Sage (Turkey Gravy) Advice for the Radio Amateur on Thanksgiving

Don’t be a Turkey – listen to The MAN . . . he smokes Camels . . . he blows smoke rings in his D-104 microphone, he doesn’t mince words – but he’ll mince you (if you catch my drift)

HRO Receiver Was a Favorite of the “Y Service” in WWII

National HRO Receiver – photo from the Crypto Museum

The Crypto Museum web site is worth a look –

I am about a third of the way through “The Secret Listeners” and am enjoying it very much:

The Secret Listeners by Sinclair McKay

In the book, the receiver of choice for intercepting and decoding the enemy was the National HRO. The book goes into detail on what the conditions were like for the radio operator – and its mostly about receiving and mostly about Morse Code.

I appreciate that Sinclair was able to interview several people who would have been my parents generation for this book. I especially like the descriptions of what their lives were like and pretty much a behind the scenes accounting of WWII in the UK – where my Mom was from, and where I still have quite a few relatives.

Bayou Jumper Transmit Meter? A Field Strength Circuit!

I built this 2 years ago and haven’t used it hardly at all

I posted on the 4 States QRP Club forum asking for ideas about what circuit would be good to just “approximate” being able to tune for “maximum smoke”. The first answer is right on – a simple Field Strength Meter.

It doesn’t require any power or a connection to the Bayou Jumper, Souper Upper or EFHW tuner circuits. In fact, I will just use a piece of wire as the antenna and after tuning up the crystal controlled Bayou Jumper transmitter – tune the Field Strength meter to read maximum power out somewhere on the meter scale that makes sense. This means I will have exactly what I want and as easy as can be.

I will even play with finding some old “power out” meter that is vintage.

Operation Grandma’s House: The Plot (Snow) Thickens


Yesterday at about this time (late afternoon)

Today – after almost 24 hours of snow

We have been able to go grocery shopping and even take a couple long walks for exercise. We’ve seen several people go by the house on cross country skis “walking” their dog. I love the fact that the town hasn’t shut down due to a little old blizzard (apparently now called with extra drama) a “Bomb Cyclone.

We did see a few cyclists yesterday – but not today!

10 Barrel Brewing – a cozy place that even had an outdoor fire pit going

There is a nice ski resort close by – maybe 15 miles or so, and a road that goes right out of town to it. What is nice is that this is no ski resort town – there are so many different activities – its known for a lot more than just one such activity.

Its also nice to get a true winter – just before Christmas feeling before we return to the Bay Area.

QRPGuys Para40Set vs. Four States QRP Club Bayou Jumper

While I have so much time on my hands and where I am enjoying myself – just letting my mind run free like the snow driven wind outside, lets compare the two Paraset Spy Radio schematics that I have. First, the Para40Set by QRPGuys:

The Para40Set Spy Transceiver by QRPGuys

The benefit of this kit is that it is a transceiver and it does have a frequency readout (although that is not true to the original Paraset of course). The rig can switch between two crystals (under the cover). Here is an example of what the rig looks like:

The Para40Set with EFHW End Fed Antenna Tuner

The layout of the Para40Set

The benefit of the Para40Set is that it is a transceiver – the Bayou Jumper is a transmitter / receiver. The Para40Set also has a built in fine tune.

The Bayou Jumper Receiver

The Bayou Jumper Transmitter

The Four States QRP Club “Bayou Jumper” Paraset Spy Radio

The board for the Bayou Jumper – Receiver and Transmitter

The Bayou Jumper is a 5 watt radio – which is a big advantage over the 3 watts that the Para40Set puts out. With the add on “Souper Upper” kit – the Bayou Jumper will have fine tune, side tone and a filter- so I have decided to build the Bayou Jumper and Souper Upper instead of the Para40Set. I also like the “retro” design of using a panel mounted crystal and that they even give you an old time crystal socket with an adapter for new crystals. This is what I used when I was a Novice with me Hallicrafters HT-40 transmitter. This plus the 5 watts alone are the “deal sealer” for me. I might incorporate the EFHW End Fed antenna tuner with the Bayou Jumper – but I would need to figure out how to measure power out – so I could tune for “maximum smoke”. I sure would like to see if I could figure out an S meter and / or power out circuit – I will have to ask people in the Bayou Jumper forum.

Morse Express Christmas Key 2019

Morse Express has a Christmas Key each year – this is the 2019 Edition

I have a couple possibilities for a small key that will fit in the “mouse hole” in my “Spy Radio” oak case:

The Battery Compartment in my Spy Radio Case

I’m re-purposing an old Wheatstone Bridge oak case. It needs to be refinished, but it is the perfect size and will have that “olde tyme” look to it.

The key without the cover

This key is especially nice – and wins the contest of which key will reside in the Mouse Hole – and it will fit in the hole.

Bottled Spirit

There’s a Bearded Man in my Bottle!

In my last blog post, upon review, I saw a man in the bottle on the right. He looks like a religious character from the Bible – like John the Baptist maybe?

A close up of this mysterious “Religious Man in the Bottle”

Another thought was – its Monk Apollo – who gave me the QSO that put me on the ARRL DXCC Honor Roll!

Monk Apollo, SV2ASP/A (SK)

I appreciate Monk Apollo and his work all those years, and will always remember how he put SV2ASP/A on the air during the Greek Orthodox Holy Days – which were shifted ahead by a week or so ahead of the week between Christmas and New Years. In fact, I made it onto Honor Roll witha QSO on New Years Eve – 2012/3. So while this is amusing – it does bring back a good memory.

My favorite QSL card – for many reasons besides the ARRL DXCC Honor Roll aspect

Of course, then my mind wandered to an Imperial Russian Stout that I just happen to have in the cupboard:

The Most Excellent Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout – by North Coast Brewing

Yes, I DO have too much time on my hands – and I am enjoying this immensely!