You may hear a recording of my signal taken from the receiver of VA2DLJ (153km) by clicking here. A recording made by W1PID (112km) can be heard here. NV1B kindly sent me this recording (196km).
The lowest powered station that I worked was KB1LZH at 35mW. Peter was participating in the Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club "Battery Challenge" contest. By the time he worked me his battery was on its last legs and his output power was down to 35mW. His rig consisted of an unregulated Colpitts VFO followed by a buffer stage. When Peter began sending I would hear his signal with a high-pitched beat-note. However, the battery voltage would promptly begin to droop, causing his signal to rapidly slide toward the infrasonic end of the audible spectrum.
What's more, he later told me that the entire 80m CW band could be swept by a 20 degree rotation of the tuning dial. Peter fine-tuned his operating frequency by waving his hand over the VFO circuit! As he was sending I could clearly hear him fighting to hold the signal frequency steady. Just as bad, my primitive setup didn't allow me to chase his signal.
My friend, DL3PB wrote
"A free running oscillator supplied from a dying battery with sophisticated fine-tuning on one hand - a 35-times magnetic multiplier driven from an RC-bridge oscillator along with a gain-less receiver on the other - Gosh, and I thought I was nuts?! Fantastic QSO, better than any DX, thanks for sharing that!"
Indeed, I loved every minute of it! KB1LZH was kind enough to send me this photograph of his 35mW transmitter.
In the October 1923 edition of Elektrotechnische Zeitschrift (ETZ), Karl Schmidt detailed an experimental CW transmitter that he built and operated at the C. Lorenz A.G. laboratory in Berlin.
An alternator drove a one-stage, magnetic frequency multiplier.The transmitter operated on a frequency of 333kHz with an RF output power of 1.5kW. His article included a sketch of the "sloper" antenna that he used, along with a promising signal report from Amsterdam.
Herr Schmidt concluded his article with news that large numbers of these types of transmitters were under construction at Lorenz. These were said to have output powers ranging from 1 to 500kW and a top frequency of 500kHz. In fact, only a handful of these transmitters were ever put on the air. Within the space of a few years this imaginative technology had been all but forgotten.
My Station Log
AA1MY, 569/569, 157km
W1PID, 569/599, 112km, 2W/10W
N1WPU, 559/579, 314km, 5W to G5RV
WB2QMY, 559/559, 408km, 100W to G5RV
N1RX, 559/579, 91km, 1W
NU4I, 449/329, 831km
KQ1P, 229/579, 333km, 1W
VE3GTC, 549/418, 238km, 5W
W1ESC, 569/579, 170km
KB1LZH, 229/559, 200km, 35mW
VE3RRD, 459/449, 554km, 5w to vertical loop
WA1IIE, 569/579, 238km, 5W
K1SEZ, 569/539, 293km, 200W
AA1XV, 339/429, 331km, 5W
VA3FB, 569/579, 276km, 100W to inverted vee
W1IE, 559/539, 941km
WA2OQJ, 439/229, 375km, 5w to a dipole
W2LJ, 229/339, 410km
VE1DY, 229/449, 726km
W3TS, 569/559, 528km
W4FOA, 229/329, 1486km
KB8TT, 339/339, 758km
N7UN, 569/579, 362km
K5KW, 559/549, 2116km, Best DX
VE3DJX, 569/569, 274km, 5w
WA3SLN, 569/579, 460km
K3HX, 229/559, 709km, 4w
WA1HFF, 559/589, 226km, 5w to a dipole
WA9ETW, 339/519, 899km, 100w to end fed wire @ 15'
WR9H, 449/229, 1327km
W2SH, 569/589, 405km, 5w
SWL Reports Received
NV1B, 559, 196km
N0AR, 229, 1608km
KF4TAP, 334, 1778km (Yukon, MO)