Crystal Radios Of The 2009 Contest Entrants
Jack Bryant, Below BCB Class
This year I started the contest listening to stations in the new Below BCB Category. I used a homebrew 80 meter receiver, built into the chassis from a defunct AM/FM stereo receiver. To get down to LF, I built a converter to use between the antenna and the 80m receiver. The antenna was an 80m horizontal loop used as a top loaded vertical, with a series loading coil right at the input to the converter. Jack's 80 Meter Homebrew Station Detail
Here is a screen capture of beacon SCD using the program ARGO. Audio from the receiver is routed to the PC soundcard input, and the signal is displayed on the PC screen. This software is a great way to copy beacons. You can download the program from weaksignals.com.
As I was getting this screen shot with ARGO in the last hour of the contest, I had the 80m/20m homebrew receiver connected to to the LF converter and copied a new beacon in GA.
Jack Bryant, Two-way Class
For the Two-way Class, I decided to finish a couple of projects that I had started several years ago. The receiver is an 80m/20m superhet. This rig was in pieces in my closet, but I was able to get it going pretty quickly. After painting and labeling the case, the set finally looked completed. The1AD regenerative that I used for BCB is beside the superhet.
The hombrew CW transmitter is the long thin box by the receiver. The paddle is one I built from a kit by W5JH.
Jack Bryant, BCB Class
I started late on the BCB part of the contest. I decided to work stations just within a 24 hour period. I started on Wednesday but got interrupted by severe weather that included lightning. Well, wisdom dictated that I should finish up on Thursday through Friday morning, which I did.
I started the contest using my 1AD regenerative superhet, but it was just a bit too finicky that early in the morning, so I switched over to my 1AD regen set. It worked great, and I was able to exceed my target of 100 stations. You can get more detail on the 1AD regen set by clicking here.
The new antenna was the major change for me for this class of the contest. I used a 629' long two-wire Beverage antenna most of the time. I tried a top loaded vertical some, but the Beverage provided absolutely remarkable directivity on many signals.
For example, I switched the antenna to receive to the NW, and it provided a huge reduction in the power house station on 850 kHz to my SW. During the day I was able to copy a station on 870 kHz that I had never heard before. Directional antennas such as Beverages, loops, EWEs, Flags, Pennants, and K9AYs have some loss, but our new Active-Device rules allow multiple gain devices that can overcome that loss.
Dave Schmarder, BCB Class
Here is Dave's new Hellenedyne Regenerator. Dave's Contest Page.
Dan McGillis, BCB Class
This was my first experience with a 1AD set. Never made a transistor radio before or used a regen. Had a ball!
I really thank Jack and the 'Bama boys for putting on this contest and encouraging us novices to learn new things. I've been fiddling around with this beginners JFET regen since November '08 trying to get a set ready for the contest. It's described here at Dave's site.
It worked great. The score doesn't reflect the radios' capability, because I easily get distracted into spending lots of time measuring stuff. But it's fun. The pictures of the set DO reflect my construction capability - it ain't pretty. :-)
Antenna = 200' inverted "V" @ 35' apex; YAESU FT-757GX spotter radio