<W8BUS circa 1946

ARS W8BUS circa 1946

Home Brew Picture QSL - 1946

This page has been accessed times since July 23, 1996.

Paul, W8BUS, is my cousin and was the person who introduced me to amateur radio in the late 1940's. He had a very nice station in those times and it is pictured in the QSL card above. Two recievers, a Super Pro and an HRO, were top of the line units and had enough audio to blast you out of the shack. The transmitter, a 1KW High Level Modulated AM beast, was world class . It was completely home brew and had a 100TH driving a pair of 250TH's with a pair of 810's as modulators. When the high voltage relay kicked in, there was a big bang and the transformers hummed confidently. With this rig, you knew you were on the air!

Back then, towers were not readily available, so Paul and his brother constructed a 50' wood tower about 2' square. At the top was a 4 element 20 meter full size monobander on a wood frame. A prop pitch motor turned the antenna and even today the prop pitch is second to none in reliability and performance.

I can remember calling CQ at 4 years old and getting answers. Back then, not many AM kilowatts graced the airwaves so a big signal really stood out. But things have changed since those days. Hardly anyone homebrews their tx/rx anymore. If you have the money, you can set up a first class station with little effort. Back then, you spent more time working on your station than operating, but except for the big time contesters and a few others, that is not the case today.

So are we better off today than we were in 1946? Yes and no. The equipment is certainly much better but what about the substance of the hobby itself. Now all you hear is why some dx'ers don't like lists or don't like packet. They say that the quality of dx'ing isn't there when you take advantage of things that make working dx easy. There they sit with their World Class Japanese Radio with every filter you can imagine, stacked monobanders on all bands, 1000' beverages in all directions, digital signal processors; the list goes on and on. They feel that working a new one on their own is some accomplishment. But what was it like to work the DX in 1946? They don't have a clue. If they did, they wouldn't be telling the rest of us how they are so much better for doing it their way.

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