K5PBJ - Scott D. Foster K5PBJ

Scott D. Foster
Oklahoma City, OK

QCWA # 30663
Chapter 63

Thanks for looking me up, hopefully because we had a good long QRP QSO! I've been active again for about 5 years after several years of seminary. My only activity was keeping my weekly sked with Dad, K5KW. We have kept a regular weekly schedule for over 30 years. And, it has kept my CW half-way up to par. I am active in the local QCWA chapter (yes, I'm that old) and you are welcome to join our net on Sunday mornings at 3845 at 7:30 Central. It's an open net. I'm also getting back into AM phone.

When I was a Novice (WN5PBJ), I was among the first to get to use VFO. The first rig was a Johnson Viking Ranger II that Dad let me use with his Swan-350 as my receiver mounted in an old hand-refinished TV cabinet. Well, you may notice the Johnson Viking Ranger in the photograph. Interesting story about this rig: Dad gave me one of those back in the mid-90's as a Christmas gift to celebrate the old Ranger II because I once said, "Wouldn't it be cool if we still had one of those?" The Ranger was close enough.

Well, I loved that rig and I worked a good number of stations on CW with a hand key from my then QTH up in the woods north of New York City in Westchester. But, I had the most fun putting it on AM phone. There were many AM stations on the air up there in the Hudson Valley with a good number of old AM broadcast transmitters re-worked by broadcast engineers for 75 phone. Anyway, that rig gave me hours of fun. When we moved back to Oklahoma in late 2000, I didn't really have room for it in the shack so I gave it back to Dad to use. He ended up selling it at a hamfest in maybe 2001 or 2.

Fastforward to Green Country Hamfest in Claremore, OK, March 2015--I see a Viking Ranger that looks pretty clean and I buy it. While the file folder labeled by an IBM Selectric (Dad's method of filing) that comes with the manual looks familiar, I dismiss it because the knobs just don't "feel" right, and what are the odds? I ask the seller about the ownership chain. While he has a short email trail, it ends in one generation. So, I get the rig home and compare it to a half-picture I had of my old rig and the scars are numorous on this one. Not detecting a match, I decide that it's not the same. When I go to plug in the D-104, I remember that I had loaned it out so it needs a quick flip-flopping of the PTT wires to key the Johnson in "Kenwood" style. Viola! I'm back on AM! But here's the kicker: I go in to the schematic to make sure I am wiring the mic plug correctly and I find a pencil drawing mod from the old 2-prong Johnson mic plug to the current 4-prong plug on the back of the rig.

The mod is MY handwriting from close to 20 years ago! Welcome home, old friend.

I finally updated my QSL card (does anybody send 'em or care anymore?) The Microsoft Publisher file was only 12 years old and it's several address changes later...oh well! I was once on LOTW, and I still need to catch up on that and see how to use it. You'll find me running QRP CW or AM phone. I do manage the QCWA SSB net and check in to The Sooner Traffic Net (also at 3845 Mon-Sat at 5:30pm local). Once in awhile I get on with Dad and his buds on 3730 Friday or Saturday night. But CW is my first love. Hope to catch up with you.

QRPARCI #10881

FISTS #7962

SKCC #12460

K2 #1297

K5PBJ - Scott D. Foster

February 06, 2016