And Oldie Goldie – The Hot Water 8

Our Heathkit HW8A few weeks back my good friend John, WA2KSM offered me the use of a true oldie goldie! This old Heathkit HW8 CW QRP rig was so clean inside and out that it was hard to believe its age. No scratches or dings anywhere!

As you might imagine, the band control push buttons need cleaning but that’s about all the TLC it needs.

Not having a way to cleanly match this little gem to my G5RV, I purchased the “World’s Smallest Standalone ATU” from Elecraft.

Elecraft T1 Autotuner

Since I have owned Elecraft gear in the past and now get great pleasure from my KX3, I had no doubt that the T1 would be the right choice for the HW8. My assumptions were right. Tuning is a breeze and performance is all I’d expect from Elecraft.

The 20 meter band has been weak over the summer but I have already made a few contacts on this beautiful old QRP rig. Since I have the original manual, some of this winter will be dedicated to going over the entire alignment procedure.

If you are into QRP or low power operation and are in need of a portable Auto Tuner, take a spin over to the Elecraft T1 site for all the specs!

ARRL Centennial Trip – July 17 – 19, 2014

ARRL Centennial Convention Center

ARRL Centennial Trip:

Our trip to the ARRL Centennial was all we expected and more.  Taking the car on the ferry is the way to go. Driving around is no big deal but taking the ferry makes the trip more fun and relaxing.

We took the 6 AM ferry across Long Island Sound, the remainder of the drive to Hartford was about an hour. Unlike Long Island, the commuter traffic into Hartford was minimal.

The Hotel and Convention Center were outstanding and my guess, based on the people attending the dinner;  is that there were about 1000 people who attended the full schedule.

The forums were well done and most has standing room only. I attended the DX, QRP, RFI and Amateur Satellite forums.

Once you have made the pilgrimage to Dayton as we did last year, any Hamfest/Flea Market is small in comparison. The ARRL did a good job of bringing the major vendors in as well as many groups and organizations from around the globe. I was surprised that TenTec was nowhere to be found.

Rick Roderick K5UR was the guest speaker at the Thursday luncheon. Let me just say Rick’s record of personal achievements and Ham Radio awards were truly amazing. Rick’s Ham Radio stories were great to listen to and also humorous in some cases.

Rick’s focus as a motivational speaker was to incite us older Hams to build an ARRL / Amateur Radio LEGACY for the next 100 years. Our takeaway was to elmer young people  and preserve the future of Amateur Radio.

 The True Magic of Ham Radio:

Two Old Friends Meet By Chance

Two Old Friends Meet By Chance. John WA2KSM and Bob MD0CCE

 

When my friend John (WA2KSM) and I sat down at the luncheon which was attended by over 900 people, a man sat down next to John. He looked over at John’s name tag and said Your badge is labeled wrong!

Your name is Jack not John and you live in Hicksville, NY not Shirley. John looked at him and said… How did you know that? The gentleman’s name is Bob MD0CCE from the Isle of Man!

Bob proceeded to tell John that he originally lived in Westbury, NY and in 1961 John was his first ever CW QSO as a novice!

What other hobby could randomly bring together two Hams that had their first QSO 53 years ago.

 

Rejoining The Brookhaven National Lab Amateur Radio Club

Brookhaven National Laboratory Amateur Radio Club

The Brookhaven National Laboratory Amateur Radio Club

Recently, I rejoined BNLARC after being away from the group for many years. What a great group of guys and gals are part of the membership now. The fellowship offered is most enjoyable.

Thanks to the hard work and dedication of some BNLARC members, the club is humming along once again. The club membership has been greatly expanded due to on-site Tech and General classes.

In addition to holding classes, the club is actively participating in Skywarn training, kit building, weekly technical nets, CW classes and more. Of course Field Day is going to be a fun and exciting event this year especially for the new hams.

Click on the image to visit the Brookhaven National Radio Club’s Web Site.

KX3 Sees The Light of Day!

Ke2yk's Elecraft KX3

 

 

After being told by a fellow QRP’er that 15 CW has been up recently, I managed to drag my KX3 out of its Pelican case this morning.

Its been awhile since it has seen the light of day. Didn’t see much point to powering it on since my main antenna has been down for some time and the amazing Par End Fedz that I jury rigged in the yard some time ago has been beat to hell by the lousy winter and the high winds here in the Northeast.

After being very surprised by the fact that the auto-tuner was able to tune without moaning and groaning, I thought what the hell.

I tuned down to 21.025 and started hearing Europe. What was even more of a surprise is that I was able to work stations @ 5 watts on the first attempt.

That doesn’t say much about my skills but it says a HELL OF A LOT about that Par End Fedz antenna.

The ARRL Centennial Celebration in 2014

The ARRL 2014 CentennialIn 2014 the ARRL is celebrating 100 years of the Science of Radio. In 1914 the ARRL was founded as the national organization for Amateur Radio. Now, with more than 160,000 members the ARRL is the largest organization of radio amateurs worldwide.

Join the Centennial Celebration in Hartford, CT from July 17th to July 19th which will host Forums, exhibits, a flea market, keynotes and more. To find out more about the Centennial Celebration go here.

The ARRL Centennial is also hosting a year-long QSO Party that celebrates hams meeting hams worldwide. Make new contacts and meet new friends. The Centennial QSO Party is comprised of two activities. W1AW will be operating portable from each state and  most US territories. There will also be a Points Challenge made by collecting valid contacts throughout the year. Logs will be submitted via the Logbook of the World System. Find out more about the Centennial QSO Party here.

Links To More Information About the Centennial Celebration:

The Centennial Events and Programs pdf

The ARRL Centennial Program Handout pdf

Last Minute Reminder – 3916 Santa Nets

Santa on Ham Radio Want your kids, grandkids  or the neighborhood kids a chance to talk to Santa?  Now in its  8th year, the  ‘3916 Santa Nets‘ are on. Get the kids on the air and you will have a chance to show them a bit about the magic of ham radio.

For 15 evenings starting on 11/29 through 12/24 Santa is on the air!  The Santa Nets are open to ALL licensed ham radio operators and third party operating rules apply.

The 3916 Santa Nets start at 8:30 PM (Central Tine) on 3.916 MHz. Pre-net check-ins will be taken on the air starting at 8:15 PM.  You may also pre check-in by emailing ke5ggy@gmail.com.

Here is the 2013 Santa Net schedule:

Friday, November 29
Saturday, November 30

Tuesday, December 3
Thursday, December 5
Saturday, December 7

Monday, December 9
Wednesday, December 11
Friday, December 13

Tuesday, December 17
Thursday, December 19
Friday, December 20
Saturday, December 21

Sunday, December 22
Monday, December 23
Tuesday, December 24

PAR End FedZ Antennas – Unique and Efficient

Received my EF 10-20-40 PAR End FedZ Antenna in the mail yesterday. Hoping to get it in the air to start testing later today. Used N2JFD’s at a recent Scout event and had to have my own. I am like that!

par end fedz 10-20-40

PAR End FedZ 10-20-40

The design of the PAR END FEDZ is unique and if you trim it properly, you can take the autotuner out of line.

As we all know when running QRP, you need the RF to enter the airwaves, not spin around inside the autotuner!
Find out more about this amazing design: .http://bit.ly/HL2az1

LINUX In The Ham Shack!

LINUX In The Ham ShackHey Gang! Do any of you listen to Podcasts? What about Podcasts related to Ham Radio and LINUX? Speaking of Podcasts, LINUX in the Ham Shack is a site on exactly that topic.

When you have a chance, check out the LINUX in the Ham Shack Web site. Russ K5TUX (and Richard KB5JBV now on hiatus) host an awesome site and their shows (Podcasts) cover many subjects, and yes, believe it or not, once in a while they even talk about LINUX and how it’s related to Ham Radio! Only kidding of course.

Episode #102 focused on QSSTV. Go check it out!

The eHamStore – Transceivers – Scanners – Vintage

The eHamStoreSome people complain about eBay for various reasons. But one of eBay’s assets is that it offers buyer protection. In addition, there are some Ham Radio parts which are hard to find through the normal channels.

The eHamStore covers the usual Ham Radio and Scanner gear but also includes a vintage section as well as pages for items like tubes. Why not take a spin over to The eHamStore and browse around, check out prices or maybe find that rare piece of gear you are after. Hey, you never know.

Best of all, no signups are ever required. Why not visit The eHamStore  today!