CLASSIC RADIO EXCHANGE NEWSLETTERr
SEPTEMBER 2005 CX


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HIGHLIGHTS

AWARDS

INDIVIDUAL REPORTS - REPORTING SCORES

W8KGI
Jim
99,176

K6KN
Rocco
91,840

K2WI
Rob
39,501

K3MD
John
16,344

W7FOX
Fox/Chris
16,280

K4JYS
Bill
14,674

K3KYR
Jeff
13,926

K9VKY
Brian
11,136

AA4RM
Marty
3,762

K9KEU
John
1,248

WQ8U
Mac
1,200

N2BE
John
1,034

W2IQK
CARL
300

INDIVIDUAL REPORTS -NO SCORE SUBMITTED

W8ZR
Jim

W2LMQ
Paul

W3TMZ
Jack


ATTRIBUTION AND DISCLAIMER

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, Mac, WQ8U

SEPTEMBER 2005 CX HIGHLIGHTS

Depending upon when you begin history, this is about the 30th anniversary of the CX. The "History" button on the CX home page will take you to a brief recounting of how it all began. It has always been about resurrecting and operating classic rigs - those commercial and homebrew rigs that were the pride and joy of our ham shacks (or in our dreams) many decades ago. It has changed slightly over the years but the purpose, pride and fun are all still the same. Thanks to the founders, the "old timers" who have been active for many of the 30 years, and to all who have participated making this one of the best "contests" on the air!

The split phone - CW weekends seemed to be well received. However, the CA QSO Party was a challenge!!! N6KN, Rocco, who was in the midst of it, described it with a typical CA term "Wipe-Out!". It seemed like our experience with the CQ RTTY contest during the Feb 2005 CX was just a warm up. Unfortunately, there are very few, if any, weekends that are free of conflicts around the traditional CX times of September and February. In spite of that, it appears that everyone had a great time exercising their classic rigs and hearing those "noteworthy" signals - such as W8ZR, Jim's FPM-200 - a chirp standard setter. K2WI, Rob's TBX was noted as being the only one sporting any sort of respectable roughness or chirp in his note: T7C. Murphy was hard at work during CX with open feed lines (W8KGI); "the stn. lost a dipole to an inconsiderate falling tree" (AA4RM); "a sudden outbreak of broken rigs" (W8ZR) to mention a few of his interventions.

The new simplified scoring system seemed to please most folks. K9VKY, Brian offered another perspective: "The simplified scoring might be easier ... but like a pinball wizard, seeing scores in the millions makes one feel like he really did something!" Keep trying Brian - 500 QSOs with 40 pieces of gear averaging 50 years old and you are right back up there.

The new scoring did not change the on-going battle between W8KGI, Jim, and his archrival N6KN, Rocco. They still generated the two top scores - and they were close! K2WI, Rob grabbed third place without the help of his K2TOP gang. K3MD, John took fourth place narrowly edging out W7FOX Chris/Fox. See the table below for all the scores and be sure to click on the individual call sign to read their comments.

The number of participants seemed to be down somewhat this CX as compared to prior Fall CXs and there were fewer logs and comments submitted. Also, a number of the "regulars" did not participate. On the other hand, some of those we have not heard in some time such as W8ZR Jim, were very active and submitted good comments. Please talk up the February CX with your friends and those you QSO. Also, if you participate, please submit your log and comments - these add to the enjoyment of CX.

The next CX will be February 11-13, 2006. This will again give the multi-mode operators more opportunity to show off their classic rigs and provide more QRM free time. Unfortunately, the CQ WW RTTY contest is that weekend, so try working phone, or 20 meter CW until it ends and the 40-meter CW band is "ours" again. Some have asked why not move the date? Simple answer: no good alternatives. The preceding Sunday is the Super Bowl and the following Sunday is the ARRL DX CW contest. We are open to suggestions.

73
Mac
WQ8U
Newsletter Editor

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AWARDS

CONTESTING WITH MURPHY AWARD - W8KGI Jim

"Murphy was really clever this time. He pulled a rather obvious trick at first just to put me off guard, making one of the power strips that feeds half a dozen boxes in the garage go open." "His more subtle sabotage was to break one of the wires in my open wire feed line... to the antenna." "I would close the key and the rig would go on the air OK, but when I opened the key ...I had to cut the Transmit switch to get the rig off the air!"


MOST IMPROVED CW SENDING AWARD - N6KN Rocco

"I have been preparing for some foot surgery and finally had it on Thursday."


HEAVIEST EXCHANGE AWARD - N6KN, Rocco and W7FE, Stu

"...found W7FE, who had a pile of rigs to qualify, including some AM boatanchors. We used approximately 2 tons of radios between us."


MOST ANNOYING CONTEST AND COMMON EXCUSE: CA QSO PARTY - Everyone

As they say in Southern California, "Wipe Out!"


GREATEST RISK TAKER AWARD - K2WI Rob

"I hung a wire from a catenary between two trees and dangerously close to the house for running with 500W from the TCK. I expected to have a mob of neighbors(I live in a condo) with pitchforks and torches complaining of RFI."


BEST CHIRP AWARD - TIE FOR AWARD - K2WI, Rob and W8ZR, Jim

W1AWB commented that it was the first good chirp he had heard in CX, and I got a 437c report from K9VKY. That might be the worst signal report I ever got. K2WI Rob


All in all, this was a fun day, even if I did get a very polite email from a ham who wanted me know that my FPM-200 had a "slight chirp." Actually, I was highly insulted. My FPM-200 is the CROWN PRINCE OF CHIRPS! Ain't no rig that can chirp better than it does.W8ZR Jim


BEST "FIX BEFORE NEXT CX" AWARD - K3MD John

"The TS-520 (non-S) constitutes somewhat of a shock hazard with transformer winding leakage to case - must run some ground wires!! "


MASTER OF UNDERSTATEMENT AWARD - K4JYS Bill

"One of the big sigs I worked was K9KEU, John, on his KWS-1/75A4 combo. What a nice station."


MOST OVER-THE-TOP SUGGESTION ABOUT THE SCORING SYSTEM AWARD - K9VKY Brian

"As a matter of fact, maybe we should have MORE factors in the total tally adding multipliers for things such as equipment gross weight, smoke density, down time for repairs, and tube induced rises in room temperature. After all, this is a technical hobby, isn't it? "


SHOULD WE LAUGH OR CRY AWARD - AA4RM Marty

"lost a dipole to an inconsiderate falling tree"
"was forced off 20CW by two ugly bugs"
You just have to read Marty's input.


MOST OUT OF CHARACTER RIG AWARD - WB2AWQ Howie

Kenwood TS-440S

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REPORTS

W8KGI Jim

Hi Mac,

Well I survived the Fall 2005 CX, but it was not my best. As you know, I was away for the Phone weekend, back in Virginia and Pennsylvania attending my nephew's wedding and visiting family. I was back home for the CW weekend, however, and ready to go. I had 12 receivers and 13 transmitters tuned up and ready to go on both 20 and 40 in my shack in the garage, another pair on 40 in my winter shack inside, and 11 pairs ready to go on 80. That was before other contests and Murphy both took a swipe at me.

Murphy was really clever this time. He pulled a rather obvious trick at first just to put me off guard, making one of the power strips that feeds half a dozen boxes in the garage go open. But that was easily found and fixed with another power strip pulled off the repair bench. His more subtle sabotage was to break one of the wires in my open wire feed line about 15 feet away from the antenna, a 268 foot center-fed Zepp. I noticed the effect of that early when the ground-fault breaker in the garage started popping whenever I loaded up a rig attached to the outlet box nearest the breaker box. That's usually a sign of too much RF in the shack. But I patched around that by running an extension cord from that plug into the inside of the house where I could plug it into an outlet controlled by another breaker, and then everything held. And it didn't occur to me that I had an antenna problem until much later when I tried to get on 80 meters.

I listened and called on 20 off and on from about 11 am MDST on, but all I heard were guys calling "CQCA" and "CQP." Finally around 2:15 pm I managed to raise Jim, W8ZR, and we had QSO's with his FMP-200 and my Apache/NC303 and AF68/SX28A pairs. But that was IT for 20 meters. I gave up on 20 around 3 pm and shifted to 40, retuning my 12 receivers to 7045 and pulling a few of the higher power transmitters I had put on 20 back down to 40. There was decent CX activity on 40, and I worked Fox, W7FOX, Rocco, N6KN, Jerry, K5PSH, Eric, NM5M, Ray W5XE, Jim, W8ZR again, Alex, N)7M, Tom K6LQI at his club station, K6AA, John, K3MD, Brian, K9VKY, Ralph, VE7XF, Lloyd, K3ESE (send that call, it's fantastic for CW), and Stan, WA4MFY. Stan had a really neat station, an FB7X receiver and a home-brew 807 transmitter. With all of that activity, I was able to qualify 10 receivers and 8 transmitters, including my "new" Collins 32RA (1939 vintage, 6L6/6L6/three 807's).

About 7:10 pm I pulled the plug on 40 and on the gear in the garage and took Kathy out to dinner. She had been having a somewhat rocky time, and she really deserved some TLC, so we went to one of our favorite spots in Albuquerque and spent some quality time together. I got back home and on 80 about 9:30, and then the antenna problem really started to show up. Running now from the inside shack, I found that I couldn't put more than about 30 watts into the feedline without my QSK keyer hanging up. I would close the key and the rig would go on the air OK, but when I opened the key the keyer stayed closed and I had to cut the Transmit switch to get the rig off the air! So I just limped along with my rigs on lower power, the 100V throttled back, the 32V3 on its "tune up" position, the Millen 90800, Meissner Signal Shifter, TBS50, CBY52209 Command Set, and Elmac A54. I managed to work Rob, K2WI, Fox W7FOX again, and John K9KEU in the next hour and a half, and then the CX signals quit the band so I hit the big switch and went to bed.

Altogether I made 56 QSO's, qualified 17 receivers and 15 transmitters, and used one more pair twice. My total age multiplier was 1771 years, not counting the operator. So my net score for the event is 99,176.

As I told you on the phone Sunday, the AWA is running their AWA AM QSO Party on February 18/19 (5 pm MST to 5 pm MST), and they have asked me to put Jim Millen's call, W1HRX, on the air from my location out here in the "west." So I hope the Winter CX doesn't happen on that weekend. I can't recommend a good day that would avoid the "CQCA," "CQP," and RTTY contest QRM, but I can always hope there will be a good day available. Whatever, any day the CX runs will be a good one! Thanks for all of your good work in keeping the CX going.

73 and keep 'em glowing,
Jim Hanlon, W8KGI

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N6KN Rocco

Mac,

Thanks for the reply. I have been preparing for some foot surgery and finally had it on Thursday. This gives me some time to catch up on important things such as CX reports, power bills, etc.

I would have submitted my input earlier if I had known how simple the new scoring would be. Also - I am kicking myself for not having used more rigs on multiple modes.

As for the new two-weekend format, PLEASE move the CW portion away from the Cal QSO party. The phone weekend was really clear. I wonder if we could simply schedule the CW activity the day after, if that works with the general contest calendar better. I was completely bombed by the Cal QSO party QRM until it finished on CW this time around!

Prepared for CX the usual way - try to complete projects to clear off the workbench, allowing more room for extra rigs. Several new projects had followed me home in the months prior to the fall CX, including several Swans, two HRO-500s, and (one weekend prior to CX), a new set of Gold Dust Twins. I managed to get two of the Swans on the air. The HRO's and Collins will have to wait until next year. Saturday morning I hauled a pile of boatanchors to the TRW swap meet and made room under the operating desk for my feet.

CX Phone Weekend Notes

I awoke Sunday at 5 am, said good bye to the YL, who left for a business trip at 6 am, very conveniently. I was on the air by 7 am local on 14270, which was very crowded, so I moved to 14275. I qualified 11 SSB rigs in order. Finally moved to 40 and found W7FE, who had a pile of rigs to qualify, including some AM boatanchors. We used approximately 2 tons of radios between us with help from locals on both ends of the path. My star rig was my new "bent needle" Swan 500, which is very beat up but just wants to work - I had a lot of fun with that simple little rig.

Notable signals heard: Al, W8UT (HX-500); Ron, W6QM (SR2000); Mark, AI0L (WRL GT550); Stu, W7FE (pile of great rigs); and my old UCLA friend Paul, KU6T (HX-50 that sounded good, which is unusual, but then Paul is an engineering professor, which helps). Back on 20, the band remained generally quiet and clear ot other contest qsos - the new "plan" worked for the phone weekend. At 4:30, I shut down the stations and left for work (had to launch a rocket that evening). So I missed the productive Sunday evening session completely.

I feel that the separate phone weekend worked well, except hat 14270 was too busy - we should pick a +- frequency range, such as 14270 +- 10 kHz. Conditions were not very good. W7TM reported he could not hear any CXers other than me. I simply parked and called "CQ Boatanchors." I have a good location and a decent yagi and tower, but signals were weak. The phone weekend was a lot of relaxed fun.

CX CW Weekend notes.

As they say here in Southern California, "Wipe Out!" The California QSO party filled the CW bands with QRM. I called CQ CX and worked many Cal QSO party participants who just would not take no for an answer. Things finally cleared out after the QSO party, and I managed to work a batch of the regulars.

Notable CW signals heard: Fox, W7FOX (several great rigs, including an SB101; Jim W8KGI (standard pile of interesting radios); Marty AA4RM (KWM-1, NOT the world's best CW rig); Ralph, VE7XF (Navigator); Jim W8ZR (Lysco 600S); Tom K6LQI (ARC 5); and John N2BE (Johnson Adventurer, coast to coast on 40).

I made the mistake of not requalifying many of my rigs previously used on SSB. I need to understand the new rules better. I will say the the new scoring is MUCH EASIER and that is appreciated.

All in all, the new format splitting the CW and phone weekends was great, but AVOID the Cal QSO party weekend!

Total rigs used: 18 stations. Scores:

SSB 64, 574; AM 1,416; CW 25,850.

Total score 91,840, mostly on 20 and 40 due to conditions.

Had fun, will try to have the HRO 500 ready for action next time. These are 10/10 on the alignment challenge scale. I have one of them working, but it hums on CW/SSB, which is common. I need more time to work on this common problem. Might be one of the filter caps, but not sure about that.

See you next CX,
Rocco, N6KN

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K2WI Rob

Mac,

A conspiracy of factors suggested that our usual K2TOP multi-operator entry was not a good idea this time. WW2Y moved to Nebraska, my shack looked like a bomb went off in it, and over half of my antennas were discovered to be down the week before the event.

The AM section fell on the same weekend as the Military Radio Collectors Association meet and the Packrats hamfest, so I was pretty thoroughly radioed out and did not participate. Instead I cleaned up the new RBB receiver I got at the hamfest and got it ready for the CW weekend.

The day before the event I had to find a way to replace my broken 80m and 20m antennas. I would not attempt to repair my Beverage receiving antenna. I decided that a 42-foot vertical (5/8-wave on 20m) would fill the role of a 20m antenna and the short vertical that the TBX and TCS sets prefer. I hung a wire from a catenary between two trees and dangerously close to the house for running with 500W from the TCK. I expected to have a mob of neighbors(I live in a condo) with pitchforks and torches complaining of RFI.

I lashed up a quick dynamotor supply to run the TBX transmitter, as I didn't have a second op to crank the hand generator, and the gas engine generator would bring on the mob with pitchforks and torches.

I started the CW section with a mistake, which was skipping a nice breakfast with friends to operate instead. The morning was super slow, and I missed good company, bacon, eggs, and sticky buns.

The CA QSO party kept 40m pretty busy late into the morning. I bet it wasn't any fun for Rocco out in CA. I would say that the CA QSO party was less disruptive than the CQWW RTTY contest, at least on the east coast.

20m only yielded a couple of Europeans plus N6KN and W7FOX.

I thought I was prepared to do some 3-rig fast-switching, but came across a compatibility issue that I had not noticed before. The dynamotors running the TCK and TBW master oscillators created enough hash to wipe out all signals on the TCS with its open antenna leads. I settled for 2-rig switching and going back through the bands with the TCS.

The 42-foot vertical worked quite well with the TBX, and I managed to work WA3SLN, K4JYS, W1AWB, and K9VKY with that rig. That's a ten-watt Navy/Marine Corps portable transceiver. W1AWB commented that it was the first good chirp he had heard in CX, and I got a 437c report from K9VKY. That might be the worst signal report I ever got.

My session with W8KGI at the end on 80m was plagued with QRM from a European station calling CQ endlessly.

There sure were a lot of TBS 50 rigs on this CX. I think the coolest setup I worked was WA4NFY's HB 6J5/807 MOPA and FB7x.

My operation was "All Navy", qualifying 627 years worth of equipment.

Transmitters:
TCK 64 years
TBW 62 years
TCS 62 years
TBX 63 years

Receivers:
TCS 62 years
TBX 63 years
RAL 62 years
RBB 63 years
RBC 64 years
RBM 62 years

The new scoring format sure makes it easy, but I'll miss the days of scores in the tens of millions that make you feel like you have accomplished something.

627 years X 63 QSOs=39,501 points

Rob

The following tells a great story about Rob and his love of Navy Classic BAs. Read the web sites, well worth your time.
Thanks for sharing.

K2WI Rob

The story of my participation in the Classic Exchange radio event, using all WWII Navy radio gear.

Rob Flory,BR> robandpj@earthlink.net
www.home.earthlink.net/~navyradio WWII Navy Radio
www.home.earthlink.net/~robandpj Les Flory Television and Electronic

Hi,
I will be on from USS Massachusetts N1EPL this weekend, using all original WWII equipment: TBK,TDE, RBB,RBC on 14041, 7041, 3541. If requested on those frequencies, I may be able to make test transmissions on 512kc as NEPL with TAJ.

Last year I did not do much on 3541 because noise was high and activity low, so 7 and 14mc more likely.

Some activity on 3885 AM, and from other ships at Battleship Cove (USS Lionfish sub and USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Destroyer) a possibility.

Rob Flory K2WI

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K3MD John

Was initially very disappointed with low/no activity on SSB. Even the AM guys on 3870 never heard of "CX".

Activity picked up on CW after the California QSO party ended.

Spend around 8 months getting ready- getting the VOX working on the HT-37 - took 4 days.

CUL if not "on-duty"
73
John

Note to self: Before next CX: The TS-520 (non-S) constitutes somewhat of a shock hazard with transformer winding leakage to case - must run some ground wires!!

SCORE: 16,344 (Old scoring system: 1,029,672)
QSOs: 36
AGE: 454

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W7FOX Chris/Fox

Hello all cx'ers,

This format was a lot of fun, with less pressure to qualify each rig on several bands. It gave me more time to just enjoy the contacts. No problem with qrm or qso parties either, just lots of great sounding rigs.

One suggestion though, counting the total number of different rigs worked as part of the score makes unusual rigs a sort of "DX" that should attract contacts and shouldn't be a burden since we already log the equipment.

Many thanks to all involved and I'll be looking forward to another CX.

73, W7FOX

P.S. I think I worked half of Jim's wall of radios.

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K4JYS Bill

Hi Mac,

Thanks again to you and your helpers for another great CX. I listened around during the AM portion but never heard any CXers. I probably wasn't on at the right time.

The CW portion was again fun. One of the big sigs I worked was K9KEU, John, on his KWS-1/75A4 combo. What a nice station. It's always a pleasure to work K2WI, Rob, on his military stations. He was also booming through.

For the first time I worked a Lysco 600S from W8ZR, Jim. I just got one going so hopefully I can use in the next CX.

As always, the contacts were enjoyable and thanks to all I worked for pulling me through.

Here are the statistics:
46 QSOs
319 CX multiplier (6 BAs)
Score: 14674

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K3KYR Jeff

All QSOs on 6 and 2 meters

RIGS:
Heath Sixer HW-29A; 2 WATTS
Hallicrafter SR-46; 8 WATTS
Knight TR-106; 10 WATTS
Globe HiBander Mod 62; 50 WATTS with Hammarlund HQ-110A VHF
FT 897; 70 WATTS

6 meter AM QSOs:
WB2IVJ NY
KC2JKL NY
VE3SXE ONT
KC2GHT NY
WA2DCL NY
WZ2T NY
NG2C NY

2 METER AM QSOs:
KC2JKL NY KC2GHT NY

SCORE:
QSOS: 33
AGE OF RIGS: 422 YEARS
TOTAL: 13,926

Jeff
K3KYR

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K9VKY Brian

Hello Mac--

The Fall 2005 CX effort was sadly cut short because of company visiting us over the weekend. (There wasn't even an opportunity to sneak down to the Radio Dungeon for a quick listen until early evening).

Although the higher frequencies were closed by the time the filaments were finally lit, 80 meters was in fine shape with lots of signals being heard. The usual suspects mustered for the event, and it was great to renew old acquaintances with a few rag chewing episodes as well.

Not knowing what our beloved hobby has come to, Rob, K2WI, was the only guy sporting any sort of respectable roughness or chirp in his note. That T7C note came from Rob's TBX, which is just one set in his harem of Navy iron (and, hopefully someday, featured in a magazine article).

The showing wasn't too good this time, and it was made even worse by the change in scoring rules. Much like the taxman who taketh, the (old rules) score of 857,472 got whacked down to the (new rules) score of 11,136. The simplified scoring might be easier (and more accurate with fewer factors involved), but like a pinball wizard, seeing scores in the millions makes one feel like he really did something!

As a matter of fact, maybe we should have MORE factors in the total tally adding multipliers for things such as equipment gross weight, smoke density, down time for repairs, and tube induced rises in room temperature. After all, this is a technical hobby, isn't it?

Hats off and thanks to you for putting all of this together while trying to juggle a relocation from Ohio to North Carolina, Mac.

Happy hunting on the bands, and here's looking forward to the Spring 2006 event.

Cheers.
Brian K9VKY

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AA4RM Marty

Yo Mac

Dang circumstances forced me to "butterfly kiss" the event.

First the stn. lost a dipole to an inconsiderate falling tree.

Then it was forced off 20CW by two ugly bugs. First was KWM-1 rx tuning went nuts & it was due to one light going out in the 12AU7 product detector. (anyone have a filament starter?) So spotting this right off, I figured I was soooo lucky... 'til CW note went puny while in QSO with N6KN. Think quirk diagnosed but not yet fixed.

One observation is that AM-discovery activity was as unattainable as 160m qsos to the DX-pedition to the east pole. Then there was the delightful 20m log jam from the CA QSO party. How could those hundreds of hams mess over the 5-20 folks in our 20M playpen?

Nevertheless I about made a log sheet & submit the following unchalengable computer-figger'd score of 180576.14

Keep up the good work / TNX!

signed
AA4RM aka Marty

CX score for is: 180576 (Old system - sri Marty)

eqpt age is 198 years
19 qsos
SCORE: 19 x 198 = 3,762 (New rules designed for those without a computer.)

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K9KEU John

Hello Mac,

I enjoyed CX CW very much as always. I think splitting phone and CW was a good idea. Though I could not operate the phone weekend I hope to next year. Also the simplified scoring is great. On several occasions in the past I did not turn in logs because of the complex scoring

It appears that my score is 1700 points. 17 QSO's with a multiplier of 100.

Comments:
It was fun meeting several people in this CX that I hope to talk regularly.

The rig used was the Collins "Gold Dust Twins" KWS-1 and 75A-4.

Thank You for your efforts on this event.

73
John K9KEU

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W2JEK Don

Dear Mac,

Was pleased to work you in the CX CW party.

I used my Harvey-Wells TBS-50C and DRAKE 2B combo on 40 meters; and BC-696 (ARC-5) and Hallicrafters S-76 on 80 meters. I has a total of 6 QSOs.

I did listen Sept 25th for AM stations with my Yaesu FT-840 (which I have never used on AM) but heard no CX activity.

Didn't have much time on CW weekend but glad to avoid the RTTY contest. Looking forward to next CX.

73
Don Younger
W2JEK

SCORE: 1,248
QSOs: 6
AGE: 208 years

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WQ8U Mac

SCORE 1200; Old system: 45,600

Where does the time go? The moving truck with our furniture etc. from Dayton, Ohio and was unloaded on Saturday Sept 16th. That was a full 9 days before the 'phone portion of CX and 16 days before the CW date - plenty of time to get a good antenna up, some of my ultra-reliable boat anchors operating, and the home-brew solid state (not too reliable) /relay (very reliable) QSK system integrating the transmitters and receivers. My XYL, Karen, patient candidate for sainthood that she is, established priorities for the period immediately following the unloading of the truck - and they were not CX friendly. So, the bottom line is I could only get the old reliable Drake Twins (T-4X and R-4A) on the air for a while during the CW weekend. Still a whole lot of fun though.

My first QSO was with one of the CX community's super stars - W8ZR, Jim, running his chirp-award winning FPM-200. Jim has been missing for several CXs so it was good to hear him and his classic rigs back. W2JEK, Don, another CX regular was next with his Harvey-Wells Bandmaster TBS-50C - the transmitter that sparked the idea of the CX in the mind of CX founder W9SJ (SK), Stu. Click the "HISTORY" button on the CX home page to read the whole story. Don was also on with a WWII classic BC-696 later - one of the few Command sets without a congenital chirp.

K2WI, Rob, appeared several times with his racks of old Navy BAs. It was unusual to work Rob using his own call; he is usually signing the Top Band Club's call: K2TOP during the CX.

My "Search and pounce" contesting style sometimes bogs things down. I spent close to an hour chasing VE7XF, Ralph, another CX regular. His HT-37 was putting a good signal into NC and his SX-111 is certainly one fine receiver. He said he was having keyer problems - don't know why that kept him from hearing me earlier though (HI HI).

K9KEU, John, included me in his demonstration of shooting fish in a barrel with his Gold Dust Twins - what great sounding gear. N2BE, John, was using a Johnson Adventurer (remember that little box?) running 25 watts - putting a good signal into NC. Maybe his 55 ft. high dipole helps. CX returnee K9VKY, Brian, was exercising his old Collins 32V3 and 75A2 with good success.

I found WB2AWQ, Howie, our fearless CX publicity agent, running a somewhat out of character Johnson Navigator along with an old HRO. He is usually found keying his big 1929 Hartley using 211s. The evening ended with another CX anchor, AA4RM, Marty, who, as usual, was using an unusual piece of gear: a 5JA4 receiver.

All in all it was a lot of fun again. The CA QSO party certainly seemed to clutter the bands for a while and my limited operating time and marginal antenna (excuse #2) kept me from working many of great classic rigs that were on the air.

But, February 2006 is just around the corner and I should be on with more rigs and a better antenna - now that all the furniture is in, the repainting is done, and it is not gardening season outside.

73,br> Mac
WQ8U/4 Hillsborough, NC

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N2BE John

Hi Mac,

Well.... I am finally getting this log info out to you. As always, I enjoyed operating in the "CX" (I hope to be a more regular participant in the future (my participation has been "spotty" in the past).

The rig set-up for this year was my old (my first TX, back n the early 60s) Johnson Adventurer (25 watts out) and a DRAKE 2-B on receive. I have used the Adventurer in all CXs I have operated in including the first one when it was paired with a Hallicrafters S-22R receiver. I only operated 40 meter CW this year using a dipole antenna at 55 feet.

I like the idea of promoting a VHF version on this contest. I almost never hear ops using old tube equipment up there any more. My AMECO TX-62 is getting lonely, HI.

Oh, I almost forgot; my Adventurer was able to move around with the help of my Globe Deluxe VFO (circa 1962).

Thanks Mac for another great event.

SCORE: 1034
QSOs: 11
AGE: 94 (2 BAs)

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W2IQK Carl

Dear OM,

Here is my CX Oct. CX entry. Only 2 QSOs, but much enjoyment. I want to confirm their entries.
(Editor's note: Actually Carl had four QSOs because K4JYS used three different rigs.)

QSOs:
K8BVJ, Jack, Detroit
Viking II and SX-101

K4JYS, Bill, NC
Three stations:
AF-67 and HQ-170
Globe Scout and SX-100
1946 homebrew 6F6-6L6 and HQ-129-X

My equipment for all contacts was:
Homebrew 6146-4-65A with 150 watts out
Homebrew receiver - 14 tube
40 Meter NVIS dipole

73
Carl
W2IQK

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W8ZR Jim

The Promise

Hi Gang,

Having missed the last couple CX days, I've FINALLY got a completely free day to play,. Unfortunately, I've also got a sudden outbreak of broken rigs, so may not have as many on the air as I'd hoped. SPent last evening getting my Lysco 600 up and running. It works fine except that I discovered that the plug on my Vibroplex was wired backwards, putting 500V on the frame of the key. First time I tried to send something, it knocked me off my chair. I hope to pair the Lysco with a homebrew receiver, which I discovered now has a squirrely xtal oscillator. For some reason, when I align the oscillator to work on 40m, the 20m xtal won't work, and vice versa.

Also hope to fire up my trusty Halli FPM-200, but I haven't turned it on in a year so no telling what I'll find there. If it works, you'll know it when you hear it. Its CW note sounds like bad wheel bearings.

Depending on how things go, I may fire up an AF68/PRM6 combo, and if the bands are bad or I get lazy, maybe some Collins gear.

So look for W8ZR, starting at 9AM. I'll be mostly on 40m and 20m.

The CX

This year, my XYL was out of town and the dogs were at a friend's house, so I had the whole day to devote to CX. I decided to start with a Lysco 600S and homebrew receiver, while warming up my FPM-200 (which takes an hour or two to come up to full output -- it has a sleepy sidetone oscillator, which generates the CW signal). The Lysco knocked me off the chair the first time I keyed it, thanks to 500V across the key terminals. I should have noticed the 1/8 inch arc across the key cotacts, but my mind was elsewhere. Also, it had terrible key clicks, which at the time I assumed was normal.

Still, thowing out all caution, I started the contest on 40m by working Joel W3ZI in syracuse, who had a nice BC459/75A4 combo, and then Rob K2WI, running several military setups. Rob started with a Navy TCK/RBC combo, then switched to a TBW/RBM. Later, I worked him again on 20m, running a RAL/TCS. Rob is surely the winner of the Black Wrinkle Panel award.

The Lysco manual sets the standard for lack of information, but eventually I was able to figure out that the key grounds the negative of the HV supply (euphemistically called "bocked grid keying"), with a 1.25K resistor across the key jack that is supposed to keep the HV from soaring. Turns out the resistor was missing. I patched a resistor across the key with clip leads, and, voila, the voltage dropped down to 50V, the arc disappeared, and the cw note lost its tweety-bird sound.

By this time, the FPM-200 had warmed up, but when I turned the bandswitch to 20 meters, nothing happened. So out of the cabinet it came, where I found a dial cord (nice metal type) had slipped off a pulley. An easy fix. While I had the radio out of the cabinet, I looked for the sidetone oscillator, but found it buried behind the front panel. Fixing it, I decided, was a project for another day. Still, what a beauty that radio is! If you've never seen the insides, the FPM-200 is a marvel -- lots of gears and neat mil-spec packaging, plus heavy glass-epoxy double-sided circuit boards. It really blew me away to see "copyright 1959" etched on all the boards. That radio was AT LEAST a decade ahead of its time.

By this time, it was past noon and the bands were slumping. Still I worked Howie, who I ALWAYS hear first, running a....Kenwood TS-440S? ..., which I'm sure must have embarrassed him greatly. Hey Howie, what happened to the Hartley oscillator?

By now I had worked five stations and was exhausted (great contester that I am), so it was time for a nap. When I came to, it was mid-afternoon and 40m was in the doldrums. So I tried putting the Lysco on 20m, but found my homebrew receiver didn't want to work on 20, so I ditched those plans and moved the now-warmed-up FPM-200 onto the table. My first contact was Jim W8KGI, who worked me with an Apache/NC303 combination, followed by an AF68/SX28A. (Later, I worked Jim again on 40m, but by then he had ditched the NC303 and replaced it with an HRO5. And then, later still, I worked Jim running a couple of WRL transmitters.) Twenty meters was murder, however, because of a CA QSO party and some other dumb contest, with a kazillion stations calling CQ, so I moved back to 40m and waited for it to awaken.

As the afternoon went on, activity really picked up. I talked to Mac WQ8U, operating from a new QTH in NC, who was running Drake twins, plus a bunch of other guys running Drake, Collins , EFJ, Multi-Elmac, Globe Scouts and Kings, and so forth. Bill K4JYS was making a serious effort with several rigs, including a 1946-ear homebrew 6L6 transmitter. Another neat signal came from Taylor Wa4APB, whose rock-bound Central Electronics CE20A (with an RME45) had a beatiful, mellow sound.

Two other stalwarts I always work on CX are Rocco, N6KN, who was running a nice SR400A, and my buddy, Marty, AA4RM, who was operating a nice Collins station 32V3/51J4 pair. (Hey Marty, Isn't running Collins gear on CX a bit like going fishing with a hand grenade?) I worked Marty with my Lysco, but signals were weak and QRM was strong, so when I switched to my FPM-200, he couldn't hear me.

My last contact was at 8:40pm, with Jerry, K5PSH (Drake 2NT/2B), and by then the band was swarming with CX stations. My apologies to all the guys I missed.

All in all, this was a fun day, even if I did get a very polite email from a ham who wanted me know that my FPM-200 had a "slight chirp." Actually, I was highly insulted. My FPM-200 is the CROWN PRINCE OF CHIRPS! Ain't no rig that can chirp better than it does.

73,
Jim W8ZR

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K2LMQ Paul

I have the Viking I / AR-88 combo fired up on 20m. From here in AZ, the middle of the CW band is a massive flurry of high-powered contesters in a CA QSO Party.

Will keep checking it and sure will be on 40m and 80m later on.

73's
de Paul K2LMQ

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W3TMZ Jack

I listened but the California QSO Party was also on and using the same general area of the band.

Later did manage to work a few stations. Nice sounds!

73
Jack, W3TMZ

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