NZ Net News 98, 21 Jan 2023

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Featured key

McElroy S-600 Super Stream Speed bug (c1941)
McElroy S-600 Super Stream Speed bug (c1941). Photo: DL1FDL

Ted McElroy wasn’t just a champion telegraphist, he was famous for his showmanship – such as pausing to drink a glass of water during a Morse copying competition, after which he would catch up to, and beat, the other contestants.

McElroy’s panache seems to have flowed into his key designs too, such as the stunning S-600 Super Stream Speed bug (c1941). The streamlined base may not have helped the operator send more quickly, but it would have certainly drawn admiring glances from coworkers at the telegraph office.

The S-600 is the key featured in the new K3Y QSL card which I mentioned in NZ Net News 97. It was correctly identified by ZL1ANY and ZL4OL.

* If you have an interesting key for this feature, please send me a nice clear photo and a few words describing it.


Quick notes

Candle with label identifying the scent as "burned resistor"The next session of the NZ Net will be our 1000th. It was on 25 March 2019 that five of us (ZL1NZ, ZL2GD, ZL4LDY, ZL4OL and VK3DRQ) convened on 3535 kHz for the first NZ Net. The format we used is virtually unchanged after a thousand sessions, and the original net motto “formal but friendly” is just as appropriate as we begin our next thousand sessions.

Gerard ZL2GVA is currently filling in for Grant ZL2GD as Net Control Station on Mondays and Tuesdays while Grant enjoys a North Island holiday.

Pitch recognition test results are in (see NZ Net News 97) and we have a winner! Don ZL2LDX correctly identified all the correct and incorrect tunes. I hope we can persuade Don to check into the NZ Net soon.

EG1NMP completes operation. The special event station commemorating the 1966 sinking of MV Monte Palomares EDMI operated 7-10 January. One of the highlights for me occurred on 10 January when I heard the station on 20m working Manny VK3DRQ who is a Monte Palomares survivor. As soon as they had finished their contact, I worked the special station, and then Roy VK6RR (manager of the VKCW Net and a former ship’s R/O) worked them. A nice bit of luck for all of us, and thank you to Sera EA1ASG in Galicia, who was operating the special event station. At last count, EG1NMP had made 2128 contacts in 86 DXCC entities, using nine operators.


Photo flashback

Radio amateur ZM1CUH keying his homebrew station in 1963
Lots of homebrew gear at this 1963 station, plus what looks to be a classic BC348 receiver.

Where’s the radio? 🙂

I love looking at photos of ham shacks, but over the past few years I've found myself struggling to find the radio in some of the photos! This impressive station belongs to Adam VK2PW. The transceiver is a Flex 6600.
I love looking at photos of ham shacks, but over the past few years I’ve found myself struggling to find the radio in some of the photos!
This impressive station belongs to Adam VK2PW. The transceiver is a Flex 6600.

Letter to the editor

SS Tjibodas, formerly the Victory Ship SS Kokomo, in 1963
SS Tjibodas, formerly the Victory Ship SS Kokomo, in 1963

Happy New Year and I enjoyed reading NZ Net News 97. The radio room of the SS Red Oak Victory brought back good memories.

During my time at sea, I sailed on a Liberty ship in 1960 and on two Victory ships during 1962/5. The Victory ships were Costa Rica Victory (renamed Groote Beer) and Kokomo Victory (renamed Tjibodas). Both Victory ships had the RCA 4U radio equipment, rather than the Mackay 4U equipment fitted on Red Oak Victory.

The RCA 4U (radio equipment was in 4 panels) was original on my ships, but I think that the Dutch radio company Radio-Holland must have improved some bits behind the panels. It was very reliable equipment. For instance, the RCA ET-8025 emergency MF Transmitter worked well with even most of its valves out of order.

Regards,
Herman VK2IXV


Audio challenge: Hidden message?

Chances are, you’ve seen this recent story carried by the BBC about a Morse message supposedly hidden in a pop song.

Were you able to copy it? Please let us know if you did!

I find the story puzzling, frankly. The Morse is pretty obvious, so wouldn’t the bad guys notice it? I don’t know how you can “hide” a message so that the good guys can read it but the bad guys don’t even know it’s there.


Video: McElroy S-600


Advertising archive

National shortwave receiver ad from Popular Mechanics magazine, January 1960
Popular Mechanics magazine, Jan 1960

Suggestions?

If you have suggestions on how to make the NZ Net better, or things you’d like to see covered in these updates, please contact ZL1NZ. You might even like to write something for the newsletter.

Thanks for reading, and I hope to hear you soon on the NZ Net!

Neil Sanderson ZL1NZ, Net Manager
New Zealand Net (NZ NET)
3535.0 kHz at 9pm NZT Mon-Fri