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Re: Memories (was Re: AO-7 Predictability.)

At 10:41 AM 1/20/2006 -0500, James H. Jipping wrote:
>The latest thread on Oscar Locators, Johnson 6N2's and the like has been 
>(IS) delightful. The phrase "the good ole days" does not meet with very 
>receptive ears,often.  But I have to say that the times recalled by many 
>on this reflector were indeed the "good ole days".  Our learning curves 
>were steep but enjoyable.  I call them my octopus days, one hand on the 
>key, one on the receiver tune dial, one on the "VFO", one with pencil 
>copying CW, one on the elevation rotor control, one on the azimuth rotor 
>control. And the brain multitasking all the way.
>In regards to the 6N2, I, too, had one.  My VFO was a switched bank of 
>crystals padded with an air variable capacitor. Remember those 
>Hallicrafter receivers ??   My HF downlink receiver for the early birds 
>was the SX-71.  For VHF and UHF, converters ahead of the SX-71.
>When remembering the Oscar Locator, I recall doing several sessions on 
>ham radio and satellites at National Science Teacher Conventions in New 
>York, Washington,DC, and Chicago where I and a representative from the 
>ARRL handed out a lot of those booklets to teachers.  I'm sure if I were 
>to clean out my shack there is still a box of them somewhere  ---  
>unless my moving friends thought they were not worth the effort when 
>last we love our residence.
>While remembering the "EQX service" from the ARRL, do not forget the 
>ever frequent packet bulletins from the ARRL.  My recollection is that 
>I  would come home from teaching high school physics each day to at 
>least one  list  in my packet messages.  Our local  packet node always 
>had the latest set of EQX values waiting to be downloaded.
>Remember the old Radio Shack TRS-80, the 3 part setup, 
>keyboard/computer, monitor and tape recorder(data storage).  I worked 
>like a banchy developing a program to predict EQX values. WOW! It was 
>simple, based on circular orbits.  And then I got fancy and modeling how 
>the Oscar Locator was designed and worked, wrote a BASIC program to 
>predict altitude and azimuth.
>Those were GOOD DAYS. But all of this in it's "frame of reference"
>Jim Jipping, W8MRR

A little more remembrances:  I originally bought my 6N2 with a Ranger-II
and VFO, but the VFO was drifty and Fm'd a lot on AM.  Instead I had three
xtals up in the 145-MHz "Tech Band".  145.060 was the 2m-SSB frequency in
the midwest and I was able to work them on AM because my signal was so
stable.  I traded the Ranger for a Heath DX-150 and used the pweor supply
and plate modulator to run high-level AM at 150w.  Since my receiver had
SSB receiving was no problem.

One I got to satellites in Alaska in the mid-1980's I had a TS-180S,
MMT-432/28, and IC211 for AO-10.  I lived "bush-style" in a tent and then a
one-room cabin with no commercial power, water, or phone (woodheat and bldg
out back).  My station ran on a big marine battery and the Commodore-64 ran
with my 7-inch 12v TV.  My antennas were cushcraft 20T and 416B mounted on
a pole and elevated with a hinge and cord with pulley.  To track I ran
outside into the snow and twisted the mast and pulled the cord.  I tied a
loop in the cord and pounded nails in the shed to hook the cord for a range
of elevation angles.  It was ten years before we got commercial power and
phones (just in time for me to move).  Before the C-64 I used a oscar locator.

I have written a little background on how I got into ham radio on my
website if anyone cares to look:

there are a couple B&W photos of my 1958 novice station.  I don't think any
photos survived from my 6N2 days (1965-68).  Too many moves.
Ed - KL7UW  
http://www.qsl.net/al7eb - BP40iq 
144-EME: FT-847, mgf-1801/1402, 4xM2-xpol-20, 170w
432-EME: FT-847, mgf-1402, 1x21-ele (18.6 dBi), 60w
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