CLASSIC EXCHANGE NEWSLETTER
SEPTEMBER 2013 CX


Thank you to ELECTRIC RADIO MAGAZINE and Ray Osterwald, N0DMS, ER Editor,
for the continuing support in publicizing the CX.
www.ermag.com


HIGHLIGHTS AND AWARDS

HIGH SCORES

Rocco, N6KN: For a second time in a row at the top of the scoreboard with 266,110 points leading in both CW and SSB catagories.
Mario, N2AK: Moved from third place to second with 216,083 points.
Jim, W8KGI: Moved up to third with 200,646 points and posted the highest AM score.
Garry, VE7BGP: Posted the highest (and only) FM score on his way to scoring 20,912 points.

WHO HAD FUN?

Rocco, N6KN: As usual I had great fun working all the wild and wacky old rigs (and people) out there.
Mario, N2AK: The contest is a lot of fun ,,, It forces me to keep my old rigs in good shape…but that’s an almost impossible job with 50 radios.
Jim, W8KGI: Hopefully Murphy will decide he has had enough fun with me this time, so he will leave me alone for the next CX.
Tony, N2ATB: I thoroughly enjoyed the contest.
Howie, WB2AWQ/7: Had a ball with the mil stuff and the HRO.
Curt, KB5JO: I always enjoy using rigs from my youth making contacts with other ops using the classics.

WHO HAD PROBLEMS?

Rocco, N2KN: The power in the neighborhood failed as the CX began; that was a clue that this CX would be challenging.
-My B&W 6100 would not transmit … on CW.
-The DX-100 worked for 5 minutes and suddenly there was no RF out.
-The Valiant would transmit, but would not un-key.
-The 32S3 smoke tested.
-The GSB-100 failed.
Jim, W8KGI: I smelled a little burning when I turned on the common control supply – Murphy had disabled my controls to 30 transmitters.
-The GFI breaker was used by Murphy to have fun by popping it every few minutes
-Murphy arranged a full-blown thunder storm … QRT time.
-The NTX-30 started to arc over in the final plate tuning condenser. -Murphy arranged to short the feed line to my Zepp antenna.
Jim – suggest you don’t let Murphy in your shack any more…
Ron, K2RP:My GSB-100 blew up. (Are you and Rocco sharing rigs?)
Mac, WQ8U: My S-85, when asked to receive CW, demonstrated it did not know the words – it just hummed.
Mark, K3MSB: I had to rest my ears fairly often – I’m running stock selectivity BC-454B and BC-455B (greater than 10 kc.)

PROBLEMS – SPECIAL CATEGORY

Ron, K2RP: “Ran out of steam on phone day…”
Al, W8UT: "I ran outta steam on both Sun. eves.”
Suggest you both switch from steam to something more plentiful such as gas to power your rigs.

COMMAND SETS AND OTHER MILITARY RIGS PRESENT AND ACCOUNTED FOR, SIR.

Mark, K3MSB: BC-696A and BC-454B running with dynamotors! (Beautiful SCR-274N set up.)
Mario, N2AK: ARC-5 receiver
Mac, WQ8U: BC-348Q
Paul, K2LMQ: ART-13 Tom,K6LQI: ARC-5 transmitter
Bill, K4JYS: T-19.ARC-5 transmitter
Marty, KK4RF: ARC-5 receiver
John, N2BE: BC-779 receiver
Howie, WB2AWQ/7: GO-9 transmitter
Rocco, N6KN: R-388 receiver
Mark, W7ESN: R-388 receiver
John, K3MD: 80 meter ARC-5 transmitter
-It is important to note that John reported he took transplants from four other Command Set transmitters in a 60 hour operation to make this one work.
-John, K3MD, is a physician (now you get his vanity call) and so transplants were part of his training.
Wonder what parts of the body are like Command Set parts…

BEST CHIRP OR OTHERWISE NOTABLE SIGNAL

Rocco, N6KN, nominated Jim, W8KGI’s Lysco 600 …”completely unstable and had plenty of warble…”
Bill, K4JYS, nominated Mark, K3MSG’s rig with the comment: “ur aq bit wobbly”.
Paul, K2LMQ: CW Note of Notoriety with his wobbly ART-13
John, N2BE’s HX-50 was nominated by a to-remain-unnamed op who was totally mesmerized by its tonal quality.

MOST UNUSUAL RIGS – HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF….?

Bill, W4JYS, running a Lafayette Starflite transmitter.
Mark,W7ESN, running a Hagenuk RX-1002 receiver.

COMMENTS HEARD OR NOTED

John, N2BE: In response to a poor signal report - "as a CXer, the ERROR of our ways is due to the ERA of our means".

Mac, WQ8U: If rigs made in Japan, e.g. Yuaesu, ICOM and Kenwood are referred to as “Rice Boxes” ,wouldn’t it be appropriate to refer to Ten-Tec rigs made in Tennessee as “Grits Boxes?”

Rocco, N2KN, noted: “On 20 CW, there was W8KGI, and we rapidly qualified at least a ton each of equipment.”
Now we know their high scoring secret – they have a new metric – a "ton of equipment".. How many RX-TX pairs in a ton?

Howie, WB2AWQ/7: I have just two 80M crystals, both the old FT-171 type, one on 3520, nowhere near the CX crowd, and one that started out on 3570 but with a heavy application of magic marker to the crystal faces I got it down to 3556. That's your real Boat Anchor spirit coming out.

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, from on-the-air observations, QSOs, and publically posted comments on various reflectors. 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

SCORES SUBMITTED

You can read the individual reports by clicking on the call or scrolling below the Scores Table.

tr>
SEPTEMBER 2013 CX NAMECWAMSSBFM BONUSTOTALCOMMENT
N6KNRocco 183,820-82,290--266,110High CW and High SSB Scores
N2AKMario 136,420-79,663--216,083
W8KGIJim 71,14590,21136,290-3,000200,646High AM Score
K2RPRon 116,43618,02425,020-3,000162,480
N2BEJohn 97,8908335,782-3,000107,505
K4JYSBill 52,076---4,00056,076
N2ATBTony 33,812-8,704-3,00045,519
WQ8UMac 29,600-9,247-2,00040,847
W8UTAl 12,625-9,595-1,00023,220
W4BOHWilson 20,280-3002,00022,580
K3MDJohn 19,694---2,00021,694
VE7BGPGarry 5,408-12,5282,976-20,912High FM Score
K3MSBMark 9,216---3,00012,216
WB2AWQ/7Howie 4,280-420-4,0008,700
W8TMPaul 3,825-3,910--7,735
KB5JOCurt 1,500----2,0003,500
W2JEKDonald 672-128-2,0002,800
W2IQKCarl 700---1,0001,700


"SOAPBOX"

N6KN ROCCO

SSB Preparations:
Excuses, excuses. I have lots of them for this particular CX. I moved back from Denver to Palos Verdes over the summer, but the shipment had not arrived as of the CX dates. This meant I was short certain essentials, such as power supplies and transmitters. That said, I had spent two weekends relocating many of the existing PV rigs to new Home Depot “racks,” one for Drake, one for Collins, and one for Hallicrafters. These are in addition to the “wall of boatanchors” and “rack of receivers.” I foolishly did not check the installed rigs on Saturday prior to the event, which was a mistake. Even the champions mess up occasionally

SSB CX notes:
The power in the neighborhood failed as the CX began; this was a clue that this CX would be challenging. At 1601Z, power returned, and I finally found Mike, WB0SND and Jim, W8KGI on 14270 rapidly qualifying rigs. Mike’s KWS-1 sounded especially strong out here (Mike, you must have a good antenna system). I jumped in and proceeded to wade through a few of my “regular” rigs. Several transmitters failed, including the GSB-100 and the “smoke tested” 32S-3 No. 2. Stayed on 20 most of the morning and afternoon, with plenty of QRM. I tried 40 for a while and ran into W7KDL, Dick, who had an outstanding signal from his HT44, and Howie, WB2AWQ, whose Swan 350 sounds a lot better than most. Back on 20, Daniel, HH2DF/XE2 broke in with a TR4-C, which was a Drake to Drake QSO for me. Al, W8UT, was strong on his KWM2-A, as was Gerry, VE7BGP (FT757GX).

CW Preperations:
I repaired the power connector on the 32S-3 that had failed previously. This turned out to be a much more involved project than anticipated, involving two 32S-3’s and a lot of head scratching. Once again, I failed to turn on and test the shelved equipment on Saturday, and, once again, more trouble resulted.

CW Notes:
The “Salmon Run” W7s were running all over the bands and running over a lot of CX participants, too. That’s funny Rocco, not too many Salmon were noticed running here in NC. HiHi Somehow, the CX went on. Mark, W7ESN, was strong on 7045 during the morning hours, and we traded QSOs back and forth. His 310B sounded wonderful, as did his homebrew rigs. On 20 CW, there was W8KGI, and we rapidly qualified at least a ton each of equipment. His Lysco 600 was completely unstable and had plenty of warble, so that gets my nomination for best chirp. My BW 6100 would not transmit on the “X100” “0” synthesizer switch position, which meant no CW band operation. The DX100 worked for 5 minutes, and suddenly there was no RF output. The Valiant would transmit, but would not un-key. Wonderful. The repair of the “smoke tested” 32S-3’s power supply allowed me to qualify the “rack o’receivers,” so that was a bright spot. On the DX side, Doug, KH6U, burned through my yagi’s reflector with his Ranger 2 and 32V3; always nice to hear you, Doug. Ron, K2RP, had a pile of rigs on 40; I liked the Viking Adventurer the best. In desperation, I pulled the BW 6100 from its cabinet and found a problem that had been there intermittently for many years – the “X 100” “0” synthesizer output piston trimmer had a flakey mounting nut; DeOxit saved the day, and I put it back into service. I qualified it in six minutes on 40. I even tried 80. I have very high QRN level on that band for some reason, and my apologies to anyone who was calling me without my answering. I did manage to pull out John, N2BE, and Mike, WB0SND, in addition to a few west coast regulars. And, for once, my burglar alarm did not go off due to RFI. One that promising note, I pulled the plug and had dinner with the XYL.

Summary: As usual, I had great fun working all the wild and wacky old rigs (and people) out there and promise to make more RF noise next time.

Total score: SSB = 82,290 pts. CW = 183,820 pts.

Back to Score Table

N2AK Mario

Hi Mac,
I did a sanity check on the logs so I'm sending them now. I think it's all here. The contest is a lot of fun ... It forces me to keep my old rigs in good shape .... but that's an almost impossible job with 50 radios.

I need to put that 2nd final in the SWAN 350, after replacing the power xfmr. I bought that SWAN on EBAY about 8 years ago and it only had one final tube and it still put out over 100w. Now on one it's only about 40w so I hope to get it back to near 100 with the second tube.

Next year I plan to use a hmbw logging program for the contest. That will sure help reduce the admin burden I place on myself. For years, I have been keeping a paper log ... organized as 10 pages, one for each call area. After the contest, I have to re-order the entries chronologically ... a real fun job. All the time you save will be taken up by the software and computer issues. Better off spending time on the radios HiHi

Thanks again for all your good work making the CX the best radio event on the planet.

73,
Mario


W8KGI Jim

Mac,
Well this one was definitely Murphy's CX. He took multiple whacks at did pretty well.

I had been preparing for things well in advance. I acquired an SB-10 which I hitched up to my Apache to make another SSB rig for 20 in the outside shack. Mike Langner, K5MGR, gave me an HT-32 that needed a lot of TLC including an outboard, Heathkit HP-32 power supply since its power transformer was missing; and I had it ready to go and in place in the inside shack.

And I picked up a Ranger from an ad in ER for all of $50, and that was about what it was worth, too. I had to rebuild the planetary drive for the vfo, fix a problem in the keying circuit, and hog a hole out of the back of the cabinet to fit over the extra coax jack on the coax antenna relay that the previous owner had installed to make it push-to-talk. It also needed a new microphone connector, the contacts in the old one had opened up to the point where they were no longer making continuous contact. I also built a new rack for the garage so that I could move the SX-73 receiver over to a more convenient spot next to the operating desk and so I could hold the Collins 32RA, B&W6100, SB-400, Ranger, AF-67, and AF-68 without just piling them up on one another. They are all probably a lot happier and cooler now HiHi

Everything was looking pretty good as the week before the phone CX wound down. The DX-100 in my inside shack quit working with insufficient time to haul it down and fix it, but that was only one rig I was down and there were still plenty left. The weekend was looking pretty busy - a friend from out of town wanted to stop by and take us out to lunch on Friday, and I had promised to play guitar and sing for Fiesta Vespers on Friday evening and for the Fiesta Procession on Saturday morning. Saturday evening we were committed to go to a pub in town and watch the Ohio State Buckeyes play football with the New Mexico buckeye Alumni group. A pub is a great place to prepare for CX - lots of cold 807s - right?

It was Friday afternoon after lunch when I went out to the garage to check the frequency spot tuning of some of the 20 meter SSB rigs that Murphy took his first shot. I smelled a little burning when I turned on the common control power supply, and when I closed the key and engaged the main Transmit Switch - nothing happened! Murphy had disabled my common keying circuit that controls all 30 transmitters, and he waited to do it until I had very little time to find the trouble and fix it! You can imagine how I felt. My first inclination was just to write off using the garage shack and to do all of my operating from my inside shack. But I spent the little time that I had, made my best guess as to what might be wrong, and I found the trouble on my first try. Half buried in the tight wiring in my transmitter control switch box, there was a relay coil snubber diode that had shorted and had taken down my 24 volt power supply. I managed to replace it and put things back together between my musical jobs and the game, and things actually worked pretty well for the Phone CX on Sunday.

As for the phone CX itself, my voice survived all of the singing on Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday morning at church. I got on 20 SSB for an hour and a half before going to church, and I qualified all four SSB transmitters and receivers and the KWM-1 transceiver in the garage and the three pairs and the Triton IV transceiver that I had tuned up in the inside shack. After I got home in the afternoon, I got on 40 AM from the garage and found several very helpful guys including Dave AJ7O in Tucson, Jim K7JEB in Glendale AZ, and Bob NA7RH in Scottsdale. Between these guys and a few others I qualified seven AM transmitters and ten receivers (including the SW-3 which did an amazing job on 7293 phone) from the garage collection and three pairs including the National NTX-30 from the inside shack.

In the week between the phone and CW CX, I worked to get all of my rigs, inside and garage, tuned up and working on CW. Things went pretty well for the most part. The NTX-30 started to arc over its final amp plate tuning condenser and that could not be fixed. I'm thinking that I may have to switch that guy to a "parallel feed B+" circuit with the DC voltage removed from the plate tank to get it working again. The HT-32 refused to work so I had to pull it back on to the bench. It turned out that one of the 6146s in the final had developed a near short and was dragging down the B+ and causing the Hallicrafters filter choke to get hot and make bubbling noises. I ordered a new matched pair from RF Parts on Monday evening, and amazingly they came in the mail on Friday, allowing me to get that rig back running again. Quite unexpectedly, a good friend from a big family died on Wednesday, and his Rosary was scheduled for Friday evening and Funeral Mass for Saturday. I played and sang for both events, and we went to the family party/wake on Saturday afternoon; so again I had little time late in the week to do radio work for the CW CX.

Sunday morning came, and I got on 20 CW for an hour before church. I was running the garage gear and qualified six transmitters and five receivers during that time. Everything worked well and I was looking forward to more fun when I got home that afternoon. I got things going again about 3 p.m., or rather I tried to get them going. I have a ground fault breaker supplying power to the garage shack gear, and Murphy decided to have fun with me by popping that breaker every few minutes. I tried unplugging one thing and another, but I was never able to find any combination that would make the breaker hold. This after I had run everything just fine out there on the Phone CX the week before and on the CW CX that very morning! After a very frustrating hour in which I made one QSO with Rocco using my T-150 and 75A3, I finally gave up on the garage shack and went inside. I had four pairs tuned up on 40 there, and I qualified them over the next hour and a quarter, despite heavy QRM from another group centered on 7045. I had to quit 40 early because Murphy arranged for a full-blown thunder storm. At one point I disconnected the antenna feed line from the tuner, and it gave me a healthy static arc when I did so. So I went outside and disconnected the feedline and grounded it out there and waited for the lightening and the rain to pass. A couple of hours later I was able to reconnect the antenna and get going on 80. The thunder QRN was so bad that I had a hard time copying anything but the loudest signals. And then, to add insult to injury, something happened to the antenna and the tuning on my transmatch went way out of kilter. Readjusting the tuner, I managed to make a couple more contacts after that, but my signal reports were very poor and it was obvious that something had gone badly wrong. So I finally hung it up around 10:30 p.m. and went to watch a little TV with Kathy and the dogs.

This morning I went out to inspect the antenna, and I found that Murphy had arranged to short the feedline about 15 feet below the point where it connects to the Zepp! At least I didn't fall off the ladder when I went up to fix it!

So that's my tale. I have a few things left over to fix before the winter CX, including the DX-100 and the NTX-30. I'm planning to move the DX-100 to a spot in the garage once I get it down from the top shelf in my inside shack, and to replace it with the Hammarlund 4-20/4-11 pair which are lighter and easier to manage. The Hammarlund should drive the SB-200 amp to a nice 150 to 200 watt carrier output, so it will make a good AM rig in place of the DX-100. Hopefully Murphy will decide he has had enough fun with me this time, so he will leave me alone for the next CX. With all of that, I made 36290 points on SSB, 90211 on AM, and 71145 on CW, for a total of 197646 points. I qualified the BC348 and RAO-2 on AM, and the BC459 and BC455/BC453 on CW, and my HRO-50 novice receiver on all three modes, so I earned 3000 bonus points. So my grand total is 200646 points.

73,
Jim Hanlon, W8KGI


K2RP Ron

Click here to see Ron's rigs.

Hi Mac..
Back from my trip. Attached some photos and my entry.
Ran out of steam on phone day, so not too many SSB entries.
Plus, my GSB100 blew up, always good for some SSB and CW QSOs with various receivers!

Thanks again for all you do!

Ron K2RP


N2BE John

Click here to see John's operating positions and rigs.

I don't know, Mac. We got clobbered by a huge asteroid in February of this year.
Earth's magnetic North Pole has moved 522 miles north of its former location, in just 50 years (see March 2013 "QST", p. 89). That's over l0+ miles per year! Please note that 1962 is at about the peak of VDR (Vacuum Defined Radio) technology. Our power grids are degaussing the Earth of its magnetic fields. Weather patterns are being shredded. The sun is expected to magnetically turn upside-down in about two weeks (see "QRZ.com" news). Mario (N2AK) is buying VDR classics for "pocket-change". And now ... Bunky (K4EJQ) and Brian (K9VKY) are missing (alien abduction ?) !

Whew! I had better get going on that new stash of chilly-807s. They won't get empty all by themselves.

On To CW CX

Considering the average ages of equipment and operators in this event, I like to affectionately refer to the CW portion as "Burp-and-Chirp", HI. And ... on Sunday at 9:00 AM-EDST, 40 meters was a veritable cauldron of "burping and chirping". Paul (W8TM), Jeff (K3KYR), Bob (WA2VMO), Mario (N2AK), WC (W4BOH), and Tony (N2ATB) all appear in myCW log four or more times, each. Tony deserves the "QSO Boomerang" award for appearing in my CW log 10 times throughout this event. WC was a respectable second place at 7 times.

One of my 10 QSOs with Tony featured Harvey-Wells "TBS-50D". transmitters at both ends .. Cliff Harvey and John Wells would have been proud to hear their products sounding so well in the 21st century. Tony paired his "TBS-50D" with a Heathkit "HR-1680'.' solid-state receiver, which seemed to be something of an "odd couple". However, it was no more odd than your Drake ''T4X'' and WWII "BC-348Q", Mac; Joel's (W3ZT) homebrew 6AG7/6L6 with a Collins "7SA4"; or my homebrew 2N697 transistor, QRPp transmitter with a 1937 National "NC101X" receiver. I am, however, going to pair that 2N697 transmitter with a small, solid-state Atlas "RX-ll0" receiver that I have just fixed up, for the next ex. Also, I am hoping to complete work soon on a 1939 Stancor "60-P" transmitter to be the mate for the "NC-101X". It all takes time, but will eventually happen.

Kudos to Mark (K3MSB) for his "BC-696A" and "BC-454B" set-up. It was the only all-WWII military station that I worked in this event; and it sounded "VY FB OM".

At about 6:30 PM-EDST, I moved operations from 40 meters to 80. There, the "party" continued. At approximately 11:00 PM, our more western counterparts started appearing. First, Mike (WBOSND) in MO; then Howie (WB2AWQ) in NV, Rocco (N6KN) in CA, and Mark (W7ESN) in WA. Then, around 1:00 AM, 80 meters seemedto "give up the ghost". I was going to head for bed but decided to give 40 meters one last listen. Forty meters had a "sound" to it that I remembered from my QRP days in the 1965.

It was as if I could hear a pin drop, from thousands of miles away, across the noise­ floor. I quickly moved there and worked Jim (NOKWA) in LA. Then, a short "CQ ex" brought a surprising response. Doug (KH6U) in Hawaii answered right-away with a solid 579 signal, on my "SX-115". I was impressed when he described his transmitter as a "Ranger 2" at 40 watts. He gave me a 579 signal report, also, for my Hammariund "HX-5O" at 50 watts. His receiver was a "75A4".

Sometime after 2:00 AM, I QSOed with a guy who was totally mesmerized by the tonal quality of my "HX-50" transmitter. Apparently he was hearing some kind of modulation on my signal and wanted to diagnose it. Now, I am aware that an oscillator or two in the transmitter occasionally runs a little "rough" and plan to do some cleaning of bandswitch contacts, tube and socket pins, and variable capacitor wipers. However, I just told him that the transmitter is over 50 years old and was entitled to a "creak" now­ and-then, HI. I might also have said that as a CXer, "the ERROR of our ways is due to the ERA of our means". Well said John!

This CW event was concluded with QSOs from three ex "regulars": Gerry (VE7BGP), Mike (W7DRA), and again with Mark (W7ESN). It's always nice to work our western counterparts during favorable band conditions. It's also nice to rework the eastern "regulars" each successive ex, too. However, two of these "regulars" were very absent from my log and very missed this time around: Bunky (K4EJQ) and Brian (K9VKY). I am hoping to hear those two in the winter-2014 event.

On To Phone CX

I started the FONE event (yup ! ... "Blow-and-Tell") on 40 meters using only the SSB mode. A very active Paul (W8TM), Wilson (W4BOH), and Dee (N2AK) provided multiple QSOs in this mode, throughout the morning. While reading about the last CX at our website, we learned of Dee's incredible fortune in acquiring a pair of Harvey-Wells "TBS-50D"s for $15! In this mornings FONE-CX, he was flaunting a nice-sounding, $25 (!?), Hallicrafters "SR160". What is in the water down therein southern-NJ ?!?

In the afternoon, I switched my modulation to AM. Even though QSOs on N4 tend to be fewer and much longer in duration, I feel that this earliest of FONE modes is a must part of any event that celebrates old radio communications. In the first, primetime, 3.5 hours on AM, I managed a staggering six QSOs, HI. However, much QSO-QuaHty (QQ) was enjoyed throughout. For example, I met AI· (W8VR) who was running a very impressive 300 watt; 810 PAmodulated by 811s, AM transmitter. This homebrew rig was originally built by his father (VE1MZ) in 1945, and AI has recently restored it. His website documentation of this transmitter and its restoration is worthy of Smithsonian recognition. You can view this very excellent journey back into history at "W8VR.org". No fan of vintage radio should miss this one. Great job, AI ! After my QSO with AI, I took a dinner break. Later, I returned to the event on 75 meter SSB, where I was only able to make one QSO with Tony (N2ATB) before the band appeared to become void of all CX activity .. Where did everyone go?! I then returned once again to 40 meter AM where I managed, through all the foreign broadcast QRM, a very enjoyable, two hour ragchew with Bob (W8LXJ) who put the finish on this CX FONE event for me. Bob was running a very enviable Collins "KW1" and "75A4" pair ..

WARNING - CLIMATE-CRAP CENTER FOLLOWS
BEST TAKEN WITH A COLD 807

At the N2BE Climate-Crap Center (C-C.c.), things have finally settled down after the first "miss", ever, at predicting a major storm event. My no-tech. methods go back more than ·35 years and have yielded a nearly perfect record over the last 20+ years. Tropical Storm Karen showed up right on predicted schedule; however, instead of turning northward from the Carribean; it continued straight into the Gulf of Mexico. Once in the Gulf, it then turned northward but weakened In the process. I am delighted that we did not get the predicted hurricane; but why? A TV news program about the Russians recovering huge pieces of their February asteroid hit gave me the answer. Research revealed that this "rock" was quite large and exploded in our upper atmosphere with the force of 20-30 Hiroshima atomic bombs! Gee, that's the same atmosphere our weather forms in. That asteroid "stomped" on our weather's "reset button"! Weather patterns from last year that foretold of a major storm for this year were interupted by that big "reset" event. I believe the record typhoon that hit the Phillipines this yearwas yet another product of this same"reset" event. Also, if you asked me in this past spring or early-summer about the upcoming winter here in northwest-NJ, I would have said cold and very snowy. Now, I think the patterns have been changed, and I am expecting just an "average" winter, instead. '1 am wondering what other changes might be in store for us. Hang on to your antennas and stay tuned, as I open another cold-807. A new watch is beginnning . . .

K4JYS Bill

Click here to see Bill's T-19/ARC-5 Command Set coming to life.

Hi Mac,.
Attached is my log for the Sep 2013 CW CX.

There is also a pix of the T-19/ARC-5 xmtr. The pix w/o the rcvrs is what I used in the CX. The pix with the rcvrs is the dressed up version.
I found the T-19 in the attic...had been up there about 40 years thus the sparsity of paint. After a good refurb, its working fine.

Tnx for your work.

K4JYS EQUIP. USED:
GLOBE HG-303 - 1962
DX40 – 1958
KNIGHT T-50 – 1956
HQ-150 - 1956
DX-35 - 1956
AT-1 - 1953
HQ-200 – 1958
HQ-100 – 1956
HEATHKIT HX-11 - 1961
DX-20 - 1958
NC-109 - 1957
LAFAYETTE STARFLITE – 1962
JOHNSON ADVENTURER – 1954
CONAR 400/500 - 1965
SX101A – 1959
SX-100 - 1955
GLOBE CHIEF 90A – 1958
T-19/ARC-5 – 1943
TS-440S - 1986

TOTAL YEARS: 1108
TOTAL QSO’s: 47
BONUS POINTS: NOVICE XMTR – DX40 (1000 PTS)
NOVICE RCVR - HQ-100 (1000 PTS)
MILITARY: T-19/ARC-5 XMTR – 1000 PTS
PICTURE – 1000 PTS
TOTAL BONUS PTS ---------------4000 PTS
TOTAL SCORE: 1108 YRS X 47 QSOs + BONUS (4000) = 56076

73 de Bill K4JYS


N2ATB Tony

Click here to see Tony's rigs.

Hi Mac,
I participated in both the CW and Phone portions of the September 2013 Classic Exchange. As always, I thoroughly enjoyed the contest. Participation was especially good for the CW portion. I ran five transceivers, one transmitter and one receiver.

It was lots of fun and I look forward to the next CX in early 2014. Thanks for sponsoring this fine event. Attached are my log, score summary and shack picture.

73,
Tony (N2ATB)


WQ8U MAC

Click here to see part of Mac's shack.

I vowed it would not happen again – and it didn’t!

What you may ask? Not having BAs operating and ready for CX, that’s what! Those of you who have read my comments in previous newsletters know that I am a procrastinator and overconfident about there always being another rig to put on the air if the planned one did not work. I eventually came to a point that I almost ran out of rigs that were working. I had to change my strategy.

For this CX I started weeks ahead of time and methodically selected and evaluated candidate rigs. I then spent the two weeks prior to CX in intense effort in the shack diagnosing and repairing a number of good old rigs. It was a lot of fun and rewarding. Reminded me of my youth, except I did not have the diversity of gear or the test equipment then but did have energy now lacking.

A typical brief war story and then to the CX experience. I was given a Hallicrafters S-85 by a fellow who does computer repair here in Hillsborough. I rarely look a gift horse in the mouth but I should have been suspicious of this one. I imagine he took it in return for some computer repair; bartering is very common in this part of NC.

First thing noted: it had a two wire AC cord of questionable integrity and no fuse. I replaced the cord with a repurposed computer cord, drilled an appropriate hole, and installed a fuse. Now for the fun. All the bands detected signals and the receiver has good sensitivity. Things were looking up.

Then I tried it on CW. Unfortunately it is not very musically inclined: it just wanted to hum at 60 cps when the BFO was turned on, otherwise there was no noticeable hum. 60 cps? That should be easy, just replace the BFO tube with the internal filament short. My thanks to Wilson, W4BOH, for coming to my rescue with a shoe box full of old metal 6 volt tubes some of which worked and matched my need. It appeared the problem was fixed! So I fiddled with it a little more to convince myself that it would be OK in CX even though it has no selectivity circuits, only the BFO tuning and the fixed three level tone control.

So I put it back in its case and put it in its CX operating position. When connected to the QSK antenna control system the BFO hum returned! Good grief, maybe it was not the tube (Wilson asked if I kept the pull, I did; I recovered it from the trash can.) OK, maybe there is something loose or bad in the filament wiring. So out of its case and back to the bench it went. Lots of looking, wiggling and shaking later nothing was found. Now, the BFO tube is a 6SC7 which is a dual triode. The other half is used as the first audio amplifier. This caused me to waste time more time going down a non-productive route looking for an unexplainable connection causing the hum. What next? Hummmmm.

I realized that I am not as fast doing things as back in my youth and that I had sunk an unreasonable amount of time into this receiver so I put it back in its case and rationalized that it was OK except for the hum so maybe I could use it. Perhaps my new strategy is not the best. Oh well, at least it was fun. Maybe next time I need some computer repair I will barter it back to him – he probably only listens to AM anyway.

PHONE CX

I was delivered a Heathkit HW-101 by Jim Hanlon, W8KGI who picked it up from his brother (Bob, W4RXK). It worked just fine and is so easy to operate I decided I would give SSB a try with it. This was the first time I participated In CX on SSB.

I started on 40 meters and was absolutely surprised by all the European originated QRM. The “Worked All Europe” Contest was going on and there were some really big guns on the air. The Dniepbopetrovsk City Club, UT7E in the Ukraine was making the speaker rattle. It was almost like the Texas QSO Party. I apologize to the SSB CX participants for the choice of date and time that brought us in conflict with this.

I did have some QSOs that began what seemed a never ending set of QSOs with Tony N2ATB and Mario (Dee) N2AK which extended through the CW CX. My good buddy Wilson, W4BOH, who also appeared frequently in the log the next week also appeared with his new Rice Box.

As an aside, if rigs made in Japan, e.g. Yaesu, ICOM and Kenwood are referred to as “Rice Boxes,” wouldn’t it be appropriate to refer to Ten-Tec rigs made in Tennessee as “Grits Boxes?”

I also worked Donald, W2JEK. This was also a surprise because in past CXs he has been a CW only person. Another newbie. Who knows, maybe this SSB stuff will catch on…..

I did have fun in the short time I was able to operate. I will certainly be back next CX now that I have a reliable easy to use Boat Anchor SSB rig.

CW CX

I was prepared! My initial set up for CX included seven transmitter/receiver pairs and one transceiver. I started with the Lysco 600 and National NC-173. Both of these rigs have something special. The Lysco 600 and its three companion models are all well described in a 10 page Instruction Manual including specifications, schematics, parts lay outs and parts lists. Try that with a modern rig. A historical note, the NC-173 (not mine but one like it) gained fame as the radio on board the Kon Tiki. My first QSO was with my good buddy here in Hillsborough, Wilson, W4BOH who had his parallel 813 rig burning holes in the ozone. Next, N2AK, Mario appeared for the first of many times.

Next I moved to the Meissner Signal Shifter Model EX and National NC-300. This is a remarkable transmitter. It is advertised as an ECO or crystal exciter however the 807 final does a respectable standalone job. It has a turret for band switching coil changes and is built like a piece of battleship gear. This rig defies the nickname of “Signal Drifter” which was generally associated with earlier Signal Shifters. Wilson again appeared with his 813s, he is hard to miss . Also a frequent CXer from Columbus, OH K8NU Carl was on with a classic pair – a Viking Ranger and Collins 75A3.

Next up were my Viking Ranger and National HRO-50R1. The Ranger has been with me for some time and is a good rig. Only problem is it run so doggone hot. Great hand warmer if needed. The HRO-50 came through Jim, W8KGI who snagged it for me at a Dayton Hamvention many moons ago. Well no surprise, Wilson, W4BOH was the first contact with this pair. Tony, N2ATB hit the log for the first of many times with his TenTec Argosy. Joel, W3ZT was running one of the more interesting rigs – an old post-war Stancor transmitter.

Next up in the rotation was the Johnson Navigator and Collins 75A4. The first of several “but it worked on the bench” moments occurred. The Navigator would not key properly when connected to the QSK system. Apparently RF was getting into the keying system and holding the relay closed for longer than a “dot” from the Vibroplex. It worked OK with the J-38 at slower code speed so all was not lost. The dynamic NJ duo of Mario, N2AK and Tony, N2ATB quickly helped me qualify this pair. Mario was running a SWAN 270 Cygnet transceiver, another rig not often encountered.

Moving to the other operating position brought up the Johnson Viking II and Hallicrafters S-85 previously discussed. It only took one QSO to realize that the S-85 was just not going to be adequate. Off the shelf came my old novice days type receiver, the Howard 435A. John, N2BE, who is known for his “C-C-C” weather forecasts in the newsletter popped up. Fortunately his DX-100 sounded crisp and strong and his weather forecasts were wrong. See the January 2013 CX Newsletter for the full story on his forecasts. The set with this pair ended with the ever present bonecrusher signal from W4BOH, Wilson’s 813s.

After a break to maintain family tranquility and dinner, I got back to CX and decided to move to 80 meters. The first pair up was the old reliable Drake Twins T-4X and R-4A. The “everywhere-all-the-time” NJ pair (Mario and Tony) were quickly in the log. Mario, N4AK had an interesting pair running: Hallicrafters HT-37 and military ARC-5 receiver. This turned out to be the beginning of several QSOs with folks running Command Set gear. John, K3MD was putting out a good clean signal with his ARC-5 transmitter which, he says, took parts from four donor units to get working properly. I knew John is a doctor but didn’t know he did transplants.

The Heathkit HW-101 was up next and the first contact was Donald, W2JEW running a Johnson Ranger. This caught my attention because he is usually in CX with his Harvey-Wells Bandmaster TBS-50C. Another Command Set appeared being operated by Mark, K3MSB. He was running a true Command Set pair with a BC-696 transmitter and BC-454 receiver.

I decided to check on 40 meter activity. There was Mike, WB0SND running different mix-and-match rig pairs. In three quick QSOs he qualified three stations. It was like working Jim, W8KGI. There did not seem to be much else CX happening on 40 so I returned to 80 meters. The HW-101 is so easy to band change and operate I stuck with it.

One of the fun things about the CX is the ability to slow down and get into rag chew. Pip, WB4FDT, was running a FT-101 putting out a 599 signal from Baltimore and had lots of comments about the HW-101. She also has lots of connections to North Carolina, around the Ft. Bragg area.

Since I still had more radios I could not pass up the chance to get them on the air. I brought up the Drake T-4X again and teamed it with my BC-348-Q to get the military score bonus. There was some jerry-rigging necessary to work QSK since this pair was not part of the original planning. 80 meters continued to be active so these got qualified. John, N2BE, our intrepid weather forecaster, was there with his military gear, a BC-779 built by Howard Mfg. the same as my Howard Model 435A although that is where much of the similarity ends.

It was getting late but I thought I was on a lucky streak so I dug out the old BC-696 transmitter and found the two power supplies it needed. After getting it wired up it refused to oscillate. I took that as a sign to wrap it up and get to bed.

Throughout the day I heard a number of folks QSOing with Jim, W8KGI but I could never hear him. I also unfortunately missed a number of the CX regulars, particularly West Coasters Rocco, N6KN and Howie, AB2AWQ. In any case, it was a lot of fun and I will be even better prepared for the Winter CX.

73
Mac
WQ8U


W8UT Al

Click here to see Al and his shack.

Hi Mac,
Here's my log, finally. Have had it mostly done for a while, needed a pic of the Invader 2000 setup.

I ran outta steam on both Sun. eves., like usual. Didn't get the inv2k on at all for CW, had added the TenTec Triton4, but not enuf qso's to qualify. I hope 2 qso's will at least count as contacts, the 3rd wasn't complete info. Can't find much activity on 40m or 80/75 Sun. nites on CW or fone.

Thanks for keeping this event alive, and doing the work. It's fun. Wilson, W4BOH was a big help on SSB.

73,
Al, W8UT
www.boatanchors.org
www.hammarlund.info

"There is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats"


W4BOH Wilson

Transmitters:
Homebrew with 810 final
Homebrew with 813s final
Collins 310B

Receivers:
Drake 2B
National HRO-7

Trancievers
Yaesu FT-950


K3MD John

Click here to see John's pictures.

Everything worked OK except the preselector on the 2c went out.
I want extra credit or using W9TO tube type keyer. Much more difficult to send on than my Logikey K5!
80 meter ARC 5 took 60 hours to fix – parts from 4 units. Was there anything but a chassis to begin with?


VE7BGP Garry

Click here to see Garry in his shack.

Hello Mac
I had a lot of fun operating CX this season. I obtained a few new rigs to get points a couple of nice oldie Icom Classics an IC-735 and a IC-O2AT Handie both in very nice shape.

It was a great deal of fun working all the great oldies on last 2 Sunday.

73
Gerry VE7BGP

K3MSB Mark

Click here to see Mark's great SCR-274 set up.

Well it was a lot of work getting my SCR-274N system on the air for the September CX festivities, but of course it would have been easier if I had picked up the restoration pace a few months earlier!

I was hoping to get at least 3 QSOs on 80 and 40 (each) to qualify both pairs of transmitters and receivers, and I was absolutely delighted to make 32 QSOs overall, 15 on 40M and 17 on 80M, before all was said and done when I pulled the switch at 0353Z.

I found that I had a rather nasty buzz on my 40M signal, and I think I have that worked out now. Both receivers were using their dynamotors. The 80M receiver had a nasty hum from its dynamotor, so I pulled out one of my HP-23 Power Supplies to power the receiver for the last few hours of the contest.

Power output here was around 30W and the antenna is an HF-2V on the ground with 32 radials. My matching network is a band dependent series capacitors to a 4:1 UNUN and then the antenna.

Let’s see, notable QSO:
My farthest DX was working Mark W7ESN in WA on 40M with the ARC-5s! I did hear Rocco N6KN on 80M last Sunday night but was unable to contact him for an 80M west coast QSO.

Working Bill K4JYS running a Lafayette Starflite transmitter and Mark W7ESN running a Hagenuk RX-1002 receiver; I had never heard of either of those radios and had to look them up. Bill gave me a 599C and added “ur a bit wobbly” !!

Working John K3MD who was using an ARC-5 transmitter!

Scoring:
40M TX/RX : BC-459A / BC-455B
80M: TX/RX : BC-696A / BC-454B
Equipment Age: 72 x 4 = 288 years
CW QSOs: 32
Score 32 x 288 = 9216
Military RX/TX Bonus: 2000
Picture Bonus: 1,000
Total Score = 12216

I had an excellent time even though I had to rest my ears fairly often - I’m running stock selectivity on the receivers (greater than 10 KHz) and I need to tighten that up next year. I’m looking forward to the Winter 2014 CX and Lord willing I’ll be banging away again with the SCR-274N! Do you get the feeling that gear will outlast us all? HiHi

Pix attached Mac.

WB2AWQ/7 Howie

Click here to see Howie and his shack.

Howdy CXers!
I decided this year to send in my log EARLY, thus avoiding the “I f’got” syndrome from which I suffered last spring.

Wonder of wonders, I actually got a chance to spend some time (about an hour) in the phone portion of CX. Unfortunately, the fates were not with me. On 20 I heard only one CX station WB0YBS, but he was weak weak weak. There were lots of other phone signals, many strong, but CXers seemed to be in hibernation. I slid down to 40, even though it was still daylight, and got a comeback from (who else?) Rocco N6KN, and we were joined by Joe K5KT. Three separate equipment QSOs with Rocco and two with Joe, and I was happy…sort of. I did listen later in the evening, on 20 40 and 75 but heard no CXers, and CQs produced nothing.

My hope lay in the CW weekend. I actually started out at the beginning of CX (6 AM here on the west coast, and being of the age where insomnia strikes more and more frequently). However, I didn’t log my first CX QSO until 90 minutes later. It was a struggle, as 20 seemed to be occupied by SKCC and SR (whatever that is) operators. I did manage three QSOs before heading out with the XYL and friends for some theater and food.

Seven hours later, I got going in earnest. 40 was the band of choice at that hour, worked Mark W7ESN more times than I can count, along with some others. Still using the transceivers I used on SSB.

For me the fun comes on 80, when I can break out the older stuff – my mil gear (GO-9, BC-348Q), HRO, the NC-125, and new for me this year, a very nice looking Millen 90800 transmitter. This is one well built, simple transmitter, 6L6-807 combo. Had a ball with the mil stuff and the HRO. But interestingly, all stations I worked but one were west coasters. Seems John N2BE and I have some sort of a pipeline, if you can call a 329 RST a pipeline signal. But I’ve worked John three CX’es running now on 80, with just moderate power – 20 to 100 watts – and my mighty 7 ft high dipole. Still can’t figure out where the NVIS boys went wrong on their calculations. Maybe it’s just a Reno – NJ connection thing……..

Time to fire up the Millen, which is a crystal-controlled rig with an awesome 20 watts out. Only problem is I have just two 80M crystals, both the old FT-171 type, one on 3520, nowhere near the CX crowd, and one that started out on 3570 but with a heavy application of magic marker to the crystal faces I got it down to 3556. That's your real Boat Anchor drive coming out. I called and called and called CQ – nothing. Finally gave up and just called CQ. Was answered promptly by Rob N6KIX, a local with whom I’ve QSO’d on several occasions, followed by John WB6UBK, another local chat buddy. That made two QSOs, then I dropped down to 3542 and dragged my friend Andy W6SYY up to 56, and we had our usual Sunday evening chat but on the Millen. All the necessary info got exchanged as well, so the Millen is on the books.

Didn’t make as many QSOs as I would have liked, but I got through the list of gear I had planned on with the limited time available, so I was satisfied.

Collins, Drake, and Hallicrafters topped the popularity list this year, tied at 5 each. Most interesting radio combo was W7ESN’s CE-100V and Hagenuk RX – who ever heard of a Hagenuk before CX??? Tom K6LQI had a big signal with his ARC5 – think he popped out the 1625s and dropped in a pair of 813s or something. And Paul K2LMQ wins the CW Note of Notoriety award with his wobbly ART13.

Mac, those bonuses came in handy. Between mil rigs, my novice RX (Really my ORIGINAL Novice RX, not just the same model), and the shack photo, they comprised 25% of my score. Keep up the good work!

See ya all in Feb.
Howie WB2AWQ/7


W8TM Paul

During this CX I certainly worked Mario/Dee N2AK a lot, 13 times on SSB and 7 on CW. Another prominent repeat customer was Jim W8KGI, with 8 CW QSOs--but none on SSB, probably because I chose to operate 40 meters exclusively. Other stations worked more than once included N2BE, N2ATB, K3MD, K4BSK, K4SPO, W4BOH and W8UT.

My equipment was as usual an SB-301 receiver (built by me in 1967), SB-401 transmitter (likewise in 1974) and an inverted vee fed with ladder line. The SB-301 is 46 years old and the SB-401 is 39 years old, for a total age of 85 years. The antenna tuner (a necessity for ladder line) is about 32 years old, but that doesn't count for score. One of the nice things about Paul's inputs is I can just cut-and-past his rig info from a prior CX. HiHi

My logs are attached, one for each mode. There was one dupe in my CW log, not counted for score. My score grid follows.

SSB QSOs: 46
AGE: 85
TOTAL: 3,910

CW
QSOs: 45
AGE: 85
T0TAL: 3,825

I had no bonus points.
GRAND TOTAL: 7,735

73, Paul W8TM


KB5JO Curt

Click here to see Curt's rigs.

I always enjoy using rigs from my youth making contact with other ops using the classics. It's amazing the inventory some ops own, can't imagine how they manage to maintain all of it. Some don't ;-)

Didn't make as many QSOs as had hoped to this time, due to other constraints, hope to do better in January of next year.

My equipment was Drake 2B (51yrs); Eico 723 (50 yrs); DX-60B (49 yrs).
CW
QSOs: 10
AGE: 150
Total: 1,500
Novice: 1,000
Pix: 1,000
Grand Total: 3,500

73, Curt KB5JO


W2JEK Donald

Dear Mac,
Here is my log for the September 2013 Classic Exchange, used both CW and SSB this time.

SSB QSOs: 4
YEARS: 32
SCORE: 128

CW
QSOs: 6
YEARS: 224
SCORE: 672

Novice Rig: Harvey Wells TBS—50C and Hallicrafters S-76
BONUS: 1000
Total SCORE: 2,800

RIGS USED:
YAESU FT-840
HARVEY-WELLS TBS-50C
HALLICRAFTERS S-76
JOHNSON RANGER 1
DRAKE 2B

Was a lot of fun – hope to get more rigs on next time.

73 Donald, W2JEK


W2IQK Carl

Click here to see Carl and his shack full of impressive home brew gear.

Here is my report for the CWCX
14 QSOs on 40 meters
50 years fr HB TX and HB RX
700 points
1000 for pictures of shack and assistant op. "Munchkkin"
1700 TOTAL

My HB TX final is an 805 triode at 200 watts output. The HB RX is 14 tubes.

I tried 20 CW for a while but no activity there, so I went to 40.

My most interesting QSO was W1JAS with an assortment of old military equipment. K3MSB used only ARC 5 gear which was very nice to hear.

Suggestion: Could you separate the AM-SSB-FM events into several weekends or put AM on Saturday and SSB the following day, etc? I run HB AM and SSB gear and would like to participate in both. Many Sundays I have other commitments, so I can’t always participate, but this CWCX was lots of fun. Thanks for the suggestions.

Thanks & 73
Carl, W2IQK


Revised Dec.18, 2013