W6IFE San Bernardino Microwave Society Newsletter
W6IFE Newsletter

President Dick Bremer, WB6DNX 1664 Holly St. Brea, CA 92621--714-529-2800 --rabremer@juno.com

VP Ken Halford, WB6DTA 2901 Joaquin Dr. Burbank, CA 91504 --818-848-9059

Recording Sec Dick Kolbly K6HIJ 26335 Community Barstow, CA 92311--760-253-2477 --rkolbly@compuserve.com

Corresponding Sec Larry Johnston, K6HLH 16611 E. Valeport Ave Lancaster, CA --805-264- 4110 --ljohns@qnet.com

Treasurer Dick Kolbly K6HIJ 26335 Community Barstow, CA 92311 --760-253-2477 --rkolbly@compuserve.com

Editor Bill Burns WA6QYR 247 Rebel Rd Ridgecrest, CA 93555 760-375-8566--bburns@ridgecrest.ca.us

ARRL Interface Frank Kelly WB6CWN 1111 Rancho Conejo Blvd. #501 Newbury Park, CA 91320 --805-499-8047--fk@event1.com

FCC Interface Dave Laag K6OW 11614 Indian St. Moreno Valley, CA 92557 --909-924-1517

W6IFE License Trustee Ed Munn W6OYJ 6255 Radcliffe Dr. San Diego, CA--92122 619-453-4563--edmunn@compuserve.com


The 1 October 1998 meeting of the SBMS will have Doug, K6JEY talk about

basic spectrum analyzer operation. The SBMS meets at the American Legion

Hall 1024 Main Street (south of the 91 freeway in Corona, CA at 1930 hours

local time on the first Thursday of each month..

Last meeting Bill, WA6QYR covered some operating aids for the field. Ideas

of having a list of pointing angles from the planned site to other popular

sites in the area; for full duplex operating such as with gunnplexers on 10

GHz one can use the boomerang to give a signal return that allows the

operator to check his rig performance (and make adjustments for improvement

like setting the feed in the dish focus); the use of two compass rose on a

sheet of paper to set the angle of a non-moveable compass rose on your

tripod to a known direction (like on of the beacons) and then know the

reading needed for any other direction from the tripod. Thanks Bill for the

ideas. Visitors were Peter Lyman, K6PTL of Pasadena; Mike Danford, KD6FAM of

Romoland; John Stephensen, KD6OZH of Brentwood; and Gary Becda, K6ENS of

Redondo Beach. New member present was Mel Swanberg, WA6JBD of Riverside.

Welcome to all. It was voted to reply to the ARRL context rules committee

request for feelings on changes to the 10 GHz contest. The membership would

like to see operation from 6 pm Friday through 6 p.m. Sunday. They would

also like to open the contest to all microwave bands 2.3 GHz and up with

scoring per band and possibly an overall winner. Frank, WB6CWN will be

responding to the ARRL request. K6OW noted that the church next door will be

having Thursday night meetings now. SBMS should be aware of parking in front

of meeting hall and not spill over into the side or back streets where cars

have been broken into. 34 people present.

It is with sadness that we report the passing of microwaver and great guy,

Lloyd Novak, AB6SM. Lloyd is a member of long standing in SBMS and Cactus.

Lloyd was always out in the field with his microwave gear even if it had

problems. An example to all of us to keep doing our best. We wish his family well.

errata- I goofed on the date of the Miller High School (Fontana) swap meet.

 

It is the second weekend in the month. Thanks George for keeping me straight.

Wants and Gots for sale

Want Siemens 10 GHz TWT power supply Frank WB6CWN 805-443-2902 fk@event1.com.

Want WR-42 waveguide switch Dave WA6CGR 909-612-5888.

 

Scheduling

5 Nov. meeting tech talk TBD.

3 Dec. meeting tech talk TBD.

7 Jan 99 meeting tech talk TBD.

4 Feb. meeting tech talk TBD.

Activity reported at the September meeting: Dick, WB6DNX was out on Heaps PK

for the 1st weekend of the contest; Paul, N6LL was out for a few contest

contacts before his rig broke; Chip, N6CA was out on contest and helped set

up the WSWSS web page; Al, K6LJM was out fixing ATV equipment on Heaps; Gary

W6KVC did some ATV work; Jim, K6ML was out for a few 10 GHz WBFM contacts ;

Gordon, WB6YLI operated from home and collected 3K points, and is building

the WA6EXV waterpipe feed; Larry, K6HLH now has a 2w 10 GHz amp; Ed, W6OYJ

was out to the ARRL SW convention then did some contesting on 10 and 24 GHz;

Mel, WA6JBD got some 24 GHz contacts; Doug, K6JEY brought in his new 24 GHz

rig to show and was out for the contest; Dave WA6CGR is back in SOCAL , had

his 24 GHz SSB rig to show, and had 30 Qís in the contest; Eric, KD6GLP had

one contact with his new rig in the contest; John, KD6OZH worked the

contest; Joe, WA6PAZ did a tech talk at the West Coast ARC and was out for

contest; Gary, K6ENS had 13 contacts on the contest; Dave, WB6OVZ had a

MACOM transverter to work with; Derek, KN6TD is building parts; Bob, W6SYA

heard the PV beacon on his new narrowband 10 GHz rig and had 10 and 24 GHz

WBFM contacts; Bob, K6ITU is building a 10 GHz rig; Frank, WB6CWN is

rebuilding his TWT supply; Bill, WA6QYR finished the 1.2 and 2.3 GHz loop

yagis, modified the Qualcomm 1152 MHz synthesizer board, checked out the

mixer RFI mods to his 24 GHz rig and did some roving to find more sites for

the 2nd contest weekend; Chuck, WA6EXV roved during the contest, but too

much water in air for long 24 GHz contacts, had a few 10 GHz contacts,

rebuilt his TWT into a better box for 10 GHz EME operation; Phil, W6HCC sold

his Cherry Valley house and is finishing his move to Colorado (going to miss

you Phil); Dave, K6OW did a tech talk at SW ARRL convention (some 30 NEW

people to his beginning microwave talk- GREAT)and was out for contest;

Robin, WA6CDR did a tech talk at convention and was out for the contest.

 

Comments from folks on various sites during the 2nd weekend of the 10 GHz and Up contest:

Here are a few words on the operation at 6000 ft Heaps Peak DM14kf on the

second weekend of the 10 GHz Cumulative Contest for 1998. I arrived at Heaps

Peak early Friday evening and unloaded most of the equipment needed for the

contest. Saturday morning I awoke early (there is not much to do at Heaps in

the evening, so I went to bed much earlierthan usual) and after a great

breakfast I set up the equipment and made some checks on it's performance,

then waited for the contest to begin. At 0818 I made my first contact with

WA6QYR/6 and then proceeded to make29 more over the weekend. This was not a

very productive contest for me!

Shortly after the contest started, I received a call from Gary, K6ENS on the

liaison channel stating that he was at the Heaps Peak gate and was having

trouble finding the correct lock to open (there are a zillion locks on that

gate!). Gary arrived on site in a short while and began to set up his

equipment. The two of us continued to work stations through out the day.

Gary said that he had several locations that he would like to work from in

the LA area the next day, so departed Heaps Peak when the contest ended on

Saturday.

About mid morning on Saturday, the wave guide relay on my 35 Watt TWT

decided to get very sluggish and finally totally quit. I was then forced to

install my one Watt PA and continue the contest. What a bummer! I was not

able to work Bill and Mel (WA6QYR) in the San Joaquin Valley after that.

Conditions were not very good, as I was not able to hear most of the

Northern California stations which I have heard on many other occasions.

Early Sunday morning, Dick, WB6DNX joined me on Heaps Peak and set up his

equipment. Conditions looked even more bleak this morning, a very strong

inversion hung over the LA basin and did not break up all day. In fact by

mid afternoon we were completely engulfed in fog, to the point that we were

not able to see the tops of most of the towers on Heaps Peak. The highlight

of the day came when Dick was attempting to work Robin, WA6CDR/XE2 and Jack,

N6XQ/XE2. The normal bounce path off Palos Verdes DM03ts to Mexico (DM11pr)

was not working at all and Dick was just barely hearing signals from them,

but not able to make copy. I then suggested to Dick that he point his

antenna up into one of the towers and see if they were reflecting the

signals. I had done this on earlier occasions when working the San Diego

group. This time it worked great and Dick was able to work both of the

stations with his antenna pointed about 40 degrees up! This took place late

in the day and it was bitter cold with dense fog, I thought that Dick's hand

would freeze up at any moment and the key would be locked down, but he

persevered. By 1830 most of the other stations had closed down and it became

so cold at Heaps Peak that Dick and I decided to pack it in and left the

hill. 73, Chuck WA6EXV

During the contest, the first 24 GHz narrowband contact in Southern

California occurred the evening of September 19th at 19:58 PST in Hesperia,

CA. between Dave Glawson - WA6CGR and John Stephensen - KD6OZH within the

same grid square - DM14HK. This was witnessed by David Gill - KE6FYF of

Hesperia.

The following day, the first 24 GHz narrowband contact between Northern and

Southern California. Dave Glawson - WA6CGR on Frazier Mountain (DM04MS) and

Brian Yee - W6BY on Music Mountain (DM07IB) established communication on

24.192102 GHz at a distance of 160 Miles (257 km)!. The signals were 30 dB

over S-9 on both ends. This was witnessed by Joe Saddler - WA6PAZ. Also from

Frazier Mountain (DM04MS) WA6CGR worked KD6OZH at DM05KL at 49 miles (80

km). The signals were 5 and 9.

The radio used by WA6CGR is running 120 mW output and an approximate 3 dB

noise figure on the receiver. The system is phase locked to within +/- 1 KHz

@ 24.192000000 GHz using the WA6CGR phase lock system.

I don't have any details on Brian's radio. Dave - WA6CGR

 

I had expected Saturday to be a warm up for Sunday, but I lost a fuel pump

in Ventura on the way to Santa Ynez Sunday morning. Missed working Bill.

Rats. I worked some guys and made some points. Frank-WB6CWN

16 stations were on the air in the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern

California during the 1998 10 GHz and Up contest, including a lost soul from

Southern California. Being GREAT hosts that we are, Dave K6OW was allowed to

have the best distance at 889 km working XE2/N6XQ and XE2/WA6CDR at DM11PR

from Mt. Vaca CM88wj. Second best distance was our local DX'r Ron K6GZA at

875 km from Mt. Tamalpais CM87qw also to DM11PR. W6ASL had a great

year...Jim did not run over GZA's dish during teardown, and finally heard

Jack and Robin in DM11 with S7 bursts. ASL is mailing SWL cards to both.

 

im-W6ASL

When Jack and I arrived at Punta Banda (Baja, Mexico DM11pr) Friday night,

the wx was cloud cover down on the deck- fog. we set up anyway, except for

the dishes because it was blowing- Saturday morning, we finished the setup,

drying off the stuff that got wet- my LO PLL wouldnít lock until I stuck 2

150W floodlamps onto it for 20 minutes or so, after letting it all air out

for an hour- I did cover it with a tarp the night before, but that wasnít

enough, apparently..... after that, it behaved normally.

 

I went to Mexico expecting it to be HOT!- I took the Gazebo that I use on

Mt. Wilson, and other sun protection stuff- I like cold weather, but that

was COLD!- wet gloppy fog until 10-11 on Saturday, then cleared for a while,

but it never got really warm.. Jack says it was my fault- I took a gazebo

for sun protection. so it rained (or at least fogged!). Murphy Lives!! I

thought conditions were poor on Saturday with signals from NorCal poor to

missing and only moderate beacon strength- like s9 or so, with Frazier

louder than PV.. but- Sunday!!! GAWK!!! The Frazier beacon was threshold the

entire day, and PV was essentially missing the whole day- I think I detected

it a little in the morning, but most of the rest of the day it was gone-

Jack could just detect it on his better rx, but absolutely amazingly BAD!

Signals from Heaps were best when they pointed at the towers and we pointed

direct path! worked on it for quite a while to work WB6DNX on Sunday- his

signals were weak bouncing off the towers, but were NOT THERE bouncing off PV!

Signals from LA stations were barely SSB, and sometimes CW only on Sunday.

Jack and I were truly amazed that there was any path to NorCal at all on

Sunday- working K6OW at Vaca CM88wj was really tuff, but it happened. K6OW

commented that he was very surprised that the known path from Vaca to Heaps

didnít work- the dense cloud cover and no inversion killed it, I guess.

Anyway- 3 longest paths were to K6GZA on Mt. Tam, 875 KM; K6OW on Crystal

836 KM and K6OW on Vaca, 889 KM; and the next 5 longest qsos were with

WA6QYR, 557 KM, 580 KM, 646 KM, 666 KM, 622 KM.

21 qsos on Saturday, 14 qsos on Sunday for 35 qsos from XE- 73 robin-

WA6CDR/XE2

 

The plan of this rover was to hit 23 sites in the California Central Valley

and get a bunch of points. I had Mel, WA6JBD for copilot and helper. The

pickup was loaded with gear and towed a trailer with the 4 ft dish. We

arrived in Tulare on Friday afternoon and found a starting location. By

Saturday morning Murphy had hit. I was sick and at the throw-up threshold.

We traveled to the first site and set up, but signals just werenít

propagating. The TWT decided to start blowing fuzes and not wanting to

reset. We only managed to make 4 sites on Saturday and 6 on Sunday. With a

total of 32 contacts from 11 calls, things just didnít work out as great as

the plan. It paid off to have the CMOS Super Keyer 3 to work all those CW

contacts at the noise level. While sitting next to a cotton field near Los

Banos, a deputy sheriff stopped by asking if we were out cloning cell

phones. You sure get a lot of strange looks when out in the agricultural

areas with a 4 ft dish on a trailer and a pickup with a GPS dome and other

antennas. Thanks to all those stations on Northern and Southern California

mountain tops for providing contacts. Thanks to Mel for being a great

helper. I think we have a new microwaver in Mel. Special thanks to Jack,

N6XQ and Robin, WA6CDR for traveling to Mexico for some long distance

contacts and to Dave, K6OW who visited various Northern California peaks and

provided lots of contacts. EVERYONE- SEND IN YOUR SCORES AND LOGS FOR THE

CONTEST, EVEN IF YOU ONLY HAD ONE CONTACT.

Bill, WA6QYR

 

A Test tool: The Boomerang

If you are looking for a simple tool for checking the operation of your full

duplex (receive and transmit at the same time) microwave system, i.e. the

old ROCKLOC(Relative Or Crystal Local Oscillator Control) rig or one of its

later generation WBFM rig, the boomerang will do the job. The boomerang is

just a simple crystal oscillator running at your IF frequency, 30 MHz, that

is connected to a detector on a waveguide of the correct frequency band. Say

for the current folk running the 10 GHz gunnplexer, this would be a 30 MHz

crystal oscillator in a metal box with say a 9 volt battery. The output of

the oscillator is feed through a piece of coax to a WR90 waveguide detector

mount. The open waveguide end is pointed at your gunnplexer. The 10 GHz

energy from the gunnplexer enters the waveguide and mixes with the 30 MHz

driving the 1N23 diode. Now you have your 10 GHz transmit frequency plus and

minus 30 MHz and harmonics coming back out of the waveguide toward your

gunnplexer. Instant second station to hear in your WBFM receiver. Now you

can put the boomerang on a fence post and adjust the gunnplexer position at

the focus of the dish. See how far you can hear the boomerang. See if adding

the 30 MHz preamp to the gunnplexer IF output improved the performance of

the rig. Since the boomerang depends upon the amount of power your gunn puts

out, the distance heard is related to transmit power and sensitivity of the

receiver circuits, --system performance.

With the ROCKLOC rig using the polarplexer feed, the transmitter was put

into one port of a circular waveguide transition and the receive energy was

taking out at an orthogonal port 90 degrees away. We transmitted on say 45

degrees to the right of the propagation path and received 45 degrees to the

left. Placing the boomerang in transmission path with either vertical or

horizontal polarization, enough energy to be captured by diode and

re-radiated so one could check station performance. Making polaplexers out

of coffee cans on 2 GHz, steel beer cans on 3.3 GHz and brass toilet tank

fittings for 10 GHz was easy. Now in the aluminum pop can days one has to

shop the supermarket closer to find materials to build antennas with.

Pointing helps.

With all the polluted air these days and ability to work stations beyond

line of sight on the microwave bands, one needs tools to find where to point

for that other station out there. Enter the Boy Scout compass and the

computer. One you know where you are either by the GPS device in you pocket

or looking on a topographic map/ AAA map with the latitude/ longitude marked

in the margin. You can enter that data into the basic program BD

(bearing/distance) found on the ARRL webpages or from a friend and come up

with the Maidenhead grid square you are standing in. Some GPS devices read

out in Maidenhead coordinates. Learning what grid the other station is in

will allow you to punch in to BD that grid square and read out what the

distance and heading to the station is from your position. Now all you need

to do is figure out what direction that is. Now you pull out the magnetic

compass and read the heading- right? No the magnetic compass points to

magnetic north which in most cases is not the same as true north. In

Southern California magnetic north is about 15 degrees to the east of true

north. So you need to subtract 15 degrees from the true heading and find

that magnetic heading on the compass rose. In other parts of the country you

may need to add or subtract a different amount, so one may wish to consult

the data on the bottom of your topographic map or a Boy Scout Handbook. Now

holding the compass level and still, allowing the needle to rotate freely

and settle to magnetic north, you now position your eye to look over the

center of the compass to the heading degrees and spot some object on the

horizon in the heading direction. Now you can point your dish toward that

object and connect up with the other station. Once contact is made you can

log the contact, grid squares, and write down the distance from BD. Planning

in advance as to what hill top you are going to and the locations of other

good sites, one can make up a list of pointing angles for that site so in

the next contest youíll know exactly where to point for those rovers. Some

does and doníts for compass use might be in order. Since a compass uses

magnetic fields to point, standing next to a metal car may effect your

compass. Donít lay the compass and your map on the car hood and expect it to

point correctly. This goes for the picnic table with metal bolts too. The

data on your computer disks may not like the magnetic compass needle. In

other words keep the compass away from metal and magnets. I know one Boy

Scout who liked magnets and his compass. Placing both in the same pocket

resulted in a compass whose needle would point south.

Some microwavers pick up military surplus tripods and other devices for

holding up a dish antenna. Some of these support devices have a compass rose

mounted on them. Some of the compass roses are adjustable, rotate in azimuth

and can be locked with a set screw. On others the reading just rotates with

the dish and no way to reset it. A tool to help finding a azimuth direction

with the non-adjustable compass rose is to build a translator. If one draws

on paper a circle and using a protractor marks off a compass rose of 360

degrees, this can serve as the ground heading desired. If you make a second

smaller diameter compass rose that would fit inside the first, now you have

a compass rose that represents the one on your tripod. Cut out the smaller

circle from the paper and place it over the center of the ground larger

circle. Use a small screw or tack to hold the two circles in place while

allowing the smaller one to rotate. Now say you are on a hill and have a

beacon in a known direction you can receive. Peak up on the beacon signal

and note the reading on the tripod compass rose. Take the tripod reading on

the inner paper compass rose and align it to the correct heading on the

outer ground compass rose. Now you have a translator for where you would

like to point to from your location to the heading you should set on the

tripod compass rose. If you donít have a known beacon direction to point to,

you can use a magnetic compass to find say an east object on the horizon to

position your dish optical alignment tool on. And now you can read the

tripod heading. If you want to keep everything in true readings, then you

will have to convert the east magnetic heading to true heading. Some of the

military compass roses read in a clockwise direction around the device and

others read counterclockwise. So when laying out your inner circle take that

into account. Some military (usually Army equipment) compass roses read in

mils, 6400 mils per 360 degrees. This is fine, you just need to make 6400

divisions around your inner rose instead of 360. So you have a degrees to

mils translator.

Bill WA6QYR

Above is Dave Glawson, WA6CGR showing off some of his microwave rigs in

about 1996.

 

73s Bill

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