One of my friends from the photography meetup I’m in messaged me and asked if I’d be interested in an old radio he was helping a friend of his sell.
I’m now the owner of a Hammarlund HQ-100 receiver that powers on, but will need a fair bit of restoration work.
I even got a speaker to go with it.
It’s a bit of a heavy beast, but not quite as heavy as it looks. Undoing two screws let me slide the cover off to look inside.
There’s a fair bit of dust and corrosion on the components, but except for the band spread dial, all the controls seem to work. Not sure how the radio spent the last few decades of its life. I’m pretty sure I’ll have to replace a few components, especially the mechanical bits. Smells like the previous owner might have been a smoker, but it’s hard to really tell.
This is going to be a fun restoration project to work on. It’s going to take me a while, but I’m going to enjoy working on it.
This year was a pretty good one. I spent a little less time at the radios this year than in previous years, but it was still busy.
Started out with getting the radio at home set up on battery power (2 SLA batteries that had been pulled out of my UPSs) and getting the antenna mostly up in the air.
I didn’t get to use the radio at home, but Connie was able to use it to make a contact Saturday evening. She started off at 5 W, but wasn’t able to break any pileups. After stepping up to a few different power levels, she was able to make a contact at 50 W, which the batteries apparently handled without complaint. The antenna setup is far from ideal, and I imagine most of the 50 W she had to use ended up warming up the sky overhead. But it still worked. Operating at reduced power is something we’ll have to work on.
The bulk of my Field Day was spent at the USS Yorktown. Once we got the operating positions set up, it was just a matter of waiting for the festivities to start at 1800UTC. We had our usual operating locations off the port side of the flight deck.
We also had a lot more visitors to our Field Day operation than in past years. The lady in charge of the overnight camping program at Patriots Point brought groups of Scouts and other campers by every now and then, so we got to show them a little bit about what amateur radio was about.
Our digital station was set up on a dipole mounted on the starboard side of the flight deck but it wasn’t performing very well, so it ended up getting replaced by a Butternut multi-band vertical that was stashed away in the club room. After some assembly, we got the dipole down and the vertical up and everything was performing beautifully.
One of the things that makes doing Field Day from the Yorktown so great is the view. It’s pretty hard to beat.
Sunday morning, the alternate power source was pulled out of the club room and put to work.
It’s an old exercise bicycle with an alternator attached to the front wheel via a belt. It actually works well enough to power a radio. Unfortunately, the load on the alternator when the radio transmits makes you feel like you’ve suddenly hit a wall while pedaling and the radio shuts off because you’ve stopped pedaling. Entertaining, but not very effective.
Overall, another excellent and fun Field Day with CARS/WA4USN. I think next year I’ll try to do a bit more of Field Day from home.
Field Day is coming up in a few weeks! As usual, this year I’m planning on spending most of Field Day weekend down at the USS Yorktown playing radio as WA4USN.
In addition to that, at home I’m also going to set up the antenna on my temporary PVC mast and run the radio off a couple of lead acid batteries that I took out of some UPSs. I’ve made up a wiring harness that will let me connect the two batteries in parallel to the radio. I tested it earlier to make sure they would power the radio, but I haven’t tried transmitting with it yet. I figure the batteries should be good for operating at QRP levels for a couple hours. Hopefully I’ll be able to make a few contacts.
Had a blast playing radio in the NJ2BB Museum Ships Weekend event this weekend. I think this was the first time I’d done any significant radio since last year’s Field Day (I really need to get that antenna up in the air…).
Although there was a lot of QSB on 20m both days, there was still some decent propagation into the northeast, midwest and out west. Lots of contacts in the New York/New Jersey area, a bunch of contacts in California and Michigan/Illinois/Ohio. Texas was a big hot spot of contacts.
Unlike last year, we got some pretty good pileups going, and I was able to work on a pileup for a solid hour on Saturday before taking a break. I had a few other pileups going earlier, but that was the longest one I worked. When I left for the evening, I think we were up to just over 400 contacts for the day for WA4USN.
Sunday I wasn’t able to play radio for as long, but it was the first time I had operated as NJ4DU. Interesting little tidbit:the NJ4DU call sign is derived from the ship’s naval call sign, NJDU.
We got a few small pileups going on 20m before the band got too crowded. Took a bit of a break to look for some other ships, and then found a decently clear frequency to run again. Had a nice little pileup going before I had to call it quits for the day and let someone else take over.
It’s been a pretty fun 5 years where I’ve learned a lot of new things and remembered a lot of things I used to know. The shack has been off the air for the past year, but once I figure out how to get the antenna back up in a mostly stealthy manner, I’ll be back to throwing RF into the sky.
I’m looking forward to many more years playing with amateur radio.