Favorite straight key late 19th century

Favorite straight key late 19th century
My 19th century EARLY SWISS / ITALIAN LAND LINE KEY:(31KB) Heavy brass key with 1/2 X 5/16 X 4-1/2" straight lever. Adjustable pull-down spring beyond pivot. Doorknob shaped knob. Make & Break contacts. Huge adjusting screws. All parts and screw heads are numbered "12". 5-7/8 X 2-13/16" wooden base with recessed wiring. Greg Ulsamer, DL1BFE, reports that this kind of key was first made in the 1850's by a Mechanicus by the name of Kaufman in the town of Solothurn and later by the 'Eidgenoessische Telegraphenwerkstaette' which was the workshop of the (governmental) Swiss Telegraph Administration. Since many of these keys are found in Italy, it has previously been assumed that they were Italian.

jeudi 24 juillet 2014

Back from Maine.

Had a great trip to Rockland, Maine. Six hours of driving with a couple of short breaks. The weather was fine the first two days, but the next three were rainy. Fortunately there was much to see indoors and the rainy, misty weather was atmospheric. Some interesting museums. The Maine Lighthouse Museum was nearly as good as those I have visited in France. Plenty of original lenses, etc. on display. The Transportation Museum, a half-hour's drive from Rockland,  featured wonderful automobiles of the early days through the 1930's. Gorgeous, all. And, fantastic early airplanes suspended from the ceiling and posed on the concrete floor. Originals with a couple of accurate reproductions from the Wright brothers through the late 1930's. . This museum is in an airplane hanger and many of the aircraft still take to the air.

I received my K1 rigs. Both in very good physical shape. Unfortunately one of them has a bad frequency board. A 20/40 meter board has full output on 40 but only half a mw on 20. As 20-meters is my band, a new board is required. The previous owner is sending a new one which I will, eventually, install. Probably back in France.

I did get on the air today and worked MJ/OK1FIK in Jersey. Had to repeat my call several times but he was patient and eventually copied me. So 4 watts to the Buddistick with a distance of, nearly, 4000 miles.

73 Dick

vendredi 4 juillet 2014

Still around but...

...but not active on band(s). We have been visiting friends and family these past weeks. Today, July 4, I will be at one of those friends' homes on the rivers' edge to pass the holiday. Weather has been hot and humid with storms late in the afternoons. Expect the same today. Visited my mother in the nursing home yesterday afternoon. She was sleeping and not responsive. Not sure if she was aware of my presence. We will do our visiting in the late morning from now on as we were told she is more alert at that time of day. She is on drugs to alleviate anxiety attacks.

Our trip to Maine is coming up next week. Never been there so it will be an interesting experience. Long drive both ways for a 5 day adventure. Looking forward to the visit but not the long hours behind the wheel. Driving was never my favorite pastime, even in the days of my youth.

We visited the Antique Wireless Association museum in Bloomfield, NY last Sunday. A very long drive but worth it. Wonderful seeing those old radios. We were given a nice tour by one of the volunteers at the site. Suggest a Google search for the AWA. There is a virtual tour of the museum on the AWA site.

I would also suggest going to u-tube and typing  in Charles Herrold. You could also go to the web page of AE5X. There, you will find an interesting video documentary of the life, career, and sad end of Charles Herrold, a practically unknown wireless pioneer. He deserved better.

I have a new radio though I will not receive it until our return from Maine. Very likely, my last transceiver purchase. It is the Elecraft K1. Two of them bought used from fellows looking to finance new rigs. Small enough to easily transport. Not the highest-tech of the Elecraft line but the K1 does get decent reviews. OK for my style of operating. Hope they are in good shape.


73 and have a good weekend.

Dick




mardi 17 juin 2014

Update

Until today, I had been using the HW-8 on 20 meters. Not much success which I ascribe to the poor Buddistick. I hate those clips.

I decided to try 17 meters with my FT-817, though still restricted to the Buddistick. No way to get a reasonably flat swr so decided to use a MFJ tuner which was kept here. Loads up ok and power reads 4 watts. Managed to work MX0AAA after the stronger signals calling him were contacted. Good to know I can manage to get on 17M. Even across the pond. Will be the only band I use during my stay here. Also worked KW7D shortly after. No 1000MPW attempts, just not in the cards. Daylight operating  here and most likely late morning.

Weather has been very nice lately. We do get out walking so the dry weather is appreciated.

Visited my mother. Took a while for her to recognize me, but she did, eventually.

73 Dick

18/6/14 update
CT3FT on 17 meters  early this afternoon. Only a 549 with QSB report, but it happened.

6Y5WJ late this afternoon.

samedi 7 juin 2014

Back in the USA

A long haul! The YL drove us from Benodet to Orly airport. Decent flight into JFK. I drove the rental car from JFK to here in central NYS. Tiring trip, we aren't getting any younger.  Then the usual formalities of auto registration, etc.  My sister, as usual, a big help. Electric service and internet connection running on arrival. Super good weather. Sunshine and mild temperatures.

Set up station yesterday. My usual complaints about antenna situation. The HW-8 purchased early Spring was at my sisters. Good rig. Fantastic USA ham who sold it, included a $20 bill because he felt he had overcharged me. How often does that happen?

No big QSOs. This morning worked a fellow in Oklahoma which is over 1,000 miles from here. One-watt on 20M to the Buddistick.

The 2000 ohm earphones I had ordered were also at my sister's place. Purchased from a real collector. They are impeccable. Look like they just came out of the box. Western Electrics from the early 1920's. Perfect match for the HW-8.

Will be shopping for printer ink cartridges and paper later.

Have a good weekend.

73 Dick

samedi 31 mai 2014

Cost Rica (from France)

Woke up at 1 AM local time with acid indigestion. Nothing to do for it but sit up. Decided to sit at the radio. This time with the OHR rig at 4 watts. 20 meters pretty empty but heard HT5T calling CQ. I answered and he came back. Special event station from Costa Rica.

Still deciding which rig to put in the Pelican case for travel. Will be the FT-817 or OHR. As I will be mono-band on 20 meters, I don't really need the full coverage of the Yaesu. Don't do the repeater thing, though I can moniter it through their streaming-audio site. The HW-8 a bit large for transport and, anyway, I have one there. Just want a rig capable of 5 watts, if necessary.

Better make up my mind.

lundi 26 mai 2014

Won't be long

I won't be very active from here for too much longer. Time for our stay in the USA. Been nearly a year. Will be a bit longer this time. As usual QRP from there with the Buddistick out the window and an HW-8 that I keep at that QTH. Don't expect much if any DX from that location.

Today worked EA5GVZ and K1BG. The YL's son is visiting here so I haven't been on the radio very much.

samedi 17 mai 2014

HW-8 note

Not a lot of contacts as I haven't been really active the last couple of days. Been taking advantage of the nice weather....which will change next week. My YL pulled something behind her knee during our last organized hike, so she is on the disabled list and undergoing therapy.

Radio wise, two 20 meter 1-watt contacts. K8MP for a nice QSO yesterday, and KK4SER early this morning 5/17 Benodet date/time.

The band was fairly crowded. Heavy QRM and operating a direct conversion rig, doubly crowded. No real filter in a HW-8. KK4SER had a decent signal and mine was not too bad. Interesting how our hearing and concentration improves when no receiver filters available. He was QRM'd by a very strong Euro station constantly calling CQ. Despite that, I was able to copy him without too much difficulty. It is, sometimes, good mental exercise to make an effort and copy signals that would, ordinarily, call for filter insertion.