New E-mail address

Kx9x at Kx9x at
Tue Nov 12 07:13:57 EST 1996

Hi folks-

Please note my new e-mail address.

Thanks, and see you all in SS this weekend!


Sean Kutzko, KX9X
Elkhart, IN (ex-KF9PL)
kx9x at

>From k1vr at (Fred Hopengarten)  Tue Nov 12 12:58:59 1996
From: k1vr at (Fred Hopengarten) (Fred Hopengarten)
Date: Tue, 12 Nov 1996 07:58:59 EST
Subject: Ground Rod Connections
Message-ID: <19961112.125545.5015.26.k1vr at>

As it is fall, contest season and "Beverage Walking Time," I was out in
my backyard yesterday, looking at my Beverages.  With me, for the
occasion and a cup of tea, was W1FV, stalwart 80 meter man.

I have two methods of attaching the ground lead to the ground rod:

1)  Using a stainless steel pipe clamp (the sort of item which tightens
as you turn a worm screw) which holds the wire tightly against the ground
rod, and 

2)  A standard ground rod clamp of the sort that the utility company

John (W1FV) pointed out that both systems rely on electrical contact with
a surface which quickly oxidizes.  He then described what he does.

Using a battery operated drill, he drills a hole in the ground rod,
inserts a stainless steel screw and puts a nut on the other end.  He then
crimps or solders a ring tongue lug to the ground lead and puts it under
the screw head.

As I listened to his description I was reminded that the professionals
use things that resemble blasting caps with magnesium and melt the whole
mess together (but then again that's to permit lightning to pass without
melting solder).  In any event, while closely examing my own ground rod
connections, I found one of the clamps so loose that the ground lead
wasn't really making good contact, and I found  another situation where
corrosion was so advanced that no amount of hand sanding (using emery
paper)  the exterior of the ground rod would restore a shiny surface, so
a new hole with SS screw and nut seems like the way to restore a good

I'll be spending this afternoon on my knees with drill in hand.

As grounds rods are, generally, copper-clad steel, I wonder:  Is there a
special drill bit one should use to do this job more quickly?  Or is
there some technique that someone else has discovered to make good
connections to ground rods?  Remember, in New England, the lead to rod
connection spends up to four months covered with snow. 
Fred Hopengarten, K1VR
Six Willarch Road * Lincoln, MA 01773-5105 * 617/259-0088
e-mail:  k1vr at
Big antennas, high in the sky, are better than small ones, low.

>From aa4lr at (Bill Coleman AA4LR)  Tue Nov 12 13:03:54 1996
From: aa4lr at (Bill Coleman AA4LR) (Bill Coleman AA4LR)
Date: Tue, 12 Nov 96 09:03:54 -0400
Subject: Auto-speed CW
Message-ID: <961012090144.JAA15503 at>

>From:        Derek Wills, oo7 at
>	>>- CQ at a speed (eg. 30 wpm) that most everyone can get your 
>        >>call after >a time or two. 
>	>I think this is part of the problem. You are assuming that 
>        >neophyte contesters can "get" a call sent at 30 wpm. I'm here 
>        >to tell you this is incorrect. Getting the callsign of a fast 
>        >CW station is probably the hardest part for a slow CW op. 
>        >The exchange is slightly more predictable. The callsign could 
>        >be just about anything.       [AA4LR]
>I dunno how you learned to copy Morse code, but the first thing I ever 
>copied after starting to learn it was a callsign, one letter at a time - 
>i.e. get the first letter, then try for the second one the next time it 
>was sent, and so on.

That's great at more "normal" speeds, but at very high speeds, the dots 
and dashes are no longer distinguishable and it becomes next to 
impossible to pick out individual letters. At least, that's been my 
experience trying to copy some really high-speed ops.

>Same thing with the CW Sprints.   I made 7 Qs the first time I tried,
>(it scared me - well, it still does...).  If I'd never heard CW faster
>than 20 wpm, there would never have been any incentive to go faster
>than that.

Who said anything about doing anything to the sprints? (I operated the 
recent CW sprint and made 19 contacts in 2 hours -- scared stiff, myself) 

>   I did get one "QRS" in the CW SS, I slowed down, and then
>had to try to lead the op through the whole exchange.  After several 
>minutes of this, I had to abandon the attempt.

Every operator who I asked to QRS in SS did so, and I was able to copy 
the exchange without difficulty. Perhaps you didn't slow down enough?

>I realize that some people are discouraged rather than challenged when
>they hear 'fast' CW.   After hearing a good violinist, I feel more like 
>jumping up and down on my violin than going home to practise.

I see many parallels here. To a good CW op, CW is like a second language. 
It just gets "spoken" through a different medium. Much like a musician 
plays an instrument without thinking terribly much about all the 
mechanics involved. 

However, to a CW or music student, mastering the instrument can be 
something short of torture. It takes tremendous effort to copy every dit 
of CW, just as it takes lots of effort from a budding musician. 

The secret, in either case, is practice. And contests make good practice. 
I think Tree's idea was to incorporate an automatic feature into contest 
software as a way of encouraging budding CW ops to get involved with 
contests -- at least for SS.

Bill Coleman, AA4LR           Mail: aa4lr at
Quote: "Not in a thousand years will man ever fly!"
            -- Wilbur Wright, 1901

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