My Most Recent QSO's

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Classic QRP Rig

"The transmitter was running at 10 watts input and a copy of a 1928 QST design. Hence part of the exchange was "28mopa" meaning a transmitter from 1928 and a Master Oscillator Power Amplyfer, it uses vacume tubes and has about 5 watts output".

That was the response I received from an e-mail I sent to Scott (WA3FFC) in Brookville Pennsylvania a few days ago. (I worked him in error on the SKCC weekend event)

His signal was SO unique, I assumed it was a home brew QRP rig. And I was right (hence the e-mail to confirm my guess). I don't work a lot of stations on 80 meters and was surprised that he heard me.
It had a slow, almost musical, chirp when I answered his CQ. Scott said he worked a little over 60 stations in the 48 hour time period. That's a LOT more than I've ever worked at once!

I've worked a few "parasets" and even an old CIA radio but:

This is by far, the most unique radio I've ever worked!

Scott (WA3FFC) is a member of the " The Antique Wireless Association"
And I must say, a real artist.

This transmitter is a beautiful piece of work!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Dog House

View this entry as a "Word to the Wise" this Christmas Season....

I love this hobby but there's a "line in the sand" for everyone.

It's very tempting to offer your wife or girl friend a special "gift of appreciation" this year.

My personal thoughts are another QRP radio.

But Just Remember

She would NOT be very happy with a new linear amplifier, another massive beam on the roof, or a multi-band HT capable of working satellites.
Only radio guys would understand this....

Once you find yourself in the "Dog House".....It's very hard to find a way out!

"Give the Gift of Laughter"

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Simsbury Conneticut QSO

There was a LOT of noise on the band this morning. Useless to attempt the Navy Radio Club net on 7245 Mhz under these conditions. I threw out my call on the FISTS frequency (7058) with no luck. Checked the 7040 freq for QRP stations and was about to give up and tried the SKCC freq (7055).

I heard a very weak station and tried the contact. (not expecting a return)

Jack, (K1ARO) near Hartford Conneticut (Simsbury CT) was also using a "straight key" and we exchanged the basics of "rig and antenna". We wished each a "Happy Holiday" and called it quits.

Jack is a member (#1580) of the FISTS CW Club.

Hartford is known as one of the largest Insurance Company Capitols in America and home (from 1835-1910) of the famous author Samuel Clemens. (known as Mark Twain)

I've always enjoyed "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" and have chuckled at Mark Twains Quotes for years. One of my favorites is:

"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first" - Mark Twain

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Jacksonville, Florida QSO

I've been off the air for a few weeks visiting relatives and friends in New York. I took the rig with me but just didn't get the free time for radio. (sometimes that's just the way it is).

I've missed CW and decided to set up and throw out the call again (7058 Mhz) this afternoon. (2030z)
On about the third CQ I heard a (?) but nothing more. On about the fifth CQ, I heard WA8OFU in Jacksonville, Florida. It was a very brief exchange at a quick pace.
I copied about 80% of it with QSB but we exchanged the basics.
Jack gave me a 559 report with his Ten Tec Omni and a Vertical antenna.

He is also a retired Navy Chief and FISTS member # 12112.

He was born in Weirton, WV. (the northern panhandle).

Jacksonville is about 550 miles from me....This means the rig is working.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

International Morse Code Book

We had a nice trip to New York City last week. (I took the rig but was so busy I didn't get any "radio time"). But, on the positive side, I found this little neat little item while looking through some "very old" books!

It's dated 1918, and I assume, a written guide for some old 78 LP records used to train "Morse Code" operators. It was produced by the "Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of America".

Something that puzzles me is the Morse Code abbreviations at the end of the booklet.

I was a signalman in the Navy and we had our own "special" characters. We used "INT" for a question mark and a whole series of different "Q" and "Z" signals for military ships.

I once challenged a very large unidentified ship, on a dark, rainy and foggy morning to "halt, identify yourself, or be fired upon"

(And we would have too.....if the wrong call sign was returned with an incorrect "password").

In essence, I used just a few choice "characters" to communicate the entire exchange. Fortunately, they replied, and with the correct password, (I'm condensing here) "This is the USS New at will! )

(I'm probably the only West Virginian to have ever done this and lived to tell about it!)

Those small "variations" between military and civilian ship procedures can be a BIG difference in different situations.....

While looking towards the end of this booklet by the "Victor Talking Machine Co." I couldn't help but notice these (to me) unusual characters used to highlight CW conversations.

See anything unusual about them?