Depending upon the time, mode, frequency, rig, QTH, antenna, propagation, and the feelings of T.O.M. and his Wouff-Hong toward you, the CX was “very active, and the bands were surprisingly good (even 10 meters)” as Rocco N6KN reported; or, as reported by Carl, K8NU “-Where the heck was everyone?” Sounds like a typical CX - lots of fun and a little challenge putting the “great ones” back on the air.

The most noted rig seemed to be the Meissner Signal Shifter with several on the air and more on the bench and being promised for the next CX. Mark, W3ENS seemed to be everywhere with his which he dubbed his “really old QRP rig.” A special event occurred during this CX. The RME-69 receiver had its 69th birthday and to celebrate it Marty, AA4RM and Jim, W8KGI had an RME-69 two way with Marty adding to the event by using his Stancor 69 transmitter.

Marty put forth a heroic effort, reminiscent of CXes gone by, and scored almost 3 Million points. Even better, he submitted a literary masterpiece entitled “CX Math & Aftermath - or- A Rig Too Far” with his score. Who else would write a “Nerve-jangling ZAAAAAP & she went dark.” And, “ Stancor 69 tank cap front stand-off breaks & 550V to ground. WOW, that's why this is a GREAT hobby! Fix was to prop knob up w. a jam jar.” Glad to have you really back Marty.

Multiple transmitter-receiver pairs were de rigueur as suggested by Marty’s comment: “K4EJQ kept producing rigs like the sorcerer’s apprentice.” Howie, WB2AWQ noted that “last CX Rocco switched on more pieces of stuff than Hanes has underwear, well Jim did that to me on both 40 and 80.” Howie usually demonstrates his 1929, two 211 tube Hartley oscillator’s musical signal during CX but also appeared using his ORIGINAL novice receiver, a BC-348-Q, and a BC-458A command transmitter. That’s part of the fun of CX, reliving the old joys. Speaking of originals, Don, W2JEK was on 40 with his Harvey-Wells Bandmaster which, if you recall the history of the CX, was the type of rig that Stu, K8SJ (SK) and Al, N5AIT considered for the first CX.

Rob, K2TOP attributed the coolest set up to W2KV who was running a Sky Buddy and homebrew 6L6 transmitter. Rob, K2TOP/K2WI and his merry band of top banders broke their prior record of 2 AM contacts with 27 this CX making Jack, K2BMI as “happy as a pig in, er, mud.” Known for their unusual CX rigs, such as the Navy TWB, aka “Pumper Thumper” this CX they failed to qualify the 1907 telephone, which went unanswered when they rang upstairs for beer. Rob obviously had too much time on his hands this year and penned some very unusual ham radio poetry: “The Chirp Heard ‘Round The World” and “K2Wacky Iraqi.” Mike, W7DRA always provides a unique perspective to CX by operating from a tent or from a frigid salmon filled shack. This CX he submitted a zero point log with the explanation: “…had to go dancing Sunday night - ‘black lace and cowboy boots trumps ham radio anytime.’” Somehow I just can’t see Mike in black lace - hmmmmm.

Bill, N6ZFO showed his desire to be part of the fun even though he had the “youngest” transmitter in the CX - an FT-1000. He endured the snide remarks and kept making QSOs - good job Bill. He promises next CX he will have his HT-32 on the air. John, K9KEU submitted a log for the first time - and scored it correctly! What else would you expect of someone who runs a 75A3/32V3 station? Mark, K3ZX had his usual B&W-5100 rigs but demonstrated an unusual versatility by also running an HT-37/HQ-129-X pair proving that at K3ZX all transmitters do not have to be blue and have funny meter placements.

Paul, K2LMQ had limited time so he put 28 different BAs on the air without qualifying any of them. Paul’s plan: “my idea was to get some air time for as many rigs as possible.” He is a great CXer! The most awesome homebrew transmitter in CX belongs to Mark, K5AM. Even though it is mostly sand state, he did use 8 good old BA receivers with it including an HRO-5TA1. Mac, WQ8U operated /4 from NC this CX so he and his XYL could welcome their newborn twin grandsons, Rocco and Theo, into the world. If your children are “harmonics”, are grandchildren “2nd harmonics”? In keeping with the anticipated birth of the twins, Mac used his old reliable Drake Twins: T-4X and R-4A.

The high scorer summed it all up: “- the score is not important in this event - what counts is putting the old junque on the air and having fun!” And who might that be? As has happened in prior CXes, Rocco, N6KN and Jim, W8KGI fought it out with Rocco having more contacts (186) and Jim having more older gear (Total years: 2,534). Jim claimed a strange disadvantage of operating CX while wearing long underwear, a flannel shirt topped by a sweatshirt topped by an Irish woolen sweater topped by a coat while having his hands get too cold to pound the straight key and wondering if extra years could be added for wearing old mittens. Thus is the plight of someone blessed with a “Summer Shack” and a “Winter Shack.” Rocco on the other hand had to endure sunny Rancho Palos Verdes CA where his QTH looks out over the Pacific from 1200 ft. Even if there was a chill, his Johnson Desk KW and his 16 other classic transmitter-receiver pairs would keep him toasty warm. Maybe next CX when it is warm in NM Jim will win. But for this time, congratulations Rocco!

Noted missing in this CX were Jim, W8ZX and his musical Hallicrafters FPM-200 and Al, N5AIT, one of the CX founders - not participating just because his house caught fire. A number of CX regulars were active participants but did not submit logs. Of particular note were Glen, K9STH; Ralph, VE7XF; Jeff W7ID; Bunky, K4EJQ; Unless you shape up we will ask Rocco and Jim to run through all their rigs in their next QSO with you.

Bottom line: Great Fun! Can’t wait until September for the next chance to “work the great ones”.

Mac, WQ8U
CX Newsletter Editor






Rob & team
















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 and from on-the-air observations and QSOs. 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,
Mac, WQ8U





Nice to hear you on 40 from North Carolina! February's CX was very active, and the bands were surprisingly good (even 10 meters). I spent Saturday fighting rig problems, as usual. My KWM-1 developed a large arc between the final plate choke and a feedthrough cap - really left a mess, but after moving some components, everything worked ok. After three weekends, I finally achieved full output from my new (freebie) HT 40, paired with the HA 5 VFO and Drake 2B.

Beginning CX at 1400 worked out wonderfully! I spread out my operating between the bands and modes as much as possible. I began on 20 CW with Rob, K2TOP at 14:30, on his USN TBW. It was easy to qualify the DX100/RME 6900 and DX 60/SB303, plus several other rigs. This year, I qualified my stations one by one, moving to other transmitters only on occasion. I think I worked more different calls this way. I also answered CQ's rather than just calling, when possible.

Moving at 15 SSB at 1620, I found the band open all over the country. Larry, KC8JX, was strong in here. He managed to hear the HT-40's blazing 8 W of AM, finally qualifying the small transmitter. His Heathkit HX-10 sounded great! At 1835, I put the Johnson Desk KW on 10 AM and almost managed to work K2TOP - I just could not copy his rig in the noise. However, I worked several others, including Jack, KH6CC, who is always loud here (my QTH looks out over the Pacific from 1200 ft).

There was a 10-10 contest on SSB; I parked on 28.494 and had a great time calling CQ CX. I exchanged information with several lonely 10-10 folks; by adding a bit both ways, the contact could count for either event. This worked out nicely and was much better than competing with the Texas QSO party last fall! Mike, VE3FGU, powered up several vintage stations to work me, including his Viking 500.

I moved back to 20 CW and picked up W8KGI, K2TOP, K3ZX, and other familiar CXer's. I then found W7ID and KC8JX on 14.270 SSB, and we had a nice 3 way. I moved down frequency and began a long run using the Hallicrafters SR-400A. Notable was K5AM on his homebrew solid state transmitter and a long, long list of boatanchor receivers. Drake, Heathkit, and Collins dominated the log. My old friend Paul, KU6T, from my old school (UCLA) gave me the only HX-50 heard or worked; nice to hear him on the air. The band openings were unbelievably strong towards sundown, and it was fun to hear many boatanchor stories and memories from CX newbies and drop-by's.

I finally moved to 40 CW at 0145 and managed to work you, Mac, from NC, as well as a bunch of wild old rigs. Meisner Signal Shifters were popular! 40 finally died, and 80 had S9 plu 20 local QRN, so I gave up at 1500. I know I missed many late birds on 80, but I could not hear anything through the racket.

I qualified 17 stations and worked 186 CX contacts. My scores are: SSB 27,654,396, CW 4,628,442, and AM 72,660 for a total of 32,355,498. This is preliminary - I will double check the totals. Next time - I am going the computer route - pencil and paper are a pain with this many rigs to track.

However - the score is not important in this event - what counts is putting the old junque on the air and having fun!

Comments on times: starting at 1400 worked very well - there were many CXer's on the air early, so this was a popular time to operate. We could separate the phone and CW into two days, thereby concentrating the participants; I still favor that approach, being crazy enough to want more of this type of activity. Same hours, but run both Saturday (phone) and Sunday (CW)? This would give us more time to find each other on each mode and a higher probability of doing so, band by band. Just my humble opinion.

Rocco N6KN

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Well it's the "morning after," and I survived the February 2004 CX pretty well.

It has been pretty cold here in New Mexico this winter, so I was not sure about getting out into my garage to get my "summer shack" gear on the air. However I did dress for the occasion, long underwear, a flannel shirt topped by a sweatshirt topped by an Irish wollen sweater topped by a coat, and I managed to get 10 receivers and 11 transmitters out there on the air. Ten of the pairs went on 40 cw, and I must thank Charles, K0NG, and Paul, K2LOMQ, for hanging in there and working all of them. The Globe King 275 was easy to copy with better than 200 watts out, but the Hammarlund 4-20 and McMurdo Silver 701 only have about 5 to 10 watts out and the guys had to strain a bit more to hear them.

Inside where it was toasty-warm in my closet-shack, I shed most of my protective garments and ran another 12 receivers and 13 transmitters on 20, 40 and 80 cw. I also got on 160 later on, but there was no CX activity on 1810 out here so I folded up and went to bed.

My resolutions for next September include getting my SW-3 working properly, finding out why the SX-73 trips the Ground Fault Breaker in the garage and fixing that, and having at least one more transmitter ready to go out there, perhaps my UX-210 Hartley from the AWA contests. I put the Hartley on 40 and 20 a few weeks ago, by the way, and it does work pretty well there as well as on 80 meters. It's amazing what 1929 technology can still do. I also have an NC-101X on my repair bench and an HQ-120 waiting behind it. I suspect they may find their ways into at least a "guest spot" in one or the other of my shacks by September.

As to my score, well the good news is that my equipment keeps getting a year older every-other CX, so my age multiplier keeps going up. The bad news is, so do I. But be that as it may, I made a total of 105 QSO's, and the age multiplier was up to 2534 years. So my final total is 29,001,630 points. Not too bad for a guy whose hands were getting too cold to pound the straight key in the garage, HI. I wonder how it would have sounded if I'd worn mittens.

I had a lot of fun contacts. Ralph, VE7XF, had an Eico 720 that was very easy to find with its T-7 note. I need to send some information on Meissner Signal Shifter plug-in coils to Ralph, as if he doesn't already enough trouble, HI. Marty, AA4RM, called with his "69 twins," RME and Stancor, and I reciprocated by listening to him on my RME69. Then there was our QSO on 80 where you copied the mighty 10 watt, 6C5/6L6 rig that I inherited from my mentor at Ohio State, Bob Higgy, W8IB. If that could make it all the way from New Mexico to your winter retreat in North Carolina, we are definitely going to have to consider using 80 meters for our weekly schedule.

So thanks for running the CX, Mac, and thanks too to Howie, WB2AWQ, for getting the word out to all of the magazines and reflectors. It is indeed a grand time!

Jim Hanlon, W8KGI

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I did 2.89 mil!
CX score for AA4RM is: 2895984
eqpt age is 816 years
39 qsos

CX Math & Aftermath
A Rig Too Far

Marty Reynolds AA4RM 2-8-04

You reap what you sew. And in the CX case for a couple of years running, I've been scarce at planting time. But not this CX. I started a week early on tune-ups. Tho some were B-flat at best, there were 8 stations ready for the road. I thot. Love this event. It dignifies where nature usually chooses. Quantity first! And talk about supporting diversity. Look at the scoring rules.

Two happennings o Stancor 69 tank cap front stand-off breaks & 550V to ground. WOW, that's why this is a GREAT hobby! Fix was to prop knob up w. a jam jar. Went on to make lotsa contacts. o Gonset G76. The 4th came early under-chassis in power supply. Nerve-jangling ZAAAAAP & she went dark. Undaunted, I rummaged around & found a 2nd example. Went on to make several contacts ~10PM on a very hot 80 meter band. Watched 6DQ5 carefully since I cudn't back load below 100w @ 3.5 mcs. Plate only got a little red. Kept dits short.

My runner, sn 16, was a check-in for a collector's net early Sunday. Four of us hung out 'til 9A to make this gizmo my 1st CX qualifier CX co-founder K8SJ once sed it's innevitible that someday a Cosmo- phone will be logged. A (twice) self-fulfilling prophecy.

That's the 1960 hybrid called the Hallicrafters FPM-200. Scarce. W8ZR has had one in past CXs & I thot the time had come for a second. This was "rig 9" & she resisted successfully. Cudn't get drive, cudn't get audio. Seems easy, but to see how boards sandwiched, any maintenance so tuff it's silly.
Why call it a "rig too far" (Ernie Pyle?). Well it was 10 years ahead of the mob. At least 10 years. A garden of Ge transistors. No, a truck farm of Ge transistors. But not only did this '200 no show, I didn't hear 'ZR Jim either

Worked present CX Helmsman WQ8U/4-NC on 40. He on Drake twins, me on Stancor/RME. Sorta 459-ish because, as I sed, we're too close. & that was the case since we re-connected 30 min.s later on 80 (my G76) & exchanged big-time 599s. W8KGI, the contact machine. And one with both a fb antenna system and propagation luck. Constant 599 reports to him on the NE-USA to New Mexico path. Chirp city on Stancor 69. Have never cured it. Now bet it's the HY69 self-exciting 'til prior stage drive arrives. Gonna watch it on spectrum analyzer. Overkill. But must say it's distinctive & the 40w muscle brought my best DX, VE7XF. Ralph sed "nice pair" after he found it was mated (heh) with an RME69. And just ask Jim Hanlon. Our RME69s will celebrate their 69th birthdays this year. That's W8KGI with whom I collaborated for a milestone RME69-to-RME69 contact.

Think K4TS was running 30S1 "active tuner" for 500w out. I made 3 contacts w. Johnson 500. All needed to turn heads was a string of Vs followed by CX. That's paired w. Hammurlund Pro 310 & is the runaway best looking twosome.

I'm a man. I've finally worked a CX with a tube TR-switch in-line. In this case it's a Lynmar off-brander with a 6AH6. Sits between a Drake 2B, a Navigator, & the RF hose-pipe. Wow does operation become FUN! BUT I have a much earlier QSK embodiment. The TCS. In spite of all the slamming relays, in it's own way it's a pleasure too. Kinda Harley vs. Honda.

K4EJQ kept producing rigs like the sorcerer's apprentice. Worked 4 in one stretch w. TCS. He almost stretched it further with qrp jobs but begged a recess. Then there was Rob K2TOP & Mario N2AK who were always there. And K3ZX. Heard Rocco on 80 only but cudn't connect. Wish we'd been on 20 at same times. Same goes for omni-present Howie WB2AWQ. Just never got things set right for a qso.

XYL Kathy suffered bleeps ad nauseum but still came up with a well- timed bowl of fresh-vegatable soup. Then @ shut-down, a double neat Early Times stepped deservedly in.

Almost 3 million points fm 39 qsos and 8 rigs. Res Ipso Loquitor

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Hi Mac, Jim, Marty and the rest of the gang!

Good CX this time, except for the upper bands. Try as I might I heard no CXers on 10 or 15 meters. Listened and called particularly for Rob K2TOP on 10 as he really wanted to see if the path between us was usable, but no joy.

Started out on 20 CW with the potent Swan 350, and had no trouble working across the country and across the Atlantic pond. Had the first of three QSOs with W8KGI who only put one rig on 20. Guess Jim was still half asleep. Then out came the Drake T4XC and SX101A, and several more CW QSOs, then the Kenwood TS-440 and a few more, plus one (yes just one!) SSB QSO with W7FOX.

After that I went down to 75 meters to work AM with the AWA boys, and all their big iron. My Gonset G-76 kept up with them very nicely as it always does.

The highlight of this CX for me was 40 meters, where I used my ORIGINAL novice (1961) receiver - my dad’s BC-348Q, and a BC458A command transmitter. The bomber radios gave a very good accounting of themselves, and it was a very emotional experience to make some great QSOs on the receiver that I learned CW on and had my first QSO on.

Finally it was on to 80 meters, where I unleashed some of my favorite toys, the early homebrew ether polluters - the 1929 “Beast” push-pull 211 Hartley, a 1921 Hartley using a pair of rare UV-202 brass based tubes with tipped envelopes, and a 1932 QST Jim Lamb superhet receiver, plus my recently acquired Viking Navigator, HRO, and NC-125.

I missed Jim W8ZR and his “famous” FPM Hallicrafters, and the one-and-only” BOGS Globe 680 that was a part of the Stephens bros (Al N5AIT and Stu K8SJ) heritage, but did meet a number of new “fists” on CX, at least for me, and I want to say a special hi to them: Carl K7ZYV, Chris W7FOX, Larry KC8JX, Tom K6LQI (operating K6AA), Rich AA1P, john KU4AF, Bill NV4T, and John K9KEU. Also, I think we awoke a new CX convert in W1AWB, who just happened to stumble onto a rats nest of CXers on 80M. Andy said he had some Drake stuff (I think), and would try and have his BA gear up for the next one.

I think Jim W8KGI should get the “Most Prolific Operator” award, and the K6KN/Rocco “Wannabee” award. Remember last time when Rocco switched on more pieces of stuff than Hanes has underwear, well Jim did that to me on both 40 and 80. I think if I had let him keep going on 80, I would have been up past midnight. Was great Jim!

Not as many QSOs as last year, but still a very good CX. 41 QSOs, 27 states/provinces/countries, 62 rigs worked, and a CX multiplier of 715 made for 2,609,035 points.

See ya all in the fall!

Howie WB2AWQ

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February 2004 Classic Exchange at K2TOP

Jack K2BMI, Peter WW2Y, Jeff WB2WCO, Martin, and host Rob K2WI

160/80m Inverted L/vertical 60 feet tall,
40m dipole at 70 feet,
stacked 20m dipoles at 50/25 feet,
stacked 10m dipoles at 30/15 feet.

"The Mighty" DX-40 with Johnson 122 VFO and 1940s homebrew p-p 811 "pair of shoes" used on 40m CW. We thought our chirp would be heard 'round the world, but not so.
"The Pumper Thumper", US Navy TBW. Used on 80 and 20 CW. Not quite as stable on 20 as on 80.
Viking Ranger used on 40 and 10AM. We got nice audio reports with this cute little stock rig with D-104 mike.
Drake T4xc used on 40 and 20 CW.
Hollered on 14270 SSB for a while to no avail. P-P 4-125s driven by 807 multipliers and Northern 115 Oscillator. Potent, but with the variable master oscillator out of commission, had to run in crystal mode. This rig let us test the CW skills of our contacts as we sent 4 _...._ 125.

US Navy RAL. So thoroughly blocked by the DX-40 that we couldn't tell if we were chirping. Used on 40
US Navy RBB. Used on 80m
US Navy RBC. Used on 20m
US Navy RBM. Used on 80m just enough to qualify. Too wide for CW work on busy bands.
US Navy AR-88f (part of RDM) Getting the idea here? I like Navy stuff. Used on 20m in rough going. AR-88d. Used on 40 AM and CW, 10 AM. Very sensitive for its age. R4c, used on 40 and 20.

My family gave me lots of time to set up this year, but it still ended up a little like Field Day. Jack and Jeff showed up right at the start with their DX-40 and Viking Ranger, respectively. Both rigs gave a little trouble in the beginning. Despite a pegged Bird wattmeter, we could not find the signal from the DX-40 until we got a frequency counter out. That was a case of operator error, we were on the wrong part of the dial on the Johnson 122 VFO. Jack's Ranger did not want to make any output on 10m, but it seemed happy enough on 40 so we set it up for 40 AM. I guess it just needed some warming up as later on it made 20 watts on 10 AM.

One problem with a Field-Day start is you don't get much time to shake the bugs out. The Viking Ranger wanted to put out garbage on 160 even in standby mode, which in combination with power line noise pretty much rained on the parade on Top Band. We heard W3CNS cqing there but by the time we moved the antenna over, he was gone. I never did get around to putting a second 80m antenna up so we don't share 160 and 80 on one antenna. It is hard to drop a busy 80m operation to go to 160.

There are antenna switchers, and there are antenna movers. You know who the switchers are, guys like W8KGI and K9STH who worked us with multiple stations in a row. We are antenna movers, doing a version of the Maypole dance with coax cables when we want to change rigs or bands. We did more of this than usual, running 3 transmitters and 4 receivers just on 20m.

Despite my best intentions, we never got the engineering section going this time. The other guys all had commitments that prevented them from operating the whole time, so I operated instead of working on gear. The Meissner Signal Shifter and Breting 14 will have to wait.....

We didn't work a whole lot of pre-50s stuff. There was a lot of Collins this year. We even worked a guy in Collinsville, IL who was running a Ten-Tec. You'd think there would be an ordinance against that. I applaud N6ZFO for getting on with his SX-100 and FT-1000MP. Most guys would have used lack of a vintage transmitter as an excuse to not get on. AA4RM had his cool 69 "twins" on. We worked neighbor W2KV with his Sky Buddy and homebrew 6L6 transmitter. That gets my vote for coolest setup(sorry Howie, we've worked the 1921 Hartley so many times). Our Navy stuff missed their brethren, who were quite scarce this time, just a TCS and an RBC.

Conditions were quite good. Making four contacts with VE7XF is notable, as he can be on the other side of a black hole from us. I'll bet he had more fun than usual. At first I thought that was an auroral buzz on his signal, but it was just his Eico 720. Our little Viking Ranger was heard over the eastern seaboard on 40AM with a total of 23 contacts. Its 20W out on 10m was also heard in Idaho, Arizona, Pennsylvania and almost in California. Unfortunately Rocco was not able to copy my rig information to complete a QSO with him. Our total of 27 AM contacts broke our previous record of 2!!! Jack looked as happy as a pig in, er, mud, while he worked the guys on 7290. At night, 40m was so quiet I kept thinking I was on 20 and that maybe I should try 40, until I saw the band switch. K6LQI was coming in solid with his ARC-5.

As usual, we fooled around with other communications gear. Martin played with the AN/GSC-T1 code practice oscillator before laying down for an 11-hour nap. Using the US Navy US/C-3 Infrared Signalling Telescope, Jeff and Peter both copied messages sent by Rob with an IR-filtered spotlight. No one answered the 1907 telephone when we rang upstairs for a beer, so I had to go get it myself.

The CX ended, not with a bell, but with a yawn as once again an urgent need for sleep ended the contest before the clock did.

Rob Flory K2WI

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The following poems were written by Rob Flory, K2WI and are shown here with his permission. Further reproduction, retransmission, rephrasing, recruiting, or inordinate rereading are only allowed with his expressed permission - and we all know how expressive he is.

"The Chirp Heard 'Round the World"

I don't know why they are so maligned,
Maybe it's just the unfortunate rhyme,
Because my Meissner Signal Shifter
does not deserve to be called a drifter.

Sure, it's got a little chirp.
On 40 it's more like a blurp.
But once it's set it stays right on
the frequency I started on.

It sits next to an AR-88
made by RCA, which hears great.
This little rig is in heaven
driving a pair of 811s.

Said KI4DTV,
"It has a southern accent that appeals to me."
CO8LY, for another
thought he worked a Cuban brother.

I worked a New Zealand Kiwi
who was a farmer just like me.
For half an hour we did prattle
about oxen and dairy cattle.

I worked a guy in Western Samoa,
While I drank my morning cuppa joa.
Once again VK6V Zed
logged me before putting his kids to bed.

KI6ZX in Cali called me,
with his Drake 2NT.
When I got back from the old salt mine
Sarajevo gave me 579.

Although the sun was still up
I heard a giant pileup.
They were calling 3B9C.
5 minutes later, Rodriguez called me.

Then it was time for my sked
on the long path with VK6V Zed.
I could hear Steve well enough to say,
"I hear you Rob, but you're QRJ".

I think you can see why I've had fun
using this rig I've named, "Cricket One".


I wrote this this morning after my 40m QSO with Steve Ireland, VK6VZ, a
fellow AR-88 owner.

Rob Flory K2 Wacky Iraqi

Sit down and I'll tell you the story about
the day puny Waqi did get out.

Twas 5 in the morning on March twenty-one,
Ric in Sydney gave me a puny "S" one.

I said, "I'll never make it to Perth",
Unless I push these Drakes for all they are worth".

I looked around the shack, and what did I see,
A pair of 811s looking at me.

I've got 40 minutes, until the big sked,
So I grabbed some cables, and scratched my head.

A relay, some coax.... I scurried about,
Receiver in, relay, amplifier out...

Back off on the drive, throw the ptt switch,
The Bird Wattmeter started to twitch.

50,100,200 and more...
The watts they started to pour.

I drove that suckah right to the peg,
My cuppa joe was full of dregs.

2 minutes to go, I'm all QRV
I run up for another cup of coffee.

When I get back down in front of the station,
I hear dahs and a final optimization.

from way down under into my head.

I fired back my potent reply.

A 449 was all that I got,
But Steve was hearing every dot.

Ten minutes later, I had hit R5,
My TBW I turned alive.

I lept from my chair with a coax in hand,
To put my "Pumper-Thumper" onto the band.

The mercury vapor it did glow,
When the B+ switch I did throw.

I hit the key and the relay did thump,
2 Amps RF current started to pump.

"Rob it's so cool, your 559",
We've got us a virtual RF pipeline.

I told my mate Steve to please take a wait,
While put an antenna on my AR-88.

A fifteen meter ground plane might do the trick,
an old military, fibreglass stick.

I pulled off my headphones, grabbed the AF gain knob,
"Can you hear me on your RCA, Rob?"

"Sure, Mate", was my immediate answer,
"You're 559, and you're on the speaker!"

The clock now said Eleven-Thirty,
My sun was up, and the dishes dirty.

"G'day Mate", I said to my antipodal friend,
And so our QSO did end.

And there ends the story about,
The day Mighty Waqi did get out.

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Mac --
As usual, I'm tardy on my comments. It's June 29, 2004, and here's the soap box for the Feb 04 CX event!!

Surprisingly, I managed to pull out 3 QSO's on 10M AM using my 5100B. Worked Ron K0ETD/7 in Tuscon who was running a VIking II and and an R4A, then picked up some folks running some new Icom gear. That was it for HF AM. Didn't hear any AM on 15 or 20M.

Switched over to 20 CW and fired up the HT-37 and SX-111. My first QSO was with Rocco N6KN who was exercising his Drake C-line. Went on to talk with John KU4AF who was running a DX-60 and 75A3. A really unusual combination was offered by Bill N6ZFO who was running an FT1000MP and an SX-100 !! Swapping my HQ-170 for the SX-111, I worked another CX regular Glenn K9STH.

I switched over to 40M CW and was running my HT-37 and HQ-129-X, and picked up some other CX gangsters -- Marty AA4RM (Stancor 69 and RME 69), Rocco (again) on his Apache, and Jim W8KGI on his BC459. Nice signals from all!!

Made some more QSO's, then switched to my Drake C-line and qualified it.

Next, it was back to the SX-111 and HT-37 for a finish on 80M CW. Lot's of CX regulars to be had there -- Howie WB2AWQ running his Viking Navigator, and Jeff K2TOP on his Naval TBW/RBB gear. (Hey Jeff --I'm now a proud owner of an RBH-2 receiver, and I plan to use it on 80M for the next CX party). Bob WA2VMO, Mac W8QU, Bunky K4EJQ, and Marty AA4RM were also worked on 80M.

I worked some local Pennsylvania stations on 80 CW that are not CX regulars, but hopefully they'll be around in the future. Worked Jim W3CNS just west of Lancaster PA (and about 25 miles North of me) that was running 5W from a Meissiner Signal Shifter, and a 75A2. Also had a nice chat with Mike WA3SLN running a DX-20 and Drake 2B out of Williamsport PA.

See ya'll in September!!

Mark K3ZX

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This was a different CX for me since it was at WQ8U/4 in Hillsborough, NC with only one classic rig and a jury-rigged inverted vee multiband dipole made from scrounged components. Why? Grandchildren! Twin boys were born January 24, 2004 to our daughter and son-in-law in Hillsborough. So we are renting a house across the street from them for several months to help with the now four grandchildren here. If your children are “harmonics”; then are your grandchildren “2nd harmonics”? Click here to see Rocco and Theo.

Since we are only here for a short time (December 2003 - April 2004), I just brought one rig: Drake T-4X and Drake R-4A - my old reliables. Nevertheless, CX turned out to be a whole lot of fun! My operating time was limited by grandparent duty but I still got on 20, 40 and 80 meter CW throughout the day and night and worked a number of the CX regulars as well as some new folks. Only having one transmitter - receiver pair limited my score to 120,960.

My most elusive contact, which I never was able to make, was VE7XF, Ralph, who appeared through out the day on 20 and 40 meters with good signals and a variety of rigs. On the other hand, W8KGI, Jim, was on every band all day and evening. Of course, with Jim’s impressive stable of classic rigs, every time I heard or worked him he had a different rig pair on. Great combinations like: 1941 Meissner Signal Shifter driving a Heath SB-200 and a historic homebrew 6L6 rig with an HRO.

W3CNS, Jim, was also running a Meissner Signal Shifter, his "really old QRP rig." The K2TOP gang appeared repeatedly however I was only able to work them once. However, WB2AWQ, Howie, came in super on 40 with his Command Set transmitter and then on 80 with his impressive 1929 Hartley with P-P 211s.

No CX would be complete without N6KN who I worked on 40 CW where I also heard K9STH, Glen, although I could not work him. I enjoyed working KC8JX, Larry, repeatedly on 40 and 80 with his mix and match multiple versions of Drake gear. K9KEU, John, with his classic Collins pair: 32V3 and 75A3, commented he had a ball and even worked someone with a Stancor 69. Who Dat? Marty, AA4RM, of course, who had it teamed with his RME-69 for his traditional CX 69 pair. I also worked Marty on his Gonset G-76.

This CX ended with a CX regular, K3ZX, Mark, who was out of his B&W 5100 rut with a nice old Hallicarafter pair: HT-37 and SX-111. All in all, it was really fun. I missed the ability to bring up different rigs and to flip on the SB-200 when I really wanted to make a QSO. However, CX is about remembering the fun and the challenge of those great old classic rigs.

Wait until September!

WQ8U/4 Mac

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Dear Folks,

Enclosed is my log and entry for the February 2004 Classic Exchange. I had 12 QSOs on 40 and 80 meters.

I started in 40 m using the Harvey-Wells TBS-50C and Hallicrafters S-756. Then went to 80 M with the Johnsopn Ranger I and Drake 2B. Then put my TenTec Argonaut 505 on 80 M but it doesn't like my end fed antenna and overloads. Then tried my Heathkit HW-8 on 80 M and raised Howie, WB2AWQ but lost him in QRM.

All told it was a great contest and I am looking forward to the September CX. Hope to get some more rigs on next time.

Thanks & 73
Donald C. Younger, W2JEK

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Dear Mac,

A little late, but here is the Feb 2004 CX Log for N6ZFO. Details in the atttached Excel spreadsheet.

Final score: 76,797
23 QSO's
22 Tx
22 Rx
19 Mults
Age of Equipment: 53 years
Rx: SX-100
Tx: FT1000MP

Pleased to partipate in your great CX for the first time. QSO with Bunky on 80m and his Viking Adventurer sure brought back memories of Novice days as KN6OPI. There were a few snide comments about the FT-1000 so will try to have the HT-32 on the air before next one.

Thanks for most enjoyable event. Will ship a picture along shortly.

Bill N6ZFO

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Hello Mac,

In the february 2004 Classic Exchange I worked the following:


MY CLAIMED SCORE 10X29X100=29,000

Mac, I always enjoy the contest. It is a great excuse to play with my old radios. This is the first time I have submitted a log. Hope I did it right.

Enjoy those new grandsons

John K9KEU

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I think it's time I get these off to you. Please excuse the log sheets, it's all I had. ((AWA log sheets))

I didn't put to much effort into the CX as I wasn't ready for it. The low power of the Signal Shifter was an obsticale also. I hope to do better next time.

Jim, W3ENS

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Hi Mac!

K5AM CX log 2004 February 08-09
23:36 2004-02-08 homebrew transceiver
n6kn rocco ca 59 59 hallicr. sr400a 14.270 ssb
00:11 2004-02-09 homebrew transmitter and 75A4
n6kn rocco ca 59 59 hallicr. sr400a 14.270 ssb
00:16 2004-02-09 homebrew transmitter and 51J4
n6kn rocco ca 59 59 hallicr. sr400a 14.270 ssb
00:24 2004-02-09 homebrew transmitter and Drake 2B
n6kn rocco ca 59 59 hallicr. sr400a 14.270 ssb
00:28 2004-02-09 homebrew transmitter and HQ-129-X
n6kn rocco ca 59 59 hallicr. sr400a 14.270 ssb
00:35 2004-02-09 homebrew transmitter and HRO-5TA1
n6kn rocco ca 59 59 hallicr. sr400a 14.270 ssb
00:41 2004-02-09 homebrew transmitter and SP-600
n6kn rocco ca 59 59 hallicr. sr400a 14.270 ssb
00:46 2004-02-09 homebrew transmitter and 51S-1
n6kn rocco ca 59 59 hallicr. sr400a 14.270 ssb
00:50 2004-02-09 homebrew transmitter and HQ-170
n6kn rocco ca 59 59 hallicr. sr400a 14.270 ssb
01:18 2004-02-09 Signal/One CX7
n6kn rocco ca 59 59 hallicr. sr400a 14.270 ssb
01:28 2004-02-09 FT-1000D
n6kn rocco ca 59 59 hallicr. sr400a 14.270 ssb

qso 11
rig/qth worked 3
cx mult 533
score 17,589

Mark, K5AM
Mark Mandelkern
Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA DM62ni
First callsign: W9ECV, Milwaukee, 1948.
10 band DXCC confirmed. 134 countries on 6 meters.
Homebrew station:

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Ufortunately, I could only work a few hours in the afternoon. But, where the heck was everyone?

Total QSOs: 6
Total RX+TX_QTH: 18
Total Age: 80
Score: 8640


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Hi Mac,

Managed to get in about four hours during the CX Test, and it was a blast. Condx on 80m and 40m were good, and we had at least three newbies on from California.

I've had very little time on the air of late, so rather than trying to qualify rigs, my idea was to get some air time for as many rigs as possible. Had a total of 27 QSO's, with 15 on 40m and 12 on 80m. The rigs used were as follows:

Clegg Interceptor with Down Converter,
Gonset G-63,
75A1 and

TX: Adventurer,
Globe King 500B,
Gonset GSB-100,
Viking I,
Viking 500,
723 and



Having another hour of CX time in the evening would certainly be beneficial to us west coast BA'ers.

Thanks for sponsoring the fun!!

73's de Paul K2LMQ
Kingman, AZ.


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I only made one contact (two different rigs), but thought I'd send in the data so Rocco could have his contact verified.

Date/Time(UTC) Freq Call Name QTH RSTRcvd RSTSent RXRcvd TXRcvd RXSent TXSent Band Mode
2/8/04 22:59 14.270 N6KN Rocco CA 57 57 SR400A SR400A TS-520SE TS-520SE 20 Phone
2/8/04 23:18 14.270 N6KN Rocco CA 57 57 SR400A SR400A TS-820S TS-820S 20 Phone

I'll be sure to give it a better shake in September! :-)

Kevin Haake
Lincoln, NE

PS: I tried the 'classic exchange logger' after the fact, but couldn't edit the date/time info.

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I only had about 30minutes to operate,but it was still a lot of fun hearing the old rigs on the air.

I had three contacts,two of them with anEico 723/Heath HR-1680 combo, and the other with my old HW-101.

Thanks to all for the effort to put this event on the air.

Kevin Gunther
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This is my one entry for the CX:
8 Feb 04; 29010MHz; 1830UTC

32V3 + 75A4

HOMEBREW 6146 exciter to PP 813s; 100+Watts
R-390A and S-40 receiver - both used in QSOs.

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this is a log of zero points

40m w8kgi
160m w7vpk

working on my antennas for the ARRL DX test and had to go out dancing sunday night (what do i say, "black lace and cowboy boots trumps ham radio anytime")

but over tha past year i have been working on the 160m shack, making it into the premiere pacific northwest 160 meter contest superstation, see attachment.

usually i take the cx afternoon and check out all the radios that i have working, find any problems, this keeps the six complete stations that i have up and running "up and running!"

take care
mike w7dra
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