[Boatanchors] Introducing a friend to Ham Radio

Robert Groh rgroh at swbell.net
Mon Mar 3 21:17:17 EST 2014

Amen, brothers and sisters!  What a nice story. I can visualize all too clearly the line drawings in the old QST magazines showing hams hunched over their glowing radios on dark and stormy nights.  How cool.

Hey, I bet that dates me a bit!!

Bob Groh, WA2CKY

 From: Kevin McDonald <ktmaustin at sbcglobal.net>
To: Boat Anchors <boatanchors at puck.nether.net> 
Sent: Sunday, March 2, 2014 7:40 PM
Subject: [Boatanchors] Introducing a friend to Ham Radio

A friend of mine is a really good auto mechanic and has a community collage degree in electronics and is pretty good at linking up and programming the Parallax electronic kit components. He expressed some interest in ham radio so I thought it about for a while. I ended up giving/lending him a Hallicrafters S-76 receiver with a S-46 speaker. It is a primitive setup but with dual conversion it can perform. The lack of a crystal calibrator and funky band spread makes it somewhat of a challenge. We connected the speaker and some wire in his garage heated by a propane heater during a Texas Norther that dropped temps from 68 this morning to 27 tonight. We picked up some shortwave stations - it turns out that he knows nothing about RF, MC, KC, AM , FM, CW, SSB, nothing...
He had searched the Internet and printed out the manual for the S-76. He showed me the schematic and I explained about about old electrolytics etc. The purple glow from the voltage regulator seemed to entranced him.  I gave him a bunch of buzz words words to learn about RF, SWL, HAM, etc in general on the Wiki or whatever. I showed him my radios a couple years ago and he seemed to glaze over but next time I think he will look at the HQ-180, BC348, HRO, SW3, SP600, R390A, Nationals, Heathkits... with renewed interest.
Screw transistors – bring on the boat anchors with a warm glow on a cold night!
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