Fridays seem to be the day of adventure on LF for us on this side of the
Atlantic. Today, so far, it is Jack, VE1ZZ who has gotten things going. I
have received a four page letter from Jack, all hand printed and written
over several days. The letter includes a list of some 14 questions that he
would like answered. Many of the questions pertain to the political issues
in this country of getting a license for 135.7 to 137.8 kHz and what he will
need to do with CFH onb 137 literally in his back yard.
Jack has and continues to listen between 137.6 and 137.8 kHz for CW signals.
He has not heard any amateur CW signals yet. His equipment is all analogue,
Racal RA-17 and the associated LF converter. He has a 12 Beverage antennas
and he makes all the stuff out of large diameter wire and heavy duty
components since this reduces the effect of the many lightning strikes he
gets each year. Most of his matching transformers are made of ferrite
material from old Television flyback transformers, 15 to 17 bifillar or
trifillar windings. The Beverage that is terminated in salt water is done
so with an old stainless steel hub cap from a car that is tied onto the wire
and dumped into the sea. Listening on the tapes he sent a while back it
sounds like he is using power contactors to switch beverage feedlines. He
shows on his plan some feedlines of 1600 and 2000 ft long. Some Beverage
antennas are of the parallel wire type, all seem to be terminated in heavy
duty 330 ohm resistors all though he does comment that these disappear from
time to time (no wonder!!!!).
Jack is busy these days repairing towers that were damaged during an Ice
Storm he had there last December. He is trying to repair two towers that
collapsed. He comments that he is using a green spruce tree some 50 ft long
and guyed with 1/4 inch steel cable as a gin pole - explains that he does a
little work on the system every day and that he is still going strong at 67
years of age.
Jack has some older PC equipment, several 286 and one 386 machine and he is
not and does not expect to get on the Internet.
Summary: Jack is showing lots of interest in the LF band and wants to get
on the air when he can get a license. He is concerned about how to work
around CFH which tells me he is interested. What I continue to hope is that
he will get interested in the LF enough to get some of the tools necessary
to participate in the fun. One thing for sure, when our license comes and I
begin putting a beacon on the air I will phone him and let him know it is on
and then as we switch from a simple CW message to QRSS and also to BPSK for
the serious work I can only hope he will join us.