Homebrew "Titanic" key by NS3E
  Commemorative Message Event - 100th Anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.  April 15, 2012

                     Several days before the commemorative event we received
                                 this announcement email from Dale, KW1I

     "I will be running a CW beacon with commemorative Titanic message on either 475.9 kHz or 509.9 kHz from at least 0100Z to 0300Z on Friday and Saturday depending on QRM from other experimental stations. At 5 minutes after and 25 minutes to each hour I will send a CQ on 498 - 502 kHz looking for a short CW contact and then will resume beacon operations. I will also listen on 3570 kHz after sending a CQ. If contact is established I will QSY to 507.5 khz +/-. Signal reports welcome by email to kw1i@earthlink.net and at http://500kc.com/reportinfo.htm. Dale KW1I WD2XSH/5"

WD2XSH stations evidently were going to send out "Titanic" beacons and messages the week end of 14,15 April. The WD2XSH stations are members of the 600 meter experiential group.


                                 KW1I is listed as WD2XSH/5.


   The 600 meter band was open that week end with excellent conditions, the Spanish Broadcast station(Cuban?) on 530 Kcs was loud and numerous airport LF beacons on the East Coast were coming in with pretty good signal strengths.


      I've heard Dale's New Hampshire station before on 600 meters using a BC-348,R-388 or my AN/ARR-41 receiver but my favorite receiver is an RCA AR-8510 shown below.


               but . . .I decided to use a SDR IQ in order to have recording capability of audio and screen display and to measure signal strength.

                                               (Click to enlarge)
    I listened for Dale on Sunday evening and quickly spotted his beacon on 509.9 Kcs It was steady and easily 6-8 dB above the noise level (one and a half S units). Dale runs a tight ship and sticks to his published time schedules and puts out a heck of a strong signal on 600 meters. Pretty good coverage from NH to DE.

          Dale was running his   commemorative Titanic message at his scheduled times and was easy to copy.      Note: you will hear his call sign(WD2XSH/5) and then several seconds pause on the recording before his Commemorative message starts.

                  Audio file WD2XSH/5 sending message. (2.8Meg file)    


         At "5" and "25", Dale send a short CQ on 498-502 kHz looking for 600 meter CW contacts and he worked several stations. To complete his "mission", "Everyone gets everything he wants.", I gave him a call on 3570 but guess he was too busy on 600 meters did not have his "80 meter ears on".                           
                           Audio of Dale working WE2XGR/31 (Brian WA1ZMS in VA) (.8Meg file)


               My 20 turn Loop antenna designed for 550 Kcs to 250 Kcs.Construction details will be in a "Electric Radio" article.   Note the old Alliance rotator and the lower remote tuning box.

         In the past I have "padded" the 4 section variable with additional capacitance and used the antenna to receive Grimeton,Sweden station SAQ on 17 Kcs.
                     SAQ reception on 17 Kcs.

    Variable tuning via screw driver motor. Much less ESR loss than using varicaps.
                                              Zorro, "testing" in progress.

              Everyone is looking forward to the new frequency allocation on 600 meters. Rumor is 1 January 2013.



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