66, NOVEMER, 1988
Scanned, OCR'ed, and proofed by Bob "Bacon" Bruhns WA3WDR
The 220 Mhz Battle And The AM Cause
Elsewhere this issue, we report ARRL's response to the 220 mhz reallocation in the form of a Petition for Reconsideration. The AM community should keep a close eye on the continuing developments in this case. The League's charges of misconduct against the FCC are serious, and if these charges are upheld in federal court, or if Congress acts on behalf of the amateur community to reverse the FCC decision, important precedents will be set, which could make it easier for amateur radio operators to challenge the FCC in other areas, particularly the FCC's devious treatment of the AM community with the power limit rule under PR Docket 82-624. In fact, we should not overlook any possible opportunity to make the AM issue part of the proceeding if it is ascertained that the FCC has violated any rules, regulations or federal laws under the Administrative Procedures Act. Are there any AMers out there with appropriate legal experience willing to volunteer some time in support of AM should the need arise?
While we're on the subject of 220 mhz, it has been reported that a protest is being organized at federal court houses across the nation scheduled for 2:00 PM local time, Sunday, November 27, 1988, to call attention to the reallocation of 220 mhz to the general public.
Amateur Broadcast Bulletins On AM
Listeners throughout the country may tune in numerous amateur radio bulletin services, even if none of these are carried over any of the local repeaters. Bulletins are regularly broadcast on 160 metre AM by WA0RCR, near St. Louis, MO on 1860 khz. Vern runs about a half kilowatt input with a homebrew high fidelity rig which combines tube and solid state circuitry. The antenna is a quarter wave vertical with an extensive radial ground system, assuring coverage over a major portion of the country. For more information drop a SASE to WA0RCR, c/o Vernon Jackson, 2109 Ebert Ln, Wentzville, MO 63385.
Canada To Adopt "Appliance Class Operator" Proposal
CANADA RESTRUCTURES HAM RADIO
A massive effort is nearing completion north of the border to dramatically restructure the Amateur Radio Service in Canada. Communications Canada, the Canadian government telecommunications agency previously known as the Department of Communications (DOC) has just released a new draft of RIC-24. Radio Information Circular-24 covers basic information to individuals who wish to become Canadian amateur radio operators. It is somewhat comparable to our Part 97 Rules.
The Canadian amateur restructuring program has been nailed down and very little is now open to further public involvement. All that remains, according to R.W. Jones, Director-General of Communication Canada's Radio Regulatory Branch in Ottawa are "implementation decisions."
In November 1985, the Canadian government issued a Discussion Paper on a Possible Restructuring of the Amateur Radio Service in Canada. This vehicle, basically the same as our FCC Notice of Inquiry, said the primary interests of amateurs in Canada included public service, recreation and technical experimentation ... although there are many others. "Because of this diversity," they said, "DOC has received suggestions for changes in a number of areas from both aspiring and existing amateurs." DOC mentioned Morse code and technical standards as being the two most frequently mentioned "...with both support for and objections to current certificate requirements." [Canadian amateurs obtain amateur radio operating certificates ... not licenses.)
The document said it is suggested that a Morse code test, especially for high-frequency operation (below 30 MHz) is irrelevant now that there are devices capable of transmitting and receiving Morse code automatically, and that the Morse code requirements really should be waived for candidates who will equip their stations with such devices. However, it noted that Morse code proficiency is required by Canada's international obligations as a member of the ITU. "We must therefore adhere to ITU Radio Regulation No. 2735..." [RR-2735 requires that amateur operators shall prove they can send by hand and receive correctly by ear texts in Morse code signals when operating below 30 MHz.]
The document also said "Because technology is advancing so rapidly, DOC must update the examination content more frequently and, thus, require a broader knowledge of candidates. In this respect, it has been pointed out that some aspiring amateurs, particularly senior citizens, have not had any recent formal education and are at a disadvantage in attempting to absorb the amount of material necessary to pass the technical examination. Comments received state that the technical content of the examination is inappropriate for those whose primary aim is to communicate, and that the traditional role of the amateur as a designer and builder of stations is no longer the primary activity. At present, amateurs seem to be increasingly engaged in public service and recreational communication activities using commercially manufactured and serviced equipment."
"Amateurs and their associations have stated that newly certified amateur operators do not have sufficient knowledge of correct operating procedures and practices, and that the examination pass-rate is too low. ...too much emphasis may be placed on the technical aspects and not enough on the operating portion of the examination."
STRUCTURES IN OTHER COUNTRIES
Canada also analyzed information on amateur radio licensing from 16 foreign countries and "...observed that there is a wide variation in the various structures... The DOC also mentioned that there does not seem to be any consistency in the maximum power levels permitted for amateur operations; levels range from 100 watts to 1000 watts d.c. input power to the final stage, with most being around 500 watts. The majority of administrations increase the maximum power commensurate with the grade [of license] issued. Canada, therefore, appears to be one of the few nations that permits a maximum power of 1000 watts d.c. input regardless of the [license] held by the amateur."
CANADIAN HAM GROUPS RESPOND
On May 10, 1986, the Canadian Amateur Radio Federation, Inc. (CARF) and the Canadian Radio Relay League, Inc. (CRRL) sent in joint comments with a counter proposal with their view on how the Amateur Radio Service in Canada should be restructured.
The joint CRRL/CARF working group opposed any ban, however, on homebuilt or modified transmitting equipment.
The CARF/CRRL counter proposal supported a logical progression from local to regional ...to worldwide communications. They had reservations, however, about licensing some amateurs as "communicators" ...and some as "builders." The "communicators" might be perceived as insufficiently trained and technically inferior.
"Even in Japan, where amateurs holding certain classes of licenses must use approved transmitting equipment, it is still possible for those amateurs to build their own transmitting equipment and have it approved," CARF/CRRL said. They suggested a system of allowing top level amateurs to approve the transmitting equipment of lower level builders ...or home brew transmitters up to 10 watts without being checked out.
COMMUNICATIONS CANADA RESPONDS
In a September, 1988, letter to Tom Atkins/VE3CDM, CRRL president, R. W. Jones, Director-General of Communication Canada's Radio Regulatory Branch made the following points:
"We believe the labels 'Communicator' and 'Builder' are misleading. Holders of the lowest amateur class license will be permitted to build and/or install receivers, modems, antennas, feedlines, monitoring circuits like power meters, SWR bridges and RF noise bridges." In addition, the lowest amateur class is allowed to construct transmitters from commercially available kits.
"We have just confirmed that the Japanese administration does have an inspection program that allows the certification of home built transmitting equipment. ...the inspection fee is 9500 yen ...approximately $85 in Canadian funds. ...we are not considering a type approval program for Canadian amateur transmitters ...it could be considered as an option in the future. ...I am ...reluctant to propose an additional burden in a deregulatory environment."
"We believe that home built and higher power transmitters ought to be in the hands of those who are tested as being capable of using them without causing problems. On the other hand, there are many licensed and prospective amateurs who have no interest in using high power or building their transmitters. Therefore, we can see no logic in examining their technical competence of building a transmitter if typical commercial transmitting apparatus satisfies their needs."
"We wish to point out that the restructuring will have little or no effect upon the used equipment market, an economical option for any aspiring amateur. Clearly, making commercially designed, lower-powered transmitters available to this group is consistent to the government's policy of deregulation."
"After examining the current amateur practices, it was determined that it was no longer necessary to be able to build transmitters in order to become an amateur radio operator."
DETAILS OF CANADIAN RESTRUCTURING
There will be four classes of Amateur certificates available:
- Regulations, procedures, basic theory.
- All ham bands above 30 MHz, All emissions/modes, 250 watts input.
- Commercial transmitters only.
- 5 wpm code (25 char./ minute for 3 minutes).
- Cert. "A" and/or "D" must also be held.
- All ham bands below 4 MHz, All emissions/modes, 250 watts input.
- Commercial transmitters only.
- 12 wpm code (60 char./ minute for 3 minutes).
- Cert. "A" and/or "D" must also be held.
- All ham bands below 30 MHz, All emissions/modes, 250 watts input.
- Commercial transmitters only.
- Advanced theory.
- Cert. "A" must be held.
- 1000 watts input, Homebuilt Transmitters.
- Sponsor repeaters/club stations, Operate remote control links.
The next step is a notice in the Canada Gazette and an opportunity for public comment on implementing the restructuring.
- W5YI Report
EDITOR'S NOTE: It appears that the decision has already been made and that the "Appliance Class Operator" is about to be institutionalized into the Canadian amateur radio licensing structure. It is open to speculation whether or not a similar idea will take hold south of the border, with all the current panic over the lack of growth in amateur radio in the U.S. Note that the "B" Certificate, with 5 w.p.m. code and "Basic" written exam, allows use of all modes and frequencies BELOW 4 MHZ; the Canadian version of the "Novice phone band" will include 75 and 160! Regardless of one's opinion on this issue, it is worth noting that the Canadian "Novice Enhancement" proposal does not contain any SSB-only clause, and the Canadians at least have enough common sense to retain the D.C. input method of defining the legal power limit, up to 1000 watts.
220-222 MHz RECONSIDERATION REQUESTED
The FCC is being flooded with Petitions for Reconsideration involving the Amateur Radio Service. Most, although not all, are protesting the recent reallocation of 220-222 MHz to the land-mobile service. The American Radio Relay League filed their Petition for Reconsideration on Gen. Docket 87-14, with the FCC last week.
The League maintained that in appropriating the band from the Amateur Radio Service and allocating it for the development of narrowband techniques for the land-mobile service, the Commission ignored the comments of more than 5,000 amateur radio operators, numerous public service and relief agencies ...and others which opposed the reallocation. The League also charged that the FCC:
(1.) ...clearly "predetermined" the outcome of the proceeding;
(2.) ...failed to address the arguments of the amateur commenters;
(3.) ...extended the reply comment dates after the deadline;
(4.) ...accepted comments from the United Parcel Service more than six months after the close of the already extended comment dates because the record lacked support for the position the Commission had already chosen;
(5.) ...refused to release internal documents under the Freedom of Information Act supporting the need for additional land mobile spectrum;
(6.) ...allocated permanent spectrum to narrowband ACSSB technology which is still in the developmental stage;
(7.) ...failed to disclose the data on which its assumptions were based, thus depriving commenters of the ability to evaluate that data;
(8.) ...greatly overstated the spectrum efficiency of ACSSB to Congress;
(9.) ...refused to consider reasonable spectrum alternatives in the 30-50 MHz band;
(10.) ...never considered replacement spectrum for displaced amateur users at 220-222 MHz and;
(11.) ...reached conclusions concerning the need for additional land mobile allocations, the amateur's use of the 220-MHz band ...and the ability to reaccommodate displaced amateur users without relevant, or adequate data.
The well-done Petition for Reconsideration, filed by ARRL counsel, Chris Imlay/N3AKD, said, "In fact, if there is any need at all for additional land mobile spectrum, which is not quantified in the record, there are alternatives to depriving the Amateur Radio Service of a critical portion of its most rapidly developing band."
"If narrowband systems have failed in the 150 MHz band, it is either because they are inherently undesirable, or because the Commission has failed to provide any regulatory guidance to encourage use in existing bands, to curb the wasteful present users of spectrum there. If narrowband techniques are going to be useful, then they will have to be useful in existing bands. If the Commission is not ready to require their use in existing bands, they then are not ready for a separate spectrum allocation either. Even if they were, other bands, such as 218-220 MHz, or 30-50 MHz, provide reasonable alternatives not adequately covered."
Imlay noted that "At the Commissioner's Open Meeting on August 4, 1988, Commission Quello stated that he 'hoped' the amateurs had enough spectrum. In this band, clearly the Amateur Radio Service does not, and spectrum allocation decisions which have such a profound effect on the Service should not be premised on unsupported 'hopes' and assumptions not based on the record."
"In the WARC-79 implementation docket, (80-739) the statement was made that the planning for the future of the 216-222 MHz band ...was to be done through a joint FCC/NTIA planning study. If indeed this study was ever conducted, it was not released to the public in any written form. The ...reallocation was premised on that report. It was thus incumbent on the Commission to release the text of it for critical review by those who might file comments. The failure to do so has made it impossible for the results of the study to be tested."
The Petition for Reconsideration notes that the Commission failed to address an internal FCC study which revealed that 66% of the spectrum in the 800-MHz land mobile band was unoccupied. The ARRL said it would not have been difficult ...to carve out a block of VHF channels for exclusive use of ACSSB emissions in the VHF bands by reaccommodating existing, wideband FM users to the newly allocated 16 MHz of spectrum from the land mobile reserve band. This alternative was raised in the Comments, but ignored in the Report and Order."
"On the other hand, the uses made of the 220-222 MHz band by amateurs are critical to the development of rapid, nationwide emergency communications networks using advanced packet radio techniques. There is no place to reaccommodate the intercity links necessary to this system, nor the weak-signal and moonbounce stations, or the auxiliary links which support the extensive amateur repeater systems on various bands in the Amateur Service. The Amateur Radio Service is for use by, and to benefit, the public. The frequency allocations used for public purposes, especially this one, should not be taken for a commercial, developmental use better accommodated, if at all, elsewhere."
"The real issue," the League noted, "is the worth to the nation" to have, free of cost to the taxpayer and the public relief agencies, an adequate disaster communications service. What would it cost the disaster relief agencies to provide an equivalent service if the amateurs did not provide it. ...Exploitation of ...public properties for private, commercial uses should be avoided."
The ARRL requested that the "Commission reconsider and reverse its decision and grant the Amateur Radio Service primary use of the 220-225 MHz band."
[ARRL Petition for Reconsideration filed 10/19/88.]
TNX W5YI REPORT
MAKING AM THE GREAT NEW GUY ON THE BLOCK
HOW YOU CAN GREATLY OVERCOME
POWER LIMITATIONS ON AM
Copyrighted, 1988, by George A. H. Bonadio, W2WLR
Watertown, NY 13601-3829
COMPETITION VS. EFFICIENCY
This is a competitive program. We are making AM competitive with SSB. In most cases, AM should become easier to read, accurately, than SSB. Try it. You will like it.
Use as many of these improvements as you can, as soon as you can. These dB are cumulative, that is, +2dB +2dB +6dB = +10dB = ten times the wattage that you are delivering.
We have been very inefficient. Now we correct these inefficiencies and we step ahead, very noticeably. It is not exactly "FREE", but it is much easier than spending big bucks for power wasting gear.
ELIMINATING WASTEFUL, WORM WARMING LOSSES
All of our horizontal antennas do couple signals into the soil. Because that soil is an effective resistance load to the radiated signal, that soil dissipates about -2dB of our radiated energy. A very high antenna may waste as little as -1dB, and a very low antenna may approach -3dB, or 50% of our power.
If you were to replace a Yagi reflector element with a resistive pipe of, say, 75 ohms, you would probably lose about -2dB, or -40% of your wattage. A neon bulb test of field around Yagi elements show approximately equal power circulating in each of how many elements. This is why the multi element Yagis need to have low skin resistance elements. More elements dissipate more power.
HOW TO STOP THE LOSS
Back to our horizontal antenna in the backyard. The antenna wire is nearest to the soil directly under the wire. The soil left or right of directly under the wire is significantly farther away from the wire. The time-space factor has almost all of the earth currents concentrated in the soil directly under the wire antenna.
Thus, we can easily shunt out most of the radio frequency resistance of the soil by implanting a "Bonadio Earth Shunt Wire" directly under our flattop wire.
Published earth wire currents (1937), by W2EBS, show full standing waves even in 120 radials around a vertical antenna. So, I conclude, we will have our most current in the center of my "Bonadio Earth Shunt Wire".
THE WIRE TO USE
While the antenna may be tuned and used efficiently on other than half wave modes, it still needs low resistance conductivity over its full length. In fact, even 10% longer than the flattop is desirable in the soil.
I have used bare #8 Aluminum Grounding Wire. It is soft. It does corrode. It is easy to find. It handles easily. It comes in connected 50 foot rolls. I prefer a coated copper wire of between #16 and #10.
Bare copper corrodes severely in soil, especially with acid rain. You can not measure the difference in losses, herein, in the use of, say, #2 copper, in place of #12 copper. Save your money. #14 is thrifty.
USING A VERY SHARP AXE
In 1937, I had a magazine show a picture of me on their front cover burying a "Bonadio Earth Shunt Wire". I was using a sharpened axe as a hand plough. I had wet the earth with a water hose to soften the soil. I cut a narrow slit down to the roots of the grass -- perhaps two inches into the soil -- just deep enough.
Using a shingle or thin board, I had cut a groove into a corner of the board, edgewise. I used the board, edgewise with that corner ploughing through the trench into the soil.
PLOUGHING IT IN
I had laid the wire over the trench. Now I was running the wire under the groove in the edge corner of the board, into the trench, in the soil. I would stop, every few feet, to step on the trench where I had just buried the wire. This was to give a little zig zag slack to the wire, for winter shrinkage safety.
Occasionally I have had a building with a corner obstructing my straight path. I then laid the wire as straight as possible around the corner to continue the run. "Nothing is perfect".
SEEING THE CHANGES
If you are now operating over a lossy soil, you can find your VSWR changing with a sudden rain downpour while you are operating, or noted before and after a soaking rain. Your soil resistance, and its wattage waste, changes with the rain. It affects your tuning. With a "Bonadio Earth Shunt Wire", your VSWR will not change with a soaking rain, and your losses stay low.
It is a waste of time, money and material to lay additional wires a few feet left and right of the wire which is directly below your antenna. Those areas have very little current, now that the first wire is in, and because they are not the closest. They can not give you another +dB.
START ADDING UP YOUR NEW dBs
For an unrepeatable test, tune and load your station on a long wavelength so that you have your very best VSWR, and record that number. Now install your "Bonadio Earth Shunt Wire". Then read your VSWR. Keep records. Now retune to see the change in loading.
Your savings will be about +2dB. Yes, it also helps the same in receiving. That means that your 100 watts will now do what you would have had to use 160 watts for, previously. Start keeping records. By the time you have finished this series -- well, you won't believe it until you see it.
Beauty Cream For Plastics
...a product review by Pam Bauer, KA1QVE
Anyone interested in refurbishing old bakelite, catalin or plastic AM broadcast receivers? Many of the radios I've acquired are adorned with several coats of cow-pasture-flea-market grunge. Cleaning away the manure with a soft brush and a damp rag is nothing to write home about, but I recently discovered that an utter reincarnation occurs with a certain milky liquid.
All cattle chatter aside, this polish is a real miracle treatment for vintage plastics. It is called quite simply, PLASTIC POLISH by ONE GRAND. Applied with a cotton rag and some swabs for those hard to reach crooks and nannies, it leaves a shine that can't be matched! It also may reveal a "grain" in brown bakelite, and clarifies yellowey celluloid dial faces. Some surfaces may require several coats, and by buffing after each application with a dry cloth, the plastic will tell you when it is satisfied!
If you would like to treat your plastics to this beauty cream, it is available from The Critics Choice, 39120 Argonaut Way, Suite 195, Fremont, California 94538. This is the only supplier I've found so far. A one pint jug costs $7.35 plus $2.00 shipping and handling. They advertise a free catalogue upon request, with supplies for metals and wood.
Norm Scott, WB6TRQ, P.O. Box 27, Potrero, CA 92063
TEXAS TO HOST ARRL NATIONAL CONVENTION
(Dallas, TX.) The 1989 ARRL convention will be in the state that has more AMers than any other state, isn't that just like Texas? Dallas/Forth Worth will be the site on June 2 to June 4, 1989. The question is, will SPAM be there? It will if we can get some help from Texas AMers. I have asked John, W5MEU, to chair and form a committee whose task will be to set up the SPAM booth at the convention.
It sure would be great to see an AM station set up and operating at the convention. The time to start planning is now. Texas, we need your help, if you're willing please write John W5MEU, 12810 Deeroak, San Antonio, TX. This should be the biggest and the best one yet, in true Texas style. I hope I will be able to get out to Texas and help.
(Pueblo, CO.) Rick Micsak K8MLV/0 will take over the SWL section of SPAM. For those who don't know, Rick spends more time monitoring the shortwave broadcast bands than the amateur bands. If you receive any letters from SWLs please refer them to Rick. I know Rick will do a good job and we wish him well. Rick's address is 1802 W. 17th St, Pueblo, CO 81003.
W2XC "WINS" 20/40 JAMBOREE
(Lancaster, NY) Ray Shatzel W2XC worked 38 AMers in 12 states for a total of 456 points.
NEW SPAM DIRECTORS
(SPAM HQ) Back in September I asked for SPAM members who would be willing to become SPAM directors. Today I am very happy to report to you that Rick Micsak K8MLV/0 and Fred Huntley W6RNC have offered their services. Rick will become the SPAM Rocky Mountain Division Director, and Fred will be the SPAM Pacific Division Director. Thank You both for your time and efforts, I know they will pay off.
We still have open Director seats which need to be filled. Our work is not done yet, and I need your help. There is no greater contribution to SPAM than your time.
AMers' COMMENTS ON PART 97 DOCKET
Thank You to the following amateurs who have sent in comments to the FCC in support of AM on the part 97 re-write: W4CJL, K4KYV, W6RNC, WB6TRQ.
This is all we have so far, so if you are waiting for someone else who you think can do a better job, don't. Time is running out and your support is needed now. I know 10 meters is open - but, come on, only 4 stations!? We need to do better than 4 stations if we are going to pull this off.
All of us have heard the "P" and "M" about the AM power rule on the bands. What we need is some "P" and "C" - the "C" stands for COMMENTS! If you send in your comments and we get our can kicked, then you will have every right to "P" and "M" at 375 watts output.
MEET THE AMers
(PHOTOS BY WA3PUN)
AT THE "HOSS TRADERS" HAMFEST AT DEERFIELD, NH, OCT 10, 1987:
George, W1UAX; Steve KA1SI; Ed, WA3PUN
Tom, K1JJ; Bob, N1KW
NORTHEAST AM SCENE
by Bill Wolf - KA2EEV
The 10 meter band has been wide open with very good propagation during the month of November. Signal paths have been observed from virtually all points of land both near and far. The AM activity between 29.0 and 29.1 MHz has been running pretty hot on a daily basis. It is interesting to note that mixed among our regular AMers operating the old classic rigs are many NEW voices using AM for the first time with their Japan made "rice boxes". The audio quality on at least a few of these import rigs actually sounds surprisingly good... but, there are some others which are downright awful and certainly do no justice to the AM mode. The Kenwood TS-440 and TS-940 stand out especially with very respectable audio when they are modulated properly with a decent microphone. I've been using my TS-440 (with an electret condenser mike and some EQ) on 10 meter AM and have been getting consistently good reports on the audio quality. I even fooled a few old timers who thought I was running an older plate modulated transmitter. Anyway, it's been loads of fun. Among AM stations heard and worked on 10 meters was DL6SX of Germany who remarked how enjoyable it was to operate a mode of such pleasant quality! So gang, if you have not been active on the 10 meter band recently... now is the time to get in on the action while things are hot.
Things on 75 and 40 meters have been pretty much status quo... that is, the usual amount of regular AM activity on a steady basis. There have been several newcomers, however, and again a few of these are using "good" sounding Japanese rigs. When you hear these guys, make an effort to mention how good they sound on AM (providing that they do) and try to encourage them to stick with it or to at least operate AM occasionally.
By the way, N2INR in Syracuse is among the newcomers to 75 meter AM with an excellent sounding restored BC-610.
Finally, I should mention with apologies that this column was missing from the last two issues because of my many activities and schedule. We just recently returned from a convention at Tucson along with a close friend from JVC. Things are just beginning to return back to "normal" and I expect to devote time to this column again as circumstances permit. Any of you wishing to give your input, whatever it might be, opinions, ideas, suggestions, news items, etc ... feel free to drop me a line.
KA2EEV - Bill Wolf
362 Elm Street
Newark, New Jersey 07105
and Keyhole Commentary
by Master Jeff WA1MBK
LATE BREAKING NEWS... or at least it was as this was being prepared. In the "Believe it or not" department, with all due respect to Ripley, here is something to wonder about. For those AMers who opt not to join the ARRL and therefore do not receive QST, in the October 1988 issue of the Official Organ(ism) is a wonderful photograph on page 12. It is of a homebrew KW AM rig crafted by Fred, W6RNC. The transmitter consists of P-P 250THs modulated by class B 250THs in the single ended P-P modulator configuration (sans mod transformer!). Fred's KW is built into an old refrigerator carcass!
Just imagine; the QST editors didn't even succumb to using that sick cliche to caption the photo. Oh, you know, silly! "Now here's a REALLY cool kilowatt." The editors did, however, pick an equally it "cutesy" title for the photo and quip.
BIT BY BIT, or is it byte by byte? Is the modern day personal computer revolution robbing people FROM the ranks of amateur radio or is digital hobbying bringing new blood INTO hamming? Or, is computing just adding dollars into the pockets of manufacturers of digital interface and ancillary equipment? Anyone out there care to comment?
DRAB OLIVE OR BATTLESHIP GREY. If anyone out there is working on old military gear and is having trouble replacing defunct JAN (Joint Army-Navy) type tubes, I have some help! I have a cross reference chart that shows garden variety "civilian" tube replacements for JAN types and am willing to answer individual queries or supply photocopies of the chart. An SASE for photocopies or an addressed/stamped postcard for individual tube type queries would be appreciated.
GROUP, GROUPIE OR GROUPER? The other night on 75 meters, a few of us were pondering this avocation within an avocation that we all enjoy so much. It was noted that there are several distinct "groups" within the general AM community. Here is a list of but a few:
The Classic and Hollow State Restorers
The PDM-Digital Dudes
The COLLINS ONLY Club
The Modify Everything As Nothing Is Sacred Sect
Outside of these mainly technically oriented groups, we came up with two others worthy of note: The Carlins and the Falwells... as in George and Jerry. If you know of others, drop me a line. I hereby volunteer to compile a list for a future issue if there is any interest. QRZ?
KISS MY ANTLER DEPARTMENT. The author of these ramblings hastens to note at this time that the word ANTLER is used interchangeably with the word ANTENNA in various remote locations of New England. Absolutely NO sexual innuendo was intended when giving a title to this section because we are going to talk about antenna topics. Still, the management would appreciate it if bucks with short horns stand closer...
Corky, K1GWT, reports that he buys standard 12 and 14 gauge insulated electricians wire, solid 1/C, in 250 foot set-ups for his antenna projects. That's a good way to buy as you usually get a much better price in the purchase of a larger size spool. Besides, it is always nice to have more wire than you need. You can always cut off that extra foot or two of excess wire when pruning an antenna. Hey, have you ever tried to stretch a too-short dipole a foot or two? Me too! In other words, the reciprocal of PRUNING an antler is equal to a pair of pliers being thrown an incredible distance into the woods in a mad fit of rage and a profusion of profanity.
The pliers, by the way, will eventually be found. The problem is that it usually takes around five years for them to mysteriously "turn up" and by then are so rusted that they aren't worth a spit. Hey Corky... may I borrow your pliers?
Everyone knows that a ground mounted vertical should have as many radials as possible. Then don't forget about your friendly, neighborhood Radio Shack store as an inexpensive source for radial wire. "But I looked in their catalog and they don't carry radial wire!", I hear someone moaning. Oh yes they do... only it's DISGUISED! Check out the multi-conductor rotor control wire; the flat brown stuff. Use care and separate the wires into individual insulated conductors. These can be woven nicely under your lawn yet on top of the soil. Maintain the insulation integrity, though, as you will want to protect the copper wire from the sometimes harsh chemical environment that the modern high-tech fertilized lawn harbors.
SPEAKING OF RADIO SHACK... and excuse me for seeming to plug the Shack. They are, however, very convenient to many of us and they do carry some stuff we use.
The RS electret condenser microphone elements, which are becoming very popular in the AM community, are quite the buy. Stick one of these babies in the head of an old, dead JT-30 or D-104, feed her 4.5 VDC, and step one towards the East Coast Sound is done! Well then, if you like these elements you had better lay in a stock of them and here's why:
The Shack has a bottom line approach to their line. That is, if an item doesn't move it gets dropped. No matter how wonderful a certain part or finished product is, if Mother Tandy doesn't see the minimum number at the bottom of the column, the sucker gets axed. Although this may seem heartless to some of us, it is based on good, sound business practice. The Shack is a success story, which is more than I can say about a business that I once had! After all -- how many Shacks have you seen go out of business?
My point, fellow AM brethren, is this: If there are parts that the Shack carries that you like and see yourself using in the future, you would be wise to stock up now. Tomorrow they may quite possibly be a thing of the past.
Also, I am not a stockholder, employee or agent of Radio Shack or Tandy Corporation. My motives are honorable as I am interested in parts availability and not the Tandy Annual Report.
LOOSE CABOOSE. This completes these dislocated ramblings. I invite criticisms, complaints, comments, queries or good 813's. Address any correspondence to 43 Huckleberry Lane, West Hartford, CT 06111.
HAMFEST FEVER - THE GAITHERSBURG EXPERIENCE
Anyone who attended the Gaithersburg Hamfest on September 11, 1988, which was held in the Washington, D.C. area, certainly had to be pleased with the turn-out and the weather. It has been some time since I attended this event, and I certainly was surprised to see how far the flea-market extended since my last visit.
To my amazement there were a number of excellent finds. No, there was not a KW-1 in the flea-market. However, I did see several Viking Rangers, Viking I's, as well as a 75A2 and several Hallicrafters and National receivers. I even spotted a Heath AT-1 that got many new Novices on the air in the 50s, going for $30.00.
Small parts were in abundance. One large trash barrel contained someones collection of tubes. Seems like the fellow could not sell his collection and decided to trash them - now you know why tubes are getting scarce. I did not see any large plate transformers or modulation transformers, although there could have been some. Again, the hams don't see any point in lugging such heavy items just to get an offer of so many cents per pound. The prices of transmitting variables have gone through the roof in my estimation. What was junk not too many years ago is now suddenly in demand, and due to the scarcity of many items such as rf chokes, variables, rotary inductors, etc., prices have gone through the ceiling. I would imagine that a lot of us would wish we had not gotten rid of our collections. However, I don't believe that the demand has matched the supply, just yet.
For those who did not get to Gaithersburg, there's next year, as they say. I was glad that I did go even though my feet complained the next day. See you next year?
10 METER AM CONTEST
DATE: December 2-4, 1988
SPONSOR: The HOUSTON .46 OPS CLUB
TIME: 7:00pm Friday until Sunday 4:00pm Texas Standard Time (CST)
RULES: All are welcome to participate!!! The rules are as follows:
1. Antenna must be a single element dipole, 1/2 wavelength, no more than 25 feet high from the ground, and it cannot be supported by a tower. (Prefer Homebrew)
2. Rig MUST be a converted AM CB. Maximum power is FIVE watts output. The FREQUENCY used can be between 28.800 to 29.200 Mhz.
3. All contacts must be two-way AM. No cross-mode contacts allowed.
4. POINTS - North America (10), Central America & Caribbean (15), South America (20), Europe & Japan (50), Rest of the world is 100 points.
5. EXCHANGE - Signal report, name, QTH.
6. NOTE: Stations not using converted CBs count as contacts, and all logs received from these stations will be considered check logs.
7. Send copy of your log and score to:
WB5KCM / KB5CTW
Randy and Jeannie Perkins
Pasadena, Texas 77503
8. All logs should be received before December 20, 1988.
One of our readers has reported having "problems" with Atlas Radio, Inc., which sells the AR2510 monoband 10 metre transceiver with advertised frequency coverage of 26-30 mhz (hmmmm...), manufactured by the Uniden Corporation of America, at a price of $219.95. The company address is listed as P.O. Box 765, Lynnbrook, LI, NY 11563. According to our reader, the company is run by Michael Harrison, 431 Windsor Ave., Oceanside, NY 11572.
WANTED: Manuals for DX100, Globe Scout 680-A and Clegg Thor. Will return after copying or will pay for copies and postage. Also wanted: "AM Press/Exchange" back issues or good copy, issue # 48 and 50. Will pay $1 per original or good copy.
FOR SALE: National NC-300 rcvr clean works great $135. NC-300 without case, works but not mint $55. DX100 transmitter $60. Collins 310B-1 exciter nice rig for driver $70.
WANTED: Audio transformers UTC LS-49 and Chicago BD-2.
FOR SALE: WRL Globe Champion 300-A. 200 plus watts carrier output, solid finals and modulators, all original and nicely cleaned up. A good solid, stable AM rig. $150-U pick up or pay shipping. Will trade for 250 watt plus modulator.
FOR SALE: Going QRP. Thordarson type 6411 plate xfrmr VA 520, pri 110 50-60 cycles, sec 1260/1555, used. New UTC S-34 5/25 hy 300 ma swinging choke. Will trade for Heath HW-8 that works. You pay shipping.
WANTED: Gear reduction tuning knob for a Collins 75A-4 receiver.
FOR SALE: Hammarlund HQ180A general coverage receiver, speaker and photocopied manual $225 shipped UPS lower 48.
FOR SALE. Collins 310B exciter mint $80. Ranger I mint $80. Ben Dix Micromatch power meter with coupler 1 kw $25. Power tubes new 805 $20. 813's $20 each. Miniatures $1 each. Octals and loctals $2 each. Modulation transformers $10 to $25 each. Many components, inquire.
WANTED: E.F. Johnson Desk Kilowatt.
TRADE: a new crystal holder with catwhisker (rare and mint) for old tube type transceiver.
WANTED: February 1985 issue # 21 AM Press/Exchange. Also, any other issue with information about modifications to the Collins KW-1, starting with the audio section.
RECEIVERS WANTED: R7 and National NC-240D.
WANTED: Back issues of AM Press/Exchange.
FOR SALE: Heathkit DX-40 has some problems but is basically complete - FREE, YOU SHIP. Heath 2 metre AM lunchbox, might work, FREE. Utica 650 6 metre AM xcvr needs alignment $50.
WANTED: Heath HA-10 Warrior amp good to exc. around $100.
This is the AM PRESS:
An amateur radio publication dedicated to Amplitude Modulation.
This is the AM EXCHANGE:
Offering FREE ADVERTISING to enhance the availability of AM equipment and parts.
DISPLAY ADVERTISING: Rates upon request.
Edited and published by Donald Chester, K4KYV
NOTICE: The purpose of this publication is the advancement of Amplitude Modulation in the Amateur Radio Service, and there is no pecuniary Interest. Therefore, permission is hereby expressed for the use of material contained herein without permission of the publisher, with the exception of specifically copyrighted articles, provided that The AM Press/Exchange is properly credited.