By WBØRUR, on the scene
PETALUMA, Calif. — Ham radio operator Arthur Martin says he can’t explain it, but he’s happy about it all the same.
Martin says he accidentally spilled a cup of General Foods International Gourmet Café Vienna instant coffee onto the top of his Hallicrafters HT-37A transmitter.
The 62 year old retired maintenance engineer says he was holding the cup of instant java when he leaned over to connect a RG8 patch cable in the back. He tipped a bit too far, spilling all but a drop.
The ventilation holes in the vintage HF transmitter quickly allowed the scalding hot, sickeningly sweet liquid to seep onto the chassis, into the final PA cage, the band switch and the VFO mechanism.
Knowing it was ruined but hoping for the best, Martin says he fired up the rig and was quite surprised when the device showed a full 1250 watts PEP output – far above manufacturer’s specifications.
Leaning back in his desk chair while monitoring an 80 meter SSB net, Martin adds there is a downside.
After the heat generated by the tube finals burned off the liquid, the sticky residue left behind by the coffee mishap has gummed up the VFO and bandswitch, making it impossible to change frequencies.
“But I’m KING of the 80 meter Cialis net!” he declares triumphantly.
You can work Arthur almost any evening on 3.668 MHz.