DX Engineering NCC-1 Redux

The first in the DX Engineering Receive Antenna Phasing Unit Line- the NCC-1

I’m not sure – but I think W8JI designed the MFJ-1026 phasing unit, and then bettered it with the DXE NCC-1 and finally the NCC-2. I had an NCC-1 and NCC-2, even though they were always on the expensive side. After making 9BDXCC – especially DXCC on 160M, I sold them.

Just after I re-purchased an NCC-2, a DXer friend offered his fully loaded NCC-1 for only $100, so of course I jumped on that deal. In fact, it made up for what I lost when I sold the first two units, so there is that – but more importantly, the NCC-1 and NCC-2 are quite different inside.

The NCC-1 has 40 and 20M filters, so it should be interesting to see how it works on the higher bands. The NCC-1 does not have the RTR TR switch built in, but for me, that has never mattered since I have always used two RX antennas as input and the RX out to the RX IN into the K3. I only used the RTR-2 in the NCC-2 for a short while with my KX-3, but then realized I needed a second receiver and RX IN port – that the KX-3 doesn’t have, and so one thing led to another, and a used Elecraft K3 ended up back in the shack.

Phew – what a long strange trip its been. If I didn’t want to play with RX antennas again – I’d have the KX-3 as my only rig – for the FREQ 300 that’s all I need. But besides trying to eliminate noise, I got another bug in my ear to try a better pair of phased RX antennas, and hence the KY6R Big Mag Loops – and yowza! my “2020 Big Project”. I have a big ham radio project once a year – and last year I had two – the Collins Gold Dust Twins and getting another AB-577 tower.

I’ve never been a pack rat – never have needed a storage locker or anything like that. Because technology changes so often, I use something until it just sits on a shelf – then sell it when I haven’t used something for a year or more. This is the first time I have gone backwards so to speak – but its a testament to how much I enjoyed something I did in the past – so much so that I re-created (actually improved on) greatly.

I’m not in a hurry to try and test the NCC-1 against the NCC-2 – but maybe I will later this year. For now – the NCC-1 is just a back up to the NCC-2 – since the NCC-2 has all of the features that I need for what I want to do now. Also – because the MUF hasn’t been much above 2 or 3 mhz when I am not likely to be in the shack (during the “dark hours”), having filters in the NCC-1 for 40 and 20M would be more useful and interesting once we start getting at least some sunspots. I know that will happen toward the end of this year, so its nice to know that I have something to play with and experiment later this year.

Until then – I will continue to explore the bands and take advantage of this very deep last gasp of Cycle 24.

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