Sunday, September 13, 2009

Working a celebrity

Just got off the air after a couple of nice QSOs tonight. The first was on 40 Meters which is always good for contacts, no matter the time if year or the sunspot cycle. The real treat, however, was going on down to 80 Meters to find conditions there not bad at all. For me, that's the only consolation of Summer coming to a close. I hate cold weather and I hate the thought of an oncoming Winter; but good conditions on 80 Meters make up for it somewhat.

Anyway, my CQ on 80 was answered by none other than Mike Rainey AA1TJ. Mike may not be a stand out celebrity in the general Ham Radio community; but his call is well known among die hard QRPers and homebrewers.

I recognized his call immediately from reading articles about his minimalist QRP designs in QRP Quarterly and the Web. In fact his Website, which is a treasure trove, is here:


If QSB was not playing tricks with my ears, Mike was using a one transistor design that was putting out 80 milliWatts. He started out a 449; but with the filters on the K2 and a little judicious use of the RIT to produce a good tone for these "hard of hearing" ears, I was able to get an even better copy on him.

It was a pleasure to work Mike and I will have to get a QSL card out to him tomorrow.

Speaking of the "hard of hearing" ears, I worked for Six Flags Great Adventure for a summer when I was way younger back in the late 70s. I was in the public relations department and worked as one of the corporate photographers. One of my responsibilities was to stay late on Friday nights to photograph all the concerts that occurred during the summer for the following year's brochure and publicity needs.

Back then, the effects of loud noises was just becoming known; and ear protection wasn't widely publicized or "in vogue" back then. As a result of standing in front of blaring concert speakers, my hearing has suffered, mostly in the loss of being able to hear higher frequencies. I am able to compensate for that on the radio by using the RIT function of the K2 to lower the pitch of the received CW signal so that it is easier for the "ol' filter between the ears" to make out and copy well.

A nice night on the radio is always a treat.

73 de Larry W2LJ

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your hearing problems make a good case for cw and for the reason mentioned...ability to change pitch. I have age related hearing loss, also brought on by incidents when I was a USAF radioman.