Google+
Pages Navigation Menu

Design, build, hack....zap and repeat!

Got ’em

Posted on Nov 4, 2012 | Comments Off on Got ’em

I got my new call: W8AJV and I got my Kenwood TS-930s. The only thing missing is an antenna!  I’m excited with the new radio. All I did was connect a long wire to the antenna jack and started to tune around. Listened in to some QSO’s, a lot of them one-sided because all I could pick up was the close by ham but I could tell they were talking with a DX station. Oh man, I want that antenna even more! I’m on a small city lot so thinking that vertical will be the way to go. Lots of trees around also. Even the vertical will be a challenge. I’m cramming on antennas using the ARRL Antenna Book. You can get it directly from the ARRL or from Amazon. My first goal is a triband vertical and then...

Read More

Still waiting

Posted on Oct 19, 2012 | Comments Off on Still waiting

Still waiting for my vanity call sign. But in the mean time I got the itch to go HF. . . .10, 15 and 20 meters were calling me. The cost of new rigs were way more expensive than I remembered so I trekked on over to eBay. Transceivers were available but still expensive. Patience is the key when shopping on eBay so I just set up some searches and watchlists and started reviewing the various items on sale. I did a lot of Googling of make and model numbers to investigate. There are several places to read reviews from other hams: QRZ.com,eHam.net, NK7Z.net and don’t forget to ask your fellow hams. After partaking in a few bidding wars, I was high bidder on a Kenwood TS-930s but upon completion I got a message “Reserve not met” and just kicked the filing...

Read More

Got my license

Posted on Oct 14, 2012 | Comments Off on Got my license

Well it’s been about a week and I have received my official callsign from the FCC: KD8TGV. Let’s see now. . . Kilo Delta Eight Tango Golf Victor. Well it’s okay. I’m sure after a couple weeks in would be burned into my head, but I would like something easier to remember. . . .more personal. K8ZT has a great site for choosing vanity calls. First I went to QRZ.com and started putting in callsigns. I tried my old call-sign, WB8EGB. It was available, but it had the same rhythm as my new one. How about my initials? What? It’s available. . .W8AJV. So I jumped onto the FCC site for vanity calls and started an application. For $15 bucks you can get any call-sign you want, as long as it is available and its form is allowed for your license class. For example...

Read More

Reconstituted Ham!

Posted on Oct 6, 2012 | Comments Off on Reconstituted Ham!

It’s been 27 years since I could last call myself a ham. I got my Novice licence in 1969 (WN8EGB) and quickly upgraded to General class amateur radio operator WB8EGB. Back then you had to travel to an FCC Field Office for testing, where first you were administered a Morse code test, 5 words per minute for Novice and 13 WPM for General. I think the 20 WPM requirement for Extra class kept me away from “going all the way.” I was very active in the early 70’s, my high school years and into college. But then came a time to get a job. . . .and get married. . . . and have kids. . . and forget about all the fun I had with electronics and ham radio. Although I was inactive in the early 80’s I should have at least kept my...

Read More

Catching up on Electronics

Posted on May 4, 2011 | Comments Off on Catching up on Electronics

So I relapsed into electronics, my hobby as a teenager and my course of study in my 20’s. My how things have changed, so I looked for some refreshers. When I first got into electronics it was still a “tube” world. Now it is all solid state. . . unless you want to go “retro.” One thing for sure is that the Internet has put a lot of information at the hands of everybody on any subject. . . including electronics. I brushed up on the subject by simply Googling “electronics blog.” Page after page of sites, videos and information. Lots of sites, lots of info, lots of fun! This whole world of microcontrollers was intriguing. All kinds of projects, books and sites. Arduino Playground Arduino Cookbook Programming Arduino Getting Started with Sketches 30 Arduino Projects for the Evil Genius...

Read More

Retro

Posted on Apr 13, 2011 | Comments Off on Retro

I went to the local big-box hardware store to get a new doorbell chime. I found one that was made by Heath/Zenith. When I saw that, it brought back a lot of memories about kit building in my first 20 years of life. While I was growing up, I built many Heathkits, from ham radios to test equipment to a computer based on the Z80 processor and running CPM. So when I got home I googled Heathkit and found this website which brought back a lot of memories: http://www.heathkit-museum.com/ Now I find out that they are going to get back into the DIY kit-building business.  It will be interesting to see what kind of kits they come up with. More info. . . Related articles The Soul of an old heathkit (makezine.com) Share this:Click to share on Google+ (Opens...

Read More

Rewiring

Posted on Apr 11, 2011 | Comments Off on Rewiring

Spent the last several weeks rewiring parts of my 80-year-old house. It all started with me trying to get the front doorbell working. I had to change the transformer, rewire the back doorbell, and add a new AC line. In the process I thought I would add/split some existing lines. My office is on the second floor. There I have several PCs and a server, RoadRunner modem for Internet and a wireless router. When this particular room was rewired, who knows when, at least they put in plugs with a ground. Unfortunately, they probably didn’t have an inclination that someone would someday fill the room with electrical/electronic devices. When a space heater was on, it would trip the breaker and several battery backups would start singing! Well I ran some new lines to the office to split the computes and servers from...

Read More
Page 3 of 3123