...Not too long ago.... I was reading through some back issues of QST.
One of the articles in the January 2006 edition that interested me was the
product review on the Array Solutions Powermaster digital watt meter. At the time I was looking to
buy such a unit so I read the review with peaked interest. One of my particular interests in such a
purchase was the performance of the peak reading feature on 6 meters! I wanted a meter that
would accurately read PEP power output by my SB-220 conversions.
Sadly the article was void of KW plus readings on 6 meters because the
ARRL lab did not have a KW amplifier for 6 meters!! I thought it high time that the ARRL lab
had the ability to conger up at least a 1000 watts on 6 meters. I made a decision that on my next
visit to ARRL I would discuss the issue with Bob Allison, one of the lab engineers.
Not long afterwards, I completed an SB-220 conversion for a ham in Easton,PA. He then
decided to come directly to my QTH to pick the amplifier up. Since I live only about an hour drive
from ARRL HQ, he decided to come with a friend and pay his first visit to the League.
On the day he came, the three of us went up to Newington for a visit and a guided tour of
the entire facility. When we got to the W1HQ club station and lab area we were greeted by Bob
Allision WB1GCM and ED Hare W1RFI. Bob quickly took over the tour of this area, allowing us
access to the inside of the W1HQ club station, shielded test room and lab area.
When Bob asked for any questions, I mentioned to him that I was disappointed about
that the lab could not muster 1000 watts on 6 meters for doing testing on watt meters and the like.
Bob said had been a topic that was of concern for them for some time; the W1HQ station and
the lab had HF amplifiers but nothing for 6 meters and that they had just recently obtained
an SB-220 that "they" planned on converting to 6 meters just for the purposes of having a KW
for the W1HQ station that could double as a KW for lab testing. No sooner did he take his next
breath, when Pete, the fellow from Easton, PA mentioned I had done the SB-220 conversion for
spoke up and suggested to Bob that they have me do the conversion for them and added my
qualifications. Bob was immediately interested and wanted to know what it would cost.
I told Bob I would do a conversion as a donation to the ARRL's effort of
helping hams. I told Bob I would take the SB-220 home with me and return it as soon as it
Bob and Ed were really excited and couldn't wait until I returned with
the finished product. Two weeks later I returned to the ARRL with my friend Steve
Simmons W1SMS and we presented Bob with the completed SB-220 conversion.
The rest of the interested crowd was invited in for photos of the KING
CONVERSIONS amplifier dedication in it's new home on the desk of the W1HQ club
station. Bob assured me that in future articles the KING CONVERSIONS amp will supply the
power required for KW plus readings on 6 meters for test purposes.
|Dedication - King Conversions Donation at ARRL
Click on image for more pictures!