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Showing posts from February, 2011

KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog

Friday at last.  This has been an exciting seven days in
the KKBG-FM/KHLO-AM news room.  With the
turmoil in the middle east, the nasty mainland U.S.
weather, and the continuous rise in the daily cost
of living, there are sufficient stories to keep several
news people busy.  Never a dull moment this month.
I'll paraphrase an old Chinese saying--"may you be
blessed (or is it cursed) by living in exciting times."
The news from the amateur radio front is just as
confusing and strange as the happenings in the so-
called "real world."

During a recent break from the daily schedule of
newscasts, I purused the 24 February 2012 edition
of "The ARRL letter".  Usually, I just glance through
the e-mail edition and file the few stories I consider
worthy of later inspection.  But today, there were
several stories that show both the highs and lows
of our hobby, and by tenuous extension,  the current
state of our nation and people. 

In the good news category, New Ze…

KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog

Nothing like a seven-day work week to make one
appreciate a day off.  In the radio business, there
are really very few vacations, especially for the
one man news departments in small markets like
Hilo, Hawaii.  So, following the season opening
drag races over the weekend, I find myself doing
the regular Monday news shift.  To me, President's
Day is just another work day, and the day is filled
with all kinds of things to keep the mind busy.  Count
your blessings that you do not live in Libya, Bahrain,
or Yemen.  Young folks living in those countries
have a grim future--no jobs, repressive regimes, and
little social mobility.  It's sort of getting dressed for the
prom and having no date. 

Once the news day is over, I'll complete the required
transmitter and computer checks and head for the
little piece of paradise I call the "shack".  The oper-
ating position is really a small extra bedroom my
xyl and I use for storage.  The Swan 100 MXA and
related equipment occu…

KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog

This has been an exciting week in the radio
station news room.  With all the events unfolding in
the Middle East and even here in Hawaii, there hasn't
been much time to get on the air with the trusty Swan
100-MXA.  I did manage to restring the 40-meter ver-
tical and an improved radial system over the past few
days.  The old MFJ fiberglass mast has been removed
from service.  The combination of salt air, wind, and
rain have weakened the pole considerably, so I re-
cycled the structure for whatever usable parts I could
and repositioned the Jackite mast I bought a few months
ago.  I attached 32' of #14 gauge wire for the radiating
element and attached 10 radials, varying from 16-32 feet
to fit the contour of my postage stamp lot.  I'll add a few
more radials in the days ahead.  Presently, the arrangement
seems to work well.  My Drake MN-4 ATU (with 1:4 balun)
seems to handle the system fairly well. I'm running approxi-
mately 25' of 450-ohm window line into the bal…

KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog

Now that the super bowl is over, it's back to what
some of us in the news business call the "real world".
With things the way they are these days, who's to say
what is real anymore?  On one hand ,you have the
largest national block party with a truly outstanding
game and , on the other hand, you have a nation
struggling to climb out of an ever deepening financial
black hole.  Surely makes for an exciting year--never
a dull minute.  After a full day of reporting everything
from riots and revolution to acts of heroism and  pure
kindness, I'm ready to call it quits until the next news
cycle begins. 
The Hawaii Island news week began with a kidnapping
on Sunday.  It seems the suspect commited acts of violence
against some family members last week and has been on
the run from police.  Police were able to find the car in-
volved, but, so far, there has been no trace of him or his
unlucky victim.  Police say this whacko is possibly armed
and should be considered dang…

KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog

This has been a very busy week in the radio station
news room.  The problems in Egypt have gained an
importance in Hawaii that we islanders usually don't
have.  Several Hawaii residents are trying to get out
of Cairo amidst the confusion, violence, and disorder.
I hope they make it.  Once this day is done, I'll be
glad to put the cares of the Middle East and Hawaii's
deficit economy behind me until Saturday morning.
Although our economic woes pale beside those of
Illinois, California, and New Jersey, the Aloha State
is just beginning to cope with a stubborn $844 million
shortfall.  Everything is going up now--taxes, fuel,
and electricity.  I know, what else is new?  Anyway,
it's off to the Swan 100 MX, the ole J-38 key, and the
new inverted vee in the backyard.  My yard is quite small,
so I had just enough room to squeeze in a 40-meter vee.
Fortunately, I had some extra 450-ohm ladder line, so I
can use the skyhook from 40 to 10 meters.  The ladder
line is attached t…