K1PXE Pete “Blob whiskers”

Stan,

Last Wednesday morning several of us in CT had qsos with low power stations in en91.  After my usual practice of spending time with the fm17 guys and WZ1V and even a few minutes with K3GNC on .190 I made my way to .205 where Ron was just finishing with KA2LIM.  I called Ken but before we could really get started, I was side tracked by a call from WA8ECW who had a good s5 signal. We had a really good qso and then I continued with Ken. Then Andy W8ANS called me saying I was strong enough to break his squelch and he heard me from another room.  I think we moved up the band a bit and he had KD8JQ try to work me but the signal was at the noise level and no qso resulted at that time.  Andy reached s9 at that time.  I then moved back to .205. I think that was when Ron worked Andy but whoever Ron was working at that time, I heard Ron being called by KD8JQ who was now a good s4 to me but in the noise for Ron.  So, I worked KD8JQ which was enough time for the signal from JQ to get above the noise for Ron.  Ron also got WA8ECW at that time.  Dan K1BXC also got WA8ECW but W1COT didn’t work the 8’s but he and the rest of us worked AC3L from his mobile.  An aside here.  You know of my practice of temp storing my qso list in my brain until it becomes convenient for me to hard copy my log.  Actually, that is not quite a smooth operation since my resulting log is quite bumpy.  This practice usually works quite well for me and it really isn’t a great memory trick since the calls are mostly the same every day but this day I almost got myself into real trouble.  When I went to hard copy my log, I had trouble remembering the call of the first 8 station.  I sort of remembered “ec” being in there but came up with “m” for the last letter.  “Andy, do you know if that guy I just worked a few minutes ago was WA8ECM?  Well, I don’t know for sure but it sort of sounds right.”  Thank god the signal came up again a bit later so I could copy “WA8ECW”.  Actually, I had it right if I had been backwards and standing on my head.  It was only an “M” that needed to be changed to a “W”.  Not bad for a 75 year old memory.  Now, getting back to what was happening there.  I was told there was a blob out there–one of those big old red ones not quite reaching us out here.  So since signals were jumping in and out for us, I figured there were little whisps escaping the big red blob and tickling us just enough to allow us to make those contacts.  So, to name that thing, I came up with “blob whiskers”.  So, yess, you can blame that on my long association with cats but it goes further than that.

Many many moons ago I became interested in electronics and I was experimenting with lights, electromagnets and other things.  One day I was totally amazed by my music teacher’s demonstration of a crystal radio.  I wanted the parts to build one real bad.  About six months later, I sort of got my wish.  My uncle found a Philmore crystal radio in one of his catalogues and I got that little radio.  It was built in a plastic case, had fanstock clips for connecting ground and the supplied wire antenna and ear phone.  the tuned inductor was wound on a rectangular piece of material and tuned by a pivoted slider contacting the bared wire at the appropriate places.  The most interesting thing was just like the ones folks a a generation before me would use was the bare crystal connected by a “cat’s whisker” which you moved around on the crystal for best results.  As you moved the “cat’s whisker” wire around, the signal would come and go just like those “8”s.  So, “blob whiskers” has a firm footing.  I was just a 12 year old kid at the time so I wanted the radio to work all the time so, just as soon as I could, I replaced that crystal and “cat’s whisker” with a 1n34a diode.  Now, if there were only such an easy way to bring in those “8s”!

73, Pete K1PXE fn31ke85mx

VA3ELE FN03==K1RZ FM19 10GHz rain scatter

Worked K1RZ FM19JH about an hour ago via Rain Scatter. Heavy QSB, but, I think that’s just from the wind moving the dish around a bit on the tripod. Dave peaked 57 on CW then after peaked 54 on SSB. Then the phone battery died. Fun via Rain Scatter.

73 de Peter
VA3ELE FN03DM

 

QSO video

K2LIM end of an era

K2LIM web page

2018

the last year

September VHF Contest 2018

The final hoo-rah

 

September 8, 2018 saw the last get-together of the K2LIM group for our last VHF contest.

September 2018 Video

On hand were Ken-KA2LIM, Al-W9KXI, Rob-KB2YCC, Warren-WB2ONA, Gregg-NX2W and Larry-WA3CSP.

Operators

Contesting

The high-light of the weekend was when, “Big Dave”-N2LID, one of our original crew, showed up on Saturday for a group photo for the last get-together. Dave has been having health issues for the past two years and has been unable to participate in the contests.

The second highlight was having a local ham, new to VHF/UHF, Neil-N2NRL stop by on Sunday afternoon to observe contesting operation at a multi-station. We got him to do some operating at the 6M position and in his own words: “you got the new guy hooked”.

As always, the food and refreshments were great and enjoyed by all.

The weather was cool and the bands were flat and activity was way down compared to past years but we stuck with it and as always, had FUN and taking time to chat with many of you that wanted to thank us for providing FN12mg for all these years.

 Sunday evening saw a real slow down in contacts. It got to be 10 minutes to nine and we had added only 1 contact to the log in the past one hour and ten minutes. Rob had to leave for home as he had to be at work at 0400 Monday morning. We looked at one another and said: time to pull the plug and go home. We shut the station down for the last time, cleaned up and were home by 9:30 pm.

I want to thank all of you who have worked the K2LIM station over the last 8 years. As I have said before, we have meet many new folks, achieved goals that were never thought about or even on our “radar screen”, received awards not sought and always experimented with and added new antennas to our arsenal so we could work the “weak one”.

“73” from the K2LIM team,

Ken

KA2LIM

K2LIM web page

N1DPM Fred, 10 GHz

Hey Stan,
I know this isn’t 2 meters, but….Just finished up the second weekend in the 10GHz contest.  This weekend was spent on Cape Cod on Saturday and Sunday morning in FN42wb in Truro, MA.  Sunday afternoon was in FN41vr in Dennis, MA.  The 3 stations on the cape were John, K1OR, John, AA1I, and myself….It gets confusing when I say, “Hey John”.  Anyway, Sunday morning I got a phone call from the K1RZ W2RMA team in FN00rg wanting to try a shot.  We got lined up and K1RZ put dashes on and, there he was!  15 minutes and 6 QSO’s later all stations had worked on CW pretty easily.  Signals were anywhere from just above the noise to a couple of peaks at S9!  The path as shown in the picture is 734km (456 miles).  I think that’s good for 6 woofs if I’m not mistaken.  This is the best DX that any of the 5 of us have ever worked on this band!  What a blast!
73
Fred
N1DPM

K1TEO Jeff, FN31 Tower back up!

Stan,

On Friday, almost 4 months to the day that I lost my 89 foot US Tower to a freak storm, I have a new one back up! Tnx to Steve Simons, W1SMS, we were able to unload the tower and move it the old base and mount it. Tough sledding for an 1800 pound monster but with Steve’s know how and a lot of mechanical help it worked out well. No antennas up yet but hopefully shortly so we can get back “in business”. Looking forward to being back on 2M and some of the other bands. 

Some comments on the “action” below.

Jeff K1TEO

Tower on the delivery truck with some rollers we put underneath. Ready to move it off the truck and onto Steve’s trailer. 

Tower now moved off of the truck and onto the trailer. Those pvc tubes sure help move some very heavy weight along with the winch on the back of Steve’s trailer to lift the tower and take the weight off. 

Steve enjoying the satisfaction of a successful part 1 of the effort – off the truck!

The tower now in the driveway and ready to be moved into position to pin it to the base. 

It’s up!

And finally raised the tower to near full height  – nice sight after looking pretty bare the last 4 months. Will look even better with antennas, hi!

Jeff, K1TEO Block Island visit

Stan,

Just got back from a few days on Block Island. Dave, K1RZ, Dale, AF1T and Mickey, W1MKY (as well as Dave’s XYL Ruth) were on Block Island as well so we had a chance for an eyeball QSO which was very nice. They are staying in a house on the highest point on the Island with a fantastic view in all directions.

Attached is a picture I took when I stopped by for a few minutes to see the location. Dale and Dave were setting up their 10 GHZ dishes ahead of this weekend’s 10 Ghz and up contest. It’s a great location, as I knew from working Dale and Mickey in past years (and W1GHZ and W1AIM who go there for the 2nd weekend in Sept). I thought the 205 group might like to see the picture I took of Dave on the left and Dale on the right from the “top of the island”. The shot to the left of Dave is basically toward NJ/PA. Dale’s dish on the right was pointed toward a beacon in CT. Regardless of where they point they are very high and  in the clear looking out on a lot of ocean. Great spot for any kind of operating but especially for 10 ghz. If you have the band get on and work these 2 this weekend!

Jeff K1TEO

 

K1TEO, Jeff FN31 5 down 5 to go!

While my 72 foot crank up survived the May storm that took down my 89 foot tower, most of the antennas on the tower were either destroyed or severely damaged. I’ve had to look at the broken and in some cases dangling antennas for the last 2.5 months. Yesterday and today I worked to remove the mess and then put up new antennas. This tower had a large 6M antenna on it that was destroyed but since I redid the 3rd tower in the backyard a couple of weeks ago with 6 meters, I decided to put 222 on this tower. 222 had been on the bigger tower but I decided to lighten the load on that tower to avoid future problems. I used to have 2 X 23 el M2 on 222 several years ago. I went to a single one about 10 years ago and fortunately I had the second one in the basement when the other was lost in May. So that is the long antenna in the picture you see.
Above that is 4 X 76 el on 2304. 2 of the antennas were completely destroyed and the other 2  lost the front sections. I’ve haven’t actually found those sections – I assume they blew off into the woods and I will probably find them when the foliage dies off this fall, hi! Terry at Directive Systems did a great job getting me the new front sections as well as 2 brand new 2304 loopers to put the array back together.
Next up the mast is 4 X 76 el on 3456. Somehow these antennas actually survived intact. All the other antennas were broken in the front part so I guess the 3456 antennas were short enough to miss the other tower when it fell. On the top are a pair of 47 element 903 loopers. One survived and the other broke off in the middle and was dangling by the support boom since May. Terry was able to get me the 2 front sections of the looper so I could get it going again.
Hopefully if all goes well I will get back on 144,432, 1296 and 5/10ghz sometime this fall or if not next spring. 5 bands down and 5 to go! If any of the 205 group will be on this weekend for the 222 and up contest I should be on some of the time on 222,903, 2.3 and 3.4 to give out some points. Pass along my best to the group.
73,
Jeff K1TEO