Tuesday, October 21, 2014

AM Radio History


Interesting find here... cannot locate the original source to reference but still a neat video!

The technology of amplitude modulation (AM) radio transmission was developed during the two decades from 1900 to 1920. Before this, the first radios transmitted information by wireless telegraphy, in which the radio signal didn't carry audio (sound) but was switched on and off to create pulses that carried text messages in Morse code. This was used for private person-to-person traffic, similar to telegrams.

The first AM radio transmission took place in 1906 from a garage in Brant Rock, Massachusetts. After six years of hard work, Reginald Fessenden, a Canadian inventor transmitted the world's first voice message by using an Alexanderson alternator and a rotary spark-gap transmitter. His message was heard by radio-equipped ships within a range of several hundred miles away from the transmission point.



Saturday, October 4, 2014

Maury's Radios On The Air Once More...

A few months ago, I was contacted by the daughter-in-law of this Silent Key Maury Fee WB6RLP who at one time lived in Columbus, KS. His son Jeff was at the home cleaning some things out and they had some of his father's ham radio equipment that they would like to sell and move on. They sent me a list of the main items which included a Yaesu FT-840 and a Swan 500cx transceiver, Ameritron and Heathkit amps and various other accessories.

I passed the information on to the club members and ham radio operators that I knew and we just could not get any interest warmed up. Well as it got closer to the time for Jeff to head back home in California, they contacted me again and made me an offer that I could not refuse. If I would buy the Yaesu FT-840 for a great price, they would donate the rest of the equipment to the club in their families honor. Well I could tell they wanted to gear to be in good hands and I was excited to accept their offer and made an appointment to meet Jeff at the house and gather up the items.

Leon N3LRH and I went out to the farm west of Columbus and looked through a LOT of history and it was obvious that a lot of contacts were made from that ham shack in the fields of Kansas. There were many DX QSL cards which stayed with the family but it was obvious that the radio gear was well used and operated with care! 

The Yaesu FT-840 that I purchased from the Fee's is now our home ham shack rig and my first contact on it was 15 meters to Mexico, how is that for starters! I am loving this radio and it gets used everyday and I have already made contacts from Mexico, Maine, Arizona and North Dakota! The radio hears really well, is easy to operate and with a couple of cabling changes I am able to get back up to full use operating on 10m - 80m using SSB and digital modes like PSK. It turned out great for the club and great that Loren KDØRTX and I to have a full HF rig in the shack permanently! No more moving the Yaesu 857d back and forth between the truck and shack! 

The club is using the Builders Group to test and evaluate the donated equipment. The amplifiers are being tested and one is in use after Leon N3LRH replaced the tubes and is on the air once more! The Swan 500cx has been fired up and the tubes glowed and received great on first trial. Here is a video I made from the first time me juiced up the tubes! 


After doing some research on Maury Fee WB6RLP I was able to locate a little information via Google. Amazing how connected the world is these days. He was an active member of the Swan Users group and I even located photos with Maury and his wife taken at the Swan Jamboree 2002. 

One of the men and one for the "gals" and you can click the photos for a larger version!



From what I was able to locate online, Maury was born Nov. 9, 1931 in Flint, MI, but spent most of his childhood in KS. He was in the U.S. Navy from 1952-1956. He graduated with a Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering from USC and worked in the Aerospace industry until his retirement. Maury enjoyed Amateur Radio, fishing, boating, camping, flying and technology. He loved being surrounded by his family.

The SWAN seems to have some transmit issues, it received VERY well but the club felt that it needed some possible repairs so I looked for some operators from the SWAN group above and found Jim Singleton WA5BDR and he remembers Maury and is still active in collecting and repairing SWAN radios. He expressed interest in the radio and we discussed options with the club. None of us have experience in the SWAN radio and we thought it would be best to keep it in the SWAN family and it was decided to sell the radio to Jim. He is shown in the photo above with Maury so it will be in good hands!

Maury Fee WB6RLP
The SEKARC plans to keep some of the radio gear and honor the memory alive for Maury WB6RLP and his family. Thank you Jeff and Yolanda for contacting us and allowing us to operate this gear and we hope to make the family proud. Hopefully the next time Jeff and his wife are in town they will look us up. I would like to someday have a QSO with Jim while he operated the SWAN 500cx. Stay tuned for future updates! Wouldn't it be cool of Maury's SWAN could talk to his FT-840!

I am posting some photos below of the gear that was donated to the club in honor of WB6RLP. From transceivers, amplifiers, adapters, cables, antenna analyzer, antennas and even a multimeter that turned on and has been used many times already. The club received a wonderful set of gear and learning the history is what makes it special. Now it's time to carry it forward.

Thanks again to the Fee's and God Bless...

10 meter dipole antenna

Ameritron Amp

Antenna Analyzer

W1JSH ( SK) Looks Like The Ham Who Built the Heathkit Below

Heathkit Amp

Inside of the Swan 500cx

Some Of The Miscellaneous Gear



Wednesday, October 1, 2014

ARRL Kansas Section News Summary


Our Section Convention was held at Salina and hosted by Central Kansas ARC at Webster Conference Center. Back to Basics theme continued this year with Johnson County RAC providing a program about their club and what they do. Vice President Arron Boots-AA0RN and Section
Technical Coordinator(and club Member) Bill Brinker-WA0CBW did a wonderful job explaining how JOCO RAC is able to consistently attract club members and newer licensees to their meetings and functions each month. A video of their 2014 Field Day was included as part of their
presentation.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Fire Station Meeting was GREAT !


Great meeting Saturday! I think those that attended saw that the new meeting place is top notch and will work out great for meetings going forward! Special thanks to Jim Tuggle from RACES which presented a program on RACES including what it is, what they do and how we can get involved! See the embedded slide show which he presented below!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

"Last Man Standing" Stage Special Event

K6H -- Special Event Radio Station:

Website: PAPASYS.COM

The Southern California based PAPA Repeater System will be reprising its popular special radio event!

Under the call sign K6H, “Ham Radio Celebrates Hollywood” will be held on Sunday, September 28, 2014 from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm PST and originate from Stage 9 of the CBS Studio Center facility in Studio City, California.

Historic Stage 9 is the home of ABC’s hit TV show, “Last Man Standing”, starring Tim Allen. “Seinfeld”, “Spin City”, “According To Jim”, “Cane”, “The Cleaner” and “The Defenders” are among the shows that have been shot on the stage.

“Last Man Standing” has just been renewed for its 4th season and a number of the shows licensed radio operators will be on hand to host the PAPA members.

Friday, September 19, 2014

SEKARC Coffee QSO - Always Interesting

If you have not made it to one of our coffee qso's at Starbucks, then try to make one soon. There is always something interesting to see and learn. From old radios, keyers, QRP homebrew products to fascinating screenshots of solar activity!

Most of the conversation has a radio topic, but occasionally it wonders to weather, current news and there is even an occasional tailgate swap. Always interesting... be there ! 9am Starbucks Wednesdays.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Radio Prepares for War Pt. One




By PAUL LITWINOVICH

Read entire story here ---- WSHU.ORG

1935 National HRO U.S. Navy Receiver.
Credit P. Litwinovich collection

As the roaring twenties came to a close, radio technology would continue to evolve with significant improvements to consumer sets, particularly in the area of shortwave reception. Read my past articles for more details as to how this transpired. The price of radios would continue to fall as availability continued to increase. Herbert Hoover could have added "a radio in every home" to his famous "a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage" campaign slogan. This radio boom would continue right up until December of 1941, when the first bombs were dropped on Pearl Harbor. After that, new radios would be a scarcity as almost all production and materials were diverted to the war effort.