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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

20 years after construction... Mighty Mite Makes Contact!

Bert, WF7I, sent us this report from the nuclear reactor building at UVA. You can almost feel the excitment! Congrats Bert!


I'm ecstatic to report that my MMM made its first QSO, after almost 20 years, last night at the University of Virginia ham club at the nuclear reactor! I worked W4OEQ, Tom in
McMinnville, TN. He gave me a 459 report. I was running about 300-500 mW (hard to tell with our meter) out of the MMM into our inverted vee up high in the trees of Observatory Hill at UVa. I also have three witnesses to the event: our club president, Mark KJ4IEA; club Treasurer Will, KI4LGE; and member Alex, KJ4YWP. I received a round of applause from our group after the QSO was complete!

It was a very satisfying moment to be sure. Not only to make a QSO with this rig from my past and all those memories, but to do it at the re-vitalized UVa ham club, which has its own long, off-and-on history dating back to the 1930s (at least), and to do it with a captive audience! Our club members, mostly younger guys 18-22 years old, have never done CW and always are in a mesmerized/stunned condition when they see me tapping out the dots and dashes, and copying it in my head! Everyone was very silent and focused during the QSO.


Bert WF7I


  1. Thanks for the re-post Bill. I'm working my way through a list of projects -- fixing a homebrew power supply (NOT made from an old TV set, hehe), building Farhan's rig, finishing a direct conversion homebrew rx...this vlog and podcast kind of provides extra incentive for me to investigate and enjoy the hobby.

    By the way, W4UVA will be on air Saturday and maybe Sunday for the Virginia QSO Party! Maybe I'll see some of you on 40 or 80? 73

  2. Congratulations Bert! It also sounds as though you've sparked some interest in the younger guys. Very FB!

    I hope to work your little MMM one of these days, OM.

    Mike, AA1TJ

  3. Thanks Mike!

    I have another little fun project that is right up your alley, but I will refrain from posting till I do some playing first! The guys at the club thought it sounded cool.

    Take care and vy 72 for you there in the hobbit hole of Vermont!

    Bert WF7I/4

  4. I'm Bert's Rig-Blaster building partner, McKay. I still remember the Saturday afternoon we spent working on the MMM. I think we had to make multiple trips to the local Radio Shack to complete the project! Definitely one of the best memories I have of high-school and ham-radio!

    Bert's parents used to own some property in a little town called Maricopa at the time. (Concidentally, it's the town where I now live!) If I recall correctly, we may have even lugged the MMM down to there to give it a "Field Test!"

    I have an 11-year-old who has expressed interest in the hobby. While I'm not an expert or an electrical engineer, the simplicity of the design may make for a fun weekend projects in the near future!

    Congratulations, Bert, on officially christening the MMM after 20 years on the shelf! Glad to hear we got it right!

    Looking forward to doing some operating with you when you make it to Phoenix next month!

    73's everyone!

    McKay Monson, AC7CA
    Formerly N7LVA


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