Saturday, October 31, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
· NEW FRONT BRINGS NO DX
· STAR WARS ACROSS AMERICA
Another front brought nice cool air into the region, pushing the warm humid crap out to sea. 10 meters seemed DOA, whereas usually we get some crossover (cold air over hot air) distance communications. Nonetheless, cool air and lower electricity bills are welcomed (as is the custom in my area, it warms up again tomorrow, with yet another cool front coming in the following day/night).
Identity. What is yours? What is mine? Everyone knows who or what they really are, right? Maybe, and then again, maybe not. Perhaps identity is a fluid component of our lives. Using myself as an example:
One year ago I was an IT Administrator looking forward to the following February when my divorce would be final from my ex-procrastinating, hoarding, pack-rat wife with definite self-esteem issues, while looking forward to a wonderful future with - not only my best friend, but love, Robin. That was my identity -Then.
One year later I am an un-employed IT Administrator on un-employment, without health insurance, and uncertain of when I will be employed again. But I’m still looking forward to a wonderful future with not only my best friend, but love, Robin. I spend everyday in the apartment, and as each day passes, I seem to lose a little bit of myself (whoever that may be) while looking for a job. There is no safety net.
I’ve been watching spam/junk mail lately (it has it’s ups and downs) and being the “Master of My Domain”, I realize that all I have to do is change my email address to change my identity to those spammers or other unwanted emails, It’s so easy, and at times – so desirable, because if you start to forget who you are, then why stay the course?? I wonder how that can apply to real people and real identities…
STARS WARS ACROSS AMERICA
This past weekend, Robin and I went to a Star Wars concert which had a live orchestra and a huge video screen. Along with the actor who played C3PO to narrate, the entire Star Wars movie series was clipped together in a nice 2 hour adventure. Besides a zillion kids, there were many props from the movies themselves in the lobby to take pictures of. My Brother Glenn generously provided the tickets, and as you can see by the photos and video posted, it was fun for all….
GREAT SHOT ROBIN!!
NOTHING LIKE A GOOD STORY
73 - WOODY
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
UPDATE ON DEATHS IN FLORIDA -
Woody...as a follow up to your post on the 3 killed in Florida, the guys on the radio around here (Tampa FL) have learned that Melville Braham was a person we talked to often when skip was rolling out of Jamaica. He was on the Freeband as Jamaica 411, personal was Melville, and he was a regular on the frequency we use here in the Bay Area. It was disturbing to learn that he was a radio aquaintance, and tonight we are talking about the different contacts we have made with him.Thought you would find this interesting.
Brian, American Radio 205, Tampa FLLong night / Short "POST"
Hey Brian/capt205,Yes, anytime that happens it's a real tragedy. Thanks for the extra info, I'll put it up top on a new post soon so everyone see it (some folks don't read the messages).Regards and Condolences to all you guys down in Florida who knew him, or, to anyone in the world he may have talked with - Woody
And that wraps up most of the incoming mail from "MAIL CALL" - Thanks for writing, catch ya on the next "short" wave! 73, WOODY -
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
S C A R Y. . . . . .
Halloween is near and I've truly had my scare for years to come!! I was looking for Halloween masks, or something to wear to a Halloween party and wasn't having much success. After the 3rd stop I told Robin that I was ready to give up, but she said "Awe, just try one more...."
Yep, there it was! and only ONE left. The lady helping customers pick out masks said that this was almost a complete sellout across town (someone wearing the mask had come in before me, not 20 minutes ago and bought 9 out of the 10 they had left, but ran out of money for this last remaining mask). If you're a parent judge carefully on how your child will react.
SCARY PRICE ON A USED 12 (YES - "12") AMP POWER SUPPLY
Sunday, October 18, 2009
My Son Chris came over last weekend and we spent most of the day together messing around with his new Netbook and his wife's Trojan laden notebook (of course we had time to talk and watch a couple flix while we were doing it). It was good to see him again, and you'd think that living in the same "Houston Area" it wouldn't be so hard, but he works hard and often late, and it's about a 60 minute trip from point Chris to point Dad (and that's if traffic is good). That's the suck part of Houston - it's just too spread out.
ME AND CHRIS TAKING A PICTURE BREAK WHEN ROBIN CAME HOME
We saw him and his wife last night at Houston's first frightfest of sorts in 15 years called the "Crypticon Houston 2009", but we had made the rounds many times so by the time they arrived we were ready to go (but we did hang around for a bit). As far as the Crypticon went, well, I think it was very poorly advertised, and while they had a few
CHRIS, ADA, MEactors (maybe 8) to sign stuff, the dealer support was terrible (and that's a large part of why you go - to look at all the cool stuff). Places in Houston I expected to have booths weren't even there. They had free movies playing in another room, but we came at an awkward time, so it would have meant an hour of waiting before the next one started. Others things missing: people (not many there), and people dressed up as their favorite horror film character. Hopefully today will bring more people and perhaps next year it will be better next year (if they can beat the Houston curse). If you're not familiar with the curse, it applies to Hamfests as well. For some reason, people just don't come out to support these events, so you end up driving to Dallas, Austin, Belton, etc. for a decent, enjoyable experience.
ROBIN STANDING IN FRONT OF THE HUGE CROWD AT THE CHECK-IN BOOTH-
I used to read John Dvorak's columns every week or so religiously, but things building up to the final divorce, and some other issues set me behind in my reading pace. This morning I got up early and spent about 45 minutes catching up on his musings, knowing that I'd see an article about their big "CLOUD" bust recently that left T-mobile users without their data (address/phone book, etc.). It was there and as usual, John called the shots correctly.
There were a few other articles that amused me - 1. Regarding the "rats nest" of cables that never seem to go away (although it's been promised for years), and as I read this piece I couldn't help but look down at my floor because I knew all too well what he was talking about. He wrote that he wished that manufacturers would come out with common cables, for instance:
- One size fits all USB connectors (at the other end - not the PC end)
Definitely a good idea. He also mentioned all of those AC adapters plugged into various power strips and I think there's a LOT of room for improvement there. These block-like black juggernauts come in so many different physical sizes that it's impossible to fit them all on one strip. Looking at the specs of each one (DC/AMP output), they're all fairly close and so the various manufacturers should agree to agree on one adapter that puts out what is needed, with a standard connector at the other end to plug into the device. This would take a little time to accomplish, but if they manufacture their items, whatever they may be (USB HUBS, SWITCHES..) they would all use the same voltage/ amperage, and connector type. This would require one large adapter with many connections to plug optional cables into for whatever devices are added, but it would make things easier when a year or so later passes and you find a bunch of adapters that plug into nothing, and then scratching your head and wondering "What the HELL was this one for?", or worse, having a use for a device you've put away in a drawer and realizing that the adapter isn't with it. OH-THE-HORROR of that experience (ed. - More horror than a 2009 Houston Crypticon, 'Nuff Said).
IF you are lucky, the device will have voltage and amp requirements on it, but I've run across many that don't so I find myself on the manufacturers website, trying to find this older device and it's specifications. Sometimes I'm lucky, sometimes I'm not, and when I'm not I turn to GOOGLE (yeah, I said GOOGLE, not "BING") to find some obscure site with the information that I need. Having done this, it's time to search my box of black boxes and try and find one with the correct voltage and amperage, as well as the proper connector to plug it into the device!! What a nightmare, and how easy it would be if they could just agree on a standard. Once a standard is agreed upon then it makes it really easy; for us as well as the manufacturers. They no longer have to supply AC adapters with their product because who needs a half dozen of the same thing? Packaging would be smaller, lighter, and the end user would be able to buy ONE adapter (online or locally) and that would be that.
Another subject mentioned was about digital cameras, and I agree completely. I have a larger D-SLR that I use for somethings, but Robin's little Olympus camera (which fits nicely in a pocket, or purse) is our usual "GO-TO" camera. At 8mp, it take wonderful shots that we've blown up to 11 x 14 and have been perfectly happy with. It has a digital movie function with a good microphone which comes in very handy at times, OH! and it's low-light focus/flash is fantastic! I'm thinking of getting one myself just to have in the truck for those impromptu times where you wish you had a camera, or video camera with you when passing by a pack of Zombies staggering across a field.
When I was using 35mm SLR's, I had a bunch of NIKON gear. The cameras were tough and the optics superb. I would then pick the type of film I wanted for the color or black and white style that I wanted. One of my first digital cameras was an Olympus SLR (non-interchangeable lens) that was just under 1mp, but compared to the more expensive 1.5mp cameras, mine usually won when the final print came out. They had really done a good job in creating a picture where the colors looked like they should. And that's a crucial difference between digital cameras, they are very similar to the nuances between various film types (Fuji, Kodak, Afga) where one film would lean towards better greens, or another with a warmer tone. Several years later I upgraded to a small Nikon and (sad to say) I was really disappointed with the pictures it took, so I passed on the big format Nikon/Canons and went direct to the Olympus 4/3's system SLR when I decided to purchase a digital SLR w/interchangeable lenses and once again, I've never been happier with my camera, and BTW, OLYMPUS optics are superb as well.
So, another week without seeing spots - Sunspots that is. We've had several fronts come through which usually gives you some DX while it's on the way towards us, and then again behind us, but it's been really subpar and rather depressing. Sometimes I wonder "Will the Sunspot cycle even return". Once again, I've read that the West coast has had some DX, but otherwise it seems pretty quiet. So, my mission to install a mobile setup in the Explorer keeps getting put back. I have picked up antenna connections, cables, mounts - so those parts are ready to go, but I still haven't figured out the best way to install the radios. Now my Son's truck is P-E-R-F-E-C-T. When he came over with the notebooks that Saturday I got my first look at it and when he opened the door, unstoppable drool began to flow as I saw plenty of floor space to mount a stack of rigs!
Other things that I've been doing: Well, yesterday Robin and I went to a wedding of a mutual friend of ours, and it was excellent! Hopefully today will be a day of relaxation (and no DX). I'm working on a non IT related project of my own which I'll drop some hints here and there as I progress, we have October pretty muched booked up every weekend so November will be a nice break. Ebay is still screwey, and while looking at various auctions I don't know whether to laugh or just wonder what kinda IQ the seller has.
Lately, my most frequent gripe is when someone lists "CB RADIO" with a burry picture so you can't determine what model it is. Usually the description is: "Look at the picture to see what you're getting. Any questions, feel free to ask". The least they could do would be to tell you the brand, model number, number of channels, what or what not comes with it, and if it works. This leads to another pet peave: While a mobile might be harder to test (unless it's pictured with a cigarette connector), many Base Station auctions give you nothing. If you see an AC cord in the picture you have to ask them:
- Did you turn it "ON"?
- Did it light up?
- Was there any speaker noise/static?
- Are any of the lights dead?
- Are any of the channel digits dead?
- If they heard static, did they try putting it on ch.19 to listen for any trucker traffic?
And the list goes on....and I've spent enough of your time with today's Blog Post....
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
"Family electrocuted putting up ham radio antenna"
PALM BAY, Fla. – Police in Florida say a mother and father and their 15-year-old son died after being electrocuted while putting up a ham radio antenna at their Palm Bay home.
The victims were identified Tuesday as 55-year-old Melville Braham and 49-year-old Anna Braham and their son, Anthony.
Authorities say rescue crews responded to a 911 call Monday evening and found the three on the ground not breathing.
Authorities say the Brahams were attempting to raise the antenna when they lost control of the pole and it hit an overhead power line. The impact sent 13,000 volts of electricity through the pole.
Anna Braham was pronounced dead at the scene. Melville and Anthony were taken to a hospital where they were pronounced dead.
Monday, October 12, 2009
"WHO'D HAVE THOUGHT......?
That we'd meet Alice Cooper earlier this year, get a picture taken with him and some stuff autographed, and then - months later, we're only about four rows from the stage and the opening act is almost ready to relinquish the stage to the master showman himself - "Alice Cooper"!!!
Everyone knows they're trying hard, but after each song you can only hope their set is over so that the real show can begin. While I would have liked to have seen him sing songs from one of my favorite later (2005?) albums, "The Eyes Of Alice Cooper", this tour would be a trip down nostalgia lane, and for a guy who'll be 62 next February, he's still touring, putting out albums, and of course....playing golf.
"IT WAS ONE MASS SING-A-LONG...."
"IS YOUR TELEPHONE RINGING?"
If you were out cruising on a weekend night in your used '67 Mustang, you were either talking on the CB, or listening to Alice Cooper on your 8-TRACK.....
Saturday, October 10, 2009
THE WORST CONNECTOR:
BURNT FINGERS A PLENTY WHEN SOLDERING
WORST XYL: YOU JUST GET BURNED.
TWO MORE JOKES CAME IN!!
A man once asked Woody, "Isn't your wedding ring on the wrong finger?" Woody replied, "Why, yes, it is. I married the wrong woman!”
“So, Mr. Woodbury,” her attorney asked. “Is it true that you were married by a judge in 1993?” Woody sighed, “Yes, and I sure wish now I’d asked for a jury trial.”
Friday, October 09, 2009
MORE READER MAIL....
MORE JOKES FROM READERS.....
Reader "Mark M." sent in this photo of a Palomar 2400 for my website (Ed.- it was quite awhile back, but I'll get it on the site when I do my site updates at the end of the year), but for now, at least it's visible on this blog posting! Thanks Mark!!
-From Reader Jim, I got an e-mail correcting some information I have wrong on my website regarding HY-GAIN:
I thought you might want to know that some of the information on yourHyGain V review page at http://www.cbgazette.com/rev_hygainv.html isnot correct. The 674A that you have photos of on that page isdefinitely NOT a stock configuration - the lighted toggle switches area modification added by someone. The 674 and 674A had the samepushbuttons as the 674B. The 674 had the VFO socket on the back, aspictured; the 674A was the same internally as the 674, but the VFOsocket and wiring was left out. There was either an empty hole or ablank panel, depending on the vintage of the 674A. A wiring harness andinstructions was included with later model 675A VFOs so they could beadded to the 674A (and other 6xxA models, excepting of course 623A)that did not include the socket.
Another way to tell the difference between the 674/A and the 674B is,the 674/A models used a 4-pin mic jack; the 674B a 5-pin DIN. There isalso an access hole on the back of the 674/A models for adjustment ofthe "Load" capacitor. This hole is absent on the 674B. The speakergrille is also in a different location, being on the side of the 674/Aand the bottom of the 674B. There are other subtle differences in theouter case design, but these are the big ones. From the pic on yourpage, the model shown is quite definitely a 674, as is shown clearly bythe model tag. The 674A would be labeled as such, and did not have theVFO socket screwed to the chassis.
I live in Lincoln, Nebraska, and work in the former HyGain plant. I'veseen many of the various flavors of 674 over the years (although I didnot work at HyGain in those days). You are correct in that it is theeasiest 10-Meter conversion ever - I have a 674A/675A that I put on 10meters many years ago, and currently another one on the bench for afriend undergoing the same conversion.A point of trivia, the 675A VFO can be connected to the 674B - if youknow what you are doing. It requires adding an 11.272 crystal in thecarrier oscillator circuit, some re-wiring of the synthesizer switchingaround the mode switch, and the 674B MUST have a black-label crystalfilter. The later versions used a silver labeled crystal filter thatwas broader (compromise for AM operation) and does not work as well. Idid one of these years ago, and it's probably still floating aroundhere somewhere. It may be the only one in the country, AFAIK. Thesedays, it's not worth the effort, of course. But it can be done.
Nice web site. It's great to see information about these classic rigsbeing preserved on the net. Especially since I own (or have owned)several of them.
(Thanks for the info Jim - Woody)
AND I'LL END THIS POST WITH A COUPLE MORE JOKES SENT TO ME VIA E-MAIL!!
A dietitian was addressing a large audience at a Hamfest (go figure!): "The material we put into our stomachs is enough to have killed most of us sitting here, years ago. Red meat is awful. Soft drinks erode your stomach lining. Chinese food is loaded with MSG. Vegetables can be disastrous to some and none of us realize the long term harm caused by the germs in our drinking water. But there is one thing that is the most dangerous of all and we all have eaten or will eat it. Can anyone here tell me what food it is that causes the most grief and suffering for years after eating it?" Woody immediately stood up and said, "Wedding cake."
“What’s the biggest difference between Osama Bin Laden & the VulTroll? By comparison, Osama's demands are very, very fair!”
[from “Woody’s Guide to Divorce for Hams, or How to Kiss Your Radio Collection Goodbye”, 2009]
Thursday, October 08, 2009
THE "RODNEY DANGERFIELD"
RS TRC-23C (I owned the "B")
MOST OF THESE ARE STILL WORKING AND WORKING WELL!!!
THESE TWO (ABOVE/BELOW) WERE PROBABLY THE LAST OF THE BEST
THE BEGINNING OF THE "SUCK" ERA
“Any man daring enough to marry the VulTroll receives two rings: first the wedding ring, then comes the suffer-ring.”
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
LETTER(S), COMMENTS, ETC.
"R.M." wrote me the other day asking "What about "Johnson's", I thought they were popular", and so I figured it had to do with the website end of things, who knows, maybe something got screwed up (it's been awhile since I've done anything on it). That's when I remembered, he was probably looking under my A-Z list and didn't see anything under "J".
Of course, it's the E.F.Johnson Corp. and even I forget that sometimes. So I replied and and pointed out where the pictures I had were and mentioned that I was honest-to-GOD going to update the site with more pictures. This also got me strolling down memory lane, and why some of us collect....
My first Johnson was the Messenger 124 Base-Station rig with a BIG meter, minimal amount of "Bling" and one hell of an adjacent channel rejection. I have one sitting to the right of my desk at this moment, and every time I look at it, memories come flooding back in.....THAT'S why I collect. As I approached driving age my 2 choices were the E.F.J. 123, or 323 - somehow the simplicity combined with quality just pulled me towards them. I think I liked the 123 better for some reason.
But when it came down to picking my perfect mobile (and by that time I was into SSB), there could be no other choice than the Viking 352. It was the coolest rig I'd ever had in a car (and the car I had it in was a 1976 MG Midget; not a lot of space). I had one, maybe two, but the Vultroll (the ex) has them now. Nonetheless, just seeing a picture of it gives me some great DX memories that I wish I had recorded!! I don't know why they put the microphone connector on the back of most of their transceivers, but it was sure annoying - especially running mobile. When the 4740 (352 w/40ch) came out I felt sure that it would be corrected, but sadly I found that it too connected to the rear of the rig, although I finally found one on Ebay that had been modified with the microphone connector on the front
But that's why I collect - instant memories! What about you? For the same reason? or perhaps to get a rig you always wanted but couldn't afford back then (ed. - "Guilty"). I guess this kinda ties in with that thin boarder line of collecting and being a "HOARDER", but that wasn't the reason I wrote this post, it was thanks to "R.M.'s" email that got me thinking backwards in time....