Sunday, July 5, 2009


At least I think I was on the air. I spent a frustrating couple of hours on the low end of 40 Meters, calling stations that were CQing and doing a little CQing myself. No result.

At least I finally made up another coax jumper; when I moved my ham gear a couple of years ago, most of the random bits of coax and twinlead ended up in a box that itself ended up on the bottom of a pile of boxes, somewhere. The DC power cable for my previous main "appliance" rig* is probably in there, too; the transceiver I have been using in place of it is a bit older and it may have a problem. I got out the "blunderbuss" 75 Watt American Beauty iron, some salvaged PL-259s and a scrap of RG-223 and proved once again that trick to re-using UHF connectors is "get a bigger iron." A lot of work to not result in a QSO.

On the other hand, I did have a chance to copy a little code, tune around one of my favorite bands and try several different keys. The racket of various digital modes has crept as low as 7040kc/s, which must surely irk the QRPers. The old "Boatanchor" calling and working frequency, 7050 kc/s, is solid data now. I don't see the appeal but I hope they're having fun!

The last thing I did in the shack was go digging for some other misplaced hardware (my nice homebrew transmatch). Didn't find that but I did find the fancy homebrew reflectometer, hooray! Photos later.
* It is, I will admit, solid state. You have to have something for those days when you're too sleepy to be safe around breadboarded high voltage -- anyway, I do.


  1. When I was 14 or 15 I called CQ for hours without a contact. Then I got one. By mail. From the FCC. They wanted to know why I was calling CQ in the marine bands. Good f***in' question!

    I opened up the transmitter and found that the harmonic choke had burned out. This was a carbon resistor with a coil around it. It was part of the final tube top cap connector. I replaced it. And I had to write a letter to the FCC explaining the steps I had taken to eliminate the interference.

    This was CW on 40 meters, if I recall correctly. I was living in Connecticut, on Long Island Sound, and the FCC monitoring station on Long Island had picked up my signal. So, at least I was "getting out"!

  2. ooh! Reflectometer! Gotta get me one of those for the show mead I'm brewing this autumn.