Receivers are always ranked by the "2 kHz third order dynamic range", such as at: http://www.remeeus.eu/hamradio/pa1hr/productreview.pdf but do we really grasp the meaning of these specs? For instance, the Elecraft K3's (after synthesizer upgrade) number is 103 dB, good enough to be in the top ten. In fact, this number is so strong that very few hams will ever be affected by it. To the best of my knowledge, I have *never* been close to running out of dynamic range. To understand why, let's put "103 dB" into English.
Let's say you're on 20 meter CW, operating at 14.050 MHz.
The idea of hand crafting my dots and dashes the old way sometimes sneaks up on me - until I check the prices on a shiny new Vibroplex. I used a bug long ago when I was licensed as VQ9BL. But not by choice...
We'd pulled into Diego Garcia for a 2-week repair on our water distilling plant with most of that time being spent waiting on parts being shipped from Stateside. As a result, we had plenty of downtime for fishing, chasing the few women on the island and, if you were so licensed, ham radio.
There was a ham station on VQ9 at the time and it included everything but the rig - a great building, excellent antennas for 10-160m, power supplies, antenna tuners and even an SB-220. I didn't have a rig with me but an Exxon tanker was in port with us and the RO graciously allowed me to use his Icom 735. And the only key he used - a bug.
If you've got 50 minutes to spare (and preferably a smart TV to stream to), you may be interested in the following documentary. The video is well put-together, professional in appearance, and quite watchable.
From the YouTube description:
"This video is an interview with two Merchant Marine Radio Officers,
George H. Cave W4KDX, and Donald M. Berger W4CQC, who served during World War II.
They discuss their enlistment in the Merchant Marine and some of their
After the War, both worked in Coastal Radio
Stations. Both volunteer on the SS American Victory (which is still a
functioning Victory ship docked in Tampa, FL) operating the ships
station KKUI and the Amateur Radio station W4AVM."
If it inspires you to break out an old bug to produce CW like these guys used to do it, the Bug Round-Up will provide you with some like-minded companionship on 19-20 November.
A few days ago, a fine confluence of three events occurred - a Carnival cruise ship was scheduled to leave Galveston, I had the day off and my Phantom was in fine flying condition.
I did the only thing I could do and the result is the video below. Only after I got back home and looked at the video on the big monitor did I notice the dolphins escorting the ship out of the channel and the woman on the aft deck waving at me.