PA3CLQ's Leuke Linken Nr. 514


[slowspeedwire] Photo of railroad telegraph operator on ACL in 1957

I just got my monthly copy of Classic Trains Photo Newsletter email and one of the featured photos shows operator Mrs. L. H. McBratney on the ACL at WG tower in Florence, SC in 1957.

She is sitting in front of a US&S relay CTC control machine but you can also see an Acme resonator on a White swing arm and sounder (with tobacco can in resonator :-) in it and she is working her bug. There are also some 15-B main line sounders on top of some adjacent equipment both to the left and right of the CTC control machine. I don't know if you have to be an Classic Trains subscriber for the following link to work but here it is:

Enjoy! 73, Chris Hausler 


Here's a link to a video I shot of the office in the RR Museum of PA when I was down there a summer or two ago.

 I had all the instruments running at the time.

I have quite a few photos that I could post to Dropbox or such for you if you'd like me to do that.



Operator desk views are included in this Facebook album.

If you cannot access Facebook, please let me know and I'll send some pictures via .

Good luck,
Dr. Frank R. Scheer, Curator Railway Mail Service Library, Inc. 
(571) 379-3409 - daytime cell 
In the 1913 former N&W Railway depot along Clarke County route 723 117 East Main Street Boyce, VA 22620-9369 USA
Please note: only parcels sent via USPS can be accepted at this address.
Visit at


"Owney Day" at the National Postal Museum:

If you have an interest in RPOs, please visit the RailwayPO group at

Frank Scheer


If you visit the MTC Facebook page, youТll find some examples of related projects,,,,,,,,

including some interactive displays we developed for the State of Michigan, State of Minnesota, York, PA Heritage Trust and so forth.

You may need to scroll down a bit, but IТm sure thereТs photos you can harvest.

James Wades

The old rails among us might find this relatively short, 1950s era, ,

rrailroad filmi9nterewsting. Just remember that it was made in the 1950s and at times sounds more than a little corny.

Warren McFarland    


Good to know

[N1MMLoggerPlus] Band Panel Frequencies.

The dropdown doesn't contain the other 30 unique radio mode names either but your specific radio modes are mapped to the dropdown options.


John, K3CT


[slowspeedwire] Aussie Morsecodian May 2017

Don't know if this has shown up here "Future not dashed for morse code..." by Simon Leo Brown ABC Radio Melbourne

Aussie Morsecodian

As of May 2017 only 20 Morsecodians left

Here is another link about Aussi Morsecodians and member from Beechworth Aust and his mates.

And if that does not work try searching Ц Keeping it alive by Jack Morrow.

Leo Ц Beechworth Victoria Australia. (BX)

Check this link out ..

its what I use to make vintage looking cords for my keys
VY 73 DE KQ4MM - Brian

I like the vintage look.

I use cloth covered tinsel wire.

It is super flexible and has that old time look.

You do need the tools to install insulation piercing terminals as trying to solder tinsel wire is an exercise in frustration.

#6 and #8 spade lug terminal are easy to find. 
The little ring terminals that fit a #4 machine screw are harder to find but fit the terminals of MILSPEC phone plugs nicely.

Suppliers who cater to telephone collectors have what you want. Old Phone Shop


Mouser has this

Which is a black jacket, 2-cond shielded cable, around 3/16" diameter. $165 for a 100 ft spool.

Questions about J-47 keys 

I recently picked up a J-47 key from Ebay that I am planning to restore and hopefully use.

(Currently, it doesn't transmit when connected to my Alinco transceiver).
The 2 terminals that the wires connect to are smooth all the way to the base plate--no edges to indicate that a wrench will unscrew them.

Are those terminals threaded--meant to be unscrewed--for cleaning and better contact?

If so, what tool would loosen/tighten them?
Thanks, Kent Bankhead, KI4ASQ
First of all - I would check the contacts are clean. 9 times out of 10 dirty contacts prevent keying.
A thin strip of clean paper pulled through the contacts should clean them.

John Snell / G0RDO
Dirty contacts ?
I found running a New Clean Dollar bill works great.

Its the type of much better than regular paper from printer or whatever.
The J47's I've seen have knurled nuts which have to be removed to install leads with ring terminals (or loosened to install leads with spade terminals).
I did see what looked like a Bunnell on a J47 base.

Some of these have smooth nuts with a slotted end.

They need a properly-sized screwdriver to remove them.
Is it possible you don't actually have a J47?

I looked at a typical Alinco HF transceiver manual (DX-SR8T) and it shows that a straight key must use a stereo plug with the key connected to Tip and Sleeve. Ring is not used.
Is the key connected as shown in your manual?
If you have a J-47, it is a J-37 on a bakelite base.

The J-37 has to be removed from the base to access the mounting hardware for the binding posts.

These are usually machine screws with a slotted head.
Without pictures, sometimes it is hard for me to figure out what a question is really about.
Thanks, Dean!

Your comment about unscrewing the bakelite base was spot on. I unscrewed the bakelite base and found the screws for the terminal posts I was looking for.

attached a photo of the J-47. 

Kent Bankhead, KI4ASQ 
I recently restored a JJ-38 (Japanease version of a J-38) which is a near copy of the Army J-38.

The terminals & other top parts were secured to the base with machine screws from below.

The key itself must be removed from the base to gain access.

See the great detailed info on this link:

Gill - W4RYW


Brand new to N1MM.

A friend installed it on my PC, but I need help navigating.
I read 1.5 Interfacing Basics, but it didn't help.
Would appreciate advice.
Tnx es 73, Fred W3ICM


Have you read

Les, G4OGB

Fred W3ICM

[skcc] *** K3Y 2019 QSL Card Design Contest ***

Well, it's mid-October already-- time to start preparing for the SKCC special event in January.

So, on to our first order of business...2019 marks the 13th anniversary of SKCC's founding.

The anniversary on-air event will start on January 2nd, directly following Straight Key Night.

As usual we are calling upon SKCC members to come up with QSL card designs for this special event, for which we have been granted the K3Y call sign.
If you've ever designed a QSL card please consider making one for K3Y. 
Or if you've never done so, please give it a try.

There is still time to come up with ideas.

Make sure to follow the design guidelines below.
Designs will be uploaded to the K3Y page where SKCC members can view them and vote for their favorites starting on Dec. 15.

The most popular design will become the official K3Y QSL card of the SKCC 13th Anniversary event.
If enough card designs are submitted we will feature twelve of them in the 2019 SKCC print calendar.

The calendar will include upcoming events of interest to SKCC members, also telegraphy and radio-related historical dates and astronomical data.

You can see the 2018 calendar here:

Prior years are here:

There were many excellent and popular entries submitted for past events that did not win the top spot.

Designers of these cards are invited to update them and re-submit for 2019.
Following are required design specifications for card images:
JPEG high quality format Image size 1650 x 1050 pixels, or better Width-to-height ratio 5.5 x 3.5 (standard QSL card dimensions)
Horizontal layout No text or logos within 1/4" of edges.
At a minimum, the following text elements should be included in your design:
"Straight Key Century Club"
"13th Anniversary"
Please submit your designs by Dec. 14th latest.

You can modify any designs submitted before then through the 14th.
You can submit several different designs.

However, it is suggested that you not submit multiple entries having minor variations.

For example: the same basic design with differently colored backgrounds.
If you include graphics or photos that are not your own they must either be public domain or you must have permission from the original owner. 
Please advise us if you are using graphics or photos that are not your own.
By submitting a card design you agree that SKCC has the right to use it for the K3Y QSL card, K3Y websites, anniversary logo, mug graphic and calendar.

Also, a variant of your design may be used on K3Y DX QSL cards.
Please send any questions or comments to me at af2z[at], or post a follow-up in the SKCC group on, and I will get back to you.

Also send your card images to me.

I will confirm receipt and have them uploaded when the 2019 K3Y page is up.
We'll be posting contest updates in coming weeks. In the meantime, get busy with your K3Y card design(s).

Good luck!
Drew - AF2Z K3Y Planning Group

Hello All,

Another point of view:

I may surprise you, but sometimes I try to generate my call with a poor sending so that not to be decoded by RBN and I am disappointed when despite all I am spotted.
I want to be decoded by a human ear and not by a machine.
My pleasure is to work an OM who was able to copy me despite a non-standard sending and not with a poor operator who copied my call on RBN and send me 5NN TU.
73, Med CN8YR SSNGroup



This email message is a notification to let you know that a file has been uploaded to the Files area of the group.

File: An introduction to the Sideswiper.txt

Uploaded By: Ed - ad7gr <AD7GR@EDLIKO.NET>

Learn the basics from an expert

You can access this file at the URL:


Cheers, The Team


Here are the Youtube links to the cootie intro videos by IK0YGJ that Ed uploaded:

If you're curious, audio waveforms from the above videos can be seen in the first two jpegs of the following post:

named "cootie01s.jpg" and "cootie02s.jpg". It's interesting to see a sample of the keying audio that you are hearing in the vids...
73, Drew AF2Z


MVRC Builders and SKCC members,
I brought out a single lever keyer paddle to the MVRC (Mesilla Valley Radio Club) Builders meeting last Tuesday.

One of the incentives in building it was to explore the use of it as a sideswiper ("cootie").

In trying it out the results were zip.

It looked like its only use would be as a portable keyer paddle.

Then two websites showed up in a SKCC (Straight Key Century Club) email:

In these videos the use of the sideswiper is described as: characters are formed by pressing the lever to the right for the first code part, then to the left for the second code part, back to the right for the next part, etc.

The rule is always begin to the right and press succeeding parts to the alternate side.

For example, the letter A would be right short, left long (dit dah).

The letter B would be right long, left short, right short, left short (dah dit dit dit).
What this does is make the code part spacings always depend on the transition from one side to the other.

Nothing is spaced by double or triple pressing on the lever to one side (which turned out to make very random spacings).

It also allows you to learn character patterns because every one starts with a press to the right. In just a short trial this started to make sense and to make consistent code part spacings.
My conclusion is the way you approach this technique can make or break it.

It looks like something worth exploring because of the light touch in manipulation which should combat the glass arm problem.

A bonus is that any keyer paddle can be used as a cootie by running both output lines together as key output.

Dave, KJ5R


Does it get easier?

The other day I worked a station who asked about my bug.

 Apparently, he deduced that I was not using paddles or even a straight key.

What he did not realize was that I was actually on a cootie. (He wasn't an SKCC op.)

So...was his inquiry about my "bug" a compliment or not?

Given some of the misadjusted bugs I hear, I'm not sure it was. 
Regardless, I continue to work on improving my cootie fist.

I don't feel bad going "live" with a less than perfect fist, be it the bug or the cootie.

Or even the straight key for that matter.

Yet my pursuing the goal of having a good-if not perfect-fist across all keying platforms is adding another layer of enjoyment and satisfaction to my now 51 year CW adventure.

So I think striving for perfectly timed/spaced code is a worthy goal as is acquiring skill in copying less than perfect fists. 
By the way, I've heard or read that commercial ops were often adept at copying some pretty disparate sending styles.

If that's true-and I believe it is-then it follows that there must have been some interesting fists among the world's commercial operators.

(And there were...I recall listening to some back in my SWL days.)

It's for this reason, and others, that I don't let myself get too bothered by the occasional poor fist on the "amateur" bands.

If anything, they just offer more practice in copying non-standard fists.

Now that said, I'm willing to admit I've been known to occasionally "shorten" a qso when the copying became much too laborious!
Richard W0KFG


Does it get easier?
If someone wants to sen a period (or exclamation point), more power to him/her.

However, there really is something to the "Novice Accent."

Here's a link to a letter written by Mr. Dick Baldwin W1RU, editor and General Manager of QST for years.

He was sending a QST article to a new ham for the purpose of helping him learn good operating habits.

The article was written in 1956 by Keith Williams W6DTY and is still quite useful today.
Here's a .pdf copy of the letter:

It wouldn't hurt any of us to read it.
Jay W8ES

Does it get easier?

I know with the internet & reflectors, there seems to be less learning by reading, just ask a friend, but here is a resource worth having,

In here are many sources to operating.

I actually after 61 years of operating, DXing, Contesting, DXpedition trips, traffic handling, ARES activities, etc.

Here you will find correct procedures, not from WANNNABE EXPERTS.
There are tables, lists and straight scoops of how to.

Things like Q-signals, CW abbreviations, net procedures,chasing DX and contesting.
Often I see here where someone was incorrectly told this is the way it is supposed to and now repeats the misinformation he learned from a supposedly expert who was taught wrongly thus perpetuates a bad habit.

These wannabe experts will even refute this information because their Elmer told them so.
It was like the discussion of the use of _BT_ vs. a period.

Both are valid in their proper place, but one bothers someone because.........
By the way, I have seen usedones, earlier versions on eBay, etc. for lower prices, each worth their weight as a reference.

With copying convenience of today, you can make your desk cheat sheets.

And, yes, I remember the start of Xerox, I worked for them way back when.
Yes, it does get easier, with good practice and proficiency.
Good luck, 73, Joe, K8JP/K5 - V31JP


Hello Frends,

Yet another interesting project at ON6WJ, see Jos' note below.

NIL heard last evening Jos but I'll try to listen from time to time.
ON6WJ/B is an experimental beacon sending every 10 minutes a "string" of 3x callsign + QRA Loc + Temp and Battery voltage

(xxxC 186=18,6 C∞ and yyyV 124=12,4Volt) starting at HH:00 ...HH+10...HH+20...HH+30 etc continuously 24/24h ...QRG = 14059 Khz
Ant = quarter wave +/- ground level
Power +/- 80mW)
Your reports are welcome at:

Congratulations mon vieux Jos, keep up the good work and wish you a speedy recovery.

Think we all remember the "Heroes of Telemark".

Yann, F5LAW.
From Dr. Tamitha Skov: 10-12-18

"... we do have another solar storm on the way. This is not the best news for emergency radio operators responding to Hurricane Michael. The good news is that this time the solar storm impact should not be as intense as the last one and it should quiet down much more rapidly. We also have a new bright region rotating into view off the Sun's east limb, which is boosting solar flux and radio propagation back into the marginal levels on the earth's day side. ..."

From Dr. Tamitha Skov. 18-10-18

"... we wait for some fast wind from a returning coronal hole that will be entering the Earth-strike-zone in the next couple of days. ..."

"... two regions rotated into earth view ... boosted the solar flux ... hoping it will keep radio propagation in the marginal range ..."

A Fizzle and a Spotless Sun From Dr. Tamitha Skov: Solar Storm Shortie 10-24-2018

"...Solar flux continues to be low ... probably drop down to the 60s by about mid week ... amateur radio operators are dealing with marginal to poor conditions ... will continue easily for the next 10 days or possibly the next 2 weeks. ... . We are reminded what it's like to be at solar minimum ..." 
Cheers, Darrel, aa7fv

Have a nice day / week(end) gents, BCNU.

Yann, F5LAW

By OM Yann F5LAW SideSwiperNetGroup


73, from the town at the rivers "De Bergsche Maas" and "De Dongen" Geertruidenberg (800+ years city rights) at: 51.702211N 4.853854E

Editor PA3CLQ