John Beckman - W4BTX HAM RADIO "A PAST TIME FOR A LIFETIME"W
Wow. October already. Where did the summer go? When I was a young man summer lasted six months and winter lasted six. Now that I am old summer lasts 3 and a half weeks and winter lasts 3 years. At least that is what it seems to me. And I keep looking at "those things" I was going to fix over the summer and they are still waiting.
Well, with the sun spot numbers on the way up and more bands opening up, this winter will be a big improvement over the last few years. Of course, with the riots and strife around the world it may be hit or miss with the DX situation.
I hope you took advantage of the warm wx to repair your old antennas or put up some new ones. As the sun spot cycle was winding down there were a lot of interesting loop antennas. I'm talking about those small hand operarated loops. I have a favorite story about beam antennas. There is a lot of old-timer BS about "back in the day" but this is a sure story of what happened to a friend of mine. This was in the days of AM operation and my friend was chatting on 75 meters with a guy who was bragging about his "75 meter beam". My friend was dumbfounded. A 76 meter beam is impossible. It would have to be at least 120 feet long and even the surplus aircraft propeller motors some guys were using for rotators wouldn't swing some monster like that.
So the guy my buddy was talking to said, "I'll prove it to you. I'm gong to swing my 75 meter beam around and tell me if the signal drops." As my friend listens the signal went from 30 over 9 to S-3 and then back again to the higher level.
My friend was astounded. He said, "I've go to see that thing. I'm coming over." So he hopped in his car and drove about40 miles to the other ham's QTH. As he pulled into the driveway he didn't see any huge beam in the guy's back yard. He entered the guy's shack and demanded to see that giant beam. The other ham began to laugh. He reached over and slowly turned down the output of his rig. "See," he said, "I'm swinging my big beam around." Then he turned the power back up and said, "Now it's pointing right to you." There was no "giant 75 meter beam". It was just one ham pulling a joke on another.
So they both had a beer and a good laugh. And I think my friend pulled the same trick on another suspicious ham at a later date.
If there is a moral to this story it is this: There is more, much more to ham radio than just making contacts and logging new stations. There is, or was, a camaraderie among hams at one time. Clubs were very active. All kinds of events that didn't even involve ham radio were planned and executed. We were, indeed, a band of brothers (with a few sisters thrown in for good measure). I have a feeling we've lost something basic as technology has improved. I hope we can get if back. And maybe someday there will be a "Giant 75 Meter Beam."
In 73 from John, W4BTX until next week. Take care and stay safe