Thursday, February 08, 2018

K8FAC FRANK A CASTRONOVO


I ran across the K8FAC QRZ page and found it very interesting. It made me think of myself some 50 years ago. I have copied a paragraph for you to read here. But you can read more about him HERE
I started with a Heath Kit HW16, a 40 meter dipole and a home brew 3 element 15 meter Yagi beam from old TV antennas. I was WN9GOA back then
------------------------------- What fun it was ......... Jack WB9OTX
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Below is From K8FAC:
While I consider my Yaesu and Elecraft radios, and all similar modern transceivers, to be technical wonders that make ham operations a pleasure, I also have a liking (some might say a masochistic one) for "boat anchors"-- ham-speak for classic vacuum tube equipment from the 1950s and 60s-- and I often go on the air with one of the entry-level, antique transmitters/receivers in my modest collection. Currently I have a Heathkit DX-20, a Knight T-50, and a Drake 2B receiver and I partner these with a manual key and a simple dipole to create a typical novice station from times long-gone. Making contacts with a 60+ year-old, rockbound antique transmitter, and a comparatively unembellished receiver can be a challenge, but it can also be fun. Technical shortcomings notwithstanding, this old equipment still works, and it's a nostalgic trip back in time for me to assemble the station that I wish I'd had, but couldn't afford, when I was a high school student in the late 1950s. No semi-conductors or printed circuits spoken here--just lots of colorful separate components, shiny soldered point-to-point connections, hot glowing tubes, jumping analog meters, hefty Bakelite knobs, brick-heavy transformers, lethal voltages and clunky steel cabinets.  Don't get me wrong, I would never give up the ease-of-operation, reliability and versatility provided by my modern equipment, but still, if only for the sake of knowing how far we've come, it's unfortunate that few new hams will ever have the experience of tuning a tank circuit, or operating rockbound on a single frequency, or getting a pink "love note" from the FCC for spurious emissions, or using a key with 400 volts across the exposed contacts, or chasing a drifting station on a simple SWL receiver, or heating the entire shack (and perhaps toasting a finger) from a dozen or more glowing tubes.  Yes, it did take more effort to make a contact with a boatanchor, but I think there was a correspondingly greater sense of acheivement that came with success. Those old rigs may demand our full attention, but they also connect us with the history of ham radio, and the romance and folklore of wireless communication in general. Too, there is something almost tactile in the way that they give the operator a "feeling" for the emitted signal, and a deeper understanding of what is happening from key to antenna. Here's a picture of my fully-functional, all CW, vintage station. Typically running between 25 and 35 watts of output power to a dipole antenna, this station can, and still does, work the world.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

8 years ago February 2010

See what Mike Stratton and I were doing in February 2010
Click here to view

Saturday, February 03, 2018

'Super blue Moon'


A blue moon occurs when a full moon happens twice in one calendar month, and a supermoon occurs when the Moon is closest to the Earth.
'Super blue blood Moon' seen around the world
See more Photos

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Groundhog Day

The second of February every year

Groundhog hibernation gave rise to the popular American custom of Groundhog Day, held on the second of February every year. Tradition dictates that if a groundhog sees its shadow that day, there will be six more weeks of winter, though such a prediction seems a sure bet over much of the groundhog's North American range.
From: nationalgeographic