SKCC 5123T----- FISTS 14979----- Flying Pigs 2331----- NAQCC 3610-----QRP ARCI 14176-----Polar Bear 257

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Something Old Something New Ragchew

Per the Urban Dictionary, a ragchew is a long QSO between two amateur radio operators. This is generally what amateur radio operators are doing on the radio when they're not contesting, testing equipment, bouncing signals off the moon or meteor showers, providing communications in national emergencies, sending still or moving pictures or text back and forth, connecting to packet radio networks, and partaking in nets.

I enjoyed a ragchew QSO Sunday on 20 meters CW with Woody WD9F in Springfield IL. We had a combination of new and old rigs. He was using a Drake 2C receiver and 2NT transmitter combination. Woody was exercising the Drake pair since if you don't fire them up they will go bad. I started hamming with the Drake 2C in my novice days back in the late 60's and used it for many years. Indeed for this QSO, I was set up portable in my parent's yard where I grew up. There are lots of antenna spirits that dwell there including a vertical, quad and dipoles.

My rig was the new Elecraft KX3 running 5 watts on internal batteries The antenna was an end fed half wave wire inverted vee style using a SOTA tuner. I don't know if my end fed half wave was optimum but it sustained a 30 minute solid QSO with Woody. I did not use a counterpoise other than the short coax. I have set my half wave lengths using the method suggested by Steve Yates AA5TB.

Woody was interested in the antenna since he does QRP portable also. In fact he wrote an article about QRP portable for CQ magazine. He said he is trying not to buy a KX3 but I think I pushed him over the edge. Some day folks will say I remember the KX3. Well my bets are they will still be using the KX3s as the shelf life should be good with all the SMT parts.

These ragchew QSOs are really value added. Thanks for a great one Woody!

Woody WD9F's Drake Twins


Hendricks SOTA Tuner

My parent's backyard in Dothan, AL