1929 BK QSO Party Fun

With headphones clamped to my ears, the past two Saturday nights have been spent in the Bruce Kelley 1929 QSO Party. Before I was hit with the '29-bug, these two weekends were usually taken up with the ARRL 160 CW Contest, and then with the ARRL 10m Contest the following weekend. Perhaps it's just as well that the BK has taken priority as I'm not sure if I could hang-in until 0100 or so anymore for the topband affair....or sit all weekend for the 10m fracas. At least the BK action finishes up early here out west, as by the time 10pm rolls around, most of the guys further east have hit the sack...my kind of contest!

Courtesy: http://www.spaceweatherlive.com
This year's conditions were rather dismal, on both weekends, as...once again...the planet was whacked with more coronal hole streaming. These things are ionospheric-killers from what I can see, as the level of signal absorption shoots way up, and quickly...not as much however, the further you get from the auroral zone.

Not to disappoint, the usual BK winds came up, right on schedule as well, almost coincidental with the start of the Party. Thankfully, weekend number two saw no wind whatsoever....a rare event in December....but, from the sound of many other notes, I wasn't the only one having windy weather.
Some of this year's highlights were working my usual "must contact" stations back east....N1BUG (Paul, in Maine), NE1S (Larry, also in Maine), VE3AWA (Lou, in Ontario), K4JYS (Bill, in NC) and WØVLZ (Niel, in MN). It's particularly fun to work Niel as it was the fine Youtube video of his 1929 station that got me started in vintage building.
Two newcomers made this affair even better, with the addition of John, VE7BDQ,along with his nice three-band Colpitts and 12-year old Joe, KC9WYV, operating at KBØROB's station in MN. He has a fist as smooth as silk and will be a wonderful asset to our hobby. Kudos to Harold for the "Elmering" of this young ham.
I made a very short recording of 40m early on the first weekend, just after the 3PM start.... but there wasn't much to hear at this early hour. On the video below you can see (and hear) the signals of (in order): K4JYS (NC) being answered by KK7UV, W7LNG (OR), WB2AWQ (Reno, NV), VE7BDQ (working WA1JAS in Maine). The 8W signal of WA1JAS is amazing, considering the hour....still daylight here on the west coast.

My BK log is rather skimpy, considering that it represents two Saturday-nights of activity. In terms of fun, it is very much larger. I rather suspect that this may have been the last outing for my Hull Hartley, as work has now begun on a MOPA rig for next year....hopefully I won't have to worry about the wind weather any longer! 
Of particular interest are the rig descriptions and input power levels. I also see Hartley's having a slight-edge over TNT's in terms of usage. It was disappointing to have only 3 contacts on topband, but conditions were just not going to let it happen....maybe next year.
DE6 2302 40 KK7UV 589c 558 HART 28 9 STEVE MT

DE6 2317 40 N1BUG 568 449 TNT 29 10 PAUL ME

DE6 2322 40 WA1JAS 569 559 HART 29 8 MIKE ME

DE6 2347 40 W7LNG 567 578 TNT 29 6 BUD OR

DE6 2352 40 VE7BDQ 599 599 COLP 29 10 JOHN BC

DE7 0014 40 K7SF 578 579 TNT 29 10 STEVE OR

DE7 0105 40 NE1S 449 449 TNT 29 9 LARRY ME

DE7 0120 40 WB2AWQ 579 569 HART 29 10 HOWIE NV

DE7 0133 40 K4JYS 449 449 TNT 29 10 BILL NC

DE7 0145 40 WB8APR 559 449 MOPA 29 5 JOHN MI

DE12 2257 40 K0KP 579 559 HART 29 9 REX MN

DE6 0202 80 AB0CW 559 549 HART 29 5 MARK CO

DE6 0317 80 KK7UV 599 599 HART 28 9 STEVE MT

DE6 0329 80 KE0Z 559 559 HART 29 8 WILL SD

DE6 0356 80 N1BUG 449 559 TNT 29 10 PAUL ME

DE6 0403 80 KC9WYV 579 539 MOPA 29 9 JOE MN

DE6 0415 80 VE7BDQ 599 599 COLP 29 10 JOHN BC

DE6 0422 80 AA2YV 439 449 HART 29 10 BILL NY

DE6 0438 80 N8YE 559 569 TPTG 25 9 STEVE OH

DE6 0442 80 W7LNG 578 588 TNT 29 9 BUD OR

DE6 0524 80 K0KP 599 589 HART 29 9 REX MN

DE6 0530 80 W2ICE/0 579 339 COLP 29 10 SCOTT MN

DE6 0539 80 VE3AWA 578 339 TNT 29 10 LOU ON

DE6 0548 80 KI0DB 559 579 MOPA 29 10 MARK MN

DE6 1229 80 W0LGU 559 559 MOPA 29 9 TOM MN

DE6 1240 80 K0KCY 559 449 MOPA 29 10 TONY MN

DE12 0352 80 KB0ROB 569 569 MOPA 29 9 HAROLD MN

DE12 0427 80 W8KGI 559 448 MOPA 29 10 JIM NM

DE12 0440 80 W0VLZ 559 339 TNT 29 10 NIEL MN

DE12 0509 80 K4JYS 559 559 HART 29 15 BILL NC

DE12 0512 80 WB9WHG 569 449 MOPA 29 20 DAVE WI

DE12 0524 80 W0LS 599 579 HART 29 9 HARRY MN

DE12 0401 160 KK7UV 579 559 HART 28 10 STEVE MT

DE12 0539 160 VE7BDQ 599 599 COLP 29 10 JOHN BC

DE12 0542 160 W0LS 559 559 HART 29 9 HARRY

More information on '29 building may be found here in previous "'29-style blogs" and good project discussions always abound at the Yahoo "AWA Group" builder's site.

It's really not too early to start building for next year's BK!
Steve McDonald, VE7SL, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from British Columbia, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

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