AA4RM - Marty
Increasing scores, increasing number of participants, increasing number of classic rigs, increasing QRM, and increasing fun are the highlights of this CX.
As usual W8KGI, Jim, and N6KN, Rocco, battled it out for the top score. Jim won this time with an unbelievable 26,356,096 points! He edged out Rocco by using more and older rigs even though Rocco had more QSOs. A demonstration that age is superior to activity? (Jim is older than Rocco.) Jim changes rigs very quickly giving rise to WB2AWQ, Howie's comment "Jim ...used more rigs in the space of a few minutes than Imelda Marcos has shoes!" Rocco did reveal one of his secrets of high scores: "I also did some pre-CX control exercises... It's like warming up for the Olympics, or something like that." W7ID, Jeff, got third place by running the bands with 16 transmitter-receiver pairs. However, Jeff is pondering a mystery common in CX: "I am constantly amazed at how easy it is to make contacts with the old low power transmitters such as my Signal Shifter EX. It makes me wonder why I had such a hard time making contacts with my DX-20 when I was first licensed." Maybe it has something to do with his current 2-element 40-meter beam? K2TOP, the Top Band Club, the only CX club entry, got fourth without having all their operators at their stations. Rob, the club trustee, took a nap and missed the Sunday night activity.
In addition to the W8KGI and N6KN multi-million scores, W7ID and K2TOP scored over 11 Million and K9VKY, N2AK, W7FOX, and K4CHE scored between 1 and 7 Million. We have some very serious CXers here with really great classic shacks.
Scoring high requires some unique characteristics. Take for example K4CHE, whose QTH is Dover, DE signs his e-mails: "aint nutten in Dover except Chickens, A NASCAR track and hams that can't solder." Then there is W7FOX who pleads for accurate signal reports assuring us that a report like "Your rig sounds like someone is cutting down a chicken coop with a chain saw" will not offend. K9VKY, who returned to CX after a two year absence, does give accurate reports; this CX he instituted the Grand Order of Melodic Chirp and inducted K4EJQ, W0VLZ, WQ8U, and W7ID is members. He singled out WQ8U's DX-100 as "having one of the few decent chirp signals." This was N2AK, Mario's first CX. He started his vintage shack 2 years ago that includes a 20-tube homebrew dual 1625 final rig that he built in high school in '62.
Classic commercial rigs were most common but there were some noteworthy homebrew rigs, some built just for this CX as was the case for N2LO, Robert. Being a sand state oriented person he approached the 6L6 design as using "a dual gate P-channel depletion mode FET. Well…close." Teamed with his Sky Buddy it did OK - even as a "power beam thermionic transconductance device." WB2AWQ, Howie was a big signal with his1929 P-P Hartley running a pair of 211s at 90 watts and K4JYS had his 1929 TNT running 3 1/2 watts. And while not quite homebrew, W0VLZ, Niel did follow the old ways: "I was glad I had taken the time to grind a crystal to put my 20A on 80 CW." And not all classic/vintage rigs were that powerful. W2JEK, Don has a 117N7 oscillator with 100 milliwatts output and is crystal controlled - not a good combination but he built it in 1947 so it is a good multiplier.
There were a lot of military rigs on this CX many with their characteristic signals. AA1P, Richard reported: "What a hoot! Within minutes I worked two TBW's and a TCK. One guy said the chirp (what chirp?) on my GRC-9 took him back 60 years to WWII." Lots of green radios and ARC-5 Command Sets (transmitters and receivers). W7DRA, Mike showed that an ARC-5 can be made into a VFO for every application. Also noteworthy are K9VKY's 1944 PRC-1 spy radio, K4CHE's ART-13, and W1IA's BC-610.
The most unusual CX military involvement was WW2LST, operated by AA4RM, Marty and W8AU, Perry. The call is assigned to a restored WWII LST on which Marty and Perry operated an SB-102 with the antenna clamped to a 40mm gun tub and a TCS with a 24 ft.wire antenna.
QRM was at a peak this CX. The CQ WW RTTY contest made the CW bands almost worthless until 0000Z Sunday. W8TM, Paul commented, "some of the loudest QRM I've ever heard on 40 CW." Many echoed his comment. Good news: The September 2005 CX will be two Sundays. The first, concurrent with the RTTY contest, will be only AM and SSB. The second Sunday, a week later, will be only CW and hopefully will be better. Also, 6 and 2 meters have been added so there are other places to go if there is QRM on the HF bands. And, best of all, the scoring has been simplified. See the announcement on the CX website for details.
QRM wasn't the only problem for some CXers. K3MD, John e-mailed: "Will miss Feb. CX... classic rigs are in basement, confined to first floor due to fractured leg. See you in Sept.!!" One would think that since John is a physician (radiologist) he could have gotten a better cast for stair climbing. Another problem was posed by K3KYR, Jeff, who runs a nice array of Heath, Hammarlund and National Classic rigs as well as advocating for VHF in CX. "Mac, I enjoyed the Feb.13 CX very much, but don't understand how to date the gear that I used." Jeff, this is a problem many of us learned to solve as teenagers. You probably always had dates with girls as a youth; however some of us had to occasionally date our radios. Seriously, the Raymond S. Moore books are a great source of dating information as is the Internet. If in doubt, you can always e-mail W8KGI or N6KN, they probably have the rig. The general practice is to only count the age of the transmitter and receiver, not the VFO, amplifier, tuner, key, etc.
This CX was really a lot of fun. K2PGB, Chris captured it: "What a kick. It is what all "contest" should be. Relaxed and making new friends. N2AK, Mario added "The CX is a great operating event. Unlike other "contests" which take no time out for actually saying hello and finding out what the other guy is using, CX encourages that kind of interchange, and it's great fun." And K3MSB, Mark said it for a lot of us: "As always, enjoyed myself immensely."Mac
It's the day after the CX as I write this note. Yesterday was an interesting one, to say the least. Murphy made his usual appearances, and he's getting more clever and attacking things common to all of my gear! It started off when I was just getting on 20 around noon. My QSK keyer developed a short on the amplifier keying lead that I finally tracked down to a stuck (welded) mercury-wetted relay contact. I rapped it smartly If after you rapped it, the relay didn't work, would say you rapped it "dumbly"? and it resumed normal operation, so at least I got away with not having to pull out the keyer board and replacing the relay. A little after that one of the wires on my R42 phones pulled out, and I had to make a quick trip to the bench in the garage to fix that.
I ran OK on 20 for a couple of hours, talking to Rocco, N6KN, in California, Bill, K4JYS, in North Carolina, and Rob at K2TOP in New Jersey. I qualified six pairs on 20 (75A4 & 32V3, SX28 &1941 Meissner Signal Shifter, R4B & T4X, NC200 & DX 100, RME 96 & DX-40, NC-101X & 100V), and then I headed out to the garage to fire up on 40.
We had several days of rain and damp weather, so the ground-fault breaker out in the garage was acting up. It would not hold when I turned all of the gear on, especially when I keyed up the Globe King AKA "Globus Rex". So I decided to turn on gear in smaller groups, and I throttled the Globe King back to only about 200 watts in and the breaker decided to hold. 40 was awash with RTTY, but I called CQ CX and managed to find Bill, NZ0T, Fox W7FOX, Kerry, K5KS, and Paul, K2LMQ, who could work me through the noise. Finally at 5 pm MST the RTTY vanished and the band really started jumping. I had my usual 12 receivers ready to go out there plus I scraped together 25 transmitters, but I didn't get them all on the air because of the RTTY noise and the power breaker. I did get on with the following: NC303 & Globe King 275, HQ180 & AF67, 75A3 & Apache, SX28A & AF68, SX73 & HT-20, SP600 & Globe Scout 680, SX43 & DX20, HQ129X & T150, BC348 & Viking II, RME70 & DX-60, SW3 & Lettine 240, HQ170A & AT-1, plus a Lysco 600, Viking I, Adventurer, and Gonset Commander. I tried to get my Globe Chief 90 on, bit it seemed to be putting RF out somewhere other than 40 meters - back to the bench. And I left a Conar 400, my 1929 style UX210 Hartley, Bob Higgy's 6J5/6L6, Ivo's Mighty Fleapower (6J6 XO/PA), Eldico SSB100, Hammarlund 4-20, McMurdo Silver 701 and Meissner EX Signal Shifter for "next time."
>After a bite of supper I went back to the inside shack for 80 meters. Things started off well around a little before 8 MST with Paul, K2LMQ, Jerry, K5PSH, Tom, K6LQI and yourself (Mac, WQ8U), and I qualified four pairs (HRO50 & Valiant, HRO & Millen 90800, BC454 & CBY52209, NC-173 & TBS-50D) plus the FB7. For some reason my new Elmac A54 refused to work - another trip to the bench. Around 8:45, just when we signed off, the band seemed to take a distinct change. Most of the signals disappeared out here, especially the guys to the west. I stuck around for another hour and worked Mark, K3MSB in PA, Ed, K1GGI, in MA, Mike, WB9DLC in IN, John, K4AVX in KY, Niel, W0VLZ in MN, and Mike, K8XF in FL, all with very weak signals. After that the band was empty of CX signals so I folded it up and went to bed where I dreamed in CW most of the night.
All in all it was a lot of fun! I had 104 QSO's, and the gear I got on the air added up to 2696 years of age multiplier. My total score is 26,356,096. With luck I'll be home next September and the breaker will hold!
73 and keep 'em glowing,
Jim Hanlon, W8KGI
As usual, I prepared for the CX by clearing off the workbench and hauling out selected rigs to augment the batch that is permanently installed. I had done some additional work on the Hallicrafters FPM-200 since its debut last CX, and it worked a bit better (although it is quirky, to put it mildly). I also did some pre-CX control exercises; it seems that if I don't do this, odd band switch contact gremlins are sure to bite during QSOs. It's like warming up for the Olympics, or something like that. Well Rocco, I think you just let your cat out of the bag - Olympic training, eh what? Have you had your impedence test?
The CX started off on 20 CX with several good contacts using the Johnson Desk KW paired with a Drake 2B. CO7EH showed up with an FT101ZD. K2TOP was strong on his PP 4-125's. 10 was dead, and 15 was not open yet, so I tried 20 SSB and found a batch of CX types including W7ID and several others. Jeff's HT32B sounded great down here. Notable rigs included WA7HKE's Lakeshore Phasemaster 2B paired with an SX-28 (not exactly the easiest rig to use on 20 SSB). I went back to 20 CW and caught you, Mac (WQ8U) plus Cole, YU1QW (Eu is never easy from here).
Fifteen meters finally opened up a bit at 1840Z. WB0YGV's FPM-300 sounded good here, as did his Henry Tempo 1. Went back to 20 CW at 1955 and finally caught up with W8KGI. Jim and I exchanged several qso's to qualify batches of rigs on both ends. Maybe the FCC or SEC or NYAG would be interested in this mutual log scratching. Does your Gov. S. know about this? :-) His Meisner Model 41 Signal Shifter was genuinely strong in here!. Well, guess what, Jim - a batch of boatanchors fell off the truck in front of my house a few weeks after the CX, including TWO Meisner Model EX VFO/transmitters (plus a whole bunch of other stuff, including a pair of HT-18's, a pair of NCX-3's, a pair of Swan 500 CX's, and a pair of HRO-500's!). So I hope to accomplish a Signal Shifter to Signal Shifter qso with you, Jim, next CX.
I should mention that Mac's Viking 2 sounded strong, also. I do not hear as many of those as you might expect, BTW.
I went back to 15 SSB and worked another herd of stations, mostly Midwest, with good signals. KH6U called in, and Doug and I had fun on 15 and 20 with our CE-100V's. He admired the FPM-200 signal, too. I finished the contest on 40 CW, but noise made it tough out here on the west coast. I did hear AE6C's ARC-5 transmitter, as well as K5DH's homebrew 807 x 2 transmitter. Nice to hear the HB stuff on the air.
All together, conditions were not great, but as usual folks hauled out the old stuff from under the bench or wherever and made lots of contacts.
110 qso's x 169 (rigs worked plus band states) x 1339 (CX multiplier with 17 stations qualified) = 24,892,010 pts.
I had a lot of fun in the February 2005 Classic Exchange. My goal this time was to get as many different pieces of equipment on the air as I possibly could. I qualified 16 different stations, which is a new personal record. Several weeks before the exchange I started checking out some of my various pieces of equipment and scouring my equipment storage area for new pieces that I might be able to use.I really enjoy having a reason to put the old vintage gear on the air. Some of it still works so well that it rivals present day equipment that costs ten times as much. I am constantly amazed at how easy it is to make contacts with the old low power transmitters such as my Signal Shifter EX and my HT-18, at 5 and 3 watts output respectively. It makes me wonder why I had such a hard time making contacts with my DX-20 when I was first licensed in Colorado as a novice in July of 1959 as KN0VFZ. I guess my antennas are MUCH better today not to mention that the operator has improved some in the last 46 years. Well Jeff, we are pretty sure about the antennas but ..... This year I was worried that I might not be able to qualify my AM gear, which I normally try to qualify on ten meters. Due to deteriorating conditions on the higher frequencies I planned on starting off the exchange this year on 75 meter AM. Right at the CX start time of 1400, I checked into a roundtable of AM operators on 3875 from Colorado, Wyoming and the Dakotas and qualified my Johnson Ranger, Desk KW and NC-303. They were all kind enough to share their equipment with me for the CX log.
A bit after 1500Z I moved to 14.270 and found some stations to work on SSB using my KWS-1 and 75A4, Collins Gold Dust Twins. I also fired up my Drake TR-4CW and Hallicrafters SR-150 transceivers, taking turns switching them in and out of the antenna line. Rocco, N6KN, called in at about 1600 UTC and used his TS-520SE, FPM-200 and his SR-150 on me. He and I held forth for a couple more hours or so working many different stations together and putting as many of our different rigs on the air as we could. Gotta watch Rocco, he'll do that with you - good thing you could recipricate.
While we were doing so well on 20 meter SSB, I was able to qualify my 'Big H' Hallicrafters station, the HT-32B, HT-33B, and SX-115, my 32S1, 75S3, and 30S1 Collins S-line, my old faithful TS-940S, my HT-32B (2), 75A4 (2), and my current state of the art radio, a Yaesu FT-1000D.
After lunch, I tuned up my Collins A line station, the 32V3 transmitter and it's matching 75A1 receiver, and Valiant II, / SX-62A station on 15 meter AM and finding the band open was able to work enough stations to qualify them. Besides working some vintage AM stations like K9VKY with his Apache and HQ-170, I worked several other stations who put their newer solid state radios on AM after they called me on SSB not realizing that I was on AM! It is always good to help those folks find the other modes on their rice boxes.
With my AM rigs all qualified, I then moved over to 20 meter CW and joined all of the CX activity already going on there with my Knight T-50 transmitter and SX-101A receiver. Those qualified quickly and then I shifted over to my Heath DX-40 with VF-1 and Drake 2B combo. I also qualified my recreated 1959 novice station, a DX-20 and SX-110 setup while on 20.
Then it was time to remove some of those pieces from the table and set up the old Signal Shifter EX and SX-28A. I am always impressed at how well the old EX works and how easily it makes contacts for only 5 watts of output. I caught Brian, K9VKY again, this time for my first contact on the Signal Shifter. By the time that I finished the QSO with him, the 20 meter band was starting to fade so I moved down to 40 CW in order to finish qualifying that station. After logging the required three contacts, I removed them from the table and replaced them with my last set of gear, a Hallicrafters HT-18 exciter and S-38 receiver. Both of these units had never been on the air at my shack so I had no idea what to expect.
With the HT-18's mighty 3 watts of output power I had a hard time getting anyone to answer at first. Then I decided to try to find a very loud station to call thinking that I really needed the propagation in my favor to have anyone hear that peanut whistle. I also knew it would be difficult copying stations on the S-38 with it's broad as a barn selectivity unless they were nice and loud.
Soon I tuned upon a very loud station in Ogden, Utah calling CQ on 7050. He wasn't in the CX but I answered him anyway. He came right back and gave me a 579. We had a nice QSO and he was very impressed that I was only running QRP power. Guess the 2-element 40-meter beam really helps. I worked one other station on 40 and then finding no other real loud stations, I moved down to 80 meters where I made the third qualifying and my final contact in this years February CX.
It is always fun using the old Vintage gear and really great hearing all of the old rigs on the air again. The more they chirp, click and thump the more great memories of how the CW bands sounded during the 50s and 60s come flooding back! That's what CX is all about!
My numbers this time are 70 contacts, 89 transmitters and receivers worked, 31 band states / providence / countries and a total transmitter / receiver years used, CX multiplier of 1401 for a final score of 11,768,400 points.
I worked hard to get my 17 stations operable and on the air and I have a new appreciation for Jim, W8KGI and his 46 pieces of gear! I don't know if Jim was absent this time or if I just missed him. My friend Larry, KC8JX was also conspicuous in his absence and was missed. We always look forward to working the CX together.
Thanks to everyone for the great contacts, keep the old vintage gear working and on the air and I'll be looking forward to working you all again next time!
de Jeff, W7IDBACK TO TOP
New for this go-around is the Navy TCK transmitter, which we will fire up on 80 and 40CW and 160, 80, and 40 AM. I have been quite busy taking all the breadboarded power supplies that ran it for its first months on the air, and packaging them up in a rack. We will mate this transmitter with RBB and RBC receivers for the full battleship experience.
Returning will be the TBW transmitter, which will work with the RBM receiver as originally intended.
I have just reconfigured the 2x 4-125 transmitter from WSC Tuckerton in a new Hewlett-Packard computer rack that I picked up on the side of the road on junk day. At 500W out it will be our workhorse on 20m.
The Beverage feedlines have been fixed, which will give us outstanding ears on the low bands. It is always a little confusing when Rob talks about a beverage feedline - is it rf, coffee or long neck brown 807s? A new secret NVIS antenna for 40m will make sure that our low-power transmitters are heard and our high-power transmitters are huge.
Meissner Signal Shifter will drive Millen and homebrew 200W amplifiers on 160 and 40, with RCA AR-77 and AR-88 receivers.
Viking Ranger and DX-40 will probably be mated with RMCA AR-8506b and RAL receivers.
We hope to hear you!
Eek, I've done it again, left too much time pass and now I am too busy to type up the full log. I throw myself at your mercy and throw you a summary.
Ranger and AR-88D. ..105 yrs
PP 4-125 and AR-88F. 110 yrs
TCK and RBB..............125 yrs
PP 811 and AR-88LF...118 yrs
TBW and RBM...........120 yrs
Drake C-line...................60 yrs
TOTAL...................... 701 yrs
SCORE: 701yrs X 161 mults X 101 QSOs = 11,398,961
10-meter antenna, probably due to transmitting into it on 80m with TCK
Antenna changeover relay, see above.
AR-77 receiver, worked fine since fall CX and the day before this one, croaked before it heard anything this time.
AR-8506 receiver, filters went south in the week before the event.
Rob, asleep on couch from 0230 on. Failed to tell anyone I wasn't going down for the count. Maybe it was that beverage feedline catching up with him?
Millen 90881, RAL, DX-40, all tuned up and ready to go but never activated. See above.
For the first time, qualifying all three AR-88 receivers, D, F, and LF.
Being heard in NC on a one-tube regen on 80m.
For working us on the most bands(80,40,20) K4CHE
For working us with the most primitive gear: KU4AF (HB 6V6, 1-tube Regen)
For coolest setup: W7DRA (HB Pair 805s, Superpro)
After a two year absence I was finally able to return to the CX Festival-in-the-Ether. (Yes, there is a silver lining to the stigma of unemployment!) Welcome back Brian! All things considered, conditions were pretty good here in the hinterlands of western Pennsylvania on all bands but fading 10 Meters. Contacts were made on 15-160 Meters, with first time qualifying on 15 Meter AM and 160 Meters which were unfruitful in the past. Lots of new call signs showed an ever-increasing interest in our beloved boat anchor operations, but, sadly, many of the original stalwarts from yesteryear did not get in the logbook.
Hats off to K4EJQ, W0VLZ, WQ8U, and W7ID who managed to muster transmitters representing the Grand Order of Melodic Chirp. Mac let me compliment you on having one of the few decent chirp signals during the latest CX. The DX-100 was melodic! The Good Ears Award should go to Howie, WB2AWQ, who struggled and hung in there to copy my 339 signals. It's all that AWA training with Hartleys and regens. And how about an extra multiplier to 81year old W0AGG who steams along with perfectly sent CW from his South Dakota station? Please put those hats over your hearts, though, for a moment of silence for the three transmitters that emitted varying amounts of smoke during the CX. The Eico 723 and Valiant should be fairly easy fixes, but the KWS-1 (which didn't even qualify) is going to be a major project. Can I get QSO credit for any screams of anguish that may have been heard in nearby states? K2TOP has tried such things but the judges have not allowed them.
Finally, for those who were so interested in the PRC-1 spy radio set, attached is a pair of pictures of the 1944 "transceiver". The manufacturer is unknown (by me) as all markings have been obliterated by the "liberator". It uses a super-het receiver, a 6V6-807 xtal controlled xmtr, and self-contained power supply all in a Samsonite suitcase. If anybody knows anything about the PRC-1 lineage, I'd be delighted to hear from you.
With that, the February 2005 CX is put to rest, but not the adoration of our relics. Don't put on the shelf until the next CX; keep those rascals glowing even during the off season and continue to enjoy quality QSOs. Until next time, happy hunting on the bands and take care of yourselves.
FROM A NOTE ACCOMPANYING BRIAN'S SCORE SHEET:
"The total seems high to me even after going over it several times. (I'm not obsessive about scoring but have been known to add my own multipliers of 6146 bulb temperatures, weights of equipmenmt, antenna lengths, number of knob, etc.)
Classic Exchange of Feb 05 was a blast, in spite of the RTTY QRM during the day. This was my first time in CX with my quick change switching units, which allow me to quickly switch my antenna, key, speaker and side tone to any rig or combo of Tx/Rx in the shack. The vintage shack started 2 years ago with a single HW101 in it. It now contains the following: an NCX-5 in FB shape, an old SWAN 350 with one lung(final tube) that some previous owner decided was enough for a great signal ... and he was right!; the HW101 and a recently added HW100, my first commercial rig, an HT37; an Ebay pair of SB300 and SB401; a DX60B (another Ebay rig) and my 20 tube homebrew dual 1625 final rig that I built in high school in '62. Command sets do it with three tubes, what are the other 17 doing in there - looking real good I betcha :-) I also have an NC303 that has been my mainstay for 30 years and a recently acquired HQ170 (for $25 at a club auction !) . In the future, I have a Heath Apache and Mohawk which will be a nice addition to the shack, when I have some serious time to refurbish them. This is one very serious beginning to a classic rig shack - good job Mario!
I started this years operation in my main shack (all solid state gear) using my Omni C and Vibroplex Blue Racer (a nice combo) on 40m CW. I worked Bill K2LML. I then switched to my Atlas 210X (which spends the warm weather on my sailboat at the Jersey shore). I worked Whitey K1VV with his very interesting 1956 hmbw tube rig. I made 5 more contacts with the Atlas then moved upstairs to the TUBE shack. I started with the NCX-5 and worked a bunch of East Coast guys including WA2VMO who had a Swan 500 and later a Heath Marauder/SP600. I was working Rick, N2RF a local in my radio club, until he had to QRT due to "big noise" in his rig! After a while, I switched to the Swan 350, which worked fine on 40 CW. Worked Rob at W2TOP several times with his military gear.
After dinner, I switched to 20m CW, using the NCX-5. Worked WW2LST (a WW2 LST Ship) in Mobile Bay. Worked 8 stations on 20 CW then decided to put some of the Heath rigs on. Worked Bunky K4EJQ for the 1st time that day using my HW100. Got the HW101 on and worked K4JYS Bill, with his 1929 TNT rig. Then lit off the Hmbw rig from 1962 and it worked fine. Worked Mike, WB9DLC who I told about the Classic Exchange a few weeks earlier. Mike had his Knight T150 on, and it sounded great. I closed out with the HT-37 (I had to replace the power xfmer for it with a junker in 1975, so I guess that repair could be considered successful). I used my SB300 as the Rx and worked Brian / K9VKY , K2LML/ Bill and closed out with WB8AJR /BILL.
Next year I hope to have a better setup for HF antennas, that I can switch from the 2nd floor vintage shack. Also, maybe will try some phone, which would really be fun. Don't forget, AM and SSB are the first Sunday and CW is the next in the Sept/Oct 2005 CX. The CX is a great operating event. Unlike other "contests" which take no time out for actually saying hello and finding out what the other guy is using, CX encourages that kind of interchange, and it's great fun. And you get to make new friends and say hi to old ones. A few days after the CX, I got a package in the mail from Whitey/K1VV with a DVD showing the details of his 1956 homebrew rig. It was great! With people like that, I expect ham radio to be around for a long time.
73 & CU NXT YR
BACK TO TOP
CX was a blast! Starting on 20 SSB I wanted to qualify my stable of sugar bakers and there were plenty of CXers with the same idea. It was like a 12 way round table with constant swapping of signal reports, participants pausing only to update logs and fire-up different rigs. I'd have to say that listening to all those old rigs gave me an appreciation for them that was quite clear. Their voices were clear that is. With little built-in processing, voices had a good quality that made them easily recognizable in contrast to modern over processed rigs.Simpler is better :-)
Hearing nothing on 10 meters, I moved to 15 AM and managed to qualify my homebrew 1625's. Seems like there should be more activity on 15 AM, with 10 going flat much of the time. How about it guys, see you on 15 AM?
On to 20 CW, I gave the T21/ARC5 and BC-348 a workout, with lots of requests for reports. That's right, that rig doesn't cover 20 meters, but I thought the center tapped secondary of the oscillator would make a good place to drive push-push 12A6's as doublers, which seems to work out well.
I don't use the SB-101's on CW much since my home brew 1625's are full QSK, but I enjoyed making some contacts on 40 CW to get some more multipliers. Lots of different rigs heard, most with really good sounding notes. Where'd all the chirpers go? I encourage all CXers to give accurate reports, since most of us like to work on our rigs to get the most out of them. Don't worry you won't hurt our feelings. "Your rig sounds like someone is cutting down a chicken coop with a chain saw" or something like that. It appears he is ready to become an OO or write some questions for the VEC question pool.
Finished up on 80 with my novice rig from 1964, a T19 ARC5. It still has the finals from 1943. As a novice I thought it was a really old rig, since, after all, at that time it was 21 years old compared to my 12 years. Now I realize it was factory fresh at the time.
Jim, W8KGI gets my vote for most rigs in a qso. He put 4 pairs on during our 40 CW contact. He let you off easy, read some of the other encounters he had.
There seemed to be many more CX'ers to have qsos with this time. I had no trouble finding plenty of classic rigs on the specified frequencies. Maybe in the fall we could find another date to avoid the TX QSO party. It was a pretty rowdy party last time. HEE HAW!73,
Overall, what an enjoyable Sunday. We put forth our effort with six stations, mostly military equipment . I started out in the morning by getting my minimum contacts on the GRC-109 crystal controlled special forces radio.
Hard getting anyone's attention with my 7050 crystal as that frequency was pretty busy. Plugged in the 7075 rock and had a nice open space but no one would venture up 25 more Kcs! Never have understood why everyone piles up on one frequency, its been that way for ever. Maybe that is because that's where everyone is? Never understood it either...But hung in there and finally Bill, K4JYS came to my rescue and while I had him on the horn I switch over to the Wireless Set No. 19 and got a quick exchange. Bill commented on that, see below. Then I was on a roll and K1VV answered my CQ with his one tube rig. Got the ART-13 running and also used the GRC-19 for a while.
Later in the day used the Valiant and the 75A4 it was a pleasure getting this equipment up and running. Switching the rigs back and forth was easy this year, I had installed a Trompeter patch panel and dedicated a single antenna fed with open wire line.
Everywhere I would tune I would hear K2TOP, that group was everywhere.
Nice solid CW operating no phone operation on this end.
C U next fall.
GRC-109 Rec and Transmitter age 43
Wireless Set No. 19 R and T age 61
GRC-19 R and Trans age 49
ARR-41 Receiver age 47
ART-13 Tranmiter age 56
KWM-2 R and T age 45
75A-4 Rec age 50
Viking Valiant age 45.
Score: 36(32+32+14) 594= 1,667,952
Dover Delaware,aint nutten in Dover except Chickens, A NASCAR track and hams that can't solder.
Thanks again guys for another great CX. They just keep getting to be more fun.
Man, how many rigs does Jim, W8KGI have? A Bunch! I worked him on 20 meters and filled up more than a few spaces on the log sheet.... And helped my score a good bit. Thanks Jim.
Also, Breck, K4CHE took up a good bit of space in the log.... Thanks Breck.
I had four different setups available for this go round and that added to the fun. I fired up the 1929 31/2 watt TNT on 80 meters for about ten QSOs. That's a fun rig to use. I usually use it for AWA events so it's nice to have another excuse to put it on the air. Great to have those early sets on. Sure helps the multiplier too!
Thanks again to all who worked behind the scenes to keep the CX going. Those who participated and especially the ones I worked. Looking forward to the next one.
Viking II / SX-100
AF-67 / HQ-170
EICO 720 / Night VFO / Drake 2B/2BQ
1929 TNT / Drake 2B
Keys Used: J-38 and J-44
Thanks for the quick reply. I had a good time working my first CX. Band condx were not real good and I had to fight through S7 to S8 powerline noise (not to mention the RTTY QRM on 40!) but it was fun. It was great to hear so many oldies on the air - I bet lot's of shacks got nice and warm like mine! I wish I had brought my HW-5400 home from our lake place to add to my small Classic collection but the three I had gave me enough. How in the heck do guys like Jim W8KGI keep so many rigs, feedlines, antennas, and keys straight as they switch around? Most folks don't know that Jim has great agility - he is a PhD: "Particularly handy Dude" Better ops then me!Score:
I used the K8NU logging program - do you know any way to send the log to WQ8U via e-mail? I have the log and score printed but can't figure out where it gets saved to on the computer. I'm a computer dunce. Bill, that's why many of us like the Boat Anchors - no computers :-)
Hello Cxers!The Feb 2005 CX found me plagued by an abnormal amount of "spousus-interruptus", Howie, we are not going anywhere near that that - your Latin is hopefully better than ours :-) which cut into my operating time, and thus the total score. But as usual CX was a good time. I did not, however, get a chance to break out all of the heavy artillery in my arsenal.
I started out on 15M, and only one QSO but a nice one with K5HDX and his Heath HW8 QRP rig. In spite of the RTTY QRM, 20 meters did OK, the notable QSO there being Marty AA4RM on-board the USS LST-325, except I expected then to be using some of that great shipboard gear instead of a Heath SB-102! If you want to work old Navy gear, you need to work W2TOP.
40M yielded some nice QSO's, the standout there being Jim W8KGI, who used more rigs in the space of a few minutes than Imelda Marcos has shoes!
On 80M I brought out my favorite toy, the Beast 1929 push-pull Hartley running a pair of 211's at over 90W out, coupled with an HRO and a neat 1934 Doerle twinplex regenerative receiver.
This year's leader in the CX rig population was Heath, with 12 rigs heard, nice to see Heath back in vogue! Collins came in second with 8 rigs reported. Surprisingly, though, not a single Hallicrafters or Johnson rig reported, although I am sure they were out there.
Had a few new "faces" this CX, which is always nice, and of course some of the regular gang, but I missed Rob K2WI and his nasty TBW and other fine rigs, and, for the first time in a long time, no QSO's with Fearless Leader WQ8U. Perhaps without the previously mentioned nemesis I coulda done better....
See ya all in September!
As usual CX was a lot of fun even though I did not get as much time on the air as I would have liked. Started on 20 CW with my Drake Twins (T-4X & R-4A) and the first QSO was the ubiquitous Rocco, N6KN. Worked N2AK , Mario, next; either he has a fantastic memory or a really good database - he commented on the rigs I used in our last QSO in 2003. After qualifying the Drake Twins on 20 and then on 40, I moved to my Johnson Viking Valiant and National HRO-50R1 (talk about a heavy pair of BAs). Worked Paul, W8TM, down the road in Cincinnati. Didn't realize it at the time, but Paul and I went to St. Xavier High, which is also the alma mater of Jim W8KGI. I heard a number of nice old rigs, like W3CNS, Jim's, 1935 Meissner Signal Shifter and N8TD, Tom's, homebrew 6L6 rig.
Next I put on my National NC-173 and the venerable BOGS (Burnt Orange Globe Scout 680) that I received from Al, N5AIT, when he also passed me the CX Newsletter job. The first QSO with that pair was with K2TOP's leader, Rob, running one of the club's few non-Navy pieces - PP 811s. Rocco, N6KN, appeared again and then began a seemingly never-ending series of QSOs with Jim, W8KGI, and his large stable of BAs. Listening to two of the best demonstrate real Classic rigs - what a treat!
I did manage to get my Heathkit DX-100 and Hammarlund HQ-129-X into the lineup on 80 meters. The first QSO was with Brian, K9VKY, a long time, (sometimes) high scoring CX participant who has been absent for a few years. He still has good ears - he complemented my DX-100's "respectable" chirp.
The evening finished up with several QSOs with W8KGI, Jim, who put on a memorable series of Classic transmitters including a Heathkit AT-1, a Millen 90800, a Command Set, and a Harvey-Wells TBS-50D. What a way to finish this CX!
Fun but not enough participation on the AM mode. Scoring needs simplification.Try the Sept/Oct 2005 CX - MUCH less complex scoring - and more time and bands - What a deal!!!
CX Mulitp 113
Equipment used: Heathkit SB-301 and SB-401, aged 37 and 31 years respectively (built by me in June, 1967 and February, 1974). Antenna 40 meter inv vee fed with ladder line so also tunable on other bands. TRLog was used to key the rig and to record the action; stupidity by the operator resulted in all dates/times being off by an hour, which has hopefully been manually corrected in the accompanying log (w8tm.log).
The log was scored manually as close to the rules as I could manage. I counted only logged rigs and final tubes, not power outputs (which were all that I copied in some QSOs). I scored by hand except for the QSO count, the only thing that the computer counted reliably. Paul, now you know why we keep trying to advocate non-computer operated Classic Rigs - computers have very limited capability :-)
By my count from the accompanying log:
33 QSOs, all CW
27 rcvr types
26 xmtr types
20 SPCs, 15 on 40 and 5 on 20.
As indicated above
37 + 31 = 68 CX multiplier.
Score (33)(27 + 26 + 20)(68) = 163,812
Accompanying us this weekend was the CQ WPX RTTY contest, which resulted in some of the loudest QRM I've ever heard on 40 CW. I apologize to N8TD for our incomplete QSO; one of the RTTYers just totally buried him (and me) to the point that I may well have his call incorrect. All that QRM further irritated my flu-induced crankiness, which I alleviated by QSYing to 20 and not returning to 40 until the WPX RTTY event ended at 0000Z Monday.
Not interfering with the Classic Exchange, but providing a stark contrast, was the North American CW Sprint that lasted four hours on Saturday evening. Just to see what it felt like, I also used my Heathkits during that rapid-fire rapid-QSY event (there's a special rule to prevent parking on one frequency). The Heathkits seemed to hold their own except for relay dropout time, which just wasn't quick enough to hear the first letter coming back to me, even with the VOX delay set short. And tube-transmitter tuneup time slows down band changes. But overall the old stuff is still more than half competitive if used properly.Come on Paul, it is a lot better than that - ask W8KGI about his QSK system with Hg relays.
Paul Kirley W8TM
7805 Plainfield Rd.
Cincinnati, OH 45236
Hey Mac !!
Didn't catch you on 40 or 80 like I usually do!
Made 13 CX QSO's, including 2 on 15 AM (which was a pleasant surprise).
Qualified my Navy RBH-2 on 80M !! I'll get the logs out to ya soon. Right!
Well, let's see, it's now the latter part of May, and as usual Mac has sent me his usual email wondering where my CX log is. Well, forgot again Mac.
Started off on 75 AM and managed only one AM QSO with a fellow running a non CX radio, and couldn't raise anyone else on 75. I then went to 15 AM, but nothing happening there. So, I came back about two hours later to 15 AM, and worked Bob W0KIZ who was running his DX-60 and SX-96. After that, I had a nice DX-100B to DX-100B AM chat with Phil K5ACR running his DX-100B and 75A2, thus qualifying my DX-100B and SX-101A. Not bad, I just realized I used DX-100B four times in the same sentence!! That's OK Mark, this is CX.
15 CW was alive, so I put the HT-37 and SX-111 on. Worked Bob K5NRM running his HW-16 and HG-10B, and a few other non CX stations.
Had to do some family stuff, so didn't return to the CX until around 0030Z. Fired up my HQ-129-X and HT-37 on 40M CW. Worked Bill AA0RQ with his Ameco AC1 and HQ-180, Paul W8TM running his SB-303/401 combo, then Larry KC8JX running his Heathkit HX-10 and Drake 2B.
Decided to be brave, and pulled my Navy RBH-2 (made by National) off the shelf. Got this vintage WWII receiver over a year ago, but haven't had time to work on it. The outside needs work, but the inside is very nice. Has quite a few weak tubes, and since the selectivity seemed to like only one setting (w-i-d-e), I think a few caps need replaced also. Driving this receiver on 40M was "challenging" with the w-i-d-e selectivity, so I changed over to 80M CW.
Oh yeah, the dial scale is out of adjustment, so I used my MFJ SWR Analyzer to figure out where on the logging scale the 75 CW band started. Great running an old radio with w-i-d-e selectivity and tuning that occupied about one-half inch!! Ahh, the joys of WWII gear. But, nevertheless, qualified the beastie. Worked Jeff K3KYR running his HW-16 and HG-10, Don W2JEK running his Harvey Wells TBS-50C and S-76, Jim W8KGI running his Valiant and HRO 50, and finished off the evening working Ed K1GGI running his Collins S Line.
As always, enjoyed myself immensely. I wish 10M AM was open, but I suspect it will be a few more CX's before we see much activity there!
So Mark, where is your trio of B&W 5100s?BACK TO TOP
This is going to be short, most logs/comments are too long for my eyesight to read:
CX goal: to fire up (and fix any broken gear) and make 3 contacts with it in the allotted contest period.
160m the contest super station all working,
rx - nc183/bc453
tx - arc5 vfo, 6ag7/6L6 driver, 810 and 833a finals
no contacts (darn, started at 0700z)
rx - sx71
tx - arc5 vfo, af67 driver, three 805s in parallel
rx - super pro/bc453 (got lots of bc453s) broken wire in set
tx - arc5 vfo (got lots of these too) globe chief 90 driver, 304th final
rx - hro60/bc453, two blown power supply caps
tx - same driver as 40m, push push 805s
Worked Rocco on 40cw, that was the only band I heard much activity, missed W8KGI, he was really busy banging away
normally i only work contests (CQWW, CQWW160, OCDX etc), and it is nice to get all the gear back up in working order. Let's see: "two blown power supply caps"; "broken wire in set" - sounds like a standard Classic rig station in working order.
Thanks for a great operating opportunity
423,000 points multiplier of 250, 18 rigs/sections 9 contacts 250*(18+18+9)*9
This was the first time I've participated in the Classic Exchange. Welcome, glad you joined in. If my understanding is correct, my score was 88,450.
I found the CX a great excuse for me to exercise the rigs. I usually operate the AWA OT CW contest but there I usually end up using only one rig and certainly not anything post WWII.
Right now I've seven vintage stations in the shack. In this CX I used three of them: Central Electronics 20A/Drake 2B, HRO Sr/National NTX-30 and Drake R4B/T4XB. Next on my list was my Thordarson 100/NC101X station but, by the time I got to it, it sounded like everyone on 40 had gone to bed. Probably migrated to 80 or 160.
I was glad I had taken the time to grind a crystal to put my 20A on 80 CW. Without that crystal I wouldn't have been able to qualify that station for the CX multiplier. I did flatten a 6L6 in my NTX-30 though. While keying the final, the oscillator plate current crept up until it died. You can take comfort in knowing that it went doing what it liked best.
I've attached a log sheet scan and a photo. These and additional photos are linked into my CX report web page at http://www.io.com/~nielw/cx_feb05/report.html
Notes to self for next CX:
Cure the backlash in the NC101X main tuning
Clean the Thor/NC101X antenna relay contacts
Get the Central Electronics 458 VFO working.
Neil - you know, of course, that we will all be listening for these rigs in the Sept/Oct CX :-)
tnx es 73,
Niel - W0VLZ
What a kick. It is what all "contest" should be. Relaxed and making new friends. After all the only contest with a prize is the Bermuda contest so why not just sit back and enjoy casual operating.
I was surprised at the amount of equipment most people noted they had piled in their garages. Next one I will get my AT-1, DX-60,HQ-110,Conar twins,S-19R,SB-33,SB-34 on line. That's Great! You won't be alone with that stable of rigs. Went away from the suggested freqs and had several QSOs with people that say they will get their old stuff on line for the next contest.
TS-680S (on AM first time sounded great)
Total age: 104 years (Wait till the next one !!) Worked:
Chris K2PGBBACK TO TOP
I got the Johnson Ranger going - it had no output in September. I also lubricated the Harvey-Wells TBS-50C band switch to make band changing easier. The TenTec PM-2B with its direct conversion receiver was difficult on a crowded 40-meter band due to the audio image. It ran 1-watt output. The Hallicrafters S-76 and Drake 2B performed like champs. I did not use my 117N7 oscillator - it only has about 100 milliwatts output and is crystal controlled - not a good combination. I built it in 1947 so it would have been a good multiplier. I will try to get my BC-696 (80 meter ARC-5) transmitter up and running before next time.
TenTec PM-2B Transceiver
Johnson Ranger I
CX Multiplier 262 SCORE 54,234
Mac, I enjoyed the Feb.13 CX very much, but don't understand how to date the gear that i used. For instance one station used was an HT-37, HQ 170, Johnson Matchbox combo. Another station: DX 60, HG 10, HR 10 combo. Later Used the HT 37, HQ 170 stn. on 75 meters, where it had been used on 40 previously. Then on 75m DX 40, VF-1, HQ 180A, and a few minutes later, another DX 40, same VF-1, and NC-57 on 75m. WOW, that can be complicated and we feel your pain. In the Sept/Oct 2005 CX all you have to do is count the age of the receiver and transmitter (not the amplifier, key, VFO, operator, weight of the rigs, number of knobs or other metrics as have been tried occasionally by Brian, K9VKY, and Rob, K2TOP) for each mode (AM, SSB or CW).
All above were AM qso's
Later a DX60A, Seperate HG 10 vfo, and HR 10, again seperate from one used earlier on 80m cw, but I didn't know about the 3 qso minimum, and only made two q' with this stn.
Then one single contact with an HW 16, HG 10 vfo on 80 cw.
I will send completed log as soon as I know how to score by age. All above gear was manufactured for a span of several years.
Have you thought about allowing VHF gear be used? A few of us, locally, wanted to put some 6 and 2 meter gear on the air, but it appreared these would not count. Personally I had four 6 meter & one 2 meter AM rig that could have been used. If the idea is to get more vintage gear on the air, I would propose allowing other than HF equipment. Jeff, you are an innovator and very persuasive! Check out the announcement for the Sept/Oct CX. Hopefully we will have lots of Classic VHF rigs on the air. Just remember - no repeater contacts!
Already looking forward to the Sept. CX, and will be putting more stations on the air, perhaps 15 to 20 stations, if vhf gear allowed.
Thank you for your time and effort,
Need a better antenna for my 6-8 watts!! (Jim has a 70' long random wire). Didn't hear any CX stations on 20 or 160 and very few on 80 meters.
Maybe you can get that great Meissner transmitter on 40 next time - lots of them there.
Meissner Signal Shifter
CX Multiplier 103
CX Multiplier 80
I told a coworker, Dave McGee w2kv, that I was going to try my hand at the classic exchange using my 1939 Sky Buddy. "What are you going to use for a transmitter?" and a couple of days later he handled me a 1939 RCA 6L6 and said "you should get on 7045."
The 6L6 was the first power beam thermionic transconductance device you could buy. A milestone of a valve. The tube of choice for low power HF in 1939.
To me it was a dual gate P-channel depletion mode FET. Well... close.
I applied modern technology to the care and feeding of the 6L6. Solid state power supply for the drain \ I mean plate with Zener regulation of the Gate 2 \ excuse me screen grid.
First, AC ground the source \ cathode and put a 100 ohms across it so the current can be easily measured.
This is going to be a narrow band design, so shunt the drain \ plate with a couple of tens of pF and match with a tapped inductance to 50 ohms. Once optimized, no additional tuning required and DC return on the output for safety.
G1 has a near infinite input Z, except for a 56K pull down resistance. I'll capacitively couple and de-Q with a shunt 10K. Then transform from 50 ohms to a Hi Z with a series 10uH and little shunt C. Input refl coef is 0.7<100 so add 470pF on the input side and pull it down to the real axis over the 40 meter band.
End Result - +13dBm in offers +39dBm out to run QRP : +10dBm in offers +36dBm out
An ad8950 DDS with a 125Mhz clock was amplified with three MAV-11's to +13dBm and padded down to +10dBm for the VFO/exiter. I keyed the DC supply to the MAV-11's.
The Skybuddy went on the 40 dipole and the 6L6 drove an old Dentron super Tuner into the horizontal 80 meter loop. On key down, a relay disconnected the receiver from the dipole, but enough RF leaked past so I could hear the side tone.
I didn't get on the air till late morning, but quickly made two QSO's (even while the Sky Buddy warmed up) before I had to attend to some things around the house. Those first two QSO's where pretty easy so I was sure I'd make a few more when I got back. But, when I next walked into the radio room, RTTY filled the air and I went off to do other things. You had the right idea. The Sept/Oct CX will hopefully avoid that problem.
Finally, at midnight, I turned the SkyBuddy back on. After it had warmed, I made my third QSO and rag chewed a little with Tom. It was FB.
2005feb13sun1625 7049 cw k4che 559 559 Breck
2005feb13sun1700 7044 cw n2ak 599 579 Mario
2005feb14mon0538 7045 cw k6xd 599 579 Tom
What a hoot! Within minutes I worked two TBW's and a TCK. One guy said the chirp (what chirp?) on my GRC-9 took him back 60 years to WWII.
Richard Brunner, AA1PBACK TO TOP
> > Marty,
> I heard WW2LST on 20 meter CW around 2209Z during CX. I tried calling you but didn't connect - sorry. Your RST was 469 on my HRO-50.
> > Hope you made lots of contacts and will send me a good write up for the CX newsletter.
That was me OK. Made 9 CX contacts ~14.045 with a SB102 I hauled down. Only familiar contact was Howie, WB2AWQ, who also had a SB102.
SB102 was in LST's ramp control room up in bow. Antenna was clamped to a ladder into 40mm AA gun tub @ nose. Antenna a Cushcraft R7 donated by widder of a former ham & destroyer full lieutenant communications officer .
Got good reports
The deceased, one Phil Goodman, never lost his love for the Navy. He had this in common with over half the crew on LST325, the only surviving unaltered example. Mac go to www.lstmemorial.com for more details.
Have pic of SB102 @ "ramp control" in W8AU's camera of he'n I by rig
Perry W8AU got me aboard as former "merchant marine." Sorta true since my dad was 1920-23. I jumped @ chance to revive ww2 radio room eqpt. & be around huge machinery.
We head out USCG-observed shakedown cruise Monday. The 1943 ship passed! My job was prop-shaft inspections. I made 16 round-trips on a 2-story steel ladder during cruise. Job was regular tightening on the left (port) stern-seal. Very hairy while huge shaft twisting 200+/- rpm.
LST's sailing for Boston outa Mobile 5/17.
CX presence was a kinda field day drill. Two reasons for SB102's temporary install were (1) CX & (2) stab @ simultaneous TX from 2 stations on ship. Both successful.
Radio install committee had all HF antennas (four) in tight cluster at back. Two attempts at simultaneous TX there had blown a Yaesu FG-757 &, later, a TT Paragon. Ah, committees. Don't have that kind of problem with tube rigs.
Was on 3885 with a Navy TCS on AM phone for mil-collector's net Sat. @ 4A cst. Was hearable by many since I had TCS backed up by SB200 providing about 6x output... it was about as "strapping" as a DX-100. But it got thru in spite of underwhelming antenna - a 24' wire vertical tuned by a L-nw-configured Wanzer Z-match @ base.
TCS can tune above wire directly but 50ohm SB200 can't so Wanzer was needed.
Was hoping to enter CX fray about 7:30P cst on 3545 but was not to be for various reasons. Did get barefoot TCS access about 10P cst. But no CX heard & no one answered a CQ-CX. Shutdown time.
So there you have it Mac! Glad you were interested.
Marty the 'rm
Great story and great job Marty and Perry! Thanks,BACK TO TOP
Tnx for the reminder. Will be aboard WW2LST (USS LST-325) for work session so will have the BA's humming also. (Should be back in from sea trials by Sunday)
Will miss Feb. CX... classic rigs are in basement, confined to first floor due to fractured leg.
See you in Sept.!! We'll be looking for you John. Have a speedy recovery.
I'm not scoring since I could only make a few contacts time-wise. 15 meters was great - hope this increases the awareness of 15 meters to the AM community. Hope you can spend more time in the next CX.
Homebrew - 200W output
W0KIZ - CO - DX-60 - SX-96
W5JQA - TX - HT-40 - HQ-170
KL7GKY - OR - Ranger - NC-300
KH6ITY - TX - Apache - Mohawk