January 1997 CQ arrives; Magazine summary survey

HENRYPOL at aol.com HENRYPOL at aol.com
Thu Dec 26 22:55:59 EST 1996

Made a post-Christmas Day trip out to one of the malls here in Raleigh, NC,
to get in on some of the after-Christmas discount sales of Christmas items.
 Spent $20, which must mean I saved around $20, since everything was at 50%
off.  Now if I can put them somewhere that I can remember next year when I
need them!  Anyhow, I'm sure that I'll remember to tell the wife in November
that I saved enough to renew my CQ subscription.  While out I decided to
check out the PO Box.  I wonder if postal workers have contests (regular
envelopes count as one point each while magazines and catalogs are
multipliers :-)) around holidays to see how much mail they can stuff into
those small boxes?  They managed to get in, and I pulled out, the latest CQ
without ripping the cover.

OK, so what's this issue about.....

Front cover photo of W7XR and his trusty dog, with an interesting poster -
 WAX the East Coast.  The details are on the Contents page in fine type.

Contest related items:  The Box Antenna (high-gain, 2 element, vertical array
for the low bands); Reviews of JPS NIP-12 Noise & Interference Reducer and
Vibroplex 1996 Version Bug & Paddle; High-Claimed Scores - 96 CQ WPX CW
Contest; Another Look At Feed Lines; VHF Plus column - VHF+ Contesting &
Awards; and Contest Calendar - Those Good Old Days of Contesting.

Other interesting items:  Reviews of Ramsey SX Series 20 Meter SSB QRP rig,
 PCBoards Software, and Radio Shack Probe-Style Oscilloscope; Antennas &
Accessories column - Antenna Ramblings (including some Quad versus Yagi
observations); Doug's Desk column - A Tunable BFO for Collins Filters; and
Propagation column - New Sunspot Cycle; and more.....

Ads:  New ad for the Alpha 91B; Raibeam has a new 6 element (2 elements per
band) tri-bander on a 12 ft. boom (interesting competitor for the Force 12

That's all for this issue.  And now....

***Magazine Summary Survey***

I have been doing this summaries for about a year now, and need some input as
to whether to continue, make changes, or just stop.  I have enjoyed doing
these, adding a little humor, asking questions, or making IMHO comments.  I
have received dozens of positive comments and encouragement, and good
feedback to my questions.  Oh, and there are a few (including 2 that would
not even provide a valid return address) that have provided flames.   Some
may think that everyone here on this reflector gets all of the
contest-related magazines (CQ, QST, NCJ, & CQ Contest); well, based on the
input I have received from some of you, that is not always the case (but, I
could be wrong!).

So at this time I would like to hear from those of you that have not voiced
any opinion.  Are these postings using up too much bandwidth? If I continue,
should they just list the contents page only?

A short response with something like: continue, STOP, or make changes is
adequate.  However, any additional comments are OK also.  I'll let you know
what the results are in a later posting. Thanks.

73, good reading, & Happy New Year

Henry Pollock - WB4HFL
henrypol at aol.com

>From w2vjn at rosenet.net (George Cutsogeorge)  Fri Dec 27 12:10:28 1996
From: w2vjn at rosenet.net (George Cutsogeorge) (George Cutsogeorge)
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 96 12:10:28 GMT
Subject: amp keying
Message-ID: <M.122796.041028.10 at ppp077.rosenet.net>

Two diode drops is indeed too much for some radios and will not key them 
properly.  However, it's not necessary to use two diodes in series to key the 
radio.  A slight modification of KL7Y's diagram shows how to do it.  Since the 
computer is keying through an open collector transistor, it can be connected 
directly across the key.  The diodes are only required to isolate the two 
different voltage sources: the radio keying voltage and the amplifier antenna 
relay supply.  

    >                |-----  Rig T/R out
    >                |
    >       |---|<---|--- AMP T/R relay 
    >  Key--|----|<-----------------------------Rig key jack
    >       |                                        
    >       |                                         
    >       |----------Computer                                   

George Cutsogeorge,  W2VJN                   
Umpqua, OR.
George Cutsogeorge,  W2VJN                   
Umpqua, OR.

>From john.devoldere at innet.be (John Devoldere)  Fri Dec 27 07:43:04 1996
From: john.devoldere at innet.be (John Devoldere) (John Devoldere)
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 1996 07:43:04 +0000
Subject: conversion
Message-ID: <199612270742.IAA27542 at mail.be.innet.net>

Thanks to dozens of friends who helped me with my locator. Most gave meJO11.
Some gave me something different. I assume JO11 is correct. So, if you hear
me this weekend, it will be JO11.... har... har..

Let me have yours.... oops..


and a happy 1997, and have fun this weekend.

John, ON4UN

john.devoldere at innet.be
Call us in all major 1997 contests: ON4UN or OT7T
John Devoldere (ON4UN-AA4OI)
B-9000 Ghent (Belgium)

>From becker at SPRINTMAIL.COM (Tony and Celia Becker)  Fri Dec 27 06:59:48 1996
From: becker at SPRINTMAIL.COM (Tony and Celia Becker) (Tony and Celia Becker)
Date: Thu, 26 Dec 1996 23:59:48 -0700
Subject: speeding up T/R relay switching time with FT-990
Message-ID: < at pop.a001.sprintmail.com>

This will not work on SB-220, Henry, or other amps which do not use a 12 V T/R relay.  First, switch the little switch inside the FT-990 so the internal transistor is driving the PTT line directly, thus eliminating the delay of the internal relay.  

Still not fast enough?  OK we could make like Tim the Toolman and rewire it...

At 02:35 PM 12/26/96 -0000, ke7gh wrote:
>Months ago, someone
>sent me an alternative solution that used a capacitor in the PTT line to
>charge during RX and discharge quickly at the beginning of TX.  Used with 
>a 12v relay in the amp, this causes the relay to switch a bit faster >(apparently).  My copy of that seems to be missing right now.

Here, as best I can recall we used a circuit something like this to make electric clutches and solenoids close faster on German candy wrapping machines in the '70s.  

WARNING! if you use this circuit you do so at your own risk.  George Cutsogeorge,  W2VJN's circuit is much more conservative, so you should probably try it first.  

---------------+12-----+                                   +12
                       |                                     | 
          2. select R1 \                                    ---
  for charge rate once /                             12 V   | |
per 3* R1* C1 = T sec. \                             Relay  | |
                       |                             in     ---
      Existing         +------+-------------+        Amp     | 
      T/R         -----+      |             |                | 
      transistor|/            |            ___               | 
            ----| NPN         |             ^  D2            | 
                |\            |            /_\ 1N4004        | 
                  V           |             |       PTT      | 
                  |           |         +---+---->>-----<<---+
                  |           |         |                     
                  |           |         |           GND       
                              |    |    |    |                 
                    3. select | R2 \    |    |                 
                 for boost cur|ent /    |    |              
                              |    \    |    |                 
1. select C1 for boost joules |    |    |    |                
use ceramic or plastic, no    |    |    |    |                 
lossy tantalum or aluminum. -----  |  |/ Q1 ___               
                            -----  +--| NPN  ^  D1            
   4. select Q1 to stand off  |       |\    /_\ 1N4004       
   24V and to dissipate       |         V    |               
   joules/T watts worst case. +---------+----+                


R1 and D1 provide a path to charge C1.  The top of C1 rises to +12 V and the bottom is held at GND + 0.6V = 11.4V, so C1 has a charge of ~11.4 * C joules. 
This extra charge will next be dissipated mostly in the relay coil, whose total power will average joules / T Watts more than before.

When the existing T/R transistor turns on, the top of C1 is pulled to GND, and the bottom drops to -11.4 V.  This puts a reverse bias on D1, which turns off, and a forward bias on the base to emitter of Q1 with the base current limited by R2.  

C1 now has a discharge path through the emitter to collector of Q1 and the relay in the amp, at an initial current of beta * 11.4V/R1.  The relay starts to close drawing up to twice its normal current. 

This does not last, as C1 is discharging.  When C1 reaches zero charge, the emitter of Q1 rises to GND and Q1 shuts off.  The PTT line rises toward +12 V but it is clamped at 0.6 V above ground by D2.  The relay is now held closed at 11.4 V and a little less than normal operating current.

If you QSK, remember that C1 needs T sec. to fully recharge, so this will limit your max. code speed. 

I make no guarantees that this circuit actually will work as described and caution the reader that unless used with care it could easily cause your expensive Jennings RJ1A vacuum relay to burn up!  Derate all components for the extra power dissipation this will create.  This is especially significant if you QSK at contest QRQ rates!

WARNING! if you use this circuit you do so at your own risk. 

AE0M, Tony Becker - becker at sprintmail.com - Silicon Valley, U.S.A.

>From n4bp at shadow.net (Bob Patten)  Fri Dec 27 10:19:52 1996
From: n4bp at shadow.net (Bob Patten) (Bob Patten)
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 1996 05:19:52 -0500 (EST)
Subject: conversion
Message-ID: <Pine.SOL.3.91.961227051736.4255B-100000 at hyper>

On Fri, 27 Dec 1996, John Devoldere wrote:

> Thanks to dozens of friends who helped me with my locator. Most gave meJO11.
> Some gave me something different. I assume JO11 is correct. So, if you hear
> me this weekend, it will be JO11.... har... har..
My software (DXER) returns JO11 when I plug in your coordinates.  It will 
also do a search by plugging in your prefix (ON), but returns JO20 based 
on the geographical center of ON.  I wonder if that was the other reply 
that you received?

Bob Patten, N4BP
Plantation, FL
n4bp at shadow.net

>From rnash at tor.hookup.net (Robert Nash VE3KZ)  Fri Dec 27 14:49:39 1996
From: rnash at tor.hookup.net (Robert Nash VE3KZ) (Robert Nash VE3KZ)
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 1996 09:49:39 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Stew Perry/Canada Winter Contest
Message-ID: <199612271449.JAA07249 at noc.tor.hookup.net>

Season's Greetings!

This is just a reminder that there will be TWO contests using 160 meters
this weekend. The Canada Winter Contest also will be using 160, both CW and
Phone. Suggested frequencies are 1825 and 1850. During previous contests, up
to 18 out of typically 90 VE,VY,VO multipliers are worked on this band.

I should like to suggest for compatibility that the VE's keep their Grid
Squares handy to give to any looking for them and that non-VE's not be
surprised to be asked for a sequential serial number. (Keep a sheet by the
side to keep track of the VE,VY,VO serials as you give them.) This way we
all get credit for the contact!

The main problem will be QRM. Working from coast to coast in Canada on 160
is a challenge at the least. Try to cut us a little slack when you hear us.
Best of luck to everyone!

Bob VE3KZ  FN03.

>From silver at ax.apc.org (Carlos Augusto S. Pereira)  Fri Dec 27 16:22:23 1996
From: silver at ax.apc.org (Carlos Augusto S. Pereira) (Carlos Augusto S. Pereira)
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 1996 14:22:23 -0200
Subject: JAPAN International Low Band CW Constest
Message-ID: < at ax.apc.org>

Hi all,

Does anyone have the rules for the 1997 Japan International Low Band CW Contest?


Carlos - PY1CAS

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