February 5th, 2018

PRC is now 70 years old

I received correspondence from a couple of former members of the PRC, Roger Kaul K3TM (ex- K8BQY) and Jay Sturtevant, K2ZT (ex-AA2IX).  These long-time friends of the PRC brought to my attention that our club, having begun in 1948, is now 70 years old! They wondered if we had anything planned?  I had to confess that at this time, we don’t have anything on the calendar. But what do you think? Let’s discuss the possibilities.

Roger’s father, Arthur Kaul, K8BFT (SK) was one of the PRC founders and wrote a history of the club for publication many years ago. Roger sent me that very informative publication which I’ll share at our February 5th meeting. I’ll also have an old local call book complete with ads that was produced by the PRC in those early days. It’s nostalgic.

PRC Rolls out 2018 at Das Schnitzel Haus



Our “Roll Out 2018” dinner was good fun and it’s always wonderful to get together with our members and their families. The menu at Das Schnitzel Haus offered so many choices! And their Black Forest cake, that’s another story.

Straight Key Night

I set a goal to operate 40 meter CW on Straight Key Night (Dec 31-Jan1). My plan was to do the deed with my old Novice transmitter, a 50 year old Knight T-50. (It now is good for just 15 watts out, due to a soft 807 final tube.  I also wanted to try my homebrew 6L6 transmitter (below) It currently runs just 4 watts out, due to an under-sized power supply.

I only had a little time to dedicate to the cause but despite all the technical handicaps, the day was a success! I made one contact with each transmitter! The T-50 got me a good report from Texas and the 6L6 was stomping into Rhode Island.  Just like the old days, I was “rock bound” with crystals,  limiting my mobility, but the bands were crowded. Of course, with my booming signal they were probably tracking me down to me.

Instead of using a vintage receiver, I took an easier route and listened on my Icom 756 Pro 3, using a separate antenna and muting it while transmitting.

For you youngsters with fancy tranceivers, operating separate transmitter and receiver presents an antenna switching problem that has to be dealt with. Typically, you use some kind of (transmit/ receive (T/R switch), switching the antenna to transmit before you key up. Further, the receiver input needs to be muted somehow. One thing you might be able to do is short out the receiver antenna input while transmitting so you don’t put too much RF into the sensitive receiver when you key up. You might also want a CW side tone monitor so you can hear tones when you key. It gets complicated.

Sometime I’ll have a total vintage station set up, just for fun.

Back to the Basics

Our February 5th meeting program “back to the basics” for the benefit of new hams and those of us who’ve forgotten some things.  We’ll also have discussion of program suggestions.

Our Treasurer, tells me that many of members have done a fine job of sending in their dues. Thank you so much.  If you still haven’t done the dues thing, please take a moment to support our efforts.

Hal Rogers, K8CMD President, Communications Director