Well, I haven’t really posted an Amateur Radio story in a looong time, so I figured I was due. Hopefully, many people didn’t miss me too much. But I’m working on a couple ideas for the blog here, that will allow me to have some good stuff for you to enjoy without me getting all burnt out.
But in the time I was away, I did get a smart phone finally. For those wondering, an iPhone4S, and I love it. And one of the things I found I liked doing with it, is taking pictures with the 8MP camera that is built into it. The photos always seem to come out looking great. And I have already found a few neat accessories I would love to have available for myself for taking photos and even recording audio. Then allowing me to blog on the go and put up content as soon as I have recorded it or snapped a picture. And then have it of course, propagate out to the various social media sites I frequent.
Since I got my phone, it’s like a paradigm shift has occurred with the media I want to produce. It all seems so much easier and simpler to create it, then share it. All from one or 2 devices, where before, I had to use 5 or 6 devices. It really is empowering. I’ve started with just taking photos with the Instagram app and posting those on my Twitter and Facebook pages. And I’ve also started to play with another app called Blip.me Broadcast, which allows you to record 60 second audio clips and share them as well. Once I figure out how to integrate these into this site, it’s going to be a lot of fun doing this stuff! Till then, here are a few pics I took with Instagram. They of course are Ham Radio related.
I love my morning surfing. I’m always finding something good to share. One other morning, I found this one. It’s a video from the ARRL showing innovative, imaginative and fun ways hams use radio technology. It’s about 8 minutes long and it looks to be a recruitment video towards the DIY crowd.That I think is a good idea, as I have seen a couple videos from the Maker Fair on YouTube here and there, that incorporate Ham Radio in their projects. And the topper of this video in my opinion is the host, Diana Eng, KC2UHB, who is no stranger to the DIY, Fashion and Ham Radio communities. A Trifecta!
My morning surf has brought me to the ARRL’s website with a nice little quiz about Ham Radio that has been on TV and in Hollywood. The recent news in the community about Tim Allen’s new TV show giving Ham Radio some “props”, has inspired this.
This quiz is thanks in part to the websites of AD7DB, KB9MWR and AC6V for the references. As I went through looking at it, some were pretty easy, and some were a little tougher. I didn’t check my answers to see how I did. I wanted to see what you posted for your results first. I know this is a pop quiz, but hey, my teacher did it to me in school, and I’m sure he/she did it to you too. So take the quiz and let us know how you did.
I’ve only seen one or two episodes of Tim Allen’s new TV Show, Last Man Standing. They looked OK, but they didn’t grab me to where I put it on my must see list. But I will be looking forward to an upcoming episode of the show, that does feature Ham Radio. All of this is according to en article on Southgate’s website.
Tim’s character, Mike Baxter, who’s callsign is KA0XTT, can be seen using his radio in an upcoming episode says Last Man Standing Producer John Amodeo, NN6JA, having a QSO. He says it was all done on the stage. The radios and antennas are inside the sound stage which acts as a large Faraday cage, basically keeping the QSO, radio to radio.
From the Southgate Article:
“We had two Amateur Extra class staff members complete a QSO on 10 meters and we recorded it,” Amodeo explained. “Unfortunately, we were set up on a stage that is basically a Faraday cage. The very QRP signal made it radio-to-radio. We varied the Receiver Incremental Tuning to give it a little extra SSB sound, but I don’t think the signal made it much past the stage walls. The recording will be on the show. We thought our ham viewers would get a kick out of it. Non-hams will think it’s just distorted.”
He went on to share what equipment was in the shack. An ICOM IC-9100 HF/6 meter/2 meter transceiver and an IC-92AD handheld transceiver, both provided to the show courtesy of ICOM America, as well as a Comet CHV-5X HF dipole and GP-1 antenna for 2 meters and 70 cm (courtesy of NCG/Comet). In an episode that aired on January 3rd, you can see DXCC and Worked All States awards on the wall as well as issues of QST and the 2011 ARRL Handbook. Obviously, the producers are adding a lot of details we would notice, but the average viewr wouldn’t. I wonder if Tim Allen would be curious taking a test for his license? I may need to do a new “Celebrity Ham Radio List”. Who would be on YOUR list?
The episode Mike Baxter has a QSO in will air on January 17th. So set your DVR and be ready.
Now is the time all over the world where Hams open up their stations to let kids in to experience Ham Radio. January 8th is the magical day and it’s sure to be fun for all involved. For those new to the hobby, it’s not another contest, but just a fun time.
The American Radio Relay League has a website dedicated to Kid’s Day, as does the IARU Region 1. It’s all about having Kid’s participate by calling CQ Kid’s Day and exchanging Name, age, location and favorite color. And you’re encouraged to work stations again when the operator changes. Operations take place at 1800 UTC through 2359 UTC. The ARRL shows that operation is on the following frequencies:
10 Meters: 28.350 to 28.400 MHz
12 Meters: 24.960 to 24.980 MHz
15 Meters: 21.360 to 21.400 MHz
17 Meters: 18.140 to 18.145 MHz
20 Meters: 14.270 to 14.300 MHz
40 Meters: 7.270 to 7.290 MHz
80 Meters: 3.740 to 3.940 MHz
You can also use your favorite favorite repeater (with permission of the repeater’s sponsor). Be sure to observe third-party restrictions when making DX QSOs.
The ARRL has a colorful certificate that all kids are eligible to receive just by participating. But beware, some kids can be mic shy. So encourage them in a fun way.And remember to also post your photos and stories for all to see. If your club doesn’t have a Facebook page, this may be the best time to start one.
Happy New Year to all! I’m back after a week’s vacation for the holidays and feeling very rested. Tyler, N7TFP on the other hand, has been busy, busy, busy. I don’t know about the holidays, but the videos he’s been cranking out are great! Here’s another one for you!I have been saying this with the last couple videos that getting back to basics are great for the veterans on the air, and these are great tutorials for those just joining or recently joined the hobby. In this one, Tyler shows how to set the proper mic gain on your SSB tranceiver. Without any more fanfare, heeeeeeeere’s TYLER!
A few weeks ago, I posted a video from Tyler, N7FTP, who posted a “Getting Started” kind of video on how to use an antenna tuner. And I am a firm believer in getting back to basics. It’s saved my bacon a bunch of times. When I came across this video, it was a no brainer on if I should post it or not. So Tyler is back with a video and tips on building your first Amateur Radio station. He demonstrates equipment that is important to have in a first station.