Tuesday, June 30, 2009


"ONE LAST POST FOR JUNE"







"HOUSTON......WE HAVE RAIN"





Fortunately we received another good dose of rain today, and there was enough light to snap a picture of those big 'ol drops!! The lightning wasn't required, but it came along too, and I had UPS's beeping and was unplugging the rig - just in case. This weather system kept HF band conditions fairly good all day (just when I thought it was dead, ten minutes later there was plenty of chatter).

DAD UPDATE



He's in recovery, doing well, and had two stints put in today. With luck, he'll be released tomorrow. There's nothing like some good old preventative maintenance to keep ya truckin!!

BOOK HINT

Here's a GREAT hint for all of you radio book hounds out there: Many times you'll see either CB or Ham radio books on Ebay that you, and many others have never heard of. Before the bidding sweeps you away, copy the title of the book and paste it in the book search area on AMAZON. You'll be surprised how many you'll find, and there are a variety of used book sellers with different prices to choose from. Yes, this is where Woody gets most of his used books. Shipping is fairly standard ($3.98), and as an example, I picked up a hardcover CB book in V.Good condition for....... twenty-two CENTS (plus $3.98 shipping). With as many radio related books that were published, you gotta know that there's quite a few in used book stores. Whenever I find good deals, I try to pass them onto you!!



73


-





"ssssssssssssssh..."









I got an email regarding my love for CW and the writer asked why didn't I like SSB? Well, the answer is: "I DO". Any regular reader knows that I love both modes of communication, and there is nothing more soothing than the "sssssssssssh" background hiss of lower sideband on 27.385. Much like white noise, it seems to block out other sounds like weed whackers, lawn mowers, whiny high-pitched mufflers, etc. Of course, I'd like it to be peppered with actual QSO's (like this morning. The band seems open to Indiana), but it's great inspirational background noise to me, and has been since 1970.

So I ask you: Is it too much to enjoy both single-sideband AND cw?? Surely you jest. When talking, I use SSB - Woody's "Choice" of the voice modes, and usually on the ham bands, I like cw. It takes longer to work another operator, but because it takes longer I feel like I have more invested in the QSO and come away with a more gratifying feeling. Perhaps this is because on many ham frequencies SSB is contest-like (even when there isn't a contest) with a wham-bam-thanks-OM and it's over in five minutes or less. The only time my cw QSO's lasted 5 minutes or less was due to conditions or, a poor "fist" on the other end making it almost impossible to copy.





If cw were allowed on 11 meters, I would use both cw and ssb. I know that there are factions that are dead set on "CW ONLY", but with such diversity, why pigeon hole yourself into one mode, perhaps missing out on something great? Oops! The DX has died and I digress.....

On another topic, we had a real nice downpour last night, with a 40% chance of rain again today!! After that, the temperature creeps (ed. - JUMPS) back up into the triple digits again making for a very hot July 4th weekend.

Speaking of which......



My family is having a cookout this weekend, but this may be postponed. I got a call from my Dad yesterday and he's now in the hospital because the Doctor didn't like something he saw during his stress test, so they're going to poke a camera up there to see what's going on. Not exactly the kinda news he was expecting and my prayers are for a diagnosis of "It was nothing at all".


Well, there you've gone an done it - wasted another perfectly good month with 'ol Woody himself and the Blog that keeps on going and going. I hope July finds us all in much better circumstances!

73

Saturday, June 27, 2009



"THE HEATH I NEVER KNEW.........."










Growing up with radio in the 60's and 70's, I started out in CB (as you already know), but I did have my fair share of HEATHKIT catalogs as well. My problem (being very young) is that the Citizens Band radios on the market at that time (ed. - especially late 60's and into the 70's) were eye candy to someone who liked talking on the radio, usually less expensive, and good-to-go right out of the box. Heathkit products, on the other hand, seemed crude in comparison, and in my little niche of New England, when you said "HAM RIG", it meant "HEATHKIT"....


One of my good CB friends, the "Due Sender", was determined to be a ham radio operator and was constantly building and frying one "kit" after another (sometimes while on-the-air on channel 20). I wasn't opposed to building a kit, as I had built several non-ham kits previously and really enjoyed it - my eyes were just glazed over by the chrome and aesthetics of 11m radios, and, all my friends were using CB as well.




The urge was always there, to become a ham, I just wasn't inclined to do a lot of studying to get there (ed. - very logical, as I had the very same problem in school). But, don't get me wrong - I enjoyed the hell outta CB, and still do, I just couldn't seem to make the break to another radio service that in my perception, had rigs that seemed like they were out of the stone ages. Oh, and lets not forget "Morse Code"; yes, I tried a little, but it was truly a foreign language to me and if that was the gateway to HAM radio, then I was going to take a pass.





Fast forward to the mid-80's and between a persistent co-worker and better looking HAM rigs, I took the plunge and learned CW, quickly upgrading to Technician "PLUS". I still used 11 meter transceivers, but I also had my first HAM rig, a HEATHKIT HW-5400. Audio was low and muddy on 10 meters but when I worked 15 on CW that rig would sing and I would get the BEST tone reports (to this day) of ANY HAM rig I'd ever owned (and as it turned out, CW became my favorite mode of operation).

Fast forward to the mid-90's, and now I was an active CB (and) HAM radio collector. My appreciation for those "ugly" rigs I remembered grew at a fantastic rate. My loathing of SMD's had me running back in time and picking up those 50's, 60's, and some 70's Amateur radios because they were like the cars of that era - plenty of room under-the-hood to work, and easy to repair (as long as you knew how to repair them).

I began to realize.....that I had made a great mistake in ignoring those fabulous Heathkit rigs.





Today, as we all know, unless you want to pawn a car, it's very hard to purchase an unbuilt Heath radio, whether is be a transceiver, or receiver. And if you were able to buy one that was produced TODAY, it would be more plug-and-play with a variety of SMD laden boards. Fortunately you can find thousands of used Heathkit rigs, complete w/manuals and building instructions, and with the excellent HEATH support base (via die-hard HEATH lovers), so even if what you buy is broke - you....yes YOU, can repair it yourself.
-
Whoever said: "You can't go home again" obviously didn't know about Heathkit.....


AND I LIKE THAT!!

'NUFF SAID

WOODY


Friday, June 26, 2009


"RAIN........."


I never thought I'd comment on rain, but it's been so dry around the Houston area, we haven't had anything for about a month....until today. After a day that hit 103, I wasn't expecting anything other than more of the same, but late this afternoon I heard thunder (which was dismissed at my stomach growling) and shortly after that we had a nice little downpour, not too heavy, but just enough to where it was enjoyable being outside. There's nothing like that "Fresh Rain" smell....



'Nuff Said,
Woody

Sunday, June 21, 2009

"FATHERS DAY 2009...."



DAD





"Bro" (Glenn)


ROBIN AND WOODY






Happy Father's Day to all you radio op Dad's around the world!! Today was a very relaxing and enjoyable Father's Day for both my Dad and myself (although I did feel a bit "naked" without my trusty Red Sox cap on). Like last year, we got together at the Outback steakhouse and had a great time catching up on things and dining on some fantastic food!

We then adjourned to the QTH to share some cake and, of course, lay a few gifts on my Dad....but it was as hot as August out there today and I wonder how bad August will be? Robin's "Photo Book" was a hit for both Dad and Bro, and I had the unexpected pleasure of getting Roses delivered to the door to me, from Robin - It doesn't get any better than that my friends. Unfortunately, Chris and his wife Ada couldn't make it because she had to work today (Ugh!), but we'll catch up with those two around the 4th.

As I was going into the other room to get his Father's Day card, I heard my Dad commenting to Glenn on how neat and clean the place was and I thought to myself "Damn...it's been a long time since I've heard that spoken". Kudos to Robin for her help!!

After the gathering, it was hard to believe that it was almost 4 p.m. - I went into the shack flipped a switch...but alas....no DX (at least none that was strong enough to be workable). Hopefully where you live, conditions were better, and perhaps you even got a chance to have a QSO with "Mr. Nobody" - BT 703the infamous CA Weed Farmer on the Ancient Mariner mode of communication. The next big holiday that usually brings old DXer's outta the woods is July 4th, and the Woodbury clan is have a big BBQ to heat up those airwaves. Hopefully I'll have the A/C fixed in "Moby Dick" so I can monitor band conditions. Even as I type though, I can here some DX trying to climb up and above the noise level - maybe it will be better in a few hours (or, hopefully, in a few years).

HAM JOKE OF THE DAY:

"Everything is copacetic" - Translation: nothing is ever fully copacetic.


'Nuff Said

"STANDARD DISCLAIMER"This is my standard disclaimer regarding the selling of my radio collection. While the ad reads CB GAZETTE, it has nothing to do with me, and the while the "WE are selling" implies I'm on board with it, I'm not. She has the legal right to sell my stuff, however I am not involved and any complaints should not be directed to me, or, damage my honest reputation in the selling of radios. I'm not upset by the legal selling, just the inference that I am involved. End of Disclaimer.

Saturday, June 20, 2009





"A FUNNY THING HAPPENED
ON THE WAY TO THE SHACK"





Oh, the lighter side of being a HAM, it takes your mind off of how much you've spent on equipment and how much more you still have to spend!!


Robin surprised me with a card this weekend, along with some jokes that she found on the Web. I thought "Wow!! She spent time on the Internet looking for jokes about HAM Radio - I GUESS SHE REALLY DOES LOVE ME"

Anyways, I'm not sure if they came from one or multiple sources, so I don't know who to give credit to, but here are a few of them:




  • One sign that you may be a "Problem-Ham" is when every morning at work you wonder..."Did I leave the soldering iron on?"




  • Another sign is when you book a hotel room, your decision is solely based on if you can put out an antenna and whether it's a good spot.



AND...




  • You're a ham if...when watching a movie that shows someone operating a radio, you will loudly and indignantly proclaim the inaccuracies in the portrayal. (ed. - "GUILTY, as charged" - 'Nuff Said)


  • You're a ham if...you check a potential new car for rig and antenna mounting possibilities even before you take it for a test drive.


  • You're a ham...when you instinctively pull over and check your antennas each time before going through an area with a Low Clearance, even when you are the passenger in someone Else's car.


(I'm beginning to think this is one of THOSE quiz's you find in a magazine that will determine if you need some sort of medical treatment)



"SWAPFESTS AND EBAY"



Jokes would not be complete without including swapfest's and EBay auctions!! In fact, many times I check EBay when I first wake up, because they're like the "Funny Pages". Let's start with EBay!!




  • "This one's a BEAUT!!!" - Translation: It looks pretty, therefore it must work because it is pretty.


  • "Power cord? What Power cord?" - Translation: if it doesn't have a power cord, it must run on batteries....but I'm sure it works!


  • "This is a really good CW rig" - Translation: It doesn't work on SSB


  • "This is a really good SSB rig" - Translation: It doesn't work on CW.


  • "It came from an estate sale with a huge amount of radios" - Translation: it doesn't work



HAMFESTS




  • "The transmitter is outstanding" - Translation: the receiver doesn't work


  • "It worked the last time I used it" - Translation: then it broke and I put in the closet for twenty years. (ed. - time heals all bad memories)


  • "I don't know if it works" - No translation needed here


  • "I'm selling it because I have two of them" - Translation: I'm getting rid of my parts rig


  • "You'd better buy it now before the sun comes up" - Translation: anything looks good under a flashlight beam.


  • "It doesn't need a VFO" - Translation: The rig drifts so bad, who needs one? (ed. - OH! can you say S-I-L-T-R-O-N-I-X ?)


  • "I Just re-tubed it" - Translation: I replaced all the tubes in the radio with tubes that fit in the sockets.


  • "You won't find another one like it" - Translation: This is the only one NOT in a land fill.



As you can tell, many of the EBay and Swapmeet jokes are interchangeable, with EBay having the edge in anonymity. You think you're buying from an old, seasoned ham op, when really you're buying from a little 'ol lady who knows nothing about them except what an ON/OFF switch is. Hope you enjoyed these as much as I did! So, for all of us "HAM" fathers, may the sunspots be many and the DX afar....



73





WOODY










"STANDARD DISCLAIMER"This is my standard disclaimer regarding the selling of my radio collection. While the ad reads CB GAZETTE, it has nothing to do with me, and the while the "WE are selling" implies I'm on board with it, I'm not. She has the legal right to sell my stuff, however I am not involved and any complaints should not be directed to me, or, damage my honest reputation in the selling of radios. I'm not upset by the legal selling, just the inference that I am involved. End of Disclaimer

Friday, June 19, 2009



"TWO NOTEWORTHY TRANSCEIVERS....."










"COBRA 138XLR 40ch. AM/SSB MOBILE"


There are many of us that just won't buy "used", especially if it's 20-30 years old, and in some cases they're right. I'm not writing about those, but rather a couple of old-time favorites that are like the Energizer Bunny and keep going-and-going. There are many older rigs that I'd buy over a new one (or in some situations, there isn't a newer model), but I randomly picked out these two, and I'm pretty sure at least one will be a favorite of yours as well.


To the left is a picture of the Cobra 138XLR, which, if only given a glimpse, would probably be mistaken for the 148 and several others. This transceiver is a product of the 70's - one of the first 40 channel AM/SSB mobiles to come out, and had features that aren't too common today.

Besides being highly modifiable, the 138xlr had controls for: Dynamike; Volume; Squelch; RF Gain; Mode switch; "Voice Lock"; Noise Blanker; Tone; and a Dimmer control for the LED display. The microphone jack is a 4-pin jack and it's side mounted. This transceiver has almost any feature you would want (ed.- except for a "mute" button that makes the XYL silent Hi-Hi), plus, it's a rig that just won't die because it's built so damn well. 4 outta 5 stars.



"KENWOOD TM-255A 2-METER ALL-MODE MOBILE"


When it comes to Kenwood 2-meter all-mode transceivers, most of us think of the TR-751 which had a long run before being discontinued. After the 751, older rigs like the 9000 come to mind, but very rarely do HAMS pull the TM-255A out of there memories. Perhaps this is because it only had a limited run and is rather rare, but this rig is the finest all-mode I've ever run across!!

I owned one of these about 15 years ago and it was FANTASTIC. I made many wonderful QSO's with this rig and had many great contacts in SSB. As you can see by the picture this transceiver is well made, but expensive. Because they weren't around much (and very expensive) they are hard to find, but well worth it. On Ebay, they are very scarce and pricey, but one day I will find one and purchase it, because it's worth every penny!! 5 outta 5 stars


Fathers Day is just a few days away, so I hope you get something you really want (ed.- see previous post) and may the DX be roaring!


73





WOODY



"STANDARD DISCLAIMER"This is my standard disclaimer regarding the selling of my radio collection. While the ad reads CB GAZETTE, it has nothing to do with me, and the while the "WE are selling" implies I'm on board with it, I'm not. She has the legal right to sell my stuff, however I am not involved and any complaints should not be directed to me, or, damage my honest reputation in the selling of radios. I'm not upset by the legal selling, just the inference that I am involved. End of Disclaimer.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009




"MY FRIENDS STUPID RIG..."













I got off track on my last post writing about his printer, but I was over there to look at his rig, so here's the story:



His radio was getting hot. Not warm or slightly more than warm, but really HOT!! The fans would only kick on when it got to the hot stage and as we all know, heat, especially extraordinary heat, can damage the components, including the expensive finals. So after letting it warm up and placing my hand on it to see just how hot it would get, we turned it off and opened the case.



This radio in particular has known heat issues and there was a fix: Cut one of the black wires from one of the fans, solder a 51 Ohm resistor at that end, and then solder the other end of the resistor to a ground point. Seemed simple enough. Well, when we opened the case, it appeared that the fix had been done by a previous owner, but if so....why didn't it work? And, why did something look strange about it....






This is what I saw (picture BTW, taken with that 10 mega pixel camera of his). You can see the 2 fan connectors and on one of them there is a purple wire in the same slot that the black wire is in. I followed the purple wire to a resistor, and the other end of the resistor went to ground (chassis). My radio 'bud was freak'n out at this point -

"SEE!!! The mod IS done!! There is probably something else wrong that will cost big bucks"



If you put on your thinking cap, you'll imagine the mod "put resistor in line with black wire and ground" and realize that whoever did this, did it wrong. If both the black wire and the purple wire are plugged into ground, it won't make a bit of difference having the resistor tied to the other end of the purple wire and then to another ground. I checked the resistor and it was only a 10 Ohm resistor as well. I got rid of the purple wire and 10 Ohm resistor, cut the black wire, soldered the 51 Ohm resistor to the wire running to the fan, soldered the other end to ground and heat shrunk a protective layer around it.

It took less than 10 minutes, cost about .15 cents and my friend was forever grateful. This goes to show what happens when you buy a used rig - you never know what the fellow before you did to it, whether correct, or not.

'NUFF SAID

WOODY



"STANDARD DISCLAIMER"This is my standard disclaimer regarding the selling of my radio collection. While the ad reads CB GAZETTE, it has nothing to do with me, and the while the "WE are selling" implies I'm on board with it, I'm not. She has the legal right to sell my stuff, however I am not involved and any complaints should not be directed to me, or, damage my honest reputation in the selling of radios. I'm not upset by the legal selling, just the inference that I am involved. End of Disclaimer.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009



"ONE HELL OF A PRINTER....."






CANON PIXMA PRO-9500






I stopped over at a friends QTH to help him with his small foot print HF-UHF rig (It required several "Fixes" via soldering iron and he wasn't too good at soldering so he asked me) and noticed a BIG, I mean B-I-G printer in his radio room. Naturally, curiosity got the better of me, so while I was soldering, he was telling me all about the printer. Evidently CANON has a "Pro" line of ink jets and this model was (I think) 2nd from the bottom price-wise. It's a CANON PRO-9500 and designed for photographs as opposed to text. This also caught my attention because I like digital photography, but I've never seen a really good printer that will do your photographs justice.


He said he was torn between the 9000 and 9500 and the plus and minuses between the two (reviewers said that colors were better on the 9000), but he went with the 9500 and said he thought the color prints were excellent (this is where I get sucked in). So conversation flip flops between HAM Radio and Digital Photography and while he's putting the case back together, I'm kinda looking around his room and the big pictures, framed and hanging on two of his walls admiring the quality and mentioned that:

"Someday digital photography and their printers will match those"

That's when he told me that those marvelous pictures had been printed on his PRO-9500 printer!! Needless to say, they blew me away.... they were also taken by a 10 mega pixel camera (and I was thinking it was at least 12). If you're interested in digital photography and printing outstanding photo's this would be the printer for you. I think it will also print 13" x 19" prints and they look SHARP. One day, I too will get one of these (or it's successor), but that will have to wait until I have a job and get back on my feet again!

Oh yeah - his rig is working much better now.

73

WOODY

-


"STANDARD DISCLAIMER"
This is my standard disclaimer regarding the selling of my radio collection. While the ad reads CB GAZETTE, it has nothing to do with me, and the while the "WE are selling" implies I'm on board with it, I'm not. She has the legal right to sell my stuff, however I am not involved and any complaints should not be directed to me, or, damage my honest reputation in the selling of radios. I'm not upset by the legal selling, just the inference that I am involved. End of Disclaimer.

Monday, June 15, 2009




"SIDEBAND

AND,

OREO'S....."




Regarding Single-Sideband, life is like a cookie; more specifically, an "Oreo". I'll use a CB channel, as it makes for an easier comparison. So we all know the CB's have 40 channels right? and every radio currently on the market has "AM", some have "AM", "LSB", and "USB" (which stand for Lower and Upper sideband). Our Oreo cookie is the CB channel (as seen in the picture below).


AM, uses the whole cookie, thus your power output is spread from one wafer to the other (not really efficient for maximum signal strength). But hey - lots of folks like to use AM (Amplitude Modulation), and not just truckers. If you own an old Browning, AM is almost always the preferred way to go. Because you're using the whole cookie (channel) it's harder to sound off frequency, although in the "Olden Days" of crystal rigs, it wasn't uncommon to run across someone who sounded a bit fuzzy and you would use your "Delta Tune" to try and clear up some of the fuzziness. Some tube radios just loved to wander, and wander.........



The Delta Tuner merely adjusted your receiver more towards one of the cookie wafers than the other, and as long as the other fellow wasn't having serious issues, this worked just fine.

SSB, or "Single Sideband", takes the same output power you had on AM, only this time is concentrates it onto one wafer, and one wafer only. So one wafer is lower sideband, and the other one, upper sideband.




As you can imagine, your signal, now on only one part of that Oreo is more powerful than it was when spread out across the whole cookie. That's the magic of Sideband!!

Another benefit of SSB is lower noise into your receiver. Noise, much like your output power is spread along the whole cookie, and when you end up using one wafer, you get less noise. As for tuning in the other station your sideband rig has a "Clarifier" which varies the frequency so that the other station doesn't sound so much like Donald Duck!! The FCC, for some dumb reason, decided the clarifier would be active on the receive only. This worked out fine if it was just two stations in a QSO, but add a couple more and it would be very likely you would spend most of your time "Clarifying". Of course most second-hand SSB radios have it modified so that it tracts both receive and transmit. (ed.- Illegal, yet.....practical).



BENEFITS: Concentrated power output making the most of your output so you can be heard better, and a lower noise level making it easier to hear stations off in the distance. Single-Sideband is a win-win mode of operation.

I know that I have this on my website somewhere, but I thought it's always good to post a refresher for the benefit of someone with questions.






SWAN LAKE

Since I've been living closer to the big city I've been able to take in some of the finer "ARTS" of Houston. Recently, Robin surprised me with a trip to the ballet to see "Swan Lake". This was 3 hours long (including two intermissions) and we had wonderful seats (after moving slightly to get out of the way of Mr. Big-head, Bobble-head that is).




It's not the first Ballet we've been to, certainly not the last, and I've very happy to (at last) finally be able to sample the finer arts with someone who wants to share that experience with me. The 3 hour length went by so fast, I could have sworn it was only half of that; but I think it seemed that way because of two facts:

  1. It was a really good ballet
  2. And I had a wonderful companion to share it with


Thus ends another entry into Woody's world of everything!

73
WOODY


"STANDARD DISCLAIMER"
This is my standard disclaimer regarding the selling of my radio collection. While the ad reads CB GAZETTE, it has nothing to do with me, and the while the "WE are selling" implies I'm on board with it, I'm not. She has the legal right to sell my stuff, however I am not involved and any complaints should not be directed to me, or, damage my honest reputation in the selling of radios. I'm not upset by the legal selling, just the inference that I am involved. End of Disclaimer.

Friday, June 12, 2009




"A BLURRY LIFE......"




Sometimes our lives are clear and concise, other times they seem out-of-focus, or, "Blurry". I became blurry.

Looking back, it was easy to see the signs of a wrong choice, but I had come to grips with the idea that I would never get out of that situation. As much as I hated living in Sealy, it was clear "we" would not leave - it would have to be me. Even as I complained about the 100mile round trips each day to work, they fell on deaf ears.



When you're stuck inside, things aren't so clear, but to those on the outside, it was crystal clear that I had to get out in order to preserve my sanity. From 2001 - 2007 my "life" degraded quite a bit. While married, my only life was "Radios", and my health took a dive for the worse. Quite simply, my body was cannibalizing itself and I could only hope to live long enough to work the next Sunspot cycle (and maybe the one after). I'd been in the IT field since 1983 and it was wearing on me too. So many problems were fixable with my eyes closed that it became really boring, yet when I fixed a radio by reading the schematics and using good trouble-shooting skills I couldn't be happier. Yes, RADIO was and had been my life. But, something was missing.....


What was missing was a true companion who was also a great love, that had a good head on her shoulders, and no emotional problems. I did have a very good friend, and I always wondered, "Why did I jump the gun on marriage without hanging in there long enough to figure out if they would be a great friend as well". Chalk those mistakes up to my stupidity. Fortunately for me things escalated to the point where I was thinking of "Disappearing" and starting a new life. A drastic measure to be sure, and one that would leave my radio collection behind, but one that would bring me back from the dead.


As you know, I've been in an on-going divorce since 2007, and except for someones obsession, it would have been over long ago. Thankfully, I have Robin.Not only is she my greatest love, but also my best friend. She understands about guys and their radios, and has a keen sense of humor mixed with a wonderful creativity that just blows me away!! Several of my videos were scripted by her, and we plan more to come, perhaps even a "CB DOCUMENTARY".


You're probably wondering why I'm blogging this, but I wanted you to understand where I'm at today, how I got there, and the reason I'll continue on with radios, love, and life....

'Nuff Said,

Woody

Thursday, June 11, 2009




"DEAD SNOW...."

I like Zombie movies and I like games where you kill Nazi's, so it came to no surprise that I'd like "Dead Snow", a Nazi Zombie movie!! Filmed in Norway and in their native language with English subtitles, it seemed like a winner (after viewing the movie trailer). It takes place during the winter, on top of a mountain, and of course, a bunch of goofy young people.
The production quality is very good, and I have to say that the Nazi Zombies are so good that they really creep me out! These Zombies are unlike the typical Zombies and seem to have a good thought process. There are some laughs (of course) and one scene that is rather disgusting, but over all it's one of the better Zombie movies out there.



It's currently available via "ON DEMAND" and I have to point out one disappointing fact regarding this version - rather than have it in their native language, the ON DEMAND version is dubbed in English - totally disgusting. Soon, the original film w/o dubbing will make it's way into the market and I'm waiting for that one. 3.5 stars outta 5.


73


Woody

"THE SKY IS FALLING......"






Not really, just prices. As each week goes by prices get lower and lower on quality used ham rigs. That TS-850SAT I mentioned in another post (w/two filters) finally sold for $630. I was tempted to sell a kidney, but figured it would fall under "Community Property", and nixed that idea....


If you're a HAM or own a HAM store and have deep pockets, now is the time to be picking up some of these jewels for yourself, or, to sell later at a decent profit. I'd be doing the same if I weren't unemployed. Many sellers are even offering free shipping on boat anchors (and you know that has to hurt).



"JAPAN"


There's a fellow in Japan that sells some really nice rigs, many of which have never seen the shores of the U.S.A. - Shipping is a bitch (for example, he has a Yaesu FT-707S QRP rig on EBay now that costs $107 to ship). From what I've seen, they are as close to "MINT" as possible, and




if you've read my many posts, you know that I like QRP. There is something about making a contact with very low power that gives me the shivers!!
Should you want to check out this auction, just click on the LINK to get there!






"STANDARD DISCLAIMER"



This is my standard disclaimer regarding the selling of my radio collection. While the ad reads CB GAZETTE, it has nothing to do with me, and the while the "WE are selling" implies I'm on board with it, I'm not. She has the legal right to sell my stuff, however I am not involved and any complaints should not be directed to me, or, damage my honest reputation in the selling of radios. I'm not upset by the legal selling, just the inference that I am involved. End of Disclaimer.


"MEANWHILE......"

Life is good and I'm really enjoying my life with Robin. She's wonderful, and we have had a great time doing this or that, or just hanging out watching a DVD.



The change is like the difference between night and day....


"CW DAVE"


I just met in the "FRY'S" parking lot this morning with "CW-DAVE", my Elmer and good friend. If not for him, I wouldn't be a HAM. He had a part I needed to try and repair a circuit board (I have plenty of time) and we caught up on things as we haven't seen each other for a while. There was good news and there was bad news. First, the BAD: He broke his leg and it wasn't in the best spot to break one (as if there is a good spot), but he's hanging in there...(ed.- just don't expect to see him climbing any towers for the time being). As for the GOOD news, he had HIS Top Ten HAM rigs (yep, there's more than one person reading this Blog).

Dave's TOP TEN ARE:
  1. ICOM 775DSP
  2. Kenwood TS-2000
  3. Ten Tec Jupiter
  4. Ten Tec Omni VI
  5. Kachina DSP505
  6. Kenwood TS-520
  7. ICOM 725
  8. Drake TR-4C
  9. Hallicrafters SR-400A Cyclone III
  10. Yaesu FT-767GX

As you can see, he has used some of the higher end rigs of their day, but it's nice to see the ICOM 725 and Kenwood TS-520 on his list.....in fact, I wouldn't be surprised to find at least one of those lurking somewhere in his HAM closet!! One of these days, I'll get him to put to paper a list of EVERY rig that he's ever owned (ed. - he'll have to take a weeks vacation to do it though, 'Nuff Said).






So, we come to another end of another Blog post!! Until next time.....

73
WOODY

Sunday, June 07, 2009

"TOP TEN HAM RIGS"





I know that I've owned and operated more CB's that most (about 4 decades worth of rigs), but it wasn't until recently that I started writing down the various ham rigs that I've owned and operated.

Coming up with a TOP TEN list is hard to do, so I took the easy way out - my top ten list is in no order of preference - it's just a list of my 10 favorites Ham Rigs! Let's see what I came up with:


  1. Yaesu FT-101 (101,B,E,EE,EX)

  2. Heathkit HW-5400

  3. Yaesu FT-890at

  4. Kenwood TS-850at

  5. Heathkit HW-9? QRP

  6. Yaesu FT-817ND

  7. ICOM IC-725

  8. ICOM IC-751A

  9. Yaesu FT-901DM

  10. Yaesu FT-650

(with honorable mentions going to the Kenwood TS-711a, and Kenwood TS-480S)




I also realized there are some rigs, for one reason or the other, that I've never operated, like the Kenwood 520/530, 820/830 or any of the Drake line. I don't know why it never came to be - it just didn't. As you can see, I much prefer the older rigs vs. new, and this continues up to the present.




Sometimes the simplest, were the best (like the ICOM IC-725). That rig was built like a tank and could take a lot of rough handling. The one I had was "Butt Ugly", and I sold it twice and bought it back twice...the 3rd time, well let's just say that the new owner appreciated it's ugly charm as much as I did, and 725's tend to run in the mid $250 range (not a bad start for the newbie ham)

[ed.-The IC-725 is a solid-state, general coverage transceiver]




Saturday, June 06, 2009


"NO SUNSPOTS, RECESSION....
TIME TO BUY"
-


Sunspots are down, the economy is down, and you know what that means - Used radio prices are down. For those of you who can, or who are smart enough and can, it's best to hang onto those pieces because from what I've seen there seems to be no bottom to the used rig arena. For those who can afford it, this is a great time to buy!! A year and a half ago you couldn't find a Kenwood TS-850sat WITH filters for under $900-$1000. Today you have a hard time finding a buyer at $675. And the Ts-850 is one of the best NON-Digital, NON-Menu'd Rigs around. No...you won't find DSP, but you don't need DSP with this great performer, and there are many other bargains out there.
-

"AND THEN....THERE IS THE TS-570..."
It bothers me when I see several of one type radio (of recent vintage) come up for auction. This past week I've see at least a half dozen 570's pop up on EBay. Is there a secret self-destruct code that I don't know about? The prices are good, but Woody sez "HOLD" on that stock. Sure, if we had unlimited financing at Robinwood Productions, we'd do a demographic study to determine if more 570 owners were laid off than other particular model number rig-runners; but alas...we don't. Any 570 owners out there having problems?

"RECESSION PROOF RIGS"
I think you know what I'm going to say here: Yaesu FT-101 series Transceivers. These wonderful beasts seem to maintain their value no matter what the economy is doing. Prices remain firm in the $250-$400 range. Unless you really find the one you want, you might be better off buying something else that will jump up in value when the tough times let up (and then make a profit). Of course, if you've read anything I've written in the last 15 or so years about the 101, you know it holds a nice memory (several actually) in that shack in my heart. And if a giant EMP hits the world, well, they'll make a much better defense weapon than an FT-100/D as you drop them from the walls of your well stocked fortress onto the wall climbing Zombies below.


Regarding EMP's: There is nothing like having an 'ol "Hot Water 101" in the closet for the unexpected (with a good supply of replacement tubes).

"DAYTON SALE PRICES"

GigaParts, an online retailer of computers and ham gear had some FANTASTIC (if not varied) pricing during the Dayton Hamfest. I checked in each day to see prices jump up and down like a freakin sine-wave. I may have missed a few low points, but I saw:
  • TS-480SAT's (100w) for less than $900, and HX's under $1k
  • FT-857D's at-or-around $630 (with remote kit)
  • FT-897D's under $700
  • FT-817ND's around $500

It was really crazy. The actual week of the 'fest the prices were a tad higher, and kept climbing up to where they are today (now cheaper at HRO due to free shipping). I wonder how many of you bought some, just to resell later? I would have if I could have....

"CLASSIC CB'S"

Prices are waay down here folks. If I had control of my collection I'd hang onto them until things improved (but as you know, I don't). Even my old General MC-11a which fetched around $250 was well below it's value. Whoever got that - got a DEAL (ed. - and with all that was sold, the "ex" will REALLY have to work!! That's a lot of stuff to get out and shipped). Basically, if you have the $$$, it's a good time to buy the real collectible rigs. When things improve, they'll rebound, and in time - increase.

I still had to come up with the dough to pay for the labor on replacing that stupid battery cable in "Moby Dick" (the new S.O.W. - Ford Explorer), and after getting most of my pre-marriage film camera gear, sold a bunch to put towards some repairs (ed.- Yeah....I know Fix-Or-Repair-Daily).

"ME AND ALICE"



As promised, here's the picture of Alice Cooper and me. This picture is VERY ironic because I was sicker than I've ever been (couldn't even talk) and he was glib and very funny. Somehow the picture doesn't appear that way....

Well, I've wasted enough of your EBaying time with a mixture of topics. Hope you enjoyed it, and can pick up on some good deals!!

'Nuff Said

Woody

-

Friday, June 05, 2009

"WHAT'S THE DEAL ABOUT FATHER'S DAY?"




Have you ever looked at the ads in the paper or for that matter Amazon, to see what's on special for "Fathers Day"?


Take today. I looked at Amazon's specials to see "Gifts for Dad" and just had to wonder, who the hell thinks up this stuff? a wife?


1. A new.....WEEDEATER!!! (and at a price even your kids could afford).

2. A cordless lawn mower!

3. 20% off Stanley tools, (including POWER drills)



I could go on....but basically they are gifts to enhance YOUR WORK-AT-HOME, just what every relaxing father wants - a reason to complete honeydo's faster (ed. -Hey, maybe "Dad" will finally make it down to No.9 on the list, "shaving his wife's back"..uggghhh...I shudder even thinking someone, somewhere has this on their list).




While Mother's Day is full of flowers, candy, and jewelry (i.e.- fun for them), Father's Day seems entombed in the motto that "Dad's only happy when he's working -even at home, or, we're only happy when Dad is working-at-home"....sad, but true my friends.


Why not give dad..............a TANK!!!





Now THAT would be something cool. While the neighborhood punks ride through the neighborhood with those high pitched whinny mufflers, or loud low frequency BOOM-BOOM's, Dad can casually roll over them with his brand new refurbished TANK.


I LIKE THAT IDEA. But, if you don't.....


Why not buy DAD..........a ROBOT!!!!



Yes, you'd truly make Dad a happy camper with this one! Just imagine how proud he would be when his buddies show up to admire AND have their picture taken with HIS robot. Not only would Dad be the talk of the town (or neighborhood), but he'd have more time for Hamming and Red Sox games, while the Robot took care of the now meaningless "Honey-Do" list (ed. - including the preivously mentioned horrendous task of shaving the wife's back...uggggggh).

Okay, maybe a Robot and/or a Tank is just a wee too bit expensive (ed. - Mrs. Bill Gates can still think of those) for your average family, but being the humble, if-I-get-a-gift-I'm-lucky kinda dad I am, I've come up with some alternate suggestions for those Dad's of my...."RF PERSUASION".

  • Ask Dad what new Ham or CB accessory he wants (or, just check QST. Look for the pages with the heavy drool stains).
  • If it's too expensive, HEY, HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF GIFT CARDS, OR C-A-S-H??
  • Pump up his Paypal account with a nice donation for one of those items he has been watching...and watching.....and, watching.
  • Buy Dad a NETBOOK!! Even if he's NOT a radio guy, he'd surely appreciate that (and kids, they're under $300 now).
  • Take him out to eat, and give him a nice card (cash-in-card not required, but not unwanted).
  • Ask him "Is there a book in the ARRL shop you might like?"
  • If he's into SLR photography, how about a new lens?
  • If he's really into photography, how about membership in the location photographic society?
  • Tired of Dad stealing your ink cartridges so that he can get a report done? Buy him a laser printer (easily had for under $200, and in some cases $100).
  • If dad is into guns, buy him some ammo (if you can find it. And, if you do, he'll be a happy camper).
  • And last (but not least), have your Dad's favorite beverage on hand, buy the pay-per-view of the Red Sox game, and buy your mom a certificate to the salon.....so she can get her back shaved....ugggggggh.



So...there ya have it, Woody's outtake on "Father's Day". Maybe some of you will get something you really want, maybe you want something else - If so, put your suggestion down on this blogpost then print it out and leave it around the House. Unless your family are Aliens, they'll know which one YOU suggested.

'NUFF SAID
WOODY