and clean signals

the publication of

The 50 MHz and UP Group of Northern California.

Volume 3 Number 4                  April 1998

(Edited by Rex Allers, KK6MK)

Visit our web site at: http://www.nitehawk.com/rasmit/50UP.html

Next Meeting: TUESDAY, April 7, 7:30PM - at Lockheed Bldg. 202.

*** Note - this meeting is a changed from our usual meeting day and time! ***

PROGRAM:  Ron Hopkins, N6BQ, will talk about 1296 MHz EME.

Ron is a local ham who has been very active on moon-bounce. He will discuss EME in general and his equipment and operations. If you've ever wondered what it takes and how it's done, this should be very interesting.

DIRECTIONS: The meeting place will be the Lockheed Auditorium in bldg. 202 on Hanover St. in Palo Alto, California. Access Hanover from Page Mill Road (between 280 and El Camino). Follow Hanover as it curves right and up the hill. Watch for the Lockheed sign indicating Bldg. 202 on the left side, about 2/3 of the way up the hill.


Officers for 1998

President Rex Allers KK6MK 408-377-6848 rexa@dnai.com
Vice President Jim Moss N9JIM 408-746-2789 jmoss@rockie.nsc.com
Treasurer Will Jensby W0EOM 408-296-6071 w0eom@aol.com
Secretary Bill Ogilvie KQ6FY 415-968-3707 wogilvie@best.com
Board Member Jeffrey Pawlan WA6KBL 408-371-0256 jpawlan@pawlan.com
Board Member Bob Johnson KF6KVG 415-854-5117  
Board Member Sam Wood K6MSR 650-941-8000 sam@msr.com



Contests and Events

Foothill Swap Meet - The second Saturday of the month. Next is April 11.

3-4 Apr 98   Southeastern VHF Conference, Atlanta, GA http://www.akorn.net/~ae6e/svhfs

Livermore Swap Meet - First Sunday of each month at Las Positas College in Livermore, CA, 7:00 AM to noon, all year. Talk in 147.045 from west, 145.35 from the east. Contact Noel Anklam, KC6QZK, (510) 447- 3857 eves.

ARRL 50 MHz-Up Contests

April 13 (Mon) 144-MHz Spring Sprint

April 21 (Tues) 222-MHz Spring Sprint

April 29 (Wed) 432-MHz Spring Sprint

May 9

  • 2304-MHz Spring Sprint
  • May 16-17 50-MHz Spring Sprint

    June 13-15 ARRL June VHF QSO Party

    June 27-28 Field Day

    August 1-2 ARRL UHF Contest

    August 15-16 ARRL 10-GHz Cumulative Contest (1 of 2)

    September 12-14 ARRL September VHF QSO Party

    September 19-20 ARRL 10-GHz Cumulative Contest (2 of 2)

    VHF+ WeakSignal NETS

    Sunday  8PM  144.240  Southern California WSWSS 
    Sunday  8PM  144.250  Central California WSWSS 
    Sunday  8:30PM  432.100  Central California WSWSS 
    Tuesday  8PM  144.250  Northern California SWOT 
    Tuesday  8PM  144.200  Arizona WSWSS 
    Wednesday  8PM  144.240  Southern California WSWSS SWAP 
    Thursday  8PM  144.250  Northern California SWOT SWAP 
    Thursday  8PM  432.120  SCAL General, Oceanside, DM13 



    Dues reduced to $15/yr - new members welcomed
    At the end of 1997 a vote was unanimous to reduce the dues back to $15.00 per year. It was also decided that a special rate of $25 for two years be implemented. So far, 44 people have sent or given the Treasurer their dues. Most of these were for two years at the special rate.

    Please encourage anyone who might have an interest to join our group.

    50 MHz & Up Group Minutes

    Meeting of March 1, 1998

    The 50 MHz & Up Group held their March meeting at the Lockheed-Martin auditorium on March 1, 1998. Executives and directors present were: Rex Allers, KK6MK, President; Will Jensby, W0EOM, Treasurer; Bill Ogilvie, KQ6FY, Secretary; and Bob Johnson, KF6KVG, and Jim Moss, N9JIM, directors. There were 17 members and visitors in attendance. The meeting began and ended with a flea market of RF and microwave parts.

    The meeting was chaired by Rex Allers, KK6MK, the President elect. The first item on the agenda was a discussion of alternate meeting times. A vote was held on various meeting options. The results are summarized below:

    No Change 6
    Sunday on a different week 13
    Saturday anytime 7
    Some other day (Tues/Thurs) 6
    Rotate months 5

    It was decided to post the options for a vote by all the members. Results will be finalized at the next meeting.

    It was agreed that the next meeting would be held at the Lockheed auditorium on Tuesday, March 7 at 7:30 PM.

    Bill Rausch, AA6PA showed a 6 Meter transverter he built from a kit. The kit is made by Tentec and Bill uses it with his all-mode 2 Meter radio.

    Rex gave a talk on the program he wrote for 10 GHz contests. The program calculates headings, based on Latitude and Longitude information, and has a CW keyer for a radio. It is designed to run on a low cost DOS based computer, such as an older laptop. Disks with this program on it were available to members who didn't have Internet access, or it can be downloaded from Rex's ftp site at:

  • ftp://ftp.dnai.com/users/r/rexa/
  • Other interesting web sites, with example programs for calculating Great Circle headings or for information about mapping data bases are:

  • http://kai.er.usgs.gov/ftp/PROJ.4/proj.html
  • and

    The meeting ended about 4:00 as the last of the flea market items were snapped up.


    de KQ6FY, Bill Ogilvie

    Our Meeting Day and Time

    Several members or potential members have had problems attending our group meetings with the current meeting time of the first Sunday of the month. For a while we have been considering the possibility of changing the meeting time to accommodate the preferences of the majority of the membership.

    As mentioned in the minutes of the March meeting, the members who were present considered the results of earlier surveys and made an effort to decide on the best compromise. No one, who has been attending, had a problem with meeting on a different Sunday (other that the first Sunday of the month.) Surveys also seemed to indicate that, if we were to meet on a weekday evening, Tuesdays or Thursdays had no opposition as meeting days. In fact, Tuesdays and Thursdays were the only days that did not receive a particular negative comment from one or more of the members.

    The conclusion was that we had three possible options:

    1. Meet on the second Sunday of the month.
    2. Meet on a weekday evening; either Tuesday or Thursday.
    3. Alternate the meeting time, month to month, between choices 1 and 2.

    The membership present at the meeting decided that we could not take an unbiased vote since our meeting was taking place on Sunday. We decided to try the next (April) meeting at 7:30 PM on Tuesday, April 7. It was also decided to poll the whole membership for the final decision on our meeting schedule. I have sent a ballot to all the members who have email addresses (about 85% of members). The ballot asked each member to weight the preference of the three choices above, and to select between either Tuesday or Thursday (assuming we were to meet on weekdays). I have received responses from a little over one-third of the total membership. Some members only gave partial answers; I counted what was provided. Here are the results so far:

    Assuming we meet on a weekday, what day?

    Tuesday -- 8

    Thursday -- 1

    Preference for meeting schedule:

    (Higher number is more desired.)

    Second Sunday -- 26

    Weekday evening -- 26

    Alternate weekday/Sunday -- 25

    As it stands now, based on the returns, there seems to be a pretty even distribution between the three choices. I interpret this to mean the fairest solution is to alternate our meetings between some Tuesday evening (probably the second of the month) and the second Sunday of the month.

    About 70 percent of the membership have not cast a ballot on the final decision. If you haven't voted in this last ballot and want to voice you opinion before the final decision, send me email to rexa@dnai.com or call me and tell me your vote at 408 377 6848 (day or evening, leave a message if I'm not there).

    We will hear any final discussion on the meeting day/time at the April meeting and make the final decision during the meeting.

    - Rex Allers, KK6MK

    Picnic coming up

    We will have a group picnic again this year. The date for this year's gathering will be Saturday June 6. It will be held in the park area of National Semiconductor in Santa Clara (same location as last year.)

    After the picnic we will have a meeting, and are fortunate to have as guest speaker, Philip Gabriel, AA0BR. Philip will be visiting in the Bay Area. He will discuss amateur microwave activity in Colorado and will also summarize planning for Microwave Update this year.

    Mark your calendars. I hope everyone will be able to attend.

    Rein Smit, W6/PA0ZN, made honorary member

    Rein Smit, W6/PA0ZN, has been promoting weaksignal communications at VHF up through microwaves for some time. He hosts a "Weaksignal News Kiosk" on the internet as a means of sharing and distributing information pertaining to weaksignal communications, EME, and radio astronomy. Since the early days of our 50 MHz and UP Group, Rein has been hosting our group's web page as a portion of his web pages.

    As a token for Rein's contributions facilitating technology which parallels our group's focus, and for his ongoing support in hosting our web page, the group officers have voted to make Rein our first honorary member.

    Millimeter News

    From QST magazine, April 98, a new 24GHz record was set in France on Oct. 27, 1997 of 398-Km. This beats the previous record set in Germany in 1993 by 1 km! F6BVA used a 30" offset feed dish and 40 mw of power.

    The North American record is 256 Km, done in 1992 in California. These records are waiting to be broken by someone finding the right path and time. The equipment used above and better is available now.

    On another note, "Cheese-Bits", the newsletter of the Pack Rats club, is running a series of interesting articles on building 24 GHz equipment.

    March 11, Lars and I extended our 78 GHz record to 43 Km, going from Los Altos Hills (Lars' QTH) to San Bruno mountain. One more try is planned, Palo Alto to Mt. Diablo, when weather permits.

    Bob, KF6KVG, and I continue making contacts on 47 GHz. We have made 11 Km so far.

    Found at Foothill swap - 23 GHz up-converters using nominal 11 GHz L.O., about 10 MW output at 24.2. More next time.


    73, Will, W0EOM

    Member List

    At end of this newsletter we have included the current list of group members. This list is provided to encourage communication between members.

    Please protect the privacy of our members by not posting this information in a public forum, and by not giving or using this information for commercial purposes.

    On the Internet…

    Do you have a Web Page relevant to our members? Let us know and we will put it here. (You must be a member.)

    50 MHz and Up Group page: http://www.nitehawk.com/rasmit/50UP.html The official group web page. Hosted by Rein Smit, W6/PA0ZN as part of his Weaksignal News Kiosk. The 50Up page includes an archive of newsletters.

    ARRL Pacific Division Web page:  http://www.pdarrl.org/
    Ham RF Exposure Guidelines Effective Jan. 1, 1998:
    Vanity Call Sign Gate 4 to Open Dec. 2, 1997

    Rex's Place - KK6MK: http://www.dnai.com/~rexa/ Microwave stuff, 50 MHz Up Group pictures and information.

    Laser Communications Home Page! http://www.qsl.net/wb9ajz/laser/laser.htm Lots of bright stuff.

    Swap/Wanted/For Sale

    Members may submit ads to the newsletter editor for inclusion in the next newsletter. Ads are free for members.

    For Sale by Jeffrey Pawlan, WA6KBL, (408) 371-0256 8am - 10pm PST:

  • Marconi Signal Generator 10-470 MHz AM, FM, CW. $100
  • HP 8616A Signal Generator. 1.8 - 4.5 GHz. $250
  • 8-ft. Andrews high quality and heavy-duty steel dish.  $100