Novice Class Graduate.
LOGO CONTEST RESULTS
Way back in March 1980, the Board approved the idea of a contest to select a logo for the Club. Many months later, I'm proud to announce that the winning design has been selected, actually a composite of two designs, submitted by Brian Stapleton, W6LZP, and Gordon Crawford, WB6DRH. The judging committee, consisting of Stan Sander, N6MP; George Morris, W6ABW; and Warren Apel, K6GPK, liked elements of both designs, and combined them into one. Both entrants will receive checks for $35, to be awarded at the June Club meeting.
Once the winners were selected, the Graphics department produced a color sketch of the design. However, the contest rules required that the Board approve the final product. For this purpose, a Special Board Meeting was held on May 12. While the design met with general approval, a few minor changes were proposed. These changes were incorporated into a new version, which was approved by the Board at its regular meeting on May 27.
The new Club logo, shown in the header of this issue of W6VIO CALLING, is something every member can be proud of because it symbolizes many of the activities carried out by both the Club and JPL. Plans are underway to make the logo into a patch and/or decal, and to produce other items such as T-shirts, jackets, and QSL cards. The logo will also appear on the Club stationary. Volunteers are needed to supervise the production of these items. If you would like to help, contact a member of the Board.
Thanks to everyone who submitted an entry, and to all those involved in the judging process. It took a long time, but I think we have a product that we can point to with pride! (Stan N6MP)
W6VIO CALLING ANNIVERSARY
Those of you with sharp eyes may have noted that this year of W6VIO CALLING is Volume 11 This month actually begins the 10th year of publication of your Club's newsletter, so we thought you might be interested in the following brief history.
Long before the newsletter existed, the Club still had monthly meeting notices. They constituted the only regular mode of communicating with the membership except for the meetings themselves. "For Sale" and "Wanted " classifieds began to appear, as well as announcements of major club activities. At one point, a "Meeting Notice" ran to three pages with a membership survey on proposed FCC rules changes for the W6VIO trustee, Jay Holladay, plus a page of classified items. Merv MacMedan (then W6IUV), the Club's Secretary, charged with the monthly meeting notices, felt they were becoming more than they were meant to be (and more work for him).
Merv proposed a club newsletter and announced the search for an editor. Almost miraculously, the Club membership was discovered to include a ham who was a professional writer from Division 65 - Stan Hench, WB6JMP. He volunteered and the first issue appeared in June, 1971: Volume 1, No. 1.
Stan got the first issue ready but still needed a name. He conferred with Merv, and under the gun, the name "W6VIO CALLING" was chosen - not very original or catchy (it was patterned after the BBC's weekly publication "LONDON CALLING") but it described perfectly what it was all about. The intent was to keep it as an interim name until something better was found, but it has stuck with us now for ten years.
Stan served as editor for two years. The newsletter was conceived to be a monthly, but Stan's JPL workload increased to the point where such a schedule became impossible to keep. Several times, issues had to be combined for two or three months and Stan asked for relief. The search for an editor resumed.
From out of the woodwork (and with the gentlest of arm-twisting) came our second editor, Elmer MacMillan, W6RBR. Elmer successfully published from July 1973 through January 1975 when a new assignment required him to travel overseas extensively and he, too, found himself unable to make the monthly deadlines.
To the rescue came Norm Chalfin, K6PGX, who, as acting editor, put out two issues in 1975. The February issue, 16 pages long, still holds the record among all issues for sheer quantity!
In the meantime, Stan Hench's work picture had changed and he agreed that if he had help to collect the news items, he could manage to edit and type the newsletter. So, with the realization that the hardest part of being an editor of a club newsletter was getting the news, rather than merely editing what others submit (or, more appropriately, don't submit) Stan resumed his editorship with Gil Yanow, K6TOS, as Associate Editor in charge of collecting.
The marriage didn't last too long, however. Both Gil and Stan again had their time encroached upon by other assignments and were unable to maintain the monthly deadlines.
At that time, Merv found himself having completed stints as Secretary, Emergency Communications Manager, President, and Immediate Past President, and felt he could try something new in the Club. Merv took over editorship in January 1976 and successfully put out monthly issues through April 1979. During this period, the newsletter was entered into the "Amateur Radio News Service" publication contest and won first place in its category nationwide.
However, success also has its difficulties, and his family became jealous of the 1-2 days a month the newsletter took at home, cloistered in the shack, typing away. So Merv reluctantly asked for relief, too.
Starting with the May 1979 issue, Stan Sander, N6MP, took over the editorship, with Mike Griffin, N6WU (now AJ3A) as his associate. Between the two, the grueling monthly deadlines were met, and after Mike left for a new assignment with Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab in Maryland, Stan continued, alone.
Now, Stan has been elected President, and not even Superman can be both President and Editor in an active club like ours. With the January/February 1981 issue the baton passed to Jim Lumsden, WA6MYJ, who has been your editor for the past 5 months. As we begin our second decade of publishing, we send Jim our best wishes for new innovations and successes with "W6VIO CALLING". May you be widely quoted! (Merv N6NO)
LA CANADA-FLINTRIDGE MEMORIAL DAY PARADE
The JPL Amateur Radio Club provided communications and other support for the May 25th La Canada Flintridge Memorial Day Parade. The parade was composed of over 100 elements and took more than one hour to pass. Some of the elements were quite large - twelve automobiles or almost 100 persons.
Our operators were responsible for lining up all of the elements of the parade and placing them into the line of march at the proper time. This was not an easy task because the parade elements were scattered in several places: a large lot contained fire trucks and other large vehicles; Lanterman Auditorium parking lot contained nearly 100 automobiles; the circle drive at Foothill Intermediate School held bands, drill teams, and Scout Troops; the FIS football field was used to form up equestrian and other animal units; and other parade elements composed of floats and people stretched along half-a-mile of street on Cornishon between Foothill and Descanso.
The JPL ARC operators reported for duty at 8:15 am and several served until 12 Noon as they rode "Fire Truck Mobile" along the parade route in the last vehicle. Operators who participated were: Bruce Beaudry, WD6HEZ; Bob Layne, W6LTC; Jim Lumsden, WA6MYJ; Connie Morris, KA6JAM; George Morris, W6ABW; and Doc Nordland, WB6MOQ. (George W6ABW)
FOR SALE: Kenwood TR 2400 2-mtr handheld in original carton. Approximately 6 months old with less than I hr. use. Includes new "Battery Beater" power supply. Asking $300. Glenn Stewart. 177-9892 x279 or (213) 357-7875.
CLUB IDENTIFICATION AT SPECIAL EVENTS
It is desirable that club members be easily identified while providing communications at special events in order to make the job easier and for public relations purposes. I would like to propose that the Club purchase ten iridescent orange tie vests of the type worn by Cal Trans workers with the new Club logo prominently displayed.
The tie vests are desirable because they can be worn over street clothing in winter or summer. The bright orange color will make our operators easy to identify when we need to send somebody to them and also is desirable from a safety standpoint during duty in a race or a parade when we may be standing in the street.
Please forward your feelings and comments to me at mail stop 238-420, or phone x7066. (George W6ABW)
THE ENGINEER'S LIABILITY
"The great liability of the engineer compared to men of other professions is that his works are out in the open where all can see them. His acts, step by step, are in hard substance. He cannot bury his mistakes in the grave like doctors. He cannot argue them into thin air, or blame the judge, like lawyers. He cannot, like the architects, cover his failures with trees and vines. He cannot, like politicians, screen his shortcomings by blaming his opponents and hope the people will forget. The engineer simply cannot deny he did it. If his works do not work, he is damned."
This quote was discovered in the LERC Radio Club Bulletin. It says a lot!
FREEBE ANTENNA RESULTS
The interesting facet of seeing all the entries submitted for the random-number contest for the Two-meter antenna was the relative non-randomness of the entries. The graph shows the distribution of the numbers in groups between 01234 and 98765, the lowest and highest numbers possible without repeating any of the digits. Twenty-nine entries were received, which is a good indicator of a) how many people read the newsletter, and b) how many of those wanted the two-meter antenna.
Also interesting was the fact that the random number drawn by Mike Hurick, KA6MHB, was very close to the center of the range (47298). Ralph West, N6YM, won the antenna with his guess of 45792. Congratulations, Ralph! (Jim, WA6MYJ)
EDITORIAL: WHO IS FIELD DAY FOR?
There are two kinds of hams: the serious; and the socialite! Consequently, there are two types of individuals who participate in Field Day (FD'er). How can one activity possibly support both-types?
Since the same word connotes different meanings to each of us, let's at least start on common ground with a simple definition for each of our two "typical" hams. The serious FD'er is willing to do everything he possibly can to obtain another QSO for points. He will spend countless hours (possibly between 24 and 27) sitting nearly paralyzed in some impossible location completely oblivious to flies, rain, food, or any other manifestations of Mother Nature. The greatest indication of life is an occasional twitch from his keying finger or lips.
The socialite FD'er, on the other hand, needs almost continuous refueling (lubricating?) as he makes his rounds from one location to another at the FD site. He is typically mystified at the seeming lack of life at some of the stations. He is deathly afraid that if he had to sit motionless like that for hours on end he would literally atrophy.
Are these descriptions far fetched? I don't think so. Within our own FD's of past years, both types have been prevalent, fortunately. And just as fortunately, both types are required in order to have a smooth running competition. It is a contest, remember! It is one of the few with a real purpose. How many of us feel ready to deal with real emergencies; not just portable operation, but QRM, pileups, etc, under less than ideal conditions! Field Day is the chance to get and up-date that expertise.
Field Day needs both types of person. This year, I have volunteered for "food". How much operating do you think I will actually log? As long as my "lubrication" supply does not run dry, I will function sufficiently to stop by a station occasionally and convince myself that the operator is not completely atrophied. This will occur, of course, in-between gorging myself of the fine, unknown repast that will miraculously appear on the mountain top! (ed. WA6MYJ)
HOT DOG SALES VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
Every year at the JPL picnic the JPL ARC can be found in a booth selling hot dogs to all corners. It's a fun activity, one that usually generates a nice amount of revenue for the club. This year's picnic will be held on Saturday July 18, at the Big Rock Recreation center off the Old Topanga Canyon Road. If you would like to help, please contact John McKinney, N6AVW at JPL x6610, BLD 233 room 208. (John, N6AVW)
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
You guys are doing a great job there, and we are very proud to have once been a part of the team.
... Accept my vote of confidence and approval on the April article "Search for Spurs..." (The 220 T-hunt). Your response to the criticism might have stated correctly that the detailed step-by-step description made it seem to some of us far away that we were witnessing the operation -through the eyes of the writer! To him and you, thanks a lot! (Al Chapman W6MEO)
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