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Friday, September 23, 2011

HW-7s, CB:"A Gateway Drug", and The Manly Way to Tune a Transmitter

I got a kick out of this e-mail from Cory, WA3UVV:

Hi, Bill!

While listening to SS137, you brought back some warm memories.

Bert Sessler, WA3WAW and I both grew up in Uniontown and met via CB – which was a gateway drug to Ham Radio for many of us. Within a fairly short time, we became good friends. Although I moved away some 30 years ago, I always try to get together with him when I’m back in town.

The HW-7 references also reminded me of trips into the nearby hills (being a few years older, I had my driver’s license and car before him) with his HW-7 and some lantern batteries. We’d park my ’69 Chevy Nova and then hike the trails to find some suitable trees for antenna supports. Bert’s code speed was impressive right from the start and he’d work more stations than me, in rapid succession. (How many 25+ WPM Novices do you know?)

Later, I’d get a HW-7 (and TenTec Power Mite 2) for those hikes alone, but it wasn’t quite the same as doing it with a friend. These days, I go to parks in the relatively flat South Jersey or Delaware with a FT-817ND, MFJ-9030 or 20M VXO’d RockMite and TX Topper Amp. Recently, pangs of nostalgia for my HW-7 (and ARC-5 station, for that matter) have arisen. I know the receiver doesn’t stack up against the new stuff I have, but it was certainly good enough for many enjoyable contacts.

Also, John Zaruba, K2ZA, is a good friend of mine here in Gloucester County. I’ve laid hands on the DX-100 you now have. You should have seen the Collins A line John’s dad had in the racks. Everything looked almost factory new.

At our GCARC Hamfest over the weekend, John helped feed my tube addiction with 4 boxes of NOS tubes, shields, etc. I also bought his dad’s Meissner Signal Shifter. After giving it a respectful time to warm up and colorfully glow again (orange, purple and green from the “magic eye”), I attached it to a tungsten lamp – the “manly” way to tune a tube transmitter – and got RF! As it has a balanced 300 ohm output, I have to build a 6:1 balun and hope to have it on the air next week with its characteristic chirp. Hmm, just like the HW-7 and my ARC-5’s of years gone by…

I hope you and your family are enjoying life back in DC. It’s not the milieu of Italy, but at least you’re much closer to a Ham Radio Outlet!

All the best,

Cory – WA3UVV

PS - If you have a desire to home brew a 6L6 transmitter and need a tube, let me know. My mom taught me to share...

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1 comment:

  1. Bill, any real ham knows that the manly way to tune a transmitter is by drawing an arc from the tank coil with a lead pencil!

    Bzzzzt and

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


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