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W9GT USA flag USA

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QSL: DIRECT OR VIA BUREAU, LoTW since 2010

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Ham Member Lookups: 56607

 

LoTW has been activated for contest and regular contact logs year 2010 and newer.  FT8 contacts are now being entered in LoTW.

   
 

I'm entering my 59th (licensed) year in Amateur Radio. Actually, I've been playing with radio and electronics since the age of 11 while in the Boy Scouts where I first learned the morse code and built a few crystal radios .   I enjoy all aspects of this wonderful hobby and I participate in as many of them as I can.  I strive to never stop learning about new things as well as remember and appreciate the past, how we got here, and where we came from in the development of "wireless" communications.  The really wonderful thing is meeting a whole new group of friends every time I try something new or return to a mode I haven't been on for awhile.  What a great experience! 

​I'm retired after over 43 years in the telecommunications business. Much of that time, working as a senior radio and video transmission engineer and a proposal manager.  I served on the GTE Mobilnet (now Verizon Wireless) National Task Force which designed networks and assembled FCC  filings for the original Cellular Radio systems in the top 50 markets in the U.S. I was involved in the design and installation of some of the first fiber optics transmission systems in this country and I also spent some time in special circuit provisioning, much of which was for cellular radio providers.  Later, I served as the  project leader for assembling large bids for major telecommunications systems and networks.  Overall, I enjoyed a very exciting and rewarding career.

The picture on top shows me with my 1943 vintage Federal 167B Marine Transmitter (pair of 813s modulated by pair of 811As). This is a physically smaller (but electrically the same) version of the transmitters that were on the Liberty Ships during WWII. I'm told that these rigs may have even been used on tow boats on the Ohio River during the war. They were used for CW and MCW only from 2- 24 MHz. I added the AM modulator and power supplies that are contained in the short rack base unit that the transmitter is sitting on.  The "Old Federal'' has served me faithfully as my main AM rig for over 25 years. 

I was first licensed in 1959 as KN9UBF, then K9UBF in 1960 and until 1977, when I was issued N9GT. I was then issued W9GT in 1999. I wanted a call sign that honored the earlier days and which reflected my interest in nostalgia radio.  I enjoy all modes, including SSB and CW. I also enjoy working VHF and particularly like working six meters during band openings and I have been fortunate to Work all States on six.  (Six Meter WAS #1415) I have always loved working HF DX and numerous contests, and I am close to reaching the DXCC Honor Roll (only need 1 more), but my passion is AM, tube-type boatanchor gear, and nostalgia radio (including vintage-style homebrewing). Look for me on AM with the 1943 Federal 167B Marine Transmitter and various other vintage equipment on 160, 75, and 40.

Check out the Midwest Classic Radio Net on Saturday mornings at 1200 Z on 3885 kHz. and the DX-60 Net with NCS Mike, N8ECR on 3880 kHz at 1300 Z on Sunday mornings. I am a frequent check-in to both nets and you can hear many great sounding vintage stations checking-in every week. Another opportunity to exercise that old AM gear or just enjoy AM operation is on the Fort Wayne 6 Meter Net. The net meets on Tues and Thurs nights on 50.580 MHz. at 8:00 pm local time. The Tuesday night session is on USB and the Thursday night session is on AM. Everyone is invited to check-in! Six meters is fun and as active as it has ever been.

While I am listing net activities, I should mention that we certainly enjoy checking into the "World Famous" Little Red Barn Net each weekday morning on 3820 KHz. The Little Red Barn Net honors the legacy of our departed friend Bob Sievers, W9FJT and his long broadcasting career at WOWO radio. Bob hosted the famous Little Red Barn Program on WOWO in Fort Wayne for many years and was the originator of the net. It is still going strong after many years of operation. The Little Red Barn Net welcomes all check-ins and is a great gathering of friendly radio amateurs. I have the honor of serving as net control on Thursdays.  We celebrate "Nostalgia Thursdays" with suggested discussion topics that cover historic and memorable events.  We always have a great time and it is enjoyed by all.  Members and friends of the Little Red Barn Net and the Fort Wayne 6 Meter Net also meet for lunch and fellowship at various area restaurants every other Thursday.  Check out the Little Red Barn Web site:  http://gmrepair1.wix.com/little-red-barn  for the latest information and location of the next lunch gathering.

Antennas at W9GT

As you can see in the first picture below, we finished installing the antennas, after dark ! 10 el wide spaced 2M yagi@ 90', 5 el 6M yagi@ 85', 4 el KT-34A tribander 20-15-10M@ 80', 6 M Halo @ 73', cross boom for dual 40 M full wave loops @ 70'. Other wire antennas consist of 160 M Inv L running 80' vertical and 55' horiz, 80-10M G5RV dipole up 50' , and another 80/75 M inv vee dipole up 70'.

 

Miscellaneous Activities

During the last 7 months of 2016 I worked the ARRL National Parks On The Air (NPOTA) activity.  I was able to confirm 390 park entities and received the Chaser and Honor Roll NPOTA certificates.  I also activated the Indiana Dunes Natl Lakeshore Park LK02 (along with Tom, KU8T) in October 2016 and received the Activator certificate.  Lots of fun. 

I really enjoyed the honor, privilege and opportunity to operate W1AW/9 during the week of July 22-29, 2014 for the ARRL Centennial celebration.  I worked mostly CW and made a significant number of contacts.  This was a fun activity and exciting to work "the other side of the pile-up" representing the State of Indiana.  I also participated in the second round of operation for Indiana during the week of December 10-17, 2014.

I have been truly fortunate to have had the opportunity and the pleasure of writing numerous articles regarding my experiences in amateur radio and descriptions of my projects.  I have had several articles published in Electric Radio Magazine, including most recently, an article  about the HART 75 Transmitter in the August 2014 issue.  I hope to continue this activity and crank out more articles in the near future.

I enjoyed operating in the AM Transmitter Rally activity over the weekend (Feb. 10-13, 2012) using the special event call sign W9T. Lots of great activity and AM signals across the bands. Using the old Federal 167B transmitter and Collins R-390A receiver. Great fun!  I came in first in the Rally! As W9T, I made 153 QSOs in 34 states for first place. Wow, I am happy to have done so well, but I really appreciate the participation of all the AM'ers during this event. What a great time! Thanks to Steve, WA1QIX for organizing the Rally. I was on the air with the special event call sign W9T again in 2013 for the AM Transmitter Rally Feb. 16-17, 2013. Activity seemed a little down. Thanks to everyone who took the time to give me a call. We had a great time. I actually ended-up with one more contact than in 2012. I came in first again in the AM Transmitter Rally. 154 QSOs this time and lots of AM fun. Thanks again to all who participated and to Steve, WA1QIX for hosting another fun event. Unfortunately, I was unable to participate in the Rally in 2014 due to schedule conflicts.  2015 results were also not as hoped for, as I had some rig problems.  Well.....there is always next year.

 

I always thought that I agreed with the statement: "Life is too short for QRP". However, recently I have been playing with some little 1 - 2 tube transmitters utilizing designs from the 1930's. I have had a really great time with these little rigs (shown in the pictures below) and have had several contacts with them utilizing a pair of 50L6s in a push-pull xtal osc and an AC-DC power supply in one configuration running a grand 3 watts output on 40 M CW. A second version is built on a poplar wood breadboard using a 6A6 tube in the push-pull xtal osc circuit running 5 watts output (it is very close to the original version designed by Frank Jones that appeared in the 1936 Radio Handbook and uses nearly all original 1930's vintage components.) I plan to build a few more tube-type QRP rigs, perhaps including a few low power AM transmitters. I have a few GU-50 Russian tubes that look like really good candidates for a home brew rig. There is nothing more enjoyable than building a simple little rig, getting it on the air, and actually making contacts with it.

After extensive efforts to clean-up and organize my substantial junque box and parts supplies, I'm on track to complete many more vintage-style home brew projects in the near future. Stay tuned for further updates!

Digital?

Perhaps I am also fond of "diversity" to the extreme when it comes to my ham radio activities. I have also been playing with digital modes, specifically BPSK31 and even a little JT-65 and JT-9.  Most recently, I have been having fun with the new mode FT8. 

I acquired a SignaLink USB Interface, liked how it worked, and ended up with two more of them on my other radios.  I have been playing a little with PSK31 on several bands. I have been making quite a few contacts and find it to be quite fun and interesting. Amazing what you can do with low power and simple antennas on this mode. Yes, I know, it is quite a contrast between digital modes and tube-type boatanchors and AM. :-)

 

 

 

Here is the Frank Jones Transmitter in action for the 2012-2014 New Years SKN events:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acorn Tubes + cigar boxes = contacts!

Here is another little QRP rig in a wooden cigar box using a pair of 955 Acorn tubes for about 2.5 watts out:

 

 

This little transmitter has produced many enjoyable contacts on 40 and 80 M CW.  It is interesting to note that you don't have to spend  a lot of money to get on the air and enjoy this hobby!  There is nothing more satisfying than to get on the air and make contacts with a simple little rig that you built yourself.

 

The 6AG7 - 6L6 rig shown below appeared several years ago in my article in Electric Radio Magazine entitled "Long Live the 6L6" . It has been a super performer and I have worked many stations on AM on 75 and 40 meters with it, running only about 15 watts output. Lots of Fun!! 6L6s will live on forever.

 

On the other end of the time line spectrum--- I have  also been experimenting with a new little solid state QRP AM rig on 75M. The Small Wonder Labs Retro 75 AM Transceiver kit is a really nice little QRP AM rig and I have been having a ball with it. I have worked many stations with 2 watts AM. So I guess I enjoy QRP, as well as QRO!

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Boatanchor Collection

Below are some pictures of some of the 1950's vintage rigs in my collection: A Knight T-50 Transmitter with Matching V-44 VFO and a 6L6 plate modulator and a Johnson Adventurer Transmitter with the matching 122 VFO.

 

 

Unusual Rigs

Talk to anyone who knows me and they will agree, I really love to collect , restore, and operate unusual rigs. I have a number of them in my collection, including, of course,  the old Federal 167B Marine Transmitter, pictured above. I also have a very unusual and somewhat rare 1947-48 vintage John Meck T-60-1 transmitter in the shack, which I frequently operate on 75 M AM. This little rig is most easily recognized by its antenna connections that utilize porcelain feed thru insulators on the front panel. It runs a pair of 6L6s plate modulated by a pair of 6L6s for about 35 watts output. We actually took this little rig out to Field Day a couple of years and had a wonderful time operating a "1947 vintage" station including the Meck transmitter and a National NC-2-40D receiver.  We worked many SSB stations cross mode and most of them didn't notice we were on AM  :-).

 

 

Below is another quite rare and unusual transmitter. The Subraco MT-15X. This little "green wonder" is a late 1940's vintage mobile transmitter. It is set-up for 10 meters, but should be easy to put it on other bands. The Subraco is paired with a 1950's vintage Gonset Super Six converter that was utilized with the standard AM car radio for an amateur band and shortwave receiver. This makes a nice little mobile rig.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I have also added some old VHF AM rigs to the collection, My Clegg Zeus and Heath Seneca may be restored and on the air one of these days, however, many parts are needed to complete restoration. Sometimes, it is nearly impossible to find original parts and these rigs might sit for a long time, but they are sure nice to collect and appreciate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Heavy Metal Row:

 

The Collins 30K-4 on the right has moved on to another vintage enthusiast's shack, it will soon be replaced by a new "super" boatanchor vintage style home brew AM rig using a pair of 6C21's modulated by a pair of 304TLs. I have acquired most of the parts over the last 30 years, or so, and a big rack cabinet to put the new rig in. The last few needed items have now been obtained and construction has begun on this rig. I admittedly have been procrastinating with getting this project completed, but hope to really dig into it this coming winter and get BORIS on the air with some serious AM!!

 

 

 

 

TUBES and Black Wrinkle Rule!!


 

8572947 Last modified: 2018-01-10 23:03:29, 22103 bytes

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United States Award#2569
Granted: 2016-10-21 19:18:02   (W9GT)

Endorsements:
  • 20 Meters Mixed
  • Mixed CW
  • Mixed Digital
  • Mixed Phone
DX World Award#4593
Granted: 2016-10-21 14:58:02   (W9GT)

Endorsements:
  • 10 Meters CW
  • 15 Meters CW
  • 20 Meters CW
  • 40 Meters CW
  • 10 Meters Mixed
  • 15 Meters Mixed
  • 20 Meters Mixed
  • 40 Meters Mixed
  • 10 Meters Phone
  • 15 Meters Phone
  • 20 Meters Phone
United States Counties Award#3199
Granted: 2016-07-24 01:44:02   (W9GT)

Endorsements:
  • 250 Counties CW
  • 500 Counties CW
  • 100 Counties CW
  • 250 Counties Digital
  • 100 Counties Digital
  • 250 Counties Phone
  • 500 Counties Phone
  • 100 Counties Phone
  • 100 Counties Mixed
  • 250 Counties Mixed
  • 500 Counties Mixed
World Continents Award#13856
Granted: 2016-05-31 01:35:02   (W9GT)

Endorsements:
  • 5 Band CW
  • 10 Meters CW
    15 Meters CW
    17 Meters CW
    20 Meters CW
    40 Meters CW
  • 10 Meters Digital
  • 15 Meters Digital
  • 20 Meters Digital
  • 5 Band Mixed
  • 10 Meters Mixed
    12 Meters Mixed
    15 Meters Mixed
    17 Meters Mixed
    20 Meters Mixed
    40 Meters Mixed
  • 5 Band Phone
  • 10 Meters Phone
    15 Meters Phone
    17 Meters Phone
    20 Meters Phone
    40 Meters Phone
Grid Squared Award#12497
Granted: 2016-05-31 01:35:02   (W9GT)

Endorsements:
  • 5 Band CW
  • 10 Meters CW
    15 Meters CW
    160 Meters CW
    20 Meters CW
    40 Meters CW
    6 Meters CW
    80 Meters CW
  • 5 Band Digital
  • 10 Meters Digital
    15 Meters Digital
    17 Meters Digital
    20 Meters Digital
    40 Meters Digital
  • 5 Band Mixed
  • 10 Meters Mixed
    15 Meters Mixed
    160 Meters Mixed
    17 Meters Mixed
    20 Meters Mixed
    40 Meters Mixed
    6 Meters Mixed
    80 Meters Mixed
  • 5 Band Phone
  • 10 Meters Phone
    15 Meters Phone
    20 Meters Phone
    40 Meters Phone
    6 Meters Phone
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