NZ Net News 123, 6 Jan 2024

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Featured key

Begali Simplex paddle. Photo by W0BNC

Photo: W0BNC

The Simplex is one of many dual-lever keys by Begali. The base, which weighs a substantial 1.4kg, is available with either gold plating or palladium plating (pictured). The hardware is gold-plated.

The pivot uses ball bearings, and the contacts are 925/000 silver. The key comes with a protective cover too.

* If you have an interesting key for this feature, please send a nice clear photo and a few words describing it.

Quick notes

Two FT-101E transceivers at ZL1NZHappy New Year! If you’ve noticed that ZL1NZ seems more error-prone on the air lately, or that the signal is a bit weaker than before, there are good reasons for both. I started 2024 by acquiring a modern SDR transceiver, and it’s a staggering change from my faithful mid-1970s station (pictured). So thanks for your patience while I figure out which menu to open, or button to push (and hold). As for the signal strength, it will take me a while to get around to connecting my 60-year-old linear amplifier, as my keying buffer needs a bit of modification to suit the new rig. So I am limited to 100W for the moment. The modern rig has many advantages, which I am quite enjoying, including the fact that I may finally be on the same frequency as everyone else. 🙂

Morse app recommendations? Kelvin ZL3KB writes: “The MorseCram program is in preparation, and wondered if you could help me. I am looking for a simple “morse keyboard” which can just sound morse on the press of a QWERTY key. Many of the apps require you to enter the characters first, then press ‘GO’, but I just want it instantaneous. For Windows or Android. Do you know of any?” (Feel free to send your recommendations to ZL1NZ and I will forward them to Kelvin.)

Photo flashback

Two NZ Post & Telegraph Department telegraphists, circa 1940

Two NZ Post & Telegraph Department telegraphists, circa 1940

Net numbers

Here is the net report for December 2023:

NR1 R ZL1NZ 43/40 AUCKLAND 0800Z 1JAN24
ZL1AYN 14 ZL1NZ 21 ZL1PX 9 ZL2GD 6 ZL2GVA 17 
ZL2KE 13 ZL2LN 1 ZL2TE 14 ZL3TK 2 ZL4BDG 11 
ZL4FZ 5 ZL4GW 2 ZL4KX 15 TOTAL 172 QTC 39

Graph of net activity during December 2023

2023 Annual Report

The NZ Net recorded 2098 check-ins during 2023 and handled 462 pieces of traffic.

In February, net members adopted a Code of Conduct.

We were pleased to welcome Bob ZL1AYN and Ben ZL4BDG as Participating Members of the Net during 2023. We enter 2024 with 14 participating members (12 in New Zealand and 2 in Australia).

Thanks to all ops who have helped keep the net functioning. It is a bright beacon of activity on a band that is typically very quiet and lonely. Let’s all work to recruit more members in 2024!

And, if you have ideas on how to help the net grow, or just function better, please get in touch with ZL1NZ or any of the net control operators.

Map showing locations and callsigns of NZ Net members at 1 January 2024

Learn more about NZ Net membership.

Bob’s beans

Bob ZL1AYN with 4 tins of baked beans bearing customised labels referring to him

By Bob Lowe ZL1AYN

I thought you might like to see what a pack of comedians rellies can be.

Here’s a photo of me with my Christmas present: cans of Watties personalised baked beans.

  • PRONTO (the Voice Appointment Title for the Regimental Signals Officer)
  • Sig Lowe (Signalman Lowe)
  • ZL ONE AYN (my ham allsign)
  • Over and Out

The morse key is the one I used during my first CW QSO as G3TCN on a 1-watt valve set (W/S 128), from my home at the time, near the Brecon Beacons.

Morse challenge

Here’s a compilation of four maritime coast stations (not counting the one buried in QRM!). All you need to do is tell me the four callsigns. Bonus points if you tell me the location of each station.

Please send your answer via radiogram or email to ZL1NZ.

Answer to previous Morse Challenge

The message being transmitted by the Musick Point Radio Group’s repeater on 2m FM was “MERY CHRISTMAS DE ZL1HK REPEATER”. Correct answers were received from IK4DCT, VK2MZ, VK3DRQ, ZL1ANY, ZL1AYN, ZL2LDX, ZL3LI.

Video: Dueling paddles

You might recall that in NZ Net News 114, we had a video of Eric NI4E sending with both hands, using a left-handed bug and a right-handed bug.

If you thought that was impressive (I did!) then prepare to be amazed as Eric does the same thing, but this time using a dual-lever paddle with squeeze keying in his left hand, and a single-lever paddle in his right hand.

The paddles are a ZN-9RZ (left) and a ZN-SL (right).

Advertising archive

1943 advert for Hammarlund Super Pro receiver shows cartoon signalman telling another soldier it's just like he has in his ham shack.



If you have suggestions on how to make the NZ Net better, or things you’d like to see covered in these updates, please contact ZL1NZ. You might even like to write something for the newsletter.

Thanks for reading, and I hope to hear you soon on the NZ Net!

Neil Sanderson ZL1NZ, Net Manager
New Zealand Net (NZ NET)
3535.0 kHz at 9pm NZT Mon-Fri