[AMRadio] ER Magazine


Ed Sieb esieb at sympatico.ca
Sat Dec 15 14:47:23 EST 2007


Taking  a cue from Eddy, I will regale you all with my various "Elmers" such
as they were.

My first "Elmer" much like Eddy's, was  a receiver. Ah, but what a receive
it was too! ;-)

I was 14 years old, and barely knew enough theory even to be dangerous.  My
mom had a nice Motorola All-American-5 in the kitchen which we listened to
the local news every day.  CJAD 800, Montreal. A 50 KW blowtorch.

One day, Mom complained that reception was not what it used to be.  So I
took it upon myself to  correct what I perceived to be a problem with the
radio.

I took it into my bedroom, and examined the speaker. Looked OK.  Hmmm....?
Now what else could I do?  So, I decided that the antenna, a mere coil on
the back of the radio, was insufficient to do the job!  What we needed was a
bigger antenna!  Longer, in fact!  Good idea, I thought, and went about
scrounging  some wire.

I found a roll of  "JKT-Quad" telephone cable.  The typical inside-wiring
4-conductor stuff, red-yellow-black-green standard telephone wire.  Must
have been at least 80' feet of it.

So, I  carefully snipped off the existing flat coiled loop, and replaced it
with the run of telephone wire, and ran it up to the roof of he apartment
building where we lived.  I ran it up the side, across the roof, for it's
full length, about 80' or so.

Went back inside and turned on the radio.  It was about 4 PM.

Hmmm... not good!  I could barely hear CJAD now.

But, what's this?  "Montreal Radio"???   I knew enough about radio to know
that Montreal Radio was the local Coast Guard station in the Port of
Montreal.  Interesting.  I continued turning the dial.  And then, I fell off
my chair!

A small digression...  I was reading Pop-Tronics and Electronics
Illustrated, and Radio-TV Experimenter by then, and knew enough about short
wave radio to know what I was listening to.  As well, My good friend
Stanley, has  a short wave radio I would listen to when I visited his home.
I used to listen to the Green Mountain Net on his radio, and  knew what Ham
Radio was.

Well, the very first ham I heard on "my" radio was none other than W2OY!!!
I fell off my chair!   "CQ First Class operator's only.. No lids, no kids,
no school bus riders..." . And very loud and clear too!  I spent the next
week tuning in 75 meter QSO's by the dozens!  I had my  trusty Grundig tape
recorder, with which I taped virtually everything I heard!  (Unfortunately
that priceless  and irreplaceable recording was lost a few years later.)
W2OY, W3PHL, W3YAM, W3DUQ, W1ZYZ, and all the regulars of the Green Mountain
Net, and many, many others.  I even kept a paper log, which I still possess.

My mom didn't get that radio back for weeks!

It was as broad as a  barn door, and didn't receive CW, But I cut my teeth
on that rig, learning how tune a signal in just so.

After about a month, I was forced to relinquish the radio, and put back the
original antenna.  CJAD came in just fine, after we moved the radio about 90
degrees! ;-)

Next time, I'll tell you about my next Elmer, my first "real" short wave
radio,  my Trio 9R59.

A tip of the hat to some early "mentors": Lanny, VE2AZK,  Howard, VE2ATY,
(both of whom are still licensed and active), and Barry, VE2AYH (no longer
licensed/active). While not exactly "Elmers", they did give me encouragement
and pointers to the right books.

Ed, VA3ES




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