[TenTec] In praise of older technology

R. Eric Sluder-W9WLW resluder at yahoo.com
Mon Feb 24 12:03:56 EST 2014


That is a great summation of Rick's words!  


> From: John <jh.graves at verizon.net>
>To: Discussion of Ten-Tec Equipment <tentec at contesting.com> 
>Sent: Monday, February 24, 2014 10:40 AM
>Subject: Re: [TenTec] In praise of older technology
>I think what you are implying,is that we spend too much time spending 
>and not enough time learning.  How to make my antenna work...Is this 
>REALLY an antenna and what do you mean tune my transmitter, it goes 
>right to peak as soon as I turn it on.  The salesman said this will cure 
>all the issues (pick your own salesman and issues)  Oh well.  Ham radio 
>is fun, and if you really work at it, your reading speed will increase 
>as well. Personally, I look for the articles I don't understand, but 
>then, why not!
>John  -  WA1JG
>On 2/24/2014 10:28 AM, Rick - DJ0IP / NJ0IP wrote:
>> ...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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