R. THOMPSON, W2KPD
This article was published in the GARC 45 Years of History 1945 – 1989. I could not find out what R. Thompson’s relationship with GARC was. He was not a charter member or a club officer. However his article is very interesting and gives us an insight as to how things were in amateur radio in the 1940s.
The first rig at KPD was a single 6L6 xtal oscillator running a powerful 25 watts on 40 c.w., and the receiver a home brewed one made up from an All - Star kit. Deciding that more power was necessary to buck the terrific QRM on this Band, a pair of T20s in parallel was added, and the results were immediately better. At about this time curiosity in what was going on in the 5 meter Band prompted the building of a conventional rushbox, and a rig was soon thrown together using push-pull 45s. Although no DX was attempted, many enjoyable hours were spent on 5, back in the days when duplex operation and modulated oscillators were permitted on that Band. The new regulations put an end to 5 meter operation, and it was decided to concentrate on improving the 40 meter rig. The T20s were changed to push - pull, and a buffer stage added. Finding that crowding of the components on a small chassis made it difficult to get the bugs out of this rig, the T20s were discarded and replaced by a pair of 809s, and the rig rebuilt on a larger chassis. During the rebuilding, and in order to have something on the air, a single 2A5 oscillator was used with very good results, considering that the power was somewhere in the vicinity of 12 watts. The phone bug bit again when a 2 1/2 meter rushbox was built, and the old 5 meter modulator was dragged out and used with an RK34 long lines oscillator, These were the rigs in operation when Pearl Harbor closed down on ham radio.
2 1/2 meter operation was resumed in August of '45 when the band was reopened, and continued until the shift was made down to 2 meters. Some experimenting was done in an attempt to get down to the new frequency, but a change in the QTH suspended operations indefinitely.
Recently, a push-pull 6L6 oscillator was made up in order to get on the air while trying to get the old c.w. rig back into working order. The results were discouraging because of the lack of a good sky - wire. In addition, it was found that the old beat up pre war S20 had apparently suffered from lying idle for over three years. At present, the power supply has finally been improved by the addition of an extra section of filter in both the high and low voltage plate supplies, and a new sky - wire has been erected. The R.F. section will be again rebuilt, discarding the 809s and replacing them with 24Gs. A wide-range antenna tuner will be made up, using some of the components from the dummy antennas obtained through t the "0ld Man of the Mountain." A monitor of the type which operates by picking up a small amount of the R.F. from the final tank will be used to count the dots on the bug. Once this equipment is perking satisfactorily, KPD might finally take a whack at 10 meter phone and lose the doubtful distinction of being the C.W. rebel of this gang.
Not having much in the way of ham gear to describe, I thought you fellows might be interested in some of the peculiarities and methods of operation of Signal Corps equipment,
The SCR284, also designated as the BC654 (transmitter and receiver unit), was a good outfit although very heavy and clumsy, Having a frequency range of 3800-5800 kc., it would make a fb low power 80 meter phone or c.w. rig. Converting it for fixed station operation would be rather complicated because the control circuits are quite intricate. It should work out very well as a field day rig, using the PE-1O3A dynamotor and the vibrator supply for the receiver section. It has a 200 kc. calibration xtal oscillator for accurate setting of the receiver dial, end the transmitter section will zero beat directly to the receiver. Antenna loading is very easy, and the 25 ft. whip antenna works very well, especially when the counterpoise is used with it. The tubes in the final are in parallel, so that for real low power operation the filaments of one tube may be opened by throwing t he "High-Low" switch on the front panel to the "Low" position.
The SCR300, an eighteen tube F.A. transceiver, worked surprisingly well in the Italian mountains. Although intended for line-of-sight operation, there were many instances where it was possible to get communications through with this unit when all other means failed. In spite of the small, delicate tubes and complicated circuits, the SCR-300 was quite rugged. I recall seeing one of them blown two feet into the air by a mortar shell blast, and unit operated perfectly afterwards.
One interesting aspect of operating with the British, was the ban on the use of the word "repeat". To a British artillery unit, "repeat" meant "Fire another salvo at the same range." Consequently, we were always instructed to use the please "Say again" whenever it was necessary to get fill ins on a message.
The use of our own system of net operation was discarded, and replaced by the British Link Procedure. In this system, as the diagram shows, the net control station (NCS) had a link sign to each ,"Out" station. NCS calling station No. 1 (ABC) would make his transmission "ABC Over". The called station answering NCS would transmit "ABC Over". In this way, both transmissions were identical, and it was almost impossible for an enemy monitoring station to tell in which direction the traffic was moving. If station No. 1 wanted to call No. 2 (DEF) he would transmit "ABC to DEF 0ver". No. 2 answering would say "DEF to ABC Over." It was absolutely forbidden to make a call "ABC from DEF" instead of reversing the call signs and using to between them. No, we didn't get it, either.
The second sketch shows roughly how the Po Valley runs across northern Italy. It can be seen that the British units on the east coast, maintaining a straight line with the American troops on the left, would reach the PO Valley first. This they did, Just before the final push that ended the war in Italy. As a means of leading the Germans to believe that the main attack would be made in this sector, and that American troops were deployed on the east coast, two crews of our radio gang were sent to this area to set up dummy nets and simulate radio activity preceding an attack. For two hours each morning and afternoon, we operated first on phone and then on C.W., exchanging dummy messages and keeping traffic moving on the nets. The idea of operating only on a definite schedule was to give the impression that radio silence had been declared, the usual procedure just before the Jump-off. We never learned definitely whether the plan succeeded or had any effect on the subsequent route of the Germans, but it was a nice feeling to know that possibly our radio operation had some part in the final defeat of the Germans in Italy.
Have you ever wondered why we radio amateurs are called "HAMS"? Well, according to the Northern Ohio Radio Society, it goes like this: the word ham was applied in 1908 and was the call letters of one of the first Amateur wireless stations operated by some members of the HARVARD RADIO CLUB. There were Albert S. Hyman, Bob Almy and Peggie Murray. At first, they called their station Hyman-Almy-Murry. Tapping out such a long name in code soon called for a revision and they changed it to HY-AL-MU, using the first two letters of each name.
Early in 1909, some confusion resulted between signals from Amateur wireless HYALMU and a Mexican ship named HYALMO, so they decided to use only the first letter of each name and the call became HAM.
In the early pioneer unregulated days of radio, Amateur operators picked their own frequency and call letters. Then, as now, some Amateurs had better signals than some commercial stations. The resulting interference finally came to the attention of congressional committees in Washington and they gave much time to proposed legislation designed to critically limit Amateur activity.
In 1911, Albert Hyman chose the controversial Wireless Regulation Bill as the topic for his thesis at Harvard. His instructor insisted that a copy be sent to Senator David I. Walsh, a member of one of the committees hearing the bill. The Senator was so impressed, he sent for Hyman to appear before the committee. He was put on the stand and described how the little Amateur station was built. He almost cried when he told the crowded committee room that if the bill went through, they would have to close up the station because they could not afford the license fees and all the other requirements that were set up in the bill.
The debate started and the little station HAM became a symbol of all the little Amateur stations in the country crying out to be saved from menace and greed of the big commercial stations who did not want them around. Finally, the bill got to the floor of Congress and every speaker talked about the poor little station "HAM."
That's how it all started. You will find the whole story in the Congressional Record. Nationwide publicity associated station HAM with Amateurs. From that day to this, and probably to the end of time, in radio, an Amateur is a HAM.
Copyright 1996 Gerald Crenshaw WD4BIS. All rights are reserved.
Using a repeater, 101
Larry Wood, KC6TQ.Q.
I enjoy listening to the different people who use the repeater every day. Families keeping track of members on the road to know they reached their destinations safely. Old friends keeping in touch over long distances that would otherwise be costly telephone expenses. People unfamiliar with an area seeking assistance to find a location or a good route to follow. So many reasons, and just plain enjoyment, to access and use the repeater.
While taking classes and studying for my license, and again for upgrading, I recall the instructors emphasizing the courtesy aspects of Amateur Radio and especially guidelines for repeater usage. As I listen to our repeater, I am reminded of some of those instructions and it seems good to share a few. Now, I know that everyone will not agree and that's ok too. There are no hard and fast rules here, just some suggestions as I remember them.
Plain Talk: Talking on the repeater is much the same as any other conversation, like using the phone, except that the conversation is your-turn and my-turn, one at a time. Forget most of the other jargon except when the path or contact is so poor that using a "Q" type code may be beneficial to ensure understanding, but try and keep it to a minimum.
Breaking In: None of us need to try and dominate the repeater. We should always allow someone with a priority to interrupt our conversation and use the repeater as they need. There are several good reasons to "break in."
1. Joining the conversation to participate in the round table discussions. In this case the best way to be recognized is to give your call-sign suffix right after the courtesy tone. If you have a very short suffix, it may be best to use your entire call-sign.
2. Adding a comment to clarify a point in question or input some information. Usually this person wants to enter the conversation temporarily and then exit. Often the person will say "comment" or "information" or give their suffix following the courtesy tone in order to be recognized.
3. Making a priority call is another good reason for breaking into a conversation. Due to time constraints it may not be feasible to wait until the repeater is free. Giving your suffix after the courtesy tone will get you access to announce your intent, make your call short an quick, thank the other parties and exit. They may even invite you to continue with them.
4. An emergency call is always a valid reason for breaking in. This may be to report an accident, ask for roadside assistance or other similar situation using the single word "break" after the courtesy tone will alert the other parties of your emergency and they will gladly stand by, or even assist if they can, until your needs are met.
5. Extreme emergency or health and welfare calls are always top priority using the words "break break" following the courtesy tone should get you full control of the repeater for as long needed. Depending on the extent or type of emergency, a control operator my want to take over to ensure proper coordination of the emergency situation.
Checking our signal readability: (Not usually a good reason for breaking in!) I think this one is overused, but from time to time we may question whether new or modified equipment is working properly. For most users, accessing the repeater's "S-Meter" function may suffice in most cases. Giving your call-sign and requesting a "signal report" should get you a response as to the readability of your transmission. Remember, the other person is hearing the signal strength of the repeater and not your radio: they can really only report on your transmission's readability. If distorted noisy, fully readable or somewhere between, someone will usually give you a pretty good idea as to how you sound.
"CB" Terminology: Oldhabits are always hard to break, and we are getting better, but we should forget those old "10" codes and other similar phrases when becoming Hams. "Kerchunking" the repeater: Keying the microphone just to hear if we are getting into the repeal is a common misuse. Let's announce our call-sign and say something, like "KC6TQQ testing" or similar. You may even get a response from a friend or make a new one.
Well, I suppose that there are many more that could be mentioned but these are the major ones I notice during the course of a day's listening to the repeater. Like I said, it isn't a matter of hard and fast rules, sometimes it is just good courtesy. We all make mistakes and we all learn and improve with active participation.
The above article was reprinted from the April 2000 issue of Worldradio.
GRUMMAN AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
MINUTES OF GENERAL MEETING 3/15/00
BY Gordon, KB2UB
Pat (KE2LJ) called the meeting to order at 18:47.
The Secretary (N2PYV) was absent. Gordon (KB2UB) took minutes.
The Treasurer Ted (KD2UB) was stuck at work, and we therefore, had no Treasurer's report.
Gordon says he needs to visit the Hauppauge site for maintenance.
Pat reported on the broken element from the beam on top of Plt 5.
He mentioned that there is pollution in the dirt behind Pl t5. It must be dug up by Facilities, and so the trailer must be moved within a few months.
KD2UB agreed to investigate moving it to near Plt 14.
Zac (WB2PUE) reported good turnout on the Sunday 40 meter net, but only 4 Hams on the Wednesday 20 meter net.
The Thursday 2 meter nets are not well attended either.
Marty (NN2C) reported that there were 9 VEs and 7 applicants.
There was one candidate for the 20 WPM code test.
W2ILP is recovering from surgery.
WAG REPORT –
Health + Welfare:
Pat reported on his Florida visit to W2INJ, who appears to be doing quite well.
The program will be a presentation on Slow Scan TV by John, KB2SCS.
Pat mentioned that he has no place to store the Club's Field Day gear. It's on Mike's trailer, but the trailer must be returned shortly.
Some members proposed that the Club buy its own trailer so that the gear doesn't have to be loaded so often.
Pat also mentioned that he had written a "thanks you" letter to the UL manager for the use of the room.
The business part of the meeting was closed by Pat at 19:12.
The members were then escorted into the UL lab room, and shown a very interesting demo of the heating effects that high current has on various grades on appliance wires.
I found the article on page 1 in the 45 Years of History 1944 – 45 book published by the GARC. It seemed interesting enough to use in this newsletter.
One problem was I could not find out who R.Thompson, the author, was and what his relationship to the GARC was.
He was not a charter member or a club officer and I could not find his name and call listed in any of the material I have on hand.
If anyone out there knows who he was (is) please let me know so I can put it in print.
The Editor, KA2FEA