SOAPBOX for NOVICE RIG ROUNDUP 2020

As always enjoyed the relaxed pace and friendly QSOís with like-minded hamís using their Home Brew and vintage novice equipment. Although limited operation this year due to recovery from recent surgery I was able to use my Drake equipment mainly C-line and TR-4CW to make a few contacts each day. On Sunday made it downstairs and fired up a restored Harvey Wells TBS-50A with matching VFO. Paired nicely with a Drake 2B receiver I was able to work a handful of stations just before the end. Thanks to all for putting on this fun event. Looking forward to next year.

Dave WB9EGZ
NRR #83

My first Novice Rig Roundup. What a hoot! I'll be back next year. Look for me every Mon evening on 40m for the Novice Rig Night. See you there.

Jack W7QQQ

Lots of fun for the brief time I spent on NRR this year. Only 3 contacts but enjoyed them all. Reminds me of the old Novice days. Best contest around IMHO.

73, Carl K6LN

I truly enjoy participating every year. Only 16 QSO's but to me, each is like a trophy. You cannot assemble a better bunch of courteous, patient and caring hams. My Bare Essentials (5 watts out) rig never failed but my crystals now all have their own distinctive 'chirp'.

73, good friends

Emil 'Todd' Zelasko KA8GEF

Had a great time working NRR this year. My Heathkit SB-104A isn't exactly a Novice type rig but at least it's from that era and held up well. Thanks to all for a fun time!

73, Bill NZ0T

Friday the 13th was especially good for me. I worked four good stations with my DX-60B and HR-10 here from western Colorado. My CW is getting better and I have pride in my old equipment. The antenna is modest being a loop laying on top of my manufactured home roof about 15 feet off of the ground. Thanks for the fun fellowship on FACEBOOK as well as on the air! )

Wayne N9EGT

KN8RHM was operated as a Multi-2 Station by Ted, K8AQM and Rick, N8XI. Both of us from Ted's station and separately at our own QTH's.

Ted had 2 NV1 stations consisting of a Heathkit DX-60 and Drake 2B. The other being a Kenwood TS-520 with XTALs. With plenty of towers and antennas on a hill.

Rick ran an HW-16 using a 3555 XTAL which also doubled to 7111 for NV1 and a Kenwood TS-590S for NV2 duties. Antennas were a Cushcraft A4S Tribander with 40M and an 80M INV V.

Thanks for the fun event and NRR/SKCC QSOs. The Bands seemed to have cooperated well this year.

73,

from Ted, K8AQM and Rick, N8XI da guys at KN8RHM

Hi everyone. Didnít make a large number of contacts but really enjoyed the ones made. I was using my Heath HW-16 and stayed rock bound. I do have an HG-10 I could use but decided to stay with crystals. Worked all 40 meters because I didnít have any rocks for 80. Maybe later I will have some crystals for 80. 73 all and see you on or near the novice sub-bands

Bill N0UMP/WN0FKJ

This was my NRR setup, DX60B/HG10B/Drake 2B, 2BQ. Put out about 40 watts to a 160-80-40 meter loaded dipole. Used a KN4YB right angle, dual lever bug, my new favotite. Only made about 20 QSOs but had a ball.

Hope to get my 2C/2NT going soon.

Tim, NZ8J

Thanks to Doug and Dan and every one else for another great NRR. Only managed about 50 QSOs but they were all great fun. The 15 meter E-skip QSO with N3PDT was a shocker, and the QSO with W8NGA where I learned he worked on SPR4's for Drake while listening to him on my SPR4 was a hoot. And catching Jorge from PR brought back really fond memories of DX in the old days..

And while the Novice station is now relegated to a Gorilla shelf in the furnace room, and I had to make a drop down wall desk to have a place for the BC348/homebrew 1625s there, all the novice stuff is finally in one permanent location and I got a chance to use it all.

Rick ran an HW-16 using a 3555 XTAL which also doubled to 7111 for NV1 and a Kenwood TS-590S for NV2 duties. Antennas were a Cushcraft A4S Tribander with 40M and an 80M INV V.

The patch panel was new for this year after some frustration the last couple years trying to switch rigs. The Kanga RF-actuated TR switch survived the week and let me mix and match rigs without changing anything but the BNC jumpers, and the Mini-Circuits splitter on the panel let me dual receive with any two receivers so I could monitor the transmit frequency and tune off frequency at the same time. And the resulting real-time comparisons between receivers was great fun - turns out the BC348 is better than I thought, and the Conar, well, not so much. But usable. And the 2B still reigns supreme

Can't wait til next year. 73 and thanks again to everyone. See ya on NRN!

Scott KA9P

I had a great time again this year. I wasn't able to do much daytime operating, but did well in the evenings. 40 and 80 meters yielded some good DX. 80 meters was especially good here on the West Coast.

The Drake gear performed solidly this year and didn't have to do any repairs. I would like to pick up a few more crystals, so I can move around a bit more. It got crowded on a couple of frequencies and didn't find many Ops willing to tune around.

It's a real joy to hear the old rigs on the air again.

Here are some pictures of my Drake 2NT and R-4B. Also a pic of my CR Speed Key which I used quite a bit. The key dates from the early 1940's.

73's to all the NRR gang,

Gary/KF7WNS NRR# 52

NRR was great fun! My poor fist sure needs a rest after a week long workout on the old J 38 key. The lil giant 6AQ5 at 5 watts output did a great job. 22QSOs in 16 QTHs for score of 1392. RX was a Drake 2B and the antenna was a 60 foot high 80/40M fan dipole. Attached is a picture of the 6AQ5 on top of my other homebrew and kit TXs. Bottom row L to R: 6AH6 6AQ5 6GK6 VFO, 6AG7, 6T9. Top row L to R: 12BY7 6L6, 6AQ5, 50L6. In front: my universal crystal adapter and crystal current indicator, a #49 bulb. TNX for the radio fun.

CU next year, 73

Mike W3TS NNR 275

Greetings All!

Had short time for the roundup due to my YL illness. But the good news was of the contacts I made with my old Kenwood 530 and Nye Viking straight key. Only 2 contacts; 1 member of NRR.

Maybe only 2 q's but it sure was fun while it lasted.

Im in process building a 5W tube transmitter. Next roundup I plan on using it with my Hammerlund HQ100. Looking forward to it!

73 all!

Rich NRR #534 (WD0K)

Was a frustrating NRR operating crystal controlled with a 6AG7/6L6 homebrew copy of a 1948 Micamold XTR-1, about 20W output to a 40M FW Loop. Listening on my late Dadís 1952 S-38C. Locked on 7121 kc was difficult attracting much attention as most were off my frequency. Gear vintage predates my actual 1963 ticket by more than a decade.

Maybe next year will be better (if am still this side of the grass).

73,

Curt KB5JO NRR#343)

I was really looking forward to NRR this year and it didn't disappoint. It's a great way to recapture the excitement of just starting out in amateur radio, with the wonder at every new QSO.

Here's the NRR operating position at AD0RW. The Eico 720 was my Novice rig in 1968. A few contacts remarked on my claimed power of 100 watts. Yes, the previous owner had souped it up by adding a second 6146 to the final amp, and beefing up the power supply. Therefore, I had to throttle it back even more as a Novice to stay legal! Now, at full bore it puts out more power than my Kenwood TS-820. I did keep it below maximum during NRR, however.

I built the Heathkit HR-1680 around 1978; my actual Novice year receiver is long gone. Both the receiver and transmitter survived a fire in the garage where they resided in a storage cabinet, in 2015. They were undamaged except for a good deposit of soot, and I restored both in 2018.

I used a 72-foot doublet antenna about 35 feet up on all bands. It is fed with window line, and you can see the homebrew antenna tuner in the wooden box on the upper level. The wire is pretty short for 80 meters, but it tuned up OK and got me 14 contacts on that band. I also tuned down band on Thursday evening and worked VP2VB, the British Virgin Islands DXpedition, a new 80-meter country for me. (Got them on 15 too, also with this rig.)

On top of the receiver is my homebrew VFO, that usually serves as a second VFO for the Kenwood. It is DDS-based using the AD9834 synth. It really made the difference over last year, because my crystals are almost all in the "wrong" parts of the bands now. Between the transmitter and receiver is my homebrew combination keyer and automatic TR switch, that made operating the combo a breeze.

The only disappointment was that 15 meters never caught fire. Thanks to Jorge, KP4GC for being there and putting at least one contact in the log. Almost all my Novice year operation was on 15, because a low dipole for that band was all the antenna I could manage at the time! Hopefully someday soon the band will open up again like it was in '68, when I could work DX with that pathetic wire and 40 watts output.

Many thanks for NRR, and see you next year!

John, AD0RW (NRR #710)

Last year, I had the time to put in to be a contender. This year, no. But, I still made a ton of NRR contacts. I was very pleased and surprised at how many NRR operators I was able to contact in the limited time I had available. 40m was the band that produced the most QSOs for me. I had a few QSOs on 80m. I heard a couple of stations on 15m, but was unable to make contact.

This year, my only rig was a Heathkit HX-11 novice transmitter (similar to a DX-20) with a Drake 2-B / 2-BQ receiver. I used a U.S. Navy flameproof key and a fan dipole. Crystal control all the way. I also used a Gonset Monitone CW monitor.

73 de Steve KE4OH

Heath kit HR-1680, SB-301, HRO-500 and Mackay Marine. Most of these Radios are 50+ years old. Along with these old radios it was nice to hear the OLD BUG OPERATORS. Most of these guys send CW that is music to your ears and so easy to copy. I don't know why but well sent CW with a bug at any speed is effortless to copy. Sadly this will be a lost ART in the coming years.

The equipment I used this year: Johnson Adventurer Xtal controlled with Hallicrafters SX-101A Drake T-4XB/ R-4B, Ten-Tec Century-21 Digital, Homebrew 6L6/ SPR-4. I was surprised to see many CQ'ers tune off frequency for XTAL operators replies. That did not happen much last year. I actually had a reply to a CQ 10kc away. Just like in the real Novice Days. Most of my contacts were made with a SX101A and R-4B receivers. I have forgotten how Quiet these Tube Receivers are, at first I thought something was wrong, I had to get out a Elecraft Signal Generator to check that they were working right and they were. Working a 4watt Homebrew TX 1500miles away on 40m kind of proves that to. NRR is truly a TIME MACHINE, if newer licensees want to see what it was like to be a Novice 50yrs ago spend some time listening or actually make some QSO's in next years NRR.

73

Tim K9SB

All,

NRR 2020 was a satisfying experience. The gear worked with only minor issues and I continued to find surprises with propagation, particularly on 15m.

I gave the Heathkit DX -60B and Drake 2C a good workout. The receiver with the addition of an external audio filter enabled me to find weak signals in the crowded novice bands. Some photos are attached of the station this year.

I'll be back next year.

73,

Mark, VA7MM
Coquitlam, British Columbia

Lots of fun again this year. Broke out a homebrewed rig I built and used back in 1972 when I first became licensed as a Novice. That rig, a 6AQ7/6L6 combo that is still functional after all those years, hung in there for 6 QSOs this year. It was still a hoot but man, being rockbound sure is a burden though. Hope to see you all again next year.

73

Bill KE3O NRR# 78

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