NOVICE RIG ROUNDUP 2023 SOAPBOX

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Well, that just doesn't get old, does it? A huge thank you to all that participated in the 2023 Novice Rig Roundup. Also a big thank you to our Chairman Dan N7SU for all he does to keep NRR afloat. Dan, you are a great guy to work with, and we quite possibly wouldn't even exist today if you hadn't stepped up back in 2018.

There just seemed to be a buzz all week. Conditions were good. The Discord server was hopping every day. People were making all kinds of 15 meter contacts this year, and a lot on 10 meters as well! At close of event we had over 3000 contacts logged, and we expect a lot more as people enter their logs over this next week. We did have logger issues, and we apologize to all that were inconvenienced by its quirks and bugs. Dan N7SU and I had hoped to have it fixed by this year, but a lot of "life" got in our ways in 2022. We are, however, committed to rectifying logging/reporting for next year's roundup. Overall, I hope you'll agree it was another successful event!

Doug N3PDT
NRR #9
NRR Co-Chairman

As usual I had a great time operating in the Novice Rig Roundup. I always appreciate the 9 day length. I can work around my schedule, contest QRM, propagation, rig problems....

This was my first time to use 15 in the NRR. I was a novice in California. 15 mtr operation was a requirement then. I could hardly work the east coast otherwise. This year, from Minnesota, it wasn't so important but it got me away from QRM. I even had a 10 mtr QSO. Unheard of for a novice in 1966 but a lot of fun now.

Thanks to all for helping to put it on.

73,
Niel - W0VLZ (former WN6ULH)

This was my 4th year in the event. This year I added a Drake station, a spare 2NT and 2C. Special thanks to Eric NQ8J and Brad KR8P - for getting bugs worked out! Also added new xtals. Thank you to all the contacts this year and to those putting the event on! Very much appreciated!

Baskin in the glow of tubes
Enjoy - 73 - Wayne WN8BLX

Increased my log contacts this year with 15M and 10M crystal activity via a recently rebuilt Johnson Viking II. My home built 6146 transmitter got a new front plate. Rigs are improving but my CW skills are not. Old age is starting to affect my sending ability ! Apologies for all the CW "Typos" you may have heard. Busy week for me but still managed 37 contacts. Looking forward to next year.

Jeff VE1ZAC

I operated in both the Classic Exchange and NRR this year. Transmitters were a DX40 with some crystals and a VF1, and on 40m a BC-458-A transmitter with itís internal VF0. Many of my NRR contacts were done with vintage receivers, a Hallicrafters SX-71 and a Hammarlund HQ-129-X. Much of my equipment came from the collection of Steve VE7SL. Keys were a 1952 Vibroplex bug and an old Swiss straight key. Good 15m and 10m propagation this year made for fun daytime operation. I only received one email from a concerned ham to report that my CW transmitter had a problem with chirp and stability. The DX40 really heats up the crystals. It was good to work other Canadians Jeff VE1ZAC and Roger VA1RST from NS.

Toby VE7CNF, NRR 336

Had a lot of fun operating as NR1 for the first time. I obtained several crystals since last year's NRR so thought it would be fun to use them. I used my HW-16 for the first half of the week then switched to my Hallicrafters HT-40/SX-140 for the balance of the event. Unfortunately the SX-140 decided to not work properly so I ended up using the HT-10 with my Elecraft K3 for RX. Thanks for all the fun!

73, Bill NZ0T


I had a great time on my first NRR event. My station was a Drake 2-NT, 2-C, 2-CQ, and a Heathkit VF-1 VFO. I restored the Drake novice twins about a year prior and had to make a power supply for the VFO in the weeks preceding the event. I used an end-fed half wave up 20í throughout the event as well as a KN4YB bug.

73 de Steve, K9NUD ..

I had a blast on the NRR, but was only able to make 5 QSOís due to busy family time. I was using my HW-16 xtal control in ďStudio BĒ in the den this year. Iím glad the event is several days long because I wasnít able to get on until the 2nd weekend. It was great hearing the Globe Chief from Dan K2YWE! A great old rig that you donít hear on too much. Thanks for a great event!

73, Steve WA3JJT

What a blast! Thanks for all the QSO's. The old Speed-X key got a real workout as did the DX-60 and 75S-3B with the SCAF-1 audio filter. Additional crystals for 80 and 40 m showed up Tuesday pm from Steve at A4FK crystals. Thanks for getting those out, Steve. Since last year, a 2 element 40m phased array has sprouted on the antenna farm at VA1RST. It worked very well. My HG-10 vfo stayed on the shelf in the shop so all my QSO's were Novice1 category. Logging was best left to the end of the contest as a miscue in entering data could lead you astray in the heat of QSO battle. I pulled out an old ARRL logbook that had some blank pages for logging.

I never could find the right time on 80m this year to complete the NS to BC connection with the west coast gang of Steve, Mark and Toby! The 10m and 15m openings were great, time for a crystal strategy! .

Merlin likes vacuum tube gear!

See you on Monday nights and next year 73, Roger VA1RST Halifax, NS


What fun the NRR 2023 turned out to be. It was my first time, so I had a lot to learn. I applied for a membership number and ended up with 1116. I should have taken the plunge a few years ago. I didnít make many QSOís, but I loved the laid back format. I used a Heathkit HW-16, that I had just done a re-kit on, on 80 meters and an Eico 720 on 40 meters.

Thanks to everyone that was so patient to work this old novice. .

73 de KB9R, Joe in Wisconsin
NRR# 1116

Another fun NRR gathering. I did more search and pounce VFO style operating on the high bands this year, using my Xiegu G90 at 20W output. My newly acquired Johnson Adventurer was used almost exclusively on 80 and 40m, except for a few odd frequencies on 80 where the station was operating transceive only and not tuning around- then I fired up my FT-1000D to work them.

As always I found it satisfying to search for new mults late in the evening on 40m mostly, listening for the western states and provinces. Looks like I managed 45 states this year, over all bands. A highlight of the week was being called by Martin, K5FLU late in the evening on 40 meters. We chatted for about half an hour. He told me he collects old ham gear. For those who might not know, he is 'Mr. MFJ' and owns that company.

I continue to buy crystals, just ordered some more of the HC-49S 'shorties' for 80 and 40m. It's satisfying when someone says they are on 3520 and I look and find that I have *two* different rocks that would work there. And I thought I was done with crystals years ago...

I really need to completely redo my station. Need a bigger desk so I have some place where my log book will lay flat. I need better antennas. First photo shows my 2023 setup and second shows one of the extra mods I did on my Adventurer. I added a 3rd ceramic wafer to the band switch so I can relay switch the coils on that scrap of perf board. The radio now has a Pi-L output network and hopefully better suppressed 2nd and 3rd harmonics. I also added a string of four 51V zener diodes on the 6AG7 screen for regulation. I think that helped a lot to squeeze out most of the remaining crystal chirp. I've gotten some compliments on the Adventurer's CW note. (15 and 10m L coils not yet installed on the perf board).

73, David K3KY
Derwood, MD

Many thanks for the most enjoyable NRR. It was a pleasure to work all stations.

Thanks to the organizers for making NRR happen.

73 de Dick N4HAY

I chose to operate the NRR with my Argonaut 505 and 405 amp this year. I won the Argonaut in a grand prize drawing at a 1974 hamfest and I have had many hours of fun with it. In 2019 it was taken out by a lightning strike and I have just recently finished repairing and restoring it. The NRR was was it's grand return. The most fun I had in the NRR however was the evening when I operated with my 1976 style Tuna Tin 2. The TT2 netted 8 contacts and 7 SPC. Looking forward to NRR 2024. Maybe I will find some crystals and operate with a real novice rig next year. Thanks to all the coordinators and volunteers who make the NRR possible

73 - Jerry - W0PWE

73, Augie WN1JLD

This NRR coincided with the Classic Exchange, and I did make one CX QSO which also qualified for a NRR QSO, with W7VHW. Worked coast to coast (BC to NH) on 15M, and coast to coast (CA to GA and MD) on 40M.

I used my Gonset G-76 which had belonged to my Dad WA2UEJ (SK)with crystal control, and the power supply Dad adapted to it. That supply with just 575V no load effectively limited me to 75W input, and 40W out on 40M, and 35W out on 15M. I would have tried 10M, but with the winter from Hades here in northern NV, my 10M antenna came down. And my 80M antenna wasnít much good either, as itís mounted on a privacy fence, and that was covered with snow for most of NRR. 10 QSOs on 15M, and 14 QSOs on 40M. Good fun, no pressure, and Dadís rig always brings a lump in my throat.

73, Howie WB2AWQ Reno NV

Greetings from AD6W! This is the first year Iíve been able to operate on most days of the NRR, and it was great. 2C/2NT worked well, R4A/T4X not so much - R4A band switch intermittent to the point it became unusable, and I missed the 10 meter action because I discovered I had no crystal in the T4X for 10 CW. It was however wonderful to work the east coast stations on 15 meters this year.

See you on Monday nights.

Larry AD6W

A lot of fun was had from the Novice Shack!

Dan WB8JAY
#766

This was my first NRR, what a blast. Did not make a ton of contacts but enjoyed every QSO. I was able to use most of my novice rigs and that made me smile every time I sat down to operate. I made contacts with my Adventurer (my original novice rig), DX40, HT 40, Globe Scout 40a, DX60 and Challenger which was loaded to 125ma as prescribed by the manual to obtain the 75w input. Receivers included 2 Drake 2bís, Sb300, NC 303, HQ170 and even a SX 140 which worked well with an audio filter. I want to thank all for their patience in working a new kid and would like to thank Gene N5GW for letting me know about NRR. My goal is to increase my crystal count before next year.

73 to all
Jim K5MU

Unfortunately, didn't make near as many contacts as last year due to other commitments. However, I did make a few xtal 40 meter contacts using my HW-16 and one with my DX-60B paired with a Realistic DX-300 receiver. (I know that last one sounds a little odd, but for a late 70s receiver they played quite nicely together using a relay.) Never did get any more xtals for 15 meters but had fun with a few QSOs on 15m with a Heath HX-1681 I picked up this past year paired with my HR-1680. The pair of 6146 tubes in the transmitter have more than 75 watts input and there is no provision for xtals, so ran it in the Novice2 category. The Heathkit CW Twins are something a novice might run in the late 70s and the QSK is great!

Jim, WB9LWO
NRR #949

As in the past, the Drake 2-NT/2-B combo was the W0BW workhorse for 2023. Additionally, this year I made few Novice 2 QSOs with a 1962 National NCX-3 transceiver that I acquired during the ďoff-seasonĒ. Like most transceivers of the period, it was produced primarily for the SSB mobile crowd, but used with the JPS audio filter to improve selectivity, and an external side tone, it makes for a nice CW rig as well! Had some fun with it!

Lots of good old crystal rigs on again this year, some new to me like the Lysco Transmaster of the early Ď50s. Also, worked several DX-40s(my novice transmitter), and DX-20s, Adventurers, and Eico 720s and a 723. Seems that half the stations I worked were running HW16s, and every one of them sounded great!

73 everyone, and please remember to send in a few $ to support this outstanding program. Thanks Dan and Doug!

Mark W0BW

I thoroughly enjoyed NRR this year! I operated 15 meters for the first time with my DX60B with VFO and the Collins 75A-2 receiver which I acquired recently. My full wave 80 meter loop (with tuner) laying on the roof of my double wide manufactured home did amazingly well. Thanks for all your patience with my CW but I am getting better :-). I even made a 40 meter contact with my half watt Pixie (which I did not count).

73's, N9EGT, Wayne in western Colorado

Well this NRR was fun too. Had a bit of a struggle with the OnLine Log. If not remedied for the next NRR I will use the AC2C SKCCLogger again. Then manually enter my QSO's into the NRR OnLine Log.

I was going to use the Drake 2NT & 2C but the 2C broke while pretesting. There is a hole in the picture where the 2C should sit :-( So glad I have the Heathkit HW-16 for backup and NV1 use. I used the Kenwood TS-590S for NV2 duties.

Thanks all!

73, Rick - KN8RHM

Thank you for another great novice rig round up. Worked over 20 members, ran four different combinations of rigs new to the party this year a Eico 722 vfo and a Hallicrafters SX 115. The highest fun factor would have to go to the SX 115 and Eico 720 / 722. Most contacts were made on 40 m with a few on 15. Finished Sunday night with the Drake twins that didnít sound good hi hi . Listened for some past years call signs hope they were just on vacation. I know it was not due to a lack of rigs. thanks again to all.

DE WA8PCW Nrr 524

Well first off since last NRR I had to sell off all of my old boat anchors, broadcast transmitters, and the rest of the stuff I had collected since 1954. Medical needs of my wife required that we move to the Willamette Valley from our 10 acre place in Baker City, OR. Now in an apartment, on 3rd floor, managed to get 40M dipole between the two decks and get on air. Made some contacts and had as much fun as an old fart should have and maybe next year I will be more active. Biggest problem was Editing function of logger, which I remember having since we began NRR back in the day. No way to easily edit an incorrect entry, and it kept changing the date to 2022 when I tried to remove entry, re enter it, so frustrating at my old age I just quit trying and watched TV. Nice to have the logger BUT how about fixing it before next year. Had fun anyway.

Larry W7IXZ NR# 157

Another great NRR! So much fun working with the old Novice Equipment. I worked British Columbia and Puerto Rico using 30 Watts. A total of 30 QSOís and a whole lot of fun. Lets keep it going with the Monday Novice Rig Night (NRN). Thanks to all who supported this great event!

73 Roy Ė KN4WOJ

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