Posts Tagged ‘humor’
Amateur radio has a long tradition of innovation concerning technology and radio operating practices. This includes innovating with the use of phonetic (or fonetic) alphabets, as previously reported here: Twisted Phonetic Alphabet
Today, April 1st, Steve/KM9G reports on the latest set of fonetics from the AFRL:
I see a lot of cows standing around in Colorado ranch land, and I often wonder what they are thinking. As a result, I’ve been experimenting with a series of graphics that show cows standing out in the field thinking great thoughts. Surprisingly, they are often thinking about ham radio topics. Who knew? I’ve posted these on Twitter (@K0NR) which usually generates some responses.
Recently, the cows were thinking about the 2m FM calling frequency.
EA3IEK commented that the calling frequency should also be the listening frequency. (This is the crux of the problem with calling frequencies on 2m FM…what is the best ratio of calling and listening?) So I quickly modified the photo.
Then I could not resist posting this one, inspired by Joey on the Friends television show. Moo. It’s just a cow’s opinion.
73 Bob K0NR
Twitter is such a wonderful source of knowledge and a great place to pick up amateur radio operating tips. I saw this post from Johnny/W5KV, talking about getting a 146.52 sticker for his truck. (146.52 MHz is the 2m National Simplex Calling Frequency.) I’ve written about these stickers here: Get Your Mobile Frequency Sticker On
These oval stickers originated in Europe, to indicate the country where a vehicle is registered. In general, these oval stickers have become popular for indicating all kinds of things, including country, state, airport code, national park, etc. One of the most common stickers you’ll see has “26.2” on it to indicate the distance in miles of a marathon run. In other words, it means “I ran a freaking marathon” or maybe “I want you to think I ran a freaking marathon.” You’ll also see “13.1” to indicate the completion of a half marathon. Hence, W5KV’s comment about 6 full marathons. You will see other numbers used on these stickers, such as “5.56” for you firearms enthusiasts.
So I posted this photo of the back of my truck. My 146.52 is actually a magnetic sign, not a stick-on label but the intent is the same.
But of course, radio amateurs are always innovating to find new ways of doing things. Michael/K2MTS posted this photo of his vehicle with a dust-enabled 146.520 indicator on it.
Like many brilliant innovations, I immediately realized the advantages of using vehicle dust to indicate operating frequency:
- No cost to implement
- Flexibility: the frequency can be easily modified
- Text messages can be appended, such as “CQ CQ” or “Call Me”
One disadvantage is that it requires your vehicle to be dirty but that seems like a minor obstacle, easily overcome by a short drive down a dirt road.
73 Bob K0NR
A Handheld Transceiver (HT) is a convenient, compact all-in-one wireless device for FM operating on the VHF/UHF bands. HTs are sometimes referred to as a Shack On The Belt. There’s a lot to like about a transceiver that has wide frequency range, built-in antenna and power source.
The attractiveness of these devices coupled with a distinct lack of self-control on the part of some radio amateurs can lead to a condition known as Handheld Transceiver Accumulation Syndrome (HTAS). The main indicator of HTAS is that the radio amateur (the HTAS patient) accumulates a large number of HTs for no apparent reason. These radios end up sitting on the shelf or workbench at home, largely underutilized.
Coincident with the accumulation of radios, there is usually a pile of battery chargers, both drop-in and wall-wart style. These chargers are almost always proprietary designs that work with the original radio but no others.
The chargers are just the beginning of a broader accessory quagmire. The HTAS sufferer also tends to accumulate other accessories such as DC power cables, extra battery packs, speaker/microphones and aftermarket antennas. Many of these are also unique to the specific model of HT.
Psychologists that study HTAS note that there are specific buying habits that play into this harmful condition:
The Impulse Buy
HTs have always been relatively affordable with street prices of less than $200. However, the situation changed in the last decade with the introduction of cheap HTs from the Chinese manufacturers, driving the entry price down to around $30. This puts a VHF/UHF radio in the price range of a tank of gas or dinner at a local restaurant, clearly setting up an HT as an impulse buy. “Heck, its only $30, so why not buy the camo version of the Baofeng radio?”
The Mode Buy
Sometimes the HTAS patient is motivated to buy another HT to fill in a specific capability that is missing in their ham radio gear. Of course, the equipment manufacturers are complicit in this — introducing new features and modulation types to drive additional purchases. No single radio does it all, so you need multiple devices to cover a range of features, such as APRS, DMR, D-STAR and Fusion. “I need this new HT to work the other guys on DMR.”
The Special Purpose Buy
A really subtle driver of purchasing behavior is buying a radio for a specific purpose. This is similar to the Mode Buy but is driven by a specific situation. The patient conjures up specific communication needs that justify a particular radio. For example, they may think “I need a small HT that fits in my shirt pocket while doing work around the house.” Or “I need a little DMR radio just to talk to my hotspot.” Another one is “I need to keep a Baofeng in the glove compartment of the car, just in case.”
Living with HTAS
Fortunately, medical professionals that encounter HTAS report that in most cases the syndrome is not completely debilitating. Many radio amateurs are able to lead normal lives while suffering from the effects of HTAS. In severe cases, HTAS can lead to financial problems, depending on income level and the severity of the problem. HTAS is also associated with a breakdown in personal relationships, especially with married subjects. HTAS sufferers living alone report far fewer relationship problems.
If you know someone suffering from HTAS, encourage them to seek professional help. Treatment options may include psychotherapy and medication.
73 Bob K0NR
Filed as #satire #humor #fakenews
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On Saturday, I had the privilege of talking to a group of radio amateurs on the topic of electronic measurements. I opened the session with a short discussion of “why do we even need electronic measurements?” This was captured in three “laws” listed below:
Bob’s First Law of Electronic Measurement
With electricity, most of the time we cannot observe what is going on without measuring instruments.
Bob’s Second Law of Electronic Measurement
When we can observe electricity directly, it is often a bad thing.
Bob’s Third Law of Electronic Measurement
Lord Kelvin was right