Sweepstakes Disappointment

I’m out of town this weekend, camping with a Troop of Boy Scouts, so I’ll miss all the excitement on the bands. Maybe I’ll have a chance to make a few contacts when I get back on Sunday …

Rig Nostalgia – the Good Old Days

I was just browsing some pictures on the web this evening and came across a photo of what my original receiver looked like as a Novice licensee. Actually I was a SWL even before that.

lafayette-he80

So I said, “Hey, maybe I can find a photo of my first transmitter.” So here it is!

dx100b_front

The Lafayette receiver and the Heathkit DX-100B transmitter served me well. I actually don’t remember what ever happened to them. I like to think I passed them on to another ham, but I draw a total blank … I have no idea where they went.

What I do remember, however, is the weight of that DX-100B. It had a huge transformer and weighed a ton! I remember that vividly … tubes and transformers — not built for portable operation. The antenna was an end-fed long wire. I haven’t a clue about what I used to tune it. I only had two crystals to start with … both in the 40 meter Novice band. Worked quite a few stations using that combo. Ah, the good old days!

 

73 de Dick K4FTW

 

CQ WW SSB

Wouldn’t you know it … I had plans to spend the weekend on the air, but  they just didn’t pan out. Thursday, I noticed a little tickle in my throat, Friday it was a bit worse, and then Saturday, I didn’t have any voice (well, I did but it sounded like a croak). By the way, SSB requires a voice modulating the carrier. 🙁

So … it was not to be. I did make 13 contacts, and at least three of those were new countries, so the weekend wasn’t a total bust. Hopefully the CW portion coming up will give me better luck … no voice needed if I have another cold.

73 de Dick K4FTW

More QSO Party

I worked a few stations on both CW and PHONE in the New York QSO Party on Saturday evening on 40 and 80 meters. Some were pretty strong and I got a couple of comments that I had a good signal into New York. That always makes me feel good when someone makes a comment like that :-).

Earlier, I went to the QCWA Chapter 119 lunch. Met a lot of great guys and matched up some faces and calls. The program was by Stu, WA4JUO, on his trip to China. He really made some interesting points and gave a lot of insight into not just ham radio there, but society in general. It was quite enjoyable. The 80 meter Chapter net is tomorrow (Sunday) morning, so I’ll check in there before heading out to church.

Hope to get a little more air time on the bands tomorrow afternoon and evening. Today has been a gray day with showers, but tomorrow is supposed to be sunny with a high of 64F.

73 de Dick K4FTW

PA QSO Party

The Pennsylvania stations were booming in down here. Forty and eighty had some 59+ signals. I worked quite a few on Phone, and found it to be a fun experience. For every op that sounded like he was in it to win, there were lots of others that were pretty laid back and having a great time. It was a tossup as to mode — cw or phone — but it had been a while since I worked phone and there were a lot more phone stations on than cw.

I’m still working on 80 with a 40 meter antenna, and getting pretty good results, but I think it’s time to bite the bullet and upgrade the Carolina Windom to 80 meters. All it should take is more wire (and some creative ways to support the ends). I think maybe some more fiberglass poles are in my future :-).

So it’s been a pretty fun weekend, and it’s not over yet. We’ve had 5 days and nights of rain, so when that’s over and done, maybe I can work on that antenna. I’m still looking at a Ten Tec Rebel 506, and eventually I should be able to convince myself I really need it :-). The open design and qrp operation do intrigue me though. We’ll see.

73 de Dick K4FTW