HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope and pray that all of you will enjoy a prosperous and joyful 2012 with the Lord, your families, and at your work.
Last month I had the picture of the General Electric radio that my wife and I bought from a used furniture store in downtown Denver in the December article. We have really enjoyed listening to KEZW in Denver, which is a Standards/Nostalgia station in the area on this radio. I have really enjoyed the big band/hits format of the station, especially when working on old tube radio’s. They just sound better playing the older hits! (BTW, Rick Crandall, the PD of the station, is a MOST EXCELLENT programmer). We really enjoyed listening to the Christmas music on the station. But I digress.
As my wife and I were listening to the radio in the kitchen during the holidays, I happened to notice these are the dial of the radio.
I saw the old “CD” for Civil Defense markings, “CD Mark” symbols like this (though generally shown as simple white triangles) were on every radio sold in the U.S., at the 640 kHz and 1240 kHz frequency points, to help listeners find the CONELRAD stations. There is some interesting information on all this at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CONELRAD. Also about amateur radio in this wikipedia article, it states:
“Beginning January 2, 1957, U.S. amateur radio came under CONELRAD rules and all stations, while operating, were required to verify at least once every 10 minutes that a normal broadcast station was on the air. If not, the amateur operators were required to stop transmitting. Several companies marketed special receivers that would sound an alarm and automatically deactivate the amateur’s transmitter when the monitored broadcast station went off the air.”
A very interesting cold war amateur radio rule I didn’t know about. There is a very interesting web site with all things Civil Defense at http://www.conelrad.com/index.php. There are many interesting websites and videos to be found on the net regarding this subject.
One fine day before Christmas I had to spend some time on Cheyenne Mountain cleaning and working on my transmitters, then took some lunch time and drove over to an adjacent hilltop close to the transmitters and operated 10 meter mobile for a lunch hour. It was a great time, as I worked a bunch of east coast stations and back thru Pennsylvania, AND 1 station in New Zealand even! 25 watts out of my Realistic HTX-10 to a unity gain mag mount mobile antenna on the Durango.
The Durango on the mountain top
It was fun to be on the “DX” station end, as I had a mini pileup on me when I called “CQ from the top of 9600 foot Cheyenne Mountain near Colorado Springs”. I worked solid stations calling me for about 30 minutes, including the New Zealand station. LOTS of ham radio fun! Try it sometime from one of your transmitter sites if you are so equipped. With 10 meters being open as of late, a great time is to be had! 6 Meters has been open a lot lately too, so I think I may try to contrive a 6 meter antenna (I have a dipole I cut for my trip operating 6 meters from the top of Mount Lincoln back in August of 2008. You can read about that ham radio adventure at http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/oldnews/0908news.php.) I think I may take the Ranger RCI-5054 DX-100 up Cheyenne Mountain sometime towards the summer season and see what I can work from the same spot.
Don’t forget the SBE IRLP/ECHOLINK Hamnet, the 1st Saturday of the month and the 3rd Thursdays now. Details on how to join us are at http://www.qsl.net/ke0vh/sbehamnet.