K1Y operations

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K1Y operations

Postby WD5ABC » Tue Jan 23, 2007 6:11 am

I've been having a ball working K1Y/5, I spent another 2 hrs at it last night. I'm not in any rush, I've had several pretty good ragchews of 10 mins or more, some more than 30 mins. I've talked to many people who didn't have an SKCC number, I have been pointing them to the web site.

It's great to hear so many people on hand keys, it reminds me of my novice days when you could recognize your friends by their "fist" just like you'd recognize somebody by their voice. These days everybody sounds the same because they're using a keyer or a computer.

I've learned several things while operating K1Y/5.

1. Have a spare key and some clip leads handy, my J-37 has messed up on me a few times (I've got it fixed now, used it for 2 hrs tonight with no problems).

2. Match your speed to the other guy, I've tried to match the other guys' speed but still found some that were sending faster than they can receive. I don't mind slowing down, other people have to slow down for me!

3. Don't even THINK about taking a 20 oz Dr. Pepper out to the shack with you if your shack is in the back yard away from the house and facilities and you signed up for a 4-hr stint. I thought it was a 16 oz but it was a 20 oz...

4. Use the RIT, a lot of people don't or can't zero beat you.

5. Most of all, have fun!

Kerry, WD5ABC
PS Look for me Wed nite and again Fri nite from 7-9pm central time.
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 2:44 am
Location: Victoria, TX (STX)


Postby Rich KG7FS » Wed Jan 24, 2007 2:13 am

Kerry - A good post. I concure with the RIT to locate someone answering your CQ. It is amazing how far off they can be sometimes. Happened tonight when operating as K1Y/8 on 20 meters. Also correct about the speed. One fellow tonight was barely approaching 5wpm but as you know, we have all been there and everyone needs a break. No SKCC member either tonight. I have three keys pluged into a central routing box. A J-38, a Nye Navy Knob St.Key and a bug. I can hop from one to the other with ease. When I am listening I use what ever the other guy is using. Conditions were brutal this evening (1-23) , lots of QSB on 20. 30 meters was very noisy here in SE Michigan but 40 turned out to be the best. Can't say enough about working SKCC. Hope to work you someday soon, 73, Rich KG7FS
Rich KG7FS

Postby WD5ABC » Fri Feb 02, 2007 5:03 am

I know, it's poor form to reply to yourself, but here goes...

Now that we've finished the month-long K1Y activity, let's get some of the ops to post information (and maybe even pictures) about their stations. Rig, power, antenna, what key you're using, etc.

I don't have any pictures of my shack, it's a mess right now anyway after this event and also in Dec. I built a SoftRock 20m receiver.

Ok, I'll start. My rig is a Yaesu FT-990, I got it in 1992, I'm the original owner. I've got some kind of problem with it drifting right now but I'll work it out. It's got the best receiver I've ever heard, very quiet. I worked one that belonged to a friend and had to have one, I told him that visit to his shack was going to be very expensive for me.

My antenna is a very old 4BTV vertical with 4 above ground radials tuned approximately for 40m. It's ground mounted and sits right outside the shack window about 10 feet away from the side of the garage. It's good for 40-10m not including WARC bands. On 160, 80 and 10m I use a 120 ft. long end-fed wire with the highest point about 20 ft off the ground in a tree. I feed it with an old TenTec tuner.

I have an L4-B amp but haven't unpacked it since I moved here 4 yrs ago. There were times when more power would have been handy in the last couple of weeks for the K1Y event, maybe I'll dig that out and run a 220v line for it. I'm doing ok with 100 watts but some of the contacts I made in the last few weeks wouldn't have happened on SSB.

I had 2 keys hooked up in parallel for the K1Y event. The first is a J-37, one of the old leg clamp keys removed from the clamp and mounted to a thin board. The other key is an old 1946 Vibroplex Original, this key used to belong to a ham from west of San Antonio who is now a silent key. I was talking to a gentleman at a ham store in San Antonio and told him I was looking for an old bug I could get pretty cheap so I could restore it and see if I could learn to use it. He said "I'm going to make your day" and disappeared to a back office. He came out with a bug in an original carrying case with the leather handle broken. He pulled out an old Vibroplex Original and said he didn't work CW but an old ham friend left it to him so he was looking for a CW op who would use it and gave it to me. What a great guy, he really DID make my day! The guys at the ham store in San Antonio were nice before that... ;-) I looked the original owner up, I found a few internet postings written by him, he was the first and only owner of this key until he died.

I hope I didn't embarass him the way I use the bug, I'm still trying to learn! I did put it on the air for K1Y/5 and am finally getting comfortable with it.

Ok, who's next? Let's get some shack descriptions!

Kerry, WD5ABC
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 2:44 am
Location: Victoria, TX (STX)

Postby NT9K » Sat Feb 03, 2007 3:56 pm

Here's my station. It's a Kenwood TS-870 with a Yaesu FT-101ex fer backup. In the photo you will see my keys. For K1Y/4, I used the Navy Flameproof. I also have a J37, a custom made paddle, my new 100th Anniversary bug and an SKCC LTA #37.

My antenna is a Cushcraft MA5B mini-beam for 10,12,15,17,20 meters. I also have inverted vee dipoles for 20 es 40mtrs. There is also a Rock-Mite 20 meter QRP rig in a Sindy Altoids tin that works on 14.058.

I think the most exciting K1Y moment for me was working Max KH6ZM. I worked him on 80 meters from Florida using my mini-beam, which I didn't think the 870 would tune. Max gave me a 559 and a big head. hi..
73, Bill - NT9K
SKCC #1926c69t9was8hofdxq2dxc1
Posts: 330
Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 9:25 am
Location: Melbourne, Florida, USA

Postby ad5qb » Sat Feb 03, 2007 6:14 pm

No pictures, but my station is an Icom 718, an MFJ 993B tuner, and a 100 foot long dipole at 30 feet hidden in the trees in the back yard (3 HOA's here, so have to keep things stealthy). I usually run from 5-50 watts on CW depending on conditions or the event I'm working (work some QRP sprints and contests). Also have an IC-706MKIIG for VHF/UHF, but haven't done much of that. Mainly use it portable on camping trips, etc.

For a key I have a Vibroplex dual key with iambic paddles and a straight key. Have been using the straight key side most of the time, I'll switch to the paddles for contests 'cuz I just can't send coherently at contest speeds with the straight key.

Nothing fancy, but lets me make contacts and I did manage a sweep with the KH6 endorsement during the K1Y event. Heard stations working KL7, but never heard him so only lacked that one. Really enjoyed the K1Y event and look forward to others in the future. I'd like to help out and put a /5 station on the air if I can find a block of time for uninterrupted operation!
73 de Ken

SKCC #9 FISTS #11210
ARS #2188 NAQCC #1482
Flying Pigs #1431
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 12:29 pm
Location: San Antonio, TX

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