Thursday, March 24, 2011

KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog

Hawaii Island is still recovering from the effects of the 11 March
2011 tsunami.  As of today, the Big Island sustained around $14.2
million in damage, with most of the loss to commercial business
$11.1 million).  The state is now compiling a full damage assess-
ment with the hope of getting some federal disaster relief funds.
Local amateur radio operators were active at Hawaii County
Civil Defense and provided communication backup where
necessary.  Despite some intermod problems on VHF (2 meters),
most of the traffic passed got through on time.  Pacific Section
Manager Bob Sneider has a complete assessment in his recent
section manager report.  I was a bit surprised that our 2-meter
interisland links had problems.  Murphy's Law is alive and well.

Meanwhile, Japanese amateur radio operators are still helping
with recovery efforts north of Tokyo.  The 24 March 2011
"ARRL Letter" has a good run down of those activities.  Like
amateurs in this country, Japanese hams have a commitment
to public service, often at high risk to themselves.  Many of
us would think twice about working near a nuclear reactor
that is close to meltdown.  I pray that those doing communi-
cations work in that part of the world will be alright.  Ap-
parently, two plant workers are in a local hospital for
radiation treatments.  All of this makes you wonder why
anyone would place such a facility near a fault zone or
near a tsunami-prone area.  Several U.S. nuclear plants
share similar problems, especially those located in Cali-
fornia.  When the cards are held by Nature, one should
pause and consider other options.  No, I'm not going to
rant about how short-sighted and deficient our national
energy policy is.  Just follow a few internet search topics
and you can see how ill-prepared we are when it comes
to energy use and development.  And to think I voted
for some of these incompetent clowns who now call
the shots.  I have no one to blame but myself.  I am
entirely too trusting--a lesson I have to relearn everytime
I enter the newsroom and learn just how fragile our
society really is. 

The unsteady decline of our society has prompted me
to run a tight ship both at work and at home.  Maintenance,
making do with what you have, and paying cash for what
is needed have become the rule.  Our stations' management
is quite resourceful, doesn't waste money, and operates
an efficient, cost effective facility.  Even with that approach,
our salespeople put in a full, seven-day work week to keep
us moving forward.  All of us pursuing a broadcast career in
the middle of the "big pond" know that work and performance-
based results will let you eat another day--too bad those running
our daily lives have failed to remember that debts come due and
they have to be paid.  A similar pattern dominates life at home
and at the amateur radio station in the rear bedroom.  My XYL
is an excellent money manager and we don't spend what we don't
have.  As for the amateur station, the hybrid and early solid state
gear that pumps out the rf is kept in good repair, clean, and
carefully treated.  That Elecraft K3 will have to wait a while
until I have enough money to pay for it cash.  Antennas are
all home-brew.  Nothing fancy, but the dipoles and verticals
work and give me many hours of needed escape from the
"real world."

Enough diatribe for one day.  Have a good week, get on
the air, and have some fun heating the ether.  Aloha es 73
de KH6JRM.