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Showing posts from January, 2011

KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog

This has been a busy week in the newsroom, with
budgetary issues raised by President Barack Obama
and Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie dominating
the local news.  In short, Hawaii, like many states on
the U.S. mainland is defacto bankrupt.  In his state of
the state address on 24 January 2011, Governor Aber-
crombie vowed to implement a round of tax and fee in-
creases to reduce Hawaii's $844 million deficit.  Of
course this pales beside the nearly 15 trillion dollar
shortfall projected by federal economists.  For amateur
radio operators, that means available dollars will buy
less of what's available.  It's time to make do with what
we have, spend wisely for things we need, and stay out
of debt.  I still have that Elecraft K-3 somewhere in the
future, but for now, it's time to buckle down and get
creative.  The older rigs will just have to run a bit longer
and those antenna projects will focus on the home-brew
variety.  The operating situation isn't too bad, since…

KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog

Now that things have calmed a bit after the tragic
shooting incident in Tucson, Arizona on 08 January,
the news cycle can return to some degree of normalcy.
Having covered broadcast news for over 35 years, it
never ceases to amaze me how people like this assass-
in can just run loose in society without anyone doing a
thing about it.  Where was the intervention for this guy
who apparently had problems stretching back several
years?  No telling how many others like him are milling
around in society.  And what about security for our con-
gressional representatives?  Just something to think about.
All that has transpired during the past week makes me glad
I can get away now and then and work off stress by physical
exercise and pursuits such as amateur radio.  I'll spend some
time this weekend repairing antennas and working some brass
on the old J-38 key.  Sometimes, one just has to get away from
the disfunctional everyday world and refresh the spirit.  Fishing
and hiking also come to…

KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog

Now that I've survived New Year's Day, it's ever onward
into the news cycle at the radio station news cubicle.  Due
to work requirements, I wasn't able to do much on Straight
Key Night, but I did fire up the the Icom R-75 receiver in
the studio and "read the mail" between news breaks.  The
antenna projects slated for the first days of the year are
nearly done.  While I'm happy with the  40-meter
loop under the house, the 40-meter vertical still needs work.
The old MFJ fiberglass mast has been battered by the elements.
It needs to be replaced.  I have a jackite pvc mast in the garage
that will be standing in the backyard soon.  Hopefully, a spare
weekend will be available to install the mast and get a decent
ground screen in place.  The old system was a variation of a
33' vertical wire with tuned counterpoise--all this fed with 450-
ohm window line.  The setup worked reasonably well and could
work bands from 40-10 meters.  No complaints about RFI from

KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog

The New Year has arrived.  For those of us in the broadcast
news business, it's time to produce our top sports and news
stories for the year.  These programs are usually aired as
special programs on the weekends.  Once all of that is done,
it's time to rough out plans for the year ahead, discard the
old files, and review equipment, transmitter, and program
logs for any problems.  New Year's Day on Hawaii Island
has dawned bright, sunny, and warm, a perfect time to
complete the necessary tasks, produce the daily news
broadcasts, and get ready for a weekend of amateur
radio.  Not a bad mix.  This approach could also apply
to our amateur radio activities--clean out the old files,
fill out and mail qsl cards (or enter data into the various
e-mail qsl programs), repair the antennas, clean up
equipment, and straighten out the "junque box".  I
doubt if I'll do all of this, but it is a start.  As for those
pesky resolutions, I've adopted a new approach--no
resolu…