Now that the Voyager 2 Saturn Commemorative is behind us, we can all breath a sigh of relief. The activity that went on during the Commemorative period was truly amazing, and everyone involved should take a well-deserved rest. Of course, there is still a tremendous amount of work to be done. Our 11,000 QSO's will probably result in at least 6,000 or more QSL's to be answered. Work is also progressing on the QSL card design and the Voyager Slow Scan TV Cassette tape, which will be a combined Voyager 1 & 2 "Best of Saturn" tape.
At this point it would be worthwhile to reflect for a moment on the impact that the Commemoratives have had on the Club as a whole. Since the first such event that commemorated the Apollo 16 mission to the Moon, the scale of our operations has taken an enormous jump. We are now experts at conducting these operations and have acquired a level of expertise that no other Amateur Radio Club may have. Although there will not be any planetary encounters in the near future, we shouldn't let this expertise dwindle away. We have a fine multiposition station, capable of putting out not one but three big signals on HF simultaneously, in addition to the VHF/UHF positions. We have also developed an organizational technique capable of, keeping these stations on the air, fully manned and operational.
One idea that has been suggested is to put on a commemorative every year, replaying on SSTV the "best" planetary pictures from previous missions. Another thought is to build up our interest in contesting, making use of the operator skill and equipment capability that we now possess. Other suggestions would be welcome. We shouldn't overlook the fact that we are now one of the most well-known Amateur Radio Clubs in the country and that our call sign in universally recognized. This was brought home to me recently when, on my recent vacation to the Rocky Mountain States, almost all of the stations I worked on 2 meters knew of our Club either by working us in the commemoratives or by reading about us in the ham magazines.
We should always keep in mind the impact we have had on the ham community and make sure we are able to maintain this level of visibility. (Stan, N6MP)
CLUB LOGO ITEMS
Club personalized apparel and accessories displaying the new Radio Club LOGO will be available from the ERC in the near future. Examples of items that may be stocked could include the following:
a) Sewn patches reproducing the Club LOGO. These may be had in many sizes from 21, to over 1211, and may be attached by the buyer to items of his/her choice.
b) Baseball-style caps to which the Club LOGO is pre-sewn, or reproduced by silk-screen.
c) T-shirts (could be available in different colors.
d) Windbreakers with either patches or silk screen art.
e) "I D pins" with a combination of the LOGO and call sign.
f) Buttons, pen & pencil sets, rubber stamps, Frisbees, or anything else we really want.
Items will be selected for production according to popular interest in each item. We are presently getting price estimates for some representative pieces, and will submit a questionnaire to gauge potential sales of each item. Economics of production vary for different products, but a reliable market analysis is prudent to avoid either a surplus of an unwanted item, or a shortage of a desirable item which could be so slight as to render a 2nd production run uneconomical.
Any suggestions for things to be considered for production are welcome and should be sent to JASON KOVATCH, 183-401 ASAP. The next issue of W6VIO CALLING should contain a questionnaire which will list all items aforementioned, all suggestions received, and all available price estimates for the items included. (Jason, N6BCI)
APOLOGY FOR MISPLACED BOARD MEETING
Due to a last minute discovery that only one Board Member was in town and available for the October Board Meeting, the meeting was called off at the last minute (Wednesday AM). While a notice should have been posted on the door, something good always comes out of every bad situation; we found out, due to the phone-calls inquiring about the meeting, that there are quite a few interested Club members who came for the meeting. Even though the peak activity rush is over, according to our President, there is still much vital work to be done. Please keep coming to the Board meetings. That is where all the major business of the Club is transacted. Your Board really does try to keep a balance of the types of activities supported and the only way to be heard is to sound-off ... preferably at a Board Meeting. Please come! Check the W6VIO heading for the next scheduled! meeting. Ed. WA6MYJ)
George Auman, ex KA6OXS, now KE6FE, Advanced.
Cecil Wiggins, ex KA6PIQ, now KE6GB, Advanced.
(Both George and Cecil are graduates of the last novice class.) (Paul, K06D)
LICENSE CLASSES IN FULL SWING
The fall license classes are now in full swing. The Novice class is one of the largest we have ever had with approximately 24 persons enrolled, including three gals! The average attendance has held very high with around 19 students at the Tuesday and Thursday noontime sessions in the regular Club meeting room, Bldg 238-543. The classes last into December, so it is not too late to join if you are prepared to do a little extra work to catch-up.
Extra class code practice is taking place just down the hall at 12:30 pm in Cecil Wiggins office. Anyone wanting to raise his/her code speed to 20 wpm is invited to participate. (Paul KO6D)
Eileen McKinney, KA6DGV, spent many hours here in the shack for the Encounter operation. Eileen is a proud graduate of the W6VIO License classes. (Photo by Norm, K6PGX)
"BIG E" SUPPORTED BY W6VIO
The Mt. Tom Amateur Repeater Association, of Springfield Mass., undertook an operation that rivals our own commemorative operations in effort expended and impact on the Public. For 11 days, from September 16-27, the Club manned a booth in the Commercial Building at the "Eastern States Exposition", the largest fair on the East Coast and the 8th largest in the United States. Over one million people attended the fair last year.
In response to a request from Larry Soltz, WB1CJH, the Big "E" Exhibit Chairman, Brian Stapleton, W6LZP, and myself, WA6MYJ, ran Slow Scan TV to the exhibit on Sunday, September 20, for nearly two hours. The received pictures were shown in real time, as well as being put on cassette tape for replay during the remainder of the fair. (Ed., WA6MYJ)
W6VIO Slow Scan/Phone/CW keyboard/RTTY position! Large monitor, top center, is multiplexed R-G-B color. Three small monitors underneath display each R-G-B memory individually so SSTV can hold three separate pictures. A ROBOT 300 converter is used for receiving to avoid losing picture stored in one of the ROBOT 400 memories. Station is Kenwood TS-820, ROBOT 400 with WA7WOD color mod., ROBOT 300 for receiving/xmit monitor, ROBOT 800 keyboard, Collins 30S1 Amplifier. Camera position is just visible at right. (Photo by Jim, WA6MYJ)
CONGRATULATIONS ALSO TO:
Robert J. Gardener, KA6RBK, New Novice.
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The October meeting will feature as our speaker ARRL Assistant General Manager Dave Sumner, K1ZZ. Be an interested League member and take advantage of this opportunity.
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UOSAT LAUNCHED ... OCT 6, 1981, 11:27Z. W6VIO supported the AMSAT LAUNCH INFORMATION NETWORK SYSTEM (ALINS) with transmitters on 7.185 & 14.305 MHz. Full story next month. (Jim, WA6MYJ)
PORTA-PEATER MADE SIMPLE! ... SIMPLY MADE?
I have been intrigued by the possibility of a portable cross-band repeater (remote) created out of the 2-meter and 220 MHz rigs in my car. The "NBC 10K RUN" gave me the impetus to bring the thought to fruition. The cross-band remote allowed operators with 2-meter HT's to communicate with those who had only 220 MHz rigs.
The general idea is simple. The audio from my 2-meter Yaesu Memorizer (FT-227R) is fed to the microphone input of my 220MHz Midland 13-509. Similarly, the audio from my 509 is connected to the Memorizer.
A carrier-operated relay, COR, needed to key the appropriate transmitter, can be easily derived from the receiver circuits. Each radio uses a noise amplifier to switch an audio squelch circuit. I used the ubiquitous SE/NE 555 as a high hysteresis switch to detect the squelch voltage level. If the squelch level in one radio corresponds to a carrier being received, the 555 operates a relay whose contacts provide closure for the push-to-talk circuit in the second radio.
I will describe the required modification for the Memorizer and 509. As with all my "mods", the idea is to make the minimum changes possible. Except for a miniature phone jack added to the back panel of each radio, these mods may be easily undone. The jack is used as a connection to the relay contacts.
Two identical cables are used to provide the audio connection. (This assumes that the mike connectors are the same, as mine are --- my 509 mike jack is rewired to match the Yaesu).
If you use a 13v relay, you don't need the 100-ohm 1-watt resistor. The 555 will source or sink up to 200 ma at 13.5 VDC. It is necessary to lift the positive end of TR14's load resistor. I bypassed the lead to the circuit board shield and connected a wire directly to unswitched +13.5 V. If you do not do this, the relay will close when the 13-509 goes to transmit as well as receive. The connection to TR14's collector is made to the bottom side of the PC board.
Yaesu FT 227R COR Modification
This one is easy since the Memorizer has a "Busy" light. There is even a wiring post to which the light connects. It can be used to tie in the 555.
In use, the receiver volume controls are opened about 10-20%.
Let's review the operation. Assume that the 220 rig is set for 223.5 MHz simplex and the 2-meter rig for 144.9 MHz simplex. If you key your 2-meter handheld, the 2-meter rig will receive the carrier, the 555 will drive the relay closed, which in turn keys the 220 rig to transmit. Anything you say into your handheld is therefore repeated on 220 MHz. The scenario is similar if you are using a 220 HT and repeating to 2-meters.
One expansion is to use two cars equipped with this equipment as a 220 repeater without a duplexer. Park the cars far enough apart so that there is no interaction if one transmits on a 220 MHz repeater frequency pair and the other receives on that pair.
You can do the same for a 2-meter repeater, linking on 220 MHz, or try this one for a 2-meter or 220 in, 2-meter and 220 out repeater.
Let's assume someone transmits on 220 MHz "F1", then A receives it, this keys B on 2-meters, hence 2-meter users can hear the 220 transmission. D picks up B's signal and keys C that transmits on 220. The system acts as a 220 repeater with an output on 2-meters. If someone transmits on 2-meters "F4", B receives it, keys A which transmits it on 220, hence 220 users can hear it. C picks up A's signal, keys D which transmits the signal on 2-meters. Therefore, the system is a 2-meter repeater with a 220 output.
F1 (input) and F2 (output) are a 2-mtr repeater pair
F4 (input) and F3 (output) are a 220 MHz " pair
The installation of the mod in my car cost less than $15 --cheap repeater!!.
BOARD MEETING HIGHLIGHTS --- SEPTEMBER
Instead of showing station equipment being purchased out of the Commemorative budget, Jack Patzold suggested that some of the General station budget be used to supplement the HF station budget for the purchases made during the last Event. The general funding condition of the Club is good.
It was agreed that a combined Voyager 1 & 2 SSTV tape should be produced, rather than a separate one for each of the encounters.
George Morris reported that the Commemorative operation was highly successful with a total of 11,310 contacts. He further noted several special achievements at this commemorative:
a) Color SSTV
b) "Live" news conferences with Charles Redman, NASA Public Relations, and Dr. Arthur Lane, Principal Investigator for the Photopolarimeter Experiment in Voyager.
c) Many TV interviews at Amateur Radio stations throughout the country were supported.
George also mentioned that we need to write appreciation letters to Kenwood for fixing our TS-130, Robot for the Robot 800 keyboard, and WA7WOD for the color SSTV mod.
There was some discussion on the co-channeling of WP6APR. It appears that we must try to share the channel with another machine. This news came as a surprise since the 220 SMA did not inform us as required by the SMA by-laws. (Read further for more news on the co-channeling. ed.)
Stan Sander announced that a new repeater chairman will be appointed by Friday of this week.
Jim Lumsden spoke of all the trials and tribulations he and Jack Patzold went through in supporting the Planet Festival at the Pasadena Auditorium.
(Minutes by Art, WA6SAL; paraphrasing by ed.)
BOARD MEETING HIGHLIGHTS - SEPTEMBER, 1981
President Stan Sander requested that all committee chairmen begin considering their financial needs for the coming year and have budget inputs in to John McKinney, N6AVW, prior to the next Board meeting. This will hopefully avoid the last minute crunch to get the budget ready for the Membership approval.
An update on the status of the SSTV tape was made by Dick Piety. The pictures have been selected and the narration is in the process of being typed.
The proposal for the Voyager 2 QSL card, designed by Mimi Stapleton, was presented by Stan Sander for Board approval. The proposal was accepted with the only change being to use a different photo for one of the two front pictures. The card will go to print as soon as the Club logo art is out of Graphics. The Board recognized the amount of effort put into selecting the design and extended its thanks to Mimi. (Ed. WA6MYJ)
ONE OF THE MINOR TRAGEDIES OF AMATEUR RADIO
The number of British Amateurs has doubled in the past 12 years, causing the United Kingdom Home Office to consider abandoning the present system wherein the callsign prefix identifies the individual British Isles countries, such as GW for Whales. They were considering going to GA prefixes when the last (G8ZZZ) of the Class 8 license prefixes had been issued. Instead, they decided to use a G6 series of prefixes. In making their announcement, the Home Office made a comment that said, "One of the minor tragedies of Amateur Radio in recent years has been the breaching of the conventions surrounding international prefixes notably by the American FCC which has largely destroyed the 'district' identification feature of American callsigns as well as confusing the position in US overseas territories". (Reprinted from the LERC Newsletter, Oct 181.)
Just because you see a CHP tag on the antenna or windshield of a car stranded beside the freeway, don't assume that everything is OK! Jack, WB6TXG, came across just such a vehicle on Monday, October 5. at approximately 7:45 pm. The lady had a flat tire and had been stranded there on the freeway since 1:30 pm! (That is more than 6 hours later!)
The CHIP had called a tow service for her, and then left, but the tow never showed. A second CHP Officer stopped sometime later and called again. Still no tow! Jack was going by and saw her heading for the center divider, and stopped to help. A quick call to a tow service nearby got the desired results. An Autopatch call to the lady's mother, who was in the process of calling the Sheriff's department, was also appreciated.
Ironically, the initial response to the lady's need for help was by a CB'er, who had the CHP called. It is unknown just where the breakdown in tow-truck response was, but this indicates the need to stay around or follow up whenever possible.
This is the most timely news you will ever get in W6VIO CALLING; the entire incident occurred while I was sitting here trying to find a short piece for the last corner of the last page of this issue! (WB6TXG by radio & WA6MYJ)
It still took 1-1/2 hours but the truck got there.
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