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       . . . . to the K3WNX Chronicle!

Introductory:  This site offers my experiences in Amateur Radio, and clearly shows what can be accomplished with a really modest set-up (viz., a 100-watt rig, a tuner, and a bird cage!).  An opportunity for offering your comments about this presentation (which would be appreciated!) is included.

Beginning & Upgrades:   My first involvement in Amateur Radio was back in 1963 when I took a course offered at the local YMCA, which enabled me to pass the FCC's Novice exam.   Before the Novice license expired, I obtained my General ticket.  Subsequently, I upgraded to my present Advanced Class ticket.
Rigs & Set-ups:   My first rig was the Hallicrafters HT40/SX140 combo.  Its crystal-controlled transmit operation was found frustrating, so I added a Globe VFO to it shortly afterwards, which eliminated the need for crystals.  HT-40 with Globe VFO (upper shelf), SX-140 (lower) A 15-mtr homebrew dipole, hung from our basement's rafters and using a length of ordinary lamp cord as a transmission line, was my first antenna.  It performed as if it were a pipeline to "6-land" (California)!   A roof-mounted trap vertical, with a coax transmission line, later replaced the dipole, but a local windstorm turned it into a hairpin after only about two months' use!   The vertical's loss of use resulted in my resorting to using an actual bird cage as an antenna, matched to the rig with a homebrew tuner I built from an article in Electronics Illustrated.

My second rig was the Hallicrafters HT46/SX146 combo, which gave me over 30 years of trouble-free service.   With this combo, which offered either independent or transceive operation, the bird cage continued being used as my antenna as it worked well enough for me to not only eventually work all 50 states (Delaware, altho next door to my home state, was ultimately worked as the final(!) state I needed), but it also provided me with numerous DX (foreign) contacts. 

Surprized?  It's a REAL bird-cage!

Here's a picture (taken about 1965) of the HT46/SX146 combo, the bird-cage "antenna", and my homebrew tuner atop the receiver (the RX is next to the cage).   Atop the transmitter are my SWR bridge and field-strength meter.  Put your mouse pointer on the bird-cage!

The solid-pine trestle desk shown in the photo (at the left) is homebrew, with three full-length drawers (paired with "kick-blocks" to prevent normal downward tilting when fully extended) and includes an inlaid Formica writing surface (to avoid grooving over time).

My desk is a duplicate of this one, plus a few modifications.

If you'd like to see my QSL-confirmed WORKED ALL STATES list, completed with my first two rigs, just CLICK HERE To RETURN to this site, just click as instructed at the bottom of that page.

In October 1998 I bought my first solid-state rig, and continued the use of my bird cage as an antenna as I found that its use with the random-wire antenna-tuner bought with the new rig produced practically flat SWR's on all bands (160 thru 10 mtrs).   I later added an Icom IC-718. The new rig, bought at the same cost as the rig it replaced, offers many additional features - VOX, a direct entry keypad, SWR/PWR output displays, and many user-selectable performance settings.   Here's a photo of my present set-up.  The bird cage is about five feet away, and the antenna tuner is down inside the magazine table.

A top-notch performer in its class!

^ Pointer ^

Do modest set-ups like mine really get out?   The QSL cards shown below should answer that question clearly!  They each offer a "5 by 9" report!   Approximate distances from my QTH are shown.

4,500 miles                               4,200 miles
Not really impressive!  YOU could do it too!
  3,300 miles                                5,100 miles

^ Pointer ^

Amateur Radio develops world-wide friendships!   No other hobby like it!   ...   K3WNX

          IE4&5 viewers:  If a blank bar appears above, rapid-repeat clicking is suggested to activate.
Netscape offers only a static display above.

Club Associations:   I've enjoyed many years' membership in the South Hills Brass Pounders & Modulators club (KB3BUE, ex-W3PIQ), serving two consecutive terms as its president, several years as editor of the club's newsletter, participating in Field Day activities (see photo below) and Hamfests, and presenting a number of home-brewed programs (Sideband Inversions; Keys, Bugs, and Keyers; The Antenna-Less(!) Station; and several others) to take the place of old ARRL movies which had been the regular presentations.   I, additionally, served as Trustee of the local Cloverleaf YMCA Radio Club (a teen-ager group) some years ago, which later disbanded after failing to obtain continued sponsorship.

A handsome group, don't you agree?

^ Pointer ^

Sideband Inversions:   During the period when upgrading was being widely promoted (late 60's and early 70's) and many of the ham magazines were running installments on radio theory, I found that their explanations of sideband inversions were misleading and unreliable.  My submission of an item to QST Magazine on this aspect was published in its Technical Correspondence section in their June '69 issue.  That little item, itself, produced a note of thanks from a ham in Southeastern Asia, who said it helped him clear a problem he was having with these occurrences.  Additionally, Wayne Green, publisher of  73 Magazine, invited me to do an article on this subject after I had informed him of the misleading information his magazine also offered concerning inversions.  My article, The Problem of Inversions, detailing the simple process by which a desired sideband output frequency is generated, and the absolute predictability of an inversion, or non-inversion, occurring in that process (disproving the common belief, and even some published explanations, that they occur anytime(!) a "difference frequency" is utilized in the mixing stage), was published in that magazine's January '72 issue.  

K3WNX ... Signing off,
from the beautiful City of Richmond!

Statue of Robert E. Lee, Richmond, VA..   

^ Pointer Item ^                                                           2005, K3WNX
This is the present home of  K3WNX !

Conclusion:   If you've pored through all of this, you certainly deserve relief!  So, I'll QRT here and say "73".   If you'd like a copy of this offering, simply click the word "Print" shown in the header above.

Before you depart, though, your comment Go ahead!  Let me know what you think of my site! would be much appreciated!   Feel free to get in touch!   Simply CLICK HERE to do so.  If you have any questions about this presentation, I'll try my best to clear them for you.  The "handle" here is Walt.  Have a great day!

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              Last update:  27th July 2005