and clean signals

the publication of

The 50 MHz and UP Group of Northern California, Inc.

Volume 3 Number 10                  October, 1998

(Edited by Rex Allers, KK6MK)

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

Next Meeting: WSWSS '98 Conference replaces the normal meeting this month.

The 50 MHz and Up Group is hosting the WSWSS '98 Conference at the Sunnyvale Hilton on Saturday October 3. Hopefully our members will attend this event.

Contact Jim Moss (see Officers list below) if you need tickets. See the full description of the conference later in this newsletter.

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 650-968-3707 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. Normally these end in September, but I have heard there will be an additional meet on October 10 this year.

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.


New members welcomed

We are always looking for more people to join and share with our group.

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.

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

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 

50 MHz & Up Group Minutes

The September meeting was held on TUESDAY, September 1, 7:30 PM at Lockheed Bldg. 202. It was hosted by the president, Rex Allers, KK6MK.

There was a brief discussion of the August weekend of the ARRL 10 GHz and Up contest, and a reminder of the 2nd weekend on September 19 and 20. Members are encouraged to file logs if you participated. In past years, many of our members have been active during the contest but never submitted their logs.

Brad Wyatt, K6WR, Director, Pacific Division, ARRL gave a presentation on the proposed changes for amateur radio licensing. The FCC has filed a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), WT Docket 98-143, made public August 10, 1998. The FCC has set a longer-than-normal comment period. The deadline for comments is December 1, 1998. The deadline for reply comments is January 15, 1999. The FCC is encouraging electronic comments via the WWW at http://www.fcc.gov/efile/ecfs.html; by email at ecfs@fcc.gov. A copy of the complete NPRM has been posted on the ARRL Web page, http://www.arrl.org, and at the Pacific Division web page at http://www.pdarrl.org. The September QST has coverage of this subject in the editorial on page 9 and in an article on page 48.

Vice President, Jim Moss, N9JIM, discussed the upcoming October 3rd WSWSS '98 conference and sold tickets. See the section later in this newsletter for details.

Board member, Jeffrey Pawlan, WA6KBL announced the unfortunate illness of Ron Hopkins, N6BQ. This is also covered in more detail later in the newsletter.

Rick Karlquist, N6RK, gave an excellent presentation " The Use of Precision Quartz Oscillators and Atomic Standards in Ham Radio". Rick works at Hewlett-Packard Laboratories. He has been an RF circuit designer on the HP E1938A and 10811F quartz oscillators, 5071A cesium frequency standard, and 10816A rubidium frequency standard. He was also project manager on the HP 5334B frequency counter. He has been licensed since 1965. Rick shared his considerable knowledge of crystal, cesium, and rubidium frequency standards with particular emphasis on the HP 10811 oscillator. The presentation was videotaped but hasn't been properly mastered for copying yet. Look for an announcement in a future newsletter if you are interested in obtaining a copy of the tape.

Ron Hopkins, N6BQ, Illness

We are sorry to have to pass on the news that Ron Hopkins has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The prognosis is that this is a terminal illness. Conventional medicine has no effective treatment to offer. Ron is currently in Central America, where he has opted to go to pursue an alternative therapy. Other than this treatment, Ron's main focus is to spend time with his family.

Ron is a very active ham on 1296 EME (moon bounce). In April of this year Ron gave a great presentation at the 50 MHz and Up meeting about his EME operations and EME in general.

Ron has also wanted to pursue EME on 10 GHz. Jeffrey Pawlan, WA6KBL, is working to set up a 16 foot Scientific Atlanta dish on an SCR-584 radar pedestal which will be merged with electronics that Ron has accumulated in an attempt to get 10 GHz EME working as soon as possible so that Ron can achieve this amateur radio goal.

The hope is to implement this in a very short period of a couple of months. There is much work to be done to achieve this. One major area is the mounting of the dish to the pedestal. If you can offer time, sweat, brain power, or equipment to this task, please contact Jeffrey Pawlan (see the officers' list at the front of the newsletter).

Our very best wishes go out to Ron and his family.

10 GHz and Up Contest

The weekend of August 15-16 was the first weekend of the 1998 ARRL 10 GHz and Up contest. September 19-20 was the second and final weekend. During the two weekends 17 amateurs were logged as participating in the Bay Area and other parts of Northern California Here are the callsigns in no particular order: W0EOM, W6GHV, W7LVO, AA6IW, WA9UKA, K7NOM, K2IYQ, W6BY, K6GZA, KK6MK, KF6KVG, K6OW, WF6R, WA6QYR, KQ6FY, WA6KLK, and W6ASL. During the second weekend, Dave Laag, K6OW, came up from Southern California to work from the mountains in the bay area. On this same weekend Bill, WA6QYR, along with Mel was also up from SoCal, roaming through the San Joaquin valley.

The best distance at 10 GHz was recorded by K6OW on Sunday September 20 from Mt. Vaca CM88WJ, to Punta Banda, Mexico DM11PR (south of Encinada) 889 km. In Punta Banda were Jack, N6XQ, and Robin, WA6CDR (two QSOs). At about the same time on Sunday, 50 MHz and Up member, Ron, K6GZA, also worked the guys in DM11PR from Mt. Talalpais, CM87QW, with nearly the same distance of 876 km. In August Ron had two QSOs to San Diego from Loma Prieta, one of which was done on SSB.

Several members were active on 24 GHz narrow-band. I am aware of Lars, AA6IW, Ron, K6GZA and Brian, W6BY. If I missed anyone, sorry, let me know. Brian, W6BY, on Musik Mountain worked Dave, WA6CGR, on Frazier Mt. -- a distance of 159.7 miles. This was just shy of the US record for 24 GHz of 166 miles. Brian reports that the signals were very strong so they should easily be capable of beating the record on a slightly longer path.

Rex, KK6MK, also roamed through the central valley on the second weekend and made multiple contacts to the guys on Diablo or Vaca on the two days, plus a few others in other locations around Northern California.

I have not heard reports of activity above 24 GHz during the contest. If there was some, please let me know.

In spite of some good contacts during the contest, conditions were really not that great for longer distances. Normally contacts between the higher Bay Area mountains and LA mountains are fairly common on 10 GHz. This time they were only achieved by operators with high performance rigs (10 watts or more, low noise, 4 foot dishes). We missed a couple of the regular participants from recent years, but picked up some new people. In all, I think everyone who tried had a good time.

If anyone has additional reports on activity during the ARRL 10 GHz and Up contest, please forward the information to me and we will attempt to include it in a future newsletter. As a participant, I would like to offer my thanks to everyone who came out for the contest and my sincere welcome to those that came out for the first time.


*** Note to 50 Up Participants ***

Even if you only made one contact during the contest, I would highly encourage everyone to log their entries to the ARRL contest section. One reason is to show that the 50 MHz and Up Group has members who are active during the microwave contests. Another reason is to show, in general, that we are using our band allocation. With the increasing pressure from multiple commercial entities who want to gain access to radio spectrum, it can't hurt us to have more documentation to show that we have been using our amateur radio allocated microwave bands.

If you need forms to submit or (alternatively) if you want information on what to do, or how to submit over the internet, please contact me. Jim Von Striver, W6ASL, - jimw6asl@pacbell.net - has also volunteered his help to anyone who wants to submit and needs forms or help. Please check your logs and do it within the next couple of weeks.

Hope to see even more people out next year.



Western States Weak Signal Society 1998 VHF Conference

Saturday, October 3, 1998

Sunnyvale Hilton, Sunnyvale, CA

Sponsored by: The 50 MHz and Up Group of Northern California, Inc.


Conference Fee including luncheon ($35 per person)

WSWSS VHF and Awards Banquet ($35 per person)

LaserCom Building Session ($35 per kit)

Send checks/MO payable to: The 50 MHz and Up Group
Mail addr: Jim Moss, 862 Somerset Dr, Sunnyvale, CA 94087-2223.
Tickets also available from KD6UIH and W6OMF

Schedule of events:


Times Tech Session General Session
8A-9A HRO OPEN HOUSE for WSWSS98 ONLY (show ticket)  
9A-10AM W6RXQ - Introduction to GPS N9JIM - Laser Communications
10A-11AM K6FV/N9JIM - 50 MHz Band Plans (from N6CA/K6QXY) N7STU - HSCW Meteor Scatter
11A-12P Open WSWSS General Meeting
12P-1P Lunch Lunch
1P-2P K7JA - Yaesu FT846/FT100 Operating KO6SY - QRM, Who's to blame?
2P-3P Laser Building N6NB - VHF Contesting
3P-4P Laser Building KK6MK&W6BY - 10 GHz operating
4P-5P TBD K6KLY - 6M DX from last cycle
5:00P Prize Drawing Prize Drawing
5:30P Cocktails on the Patio!  
6:30P Banquet - Speaker: Paul Shuch, N6TX, SETI  

SUNDAY AM: Dawn – Livermore Hamfest, in Livermore (30 min drive)


Sunnyvale Hilton. 1-408-738-4888 or 1-800-HILTONS.

Discount rate time limit has expired.


There is easy access from US101 at Lawrence Expressway to the Sunnyvale Hilton.

Exit US101 at Lawrence Expy. Turn Left at first light south of 101 - Oakmead. Turn left at next light - Lakeside Dr.. The Hilton is on the right as the road turns to the right.

Other ham activities:

Livermore Hamfest is on Sunday AM.

HRO Sunnyvale is a walk away. SPECIAL OPEN HOUSE Saturday 8AM-9AM.

Fry’s Electronics is 2 minutes away.

Numerous Silicon Valley surplus stores open Weekdays and Saturday.

For more information: See the WSWSS '98 website at: http://www.qsl.net/wb9ajz/wswss98



Pacificon '98

The Pacificon 98 convention is also taking place in Concord on October 16, 17 & 18. The event is to be held at the Airport Sheraton Hotel. Basic admission is $5 in advance or $7 at the door.

The 50 MHz and Up Group will sponsor a series of presentations on Saturday. These have been organized by Art Lange, W6RXQ.

Contacts for information: (925) 932 6125, PACIFICON@designlink.com , http://www.mdarc.org .

Please attend this conference if you can.



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/

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.

RA Enterprises

Surplus electronics, electromechanical,

mechanical and computer supplies

RA is moving to a new larger location and invites

all 50MHz and Up members to visit.

RA is partially in both locations until the move is complete in November. Try the old location first. After negotiating your best deal on the equipment you want, present this ad for an additional discount of 10%.

Old address: 2260 De La Cruz, Santa Clara

New address: 691 Walsh, Santa Clara

Directions to new location from old location:

Turn West on Martin and go to Lafayette. Go North on Lafayette to Walsh and turn right on Walsh. On the left-hand side about in the middle of the block will be a driveway with a sign on the building that says RA 691. RA is at the far end of the loading dock. Park along the fence.