[CQ-Contest] Need NCJ "Contesting on a Budget" Inputs -- Fun Topic!

PaulK5AF at aol.com PaulK5AF at aol.com
Fri Sep 13 11:12:22 EDT 2002

Thanks to all for your insightful and poignant inputs for this column.  We 
have an interesting and fun topic for this issue and I look forward to your 

The topic is "The Nickel Fix That Saved Your Bacon".  I will explain the 
origin of the "nickel fix" at the beginning of the article, but I am 
basically looking for inexpensive and innovative ways that you solved 
last-minute problems and went on to successfully complete a contest.

The "cheap fixes' may include that clamp-on RF choke that kept RF out of the 
computer, the bypass capacitor you added to your rotor box to keep the 
indicator needle from swinging with your RF voice peaks, that post-it note 
that reminded you to watch the grid current on the amp, or even that set of 
labels that you attached to your wiring behind the radios that helped you 
sort out problems when Murphy struck.

A second, and equally interesting aspect of cheap and simple fixes includes 
innovative "work-arounds" to solve last-minute problems.  I've heard "urban 
legend" stories of using a two hole amp with just one tube (at reduced power, 
of course), making emergency tube substitutions in amps, using a VOM as a 
rotor indicator, using a rope and pulley arrangement to replace a defective 
rotor, etc.  Give us your "war stories" of economical and innovative 
work-arounds, we'll withhold names to protect the innocent if requested.

Again, an enormous "thanks in advance" for the inputs you provide that will 
entertain and inform the contest community.  I look forward to hearing from 

Paul, K5AF

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