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.