To see if I'm on the air right now click here

Monday, December 10, 2012

Bruce Kelley Memorial 1929 QSO Party

This past weekend I was able to put a 1929 transmitter on the air and participate in the AWA Bruce Kelley Memorial 1929 QSO Party.

I stayed on 80 meters making 18 contacts. Stations worked were as far west as VE7SL in British Columbia, as for east as N1BUG in Maine and even a little south to N4GJV in North Carolina.

This year I used a transmitter I acquired from Vance, K5CF (SK). Vance, my step father, gave me my novice test in 1966. He enjoyed ham radio for over 70 years. Several years ago Vance encouraged me to participate in the 1929 QSO Party. Vance's transmitter is a TNT (or Tuned plate Not Tuned grid) transmitter using a single type 210 tube. With 340 volts on the plate it runs 9 watts input and about 2 watts out. Vance built his transmitter based on the one Bill Orr described one in the January 1973 issue of CQ but the original design dates from the 20s. See the December 1929 issue of QST for George Grammer's version of the same transmitter. For an antenna I used a 105' end fed inverted L only about 15' off the ground.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Bruce Kelley Memorial 1929 QSO Party Preparation

Last night I set up my station for this year's AWA Bruce Kelley Memorial 1929 QSO Party. I decided to go with my TNT transmitter this year and, as a book end for ham technology, pair it with my Elecraft KX3 running as the receiver. With 275 volts on the 210 plates my TNT transmitter runs at just under 10 watts input. Output is 2-3 watts....about to be expected for this sort of transmitter.

After confirming via the Reverse Beacon Network that I was indeed getting out on 80 I tried a QSO this morning. I worked W4DBV near Nashville, TN. When quizzed about my signal Bryan reported:

 "I can't really assign your tone a number, and my verbal description is about as close as I can come.  I have heard much worse, and I have also heard other rigs that are about the same as yours -- usually vintage or HB vintage designs, most running QRP levels of power.  Your note did not have a frank buzz, I can say that."

While not the best signal report it will certainly do for this weekend. In the meantime I'll play with the loading to see if I can improve it a little.