Dirty Dishes
and Clean Signals

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

Volume 2, Number 3

February - March 1997

Visit our website at: 50 MHz and UP Group

Next Meeting, Sunday, 3/2/97 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, about 2/3 of the way up the hill. If you are coming from Foothill Expressway or Hwy 280, you can turn onto Porter and follow it until you pass W-J where the name of the street changes to Hanover. The parking lot is on the right side from this direction.

For those of you who are tracking your car position by GPS, the exact location is:

37° 24' 41.1"N, 122° 08' 35"W or Trimble extended gridsquare CM87wj28

March Program: Amateur Rocket Tracking and Telemetry by Ken Kitlas, KD6OBU

Ken has degrees in Physics and Chemistry, and completed the course work for MSEE. In the 1980's he worked for Comsat and the military industry. Later he worked for Applied Technology on radar warning systems. At Quantic Industries he developed missile detonators. More recently he worked in the medical industry, working on RF generators for catheters. He also is working on instrumentation for food grain analysis.

Since the late 1960's, Ken has been involved with amateur rocketry. We are not talking little Estes rockets, but rather ones that may have a 250# payload and a 20 mile high trajectory. Most of the launches have been out in the Nevada desert near the Smoke Creek Desert.

The two main areas of interest are telemetry and command, and tracking. Telemetry and command allows ground controllers to monitor the key rocket parameters, and initiate control of the rocket. Tracking Is important to measure speed, altitude, and recovery location. Early work included a VHF transmitter on board with some telemetry and beacons for recovery. This approach works, but has the disadvantage that once the rocket is down (not always a smooth landing), the antenna may be poorly oriented, or even in the ground! This makes DF (direction finding) difficult. Ken has experimented with using Doppler radar to track the rockets, and will show some pictures of this approach. Recently, Ken has been considering using an "inverse-GPS" approach. This would require a single transmitter on board, and 3 receive stations. This will be discussed at the meeting.

The cost of the solution is very important, as about 80% of the payloads are "lost". There are also requirements that everything needed to operate must be brought out to the desert. This includes water, power, food, equipment... everything.

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

Minutes of the February 2, 1997 Meeting

The meeting, held at Lockheed Martin's building 202, was brought to order at 1:15 PM, with 18 people present. Club officers present were: Jeffrey, WA6KBL president; Bill, AA6PA Vice President; Will, W0EOM Treasurer, Bill, KQ6FY secretary; and Board members: Jim, WB9AJZ; and Art, W6RXQ. Nominations were opened and no new nominations were heard. The existing executive and board members were elected by acclamation.

A proposed microwave conference, for the memorial day weekend, was postponed. Many of the possible participants would be busy and several of the organizers.of the UHF Conferences a decade ago pointed out that more time would be needed to plan a conference. No one present was willing to volunteer to help. Among the topics dicussed for this conference were oscillator phase noise, antenna simulation and design principles.. After a lot of discussion concerning the best summer time date to hold this conference, it was decided that Art Lange, W6RXQ, would contact the MDARC group and approach them about allowing us to organise a track at Pacificon. This would be a 1 day event with technical talks and other, yet to be determined events.

The speaker for March will be Ken Kitlas, KD6OBU, who will talk on the subject of using radio to track rockets. An April speaker has not been lined up yet, but the speaker in May will be Lance Ginner, K6GSJ. Lance will talk about the BAYCOM system he built on Mt Umunum.

The lastest news on the 5.7 GHz front is that the National Highway Associaion has not presented anymore requests for exclusive use of the 5.7 GHz spectrum. NII was given 100MHz of our spectrum to use for unlicensed applications.

The last order of club business was to get a club call. Bob Stein, W6NBI offered to look into obtaining the old UHF Society Club call and to submit an application.

The guest speaker, Dr. Julius Lange was introduced. He is well known as the inventor of the Lange coupler, which is widely used in microwave integrated circuits. Dr Lange works for Lockheed at the Western Development Laboratories. His interests are: device physics, phased arrays, calibration standards of network analyzers, and high-speed data communications. He gave a very interesting talk about coupler physics and modulation techniques for high-speed communications.

de KQ6FY, Bill Ogilvie

Elected 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 Art Lange, W6RXQ 408-735-1594
Board Member
and newsletter editor
Jim Moss, WB9AJZ 408-746-2789

Little LEO Wants More of Our Spectrum

Not satisfied with just asking for the 2 meter and 70 cm bands, the Little LEO folks are now asking for the 222MHz amateur band as well:

At the February 13, 1997 meeting of FCC Informal Working Group (IWG) 2A that has been preparing draft proposals for the 1997 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-97), little LEO (low-Earth-orbit) proponents for the very first time proposed including 219-225 MHz in their list of desired allocations for their non-voice non-geostationary (NVNG) mobile-satellite service (MSS).

The little LEOs' strategy for WRC-97 is to propose broad allocations on the theory that most administrations would find reasons to oppose little LEO use of specific bands in the crowded spectrum below 1 GHz, but that a broad allocation would permit different implementations in different countries depending on local circumstances. Their document is identified as IWG-2A/86(Rev. 6).

Send a brief e-mail message to: FCC

Subject line: "Reference No. ISP-96-005 IWG-2A."

Message should, at least, say: "I support the ARRL/AMSAT opposition, as stated in IWG-2A/108(Rev. 1), to the NVNG MSS flexible allocation proposal". Any additional arguments or evidence you may wish to provide would, of course, also be welcome.

Free RF Software Available on the Web

de WA6KBL, Jeffrey Pawlan

Check out the website for Applied Wave Research, Inc. You can download a Windows program called TXLINE that will either analyze or synthesize several different types of transmission lines including microstrip, stripline, coplanar waveguide and slotline. It is absolutely free and you register by sending email to the company. They also have a beta version of a S-parameter plotting program available to try until March 1. The full version of that will not be free, however.

Contests and Events

160m CQ WW SSB

ARRL SSB DX contest

8 AM Livermore Swap - Los Positas College

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

Foothill Swapmeet, El Monte exit off 280. Remember your pocket full of quarters for the parking. Time: the middle of the night! Anyone who gets there before Lars, AA6IW will get an award at the April meeting.

CQ WW WPX SSB contest

8 AM Livermore Swap - Los Positas College

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

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

I am looking for technical information (schematic, voltages around the motherboard, service manual, etc.) for a Librex 386 notebook computer. The external power supply is good, but the computer does not turn on, nor does it charge the internal battery. When the battery is removed from the computer and connected to a charger, it charges.

73s, Rich Stiebel, W6APZ

(415) 494-0128 or click on name to send email

Surplus Stores

by Jim Moss (WB9AJZ)

I recently came across an interesting WEB page summarizing many of the "Silicon Valley Surplus" stores. Check Here

HIS top rated stores were:

Alltronics ***, 2300 Zanker Road, San Jose 408-943-9773. I recently visited and found most of the interesting stuff in the glass cases right at the front door. There's lots more to see inside.

Halted Specialties (HSC) ***, 3500 Ryder St (near Lawrence and Central Expressway) Santa Clara 408-732-1573. This one is right across the street from where I work, so I visit often. Has some laser and optical stuff in glass cases and hidden away. Also sells HAM gear (limited).

Haltek ****, 1062 Linda Vista Ave (shoreline exit of 101) Mountain View 415-969-0510. I visit this one often also. Some RF stuff around, best in the glass cases.

RA Enterprises ****, 2260 De La Cruz Blvd (look for the red double decker bus!) Santa Clara 408-986-8268. Of all the stores this is my favorite. I visit as often as I am in the neighborhood. Lots of turn over of stuff through this store, so you have to be there to catch the good stuff! Lots of 2Gig stuff on the shelves right now.

WeirdStuff Warehouse ***, 384 W. Caribbean Drive, Sunnyvale 408-743-5650 Haven't had a chance to visit since they moved to their new location. Their website makes it sound interesting, and they even have "pallet" sales once per week with minimum bids of $26.

Speakers Sought for October WSWSS Conference

Our group is filled with talented people! Please consider presenting a paper or talk at the WSWSS conference in October.

Contact Robert, N7STU

Weak Signal Band Planning, Coordination, or Regulations?

A summary of info/rumblings floating around on the VHF reflector

Recently NFCC (National Frequency Coordinating Council) moved under the ARRL to act as the central coordinating body for FM and repeater frequencies. There has been some discussion of how band plans may or may not be affected.

Some believe that it is likely that their role will expand from FM/Repeaters to include coordination of other modes as well.

One ham is putting together a petition to the FCC to preserve weaksignal operating bands by "law" for bands from 50-2304 MHz.

Another ham's input:

"Instead of running like cry-babies to an FCC that wishes we did not exist, lets run ... to the ARRL BoD and ask that they drop "local option" from all ARRL approved bandplans." (There is a sentence in the current band plans that says local councils can differ from the national plan.)

Where will it all lead? Who knows... Stay tuned.

50MHz and Up Group to Host Track at Pacificon

de Jeffrey Pawlan, WA6KBL

I contacted the Chairman for the 1997 Pacificon and asked whether it would be possible for our club to host activities and talks on the Saturday of the Pacificon. He agreed, Art Lange and I discussed possible programs and formally asked the Mt. Diablo ARC to put us down for the use of the back parking lot for an antenna range on Saturday morning from 9am to noon. We will then be given rooms for talks from 1pm to at least 5pm. We are taking signups for people to organize and to help with the antenna range. Please contact Art Lange.

50MHz and Up Group Applies for Club Station Call

de Jeffrey Pawlan, WA6KBL

Bob Stein contacted the FCC and also the ARRL to find out whether we could simply transfer the club call from the now defunct UHF Society. Unfortunately, it is not possible with the records lost and the Secretary of that club now a SK. We were advised to apply to the FCC for a new club call then in approximately 2 years the old call will become available and we will be able to apply under the vanity call program. We are very appreciative of the help from Brad Wyatt and he has also graciously agreed to be our Club Station Trustee with his Extra Class call. The three of us filled out the appropriate paperwork and it is now at the FCC being processed. We will soon have a new club call.

50MHz and Up Group Applies for ARRLClub Affiliation

de Jeffrey Pawlan, WA6KBL

I sent in the completed paperwork to the ARRL for application as an official ARRL affiliated club. This will give us several benefits at no cost to us. It will also enable us to purchase Club Liability Insurance in the future.

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