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Tuesday, January 1, 2019

HNY (Happy New Year), SKN (Straight Key Night) 2019, and an HT-37 with "presence" -- even on CW


I got the HT-37 working just a few days before the New Year's Eve/New Year's Day Straight Key Night event.  Looking at my older blog posts, I now see that the problems first surfaced in LAST YEAR's SKN.  Wow, it took me a long time to get to that problem. But I'm glad I fixed it in time for SKN.  

For SKN I used the VU3XVR straight key from India that Farhan gave to me.   See the picture above.  

I started out on 80 meters on New Year's eve.  I rarely operate on that band -- I thought it would be a good change of pace. Here is who I contacted on 80 CW: 

In the warm-up period before the official start of SKN I worked John KU4AF.  John was running a homebrew tube transmitter and a REGEN receiver.  Respect, my friends.  RESPECT! 

N9EP Ed near Chicago was on a K3. 

VE9XX Don was on a KX3. 

NJ8D Tom in Ohio. 

K4IA, Buck, down the road in Fredricksburg Va.  Buck was running a Drake TR4C with a Begali key.  FB Buck.  He mentioned that he had had a Drake 2B -- he said he regrets selling it.  Indeed. 

VE9WW Bill in Moncton NB.  On a straight key. 

AA8MI Gene (gosh, that name really sings in CW -- try it!) in Ohio.  Gene was running 5 watts from a K3.  This added a needed QRP element to the festivities.  Thanks Gene. 

AI4SV Jack in Rockville Md. OH MY GOD!   NOW I REALIZE WHO THIS WAS!  Jack!  Jack of Antanarivo Madagsascar!  And now I understand what he said to me.  He said in CW that my HT-37 has "Lots of presence." Huh?  What?  I couldn't figure out what he was talking about, but now I realize that he was joking about all our discussions mocking the poor audiophiles.  Well, thanks Jack. I'm glad the rig has presence, EVEN ON CW!  THIS QSO GETS MY VOTE FOR BEST SKN QSO. 

I also listened for a while to W3GMS.  His signal had a lot of character and personality.  He was telling the other fellow that he suspected this was the result of a soft voltage regulator tube in his DX-60.  I think he was also using a Drake 2-B.  I didn't get a chance to talk to Howard, but I'm sure it would have been fun. 

 On New Year's morning I switched bands.  First to 40 where I worked Greg NM2L near Atlanta. He said he fingers and wrist were out of condition, but I told him his fist was FB. 

Then I went to 20 CW where I worked a bit of DX.  First David F8CRS then Bert F6HKA.  The contact with Bert reminded me of the charms of DX contacts using CW. "VY GM DR OM."  It was nice.  

N7AQQ Mike in Montana.  

So it was a good SKN for me. Working the French stations reminded me of the allure of listening to CW coming in from far away, and from a foreign culture.   And it was great to hear from AI4SV that my HT-37 has "presence" even on CW. 

73 and HNY to all. 

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