I did a Show-N-Tell with our club’s CW class last Saturday using my 46-year old Hallicrafters T.O. Keyer so they could operate the first successful commercial electronic keyer, and to underscore how viable vintage tube gear still can be.  To add luster, I dug through old log books to resurrect that oft-remembered, highly enjoyable, and technically informative hour-long QSO I had on May 24, 1976, with Jim Ricks, W9TO, the original designer of that mercury-wetted relay circuit, and in whose honor Bill Halligan named the keyer when he put it into production (a courtesy Martin Jue has yet to learn).

Forty-six years from now I hope hams will enjoy showing off their old towers and laptops to each other as they try in vain to remember memorable conversations with living human beings that never took place.


Kent  K9ZTV

On 3/3/2018 5:57 PM, William Levy wrote:
As an old dog I am sorry to see that FT8 has become all the rage.
I grew up with a few vacuum tubes and a dipole. AM carrier controlled, 5
tube receivers. Loved CW when I had very little. Love SSB with big antennas
and towers.

FT8 changes the game. No more rag chews. So this is what DX has become. No
big power, no big antennas. Someone will write an app that will tell the
radio to keep calling cq and log contacts. V.2 of the App will record new
prefixes and club log it.

I may feel critical as I write this but the future is not mine and all is
fair in love and war.

Sincerely, Bill N2WL

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