[AMRadio] Novice Days

Mike Duke, K5XU k5xu at jam.rr.com
Thu Feb 24 18:42:21 EST 2005

Ah, yes!

There was activity on 40 meters 24/7, despite Radio Moscow, Voice of 
America, BBC, etc.

While my old Viking Ranger has long since gone to who knows where, I still 
have most of my Novice crystals, including my two favorite frequencies, 
71.75, and 71.95.

I also still have the HQ110-A/VHF which was bought new for me at Christmas, 

The other thing I remember the most about that station was the antenna, a 40 
meter folded dipole made from and fed with tv twin lead bought at my local 
tv repair shop. That antenna worked better than any other 40 meter dipole 
I've ever had since.

It was in a nearly perfect flat top at about 35 feet.

One of these days I'll build another one just like it just so I can hear 
these new guys say "what's that?"

The only thing I didn't like about that antenna was that when it rained, the 
transmitter had to be re-tuned many times until the antenna dried. Until I 
acquired the necessary equipment for making auditory meter readings, this 
was a real problem whenever my dad was not home.

I later added a rotatable 15 meter dipole dubbed "A 1 Element Beam," by the 
1968 ARRL Handbook. It worked okay, but 40 meters was still my favorite 

Once I upgraded to General in the summer of 1970, I went to 10 meter AM 
since my signal from the Ranger kept getting clobbered by the SSB 
power-brokers on 80 and 40 meters. Despite being the underdog, AM was then, 
and is now, still very much fun to operate.

Mike Duke, K5XU EX WN5ADC & WB5ADC
American Council of Blind Radio Amateurs

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