Thursday, January 27, 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 I've
been conservative in my radio spending habits.  After
paying the bills and putting food on the table, there isn't
much left over for other pursuits.  Fortunately, I have no
problem fixing my equipment and building the various sky-
hooks needed for running a ham station.  I don't claim to
be a technical wizard, but I do my best to keep the equip-
ment clean, functional, and not over-driven.  The recent
surge of amateur radio kits and several good repair
facilities may portend what the future holds.  At the
radio station I call my home away from home, main-
tenance, conservative operation, and wise purchases
have been the norm for many years.  Our staff fully
uses equipment until it can't be used anymore.  With
three radio stations in Hilo going dark since October
2010, there's no guarantee the future will be any kinder
to my operation.  Thank goodness for a hard working
sales force and resourceful engineers that keep us solvent.
I try to apply such principles to my own life, with varying
degrees of success of course.  So, with no immediate
amateur radio purchases on the horizon, I'm back to the
conserve and scrounge mode.  My "junque" box is well-
stocked with wire, coax, twin lead, basic tools, and
reference material.  I have a nasty feeling way in the back of
this aging brain that the current economic situation will stick
around for several more years...all the more reason to monitor
spending and stay out of debt.  Be glad you still have a job--
many in this great land do not.  Try to remain positive.  Things
could be worse--we could be organized.  Aloha es 73 de