Monday, April 25, 2011

Cool SchmartBoard Intro

Check out the well done video by SchmartBoard, a very easy way to solder surface mount devices on a board.

It scares me when I have to solder those tiny soic devices using a standard soldering iron. I have seen spiders bigger than a 8 lead soic. Besides my hands are not that steady.

Good stuff by SchmartBoard.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Wishing Everyone A Happy Easter & Have A Wonderful Day!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

New Blog Added

Today's a good day to catch up on a few things considering the steady rain this morning in N.J. and the sinus infection I am fighting. Glad I went to see the doc yesterday to get antibiotics into the system to help.

A new blog has been added to my list, W2LJ's QRP blog, which provides for some wonderful reading and has turned into a daily stop of mine. Larry does a great job keeping it fresh and updated with all things QRP and building. He also has tons of great info that will come in handy.

I see that the 555 design contest ended this week with a large variety of circuits entered. Be sure and check out link and all the very cool designs at

This afternoon during my Ranger Cap playoff game I am going to break out my kids Elenco 130 in one electronics lab and wire up a few circuits with the spring loaded contacts.

Depending how the game goes if the NYR are losing I might be doing more wiring the watching.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Mr. Jim Portable

This past Sunday I spent an hour or so at the Fort Lee Historic Park in Fort Lee, NJ. The park overlooks the Hudson River and George Washington Bridge, the views are incredible. My last visit here was in March of 2010.

Every time I visit the park have to take a short walk on the path and check out the NY skyline and Hudson River far below. A married couple was being photographed, too bad it was cloudy out but warm temps near 60 degrees.

My radio set up was a Yaesu 857, LDG Z-11 antenna tuner, 20 & 40 meter ham sticks and a Werker battery. The big advantage of this location is the height which helps with the ham sticks. Started out on 40 meters with a few stations heard, a quick switch over to 20 meters had a big improvement, the band came alive with signals from far and near.

My two nice contacts were Chris, G5FZ, in England, and Dimitri, IN3ACQ, in Italy, SSB. Dimitri kept calling me Mr. Jim! My power out was 70 watts, sorry qrp fans, I tried calling cq a number of times with 10 watts out but no luck.

One thing about operating outside the home is describing your surroundings, much different than working stations from your home qth. The nice weather is on the way so I plan on getting out more with the radio.

A hike on a trail sounds like a future plan!

Sunday, April 3, 2011


A few weeks ago I picked up an HP iPAQ 111 handheld PC personal organizer.

This will be a great way to keep organized with my work contacts and schedule, but it also includes WI-FI, email, and tons of other bells and whistles.

I spent sometime yesterday searching the web for apps, downloaded an E-reader so far. If anyone knows of any apps for amateur radio related and wishes to share them please post a comment. It also accepts apps for windows 6 mobile phones.

The bubble game included is fun!