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

ARRL DX SSB 2014 Fun and Earache

Posted on Mar 4, 2014 | Comments Off on ARRL DX SSB 2014 Fun and Earache

I was active this weekend in this year’s ARRL DX single-sideband contest. . . . .well at least active for me. I’m not a hardcore contester, but besides meals and sleep and a few hours of TV with the XYL, (wife for you non-hams),  I was pretty much listening and sitting at pile-ups waiting for the big boys to clear out. Patience had its rewards! I worked 22 new countries and 61 new prefixes over the weekend! Even more interesting was that I could walk down the bands and work several stations first on 10m, then 15m and then 20m. If I had antennas for 40/80/160 meters, I probably could have worked them some more. One black eye was how inconsiderate some hams, or maybe they’re radio pirates, could be. I’d be straining my ears listening to make contact...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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