- March 23, 2017 at 8:33 pm #12681
Announcing a new on air operating event: Silent Key Night
Beginning midnight, April 1 till the bands are dead will be an opportunity to resurrect those long-lost contacts and reconnect to the old timers who have gone QRT. In the spirit of ham radio let’s get on the air for this special event and see how many silent keys we can raise.
Use any mode or medium such as CW, Phone, or séance. You may want to use an antenna that has a strong vertical signal and point the antenna up toward the heavens, or, depending on which silent key operator you work, you may want the reverse radiation pattern.
If you hear a distant, ghostly sound, it may possibly be one of the old time silent key operators buried in a pileup. This may be the perfect excuse you need to try to resurrect one of your dead rigs.
Don’t pass away an opportunity to operate from a unique location such as a local morgue or in a cemetery. But plan ahead. If your batteries die, this will indeed be a grave situation.
Score: One point per silent key contact. One-half point for each “ghost contact” (That is where you think you worked them but weren’t really sure).
Bonus: 1000 bonus points for working The Old Man himself.
You qualify for a special certificate if you yourself are a silent key.
Don’t be a deadbeat; join the fun on Silent Key Night, where the bands will be alive.
The Official NY7N Bedspring Challenge
Summary: You, as a licensed amateur radio operator in the United States, attempt to make two-way contact with a station located in Australia (VK) or New Zealand (ZL) using no more than 5W, on 10m, at local night, using a bedspring for an antenna.
Dates: April 1,2017 and December 31, 2019.
Times: QSOs for credit must take place between sunset and sunrise at the US operator’s QTH.
Bands: 10m only. No exceptions.
Mode: Any. SSB, CW, RTTY, PSK, JT65, whatever. If you can have a two-way QSO with it, it’s valid.
Power: 5W at the output of the transmitter. No exceptions.
Eligible operators: Any amateur radio operator in the lower 48 United States (sorry Alaska and Hawaii, we’re using DX entities for this one – Hawaii is too much like cheating anyway).
The DX station is allowed to use any power level to their maximum legal limit and any antenna. All transmitters and receivers on the DX side must be located within that DX entity, and all transmitters and receivers on the US side must be located within the continental United States. No internet linking (i.e., Echolink, IRLP, etc.) of any kind may be used to make the contact. No satellite QSOs will be permitted. This is an air-to-air, ionospheric bounce kinda deal.
For US operators, you must use a bedspring for an antenna. The bedspring may be located anywhere you like, but it has to remain in the shape of a bedspring. You can’t unwind it and make a yagi or a quad or anything else out of it – it has to be recognizable as a bedspring. You may remove the cover/insulation/foam as you see fit. Do you want to phase two bedsprings together? Go for it. Do you want to use a 2nd bedspring as a reflector? Fine. Do you want to mount a bedspring at the top of your tower for a year while you work on this? Want to dangle it from a tree? Haul it up on a hot air balloon? Take it to the top of Pikes Peak? More power to you. Photographic proof of your setup must be provided for prize verification.
The use of antenna tuners is allowed. The tuner can be located wherever you like – in the radio, at the base of the bedspring, somewhere in between, wherever. You may feed the bedspring from the tuner using whatever feed line you see fit. Coax, twin lead, a coat hanger, a single conductor of stranded copper. The bedspring must be at the end of the feed line – you can’t use it as a loading coil for a vertical or any other clever tricks like that.
The use of scheduling is permitted – if you know someone in VK/ZL who’s willing to try this at a given time every night, more power to you.
To receive credit: You must receive a QSL, in either LoTW or paper format (sorry eQSL, I don’t trust you) and either send me a link to the screenshot from LoTW or a scan of the paper card. You must also provide photographic proof of your setup – bedspring and its connection to your radio. Photographic proof of power output would be nice, but not required. If you get the QSO on video, you’re a rockstar, but again, not needed.
Winners: The first five (5) people to accomplish the above feat, who submit proof of two-way contact and the required photographic proof will receive the beer of their choice. If you’re under 21, you’ll receive a nice box of chocolates.
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