Friday, December 31, 2010

Better Things

Kinks - Better Things!

I hope everyone finds Better Things!

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Blizzard Warnings

Courtesy of AccuWeather.

The weather forecast this afternoon into Monday morning is calling for blizzard conditions with heavy snow and high winds. Sounds like a perfect day for some football on the tube and eating the left over treats from yesterday. Will hit the shoveling throughout the afternoon into the evening to keep up with it.

The Sunday radio game plan is to send my call sign out in the storm between the flakes on the HF side, always cool to operate when the snow is falling.

Hope everyone had a nice day yesterday.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas To All!

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas!
Have A Wonderful Day!!

Can't Forget This Bud Classic

Fun to watch!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Band Aid Classic

Do they know it's Christmas.
Great song for the holiday's.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Old Technology

A few weeks ago I put a bid on an eBay item and picked up a nice hardcover 1989 ARRL Handbook at a good price.

Yes very old technology on two fronts, the circuits are easy to follow but outdated by today's standard and the way things are going with E readers who knows about the future of a book as we know it.

I also enjoy holding a good book or newspaper in my hand instead reading off the screen. Getting back to my purchase the 1989 handbook is ten times easier to follow than my 2005 edition. Most of the circuits and descriptions seem simple. Hardest part might be crossing some of the older parts but with sites like NTE Electronics that should not be a problem. Sometimes the challenge of the drop in cross and getting to it work is the most fun part of the build.

Check out NTE for older and obsolete part crosses and replacements.

Have to admit not much building or radio fun with the holiday season and work stuff but will have some down time next week to play.

Today's the first day of winter, enjoy the season.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Mighty Mite

In the process of getting the parts for my next project, the Mighty Mite build.

This circuit is from the pages of W1FB's QRP Notebook, page 111. The Mighty Mite consists of one transistor and a handful of parts, output power is a whopping 30mW, QRPp. Taking a look over the parts list, most are common items I should have except for the miniature RF Choke, Mouser/Xicon# 43LR225 which is obsolete. There should be a drop in replacement available from Xicon.

The plan is to try and keep all parts as close to original parts list, just for history of Doug DeMaw's Mighty Mite. I did an online search and found a few different varieties of this circuit. Also need to pick up a few crystals if anyone has a favorite source please let me know.

Updates on this build will be posted in a week or so depending on time with the busy holiday season fast approaching.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Have A Nice Holiday!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

MFJ Live Broadcast

On Nov. 16th at 1400 UTC there will be a live broadcast of MFJ, Cushcraft, Hy-gain, etc.

I have one video on in the backround now while working, some cool stuff.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

New You Tube Video

Put up my first video today on YouTube for one of the kits I built earlier this year.

This was a very rough first try but I feel it was not to bad, next one should run smoother. The kit was the Velleman Super Stereo Ear which is a pretty cool kit.

Now if I can just stop saying "And UH" I should be OK.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Bell Labs

Found this article in my local newspaper this morning about Bell Labs in Murray Hill, NJ.

Check out the long list of Bell Labs Inventions.

Here's a few cool ones off the list:

1925: Fax machine, Still use one at work but email is taking over.

1947: Transistor, Where would we be without it.

1963: Touch tone phone, replacing rotary dials, remember those, dialing a wrong number was a hassle.

1980: Digital cellular telephone technology: WOW

These are just a few of the unbelievable list of inventions.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

A picture of my neighbors house.
Double click on picture to check it out.

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Future ARRL Kits

Just in from my weekly ARRL Letter:

The ARRL will be offering two new kits, first is a Morse Code Oscillator by MFJ. I think this would be popular with clubs and new comers to the hobby.

The second is a PIC Programming type kit. This looks more like a mini training course if you pick up the ARRL's PIC Programming for Beginners book. The kit includes all parts for a microprocessor controlled CW key er.

I have never gotten into the PIC type builds, still old school with basic transistors and digital TTL type stuff.

As always the more kits available the better!

Friday, October 22, 2010


My November 2010 QST just landed in the mailbox with an intro article "Find the Right Path with WSPR".

I am looking forward to trying out this new mode, been reading about it on the other blogs for sometime now.

Its always great to get some new reading material heading into the weekend!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

On This Day: Edison Invents Electric Light

Every morning in my email I receive from The New York Times "Today's Headlines" and this caught my eye.

On this day Oct. 21, 1879 Thomas Edison invented a workable electric light at his laboratory in Menlo Park, NJ.

Here is link to original newspaper cover and article.

Now if we can just find a way to get our kids to turn off the lights when they leave the room.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Free Antenna e-magazine

This past week I came across a site called ANTENTOP which puts out a free e-magazine devoted to Antennas and Amateur Radio.

They also have a free e-book for downloading, Ideas and Projects for QRP.

Some good reading for the colder months ahead.

Thanks to Antentop!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Crystal Sets To Sideband

I came across a helpful free online book by Frank Harris, K0IYE,

Crystals Sets To Sideband, A Guide to Building an Amateur Radio Station.

This book offers a great introduction into the world of home brewing with a simple easy to read format. I especially like his idea of picking up an ARRL Amateur Radio Handbook from the 1980's for the more do able projects. The newer editions have tougher projects that I have passed up on. The book link is listed below.

Frank's station is also 100% home brewed!

A very nice read!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Summer Winds Down

As the hot summer of 2010 comes to an end, looking forward to the cooler temps in the fall. The leaves are just starting to turn and I see the squirrels are hard at work collecting acorns. You just can't beat the cooler days and crisp nights for sleeping.

It seems like I did not do many projects this summer being just so hot outdoors. In the next few weeks I want to get out for some radio adventure, a few cool operating spots are on my radar. Going to put off starting any kit builds until the cold season is here, but gathering up the components in the meantime.

Hoping for a nice fall season for all!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Old Tyme Ads

Here's a classic ad from the the back pages of 101 Electronic Projects, 1973.

A Progressive Home Radio T.V. Course. Build 20 Radio and Electronic Circuits.

A couple of cool AD notes:

Sold in 79 Countries
Free Set of Tools
No Salesman will call
No price in ad
Free literature

Speaking of TV repair, used to be two shops in my area that did repairs, yes now out of business.

Kid Flashback: I remember growing up and the RCA repairman coming to the house to fix our living room TV.

Color TVs were big back than, channels were 2 WCBS, 4 WNBC, 5 WNEW, 7 WABC, 9 WWOR, 11 WPIX, and 13 PBS.

Now with hundreds of channels available and still nothing on.
TVs are HD with 3D starting to hit the store self's.

I still like my standard color set.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Jersey Shore

Spent the last few days at the Jersey shore with the family for the annual end of summer getaway.

Hurricane Earl went by with some mighty strong winds which made for a wicked undertow in the Atlantic, which kept us out of the water until Saturday. It also put a damper on my bay kayak trip, the wind was not fun on the water.

We did spend a wonderful afternoon at Island Beach State Park. The day before the storm it was a beautiful sunny day and the beaches were just about empty with the storm on its way.

My only regret is I did not bring a radio with me, a deserted beach would have been a blast to go on the air with the ocean view in front of me.

I still have the fall season for another trip or two for some beach portable.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Yesterday I picked up More QRP Power book by ARRL.

A few easy circuits and interesting antenna ideas, makes for some nice back yard reading. Speaking of the yard, the sun just came out for a few minutes, if it stays dry going to set up and try my luck on the QRP hang outs with some SSB.

The family was going to head for the beach, some surf fishing for me, but they are calling for rain all day. We do need the rain big time! Its been a super hot summer.

Maybe some more computer work and than get motivated and head outdoors.

A lazy cloudy Sunday.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Good Read

Spent most of the afternoon reading "The Dark Tide" by Andrew Gross.

This is the type of book I can not seem to put down, starts with an explosion, killings, and plenty of action. I just finished "The Blue Zone" also by Gross, another mystery with a great ending. If your looking for a good summer read be sure to check out one of his books.

It was a super nice sunny day here in New Jersey. This evening their is a slight cool breeze which feels nice for a change considering the warm hot sticky days so far. Forecast is another nice Sunday so hoping to break out a radio outside and see how the bands are.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Saturday Evening Post

After my usual Saturday morning chores I did some afternoon building on the back picnic table.

Picked up a Philmore DATAkit 40 Meter VFO kit# 80-1404. VFO tunes from 7 to 7.3MHz. This kit is built around a Clapp Oscillator, instructions mention stable and a configuration for high proformance. Kit is broken up into five bags of components, finished first two bags in a slow take your time type of build.

This circuit will be fun to play around with, no crystals to mess with and individual frequencies to content with, even thou bandwidth is not that wide. Only one toroid core to deal with just in case your not a fan of winding, I hope for the best when I start counting the loops.

Kit includes about 26 components or so and a small size 1.6" x 3.0" screened PC board, schematic, and general write up about VFO's. Street price is $20.00 give or take.

A few months ago I downloaded from the ARRL website an easy to read article from Jan. 1980 QST by Doug DeMaw,W1FB, A Beginner's 3-Band VFO. Includes some good reading info: What is a VFO?, Design Points, Types of Circuits, Schematics, and Drift Characteristics.

Just a few throughts on backyard building, its great to be outside and out of the basement, plenty of time for that in the winter. Just be careful with the soldering iron if kids or pets are around. Plus with a slight breeze there is no need to worry about the smoke from your iron. Just being outside adds to the building experiance.

Tonight between Cops and America's Most Wanted on the tube, I will be reading up on the VFO's.

Enjoy The Rest of The Weekend!

QRP Lecture

This morning had some time to listen to George Dobbs G3RJV QRP lecture.

He is a wonderful speaker and it was a very informative talk about QRP building and operating that was down to earth and easy to understand. A few of the projects were very cool and look like fun to build and fire up on the air.

You can check out the lecture at and go to film archive section. There are other amateur radio instructional type stuff if QRP is not your interest.

Radio construction is rather like a pilgrimage.
Where the journey is often more important than
the destination.

George Dobbs G3RJV

I like what he said at his closing that amateur radio is a hobby, have fun with it!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

2 Meter Listening

This morning I fired up my Icom IC-207 2M/440 radio for this first time in months. I keep in on a corner table in the office and listen in once in awhile.

My frequency of choice is simplex 146.520, not a ton of activity but different than the usually repeater chatter.

Plus in the past I have made some decent contacts on simplex.

Suppose to be a hot sticky day with some rain tonight with the weekend looking nice, beach weather for sure.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Old Mags

In the basement I keep a box or two of my old CQ, QST, and World Radio magazines. This weekend during the night time TV hours I went through a small stack of World Radios, neat to get some new ideas and read a few articles.

Came across a cool loop antenna using zip cord, going to do some more research on this one but might be on the future build list.

On the tube they are promoting the new shows for the fall season, Hawaii Five-O, Law & Order LA. When I was a kid in the summer I use to hate that because it meant school was right around the corner.

"Book'em Danno"

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Heat Is On!

The 5 day forecast is calling for Hot Steamy weather. Per, here is a look at the high temps. for the next few days.

Today 102 deg. F
Wed. 97 deg. F
Thur. 91 deg. F
Fri. 92 deg. F
Sat. 88 deg. F

Listed today is a Heat Advisory, Air Quality Alert, Hazardous Weather Outlook.

Fun stuff, where is that air conditioner dial?

Friday, July 2, 2010

Stealth Antennas

Its early Friday night in NJ and I am trolling the web for ideas about putting together an stealth antenna using some magnet wire. Yes I need a life!

So far thinking of going with an inverted vee with fishing line as insulators. Magnet wire is just about invisible but not very strong. This should keep the neighbors who seem to have nothing to do at bay, not that I care, but it would be nice to operate under cover. Yes as I have mentioned before I have a small lot, only one tree by the patio that is not very big.

Back to web searching and hopefully get some wire in the air tomorrow. This should be a fun easy project. Details to follow.

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Go Kit Ideas

With the warm summer weather upon us thoughts turn to outdoor activities, I have been thinking of putting together a go kit.

Just a simple bag or backpack consisting of a complete station.

Here are a few ideas:

Yaesu FT-857D, 5-10 watts for qrp and some extra power in case I need it.
Werker 12V 10Ah sealed battery. 6 1/2 lbs.
Straight Key.
Antenna? Looking at some type of end fed / dipoles. I have a Buddipole and ham sticks but would like to keep everything in a bag. If working near car I will be set.
Telescoping crappie fishing pole??
Antenna tuner: LGD Z-11 Pro
Pad, pencils, small light.
Backpack or heavy duty gym bag.
Digital camera.
Assorted cables RG8X.

The weight of the radio and battery adds a few pounds but not going to be doing any major hiking, just working picnic table, beach, etc. Lets just say walking distance from car.

As you can see this is a work in progress type of list, so changes will be made. Any input from past experiences would be appreciated.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Simpsons On Ham Radio

Fun video for a Monday!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

An Eye On The Sky

The weather for the afternoon is not looking good for my afternoon back yard portable radio fun. The call is for heavy thunderstorms and a tornado warning for all of NJ until this evening.
I was going to set up the Buddipole and make a few contacts but kind of holding back now. Will make a decision soon because will only have an hour or so.
Photo is courtesy of Accuweather.
Enjoy your Sunday and I hope your weather is a bit nicer.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Online Parts Locator

If you want to visit one site to find your components and com pair prices here is a great site.

Find Chips has a listing of a few major electronic components distributors, most will sell without a high order minimum dollar amount. Be careful with handling charges, some are very high.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Crystal Radio Fun

It was a very windy cold day in NJ for this time of year in May, spent most of the afternoon cleaning up the garage. This evening I broke out an old favorite kit built a few years ago with my kids, the crystal radio.

Crystal radios are fun to play with no matter how old you are. The kit listed above is the Elenco MX-901 Crystal Radio. Four local stations came in loud and clear into my earphone.

WABC, 770AM, Talk
WINS, 1010AM, News
WEPN, 1050AM, ESPN Sports
WBBR, 1130AM, Bloomberg

The hook up was very simple, antenna wire hung over curtain rod, ground wire to a plate on radiator. The key is a good solid ground, make sure your connection is not made against some metal that is painted.

I am going to keep it connected for another hour and maybe get lucky with a station or two out of the local area.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Sunspot Basics

The May 2010 CQ magazine has an easy to read article on sunspots. The sun plays such an important part in our on air activities. I sometimes do not pay enough attention to the sun and how it effects band conditions.

The write up also mentions NASA's new Solar Dynamics Observatory, that I posted a video of previously. Future photos and videos from the $858 million SDO satellite should be must see type of stuff.

CQ magazine is a nice simply down to earth easy read that the beginner can understand. I just wish they would put more kids on the cover, might help generate a younger crowd to the hobby.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Amazing Video of the Sun

Check out this video of sun surface activity from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory.

The SDO was launched on Feb. 11, 2010, and is the most advanced spacecraft ever designed to study the sun.

I have been reading about the band conditions and thorough would be of interest to a few.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Saturday Night Soldering

Fired up the soldering iron last night and put together the Velleman Super Stereo Ear kit# MK136.

The stereo audio amplifier boosts sound 50 times and looks like fun kit to mess around with. Kit consists of 30 or so components that are soldered on a screen PC board. Assembly is straight forward and easy. Total build time was 90 minutes at a slow pace.

The kit is built around part number NE5532, dual low-noise high speed audio operational amplifier 8 pin dip. Per Fairchild Semi data sheet: The high small signal and power bandwidth provides superior performance in high quality Amp, all control circuits, and telephone applications. Kit also includes two microphones and a 3 cell battery holder that gets attached to the board. Only items required is head phones and batteries. I used a pair of old Walkman type head phones I had.

Time for the smoke test, a flick of the slide switch and the small LED came to life and turned a nice color red. Now with headphones in place and a slight turn of the potentiometer and the sounds around me came to life in stereo.

I took the stereo ear outside in the dark but only heard a car go by. I will have to take this out during the day and see what kind of gossip comes across. Maybe even add two paper towel type tubes to each microphone to aim in the direct of sounds in a distance.

The price is about $9.00 from J-Tron, Inc.

Will post more updates with this kit in the future.

Monday, April 12, 2010

New Blog Added

I came across a interesting blog about a guy who is driving around the world. When the roads stop he ships his truck.

Interesting reading and some cool adventures.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Happy Friday!

The sun is shining and the call is for a nice weekend. Perfect weather for some backyard portable fun, SSB QRP style.

The outdoor furniture is not out yet, so my operating will be a comfortable lounge chair and small table. My only giveaway that I am on the air is my Buddipole antenna. I want to pick up a long crappie fishing pole and string up some magnet wire for a better stealth appearance.

Yes I like to play radio under the radar or low profile. Just hope the bands are in my favor.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Books That Breathe

This is one very strange video, imagine if the books in your house started doing this?

Things - Edith Kollath Creates Books that Breathe from Bre Pettis on Vimeo.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring Is Here!

Today was a perfect Spring day, temps in the mid 70's F, blue skies and sunshine. Even saw a butterfly today.

Spent all day outside, washed the car, gave the lawn a good raking, put my filters in the small pond in the yard. Right after 6 in the evening set up my Buddipole in the yard on 20 meters. I tuned it up with an swr reading up 1.5 to 1.8, close enough for me. Spent an hour before it started to get dark but was very happy with my one contact, QRP with ZY7C in Brazil with 10 watts SSB. (contest) Radio used was the 857D with a portable battery.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Radio To Go

This past Sunday afternoon I grabbed my radio bag and newly charged battery and headed to the Fort Lee Historic Park. The park is located on a cliff top high above the Hudson River. Spectacular views of the George Washington Bridge and the upper Manhattan skyline were the perfect setting to check out.

The weather was a nice sunny day with temps in the 50 degree range, after some sight seeing I loaded the 20 meter ham stick on the car roof and wanted to put my battery to the test. My view from the parking lot was the GWB. I cranked up the power on my Yaesu 857D to 30W and worked France and Germany. Dropped the power down to 25 watts and worked Italy and another station in Germany. Overall conditions were good and the SSB contest kept the bands alive.

I would have like to spent more time chatting but all stations were contest crazy. Next time I plan to drop my power down to 10 watts and have some fun. Before I left a young lady took this huge boa snake out of her car, had to go check it out. She offered to take a picture of me holding it but this thing was BIG!

Maybe next time!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Werker Battery

I made a quick run down the Garden State Parkway to the Batteries Plus store in Union, NJ and purchased a Werker 12V 10Ah SLA battery.

I decided to go for the Werker brand after I sent Will Robertson, AI4QT, an email to see what brands he has luck with. Will has a few videos on You Tube with his 857D in the back yard portable mode. He answered me quick with a reply, that's what is great about this hobby, send a stranger an email and get a reply. Great stuff. Be sure to check out his videos.

My first choice was a 7Ah but for a few extra bucks decided on the 10Ah. Battery weight is just under 7 lbs but this will not be used for hiking just back yard and picnic type operating. Also pick up a charger that was doing its job this afternoon.

Tomorrow with temps in the low fifties with sunshine, time to play radio. I have a few cool locations in mind or worst case just set up in the yard.

My blogger site over the past few days was being directed (hacked) to another site or two, after some reading I deleted the time clock on bottom of page and that fixed the problem. Bottom line is be careful of what type of widgets you add to you site.

Enjoy the weekend!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Parts Shortages

The electronics industry is starting to see major shortages of various components. Reasons I am hearing is most manufacturers reduced workers which in turn slowed down parts production. According to Electronic Weekly, Texas Instruments cut their workforce by 3,200 people last year.

Once allocation starts and lead times get pushed out 20+ weeks for delivery, more customers turn to the independent distributor / broker, and than prices sky rocket. I noticed delivery for Vishay up to 28 weeks on certain items. Years ago the severe shortage for surface mount chip resistors and capacitors drove prices extremely high and that was if you were able to source the product.

This should not effect the hobbyist for finding small quantities from the catalog type distributors, but prices will jump up.

I have been in electronic distribution for over 25 years, these shortage cycles come around every so often. This one might be here for sometime.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

36 Hour Storm

The 36 hour storm has started here in New Jersey at 8AM. Snow started sticking and suppose to stop sometime tomorrow, with some lingering snow into Saturday. When its all said and done calling for about 1 foot.

If I did not have to work it would be a great time to play radio, no keys will be clicked until the weekend. Kids will be happy, I am sure school will be closed tomorrow. Also have a charge going on an old scanner and a dual band FM transceiver just it case power goes out.

Days like this make me appreciate hot summer beach days with my feet in the sand and checking out the nice ocean views.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Around The Dial

Just spending the afternoon cruising the bands in search for QRP SSB action. I tried breaking into a few dx pile ups with my small 10W signal, no luck. A few stations run serious power, one guy was cranking out a kilowatt and said it was setting off the alarms in his house. Wonder what the neighbors are saying if he is coming over the TV. I have nothing against power but sometimes its over done.

I decided to park it on the QRP calling frequencies and see what happens. The beverage of choice is an Amstel Light, the weekend wrap up beer. I am thinking about running a cable upstairs and setting up an 857D in the family room and watching some Olympic hockey, tonight is USA vs Canada, should be good.

Now if I can only just make a few contacts, I would be set.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Portable Ideas

On a cold snow covered Sunday afternoon in February, I am started to put together some ideas for future portable radio fun. My state of New Jersey and the surrounding areas have the Ramapo Mountains to the north and the Jersey Shore to the south. I admit having a pair or ear buds working CW in the woods could be cool, but not to fond of the bears. The beach and back bays are also a possibility.

Without spending any additional cash the only purchase would be for a battery and charger. My radio is a Yaesu 857D and antenna is a Buddipole, if I set up in close distance to the car this will work. I could also put together an end fed or crappie pole with zip cord for hiking. Power levels would be qrp to save on the battery and for the challenge of it all. The 817ND sounds perfect but will see how cash flow looks as the weather gets warmer.

Would also have to pick up a backpack to cart my goodies around. I love watching the videos on the net showing the portable qrp fun. I want to get in on that.

This is work in progress so please feel free send me your ideas.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Calm Before The Storm

With the forecast calling for 12-18 inches tomorrow its going to be a mess. Blizzard warnings are out for blowing and drifting snow.

Shovels are ready, snow blower is gassed up. Sounds like a great day to take cover and build something, anything. Just start soldering!

The plan is just keep up and clean the side walks and driveway every few hours.

Fun stuff for skiers but I want spring already.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Those Old Circuits

The call is for snow starting later tonight until Saturday, 3-6 inches, more to the south. (1-2 feet yikes) Sounds like a good time to spend on the radio, after shoveling of course.

Just spending sometime putting together a list of components for a Doug DeMaw 1 watt QRP circuit I found online from 1981. I can spend hours surfing the web for the cool circuits just waiting to be brought back to life. Maybe its the history behind them from the builders and operators of long ago, but there is something about those old circuits.

In the background I have playing a mellow classic jazz station from the web. Perfect for winding down on a Friday night.

Maybe 1-2 more sites to visit before I shut it down for the night.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Submarine Club

The bast part of the old comic books were all those neat ads in the back. I always wanted a pair of the X-Ray Specs.

Back in the day when I was a kid, my friend up the street invited about 10 kids to his basement after school to check out his new submarine. Yes, Ben was the first one on the block and only one to order the $6.98 cardboard Nuclear Sub.

His idea was to start a submarine club, well with all those kids in the basement you knew it was only a matter of time before things got out of hand. Of all people our host of the Submarine Club Ben yelled, "Fight Like Apes", everybody started going wild. My friend Fred was hiding in the sub, a kid name John picked up a chair and sent it into and broke the basement window. Ben's mother started screaming and we all took off in different directions.

It was something out of the Little Rascal's TV show and the submarine club only lasted a few hours. Just plan fun kid stuff for $6.98 not including cost of window replacement.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Circuit Construction

Over the past week or so I have been reading up on the Circuit Construction chapter from the 2005 ARRL Handbook.

Its amazing how many small helpful tips you can pick up from an article. I am leaning toward a simple QRP circuit using ground-plane construction. Just looks cool and to try and make it look neat and clean should be interesting.

Scanning the net and a few magazines for a few designs.

Will keep you posted.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Project Notes

This past Sunday I finished up The Elenco AM radio kit. The final tune up was easy and everything checked out.

Radio works well and is on at my desk for news and talk through out the day. A very easy kit to build plus offers the new builder experience and confidence to move on to the next project.

Elenco also puts out an AM/FM radio kit and maybe later in the year I will build it. I must say Elenco Electronics has a nice selection of kits with well written and very clear instruction manuals.

On a sad note is the passing of Dave Ingram, K4TWJ, yesterday. Last night I took out the January CQ magazine and read his How It Works column on purchasing and restoring old rigs. His World of Ideas had some interesting reading on crystal radios. Readers of CQ and the qrp community in general are going to miss his monthly articles and enthusiasm for radio and electronics.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Enjoy The Ride

I do not usually forward the emails that come across the screen but this one is a keeper. Plus their is a mention of a hobby a few of us enjoy.


George Carlin on aging!
(Absolutely Brilliant)

George Carlin's Views on Aging

Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we're kids? If you're less than 10 years old, you're so excited about aging that you think in fractions.

'How old are you?' 'I'm four and a half!' You're never thirty-six and a half. You're four and a half, going on five! That's the key.

You get into your teens, now they can't hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead.

'How old are you?' 'I'm gonna be 16!' You could be 13, but hey, you're gonna be 16! And then the greatest day of your life! You become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony. YOU BECOME 21. YESSSS!!!

But then you turn 30. Oooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk! He TURNED; we had to throw him out. There's no fun now, you're Just a sour-dumpling.. What's wrong? What's changed?

You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you're PUSHING 40. Whoa! Put on the brakes, it's all slipping away. Before you know it, you REACH 50, and your dreams are gone...

But! wait!! ! You MAKE it to 60. You didn't think you would!

So you BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40, REACH 50, and makeit to 60.

You've built up so much speed that you HIT 70! After that, it's a day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday!

You get into your 80's, and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch; you TURN 4:30; you REACH bedtime. And it doesn't end there. Into the 90s, you start going backwards; 'I Was JUST 92.'

Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. 'I'm 100 and a half!'
May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!!

1.. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay them.

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

3.Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever, even ham radio. Never let the brain idle. 'An idle mind is the devil's workshop.' And the devil's family name is Alzheimer's.

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves Be ALIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love , whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county; to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
And, if you don't send this to at least 8 people - who cares? But do share this with someone. We all need to live life to its fullest each day!!

Life's journey is not to
arrive at the grave safely
in a well preserved body,
but rather to skid in sideways,
totally used up and worn out, shouting
', what a ride!'

Sunday, January 10, 2010

First Kit Build of 2010

This afternoon I broke out a Elenco Model AM-550K AM Radio Kit. The kit is the IC version built around 3 transistors and a diode. Elenco also offers a 7 transistor AM radio.

This kit looks pretty cool when complete, includes its own display stand. I always keep an AM radio on in the background at work tuned to either the local news and weather on the eights or NY public radio. When complete this will find a corner on my busy work desk.

As with all my projects this kit will take some time, I build at a slow pace but also have time only on weekends and the odd night.

Will keep you updated.