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Friday, January 27, 2012

Some Amazing German Knack

Michael, DL4MGM, sends us this report from a country in which "the knack" has deep linguistic and cultural roots. Wow, that's my kind of hamfest! Test stations for homebrew gear. And the key-powered transmitter is a great idea. I know there is a lot of energy going into those straight keys -- as a kid, my arm would hurt after an afternoon of unanswered CQs. Thanks Michael!

Hi Bill,
I do not know how big your german listener base is but in any case I want to draw your attention to the "Amateurfunk Tagung M√ľnchen" on 10th and 11th of March 2012. It is a german amateur radio convention which takes place every other year at the University of applied sciences in Munich. There is one speaker track with, mostly german, talks on a wide spectrum of topics related to our hobby. The organisers did a particularly good job in getting Joe Taylor, K1JT, as a speaker to talk on "Recent Advances in Amateur Weak Signal Communication" (10. at 17:00 local time). Needless to say that I'm looking forward to this.
Apart from the talks there will be booths and exhibits from various groups and also some well known commercial sources of RF/microwave components, modules and the like.

Another highlight are the lab places, including personnel, where you can have your home brewed stuff tested up into the high double digit GHz range. I always take home new ideas from just strolling around there and looking at the things people bring for testing...

The last thing I want to mention is the current "operating and construction challenge" because it so right up our alley. It is something like an "Energy harvesting transmitter key". The task is to build a 2m, 80m or 10m transmitter which is completely powered by the energy put into the key movement. In order not to stifle inovations, a lot of liberties are granted such as keying by foot. It will be allowed to pre-charge the energy storage component by keying up to to 10 "v"s with the transmitter turned off. As proof of operation, a 160 character random text message will have to be send to an adjoining room. Ranking criteria (in descending order) will be:
- Peak transmitter power during transmission of the last character. - Construction and handling - Message errors - Keying speed / total transfer time - Tone quality and frequency stability Sounds like it will be a lot of fun... Here the link to the german site:

That's all for now.
Keep going!

Kind regards from southern Germany de
Michael, DL4MGM

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  1. Here is a key powered cw transmitter in action.

  2. Oh, man. A key-powered rig! That is right up Michael Rainey's alley!

    Who would ever have thought that "QLF" would be 'green', HA!

    73.......Steve Smith WB6TNL
    "Snort Rosin"

  3. The contest had three participants. One used two head-positioning motors from 5 1/4" floppy drives to generate the power. It only got 2nd price because of the chirp. The winner used a 3,58 MHz color-carrier crystal. The key to T9 was a shunt regulator for the oscillator and *no* filtering capacitor. This design even had a side-tone generator!

    vy 73,
    Alexander, DL4NO


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