Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Not Much Happening Here.....

Which is a good thing!

Borrowed this from Rev Paul:

This is also a pretty good approximation of a Chicago winter, so I chuckled pretty heartily when I saw it.

State-wide totals for the snowpack this year are around 120% of "Normal", so it should ease the drought some. Just hope we don't have any bad flooding this spring.....

The Little Guy's #2 birthday is this weekend, and we'll be hosting the party, which means kids everywhere. We've been cleaning the house the last few days, and I made some changes to the little radio station and workspace I have set up in the sunroom. I pulled out my BIG, HEAVY Astron VS-35 linear power supply:

 And replaced it with a much smaller, lighter Alinco DM-330MV switching power supply.

While I didn't used to be a proponent of switching power supplies for this service back in Ye Dayse of Olde, ones designed for this service have gotten quite good. I also added some ferrite cores on the DC leads coming out"just because". Since I originally bought this supply to use with the Elecraft K2 that I have set up, I figured it's about time I made it earn it's keep. Besides, it's easier to move a 5 lb power supply around than it is a 30 lb power supply.
Oh, and I installed "Baby Smash" on the wife's PC, and gave The Little Guy his own log-in and keyboard.

Thanks to zuk for the tip on Baby Smash. It looks like it'll keep him entertained, and the wife has already agreed giving him his own account was a Good Thing!


  1. Glad it works for you, our kids loved it. I also gave them an old keyboard to type on (poke at) in their toy box. They love copying the adults!

    I took your advice and listed the HP 8920As on ebay so I could keep the IFE 1200 and the spectrum analyzer. Seems that there is a very strong divide online between people who think the IFR 1200s is 'teh bestest evah' and the HP 8920.... it's like the AK vs. AR wars. Who knew?


    1. Thanks, man!

      My wife took one look at it and said "We GOTTA get this!". She was even happier when she found out it was free.

      I've never used an HP Service Monitor; only IFR, Motherola, and Cushcraft.

      I preferred the IFR, as it was logically laid out, easy to use, and they're one of those black boxes that "Just Works".

      If the HP is made like other HP instruments, I'm sure it's extremely well-made, works "As Advertised", and it's probably as reliable as an anvil.

      I've never run into the "Mine's Better Than Yours" regarding test equipment, but I suppose it happens.

  2. It's always fun to upgrade equipment. I've been fiddling around with the idea of replacing my old crystal set on my scanner bench with a new Uniden digital scanner. Thing is, I always leave the scanners set to one specific frequency, so I wouldn't really be any better off. It's not like me to replace something that works just because it's old, the ennui must be getting to me.

    1. Do you have any digital radio systems out there? Both of my Uniden Digital scanners work extremely well.

      Or did you mean a "Synthesized" scanner that receivers regular radio, but just doesn't need any crystals?

    2. I've got analog scanners (one in the garage with a couple of local repeaters on it) and one digital. The Uniden Home Patrol II is getting a bit long in the tooth, but it is a great scanner. It has a preloaded list of freqs and talkgroups, and it is really helpful to see the name of the group it stops on when there is traffic. If anything, it has too many preprogrammed channels, you don't need to limit yourself to a couple of agencies so you don't need to think about what you want to hear. Sometimes it gets stuck on active channels when I really would prefer to hear other agencies. It's easy to touch the screen and temporarily block those channels though. The record function is awesome too.


    3. I have one of the original Home Patrol with the super-duper, double-secret Uniden firmware upgrade that unlocked a whole bunch of stuff. When my son and I drove out here, I programmed all the states we'd be driving through, and bought a 'hockey puck' GPS unit to plug in to it. It was a gas to see it switch areas as we drove along and the GPS updated it. And since I have a subscription to Radio Reference, I programmed it using their latest up to date frequency listings.

      Back in Long Beach, I had my bank of 4 Radio Shack PRO-2006 scanners set to various agencies that were still analog, and left my 3 "Digital" Uniden scanners handle the APCO25 traffic.

      Did I really need SEVEN scanners? Well, considering how dense the radio traffic is in the Lost Angeleez Basin, it sure came in handy during those events where things got "sporty".

      Out here in Flyover Country? Two or three would probably be sufficient.

  3. And the big boy becomes the backup... :-)

    1. Yep. One of two supplies like that that I have.

      They work very well, and being a linear supply they're inherently "quieter", although the new switching supplies are also pretty "quiet".

      But GAWD....lugging a 30+ pound lump of aluminum, steel, and iron (BIG transformer!) around just 'aint much fun anymore.

  4. To be fair, summer was on a Wednesday last year in Alaska, so it didn't just seem short. It was short.

    And I'm not rubbing it in, I'm actually jealous. Our winter pretty much ended with January. It has been above average temps since then.

    1. HAH!

      Last winter was very mild here, so much so that our in-laws were kidding us about bringing "California Weather" with us.

      Winter this year was more 'as usual', prompting me to get the winter tires on the Jeep, and buying that damn snowblower.


Keep it civil, please....

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