NAQCC November Sprint

I participated in my first NAQCC Sprint last night. It was a rather inauspicious debut. I only had two contacts … band conditions were pretty bad here at my qth … lots of qrn and not many signals. Twenty meters was dead and forty was not great. For a simple antenna and five watts, it was ok though. I’m looking forward to the next one, hopefully with better conditions.

73 de Dick k4ftw

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The QRP Bug

I think I got bitten by a bug last week. I’ve mentioned that I was looking at a Ten Tec Rebel 506. Well, I had access to a QRP rig and did a bit of portable “in the woods”  operating last week. Wow, what FUN! It was almost like Novice operating again. I had so much fun, it convinced me to order a rig – but not the Ten Tec 506. I looked at a lot of rigs, kits, etc., and decided that bang-for-buck, I kept returning to the Ten Tec R4040 … 4 bands, 5+ watts, and not much bigger than a QSL card (but much thicker!). I’m still assembling “stuff” and building an antenna and hope to get it on the air from the boonies this weekend. I will hook it up to my home antenna this evening and give it a checkout, though.


73 de Dick K4FTW

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.


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


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



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