Monday, April 22, 2013


A friend of mine reported that he found this Springs Hamfest to have a pretty good turnout with perfect weather from a recent cold front, he said the air was crisp as the money seen exchanging hands! So, what was selling?

For the most part - nothing big and/or expensive. That equipment stayed and left with the person that brought it. Rigs selling in the $150-$300 range had a much better chance, although he said that by mid-morning it was obvious the place was filled with a good amount of "Tire kickers". When he ran across someone that actually had bought something, it was usually a small item like a microphone, some cabling, a tube, connectors, etc.

I recall being at many Belton events where you could hardly make your way through an aisle there were just too many people there - but he said this was not like the old days, a mere shadow of it's past. At one point there was a loud talking guy on the PA system shouting "Can we have silence please, SILENCE, SILENCE" apparently they wanted a moment of silence for an SK, but before that came (as reported by my friend) a long rambling speech about the SK by a obviously broken hearted friend which took about 10 minutes or so and then the loud gentleman got back on the PA shouting for silence, a moment of silence. My friend, and others in the group he came with found this rather out of place, and perhaps could have been done better by a different approach.

Nonetheless, he said he had fun.

'Nuff Said,

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that he saw a lot of Hams using those new Baofeng dual-band HT's. He stopped a few and asked them how they liked it and universally got a two-thumbs UP reply and advice: BUY THE SOFTWARE CONFIGURATION DISK AND CABLE.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Here's a great photo from a great website ( of the Sun, and 2 growing sunspots -

Wednesday, April 03, 2013


We've had a variety of weather in Houston in the last month - upper 30's (cold for us), near 90, heavy winds, rain, and dime to quarter sized hail [with more of that coming in a few hours]. I figured it would be a good time to do a few updates on recent reviews.


Well, you know what was said in my review and I think I remember what I wrote in that review, but for now the 980SSB is back on the shelf. Each day I was constantly annoyed by bleedover (I was on 38 lsb, bleedover on ch.19), so I ended up putting my beat up 138 XLR back in the truck to confirm it wasn't just in my mind - and it wasn't. I've picked up a couple backup 138's recently, should this one bite the dust. The other reason was (mentioned in review) due to limited mounting space, during certain hours in the afternoon it was difficult reading the display, depending on what direction I was going in.


I am still very happy with this antenna (with non-Sirio magnetic mount). It's held up fine under a variety of conditions and cross winds. Because it's wide banded I've used it on 10 meters as well with my 10 meter rig where I've made several contacts. Just like I did with the "Big Bubba", I'll buy at least one other as a backup.
I'll be doing occasional updates on this little guy because I (and probably you too) are a little trepidacious about buying something for $50 that would sell for up to 3 times more under a well known brand name. So far it's holding up just fine; I'll grab it on the way out the door and toss it on the passenger seat, or stick it in my computer bag, and yes, I'm still impressed with how solid it feels every time I pick it up.

I was down around the Galveston area to look at my friend Leo's (W5QUE) computer call he placed and I guess we were of the same mind because just as he was about to ask me if I could bring it down with me on the next call, I was taking it out of my computer bag. Just as I was, Leo was impressed with the feel of it in his hand. He had thought it would be cheap plastic that would crack or have pieces fall off, but this changed his mind - along with one other thing: When I turned the HT "ON" it was set to a Houston repeater and while scratchy it was picking it up some 30 miles away.
We were in his motor home and I found a spot where the repeater came in very clear - something he has not been able to do since moving down there from Sugar Land (hit a Houston repeater). Of course, remember I had changed the factory rubber duck with a Diamond dual band antenna, and I'm sure it had something to do with it, but, I'll keep you posted from time-to-time on how it's doing.

This wraps up the "Reviews Update", and you can expect to see these turn up on the Blog now and then just in case you're sitting on the fence and would like to see how the product continues to do.

'Nuff Said,