[TenTec] In praise of older technology

Phil Sussman psussman at pactor.com
Mon Feb 24 10:41:40 EST 2014

Well said, Rick.

Amen !

73 de Phil - N8PS


Quoting Rick - DJ0IP / NJ0IP <Rick at DJ0IP.de>:

> ...and then there were the receivers and transmitters that we home-brewed
> ourselves, which didn't have any frequency readout on them at all.  We had
> to depend on the frequency printed on a crystal to have an idea of about
> where we were.  I guess it was usually within a "kc" or 2 of what was
> printed on the front plate of the crystal.
> The term Hertz was introduced in 1960 but for the first 5 to 10 years,
> people were still using "kc's" on the bands.
> One of my favorite receivers was an old military surplus National HRO (like)
> which was the NC-100 series, with that huge knob with even bigger skirts,
> but with a readout of 0 to several hundred.  Mine had sliding coils inside,
> rather than plug in modules. I don't recall how many ranges it had, perhaps
> 5 or 6.  I believe mine was an NC-101X; can't recall for sure.  The only
> readout was in meaningless numbers.  Again the xtal controlled TX helped to
> locate the frequency.  Despite that, it was one of the most fun receivers I
> ever had.  That was in 1963.
> Back then we were worried about things like cw tone, chirp, and drift.
> Accuracy was not even considered.  We didn't even have frequency counters.
> If you were lucky, you had a surplus BC-221 frequency meter, of course we
> had no way of knowing how accurate it was calculated.
> Now that all of those problems have gone away, there is not much left to
> gripe about, is there?
> So let's take Hz.
> BUT WAIT . . .
> What about stuff like:
> ..> Our transmitters are now the big challenge of reducing the problem with
> QRM on the bands, not the receivers; yet nobody is doing anything about it.
> ..> Some matchbox OEMs are still selling matchboxes with Voltage Baluns in
> them and calling them symmetrical matchboxes, which they are NOT.
> ..> Most Balun manufacturers are selling what they call a 4:1 Guanella
> Current balun, wound on a single torroid and calling it a Balun, which it
> definitely is NOT.  It forces an unbalance all the time.  Yet they are
> selling loads of them, and some poor Joe Ham is buying this stuff.
> ..> Some matchbox OEMs are selling matchboxes with this single core 4:1
> Guanella and calling it a symmetrical matchbox, which it definitely is not.
> ..> Several antenna companies are making antennas with some random length of
> wire or aluminum and a "magnetic balun" and flogging it as a wonder all-band
> antenna, and many Joe Hams are buying these in good faith...
> I could go on.
> Now compare the list above with the problem of being 30 Hz off frequency.
> Talk about majoring in minors!
> How about we all get focused on the broadband noise that all modern
> transmitters these days generate, some less so, some more so, and some are
> really culprits.  Now that's a technical discussion that might someday lead
> to improving our hobby!
> 73 - Rick, DJ0IP
> (Nr. Frankfurt am Main)
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