Tuesday, December 29, 2009

How about that CW! 

First before anyone gets their knickers in a twist I'm not trying to push the code on anyone. I was never a hard core CW person and am still not but being honest I don't work more CW for two reasons. One, I'm not very proficient at it. The guys that I know the really enjoy CW speak it just like another language. I can do about ten words a minute which in the world of avid CW operators is about like driving a moped on the interstate. Two, I am the worlds worst speller, I kid you not. I won't even go into grammar. I have gotten somewhat better since I have been writing blogs which I guess proves that if you exercise the brain cells like any other muscle it gets stronger.

Some people just have no desire to work CW and I understand that. My good friend and now silent key Paul / K3VIP passed the novice, the technician and the general all in one day. Latter he upgraded to Extra, for which he had to pass a twenty (20) word per minute code exam and was very proud of the fact that he had never worked a CW contact in his life. I suspect that a lot of the current crop of hams don't spend time on CW for the same reasons that I don't though.

Having said that my recent post about bad band conditions caused me to comment how well some of the CW operators are doing. I mentioned Jack/W9UK and he was kind enough to send me that list of recent contacts that he has worked. So take a look at what Jack has done with a wire antenna and 100 watts of transmitter power. See Jack's log below.


80 Meters

DR800GRZ Special Event Germany
HB9LCW Switzerland
OZ1CTK Denmark
S51HU Slovenia
ES3AX Estonia
OZ1CT Denmark
F6GCP France

40 Meters

UA6GO European Russia
YU5RA Serbia
CO6RD Cuba
VK4PN Australia

30 Meters

PY2NHK Brazil
DL2DSL Germany
IK2VET Italy
JQ2VVH Japan
JA1LZR Japan
EA8OM Canary Islands
YN4SU Nicaragua
CO6RD Cuba
IZ5EKV Italy
EA5CLU Spain
DF4BV Germany
WP4L Puerto Rico
DJ6EA Germany
UT7UJ Ukraine

20 Meters

HK4CZE Columbia
UA0FAI Asiatic Russia
7N1PRD Japan
JH2GZY Japan
ON6ZI Belgium

17 Meters

ZL1BYZ New Zealand
4A1DXXE Mexico
PY2LSM Brazil
PZ5RA Suriname
HB9QQ Switzerland
G5SWH England

All CW
ICOM 756PRO 100 watts
200 ft center fed Zepp 50 ft high
MFJ Twin Tee Antenna Tuner (modified)


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Time spent on electronic projects 

I picked this one up from the Skyview Radio Society mailing list. I couldn't agree more. If you home brew or even tinker I think you will agree.

Graph of Time Spent On Electronics Projects

See if you agree.


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Monday, December 28, 2009

The Glow Bugs of Christmas 

This was sent to me by KA3RXY and I hope you enjoy it as I did.

I'm also posting it in memory of Rey Whanger W3BIS who became a silent key this past year.

The Glowbugs' Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the shack
Not a heater was glowing
In all of the rack.

Sitting totally silent and quiet that night
The old HRO shed nary a light.
The Johnson exciter and its homebrew final
Felt cold as leftovers, or seat-cover vinyl,

I drowsed at my workbench feeling tired and weary,
The print in the Handbook looked fuzzy and smeary.
I thought, "I'll make coffee", and groaned to my feet
When I heard a loud clatter outside in the street.

What the--? I wondered and turned on the lights
And there I beheld a wondrous sight:
A battered old van heaped high with components
And a grizzled old ham with a bagful of doughnuts.

I noted his callsign-- can't recall it today--
But a patch on the side read "FMLA".
I opened the door and hollered "Come in!
The coffee pot's heating, and we'll sit down and chin!"

He spoke not a word but whistled in Morse
A "GE OM", and "By golly, I'm hoarse.
Too many contacts, and hot rosin smoke."
I nodded and poured him a mug of jamoke.

He emptied the doughnuts in a pile on a plate
And explained in a whistle, "I'm running real late.
I've new 6L6s and fine 211s, 6146s and good 'SN7s.
And 866s and 0B2s, type 45s and mil-spec 807s."

"For the regennie crowd, 201s by the score
And good ol' type 30s and 19s galore.
I haven't neglected the passive-parts run
There's lots of good iron by old Thordarson."

I nodded and smiled, suppressing a chortle
As he reached in his pack and left me a 304TL.
He whistled, "I'm leaving, the coffee was great,
But I'm overdue in the neighboring state."

"Keep everyone building the rigs of their choosing
Or we'll lose the bands that we're lazy in using.
Transistors or tubes-- any project is fine--
Just keep on constructing and sharing on line."

He leaped to his feet and waved a gloved hand
As he sprang for the door and his rusty old van.
I heard him exclaim as he drove away from me,
"Merry Christmas, you Glowbugs, and to all 73!"


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