[OhQP-mail] Lack of CW Activity - or was it QRP or QLF?

Hank Greeb n8xx at arrl.org
Wed Sep 1 09:37:37 EDT 2010

  Hi Dave:

I worked you, or the other "N9FN-Dave" on 80 CW about 2300Z!  Thanks for 
the only MERCer county contact!

"Testing things out before hitting the road?"  You gotta be kidding! :)

In earlier daze of my ham radio career, I'd put everything together, 
including a 50' mast and wire beam, which I could erect myself, figure 
out the settings on the transmatch, make sure there weren't any glitches 
in the equipment, take along duplicates (or triplicates) of everything 
possible, etc.

Now, I have a couple of "go boxes" and a list of other components, which 
I throw in the automobubble, filler up with petrol, and trundle off.

This included a backup on everything except main rig.  In the extreme, 
if my trusty 1984-ish Drake TR-5 failed (which is has never done in its 
25+ years of operation), I had an itty bitty QRP rig which operated on 
40/30/20 metres, with which I could have made enough contacts to qualify 
for a "new record" in QRP for HENRy county.

The J-38 was the backup for keying.  It has never failed me in some 59 
years of hamming.  The second backup would have been a couple wires, 
contacted together with my fingers to make "almost acceptable code".  
I've used to emulate a key if I was just testing something and didn't 
have the J-38 handy.  :)

I forgot to say that I gave away my very simple but working keying 
circuit, a couple years ago when I visited a friend and used his rig and 
setup for another effort @ OQP.  The circuit is so simple I never 
figured it would give me a problem.  two resistors and a transistor - 
optional couple of diodes......  I've thrown this one together numerous 
times and it always worked, unless I screwed up the (very simple wiring.)

So in the true spirit of an old bumble-brain geezers ham, I put the 
keying circuit together in the motel in Napoleon on Friday night.  
Testing could wait until Saturday morning!  Switching to the J-38 wasn't 
really traumatic - I know it works!  :)

Anyway, I had fun!  Was delighted with the venue @ McClure.  The Village 
park is exceptional operating as a portable station!  The mayor was a 
ham in the 60's or 70's (I forget which), with a novice license which he 
didn't upgrade before it expired.  The RF environment was great - no man 
made noise on 80/40/20 metres, at least not enough to drown out the 
normal atmospherics.  If anyone has a hankering to activate HENRy county 
again, contact the mayor, I'm sure you can get permission to do so.

73 de n8xx Hg

On 8/31/2010 9:36 PM, David Bunte wrote:
> <snip>
> Bummer about your computer not keying the rig... was it working 
> properly when you tested things out before hitting the road?
> Did you make the trip without backup hardware?
> <snip>
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