Letters

Last year, at renewal, I wrote a somewhat critical note stating that I thought the quality of 73 had degraded As you can see by my 3-year renewal I don't feel that way anymore- Although I do believe that your magazine is not as ugood" as it was 2-3 years ago—I think it's improving qualitatively issue by issue.

1 would like to give you some of my thoughts regarding the state of amateur radio.

First of all, after I received my latest renewal from ARRL-QST, I decided the hell to the ARRL. I am discouraged Wayne, that a bunch of 70 year olds-living in a consciousness of the 1940 s (at best)-are trying to run a (the) ham radio organization and amateur radio itself. When I read those assinine editorials-as I have in the last few issues of QST-about restricting freedom of speech on the air to nice safe, non-controversial topics I become upset for the future of our hobby. As you are well aware, ihe average QSO is the most repulsively dull conversation imagineable. Further, I am discouraged that these same 70 year olds- with the help of many fuddy-duddy engineer types-railroaded thru that damn incentive Licensing giving the granddad-dies lots of privileges and effectively "wasting1' the lower 25kc of our bands (listen how void they are o) use)- Third, i am discouraged about the racism that I hear on the air and that I sense when I meet fellow hams. Amateur radio appears to me to be one of the most segregated hobbies in American culture. At a time when our hobby is hovering near increasingly faster (sharper) declines in new applicants-and perhaps air space-we should go to Boys' clubs, etc., in the inner cities and help set up at least cJub stations. But 1 sense that many hams are afraid that such communication potential may be used in riots for other than avocation id purposes-such a ridiculous argument presumes of course that other forms of two way communication are not available-and they are. But, 1 guess that the real reason inner city kids are not introduced is because hams are fuddy-duddy-old and mainly traditional, solidly middle class, and scared, (Lack of equipment availability I do not see as a problem ) In fact, if you peruse the pages of QST you see lots of lines devoted to trivia, i.e., what Joe Ham is doing in the Midwest section with his new Drake Line, etc., or gobs of stuff on that puffed up public service bit called civil defense (excepting natural disasters), but little of social significance.

And, yes, Wayne, even you have been quiet on the turmoi! in our society-focussing instead on safe stuff like USO nets, etc.

At a time when long distance telephone rates are cheiip, telephone accessibility is so widespread there is little public service left that hams do, excepting certain overseas patches. raffle is a slow farce; civil defense can be better (and has been) handled by CB'rs; and contributions to the electronic* industry and our national defense is a delusion we allow ourselves but which is actually groundless when one considers how laggardly the state of ham technology (homebrew) is and how few young people participate in our hobby.

All in all-hams need a good kick in the butt, and probably deserve to lose frequency space considering the outmodedness of our hobby.

Gerhard J* Hanneman, WA8VBN Michigan State University East Lansing, Michigan 48823

While I am unhappily acknowledging Kayla's happiness, I will take the opportunity to say Vm sorry to know you are losing such a fine editor. She has a unique way of putting a feeling of friendship into "73/T I suppose it is achieved simply by being friendly. She will be missed.

1 am very glad to learn from your editorial how well you have succeeded with "73" in so short a time. You are to be congratulated, indeed- I rather doubt that it is getting too big for you as I am sure you are growing with it and are capable of handling its future growth, which, I hope, will be somewhat more than considerable.

While I am at it, toss my thanks to Zaranski for ^tis article, "Minimum Cost Semiconductor Survey."

Also, I have for a long time wanted to thank Robert Suding for his article, "A Cheap and Easy Frequency Counter/1 November "73/7 1967. I note in the current issue of "73" "Looking Back," refers to Votipka's counter, Nov. 1968 as being "over-simplified/' and difficult to build. As I am about to revise my counter constructed from Sud-ing's anicle with a few modifications, such as wave former and input gate and reading for one second, displaying one second, then repeating to update, I would appreciate it if you will use the enclosed SASE to forward the material mentioned on Votipka's counter (Nov, 1968).

If I recall corrently there was one omission but no errors in Suding s article, which remains the simplest and cheapest counter I have seen to date. It worked perfectly the first time I connected it up.

Again, congratulations on your excellent publication, the excellence of which its growth will continue to show. And, again, my regrets that the world, you and me, have lost our fond "Editorial Liberties/1

C. W. Pate Bryte, California

1 know letters like this must be a pain, but if you would print this, I would appreciate it. It's to ask if there are any Swedish or English hams with whom I could exchange correspondence* cause om-a-goin' there. Natura ly I would like them to be near my age (17), and longhairs, (you know, radical trouble-making whipper-snappers like I obviously must be). 1 write to you because of all the magazines, yours seems to have the readership with the largest number of people like me. 1 mean that as a compliment, you know. Thank you.

Richard Klein, WB22TN (Sorry, can't help you leftist fellow-travelers— edj

Your March 69 issue of 75 Magazine was especially pleasing to me. The W1EMV and W2NSD/1 editorials continue to be outstanding; however, it was a most pleasant surprise to find an open letter to the editor by our old friend, A, David Middel-ton, W7ZC (page 71), In his typical straight-from-the-shoulder style, without repetitious "gobbly-gook," Dave conveyed his message to the reader. To the best of my memory this is the first public article by W7ZC I have seen in almost five years-What a void to hamdom!

I am appalled by the inactivity or loss of so many fine writers and club editors. In the past five years and particularly since the questionable 'incentive" Licensing action there has been a definite lack of controversial articles and "think" items for the amateur radio readers. As the result, amateur radio is suffering immeasurably by this loss of material. Since the innovation of the "incentive" ruling, radio amateurs are resorting to small independent cliques, uninterested in the overall picture because they have been subjected to one-sided information, or worse-no opinions at all!

During the promotional years of supporting amateur radio reciprocal licensing in this country, readers consistently found numerous excellent debatable reading matter in several magazines and club bulletins (but very few ever appeared in QST, I might add). These were the product of a great number of quality writers, many of whom were non-professional, but who have since chosen to remain dormant or have totally given up crusading in behalf of hamdom.

DX Magazine from Burlington, Kentucky, and The Monitor from Dallas, Texas, topped a long list of excellent periodicals, most of which have been discontinued. The Kentucky publication, edited by Don Chesscr, W4KVX, and assistant editor Bob Knapp, W40MW, was eagerly read by every thinking radio amateur- This same keen interest was directed to ; he Monitor, edited by courageous Joe Martin, W5RYP? and his talented staff of associate editors J. : oy Guin, W4RLS, A. David Middelton, W7ZC/W5CA, and Len Collett, KZ5LC; Oklahoma Editor, Doris Anderson, K5BNQ; Indiana Editor, Phil Hunsberger, K9PNT; Maryland Editor, MariAnne Payton, W3LQY; Nevada Editor, Leonard Norman, W7PBV; Circuit Board Editor, Walter Stevens, K5ICV; Virginia Editor, Van Wimmer, WA4BIX; Texas Panhandle Editor, Phil Patterson, W5SFW; and Mississippi Editor, Eddie Livingston, K5VOK.

The Institute of Amateur Radio, Inc. (10AR), offered the hams outstanding "think material by two well-informed writers: Wayne Green, W2NSD/L and A. David Middelton, W7ZC. Dave also served for a time as the secretary of fOAR- Although sorely needed by all of hamdom, radio amateurs did not have the foresight nor the capacity to discriminate between facts and personalities-with the drastic result that the organization was not sufficiently financially supported. To concurring hams this meant that a sound and effective program was temporarily shelved. The Institute is amateur radio's solution to provide a much needed legitimate lobby in Washington, D.C. My personal opinion is that 10AR, properly supported will furnish the healthy competition required to "force" ARRL into providing a true democratic representation for its members and USA amateur radio* Reactivated and strongly assisted, the institute of Amateur Radio can still provide the necessary liaison and lobby in our Nation's capital, a function vitally needed to improve and correct our present serious deficiencies. The end result will provide Congress and the amateurs with immediate factual and current information relative to Stateside as well as world-wide amateur radio activities.

You may remember other excellent writers during the pre-incentive licensing era: Dorothy Strauber, K2MGI /W4MYE, assisted by her energetic OM Irving, K2HEA, who edited The Sidebanders, published by the Single Sideband Amateur Radio Association. (Dotty also had a column going in CQ Magazine.) That vigorous staff included Ralph Mason, DL4PI; Harriet "Sunny" Woehst, K5BJU, as the YL Editor: Phil Carter, W1CRA; and James L. McCoy, K5GCE, who wrote under the bv-line of tiThe Real McCoy."

From Europe came the extremely provocative articles of the very talented rank E. Mortensen, W7HNT/WA6YNG, under his by-line "Let's Be Frank" which appeared in the SARA STATIC issues of the Spanish-American Radio Amateurs in Sevilla, Spain, and the QRZ bulletins of the Bitburg. (Germany) Amateur Radio Club. Both of these club periodicals were widely distributed world-wide. Frank's articles were directly responsible for the tremendous world support that resulted in the eventual passage of the reciprocal licensing bill into law.

What has happened to these fine writers? What has discouraged them from submitting timely articles? There are sufficient problems in today s USA amateur radio sphere to warrant and attract the controversial/i h ink writers. Could it be our lack of interest? Least you forget, amateur radio owes a great de;-1 of its development and progress to the polemical and "think" pieces from weîl-versed and qualified personnel whose written opinions over the years gave each of us the necessary background to weigh, with an open mind, the dialogue needed to reach a valid and realistic decision. Those writers, plus many more unmenttoned in these comments, recognized the need during that period to provide hamdom with varied open-minded opinions.

Today, more than ever, amateur radio should find a place for the opinionated thoughts of its writers. Too, there is a place for the reporter-type who can publish in his own town or city newspapers or commercial magazines, the amateur radio events as they happen. But, primarily we need to recall all of those authors who, by writing their own thoughts can make us more knowledgeable and conscious of what is happening to amateur radio in our country. We must be shocked into thinking and acting immediately! This is no time to waste on those writers who are fearful of "rocking the boat"

i hope to see more inputs from David Middelton. Perhaps he can awaken the interest of those dormant authors. There are many of us who want to see their articles in the pages of our favorite magazines and other periodicals. With the continued absence of the journalistic efforts of qualified contro-versial/"think" writers* the USA radio amateurs cannot expect any improvement in present condi-tions-in fact, we will continue to live with token "representation" and degradation that is occurring in our ranks. Too, we must be cautious of accepting the opinions of "self-styled" journalists who author the "expert" overseas picture after one short visit to a foreign land* In the eyes of our DX friends, these writers create more serious harm than good. Instead, let us encourage those fine experienced penmen into reactivating t'ieir efforts in order that we may regain the courage to correct our own problems. Whether or not we recognize it, amateur ra dio in this country today is in greater jeopardy of surviving than ever before!

John F. Barrows, W6ECS Fairfield, California 94533

I am a great fan of your magazine and wouldn't trade it for anything. But, for a long time I have wondered why you haven't started your own Field Day Contest, I fee! this would heip a lot of people to like the magazine a bit better. So, keep up the good work and think about this. You have a lot of good articles on contests, but you don't have any contests to use them on that I know of.

David Brittenham, WAORVK

Monett, Missouri

No, no contests. Somehow we had the feeling that perhaps there already were enough contests. However, if a major radio club wouid be interested in volunteering to run a new type of field day event, complete with the scoring of the logsr we might just consider it. We had in mind a contest which would be short and unannounced to simulate emergency conditions*..ed<

1 think your technical articles are great. If possible, more on conversion of commercial FM gear in the VHF range (6M & 2M).

I am an F. T\ by profession and rate 73 Magazine as high as any trade or hobby magazine on the market toda>\

Many thanks to all the Fine engineering people who contribute articles in laymen terms.

S. L. Thompson, WASWXT/0

One of the finest articles on antennas over carried in any magazine was in the April 1966 edition of 73. by Robert Cooper, Ascendency Curve Yagit p+ 20. 1 built a 3FL Yagi for 20M based on his maximum gain curves and it was far superior to commercial beams. How 'bout an article dealing with Maximum Gain for Quads - element spacing lengths, etc, Keep up the good work.

Greg Milnes Hillsboro, Oregon

I saw it first in your 73 Magazine in November 1966 on page 52. Next it shows up in "ham radio" for April 1969 on page 34, three years later. Can they get a patent on that?

I Am Curious

Deal+ Curious: Nothing to turn yeiiow over, W2-WLR does seem to have managed to rediscover a diversity antenna very close to thai described by W4TDJ in 1966. These have been popular for many years for point-to-point communications where fading is a problem (RTTY. etcJ. The low angle radiation is deceptive in high sunspot times v/hen signal reports can be most exciting from areas where the band is just opening, Unfortunatelyt once ifre band is open, a very low angle antenna will lose your signal in the qrm. Ask anyone using that most remarkable low angrJe Twin Three (or ZL-Special) antenna what happens after the band is open or when the sun spots are gone. When "ham radio " announced the W2WLR antenna for their April issue I thought that this was'approposand fought off the strong temptation to discuss it in our April issue.

Here are a couple of photos of my ham TV station which I spent about five years constructing and working out the bugs so now I have a snow-free picture up to seventy miles from here. More later, if you are interested, ríowever, I will mention a few stations I work very often and always snow-free in anv kind of weather such as K8TME, Damascus, O., WA8DZS, Mount Union, Ohio and also WAS* OKS, same QTH, K8EWX north of Alliance, K8WMA south of Alliance. All of us really appreciate your interest in ham TV but would like to see much more on TV in 73 from other successful TV'ers. ObviouslyT this is the coming mode in many amateur stations in USA, I think this is the King of all electronic hobbies. Sure is terrifically thrilling- By all means, keep up the good work in your 73 or we ATV'ers might have to throw in the sponge.

Les Miller, W8ACH Alliance, Ohio

I would tike to thank you for a job well done on "Amateur Radio Knows No Borders." It is this type of report thai makes me proud to be a member of the amateur fraternity.

j. Stoutenburgh, WN0WDX Minneapolis, Minnesota

An item of interest for your magazine is the fact that both houses of the Alaska State Legislature have passed by an overwhelming vote House Bill No. 103 which relates to the annual license tax on vehicles containing mobile amateur radio stations. Under the new law, rather than pay 530*00 for a license plate, an amateur holding an FCC license and with mobile capability of 75 meters through 10 meters may obtain his license and his call letter license plates for a total fee of $1.

The idea behind the Bill was to encourage amateur radio operators to equip for emergency use. You will recall that in the case o! the Anchorage earthquake in 1964 and the Fairbanks flood in 1967, the power was off and regular communications were completely disrupted for a substantial period of time. In both cases radio amateurs provided an emergency link-up until power and normal communications were restored. In these days of zoning regulations which cramp amateur radio, TV I complaints and million dollar lawsuits it is heartwarming to see the policy of a sovereign slate of the Union recognizing the unique capabilities of the amateur radio fraternity, and I think an appropriate article in your magazine might w ell be an eye-opener for other parts of the nation. Truly, the entire country should support the principle set forth in Alaska's House Hill No. 103 for no one is completely safe from natural disasters.

Douglas L. Greggr KL7FPA

Juneau, Alaska

The T1S34 is popular in Amateur construction projects, but is hard to locate "over the counter/' It is available from Tl Supply Company, 6000 Denton Drive, Dallas, Texas 75235, as a 2N5248/TIS34. The present price for 100 units is $1.10 each.

Ed Lawrence, WA5SWD Piano, Texas 75074

VFO for 6 or 2

Roger H. Taylor, K9ALD 281 William Street Champaign, /J/inois

Atwther Stable VFO

Voltage tuned variable capacitance diodes have been with us for almost ten years. They have been featured in a few general applications articles, and they are showing variable capacity diode, and also an encapsulated coil to eliminate mechanical problems.

Two models of the vfo were constructed. One features two miniature potentiometers

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