GCARA and the Mound swap meet
Well it's the end of the hamfest and swap meet season.
Two weeks ago it was the GCARA Hamfest in Cincinnati, Oh. It's always a nice little tailgate style hamfest. I sold out my stock of batteries and charges along with a few other goodies. Saw a few old friends and the weather was very nice.
I had a couple things follow me home too. :-)
First was a nice looking Heathkit Marauder. Looks very clean albeit the PO is low, second was a very clean Knight T-50 transmitter. This little radio works great and is a good candidate for restoration. I also picked up a nice lighted magnifying glass with parts holders.
Last weekend was the first swap meet at the Mound ARC Club House.
There was about 12 or so people showed up and man did I hit the jackpot! First i picked up a small general purpose tube tester for $5! Next was a Drake 2-NT transmitter for $20, this little radio not only looks clean it works fantastic. Next I got my hand on a Johnson Viking 122 VFO, looks a little rough but that can be fixed. I also found a little home brewed code oscillator, this will make a nice station monitor for the CW setup.
So now I have a pile of fresh stuff to clean, repair, restore, and pack to Dayton in the spring. :-)
Findlay Hamfest 2012
Well another Findlay Hamfest is in the books.
This one was one of the best in recent years, the weather was cool, and a bit damp for camping out Saturday, but you could not ask for a better day Sunday. A cloudy start but they soon parted and the sun cam out and a beautiful day was on!
I brought several items to sell and actually sold about 75% of my items.
But for me the best was my friend Daryl, K8FP spotting this for me:
A bit rough looking, but it was only $30 and it works perfectly! Now my 50's vintage station is complete. I'll try to clean the face up a bit but honestly I only care how it works, not how pretty it is.
Picked up some goodies to make a mobile multi-band antenna for the camper, and a few odds and ends.
Findaly is always a favorite of mine and I get to camp out with family and friends for a night. Life is good!
FD and Kit Building
Field Day has come and gone once again. This year I decided to do a solo event and just go camping with my son, my wife, and her niece. We went to Cedarbrook Campground in Lebanon, Oh. This has to be one of the cleanest, and best ran campground I have ever stayed at. I took along a Yaesu FT-857D and a 135’ dipole in the camper..
I ran my call and managed 200 contacts in a very relaxed manner, turned out to be a near perfect weekend and I had a blast. Two friends came by the campsite and made a visit, Daryl, K8FP, and Rick, WB6JBM.
This has me fired up to do more hamming during camping trips, or just spending a relaxing day in a park making QSO’s. So I decided to find a small single band QRP transceiver and make a “to go” station. I put out the Bat Signal to the Flying Pigs group and someone offered to sell me an un-built Ten Tec 1340 40M kit. I have built a couple of these TT kits and jumped at this one. I’ll post pictures on my web page showing my progress. Please not I’m not in a hurry to build it so don’t expect this to be done soon.
The link to my progress is: http://www.n8ie.com/tt1340.htm
That’s it for now, stay cool and see you down the logs…
VE Session and e-LIDS
This past Saturday, June 9th 2012 I got to partake in my first ARRL VE Test Session as an accredited ARRL VE! The test session was hosted by the Huber Heights ARC. It’s nice to see clubs still using the old guard method of testing. It was a great learning experience for me and the gentleman hosting the test session did a top notch and very professional job. Thanks for letting me help and I look forward to being there at the next test session. It was a good time, 9 people showed up and 8 passed their various tests, the one person who did not pass was given words of encouragement, and I hope to see her test again.
My next topic of discussion is the degradation of honesty and good old fashioned truth in advertising within the Amateur Radio community. I’m not talking about a fly-by night company, or a well established manufacturer. I’m talking about the blatant dishonest carpet bagger who buys junk radios from so called “Estate Sales” and touts they came from a well know Ham who took great care of his equipment, and how he is just trying to help out the wife or family in their times of sorrow. They lament on how good the gear is and the lengths they took to test the equipment, in other words they plugged it in, nothing sparked, and the house did not burn down. We’ll label that one “near mint” or another catch word, “minty”. Or we see the pictures of a radio in front of a nice array of test equipment such as signal generators, oscilloscopes, and frequency counters with the phrase “Tech Special”. This means it’s FUBAR and barely a parts radio.
These modern day Snake Oil salesmen and charlatans have zero moral values and zero respect for their fellow Hams. Why is this one may ask? I’d say mainly due to a mixture of greed on their part and the stupidity of buyers who just have to own that radio they could not afford when they were a kid. Another enabler of this bad behavior is the anonymity that is provided by venues such as e-Bay® and the mobster like protection that is given to their buyers.
Why can’t these sellers simply advertise radio equipment in an honest manner? A recent example, a good friend purchased a Heathkit DX-40 with matching VF-1 that was listed as “restored and in mint condition”. He paid a fair price for a radio in that condition, and with pictures showing a shiny and pretty looking set of gear he was excited. What he received was a pretty case with a heavily modified and butchered radio inside. It was so bad that one would have to reverse engineer the circuit just to figure out what was actually done. When questioned about the junk equipment the seller stated he presented it as it was presented to him. This means he 1: Knew nothing about what he was selling, 2: Had no idea how to properly test the gear, and 3: By his actions presented a false advertisement to potential buyers.
To this day my friend has not received a full refund, the seller has developed “health issues” and is trying to make things right. That and a nickel will buy you a hot cup of Jack Squat!
Come on folks, man up and give old fashioned honesty a try. It works and cuts down on the amount of nasty e-mails received and awkward moments at local Hamfests.
Shack Work about done!
Hello and hope you all had a great Memorial Day!
I took advantage of the extra time off work to get a few more things done in the shack.
One thing that I wanted to get finished was the DowKey project. When I had this hooked to the Heathkit DX-35 \ SX-99 it was a manual switching method, with the change to a WRL Globe Scout 680 \ HQ-110 I had the opportunity to make it a one switch operation!
The Globe Scout puts 120VAC to the accessory plug when you throw the standby switch to transmit, and the HQ-110 has a plug that when "opened" mutes it. To make it a one switch operation all I needed was to add a small relay to the DowKey for opening the mute line to the HQ-110.
I found a small DPDT relay at a local surplus store, it's more than I need but there's always room for expansion! It fit in the box perfectly. Note the plug in the picture, that's a standard line cord. The mute plug on the HQ-110 uses this style. I added this to the relay for receiver muting.
Now all I have to do is leave the SEND\REC switch on the relay box in the SEND position and let the Globe Scout do all the work.
I also got to do some general shack cleaning, and even got in a QSO or two. Now it's back to work!
Well Dayton Hamvention 2012 is in the books.
Once again I got to spend it with my son and my good friend Daryl, K8FP.
This year I did not plan to bring back any strays, but guess what.... I did. LOL
This caught my eye and screamed "Take Me Home". Actually I think it was jealousy because Daryl has one:
Then I saw this wayward radio sitting on a table, the sign said he did not want to take it back home, so I made an offer and he said yes. Damn.
Globe Scout 680
I have been after a Bug for a while now, but I just did not want to sink $200 in a nice pretty chrome one. So in true N8IE fashion, I found one in need of a good bath for $40! Vibroplex Bug SN#110952.
I looked up my Bug and found out it's a Lightning Bug made in 1938!
This was the icing on the cake. I was hoping to find the matching microphone to complete my Yaesu FT-401B station. Once again the Good Lord smiled on this poor sole and look what I found!
Yaesu YD-844A Uni-Directional Mic
I picked up a few other goodies, mostly odds and ends and a tube or two. I had a wonderful time Friday and Saturday, the weather was amazing and time spent with my son and my friend is always a great time.
Hope you made it to Dayton and had a great time as well.
The FV-401 is here!
Well the UPS man brought my FV-401 VFO yesterday! Here it is:
WOW! Looks nice, works great, and is very clean for it's age. Here is the complete FT-401 setup:
I won this on e-Bay and was a bit nervous as to what it would look like when it arrived. Well it was just as listed, AND it came with the manual. This was not mentioned in the auction so that's a plus. The seller did an outstanding job packing the VFO, he used a ton of bubble wrap and boxed it very well.
I had a very nice QSO on 40M AM last night using the VFO, talked to a gent in Erie, Pa and was given a great report, then it was off to 80M and checked into the Mighty Eimac Net. Again I got a good report. Looks like my AM station is ready for Angel Music!
Well, tomorrow is Hamvention 2012! I'm actually looking forward to it this year. I plan to get a bunch of pictures and will post them later.