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Chapter 36 - Northwest Indiana

~ Creaky Knees and Rusty Keys ~


The weather was fair, but our turnout was light in December with 13 members and guests attending. Thanks to the Krajacic family who made up about a third of the attendance! :-)

Thanks to Tom, W8FIB, for an interesting show-and-tell about landline telegraphy. We learned that the closure switch on telegraph keys (sometimes called a shorting bar) was not purposed for us to tune up later wireless radios. Instead, in old style telegraphy, they used a closed circuit system powered with about 100V at each end of the circuit. The closure switch needed to remain closed at all times until ready to transmit and initiate communications. The 100V power source was made of homebrew batteries in glass jars, and it was the job of the junior operators to make sure they were properly cared for. One of the elements of these batteries was a zinc "crow's foot" that hung on the top lip of the jars. Tom had one of these that he picked up on eBay, as well as some bugs and sounders. Also, if you're in need of parts for bugs or paddles, Tom recommends Donnie WA9TGT in Muncie, Indiana. Donnie has an online store at 2B Radio Parts LLC. Tom also sent this link about early telegraphy... it's very interesting, check it out!


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Sorry, no photos again this month!


Attending: (in last name order)

Don (K9WHK) and Verneice Buchanan
Chuck (KC9OYE) and Cheri Hill
Joe (N9TAX)and Brandie (W9BLK) Krajacic, and daughters Kaitlin and Lindsay
John Miller (W9ZG)
Mike Rohwedder (WU9D)
Tom (W8FIB) and Cindy Ruggles
Stan Vandiver (W4SV)


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