[TenTec] In praise of older technology

Tony Lelieveld va3dwi at gmail.com
Mon Feb 24 13:07:05 EST 2014

Hi all,

I remember the day when I got my first license, PA0MIH in the Netherlands.  My station was inspected by the PTT (Post Telephone Telegraph, the Dutch equivalent of the FCC) four months after and was approved because I had a GDO (Grid Dip Oscillator) so I could determine that I was not transmitting out of band hi..hi..  They even measured the level of the third harmonics and assured that I had a plate current meter so I could determine my power input level.  I doubt if they still do that.  Aaaah the good old days.

73, Tony VE3DWI.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "R. Eric Sluder-W9WLW" <resluder at yahoo.com>
To: "Discussion of Ten-Tec Equipment" <tentec at contesting.com>
Sent: Monday, February 24, 2014 12:03 PM
Subject: Re: [TenTec] In praise of older technology


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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