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The Amateur is Balanced...
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Found at Butler Hamfest

Hi everybody

Since I was just sitting here, I thought that I could show you all what I found at the ham-fest in Butler last Sunday.

Well, lets go back to the beginning in this story. In 1978, I became interested in ham-radio satellites, so called OSCAR satellites. Way back then, the AMSAT OSCAR 7 was the satellite to work. It had an orbit that made it show up every 90 minutes, and covered Europe, northern Africa, and also the US East Coast. To work US East Coast stations, you had about 5 minutes before it went down under the horizon again, so you had to be quick!

Now to the more technical part, the radio you see here at the right, is an Icom 402, it was the state of the art in late 70′s if you wanted to do some SSB on 70cm. It has 3w out-put, and that is not very much, but then again, your average 2m FM radio had a high-power setting of 10w. I used an Icom 402 on the uplink, 435 Mhz LSB, and then the signal from the satellite came back on 145 Mhz USB. The 402 was hooked up to a 46 element J-beam, and the antenna for down-link was a simple 4 element yagi. Right at the 2m yagi, I had a low-noise preamp, to help my Kenwood TS-700 hear the weak signals coming back from the satellite. I would say, that I worked a few hundred  stations via OSCAR satellites.

Now to complete this little story. At the hamfest, I paid $10 for this radio in close to mint condition! Needless to say, it made my day! Of course, there aren’t many 70 cm stations around Clearfield — much less SSB ones — but late last night before I went to bed, I went into my shack, and for some reason I tuned around the band and heard somebody! It was Joe W3BC, and he was operating from W3SO in Altoona, so that was my first QSO on my new “old” rig, Joe also gave me the frequencies for 2m and 6m, since what I stumbled into was the VHF contest, lucky them!

Hope this little essay was worth reading  :)

PS: For all you who are interested, there is a 2m version of this radio and a 6m version, Icom 202 and Icom 502, there is also a fm 2m, Icom 215.

Lars

PS2: This is a 70cm Halo antenna I built for the radio, it’s horizontally polarized and it is Omni directional (same radiation all directions)

Update on Halo, just worked W3SO, Altoona, made op laugh! Will listen for other stations also….

 

3 comments to Found at Butler Hamfest

  • Lars –

    That radio sounded as good as any I heard during the contest. Your 3 watts was S-9 +10dB at W3SO’s QTH high atop Wopsononock Mountain near Altoona. If you compare that to an IC-7000 with 35 watts or a 706 with 25 watts, you’re only 10dB less, so you still would have been S-9!!!

    Of course if you compare that to the 1000 watts of W3SO… well that’s a whole other story!

    On behalf of the W3SO operators, thanks to you (and to Doug W3DWR) for the QSOs!

  • Lars

    Thanks for the comment Joe :)
    Well, you can’t even imagine how surprised I was, when I heard somebody being on 70cm ssb :)

  • emmitt clark

    hi lars, my call is wb3ccw just to let you know i have the icom 502 6 meter rig. bought it back in 1977
    5watts ssb and cw. still works great and have a lot fun with it. i have worked dx and 41 states from
    different fire towers around the area using the built in antenna and using c cell batterys internally.
    what a great portable rig!!! have fun. emmitt clark, brockway, pa.

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