Re: qrp & tubes..glowbugs..sparks in keys??

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From: cebik@UTKVX.UTCC.UTK.EDU
Date: Sat Sep 16 1995 - 09:33:45 EDT


Ah, the nostalgia of it all. The smell of arc-ozone. The sell of a
blown electrolytic. The sight of glowing tubes (could only afford the
smaller 816s (I think they were--but just as mercury purple)). The
wrinkling plastic of the dial faces as they aged from the 6-v and 12-v
lamps behind them (#47 was a favorite). The sizzle of spilled coffee
dripping through the ventilation holes in the case and bubbling on the tubes.

However--he said, pinching himself to awakeness--everything has its
place. Nostalgia belongs to the eye-ball (or nowadays, e-mail) QSO; good
engineering practice belongs on the air--even for tubes. Recreating some
of those 1-tube transmitters and using them just to prove they still work
is one thing. Putting together a good QRP tube transmitter for regular
use is another. Let nostalgia also include all that one has learned or
can learn about vacuum tube circuitry before a regular-use tub rig hits
the air. The life and property you save may be your own. My J-38--the
one I used for my first ham contact--has got to last my ham lifetime, so
it will never again be used in a cathode keying circuit. Conversely, my
life has to last as long as the J-38, so never again will I used directly
rectified AC. Y'all can fill in the rest.

Now where was I--he said, slipping back into revery--ah, yes, the look
and feel of the remnants of an exploded wax capacitor all over everything
underneath the chassis. . . The gentle changes in the glow of OA2s and
VR-150s to follow the keying. . .

-73-
LB, W4RNL


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