NOFARS  Balanced   Modulator

Volume LVI, Number 4                                                                                       April 2021


The North Florida Amateur Radio Society meeting is Thursday, April 8th.   It starts at 7PM at Hogan Baptist Church, 8045 Hogan Rd.   Todd Lovelace, K1KVA recently completed rebuilding his mobile station and he will have tips to pass along during his presentation at the meeting.   For those needing advice or having questions about VHF/HF radio installation or operation, this is an opportunity not to miss.


Early VHF and UHF Radios

By Ross Goodall, WD4NJV

The Abbott Transceiver DK-3 operated on the 2 1/2 meter band, 112-116 MHz band (If you come across one of these, remember it transmits on today's aircraft band and would be illegal to use as it could cause harmful interference to aircraft radios).     During WW II and later, it was reconfigured to cover the 2- meter band.     It uses a 6J5, 6G6 and requires three 45-volt batteries and 4 D cells to operate.    For photos and refurbishing project, refer to note 1.

The Ameco TX-62 was a 6 and 2-meter AM and CW transmitter.     Other 2-meter and 6-meter entries were the Gonset IV AM 2 communicator for 2 meters and Communicator III AM for 6-meters.     The Lattine 242 6-meter ham transmitter was produced in the late 1950s.     This was nicknamed as "the latrine" by some.       2

Heathkit was famous for a six- and two-meter AM kit that was affectionately called the "Benton Harbor Lunchbox" because it resembled a school lunchbox.    Heath named them "Twoer" for 2 meters and a "Sixer" for 6 meters.     Heath also had a Citizens Band version.     These were crystal-controlled and the front side looked somewhat like an intercom as the transmit switch when in the up position was continuous transmit and in the down position was momentary transmit and in the mid position receive.    The unit has a tunable receive and was crystal-controlled transmit.     The most popular frequencies, known as calling frequencies, were 146.52 and 146.94 Mhz.

Yaesu introduced VHF transceivers that were lightweight and small in size starting in the early 1970s.      3       They were a welcome replacement for bulky tube-type transceivers made by Motorola, Heath, Gonset, and others.    Early Yaesu entries were the FT-2 series with the FT-224 and the "memorizer" FT-227 series.     The FT- 2 incorporated eight crystals with auto scan and a priority channel as well as a built-in AC power supply.       4

Many of these radios are very collectable.

In 1924 the 5-meter Band ran between 56-64 MHz and was allocated for amateur use.     In 1927 it was reallocated on a worldwide basis for amateur and experimental use.       5       The 6-meter amateur band that runs 50-54 MHz caused TVI problems for televisions that had poorly designed circuits in the 1950s and 1960s.


1 QRZ.com, The Abbott DK3 2 1/2 Meter receiver.

2 YouTube: How to repair vintage Lettine 242 6-meter AM ham transmitter by D-lab

3 Foxtango.org/Yaesu -Early-VHF/Yaesu-VHF.htm

4 Yaesu VHF transceivers, Early Years.

5 Https: //en.Wikipedia.org/wiki/5-meter_band


The Radio Insider

By Dr. Henry Farad-Ohm

Balanced Modulator Special Correspondent

I am back again with news that you will read nowhere else.   My chauffeur and assistant Oscar, pronounced Oz-KARR, is gassing up the jeep and we will be underway soon headed south.

The International Ham Radio Award Commission has a new WORKED ALL BLUETOOTH TROPHY for confirmed communications with devices in at least 100 zip codes.   The start date is not yet firm.   Seekers get a competitive edge by using the official recommended transceiver, the waterproof Radioddity GS-5B.   The built in flashlight creates ionized propagation pockets when aimed toward the sky.   Use one as an ionization flashlight and another to make contacts, SO2R.

An overheard communications intercept has the mysterious Q surfacing during the upcoming Georgia QSO Party setting up on the Bacon & Coffee county line using a bootleg callsign, possibly just 4Q.   I will be there to get an exclusive interview.   Usually reliable sources indicate three new Q signals will be introduced next month.   I have been regularly putting my ear to the ground.   I missed the free flea but heard several overpowered transmitters changed hands.   Undercover FCC and FBI infiltrators gathered enough evidence to bust one Extra back down to Technician.   An errant General was demoted to FRS.   A Nofars member initials TQK was downgraded to FT8-only.

These are trying times.   My efforts to track down DB Cooper have hit a dead end.   My beer can vertical collapsed and my floating ground generator is down to 45% efficiency.   But I will not be deterred.   On the way to the Bacon and Coffee county line, my travels will take me deep into the Okeefenokee Swamp in search of Herschel.   A rumor has him running for Clinch County sewer commissioner.   His impulsiveness has me worried.

Oscar is back in the drivers seat getting ready to start again.   After reading my column, you have the real scoop.   Go back now to reading the usual drivel that the editor puts out.   He got fired in Augusta for playing too many stiffs and as a news man he was worse than Less Nessman.   This is your special correspondent Dr. Henry Farad-Ohm signing over out and clear.



FACEBOOK: President Roger Knight, KI4PIL invites you to join and participate in the North Florida Amateur Radio Society Facebook group.    A Facebook search will direct you to the group.

MEETUP: Membership in NOFARS Meetup Group is open to licensed hams and those interested in Amateur Radio.     To join, enter your e-mail address and preferred password.     You'll receive an e-mail.     Follow the link in the e-mail and you'll become a member.

YOUTUBE CHANNEL: Rajesh K4SK, Mike KD2SXD and others have a YouTube channel for NOFARS with video of recent meetings and items of interest to local hams.

MARCH MEETING: Jerry, N2GLF summarized considerations when choosing appropriate equipment for base and mobile operation.   Starter, mid-level and luxury transceivers are offered in corresponding price ranges.   Jerry included helpful hints and audience members added more.

FREE FLEA: Nice turnout with around fifty sellers at the Jacksonville Radio FREE Flea on March 27th.   Thanks to more morning cloud cover, the unseasonable 90 degree heat didn't arrive until afternoon.   My experience with these types of outdoor gatherings is that when the low 80s arrive, crowds dissipate rapidly.   Rajesh, K4SK reports 21 applicants and 33 exams at the Jax Laurel test session with ten new technicians, one new General and one new Extra.

FEES COMING: Soon, a $35 filing fee will be required for most Amateur Radio applications.   Included are new license & renewal applications, special temporary authority (STA) & rule waiver requests and vanity call sign applications.   All fees are per application.   There will be no fee for administrative updates, such as a changes of mailing or email addresses.   Fees begin thirty days after official publication.   These FCC fees are in addition to any exam fees collected by VE groups.

WACKY WING DING SOCIETY: During Spring 1957 at a lively backyard gathering of hams on Chaseville Rd. in Jacksonville, a dozen or so listened to audio coming from a tape machine.   One was demonstrating his newest electronic gadget, a small reel recorder.   This was before cassettes and about the same time that cheap imported transistor AM radios began to flood American store shelves.   The Space Age was building up steam and Sputnik 1 would soon go on the pad.

As meat sizzled on a barbecue grill, the tape machine blared snippets of revelers past conversations recorded off the air.   Poorly-regulated tape speed pushed one listener, identity unknown, at the wing ding to remark that they sure sounded wacky.

The Wacky Wing Ding Society became an alternative to the Jacksonville Amateur Radio Society which some felt suffered from long meetings and excessive attention to detail.   Various WWD members rotated hosting meetings and the new group introduced its certificate for any operator contacting at least seven Jacksonville hams.

But being billed as the Wacky Wing Ding Society did not help when participating in public service events or promoting local ham radio's capabilities.   In 1960 the group became the North Florida Amateur Radio Society.   For a year or two, they used both WWD internally and NOFARS for external purposes.   By 1963, WWD had disappeared until NOFARS resurrected the certificate in 1975 with an updated Jacksonville skyline view replacing the original mid-1950s photo.

NOFARS offers its Wacky Wing Ding certificate to those logging at least seven WWD stations.   Contacts can be on any Amateur Radio band or mode.   Two nets meet each Monday to help aspirants gather the required seven contacts and discuss topics suggested by net control stations.   The HF net meets at 7pm on 28.390 MHz. followed by the VHF session on the 146.7 W4IZ repeater.   See the WWD info page for details.

John Purvis, KA4REY is retiring as WWD Certificate Manager.   His excellent work the past decade keeping the records in good order will give the next manager a smooth start.

WANTED: NOFARS needs a new WWD Certificate Manager.   Extensive radio experience is not needed, the main requirement is dependability.   Assistance is available to get started.   Duties include receiving applications by postal mail and email, maintaining the WWD roster and issuing certificates.   Expenses are paid by NOFARS.   To volunteer, contact Roger KI4PIL   or attend the next NOFARS meeting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                             DE N4UF






E-Mail rpmeadow@bellsouth.net



President----Roger Knight, KI4PIL

Vice President----Billy Williams, N4UF

Secretary----Chris Russell, KF4AAF

Treasurer----Jerry Tabor, N2GLF

Activities Manager----Todd Lovelace, K1KVA

Director----Randy Bahr, KI4RHQ