Monday, August 12, 2013

Weekend sprint with the SKCC

 Had a blast  this weekend participating in the SKCC WES on Saturday and Sunday. Didn't make a lot of contacts, but it was fun firing up the Johnson Ranger II transmitter and the Hammarlund HQ-150 receiver and working some of the fellows from this fine group of CW operators.

 The Straight Key Century Club (SKCC) is a free group that anyone can join. They promote the use of Morse code with an emphasis on using straight keys and semi auto bugs. The Weekend Sprint (WES) happens once a month.

As many of you may already know, I have been working on the hammarlund Q-multiplier for some time, and was finally able to isolate the problem to a couple of capacitors that had gone bad. Hooking up the radio and firing it up Friday night was pretty exciting, as the Hammarlund HQ-150 is my  favorite receiver for CW use.
 Using the Q-multiplier for the first time was a real blast, and it made the HQ-150 seem like a whole new radio. Not only can I now filter out any CW stations that nudge  up close, but I can also peak any weak signals making them loud and strong. Made for easy listening on the 40M ham band. Before when I tried to use the Hammarlund for CW work I would hear everything in a 10khz bandwidth, so anyone that was remotely close would interfere and I would have to end the QSO. On a crowded band that can be torture.

 I had a lot of requests from members wanting to work that old Ranger II transmitter as  well. Problem I have right now is I can not give an exact frequency that I am on until I get another freq counter to use in the shack. Best I could tell people was to look for me around a certain frequency, as I had to guess where I was operating. It was easier to search and pounce on other members that were calling CQ WES...lol