SOAPBOX for NOVICE RIG ROUNDUP 2022

Greetings to all! Doug and I hope you have enjoyed the 2022 annual Novice Rig Roundup. Doug and I work hard each year to make this a fun event for all who participate. This year, I participated with my Club call sign, WN7FCV. If I worked you, thank you very much for the contact. I had a great time and all my contacts were XTAL control this year. I've attached a photo of my NRR station setup for this year.

Doug and I are working to make some changes for the 2023 NRR and going forward. The online logger is problematic to us. It is written in volumes of PHP code. We are not programmers and trying to fix bugs is getting harder each year. We may ask for opinions via polls on the FaceBook page and your input will guide us those decisions.

73 and see you in 2023,
Dan, N7SU (WN7FCV)
NRR Chairman

Wow, how fun was that? Another Novice Rig Roundup has come and gone and it's still just as fun as the first time we did this back in 2014. Thank you so much to each and every one of you that get on the aid and make the airwaves sing nostalgic for nine days in March.

I'd like to heartily thank our Chairman, Dan N7SU for all the time, effort, and worry he puts in to make this event go. Without his efforts, this just wouldn't be the success it is.

Next year will be our 10th running of NRR. Dan and I are discussing how to make it a special one. Be prepared for some changes in log reporting and even more simplified "scoring". In the meantime, keep those rigs on the air. Participate in our Monday Novice Rig Nights when you can, and SPREAD THE WORD! NRR is FUN!

73
Doug N3PDT
NRR Co-Chairman

Another enjoyable Novice Rig Roundup!

It is always a challenge digging out the old novice gear each year and hoping for the best. My trusty DX-60 started to smoke and did not stop smoking for another 3 minutes after I pulled the plug.
Severe, crippling 25db power line noise for the first 5 days. It is all part of the fun!

My rigs this year:

1 tube hombrew (50C5) Bare Essentials transmitter (circa 1968)- 5 watts out
1 watt hombrew QRP
Heathkit HW-8, 1.5w
Hallicrafters HT-40 (circa 1961)
National NC-109, homebrew 'Neophyte' receivers

Only eleven contacts due to time limitations and power line noise- but each contact/QSO reminded me of what a great hobby we share. 73 to a great bunch of hams....hope to QSO with you throughout the year. 73
Todd...KA8GEF

I look forward to this event each year. I had planned on using my Hallicrafters S-107 and an Ameco AC-1 kit (clone) this year, but I procrastinated and the AC-1 has yet to be finished. I ended up using my Ten Tec Omni-C station, not exactly vintage, but it is over 40 years old! Conditions were fairly good here in Ohio. It took a couple qso’s to get back into the swing of using my 1948 Vibroplex original deluxe (same year I was born, hi hi).

Station was the Ten Tec Omni-C @50 watts to a center fed 135’ zepp up about 35 feet and the above mentioned bug. Hopefully next year the AC-1 will be up and running.

Thanks to all the participants and especially the organizers for making this such a fun event and for keeping the electrons moving through all that vintage equipment. Already planning for next year.

73
Tim NZ8J
NRR-761

Another GREAT NRR! I made Qs on 80, 40 and this time, several on 15M! Used my Drake 2-C, 2-NT with a “pile” of crystals, and 2-CQ with a Speed-X straight Key. (Yeah, the photo was taken a few weeks before NRR - I didn’t use the keyer/paddle for NRR). Enjoyed every minute of it, wished I could have been on the air more. Met a lot of “old” friends, and made many new ones! Some great ops/fists/radios out there this year. Lots of “chirpy birds” out there too! Hi hi hi. Hope to “see” everyone again next year.

72/73
Steve WB4OMM NRR#19

Have always enjoyed the NRR.
I used both the Collins S-Line & my Eico 720. I used the Eico 722 VFO with the 720. Was nice hearing all of wonderful old vintage rigs. It seemed like there were a lot of people using the Drake 2NT transmitter. And all of them sounded great.

73's
Steve K2FW
NRR- 702

Thanks to everyone for organizing and participating in this year's NRR.

Those nine NRR days included, for me, 28 great QSOs. Along the way I had a fine time using a Drake 2NT and a R4B, my favorite novice era station. The nine day operating window let me work around stormy weather, family obligations and propagation while still having fun.

I've recently moved to a new location so I was using a new antenna and new station layout. The NRR let me get comfortable with the new QTH and identify any hidden quirks without having to worry about keeping the QSOs as short as possible.

I have some other novice era stations I want to put on the air. I'm , hoping to see some of you again during the Monday Novice Rig Nights.

tnx es 73,
Niel - W0VLZ
Rochester, MN

My 4th NRR 2019-2022.
Fun as always!
I had a couple of antenna problems and…
I purchased the Drake 2NT & 2C a couple of years ago and it has never been used on any other band but 40M. Got on Discord and said I was going to use my 3560.5 KHz XTAL to meet others that were at 3560 KHz. Well they heard me 579, etc. and told me I was stepping on others. After a few minutes I found out the band switch was a bit dirty, from non-use, I guess. Sorry for the bit of QRM. I used the Drakes for NV1 and the Heath HW-16/HG10B and Kenwood TS-590S for NV2. I decided since the NRR Contest Logger would time out if not used frequently, change date at will and a nuisance, I used a handwritten paper log and entered everything before closing for the night. I also used an NRR Converter from last year turning the Contest Logger into an Excel, Text then ADIF to Upload to SKCCLogger for my SKCC contacts on 3/12 & 3/13, etc.

Had much fun and looking forward to NRR in 2023 and beyond…

73,
Rick-KN8RHM (N8XI)

Had a lot of fun. Used my HW-16/HG-10B combo for most of my contacts and made a few on my HW-101 too. Used my first Novice key from 1982 - an Ameo K-4 i bought at Radio Shack for $15. Also used a J-38 along with a keyer and paddles. Thanks all for a fun NRR!

Photo is of my "Heathkit Corner".

73,
Bill NZ0T
NRR 712

Sure wished I would have had more time but the NRR came at a very busy time for me this year.

I only operated on 40 meters this time. Also I only put one of my transmitters on the air. The station consisted of my Knight T-60 and a Drake 2B/2BQ combo. Used the Johnson TR switch. I did have a good supply of crystals after several years of grinding and etching out of band crystals. The antenna was my 160 meter horizontal loop fed with open wire line and a Ten Tec 238B tuner. Keys were a Vibroplex Lightning Bug and a German straight key.

73,
Dave - W3NP, NRR #245..... ex: KN3KJX circa 1959

Had a lot of fun. Used my HW-16/HG-10B combo for most of my contacts and made a few on my HW-101 too. Used my first Novice key from 1982 - an Ameo K-4 i bought at Radio Shack for $15. Also used a J-38 along with a keyer and paddles. Thanks all for a fun NRR!

Photo is of my "Heathkit Corner".

73,
Bill NZ0T
NRR 712

This year I really enjoyed the Novice Rig Roundup again. My Heathkit DX60B did a good job. Some of my contacts were by Crystal and others with the VFO. My HR-10 receiver was a bit of a handicap because it is not very selective. My antenna was a 40 meter full wave loop laying on top of my roof. So the antenna was not the best but it does amazingly well from less than 20 feet high. Thank you to all those who were patient with my code. I am getting faster and I hope practice makes perfect!

73’s Wayne N9EGT Western Colorado

Great fun as usual. Using my Drake 2-C from my novice days in 1974 along with a 2NT I acquired last year from a fellow NRR member. Excuse the mess in the picture, but this is how things looked during the Roundup. Many thanks to the organizers and all the people who put up with my rusty CW skills

Jack (KF2SA)

My second NRR and had more fun than the first! I was excited to use the DX60B I had built in high school along with a HR 1680 I had picked up at a hamfest a decade ago. Unfortunately, I was only able to make a few contacts with it before it lost output power... Instead of using contest time to try to debug it, I chose to use the HW16 I used last year that a picked up at a hamfest a couple of decades ago. It worked fine and enjoyed using it as well.

I only made about 3 contacts on 15m with all the rest of the QSOs on 40m using XTALs. The one crystal I had for 15m unfortunately multiplied right on top of a beacon, so only one contact was made there and the other two I reluctantly employed the use of a VFO.

Besides fixing the DX60B, for next year I plan to get additional 15m crystals and put up a better antenna for 15m. Also hope to get some XTALs and an antenna to allow for 80m as well. We shall see. Regardless, I had a good time and very much looking forward to next year!

Jim, WB9LWO
NRR #949

Last year was my first Novice Rig Roundup. I had a blast running a Drake TR-4C, which was my Novice rig back in 1990. Afterwards, I thought that for the next Novice Rig Roundup, it would be even more fun to run separate transmitter and receiver and eun crystal control. A few months later, I purchased a Viking Challenger and Hammarlund HQ-129X at a swap with the intent of using them for NRR 2022.

Of course I had a great time during this year's NRR! It was so much fun to work stations who where also using vintage gear and with every QSO there was a bit of anticipation to find out what rig they were using, although with some I had a pretty good guess, HI HI

Thanks to everybody for their participation and for keeping all of these rigs going!

73 de Eric / NQ8J

When my Drake B-line was working it was fun. The T4XB quit on Monday morning. I replaced it with an SR-150 but couldn’t get CW receive to work. Plugged in the HT-44/SX-117 combo to finish up. Still a lot of fun!

John WW9L

I didn't get to spend a lot of time but what time I spent was high quality fun time! My Ten-Tec Century 21 performed admirably. Thank you to the organizers and helpers.

73,
Jon WS1K
NRR 154

Enjoyed nrr very much. Was looking forward to this year event at close of last year's. Was able to get drake 2b receiver and drake r4 receiver. Last year's event the drake 2nt had issues half way through, this year the 2nt made the whole event. I have been expanding 243 xtal frequency by using 6u in there holders. I did not make very many contacts this but enjoyed everyone. Sure like to hear those old tube sets. This one cw event draws in some very nice folks on the air. Hope to hear you next year.

73 to All,
Wayne WN8BLX
Enjoy!

Another wonderful Novice Rig Round-up! My second year in a row and I found it as exciting as I did last year. I was 1 QSO short of last years totals but I think because of the confirmations, I received more points with only 20 QSO’s. My HW16/HG10B VFO functioned flawlessly throughout the event. Thanks to all who put it together and to all that participated.

Roy – KN4WOJ

I had a great time this year! It warms my heart to hear all the old rigs on the air. We even had a couple of good sessions on 15 meters. It was just like the old days in the 70's, working strong stations all over the country with only a 6146 worth of power. I used my DX-60B that I built from a kit when I was 13 years old in 1974. It's amazing it ever worked at all, given the very sloppy job I did. I went through it a few years ago and cleaned it up somewhat and replaced the electrolytics. Now it sings once again. My receiver was a Swan 350C that I picked up recently. It was a fine receiver, complete with a wide passband that made it a challenge to copy stations amongst the QRM. I also stayed away from my electronic keyer for the whole week, and used the bug and straight key in honor of the old days. CU next year!

Don W7VHW

This was a fun contest and I made more contacts than ever. It helped that the higher bands, 15 and 10m, were usable for a few exchanges. My crystal collection has grown a lot since I started buying them again after my first NRR (2017). The photo shows most but not all of my crystals having usable frequencies on 80 or 40m. The ones in the middle of the photo are mostly 40m. The groups on the LH and RH sides are all 80m.

My basic station remains pretty much the same, year after year. I used my Knight T-60 for almost all of my contacts. For the occasional oddball frequency I don't have a crystal for, I can use my FT-1000D. I received on my old ('79 build) FT-101ZD. The tube TR switch can be seen hanging off the back of the T-60. Antennas were a sloper dipole for 40m, Inverted L for 80m, and a 20m ladder line fed loop on 15 and 10m (using a tuner). I sent on my 50's era Vibroplex Original bug, or on the tiny hand key next to it if I needed to slow down. Thanks for all the contacts!

73,
73, David (Dave) K3KY

Had a GREAT TIME playing Novice again with NRR. The set ups for this year,
Station 1...HT-40 and 2B with Q-Multiplier.
2...Homebrew 6L6 MOPA 5 watts and SPR-4
3...Adventurer and SX-101A
4... T-4XB and R-4B
5... Century-21

Antennas: Pair or Phased Verticals on 40m, and a 80m EFHW for 80m, 40m and 15m at 40'. Monday night band conditions were good, with the 6L6 and 5 watts working 11 sections from Illinois, with BC, NS, NM, MS, NY, and NC being most distant. Later in the event worked N2TMS with HW-8 and 2 watts NY, N9AK with 1 watt Homebrew, N4DR with Homebrew 4 watts, MD and AF1Z with QCX 5 watts FL. The thing I like most about NRR are all the old Tube Transmitters that appear. Worked 26 different tube transmitters, most prevalent the 2NT followed closely by HW-16, with the AC-1, AT-1,T-60, HG-303, DX-35, HT-40 and DX-40 bringing up the rear. It's fun using crystals but a lot harder to make contacts, still many stations calling CQ and not tuning off frequency for reply's. Special thanks to the stations that do!!!! Thanks to Dan Sand and others in NRR for running a FUN event.

73,
TIM K9SB

I started out in the NRR using my recently acquired DX-40 and my old HA-350. Unfortunately the DX-40 died after a few days, but I was able to use my 1971 vintage SB-102, which has provision for crystal control and 75W input.

Many vintage tube transmitters will not work well using the small, more modern crystals such as HC-6/U and HC-49/U. From various sources I developed the following circuit which allows me to use HC-6/U crystals with my DX-40. The second pic shows a ground plane version. It plugs into the VFO socket and will operate for hours off a 9 volt battery.

73,
Gene N5GW

Another fun week of NRR was had this year. After days of intense listening for replies that could be well off frequency (and not particularly stable), everything now sounds like its Morse code. From the furnace blower to the refrigerator compressor, and even the fan belt on my car, they’re all squeaking DaDit DiDahDit DiDahDit…

In summary, I enjoyed 26 QSO’s (with 3 dupes) to 15 states and 1 DX, using 5 different rigs and three 40m fundamental XTALs. One of those XTALS, in the Extra portion of 40, tripled to a good spot on 15m to grab a second band. I love the week long format that allows a relaxed pace (I’m very much of the “event not contest” mindset) and casually made 2 or more contacts each day. Rigs used this year included a Globe Scout 680, Viking Challenger, DX-40, HW-16, and HW-8. Ironically, the QRP HW-8, at a whopping 2ish watts, is worth the least points because of its built in VFO, making it NV2 (same as the guy that ran a 500W amp!).

I understand the thinking that “if its not rock-bound, its not Novice”. Still, I would encourage some graduation in future rules that recognizes a vintage rig coupled to a vintage VFO as some intermediate between NV1 and “the rest”. Some rigs (eg: Harvey-Wells TBS-50, Heathkit AT-1) double the XTAL on 40m (and x4 or x6 on 15m instead of x3), requiring whole new set of rocks to play. It’s a shame to not put ‘em on the air in this event for lack of appropriate crystals, when a VF-1 or HG-10 would get them to where the action is. Maybe have them “pre-declare” 2-3 frequencies per band and be bound to that. Looking forward to next year!

Todd N2TMS

Hello All!

What a great NRR 2022! I managed to squeeze in 30 contacts during the week, using a Heath AT1, Ameco AC1, an S38 receiver, and an SX-140 receiver (not pictured). All Xtal controlled, what a thrill! The AC1 I found on Ebay last year came with the original Ameco Tubes! What a thrill operating in the dark shack, with only the S38 and Ameco tubes burning! One of the memorable QSO's was with WA9CW, who told me he had an AC1 in 1965!! It's really an honor to operate this old gear and keep them alive! The best contact was MN with the AC-1 pumping out 8 watts to my inverted vee. Hope to see everyone again next year, love this contest and all the sounds of the old novice gear, see you on Monday nights!

73's
Brian, KE4QZB

Good evening everyone,

NRR was more fun than ever this year. I operated my HW-16 mostly during the entire event without any problems. I only have a few crystals for the 7100 to 7125 section of 40 meters, but did a lot of CQing and tuning in order to make contacts. I made just a few contacts on 80 meters this year. NRR is the only event/contest that I participate in any more, due to the laid back attitude of everyone involved. No run and gun contacts.

This year I did not get started until Sunday after noon, and had to miss Wednesday due to a planned trip with the XYL. I still managed to make many enjoyable contacts.

The highlight of NRR 2022 was a contact with N9AK, (not a NRR member) who was running a HB 1 watt rig, and receiving on a S38C. True spirit of ham radio. We chatted for the better part of a half hour. I encouraged him to get into NRR.

Thanks to Doug and Dan for all their effort to make this event possible. They deserve many thanks from all that participated in NRR 2022. And, many thanks to all that copied my weak signals from the hills of eastern Kentucky.

Looking forward to NRR 2023

Bob WB4IEA

This year's NRR is in the log! Attached is the station picture consisting of a Collins 75S-3B with a Timewave DSP-59+ to provide extra CW filtering. The DX-60 handled the Xtal control task on the 80, 40, and 15 meter bands.

For the Novice2 VFO rig I used the TS-520 for 2 of the VFO contacts and an HG-10 (not pictured) for 2 QSOs with the DX-60. Another Timewave DSP-9+ helped with selectivity on the TS-520.

Antennas were an 80/40 inverted V, 40m vertical, or 2el 20-10m yagi.

Taking care of the TR operation was the fabulous W9RAN TR switch providing semi break-in operation with the Collins/Heath combo. It was great to make the VE7 connection this year on either 40 or 15m with VE7SL, VA7MM, and VE7CNF, Steve, Mark and Toby. 80 and 10m next year!

The goal was to beat last year's QSO tota lof 12, which was accomplished with 35 QSos! 31 were Xtal control, 4 VFO.

I owe a great deal of thanks to Jeff, VE1ZAC who provided me with a real slick crystal adapter for additional 40m crystals that worked to perfection on 15M, too! Photo attached.

I owe a great deal of thanks to Jeff, VE1ZAC who provided me with a real slick crystal adapter for additional 40m crystals that worked to perfection on 15M, too! Photo attached.


VA1RST, Roger, NRR #302 Halifax, NS

I had a blast in this year's NRR! Heard lots of HW-16's, T-60's, and 2NTs. I tried to use as many different rigs as time allowed. Looking forward to next year!


73,
Steve WA3JJT

Another very enjoyable NRR campaign with classic gear. Transmitter is a DX-60B with output at 40W on 40m, receiver is a Drake 2C, antennas for 80 through 10m are dipoles at 100 ft above ground suspended from fir trees. All gear worked well and band conditions were good with openings on 15 and 10m. Looking forward to NRR 2023 with anticipation of even better band conditions. Thank you for the contacts.

73,
Mark, VA7MM
British Columbia

First NRR for me. I have a few pieces of tube gear and got interested in the NRR event after seeing Roger VA1RST's equipment and asking about his activities with it. I didn't have a crystal controlled transmitter and decided to build one from junk box parts. It started off as an 80/40/30 and 20M rig based around a 6146 PA. It pumps out around 45 watts on 80/40/30 M. This limited my crystal activity to 80 and 40M. Since NRR I have been working on changing the 20M position to 15M with some limited success. I have 15 watts on 15M now, which may increase with some improvements. Also added a home built VFO for 80 and 40. The receiver is a Heath SB310 . Made some 25 contacts with this setup. Next year will be able to add 15M Novice1 contacts during band openings.

Great fun!

73,
Jeff VE1ZAC

Tnx to all 20 other Nrr members for a good qso Part of the fun was to mix different equipment The drake r4b did most of work The nc270 rec wasn’t good the last day with the band conditions on 40

73s to all,
WA8PCW Nrr 524

For my third Roundup, I decided to go Novice1 with crystals and 75 watts input to the (souped-up with two tubes) Eico 720 PA. The antenna loading cap was at nearly full mesh to achieve this, just like in the Novice days! Some favorite moments include my only 10 meter contact, with Steve VE7SL, which to my memory was also the first ever 10-meter QSO made with this rig! Then there was trying to figure out with Steve, during a 15-meter QSO, whether the Discord chat was down (it was).

Finally there was the time Thursday afternoon when LU9FFS answered my CQ on 15, transporting me back to 1968 when DX would tune above 21.100 to work Novices, and I would be called by SMs and DJs on my ridiculous end-fed half wave fed directly from the antenna connector of the 720 (using a banana plug). That's what made me a DXer!

15 was much better this year, but most operating time was on 40, working anyone who would hold still for it. The doublet, center fed with window line and matched with the homebrew tuner (in the wooden box above) was again in effect and worked well, as did the HR-1680 receiver. Thanks for a great NRR and see you next year!

73, John AD0RW, NRR #710,
Coralville, IA

Had a great time again this year. Thanks to everyone that got on, and especially to everyone that got on on 15! I think it was Thursday that I had 5 or 6 15 meter QSOs from both coasts with signals loud enough to be well heard on my HR-10B. Shades of 1969.

Gear-wise I exercised the Conan Twins and the HR-10B a bit, but most of the time basked in the glory of the SPR-4, 2NT and HA-5, the sweetest novice vintage station ever??.

If only people would tune around a bit. Out of 38 Qs I counted 7 where I called rockbound off freq several times before succeeding zero beat on the first or second call……where the heck is that Wouff Hong?

73 Scott Ka9p
Ex-Wn9bcr

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