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

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Riding the Classic Exchange Time Machine

I had a great ride on the Winter CW Classic Exchange (CX).Time Machine. As a Novice in 1967, we were limited to crystal control CW transmitters and 75 watts max. The Drake 2-C was my Novice receiver. If I had been ham in the 50s, I might have started out with the Hallicrafters S-38. They were famous broadcast and shortwave receivers but not the best for ham radio because of the wide bandwidth. The  Ameco AC-1 two tube crystal controlled transmitter would be similar to the homebrew transmitters the early hams started with. The CX Exchange has a multiplier equal to the total age of the gear you use. I had to get at least three contacts to count the radio's age in the multiplier. Transceivers count double their age. My equipment totaled up to 336 years.

The Classics Operating Position

The bands were kind to me for the QRP contacts with the Ameco AC-1 and the Heathkit HW-8. I got some 589 reports, and QRPers were calling me back. Crystal control is a challenge, too, since I have a limited number of crystals. I can't match their frequency unless someone lands on my spot. So I called CQ or hoped they would hear me. The most exciting part was using the Hallicrafters S-38C with the Ameco AC-1. That is the oldest combination. I listened to a dozen stations in the bandwidth, and I had to pick out which ones talking to me. Thanks to Bobby AK4JA for my third AC-1/S-38C contact.

So the CX time machine took me back to my teenage ham days and even before my time as a ham. I definitely got a kick out of it, as did all those who participated. No SDRs were used in this event. I like to say the ionosphere does not care how old your gear is. 

I am looking forward to the Novice Rig Roundup from March 5th to March 13th. 

73, Greg N4KGL 

The Hallicrafter S-38C, I estimate 70 years old. It works well

The Ameco AC-1, I estimate 52 years od.

Heathkit HW-8 Transceiver  2-3 watts 39 years X 2 = 78 years
Drake 2-NT Transmitter, 75 watts Crystal, Controlled 55 years
Drake 2-C Reciever 55 years
Ameco AC-1 Transmitter Crystal Controlled  3 watts 52 years
Icom 703 Transceiver 10 watts 13 years X 2 = 26 years
Hallicrafters S-38C Reciever 70 years
Multiplier Total Years = 336

Drake 2-NT and Drake 2-C 5 contacts
Heathkit HW-8 Transceiver 5 contacts
Ameco AC-1 and Drake 2-C 3 Contacts
Ameco AC-1 and Hallicrafters S-38C 3 contacts
Icom 703 Transceiver 4 Contacts
Total contacts = 20
Bonus = 500 points for using Ameco gear
Score = 336 years X 20 contacts + 500 point bonus = 7220