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

Sunday, May 20, 2018

It Was A Very Good Weekend

This past weekend was the annual Northland Antique Radio Club (NARC) "Radio Daze" about 90 miles north of me in Plymouth, MN. I try to make this one every year. While the club is more oriented towards broadcast sets, obviously there is a lot of overlap with ham radio boat anchors. I always see several calls in the parking lot and some ham gear shows up in both the Friday night auction and the Saturday parking lot swapmeet. It's been a while so Beth said she'd come along and we would make an over night outing out of it.

NARC has close ties with the Pavek Museum of Broadcasting so Radio Daze starts out with a Friday Pavek garage sale. I've picked up a few things at the Pavek before so I joined the crowd queued up at the door waiting for 10AM. This time I was not disappointed. Out for sale was a Millen 90800 transmitter, a Central Electronics 10A SSB transmitter, a McMurdo Silver 801 receiver and a Stancor 10P AM/CW transmitter.

I was already familiar with the 10P. Several years ago I had built my own 6J5/6L6 transmitter based on the CW portion of that rig. This one was a no brainer. This nice condition 10P was my Pavek purchase for the day. I'll probably pair it with my NC-81X as an example of a nice entry level 1940 station.

Last Friday happened to be a fairly nice day here in Minnesota. We've been waiting for spring here. Beth and I headed over to French Regional Park for a picnic lunch. Beth had reading material and I had my KX3 along. Despite poor conditions I thought I'd try "QRP in the Park". What I found was that I got a lot of  20 mtr hits on the Reverse Beacon Network but most of the hits were pretty responses to my CQs. I decided to move to 30 mtrs and 10 watts. This, at least, netted a QSO, one with KC5K in SE Texas. The 2018 QRP season is open for me. Given conditions I'll probably rethink my antenna situation, though. Right now it is optimized for 20 and 30. I need to put it on 40 and 30.

Friday night was the NARC Radio auction. This one had several Hallicrafters general coverage receivers, a BC348, a Mon-Key code monitor/keyer and a Knightkit T60. While not a lot of ham gear it was still at great place to meet others and talk about radios.

Saturday morning's  swapmeet was scheduled to start at dawn. I took this to mean start when you don't need a flashlight. At 5:45 two of us, one seller and one buyer were on time. The rest caught up by about 7.
Again, mostly broadcast stuff but also good parts and a few pieces of ham gear. I did talk to Roger, KA9BKK. He had a nice looking Ranger I and a  Heathkit AT-1 to sell. I have a Ranger already but the AT-1 is a good example of early novice gear. 15 mtrs isn't even on the bandswitch. We worked out a deal and I now have a transmitter that is a good match for my NC-57. I'll have to decide how many of McCoy's Oct 1955 modifications I want to add.

Like I said, "It was a very good weekend".