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ISSUE #459 

USA $3.95 


Get more features for your dollar with our 


A niicmproces£Qr-cQntTo||ed repeater with full auto- 
patch and many versatile dtmf remote control fea- 
tures at iess than you might pay for a bare bones 

repeater or control ler alone! 

' flE'Vatw K&SAna 

• kit smonty $1095 

• f3 ctory assembfed s till only $ 1295 

50^54, 143^174, ?13-23-a. 420-475- MHz. ^902-925 MHz sr-o^ily higher.) 
**■ FCC lypB acceptgd forcQinniciciat scrvece hi 15fl i 450 MHi bands. 

Digital Voice Recorder Option, Allows message up 
to 20 sec. to be remotely recorded off the air. Play 
back at user request by DTMF command, or as a 
periodical voice id^ or both. Great for making club 
anriouncements! .../only $100. 

REP-20QC Economy Repeater. Real-voice ID, no 
dtmf or autopatch Kit only $795, w&t$1195, 

REP-200 N Repeater. Without controller so you can 
use your own .i^^n^^. Kit only $695, w&t $995. 

You'll KICK Yourself 

If You Build a Repeater 

Without Checking Out Our Catalog Fir$t1 

Hamtronics has the world's most 
complete line of modules for 
making repeaters. In addition to 
exciters J pa's, and receivers, we 
offer the following controllers, 

COR-3. Inexpensive, fiexibJe COR moduSe with timers, 
courtesy beep, audio mixer. ,,... only $4S/kit, $79 wit 

CWID. Traditional diode matrix iD'er kit or^ly $59. 

CWID-2. Eprom-controlted IDer only $54/hit, $79 w/t. 

DVR-1. Record your own voice up to 20 sec. For voice id 
or playing ciub announcements. ., $59/kit, $99 w/t. 

COR-4. Cornpiete COR and CWID all on one board. ID in 
eprom. Low power CI\^OS only $99/kit, $149 w/t. 

COR -6. COR with real- voice id. Low power CMOS, non- 
yolatiie memory kit only $99^ w/t only $149. 

COR -5. |jP controller with autopatch, reverse ap, phone 
remote control, lots of DTMF control functions, all on one 
board, as used in REP-200 Repeater $379 w/t. 

AP'vi. Repeater autopatch, reverse autopatch, phone line 
remote control. Use with TlD-2. ......kit $&9. 

TD-2. Four-dtgit DTMF decoder/controfler. Five tatching 
on-off functions, toll calf restrictor. .kit $79, 

TD-4. DTMF controller es above except one on-off function 
and no toll call re stricter Can also use for selective cailing; 
mute speaker until someone pag^s you. , ,....klt$49. 


Access all your favorite 
closed repeatersf 

* Encodes all standard CTCSS 
tones wUh crystal accuracy and 
convenient DIP switch selection 

* Comprehensrue rnanual aiso shows how you can set up 

a front panel swjtch to select tones for several repeaters. 

* Decoder can be used to mute receive audio and is 
optimized for installation in repeaters to provide closed 
access. High pass filter gets rid of annoying buzz in 
receiver © ISiew low prices I 

-TD-5 CTCSS Encoder/Decoder Kit now only $29 

* TD-5 CTCSS Encoder/Decoder Wired /tested .,$49 


STILL ONLY $59, wired/tested 

• Make your fhends sick with 
envy? Work stations they don't 

even know are there. 

• Install one at the antenna and 
overcome coax losses. 

• AvaHable for 28-30, 46-56, 137-152, 152-172,210- 
230, 400-470, and 800-960 MHz bands. 


ONLY $24/kit 

• Miniature MOSFET Preamp 

• Solder terminals allow easy 
connection inside radios. 

Avaiiable for 25^35, 35-55,, 55-90, 90-120, 120-150, 
150-200, 200-270, and 400-500 MHz bands. 


No need to spend thousands on 
new transceivers for each band! 

• Convert vhf and uhf signals 
to & from 1 0M. 

• Even if you don't have a 1 0M rig, you can pick up 
very good used xmtrs & rcvrs for next to nothing. 

■ Receiving converters (shown above) available for 
various segments of BM, 2M, 220, and 432 MHz. 

■ Rcvg Conv Kits from $49. wired/tested units only $99. 

Transmitting converters 
for 2M, 432 MHz. 

Kits only £39 vhf or $99 uhf. 
Power amplifiers up to 
SOW output. 



A sensitive and selective 
professional grade receiver to 
monitor critlcai NOAA weather 
broadcasts. Good reception 

even at distances of 70 miles or 
more with suitable antenna. No 
comparison with ordinary consumer radios! 

Automatic mode provides stomn watch, alearting you by 
unmuting receiver and providing an output to trip remote 
equipment when an alert tone is broadcast. Crystal 
controlled for accuracy; all 7 channels {162.40 to 162.55). 

Buy just the receiver pcb module in kit form or buy the kit 
with an attractive metal cabinet. AC power adapter, and 
built-in speaker. Also available factory wired and tested. 

RWX Rcvrkit.. PCB only $79 

RWX Rcvrkit with cabinet, speaker, &AC adapter $99 

RWX Rcvrwireditested in cabinet with speaker S adapter $139 


R1 afe ivea fhep- fajh mcei ve;^ 


Join the fun. Get striking 
Images directly from the 
wsath&r satellites] 

A very sensitive wideband fm 
receiver optimised for NOAA 
APT & Russian Meteor weather fax on the l37MHz band. 

Designed from the start for optimum satellite reception; not 
just an off-the-shelf scanner with a shorted-out IF filter E 

Covers all 5 sateElite channels. Scanner circuit & recorder 
control aliow yoij to automatiGally capture signals as 
satellites pass overhead, even while away from home. 

• R139 Receiver Kitless case , $159 

• R139 Receiver Kit with case and AC power adapter $189 
» R1 39 Receiver w/t in case with AC power adapter ...$239 

• Internal PC Demodulator Board & Imaging Software $289 

Turnstile Antenna .,.. 



- Weather Satellite Handbook ,.„, 520 




We recently Introduced new vhf fm 
exciters and receivers which do not 
require channel crystals. 
NOW,., uhf modules are also available! 

Exciters and Receivers provide high quality nbfm and 
f sk opera t io n . Fea tu r es i rrcl ude: 

• Dip switch frequency sefection. 

• Exc&ptianBt modulation for voice and ctcss. 

• Very iow noise syn th esizer for repeater s erv/ce. 

• Direct fm for data up to 960Q baud, 

• TCXO for tigiit frequency accuracy in wide 
range of environmentai conditions. 

• Next day shipping. No wait for crystafs. 


Rated for continuous duty, 2-3W output. 

T301 VHF Exciter; for various bands l39-174MHz*. 
216-226 MH2. 

• Kit (ham band5onfy) ...$109 (TCXO OpliOn ^40) 

• Wired/tested, ind TCXO... $189 

T304 UHF Exciter: various 

bands 400-470 MHz*. 

• Kit (440-450 hajm ba im only) 

IncI TCXO ...$149 

• Wired/tested... $1S9 

■ (Or g<jv'l &, export use. 


R301 VHF Receiver: various bands 139-174MHz*, 
216-226 MHz. 

• Kit (hamtandsorly) ...Only $139 (TCXO OptiOP $40) 

• Wired/tested $209 
(includes TCXO) 

R304 UHF Receiver, various M 

bands 400-470 MHz*, 

• Kit (440-450 ham bflnd ctr^ly} 

inci TCXO. $179 

• Wired/tested,.. $209 


FM EXCfTERS; 2W output coritinuou'S duty. 

• TAS1: foreM, 2M, 220 MHz „._.„.kit S99, w/t S169 

• TA451; for 420-475 MHz. kit $99, w/t Si 69 

• TA90t: for 902-926 MHz, (0.5W out) w/t S1B9 


Output tevelsfrom 10Wto 100W Starting at $99 


Very sensitive - 0.1 SpV 
Superb selectivity, >100 dB down at ±12 kHz. best 

available anywhere, flutter-proof squeEch. For 46-54, 
72-76, 140-175, or 216-225 MHz. ... kit $129, w/t $189 
• R144 RCVR. Lil<e RlOO, for 2M, with helical 

resonator in front end kit $159., w/t $219 

. R4S1 FM RCVR, for 420-475 MHz. Similar to RlOO 

above, kit $129, w/t $189 
- R9D1 FMRCVR,902'928MHz $159, w/t $219 


Get time & frequency checks 

without buying multiband hf 

rcvr. Hear solar activity reports 

affecting radb propagation. 

Very sensitive and selective 

cr/stal controlled superiiet. dedicated to iistening to WWV 

on 1 MHz. Performance rivals the most expensive rcvrs. 

- RWVW Rcvr kit, PCB only $59 

, RWWV Rcvrkit with tabl. spkr,^ 12Vck adapter $89 

SI 29 

RWWV Rcvr w/t In cab! witln spkr & adapter 

Buy at low, factory-direct net prices and save! 

For complete info, call or write for complete catalog. 

Order by mail, fax, email, or phone 0-12, 1-5 eastern timeK 

Min* $€ S&H charge fof I" lb. plu^ add'l wetght & insurance. 

Use Visa, MC, Discover, check, or UPS C.O,D. 

See SPECIAL OFFERS and view 
complete catalog on our web site: 

tmail: Jv@hanntronics.coni 

Our 36'^ Year 

ronics, inc 

6S-D Moul Rd; Hilton NY 14468-9535 
Phone 716-392-9430 (fax -9421}) 






Irvine, CA 9261 8 

(949) 458-7277 * Fax (949) 458-0826 www^ 



SS 10 7 10 3 2 

SS-12 10 12 a4 

SS-18 15 18 3 6 

SS-25 20 25 4.2 

SS-30 25 30 5.0 

SS-25M With volt t amp meters 
SS'30M With volt & amp meters 





• FOLO-BACK CURRENT LIM|T^NG Protects RM«r Supply 
from excessive current & contrnuQUS sh^^rted output 

!j(cipl RS-3*, RS-4A. flS-SA. RS4L RS-SL 







• OUTPUT VOLTAGE: tlB VOC + 0.05 volts 
(Intefnally Adjystatle: 11-15 VDC) 

• RIPPLE L&ss tt^an 5mv peak to peak (fuN load & 
low line) 

• All units available in 220 VAC input voltage 
(except for SL-11A) 




Sny BliGk 


Duty [Amps] 



• • 



Size (IN) 


^v. * m X ¥h 


2%^? "W 


m =< Tk X 9V< 


A^k'l "9^4 




ConllnttDU£ ICS* Size (IKl 

Duly |Amp«| (Anpt) H ^^ W ^ 13 

Wi [lbi!l 







Duty jAmpf) 




MODEL ftM-35M 








Separate Volt arrd Amp Meters 

RM-12M 9 

RM'36M 25 

RM-50M 37 

RM^eOM 50 








Size (Ml 


5'A X 19 K e% 

b% X 19 X 12^6 

5Vi X 19 X Wh 



5Vi X 19 X 12% 

5^Ax 19x12% 



WL mx 



















Qriy Black 




PUT (A-Ml 

















Sill tmi 

N X W X B 
3 X 4^/4 X 5^ 
3^* X 6V3 X 9 

Z\k x6Vfi X 7V4 
3^/4 X 6^/? X 9 

4x Vh X ^Q% 
4^y^ X 8 X 9 

A X Tk X Wk 

5 X 9 X 10V? 

5x 11 X 11 

6x 13^^ X 11 
fi X WA X 12*4 

WL (titj 














Switcliable vdt ifid Amp meier 


Separate vott and Amp meters 




fiiltf [Aapsj 









Ski IIH) 

41i X fl X 9 

5 X 9 X TO^ 
5 X 11 X 11 

6x 13^ X 11 

6 * 13V* X 12\ 

HfL |Jlt.| 





Separate Volt and Amp Meters • Output Voitage adjustable from 2-15 volts * Current limit adjustable from 1.5 amps 


t€ RjII Load 




Variable rack mount power supplies 

VRM-35M 25 

VRM-50M 37 


Dtly |Ari$| 

#13 8VDC @10VDC @5VDC 





















Si2i (IMI 

4'j^ X 8 X 9 

5 X 9 x 10^^ 
5x 11 X It 

6 X 13^ x t1 

5Vi X 19x Wk 
5V4 X 19 X IZVi 








Built in speaker 







Gray Slack 


Dtjly [Aapi] 








Size |1N| 
H X W X D 

4 X 7^^ X 10'^ 

4x7'hx WA 

4'k X 8 X 9 

5 X 9 X Wk 

2=^ X 7^-i X 9% 

WL [llr| 






«C&— Intermitttnl Commtjnicaliofi S^v^ce (50% Oirty Cycle 5<tiin on 5 mi n, off) 



' Smallest 



Perfect video transmission 

from a transmitter 

you can hide under 

a Quarter and only 

as \h\Crk as a stacl< 

of four pennies- 

ttiafs a nicl^el in 

the picture! 

Transmtis color or B&W with Fantastic quality - aJmost like a direct 

wtred connection to any TV tuned to cable channel 69, Ciyslal 

controlled tor no frequency drift with performance that equals law 

enforcement models that cost hundreds more! Basic 20 mW 

model Lransmits up to 300' while the high power 100 mW unit 

goes up to 1/4 mile. Audio units Incfude sound using a sensitive 

built-in mike that will hear a whisper 15 feet away! Units mn on 9 

volts and hook-yp to most any CCD camera. Any of our can^eras 

have been tested to mate perfectfy with our Cubes and work 

gr&at. Fully assemblect - just hook-up power and you're on the air! 

C-2000, Basic Video Transmitter Cube, ...,.., „ $89-95 

C-3000, Basic Video and Audio Transmitter Cube ,„,.S149.95 

C-2001, High Power Video Transmitter Cube .-$179.95 

C'3001, High Power Video and Audio Transmitter Cube $229.95 


— TT 


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^'i' .^ y'-.f' ■ » ••■ ■'■■i=i-l 


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Super Pro FM Stereo 
Radio Transmitter 

A truly profes- 
sional frequen- 
cy synthesized 
FM Stereo 
transmitter sta- 
tion in one 
easy to use, 
handsome cab- 
inet. Most radb 
stations require 
a whde equipment mck to hold all the features we've packed 
into the FM-IOO. Set frequency easily with the Up/Down ireq 
buttons and the big LED digitaJ display, Plus there's input low 
pass fiftering that gives great sound no matter what the source 
(no more squeals or swishing sounds from cheap CD player 
inputs!) Peak I im iters for maximum 'punch' in your audio - with- 
out over modulation, LED bargraph meters for easy setting of 
audio levels and a built-in mixer with mike and line level inputs. 
Churches, drive-ins, schools and coiieges find the FM-100 to be 
the answer to their transmitting needs, you will too, No one 
offers aJI these features at this price! M includes cabinet, whip 
antenna and 120 VAC supply. 

We also offer a high f^ow&r export versiOQ of the FM-IQO that's 
My assembled with one watt of RF power, for mites of program 
covemge. The export version can oniy be stiipped outside the 
USA, or within the US if accotnpariied by a sigr^ed statement 
that the mit wiiS bs exported. 

FM-IOfl, Professional F!lil Stereo Transmitter Kit $299,95 

FH-IOOWT, Fully Wired High Povifer FMTransinitter 5429.95 

AM Band 




Ramsey AM radio transmitters operate in the standard AM broad- 
cast band and are easity set to any clear channel in your area. 
Our AM'25, 'pro' version, Jully synthesized transmitter features 
easy frequency setting DSP switches for stable, no-drift frequency 
control^ while beinq jumper setable for higher power output where 
regulations allow. The entry-level AM-1 uses a tunable transmit 
oscillator and runs the niaxtmum 100 miiiiwatts of power. Mo FCC 
license is required, expected range is up to 1/4 mile depending 
upon antenna and conditions, Transffiitters accept standard line- 
level inputs from tape decks, CD players or mike mixers, and run 
on 12 volts DC, The Pro AM-25 comes complets with AC power 
adapter, matching case set and bottom loaded wire antenna, Our 
ent[)^-level AM-I nas an available matching case and knob set lor 
a finished, professional look. 

AHil-25, Professional AM Transmitter Kit S129.95 

AM-1 1 Entry feve[ Aim Radio Transmitter Kit $29.95 

CAM. Matching Case Set for AM^I , ,..S14,95 

CCD Video Cameras 


B&W Camera 


It you're looking for a good quality CCD board camera, stop 
right here! Our cameras use top quality Japanese Class VV 
CCD arrays with over 440 line line resolution, not the oft- 
spec arrays that are found on many other cameras. You 
see, the Japanese suppliers grade the CCDs at manufac- 
ture and some manufacturers end up with the off-grade 
chips due to either cost constraints or lack of buying 'clout'. 
Also, a new strain of CMOS single chip carneras are enter- 
ing the market, those units have about 1 /2 the resoiulion 
and draw over twice the current that these cameras do - 
don't be fooled! Our cameras have nice clean iields and 
excellenl iight sensEtivity, you'll really see the difference, 
and it you want to see in the dark, the black & white mod- 
els are super IR (Infra-Red} sensitive. Our IR-1 Illuminator 
kit is invisible to the human eye, but liglits the scene like a 
flashlight at night! Color camera has Auto White Balance, 
Auto Gain, Back Light Compensation and DSPt Avaiiable 
with Wide-angle (30^1 or super slim Pin- hole style lens. 
They run on 9 VDC and produce standard 1 volt p-p video. 
Add one of our transmitter un^ts for wireless transmission to 
any TV set, or add our IB-1 interface board for audio sound 
pick-up and super easy direct wire hook-up connection to 
any Video monitor, VCR or TV with video/audio input jacks. 
Cameras fully assembled, including pre- wired connector. 

CCD\'VA-2, B&W CCD Camera, wide-angle lens. S99.95 

CCDPH-2, BSW CCD Camera, slim fit pin-liole len......S99.95 

CCDPH^a, Color CCD Camera, wide-angle lens $149.95 

If^-l IR Illuminator Kit for S&W cameras...... $24.95 

IS-1, Interface Board Kit., ......424&5 

FIM Stereo Radio 
Transmitters . 


Microprocessor controlled 
foreasy frequency pro- 
gramming using DIP 
switches, no drift, your sig- 
nal Is rock solid all the 
time - just like the com- 
mercial stations. Audio 
quality is exceElent, connect to the line output of any CD 
player, tape deck or mike mixer and you're on-1he-air. 
Foreign buyers will appreciate the high power output 
capability of the FM-25; many Caribbean folks use a sin- 
gie FM-25 to cover tfie whole island! New, improved, 
clean and hum-fr^e runs on either 12 VDC or 120 VAC. 
Kit comes complete with case set whip antanna, 120 
VAC power adapter - easy one evening assembly. 

FM-25^ SyntiiesLzed FM Stereo Transmitter Kit ...$129.95 

A lower cost alternative to our 

high perfonnance transmitters. 

Offers great value, tunable over 

the S8-10B MHz FM broadcast 

band, plenty of power and our , 

manual goes into great detail ' 

outlining aspects of antennas, 

transmitting range and the FCC 

rules and regulations. Connects to any cassette deck. CD 

player or mixer and you're on-the-air, youll be amazed at 

the exceptional audio quail tyf Runs on internal 9V battery 

or external power from 5 to"i5 VDC, Add our matching 

case and whip antenna set for a nice finished look, 

FM-IOA, Tunable FM Stereo Transmitter Kit .$34.95 

CFi, Matching Case and Antenna Set,..., $14.95 

AC12-5, 12 Volt DC Wall Plug Adapter. $9.95 

Add some serious muscle to your signal, boost power up to 
1 watt over a frequency range of 100 KHz to over 1000 
MHz! Use as a lab amp for signal generators, plus many 
foreign users employ the LPA-1 to boost the power of their 
FM Stereo transmitters, providing radio sen/ioe through an 
entire town, Runs on 12 VDC. For a neat, professionally fin- 
ished bok, add the optional matching case set, 

LPA-1 Power Booster Amplifier Kit „ $39.95 

CLPA, Matching Case Set for LPA-1 Kit „ .......$14,95 

LPA-1WT, Fully Wired LPA-1 witfi Case $99.95 

*. ^ 


Finder Kit 

J Search for buried treasure at 
I the beach, backyard or park, 
TTiis professional quality kit can 
detect metai at a depth of up to 
6 inches. Easy to use, just lis- 
^ .-^^ ten for the change in tone as 
' "^ you 'sweep' the unit across the 
surface - the larger the tone 
change - the larger the object. 

Has built-in speaker or earphone connection, runs on stan- 
darel 9 vott battery. Complete kit includes handsome case, 
rugged PVC handle assembly that 'breaks down' for easy 
transportation and shielded Faraday search coil Easy one 
evening assembly. This nifty kit will literally pay for itself! 
That guy in the picture looks like he founci something - 
what do you think it is - gold, silver. Rogaine, Viagra? You' I 
have tun with this krt. 

TF-1, Treasure Finder Krt. „ , S39.95 

Binocular Special 

We came across these 

nice binoculars in an 

importers close-out deal. 

Not some cheap in-Eine 

lens jobs, these beauties 

have roof prisms, a super 

nice rubber armored 

housing over light weight 

aluminum. 10 x 25 fxjwer with fully coated optics. Includes 

lens cleaner cloth, neck lanyard and nice carry case. For 

extra demanding use in bright sun, choose the EX module 

with ruby coated Objective lens. First quality at a close-out 

phcel WeVe seen the exact same units with the 'Bushnell' 

name on them being sold for $3D more! 

BNO-1, Binoculars and case $24.95 

5N0-1€X, Ruby Coated Lens Sinooulars and case $29.95 

Speech Descrambler 

Decode all that gibberishJ This is the 
popular descrambler / scrambler that 
youVe read about in all the Scanner 
and Electronic magazines. Speech 
inversion technology is used, which Is 
compatible with most cordless phones 
and many police department systems, 
hook it up to your scanner speaker lemninals and you're in 
business. Easily configured for any use: mike, line level 
and speaker oulput'inputs are provided. Also communicate 
in total privacy over telephone or radio, full duplex opera- 
tion ' scramble and unscramble at the same time. Easy to 
build, all complex cimuitry contained in new custom ASIC 
chip for clear, clean audio. Runs on 9 to 15VDC. Our 
matching case sel adds a professional look to your kit. 

SS-70A, Speech Desc rambler/Scram bier Kit S39.95 

CSS, Custom Matching Case and Knob Set... * S14,95 

SS-70AWT, Fully Wired SS-70A with Case ,.S79.95 

AC12-S, 12 Volt DC Wall Plug Adapter........... S9 .95 

Call for our Free Catalog ! 

See our complete catalog and order 
on-line with our secure server at: 

WWW. ramseyelectronics. com 


793 Canning Parkway Victor, NY 14564 

Order Toll-free: 800-446-2295 

Sorry, no tech info, order status at this number 

Technical Info, Order Status 


Fax: 716-324-4555 


ORDERiNG tNfO: Satisfaction GLaranteed. Examine for tO (lays, if 
not pleased, retunn lr> origrftal form lor refund. And $8.95 for shlph 
prr^g, naTKlling and inEurance. OtxJer? under |?0, add $3.00. NV resi- 
defits aod 7% sates tax. SoFiy, no CODs-. Foreign oiders. add 20% 
for surface maii or use credit card and specify shiipping metriod. 


El Supremo & Founder 
Wayne Green W2NSD/1 

Associate Publisher 

R I, Marion 

Associate Technical Editor 

Larry Antanuk WB9RRT 

Nitty Gritty Stuff 

J, Clayton Burnett 

Priscilla Gauvin > 

Joyce Sawielle 

Contributing Culprits 

Bill Brown WB8ELK 
Mtke Bryne WBSVGE 
Joseph E. CarrK4IPV 
Michael GeierKBIUIVT 
Jim Gray WlXU/7 
Jack Heller KB7N0 
Chucl< Houghton WB6IGF 
Dr. Marc Leavey WA3AJR 
Andy lyiacAllister W5ACI\^ 
Joe Moell K0OV 
Steve Nowak KE8YN/5 
Carole Perry WB2MGP 

Advertising Sales 

Frances Hyvarinen 
Roger Smith 
Fax: 603-924-8613 

Linda Coughlan 

Data Entry & Other Stuff 
Christine Aubert 
Norrnan Marion 

Business Office 

Editoriat - Advertising - CIrcuiatton 

Feedback - Product Reviews 

73 Amateur Radio Today Magazfne 

70 Route 202N 

Peterborough HH 03458-1107 


Fax: 603-924-8613 

Repr'ints: $3 per article 
Back issues: $5 each 

Printed in the USA 

Manuscripts: Contributions for 

possible publication are most 
welcome. Well do the best we can to 
return anything you request, but we 
assume no responsibility for k>ss 
or damage. Payment for submitted 
articies will t^ made after publication. 
Please submit both a disk arvJ a 
hard copy of your article [iBM (ok) 
or Mac (prefenred) formats]^ carefully 
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to write for 73" guidelines are available 
on request, US citizens, please 
include your Social Security numt^er 
with submitted manuscripts so we can 
SLfomI t it t o you know who. 


ISSUE #459 

Radio Today 




10 Probing Auto Electronics — W6WTU 

Help your neighbor identity his car's problem 
and be an electronlo's hero! 

14 Announcing the QRFeanut — N5GZH 

Here's a compact QRP transmatch you can build 

for next 10 nothing. 

17 Keys to Better Operating — W6BNB 
Yes. much otitis common sense ... 

27 Electronic Bug Emulator — W4LJD 
Put some personality back into your CW. 

31 Low- Voltage Detector - W6WTU 

... k>r a number of uses, 

32 George's XE-lent Adventure - WB2AQC 

Part 2: Days 10-18. 



AtMve 8l Beyond 


Ad Index 


Barter 'n' Buy 



Carr's Corner 



The Digital Port 






Ham to Ham 





Never Say Die 


New Products 



On the Go 








Radio Bookshop 




Special Events 


24 A Real Handful - VE3EGA 

Inside Alinco's DJ-C5 dual-band transceiver. 

29 Seeing Drts and Dahs — N1FN 

The K2659 Morse Decoder Kit from Velleman Electronics. 

52 The Drake TR Series; No Introduction Needed - W2BLC 

,.. but here's the skinny on some of the best vintage equipment 
available today 

On the cover: And how many hams out there have visions of these two sugarplums dancing in their 
heads? Photo of ICOM's IC-Q7Aand IC-T8A handheld FM transceivers by Norman Marion, Happy 
Holidays to all! 

Feedback: Any circuit works better with feedback, so please lake the time to report on 
how much you like, hate, or don't care one way or the other about the articles and 
columns in this issue. G = great!, O = okay, and U = ugh. The G*s and O's will be 
continued. Enough U's and it's Silent Keysville. Hey, this is your communications 
medium, so don't just sit there scratching your.. .er,.. head. FYI: Feedback ^'number" is 
usually the page number on which the article or column starts. 

73 Amateur Radio Today (ISSN 1052-2522) fs published monthly by 73 Magazine, 70 N202, Peterborough NH 
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to 73. What? A!l or your ham friends are already subscribers? Donate a subscription to your local school libraryl 

Number 1 on your Feedl^scH csrct 


Wayne Green W2NSD/1 


I was discouraged to read 
that His Majesty JYl was 
back at the Mayo Clinic in 
Minnesota and still '*fighting" 
cancer. The normal treat'- 
nicnts for cancer are legalized 
torture, with chemotherapy, 
radiation and surgery. I wish 
there was some way to (a) get 
word to him and (b) convince 
him that he doesn't have to be 
tortured and then die. Even at 
this stage, which obviously is 
very far along, if he'd read the 
book by Dr. Bruno Comby 
(Maximize Immunity), which 
I've been recommending for 
several years as a book "you're 
crazy if you don't read," Fm 
convinced he could be totally 
well now, complete with a 
full head of hair instead of 
totally bald. 

We get cancer for one reason 
only: We've compromised otir 
unmune system. Our bodies 
generate tiny cancers con- 
tinually, but our immune sys- 
tem cleans them up for us. 
Then, when we weaken our 
immune system enough, it 
isn't long before a cancer 
somewhere is going to win 
and then we're in deep doo- 
doo. That's when we hear the 
two words from our doctor 
that we never want to hear; 

The National Cancer Insti- 
tute and the American Cancer 
Society have been doing ev- 
erything they can, with the 
help of the AMA and FDA, to 
make sure that alternatives to 
chemotherapy, surgery and 
radiation are stopped from 
being developed or known. 
Hey, if we stop making our- 
selves sick we could stop 
spending a trillion and a half 
dollars a year — ihal's one 

4 73 Amateur Radio Today * December 1998 

and a half thousand billion 
dollar a year we're costing 
ourselves. Of course, that would 
put thousands of hospitals and 
tens of thousands of doctors 
out of work, and virtually wipe 
out the pharmaceutical and 
insurance industries. 

Gee, lough. 

So don't upset things by 
changing your habits and take 
your chemo torture like a man. 
Chemo and radiation both wipe 
out your immune system, so 
your first and last lines of de- 
fense against cancer are gone. 
Yes, the last stages of cancer 
can be extremely painful, but 
the doctors won't give you 
the painkillers you need for 
fear of losing their Hcenses. 
The needed narcotics can be 
addictive, you know, so the 
medical review boards are al- 
ways on the lookout for any 
doctors who are prescribing 
narcotics, and never mind if 
there are good reasons. 

In 1996 the Federation of 
State Medical Boards met in 
Chicago and agreed to coor- 
dinate a national network to 
punish any doctors who used 
alternative methods. For in- 
stance, there was Dr. Glen 
Warner, who had been using 
the required cancer therapies 
for more than 20 years at one 
of Seattle's largest hospitals. 
He left and started his own 
cancer institute and, using al- 
ternative therapies, had one 
of the best records for success 
of any doctor in the country. 
They revoked his license. 

Dn Warner said, "We have 
a multi-billion dollar industry 
that is killing people, right 
and left, just for financial gain 
.. . doctors, oncologists, they 
don't want chemotherapy to 
be disproved. That is where 
their money is," 

From John Robbin*s book 
Reclaiming Our Health: '\.. 
the vast majority of studies 
show that radiation cannot 
cure cancer, and that it can 
rarely extend life for people 
with the disease ... the truth 
is that, for more than 90% of 
people with cancer, chemo- 
therapy had next to nothing to 
offer ... oncologists say that 
they would not allow chemo- 
therapy to be given to them- 
selves or their families .., 
oncologists characteristically 
downplay the level of suffer- 
ing involved with chemo- 

The chief chemotherapist 
at the Mayo Clinic admitted 
in a published paper that he 
gave chemotherapy to cancer 
patients which he knew would 
not help them, right up to 
their deaths, in order to keep 
them from trying alternative 

No, it is not easy to change 
a lifetime of eating habits, but 
as you eat you should be 
aware of what's ahead. And 
not even the wealth and 
power of a king will be able 
to save you from what you've 
done to yourself. 

Hear Wayne Talk! 

On my way to a short As- 
pen ski vacation Til be stop- 
ping off in Denver to give 
a talk, 1 hope you can make 
it. ItMl be at the Airport Em- 
bassy Suites, January 5lh at 
7 pm. Yes, it's free. So what' 11 
1 be talking about? The same 
things I write about in my 
editorials — amateur radio, 
your health, how to make 
money, and so on. Or, for that 
matter, anything you ask about, 
This Ml give me an opportu- 
nity to meet you personally, 

and maybe answer some 
questions for you. 

At the recent Peoria hamfest 
one chap asked me if the uni- 
verse is expanding or not. The 
preponderance of evidence in- 
dicates that it isn't, that it's a 
steady-state universe. 

If you're planning to come 
it would be most helpful if 
you'd let me know so I won't 
try to fit a hundred people in 
a 20-person meeting room. 

How About Skiing? 

ril be skiing at Aspen 
January 6-1 1 and I really hate 
to ski alone. It's a lot more 
fun to be with some others on 
those chair rides, and to share 
the incredible excitement of 
whooshing down the slopes at 
breakneck speed. I love it. The 
English language is the pits 
when it comes to explaining 
emotions like that- 

And it's fun to go to the 
many superb Aspen restau- 
rants with friends. And lalk. 
If you can get away for a few 
days, this is the low season 
time at Aspen, right after the 
New Year's holidays, so the 
slopes are relatively open and 
the lift lines normally zilch. I 
hope the weather cooperates. 
Last year it snowed all but 
one day during my visit, 
which took the fun out of it, 
reducing the visibility to 
inches- 1 like to see where I'm 
going and get there fast rather 
than feeling my way along. 

Yes, of course FU have an 
HT in my pocket tuned to the 
local repeater. 


The Kachina, featured on 
our August cover, seems to 
have left the rest of the ham 
industry in the dust, scram- 
bling to catch up. I think 
we*ve now seen a good pre- 
view of what our top 21st 
century ham rigs will look like. 
Well, it only makes sense Lo 
marry our rigs and comput- 
ers. After all, our rigs have 
been increasingly computer- 
ized with frequency synthe- 
sizers and digital signal pro- 
cessing, so the move to a 
knobless rig that's 100% com- 
puter-controlled is an obvious 
next step. 

I'll bet the engineers in To- 

kyo and Osaka are working 
overtime to catch up with this 
American- made evolutionary 

If you're fortunate enough 
to get a Kachina, let's hear 
how it's doing for you. With 
the sunspots perking away, 
opening our DX bands for 
more and more hours a day, 
let me know what goodies 
you've dug out of the pileups. 
Oh yes, if you luck into a 
truly interesting contact, please 
make a note of it and let mc 
know the details. I keep fan- 
tasizing that such a thing is 
possible, but I need some 
sort of evidence to prove this 
isn't just another W2NSD/] 


Talk about fuzzy thinking! 
The FCC believes we should 
have several license classes to 
"to encourage amateur opera- 
tors to advance their skills/' 
Skills have never been devel- 
oped by memorizing a Q&A 
manual — they're built by 
doing, so the whole idea thai 
different classes of licenses 
will build skills is really 
dumb. It's a crock. 

If you want to build your 
packet skills you get involved 
with packet. Ditto satellite 
communications, fox hunting, 
and all of the other fun facets 
of our hobby. Unless you're 
too damned lazy. 

Which is why 1 think that 
having more than one license 
class is a holdover from the 
pre-war ham days when a 
Class A license permitted you 
to operate in the two narrow 
phone bands on 75 and 20m. 
In those AM days there was 
room for about nine round 
tables and that was that, so it 
was necessary to make it 
more difficult to get the privi- 
lege. Well, that was 1940 and 
now we're going on 2{XX), and 
it's about time our regulations 
were tailored to meet today*s 
world instead of one a few 
old-dmcrs like me remember. 

It's nice that the ARRL 
grudgingly has proposed that 
we cut back to only four li- 
cense classes. Only? Lordy! 

rd like to see this whole 
class business junked. Then Fd 
like to see a lot more articles 
telling our somnolent brelh- 

' ren how much fun you're 
having on 6m, with slow scan, 
and so on. Fan the flames of 
interest. Tell 'em what fun 
you're having on our ham 
satellites. Show us some of 
the stuff you're doing on 
slow scan. 

How about getting your 
club to start putdng together 
some videos showing what 
can be done with moon- 
bounce, with fox hunting, and 
so on. I'll be glad to help 
make copies for other clubs 
to show at their club meet- 
ings. We desperately need to 
get some life into club meet- 
ings. So how about producing 
some 20-minute or half-hour 
ham videos which will help get 
a few hams off dead center? 

What's happening down on 
160m these days? Do a video. 
Next summer, how about a 
video of your club's Field 
Day effort? Don't tell me 
your members don*t have 
video cameras — so get busy. 
You could do some great vid- 
eos of fox hunts. How about 
one on getting on RTTY? 

Clubs go on DXpeditions 
every now and then. So 
when's the last dme you 
saw a video report made 
available for other clubs to 
enjoy? A video could in- 
clude both video and slides. 

We build our skills by 
doing things, so iei's get 
rid of our many classes 
and get busy encouraging 
hams to get involved with 
new modes and bands, 
which really will help 
build their skills. 

Unlimited Memory 

Yes, I know, I've written 
about memory before, but 
since (a) there are some 
new readers and (b) your 
memory of what Tve writ- 
ten is probably approach- 
ing zilch, let's walk through 
all this again. 

Firstly, scientists don't 
know where our memory 
is stored. Oh, they know if 
they poke an electrode 
into the brain about here 
they can stimulate a spe- 
cific memory. But that's 
like sncking a test prod 
into a telephone switch- 

If you've read much about 
the brain you know that we 
have had people who've sur- 
vived accidents which de- 
stroyed around 90% of their 
brain with no loss of their 
memory or other functions. 
Worse, other people have also 
lost 90% of their brains, but 
another 90%, and they're do- 
ing just fine, too. We don't 
seem to have any limit to how 
much we can learn. Our 
memory, unlike that of our 
computers^ seems completely 
unlimited. Not that possible 
memory limitations are much 
of a potential problem for most 
people. They read (but not 
much) and they forget most of 
what they We read. 

Inputting Data 

Reading makes it possible 

for you to gel your informa- 
tion from the most knowl- 
edgeable people in the world. 
It's a direct line. It's also an 
excellent source of strongly 
held, but unfounded, opin- 
ions, so you have to be picky 

about what you accept as 
valid data. 

Most of us are taught to 
read in school. But just 
barely. A growing percentage 
of our graduates, even from 
college, are virtually illiter- 
ate. Lordy, I wish you could 
see some of the letters I get! 

Reading is a skill and as 
such it can be improved by 
you forcing yourself to read 
faster and faster. But yoy 
have to push. It's the same as 
with running or swimming. 
You get better at skills by 
pushing yourself and then 
pushing harder. The really 
great thing about reading 
faster is that the faster you 
read, the more you retain of 
what you've read. 

Undl, with your help, I can 
get our educational establish- 
ment to start producing out- 
standing educational videos 
that will teach all of the K-12 
subjects in a fraction of the 
usual time, and make the ma- 
terial available anywhere the 

ContUiued on page 57 


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73 Amateur Radio Today • December 1998 5 


Nuntbor $ on yaiir Feedback csrd 

From the Ham Shack 

Richard Tlninipsiw; Abi- indusiry ai ihis lime and who 

lene TX. I'm hoping ihaf the 
Raders of 73 Magazine can liclp 
me with some research ihal 

I'm carrying oui. Vm ^u^rking 
on a btKJk on ihe devefopmeni 
of quarlz-cryslal -control led 
coinniunicationb during World 
War n. 

As Vm sure many of you 
know, the Army waited until 
1940 to decide to su iich lo crys- 
tal-controlled radios. At the 
lime, they feU thai *;ince we 
weren't in a war, the handful of 
companies manufacturing 
quartz crystal unii!> (QCUs) 
could handle the demand. WelK 
in another year, we were in the 
war. the demand for QCUs was 
far beyond what they'd esii- 
mated, and diere was no way 
that the cuircni crystal industry 
could luuidlc I he job. 

The response by the Army 
was 10 form ilic Quari/ Crystal 
Section, under the Signal Corpus, 
whose job it was to develt>p 
mass production lechniqucs for 
QCUs anil ihen in find I he 
manufaciurcrs lu prod tic c ihem. 
A small yrtHip of civilians (ge- 
ologists, engineers, and physi- 
cists) liierally created an 
industry from scraich. A scci>nd 
problem thai develojied afier the 
indusirv came on line was the 
"aging" problem with crystals: 
a niystcrinus increase in the 
natural oscillating frequency 
after a shon time in the field. 
The physicists at the Signal 
Corps Lab in Fl. Monmouth. 
New Jersey, were called on to 
find the reasim behind this prob- 
lem and develop a solution. 
which ihey did. 

For my boi>k,rm kxiking for 
first-person accounts uf ihesc 
events. Tm interested in two 
major areas: L I would like to 
make coniacl with anyone who 
may have worked in the crvstal 

would know something of what 
i[ took for this industrv^ to be 
created, or a ham who might 

know snniething about the state 
of ihe an in crystals at the bc- 
sinnins of the war: and 2. Anv 
military veterans (especially 
Army .-\ir Corp^) who might re- 
member tlie efiecLs on commu- 
nications of firsL the shortage of 
cnstal units at thebesinnins of 
the wan and second, ihe prob- 
lems caused by the aging prob- 
lem (one of my sources who 
worked in the Quartz Crystal 
Section speaks of an urgent tele- 
gram to ihe Pentagon from Gen. 
Eaker of the Hth Air Force 
complaining of a serious problem 
with communications and 
sia>iig[y urging that a solution be 

Any B-I7 radiomen out 
there? I would love to hear what 
you have to say. I can be con- 
tacted at the following address: 
Dr. Richard J. Thompson. Jr 
McMuiiy University 
McM Station, Box 38 
Abilene TX 79697 
Phone: (915) 793-3875 
E-mail: [rihompson@mcm. 

How aboui ir? Lefs dim off 
some memories! — Eif. 

John G. Boles KA6LWC, I 
would like to comment on a re- 
cent "QRX" article in the Octo- 
ber 1998 issue of 73 Amaieur 
Radio Today, "What to Do 
About YourTechnician Accenr 
bv Bill Smith N2SZW. 

In the second paragraph, he 
mentions not to use the word 
"clear" when nobody replies to 
the announcement one is on fre- 
quency. This ts a "lerri tonal** 
issue, because in many areas, it 
indicates that the operator is 
leaving the locaJ frequency and is 

not monitoring Ihe repeater. (Iius 
ending liis cuiiimunicatiuns or 
attempted commimicalions. Tn the 
second paragraph from the bot- 
tom, beginning "Avoid endless 
.,,," he proceeds lo state that the 
use of "clear** is acceptable to end 
a con>municalion. This appears to 
be a contradiction because when 
one ]e^ve% the local frequency, 
there\s an end lo communicaiions 
and monitoring. 

Another issue: The letters 
PTT have often been used to 
indicate Pnsh To Talk, If vou 
think about it, it really means 
Push Think Talk. The Ihink de- 
lay'* allows transmitter^ auJ re- 
peaters time 10 get into the 
transmit nuKle so thai the first 
worIs ane not cut off. 

1 notice that "QRX*' has no E- 
mail address for respt>nses, nor 
is there any E-mail address for 
73 Magazine. It would be help- 
ful to note any E-mail addresses 
available on a separate eolumn/ 

Aciuallw 73*5 E-mail address 
is on ihe '"Table of Contents** 
poi^c a /id is (he same for all 
Depanmenis : {design 7S@aoL 
comf. — Ed. 

Ned Stevens K7ELP, 
Murray UT. I really enjoyed 
the urliclc "WhaTs the Scoop on 
the Lazy ljK>p?"; by WA2UGT 
ill the September 1998 issue. 
Besides being very interesting to 
me it was timely as 1 was in the 
process of deciding what low- 
band antennas to install at this 
QTH. It sure proves the more 
wire you have in ihe air the 
belter you will do. 

This article reminded me of 
an experience 1 had some 30 
years or so ago. I was on active 
duly with the US Coasi Guard, 
stationed at Lualualei, Hawaii 
(northwest section of the island 
ofOahu, a lew miles from Ho- 
nolulu). 1 was in charge of a 
conuiiunications station trans- 
mitter site. We were having 
some difficultN in communicat- 
ing with our ships in the nonh- 
west Pacific Ocean, At the time 
all our transmitting uniennas 
were either conical monopc>Ies 
or an occasional quarter-wave 

wire vertical. The conical mnno- 
poles were broadbanded, as I 
recall. They were operated from 
about 4 MHz to 16 MH/, The 
site had enough space for a 
longwire antenna so we built a 
horizontal V antenna, with Uae 
vertex poind ng to the location 
of the ships. Wc made each leg 
four wavelengths Ions at the 16 
MHz frequency. We used a 
small ham CW transmitter tuned 
to 16 MHz to tune the antenna. 
As 1 recall, the transmitter was 
an ATL We were fonunate, as 
the feedpoint of the antenna 
turned out to be 200 ohms. We 
then made aquaner-wave batun 
out of the large coaxial cable we 
used for transmission One. The 
coax was 5\J ohm but about one 
inch in diameter. This aiuenna 
improved the signal to the ships 
by a iremendouN amount as the 
communications went from mar- 
ginal to 05 at tx>ih ends. Some- 
thing in my memory tells me that 
we designed the V antenna for the 
radiation angle fur the distance 
that we wea^ transmitting. 

Rich Mollentine WA0KKC 

Shawnee Mission KS. Ham ra- 
dio is a hobby, but on occasion 
sotnc take it as an obsession — 
lu the detriment of 1 heir family 
and friends. It's like anylhing 
else: ll shoutd lie baktiiccd with 
the other things of life. Many an 
XYL will question why we 
spend 24 hours straight in a con- 
tesl talking to strangers in 
Borneo or Pago Pago but have 
no time for rhem. 

Balance your hobby with your 
other family oblifiations. 


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QRK . . . 

Nutnb^r 8 on your Feedback card 

Who's Your Hero? 

Each year the ARRL honors four dedicated 

ham radio instructors, teachers, and recruiters. 
Clubs or individuals are asked 1o complete a 
romination form for the nominees, More infor- 
mation about the awards can be found at [htip;// If you do not have 
internet access and would like a nomination form, 
please contact Jean Wolfgang WB3I0S at (860) 
594-0219, in the ARRL Educational Activities 

• Nomination forms must then be sent to your 
ARRL Section Manager before January 31 , 1 999. 
A list of ARRL Section Managers is available at 
[http://www,] or can 
be found on page 12 of any QST. 

Ham Astronomer Honored 

James Moran K1AKE, of Concord, Massachu- 
setts, has been elected to the prestigious National 
Academy of Sciences, one of 60 new members 
announced last April 28. Moran is a radio astrono- 
mer at the Harvard-Smitiisontan Center for Astro- 
physics and a professor at Han/ard University, He 
is best known for his application of the techniques 
of Very Long Baseline Interferometry to the study 
of astronomical masers. 

From the ARRL, via Newsline, Bill Pasternak 
WA51TF, editor. 

Hams Serve in Times of 
ISIatura! Disaster 

Ham radio was en the scene as flash flooding 
hit Mexico City on Monday, September 28th. Five 
people died and thousands were left homeless af- 
ter mudslides unleashed by weeks of heavy rain 
buried homes in the Mexican capital and left entire 
suburbs underwater. 

The storms and mudslides knocked out utilities 
and telephone service to the affected parts of the 
city. According to news reports, ham radio opera- 
tors stepped in to provide lines of communications 
forsearch-and-rescue groups and relief authorities. 
They also worked at warning the people of the dan- 
gers in the area and gave basic recommendations 
to avoid danger. 

Ham radio operators in the Balkans were also 
on the spot with reports as a tremor rocked 
Belgrade and central Serbia. The quake, which 
measured 5.4 on the Richter scale, rocked the area 

8 73 Amateur Radio Today • December 1998 

early on Wednesday, September 30th. ft caused 
minor damage in the center of Belgrade, knock- 
ing out power and telephone service in parts of 
the city. 

Reports from amateur radio operators said 
people in the area had run from their homes in 
their nightclothes. clutching their children. The 
reports said that rubble from one building did 
crash into a city street, but nobody was injured. A 
ham in the town of Valjevo reported slight damage 
there, as well. 

From VHF Reflector, published news reports, 
via Newsline, Bill Pasternak WA6ITF, editor- 

Yet Another Visit 
from You Know Who 

Twas the night before Christmas, and all 
through two meters. 
Not a signal was keying up any repeaters. 
The antennas reached up from the tower, quite 

To catch the weak signals that bounced from 

the sky. 
The children, Tech^Pluses, took their HTs to bed, 
And dreamed of the day they'd be Extras instead. 
Mom put on her headphones, I plugged in the 

And we tuned 40 meters for that rare ZK3, 
When the meter was pegged by a signal with 

It smoked a small diode, and, I swear, shook 

the tower. 
Mom yanked off her phones, and with all she 

could muster 

Logged a spot of the signal on the DX Packet 

While \ ran to the window and peered up at 

the sky 
To see what could generate RF that high. 
It was 'way in the distance, but th e moon made 

it gleam— 
A flying sleigh, with an eight-element beam, 
And a little old driver who looked sNghtly 

So I thought for a moment it might be Wayne 


But no, it was Santa, the Santa of hams, 
On a mission, this Christmas, to clean up the 


He circled the tower, then stopped In his track, 
And he slid down the coax, right into the shack. 
While Mom and I hid behind stacks of CO, 
This Santa of hamming knew just what to do. 
He cleared off the shack desk of paper and 


And filled out all my late QSLs for a start. 

He ran copper braid, took a steel rod and 

It into the earth, till the station was grounded. 

He tightened loose fittings, resoldered connec- 

Cranked down modulation, installed lightning 

He neutralized tubes in my linear amp— 

Mever worked right before— now it works like 
a champ! 

A new low-pass filter cleaned up the TV; 

He corrected the settings in my TNG, 

He repaired the computer that would not com- 

And he backed up the hard drive and got it to 

Then he reached really deep in the bag that 
he brought 

And he pulled out a big box. ''A new rig?" 1 

'A new Kenwood? An ICOM? A Yaesu, for 

(If he thought Td been bad it might be QRPI) 

Yes! The Ultimate Station! How could I deserve 

Could it be all those hours that I worked Public 

He hooked it all up, and in record time quickly 

Worked 100 countries, all down on 160. 

I should have been happy— it was my call he 

But the cards and the postage will cost two 
months' rent! 

He made final adjustments, and left a card by 
the key: 

'To Gary, from Santa Claus. Seventy-three;' 

Then he grabbed his HT, looked me straight 
in the eye, 

Punched a code on the pad, and was gone— 
no good-bye. 

I ran back to the station, and the pileup was 

But a card from St. Nick would be worth my 
new hg. 

Oh, too late— for his final came over the air. 

It was copied all over It was heard everywhere. 

The ham's Santa exclaimed what a ham might 

''Merry Christmas to all and to all, good DXI" 

From Squeich Tale, Dec. 1996, newsletter of 
the Chicago FM Club, Inc., Timothy M, Garrity 
WD9DZV. editor, 

Sorry, but we don't have a clue who Gary is 
(assun}ing Gary is the author of this year's 
parody), or we'd definitely have given hjm 
credit— Ed 

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Probing Auto Electronics 

Help your neighbor identify his car's problem and lye an electronics hero} 

Hugli Wells W5WTU 

1411 18th Street 

Manhattan Beach CA 90266-4025 

Being a ham. youVe expected lo 
know everything about elec* 
tronics regard le^*^ of ihe appli- 
cation. So have vou ever had some 
neighbors drop over and indicate thai 
they needed your help with their car? 
Chances are, ihcv've indicated thai it 
won't sLarl or runs poorly, or that the 
battery is dead. 

In most casesi, the symptoms de- 
scrihed seldom fit the actual situatit>n. 
Bui because you're a ham, you re looked 
upon to be "the neighhorho*xi electron- 
ics resource." So how do you approach 
Ihe problem? 

Do you agree lo lake a look? Or do 
you shine ihcm on and suggest ihat 
they go see the local mechanic? Let's 
assume that you're at least willing to 
take a look at the problem Lo help sort 
out the details, which may lead lo a so- 
lution if the problem is electrical. And 
if it's mechanical you may have lo 
suesest the mechanic after all. 

Electrical problems and solutions in 
older cars were usually easy to sort 
out, but the compulers used in modern 
cars make Uie problems more difficuU 
for a ham to diaiznose. In fact, the 
things thai one might be able to do are 
limited to only a few things, but thoj^e 

10 73 Amateur Radio Todsy * December 1998 

could have an ideniitlable solution 
within your grasp. 

Three situations are discussed here 
that can help solve many aggravating 
problems that cars experience and are 
not under computer control. These 
situations involve the spaj^k plugs and 
HV wiring, alternator and baUery. and 
curi'ent leakage paths that run a battery 
down unexpectedly. The test equipment 
for troubleshooting these three situations 
is typically available on a ham's work- 
bench: oscillosci^pe: digital %ollmeter/ 
animeien and #1 157 (ot#1034) taillight 
bulb. So there is ver\' little financial in* 
vestment required, beyond whal a ham 
normally has available. 

Most hams have had some exposure 
to Ohm's law problems as part of their 
electronics training. The logic and cir- 
cuitry involved in Ohm's law problems 
is exactly the same as that required for 
solving electrical problems in a car*s 
electrical system. Troubleshooting then 
becomes a matter of developing a plan 
or procedure lo follow in sorting out ilie 
various measurements and symptoms. 

Spark plugs 

Being able lo diagnose a problem in 
an automobile's hish voUatic i*inition 

ik^ ■_- c^ 

system is both interesting and satisfy- 
ing. Because of the pulse nature of the 
system, it can be analyzed dynami- 
cally. Using an oscilloscope provides a 
means of looking at the HV pulses for 
one or all of the cylinders. Observed 
conditions can be related to inequality of 
spark, weak spark, shorted spark plug, 
dereclive plug wiring, or intermittent 
plug firing. 

In the case of a standard ignition sys- 
tem (ptmils and capacitor), the point's 
dwell time can also be obser\ ed to deter- 
mine if coil saturation is being 
achieved. Dwell time is not a factor in 
electronic is2niiit>n s\ stems. The oscil- 
loscope display can be focused for de- 
tailed analysis on one or all of the 
spark plugs to help sort out differences 
between them. 

To make up an engine analy/.er using 
an oscilloscope, it will be necessary to 
make up a couple of interface boards 
10 be used as scope probes as shown in 
Figs, 1 and 2. S}iic tor the horizontal of 
the scope is obtained from the high volt- 
age using the circuit shown in Fig- 1 . A 
wire cuff or broadfaccd spring clip is 
used to provide a capacitive coupling 
to the HV wire, as a direct eonneclion 
is not desirable. The circuit integrates 
the HV pulse to create a single con- 



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suitable for synching the scope. 

The HV pulse train to be analyzed is 
obtained from ihe primary side of the 
ignition coil using the circuit shown in 
Fig, 2 and is applied to the vertical in- 
put of the scope. All HV sensing is 
done in the primary of the coil, not in 
the actual HV circuit. All of the 
system's performance is viewable in 
the primary more so than in the sec- 
ondary, or HV side, of the coiL A small 
amount of integration is performed by 
the interface board, but only enough to 
make the pulse visible on the screen. 

The amplitude pot is used to bring 
the vertical signal amplitude within the 
control range of the scope*s input al- 
lenuator. The poi remains fixed after 
the iniiial adjustment. In modem en- 
gines, there is a separate ignition coil 
for each pair of cylinders. Therefore, it 
will be necessary to move the vertical 
scope probe from one coil to another 
to view the next pair of cylinders. 

Construction of the probes indicated 
m Figs. 1 and 2 is not critical* Some 
shielding is recommended io keep stray 
signals from entering the scope, but even 
unshielded boards have been used suc- 
cessfiilly, TTie minimum construction 
should entail placing each circuit within 
a plastic box to prevent the circuit from 
shorting to an engine component- 
Test preparation includes connecting 
the interface circuits to and starting the 
engine, and runninji the engine at idle. 
In operation, the scope sweep is ad- 
justed to approximately 20 ms/cm 
when displaying all of the plugs at once. 
Attaching the HV pickup (sync) to plug 
#1 will allow all of the plugs to be 
viewed in the order in which they fire 
(only when one coil is used for all of 
the cylinders). 

Adjust the sweep timing to display 
four, six, or eight pulse sequences as 


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Fig. 2, Piihe ininu cinwi m wrrical anrpliffer, 

determined by ihe number of cylinders 
present (only two cylinders at a lime 
can be viewed when an ignition coil is 
provided lor each pairulcyhnder^j. To 
^lew a single plog, attach the HV 
pickup to ihe plug to be viewed and 
adjust the sweep to approximate!) 1 
ms/cm or until one pulse scL|uence is 
observed. Move the HV pickup Ironi 
one plug wire to another to make pulse 

Typical waveforms suitable for com- 
parison are shown in Fig, 3. Because 
the wavef[*rms obtained vary some- 
what from one engine to another, it is 
necessary to identify a "norm" wave- 
form for the engine being analyzed. A 
norm can be deier mined by looking 
first at all pfugs firing (typical sweep 
of 20 ms/cm) and observ inn the simi- 
larity as a norm. Then note any differ- 
ences in the plug patterns observed for 
a poieniial problem. Obtain a closer 


analysis of individual plugs using a 
sweep of about 1 ms/cm to provide 
clues as to the health of the ignition 

To aid in the analysts, look for the 
series of HV pulses thai occurs during 
a plug firing, then look for the short 
delay before the next tiring- The right- 
hand end of the delav indicates the be- 


ginning of the firing cycle and the 
left-hand end of the next delay indi- 
cates the completion of the firing 

The pulse waveform between the de- 
lay periods provides the clues for com- 
parison to the examples shown, A 
shorted plug wire can be .simulated by 
holding a screwdriver between the en- 
gine block and the top of a spark plug 
while ohser\ing the waveform. It is 
not recommended, however, to simii- 
laie an open HV wire by removing a 
plug wire — as electronic ignition sys- 
tems are !;ubject to damage when an 
open HV wire occurs. 

Alternator and battery 

Troubleshooting a battery and/or al- 
ternator problem is fairly easy with a 
digital voltmeter, and the short lime 
that it takes could satisfy your neigh- 
bors and make you a hcni. The use of a 
digital voitmeter is prefeiTed. bui an 
analog volimeier will work with a little 
less satisfaction in determining spe- 
cific voltage values. But the general 
function of "what's happening^ can be 
displayed with an analog voltmeten 


I*— T1W£ 






Fig. 5. Typical igmhn wave panems exhlbuing specific conditiom. Dwell rime pattern 
is specific ia a siandard ignition system, 

12 73 Amateur Radio Today * December 1998 

Test condiiii>ns involve the logic of 
what happens during static and dy- 
namic conditions where static condi- 
tions occur when the cneinc is turned 
off. During this period both loaded and 
unk^aded tests can be performed on the 
battery to clclcrminc \\^ ptcscnl health 
regarding being charged or discharged. 

What you may not know at this time 
is whether the battery has been 
charged rcccnih or disclursed due to 
an inadvertent current leakage path. 
But the first test involves performing a 
load lest v^hich begins by placing the 
voltmeter across the hailery terminals 
and noting the vintage indication, 
which should be approximately 1 3.5 V. 
While observing the meter, the head- 
lights are turned on. Typically, if the 
batter) is heallhyv the voltage indica- 
tion will remain above 12.6 V and the 
lights will be fairly bright. The small 
voltage drop between the load and no- 
load test indicates the battery to be 
healthy, If the battery has not becji 
charged recently, perhaps if the alter- 
nator has Tailed, then the voltage dif- 
ferential would be hiiiher — makine the 
battery suspect. But before installing 
another battery, the alicmator will re- 
quire testing. Because the battery and 
alternator together make up ihe power 
system for the automobile, they must 
be tested as a system, 

Test conditions 

LA. To determine if « battery is ca- 
pable of starling the engine, you need 
only to engage the starter. Assume first 

that the solenoid just clicks, with the 
starter failing to turn. This indicates 
one of three conditions: 

1 . The battery charge is low. 

2. TliL^ battery is dolective. 

3. The starter is defective. 

B. Two tests are required for an 
evaluation of the batterv, because if the 
battery is good and the solenoid still 
just clicks, then the starter is suspect. 
The starter and solenoid are both sus- 
pect if Ihe battery is fully charged and 
the solenoid fails to click. The first test 
of die battery involves measuring the ter- 
minal \oltagc under k>ad (headligliLs on) 
with the engine ojf. Record the voltage 
readings. Tlien, after char^inn the bat- 
ter>'. the load/m>load tests ;ire repealed 
and the voltage salucs compamd. 

C, Expected results: 

L ir the battery will retain a charge, 
the lenninal voltatje will he ahtjve 12.6 
V for bdlh K)ad and no-load tests, 

2. ir the batlerv terminal voltaiie is 
below 12,6 V after beioe charued, then 
the battery is susjpccl, as it ma) be 

ILA. Deierminin«i the status of an 
alternator is much easier and consider- 
ably faster than testing a battery. Alterna- 
tor testiniz is alwavs done witli the 
engine running. With one exception, the 
engine bhimld not be running when 
checking for alternator diode leakage. 

1 , Tti perform a diode leakage test on 
an alternator, the following procedure 
is used. With engine off, the hatler>' 
cable is removed from the aUernalor 
and a voltmeter is placed between the 
terminal and the cable. Because of the 
high reverse resistance of the dindes. a 
voltage indication of less than 12.8 V 
should he expected. If the leakage is 
more than might he expected, a #1 157 
(or #1034) light bulb with pigtails al- 
tached to one filament may be placed 
between the cable and terminal as an 
additional test method. The light bulb 
should not exhibil any fiUuncnt glow. 
If the bulh filament does glow, then 
suspect leaky diodes in the altemaLot; 
Another symploni of a bad alteniatoiV 
regulator (particuUirly if the filament 
gkmrs during the light bulb lest) will 
be a dead battery after a lew hours of 

2. Dynamic tests on the alternator 
will also check the regulator, brushes, 
and diode conductitMi. The terminal 
voiiage across the battery vulh the en- 
sine runnimi at or above idle should 



13.2 -14 J 





Normal Range 

Not Charging 

OpenyDefective Diode 

Low Battery 

Table i. Expected battery lermmai volt- 
age values based upon typical system 

yield a voltage between 1 3.2 and 14.7 V 
The voltage value should remain ap- 
proximately the same whether or not 
the headlights are turned on. 

B. Expected results: 

1. If the terminal voltage remains 
fairly constant at a value between 
13.2-14J V with or without a load, 
then the alternator and regulator are 
functioning OK. 

2. If the terminal voliase is at 12.8 V 
or below with or without a U>ad, sus- 
pect the alternator/regulator as being 

i. If the voltage appears to he regu- 
lated but hangs at about 12.7 V, then 
suspect an open diode in the alternaHir 

C. Table 1 provides a guide for mak- 
ing diagnostic decisions regarding an 
automobile^s electrical system. Be- 
cause of the cost factor of replacing a 
battery or alternator replacement deci- 
sions should be based upon as many 
symptoms and available lest data re- 
sults as possible. It is best to perform 
aU of the tests and compare the results 
of each to identrfy the bad component. 

IlLA, One of the most dilTicull 
electrical problems to diagnose is a 
current leakage path that Lends to run 
down the battery during a short pe- 
riod of unuse — 24-48 hours, perhaps. 
Because of the elusivencss of llic prob- 
lem, only a few hints can be provided 
as to how you would go about solving 
it. Hams have a solution for almost all 
electronic problems, even those in- 
volving cars. The best suggestion is to 
consider the car's electrical system as 
an Ohm\s law problem in which there 
is one voltage source feeding a great 
number of parallel current paths, U 
will then be necessar\ to deicmiine the 
current flow in each path when each is 
intended to be open circuited. 

B. Before starting a troubleshooting 
process, make sure that all lights in- 
eluding the glove box, irimk, engine 
compartment, map light, etc., are 
turned off. It may be necessary to tem- 
porarily remov e them from their sockets 
to niaJ^e sure they are compleieiy tunn^ 
off. It's also a good idea to remove the 
cisarette lighter from its socket. It tiiu^i 
be recognized that the clock and com- 
puter will draw some current, but the 
value should be relatively small in 

comparison to what a glove box light 
might draw. 

C. The first step in chasing a leakage 
problem is to determine the magnitude 
of ihe leakage path. This can he done 
by removing the battery cable from the 
battery. This operation can wipe out 
the theft code on some electrical de* 
vices, such as the radio, within the ve- 
hicle, so you must be prepared lo 
re-enter the proper codes following the 
troublcNhouting i^rocess. Otherwise, do 
not remove the battery cable fi"om the 

D. Assuming that the above items 
have been accounted for and fotind to 
not be a problem, a DVM and a #1 157 
(or #1034) light bulb can be used as 
diasinostic tools for tmcins currenl paths. 

I* Remove the battery cable and 
place the light bulb between the cable 
and batter\' terminal. If the bulb fila- 
ment glow s, then take note of the bril- 
liance ^i> a reference for later measure- 
ments. Place a DVM set on the amps 
scale and measure the current value, 
Anvihins greater than about 50 mA is 
considered suspect. The measured value 
is essentiallv the current value that 
must be traced to the suspected branch 
circuit causing the leakage path. It is 
assumed here that the alternator and 
regulator have been found to be OK and 
checked as in step number II above. 

2. Circuits Ihai do not normally go 
through the fuse block are the head- 
lights, cornputer, transmission shift in- 
dicator, temperature sensors, starter, 
alternator, etc. If no problem is found 
in the fuse block test (below), then 
each of these circuits will require an 
examination. Each of the circuil> listed 
will have a switch or relay that pro- 
vides power to the circuit. It will be 
necessarv to examine each. 
i 3. Reconnect the batterj^ cable to the 
battery and move to the fuse block. 
Each fuse is to be remo\ ed, one at a 
lime, and the current measured in that 
path. Either the light bulb or ammeter 
may be used as a current indicator. 

E. Expected results: 
L The current in each circuit path 

should be zero if the circuit is open, 
2. The circuit containing the high 

Continued on page 23 
73 Amateur Radio Today • December 1998 13 

NtimJwr 14 on your Fwiil>ack cartt 

Announcing the QRPeanut 

Here's a compact QRP transmatch you can build for next to nothing. 

James R Fisher N5GZH 

RO. Box 856 
Kyle TX 78640 

When I was faced with the 
need tor a cheap and com- 
pact matching unit for por- 
table. lo\\ -power operation, ii soon be- 
came clear that my options were 
limited. Available units. I found, were 
larger than I needed for QRP. And be- 
sides, who needs an ATU ruled at 200 
watts when yoif re camping or back- 
packing on batteries al only five? Enter 
the foriiivinii bcaulv of QRP and a 
simple solution! Low voltages encoun- 
tered at QRP pDw er levels make ATUs 
easv to home-brew. And as Ihev say 
about traveling, "Gettin" iherc is half 
the fmi." Hence the QRPeanut. 

Design and building details 

Design of the QRPeanut is a sU"aight- 
forward adaptation of the classic T net- 
work as described by Doug DeMaw 
and others. The chief advantage of this 
design is its obvious simplicity (see 
Fig, 1). On the dow n side, it has a "high- 
pass characteristic," which means that it 
wonl liltcr oui spurious haniionics. 
However, if your QRP signal is dean 
to begin with, this shouldn*t matter 

1 made LI, L2. and L3 from #22 
enamel wire wound on loroids (Am- 
14 73 Amateur Radio today • Decembef 1998 

idon T8()"2 for LI and L2, TKO-6 for 
L3), chosen for low loss and compact- 
ness. (Toroids are easy. I would rather 
wind 10 of them than one of those cy- 
lindrical things.) The coils arc center- 
tapped and mounted on a "one size fits 
air' type of circuit board from Radio 
Shack. After soldering, it's not a bad 
idea to check connec lions for DC con- 
tinuitv, since residual amounts of the 
wire's enamel coating wiU sometimes 
produce a bad solder joint. 

Size and type of enclosure are 
mostly up to the builder, but the from 
panel should be nonmetallic for rea- 
sous I will explain later I boil I mine in 
a Rve-inch by two-and-a-half-inch by 
two-inch ABS plastic box (Radio 
Shack 270-1803). Important tip: Un- 
less you have the hands of a neurosur- 
geon and tlie paiicnce of Job, wijing 
the rotaty switch in place with a box 
this size will be nearly impossible. If 
compactness is your goal, consider 
wirins the loroid board to the rotarv 
switch on a simple "jig" (see Photo 
A). Radio Shack was kind enough to 
package this line of enclosures with 
both a plastic lid and one made of alu- 
minum sheet. I made my jig by drilling 
mounting holes for CI, C2, and the 

rotary switch and I hen adding a right 
angle bend roughly one-hall-inch wide 
for a foot. This a! loured me to nnumt 
the jig on a small block of wood with 
screws, formins a stable base on w hich 
to work. The compleied assembly was 
then removed from the jig and eased 
into the enclosure with a little wire 
bending wliere appropriate. 

The stiffness of the wiring is prob- 
ably enough to hold the board in place. 
1 used a lump of Coax Seal - as addi- 
tional insurance. An inductance meter 
is also handy for checking to be sure 

Cofi tinned on page 16 



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Photo A. The wired ATV on the assembly jig, 

the rotary switch and toroids are wired 

Since the affordable, air-spaced vari- 
able capacitor seems to be going the 
way of the dinosaur, I chose to use a 
lype of mica compression trimmer 
having a boill-in shaft (ARCO S463). 
There are tradeoffs. The S463 is a bit 
quirky; operation is not linear, and the 
metal shaft is electrically common 
with one side of the capacitor. Do not 
attempt to use these capacitors 
mounted directly to a conductive 
paneL They seem to work fine 
mounted on plastic and with plastic 

ri flt 

Photo B; Top view, 

knobs. Since the single mounting 
screw is also '*hot,'' use nylon hard- 
ware or simply tape over it, (Did I 
mention the beauty of QRP?) All in all, 
a small price to pay for components 
that are compact and cheap. 

Choose your favorite flavor of co- 
axial connector, but since the chassis is 
plastic, it's a good idea to strap the 
ground sides together with a bus, I 
used SO-239s for universality. You 
may want to build even smaller 

A couple of tips about those cheap 
but quirky capacitors. For reasons un- 
knowTi» shaft diameters arc a hair larger 



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16 73 Amateur Radio Today • December 1998 

Photo C From view, 

Chan one*quarter inch, so it may be nec- 
essary to drill the knob collars to a 
slightly larger size; 17/64-inch is about 
right Hold them for drilling by mak- 
ing a hole in a piece of wood in which 
the knob will fit snugly. Also, giving the 
adjuslmenl screws al the back of the ca- 
pacitors a squirt of contact lubricant (1 
used Caig DeOxit®) makes operation 
smoother and should improve service life. 
Remember when operating that most 
of the range of the capacitors is in the 
last two clockwise turns. Other than 
that the QRPeanut works like any 
other transmatch. 









Parts List 

ARCO S463* 

28 turns #22 enameted 
wire on Amidon T80-2 
core, center-tapped 

24 turns #22 enameled 
wire on Amidon T80-2 
core, center-tapped 

18 turns #22 enameled 
wire on Amidon T80-6 
core, center-tapped 

2-pGle, 6 -position, 

RS #275-1386, cut shaft 

to 5/8" 

2 ea, Amidon 180-2 (red) 
1 ea. Amidon T80-6 

RS #276-159 

Enclosure plastic, 2''x2-1/2"x5' 

* Source: 

Surplus Safes of Nebraska 
1502 Jones Street 
Omaha NE 68102 

Table 1. Parts list. 

Number 17 on your Feedback card 


Keys to Better Operating 

Yes, much of it is common sense . , . 

Bob Shrader W6BNB 

1911 Barnett Valley Road 

Sebastopol CA 95472 


There is a proper way of operat- 
ing radio transmitters on the air 
to produce the most eflicienl and 
interesting cohimiimcatTons. The basic 
rules arc reasonably simple. They arc 
things with which you will probably 
agree if they are considered a bit. The 
undesirable operating iteni& discussed 
here have aJI been heard recently on 
the ham bands. Let's not be the ones 
who operate that way. 

It might be said that the cardinal 
requirement in any communicating, 
whether by telephone, by computer, by 
RTTY, by SSB/AM/FM radiotcleplione, 
or by radiotelcgraphic CW, is to make 
sure that ah of the information trans- 
mitted is received by the receiving op- 
erator. Actually it is up to both the 
receiving operator and the transmitting 
operator to do everything possible to 
ensure that this cardinal requirement is 

The emphasis here will be on phone 
and CW operating. One of the things 
that can interfere most with receiving 
all of the infomiation sent is speed. If 
transmission speed is faster than can 
be received correctly, regardless of the 
ineans used to do the communicating. 

all of tile desired infonnation will not 
get through. 

Radiotelephone operating 

The basic theory behind calling an- 
other station is to attract the attention 
of the station to be contacted (usually 
by calling CQ) and then advise who 
is doing the calling. Using voice com- 
munications, if two stations know each 
other wcif the desired station's callsign 
can be transmittedp fi>llowed by 'This 
is/' then the callsign of the calling sta- 
tion, piobably transmitted only once. 

When stations are not known to each 
other too well, if at all, the called 
station's callsign can be sent once 
(maybe twice), then "This is/' and 
then the calliniJ station's callsisn, first 
with regular spoken letters and then re- 
peated phonetically. If conditions are 
not good, callsigns may have to be re- 
peated more than this. 

There have been many different * 'pho- 
netic alphabets" used in amateur radio. 
Some used names, some used cities, 
some used .states or countries, and some 
were just supposed to be witty. Today 
the generally accepted international 
phonedc alphabet is: 

A fa 






.... ...... 















Ju iett 





Yankee ; 




Table 1. hitenmrionaUy recognized "phonetic* 

Amateur Radio Today * December 199S 17 

A suggested protitinciaiioii of the 1 

nuiiibc!> k^ make tliem more distin- 
guishable when spoken mighi be: 












M Ny-yun or Nine-er 
Zee-row (not "Oh^ 

Table 2. Promnmve the fnimerals so there 

urn be iiuli' possibifify- ofcvnjimon. 

As an example of the use of phonei- 
icH, suppose you warn to call an ama- 
leer station with a call such as 
''VESBCG." Since Lhis call is made up 
of all *'ccc** sounding letters and num- 
bers, unless very carefully eiuiiiciated, 
some of the letters could easily be mis- 
undcrsluud, U" spoken as "Viclor Echo 
Thu-ree Bravo Charlie Golf," there is 
little chance of receiving the letters 


Clarity is one of the things which 
can interfere with the cardinal require- 
ment of phone-lypc operation. Received 
signals may not be understandable if the 
transmitting operator is not using the 
microphone properly, if the modula- 
tion circuits are not functioning prop- 
erly, if the microphone gain control is 
not set properly, if words are mispro- 
nounced, or if the person doing the 
talking does not enunciate clearly. 

Microphones can be misused. There 
is always a certain amount of noise 
generated in audio circuits, hut the mi- 
crophone signal should be about 30 dB 
above that. If this value of signal is used, 
your contact is likely to be successfui- 
18 73 Amateur Radio Today * December 1998 

This value can be found by on-lhe-air 
tests to determine how close the mouth 
should be to the microphone, and llie 
point where the audio gain control 
should be set Since most amateur ra- 
dio station rooms are not sound- 
proofed, if the moulh-to-mike distance 
is more than perhaps four or five 
inches, the mike sain may have to be 
raised to w here room echoes begin to 
be picked up and transmitted. I have a 
wire guard on my microphone that ex- 
tends out tw^o inches. If the guard wire 
is held to the upper lip the modulation 
will be kept reasonably constant. 

It would be nice to be able to set the 
mike on the desk, lean back two or 
three (eel from it and talk (in sound- 
proofed rooms at broadcast stations, this 
is possible and is what tliey often do). 

If amateurs speak too far from the 
microphone, room noise and echoes 
will usually become annovin<r to lis- 
leners and can interfere with under- 
standiuii. Wiih ttx) hish a sain scrtini^, if 
a telephone rings, or another receiver in 
the room sounds off^ or people are talk- 
ing nearby, or dogs are barking outside, 
all of these will create interfering out- 
put sounds from the transmitter If the 
speaker is too close to a microphone^ 
aspirant letters such as B, R S, T and X 
tuay produce a puff of air or a hissing 
that hits the diaphragm and causes a 
distorted output signal. Rubber foam, 
cemented over the microphone front, 
may reduce this effect. If the operator 
speaks across the microphone from a 
distance of about an inch, rather than 
directly into it, the unwanted aspirant 
effect will be lessened. A person who 
speaks in u loud voice can be farther 
aw ay from the microphone tlian some- 
one who has a more subdued voice. All 
of these items must be considered 
when setting the microphone gain con- 
trol. The best way to determine gain 
settings is to check with some other 
ham on the air. 

Pronunciation, the proper sounding 
of letters and syllables in words, is im- 
portant. Foreign amateurs, not skilled 
in speaking your language, are often 
unable to pronounce even some fairly 
common words, When speaking to 
these people, slow your speech materi- 
ally, clearly enunciate all words and 

pronounce them carefully and prop- 
erly. Think of yourself as helping to 
teach foreign hams the proper u>e of 
your language. 

Enunciation is improved by using 
the lips, tongue and jaw to altow^ all of 
the syllables of all words to be pro- 
duced properly. This is very important 
when speaking into a microphone. When 
you speak face to face with someone, 
their lip movements are seen as their 
voice is heard. When a microphone 
alone is being used, the assistance of 
reading the lips and facia! expressions 
is gone, It is therefore more dilficult to 
understand what is being said. InsulTi- 
cicnt movements of the lips can result in 
mumblinii. which interferes with com- 
prehension. Keep those lips nioving! 

CalUtig and an5\veri||| 

When calling CQ on phone, listen 
first on what is apparently a clear fre- 
quency for a while. Make sure your 
transmitter is on the same frequency to 
which your receiver is tuned by turn- 
ing off the RIT control nn newer 
equipment. If the frequency appears 
not to be in use, and if tuning is neces- 
sary, tune up on the tVeqiicncy as rap- 
idly as possible and ask, "Is this 
frequency in use?" If there is no an- 
swer, after a few seconds, call ''CQ'' a 
couple of times, sign once a little 
slower than normal, using plain letters, 
then repeat the callsign phonetically, 
ending with, '^Over,'' or perhaps, 
"Standing by." If no one answers it 
probably means no one happened to be 
tuned to and lislcninn on thai fre- 
quency. A single short "CQ" only pro- 
duces results if someone happened to 
have his receiver mned to that fre- 
quency. The chances arc poor that 
someone will happen to tune across 
your frequency, let alone zero in on it 
precisely during the few seconds that a 
short CQ takes. Look al it as if you 
w^ere Ushing. You would not throw a 
line out and then in 10 seconds pull it 
back in again and quit llshing for the 
day. After about 1 5 seconds try another 
CQ to try to catch someone tuning 
around. This time call ''CQ" four or 
five times and sign once. Repeat this 
two or three times so anyone tuning 
across your frequency will have time 

to zero in on your frequency. After ihe 
last CQ, sign once using plain letters 
and then phonetically, followed by an 
'Over" It is not good to string a long, 
long series of CQs together that lake 
up a minute or more* Use 20- to 30- 
second CQs. If no one answers, iry 
again after 10 or 15 seconds. Unless 
you are after DX contacts, don't an- 
swer the CQ of a station you cannot 
hear well, particularly if you are using 
low power 

Remember, when using SSB there is 
essentially no carrier being transmitted 
that a receiving operator can hear. 
Many times a u-ansmitiing operator 
hesitates at the end of a sentence and 
the other operator starts talking, think* 
ing it has been turned over. Unfortu- 
nately at Ihe same instant the first 
operator may resume speaking. The 
resulting "doubling" results in neither 
operator's hearing the other. Always try 
to use an "Over," or the other operator's 
name with a rising inflection, or your 
callsign at the end of transmissions, to 
indicate you want the other operator to 
start talking. When listening, wait for 
some kind of indication that the other 
operator is expecting an answer 

To check into an SSB net, if trans- 
mitter carrier and antenna tuneup is 
necessary, either zcro»beat the fre- 
quency of the station transmitting to 
do your tuning, or move to a clear fre- 
quency three or more kilohertz away. 
In the laiter case, when tuned, shift to 
the net frequency and wait for the 
transmitting station to turn it over to 
the next station. If the net is operating 
properly, the next station should not 
start transmitting for a second or so, to 
give any station wanting to break in a 
ct^jice to do so, A break-in station 
should say, "Break,*' or perhaps "Here 
is XXXXX'^ (your callsign). The net 
control should step in, recognize the 
new station, and advise the proper ac- 
tion to be taken. Always allow the net- 
control station to handle break-in 
stations. If two or more stations try to 
handle a break-in station there will be 
confusion on the frequency. 

Any time a u^ansmitier emits a signal 
on the air the FCC requires it to be 
identified by callsign. At the end of a 
tuning session always transmit your 

callsign. Station identification is also 
required every 10 minutes during 
QSOs. It is not necessary to continu- 
ally identify if making short back and 
forth transmissions which require only 
a few seconds to a minute or so. Keep 
track of ID times with all QSOs. A 
wind-up timer works nicely for this. 
Whenever you transmit your station 
callsign set the timer to 10 minutes. 
When it rings it is an indication that it 
is time lo send your callsign again as 
soon as it is possible. Tt is wise to ID at 
the beginning of any transmission. If 
one of your transmissions lasts more 
than 10 minutes, at the bell, stop at the 
end of a sentence, sign your call and 
then continue with the transmission. 
Most phone QSO transmissions do not 
take 10 minutes, but each lime you 
sign over to another station your 
callsign should be given and the timer 
set. Station ID is always required when 
a station makes a final sign-off. There 

Continued on page 20 


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Keys to Better Operating 

cant it luedj'rom page 19 

is apparently oo requiremeiu thai ihe ! 
other siaiion's calls isn must be sent, 
bui il seems only proper courtesy lo 
sejid il ai Icust when signing olT. 

CW operating 

The term **CW' means "Continuous 
Wave," a diflerent kind of a wave ihan 
the original spark-type emissions used 

in ihc early days oramaieur radio code 
irtmsmissions. Spark tranKmitters pro- 
duced waves Ihai varied up and down 
at sonic audio rate. U was Lhc varia- 
tions that the old receivers delected. 
When vacuum tubes were developed 
and were used in RF oscillalors, ihcv 
produced a consiaul-ampHludc wave 
output, thus the term CW. WTien spark 
Ifaa^niiltcrs were outlawed on the ham 
bands in the late 1920s the tenn CW 
continued on as meant ne Morse code 
radio iransniissions. 

Radio code operating has many well 
estahiishcd and excellent communicat- 
ine rules first developed by commer- 
cial railroad Morse operators and then 
seagoing and point-to-point radio op- 
erators. Such jobs depended on mak- 
ing perfect copy of all Lransmissjons. 
Over the vears thcv ironed out all of 
the undesirable methods of sending 
CW on die air. It is from their basic 
rules that our modern CW und even 
most of the phone transmission recom- 
mendations above were developed. 

The basic caUing procedure with 
CW is to caTI a station hv sendins its 
catlsign. then "DE" (meaning "tVooi"), 
and then sendinii the calliniz station's 
callsign. If conditions are good and the 
two stations know^ each other well. 
sending the calls only once may be ad- 
equate, hi many cases in amateur ra- 
dio» two stations will not know^ each 
other well. When answering a CQ. 
v\'ilh nrodern equipment, probably one 
transmission of the calling station's 
callsian is suincienl but after the DE 
the answering station should always 
send ihe answering siutioii's call at 
least twice. Even if the path is good, 
fur a variety of reasons an answering 
station should repeat his/her callsign 
two or three times. It is not often that , 
73 Amateur Radio Today * December 1998 

the called stadon's cfttlsign must be re- 
peated — that station can recognize its 
own callsign quite easily, even through 
QRM and QRN. An exception would 
be when the answering station is not 
on the frequency of the calling station. 
In this case it may be necessary' to 
transmit the CQing station's call sev- 
eral times. WTien an answering station 
does not answer very close to the caU- 
ing station's frequency, troubles may 

Obviously, if an operator sends too 
fast to another operator, time is being 
wasted. Only minimal information 
will be received. Tf an operator can 
only receive at 13 words per minute, it 
will be Liseless to send at 20 wpni. On 
the other hand, ii 30-wpni operator can 
slow to 13 wpm v\iih no trouble. If 
CW operators try to send faster than 
they can copy well, there is htUe 
chance that the higher-speed transmis- 
sion will be ton readable. (Of course, if 
a keyboard is used, sending speed \\ ill 
only depend on the nping abilit)^ of 
the person at the kc) board,) Try to de- 
termine the other operator's highest 
correct receiving speed as soon as pos- 
sible. Whenc\cr quesiions are asked 
but arc not answered, the sending 
speed is probably too fast, assuming 
the sendinc is faultless. If break-in 
keying is being used and there are loo 
many breaks being made, slow the 
sending- It may not be poor sending at 
the sending end. nor poor copying at 
the receiving end; it may be QRN 
crashes or QRM signals which may be 
unheard at the sending end that are in- 
lerfering with the copy. Do not hesitate 
lo use "QRS " (send slower) when con- 
ditions are poor. When QRN is bad. al- 
ways reduce sending speed. The 
longer doLs and dashes of slower send- 
ing extend the time of each letter, 
causing only part of a letter lo be bro- 
ken rather than possibly two or more 
letters by a static crash. One broken 
letter can usually be guessed, but two 
or more may cause confusion at the 
receiving end. 

If sending CW with a keyboard, de- 
termine what speed a receiving opera- 
tor who is not using a machine can 
copy adequately. Do not exceed that 
speed. If an operator is hand-sending 

at 20 wpm and it is being diij^Myed oil 
a monitor fairly welL send no faster 
than that when answering. If answered 
on a keyboard at 25 wpm, ihe sending 
operator will probably try to speed 
up, may make a nic:^^ of il, and the car- 
dinal communications requirement is 

When an operator is sending by 
hand to a computer keyboard monitor- 
ing station, the operator musi send 
only up lo the speed at which letters 
and spacing are error-tree. Machines 
can only copy Morse code letters 
which are made within certain lime 
limits. The dots must be close to one- 
third the length of the dashes, and the 
space times between dot and dashes 
must he equal to the length of a dot. 
Spaces between words must be more 
than those between letters. Letters 
must not be split. Diditdahdii is F, but 
(Hdif dahdit is IN. It ma> ^ound almost 
the same to the ear, but ihe machine is 
not fooled! When there is QRN at one 
or both ends, slow down, even when 
using a machine. 

Splittini! letters or mnnins two let- 
tcrs or words together when sending 
Morse code is easy lo do, hut can be 
very confusing lo the receiving opera- 
lor. If GT. MA. TK. or Q is sent, but 
the word MET is wha( was supposed 
lo have been sent, the receiving opera- 
tor can get confused. When an L is sup- 
pcjscd 10 be U"ansmitted hut il comes out 
''dhlahdii dit:' that is RE. which re- 
sults in a misspelled word and possible 
confusion. Make sure there is spacing 
in between all letters, but no added 
spacing in between the dots and dashes 
of letters. Furthermore, ihere should be 
more space between two sentences 
than between two words. If "deter 
mine*' is sent, does it mean that or was 
it supposed lo mean 'deiemiine?" 

While it is quite proper to use key- 
board*iype punctuation marks on the 
air, such as a period at the end of sen- 
tences and commas, amateur opera- 
tions have come down through ihe 
decades with the general character 
"BT'' used to mean the end of a sen- 
tence, or end of a paragraph, or just a 
means of stalling while thinking about 
what is eoin^ to be transmitted next. It 
is noi required to send a 'KA" at the 

start of operations, nor is anylhing 
other than a K needed to turn over to 
another station in most cases. In DX 
operations the use of KN is OK as it 
indicates *1 am not finished talking to 
this station; please do not break in." 
Never use KN after a CQ! 

A hard and fast CW sending rule is: 
"If an error is made while sending a 
word, slop, send an error sign, go back 
to the beginning of the word, then 
resend the whole word." Never stop 
and send only the mis-sent letter cor- 
rectly. Worse yet, do not add a missing 
dot which was supposed to have been 
the last pan of the previous letter! 
Send only whole letters, never broken 
letters. Send only whole words, never 
broken words. The correcting rule can 
be expanded to: 

•When an error is made in sending 
the first letter of a word, stop* send an 
error sign, go back and resend the 
whole word before the improperly sent 
letter and continue on. 

This is absoltitely necessary when 
handling traffic messages. 

How is an error sign made? Interna- 
tionally it is eight dots, although "?" or 
**??** may be used, and sometimes 
"SN" is used. Whatever error sign is 
used. It really only has to be something 
that cannot be copied as a letter, num- 
ber, or a misplaced punctuation mark. 
It has to be something that stops the re- 
ceiving operator's copying. 

As with phone communications, af- 
ter 10 minutes of operating, a station is 
required to send its callsign. End all 
five- to lO-tninute transmissions with 
your callsign and a K. If a short answer 
is required, after sending the question, 
end with the question mark and a K. 
With such short transmissions do not 
bother with callsigns. Wait for the 10- 
minute period to come up. Operators 
often use "BK," apparently meaning, 
"Back to you." The letters ^^BTU" 
mean the same thing. 

It is standard procediu^e in DX pile- 
ups to call the DX station with jusl the 
callsign of the calling station once or 
twice, close to the DX station's fre- 
quency, or on any frequency to which 
it indicates it is listening. The loudest 
station being heard by the DX station 
will be the first worked, of course. But 

keep trying every time the station 
signs clear. However, do not use this 
procedure when answering non-DX 
CQs — it may sound to the CQing sta- 
tion like some statiijii is ending a test, 
or some station is being improperly 
called, A CQing station wants to know 
that whoever is answering is actually 
calUng the CQing station. In many 
cases the CQing station may not be 
tuned to the answering station*s fre* 
quency for some reason and may not 
hear the first part of the answering call. 

The Q signals 

When calUng CQ on CW the proce- 
dure is very similar to that discussed 
for phone. With CW you should nor- 
mally send at the speed at which you 
want the answering station to use. 
Don't be afraid to answer a 30-wpm 
CQ call at 20 wpra. Most of the better 
operators are quite willing to work at 
somewhat slower speeds, but it is gen- 
erally not a good idea to answer a 30- 

wpm CQ with a 5- or lO-wpm reply. If 
band conditions are bad, due to QSB 
or QRN, always call and operate at 
slower than normal speeds. 

Using CW, before calling "CQ" on a 
frequency, use the Q-signal, QRL?, 
which means, "is this frequency in 
use?" Do not send "QRL'^ before a CQ 
because it means, 'This frequency is in 
use^ please do not use it.'* QRL alone 
indicates someone is replying to a 
"QRL?" call of a station which the lis- 
tening station may not he able to hear. 
If someone sends QRL? on a fre- 
quency you and another station are us- 
ing, answer this question with the 
statement, "QRL/' or possibly, "Yes," 
Always remember, the station you are 
copying may be in the skip zone of the 
station sending the QRL?, 

There are over 50 intcmaticinally 
used CW Q'Signals. Those that ama- 
teurs are most likely to use are shown 
here in table form. 

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73 Amateur Radio Today • December 1998 21 











QRV ' 



The frequency is .-. 

Your readability is ... (1 - 5) (See QSA also) 

Tilts frequency is in use; please do not interfere 

Interfering stations 

Increasing to ...; or using higher power 

Decreasing to ,„; or using low power 

Send faster 

Send slower 

Stop sending 

1 have nothing for you 

am ready; start sending 

Wart: I will call you shortly 

You are being called by 

Table 3. Handy reference fo tlw mosi commonly used *'Q" codes. 


Your signal strength is ... (1 - 5) 


Your signals are fading 


Your keying is defect ve 


1 can hear you between my signals (1 am using break-in) , 


1 acknowedge or confirm receiving „. 


1 can conimunicate with you ... 


Re ay a message to .., 

Keys to Better Operating 

€:ontinuedJrofn page 21 

IMien followed by a question mark, 
any Q-signal asks a question. For ex- 
ample, QRG? means. ^^Whai is my (or 
your) frequency?" QRZ? means, **By 
whom am 1 being called?" While there 
may be amateurs who discourage the 
use of Q-signals wiLh radiotciephune 
CTmrnunications, some Q-si^nals fit in 
very nicely with such operating. As 
examples. QRM QRN. QRR QRX. 

22 73 Amateuf Radio Today • December 1998 

QSB. QSO. QSL (also a continuation 
card for amateurs) and QSO are ollen 
heard. On phone. "Use VOX" (Abice 
Operated Xmissions) means the same 
as "QSK'* does with CW, The use of 
QSK and VOX helps greatly in QSOs 
and nets on Lhe amatenr bands and 
should always he used if possible. 


Tuning a transceiver exactly to an- ■ 
other station's frequency with CW is \ 

more difficult to do than with SSB. 
With SSB, il the receiving operator's 
RIT control is off, when a station is 
tuned in so the voice sounds most natu- 
ral, the listener's transmitter should be 
exactly «vii the oilier station's I'requcncy, 
This is known as ''zero- healing" the two 
U^ansmitter frequencies. 

When tuning in a CW station using a 
transceiver, and again, providing the RTF 
conu^l is oil; the receiving operator *s 
transmitter will be set to something be- 
tween perhaps 300 and 1000 Hz from 
the transmitting station's frequency 
when il is tuned in. With most trans- 
ceivers, whatever beat-Lone frequency 
is produced by a received signal, if the 
tone heard when the key is pressed is 
the same, the transmitter sisnal will be 
very^ close to zero-bcai with the re- 
ceived signal, ir the kcx-doun and the 
beat-tone frequencies arc different by 
500 H?,, then the receiving operator's 
transmitter will be 500 Hz away from 
the other station's carrier frequency. If 
a receiver uses a 250-Hz wide CW IF 
niten signals 500 Hz or more away 
may never be heard. It is very impor- 
lani when answering a general type of 
CQ to answer as close to the calling 
station s frequency as possible. In DX 
pileups if there are many signals on the 
DX station's frequency, il may pay to 
detune a few hundred hcrt/ to answer 
lhe DX station. 

In older-type equipment, where the 
transmitter and the receiver are sepai ate 
urats, if you want to call '*CQ'' it is nec- 
essary^ to learn how^ lo tune tlie transmit- 
ter to a desired clear spot in the hand 
Eidier lum ulT the final amplifier stage, 
or use a duinmy load on the transmilten 
or mm the transmitter's output power 
down Lo miuimum before tunin^j it 
across the band until the transmitter's 
signal is heard in the receiver as a lone 
of aboul 700 Hz. A CQ can now be 
called on this frequency after an unan- 
swered QRL? is transmitted. Unless 
you are aller DX contacts, do not an- 
swer the CQ of a station whose signals 
are poor due to band conditions. 


To zero-beat a received sisnal. sucb 
as a CQing station, with a separate 
transmitter and receiver, tune the 

transmitter's oscillator until its tone in 
the receiver exactly matches thai of the 
tone of the CQing station. Many trans- 
mitters have a "Calibrate" or 'Test*' 
switch or button which only activates 
the transmitter's oscillator to allow 
zero-bealing the local transmitter to a 
received frequeiKry. It provides a weak 
transmitter oscillator signal for the re- 
ceiver but produces no radiated signal 
dudng the zero-beating process. When 
using more advanced transceivers, 
with their RIT control off, when the 
frequency check switch is on, the tone 
heard must match that of the beat- 
signal tone of the received transmitter 
signal to ensure zero-beat operation. 

How close to zero-beat should sta- 
tions be? If they are on exactly the 
same frequency that is as good as it 
can get. In the case of CW stations, 
they probably should be within 1 00 Hz 
of each other or they may be taking up 
bK> much of the band. Vacuum-tube 
transmitters wiih VFOs almost always 
drift. They may have to be checked for 
zero-beat operation every few minules 
while the other station is transmitting, 
particularly if they have not been 
wanned up for 30 to 60 minutes. 

Stations operating several hundred 
hertz apan are just asking for interfer- 
ence troubles. While one of the sta- 
tions is transmitting the other station's 
frequency is not being used. It may be 
selected as a good spot for a QSO by 
two other stations, or a good spot for a 
CQ. If a QRL? on that frequency gets 
no answer from the transmitting opera- 
tor, there is no reason why that fre- 
quency should not be used for a CQ or 
QSO. It will then be up to the transmit- 
ting operator to advise the other opera- 
tor with whom he is in QSO to 
zero-beat with his/her frequency. If the 
transmitting station was using QSK, 
the QRL? call would probably have 
been heard and an answering QRL 
could have been sent to stop the CW or 
QSO on that frequency. 

It should be meniioned thai there are 
procedures used by the various armed 
services which may vary from interna- 
tional operating procedures. Those 
procedures were developed to fit the 
needs of their particular services. Ra- 
dio amateurs have always used the 

procedures which are in general use all 
over the world, those which have been 
explained here. Communications will 
be much more pleasurable if all ama- 
teurs use the same basic time-tested 

It is unfortunate that thousands of 
well-meaning amateur radio Elmers 
are either ex-mihtary people or are 
mostly phone operators and do not 
know the proper international proce- 
dures for amateur CW operating. The 
result is many poorly trained new ama- 
teur radio operators on our bands to- 
day. Poor operating takes much of the 
fun out of both phone and CW operat- 
ing. Hopefully this inlbrmation will 
get to some of those Elmers and to 
those they are helping so much. 

Probing Auto ElectronFcs 

continued from f>age 13 

leakage path should exhibit a current 
value similar to the value determined 
as a reference at the battery terminal. 

E Taking note of the circuit and the 
current measured at each ^e position 
(circuit branch) will provide a clue as 
to which circuit contains the excessive 
leakage path. 

There is an alternate test method that 
may be used when two people are 
available, one to perform the test and 
the other lo watch the light bulb. If the 
light buib filameni glows when con- 
nected between the battery terminal 
and cable, then leave tfie bulb con- 
nected and open each fuse circuit and 
potential circuit path. The light bulb 
will cease to glow when the leakage 
path has been opened. 

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73 Amateur Radio Today * December 1 998 23 

Number 24 on your feedback card 

73 Review 

A Real Handful 

Inside Alinco's DJ-CS dual-band transceiver. 

Terry Bennett VE3EG A 

PO Box 293 

Markham ON L3P 3J7 


A credit card-si/cd iwo-mcler + 70 I 
cm transceiver small enough to 
reuUy go in >uur shirt pockei was loo 
much for this minialiire -radio lover to 
resist — I had to get me one of those 
babies! As an Alincu DJI-FT owner. I 
was familiar with the company "s atten- 
tion to detail and ihe general reliability 
of their prodticls. A qtiick look at the 
Q5\ .specifications convinced me that 
the DJ-C5 had a lot uoijii! for it. 

1 had heard thai the new Alinco DJ- 
C5 radio was going to be available al 
Dayton, so as soon as the main arena 
opened I was chcckini; out prices {the 
Dayton piice was just under S20()). I 
had previously checked the DJ-C5 
specifications, so my justification was 
Simply this — T needed a radio that was 
versatile, easy to use straight from the 
bo?£. and small enough to can-y just 
about everywhere ( WHD = 56 mm x 
94 mm x 10,6 mm. 2.2 inches x 3.7 
inches x 0.417 inch). What s more, the 
DJ-C5 weiizhs in at a mere 80 irrams 
(2.82 oz.) and operates off a 3,8 VDC 
lithium-ion battery. 

Out of the box and on the air! 

On unpacking the radio (al the 
HamvenLion'j I was delighted to find 
that It actually did work straight from 
24 73 AmalGur Radio Today * December 1998 

the box — no battery charging — as the 
iniemal lithium -ion battery was aUve 
and well! I tjuickly set up a simplex 
frequency in VFO mode and was in 
QSO within lU minutes of purchasing 
the radio — not many handheld manu* 
tacturers can guarantee this kind of 
quick setup! The radio is housed in an 
aluminum case and all functions are 
keypad-controlled except for the on/ 
off switch and PTT. The radit> comes 
complete w iih a charger and clear plas- 
dc {1 didn't like this!) carrying case. The 
C5's transmitter is 3(X) mW — enoush 
fbr litie of siuht working, but within 
buildings (Hara .Arena) sometimes hit- 
and-miss. On nonrepeater channels. 
QRP usually needs unobstructed RF 
takeoff! Higher-powered radios also had 
their share of probletiis (due to high RF 
noise and obstructions), so I was not 
unduly concerned. 

The radio's audio output level (60 
mW) was, unrorlunatcly, not high 
enouszh to overcome the extremely hii»h 
ambient noise le\ el at Davton, and even 
an addniomd purchase of the liny 
EME-49 speaker/mike did little to im- 
prove matters. I initially solved the 
problem by initiating the Bell feature 
on the radio, which gave me a pleasant 
alert tone when someone called on the 
frequency! However, T did make a 

mental ntvte of a neat solution for fu- 
ture Ilea markets, so watch out for a 
future article! 

First repeater contact 

Later that day and back at my hotel, 
I was able to find the local (Piqua) re- 
peater and exchanged reports with a 
couple t>f hams who gave the radio an 
excellent audio report. My Dayton 
friends challenged my wisdom in pur- 
chasing a 3(K) mW radio instead of a 
topical higher powered unit (I was 
ready for this one!) I explained that 
with two meters and 70 cm on hoard. I 
will always be in range of at least one 
repeater practically everywhere I 
might visit in the USA or Canada. 
With dU memories to play with, life 
will never be dull! 

iTie skeptics were still unconvinced, 
hugging their brick-sized radios, their 
speaker- microphones hanging from 
dieir collars like sleeping bats, as they 
mumbled thimss about needins lots of 
power. In the meantime, I simply 
popped the C5 in my shirt pix-kei and 
off I went to load more repeaters into 
the radio's memor\. Riuht now^ (davs 
after Dayton). I am at the office, C5 in 
my shirt pocket and ready for more 
lunchtime QSOs — V\\ lake a bet that 

their radios sit at home in their shacks 
until the next hamfesi. 


A word of caution! Loading 50 
memories needs some careful plan- 
ning — 1 suggest thinking carefully 
about future trips and your general 
ham radio activities. Enter frequencies 
according to your own personal re- 
quirements! Adding and deleting fre- 
quencies is, however, very simple with 
the C5, and a few minutes with the 
manual will get you started. 

I set up my C5 so that the first 10 
memories would be two^meter local 
repeaters, the next 10 would be the 
major two- meter metropolitan area (in 
my case, Toronto) repeaters, and the 
next 10 would be oul-of-lown ones. 
UHF repeaters were programmed from 
#30-45, leaving room for five simplex 
or "scratchpad" channels as required! 
The two-meter calling channel of 
146.520 MHz was programmed into 
the VHF call memory. I didn't bother 
pfOgramming a UHF call frequency 
due to low activity on UHF simplex in 
my area* 

Operating and programmins the C5 

I have noticed that most small radios 
have comprehensive manuals thai re- 
quire you to sit quietly for an hour or 
two in deep concenlration studying the 
intricacies of the radio. Not the case 
with the C5, The folks at Alinco man- 
aged to condense theirs into an easy- 
to-understand (and remember!) 20 
pages — which can also fit in a shirt 
pocket if necessary! 

Programming the radio was a piece 
of cake. Simply select the desired 
memory channel number (using up/ 
down buttons); return to VFO mode 
(VM/MW button); use the up/down 
buttons to select the desired frequency^ 
press function (F); and hit the VM/ 
MW button to store! This procedure is 
all that is required to change a stored 
frequency. The range of repeater off- 
sets can be set between zero and 
99.995 MH7., Once the offset is pro- 
grammed, pressing Monitor allows you 
to monitor the repealer-input frequency. 
Pressing Monitor again returns the radio 
to normal operation. 

A neat feature of the C5 is the inclu- 
sion of the aircraft band and of Auto- 
matic AM Receive^ — ^gieat for checking 
out the action at local air shows! 

The DJ-C5 has CTCSS built in for 
both TX and RX (as required); select- 
ing from 26 standard tones will give 
you all the regular tones in use. The C5 
will automatically activate the encoder 
with the same decode tone when set! 

The C5 features Automatic Power 
Off, Key Lock, Adjustable Frequency 
Step, Channel Scan, Battery Saver, Bell 
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73 Amateur Ractio Today * December 1998 25 

Photo A, Alinco's DJ-C5. actual slze^ 

tBfiier to avoid f^houting! The possi- 
hi lilies are endless with such a liny, 
liLihtweiuhl radio. 

Battery charging 

The DJ-C5 charger operates by 
dropping the radio on its hack into the 
charger (a realK neat unit thai holdi 
the radio in place). A gneen LED indi* 
caiefi charging and extinguishes after 
charging is complete. Maximum 
charge time is two hours. A great thing 
about lithium-ion batteries is ihev do 
not develop a memory (unlike nickel- 
cadmium) and therefore uill offer 
much longer periods of operation per 
charge! The manual suggests that they 
arc good for 500 charges, so I strongly 
recommend charging huh its diffeienl 
from those used for nickel-cadmium 
baticiics. For example. If the radio 
works, the battery dott^t need charg- 
ing! The reason? It has a straight-curve 
discharge (think of your car's gas 

26 73 Amateur RadfO Today * December 1998 

tank!). Using this think- 
ing, you will be sure to 
get the maximum ben- 
efit from your liiliium- 
ion battery technology! 

Removing the screws 
on the rear of the radio 
accesses the C5's bai- 
terv (if this is ever re- 
quired!). Gently lift off 
the back cover and set 
it aside. I recommend 
purchasing a new set of 
tiny Phillips screwdriv- 
ers fRadib Shack®) 
prior to attempting this, 
as the screws are 
tightly fitted and there 
is alwavs the danger of 
damaue to the screw 
head! The battery takes 
up about one third of 
the total size of the ra- 
dio. To remo\e the bat- 
tery, simply ease it out 
and unplug its connec- 
tor. Replacement bat- 
teries are available (at 
this time) from Alinco. 
priced at approximately 


The DJ-C5 (out ol' the hoK) covetl 
118-173.995 MHz R\ (118-135.995 
AM Rx) and 420-449.995 MHz, Tx 
coverage is 144-147.995 and 420^ 
449,995 in two bands. 

A MARS/CAP modification is avail- 
able (simple) that will extend the Tx 
from 136-173.995 MHz and 380- 
472,995 MHz faircratt band is unaf- 

The radio's sensitivity is excellent, 
even with the supplied 4.5-inch llex- 
ible antenna. 1 receive the weather radio 
stations quite well (gocxl sensitivity test 
for Rx and antennas!). 

I have not tried an alternative an- 
tenna on the radio, as I felt this 
uould compromise the threaded con- 
nector, but the radio may accept a 
modified antenna for balloonist or 
similar operation. 

As I pre\iously mentioned, the Rx 
audio (60 mW) is not as high as with 

'^brick" HTs, but it is more than suffi- 
cient for nonnal personal outdoor US© 
in parks or streets. An audio accessory 
is recommended for Ilea markets or ar- 
eas where the ambient noise is likely 
to be high. This is a miniulure (2.5 
mm) stereo-type jack soclcet on the lop 
of the radio that accepts remote mike/ 
audio accessories. 

To date there is a gotxl range of 
Alinco accessories that can be used 
with the DJ-C5. 1 purchased the minia- 
ture speaker/mike {model EMS 49) 
and 1 will ultimately add an ear mike 
(and dark glasses!), 

A word of advice: Stibminiature 
stereo jacks are hard to find. Those 
of you who want to add your own 
mike/audio I/O (e.g., packet) won't 
find them at Radio Shack — ^youMI 
need to check out Mouser or a similar 


I love radios that arc easy to under- 
stand, program, and operate. And I 
hate hunting for the manual and rel- 
evant sections every time I want to 
chani^e something. For these reasons 
alone, the C5 is the perfect partner 
for the user who wants a less conipli- 
catcd radio, yet still needs to retain 
commonly-used features such as in- 
put- frnqtiency monitoring, channel scan, 
and quick frequency entry. Plus, the 
DJ-C5 has dual-band versatility, loo! 

Wilt 1 sell mine at the next Ilea 
market and get something with more 
power? No and no, Fll keep this rig, 
thank vou — well done. Alinco! 


The Alinco DJ-C5 dual -band trans- 
ceiver is available from: 

Alinco USA 

438 Amapola Ave. Suite 1 30 

Torrance C A 90501 
Tel: (310) 618-8616 

Further inlbnnatibn is also available 
JVom Alinco al [www.alincoxoni]. 
And you might he interested in my 
own Web page 
biz/cqradio], where there is also an 
Alinco link (a linko?). Have fun! 


Number 27 on your Feedback card 

Electronic Bug Emulator 

Put some personality back intoyour CW. 

J. Frank Brumbaugh W4LJD 

RO. Box 30— c/o Defendini 

Salinas PR 00751 -0030 

How niiiny of us initially suc- 
cumbed to ihe lure of an elec- 
ironic keyer and sold our bugs, 
only to become dissalisfied at the lack 
of personality in our CW? Or made 
keying errors with the new gadgets and 
wished we had our old bugs back? Yes, 
you and me and loLs ul oltiers. With 
this article. I hope to Lake many o^ us 
fomard to the past. 

New standard Vihrople3C*l5«igs cost 
SI 60. and the price rises rapidly for the 
fancier models. This is a cost most of 
us cannot afford to pay. But all is not 
lost. Described here is a very simple, 
cheap, and easy way to put the feel of a 
bug back into our operating, and it can 
be dune for less than five dollai-s! 

However before \vc spend that five 
dollars there is a minor problem to 
solve. Some of us already have single- 
lever paddles, which is what is needed 
to complete the electronic bug. As far 
as I know, all such paddles have 
grounded wipers. This circuit requires 
that the paddle have all three coniacis 
floating — dot, dash, and wiper. Unless 
an existing paddle can be modified, it 
may be necessary to home-brew a 
single-lever paddle in order to take 
advantage of this project. 

Fig. 1 illustrates the simple clec- 
trnntc portion of the single paddle bug. 


Stalled with a portion of a 25-year-old 
design by W7Z01 and made some 

The circuit is not original with me. I j mudiftcations to gel the results I 






Fig, L Schenuaii of spaced dots generator. 

73 AmaWur Radio Today • December 1998 27 










Fig. 2. Power and keying wiring, 

needed. The original circuit was more 
complex and did things not needed in 
this final design. 

Both timers in Ul together produce 
perfect dots and spaces, the speed of 
which is controlled by the weight po- 
tentiometer, RIO, which serves the 
same purpose as moving the weight on 
a bug. When the paddle is pressed for 
dots, a stream of perfectly spaced dots 
is generated and keys the rig through 
Q2, the Iceying transistor. Dot speed is 
adjustable, as on a Vibroplex, from ap- 
proximately three to 25 dots per sec- 
ond — equivalent to a keying speed 
range of seven to 60 wpm. 

When the paddle is pressed for 
flashes, this is a "key down" condition 
exactly as in a bug, allowing the opera- 
tor to make his own dashes and bring- 
ing back the familiar bug "feel." In 
addition, the dash side of the paddle can 
be tapped just as if it were a hand key for 
those times when it is necessary to key 


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very slowly. Also, this function is re- 
tained even if the circuit is not powered. 


The spaced dot generator can be 
constructed on a small piece of 
perfboard or a general-purpose printed 
circuit board, or you can use the *yead 
bug" style of ugly construction on a 
small piece of unetched printed circuit 
board. Parts placement and lead 
lengths are not critical It can be 
mounted in a small enclosure, or possi- 
bly right on or inside the base of the 

To reduce clutter, it will be prefer- 
able to solder three jumpers on the bot- 
tom of Ul before mounting it, whether 
a socket is used or noL Strip the insula- 
tion from a short length of stranded 
wire and separate the strands. Solder 
one strand between pins 4 and 10 on 
the bottom of the chip, making the sol- 
dered connections high on the pins of 
the chip, and clip off any extra lead 
lengths. Solder another jumper be- 
tween pin 3 and pin 11. Place a small 
piece of cellophane tape on the bottom 
of the chip covering these two jumpers 
as insulation. Now solder a final jumper 
between pin 10 and pin 14 as before. 

Power can be supplied by an internal 
battery or by taking operating voltage 
from the rig it will be used with. Fig. 1 
includes an optional On/Ofif switch 
and LED if an internal battery is used. 
In this case, you may or may not want 
to include the voltage regulator U2, 

If taking power from the rig for op- 
erating this unit, a stereo jack must be 
added to the rig. It will carry +12 V, 
ground, and the keying line through a 
connecting cable. The ring carries the 


C2, C3, C4 

D1, D2 



R1. R8 

Parts Lrst 

1 jiFlO V 

0.1 iiF disc or 

1N4148, 1N914, or 


NPN bipolar transistor 
(2N3904, 2N4400, 
2N2222i etc.) 

33 k 5% 1/4 W 

R2, R5, R9 47 K 5% 1/4 W 

R3, R6 







100 5% 1/4 W 
10 k 5% 1/4 W 
2.2 k 5% 1/4 W 

10k linear 

2.4 k 5% 1/4 W 

SPST toggle or stide 


556 dual timer iC 
78L05 regulator 

Table 1* Parts list. 

keying line, the tip carries +12 V, and 
the sleeve is common ground. Fig, 2 il- 
lustrates using a stereo jack on both 
the dot maker and the rig, and connect- 
ing the two through a three-wire cable 
with stereo plugs on each end. How- 
ever, the cable can be hard-wired into 
the electronic circuit and the stereo 
plug on the other end plugged into the 
new jack on the rig. 

This circuit draws only about 10 mA 
with U2 installed. If you wish to have 
audio monitoring of your keying, per- 
haps for practice sessions, a smaU pi- 
ezoelectric alarm can be connected 
directly between the +5 volt bus and 
the collector of Q2. This will add 
about 10 more milliamps to the total 
drain with key down. 

Forward to the past 

Now that you have your new elec- 
tronic bug emulator, no one you QSO 
with will have any idea you aren't using 
a Vibroplex! 

28 73 Amateur Radio Today • December 1998 

73 Review 

Number 29 on your Feedback c^rd 

Seeing Dits and Dahs 

The K2659 Morse Decoder Kit from Velleman Electronics 

Marshall G, Emm N1FN 
2460 S. Moline Way 
Aurora CO 80014 

AS one whose ham activities are 
95% HF C W, I hiivc long held the 
view that when It comes to copying 
code, the human ear will beat a com- 
puter every time. An experienced CW 
operator can copy code that is barely 
audible^ signals plagued with QRM, 
QRN, and QSB. 

Computers need a good solid sig- 
nal with a high signal-to-noise ratio. 
And when conditions are sood enough 
for compulers to copy Morse, there 
are far more efficient modes available 
io them. The Velleman Morse Decoder 
has done nothing to change my 
opinion, but it was fun to build and 
does indeed have some practical 

I saw the decoder kit at Tech America® 
where some 30 different Velleman 
Icits are Svdilable (Velleman makes 
about 150 different kits), along with 
kits from several other suppliers. 
The Velleman kits are made in Bel- 
gium, and reflect an unusually high 
standard of packaging — the kits are 
in plastic boxes, which are useful for 
sorting parts during inventory and 

In many cases the box can be used 
as a permanent enclosure for the 
completed project. 

How it works 

The Morse Decoder kit includes a 
small microphone, which is placed 
near the speaker of a radio receiving a 
Morse code signal. The audio from the 
microphone goes through an A/D con- 
verter, which passes a digital signal to 
a microprocessor. 

When the unit is correctly tuned, die 
digital signal is either on or off de- 
pending on whether a tone is being 
sent. Three pots are used to process the 
audio signal before conversion. They 
control the audio bandwidth, the center 
frequency of the audio bandwidth, and 
the sensitivity of the microphone. An 
LED is used in tuning, and blinks in 
time with the Morse signal when die 
unit is properly adjusted. 

The processor analyzes the pattern 
of dots and dashes and inteiprets them 
as characters which are scrolled along 
a 16-charactcr LCD display. The de- 
coder recognizes the alphabetical char- 
acters, numbers 0-9, and most of the 
prosigns ordinarily used in CW traffic. 
The manual says the unit will read code 
at ' 'almost any speed/' and that^s pretty 
much true. 

How well it does ail this is a matter of 
judgment, but Til save my comments on 
performance for later. 




The decoder kit was relatively easy 
to build, with step-by-step instructions 
in the manual. It took me about an hour 
to put the kit together As is my usual 
practice, I installed the IC sockets first, 
even diough the instructions don't have 
you do them until aftej' the resistors and 
diodes. With nothing else on the board, 
so it will Ue Hat on the tahle. the sockets 
ai^e a. lot easier to manage, 

The PC board was of very high qual- 
ity, sillc-screened with component lay- 
out on one side and solder-masked on 
the other. Generally I found the com- 
ponents to be of high quality and easy 
to identify, with ihe exception that 
some of the terms used for component 
types were not what I am used to in 
kits from US manufacturers. For ex- 
ample, there was one capacitor de- 
scribed as "100 nF MKM" and three 
described as '"sibattit." Fortunately, the 
pans count was low enough that these 
were quickly idendfied, even though 
the MKM proved to require the tail 
end of the process of elimination. Last 
one left? Fits the spot? Must be it! 

All of the axial-lead components 
CTlaf' resistors, diodes, etc.) were 
supplied mounted on a single ''ammo 
strip,'' and — ^get this — they were on 
Amateur Radio Today * December 1998 29 

L.£ NIRN m\ 


Photo A, Test-dn'ving the \sencr seiup. 

the strip in the order m which they 
were called for in constiuction. That 
lit^ made it a lot easier to find the 
components when they were needed! 

The installation of the LCD disp[ay 
was a bit tricky, as was llie LED. The 
display is mounted above the main 
board on metal stand-offs, and is con- 
nected by 14 plain wires (supplied on 
the ammo strip!) which go through a 
hole in the display and then through a 
hole in the circuit hoard, and are sol- 
dered in both places. I discovered that 
the spacing of the wires on the ammo 
strip was sucli that every other wire 
matched a pair of holes, so I cut them 
apart, leaving seven wires still at- 
tached by one side of the ammo strip. I 
fed them through the odd holes Th the 
display and down through the circuit 
hoai'd, and the remaining piece of ammo 
strip tape held them in place while I sol- 
dered Uicm on the circuit boai\i. Then it 
was a simple process of trimming the 

leads above the LCD display and sol- 
dering that end. and finally repeating 
the process lor the remaining seven 
wires in the even holes. 

The instructions for the LED read, 
"The upper side of the LED should 
slightly overlap the display." That took 
me a minute or two to figure out, but 
what it means is that the LEDs ai^e in- 
serted only a little way into the holes 
so that the top of the LED is flush with 
or a little higher than the top surface 
of the display. Now that I think about 
it, Lm not sure how I would have 
described it myself! 

The instructions tell you to connect 
the microphone using a '^ screened 
cable/' but the manuars illustration 
shows the microphone soldered direct 

30 73 Amateur Radio Today • December 1998 

to its connecting pins on the front side 
of the circuit board. It seemed reason- 
able to me that you would w^ant to put 
the display between yourself and the 
audio source, so a microphone on the 
back of the unit would make more 
sense than on the front. I used shielded 
audio cable long enough to locate the 
microphone at the back of the reader. 

No real problems were encountered 
in construction, but I mention the com- 
ponent ID and documentation situa- 
tions because I can imagine that these 
could be serious problems in a more 
complex kit. 

The smoke test 

The power supply for the decoder kit 
can be either a small transformer pro- 
viding 7-8 VAC at 250 mA (there is a 
rectifier circuit on board) or DC at 9- 
12 V. The circuit includes a voltage 
regulator, so I connected my 13.8 
WDC shack supply without further 
consideration. Actually, there was a 
little consideration necessary because 
they tell you to connect power, but not 
exactly where. TTiere are three pins, 
marked VA, VB, and a symbol. A 
quick look at the board and the sche- 
matic should tell you that the symbol 
indicates the common or ground termi- 
nal, the VA and VB pins are both used 
if you are connecting an AC supply, 
and +DC can be connected to either 
VA or VB. There is no on/off switch. 
As soon as power is connecledj the 
display reads ^'VELLEMAN KIT^ 
and you can use a small trimpot to ad- 
just the contrast. At that point you are 
ready to place the microphone neai' 
your radio and start to copy code. 

The Morse Decoder in operation 

Aeain. the documentation is rudi- 
mentarv at best. Which is unfortunate, 
because the decoder is not particularly 
easy to use. They give you starting set- 
tings for the three controls, and then 
have you adjust them until the LED 
flashes and the decoded text is dis- 
played. The adjustment can take a few 
attempts but you get used to doing it 
with a Uttle practice. 

There are some things they could tell 
you that would make life a lot easier. 
For example: 

•A character is not displayed until 
the following character has been sent, 
or after about tlu:ee seconds of silence. 

•The unit takes a considerable 
amount of time to synchronize to the 
speed of the received code. When the 
speed changes, meaningless characters 
will be displayed for several seconds 
until the decoder can re-synch. This 
seems to be less of a problem w^hen 
speed is increased. When the speed is 
decreased, you will often see the indi- 
vidual elements of characters sent as 
an endless stream of Es and Ts. Some- 
times, in fact, it seems the unit will 
never re-synch unless you disconnect 
the power and let the processor start 

There is nothing in tlie documcnta^ 
tion to indicate how non- alphanumeric 
characters and punctuation (periods, 
commas, and question marks) will be 
displayed. An unrecognized character 
will be displayed as an asterisk. For 
the record, here's the list, as far as I 
was able to determine from trial and 


Displayed As 




% (error sign) 






f 1.' 





Table I. Key to the signs thai appear in the 

•I was abfe to verify correct code 
reading at speeds from 7 wpm to 
around 50 wpm, using the sidetone on 
my electronic keyerand a test message 
sent repetitively from the kcyer's 
memory. At the upper end of that 
range, an increase in sending speed re- 
quired two or three repetitions of the 
message before the decoder would 
synchronize, A reduction in speed 

Coatinued on page 56 

Number 31 on your Feedback card 

Low- Voltage Detector 

, . ,for a number causes. 

Hugh Wells W6WTU 

1411 18th Street 

Manhattan Beach CA 90266-4025 

Recently, a friend asked me to 
assist him in developing a cir- 
cuit thai he could use on a car 
haltery-powered system that he has in- 
stalled in his ham shack. The battery 
operation, in his specific application, 
provides power to his electric door 
locks, alarm system, enunciatpr, ham 
gear a:nd other iterns. The 12 volts 
from the car battery is bused through- 
out his house and shop. Because the 
battery is the central power source foi' 
a multitude of critical systems, die 
health of the battery is extremely im- 
portani. Under most circumstances car 
batteries and chargers arc quite reli- 
able, but there are occasions when a 
power failure may occun Dislodging 
the charger's powder cord or having a 
commercial power loss happens more 
often than we'd like to admit. Also, 
car batteries fail upon occasion — and 
seldom give any warning. 

My friend asked if a project could be 
developed to provide a warning because 
his system did fail when the charger 
became unplugged, The problem went 
undetected until everything failed, in- 
cluding his door lock control. After 
studying the variables involved in a bat- 
tery-operated system, we determined 

that the most predominant failure 
mode is a loss of terminal voltage, 
which is easily detected. Because my 
friend's 12- volt system is bused every- 
where, wamins detectors could be 
placed in strategic locations where at 
least one would be observed, should a 
failure occur 

The devised circuit is simply a 
voltage comparator driving an LED- 
What could be simpler? During the 

development of the circuit, many 
threshold detector designs were con- 
sidered and all would have worked 
well. The design selected for my 
friend's apphcation is shown in Fig, L 
The criteria used for selecting the cir- 
cuit required a variable threshold ad- 
justment and a circuit that would drive 
an LED. The use of an audible alarm 

Contmued on pc^e 38 

+11-15 V 

Fig. 1. Low battery voltage detector. 

73 Amateur Radio Today • December 1 998 31 

George's XE-lent 

Part 2: Days 10-18 

Number 32 on your Feedback card 

George Palaki WB2AQC 

84-47 Kendrick Place 

Jamaica NY 11432 

iiesday. The Radio Club Azteca 
doesn't have its own place, so 
it holds its meetings twice a 
month at fhe Federation. Not having ils 
own place, it doesn't have a station, 
but it does have a beatitiful QSL card: 
XE 1 RCA. However, this does not com- 
pensate 1 or those XEs who have stations. 
do operate, and promise QSL cards — 
when they don't even have one. 

iP6unded in 1932, Azteca is the old- 
est amateur radio club in Mexico City, 
presently having about 30 members. 
Once a year, the club organizes a na- 
tional contest, Theodoro XEIYQQ and 
Rosa XEIYQR drove me to the Fed- 
eration in the evcnins. There I met 
Memo XEINJ, the director of lARU 
region 2, area C, and the executive sec- 
of the Federation. Memo, a 

Photo A, Ai the XEILM chih station, stanJing, left to right: Efraim XEIJGM, Manuel 
XEIJRL Artnro XEINAD, Carlos XEIEOX. Smin^, left to right: Felipe XEIMHF, Jean- 
Pierre XEI YVE, Emir XEIPAR. 

32 73 Amateur Radio Today ■ December 1998 

buildinjj adniTnistrator, was licensed in 
1978; he is a DXer with 317 countries 
conllrmed, and works only SSB on 10- 
15-20 meters. His wife Rebeca is 
XEI RUN and she is active. His son 
Memo Jr is XEiOJ, and his daughter 
Ady is XEJ NG — both arc inactive. 

In 1985, Memo participated in the 
DXpedition to Reviilagigedo when the 
XF4MDX call was used. 

Wc met some of the members of the 
Azteca radio club (Photo A). First to 
arrive was Arturo XEINAD, the club's 
president (Photo B), Every year they 
have an election for president and you 
can be re-elected just once. 1 visited 
his station the next day. 

I also met Felipe XEIMHF. He 
works in the printing industry, w^as li- 
censed in 1990, and operates only on 
SSB, mostly on two meters. His wife 
Olga XEI XZT was licensed in 1 996. 

Jean-Pierre XEIYVE is a French- 
born electronics engineer, licensed in 
1988; Emir XEI PAR is a retired doc- 
tor who — despite his name — does not 
have a harem, I visited Emir three days 

Manuel XEIJRI sells and installs 
computers, and trains the users, I saw 
him and his family of amateurs the fol- 
lowing Saturday. 


Photo B. Armro XEI NAD, president of the 
Radio Club Azteca, is active on satellites 
en 144/432 MHz and on 6 m with a rotas- 
able dipole. 

Carlos XEIFOX is assistant director 
of lARU, region 2, area C, and also di- 
rector of the Federation. Carlos works 
in advertising. He is a DXer, works 
only SSB, and has over 200 countries 

Efiraim XEl JGM, is a past president 
of the club; I had visited him three 
days earlier, 

I took some group photos at the 
XEILM club station (the one that 
seems not to have QSL cards), said 
'*Hasta la vista^** and returned to my 


In the morning, AfiMIO XEINAD, 
the president of the Radio Club Azteca, 
picked me up from the hotel and took 
me to see his station, Arturo, a physi- 
cist, is the system manager for 
Penoles, the world's largest silver- 
mining company, Arturo is very enthu- 
siastic about amateur radio and has 
plenty of excellent equipment. He was 
licensed in 1994; operates SSB, RTTY 
and satellites; and has a nice QSL card* 
He has a 40-foot tower on the roof, 
120 feet from the ground On that 
lower, Arturo has a three-element 

Photo C. Lorenzo XEIU has two great sta- 
tions: one in Mexico City, the other in 

monobander for 1 meters; a three-ele- 
ment TH3-Jr that is a three-element 
yagi for 10-15-20 meters; and a two- 
clement yagi for 40 meters. He also 
has a roiatable dipole for 17 meters 
and a rotatable dipole for six meters. 
Furthermore, a G5RV is used for 10 to 
80 meters and, with a luner^ for 160 

Arturo is working satellites on two 
meters and 70 cm, in the B mode, and 
is planning a setup with a L2 GH/ for 
uplink and a 24 GHz for downlink, 
operating on S mode. Arturo XEINAD 
is a contester; he created his own con- 
test computer program. In his car, he 
has a duaiband mobile rig for 144 
MHz and 432 MHz. Arturo is also an 
excellent amateur photographer, and in 
martial arts he has a black belt, second 
dan. His E-mail address is: [arturo_]. 

Arturo look me to the office of Luis 
XEIL, in a beautiful Spanish-style 
building surrounded by tail office 
buildings. Tt is easy lo find Luis' builri- 
ing because it has a tower with a large 
yagi on the top. 

Luis took me to see Lorenzo XEIU, 
who has a Ph.D. in civil engineering 
but works in insurance as the vice 
president of La LatinoAmericana 
(Photo C). Lorenzo is fluent in En- 
glish^ French, and Italian, and besides 




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thoto D. Keytui XEILMV tiiul her iiiofher, 

Spanish, he also speaks u dialed used 
in the Canary Islands. Licensed in 
1969, Lorenzo has a Iremendous sta- 
tion, but is nol a DXcr: he works only 
SSB mostly with tVicnds, His Lower is 
66 leel from ihe roof, 90 feet from the 
ground. On the lower Lorenzo has a 
30-elcnient. veriically-ptjlari/ed yagi 
for two meters: a TA-33-40 yagi for 
10- 1 5-20-40 nicteni: a wire dipole for 
40 and 80 meters: and three verlicats 
for 144 Mil/, 432 MH/. and 1 .2 GH/. 
He likes 40-nieter SSB. And lo lop ii 
all off, he has a separate room just for 

In Tepotzotlan, he has a second 
house with a complete station; an 82- 
foot tower with a 30-elemenl yagi for 
two metecs; a TH7DX type of antenna 
which is a seven-element yagi for 10* 
15-20 meters: a two-element yagi for 
40 meters: and an 1 8HTS vertical from 
Hy~Gain for 10 to 160 meters, Lorcn/o 
XEl U has a nice, colorful QSL card. 


For this day I had scheduled a visit 

with a ham who did not show up and 
did not even catl to cancel the appoint- 
ment. I went people-walching, and 
again [o the two large artisans' mar- 
kets. I prefer lo shop where there are 

Photo E. Mux XEIXA. wiih his antennax 

for safellire and EME ioiuffumhaiious. 

fixed prices; 1 really don't like hag- 
gling. As a dilettante in bargaining, I 
am no match for the professionals. No 
matter how much time 1 spend check- 
ing out prices and trying to push them 
down, after making the purchase, I al- 
waj s Inid heiter buys. That is the rea- 
son I prefer to do my shopping on the 
last day of my trip — at least then 1 
don't see that I have made bad deals. 

Some merchants spoke some En- 
glish, but many of them, even after 
dealing for years with foreign— mostly 
American — -tourists, knew very little. 
When asked abcmt prices, they showed 
them to mc on their calculators. 


Today Emir XEl PAR came to the 
hotel and took me to his house- Emir is 
a retired medical doctor who worked 
as a hospital adminisiraion He was li- 
censed in 1984. His daughten Maria* 
Eugenia XEl PAT, is an architect living 
in Leon Guanahuato: they have QSOs 
every day on 40-meter phone. 

Rmir has a 40-root tower on his root 
which itself is 33 feet from the iiround. 
His antennas are: a six-element yagi 
for 10-15-20 meters; a Ringo for two 
meters: a Diamond for two meters and 
70 cm: and a wire dipole with traps for 
40 and 80 meters. 

Emir XE [ PAR has a second house in 
the state of Morelos. where he takes 
his Kenwood TS'440 or his Drake TR- 
3 lo use with a wire dipole, Emtr has 
QSL cards. 

In the afternoon, I took a taxi to sefe 
Nellie XEICL who lives in a very 
high-class section of the town. The 
taxi driver stopped four times to ask 
for directions: twice he w^as scnl the 
wroni! wav. To enter the buildinq. I had 
lo pass two security checks. When I 
got to the lobby and entered the eleva- 
tor and pushed the button for tiie filth 
(NcUie's) floor, the ele%'ator went 
dow n instead of up because the lobby 
is on the eighth floon That really can 
contiise aburslar! 

If you talk about Mexican YLs or 
Mexican DXpcditioners. then you talk 
about Nellie XEICI. She was licensed 
in 1 968: her late husband Max XE 1 TX 
was also a very active amateur. Her 
three daughters and their husbands are 

also hams: Patricia XEITX , who got 
her lather's call; Dcbora XEIXYZ; 
and Lorena XEIXYW, Thev are nol 
as active as Nellie XEICL but who 

Nellie's tower is 165 feet trom the 
ground and has a 30- foot mast. She has 
the following antennas: an omnidirec- 
tional two-meter vertical on the top; a 
12- or 24-element (she did nol remem- 
ber exactly) vertically-polarized yagi 
lor two meters; a THI IDX vasi from 
Hv-Oain for 10-12-15-17-20-30 meters; 
a Cushcraft two-element yagi for 40 
meters; and an inverted-V wire dipole 
for 80 meters, Nellie XEICI works on 
SSB. RTTY and satellite. She is on the 
No, 1 Honor Roll and has the SB WAS 
with YLs only. 

In Nellie's radio room, among aTI 
kinds of interesting ham memorabilia, 
I saw a dedicated photograph of JYl, 
King Hussein of Jordan. 

Nellie has operated in many DX- 
pcdiiions and from many locations, 
such as Easter Island XR0Y; Rcvil- 
lagigedo XF4CI; Jordan YJ8XE; Israel 
4X/XE1CI: Guantanamo Bay KG4CI; 
Puerto Rico XH1CI/KP4: Belize V31CK; 
Grenada J37NL; St. Pierre FP/XEICI; 
British Virgin Islands VP2V/XE1CI; 
as well as in Venezuela: German v: 
Sweden; Hilton Head Island IOTA 
NA-I 10; Isla del Carmen in XE3; etc., 
etc. Her E-mail address is: [xelci@ 
mail nix]. 


Manuel XEIJRL whom 1 had just 
met at the Radio Club Azteca meeting, 
came to get me and take me to his 
house, where I met his spouse Olga 

XEINBJ, and their pretty daughter 

Photo F, Vic XEIViC is on the Honor 
Rolls for Phone and Mixed, No. I Honor 
Roll. 5BWAZ, 58 WAS. etc. 

34 73 Amateur Radio Today • December 1 398 

Reyna XEILMV, who was just finish- 
ing college (Photo D). All three were 
licensed in 1992. 

Manuel XEIJRI is the most active 
ham in the family; Olga XEINBJ is 
mike-shy and Reyna is busy with her 
studies. They have a small station and 
a wire dipole for 40 and 80 meters, but 
no QSL cards. Their QSOs are virtu- 
ally only with Mexican stations. The 
standard excuse for not working DX is 
that they do not speak a foreign lan- 
guage. This may be so in the case of 
Olga, but Manuel speaks enough En- 
glish to be able to use it in QSOs, and 
Reyna's English is even better Be- 
sides, there are a great number of 
countries in Central and South America 
where the hams do speak Spanish, so I 
wish the Mexican amateurs would get 
over this presumed language barrier 
and start to talk with the world, 

Manuel XEIJRI is active in public 
service communications; he relayed 
messages after various hurricanes de- 
stroyed part of the public communica- 
tions system. The Mexican amateurs 
have drills preparing them for poten- 
tial disasters created by earthquakes, 
hurricanes, and the possible eruption 
of the Popocatepetl volcano. Once a 
year, Manuel participates in the Boy 
Scouts Jamboree demonstrating ama- 
teur radio communications to children. 

We agreed to meet with Max 
XE1XA (Photo E) in a restaurant, 
halfway between Manuel's and Max's 
houses. They had never met before, but 
hams can always find each other So 
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vertical for 40-80- 160 meters; a short- 
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an inverted-L for 160 meters. He can 
also resonate his tower on 160 meters. 
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73 Amateur Radio Today • December 1998 35 

Photo G, Marisa XEIIRF and her da tighter, 

QSL card. What was suiprising is that 
Vic does not use computers — he does 
noi like tbem. 

A member of the Mexico DX Asso- 
ciation and Mexico DX Club, Vic 
XEIVIC is on the No. 1 Honor Roll 
has both Phone and Mixed, and has 
5BWAZ, 5BWAS, 160WAS, and 
scores of other awards difficult to ob- 
tain. He has twice gone on DXped- 
itions — ^to XF4 Revillagigedo and to 
4J1 Malyj Vysolskij, 

I saw that Vic's house, Uke many 
Mhers in upper class neighborhoods, is 
protected by pulsating high voltage, 
among other devices. I wonder if that 
creates any radio noise. 

After finishing at Vic's place, we 
went to see the staUon of Max 
XEIXA, Born in Italy, Max came to 
Mexico for a visit and then decided to 
slay. He manufactures medical equip- 
ment and various electronic parts and 

His tower is 40 (eel from the roof, 
and 53 feet horn the ground. It has an 
eight-element yagi for two meters and 
a TA33, a three-element yagi for 10- 
15-20 meters. His claim to fame is his 
satelUte activities: he has made thon- 
sands of QSOs with over 100 countries 
using a 16-elemenl cross-yagi for two 
meters, and a 40-elemcnt cross-yagi 
for 70 cm. Furthermore, Max XEIXA 
is known for his EME work. With his 
home-made dish. J6J feet in diameter 
with a 24 dB gain on 70 cm. Max has 
made hundreds ol' QSOs with 28 dif- 
ferent countries. He has been a mem- 
ber of AM SAT since 1974, and has had 
articles published in the AMSAT Jour- 
naL His main interest is buildino 
equipment for vei7 low level signals. 
Max has a nice QSL card. 

36 73 Amateur Radio Today • December 1'998 

In April 1989, Max XEIXA made 
the first satellite operation from 
Revillagigedo, making 52! contacts. 
He also operated via satellite during 
the Easter Island XR0Y DXpedition, 
making 43] QSOs with 41 countries, 
uphnk 70 cm, downUnk two meters. 
He was pan of the group who made 
the first six-meter EME contact from 
Easter Island. 

Max's E-mail address is: [coramexsa 

I returned to my hotel to rest but 
then I got a call from Manuel XEIJRI 
that he had found some more hams 
willing to be photographed. I could not 
miss the opportunity, Manuel came 
over and drove me to the Tioine of 
Roberto XEINDN, an oithopedist. A 
family of four, all hams! Roberto 
XEINDN was licensed in 1990; his 
wife Maris a XEIIRK a kindergarten 
teacher, hcensed in 1992; his daughter 
Mariza XEIJVF, a university student 
studying business administration, li- 
censed in 1992 (Photo G); and son 
Roberto XRl JRS, a salesman, Hcensed 
also in 1992, 1 have noticed the tendency 
in many families to give tlie children the 
same fu^st names the parents have, 

Roberto XEINDN was saying that 
he has to have three jobs to suppt>n his 
family. I told him that in the US medi- 
cal doctors make quite a iol of money, 
and the best season for orthopedists is 
winter, when people slip and fall on 
ice, and break some bones. In Mexico* 
there is httle chance for ice. "Oh/' said 
Roberto, "Santa Palineta takes care of 
us orthopedists!" He was referring to 
accidents caused bv children on roller 

Here I found hams acting more like 
CBers: no logs; no QSLs; only short 
distance contacts, mostly with friends, 
w^ithout trying to extend their radio 
coimmuni cations to faraway places in 
other countries. Again, the unjustified 
excuse was that they don't speak for- 
eign languages. Roberto XEINDN has 
a computer, T>ut does not use it to its 
full capabilities, for example, to log 
his QSOs. After taking their pictures I 
returned to mv hotel wishing I could 
go home — but according to my sched- 
ule and airline tickets I had two more 
days to stay. 


In the moniine I went with Tlieodoro 
XEl YQQ and Rosa XEIYQR to a big 
market which had two distinct sec- 
tions: one with the usual new clothing; 
and the other one. a real Ilea market 
with genuine antiques which I have 
rarely seen in other places. I did not 
buy anything, but it was fun to foolc at 

In the afternoon, all three of us went 
to Palacio de Bellas Aries, a few 
blocks from my hotels and saw tbur 
very well executed and imaginative 
modern dances presented by the Cam- 
pania Ncicional dc DanzcL 1 especially 
liked the ballet created to the music 
by Georges Bizet, on the theme of 
Carmen. It was fantastic. The best seat 
in the house costs about 14 dollars. 

The Palace of Fine Arts, an architec- 
tural masterpiece, had a painting exhi- 
bition with the works of Diego Rivera, 
his wife Frida Kahlo, Siqucros, Orozco, 
and other great Mexican artists. 


The end of my trip was approaching, 
[ did the last-minute shopping and I 
took everything I bought to Theodoro's 
hardware store, where they packed it 
in two cardboard boxes that were later 
taken to my hotel. 

During the last few days, I had got- 
ten .sick of the spaghetti I had eaten 
almost daily. I had not wanted to ad- 
venture in typical Mexican food, so I 
had bought in the market the bread, 
cheese J and tomatoes that T would eat 
three times a day. 

I noticed some peculiarities in 
Mexico City. The subway, which has a 
very extensive network, is very cheap: 
1 ,5 pesos, which conies to 18 cents. 
However, the highway tolls are much 
too expensive. Going to Cuernavaca 
we paid 50 pesos each way for about 
an hour's drive. 

On the streiefs of Mexico City, esipe- 
cially in the business districts, there 
are men with red flags, some with a 
large letter E, others without it or just 
with a piece of rag, jumping around 
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Buses and minibuses often have a man 
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The traffic is tremendous and noisy, 
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I look a whole-day tour going to 
Puebla and the pyramid of Cholula. 
Pucbla has 3,000,000 inhabitants. There 
we visited the Hidden Convent of 
Santa Monica, filled to the brim with 
religious paintings and car\ings. Just 
on the two lours alone that I have 
tiiketi, I have been to so many churches, 
chapels, and convents, and bowed my 
head in from of so many crosses and 
various saints, that I now believe I 
have earned my place in Heaven. 

As usual the guide took us to a "fac* 
tory," this dme to a TTalavera ceramic 
factory." During my travels, when I 
took tours I was taken to many, many 
*Tac lories'* but never saw a worker; the 
**faclories" were just stores only for 
foreign tourists^ where the guide gels a 
commission on everything his group 
buys, and that makes the prices higher 
than if you shop by yourself. 

Another bit of information: For ab- 
solulely the same tour, various travel 
agencies charge different prices. For 
example, I found three brochures from 

three agencies asking for the above 
lour $35, $43, and $46. Why do I say 
that it is the same tour? Because in- 
stead of sending three buses with three 
drivers and three guides, they combine 
everybody in a single bus, no matter 
where you booked the tour and how 
much you paid. I paid $43 (silly me) 
and a guy sitting near me paid $35. So, 
collect all the tour brochures you can 
Tmd, decide on a lour, and book the 
cheapest one. 


1 had return tickets for an afternoon 
flight, but I went to the airport early in 
the morning and changed my tickets 
for an earlier flight I had kind of fm- 
ished my job and run out of money, 
and il was very hot, I was anxious to 
gel home. 

At the Dallas/Ft Worth airport, I had 
to pass immigration and customs and 
change planes. I was the lucky winner 
of perhaps a random selection by the 
customs officials and they checked not 
only all three pieces of my luggage, 
but also I had to hand them my Jacket 
for inspection. They examined it care- 
fully, even the books I was carrying: 
DX-Aku, Messages from the Easier Is- 
land Expedition\ and VK0IR; both by 
KK6EK, received as gifts from Luis 

I believe it was not a routine customs 
inspection. Initially I had had the in- 
tention of taking a side irip to Cuba to 
visit some hams, and that is forbidden 
because of the embargo, I had told this 

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Amateur Rad/o Today • December 1998 37 

I J 

to a couple of people. Perhaps word 
got around and the authorities were 
waiting for me. I certainly do not 
match the profile of a smuggler, and 
they could have brought their sniffing 
dogs to check me out. But the dogs 
wouldn't find any proof that I was in a 
forbidden place. For that, sniffing 
people were needed. Let me express 
my restrained opinion about the em- 
bargo: it is completely useless, and is 
restricting the freedom of US citizens 
to travel wherever they want, 

I truly enjoyed the trip, despite the 
unusually hot weather I met really 
nice amateurs and non-amateurs alike. 
Mexico has everything — and even 
more than you could expect on a vaca- 
tion. And you don*t even have to cross 
the pond to get there; it is right in our 
own backyard I 

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Low-Voltage Detector 

continued from pv^e 31 

sQunder was rejected in this application 
even though die circuit is capable of 
driving a Sonalert'^^ or similar sounder 

An LM741 op amp was chosen to be 
used as the detector because of its avail- 
ability and low cost, not for any specific 
technical reason. Yes, a voltage com- 
parator, which was designed for the pur- 
pose, would work equally as well in this 
application. As a matter of fact, if you 
decided to use a voltage comparator, 
there would be no changes to the circuit 
except for the device pin numbers. 

A zener diode is used to establish a 
stable voltage reference at a convenient 
voltage level between 4.5 V and 8 V and 
is connected to pin 3 of the LM741. 
Also, the voltage at pin 2 of the LM741 
must be adjustable above and below the 
zeher value in order to achieve a detec- 
tion threshold level. The voltage value 
on pin 2 normally remains higher than 
the voltage on pin 3, and as long as it is 
higher, the output ai pin 6 will remain 
low. Potentiometer R2 is adjusted to 
allow the voltage at pin 6 to rise when 
the supply voltage falls to and/or be- 
low a selected leveL In my friend's 
situation the threshold voltage was set 
for 11 volts. At that value his critical 
functions would still continue to oper- 
ate while the flashing LED would pro- 
vide a warning of a potential failure. 

Although turning on a light is a 
warning, a steady glow might not be 
noticed. A flashing light has a much 
better chance of attracting attention to 
a potential problem. To make a flash- 
ing light, a 555 IC was used as a low- 
frequency oscillator for controlling the 
LED on/off function. An LED with a 
built-in flasher would perform just as 
well in this application, and would sim- 
plify the circuit by eliminating the 555. 
The actual flash rate is not critical as 
long as it attracts attention. 

There is nothing critical in the con- 
struction of the low voltage detector Ad- 
justment of the threshold is performed 
by attaching the detector to a variable 
voltage power supply. The output of the 
supply is adjusted to the desired detec- 
tion voltage threshold value. Then, R2 
on the detector is adjusted until the LED 

Parts List 

R1 1k 1/4 W resistor 
Jameco #29663 

R2 10 k pot 

Jameco #43001 

Hosfelt #38-120, #38-145, 


R3 4.7 k 1/4 W resistor 
Jameco #31 026 

R4 1 00 k 1/4 W resistor 
Jameco #29997 

R5 33 k 1/4 W resistor 
Jameco #30841 

R6 330 1 /4 W resistor 
' Jameco #30867 

CI 1 jmF 50 V radial cap 
Jameco #29831 
Hosfelt #15-550 

Zener 1 N4734 {4.5-8 V) 
Jameco #36118 

Ul LM741 op amp 

Jameco #24539 
RS #276-007 

U2 555 timer 

Jameco #27422 
Hosfelt #NE555 

LED red LED 

Jameco #9451 1 , #94529, 

#1 04248 

Hosfelt #L01, #25-307, 


RS #276-041 

Table h Parts list for the low battery volt- 
age detector^ including part numbers of 

begins to flash. The correct setting is 
then verified by raising the supply volt- 
age sUghtly above the threshold until 
the LED stops flashing. The supply 
voltage is then lowered until the LED 
starts flashing again. 

The low voltage detector can be 
used for a wide variety of applica- 
tions — you are limited only by your 
imagination. It's suitable for use on 
any battery-operated system subject to 
a voltage loss situation, including an 
automobile. Build the circuit and try it 
out on your 12- volt battery and/or 
power supply system. 

38 73 Amateur Radio Today • December 1998 

Number 33 titi your Few^tMCk cttd 

Specirl euents 

Listings are free of charge as space permits. Please send us 
your Special Event two monttis in advance of the issue you 
want it to appear in. For example, if you want it to appear in 
the March *99 issue, we should receive it by December 31. 
Provide a clear, concise summary of the essential details 
about your Special Event 

JAN 2 

MORRtSTOWN, TN The Lakeway 
ARC will host a Hamfest and 
Computer Show on Jan. 2, 1999, 
attheTaliey Ward Rec. building in 
Monrislown TN. For info please 
contact Perry Henstey N4PH, 
(423) 826-4848, E-mail [n4pt}@}; Kemp Lawson KF4AGB, 
(423) 587-3320, E-mail [kemp-}: or write to 
Lakeway ARC KF4JJJ, P.O. Box 
BBS, Talbott TN 37877-0985. Talk- 
in on 147.030(+) and 53,03O(-)- 

JAN 16 

ST. JOSEPH, MO The Missouri 
Valley ARC and Ray-Clay ARC 
will hold their 9th annual 
Northwest Missouri Winter Ham* 
test 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Ramada 
lnn» 1*29 and Frederick Ave. {Exrt 
47 on h29), in St. Joseph UO. 
There will be special room rates 
for hamfest participants. VE 
exams, major exhibitors and flea 
market all indoors. Free parking. 
Advance tickets $2 each or 3 for 
$5; at the door $3 each or 2 for 
$5, Pre-registration requests 
received after Jan. 5, 1 999, will be 
held at the door. Dealers: Swap 
tables $10 each for the first two 
tables. Commercial exhibitors 
welcome, write for details: 
Northwest fi/tfssouri Winter Ham- 
fest, c/o Gayten Pearson WB0W, 
P,0, Box 1533, St. Joseph MO 
64502, or E-mail IWB0W@ 
IBM. Neil 

JAN 17 

HAZEL PARK, Ml The Hazel Park 

ARC will hold its 33rd Annual 
Swap & Shop on Jan. 17, 1999, 
at the Hazel Pad^ High School, 
23400 Hughes St. Hazel Park Ml. 
The pubfic is welcome 8 a.m.- 
2 p.m. General admission is S5 
in advance or at the door. Plenty 
of free parking. Tables $14; 
reservations for tables must be 

received with a check. No 
reservations by phone. Talk-in on 
146.64(-), the DART rptr. For info 
atx)ut the swap, tickets, or table 
reservations, mail to HPARC, RO, 
Box 368, Hazel Park Ml 48030. 


DEC 13 

AURORA, CO The Second First 
Annual Great Colorado Snowshoe 
Run, sponsored by the Colorado 
QRP Club, will be on the air 
03002-05002 December 13th, 

1998. This equals Dec. 12th in tfie 
following time zones: 7 p.m.-9 
p,m. Pacific; 8 p.m. -10 p.m. 
Mountain: 9 p.m -1 1 p.m. Central; 
10 p.m -12 midnight Eastern. 40 
meter CW only. 7.040+. Power: 5 
watts maxrmum for all entrants, 
but QRO stations can be worked 
for credit. CertHicates will be 
awarded to the highest scohng 
Station in each antenna class, and 
the highest scoring station in each 
SPC. Full details are on the CQC 
Web site at [http://www.cqc,ofg], 
or E-mail []. Up lo 
three contacts with the same 
station are allowed, 30 minutes 
apart. Logs must be postmarked 
or E-mailed no later than 30 days 
after the event. Mail to Colorado 
QRP Club, Inc., P.O. Box 37 1 B83. 
Denver CO 80237-1 883, or E-mail 
(ASCII text files only) to: 

JAN 26-27 

ST. LOUIS, MO All Amateur 
Radio Clubs of St Louis MO wiJI 
sponsor Special Event Station 
WOK during Ihe papal visit of 
Pope John Paul M, Jan. 26-27, 

1999, Operations from the 
Monsanto Amateur Radk) Assn. 
shack will be on 1 0-80 meters, 24 
hours per day. QSL with #10 
SASE via Rev. Mike Dieckmann 
KAOIAR^ 703 Third Sf., HIHsboro 
MO 63050 USA. 

Hboue & Bevond 

Number 3B on ytwr F^Mlhack card 

VHF and Above Operation 

C. L. Houghton WB6I6P 
San Diego Microwave Group 
6345 Badger Lake Ave. 
San Diego CA 9211 9 

HP power meters and 
thermistor mounts: 
Evaluating surplus 

Due to several requests for an 
overview covering Hewleii- 
Packard and similarmicrowave 
power meters, I will re-explore 

power meters and how to evalu- 
ate them at a swap meet to at- 
tempt lo avoid spending big 
bucks on a defective unit. Most 
important is the evaluation of 
the power head, as this is the 
most important piece of equip- 
ment in the evaluation equation. 

There are several tricks of the 
trade that can he brought ro t>ear 
to eva]uate surplus niaierial "on 
the fly" at swap meets and other 
events we micro waven delight 
in. For one thing, 1 usually cany 
(in the glovebox of the car) a 
suiiablc set of simple tools lo help 
in testing should the opportunity 
present itself* 

The first item I want to cover 
is just what to pay for surplus 
power meters and — most impor- 
tant — the RF head and connect- 
ing cables. Other questions to 
answer include what conditions 


Mew fixed site direction 

finders provide 2 degree 

accuracy, and include 

software tor triangulation from 

a central control site. Mobile 

versions also available covering 

SOMHz to 1 GH2 

Soppier Systems Inc. 

i Box 2780 Carefree. AZ 85377 
^ Teh (602) 48S-9755 Fax: (602) 488-1295 


European Marketing Director Denis Egan 

PO Box 2. Seaton, Devon EX 12 2YS England 

Td& Fax: 44 1297 62 56 90 


73 Amateur Radio Today • December 1998 39 

to expect and huw you know if 
scaitething is in working condi- 
fibn. I know wc need a sc[ nltL^si 
parameiers ihrtnigh which lo pul 
a device lo avoid the purchase 
of another doors tup. Well. I 
can'i guumnicc you thai these 
pointers will be 100% perfect, 
btit perhaps they will help lo 
iiiininTi/e aiiv a*;i!ravatioiL 

1 am basing my observations 
here on ihc Hewlett-Packard 
431-type power meter with 
matching RF cable and 478-iype 
power meter head, which is the 
most common. There are several 
other typos of meters, such as 
those by General Instruments. I 
picked the Hewlett-Packard 43 1 
because it is an inexpensive sur* 
plus meter thai seems lo be 
prevalent on I he surj^lus market. 

When you happen upon a 
power meter at a sw ap meet or 
flea market, its kind of hard to 
really evaluate it in its opera- 
tional Slate unless \ t>u have AC 


power and a source of RF to 
fullv lest it. However, there are 
some basic operations you may 
perform nn the unit liulclcniiine 
ifit is indeed "alive/* 

In this example, our HP-431/ 
HP-47S system should he able 
to measure freipiencies from 10 
MHz to over 12.4 GHi with 
ease and accuracy using the "N" 
coaxial connector of the 478A 
power head. Oilier heads are 
available wilh waveguide in- 
stead of coaxial input cnnncc- 
tors. The 478A coaxial head is 
the must popular, us it has I he 
most comnion frcqtiency range 
of use. However \ i ) and 1 8 GH/ 
waveguide heads are \ cry goud 

The division of cost can be 
split up into the three compo- 
nents of the HP'43! power 
meter system. First, the meier 
itself is valued at $25 to $40: it 
is readily avatlahle as a stand- 
alone device — but it Is useless 
wtlhoui the control cable and 
power head i478A|, which are 
the two more cxpcnsi\ c pans of 
the systems. The RF head cable 
is valued at S40 and the power 
head type 478 A. slightly higher 
at $50, making a package price 
in the S]5i) range somewhat 
common. I have seen meters 

with cables and 4fS ft^3s 
priced at over $200. but ihey sti II 
reappear month after month 
with no one purchasing them at 
swap tiicets here. 

Don't rush to pick up a meter. 
First gel a cable, and if you w ant 
lo check it, a simple ohmmcter 
check of continuity will do tlie 
job. 1 have never found a surplus 
cable defective — just ver>^ dirty, 
and sometimes with cracked 
cable covering (fixable with a 
little black electrical tape). 
Didn't look ven swift, but it 


functioned well. If you're a pur- 
ist, get some gray electrical tape 
and do the best you can. 

Recently I evaluated three 
|K)wer heads with a wa\ eguide 
input for the frequency range of 
12.4 lo 18 GHz and lound unly 
one suitable for purchase. I also 
applied the same techniques to 
evaluate seven coaxial General 
Microwave power heads and 
tbund them all defective. They 
all carried sticker prices of S40 
each^ — not too bad for a door- 
stop. Jusi don't ict your pick- 
il-up'itis get in the way of 
reason — evaluate what you are 
con tempi all ng purchasing. 

The cosl of a complete powder 
tneter package with cord and 
themiistor mouni should be less 
than S200. A setup like this can 
measure power from 10 MHz to 
over 12.4 Gil/ with ease and 
accuracy, using a terminating 
*'N " ccaxia] con nee Lor. T have 
also seen systems go for a lot 
less, with $125 or so being 
more commonplace. Remem- 
ber, there are a lot more 431- 
typc meiers around than cords 
and the scarce thermistor heads. 
Thermistor heads can go for S8() 
to $ 100 each depending on con- 
dition (appearance). If youTe 
desperate and have a batikrolf 
well, judge it for yourself. I 
would purchase a lower-priced 
head providing I couid test ii 
with an ohmmeter Used, gotxl. 
chec ked-oul'b ul'-gru ngy -appear- 
ancL' h jads demand the lower fig- 
uie. while new checked-out heads 
command the top price at swap 
meets. This is somewhat back- 
ward from a calibration stand- 
point, which would make more 
sense to me. 

Bvaluaiion at swap meets can 
be difficuh, hut if there is AC 
power you can plug in the mclcr 
and see if you can make DC bal- 
ance wilh I he RF head attached. 
(Set the meter's resistance 
switch on the front panel to 2(M) 
ohms when usinii the 478 A RF 
head.) Adjust the meter balance 
controls for zero indication us- 
ing both the coarse and fine bal- 
ance pntcntiomelers. Usually, if 
a power meter will balance, it's 
in reasonable condition. 

While in the AC p*)wer mode, 
pull out your little RF test gen- 
erator to make an on*scale read- 
ing. It's a single TTL high 
frequency crystal oscillator 
module and its 9 V transistor 
radio butterv. Tlie unit t built is 
quite small, and only uses eight 
components, including a crystal 
oscillator module, a nine- volt 
battery, five-voll zener with load 
resistor, and three resistors in the 
output attenuator circuit to limit 
output to zero dBm or so. 

If .^C power is not available, 
you can still confirm several 
good test conditions to deter- 
mine if il indeed is a bargain. 
What you want to detennine is 
whether the RF therm islor head 
is "alive." To accomplish this, 
wc make a DC resistance check 
of the thentiistors in the 478A 
thermislor mtuinL For these 
me as LI re men Is, yini need an 
older-style POVM— that's a 
Plain Old Volt Meter, or more 
exactly a VOM, analog- or digi- 
tal-type. The new digital types 
work, hut with autorangingyou 
don't get repcatablc results. 
What is desirable is a range sel- 
ling like xlO that does not pro- 
vide high current output like the 
xl scale, or the higher voltages 

Si- ■■- 

used w^hen in ihc megohm 
ranges. The times ten scale of 
an analog resistance meter 
(VOMj isperfcei. 

Make a DC resistance check 
between the shell i ground) of 
the HP-478A thermistor head 
and the pins that would connect 
to ilie meter's cortl. You will find 
one pin open and three pins con- 
nected to ground. The remain- 
ing two pins are direct 
connections to the thermistor 
leads. Pins 1 and 3 are the 

ihermistorVs to-eround. Pins 2, 
4. and 6 are grounds. Pin 5 is 
open. One of the thcnnistors is 
the actual RF thermistor that 
responds to RF power, and the 
other is isolated and is used to 
provide temperature stability bal- 
ance lo the hridee circuit. Both 
thermistors must be matched to 
balance the power meter bridge 
circuit. I measured on my bench 
this way and got 3.22 k ohms 
on pin 1 and 3.75 k ohms on pin 
3. This unit just would not bal- 
ance on the power meter. A bel- 
ter head measured 2.96 ohms on 
pin 1 and 3.01 ohms on pin 3 
and balanced perfecdy w iih lots 
of balanced range. 

In desperation, heads can be 
fixed by adding some extra bal- 
anced resistance lo the pan of 
the thermislor circuit thai is un- 
balanced rinstde the 43 1 meter). 
Of course, catibralion will be 
affected but you get a balanced 
unit when there is no other pos- 
sible fix available. It's not too 
bad, considering the alternative 
without any meter at all This is 
a drastic last step to tide you 
over until you can get a good 
balanced head — one that will 
give you some service until that 
time. Just remember that if the 
difference is loo great, the unit 
will not balance on the HP-431 
power meter. 

Now, what follows is not a 
Hewlett-Packard thermislor se- 
lection process but rather a 
simple, quick, and casy4o*per- 
fonn DC resistance check. The 
resistances of the thermistors 
should be quite close in relation- 
ship U> each other. Nomiiiatly, I 
have made readinss near the 
3000-ohm area using a 1000- 
ohm-per-volt VOM a Radio 
Shack SIC special. The specific 
resistance is not important — just 
thai the ihemitsiors are in the 
range and close to each other. 
What is critical is the match 
between the two thermistors. 

I have observed some power 
head thermistors read 2.758 ohms 
and 2.786 ohms, 1 320 ohms and 
1285 ohms, 3.956 ohms and 
3-984 ohms. Others 1 have tested 
all showed being in the vicinity 
of each other (let\ sav to less 
than 5wf or so). If this match is 

40 73 Amateur Radio Today * December 1998 

quite close, the head should 
worL Out of 25 or so heads veri- 
fied in this manner, only two 

showed problems. One was tcm- 
peramental in that it showed in- 
siabilities like a microphonic 
connection, and the other one 
was 5 dB off in calibration and 
not linear. The other unitji evalu- 
ated out of a batch of some 75 
heads considered over many 
years were not suitable for fur- 
ther evaluation. Most had one 
thermistor open or the match 
was quite bad. 

Examples of bad 
thermistor heads 

A bad or defective thermistor 
head is one that has one ther- 
mistor open, usually the RF 
detection thermistor In an HP- 
478 A mount the maximum RF 
power to be detected is 10 mW. 
I usually suspect that 10 watts 
or some excessive power above 
10 mW caused the themitstor to 
go up in smoke .,. Usually the 
RF head will handle an over- 
range input of +20 mW for a 
short dme, but you are '*tickling 
the tail of a dragon'" if you try. 

Over-range input power also 
has caused matched thermistors 
to heat up excessively and 
change their resistance values, 
rendering a previously matched 
set of thermistors unmatched 
due to excessive RF healing. 
The result is a head that will not 
zero-calibrate and is considered 
smoked just as much as one that 
is open for all practical pur- 
poses. When this happens, you 
will not be able to balance the 
meter, rendering the RF head 

Checking the themiislor heads 
in this case, you might obtain 
DC resistance readings that vary 
according to the Lype of meter 
you use. Just be sure that the two 
thermistors are somewhat close 
to each other and you should 
be OK. 200 ohms imbalance 
should be OK, but as it gets 
higher, suspect trouble* If the 
price is low, give it a try. If the 
price is quite high* I would avoid 
heads that are over ihc 200-ohm 
range unless you can test ihem 
on a workbench or gel a return 

guarantee. The resistance must 
be less than 200 ohms difference 
to be able to bring die HP-431 
power meter to balance. 100 ohms 
on the HP-432 proved to be 
OK, but 1 could not find any 
over 200 ohms to test on my 
bench meters to confirm my 
resistance speculation. 

The pinout is the sam^;lbr 
many different manufacturers 
besides Hewlett-Packard that 
also make the 43 1 -type power 
meters. I suspect most are au- 
thorized duplications made un- 
der contract to HP but carry 
other designations and are 
physically identical to the HP- 
478A thermistor heads. Most 
were manufactuied by Struthers 
and other manufacturers. Re- 
cently I picked up an 18 GHz 
waveguide head that was manu- 
factured by PRD. It was strik- 
ingly similar to the HP types. 
Even the connector seemed 
identical, so I tried the old 
POVM meter I carried in the 
car glovebox and put it to a test. 
Out of three tested, only one 
proved to be any good in 
matched thennistors, 

T\vo other units tested with 
both thermistors showing con- 
tinuity, but their resistance read- 
ings seemed at the edge of my 
tolerances. I talked the surplus 
store into letting me take the two 
heads on credit, to be returned 
that day, if a home test proved 
them not compatible with the 
HP meter system. WcIK I am 
happy to report that the one PRD 
head that tested within close tol- 
erance balanced and reads quite 
accurately. The other two heads 
that seemed to be at the edge of 
my tolerances would not bal- 
ance and were returned to the 
surplus store. Did not wunl to 
make a costly mistake again. 

Terminations and 
RF attenuators 

The other components needed 
to make good power measure- 
ments into the microwave region 
are a good set of various attenu- 
ator values. Usually a set in- 
cludes 3, 6. 10, 20, and 30 dB 
two- watt attenuators or, as more 
commonly called, pads. Two 

things are important in selecting 
or paying a price for a pad. Pads 
are rated in frequency and at* 
tenuation. If you intend to use a 
pad at 10 OH/., make sure that 
it is rated for operation at this 

Usually; the auenuation and 
frequency characteristics are 
printed on most pads. If it is not, 
you are on your own as far as 
frequency is concemed. I have 
had some very high quality pads 
that looked top of the line, but 
as far as perfonnance was con- 
cemed, they became screwball 
and nonlinear as to attenuation 
when the frequency increased 
beyond 6 GHz. 

At 10 GHz, diis particular pad 
exhibited some 35 dB of loss; 
at 8 GHz, loss was 32.4 dB; and 
at 6 GHz. it measured 30 dB. 
Decreasing frequency, the 30 dB 
loss maintained stable. This 
showed that this pad was not 
designed for operation at all 

above 6 GHz, By the way, it did 
not have any frequency marking 
or rating on it. I have tested HP 
pads that are rated to 1 2 4 GHz; 
they are quite good even far 
above their 1 2.4 GHz frequency 

The other rating that is impor- 
tant is the loss value of the pad. 
Here we can make some deter- 
mination just if the pad is OK. 
Enter the handy VOM again. An 
attenuator or pad is usually con- 
structed in a '*T' fashion, giv- 
ing equal resistance to both the 
input and output coaxial con- 
nectors with respect to ground. 
Ustial construction comes in the 
form of a small cylindrical in- 
put and output resistor fonning 
the center conductor of the "T' 
pad. The shunt or center resis* 
tance to ground is a very large 
diameter resistor coihill kd at its 
center to die two input/output re- 
sistors. Being circular in design, 
its outer edges are connected to 


Our LM-470D is now redesigned 
to hold 15 ff. of antennae at 70 mph! 
Tri-Ex builds the finest in crank-up, 
free-standing or guyed towers. CAli 

All towers are complete with Off M^ff/TE 
rigid concrete base mount. FOI? A Wff 




71 B2 Rasmussen Ave. • Visalia, CA 93291 
Where engineering and quality come firstl ^ 






73 Amateur Radio Today • December 1998 41 

Chrr's corner 

Number 42 on your Feedback catd 

Joseph J. Carr K4IPV 

P.O. Box 1099 

Falls Church VA 22041-0099 


Hyhrid couplers are an mlcr- 

esliiig class of devices. Tlie must 
inlercRling property is thai they 
wilt split an input power two 
ways. Each of those outputs re- 
ceives -3 lIB of the input power 
{i.e., a two-way split). Some 
hybrids produce in-phase oui- 
puts, olliers (called "quadiiuure" 
hybrids) produce *>0-degree out- 
put?v. and oiherK pR^duce 180- 
degree (out of phase) oulpuUv. 
There are a number of devices 
that are useful, but among those 
thai 1 find most inleresling are 
the Magic^T device.^. In this 
month*s column we will take a 
look at the lascinatins Mai!ie- 
T. The Magic-T produces 180- 
degree out of outputs. 

The Magic-T transformer 

Fig, I shows the Magic-T 
iruasibnner hyhrid. Ii consists 
of one centeM lipped winding 
and one non-lapped winding. 
Which of those windings will be 
used ;\s llie input or output de- 
pends on the applicalion. The re- 
hnionship of the impedances is 
shown in Fig. 1. The system 
impedance. R^, appears ai the 
ends of the center-tapped wind- 
ing tPun'2 and Pon-3i, while 
!he impedaiiLC at the lap (Port- 
4 J IS R /2. The impedance ai [i\c 
unerounded end of the non- 
tapped winding ( Pon-1 ) is 2R^, 

Let's take a look at two situa- 
tions. First, a signal is applied 

ground and it acts as a shield 
between Lhe input and output at 
the pad. 

Well. 1 hope I have given you 
some good information with 
which 10 evaluate power meters 
and power meter heads. Good 
hunting at yournext swap meeU 

' lo PonK If Ports 2 and 3 arc 

I properly terminated in the sys- 
tem impedance, then the power 
wit! split 3 dB to each port, but 
the voltage appearing at the twt^ 
ports is ISCroul of phase. Port- 
3 is thus 180^' with respect to 
Port -2. Both Porl-2 and Port- 3 
are -3 dB with respect to the in- 
put level. Because Port-4 is the 
common between pori^ 2 and 3, 
lhe vol I age is zero, so Port-4 is 
the isolated port. 

The next case would be a sig- 
nal applied lo Pon-4. This sig- 
nal is split l^^o ways, -3 dB each 
10 Port- 2 and Port-3. The signal 
at Pon-1 will be zero because 
equal bui opposite currents from 
Port- 1 /Pon-2 and Port- i/Pon-3 
are induced into the untapped 
winding* thus canceling each 

Practical 50-ohm example 

The comhiner/splitter shown 
in Fig- 2 is designed to 50-ohm 
systems, so the tap is terminated 
in a 25-ohin noninUuclive resist- 
lor The input is the non-iapped 
winding. In order to reduce die 
100-ohm impedance ihat one 
vv ould expect from the previous 
ease* where the turns ratio is 1 : 1 , 
the turns ratio is adjusted lo 
1 .4 14: i . although in practice a 
1.5:1 ratio is normally used. 
This tratisforms the impedance 
to close to 50 ohms. 

Transformer matched 


A different approach to input 
impedance transformation is 
shown in Fig, 3. The circuit is 
otherwise similar to the previ- 
ous circuit, except that the trans- 
former turns rado is the same as 
the straight Magic-X i.e., 1: 1 . A 
second transformer, T2. is used 

10 transform the 100 ohm im- 
pedance reflected from the 
tapped winding lo 50 ohms. 
Transformer T2 is an auiotmns' 
former, a transformer made with 
a single tapped winding rather 
than I wo windings The lap is 
placed at the two-thirds point 
from gn>und. 


The Magic-T can be built for 

any power level using appropri- 
ate toroidal ferrite or powdered 
iron cores for transformer TL 
Vov receive-only Magic-Ts you 
cnn use cores such as the T-50- 
2andT-50-6inthe I to 30 MHz 
high frequency (HF) region, orT- 
30-15 in the 100 kHz lo 15 MHz 
medium wave region. For re- 
ceiver applications use #24AWG 
or #26 AW G enameled wire. 

For QRP transmitters, you 
can use a core of lhe same ma- 
terial (the^'dash number" in the 
type numbers abtive), hut you 
should increase the size to 
something between ihe HK) ( l- 
inch) and 240 (2.4-inch) sizes. 
Use wire of #22 AWG to # 1 8 
AWG, or larger if power levels 
are more than a few w^atis. 

If you build one for transmit- 
ting at higher power, then you 
will need lo use one of the larger 
hybrids commonly found on 
high power balun transformers. 
Also, scale the wire si/.e up ac- 
cording to the power level used. 

One of the applications of this 
type of coupler is to combine the 
signals from two antennas. Al- 
though any type of antenna can 
be used, let's consider the case 
of the quaner-wavelcngth vcr* 
deal spaced a half-wavelengih 
apart. These can be fed either in- 
phase or 180 degrees out of 
phase, depending on the direc- 
tion that you want to squirt sig- 
nal. A high power Magic-T and 
some switching can be used for 
feeding the antenna. 

Why? One fellow told me that 
he would simply use a half- 
wavelength extra of coax to the 
IKO-degree antenna, and that 
would take care of the phase 
shin. Yes. it would, but it also 
distorts the pattern. Loss in lhe 
coaxial cable means that the two 

Fig. 1. 


Magic-T inmsjormer 

antennas will receive different 
currents, and thai messes up the 
radiation pattern. By using the 
Magic-T device you can use equal 
lengths of identical coaxial cable 
lo the two antctiuas. If you want 
to feed them in-phase. then don't 
use the Magic-T But i f you want 
to feed them out of phase con- 
nect the Magic-T into the circuit 
such that Port-2 and Pon-3 go 
to the two antennas, and Port- 1 
goes to the transmitter* 

Other matters „. 

Several readers over Uie past 
year have asked me about the 
avaihibility of small parts. Too 
many distributors rcituire a high 
minimum order or won't deal 
with amateurs at alL The list be- 
low is compiled from the infor- 
mation I have available of ouUlts 
that .sell small quantities of small 
parts at reasonable prices. Con- 
tact me if you know of others. 

Parts suppliers 

Small Wonder 
Dave Benson NN 1 G 







mo DftUS 



Fig. 2. Cotubiner/splitier, 

42 73 Amateur Radio Today • December 1998 

Hrm to hrm 

Humter 43 on y&ar W^^Oback card 

Your Input Welcome Here 

Dave Miller N29E 
7462 Lawler Avenue 
NilesIL 60714-3108 
[dmillerl 4 @ juno.coni] 

High-tech cleanup 

Here's a Iiajidy little gadget 
thai I ran across recently at the 
hardware store. It's called a 
PrepPen*. and it's made by Pro 
Molar Car Products of Clear- 
waien Florida, The intention of 
the maiuifac Hirer is that the 
PrepPen be primarily used for 
line-detail standing, such as 
those hard-io-get-ai contours in 
fancy miiiwork, or the *iniall re- 
cesses in nicta! castings that are 
otherwise inaccessible to normal 
sandpaper and other grit-based 

In fact. Pro Motor Car Prod- 
ucts bills its PrcpPen as "The 

Hieh-Tech Sandina Tool," 
While cleaning wire ends prior 
to soldering is mentioned on the 
package, Fvc found that the 
PrepPen can be us^ for all man* 
net of electronic cleaning jobs 
around the shop. In addition to 
sprucing up highly corroded 
wire ends, it's also handy for 
burnishing terminal connec- 
tions, PC board solder pads, 
corroded portable-equipment 
battery contacts, soldering-iron 
lips, and anything else that 
needs fine touch-up cleaning 
prior to use. While the PrepPen 
will reniove some of the softer 
enamel-wire finishes, h won*! 
w-'ork (by itself) on Fornivar*^' 

and others that are extreniely 
lough. They'll still need to 
scraped. It can, however, be 
used for the final, just-before- 
tinning, cleanup. 

Physically, the PrepPen is 
about ihe diameter of a husky 
marking pen, which makes it 
easy to handle and control. Its 
plastic pen-shaped body houses 
a bundle of 20,000 very fine 
strands of glass fibers (each 
Fmcr than a human hair), at- 
tached to a screw-thread feeder 
cartridge. You can adjust the 
length of the fibers exposed 
from the wurking end of the 
"^pen'* by simply turning the 
adjusting post al the far end. 

Fig, 1(a) shows the overall 
concept of the PrepPen. and (b) 
how the glass-fiber replaceable 
cartridge iabi^ui an ei*2hth of an 
inch in diameter) itself looks- 
Some of the other jobs that the 
manufacturer mentions tin ad- 
dition to cleaning ends of elec- 
trical wires) are removing cor- 
rosion from plumbing parts; 
brushing rust from small areas 












Fig. /- The PrepPen^ by Pro 
Motor Car Products features a 

rephiteahle sflass-fiber car- 
trid^e ami can be med jbr a 
number of fine'demil cleaning 
jobs on your ham radio work- 
bench , 

of chipped paint prior to touch- 
up (such as on an automobile); 
sanding hard-to-get-at recesses 
j prior to painting; preparing parts 
for gluing til dulls a shiny tin- 
ish nicely); and cleaning battery 

[We recently had occasion to 
u\ to remove some silk-screen- 
ing fmm the fn>nt of an older rig, 
in order to change it according 




1 iHigT 


Fig, J* A differed approach, 

80 East Robbins Ave. 
Newington CT 061 1 1 

Dan*s Small Parts and Kits 

Bo.\ 3634 

Missoula MT 59806-3634 

Phone or FAX (406* 258- 

f h 1 1 p : / / w w w , f i X . n e t / 
dans, html J 

Buckeye Electronics 
10213 Columbus Grove Rd. 

Bluffton OH 45817 

S & S Eneineerine 
14102 Brown Road 

SmithsburgMD 21783 
Phone: (301)416-0661 

FAX: (301) 4 16-0963 

Milestone Technologies, Inc* 
3140 S. Peoria St, Unit Ki56 
Aurora CO 80014-3155 

(800) 238-8205 

Kanga Products 
Sea view House 
Crete Road East 
Folkestone CT18 7EG, En- 
gland UK 
Tel/FAX (44) 01303^891106 
[sales # kanga.demon.eo*uk] 

Reading list 

Another tftftig people ask me 
about is books on RF and related 
topics (such as antennas). I im- 
modestly recommend a couple 
of ray own. but the Ltst is below. 
Use it for what it's worth, 

L hiirodKcin^ QRP: Dick 
Pascoe G0BPS. £6.95, USS15. 

2. Pascite Is Penm Pinchers: Dick 
Pascoe GOBPS, £4.95. US$8. 

3. QRP Notebook: WIFB 

4. WIFB s Design Notebook: 

5. WiFB's QRP Notebook: 


6. Your QRP Operating Com- 
panion: KR7L* 

7. flow to Get Srartciiin QRP: 

9. The Joy of QRP: WORSR 

10. Practical Antenna Hand- 
book, 3rd Edition: Carr, Joseph 
J. McGraw-Hill. New York 

1 1 . Microwave and Wireless 
Comnnm ications Technology: 
Carr. Joseph J. New nes. Boston 

12. Secrets ofRF Circitir De- 
sign, 2nd Edition: Carr. Joseph J. 
McGraw-Hill, New York i 1996). 

13. Radio- Frequency Elec- 
tronics: Circuits and Applica- 
tions: Hagen, Jon B. Cambridge 
Univ. Press, Cambridge, UK 
( 1996). 

14. High Frequency Circuit 
Design: Hardy, James. Reston 

Publishing Co. (Olvision of 
Ptentice-Hall ). Reston V^ i 1979), 
!5. Standard Radio Conmnt- 
nica lions Mauuoh with Jnstrn- 
mentation and Testitig Tech- 
niques: Kinley. R. Harolds 
Prentice-Hal L Englewood Clilfs 

16. Practical Microwaves: 
Laverghetta, Thomas S. Howard 
W. Sams, Indianapolis IN 

17. Microwave Devices £ 
Circuits: Liao, Samuel Y. 
Prentice- HalK Fngtewood Cliffs 


18. HF Radio Systems & Cir- 
cuits. 2nd Edition: Sabin« Will- 
iam E. and Schoenike. Edgar O., 
editors. Noble Publishin|, At- 
lanta GA (1998), 

19. Electronic Communica- 
tion, 3rd Edition: Shrader. Rob- 
ert L, McGraw-HilL New York 

20. RF Design Guide: 
VizmuUer, Peter. Artech House, 
Boston/London (1995). 

^ 2i,AUoftheARRLsbooks. 



73 Amateur Radio Today • December 1998 43 










I 120 V 












10 A 

C— -^ 1 t hot' \ 

C ^ } 120 VAC 















120 VAC 


Fig, 2, ia\ Well-known rhree-way s^iiehmg configitrathn. (b) 
Four-M'ay smTching configuration allow ing On/Off ionirot from 
three distinct locations, (c) four-way invitching configuration allow- 
ing OnlOffcoumi! from four, fivt\ six or more distinct locations. Note: 
'Travelers'' are defined as conductors benveen switches. 

to a mod we had done. Some slv 


testine showed ihat nothing — 
including rubbing compounds 
and soft abrasives — seemed lo 
work wiihout atlcciing and mar- 
ring, however slightly, the un- 
derlying finish. Nothing, thai is, 
until retired Grumman Corp- 
icchnician Stan lev Rasanen of 
Nesconset NY pulled an ancient 
fiberglass penoiuof his JLiiiktx>x, 
hoarded ^^ince die '60s, and sug- 
gested using it as an eraser Same 
idea as llie PrepPcn, and workcai 
gfeat for this. — Ed J 

The Prep Pen measures four 
and tliree-quarters inches long 
and is about nine-sixteenths 
inches in diameter at its widesf 
points. The giass41ber cartridge 
is one and three-sixteenths 
inches long. and. of course. 

wears down as the tool is used, 
but it still should last a reason- 
able amount of lime before 
needing replacement. With my 
PrepPen, the manufacturer had 
thoughtfully packaged one spare 
cartridge in the hollow of the 
rear adjusting post Uhe unit eas- 
ily comes apart for cartridge m- 
placemenl). The PrepPen is 
available at most automotive, 
hardware, and home -center 
stores nationwide. — de NZ9E. 

Analyzing .„ the problem! 

From Stephen Reynolds 
NOPOU; A word ivt se^'eral) of 
caution: "Using an RF antenna 

analyzer to determine the accu- 
racy of the match for an HF 
antenna am sometimes be mis- 

leading ... especially if a strong 
local broadcast station is on the 
air in the area. Strong RF fields 
can tliruw die analyzer off be- 
cause it can't distinguish between 
locally strong uut-of-band sig- 
nals and the signal that the 
analyzer itself is developing " 
Interesting point, Stephen 
also mentioned that you must be 
very careful when connecting 
the coax connector onto the 
Autek RF Analyst^: Any twist- 
ing of the connector's center 
pin. during inslallaiion or re- 
moval, can break connections 
on the inside of the unit, neces- 
sitating time-consuming (and 
perhaps costly) repairs, His an- 
sw^er to the problem was to 
permanently install a UHF 
right-angle adapter onto the 
AuLek's UHF fitting, and only 
install the coax cable connector 
to that right-angle adapter, thus 
absolutely avoiding an\ twisting 
of the instrument's buili-in coax 
fitting during normal usage* 
Good lip. Stephen, 

Stay in control 

From Jim Kncsis WA9PYH: 
How lo control just about any- 
thing that you*d like to turn on 
and off. from as many locations 

as you can imagine: '*Tf you need 
to control a circuit from several 
different locations, then this 
mav be just the thing vou've 
been looking for! Using two 
SPDT switches to control a cir- 
cuit from two distinctive loca- 
tions is no big secret „. so-called 
three-way circuit switching has 
been used for years in the elec- 
trical trade and it's likely that 
you now have one or two light- 
ing circuits in your home con- 
trolled by three-way electrical 
switches. Fig, 2(a) shows how 
the circuit is wired, and of 
course it's used to turn the same 
lights on or off from two differ- 
ent places. But what if you want 
to have more than two diflerent 
conuol locations? 

"Eleelricians use four- way 
switches (DPDT switches that 
are crosswired internally so that 
only four of the six lemiinals are 
brought outside) to accomplish 
just I hat task. Fig, 2{b) shows 

how it's done. SW-l and SW-3 

are SPDT three- way switches 
and SW-^2 is a DPDT internally 
cross wired four- way switch. No 
matter what position any of the 
switches ends up being left in, 
at any of the locatiuns, the cir- 
cuit can be turned on or off from 
any other location. 

"Now take a look at Fig. 2(c). 
Here we see two SPDT three- 
way switches and two DPDT 
crosswii'ed lour-way switches* 
This combination allows us to 
control our circuit from ari> of 
four distinct locations, again, 
regardless of what position any 
of the switches is left in ai any 
of the other locations. In fact, 
just by adding more DPDT 
crosswired four-way switches, 
you can control the circuit from 
as many positions as you wish 
(jusi remember that you need 
to end up ^a ith the SPDT four- 
way switches ai each end of the 
circuit as shown), 

'in addition to using this 
scheme to cunirol a lighting cir- 
cuit, yuu can use it to turn on or 
off anvthrne vou*d like, such as 
a whole-house speaker audio 
feed from vour ham shack! Just 
use miniature SPDT and DPDT 
toggle switches, capable of han- 
dling the voltage and current of 
the circuit that you wish to con- 
trol, and wired as shown in Fig. 
2(cK Of course, if you're con- 
trolling a 120 volt AC circuit, 
use only UL-approved three- 
way and four-way electrical 
power switches and wiring spe- 
cifically manufactured for that 

Why ane they called Jiree-way 
switches when they are installed 
in two dilTensnl locations? Only 
Edison know s for sure, but the 
best answer is that * thrcc-way*' 
refers to three different modes 
of operation. In Fig. 2tii), the 
lamp can be turned on and off 
from SW- 1 . on and offfnom SW- 
2, or on fmm one switch iind off 
from the other— three distinct 
ways that die circuit can operate. 

Pot luck! 

From Herb Foster AD4UA: 
*The MFJ-418 Pocket Morse 
Code Tutor is a realty handy 

44 73 Amateur Radio Today • December 1998 

lilUe device and trulv does lit 
easily in jus! ahaiit any pocket. 
The e;irphonc opt ion is p^micu- 
larly nice, sparing innocent by- 
standers from the pain and 
miseiy of the Morse code disci- 
ptine! Since I use mv 418 datlv 
lo keep my CW speed up to 
par, 11 eventually developed a 
scratchy volume control, appar- 
ently just froiii plain wear. The 
obvious fix was to replace the 
control en (i rely; it's a 10 k pot 
Willi a switch, and is available 
from MFJ i(601) 323-5869 for 
credit card orders] for $3.48. 
including sliipping. 

''Here are a few lips to make 
replacing the 4 I8's vnlume con- 
trol a hit easier: Be sure to use 
care when opening the case. 
since there's a flat ribbon cable 
that connects the board lo the 
LCD display. Try to disturb this 
cable as little as possible. The 
old pot comes oul easily by us- 
ing a pair of niinialure side -cut- 
ters to cut the five connecting 
straps that connect the pot to the 
board. Then, a fast touch w ith a 
fine- tip iron will remove the 
stubs of these straps. Save the 
knob, as the replacement pot/ 
switch doesn't cojik with one. 
After you*ve soldered ihe con- 
nect! jig straps lo Uie new pol Jusl 
drop it in. solder down the five 
conned ioj)s to the board, and in- 
stall the (^Id knob (ii rakes a mi- 
cro-tipped Phillips screwdriver). 

**When tlie nine-voli battery 
gels weak, you'll notice the 
LCD display blinking in time 
with the transmitted code. This 
is a gotxl indication that it's time 
for a new battery, 

**I feel thai MFJ mav have 
slipped on one small point in the 
design of the 4 18, If you like to 
be able to observe die LCD dis- 
play as you use the Morse Tu- 
tor in your CW practice, the 
natural tendency is to lav ii 
down on a desktop with ihe 
LCD display facing upward, 
UnforiLMiately. this also puts the 
speaker facing downward to- 
ward the desktop, and the sound 
becotiies muffied. 

*The fix to this is to buy a 
package oi rubber bumper feet, 
available widetv from hardware 

stores and supennarkets, and cut 
oul small pieces about three- 
eighths of an inch square. Put 
these at the four comers (on ifie 
underside), where the speaker 
grill is located. Two of them %vifl 
end up lui the comers of the bat- 
tery cover. Now you should be 
able to put your 418 on a desk- 
top with the display upw ard^ and 
hear the code audio loud and 

"By tlie way, use the MFM18 
in the practice QSO mode, and 
after a few exchanges, die cull- 
ing station will say that he must 
QRT for a variety of reasons — 
the most imaginative one being 
lo change the baby! These are 
the ^ 90s. aren^t they r 

Murphy's Corollary: A "fail- 
safe ' circuit w ill usually destroy 
the circuit tfs protecting! 

As always, our thanks go out 
to those who've contributed their 
ideas to this month's column, 

Stephen Reynolds N0POU 
510 S. 130th Sl 
Omaha XE 68154 

Jim Kocsis WA9PYH 
53 1 80 Flicker Ln, 

South Bend IN 46637 

Herbert L, Foster AD4U A 
M)2ii Pennsylvania St, 
Melbourne FL 32904-9063 

If you're missing any past 
columns, you can probably find 
thetn at 7i*s **Ham To Ham" 
column home page (with special ^ 
thanks to Mark Bohnhoff 
V\ ayUOMK on the World Wide 
Web, at: [hup ://w\vw.rrs 

Note: The ideas ami sugges- 
tions contributed to this column 
by its readers have not necessar- 
ilv been tested bv die column's 
moderator nor by the staff of 73 
^ta:^azif7t\ and thus no guaran- 
tee of operational success is 
implied. Always use your own 
best judgnieiU before modifying 
any electronic item from the origi- 
nal equipment manufacturer's 
speci n caiions. No responsibi 1 ity 
is ijnplietl b\ ihe moderator or 
73 Magazine for any equipment , 
dantage or malfunction resulting 


Number 45 an your Feedback c&rd 

Amateur Radio Via Satellites 

Andy MacAliister W5ACM 
14714 Knights Way Drive 
Houston TX 77083 

If youVe wailing expectantly 

for Ihe launch of Phase 3D, 
don* I, Once a launch opportu- 
nity is announced, it wil! still be 
a while before the actual event. 
But, with the addition of two 
new digital satellites, TMSAT- 
SCAR -3 1 and Cfunvin-OS- 
CAR-32 (Techsai-Ifi}, and tnore 
hamsats on the way. there are 
plenty of exciting opporlunitit-^ 
coming soon. 

TMSATI (T0'3l} from Thai- 
land and the University of Sur- 
rey should be ready for general 
use by the time you read this. 
Although there is some concern 
about the transmitter output 
level on 436,923 MHz dropping 
from 1 .8 W to 0.9 W, the other 
onboard systems are work! tig 
very w^ell. Many excellent pic- 
tures ha\ e been taken by the sal- 
elliie and can be downloaded 
directly from the saiellile or 
viewed via the Intemel on the 
AMSAT Web page at Ihtlp:// 
www.amsat,org]. Just look lor 
the links to TMSAT The direct 
URL (Universal Resource Loca- 
tor) to TMSAT is: [http://www. 

Although T-0-31 h capable 
of running 9600 baud, it is ex- 
pected that 38.4 kbps (kilobits 
per second) wiil become a stan- 
dard downlink speed due lo the 
large size {33 Mb) of tlie Earth- 
imaeimi pictures the satellite is 
producing. The compressed im- 
aees available via the Internet arc 
over 5(K) K each, JPEG format, 

I so there is some minor image 
quality loss. For the multi-spec- 
tral images, data irom the Nar- 
row Angle Camera, sensing in 
the green, red, and near-IR spec- 
tra, is processed to create an 
image 1 020 x 1 020 pixels, cov- 
ering an area of 100 x 100 km 
at a mean ground resolution of 
98 melers/pixel. The T-O-JJ 
picture of San Francisco shows 
excellent dctiiil w iih many easily 
recognizable areas. 

Informaiion has been a bit 
slow about activities surround- 
ing the new Israeli hamsat 
Gnrwin-OSCAR-32. The pri- 
mary dow^nlink has been on 
435.225 MHz 19600 baud*, but 
the sateUite can also transmit on 
435.325 MHz. During ihe test- 
ing phase, a three-second burst 
of daia could be heard once ev- 
ery 30 seconds, but while the 
satellite is in nomial operation, 
signals can be contiiuioLis. espe- 
cially during picture downloads, 
G-0-32 has already taken sev- 
eral pictures from space. Like 
the ones taken by 7-0-31. the 
Techsai ioKtges can be found on 
the Internet, To find out the lat- 
est informaiion and look for 
Eanh-imaging pictures, check 
iheL^L: [hllp://lechsat. intemet- 

New signals from space 

There's more on the way! The 
SEDSAT-1 satellite project has 
been moving slowly forward 
for nearly a decade^ and launch 
is imminent. Another exciting 

from information supplied in 
this culunuL 

Please send any ideas that you 
would like to see included in this 
column to the address at top. We 
will make every attempt lo re- 

spond to all legitimate ideas in a 
tiniely mannen but please send 
any specific quesdons, on any par- 
ticular lip. to the originator of ifie 
idea, not to this column's mod- 
erator nor to 73 Mamzine. 

73 Amateur Radio Today • December 1 998 45 

Phofo A, TMSAi OSCAR-31 

rook rhi\ shot of the San Fran- 
cisco Bar urea. 

progriun is ARISS (Amateur 
Ruclio on ihe International 
Space Station h 

SEDS slands for Small Ex- 
peiidahle Do plover System. A 
2()-km tether is used to deploy a 
small satellite uui lo a higher 
orbit froiii a larger mass while 
both are connected together via 
a cord or lether. The satellite^ 
SEDSAT' L has three basic pay- 
loads, incUtJini! SEASIS (SEDS, 
Earth, AuuoJiphere and Space 
Imaging System ). TAS (Three- 
Axis Acceleration Measurement 
System), and ihe ham-radio pay- 

SEASIS wilt provide some 
scientirie experimciii^ and allow 

for unique pictures from space. 
The CCD camera systems use 
a lelephoto lens and also a PAL 
(Panoramic Angular Lens J that 
will pnn ide 360-degree pictures. 

The TAS unit is pan of the 
dala coltectiofi system to study 
the dynamics of a mass { the sat- 
ellite) deployed with a leiher. 
After the initial tether experi- 
ments are complete, the amateur- 
radio pay load will be available 
for use. 

The ham radio, analog Mcxle- 
A transponder has an uplink pass- 
hand from 145.915 to 145»75 
Mik coupled to a downlink 
iTom 29 350 lo 29.410 MHz. It's 
the firsl American-made, Mode- 
A linear transponder in many 

The digital communications 
system uses a 1268.213 MH? 
uplink with a 70-cm downlink 
on 437,907 MHx. It is capable 
of 96(K) band like the current 
high-speed digital satetlites. 
Other experimental digital modes 
and higher speeds can he sup- 
ported. Check the SEDS AT Web 
page at [htip://www* 
scdsat/I and the AMSAT Weh 
page at: [hiip://www:]. 


Manned-space ham acrivities 
will experience a quantum leap 

Photo C* SEDSAT-1 is ^mier comtntcikm in Himts\ilh\ Alabama , 

Shunle Anmlcur Radio Fxpcri- 
ment. was delivered lo orbit 
with STS-9 on November 28, 
I9S3. The small Motorola two- 
meter HT and window-mounted 
antenna systems have done ex- 
tremely well lor over a decade 
and have been enhanced with 
SSTV (Slow-Scan Television), 
packet, and FSTV (Fast-Scan 
Television) gear As NASA 
Principal Investigator until his 
retirement just a few years ago, 
L4)u McFadin W5DID supponed 
the effort from its inception. 
Since then. Matt Bordelon 
KC5BTL has taken over to pro- 
vide continuity for the program, 
AMSAT Vice Presiiloni of 
Manned Space AcliviUes Frank 
Bauer KA3HD0 is the designer 

with the full implementation o 
ARISS. or Amateur Radio on 
the InLernalional Space Station. 
White the advances of voice and 
packet operations on MIR have 
pnn ed to be incredibly valuable 
for educational and recreational 
activities, they will be viewed as 
only a step on the path to a rather 
significant, full-featured ham 
station in orbit, in just a few 

While a very simple amateur- 
radio pay load was propiised for 
Owen Garrioit'sSlT/ai? mission 
in 1973. it would be 10 years 
later w hen Owen finally got to 
operate from space. NASA did 
not approve she Sky la h ham stu- 
lion due to time constraints and 
olher factors, but SAREX, Ihe 

PhoioB, This view of Earth wm taken from Gyr\\in-OSC^VR-32. 
4S 73 Amateur Radio Today • December 1998 

Photo D, ARISS Coonlmator and AMSAT VP Manned Space Ac* 
mities Frank Bauer KAMiDO sh(>i\*s off the insiife of an ISS fmHfule 

On the Go 

Numt^f 47 on your Feedback card 

Mobile, Portable and Emergency Operation 

Steve Nowak KE8YN/4 
1011 Peacock Ave. NE 
Palm Bay FL 32907-1371 
[keSyn @ juno comi 

Up, up, and away 

Part of the run of opcnuing 
jnohilc or poriahle is ihc actual 
operation, whj le an equal pari is 
the location or condi lions under 
\^hjcli you operate. Nol every 
mobile operation is in a car. and 
some vehicies are more chal- 
lenging than others. Although 
wc arc licens^ed to operate our 
iransmiriin^ eguipmeni, ^ome- 
limes that alone is not sufficient 
to permit ike uperatiun of a 
transinitier. In some operating 
postttons there are others v^ho 
can dictate as to whether or not 
a station may he operated. Two 
classic cases are on board a boat 
or ship and aboard an aircrafL 
Botli situations are similar be- 
cause ihe master of the vessel. 
whether a ship's captain or the 
pilot in command of an aircraft, 
must give permission before 
someone may operate a station 
i)n hoard. 

Operating aeronautical mobile 
can be a lot of fun. bui a number 
of factors must be considered. 

J^irst* it cannot be done on a 
commercial scheduled Hight, 
since all airlines nor only pro- 
hibit the operation of transmit- 
ters by passengers, but also die 
operation of radio receivers. 
This is because there are con- 
cerns that electronic equipment 
may interfere w'tth the aircraft's 
electronic eciuipmenl. which 
provides bulh communications 
and navigation support. Virtu- 
ally all commercial flights are 
operated in controlled airspace 
under instrument flight rules 
which require frequent coiurnu- 
nieation w rih air trafFic control. 
Transmissiims which occur 
within the skin of the aircraft 
may create inierlerence lo the 
navigation equipment There are 
even concerns that receivers can 
cause interference because of 
the intermediate frequencies 
which they produce. Given 
some of the interference we 
hams have seen with cnnsimicr 
electronics, this is not an idle 
concern. How^ manv times have 


you heard of RFl problems with 

electric organs, inexpensive 
telephones, or even doorbells? 
On some aireraft radio opera- 
tjon may he possible, "Aiirraft" 

may mean a hnl air balloon » a 
glider or sailplane, a blimp, or a 
private plane. While radio op- 
eration may be possible on a 
helicopter most helicopters pro- 
duce enough noise to make it 

Of all of the t^ptions, the one 
you may have the greatest op- 
pori unity to try is on a private 
plane. Once again, remember 
this is subject to the approval of 
the pilot in command. Courtesy 
and curiosity should dictate be- 
ing aware of the pilot's radio 
equipment belbre considering 
die addition t>r amateur commu- 
nications. Navigation is gener- 
ally between 108 and 1 18 MHz. 
Communicaiions among aircraft 
or beiv^een aircraft and the 
gRiund are generally conducted 
between 118 to 137 MHz. These 
fi^quenctes use amplitude m(x!u- 
lation, wliich is not as commnidy 
used as either FM or single side- 
band> Tve read \arious anicles 
which Slate dial this is because 
there is too much old equipment 
to convert to FM. but there is 
also another explanation which 
nuiv be more accurate. FM receiv- 
ers capture the stronger of two 
signals, whereas AM allows two 
signals to bodi be heard to some 
degi^ee. With AM, if an aircraft 
were to make an etnergencv call 

while another aircraft were 

transmitting, the emergency call 
could be heard. Some aire rait 
may have other navigational tc- 
ceivcrs (ox nondirectional radio 
beacons (NDB) or for the glo- 
bal pusitioning satellite system. 
Interestingly, aircraft are not re- 
quired to have radio equipment 
if not flown in an area which is 
under air traffic control, al- 
though iiTosi do have several ra- 
dios, often backed up by an 
aviation hand handie-talkie. 

An aircrai't with radio equip- 
ment operating in most areas 
will he in communication with 
some form of air traffic controL 
Tliis mav t>e a tower of a center. 
If no traffic control is available, 
a common frequency will be 
used as a unicujn or cojiuiiun 
traffic advisory frequency for a 
panicularairlleld. Many aircraft 
will use a second radio to moni- 
tor the emergency frequency of 
121 J MHz, which is used both 
to request ass [stance and by 
emergency locator beacons. 

Naturally, operating as an 
aeronautical ninbile amateur ra- 
dio station will have cenatn re- 
strictions based on room for a 
rig and an antenna UTtile exter- 
nal antennas can be configured 
from many frequencies, the an- 
tenna creates drag on the air- 
craft, which mav affect its 
performance. A vertical antenna 

C^yniinued on page 50 

and chief organ tzer of ARISS. 
His three-stage plan to make a 
permanent place for ham radio 
on the buernational Space Sta- 
tion has required many hours of 
dedicated effort. 

The first stage of Frank's plan 
calls for two-meter and 70-cm 
FM capabiUty with an external 
antenna. In addition in voice, an 
automatic packet BFiS (bulletin- 
board system) would be in- 
cluded. The radios would be 
imrinsically-safe commercial 
HTs from Ericsson. Thev are 
simple to operate, include 
screen displays for frequency 
and other data, and cdi\ be eas- 
ily reprogrammed in orbit via 

the laptop computers carried on 
the ISS. The TNC, or Terminal 
Node Controller, for packet op- 
eration is to be a PicoPacket unit 
from PacComm. It should func- 
tion in a very similar fashion to 
the uniicurrenilv on MIR^ 

The second stage of the 
project, in about five years, is to 
arrange for space on an Express 
Pallet. This is an externaily 
motmted experiment container 
tiv^i ean be loaded with ham gear 
that can emulate a ham-radio 
satellite and attached to the ISS. 
The contents are not brought 
aboard the station, but are pow- 
ered from the ISS and can be 
controlled from the statinn or 

from the gromrd. A repeater or 
OSCARlike linear transponder 
system could he built into die con- 
lainer. complete with external 

The third and final currently- 
plaimed stage of the >VRJSS pro- 
e;ram includes ham near in 
permanent rack space in the 
habitation module of the space 
siaiion. The proposal has been 
approved and the gear is in 

Goals for the svstem include 
voice, packet, satellite and ATV 
(Amateur Television J concur- 
rent operation. Based on the 
goals, the envisioned hardware 
would require 24 inches of rack 

space and would draw 200 
watts, Multiple transceivers 
would be used to cover 10 
meters, two meters, 70 cm, 23 
cm and higher bands. Power 
output will be five to 25 watts 
except on ATV, where lOU watts 
is more appropriate. External 
onvni antennas would be incor- 
porated except for gain antennas 
Un satellite uJid liigh-daia-rate 
disital communicaiions. 

The ARISS program is pn> 
gressing verv^ well with partners 
from tnany countries. You can 
study the details tor yourself via 
the Internet. Start at the URL 


73 Amateur Radio Today • December 1998 47 

New Products 

NumbBr 4& on your fsedbsQk cBrd 




3 El 6 m Yagi from MFJ 

A direcljonal anlciina is es* 
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communication. B> linjusing 
transmitter power onto ihe ho- 
rizon in a single dircLtioii. 
MFFs three-element six-meier 
yagi. Ihe new MFJ- 1 762, qtm- 
drtiples effective radiated 
power over a half- wave dipole, 

Al the same time, the sensi* 
liviiy toward ilie front of the 
anicnim is greatly improved, 
while unwarned noise and in- 
terference are minimi/ed. 

Snip, Snap 

did you last replace 
your wire cuuers? Wouldn't it 
be nice lo make effortless flush 
cuts on copper, annealed steel, 
and allowed wires — ^clean. 
squaie cuts? \ou bcL So check 
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Two MFJ- 1 762s can be slacked 
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and the received signal over a ' 
single anienna. Stacked anten- 
nas have greater capture area, 
which can improve reception 
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The MFJ' 1 762 is an excellent 
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compact size (six-foot boomK 
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easily removed elements. It's 
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of course it*s covered by MFJ *s 
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We Could Show You the Photo ... 

... but then we'd have lu kill you. You know, those covert- 
action agency guys lake ihese Lintennas very seriously. So can 
you — aiiiennas designed Wrv the FBI, US Marshalls, DBA. ei al., 
are now avaihibk' on ham. SWL, and scanner frequencies! 

If you need slcakh antennas for HF, VHF. or UHF, or if you 
need high-pcrlonnaiice, low-cosi invisible antennas, you should 
be browsing Ihrougli Hamco's new catalog of covert antennas. 
It\s packed wilh infornialioii about hidden antennas, and all you 
need to get one is $2.00 for shipping ik handling. Send the two 
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Code Practice for Your Connmute 

Buckmaster's Copy This and Paxs^^^ audio CD collection wi 
give you something to do besides cuss at the Dodge that just cut 
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Each CD is 74 minutes of near-perfect computer-generated. 
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Printed answer keys are included with each CD, sti you can check 
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use your Mastercard, Visa, or Discover card, or send check or 
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Keys of the (United) Kingdom 

Gordon Cnou hurst G4ZPY, as aficionados are awafe, has long 
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Huir can I ^ei one'/ you ask excitedly. Well, through your 
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Better Late 
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Svetlana' s extensive variety of 
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48 73 Amateur Radio Today • December 1998 

Rduertisers' Indek 

351 Absolute \felue Systems ... 38 

68 Advanced BaAery Systems 1 6 

• All Electronics Corp. ■,.. 23 

• Antennas & More 59 

16 Astron COTpora!ion 1 

il Barry Electronics Cojp 37 

^ Bilai Company €1 

168 Buckmasier Publishing „,. 19 

Hi Buckmaster Publishing 54 

222 Byers Chassis Kits 61 

184 C d S Sales, Inc. .............. 35 

186 Coaxial Dynamics ..-...-. 25 

99 Communicalbn Concepts 11 

to Communications Speciajists35 

13 Doppler Systems „. 39 

114 EH. Yost .. 

75 Fair Radio Sales 

193 GGTE 




7a Hamsure «. _ .., 33 

• Hamtronics, Inc. CV2 

* iCOM America. Pnc .-.„... 7 

42 isotfon 61 

243 Jan Crystals ..,„„„«..«....... 59 

156 Japan Racflo Co. ............ CVS 

KachJna CommuriicationsCV4 

275 Lake view Company Inc. ... 11 

150 Llttllte ,....37 

335 Menu Plus 5 

96 MFJ Enterprises...... »*.„*& 

150 Mtcrp Compyter Concepts €1 

B.S.# page 

136 Milestone Technologies .... 33 

136 Morse Express ,,.. 33 

193 Morse Tutor GoW ..»»..,..... 25 

246 Molron Electronics *,.« 57 

64 Mouser Electronics , 53 

114 Mr. isiicd 



• MultlFAX .................,....„,_ 55 

64 NCG »„.«33 

• OCENS ..49 

• Omega Sales 49 

« PC Electronics .,.,..„,... 61 

• Peel Bros .„., ,„ 21 

66 Perlphex 16 

• Radio Book Shop 6 

« Radio Book Shop .„,„„,..„„. 6 


• Fladio Book Shop , 23 

• Radio Book Shop ............. 62 

• Radio Book Shop 63 

34 Ramsey Etecimnics ,»„„„„, 2 

• RF Pans ,.„ $i 

254 Ross Distribuling . 54 

36 ScrambHng News 38 

241 Season Connpary ..,.„.. 54 

167 Sescom, Inc. ..,,...„„„.„ 59 

141 The Nicad Lady 11 

• Thomas Miller.. 26 

22 Tri-Ex Tower Corp ., 41 

• Universal Radio .53 

• Wm. M. Nye Co. .,♦.....- 59 

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206.878.83 14(fax) 

73 Amateur Radio Today * December 1998 49 

Number 50 on your i^eedback card 

The Digitrl Port 

Jack Heller KB7NO 
P.O. Box 1792 
712 Highland Street 
Carson Cily NV 89703 

^fon may have read or heard 
,€ii0iments about the stale of 
amateur radio and how wc need 
to get off our duffs and gei back 
lo culliag-edge lechnology. Tlial 
is, wc need lo gel beyond the 
work! ol rag-chewing on repeal- 
ers and SSB. There are commer- 
cial out fits out there who are 
wiOing lo push hams right off 
the spectrum map so they can 
purchase, uitli^e and make 
bucks using the frequencies wc 
lake tor granted. 

Additionally, these capitalists 
justify their right to purchase 
**Oiir air space" by taking the 
position that ham radio has 
ceased to contribute to the de* 
velopmcnt of the an of commu- 
nication and is merely Following 
its lead. If that isn't enough, 
many Incni government emer- 
guncy coordinators are not st^kl i m 
the value of ham radio in an emcr- 
gcncy and choose to rely on ihcir 
own sophisticated syslems. 

While pondering these vicw- 
points» I reviewed a recent letter 
from Bob W6EUZ concerning 
his experiences with SSTV. He 
wrote because he had read t>f 
some of my experiences and felt 
he could help mc "gel a grip" 
(my phrase — not Bob's) on re- 
ality about HF SSTV in the 
western stales. 

Bob was not having the in- 
stant success I had promised and 
expressed some needs for pos- 
sible organization of 40> and 80- 
meter SSTV activitv out west. 
The more I ilioughi about ihib, 
the more sense il made. Experi- 
ence had taught that it is diffi- 
cult at best to work the folks in 
the east on 14.230 \vithoul an 
amplifier (At this writing. I am 
Slid without the amplincr that 
smoked during a reccnl RTTY 

As the above two facts 
chewed on my senses tor a few 
days, it became obvious that 

something more in-depth than the 
return letter to Bob was justified. 
He hadn't left his phone number, 
so 1 started tracking it duw n. This 
was a little comicaL My first at- 
fempt was to look in the Internet 
*%hite pages" listings. 

There was one listing that al- 
most fit Bob's description, and 
1 called hoping it was a relative. 
No, there are just a lot of list- 
ings with the same lirsi and last 
name. But I had the area code 
now. Still il would seem that 
one of fhe on-line databases 
should come through* I was be- 
gii^ning to think he was unlisted. 

One more try. Dialed inlor- 
tnation on the otd-fashioned 
land fine and ... Bingo! I had a 
number The lesson? Those da- 
tabases on the Net are not com- 
plete. Enough of that. I could have 
saved 45 minutes, but you know 
the male ego when it comes to 
slopping to ask for directions. 

Bob had some interesting in- 
put. He. like most of us* at- 
tempts to be a frugal ham, SSTV 
can be done on a budget, as I 
have demonstrated, but filings 
go wrong. He told me of a nifty 
new unit by Kenwood that 1 had 
noi heard about. I looked up a 
description of il. U appears to be 
a digital camera that nut only 
interfaces to the computer hut 
also to Kenwood radioes, it is 
model VC-Hl. 

Ttiai sounds very inno\ ative 
and should be an ideal setup. He 
says il works great interfaced to 
his Kenwood HT for VHF as 
well as to his Kenwood HF rig, 
but that the compan> ib still 
workjno out the details (cables) 
to work with other rigs. I found 
the scam details listed on the 
Kenwood Web siie. but Bob*s 
info filled in ihc chinks. The 
little camera should be a great 
addition to anyone's array of 
Kenwood gear and other lines as 
cables are made available. 

Bob and 1 arranged to meet 
on 40 meters ihe next day to see 
what conditions were like, They 
sounded good* so wc made tin 
attempt on the next weekday 
morning to try a litllc SSTV 
operation. It looked good at 
about 7 J 65 and I sent him an 
image which was recognizable 
on his screen— far from first rate 
but, nevertheless, a workable 

This was without the help of 
an amplifier or any fancy an- 
tenna at either end. What was 
suiprising to mc was that there 
was something close to that fre- 
quency that was cutting up 
Bob's SSB signal badly, yet the 
audio carrying Ihe image still 
worked. At least we came uway 
assured that low^ power was not 

Continued on page 5 1 

On The Go 

continued from page 47 

will be limited to VHF or UHF 

frequencies, while an HF antenna 
would create a greater chal- 
lenge* It is possible to run a wire 
from the tail of the plane to the 
fuselage, or to trail a wire, but 
these arc not practical for most 
applications. Fortunately, a 
hnndie-ialkie with a rubber duck 
can produce some interesting 
results, so we'll stick to UHF or 
VHP frequencies. 

VHF transmissions are lim- 
ited U\ line of sight, which is one 
of the reasons that effective ra- 
diated power ( ERP) is a func- 
tion of output power and the 
height of the antenna. A few 

milliwatts can be quite efifective 
at 7500 feet above ground level. 
This is one of the reasons that it 
is considered very bad form to 
ever use a repeater from an aero- 
nautical mobile unless it is an 
emergency. An HT in an air- 
plane can bring up every re- 
peater on a given frequency for 
hundreds of miles, which is not 
appreciated by the other users of 
those repeaters. Incidentally, 
this is another reason that cellu- 
lar telephones arc not permitted 
lo be used on aircraft Since 
each cellular phone is low 
power, the expectation is that il 
will reach only a few cell tow- 
ers and the computer can pick 
the strongest signal: from an air- 
craft the cellular telephone 

would sin^iiliifteously affect 
many cells over a wide area, ere- 
atjng problems for the network. 
Simplex frequencies are the 
way to go for aen)nauiical mo- 
bile operations, although a few^ 
more caveats are in order. First, 
never forget tJiat the pilot is in 
full command. If things get busy 
in the cockpit and he or she tells 
you to cease transmissitm, you 
must comply. Second, remem- 
ber thai some simplex frcqucn' 
cies have designated purposes. 
The standard two-meter calling 
fi-equency of 146.52 is also used 
as the wilderness protocol fre- 
quency, with priority the tlrst five 
minutes past the hour from 7:00 
a,m. until 10:05 p.m. This is why 
it may be inten^^stin*! to lake an 

^ HT along on a prixate plane even 
if you do not expect to transmit. 
If the pilot in command allows 
you to at least monitor, you may 
be surprised by what you hear 
from that aliiiudc. Besides, one 
more working radio is good in- 
surance in any cockpit. 

What's the most interesting 
place you operated a station, ei- 
ther mobile or portable? What's 
the most interestini: ihinc ihat 
has happened lo you when op- 
erating? What wt>uld von like to 
do. do again, or do differcnl? Let 
mc know, either by E-tnail or 
snail-mail to the address at the 
lop of the column. I hear a lot 
of mobile and portable stations 
out tlicre. Why not share your 

50 73 Amateur Radio Today • December 1 998 

a hindrance to working slow 
scan on 40 meters* 

What IS needed is u clear fre- 
quency ai the righl time of day. 
In ihe eastern pari of ihe coun- 
try, the recommended frequency 
is 7. 1 7 1 . However, neither of us 
had heard a 40-mclcr slow scan 
signal from this end of the coun- 
try and there is an apparent 
broadcast signal close by. 

We decided to meet as often 
as we could in the early pan of 
the aflemoon ai 7.100, a.^ ihat 
sounded like it had the least in- 
terference. Bob was in a iransi- 
tinn between rigs and 1 had to 
be out of town, so it was a week 
or so befon^ we gin our schedule 

Incidentallv. iher^ is SSTV 

activity oii3 J85, 1 ran aonoss it 
one evening. An anempt to copy 
failed due to the splauer from 
an adjacent (about 3 kHz away) 
ham engaged in ensuring he 
could he heard in the next 
counly. Been ihal way ever since 
I can recall on 75 meters. Tliere 
must be some simple justifica- 
tion lor the California Kilowatt, 
hut I have never heard iL 

What does this mean fur 40- 
meter SSTV in the w est? If vou 
arc like nianv of us who feel it 


shouldn* t take a megabuck/- watt 

station to play with SSTV. lis- 
ten around 7.190 at approxi- 
niaiely 1 to 1:30 p.m. Pacific 
lime. If you cnrne by when ihcrc 
is no activity, give a call. There 
may be someone just like you 
listening for an organized net, A 
net it is not. It is just a place to 
meet to uy t>ut some of this fun 
stuff and exchange ideas. 

As I was talking to Boh, sev- 
eral ideas came to mind. The 
first was establishing a place and 
time to play. Another was the 
fact that most folks who would 
like to get involved don't know 
where to stan and soon discover 
a lot of the ad \ ice falls short or 
just plain misses the mark. 

Don't let it get confusing 

Many of today's digital modes 
require a relatively small invest- 
ment- especially when com- 
pared with a few years back 
when the approach was expensive 
hardware. Computers have 
made a huge difference. 

To get started in SSTV, 1 tell 
people thai with a good com- 
puter ihc} can get their feet wet 
for under $50. One method in- 
cludes using free soHware (EZ 
SSTV from Pasokon) and build- 
ing a serial modem as described 
on the Pasokon Web site (see 
Table I) plus cables, If you ap- 
proach it this way. you witi have 
a lot of fun watchine somethine 
work thai vou have built from 
scratch. This is DOS program- 
ming and it works. If you like 
what you see, they have upgrades 
for exU^a bucks and you can en- 
joy U'uly great perlbruiajiceH 

There is another way that is 
even more painless in the pock- 
etbook for a budget introduction 
to SSTV. This one uses the 
soundboard in your PC. w i th no 
modem to build, and no hard- 
ware except a few cables. Con- 
nect vour transceiver to vour 
PC. and you are in business. The 
initial otUlav? Tlie cost of the 
cables. I used some old audio 
cable v^ ith a few new plugs and 
eot the svstem workine for un- 
der Slot Check out ChromaPIX 
in Table L 

There is a slight catch, but it 

is not reaOv anno^in^. This is 
shareware — a lot of work went 
into it, and the authors deserve 
to be paid if the program works 
for you. The program is not 
crippled and you can use it for- 
ever without registering, but it 
will only run for 30 minutes at 
a time until you pay your dues. 
You will find that is enough 
lime, if you plan your sessions 
wiseh , to get a g(x>d feel for this 
excellent program and decide if 
it is for you. 

Help for your soundcard 
SSTV operation 

One of the problems when 
using a soundcard for digital 
coiiununications r^ that there is 
no way for the soundcard to au- 
tomatically operate the pushto- 
talk (PTT) on the transceiver. 
When I first tested the Cliroma- 
PIX program I found that Uic 
method to tniliate the transmis- 
sion of an image was to manu- 
ally place my rig in transmit 

Cordinued on page 56 

Current Web Addresses 

Source for: 

Web address (URL) 

HF seria modem plans + software 


PCFlexnetcomiTiunications free programs 


Tom Sailer's info on PCRexnet - i 


SV2AGW free Win95 programs 

http :// w WW. f rth net . g r/s v 2a g w/ 

Bay Com - German site 


Pasokon SSTV programs & hardware 


Winpack shareware for Windows;uk/ham/wp.htm 

Baycom 1 ,5 and in English 

Source for BayPac BP-2M 

Tucson Amateur Packet Radio — where packet started — new 

modes on the way 



' TIMC to radio wiring help 

http:y/wwwJapr org 

ChromaPIX & W95SSTV 

Timewave DSP & former AEA prod 


VHF packet serial modem kit 


Table L Current Web addresses. All of ihe above were cm and parted direaly from rhe Web page fo avoid the inevitable errors h Aeif 
copying. If you encounter a problem \\ith a European address, the netivork is often at fault. Try again later. 

73 Amateur Radio Today • December 1998 51 


Numtysr 52 on your F^tdtsck c^rd 

The Drake TR Series: 
No Introduction Needed 

.,buf here^s the skinny on some of the best vintage equipment available today. 

BiU Clarke W2BLC 

764 Altamont-Voorhaesville Road 

Altamom NY 12009 


In ihc early 1960s, ihe R.L. Drake 
Company introduced a very suc- 
cessful line ofSSB ham cqaipmcnl. As 
a resull. Drake equipmenl became 
tnown for its high quality and high 
dollar \aiue. Tt>day, Drake equipment 
is again becominj; pupuLir, as \ image 
equfpment^rcpnesenting an era of ham 
radio '^5 past 

Capability- wise, Ihe Drake TR se- 
ries ol HF uranscei\ ers o Iters good sia- i 
biliiy, has excellent receivers with 
great selectivity, and can do better than 
200 wutl5 outpul. Another real positive 
feature Is that they are supported by a 
company thai is still in business. 

The TR-3 

The Drake TR-3, introduced in 

1963. was Drake's first HF transceiver, 


Photo A, The face phte, with dials in 
dunwd good shape, of rhe TR-4C. Phoms 
by Joel Thitndl KSPSV. 

52 73 Amateur Radio Today • December 1998 

It was to become the basis for the 
TR'4 series thai followed. 

The TR-3 used three lubes in the final 
RF amplirier, as do aJI the TR series 
ifaiisceiveiTi. unlike its contemporaries from 
CoUias. HalUcrdJteni. and National 

The chassis of the TR-3 is copper- 
plated, although most units you will 
see today have some xuhi showing 
through. The IVont pinel is labeled by 
reverse engraving (brushed meiu! thai 

is sliiihth hiiiher than the painted 

■b- » ^> i^ 

background). There is very little in the 

TR-3 ihul is solid state, 

A new^ TR-3 sold for $550, Accesso- 
ries were priced at: AC supply $79.95, 
MS 3 speaker SI 9.95, RV-3 remote 
VFO $79.95. In 1 998 dollars the entire 
station would ha\c cost about $35U0, 

SpecifiLations for the TR-3 


•Frequency coverage; 10-80 meters 
in seven 600 kHz ranses 

•Modes: LSB, USB. CW, and AM 

•Built-in sidctone 

•Automatic T/R switching on CW 

•30 lubes and semiconductors 

•VFO with I kHz dial divisions (on 
the VFO knob skin) 

•Dimensions: 5-1/2 inches high, 10- 
3/4 inches wide, 14-3/8 inches deep 

•Weight: 16 lbs. 


•Input pi>wer: SSB 300 watts PEP 
•AM 260 waits PEP controlled 
•CW 260 w alts 
•Adju stable pi -network 
•VOX or PTT 


•Scnsitiviiy: >]/2 (.iVfor lOdB S/N 
•IF selectivity: 2 J kHz @ 6dB 
•3.6 kHz m 60 dB 

•AGC (fast attack, slow release in 
high noise) , 

•RF izain control 
•Noise blanker 
•Diode detector lor AM lipcpiion 

•MS-3 Mytching speaker 
•RV-3 Remote VFO (XMIT/RX or 
split operation) 
•AC-3 Power supply (120 VAC) 
•DC-3 Power supply (12 VDC) 


The TR-4 series 

Progressing from the TR-3 into the 
TR-4 series, the early TR-4 transceiv- 
ers had a TR-3-stvlc main tuning knob 
(kHz. markings on the VFO knob 

Phoia B. Rear view. 

skirt). The 9 MHz sideband filters used 
in early TR^s are four poles and are 
enclosed in sealed boxes. The tubular 
capacitors used in the radio are white 
in color and were manufactured by 
CD. No noise blanker control is oa the 
front panel and there are no provisions 
for its installation (no receptacle) on 
the chassis. 

Late TR^ transceivers have the TR- 
4C style main tuning knob (1 kHz divi- 
sions on the dial), a VFO "in use" 
indicator (used in conjunction with a 
remote VFO), and some front panel 
markings different in color from the 
early units. The 9 MHz filters have 
eight poles. Internally, the tubular ca- 
pacitors are yellow in color and manu- 
factured by CDE. There is a noise 
blanker control on the front panel and 
provisions for its installation on the 

As with the TR-3, the TR-4 series 
chassis was copper-plated until the 
TR-4C came along. After that time, it 
was no longer plated. 

The TR4CW/R1T was the final 
model in ihe Drake TR scries. Appear- 
ance-wise, it has the RJT control posi- 
tioned tn the lower right-hand comer 
where the noise blanker control was on 
earlier models. Two push switches on the 
lower front of the panel turn the RTT and 
noise blanker functions on/off. 

Photo C\ The top view of the interior. Note 
the noise blanker. 

By the time the series had worked its 
way through to the TR-4CW/R1T, the 
following features had been added: 

•CW sidetone 
•Optional noise blanker 
•Receiver incremental tuning (RIT) 
•Selectable 500 Hz CW filter 
•Redesigned dial showing 1 kH? 

calibration points 
•Redesigned main tuning knob 
•Relative RF power output monitor 
•Changed final tubes from 1 2JB6s to 

•Solid stale FIX) (permeability-tuned 

•Fully silk-screened front pan^l 

Overall, the TR-3 and TR-4 series of 
transceivers saw few major changes 
externally and only what amounted to 
upgrades internally. Also, some bells 
and whistles were added along the 
way, such as the noise blanker, op- 
tional filters, and RIT 

Drake made a 15-year run of this se- 
ries before moving on to fully solid 
state equipment, and then slipping into 
obscurity in the ham radio field. 

Specifications for the TR-4 
($599v95 in 1965, less power supply) 


•All amateur bands 10-80 meters in 
seven 600 kHz ranges 

•Solid state VFO with 1 kHz dial di- 

•Modes: LSB, USB, CW, and AM 

♦Built-in sidetone and automatic T/R 
switching on CW 

•30 tubes and semiconductors 

•Solid state VFO with 1 kHz dial di- 
visions (on the VFO knob skirt) 

•Dimensions: 5-1/2 inches high, 10- 
3/4 inches wide, 14-3/8 inches deep 

•Weight: 16 lbs. 


•VOX or PTT on SSB or AM 
•Input power: SSB 300 watts PEP 
•AM 260 watts PEP controlled 
•CW 260 watts 
•Adjustable pi-network 


•Sensitivity: >l/2 jiV for 10 dB S/N 

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•IF selectivity: 2.1 kHz @ 6 dB 

•3.6 kHz @ 60 dB 
•AGC full on receive modes 
•Variable with RF gain control 
•Fast attack, slow release with noise 
pulse suppression 
•Diode detector for AM reception 

•MMK-3 Mobile mounting kit 
•MS-4 Matching speaker 
•AC-4, DC -4 Power supplies 
•RV_4 Remote VFO (includes five- 
inch speaker) and space for AC supply 
•34-NB Noise blanker 


The TR-4C sold for $599.99 in 1972 
(less power supply). Here's how it 


•All amateur bands 10^80 meters in 
seven 600 kHz ranges 

•500 MHz CW filter on CW models 

•Solid state VFO with 1 kHz dial 

•RIT (receive incremental tuning) on 
CW/RIT model 

•Modes: LSB, USB, CW, and AM 

•Built-in sidetorie and automatic T/R 
switching on CW 

•30 tubes and semiconductors 

•Dimensions: 5-1/2 iiK;hcs high, 103/4 
inches wide, 14-3/8 inches deep 

•Weight: 16 lbs. 


•VOX or PTT on SSB or AM 

•Input power: SSB 300 watts PEP 

•AM 260 watts PEP controlled carrier 

•CW 260 watts 

•Adjustable pi-network 


•Sensitivity: >l/2 ^V for 10 dB S/N 
•IF selectivity: 2 J kHz @ 6 dB 
•3,6 kHz @ 60 dB 
•AGC full on receive modes 
■Viuriable with RF gain control 
•Fast attack, slow release with noise 
pulse suppression 
•Diode detector for AM reception 


•MMK-3 Mobile mounting kit 
•MS-4 Matching speaker 
•RV-4C Remote VFO 

.AC-4, DC-4 Power supplies 
•FF-1 Fixed freqiiehcy adapter (two 
fixed channels) 

•34-PNB Noise blanker 

Getting older 

Interested in getting a vintage Drake 
rig? When purchasing, owning, or using 
any older ham gear, lake note: Age will 
lake its toll. Below is a list of several 
common age-related problems associ- 
ated with Drake equipment: 


•PTO end play needs adjustment 

•PTO lubricant dried out 

•Vernier drives wear, dry out, and 
become stiff 

•Switch and control shafts dry out 
and become stiff 

•Switch contacts wear out, corrode, 
or get dirty 

•Dirt, dust, and rust on chassis 


•Electrolytics dry out (particularly in 
power supplies) 

•Small parts such as resistors and 
ceramic caps fry 
•AC line cords need replacing 
•Tubes become weak with use 
•Alignment is required annually 
•Unknown and undocumented modifi- 
cations by past owners 

•Blemishes on case/face plate 
•Lost or incorrect screws 
•Control knobs missing, damaged, 
or discolored 
•Front panel spacers missing 
•Dial plates scraped or discolored 
•Clear plastics are scratched 
•Blue filters wash out 

Maintenance hints 

This recommendation is not just 
for Drake owners, or even vintage 
equipment owners; it applies to all of 
us. Start and maintain a logbook for 
each major piece of equipment you 
own (transmitters, receivers, transceiv- 
ers, amplifiers, computers, etc,)^ A 
single logbook will suffice for all the 
small stuff, such as tuners, filters, 
scopes, switching systems^ and anten- 

Photo D. Bottom view, 

nas. Don't use a segmented logbook, 
as you wiU one day have to remove 
some of it (when you sell or trade a 
piece of equipment). A loose-leaf 
binder with dividers, however, would 
be quite appropriate. 

In these logbooks, enter information 
about the equipment, including its his- 
tory, source, past owners, price, serial 
numbers (for insurance purposes), date 
of purchase, when it was placed into 
service, and other comments* Every 
time you perform maintenance, do an 
alignment, make a modification, etc., 
make a logbook enliy describing what 
work was done. These entries can prove 
invaluable as dme passes — and you for- 
get what you have di>ne to the rig. Re- 
vere engineering of past mods is not 

A complete logbook will also help a 
new owner in understanding the equip- 
ment and anything unusual about it 
(such as old modifications). 

Owaiag a vintage Drake 

A vintage piece of Drake equipment 
is a piece of history. It is also a rugged 
unit designed to be used and enjoyed. 
Do just that! Get it on the air and have 
a balK Of course, seeing that the rig is 
probably 20 to 30 years old, a little 
care should be taken. No doubt some 
servicing will be necessary before you 
place the rig on the air, unless you got 
really lucky and found a top-notch 
one. However, at someiime in the fu- 
ture you will be servicing it. 

Service your Drake 

Finil and foremost— get a manual for 
the rig (original or copy). An "owner's" 
manual will normally suffice, as back 
when these rigs were built, most hams 

serviced and aligned their own equip- 
mcnl^ — hence instructions for this 
work were a pan of the manual. 

These Drake transceivers, like other 
equipment of ihc time, did not use PLLs, 
digital systems, elecU"onic switching, or 
logic circuits. Everything was ana- 
log^very straightforward and easy to 
understand from a schematic diagram. 

With some good common sense, the 
ability to read schematic diagrams and 
understand cincuitiy, and armed with a 
minimum of equipment and tools, most 
hams should be capable of maintaining 
this equipment. 

WARNING: Unlike modem solid 
Slate ham equipment using 12 VDC, 
tube equipment uses voltages that can 
be considered lethal. Know what you 
are doing BEFORE you venture inside 
these rigs. 

Hints to help 

Controls {potentiometers) that sound 
noisy (cause crackling to be heard) 
should be cleaned chemically If this 
does not correci the problem, the offend- 
ing control wiU require replacement 

Switch contacts can become inter- 
mittent or nonconduclive. Use chemi- 
cal cleaners to correct the problem or 
replace the switch, switch wafer, or 
individual contact 

Lubrication can be made easier by 
using a medical-type hypodermic sy- 
ringe to inject lubricant into hard to 
reach and tight areas. 

Only use plastic or nylon tools for 
alignment work. They w ill not damage 
the fragile slugs. 

Over the years I have found it better 
to replace relays than to repair them. 
Che mica] cleaning may help; however, 
burnishing them is only very tempo- 
rary in effect, with failure assured to 
happen again. 

Pull each tube from its socket, cli^k 
the socket, clean it and the tube's pins 
chemically, and reinsert the tube, 

WARNING; Chemical cleaners are 
not friendly to the user or to the environ- 
ment. Use only according to directions. 

A prime cause of intermittent prob- 
lems is terminal strips which are at- 
tached to the chassis with a single 
screw, nut and bolt, or rivet. It is a 
good idea to go over the entire rig and 



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tighten each lermtnal >irip. If rivets are 
cnctninlered, yt)ii can drill ihem out 
and replace them vviih nuls and bulls, 
when necessary- 
Cases and hardware can be cleaned 
us'm^z LiLiloniotive materials such as 
waxes and bulTcrs. From panels are 
another slory. If there is significant 
damage or wear to the tronl paneK yi>u 
may have to hire the work out. In 
many cases it is nearly impossible for 
an individual lo do the work and set it 
10 look like new. 

Use hint 

With all those vacuum lubes (glow- 
bugs) packed into a relatively smaU 
cabinet Drake iran^^ceivers make great 
heaters — and they get even warmer 
when transmitting, 

1 reci>mmend vou use a muffin fan 

over the filial lubes to provide cooling. 

In the past. 1 have put rubber feel on the 
mutlin tans and just set them on the top 
cm en This works and doesn't call for 
drilling or cutting holes in an} thing. 

Drake coiiipany 

Drake still offers factory support for 
their equipmcnL c\en iliimgh some 
rigs are over 30 years old. For more in- 
ibrniaiion, contact the l^l.L. Drake 
Company at (513) 746-6990, by FAX 
at (5 1 3) 743*4576 or by E-mail (service 
related onlyj at [hin_frosl@rldnike, 
com]. The Drake list home page at 
index.html] is the single best source 
of Drake inlbniialion thai 1 have found 
on the Internet. The Web page is main- 
tained by Thorn LaCosia K3HRN, Be 
sure to visit tlie section about modifies- 

I tions lo the various Drake rigs by 
Wayne Montague VE3EFJ: it is very 
complete and cxlrcmely interesting 
(you could and should spend hours 
reading this). Thorn also maintains the 
Drake Mailing List, which you can 
learn more about by sending an E- 
mail to [drakcli-St-rcijuestt^'hallimorcmd. 
cxmh] with a subject of [helpl* The list- 
server will reiuni a message lo you 
with finlhcr instructions. 

A special thanks lo Joel Thurlell 
K8PSV for the photos used in this ar- 
ticle, Joel is a specialty radio dealer 
and operates The Radio Finder, a Web 
site fi^r the buying, trading, and selling 
of lube- type amateur and military ra- 
dio equipment. The address of The Ra- 
dio Finder is [wuvvradiotlnderxom] 
or you may contact him at 11803 
Priscilla. Plymouth MI 48 1 70, 

Seeing Dits & Dahs 

continued from page 30 

(from any starling point) most often 
resulted in a scries ofTs and Es being 
displayed for 30 seconds or so, and 
someiimcs retiuired a ^'hard vcseC by 
turning the unit oiX and then on again. 
Often it seemed that the decoder could 
correctly interpret characters, but 
could m)l quile figure oul ihe breaks 
between words. 

The decoder requires a very steady 
signal, so using it to receive off the air 
is dilTiLuh imless you are trying to 
copy a WIAW bulletin or something 

similar, cbnsisting of perfect code with 
astiong signal. 

But the Velleman Morse Decoder is 
very good at one application, and that 
is in evaluating hand- sent code. Since I 
had a straight key hooked up to my 
keyen il was simply a matter of switch- 
ing over 10 the key to determine \\ hether 
I can send, by hand, Morse code that a 
machine can read- The answer was .., 
yes. with a bit of praclicel I Ihoughl my 
fist was better tlian iliat but it didn't take 
Ions lo coord inaie sending and readins* 
SO that I CiJulU adjust my sending to 
what must be darned near periccl 
spacing and speed consistency. 

As a training aid for sendina* Ihc de- 
coder has considerable potential and 
could be worth the S89.95 price tag. 


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The Digitrl Port 

continut^d/ront page 51 

I^Dde, then lell the program lo 
transmit the image. 

Thn! works pLN-rccily well, hut 
How ynu Will find iwo eircaiis 
delBiled on ihe ChromaPK Web 
sile that facilitate simultaneous 
automaiiu keying of the trans- 
ceiver an J iransmiiuil of the 

I opted to build ihe simpler 
circuit, as pieturcd in Photo A» 
Lo bring one-handed push-but- 
1011 operation inio the shack. 
56 7B Amateur Radio Today • December 1998 

So ,„ what are w^e going to do 
to attract youth to the ham 
ranks? What do kids do loday 
ihal is similar lo what we 
thought was cuuiiig-edge when 
TV was black and while? (Oops, 
revealed my age.) All right — 
lei's look Qi when I was a kid 
for a minute, 1 had pui together 
a short w^ave radio trom a kit 
(Knight. I think — probably 
about S20 woithj and listened to 
the most fascinating signals 
imaginable. Ordinary people 
were talking lo each other from 
all over ihe counU^y and some- 

limes from other countries. 
They were having tun anil I 
wanted Ki be a part ut iL 

Today s youth are caughi up in 
the IiilemeU satellite TV', hLUidhcld 
games, cell phones, pagers and so 
many gadgcis and toys that w ere 
nearly inconceivable just a few 
years back except for readers of 
**Buck Rogers'* comic strips. Thai 
is quite a load of technology to 
compete w idi, and 1 doubt ll can 
be done by making hain repealer 
access available to the masses. 
If that is alt ham radio has to 
otter, we lose— big lime. 

Ask yourself: What holds my 
interest in ham radio*^ W'hv am 
I reading this maeazmc? You 
know the answers. There are 
still rrontieis to explore via ham 
radio that simply are not avail- 
able by purchasing a few toys at 
the local electronics discount 
emporium and plugging them in. 

Those toys are good antl u.^e= 
fuK but ihey don't make the user 
different. He cannot express 
himself any dilTerently than ev- 
eryone else who made the same 
purchase* He can't modify and 
inipruve. There are no contests 

Neuer shv die 

continued from page 5 

student is, your best bet for learning is 
reading books. The trick is to find books 
that are both easy to read and reliable. 
I've made a stab at this wiLh my Secret 
Guide to Wisdom review of around a 
hundred outstanding books. But I keep 
asking my readers and listeners to keep 
their minds peeled for outstanding 
books. And Fve been keeping Barnes & 
Noble busy trying lo get ihem for me. 

Improving Your Memory 

You can retain virtually everything 
you've read if you take a little time to re- 
fresh your memory. This is a secret tech- 
nique that I've never seen mentioned by 
anyone, and it is simple. 

This is best done with the help of 
someone else. Someone with patience. 
They're going to sit down with you and 
help you refresh your memory. What 
you do, just after you've finished read- 
ing a book, is to sit or lie down and get 
comfortable. Close your eyes and go 
through the book, from beginning to end 
in your mind, remembering every detail 
you can. Your helper will stop you every 
now and then, asking you where you are 
and what you are remembering. Then 
you'll continue scanning the book. 
When you get to the end, go back and 
start all over again, remembering every 
detail from the first scan, and adding other 

parts that you missed the first time 
through, as they come to mind. You'll 
find you can scan the first run through in 
a fraction of the time, but without skip- 
ping anything. When you are stopped 
you* 11 be able to say right where you are 
tn the booL By the fourth scan of the 
book you'll take just seconds to cover 
every detail of the whole book. 

Every couple of months you'll want lo 
refresh your recall of the details, so scan 
the book again in your mind a couple of 
times to get back up to speed. In this 
way you'll be able to keep the details of 
hundreds of books right fresh in your 

Like any muscle or (^mr fuiKJtion of 
the body, the more you use your mind, 
tlie more powerful it will get, They say 
we*m using about 2% of our brains. I sus- 
pect Ihafs a serious understatement. It*s 
probably more like 0,1 % of its real poten- 
tial. Alas, laziness being what it is, many 
(most?) of us tend to avoid thinking as 
much as possible. And exercising, too. 
Thus many of us end up doddering, hunch- 
backed geezers who haven't thought an 
original thought in years. 

Spirit Memories 

When we are able to contact departed 
spirits via psychics, Ouija, tape recorders, 
near-death experiences, etc., we find that 
the spirits seem to still have all of the 
memories they had when they were 
ahve. If our memories aren't electrically 



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for proficiency — only the day- 
to-day repetitive use. Curious 
people demand more. 

There lies one of the great 
secrets. Pique a man's curiosity 
and soon there will be no holding 
him back. He will move moun- 
tains to satisfy his desire to know 
and do more. You know ihere are 
hams working at culdng-edge in- 
novations for communications 
and we have mentioned them and 
their waj^s in this column. Take 
a look at the Web sites in Table 1 
for some ideas. Look closely at 
the TAPR Web site. We hams 
have a lot lo offer. 

If we take advantage of what 
is available, use it frequently, 
invite the young people in our 
Uves to observe what they can 
do, and give a hint where it is 
going, we just may convey to 
the up-and-coming generation 
that there is something beyond 
the horizon. If these things couJd 
be introduced to school groups 

and Scouts, the kids just might 
take the ball and run. If they do, 
they will become the greatest 
asset ham radio has. It is up to 
us to stimulate that appetite. 

Apology for missing last 
month's issue 

I had a great project going last 
month, but it just wouldn't pan 
out. I had worked several days 
past deadline time with nothing 
to show for it and no backup 
plan, I was quite disturbed and 
embarrassed by the time I called 
in to the 73 office to say I wasn't 
making it for November. 

I enjoy the feedback from this 
column and realize there are fatth- 
fill readers. If you will accept my 
apology, I will attempt to not let 
that happen in the futttre. And 
please keep those cards and let- 
ters (E-mail responses are very 
appropriate) coming. You give me 
a lot of great ideas. 

If you have questions or 
comments about this column, 
E-mail me at [j heller @ sierra, 
net] and/or CompuServe 

[72 1 30 J 352]. I will gladly 
share what I know or find a re- 
source for you. For now, 73^ 
Jack KB7NO. 

Fhoto A. To add to the collection of dedicated cables and little 
black boxes, this is my version of the PTT circuit when using the 
soundcardfor SSTV, The circuit is available from the ChromaPIX 
site. The size of the box is overkill for the few components, but it was 
what 1 had on hand and keeps it neat. The computer cable connects 
to the serial port. The audio cable connects the soundcard Lineout 
to the accessory jack on the back of the ICOM 735, 

73 Amateur Radio Today * D9cember1998 57 

or cheinically stoneii in our 
brains, hui in stniic oiher me- 
dium which we don't yei 
underslaml, thai could help 
explain how wc can have 
un limited memory storage. 

This isn't cxaellv a new 
idea — ! wrote ahoul Ihis al 
leasi 30 vears a 20. Blu, vtm 
know, in spite ot the many 
books Tve read on ihe hruin 
and the mind, I dotil reeall 
anyone else propi)sing such a 
controversial concept. But 
thai might help explain why 
people who have lost lar^e 
parts of ihe brains in acci- 
dents still have all of iheir 

We mav be dotn!: well w ith 
otir electronic lechnolagy, bui 
when it conies to conscious- 
ness, we* re still in the Middle 
Ages, We know plants can 
communicate with each other, 
and with us. We kntm we can 
also communicate with any 
living thing, but we have few 
dues as to how it works. We 
know our cells are able 10 stay 
in instant communication w^ith 
u^, nn matter hou far remo\ ed. 
Again, no clue iis to how; 

Tliere are still [itnvcrlul bar- 
rier:^ preventing research into 
this area. Barriers of disbe- 
lief, kept in place by a refusal 
to look at the data. Barriers of 
a lack o\' funding. After all. 
even if it's all true, where are 
the bucks to be made from 
funding consciousness sttidics? 

Ice Age? 

Looking at the temperature 
data across the nt^rthern tier 
states from Washington to 
North Dakota, temperatures 
since 194Q have fallen lower 
now than they were in 1890, 
when they had the Little Ice 
Age. This agrees with the 
similar decline in temperature 
since 1940 in every Scan- 
dinavia countrv. also with ris- 
ing precipitation. This agrees 
with tlie declining tempera- 
tures reported by satellites 
and balloon radiosonde data. 
It also agrees with tree ring 
data from weslem and snuth- 
em L'S and Europe, with the 
temperature high ariiund 1940, 

The US Dept. of AgricuL 
lure Plant Hardiness Zone 
Map shows a southern tlellec- 
tion of one zone or ID F be- 
tween their I960 and 1990 

maps. This strongly affects 

In New Hanrtpshire, Vermont 
and Ltpstate New York we're 
secina a migration of moose 
coming dow n from Canada, so 
perhaps Robert Felix is right in 
his predictions in his book^ 
Not By Fire, But By Ice. So 
much for slobal warmins. eh? 

American researchers al 
the South Pole, who have 
been keeping accurate records 
for over 40 years* reported 
that Jul} 1 997 was the coldest 
month on record. 

Yes. I know about the Ant- 
arctic ice pack starting to 
melt and a lump the size of 
Connecticut calving off So 
what's reallv soina on here? 
Come on. fellas, vou can't 
hu\ e it both ways. Are we i20- 
ing to need heavier parkas or 
more bathing suits and sun 

Child Psychology 

It's been a while since 1 
pushed you to subscribe to 
The Nen' Yorker, so 1 can un- 
derstand if you missed the 
great article in the August 
1 7th issue about child behav- 
ior. Too bad. for it was an 
amazing article. 

It turns out that child psy- 
chologists and behavior ex- 
perts have had it wrong about 
the influence that parents have 
on the development of their 
children. It seems, on the nui^- 
ture side, thai parents have far 
less of an impact on their 
kids' behavior than do their 
peers. Kids don't v^^ant to be 
like adults, they want to be 
like other kids. So they dress 
like the other kids, talk like 
the other kids, and act like the 
other kids. 

It's pertinent that the kids 
of recent immigrants almost 
never retain iheir parents" ac- 
cents. And that the children 
of deaf parents learn how to 
speak as well as those with 
normal parents. It also turns 
out that it doesn't make any* 
where near as much differ- 
ence as supposed if there is 
one parent or two. 

Thi^ goes counter to Freud 
and the teachings of profes- 
sional psychotherapists, but 
is in line with the results of 
recent research aimed at find- 
ing correlations between par- 

ents and how thctr children 
turn out. The Newsweek edi- 
tors apparently read The New 
Yorker, because the Septem- 
ber 7th isstie had the report as 
the cover fcaiure. 


Do you believe in reincar- 
nation and i>ur having past 
lives? My first introduction to 
past lives surprised me. Oh, 
rd read a little about 'em, 
and then there was the fa- 
mous Bridey Murphy case, 
but that, I thought, had been 
explained a\va>'. Then one day 
I was regressing a patient un- 
der hypnosis- trying to find 
the rtH)t of a problem that had 
been making his life miser- 
able. We went back and re- 
lived several relevant earlier 
traumas, removing their im- 
pact on his life for him. Then 
1 asked him 10 go to an earlier 
event which was connected to 
his problem and suddenly he 
was telling me alx>ut some- 
thing which had happened in 
an earlier life. 

I didnM know if it was real 
or not, so 1 had him reli\c the 
traumatic event just as if it 
were one fixim his present life, 
and he was never bothered by 
this problem again. Hnnii. It 
didn't make any difference to 
me whether it was real as long 
as decnnditioning the iramna 
did the job. 

After several more patients 
had nipped into past lives, and 
more often, past traumatic 
deaths, the rcalitv that these 


weren't just the mind's way 
of handling a current life 
painful event, but were some 
sort of past life memories, I 
began to help my patients ex- 
plore and retTiember more of 
their past lives, I found that 
they ctmld recall pet)ple. places, 
and events with a remarkable 
degree of detail and that iliese 
memories could be tied to 
historical records. 

That realitv took some get- 
tins used to. The rami Ilea- 
tions look even more getting 
used to, and got me to ques- 
tioning the accepted beliefs in 
HeaN'en, Hell, Gtxl, Satan, and 
so on. It got me to reading to 
see what other people had 
discox crcd or thought. 

If you don't believe in past 
lives and reincarnation, it's 

because you haven't ix^ad very 
much about it. There are sev- 
eral books reviewed in my Se- 
cret Guide to Wisiiom which 
wall help fill in this neglected 
pan of your education, 

Sunday school teaches you 
about heaven, but the "real 
world" teaches that w hen you 
die, that's it. and never mind 
all that Bible baloney. 

Tve told this storv before, 
but knowing how short your 
memory is> TU repeat it. It 
has to do with how I discov- 
ered a book that I recommend 
anyone read who wants to 
know about death. It's a great 
book forcomfoninsj someone 
with a recent loss. 

My mother had always 
been sensitive to things- Us- 
ing a Oiiija board, she found 
out that her uncle would be 
return in u from France after 
WWl, and was able to de- 
scribe his cabin and exactly 
when he would land and call. 
One time, when I was in the 
middle of the most upsetting 
moment of my lite, she called 
and asked what was wrong. 
Thai was the only time she 
c\erdid that. 

One day, a ct^uple of years 
after her nmihen Net la. had 
died, mother was washing the 
dishes and one of the elastic 
straps holding her stretch 
pants down suddenly broke. 
She thought, "Oh. darnl Fm 
going to have to drive down 
10 Littleton atid get a new 

When she finished the 
dishes she sat down to rest 
and read a little. But it was 
kind of cooU so she decided 
to go out to the barn and see 
if she could find a shawl in 
Neita's clothes trunk. She 
dug down into the trunk and 
found the shawL When she 
shook it out, an elastic strap 
fell to the floor, "Hmm/" she 
said. "Neita, are you trying to 
tell me something?" 

She went back to the house 
and sat down again to read. 
But none of the magazines 
kx)ked interesting. She sud- 
denly got the notion to go 
back out to the barn and pick 
out a btx)k at random from 
the old books in one of the 
cow stalls. These were books 
from her father-in-law's es- 
tate w hich had been moved lo 
the bam and just left there. 

58 73 Amateur Radio Today • December 1998 

She picked oul a book with no title 
showing on the spine and went back to 
the house to read. The book turned out to 
be a 1920 book. Neither Dead Nor 
Sleeping, by Mae Sewail, with an intro- 
duction by Booth Tarkington. The story it 
told gave my mother the answer to her 

Mae Sewall, who was a world famous 
wonfian of her time in the woman's rights 
field, told about how her husband, after 
he'd died, contacted her to help her find 
several missing papers she needed. He 
then went on to set up a communications 
system and did cxperimenis with his 
friend on the other side, the pianist Amir 
Rubensiein, It's a fascinating story and 
one of the best Tve found about communi- 
cating with the dead. But it's obviously 
long out of print. 

A few years ago I attended a lecture , 
by Dr. Hal Huggins, the dentist who has 
been fighdog the ADA over the use of 
amalgam fillings. I read his book, Ifs All 
In Your Head, and included it in my 
Guide to Books. Huggins had proven that 
the mercury from our fillings was poi- 
soning us. Then I found Dr. Judd's Goad 
Teeth, Birth to Deaths which also damned 
mercury and the illnesses it causes. 

The next step was when 1 was being 
interviewed by An Bell on his talk show 
a couple years ago and I pointed out that 
good health depends a good deal on our 
not pt>isoning our bodies with stuff like 
mercury. An got all upset. His dentist 
had assured him that amalgam fillings 
were harmless and he believed hen Ser- 
endipity stepped in when two dentists 
called the show, both confirming what I 
was saying. 

More serendipity when a btxik arrived 
in the mail from Dn Lydia Bronte. The 
Mercury In Your Mouth. This, too, im- 
mediately was added to my Guide to 
Books, I sent Lydia a copy of my Guide 
to Books and she called to say that some- 
one sure ought to get busy and reprint 
some of the seriously out of print books 
rd reviewed. I agreed, but said I just 
didn't have the time. Further, if I both 
recommended a bm>k and sold it, that 
would be a confiici of interest. She said 
okay, sheM do it, which book would I 
recommend to start with. I looked 
through my Guide and decided the 
Sewall book would be the one which 
might do the most gtHxl for people. 

I sent her a copy, she had it set in type, 
and printed up a short run to see how 
much interest there might be. When it*s 
finished being bound it'll be $15, plus 
$3 s/h, from Quicksilver Press, 10 E. 
87th, NYC 10128, 1 guarantee that this 
is a book that you* 11 treasure, plus be buy- 
ing copies for any friends who have suf- 
fered a loss. 

In the Sewall book, every^ time Artur 
Rubcnstein needed her to make a major 

expenditure for his experiment, those on 
'*lhe other side'' arranged in some way 
for her to gel a well-paying lecture lour. 

How much of u hat we think of as seren- 
dipity actually has been organized by those 
on '"the other side"? There are a couple of 
books reviewed in my Guide to Books 
which cite some incredible "coinci- 
dences." Things which have no logical 

Reports from "the other side" try to 
explain to us that ttine is different there. 
Il isn't linear as we experience it, so 
they're somehow able to arrange things 
so they'll happen in our time stream for 
us. Our past, present and future are just 
another dimension for them — which 
puts a different aspect on our birth and 

When something serendipitous hap- 
pens, try not to ignore it. Follow it up 
and take advantage of the serendipity. 

The Raw Facts 

iferc I go, talking about health again. 
Well, I keep seeing that long list of Si- 
lent Key awards in 25r every month and 
Vm now convinced that virtually every 
one of those guys would slilt be alive 
and polluting our bands with vacuous 
nonsense if only Td managed to get 
through to them. 

This conviction was reinforced by the 
arrival of a book from two of the authors 
of Nature*s First Law: The Raw*Food 
Diet. Having already been convinced of 
the power of raw food to cure almost 
anything by Dr. Bruno Comby and his 
Maximize Immunity, plus the writings of 
Dn Henry Beier, this new book just fur- 
ther reinforced my conviction. Plus, the 
whole concept makes perfect sense. I 
like it when theories make sense. 

What aJ! these experts are saying is 
that if you change to eating all raw food 
you're going to get over any illnesses 
you have. You won't get any new ill- 
nesses. And you'll be able to live in ex- 
cellent health to 1 20 and even 1 50 years. 

How come? Just think about it. Our 
bodies were developed millions of years 
ago when all everyone ate was raw food. 
Il wasn't until we invented cooking that 
we began to gel sick and die early. 

Dr. Comby has been nescuing his pa- 
tients from near death due to cancer, 
AIDS, and so forth JiLst by changing their 
diet to all raw tlxxl. The Natures Lmv 
guys have a similar string of successes. 

This is a tough change to consider. 
Sure, there's lots of raw food available. 
But darned few restaurants serve much, 
so if you go out to eat very often you are 
going to have a major problem. 

Eating bananas, oranges, apples, 
grapes, melons, grapefruit, cherries, and 
so on is easy. Raw vegetables are more of 
a problem. Salads arc easy. Tve been 



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73 Amateur RadfO Today * December 1998 59 

eaitns a bis bowl of salad for 
boih lunch and dinner lor a 
long time now. Spinach, beet 
greens, watercress, bean, clo- 
ver and alllilla sprouts, with a 
few raisins make a yreai 

I've (bund ihal when I chop 
up ra\% broccoli, caiiliHower 
and carrois thai the mixture, 
with a tittle coleslaw sauce on 
it, is rine. Raw cabbai];e with 
the sauce on ills good, too, 

Bui after have eaten cot^ked 
fotnl for a lifetime, ifs dim- 
cult lo jusi Slop, You see, 
there's ihis liitle Chinese res- 
tail rant in Hillshoro with a 
Tabulous biiircl lunch. Sigh, 
And a slice of pizza now and 
then? The ads for the Taco 
Bell pocket sandwiches Itxiked 
so inviting on TV, but when 
we tried a couple one even ins, 
what we eoi looked aothin^i 
like the ads. Ugh. Tbose bi^ 
ovcrslulTed TV sandwiches 
had \erv little in them when 
the real world struck. The 
onlv thins that was the same 
was the price. 

Instead of a howl of hoi ce- 
real for breakfast, now Vm 
eating three bananas tir three 
oranges. For lunch a tomato, 
a big bowl o( salad, and a 
bovvlolchuppcd raw veggies. 
Dinner is about the same as 
lunch. But Sherry stilt wants 
to go out and eat. There isn"t 
any way to get her to eat raw 
stuff. Or even fruit or veg- 
etables, for thai matter. Fll 
bet I'll have the same success 
with you. Sigh. You'd rather 
die than change your diet. So 
who wants to live to 150 any- 
way? My bet is that you'll 
continue to cat what tastes 
got>d and go to the dtKlor for 
repairs when your body starts 
breaking down — lumine the 
responsibilit) (v\ertohim. 

When you go raw you'll 
find that you can eat all you 
wan I and vour bit: fat eul will 
gradually go away, replaced by 
muscles. You'll automatically 
get down to your normal 
hvdy weight, Sluhlike asthma, 
arthritis, diabetes, allcrsies, 
and so on will blow^ away. 
Yoifll find vi>ur body rebuild- 
ing itself, atid you'll be full of 
energ\ and enthusiasm. Or you 
can continue yourpnesent slide 
into the obits and a Silent Key 

I've been promised an 
uncock biKJk thalMI explain 
how I can enjoy raw potatoes, 
beets, onions, and other such 
vegetables. Tvc always pre- 
lerrcd my cooked \cggies al 
ticfUe, so now Fll chanae to 
super al dvniL\ 

If you're game to expose 
yourself to a powerful po- 
emic — verbal overkill on 

the subject — invest $15, 
plus $3 s/h, for d copy of The 
Raw FfHHi DieL sent to 
Nature's First L^w, Box 
900202, San Diego CA92190, 
or call 800^205^2350. If you 
can read Ihis book and not 
change your diet, you've got 
niiuc resistance lo common 
sense than L 

Small Biz 

New^ small businesses are 
thriving in Europe, helping to 
reduce iheir serious unem- 
jiloyment situation, and bring- 
ing new life to their economics. 
While the targe businesses 
have been cutting payrolls by 
4^ a year, these new small 
businesses have been adding 
employees at the rate of 16%. 

I wish 1 had the time lo or- 
ganize a lecture tour of Eu- 
rope, including visits to their 
heads ol state, so I could ex- 
plain the benefits of setting 
up my new style oT business 
incubau^rs. Fve written about 
this in my past editorials, and 
my system is explained in de- 
tail in my book 24 lltvyv lo 
Improve State Government 
($5). This tells how business 
incubators can be set up in 
any town wl^ich will help 
fund and cuide the ojowih of 
new small businesses. 

Large businesses are mo\ - 
ins their manufac luring to the 
least expensive countries and 
replacing much of their middle 
management with infomiatinn 
systems ([Lk.a. ci>jTiputers}. so 
we can'l look for job growth 
there for either blue or white 
collar workers. Worse, large 
businesses tend to be preda- 
tory, looking always tor growth 
by swallowing up smaller busi- 
nesses, and to have the political 
clout to get away widi almost 
anything they want. 

The health of anv counirv 
increasingly is dependent on 
the growth of entrepreneurial 

businesses — and mv incubator 
svstem makes their successful 
startup simple. 

Our states and other cnun- 
tries could do worse (anti will) 
than sci aside a fund lor busi- 
ness incubators to draw on. 
It would be a profit- making 
no-lose fund and would result 
in more jobs and increased 
business revenues. 

Funny Coincidence 

A number of scientists have 

been claiming thai nuclear 
bomb lesLs, even when under- 
2n>und. can have some Ions: 
range effects. In mid-May In- 
dia tested five nukes. A few 
davs later a killer heat wave 
hit India and Pakistan, killinsz 
scores, A few davs later the 
high pressure bkxrkage of 
winds over India brought mas- 
sive Hooding to Cliina, killing 

The next dav Pakistan 
tested five nukes. The dav af- 
ter that 366 died from the 
most devastating heal wave 
that had hit India in vears. 
And the day after that an 
earthquake hit nearby Af- 
shanistan. killiniz 2.500. The 
nexi day another heat wave 
hit India, killing 100 more. 

Four days later the heai 
waves in India and Pakistan 
had killed over 1,300 people, 
The same day tornadoes hit 
all across the USA. iiic hiding 
one in Antrim NH. just a 
couple miles from where 1 

A week later the India/Pa- 
kistan heal death toll was up 
to 2.500. with still more 
Hooding in China. 

In some way the glolxd 
weather patterns seem lo haxe 
been affected by the nuclear 
tests. So much tor messing 
with Mother Nature. 


The governor of New Hamp- 
shire has been pushing hard to 
ha\e all NH schools stan 
with kindergarten when kids 
are five years old. She was 
pushing this agenda when she 
and I were on the Economic 
Development Commission 
Education Subcommittee a 
few years ago, and she was 
as impervious to facts then 
as she is now. Her mind is 

made up and facts are only a 

As Thomas Sou ell says, 
"It*s ama/ing how much time 
and ingenuity people w^ill put 
into defending some idea that 
they never bothered to think 
through al (he outsell 

Headstart was supposed to 
give disadvantaged kids a bet- 
ter chance of geuing an educa- 
tion. With 2000 agencies and 
36,000 cias.srooms, it's been 
an expensive expcritnenL The 
k>ng-lemi effects nl Headstart 
have been carefullv nsscarclied. 
They found no long-lasting ef- 
t'ects on IQ. teen pregnancy, 
welfare, crime, later eco- 
nomic success, etc. The only 
people who benefited were 
the HeadsLtri employees and 

WTien the National Resejirch 
Council of the National Acad- 
emy ot Sciences reviewed ev- 
ery post-secondary training 
prograjii of the last 20 years 
they found that none of the 
programs worked. Billions of 
vour money have been wasted. 

More Headstart programs? 
More social spending? I sure 
hope ycHJ'll do your best to 
slop these wastes ol' money. 

The Swedish, whose stu- 
dents outperform ours by a 
w idc niiirgin. don'i start schiiol 
until they are seven yeiirs old. 

Nursing Homes 

Did you bother to read 
some of I he horror stories in 
the news media citin*! recent 
Studies of nursing homes? It 
makes grim reading. w4rh 
beating, malnutriiion. dehy- 
dration and neulecl bein^i 
more the rule than ihe excep- 
tion. The nursing home in* 
dustry is powerful and seems 
to have control over the state 
overseers, according lo a Ttme 
maga/ine Aug. 3id issue reptm 
im Calilomia lionies. What 
I hey found was just awful. 
Yet, that's where a high pcr- 
centasc of vou are headed un- 
less you change your diet. 


The Indians have been do- 
ing w^ll by setting up casinos 
on their rcscrA at ions, I'm see- 
ing more and more ads on TV 
by these casinos, so it's obvi- 
ously a thrivinii business. Take 

60 73 AmatBui Radio Today • December 1 998 

the Foxwood Casino in Conncdleii Less 
than 15 years ago there were only three 
people Uving on the re&ervaiioo. Now 
they've got gaming revenues of over a bil- 
lion dollars and the tribe has expanded to 

The Indians arc complaining that the 
Europeans came in with higher technol- 
ogy and look their country away. WeJL 
iteyYe right, that's what happened. But 
the same thing has been happening all 
through history. The guys with the big- 
ger and better clubs win and take over. 
The Jews did it when ihey pushed the 
Arabs aside and formed Israel. Israel 
then took the West Bank away from Jordan 
with their army; they've kept it, and don*i 
seem to be much interested in giving it 

It was their higher technology that al- 
lowed the European countries to take 
over mosi of Africa and big lumps of Asia. 
Through massive mismanagement they've 
managed to lose most of ii. They did the 
same thing in the Caribbean, with En- 
gland controlling mosl of the islands, the 
French a few, and the Dutch a few. Spain 
was doing fine until the US shoved *em 

All the people who are begging for 
peace should take a good long look at 
history and see if they can find any in- 
stance where might didn't make right. 
When you lay your weapons down ycm 
are doing it to grab for a yoke to wear. 
And today, technology is providing us 
with the bigger club. 


A review of a book by Fred Holden 
had this quote: "Our system of education 
teaches just about everything except the 
three things that matter most — How to 
make a hving, how to live, and how to un- 
derstand life, especially in areas of eco* 
nomics and politics," 

Since, if our schools did teach these ba- 
sic concepts, our counU7 and our lives 
might be vastly different, 1 woiKfer if the 
neglect of these subjects is entirely acci- 
dental. These are exacily the things F ve 
been writing about, but 1 should be writ- 
ing for kids instead of old people whose 
minds are so closed thai the light of 
reason is unable to penetrate the gloom. 
Well, 1 may be exaggeruiing, but that's the 
impression I get much of the time. 

As far as living successfully and mak- 
ing a gtx>d living are concerned, around 
90% of the stuff that is ^laughi" in high 
school and 100% of college is a waste of 
time. That was my experience, and things 
were supposedly a whole lot better those 
days than now. 

Most of what I was taught in science 
classes has subsequently been proven 
wrong. Mosi of the math I suffered 
through has never been of any real use. 

and Fve been involved with a lot of dif- 
ferent businesses* The English literature 
classes were a huge waste of time. And 
so it went. Humbug! 

Wagging the Dog 

It's my fault. I haven't been ragging 
you lately to subscribe to The New 
Yorker so you wouldn*t miss the out- 
standing articles they manage to come 
up with. Like the one in the October 
1 2th issue, The Missiles of August, sub- 
titled, "The Annals of National Secu- 
rity/* It had to do with the missile attack, 
just three days after Clinton's grand jury 
testimony about his affair with Monica 
Lewinsky; on the pharmaceutical factt)ry 
in Sudan, The attack was claimed to be 
in retaliation for the truck bombings of 
the American embassies in Kenya and 

The article quoted American business- 
man Bobby May, who was in Khartoum 
at the time of the attack. He was very 
surprised because he and Bishop 
Brookings (from Nashville) had just vis- 
ited the factory a few days before and 
had been shown every part of the opera- 
lion. The place was a showplace, where 
kids routinely toured the plant, and not, 
as the White House spokesman claimed, a 
heavily guarded chemical factory. 

The net result of the use of $60 million 
of Tomahawk missiles was the destruc- 
tion of a badly needed pharmaceutical 
factory in Khartoum, a mess in Afghani- 
stan, no one important killed, and an 
entirmous buildup of resentment through 
the whole Arab world. Well, it did keep 
Monica out of the headlines for a few 
days, so perhaps the White House strate- 
gists felt it was worth the expense. 

By the way, as you read the article, 
you'll see that the Joint Chiefs were not 
consulted before the attack. You'll also 
probably not be particularly surprised that 
the intelligence reports which were cited 
by tte White House as an excuse for the 
attack were of the usual low grade in 

A propos, Vm enjoying a discounted 
book (S8) published by Barnes & Noble, 
Senseless Secrets, by Lt. Col. Michael 
Lanning — subtitled, 'The Failures of US 
Military Intelligence irom Geoi^e Wash- 
ington to the Present/' You no doubt have 
suspected that, being government agen- 
cies, our intelligence departments were 
probably bungling almost everything 
they've been doing. What 1 doubt you've 
suspecced is the extremes that this bun- 
gling has often reached. Pester B&N and 
spend the $8. You're going to be highlight- 
ing the hell out of the book and reading 
sections to anyone who will listen. The 
author said he'd spent several years as an 

Continued on page 64 


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73 Amateur Radio Today • December 1998 61 


Numi)^ 62 Oft your Feedback CMtd 

Jim Gray W1XU/7 
210 E Chateau Circle 
Payson AZ 85541 
Qimpeg ^^] 

The HJ-' bands in AugU!ii and 
September were quite good at 

times, with DX rolling in on Ire- 
queticies in the bands between 

40 and U) meters. At one point 
the solar ilux ruse to 176 — tliL* 
highest I've seen it since Cycl 


22 — which h a ^uod sign, but 
requires a word of caution. 

Cycle 23 is likeK lo provide 
the lowest peak solar flux value 
of the last feu cycles. One fore- 
caster predicts that the peak will 
occur in 1999, which 1 believe 
is a year or two early, if every- 
thing proceeds nnrmally. But 
nothing about Cycle 23 has been 
**normaL" so it's possible he 
could be right. WeM! just have 
to wait and see. 

Propagalion this month is 
likely to be irref^ular because 
December is traditional ly a 
month when HF propagation is 
seasonally low, and we huven^l 
yet seen consistently high solar 
flux values durine this cvcle. 
Therefore, use the calendar to 
pick ihe best days (G) for your 
effons, but alwavs tisien and 
make a few calls into the void 
on other days, uio, bee li use the 
universe is full ul surprises, 

10-12 meters 

Possible opcnitigs to Europe 

in the morning, midday openings 
to Africa and South America, and 
late afternonn openings to 
Ausinilasiaand the South Pacific, 
Daytime short-skip openings 

between 1000 and 2000-f miles 
arc likely as well, 

15-17 meters 

Worldwide DX possible during 
daylight hours, peaking loward 
turot>e ajid the east in eariy mom- 
ina. loward the southern hemi- 
sphere in the aftemooc, and 
toward the west. South Pacific 
and Australasia in the late after- 
noon, with daytime short skip 
from lOOO to over 2000 miles. 

20-30 meters 

Openings to Europe and the 
east during late aftemoon hours, 

with the bands remaining open 
tu various areas of the world 
during hours of darkness until 
shorth afler sunrise. Dav light 
short skip lo 1000 miles and 
2()00 rnikN or so ai night 

40 meters 

Generally low^ noise prevails. 
and openings toward Europe 
and the ejst beginning in laie 
afternoon, with the band re- 
maining open all night until nf- 
Ilt sunrise to various areas of the 
world. Daytime short skip lo 
about 1 000 miles and over 1000 
miles at nighL This could be 
your best DX hand this moaih! 

80 meters 

DX to all areas of the world 
between dark and dawn with 
signals peaking loward Europe 


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62 73 Amateur Radio Today ' December 1998 

Here are *^)me of the book;fi Wa^ne 
has wrjtl4?n. Some tan chiinge yuur 
life, if you11 ki them. If thv idea, iif 
being healthv, wealthy unci wKo is 
of interest toyoii.^tart reading, Yes» 
you can ht all thai, hul (snly when 
you know the sec re Is which Wayne 
has spent a lifetime uncovering. 

The Secret Guide to Health: Yes, 
there really is aseoet to regaining your 
health and adding 30 to 60 years of 
heaJthy living to your life* The aiHwer 
is simple, but it means making litMiie 
ven dirncuh changes. Will you be 
'ikiing the ii lopes of Aspen with me 
w ht?n you're 90 or diKktcring around 
a nuTiing home? Or pushing up dai- 
sies? No, f m nor setting any health 
products. %5 iH» 

The Secret Guide to Wealth: Just as 
with health, youll find thai you have 
been brainwashed by "the system^ 
into a pattern of life that will Iceep you 
from ever making much money and 
having the freedom lo (ravel and do 
what you want. I explain how an\ one 
can get a dream job with no coJlcgc, 
no fi^sume. and even w ilhoul any ex- 
perience. 1 expJain how you can get 
someone to happily pay you to learn 
what you need to know to sian your 
own business. S5 (Mj 
The Secret Guide to W'i«idom: This 
is a review of around a hundretl books 
that will help you change your life, 
No, I don't sell these hooks They're 


on a wide range of subjects and will 
help to make you a very inieresting 
person. Wail' 11 you see some of I he 
gems you've missed reading. S5 (B) 
Cold Fusion Overview: This is both 
a brief history of cold fusion, which I 
predict will tie one of the InrgesI in- 
dustries in the world In the 2 ] si ten^ 
tury. plus a si nip II L'^pluniitinn dIIiovv 
and why it works. This new field is 
going to generate a whole new bunch 
of billionaires, just as the personal 
computer industry did- $5 (C) 
The BJoelectrifier Hand hook: This 
explains how to binJil or buy a little 
electrical gadgei that can help clean 
the blood of any virus, tnicrobe, para- 
site, fungus or yeast. The prtKess was 
discovered by scie mists at the Albert 
Einstein College of Medicine, pat- 
ented and then hushed up Jt's curing 
AIDS, hepatitis C, and a bunch of 
other serious ilhiesses. The circuit can 
be built for under S2() from the in- 
structions in ihe biKik. $10 tA^ 
Moondoggte: After reading Renews 
book- iVi45.A Mooned America. \ read 
everything I could find on our Mixm 
landings, t watched ihe \ rdcos. looked 
carefully at the photos, read the 
asfronaughts' biogmphies. and talked 
with some of my readers w*ho worited 
for NASA. This book cites 25 s!i>od 
reasons I believe Ihe wtiote Apotlo pio- 
gfam had to have been faked S5 iD^ 
Mankind's Extinction Predictinns: 
If an\ one of the experts who have 
written liooks predicting a soon-to- ( 

Radio Bookshop 

come catastrophe which will virtually 

wipe us all out are right, weVe in 

trouble. In this book I explain about 

the various disaster scenarios, from 

Nostradamus, who says the poles will 

soon shift, wiping out 97% of man- 
kind, fo Sai Baba, who has recently 

warned his followers to gel out of Ja- 
pan and .Australia before December 

6th ihis year. The woi^t part of these 

predictions is the accuracy record of 

some of the experts. WitI ii be a pole 

shift, a new ice age, a massive solar 

Hare* a comei or asteroid, or even 

Y2K? I'm getting ready, how alxjut 

you? $5 (E| 

WayneN Sobmarine .Vd^entnres In 

WA^ II: Ves. I spent from 1943-1945 
on a submarine, right in the middle 
of ihe war w ith Japan. We almost gol 
sunk several times, and twice 1 was 
in die right place at the right time to 
save ihc boat, Whai's it realJy like to 
bt depth charged? .And what^s the 
doily life aboard a submarine like? 
There are some ver\' funny stories. If 
you're near Mobile, please visit the 
brum. S5 (Si 

Improvini^ State Government: Here 
are 24 wa> s that aLnost any si ate gov- 
ernment can cut expenses enor- 
mously, while providing far better ser- 
vices. I explain how any government 
bureau or department can be gotten 
to cut its expenses by at least 50% in 
three years and do it cooperatively 
and emhusiastically. I explain how, by 
applying a new technology, the state 
can make it possible to provide all 
needed services without havinc to 
levy any taxes at all? Read the book, 
run for your legislature, and let's get 
busy making this country work like 
its founders wanted it to. Dont leave 
this for 'someone else*^ to do. S5 (L) 
Travel Diaries; You can travel amaz- 
ingly ine?t pensively - once you know 
the ropes. Enjoy Sherrv^ and my bud- 
get visits to Europe, Russia, and a 
bunch of other interesting places. 
How about a first class flight to 
Munich, a rented Audi* driving to visit 
Vienna* Krakow in Poland (and the 
famous salt iiiincs^. Prague, back to 
Munich, and the tlrst class fhght home 
for two, all for under SLOOO, Yes, 
when you knou how you can ttavel | -^^"'^ 
incsipensjvely, and srill stay in first 1 
class hoiels. S5 \T} . 

Wayne's Caribbean Adveniures: ' 
More budgei travel siories ~ w here I | City-State*Zip . 
V i s i I the hams and sc uba di ve most of ■ ^^^ onfcieii ■ use k 
the islands of the Caribbean. Like the 
special tJai fare w hich allowed u^ to 
visit 1 1 countries in 21 da vs. with me 
dtvtng all bui one of ihe islands, 
Guadeloupe, where ttie hams kept me 
so busy with panics I didn^t have time 
to dive, S5 (U> 

Silver W'ire: With two 3** pieces of 
heavy pure silver wire + three W bat- 
teries you can ntake a thousand dol- 
lars wonh of silver colloid. Wtiai do 
you do with it? Ii does what the anti- 
biotics do, but germs can't adapt to 
it. Use il 10 get rid of germs on food^ 
for skin fungus, wans, and e\cn to 
drink. Read some botjks on ihe uses of 
^d\ er colloid. it*s like inagic. S15 t Yj 
CJas.sical Music Guide: A list of tOO 
CDs which wilt provide you with an 
outstanding colleciion of the finest 
classical mu^ic ever written. This is 
what you need lo help you reduce 
stress. Classical music also raises 
youngsters* IQs, helps plants grow 
faster, and \ull make you healthjen 
Just watt' II you hear some of Gotschalk^s 
fabulous music! $5 iZ) 
Reprints of .M> EditariaK Srmn 73, 
Grist t: 50 of my best ncm-ham oriented 
editorials from before 1997. $5 tF» 
Grist 11: 50 more choice non-ham 
editorials from before 1997. S5 (G^ 

1997 Editorials: 240 pages. 216 edi- 
torials discussing health, ideas for 
new businesses, exciting new books 
Tve discovered, ways to cure our 
country's more serious problems, 
night KOO, the nkbhoina City bomb- 
ing, more Moort mutlness, and so on. 
In ihrce S5 volumes. S15 (O) 

1998 Jan- Aug Editorials: 1 8B pages 
in two S5 volumes, Tiringing you up 
In date. S 10 (Pi 

Hum-to-Ilum: 45 of my ham -ori- 
ented editoriids. These will help you 
bone up on ham history. Great stuff 
for hum club newsk'ticr flUer Yes, of 
course ihe^c arc controversial. $5 (Q) 
%y Million Sales Video: How to gen- 
erate extra million in sales using PR. 
This will be one of the best invest- 
merits yoLir business ever made, $45 (V) 
One Hour CW: Using this sneaky 
method even yo/i can leani the ^torse 
Code in one hour and pass that dumb 
5wpm Tech-Plus ham lest. $5. (C W) 
CfKle Tape (T5i" Ttiis tape will teach 
you the letters, numbers and punctua- 


tion you need to know if you are go- 
ing on to learn the code at 13 wpm or 
20 wpm. S5 (T5) 

Cade Tape (T13): Once you know the 
code for the letters (TS) you can go 
immediately to copying 1 3 wpm code 
fusing my system). This should only 
take two or three days. S5 ^Tl 3J 
Code Tape (TlOj: Stiirt right out at 
20 wpm and master it in a weekend 
for yoiu-Extru Class license. S5 (T20) 
Code Tape (T25) Same deaf It 
docsn*l take any longer to handle 25 
wpm as il does 13. Or use the ARRL 
system &. take six monihs-S5 <T25) 
Wayne Talks at Dayton: This isa90' 
minute tape of the talk f'd have given 
at the I>ayton, if ins iied. S5 ( W U 
\\ ayne Talks at Tampa: This is Ihe 
talk 1 ^ave ai the Tampa Global Sci- 
ences conference. I cover cold fusion, 
amateur radio, health, books you 
should read, and so on. $5 f W2> 
Stuff I didn't write, hut \iMi need: 
NASA Mooned America: Rene 
makes an air-tight case that NASA 
faked the Moon landings. This book 
wilt convince even you. $25 (Rl > 
Last Skeptic of Science: This is 
Rene's book u here he debunks a 
bunch of accepted scientific beliefs -* 
such as the ice ages, the Earth being 
a magnet, the Moon causing Ihe tides, 
andetc. S25(R2) 

Elemental Energy Subscription: t 
predict this is going to be ihc tnrgest 
indusiU} m ihe world in aboui 20 30 
years. They laughed at me when I pre- 
dicted the personal computer growth 
in l^J75. PCs arc now the third larg- 
esi industry in the world. The elcmcn- 
luiJ cticrgy grojnd Hoor is still wide 
open, but then that might mean giv- 
ing up watching ball games and talk 
shows on the boob tube. S30 for six 
issues. (EE). A sample issue is !)j 10. 
Three Gatto Talks: A prize-winning 
teacher explain.s what's wrong with 
American schools and why our kids 
are not being educated. Why are 
Swedish youngsters, whosiari school 
at 7 years of aee, leaving our kids in 
the dusr^* Our kids are intentionally 
being dumbed down by our school 
system — die least effective and most 
expensive in the world. S5 (K> 

Radio Bookshop 

70 Hancock Road, Peterbaroueh, NH 03458 





.^,- HHJ Eiufk books vbioLfiL OuLt Lutil pius S> 5>h m L'S.S6Ciil 

us s ^ 

Fofftgn oilfiil&ilttlAHifiweifa^vti^ havi Ijxnh i kjui amBul «iU cost - mikc k gAiJ fue&s 

MCATm for d«toi over £ 10. «. 


Phone orders: 603^924-Ot)5S • 800-274-7373 • fax: 6C)3-924-S6 1 3 

Yes * f^it me down for a vear of 73 for onh 525 fa steal ). Canada US$32* 


I Forei gn LSS 44 b> sea, USS67 b\ air Whew! 

73 Amateur Radio Today • December 1998 63 

Barter 'n' Buy 

Turn your old ham and computer gear into cash now. Sure, you can 
wait for a hamfest to try and dump it, but you know you'll get a far 
more realistic price If you have it out where 100.000 active ham po- 
tential buyers can see it. rather than the tew hundred local hams who 
come by a flea market table. Check your attic, garage, cellar and 
closet shelves and get cash for your ham and computer gear before 
It's too old to sell. You know you're not going lo use it again, so why 
leave It for your widow to throw out? That stuff lsn*t getting any 

The 73 Flea Market, Barter 'n' Buy, costs you peanuts (almost)— 
comes to 35 cents a word tor individual (noncomnnerciall) ads and 
S1.00 a word for commercial ads. Don't plan on telling a long story. 
Use abbreviations, cram it in. But be honest. There are plenty of 
hams who love to fix things, so if it doesn't work, say so. 
Make your list, count the words, including your call, address and phone 
number, ir>clude a check or your credit card number and expiration. If 
you're placing a commercial ad, include an additional phone number 
I separate from your ad- 
This is a monthly magazine, not a daily newspaper, so figure a coyple 
months before the action starts; then be prepared. If you get too many 
calls, you priced it low. If you don't gel many calls, too high. 
So get busy. Blow the dust off. check everything out. make sure it still 
works right and maybe you can help make a ham newcomer or re- 
tired old timer happy with that rig you're not using now. Or you might 
get busy on your computer and put together a list of small gear/parts 
to send to those interested? 

Send your ^As and payment ta; 73 Magazine^ Barter "n' 
Buy, 70 Re, 202N, Peterborough NH 03458 and get set for 
tht phone calls* The deadline for the MiirLli 1999 classitlcd ad 
I section is Ja nuar>- 10, 1999_ 


SALINAS PR 00751-0030, 


BIOELECTRfFfiRT'^ 5 Hz micro 
current supply for plant and animal 
research. Semi-Kit S38.00. As- 
sembled complete with batteries and 
silver electrodes $89.50. Add S2.50 
postage, Thomas MJder, 314 South 
9th Street. Richmond IN 47374. 



2SC2879, 2SC1971, 2SC1972, 
MRF247. MRF455. MB8719. 
2SC1307. 2SC2029. MRF454. 
2SC3133, 4CX250B, 12DQ6. 
6KG6A. etc. WESTGATE, 1 (800) 
213-4563, , BNB6000 

Cash for ColDns: Buy any Coilins 
Equipment- Leo KJ6H1. Tei./FAX 
(310) 670-6969. [radioleo^earlh- 
Irnk.nel] BNB425 

RADIO, by Thomas Appleby (copy* 
right 1967), S€H:ond printing avail- 
abie from JOHAN K.V. SVANHOLM 
Washington DC 20044. Please send 
$25,00 donation with $5.00 for S&H. 



HANGUPS Johan N3RF, Send 
81 , Washington DC 20044 USA, 


WANTED: Army /Navy SCR, AT J, 
ATK. ARK. ARJ, CEK, CRV, Receiv- 
ers, cameras, monitor, transmitters, 
dynamotors. Maurice Schechter 
590 Willis Ave., Williston Park NY 
11596. P/F (516) 294-4416. 


OSL CARDS. Basic Styles: Black 
an6 While and CoJor Picture Cards; 
Custom Printed. Send 2 stamps for 
samples and literature. RAUMS, 
8617 Orchard Rd., Coopersburg PA 
18036. Phone or FAX (215) 679- 
7238. BNBSig 

WANTED; High capacity 12 volt solar 
panels for repeater. [kk4ww@tairs. 
org] or (340) 763-2321 . BNB2630 

TOR! Why buy a "box of batteries" 
iOT hundreds of dollars? Current 
regulated. AC powered. luMy as- 
sembled with ?^12 AWG silver elec- 
trodes, S74.50. Same, but DC 
powered. S54,50, Add $2,50 ship- 
ping. Thomas Miller. 314 South 9th 
Street. Richmond IN 47374. 


Number $4 on your Feedback C9rd 

Presider^t Clinton probably doesn't 
have a copy of Tormef 's Electronics 
Bench Reference but you stiould, 
Check it out at [ 
-^rtormet/index. htm]— over 100 
pages of circuits, tables, RF design 
information, sources, etc. 


Orlando HamCatlon™ and Com- 
puter Show Feb. 12-14, Central 
Florida Fairgrounds. ARRL North 
Florida Section. Commercial areas 
feature over 200 vendors, and swap 
area includes over 400 tables. Tail- 
gating, forums, testing. Overnight HV 
parking witti electric and water. Com- 
mercial Information. Tim Stair. (407} 
850-9258. E-mail ;AE4NJ'gaoLcomj. 
vfsrt our Web page at [WWW. 
OARC.ORG] or ser^d SASE tO: Or- 
lando HamCatlon™. PC Box 
547811 , Ortando PL 32S54. 


VisualRadio'^ Is a powerful control 

software tor AOR, ICOIVI, Kenwood, 
JRC, YAESU and more. Starting at 
USS 122. Download demo: [http:// 
homepages Visualfadio]. For fnfo^or- 
der: Cord Schuette St. Johns Ml. 
TEL/FAX: (517) 224 1791. E-mail: 
ISc^uette ^ email.mintCftv.coml. 


MONITOR RFM-003. RFM-005. 
Paying S600, Randy Ballard N5WV, 
(903)687-3002. [TMTtgPrysm.netl- 


ASTRON power supply, brand-new 
w/warranty, RS20M S99. RS35M 
$145, RS50M S209, RS70M $249, 
AVT. Call for other models. (626) 
286-0118 BNB411 

GUIDE: 250 pictures pnces. $1 2 post- 
paid ARTIFAX BOOKS Box 88, 
Maynard MA 01754. Telegraph Mu- 
seum: [httpy/wltp.comJ. BNB 1 1 3 

HEATH COMPANY is seJHng photO- 
copies of most Heathkit manuals 
Only authorized source for copyright 
manuals. Phone: (616} 925-5899. 
8-4 ET BNB964 

Neuer srv oie 

continued from page 61 

officer during ihe \\ ar in Viei- 
nam and had never gotten one 
useful piece of information 

from anv of the inlelliiiciice 
age nc ies . Amiy In Le I i igenL c uii iy 
is aaintradiction of terms. 

%o bad if you missed the 
New Yorker article. This was 
the masazinc ihat forced the 

AM A lo admit I hat ulcers are 
caused by the Heliotobaaer 
Pylori germ and could be 
cured quickly uiih antibioi- 
ics, newh thai has cosi ihe 
medical eslahtishment billions 
of dollars in endless doctor 
visits tbr ihe uld ineffective 
ulcer treatments. On the posi- 
tive side, a recent survey 
showed that thousands of doc- 
tors are still happily unaware 
of the new ireaimcni — and 
probably inicnU lu stay un- 
aw are of it* 

Sporadic E 

A note from Neil Spokes 
AB4YK points out Ihal spo- 
radic E is anything but spo* 
radic, in the sen^e of being 
non-predictabie. These events 
I'cpeat every year, over and 
oven on the same days. Thus 
ihey must be lied into W'here 
the Earth is in its orbit, going 
through something — perhaps 
a comeiaiy effect. 

My Ballot 

The Oftlcial ARRL Balldt 
allowing me to vole for ihe 

Vice Director, arrived. Appar- 
ently no one wa.s interested 
enoueh in the job to run for 
Director, ^o our old used Di- 
rector is holding down the spot 
for two more years. I looked 
o\er the promi>iions for the 
two contestants for Director of 
Vice. One was Andrea Parker 
KIWLX. Her promotion told 
all about her niar\elous ac- 
complishmenLv bui said noth- 
ing about bow I or even the 
hobbv iru^ht benefil from her 
imporiani self being elected. 
Also, she was not smiling in 
her phott>. Her look said to me 
that she's very, very important 
and I'm an insignillcant some- 
ihing that probably stuck to 
iiumeone's shoe. 

The opponcni in the elec- 
tion was Michael Raisbeck 
KITWR His piece was al- 
most all about the Ihings he 
wanted lo do to make Uie 
hobby better, with just a short 
paragraph at ihe end about 
himself. And he was smilinu 
in his photo. 

Cane tu guess who I voted f or? 

64 73 Amateur Radio Today • December 1998 


160-10 Meters PLUS 6 Meter Transceiver 

Fifteen reasons y\fhy your next HF 
transceiver should be a JST'245. . , 








All-Mode Operation (SSB.CW.AM.AFSK.FM) on all HF amateur 
bands and 6 me!ers, JST-145, same as JST-245 but withCKJl 6 
meters and builHn antenna tuner. 


to achieve low distortion and high durability. Rated output is 10 
to 150 watts on afi bands including 6 meters. 

AUTOMATIC ANTENNA TUNER • Auto tuner included as 
standard equipment. Tuner settings are automatically stored 
in memory for fast QSY, 

MULTIPLE ANTENNA SELECTION • Three antenna connec- 
tions are user selectable from front panel Antenna selection can 
be stored in memory. 

GENERAL COVERAGE RECEIVER • 100 kHz-30 MHz, plus 48- 
54 MHz receiver, EJectronically tuned front-end filtering, quad- 
FET mixer and quadnjple conversion system {triple conversion 
forFM} results *n excellent dynamic range (>100dB) and 3rd order 
ICP of +20dBm. 

IF BANDWIDTH FLEXIBILITY • Standard 2.4 kHz filter can be 
narrowed continuously to 800 Hz with variable Bandwidth Control 
(BWC). Narrow SSB and CW lifters for 2nd and 3rd IF optional. 

QRM SUPPRESSION • Other interference rejection features 
include Passband Shift (PBS), dual noise bianker. 3-step RF atten- 
uation, fF notch filter, selectabie AGO and all-mode squeldi. 

8 NOTCH TRACKING • Once tuned, the IF notch filter will track the 
offending heterodyne ( - 10 Khz) if the VFO frequency is changed. 

9 DDS PHASE LOCK LOOP SYSTEM • A single-crystal Direct 
Digital Synthesis system is utilized for very low phase noise. 

I CW FEATURES • Full break- in operation, variable CW pitch, built 

in electronic l<eyer up to 60 wpm. 

I I DUAL VFOs • Two separate VFOs for split-frequency operation. 
Memory registers store mosl recent VFO frequency, mode, band- 
width and other important parameters for each band. 

1 2 200 MEMORIES * Uemoty capacity of 200 channels, each of 
which store frequency^ mode. AGC and bandwidth. 

1 3 COMPUTER INTERFACE • Built-in RS-232C interface for 
advanced computer applications, 

1 4 ERGONOM I C LAYOUT * Front panel features easy to read color 
LCD display and thoughtful placement of controls for ease of oper- 

1 5 HEAVY-DUTY POWER SUPPLY • Built-in switching power 
suppfy with 'silent" cooling system designed for continuous 
transmission at maximim output. 

JRC| 0apan Radio Co.,Xid, 

430 Park Ave,, 2nd Floor New York, NY 10022 Phone; (212) 355-1 180 Fax: (212) 319-5227 


M£3Il}l^ ^^ 



^ 1 


^'^ ^p^ *ippi jLa i^ i-' ' ' f , 

'Ji. '^ ^ Cl^ r*^ #te ^_ '^ ^- /*■ 

— ^^ ^"^ JtoMi ^^^ J '^^n»*xv ^^ 

PC not 

The Kachina 505DSP the-art DSP 

Computer Controlled HP processing p 

Transceiver After twenty years capabilities c 

of buitding commercial ^^^^ wondei 

transceivers in Arizona, Kachina ^^^^'^ desigr 

has decided the time is right for a ^^*"^ ^^^ ^ ^'' 

new approach to amateur radio, when your a 

The Kachina 505DSP ts nothing s^rnuitaneoui 

short of a revolution in HF aclivity. antei 

transceivers. ^^^^ ^'^'^ '^^ 

forward and/ 

Why Use Knobs If You Have and a host o 
Windows? The old-fashioned 

front panel has become too 13 

cluttered to be useful Too many Pertornrtani 

knobs, too many buttons. i^'^^*' ^^^P' 

Kachina's 505DSP transceiver Kachina 505 

connects to your computer's exceptional 

serial port and is completely performance 

controlled under Windows'^ With "brick-wair d 

optional cables, the radio may be adaptive not 

remotely located up to 75 feet ^roise reduct 

away from your computer '^^ in-band 

Imagine combining a state-of- signaMo-noi 

Windows /s s trademark of Microsoft Corp. 

Specifications and feafur^s subject to char^ge wiihout notice. 

the-art DSP transceiver with the 
processing power and graphics 
capabilities of your PC and you II 
soon wonder why all radios 
aren't designed this way Why 
settle for a tiny LCD display 
when your computer monitor can 
simultaneously show band 
aclivity antenna impedance, 
heat sink temperature, SWR, 
forward and/or reflected power 
and a host of other information? 

16/24 Bit DSP/DDS 
Performance In addition to 
100% computer control, the 
Kachina 505DSP offers 
exceptional 16/24 bit DSP/DDS 
performance. IF stage DSP, 
"brick-wair digital filtering, 
adaptive notch filters and digital 
noise reduction, combined with 
low in-band IMP and high 
signaHo-noise ratio, produce an 

excellent sounding receiver. 
Sophisticated DSP technology 
achieves performance levels 
unimaginable in the analog 
world. The transmitter also 
benefits from precise 16/24 bit 
processing. Excellent carrier and 
opposite-sideband suppression 
is obtained using superior 
phasing -method algorithms. The 
RF compressor will add lots of 
punch to your transmitted signal 
without adding tots of bandwidth, 
and the TX equalizer will allow 
you to tailor your transmitted 
audio for more highs or lows. 

The Kachina 
•505DSP Computer 


Works with any Computer 
Running Windows 3.1, 95 
or NT 

Covers all Amateur HF 
Bands plus General 
Coverage Receiver 

IF Stage 16/24 Bit Digital 
Signal Processing (DSP) 

J II DSP Bandpass Filter 
Widths from too Hz to 3.5 
kHz (6 kHz in AM Mode) 

Band Activity Display with 
Toint and Click" 
frequency Tuning 

I On-screen Antenna 
^ "Smith" Chart. Logging 
Software and Help Menus 

~ Automatic Frequency 
Calibration from WWV or 
Other External Standard 

"Snapshot** Keys for 
instant Reca I of 
Frequencies and Settings 

Optional Internal Antenna 

Seeing is Believing 

American-made and designed, 
and able to stand on its own 
against the wor Id^s best, the 
505DSP is bound to set the 
standard for all that follow. But 
don*t take our word for it 
Visit our website at 
for detailed specifications, to 
download a demo version of our 
control software, or to see a 
current list of Kachina deaiers 
displaying demonstration models 
in their showrooms. 


P.O. Box 1949, Cottonwood, Arizona 86326. U.S.A. 
Fax: (520J 634-8053, Tel: (520) 634-7828