Max's Tips 'n Techniques Continued  

      "What about your neighbors Max?"            "Neighbors?

     "Why ole Max's equipment is clean as a whistle, no Tennessee Valley Indians fer me. That's just a little front end overload on my TV set, that's all."


     The young Novice could hear a slight frying noise and thought he could detect a curl of smoke. He also noticed Max sniffing and at the same time quickly releasing the straight key. "Might as well let the ole final rest."

The Novice then noticed that there were several crystals scattered around the table. "Max, which crystal are you using in your "rig"? (He was careful to use the word rig) . . .I don't think you have a crystal in the socket."

Max straightened up again. He seemed slightly surprised and was keying the transmitter again. "Well lad, you see ole Max builds them oss-c-laters real good. Why take this one, it don't even need a rock to oscillate. Look at 'er go." He pointed to the oscillator tube now glowing cherry red. "But how do you know what frequency you are on Max?"     "There you go again my boy, he released the key. "You insist on taking all of the adventure outta the endeavor.     Besides I am sure that we are in the band, some wheres" ...

"Now enough demo, let's get the ole bug out and do lil CW."

    Max removed the Vibroplex from its box and plugged the bug in, carefully adjusting the weight all the way towards the center of the key . He started - sending CQ. The Novice estimated that the speed was about 3 to 4 times the 13 wpm that the Novice was trying to master. There seemed to be lots of extra dits in the C's and he wasn't sure about the Q's. Max kept sending now. slightly faster as he warmed up. CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ.

The young Novice hesitated but decided to interupt.


"When do you send your call Max?"

   Max answered without interrupting his string of CQ's. "My boy, you've got to get their attention first." "But why so fast Max?" "Ah yes, well that is another "Maximum T and T" for you lad. By sending real fast I only attract other experts in this CW field. Members of this hobby who are experienced in this CW business. Max went on with his CQ's. CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ . . . finally, he signed his call one time and AR K.

--------------The speakers remained silent. No one answered. Max at first seemed distressed but then his face lit up. "Well let's try a little SAAH-TB." "What's that Max?" "Oh lad, I tell you that ARL bunch up there in Connecticut has got to start putting out some T and T's in their operating, manuals. Good ole SAAH-TB, that stands for Shave And A Haircut-Two Bits." Max hit the side of the bug and a quick dat didi dit dit was transmitted. He kept repeating the sequence and would carefully listen each tune. "Lad I'm listening for a dit dit answer. Soon as I hear those lil beauties then we are off and running with a top notch Q-SO. This little "T and T" of mine beats cluttering up the airwaves with all those Charlie Queens everybody uses." Max methodically continued with his dat didi dit dit series.

The young Novice then noticed that Max Was listening on two different receivers.         "Why two receivers Max?"            "Ahhhhhh Glad you asked me that lad, we are getten down to serious radio theory now, You can't, ask too many questions in this radio business." He took a break from his bug and carefully leaned back in his chair, carefully adjusting the angle being careful not to pass the Point of No Return. "This here receiver is for 40 meters and this one is for 20. My transmitter is a little touchy on the ole tuning sometimes and it likes to transmit on 20 instead of 40. Anyway, I don't miss a gud Q-SO cause I listen to both bands.

The young Novice looked puzzled. "Romance of the airwaves my boy, romance." Max continued with his dat didi dit dit search, deeply engrossed. The 6L6 oscillator tube was red, the 6146 final was glowing; both receivers were blasting away. The young Novice then looked up at the ceiling light, the ceiling light and the hall tights were dimming in step with the SAAH-TB transmissions. A slight trace of smoke was still hanging in the air. The Novice carefully stepped back over the box of tubes being careful not to touch the still hot 6U4, he slowly started to weave his way out.

"Good night Max". "Oh good night lad. Stop by anytime." The dits continued. The Novice let himself out. "Someday," he thought, "someday I'll have the experience and be just like Max and then I'll be able to pass on those T and T's."


QST cartoon


                                This piece was first published in "World Radio"

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