Friday, May 31, 2024

Are We Down To One Box Now?

 This "case" set some unpleasant precedents. Does this mean we get to see Barry's birth cert? Marriage license? Why not?

Thursday, May 23, 2024

WWVB Antenna Damage

 When we first moved here, I was a bit concerned about ice and snow bringing down my antennas. The first few Hams I met laughed and said the WIND would kill my antennas long before I had to worry about ice and snow getting them.

In early April, we had a severe storm system that went through with rain, hail, and very high winds. Wind speeds were excess of 90MPH out on the plains, like where WWV is located. One of the "Triatic Cables" holding the Capacitive Loading Assembly, aka the "Top Hat", failed, and the other eight wires it supports came down

Full article, with lots of pictures, is here at the WWV Amateur Radio Club website.

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Supras and Stereos.....

 The repairs on the Fisher RS-2010 are proceeding, but a bit slower than I expected. The failed transistor is an obsolete part number, so I had to search around and find a proper substitute. Found a replacement, but it turns out those are obsolete, too, so more searching took place. Finally found a suitable, modern transistor, and it's compliment, and ordered 10 of each. I also found numerous electrolytic capacitors that were used AT, or slightly under, their maximum rated voltage. Running a capacitor rated 63 Volts in a 60 Volt circuit is a huge mistake. I'm surprised they haven't failed already. So, parts are (finally) on order, and I'll continue to clean it up as I wait for the parts to arrive. Parts installation and reassembly isn't difficult, and then I can do the alignment of the receiver, and finish it up.

And work continues on the Supra. The front Main Seal was starting to leak, and between the oil, and rubber dust from belt wear, it was real grease pit under the timing cover.

Took a lot of scrubbing, but things are clean now, and I can start putting this section back together.

Next up is to get the intake runners off so I can clean up this side of the engine.


Should be pretty nice looking after it's finished.

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Sixty Years In Amateur Radio

 I just realized that it was 60 years ago this month that I received my first Amateur Radio License.

I'd always been given old electrical things by my neighbors, and was given a few "Old Radios" that would be worth a nice chunk of change these days. Some of them had "other" frequency bands on them labeled as "Short Wave", and by connecting a long piece of wire to the antenna terminal, I was able to hear stations from all over the world. I was hooked!

A grade school friend who I still keep in touch with helped me build my first "Real Radio", a Knight-Kit "Star Roamer" shortwave receiver.

In the Summer of 1964, he and I attended the Novice Class License classes that the local radio club put on, and we both passed our code and theory tests, and were duly licensed by the Federal Communications Commission. In those days, it could take 8~10 weeks to receive your license, and after about six weeks, watching the mailbox became an obsession. My Dad was so proud that he drove me up to Allied Radio Corporation on 100 S. Western Ave in Chicago to get my first Amateur Radio receiver.

It was a Hallicrafters SX-146, and was a 'dream receiver' to a 13 year old kid.

My first transmitter was a "Home Brew" affair built from salvaged radios and TV sets. It had a 6L6 power amplifier, driven by a 6AG7 crystal oscillator, and put about 10 Watts output to the antenna. It was very similar to this circuit, but I was running more voltage to the tubes.

8~10 Watts isn't much power, and my Dad got tired of my whining about it, so he made me a deal. He'd match what I had saved, and when it was enough, we'd go to the Heathkit store and buy a DX-60 transmitter.

My antenna was a simple 40 Meter "Inverted Vee" antenna, one of the many flavors of the ever popular dipole antenna.

At that time, the Novice Class license was good for ONE year, and it was NON renewable. You either upgraded your license, or got out of the hobby. Upgrading to General Class was a Big Deal, as you had to demonstrate your proficiency with Morse Code at 13 words-per-minute and take a comprehensive written test covering the FCC rules, Operating Procedures, and a very Technical section.

But that's a story for another day.

Have a good week, and keep your head on a swivel!

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Carolina In the Pines


She came to me, said she knew me
Said she'd known me a long time
And she spoke of being in love
With every mountain she had climbed
And she talked of trails she'd walked up
Far above the timberline
From that night on I knew I'd write songs
With Carolina in the pines

There's a new moon on the fourteenth
First Quarter the 21st
And the full moon in the last week
Brings a fullness to this earth
There's no guesswork in the clockwork
On the worlds part or mine
There are nights I only feel right
With Carolina in the pines

When the frost shows on the windows
And the wood stove smokes and glows
As the fire grows we can warm our souls
Watching rainbows in the cove
And well talk of trails we've walked up
Far above the timberline
There are nights I only feel right
With Carolina in the pines 


 I first heard this song shortly after we moved here. I thought it was John Denver, but it wasn't. I looked and looked and looked, and finally caught enough of the lyrics to Google it, and found out it's by Michael Martin Murphy. You probably heard him do "Wildfire", which was popular.

It's called "Carolina In The Pines", and is now on my playlist.


Been Busy....Follow-Up Post Coming Soon To A Browser Near <i>YOU</i>!

 Been a week since last post. Been busy herding grandkids, playing with the dog, yard work, house items, and working on all manner of stuff....