AUGUST 1992 Volume 21 No. 8
- Jet Propulsion Laboratory
- W6VIO CALLING M/S 264-419
- Attn: Eileen McKinney
- 4800 Oak Grove Drive
- Pasadena, California 91109
- PRESIDENT: RANDY HAMMOCK, KC6HUR
- VICE PRES: JIM KESTERSON, KA6IBF
- SECRETARY: DAVE SEIDEL, KC6NRL
- TREASURER: SCOTT BALZER, KC6NRP
- CLUB TRUSTEE: JAN TARSALA, WB6VRN
- EMERGENCY COMM COORD: WALT MUSHAGIAN, K6DNS
- DIRECTOR AT LARGE: ART ZYGIELBAUM, WA6SAL
- WB6IEA REPEATER TRUSTEE: WALT DIEM WA6PEA
- FACILITIES: MARK SCHAEFER, WB6CIA
- EDUCATION: GIL YANOW, K6TOS
- REPEATER: BOB DENGLER, NO6B
- STRATEGIC PLANNING: JON ADAMS, NW6H
EDITOR: EILEEN MCKINNEY KA6DGV
- LAARC REP: MARK SCHAEFER, WB6CIA
- MEMBERSHIP SERVICES: RICK MCKINNEY, KA6DAN
- W6VIO Trailer: (818) 393-6312
- Voicemail & BBS: (818) 354-1751 (Future)
- WB6IEA 224.08 MHZ (-) Closed/Autopatch
- W6VIO 224.04 MHZ (-) PL-54 Open/Shuttle Audio
- W6VIO 147.15 MHZ (+) PL-1A Open
- W6VRN 51.86 MHZ (-) PL-1A Future
- W6VIO-1 145.09 MHZ (S) Packet Node/BBS
- W6VIO-1 223.54 MHZ (S) Packet Node/BBS
- Everyone is welcome - Bring your lunch.
- 12 Noon
- Program - Second Wednesday of month in 238-543
- Business - Fourth Wednesday of month in 180-703B
Newsletter Article Deadline: The 5th day of each month. If the 5th falls on a weekend, the following Monday will be the deadline.
Your articles, ads, photos, diagrams, Letters to the Editor, or technical instructions should be submitted to Editor at address above.
EXCHANGE CLUBS: PLEASE NOTE ADDRESS ABOVE
Permission is granted to copy enclosed articles providing credit is given to "W6VIO CALLING".
by Randy Hammock, KC6HUR
224.040 BACK ON THE AIR
Many of the club users may be aware that we had a slight problem suddenly develop with the .04 repeater about a month and a half ago. The problem manifesting itself as a "clucking" at the end of each transmission. Sam Weaver and I pulled it down about two weeks ago and Jan Tarsala started trouble shooting. A failed chip was located and replaced which not only cured the clucking but a couple of other more obscure problems the repeater has been having over the past several years. Also, the ID message was altered to provide information regarding the PL frequency used by this repeater. Sam and I re-installed the night before the shuttle launch.
NEW ADDITION TO THE SHACK
We received the new tri-band radio for the shack yesterday (3- AUG-92). This radio is a Kenwood TM-741A with the 220 MHz add-on module giving us access to 2 meters, 1.25 meters and 70 CM. The radio currently supports PL encode and decode. DTMF decode is an add-on option for later. We currently have a 1.25 M antenna at the shack and have a 2 M antenna which needs to be installed. To complete the setup, a 70 CM antenna must be purchased or constructed. Details about this radio installation will be forthcoming.
TRIAX TOWER REPAIRED
Thanks to the efforts and ingenuity of Sam Weaver, the tower which was broken in the high winds last November has been repaired. This means we will be getting a work party together sometime in the near future to re-install the tower and the newly rebuilt beam and rotator. Please volunteer for this effort as we really need to get this antenna and tower back into operation.
I would also like to thank Jerry Person for rebuilding the rotator. With the parts from a couple of different rotators, Jerry was able to put together a complete rotator, saving the club the expense of having to purchase a new one.
Also, through the efforts of Walt Mushagian and Jerry Hawkes, parts were obtained to rebuild the Telerex tri-band beam which will be used to replace the beam that was destroyed when the tower collapsed.
SHIRTS AND CAPS
Those of you who attended Field Day may have noticed several of us wearing caps with the club logo (I was wearing the only shirt with such). These will soon be available for club member purchase. As soon as my schedule gets back to a bit of a norm, I'll be putting together an order form for these items.
73, Randy KC6HUR
By David Seidel, KC6NRL
July 22 Board Meeting Minutes
In attendance were Randy Hammock, Jim Kesterson, Walt Mushagian, Walt Diem, Jan Tarsala, Mark Schaefer, Greg La Borde and David Seidel.
Jan reported that a Mission Viejo co-channel is willing to change their PL and do the required paperwork. In any event, everyone should get PLs. Table Mountain will get a 5A PL.
The Memo of Understanding (MOU) between the JPL ARC and Jim Young was discussed. Jim, Jan and Randy held a telecon to discuss issues. The forest service permit fee and the transfer of the club call were discussed. The FCC 610B needs only Jim's signature. Jim will remain as the repeater trustee. Goldstone ARC members will be eligible to join JPL ARC.
Jan moved, and Walt M. seconded, that the club prepare the MOU and forward it to Jim for his signature. Upon its approval by all parties JPL ARC will reimburse Jim for the Forest Service permit fee, install PL and appoint Jim as an ex officio member of the Board. A by-laws change will not be required. The ERC will be included in the MOU process.
by Skip Reymann, W6PAJ
Our newest Microsat, KITSAT-A, and TOPEX/POSEIDON should be in orbit when this VIO Calling comes out. Detailed information on orbits and how to use KITSAT-A will be made available on club nets as soon as possible.
Around 01:30 UTC 27-July-1992 -- after 317 days and 21 hours of continuous and reliable operation of the file server system -- AO-16's on-board computer (OBC) operating system detected an error in the RAM-based spacecraft software and the OBC automatically commanded the spacecraft to "safe" itself by shutting off all non-essential subsystems and switching OBC operation to the ROM firmware. Ground controllers detected the problem at 02:00UTC and commanded the spacecraft's straight PSK transmitter back on at 03:45 UTC. The reason for the OBC reset was quickly identified and by 01:55 UTC 29-July-1992 and the command team had reloaded and re-started the spacecraft's operating system and housekeeping software.
AMSAT Operations Nets are planned for the following times. Mode B Nets are conducted on AO-13 on a downlink frequency of 145.950 MHz and Mode J/L on a downlink of 435.970 MHz.
- Date UTC Mode Phs NCS Alt
- 8-Aug-92 1900 B 65 W7NQM W5IU
- 15-Aug-92 1300 B 105 WB6LLO W9ODI
- 22-Aug-92 1435 J 55 WA5ZIB WJ9F
Guest commentators are planned. Join the net if you have questions.
By Bob Polansky, N6ET
I can't vouch first hand for the conditions prevailing on the dx bands this month, since I've been cleaning up messes from the recent earthquake in Big Bear. The one time I did get on the air, things appeared quite good dx-wise. Solar activity has gone down significantly since the days of Solar flux in the 300 area. On a good day now, numbers closer to 170 are more common. Oh well, the whole thing will repeat in another 11 years! According to "The DX Bulletin" things are not so bad. Here's a sampling.
ANGOLA - Several operations are in progress now. First, D2FGC operating 15 kHz from the bottom of each cw band. He's also on ssb at 14200, 21250 and 29500 kHz. Also, look for F6BLQ/D2 on 14120, 14260, 21170, and 28450 kHz. Both should be active through the end of August.
BANGLADESH - S21A has been active on 20 and 15 meter ssb. He's been checking into the 14256 kHz net from 2330Z.
COOK ISLANDS - These come in two flavors, North Cook and South Cook. ZK1AL will be active from North Cooks from 19 to 25 August. From 9 to 18 and 26 to 30 August, he will use the same call from South Cooks. Look for him on 14010 and 21010 kHz from 1600Z to 1900Z.
GLORIOSO - FR5ZU plans operation from Glorioso during the month of August. In September, he plans to also be active from Europe and Juan de Nova.
MALTA - 9H/DF4EK and 9H/DL8EAU will be active from Malta from 15 August through 15 September. No frequencies have been given.
SOUTH ORKNEYS - VP8CKC will operate from this South Atlantic garden spot until 1994.
TANZANIA - 5H1ITY and 5H3NU will be active through August. Look for them 20 kHz from the low band edges on CW. On SSB, try 14195, 21195, and 28495 kHz.
Enjoy! Good DX, Bob, N6ET
STS-50 SAREX QSO
by Mark M. Schaefer WB6CIA
One small step for ham. One giant leap for Hamkind!
W6VIO has finally made 2 way contact with the Space Shuttle. This was THANKS to the efforts of club members who have worked on the satellite station in the shack, to the SAREX team at JSC and the ARRL. There was sufficient information and sufficiently working equipment that even I could contact the shuttle astronauts.
On July 6 around 5 AM and July 7 around 7 AM. W6VIO contacted KB5SIW Dick Richards aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia on 144.45 FM voice Simplex.
The equipment included the ICOM IC-275 (direct from FD) running 100 watts into the 8 element beam used for the OSCAR station. The rig was connected to a TNC & PC for packet QSOs and a Robot 1200C & PC for SSTV QSOs. The antenna had a recently repaired 2 mtr preamp and dual axis rotator. The Shuttle was tracked using a PC program InstaTrack with Kansas City Tracker to control the rotator. Jan Tarsala receives FAXes from JSC for the Keplerian elements and other information, however all the information was available on most RBBS systems including W6VIO-1.
Since it was a microgravity mission there were a minimum of burns so the shuttle kept to its original orbits fairly well. The biggest glitch was that the shuttle was only using 144.45 Simplex! For this mission, the window antenna was mounted on a different window than previous missions and did not have the operational bandwidth it had during ground testing. This rendered the handheld receiver dead except for the 144.45 for which I had no complaints about their reception. Having a beam reduced the QRM from other ground stations on the same frequency as the shuttle. All the operators handled this situation well. The only problems were occasional packeteers who were automatically programmed to try to connect to W5RRR. This was useless when the Shuttle was on voice. There was one station running a remote base HF rig just below the Shuttle frequency. He was too busy listening to 20 mtr phone than the frequency he was transmitting on!
As it turned out, the only good shuttle passes for LA were between 4 and 7 AM! However this was also when they had their shift changes between the Red and Blue Team. The Astronauts were most likely to use voice when they were in their presleep schedule. On STS-35 our packet was received but unconfirmed. For this we received a silver QSL. We will have to wait to see if we were as lucky for this mission. SSTV was also heard but no pictures copied. NEXT TIME!
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