Thursday, September 22, 2005

I had an interesting experience last night. I was part of a conference call on Skype which was connected to a 75 meter AMer's Net on the West Coast. There were about 25 to 30 stations that checked in from CA, AZ, NV, OR. Some of these guys were running old broadcast station transmitters that they had purchased and refurbished for operation on 75 meters others were running the old Johnson Viking gear or homebew stuff.Net control was WJ6W, Dave Jennings who worked for CBS Engineering several years while I was there, but we never knew each other back then. He was connected to the Skype conference call and piped our voices over his Collins Broadcast xmtr to the rest of the net. The xmtr he was using was the same model that I worked on when I was Chief Engineer at WAPC in Riverhead, Long Island from 1963 until 1967.The other Skype participants were Bob Heil of Heil Microphone fame and Riley Hollingsworth from the FCC. I was honored and quite amazed to be included as part of this illustrious group. I was asked to give a brief history of my broadcast and ham radio experience and I also mentioned my steel guitar activities which seemed to attract a lot of interest. One guy asked me if I had ever considered purchasing the old Collins xmtr from WAPC. I replied NO, but it was sold to a ham in Massachusetts 2 years ago.Riley answered some questions concerning deliberate interference being caused by sidebanders on 75 meters and then excused himself, since he had an early morning call today. Bob Heil and I stayed on for about an hour answering questions and handling some of the traffic for the net. Apparently, this was the first time anything like this has been attempted on a net. It wasn't just a phone patch hookup. Heil and I bailed out at 1:30 am EDT. I had no choice since I was connected to him in the conference call.I received compliments on my audio quality, even tho I was using the built-in Mic in the Macintosh. One never knows.
Bob Maickel