Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

Still find it hard to believe another year has come and gone. Maybe now that everyone is connected things just seem to move faster. We all need to sit as a family in front of a TV hooked up to the antenna on the roof, no remotes, get up and change the channel, just go back in time for one night. Things were certainly a slower pace.

Who remembers Guy Lombardo on New Years Eve? I was a kid back than but he was always on and it was clean and classy. Heard on the news tonight Miley Cyrus is one of the acts outside in Times Square, O boy. They interviewed a young lady this morning at 6:30AM already grabbing a spot for tonight. Mind you its very cold in New York today, 31 F with a real feel of 21 F. She has on 5 pairs of pants, 7 shirts, 3 scoffs, hat, gloves and ready.....2 pairs of diapers. Don't want to lose the spot I guess but I prefer my living room.

Great New Years Eve song by Mr. John Lennon - Imagine
Just want to wish everyone a Happy Healthy New Year!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

WorldRadio Online

More changes are coming to the WorldRadio online edition per a link from ARRL website.

Effective with the February 2014 issue of CQ, said Ross, content from the magazine’s three sister publications — Popular Communications, CQ VHF and WorldRadio Onlinewill be incorporated into CQ’s digital edition as a supplement to be called CQ Plus. The print editions of Popular Communications and CQ VHF will be phased out, and WorldRadio Online will no longer exist as a separate online publication. Current Popular Communications, CQ VHF and WorldRadio Online subscribers will be converted to CQ subscribers and receive CQ Plus at no additional charge. Details will be posted on each magazine’s website.


Here is a preview from CQ website:


I am a current WorldRadio subscriber, should be interesting to see how it turns out.


These touchscreens seems to be everywhere and popping up all around us more and more each day.
Check out this wonderful video on what happens behind the screen with a touch of a finger.

If you want to dig deeper into touchscreens Wikipedia is a good place to get started.
This makes me appreciate the electronics in my smart phone or at the self service supermarket checkout.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Seasons Greetings

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!
Have a wonderful day!!

History of Allied Radio

Surfing the big WWW this afternoon and came across a link featuring Allied Radio's history and a few important dates along the way. I like how they mentioned Allied's competitors over the years with Newark and Radio Shack still in business.
Allied Radio is now Allied Electronics, still a great source for components.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Just Can't Make This Up...

I was looking on ebay today in the loop antenna section checking out what MFJ-1786 is going for.

Came across an item for sale:

Someone selling the four page QST review for the MFJ-1786 antenna for $9.99.

$9.99 for a product review WOW!

OK if you go to the ARRL site this review might be available unless its in the members only section.

The best part was all four pages were scanned so with the ebay magnifier you could zoom over and read the entire review.

I should have clicked "watch this" just because someone had the nerve to list it and better yet to see if he gets a buyer!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Simple FM Transmitter

Just came across this weekend projects video for putting together a Simple FM Transmitter.

I like the method they use to form the coil and the step by step instructions for component placement.

Nice video.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing everyone a pleasant Thanksgiving with family & friends.

A good TV in the background type of day, parades, football, March of the Wooden Solders, and some Honeymooner's.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Part Logos

Just wanted to pass along a few links that helped me identified transistors.



A few of the logos on transistors were small but with proper lighting and of course my glasses I was able to make out the manufacturers.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Rotary Phones....

50 years ago today the Bell System in the U.S. introduced dual tone multi-frequency technology which ended up replacing the rotary dial phone with the push button.

These old videos are classics!
I still remember the big dial of the rotary with the slow spin when calling my friends. The worst is when you dialed the wrong number and had to start all over. Who can't forget the old fashion bell ringing when a call came in. No music playing like today's cell phones just a serious ring. Simple times!
Here's a clip from 1963 Worlds Fair. 
We hit the big time when my father installed the push button phone attached to the  kitchen wall.
On a side note: Hope everyone is OK with those big storms in the mid-west yesterday, scary.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Ramsey 20 Meter Receiver Kit

Last Sunday I built the 20 meter all mode receiver kit from Ramsey Electronics.

The HR20 is a direct conversion receiver and is built around the popular SA602 IC. This IC includes a tunable oscillator and product detector circuits which is the equivalent of seven transistors in the mixer-oscillator stages. Here is a data sheet that will educate you on the SA602 and includes more information you will ever need to know.


The audio output if fed into the LM386 IC which is the audio amplifier. I am using an earphone from an old transistor radio but this circuit would have no problem driving a small speaker with plenty of output. It is a simple build with 30 or so components that runs off a 9 volt battery and includes a case. Assembly time is rather quick, an hour or so of soldering and now on to on the alignment stage with a few broadcast stations and digital signals received so far. I really need to hook up a speaker because with the very old earphones might be creating extra hissing pitch that is unpleasant to listen to.

Also will be hooking up a frequency counter as a helper and try to get 14.060 set up. The HR20 is a fun easy kit to mess around with and includes a instruction booklet with a few modification ideas.

Will keep you posted if I decided to change things around with this receiver.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Spirit of Radio

Just heard a classic Rush song on the FM dial, The Spirit of Radio.

Begin the day with a friendly voice,
A companion unobtrusive
Plays that song that's so elusive
And the magic music makes your morning mood.

Off on your way, hit the open road,
There is magic at your fingers
For the Spirit ever lingers,
Undemanding contact in your happy solitude.

Invisible airwaves crackle with life
Bright antenna bristle with the energy
Emotional feedback on timeless wavelength
Bearing a gift beyond price, almost free

All this machinery making modern music
Can still be open-hearted.
Not so coldly charted, it's really just a question
Of your honesty, yeah, your honesty.

One likes to believe in the freedom of music,
But glittering prizes and endless compromises
Shatter the illusion of integrity.

For the words of the prophets were written on the studio wall,
Concert hall
And echoes with the sounds of salesmen. Of salesmen. Of salesmen.

Great song for the radio fan!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pumpkin Fun

You can see flying pumpkins in Delaware Nov 1-3, or as its called punkin chunkin. Which sounds like a fun family day.


It must be quit a site seeing pumpkins flying in the air.

This is just a fun video that brought a smile to my face!

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Rise & Fall of AM Radio

Interesting and informative article about the history of AM radio in Pittsburgh, PA, and this seems to apply to just about everywhere else in the country.


I still listen to the local news stations in New York on AM. Plus AM is still a free source to listen to your favorite sports teams home games. The public NPR radio stations is a reliable place for news plus they are commercial free.

Still as the article points out the competition must be tough for the stations to attract listeners and keep them with all the entertainment outlets available.

Wonder what will become of AM radio in the future?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Monitoring Times....

The staff at Monitoring Times says in will continue with an online magazine called The Spectrum Monitor in PDF format starting in January 2014.

Future link below:

This is good news for Monitoring Times followers.

Check out this video interview with Bob Grove of Monitoring Times magazine.

I still prefer a paper type magazine instead of an electronic version, but the costs to put out a magazine in the long run probably is to expensive these days.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

1 SSB QRP Contact

Today was a super nice day here in New Jersey. Temps in the 70's with a sunny sky, a slight chilly breeze.

Decided to set up the FT-857 with a Par 20 meter end fed on a painters pole sloping to the ground. A few dx stations were around the dial on 20 but was not able to beat the pile ups.

I was happy to get a response from Fred, IK4JPK, in Parma, Italy when I answered his CQ call with a friendly hi Jim! My radio was set to 10 watts and received a 5-7, your antenna is working.

A nice Sunday spent in the yard.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Maker Faire Review

We had a wonderful time at the NY Maker Faire yesterday!

A slight mist of rain but than the sky cleared with a bright sunshine.

Tons of electronics & kids which was very nice to see. The learn to solder booth was packed & had a waiting line to get in. Kids of all ages building and many hands on type projects for all.


Arduino and Raspberry Pi kits were hot.
The Mentos guys and the soda bottles was a must see.
3D printers were cool to see in operation.
The life size mousetrap drew a big crowd.
Tons of small vendors.
I did see 2-3 amateur radio displays, even a tuna tin qrp rig.
Robots seemed to be everywhere.
A free hugs robot, can't beat that.

Check out the live cam:


Next year I have to go for two days to see everything.

Mentos guys

Drone overhead

If there is a Maker Faire in your area be sure to check it out.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Maker Faire 2013

Looking forward to taking the family to the 2013 Maker Faire in Queens, New York tomorrow.

This should be fun filled day with 650+ exhibits. The only issue is the call for rain in the afternoon.
There is a live video feed in you want to check the faire out.



If any of the local readers of this blog are going have a great time.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Tripwire Alarm

Remember the hidden tripwire in old cartoons (do they still have cartoons) and movies. Make online has a cool project to assembly your own.


This would make a neat school project for you kids on the web.

The Seaside fire was under control last night, will be interesting to hear what caused it. The radio reference site puts you right in the center of the action.

Enjoy your Friday! (13)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Boardwalk Fire In NJ!

A massive fire has been out of control since 2:30 PM on the boardwalk in Seaside Park, NJ.

Over 19+ businesses have been destroyed and water is in short supply. Lines have been run to the bay to pump more water. Live online scanner is available at radio reference:


Click NJ, Ocean County.



A trench has been cut through the boardwalk to try and stop fire from going into Seaside Heights.
Jersey shore was hit last year with the storm and now this.

Only hope the insurance will cover the rebuild.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Friday Night Liftoff

If you live on the East Coast be sure to head outside tonight and look for the NASA spacecraft LADEE due to liftoff at 11:27PM. Depending on conditions the rocket should be visible from South Carolina to Maine.


The Jersey sky tonight is clear so I will head to the yard and hope to get a good look.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Shortwave Listening

It is almost time to get back into the daily grind starting Tuesday after the long holiday weekend.

Last week spent a few very nice days at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, what a wonderful area to visit. A super clean beach and boardwalk, I would love to go back for a long fall weekend. The drive was 3 hours 50 minutes, well worth it. This past week was a local trip to Ortley Beach, NJ, still tough to see from last October's storm. I was able to catch a few fluke and bluefish in the surf on the beach. Always great to get away and recharge the batteries.

This afternoon was spent with my Grundig radio tuning in the shortwave bands. Maybe it is because of another conflict in the Middle East but I always like to get the various views from other countries and talk stations in general. No matter what your views are it sounds like one big mess.

On a lighter note the Grundig is a fun little radio and a keeper!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

3D Printer Kit

Velleman has a 3D printer kit that will be available this October.

Pricing is about $800.00 give or take.
Its amazing what is available to the hobbyist these days.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Monitoring Times

Just saw on the Monitoring Times homepage that the December 2013 issue will be the last.


After 33 years Bob Grove will be retiring this fine magazine. I was a subscriber many years ago and still pick up a copy on the newsstand every so often. This was one of my favorites reads to bring on the beach during vacation. The July edition features The Heathkit Legacy.

I hate to see radio/electronic magazines going away.

In this day and age they may never be replaced.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Rough Waves on 20

20 meters SSB has been up and down this afternoon with signals coming and going fast. As one operator said 20 is pretty rough and I have to agree with him. Heard 40 is not much better.

The stations I am hearing are putting out some serious power. Of course I always call CQ with a my mighty 10 watts just for the heck of it.

My antenna is a Par 20M end fed between a push up painters pole to a maple tree in the yard and an Icom 718 rig of various powers set up in my garage. We had a few drops of rain earlier but it has been mostly dry. The sun popped out for a few minutes and I was tempted to bring the station outside but that did not last long before the clouds came back.

The plan is to hang out on 20 into early this evening and see if the band opens up.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Win an Apple iPad

Be sure to enter the NTE Electronics contest for an iPad.


Contest open to US & Canada.
You know what they say, "Have to be in it to win it"

On the home front not much to report besides work and more work. The new J-Tron website is up and running and is a work in progress.


If you need any kits or components please keep us in mind.

Today was a nice sunny day, ended up washing two cars and waxing one. I was able to do a few miles on the bike this afternoon, need the exercise.

Tomorrow sounds like a rain out so it will be a good day to work on that oscillator that has been on the project back burner, hoping for good band conditions for Sunday afternoon.

In the background as I write this UFC fighting is on TV, these fighters are tough, WOW!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Summertime in July!

Well today is suppose to hit 98 F here in New Jersey with a real feel of 100-105 F.

Hope everyone finds a cool place to hide and drink plenty of water. The heatwave is going to last until Saturday night before a cold front arrives.

Watching TV the other day and the weatherman said:

"Go to the mall or a movie to stay cool, anyone see how much movie tickets cost these days"...($$)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Hot Week!

This week will be a good test for the air conditioners with the temps in the ninety degrees range and hearing on Wednesday 95 F. This is a good time to hide indoors and stay cool.

For the past two Saturdays I have been volunteering with my son on a field clean up and an event for physically challenged kids. The event was a wonderful experience and the kids had a ball. It was fun to help out will be back next year.

Sunday took off for a few hours of fly fishing and trail hiking. Caught one rock bass, it was nice to be by the waters edge and get away for some quiet time. In the afternoon I set up the Buddipole in the yard and checked out 40 meters with the Ten-Tec R4020 QRP rig. Not one contact in my limited time operating in the shade but always nice cruising the bands checking out the conditions.

Stay cool everyone!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Small Portable Power Supply

Here is a  small power supply for testing and powering up items for a quick check when your on the go.

This circuit is as easy as it gets with common parts.
I am a big fan of simple circuits!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Saturday Morning Inspiration.

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Battery Powered Contest

This looks like a fun contest for your battery powered projects.


It anyone decides to enter let me know and we can promote it for hopefully a few extra votes and get you in the winners circle. The contest is co-sponsored by Instructables and Radio Shack. I would not mind having a few of the prizes.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Building From Schematic Diagrams.

This wonderful video from Peter Parker, VK3YE, describes tips on building electronics from schematic diagrams.

One of you favorites tips was cutting the circuit board into squares using a hack saw. This looks like an easy way to place and solder your components leads while keeping an overall neat appearance and for troubleshooting, which I somehow always have to do.

Also note the simple oscillator schematic with a handful of components. This will be my next project since I probably have the component values or similar.

I currently do not belong to any clubs so did not participate in any field day activities.
So after a morning bike ride caught up on my reading in the yard.

The heat was on this afternoon!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Crazy Ants

Just when you thought you heard it all come a story from CNN about ants that eat your electronics gear.


Just imagine if your Icom or Yaesu rig stopped working, off with the cover, and the cause is ants.

Watching the news just gets better and better!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Beach Day

With the temps nearing 90 F, today would be the perfect day to spend on the beach but unfortunately I am stuck in the office. So the next best thing to tease me is the live video feed from Seaside Heights.


As of 9AM the beach is starting to fill up. This is where the new broadwalk has been rebuilt from last years storm.

Back to work!

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Long Weekend!

Wow... Memorial Day Weekend is here already. Looking forward to spending time on the radio in the yard if the weather holds out.

Sorry to say have not fired up a radio in a few weeks, work and family duties come first but excited and looking forward to making a few contacts to some cool far away places. In the meantime I have been enjoying reading the blogs on the web.

If anyone have a radio, kit, or building blog please let me know and I will add it to my list.

Have a safe weekend!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Internet Issues

A few weeks ago ran into major Internet problems with Verizon Fios, for a good 7 days my speed slowed to a crawl. I was barely able to stay connected, reminded me of the dial up days with AOL.

It all started when I could no longer send email with small pdf attachments. After six hours spent over two days with tech help online, 4 more hours with a tech at my location, problem was internal at one of the switching offices and a computer board. Verizon Fios provided wonderful service but I could not stay disconnected from the Internet any longer for work purposes so made the switch to Optimum Online.

I made the Optimum appointment with a sales guy who showed up at my house ASAP at 8:00PM that night with a handful of offers. As it turns out Fios called next day and got speeds back to normal but I did not want to cancel cable considering I called salesman direct.

Fios offers a faster speed with fiber but so far Optimum is holding its own in the house for streaming and my sons gaming.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Saturday Evening Post

The transistor radio still is one of my favorites, I know there are a handful of gadgets that are smaller and sound so much better. Maybe its all those through hole components planted on the PC board when you pry open the case.  A few still have the old radio smell that's hard to describe. You can't forget the earphone that plugs into the jack for those nights listening when you were a kid and should be sound asleep. If we could only go back in time.

This article in my local newspaper brought back memories of my transistor radio days of the past.


A few transistor radio commercials and ads of the past.


Classic ads.

My first radio dxing was with a transistor radio tuning in distance stations from Canada on cold winter nights in my bedroom. Every now and then I still try and see what I can pick up across the radio dial in the car while waiting for the kids.

The Playboy centerfold of radios!

So break out that beat up AM radio from the basement, put in a fresh 9V, extend the antenna, and you might surprise yourself with a powerhouse station or two from nice distance away. Just don't skip over those far away weak stations, you never know.

Have Fun!

Saturday Morning Inspiration

Have a great Saturday!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Home Built Submarine

Talk about home brewing at its best!

Check out this 18 year old who built his own submarine.

Very impressive!!!

Easy Up Antenna

Yesterday afternoon I attached the Par-20 end fed antenna to my painters pole up against my house. For the pole support I used a heavy umbrella base and it provided a tight secure fit. One end of the wire with the matching box/connector was hung over a branch of a small maple tree. This setup takes 3-5 minutes tops and provides a stealth approach depending where the support is located.

The 20 meter band was quiet here in N.J. except few a New England stations. I did try for a few dx contacts but my QRP 10 watts SSB could not break into the pile ups.

Overall a fun time playing around with a new antenna configuration.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Glass Circuit Boards

This is the first time I have seen a glass circuit board and would be ideal for display purposes for your extra special circuits.

For instructions here is the link.

The board in the video has a nice clean look.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Inspiration Saturday

Enjoy your weekend!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Exploding Components

Here is a few cool videos of components cooking.

OK I have to admit it, I fried more than a few resistors in my day with that rather unpleasant smoky smell filling the air.

One of my better moves was on my Honda Civic at about 17 years old or so. The fuse that controls the rear lights blew, well not having a fuse handy I tried running a jumper wire across the fuse terminals, ended up melting the insulation off the wire and almost causing a fire. I might have been a few years older but 17 sounds better when you do something stupid.

It's all a learning experiance.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Saturday Evening Post

Today was a beautiful day with clear blue sky's and temps close to 60 deg F. It turned out to be a big yard clean up at my parents house which included some heavy duty raking, or at least that is what my body is telling me now. Next weekend the focus will be on my lawn for the annual spring clean up.

The SWL Post blog that I follow had a posting for a new Grundig G3 for $47.21 at Amazon. I have been looking for a small shortwave radio since last year but did not want to open my wallet and spend $80-100.00 bucks. After some quick thinking I pulled the trigger or better yet hit "add to chart button" and with free delivery the G3 is due here Monday. At the time Amazon had 11 units at this price and they sold out pretty fast, as of this morning price is now at $77.95.

The Grungid G3 is rather small portable AM/FM/Shortwave radio which includes the aircraft band, SSB, RDS, and synchronous detector. The aircraft band should be busy is my area with the NJ and NY airports close by. Plus I find myself tuning into the BBC, NPR, and local public radio for world news, lets face it the local network stations just do not cut it. Plus my curiosity comes to life when I hear a story about a small town or village a world away. Makes me realize how fortunate we are overall. This will be fun to hook up an antenna and see what this little radio can pull it. More details and a review in a few weeks.

The forecast for tomorrow is sunny and 60 degrees, might be time to break out a radio in the yard and have fun.

Inspiration Saturday

Have a nice day!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Discovery Channel TV & More.

This new show on the Discovery channel might be worth a long look.

The Big Brain Theory.


I find that most TV is just a big waste of time.
Speaking of time wasting, check out this link.


Here's a few from the list.

Number of hours per day that TV is on in an average U.S. home: 6 hours, 47 minutes.
Number of murders seen on TV by the time average child finishes elementary school: 8,000.
Number of 30 second TV commercials seen in a year by an average child: 20,000.
Number of 30 second TV commercials seen by the average person by age 65: 2 million.

Wow - Now where did I put that TV remote??

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Soldering Is Easy Comic Book

Here is a wonderful free online booklet showing the basics of soldering.

Soldering Is Easy

Soldering Is Easy
Here's How To Do It

This easy to read comic book format was put together by Jeff Keyzer, Mitch Altman, & Andie Nordgren.

A good read for the beginner and a few helpful tips for the rest of us.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Earth Hour 2013

Shut off your lights tonight at 8:30 PM (your time) for Earth Hour!
Help save the planet!!

Inspiration Saturday

Saturday morning inspiration.

Have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Electronics Toolbox App

If your big on apps for your smartphone this one might come in handy.


From the write up this looks like some handy information.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sunday Evening QRP

This afternoon did a quick indoor antenna setup with my 20M Par End Fed in the upstairs bedroom and to my surprise received a very nice low SWR reading of 1.5.

Ran a coax down the stairs and took over the living room coffee table with an FT857D and a portable battery. So far the band seems on the quiet side but was able to make one SSB QRP 10W contact with KE9N in Roscoe, IL.

So far I am a happy camper with this very simple setup.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

This guy Is a riot!

What hurts more, AC or DC?

This is not my cup of tea but interesting to say the least.
I guess you can say don't try this at home kids (or adults).

Sunday, March 3, 2013


You have to love the Geico commercials on the tube.

This ending always gets a laugh out of me.

The caveman is still a classic.

The most recent one has a few people up in arms.
All fun in my book.

OK its time to fire up a radio.
Enjoy your Sunday!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

QRP Book Video Review

Check this wonderful video review of 15 QRP books by Peter Parker, VK3YE.

I own a few of the titles mentioned and always on the lookout for others if the price is right. A few of the asking prices are way out of my reach, see below.

For instance:

Solid State Design for the Radio Amateur by Wes Hayward and Doug DeMaw is priced between $91.00 used or $300.00 new on Amazon. But you can pick up a new copy of Experimental Methods in RF Design for $30 and change, also at Amazon. The ARRL store price is $49.95.

Pays to shop around and save a few buck$.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Digital Clock Kits

Here is a very cool looking clock kit built into a Ice Tube I came across yesterday web surfing.

This kit is available from the Make store on sale for twenty dollars off at $65.00.

Velleman also offers a digital clock kit but not as sharp looking.

But with a price under $30.00 this might fit your budget.

This last digital clock kit I built was a Heathkit, must have been around 12-13 years old and it worked!

Might be time to build another just for the fun of it.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Cold Sunday Mornings

A few items on the to do list for a cloudy chilly 40 F degrees in New Jersey starting with taking a good inspection of my stealth antenna.

Before I even think of applying power to my transceiver using this antenna I always check the SWR with the MFJ-259B analyzer. Well the SWR reading was screaming at a very high reading telling me something is way off when a check was made last night. Almost sounds like a connection is broke, remember this is magnet wire with a air life of a few months at best with the storms, wind, and snow over the past few weeks. A good education guess is I do not have much faith in this antenna just yet.

If my day goes as planned, (which it never does) I have also been tinkering with a small QRP circuit on a wireless bread board. So far the circuit has passed the smoke test but not getting any RF readings at base or collector of the transistor. A few small adjustments might have to be made to get this circuit to oscillate correctly. It would help if I used the exact components listed on schematic, but that is part of the fun in experimenting.

One Transistor QRP Circuit

The sun just popped out for a minute or two, looks nice. Would love to get in the car and head to a scenic location and play radio, have not done yet this year. Just scrap my indoor activities and take off, decisions, decisions.

Yes experiencing cabin fever in February, how long until spring?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

MFJ Cub Circuit Explanation

Came across this basic MFJ 40M Cub CW transceiver walk-through and circuit explanation video.
Even if your not building the MFJ rig, these same circuits are found in most of the small CW transceivers on the market.

Big fan of simple easy to follow type videos that gives the viewer an education and this one delivers.


Saturday, February 9, 2013

The man behind the telephone dial.

A nice New York Times article about John E. Karlin, the man behind making the telephone easier to use, passed away recently at 94 years old.


It's amazing the amount of inventions that came out of Bell Labs in New Jersey.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Nice Commercial

This commercial from last nights game gets my vote for #1.

Overall turned out to be a good close game.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Casting My Signal

Spent a nice relaxing afternoon in the family playroom with the Ten-Tec R4020 2 band QRP transceiver. Lots of listening to stations but no contacts, yet.

QRP radio remains me of a certain type of fishing. Certainly not bait fishing, that is to easy, I am talking fly fishing, which I enjoy in the warmer months. When you hook a fish on a fly its a wonderful feeling. Any fly fishers out there know exactly what I mean.

My guess is catching a fish on a fly you tied yourself on the vise is just like making a QRP contact with a home brewed rig. Almost had a nice catch I mean contact on 14.060 but another station powered in.

Still have some time to night to listen in and have some fun.

Big Superbowl night so I will tune in and see if its a close game, not a big football fan.

Enjoy your game wings!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Asteroid Flyby

This Asteroid Flyby caught my eye on the web this afternoon.

Glad its just a passing by on February 15th and not stopping for a visit.

Enjoy your Friday night!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Warmer Temps

Besides the bitter cold temperatures this past week not much going on for a late Saturday afternoon. When I mean cold were talking 10 deg. F, you learn to appreciate your car battery in the morning as it turns over and starts up. Today did reach 30 F with the sun shining so it felt nice.

Not much doing on the radio side but depending on the band conditions will try and jump on before dinner and give it my best. This week I did run a radial ground wire 16"6" feet for 20 meters that lowered my standing wave ratio to about 2.9 - 3.0 and let the turner work out the rest. Before the ground wire my SWR was way out of control.

One more ground wire for the 40 meter band is on the to do list for this week, I enjoy the novice hangout and the slower pace of CW.

Lets just say my long wire antenna is a work in progress, always tweaking.

Enjoy your weekend!!

Monday, January 21, 2013

How to solder correctly.

Nice instructional video on basic soldering with a few good tips.
One mentioned was to clip component leads before soldering to protect joint. I always clip after, bend leads to hold item in place. Also I have never cleaned up board after job is complete.

Good stuff!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Inspirational Kids Video

This is a wonderful inspirational video to watch.
These two kids are true heroes!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Morning Coffee

Good day to all far & near, enjoy your Sunday.

Once the sky turned dark last night, I did my best 007 and put up my stealth magnet wire antenna. With one side attached to a painters pole on the far end of my small yard, other side attached near my gutter and into the window. James Bond himself would have been proud seeing me up on a ladder in the dark. Would have been interesting if my neighbors peeked out the window to see the show, if I saw someone on a ladder after dark would certainly do a double take.

So far with the new setup I have mixed results, using my Ten-Tec R4020 QRP rig and a tuner having trouble getting a decent low swr an 20 meters. Next up is attaching a small clamp to the heater pipe for a ground.

OK back to some more tweaking and hopefully some contacts later.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Batteries From Spare Change

Check out this space change battery video.
This is getting the most out of your penny!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

This & That

Just a few interesting items to share.

Today was the last day for manufacturing the 75 watt light bulb per NBC news. Guess its time to get use to those LED bulbs. Pretty sure the price has come down since they first hit the store selves. As a holiday gift from a passive component company I deal with in my day job, I received two LED lights, great idea and will sure come in handy.

In the December 2012 CQ magazine, Irwin Math's column mentions years ago the tube testers available in drug stores to test your tubes and offered replacements for sale. I remember going with my father to test our tubes and purchase replacements. Thinking back times were sure much simpler, this must have been in the seventy's.

Now we are dealing with a cliff in Washington, what a mess!

CQ is a wonderful amateur radio magazine and every month always has a few good articles.

No big resolutions here, continue to try and lose a few pounds, get in better shape, and avoid stress if possible. Continue to make time for my tread mill and when it warms up walk at the local park.

Walking is great exercise that anyone can do. This past year I did many miles at the park and with the cold weather here I miss it big time.

Spend more "me" time on the radio in general and continue working low power but not always qrp, just enough to make the contact.

Last but not least, heat up the old soldering iron for more kit building fun and small project builds.