[AMRadio] Radio Operators

Kim Elmore cw_de_n5op at sbcglobal.net
Fri May 1 15:10:23 EDT 2015

Look up the FISTS calling frequencies. I've had some great CW QSOs there. 

Kim N5OP

"People that make music together cannot be enemies, at least as long as the music lasts." -- Paul Hindemith

On May 1, 2015, at 12:08, "Donald Chester" <k4kyv at charter.net> wrote:

>> These days about 95% or more of my operating is on AM, but there are a 
>> few operating events in which I participate every year that are CW-only. 
>> In the winter I get nostalgic and operate more CW. All CW operation is 
>> with fairly crude homebrew stuff, as it doesn't "float my boat" to 
>> operate CW with a factory-made rig, whether we're talking about a 
>> TS-440S or Johnson Viking I (but that's just me).
>> -Larry/NE1S
> Hi Larry.
> Enjoyed talking to you from Al W1VTP's QTH during my recent visit to NH and
> Cape Cod to attend family get-togethers. It's not very often that I operate
> a station with a class E transmitter and Flex SDR for receiver.
> My AM transmitters all  have CW capability, including the Gates BC1-T I
> converted to 160. An article appeared in August 2014 ER describing my
> modifications and a specific trick to make the Gates and other BC
> transmitters work properly on CW. I have an iambic electronic keyer and an
> expensive set of March magnetic-repulsion paddles, but the keyer and paddles
> gather dust; I much prefer my 1920s era Vibroplex Original bug. It's velvet
> smooth with no contact bounce, while my 1947 Original is stiff with so much
> contact bounce that the dits sound fuzzy. I need to peddle it and my Bencher
> paddles at a hamfest, since I  never use them.
> I like to say that 95% of  my operation is on AM and the other 5% CW, but
> lately my actual amount of CW operation is probably  less than 1%. The
> reason is that most of the CW contacts I make over the air can be described
> in one word: uninteresting or should I say boring!  Very rarely do I run
> into a CW operator using homebrew anything; I think the percentage of
> homebrew CW transmitters heard on the air nowadays rivals that of homebrew
> SSB rigs, except maybe for the QRPers.  A typical CW contact consists of
> exchanging RST, name, QTH, WX and finally, the mandatory oparator's age and
> how long he has been a ham.  Then comes the rig: the name of the
> manufacturer followed by a string of letters and numbers indicating the
> model, which usually is meaningless to me since I don't try to keep track of
> the model numbers of all the plastic radios on the market.  After a few
> exchanges comes the inevitable news that the XYL is calling, or that it's
> bedtime, followed by CUL & 73. 
> Every now and again a CW QSO ends up as an interesting ragchew.  Maybe it's
> an old timer describing his earlier  homebrew station, a former teacher who
> enjoys exchanging war stories from the days before retirement, maybe someone
> who has travelled abroad talking about the adventures of youth, or someone
> describing the joys and frustrations of home ownership, maintenance and
> restoration. Occasionally the op has or does work(ed) AM and that becomes
> the topic of conversation.  But between every one of those QSOs interesting
> enough to make me willingly spend one-half to several hours operating the
> bug, are the dozens of rubber-stamp QSOs described in the previous
> paragraph. This gives me less incentive to switch over to CW and re-tune the
> rig and antenna to the CW frequencies in the first place. I have no interest
> in contests, traffic nets nor chasing DX, since DX contacts tend to be even
> more rubber-stamp than domestic ragchews and signal  reports are often
> meaningless 599 even when the signal is barely perceptible.
> Do you know of any specific CW frequencies on 160-80-40 where vintage and
> homebrew operators hang out, kind of like the AM Windows/Ghettos on the
> lower frequency bands? I have repeatedly heard for years that such
> frequencies exist, but I fail to find them. 
> Don k4kyv
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