Monday, July 23, 2012

A Friends Voice From the Past

A voice heard from 45 years ago.

Saturday I was reprogramming my Prop Receiver with new User Interface (UI) Code. The previous UI code did not provide an intuitive controls for the BFO and VFO Frequencies with the two knobs that are available. It had previously been a rush-job, just to have something to demonstrate as a working receiver at Salmoncon (which was the previous weekend).

Prop Receiver on the Left

Now, to test and try the new UI code, I connected the Prop Receiver to an Antenna, a 250 foot long wire that I previously posted a blog. For the test I programmed the default Frequency to 20 meters. With a little twisting of knobs I found the sweet spot for the BFO and was tuning across the band. I heard several stations on CW, and then higher up the band on SSB. I tuned across a signal and recognized a very distinctive friends voice from my past, of 45 years ago, Randy - KH6IB.

I switch the antenna over to my IC-730 and tuned up on near the Frequency that I thought was where I heard Randy on the Prop Receiver. My Prop Receiver Frequency was un-calibrated and therefore I had to do a little searching on the IC-730.  But on 14.227MHz his distinctive voice was heard again. I sent BREAK and waited for his QSO to end. Randy asked for the Breakers, I jumped in with my call - "Whiskey Alpha Zero Uniform Whiskey Hotel". Randy came back with, "the Whiskey station please try again". We made contact, and had a short reminiscing QSO before the band went south. This was my first real on-the-air QSO with Randy.

Actually, Several years ago, Randy and I chatted on EchoLink.

In 1967, while in the Navy, Randy and I were attending the Precision Measurement Equipment Laboratory (PMEL) school at Lowry Air Force Base near Denver CO. I think Randy was a little ahead of me in the six month training schedule, but we meet because of his Ham Radio. A few weeks earlier his Mother had sent him his SB-101 transceiver to use in his barracks. Being a previous Novice, I gravitated to the sound of CW and SSB coming from his room. We spent the rest of our tour/training time at Lowery; walking to-and-from the chow hall and class, chatting about Ham Radio, and his race cars. After graduation and leaving Lowry, I was sent to the East Coast to a Submarine Tender and I think Randy was sent to the West Coast and Vet Nam - I never saw Randy again.

Here I am Aboard The Submarine Tender
 H. W. Gilmore AS-16
So for me, Ham Radio has again brought a voice and a friend from the past.

Oh, The Prop Receiver seems to work well, even though I have not checked the receiver sensitivity yet. And, I have not tried to energize the Band Switch Relay and then try the low bands and lower sideband (below the 11MHz IF).


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