Dirty Dishes
and Clean Signals

the official publication of the 50 MHz and UP Group located in Northern California

Volume 2, Number 1.

December 1996 to January 1997.

Visit our current website at: http://www.nitehawk.com/rasmit/n_ca_uw1.html
and our future website at: http://www.nitehawk.com/rasmit/50UP.html
Temporarily both addresses work!

Next Meeting, Sunday, 1/5/97 at 1 p.m after the Livermore swap meet!

The meeting place will be the Lockheed Auditorium in Bldg. 202 on Hanover Street in Palo Also, 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.

January Program

January is the time for submitting the first round of nominees for elected officers and board members. If you, or someone you know wants to serve, please don't be shy! You must be a member to nominate or be nominated. The election will take place in the Feb. meeting.

The program will begin with a report on any FCC actions or news. Then a brief remembrance of Nick Marshall, W6OLO will follow.

The main program for the meeting is a talk/clinic by Brian Yee about "Frequency Stability at 10 GHz." He will bring an operating Cesium reference for use in calibrating our personal counters and sources. You are all welcome to bring your crystal standards and frequency counters to calibrate against this primary standard. AC power is available in the room, but you should bring a power outlet strip so that several people can warm up their equipment simultaneously. Don't forget that crystals must be at their operating temperature for several hours before they can hold accuracies better than .01ppm. Brian will also give a demo on Loran-C. We will, as usual, include discussions of band activities.

Don't forget the ever-popular swap. Bring your goodies!

Nick Marshall, W6OLO

Nick passed away the week before our first meeting last January. He was the President of Project OSCAR and was the main force behind the development and launching of the first amateur satellites. He also had a vision for an amateur beacon or repeater to be placed on the moon. It was called Project Moonray. Copies of his papers will be shown at the January meeting.

Preview of February Meeting

The February meeting will be on Sunday Feb. 2. This is the last call for nominations and the election will take place during this meeting.

The invited guest speaker will be Dr. Julius Lange who is world-renowned for his invention of the Lange Coupler, which is a very broadband 90 degree hybrid. He will speak on microwave component design then give an introduction to extremely high speed data modulation techniques.

The meeting place will be announced at the January meeting and published in the next Newsletter.

Recruit Members

This is the first mailing that we are sending ONLY to paid-up members. Please let your friends know about the 50 MHz and Up Group and get them to sign up!

Acting Officers

Office Name and Call Sign Phone Number
President Jeffrey Pawlan, WA6KBL 408-371-0256
Vice President Bill Rausch, AA6PA 408-637-0622
Treasurer Will Jensby, W0EOM 408-296-6071
Secretary Bill Ogilvie, KQ6FY 415-968-3707
Board Member George Badger III, W3AB 408-476-3563
Board Member
and newsletter editor
Jim Moss, WB9AJZ 408-746-2789

Minutes of the December 1, 1996 Meeting

The meeting was held at Lockheed-Martin's auditorium on Hanover Street, Palo Alto, commencing at 1:00 PM. The directors and club officers present were: Jeffrey Pawlan, WA6KBL, President; Bill Rausch, AA6PA, Vice President; Will Jensby, W0EOM, Treasurer; Bill Ogilvie, KQ6FY, Secretary; Jim Moss, WB9AJZ, Director, and Art Lange, W6RXQ, Director. There were 12 people in attendance.

The meeting was called to order at 1:00 PM, by Jeffrey Pawlan, the President. A report on the membership drive was delivered: In total, there were 36 paid up members. Seven had only paid up for the balance of 1996. The sign-up list was passed around amongst the members, so that up to date information could be added.

A discussion was opened about holding a conference, possibly from the beginning to the middle of May. This could possibly be done in association with the IEEE MTT Society. The topic for the next meeting was announced: "maintaining Frequency Stability While Mountain- Topping" All present said that they had received the mailing. It was announced that the large dish in Algonquin Park, Ontario, VE3ONT would be off the air for overhaul work.

The benefits of ARRL affiliation were discussed - primarily a reduction in insurance costs. They will also publish and distribute proceedings of conferences at no cost.

A report on the effort to preserve microwave spectrum for Amateur use was given by Jeffrey, WA6KBL. The Little LEO attack on the 2 Meter and 70 cm bands seems to have subsided for now, because they were not going to present their case at the 97 WARC. Instead they had decided to monitor that spectrum with a satellite. There was some speculation that this would not be very useful. The Federal Government was going to auction off the 2300 - 2310 band segment, but was under pressure to preserve the first 5 MHz for Amateurs. It was also stated that there was a 95% chance that Amateurs would get primary status on the segments of the 2390 - 2450 ISM band that are used for EME and weak signal use. There was no word on Apple Computer's attempted grab for all of the 5.7 GHz band. Another contender for parts of this band is the national highway administration authority. They have asked for non-interference usage of the 5.6 GHz band, to control traffic lights, etc. The ARRL has suggested that with the right methods, a narrow band control link may be feasible. This may allow locating them elsewhere. It was also stated that the FCC doesn't want Apple to use any 5.7 MHz links outdoors.

The speaker, Bill Rausch AA6PA talked about AMSAT's newest satellite, Phase 3D. and the threat to established satellite links when third world countries auction off local spectrum. The case offered was Guatemala, where virtually all the amateur bands above 2 Meters had been auctioned off to private interests.

de KQ6FY, Bill Ogilvie

Contests and Events

Ursids meteor shower, peaks at 0536z.

Quandrantids meteor shower

8 AM Livermore Swap - Los Positas College

1PM 50 MHz and Up Group Meeting at Lockheed bldg. 202

January VHF Contest (I don't have confirmation on date.)

8AM Livermore Swap - Los Positas College

1 PM 50 MHz and Up Group Meeting

Western States Weak Signal Society Conference at Montecito-Sequoia Lodge located in the Sequoia National Forest between Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks, 65 miles east of Fresno at 7500', just minutes from Grant Grove and the famous Giant Sequoia Trees. Pre-registration $15, at the door $20. Send checks payable to WSWSS to Bob Earl, POB 332, Midway City, CA 92655. Lodge rooms, cabins, and RV info available. (Jim Moss WB9AJZ has copy of the info, will distribute in a later newsletter.)

VHF+ WeakSignal NETS

8PM 144.240 Southern California WSWSS

8PM 144.250 Central California WSWSS

8:30PM (about) 432.100 Central California WSWSS

8PM 144.250 Northern California SWOT

8PM 144.240 Southern California WSWSS SWAP

8PM 144.250 Northern California SWOT SWAP

Swap/Wanted/For Sale

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

For Sale by Jeffrey Pawlan, WA6KBL: The Marconi Signal Generator is still available. A tower consisting of two 12 ft. sections similar to Rohn 25 is available for $75. One section is a bottom section with mounting feet and the other is a top section with a rotor plate welded in place. There are also two dishes available. One is one meter diameter, made of aluminum, and has mounting bars on the back. It has small dings that are easily repairable. It is $25. There is also a 4 ft. high quality and heavy duty steel dish for sale It has a surface that should be good for 24GHz! It has no feed and has a hole in the center where a feed would be mounted. It was probably an Andrews dish. It is available for $50. phone: (408) 371-0256 8am - 10pm PST.

Spread Spectrum

From a phone call with Brad Wyatt, K6WR, Director of the Pacific Division of the ARRL[1].

<article by Jim Moss, WB9AJZ>

Brad telephoned on the telephone on Saturday December 7th looking for weaksignal VHF's. He has attended a couple of our meetings and knows that I am a representative for the Bay Area to the Western States Weak Signal Society (WSWSS) as well as a member of our club. He was concerned about how the weaksignal community viewed the recent approval of an SAT (Special Temporary Authorization) to allow the use of spread spectrum operations in most of the VHF and up bands, including 50, 144, 430 for 6 months of testing.

Brad was very aware of the discussions on this subject that have been continuing on the VHF mailserver[2]. Most of the concern comes from co-occupancy of multiple modes in the same frequency band. How much interference will there be from a SS station to weaksignal operations? After all who would want a spread spectrum (Those words sound pretty bad, kinda like splatter!) operating nearby messing up weak signal portions of the band where signals are right at the edge of detection. The noise floor might be raised. I've seen some analysis on this, but answers seem to be wide ranging and questionable. It certainly is an important item to understand. Apparently, there are many ways to work on the noise problem from the SS side including pass/reject filters, selection of hopping frequencies, hop rate, chirp rates.... all depending on implementation.

At the Central States VHF Conference this year, before the SAT, a paper was presented on the use of SS techniques to do moonbounce with an Oscar-class VHF station. Many VHF's find this difficult to believe. Based on coding schemes, significant "processing gain" can be produced allowing signals "below the noise" to be copied. Certainly something we might be interested in.

Brad and the ARRL supported the issuance of the SAT to TAPR[3]. Brad says he is one of the few directors directly involved with VHF+ activities. His support for the SAT was not to cause problems to the weaksignal community, but rather to encourage further development and experimentation in Amateur Radio. If nothing else, the issuance of the SAT has exposed SS to many VHF+ hams. Brad would like to keep in touch with our group and other weaksignal operators. Weaksignal VHF+ hams have been difficult to contact, as many do not belong to organizations. He is hopeful that our club and the WSWSS can help by not just getting the word out, but also getting our thoughts back to ARRL and him. Brad has asked that I act as a conduit between him, our organization, and individuals interested in the SS issue, as well as, others concerning the weaksignal VHF+ community. You can reach me at the phone number listed in the Officers section, or email me at Jim Moss.

[1] Brad Wyatt, K6WR

[2] ( vhf@w6yx.stanford.edu used for sending messages to the list.
To subscribe send a message to: vhf-request@w6yx.stanford.edu leaving the subject blank, and putting subscribe vhf youremailaddresshere in the body.)

[3] You can get the text of the SAT and lists of participating stations at the TAPR WWW site, www.tapr.org

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