The NorCal 40A, CW and Antique Radio

The “QRP-CW” section of the KY6R Shack . . .

After having a full power QRO “DXCC Station” for many years, I’ve right-sized the shack based on wanting to pursue new interests. I have these areas of interest:

  1. Morse Code (CW) – like losing weight, this year I had pledged to get back into CW where I can improve my operating skill beyond the last 17 years of only sending [dx callsign] de KY6R 599 TU. I’ve now lost 15 pounds and am starting to make good on my early year “pledge”. I will have an N3ZN paddle dedicated to the 7300, the NorCal 40A, and a Begali Intrepid and Alberto Frattini J36 bug to play with the Begali CW Machine. I’ll have to build a switchbox so I can route any key to any rig
  2. Antique Radio – the main operating shelf now has the Collins 75A-4 and the National SW-3 taking up all of the space – above this area in the picture. I’m not a collector at all – even though the two antique radios are in fact collector quality. I am amazed at just how much I am enjoying this. I knew it would be cool – but what its done is launched me into researching an era that I previously knew little about. My Father would have been 9 years old in 1931, perhaps just shy of the time when young teenagers got into shortwave radio. While the US was coming off of the Great Depression, and when Nazi Germany was on the rise – the 1930’s seemed to offer a technological respite from war and a terrible economy – at least for a few years anyway. Aviation, radio and film advanced with a lot of interesting new products – all during a bad decade economically
  3. Workbench – I’m back to building / repairing stuff – but this time – not out in the backyard as much as in the shack. “What’s He Building in There?” you may ask – National SW-3 receiver consolidation / restoration, plus a power supply and speaker for it

That’s a lot of fun stuff going on. I also enjoyed chasing VP6D – mainly because two members of the team were on the VK0EK DXpedition – and several others are from the SF Bay Area. It was fun to chase them even though I didn’t need them (except 160M which I didn’t even bother with) but I donated to their cause, so I figured I’d just chase them with 100 watts. They were superb – bravo to the entire team!

One thing that I will do is finish reading up on the SW-3 and then read and electronic textbook / course that is based on the NorCal 40A:

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