This edition of the CX Newsletter unfortunately does not contain all the great information and pictures submitted. I am having health problems that are limiting my energy and impacting my ability to spend more time on the CX publication.
I have been privileged to be the CX coordinator, CX Newsletter editor and CX website webmaster for the past twelve years. I believe the time has come to hand the keyboard to someone with more time and energy to commit to maintaining and improving this wonderful contest. This may be my last CX Newsletter; I will try to continue to be part of CX.
There is a core group of CX old time regulars who help me plan and spread the word. They are a tremendous resource that has been a significant help in maintaining and improving the CX. I am sure my successor can depend upon their continued support.
If you have any interest in assuming this role, please contact me directly at email@example.com or (919) 732-8977.
Thanks & 73
John, K3MD: claimed the top of the scoreboard with 53,676 points and leading in the CW catagory.
Bill, K4JYS: foillowed his September 2016 performance and again came in second with 30,730 points.
Tomo, JO3TAP, entered the awards circle with a third place score of 15,212 and the highest AM score.
Al, W8UT, reported the highest SSB score of 12,650
Mario, N2AK: again claimed the top of the scoreboard with a dominating 772,5832 points and leading in both CW and SSB catagories.
Kazu, JA3KNB: came in second again with an impressive 656,756 points and reported the highest AM score with 130,465 points.
Jim, W8KGI: reappeared in the awards circle after a brief absence with an impressive 547,041 points.
The CX Newsletter is intended for the enjoyment of CX participants and others interested in the restoration, operation and enjoyment of Classic Ham Gear. This Newsletter was prepared from materials submitted by CX participants, from on-the-air observations, QSOs, and publically posted comments on various reflectors. Editorial comments on Individual Reports are shown in [Italics]. Any errors, omissions, or insensitive comments are unintentional. Please let me know if you have suggestions on improving the Newsletter or the CX website.
Thanks and 73,
|January 2017 CX||NAME||CW||AM||SSB||FM||BONUS||TOTAL||COMMENT|
|K3MD||John||53,676||-||-||-||-||53,676||High CW Score|
|JO3TAP||Tomo||5,808||3,960||5,444||-||-||15,212||High AM Score|
|W8UT||Al||-||-||12,650||-||-||12,650||High SSB Score|
|JANUARY 2017 CX||NAME||CW||AM||SSB||FM||BONUS||TOTAL||COMMENT|
|N2AK||Mario||413,700||-||358,883||-||-||772,583||High CW and High SSB Scores|
|JA3KNB||Kazu||295,945||130,465||228,346||-||2,000||656,756||High AM Score|
Well had a good CX this year.
Despite the scheduled Tues. activity, I fear I will not be able to make many QSO's during the SSB CX due to the ARRL CW DX contest,
This year went fairly smoothly. I had a time qualifying the AC1-T, due to its output of 3 to 7 watts, crystal control, but did this on Tues. My prized N3ZI DDS VFO bit the dust on Sun., rebuilt the buffer amp on Mon., but at this point I prefer my ARC-5 40M VFO, regulated, with self-contained power supply. The HB 6MJ6 worked fine. Did fry 3 finals on the TR-4 by pulling out the key plug and forgetting to turn it off, but ordered 11 more cheap used units on EBay and put in my spare set hi hi. I have a nice 6DQ6/6MJ6/6MJ6 homebrew converter for my tube tester. The "new" DX-60 worked flawlessly, as did the old NC-270, NC-300, Drake 2C, ARC-5 40, and ARC-5 80. The ARC-5 40 has a T7 signal hi hi. My "new" AC1-T repro works much better than the old one... the old one only put out 0.4 W, the new one is QRP at 3 to 7 watts. chirpy with most crystals due to crystal heating effect due to the fact that they are putting out so much power, and there is significant current on the crystal.
I use a picokeyer with a picokeyer universal interface for keying... the trusty HA-1 is too hard to use hi hi.
I have updated my pictures. K3MD EQUIPMENT AND SCORE
I had a ball and also happy to see the Sun. & Tues. turnout.
Condx were generally good. I worked a few vintage stns I had not heard before.
I put in a bit more time on this one and it paid off with a better score. All 3 stations worked fine, even the T-19 and BC-652A. That receiver is not all that good, sensitive, but broad, so had some aggravation from front end over load plus it�s just broad. And the T-19 relay was a clanking to beat the band, so I didn�t use that set up too much�seven QSOs in all.
Again, thanks to Mario, N2AK for many contacts. ..14 total. Both Mario and John, N2BE were on about every time I was on, so I expect big scores from them. Forty meters was again my main band with the most contacts.
K4JYS EQUIP. USED:
VIKING 2 (1952) 65 YRS
HQ-129X (1945) 72 YRS
T-19/ARC-5 (1943) 74 YRS
BC-652A (1943) 74 YRS
DX40 (1958) 59 YRS
HQ100 (1956) 61 YRS
TOTAL YEARS: 405
TOTAL QSO�s: 66
POINTS: (YRS X QSOs): 26730
NOVICE XMTR � DX40 (1000 PTS)
RCVR � HQ100 (1000 PTS)
MILITARY- - T-19/ARC-5 � (1000 PTS)
BC-652A � (1000 PTS)
TOTAL BONUS PTS ---------------4,000
TOTAL SCORE---------------------- 30,730
Once again, great fun�thanks to all I worked and to Mac and crew.
.�..73 de Bill K4JYS
Dear Mac San
How are you doing Mac San!
I also enjoyed a wonderful CX Contest without problems this time. FT101 was good ! I'd like to have more rigs very soon.
TOTAL CW: 5,808
TOTAL SSB: 5,544<
Thanks again for doing all you do for the CX.
I've att. a .pdf page for my fone CX log. Total score 12,650, a new high for me - wow ;-)
Anyhow, thanks again. I just run outta steam after qualifying 5 rigs. Don't get the big thrill these days I guess. Tues. afternoon & evening don't do a lot for me, but I don't give it a good try then. Only had abt an hour to spend Tues. AM, did get a few then.
For2017 DrakeB-twins1968,age2x(2017-1968)=2x49=98 DrakeTR-4Cw1964,age2x(2017-1964)=2x53=106 Hallicrafters HT-32 2017-1957=60 Hallicrafters SX-115 2017-1961=56 Collins KWM-2A2x(2017-1961)=2x56=112 Collins32S-1 2017-1958 = 59 Collins75S-1 2017-1958 = 59 TOTALage=550 TOTALQSO�s = 23 BASEscore= 12,650 bonus 0 = 12,650 FinalScore W8UT
"There is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats"
Ratty, to Mole
I�m Dick Goodwin, K4JJW and at the suggestion of Al Parker, W8UT, I participated in the 2017 Classic Exchange. My log is attached.
My gear consisted of a Viking Ranger I (63 yrs) paired with a Drake 2B (56 yrs) and a NC-183d (65 yrs) paired with a Meissner EX Signal Shifter (69 yrs).
The majority of my contacts were with 5 watts from the Signal Shifter and it didn�t appear to qualify me for the worst chirp award.
It was an enjoyable event and nice to meet others who are still warming their shack with tubes and memories from yesteryear.
Thanks to everyone who participated and especially to those of you who worked hard to sponsor the event and keep it alive and well.
Dick Goodwin K4JJW
New Bern, NC
If you�re interested there�s a photo of my vintage stations on my QRZ.com page.
Thanks for running cx-
When you really want to get an ART-13 on, haywire works
Here's my log.
Operating score: 7,480
Bonus: 2,000 (art-13 and navy rbb or rbc's)
Grand Total: 9,840.
All the best
Hear is my entry for January 2017 CX Contest. I only operated in the CW section.
Hareey Wells TBS-50
Johnson Ranger I
Total age = 320 years
Novice Bonus: 2,000
Total Score: 5,200
Was sorry to miss the Fall 2016 contest but had a lot on my plate at that time.
Enjoyed the contest and looking forward to the fall session.
River Edge, NJ
Our Ham Club hosted Classes and the ARRL DX Contest the same Weekend limited my time for CX this season. I still had fun.
TOTAL SCORE: 2,434
I was QRT from 2006 to 1/1/2017. Welcome back Randy.
I used my original 1992 Novice Station. 6L6 xtal oscillator, 1940 design ( 8 watts output) and Realistic DX-160. I kept my original novice call from 1992 thru Extra Class. Unfortunately I only completed two QSOs so the gear did not qualify for points.
You get a bonus for you Novice rig.
Hope tro see you in the SEptember CX.
This was my first participation in Classic Exchange and I had a lot of fun. I plan to be back next year--perhaps with more gear!
Drake 2-C receiver + Drake 2-NT transmitter + Hallicrafters HA-5 VFO (9 QSOs)
Drake 2-C receiver + Heath HW-16 as transmitter + Heath HG-10B VFO (2 QSOs)
(HW-16 receiver is ailing)
Multiplier = (2C age) + (2-NT age) = 47 + 47 = 94
Score = (QSO count) * multipler + bonus = 11 * 94 + 0 = 1034 points (no bonuses earned)
Grand Total: 1034
Tnx es 73,
I had little time available to get rigs on the air (read: fix them) so only the old reliable Drake Twins (T-4X and R-4A) made an appearance.
Between the very high noise level here in the Historic District of Hillsborough, NC, my low ground facing antennas and the band conditions I was not able to make many QSOs. However those made were just fine; here are some of them.
My neighbor here in Hillsborough (country part) Wilson W4BOH was the loudest signal of the day. No wonder with his HT-9, 813 PA transmitter.
Next found was Mario, N2AK, another regular and high scoring CXer in NJ. He had a fairly good signal from his Hallicrafters SB-160 (probably a great antenna hihi).
The CX weather prognosticator and author John, N2BE, also from NJ, appeared next. He was using a Gonset GSB-100 - a 1958 style leader.
Then from out of the far west appeared Jim, W8ZR, who has really great transmitters, very sensitive receivers, fantastic antennas and,of course, really complicated sand state integration. A CXer who knows how to keep his Boat Anchor priorities up.
Next was Earl, K4BSK, another North Carolinian running one of the more popular old rice box radios, the Kenwood TS-440.
The last QSO of the night was with a CX regular, John, K3MD. Always a gentleman and keen observer of CX activities.
The session ended soon afterwards responding to a domestic request.
Not as many QSOs or rigs as I would have liked but considering everything it was still a fun CX. I am sure the September CX will be better.
73 Mac WQ8U Hillsborough, NC
The Winter 2017 Classic Exchange is now history. Having a 4 day event was a big plus considering how bad HF was here in NJ on day 1. The 1st Sunday of CW was almost a wash-out on 40m. I could not hear locals. John, N2BE is usually 599 here and I only heard him a few times all day. Tony N2ATB is very close by and we managed to get some contacts on 40m. Tuesday was more like normal conditions, but my overall CW QSO count was still below normal.
I was able to make some contacts on 80m CW and that helped, but not many guys hung in there past 9 PM here in the East.
The SSB week was a lot of fun and propagation was better. I managed to make 167 ssb contacts but it was slow going. On Sunday morning the 40m phone nets are thick as molasses but the afternoon was better.
No major equipment fires this year, so no excitement in that regard. Using my SB-104A with SB-230 amp was a lot of fun on 40m on Sunday. All kinds of stations were lined up like I was a rare DX station. A neat experience even if it didn't last long. Once again, my 40m wire beam pointed West was a very good choice for CX. But the funny thing is that a very large percentage of stations I worked on 40m were in North Carolina. Looks like Mac is doing a good job with his neighbors getting them to participate in CX.
To summarize, I show 150 CW QSOs with a total age of 2758 years, and 167 SSB contacts with age of 2149 years . This produced a total score of 772,583.
See you in September!
Mario / N2AK
Dear Mac San
How are you doing Mac San!
. I think that we did not have time to spare because it was only Sunday's participation this time.Next time I would like to use Tuesday's time efficiently. After contest, repair of KWM 2, TX 88 A, FLD X 400, FT 101 was required. It was impossible for me to overseas QSO this time.
It was 15 and 20 using 2 ele HB9CV(15)/ 4 ele YAGI(20). I managed 29 pieces of gear for CW.and worked. Sunday ,TAKA/JF3RDE,TOMO/JO3TAP, TOMO/JA6DOU/3,MASA/JP3KMU with 145 CW QSOs.
It was 15 and 20 using 2 ele HB9CV(15)/ 4 ele YAGI(20). I managed 25 pieces of gear for SSB.and worked. Sunday ,TAKA/JF3RDE,TOMO/JO3TAP,TOMO/JA6DOU/3,MASA/JP3KMU with 127 SSB QSOs.
It was 15 and 20 using 2 ele HB9CV(15)/ 4 ele YAGI(20). I managed 21 pieces of gear for AM.and worked Sunday ,TOMO/JO3TAP,TOMO/JA6DOU/3,MASA/JP3KMU with 97 AM QSOs.
TOTAL CW: 295,945
TOTAL SSB: 228,346
BONUS:NOVICE RIG "Heathkit DX-40 " "Heathkit HW-8 " 2,000
Well thanks to you today and to Stu Stevens in 1975, that's another CX in the books and I had a lot of fun. Most of the gear worked, some of it broke, I froze a little in the garage and baked a little in the closet. It's extra fun when I realize that I'm still using the same HRO-50, Signal Electric key, Vibroplex bug, 268 feet of #12 copper antenna wire, R-14 Signal Corps phones, and bits and pieces of my novice transmitter that I started out with in 1952!
I'm learning how to deal with at least some of Murphy's tricks. The ground-fault breaker that supplies power to my garage outlets likes to pop out when I'm running a moderate to high power transmitter, like a DX-100 or a Globe King. So run an extension cord into my back bedroom and use it to supply power to those transmitters and all is well. I still run my receivers and some low power rigs from the garage line with no trouble.
The worst transmitter problems occurred with several vfos. The Johnson vfo that I use with my Adventurer suddenly stopped putting out its normal level. About a day's work on it did not find and correct the problem, so I just ran the Adventurer on crystal control. The Hallicrafters HT-18 that starts out the Globe King developed a strange problem with the band-switched plate tank on the 6L6 output tube. It's acting like the tank is shorted out on all bands, and so far I haven't found the problem. For now I just moved my Meissner EX into position, and the GK runs happily with it. The Globe Chief is running at about half power, input and output. I suspect one 807 may have quit. The Valiant is also running at less than rated power - got to get in there to see what is happening. And the SW-3 had little to no audio output - due to a non-conducting lead from its output to the speaker/phones switch. When I found that I didn't bother to track down the offending lead, I just wired another one in place to make it work again (KISS approach). Interestingly, the SW-3 does a nice job listening to the AM stations on 7293. Also, the Ranger suddenly stopped working after the CW CX. Everything was OK up to grid drive, but absolutely no plate current to the 6146. After a couple of hours of looking around and making continuity measurements, it turned out that the B+ feed wire connected to the Function switch had broken at the point where it was soldered to the switch. It wasn't too easy to spot because of where it was located, but an easy fix once I found it. Anyway, with all of the gear I had available, loosing a few rigs here and there did not bother my ability to operate and have fun.
I had CW gear out in the garage tuned up for 20 and 40, and in the closet for 40 and 80. When I got home after church and lunch on Sunday, 1/29, there was no CX activity at all on 20, but found Fox, W7FOX, Mike, WB0SND, and John, N2BE on 40 and we logged 29 contacts between rig changes in two hours and twenty minutes. After a couple hours break for dinner and feeding the dogs I turned the inside gear on 80 and worked Mike and Fox again along with Ron, K2RP, Wilson W4BOH all the way from NC with his Sig Shifter and Comet Pro, Mark, AF1Z, Gene N4UJ pounding a 1911 Vibroplex, Dick, K6TOB, Howie WB2AWQ, Cap, W0CCA, and John N2BE again for 20 contacts, and I ended the evening at 11:30 MST with Chris, AJ1G with his DX40 and Scott SLRM.
Tuesday 1/31 started out nicely around noon with activity on 20. I worked Cliff, K3SAY, Gerry VE7BGP, Art, NS7E, Ted N1WPU, Ron, K2RP (Nice article in the March QST, Ron!), and Steve WB5CTS mobile in Phoenix. About 4:15, thoroughly chilled, I moved inside and to 40 meters where I found John, N2BE again, also running a Comet Pro, and we went through 32 contacts getting all of my inside gear qualified - thanks John! In all I logged 128 CW contacts and qualified 33 transmitters and 23 receivers for an age accumulation of 3810 years!
The Phone section was much more laid back. Once again I had gear in the garage tuned up for both AM and SSB on 20 and 40, and inside gear for 40 only - I find 75 meter phone to be pretty hopeless out here in New Mexico in the later evening. When I got on 20 SSB a little before 4 pm, I heard Rocco just signing. I gave him a call, but I think he had pulled the switch and left the air. I did find Howie, WB2AWQ shortly thereafter and we qualified my Eldico SSB-100 together, but after we signed a few minutes after 4, I did not work or hear another one of the CX gang on 20 or 40, SSB or AM, for the rest of the evening. I did make 28 SSB contacts with guys who were amused to hear my old boatanchor gear. I checked 7293, the AM party line frequency out here, but it was well filled with foreign broadcast by the time I got there, so there were no AM contacts on Sunday. Tuesday I started off around noon and made a couple of SSB contacts on 40 that qualified my Triton IV. Then around 2 pm I logged two 20 meter SSB contacts, and then moved to 7293 where the Tuscon gang was running AM. Billy, N6YW, running 20 watts of carrier out of his Flex 5000A, helped me qualify my CE-100V, Knight T150A, National NTX, and Harvey Wells TBS50C/D transmitters and HRO-50T, SX28, HRO, NC101X, FB7 and NC-173 receivers. Then Frank, K3YAZ took over while I finished with the receivers and added my 32V3. Frank has done marvelous things with the screen modulation on his T-150A and DX-60, and anyone who has these rigs would benefit from a look at his web page about them. A little after 4 I fired up some gear in the garage on 7293, and thanks to John, WD7F with his beautiful Globe King 500 and Ray W5XE in El Paso I qualified my Globe King 275, Viking I, AF68, HRO5TA1, NC303, RME70, and HQ129x. I had more transmitters ready, but the foreign broadcast was getting pretty loud, so I folded up for the day and called an end to another very enjoyable CX.
So the totals are: CW 128 QSOs and 3810 years for 487680 points; AM 24 QSOs and 1192 years for 28608 points, and SSB 32 QSOs and 836 years for 26752 points. I'll claim 2000 bonus points for running my Novice gear, HRO-50T and HB 6AG7/6146, and 2000 more for running military gear, BC454, BC455 and BC348R receivers and CBY52209 and BC459 transmitters. (Also my Collins 32RA and Hallicrafters HT-20 and SX73 saw military service judging from stencils and nameplates on them.) So in all I racked up 547040 points. I'm glad I don't have to list that total on my Income Tax 1040, HI!
Keep up the good work, Mac.
Winter 2017 CX Report for W8KGI
TOTAL OPERATING SCORE: 543,040
NOVICE RIG: 2,000 (HB 6AG7/6146; HRO-50T)
BONUS RIG: 2,000 (BC-459, BC-455 and BC-348R receivers and CBY52209 and BC459 transmitters)
TOTAL BONUS SCORE: 4,000
GRAND TOTAL: 547,040
CW notes: First QSO was early on west coast at 1450 Z. The BW6100 was behaving itself, and I quickly worked into Colorado (W0HNI with his 1625 HB transmitter) plus the usual AZ and CA suspects. N6AF sounded great on his HW8. At 1707, Ron, K2RP, and I ran through a number of our various stations. His Knight T50 and T60 were easy to copy up here. Tan into Jim, W8ZR, with his fine-sounding Ranger 2. Wish mine sounded that good on 40. Gave up at 2052 for family commitments, so it was a short but fun CW Sunday.
The SSB weekend was easier for me. Started on 40 SSB. The usual bank of radios worked pretty well at this end no smoke. Ron K2RP and Fox W7FOX and I ended up on 7050, and we ran through several stations with very good signals. Fox evidently has several SB101s, and they all sounded good here. I went to 20 m at 2115 with my trusty TR4 and 30L-1 and ran a long, long list of stations from all over the country. Fern, VE7GZ had a "Mil Spec" Signal One on the air with good audio. Bill, W9VKJ, sounded great on his HT-37, as did many others who had their boatanchors on the frequency. Signals were good through 0002Z, when I gave up the frequency for dinner with the wife.
Projects for next time include my ""new" Henry 2K, which joins my 2K2. These are designed to blow holes in 20 and 40 – we will see how that works out. I have already released plenty of smoke from both amplifiers during troubleshooting.
73 to all the CX gang from Rocco, N6KN.
Hi Mac,I started last winter's Classic Exchange in the usual manner. A couple of days, or so, before the event, I turned on each piece of equipment and tested its performance. All seemed to be going well until I noticed a familiar acrid odor permeating the shack's atmosphere. I traced it to my 1961 Hallicrafters "SR-160" which, now, was no longer able to move the needle on my RF ammeter when put into transmit. (See the very excellent article by John, NP2B, in January 2017 "QST', p. 103, for more information about this transceiver.) I didn't want to start taking the rig apart on the bench so close to the start of the CW-CX. What if I need a part that I don't have? What if I repair it only to have it fail in the middle of the CX from additional complications related to the original problem?? My eyes glanced over to my Central Electronics "20A" exciter, which I had been recently using on 75 meter AM fone. It's a great little CW and SSB rig, too, and works well with my 1963 homebrew, single-811A, linear amplifier. (See the very excellent article by our own Ron, K2RP, in March 2017 "QST', p. 101, for more information about this transmitter.) However, the "20A" requires an unusual 16 MC vfo signal to operate it on 40 meters, and I have yet to build such an item for it. My eyes wandered further across the shack's shelving and stopped at my Hallicrafter's "HT-46" transmitter. Now, here was a good-natured little CW and SSB transmitter that was in need of a good workout. With my transmitter requirement now satisfied, I looked over at my Drake "28" as a possible receiver. No, that would be too easy (HI). I wanted to do something different; 'wanted an "odd couple". With that, my eyes fell upon my 1933 Hammarlund "Comet Pro" receiver. (See my article in last September's CX results for a story about this receiver.) Yes, it was perfect; perfectly odd' A 1920s-looking, plain black bread-box of a receiver paired with a stylish mid-1960s transmitter (Hallicrafters' last transmitter) That "bread-box" did a great job for me during Straight Key Night; some 18 QSOs worth. I felt it was ready for the "big times", now. Could such an old and basic receiver "hold its own" with an "SX-115" and "NC-303" as teammates? J was about to find out. Propagation conditions were quite good, but changeable, for the CW portion of last winter's Classic Exchange. My very first contact was with Gene, N5GW in MS, who was running an early Ten-Tec transciever, a "Triton 544", on 40 meters. As if to say, "that ain't nuttin' It, Gene came back to me on Tuesday morning with a Heathkit "HW-7". That was good, daylight, 40 meter OX for a QRP rig. 1 Speaking of QRP, I also worked Dick, K4JJW in NC, three times with his five watt Meissner Signal Shifter "EX"; Don, W2JEK, with his "HW-B"; and Mario, N2AK, with his four watt homebrew transceiver using a pair of 2N7000s in its PA. I always enjoy hearing classic QRP stations on-the-air, especially when conditions enable them to really shine. Several stations that I worked were running an interesting assortment of military gear. Jim, WBKGI, had BC-34BR, BC-454/BC-453, BC-455/BC-453, and BC-459 receivers going during several different QSOs with him. Mark, K3MSB, had a T19 and BC-34BQ pair going; while Dave, WB9WHG, was running a BC- 459 with a BC-34B. Mark, AF1Z, utilized an impressive Navy RBC battleship receiver dOring our QSO. Chris, AJTG, is a real military gear enthusiast and ran an Army RT-77A1GRC-9 combo, a Scott SLRM receiver, and a T19/ARC-5 plus BC-34B pair in several different QSOs. It looks like military gear has found a home in the Classic Exchange. As far as really old, non-military transmitters are concerned, I have to say that Jim's, WBKGI, McMurdo-Silver "701" really impressed me. You never hear one of these, circa about 1947, transmitters on-the-air. Jim wasn't nearly finished, though. He also fired up Collins "32RA" and National "NTX-30" transmitters (both late-30s to 40s equipment). And ... he still wasn't done. He added a Millen "90BOO" (post WWII), 1941 Meissner Signal Shifter, and Lettine "240" (late-40s to early-50s) to the already impressive list. Great stuff, Jim! W.C., W4BOH, was active with a Hallicrafters "HT-9" (circa 1940-4B) that was using a Meissner Signal Shifter for its vfo. In the oldest, non-military receivers category, we have Jim's, WBKGI, National "FBX" and W.C.'s, W4BOH, and my, N2BE, Hammarlund "Comet Pros"; all early to-mid-1930s manufactured equipment. One of the highlights of this CX for me was working W.C. on Sunday night, on BO meters, "Comet Pro" to "Comet Pro". That doesn't happen very often and is one QSO to remember. Speaking of the old "Comet Pro", just how well did it do in the CW portion of the CX? In one statement, "very well, indeed". The old "bread-box" netted me 61 of my 172 CW QSOs; 35.5% of the total. That very first, commercially-made, shortwave, superheterodyne receiver "pulled more than its own weight" with over one-third of the total CW QSOs. Additionally, it was an absolute pleasure to use. Now, I need to see how its outstanding record will hold up in the SSB-Fone portion of this event. Conditions for the CX-Fone event, in a word, were "dismal". However, there were occasional periods of improvement that supported contacts. Unfortunately, many discouraged ops did not stay around long enough to catch on to this. Conditions may be challenging for the next few years, so it would be wise to develop ways to deal with that. It's what hams do. Despite the conditions, I did manage to make 59 SSB contacts; about one third of my CW total. The "Comet Pro" proved to be a great SSB receiver and was responsible for 25 of those contacts (42.4%). So my little old "bread-box" receiver did prove one thing during this event, "You can't judge a box by its cover". (HI) Last fall, the N2BE Climate-CRAP Center ("C-C.C.") disagreed with the concensus opinion for a severe 2016-17 winter season in the northwestern-NJ area. The "C-C.C." was proven to be correct with a very warm winter and less than two-thirds of the average snowfall for this area. Many scattered areas had a similar mild winter experience; while not-so for certain others. Although it is very early to attempt predicting this year's East Coast (USA) extreme weather/storm season, the "C-C.C." is currently concerned about two time periods: the end of August into early-September and the second-half of September. Please plan your antenna projects accordingly. With that, I will conclude this discourse here. I have lots of projects waiting for me now. Thanks, Mac, for keeping our "ship" sailing. See you all again in September. - 73-
Wow, I pulled dusty old rigs off the shelves and got everything I had working. The rigs were spread out on two work benches, in addition to my regular operating position. I had lots of fun getting stray RF out of DDS VFOs with this jury rigged lashup! The amazing thing is that it all worked. Well, at least it worked well enough to get three QSOs out of every rig.
I have an old cheap Japanese scope hooked up for monitoring to see if everything looks pure before I put it on the air. I noticed some funny little quirks on some of the signals near 100% modulation on my two AM rigs, like a little curlycue at the top of the envelope. There may be some spurs or gremlins lurking under the cabinets that I will have to check out.
This activity is a great way to check on the health of my extended family of ancient electronics. 80 meters has been my favorite CW band since 1964 when I started out with a T19/ARC-5, which still works great. With the fading sunspots it looks like 40 meters is going to be hauling most of the load, I didn't hear anything on 15 and 10. Some QSOs on 20 but when the sun started to sink it closed like a door slamming shut.
It was great to hear all the activity, and I know it was noticed by others on the bands. Lots of QSOs are with non-participants who show interest when they find out what CX is all about. Some say,"Oh, I used to have one of those, I wish I still had it!" I never heard anybody say, "I used to have one of those, boy am I glad I got rid of it." Actually quite the opposite. Still high on the list is a permanent set-up with all rigs ready for use year round.
Homebrew pair of 1625's 25 years old
Viking 1 68
Collins 51S-1A 58
RCA SSB-1 Mark llA 108
NOVICE RIG: T19/ARC5: 1,000
BONUS RIG: T20/ARC5 - BC348R: 2,000
GRAND TOTAL: 80,389
PHOTO OF WORKBENCH w7fox A typical tidy workbench.
The SB-101 is for monitoring the bands . I have three SB-101s in operation, Moe, Larry and Curly. This is Curly, actually the best looking of the three, and not a stooge in the bunch! I just went through Curly looking for out of spec resistors, and a strange loss of sensitivity and output after warming up. The S-meter would go negative and pin hard on the needle stop. Turns out V3 and V4 can really raise havoc if they are a little gassy. Found the bad tube causing the problem and though it tested fine on a TV-7DU, I destroyed it so it wouldn't find its way into another rig. Checked the forums and a lot of people have had issues with V3 and V4.
New Project! An HRO-60T chassis just finished cleaning. You gotta love the way National made radios way back when.
Thanks again organizers for keeping my favorite activity alive.
This year�s winter CX was not one of the better ones for me. Between lousy band conditions and some shopping and other XYL-related duties that had to be taken care of, my overall CX score seems to have suffered a bit. There were radios I didn�t get qualified, and did not get a chance on Tuesday to make up lost ground.
I got off to a fairly early (for me) start, working N3BB on 40M, although he was using mod gear. The upper bands were eerily quiet, just a few non-CX stations on 20, 15 didn�t hear a thing. 40 and 80 were the only productive bands this go, and as usual 80 won the day.
Accomplishments of note � I managed to work John N2BE on both 80 AND 40, in fact he was the only east coast station I managed to work. It never ceases to amaze me that I can work him on 80 with an antenna that�s only 7 ft high, and he�s not even close to the farthest DX on that NVIS antenna. Mark W7ESN, besides putting a large number of QSOs in my log, also had homebrew rigs on both 80 and 40 (and not the same one either!) And they were both standout signals. Nice going Mark!
Non-accomplishments of note: Rocco N6KN had only one entry on my log. That�s a first, hopefully to never be repeated. And Jim W8KGI and Ron K2RP, usually with high quantity multiple QSOs in the log, only had two each.
I did listen, and called CQ a whole bunch for the phone portion, but no joy. Heard no one. Guess I�ll put the mikes away till September��.
Collins won the popularity contest for me this year with 8 rigs worked, followed closely by Johnson, Drake, National and heath with 5 each worked. The only JA classic rig worked was an Icom 765. No Kenwood or Yaesu Hybrids.
Ah well, there's always the Fall CX to make things right. And this coming CX, I'll have a VFO for my Millen 90800. Recently got the 90700 VFO and it�s a dandy, works well with both my Millen, and my HB 807 rig. Watch out world!
See you all in September!
73, Howie WB2AWQ/7