DELARANEWS

Joe

Joe Papworth, K8MP

National Treasure

Howdy from Joe’s Place! “The Two Alarm Fire” In his comments about the CQWW WPX Contest, Mark, N8FTB, mentioned he had gone a few rounds with the fire alarms in his house when running high-power on 10 meters. It reminded me of a time when Bob Allen, W8IO, (With help from yours truly) set off some alarms in the assisted living place where he and his XYL had taken up residence. Bob has been a Silent Key for quite some time. Bob was a member of the historic West Park Radiops on the west side of Cleveland. The West Park club taught my Novice class way back in ’62. Bob was probably one of the instructors. When the Allen’s moved into the assisted living home he really missed ham radio. I offered to drive up to the place and help him get an antenna up. Bob got permission from the management so I threw some tools and a couple wire antennas in my trunk and headed up I-71. Their small apartment was on the 3rd floor which was a good start for an antenna location. We scoped out tree locations but none were in the right place. I started eye-balling the roof of the place. It was a long, high roof. Bob inquired about putting an antenna above the roof peak and we received the go-ahead with the stipulation that the building maintenance guy would do the roof work. How cool was that? He was a very nice man. We explained what we needed done and up he went. After he had strung the antenna, he threw the feedline down to us on Bob’s balcony and we hooked it up to his rig. We were both super excited to get him on the air because back in those days there was a group of us that rag chewed every morning on 40 CW and every one of those guys was looking forward to hearing Bob on the air again. Well, Bob hit his key and I think it set off every fire alarm in the place. Unbeknownst to us, the wiring for the alarm system ran just inside the roof, right at the peak. In other words, just a few feet from the antenna. YIKES!!!! As you might guess, the assisted living place’s alarm system had a direct line to the fire department. As soon as the alarm went off, the fire guys headed our way. Poor Bob, he was totally embarrassed. He spoke to the building folks and explained that most likely, his radio signal had tripped the alarm. They took it pretty well, treating it as kind of an “OK, no harm, no foul” situation. WHEW!!!! But that was just the first alarm. I stayed up there overnight and the next morning, Bob wanted to see what would happen if he ran QRP. He cranked his output way down and keyed the rig. OOPS… In the words of Yogi Berra, “It was just like déjà vu, all over again”. Bob hurried downstairs in a fruitless attempt to head off the inevitable. Me? I think I just grabbed my stuff and tip-toed away. For all I know, my wire antenna is still up there. That’s it for this month. I hope to see you all at the June meeting and especially at Field Day. (aka- Christmas morning for Ham Operators)
DELARANews

Joe

Joe Papworth, K8MP

National Treasure

Howdy from Joe’s Place! “The Two Alarm Fire” In his comments about the CQWW WPX Contest, Mark, N8FTB, mentioned he had gone a few rounds with the fire alarms in his house when running high- power on 10 meters. It reminded me of a time when Bob Allen, W8IO, (With help from yours truly) set off some alarms in the assisted living place where he and his XYL had taken up residence. Bob has been a Silent Key for quite some time. Bob was a member of the historic West Park Radiops on the west side of Cleveland. The West Park club taught my Novice class way back in ’62. Bob was probably one of the instructors. When the Allen’s moved into the assisted living home he really missed ham radio. I offered to drive up to the place and help him get an antenna up. Bob got permission from the management so I threw some tools and a couple wire antennas in my trunk and headed up I-71. Their small apartment was on the 3rd floor which was a good start for an antenna location. We scoped out tree locations but none were in the right place. I started eye-balling the roof of the place. It was a long, high roof. Bob inquired about putting an antenna above the roof peak and we received the go-ahead with the stipulation that the building maintenance guy would do the roof work. How cool was that? He was a very nice man. We explained what we needed done and up he went. After he had strung the antenna, he threw the feedline down to us on Bob’s balcony and we hooked it up to his rig. We were both super excited to get him on the air because back in those days there was a group of us that rag chewed every morning on 40 CW and every one of those guys was looking forward to hearing Bob on the air again. Well, Bob hit his key and I think it set off every fire alarm in the place. Unbeknownst to us, the wiring for the alarm system ran just inside the roof, right at the peak. In other words, just a few feet from the antenna. YIKES!!!! As you might guess, the assisted living place’s alarm system had a direct line to the fire department. As soon as the alarm went off, the fire guys headed our way. Poor Bob, he was totally embarrassed. He spoke to the building folks and explained that most likely, his radio signal had tripped the alarm. They took it pretty well, treating it as kind of an “OK, no harm, no foul” situation. WHEW!!!! But that was just the first alarm. I stayed up there overnight and the next morning, Bob wanted to see what would happen if he ran QRP. He cranked his output way down and keyed the rig. OOPS… In the words of Yogi Berra, “It was just like déjà vu, all over again”. Bob hurried downstairs in a fruitless attempt to head off the inevitable. Me? I think I just grabbed my stuff and tip-toed away. For all I know, my wire antenna is still up there. That’s it for this month. I hope to see you all at the June meeting and especially at Field Day. (aka- Christmas morning for Ham Operators)