Sunday, October 16, 2011

Beginning a new life outside commercial broadcasting

Exchanging the old life for a new one

Eversince I retired from Pacific Radio Group on 30 September 2011, I've been attending classes to get a substitute teaching certificate from the state of Hawaii Department of Education.  I should complete the academic work and the required exam by 21 October 2011.  Once I get interviewed by my wife's school (she is a substitute teacher at Laupahoehoe High School and once served as its school librarian), I should find some temporary work until I get my life fully in order.  After 40 years of broadcasting (both in the military and in civilian life), I welcome the chance to try something new.  I suspect I will enjoy teaching, so this retreaded announcer could find himself before the toughest audience of all--students.

Amateur radio will occupy more of my spare time

I have a list of antenna projects to complete, numerous household chores that are due, and some slack time to enjoy the remaining years of my life.  No regrets, but I do look forward to dedicating more time to my xyl, travel, and, of course, to amateur radio.  The immediate antenna project is the erection of a vertical dipole for 20-meters.  My 40-meter vertical with tuned counterpoise works reasonably well on 40 through 20 meters, but laying out a decent radial field in my small backyard is a real challenge.  The under the house 40-meter loop will stay in place, since it works well for the local coverage I need.  This NVIS loop does extra duty as a shortwave and medium wave antenna for my vintage  Hallicrafters SX-62-A.  Most likely, I'll use my 33-foot pvc mast for the supporting structure with equal 16' 6" wires attaced to the pole and connected to approximately 50' of 450-ohm twin lead.  That wire will go to a 4:1 balun fed by 20' of RG-6.  The coax will be attached to the venerable Drake MN-4 ATU before it enters the Swan 100-MX.  I had a similar arrangement a few years back and the set up seemed to work well.

Other Amateur radio news of note
Bob Scheider, AH6J, the ARRL Pacific Section Manager, has reported the theft of solar cells and batteries from the Hualalai site of the Big Island Wide Area Repeater Network.  A similar theft occurred in early September at the FAA radio beacon site in Pahoa.  The BIWARN system is part of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service and supports many government and non-government emergency responders.  Bob reported the incident to the Hawaii Island Police Department, the landowner (Bishop Estate), and the FBI.  Bob belives the theft was well planned and carried out by a well-equipped gang.  The equipment will not be replaced until the perpertrators are caught and "put out of circulation".  Those with information on this case are encouraged to call the Hawaii County Police Department.  The theft puts everyone on the west side of Hawaii Island at a greater risk in time of emergency because this vital communications link has been disable.  As for the Pahoa incident, the beacon (POA) serves trans pacific flights and general aviation as a backup safety net.  One wonders why anyone would deliberately sabotage public safety by committing the above crimes.  I suppose some people have no sense of responsibility or decency.  Just look at the state of current events--no leadership, abdication of responsibility, incompetence through all levels of human affairrs, and the tolerance of stupidity.  I saw enough of this pattern in my 40 years in the commercial broadcast business to last a lifetime.  Please forgive the rant, but you'd think our nation would have learned something in the past 235 years.  Apparently, we have to commit the same mistakes repeatedly to gain any insight into our behavior.

Three cheers for amatuer radio

In light of the above events, I'm glad amateur radio provides a needed break from the insanity loosely described as current life.  At least you can turn the dial if someone offends you.  Thankfully, most hams I've run across are decent, considerate people.  I'll be back to my usual cheerful self after I complete my substitute teacher course and get busy putting up that 20-meter vertical.  Even though I'm retired, I can't let grass grow beneath my feet.  Enjoy the coming week. 

Aloha es 73 de KH6JRM.