First ever CW Contact for "Nostalgic Novice Network" - KN7NNN!

Discussion in '"Boat Anchor" & Classic Equipment' started by W7UUU, Oct 5, 2018.

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  1. W7UUU

    W7UUU QRZ Lifetime Member #133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    KN7NNN is now on the air... "Nostalgic Novice Network Club" Just a little club (officially registered, with proper documentation and filing) with just a few local hams with similar interests in CW and the old Novice-era rigs that are now getting "pretty long in the tooth" LOL (just like us!!).

    Had my first CW QSO tonight with our new "Club Call Sign KN7NNN" - not exactly a 2-hour rag chew, but not a wasted effort either. Right after a couple CW "sprints" wrapped up, I called CQ as KN7NNN on 7.049. Transmitter is a Globe Scout 680, crystal controlled, paired with a Hallicrafters SX-100 receiver.

    I had a very quick, albeit weak reply from Dennis, W7KB , in Vail, Arizona. Took a bit of juggling to dial things in quickly on the receiver once a contact had been established but pulled it through. We both reported 339, but Dennis peaked up to 569 on his next round after I dialed things in a bit more.

    The ever-so-rare Heathkit HC-10 Station Console is back in action - still working out signal routing to the Tempo One transceiver (which works GREAT!!) and the HW-9, which will go on line soon (but no SSB on the Tempo! This is the "Novice Corner" after all!!)

    Not sure the SX-100 will stay... really tempting to go back to the Drake 2A/2AQ... the SX-100 audio has "too many options" (tuning, pitch control, 4-ranges of selectivity, "response" control, not to mention the Heathkit HC-10 audio filter made by Autek). That's a LOT to juggle on a crystal-controlled CQ, trying to chase a caller. The Drake is really tempting to go back to - but also need to try the National NC-183D.

    But bottom line: first QSO is now logged for KN7NNN, the Nostalgic Novice Network dedicated to keeping alive the old Novice-era CW rigs of the past.

    Thanks to Dennis W7KB - not the easiest QSO in his log I'm sure, but it was still fun :)

    Trustee: KN7NNN

    KN7NNN - 2.jpg

    Last edited: Oct 5, 2018
    K5VZD, AB0CW, KL7KN and 7 others like this.
  2. W7UUU

    W7UUU QRZ Lifetime Member #133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Got the "TEMPO one" up and running tonight as well - HOT receiver! Wow! really fun to listen to. It's pictured above, in the first photo.

    But really goofy on CW :) Just some silly rules that aren't very obvious but are indeed in the manual...

    MIC must be unplugged, "AM Carrier Level" (rear panel knob) must be at 100+, and on 40 and 20 must be in "Sideband Reverse"

    But GREAT CW note as heard on my IC-7300 ... nice and sweet. Looks really good on my SB-610 that's in line.

    Alas, 30 minutes of calling CQ netted nothing tonight, in the time I had available. Was really hoping for a nice long QSO tonight. Granted, I didn't have that much time - but over the weekend, I hope to have a good number of contacts.

    "TEMPO one" was one of my "dream rigs" as a Novice in the 70s.... complete with SSB when I would get my General! So I totally count it as "fair game" for my KN7NNN Project, since VFO and more than 75-watts were allowed after I got my own Novice WN7AWK in 1974, first on the air in March 1975.

    Any contacts on SSB or on 20-meters will be made using W7UUU on this rig however :)

    Hoping to log a bunch of KN7NNN CW over the weekend during the several CW contests going on - would hope for another long chat, but alas it was not to be tonight. Everyone was on FT8 it seems :(

    Last edited: Oct 6, 2018
  3. DK7OB

    DK7OB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have the German (European?) version of the Tempo One, the Sommerkamp FT250. Bought it used around 1979 or so and use it with a Drake R4C in CW because it has no CW filter. Didn't know that the Mic has to be disconnected for CW. (I am a no phone ham). I hated that carrier poti on the rear panel.

    Would be fun to meet you on the bands, but with the present conditions I do not expect much. Do you have a preferred frequency on 20m I should watch?
  4. WA9ZZZ

    WA9ZZZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    This looks like fun. But I have a hard time thinking of a Drake 2A or even a Hallicrafters SX-100 as a novice grade receiver. I made my first novice contacts using a Heathkit AR-3. The only band it was really usable on was 80 meters. Later I added the Q multiplier, then upgraded to an SX-100. When I think about it, I am amazed that I actually made contacts using that AR-3.
    K5VZD likes this.
  5. WA7PRC

    WA7PRC Ham Member QRZ Page

    My Novice receiver was a National NC-183. I recall working LOTS of other Novices who used Drake and Hallicrafters receivers.
    K5VZD likes this.
  6. KE4OH

    KE4OH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Your shack looks a lot like mine with the Globe Scout and Tempo One!

    I use the Tempo One a lot on CW. As you mentioned, it's quirky to use on CW. But it works pretty well. Plenty of power out, no drifting, and the OP on the other end can't believe you're using one for CW! You are correct that the receiver is hot. The downside is that the front end overloads pretty easily, so nearby QRM can really be a pain.
  7. K5DH

    K5DH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ah, yes, the Novice experience! My first station was an Eico 723 transmitter (crystal control, 60 Watts input to a 6DQ6B final, CW only) and a Lafayette HA-800A receiver (ham bands only, but broad as a barn door and it drifted like mad), with a G5RV antenna strung from 40 feet of TV antenna mast with the antenna ends tied off to a couple of trees. I had three Novice-band crystals for 40m, one for 80m, and one for 15m. Not much of a station, but I filled page after page in my logbook with it!

    To this day, I have what some would call a "fetish" for little Novice transmitters. I buy them, bring them home, make them live again, and then sell them on to new owners. Some times I even make a little profit, hi! (but not always). I currently have a DX-40 under restoration. . .
    KI4AX, K5VZD and WA7PRC like this.
  8. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Congrats, Dave!


    you do know about the use of RIT being necessary on CW with the T1?

    73 de Jim, N2EY
  9. W7UUU

    W7UUU QRZ Lifetime Member #133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Oh, absolutely!!! I learned that in about the first 5 minutes :D:D I had no idea until I started doing some dummy load testing, and hearing my own zero beat sidetone when monitoring on another receiver that was tuned in correctly to the tuned signal. I'm sure I had read this (probably from you) but until it was actually in practice, I didn't "get it" like I do now. I spent several hours last night teaching myself the precise technique of tuning on CW LOL! It's delicate - I made careful notes of the RIT positions (they vary slightly by band).

    The ONLY way to work CW on a T1 is to use the RIT as your "receiver dial". Not exactly a "bandspread" affair either - it's pretty course.

    On SSB, which I worked a few as W7UUU (KN7NNN of course doesn't have SSB privileges :D:D), the RIT stays OFF. Works just fine that way.

    Odd they don't mention in the manual about the RIT dilemma of using CW. I'm thinking that CW operation was just an afterthought. I'm betting you know the back story :)

    Lots of "odd" about the T1 on CW: mic must be unplugged, "mic gain" is the CW sidetone level, and of course on 40 and 20 the sideband select switch must be in "REV" otherwise RF output is about 10 watts... other weird stuff involving the "Send / RCV" switch and how it relates to VOX vs. PTT as well.

    But it really sounds amazing, for what it is - super clean, warm, and despite my suspicions, stable. I had no problems filling a log with CA QP CW contacts.

    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
    N2EY likes this.
  10. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page


    The T1 started out as the Yaesu FT-200. Henry got them to rebadge it, and a star was born.

    The rig is clearly a bunyip design - bits and pieces of all sorts. Really nice VFO dial drive - better than almost anything Made In USA at the time, linear, and quite slow for the era (18 kHz/turn). btw, don't lose the tuning knob; the VFO shaft isn't 1/4 inch; it's a bit under. Part PC board, part point-to-point, part tube, part solid state, some relays plug in, others don't, some quality parts, some real cheapies....

    The heterodyne scheme using 9 MHz IF, 5 MHz VFO and premixer wasn't unique; the main advantage was that it minimized the number of heterodyne crystals and coils needed. With just 3 heterodyne crystals you get 80/40/20/15 and part of 10. Note that full coverage of 10 meters required buying optional crystals at extra cost.

    The SSB filter is 2.4 kHz wide and there are two carrier crystals - one just below the filter passband (8998.5 kHz) and one just above (9001.5 kHz). They're both needed so that you can get the "right" (traditional) sideband on every band. Note that on some bands the sideband generated at 9 MHz is the same as the transmitted sideband, and that on other bands it is inverted.

    For SSB and "AM" (actually SSB-with-carrier), the T1 does a neat trick: the balanced modulator is unbalanced and the 9001.5 carrier crystal is "pulled" down just into the filter passband - but only when transmitting. This is necessary so that the carrier will pass through the IF filter.

    However, they only did this to the one crystal, for simplicity. That's why on some bands you use the "normal" sideband and on others the "reverse" - so that you're always using the 9001.5 kHz carrier crystal.

    The shift is only a few hundred Hz, though - much lower than most people listen to CW. So, you simply turn on the RIT, and set for the tone you like best. As you have seen, once you know how, it's no big deal.

    They did all that to avoid having a carrier crystal just for CW transmit, complete with switching and such. Putting a CW IF filter into the rig is complicated because the 9001.5 crystal won't pull far enough.

    Note that there is an audio oscillator for tuneup - it generates a tone of about 1500 Hz so you don't have to whistle into the mike. BUT - CW is NOT generated by the audio-injection method!

    All sorts of stuff like that in the rig.

    When introduced, the T1 cost about $350, with the power supply selling for $99. For that much money you could get an SB-101 with CW filter and power supply - but, you had to build the Heathkits; the T1 was ready to go out of the box!

    The T1 was quite popular in its time; lots of hams went for them. Then the FT-101 showed up and all heck broke loose.

    Enjoy a piece of history.

    73 de Jim, N2EY
    W7UUU likes this.

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