Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering September 11th 2001

I remember September 11th 2001 like it was yesterday, sadly many in this country have forgotten the lesson learned that day. Fortunately many have not! My prayers go out to the families of those killed that day and God Bless the USA!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Hilberling PT-8000 series of HF/VHF-Transceivers - no more

So, while at Dayton this year I saw a demonstration of this new German Ham radio. The quality was obviously German, through the roof one hell of a well made radio. Cost, between $12,000 and $16,000 so clearly out of my league, for now.

While browsing the web to learn more about properly grounding my shack I chanced upon this note from Hans Hilberling found here ->

"Message from Hans Hilberling
I regret to announce today that Hilberling GmbH has cancelled the production of the PT-8000 series of transceivers.I am really sorry that this will cause disappointment on your side. Let me explainbrieflywhat had led to this decision:

Hilberling had to counteract continuously obstacles to meet EU wide requirements. This has forced us multiple times to change the design of this high-end transceiver which often has been in conflict to our design goals. We finally could meet all our design numbers within a few prototypes but we and the numerous suppliers were not able to guarantee these numbers for the line production. Measures that would have to be taken to guarantee the specifications are in no way cost effective.

All this has led to the a.m. decision to put everything on hold.
Hilberling apologises for any inconvenience you had. We deeply appreciated the confidenceyou demonstrated for the PT-8000 series of HF/VHF-Transceivers.

Hans Hilberling July 24, 2008"

While there I picked up a brochure and felt maybe someday down the road it would be nice to see about these radios. Sadly they won't be made. I wonder whats going to happen to the ones I saw? Maybe Hans will use them and now I have a brochure for something that will never be.

Friday, July 25, 2008

To buy or not to buy, that is the question

Ok, pondering if I should buy a new Icom IC-7700 or not. Is this something a lowly Tech like myself can really use? I bought the Icom 746Pro prior to getting my Tech since using it fully required at minimum a Tech license. Here is a snapshot of the awesome 7700.

I figure my goal of being an Extra class licensee by the end of this year is reason enough to upgrade to this radio and use the 746Pro for 2m and for general RX on the bands since the 7700 lacks dual receive. Why not go 7800 or Yaesu 9000? I like the big Yaesu's, don't get me wrong but they are as expensive as the 7700 and 7800. The 7800 is almost twice as much as the 7700 and I already have the 746Pro so can't see spending another 5k for dual receive, ok, there is other things about the 7800 as well but come on, $11,000 to buy one?? WOW!!!

So, the question remains, to buy or not to buy... gut says yes, the Supercharged Mustang GT costing me big money in the garage says no way. The XYL says, sell the Mustang and buy any radio you want, but we both know you can't do both, not at this cost level. She is right, dammit they always are!! So, do I sell the Mustang, that I love and have waited for but costs much more to run that any Ham radio, even an expensive Ham radio?

I'll be honest, this is the place for that right? I love my Mustang, really, that car is something special. However I cannot afford to do to that car to take it to the next level and I won't be happy with it unless I take it to the next level, status quo ain't for me. I think I may just sell the 505hp fast as all hell Mustang GT to up the ante in Ham Radio. I enjoy the technical aspect of radio, it makes me think and frankly makes me feel pretty smart at times. :)

Driving the 505hp Mustang makes one feel powerful, fast and free, when I drive that car it feels like an extension of me. More so than any car I have ever owned BUT I know I can't have both, well, truth be told I could, if I take myself further into debt I could do both but who needs more debt, just not smart right, nope, sure isn't.

So, know anybody who wants a mint condition 2006 505hp Mustang GT? Contact me, we'll discuss price. I'm going to have a drink now, that car has been good to me.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

20m open tonight

Fortunately and unfortunately all at the same time 20m was open tonight.
Fortunate because I could hear many good QSO's.
Unfortunate because I could hear Karol Madera VE7KFM as well, but a quick QSY and that was solved.

The weather was the best it's been in some time, 79f and mostly sunny. A perfect day for drag racing!

73's all, time for some zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz's.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Channon Christian and Chris Newsom Hate Crime

Channon Christian and Chris Newsom

Originally posted 05/17/07 on my web site. Haven't heard of this story, of course not, they aren't part of the agenda.

- How does the mainstream media not cover the Channon Christian and Chris Newsom hate crime? They were gang raped, sodomized, peed on, spit on,tortured, mutilated and then shot/murdered?!?!? How does a press vilify the Duke Lacrosse players for a rape they didn’t commit every week in the printed and viewable press all but ignore an obvious hate crime such as this???

It seems to me that the press will indulge themselves on rumors and even use blogs for actual news when it fits their agenda yet won't cover a story about two people who were the obvious victim of a hate crime. Anybody who knows me knows that I consider any form of physical violence a hate crime but these days we define and seperate everything and I guess these two were just not worthy of the American press.

For more details about this disgusting hate crime check out this link - Wikipedia Link
To quote Charlie Daniels "Is reporting the latest lewd episode of Paris Hilton's privileged life or playing Alex Baldwin¹s raging diatribe for the thousandth time really more important than letting the public know about a cruel and demented crime like this? Shame on the American media for letting such a violent crime as this slip through the cracks. I wonder what else they're not reporting." Well said Mr. Daniels, well said.

Unfortunately this tragedy seems to have brought out the worst in many people. Look at most blog sites that allow comments about this story and you'll see a mix of people actually proud of the crime, or threatening those that are making racist comments, generally because they’re simply to ignorant and stupid to know better. You'll see racists of different ethnic backgrounds (white is assumed of course) making the usual racist comments about the couple who were white and the 4 perpetrators who were black. None of whom seem to know they are as bad as the racists they are either cheering on or threatening, ironic isn't it. A racist is a racist, I don't care what color you are or how ok you think your reasons are or what was done to you, one bad apple does not a whole race make, don't understand this concept?

You need help then. I digress...

Had this been a crime against a black couple Jesse and Al would be screaming (imagine the energy they spent on Imus, this would be wildfire in the press by now) for all to hear but they were off someplace else not to be bothered with such things leaving one to believe it is about color, these two were simply not part of the "agenda". We as a people want everybody equal, we all want color to be neutral, maybe the status quo IS the agenda, how pathetic that would be if it were true, I must be wrong no? I don’t think so, I doubt either even know the names of these two victims. They were there for the alleged victim at Duke and no proof needed to be given, perhaps a word or two for these two, maybe, no?

Think about it and think about how it must have felt for him to watch his girlfriend, black or white get raped and urinated on, then think about how it must have been for her to watch her boyfriend get raped and his genitals sliced off and then think, should color matter when reporting this? No? Then why did it.

Yes, I'll be just as angry if this were a white on black crime, a white on Asian crime or a white on white crime, but that really isn’t the point.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The MONSTER of 3840!!

OmiGod this is funny! A guy falls asleep while on a round table.

I have heard some funny thins on the air but this one beats all!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

First 2m QSO's were a blast!

The day my license showed up on the ULS (May 21st, KC9NRN is on the air!!) I set my 746Pro for the FRRL 2m repeater and said "KC9NRN Listening" after I heard a break in the current conversation and got back........ nothing... I was thinking, why aren't they responding?? I called out again during a break and nothing, now I'm thinking I can't hit the repeater so I verify the input frequency and pl tone and everything looks good so I call out again and nothing. Me and a few others suspected the repeater wasn't getting my pl tone but since I never used the FRRL repeater, or any repeater for that matter before I didn't know what to expect from it.

I ask my wife to listen on our scanner on 147.210, she heard nothing so I figure ok, switch to simplex and send directly to the output frequency and she heard me LOUD and clear (sorry hon!) so she turned it off and I began calling "KC9NRN Testing" and also calling out that I was using simplex. I finally got a response from KC9NJI and then shortly after a few other guys who heard me from pretty far away. But, no matter what I tried when using duplex with the correct offset and pl tone nobody could hear me, or more accurate the repeater couldn't hear me. After a while I decided to perform a reset of the 746Pro and try again, success!!

It’s been working fine ever since! Now that that has been resolved I am going to be working on a new antenna system. Not having a large backyard is hampering what I’d like to do. If we stay at our current QTH I may purchase a crank up tower, I’ll be discussing it with the guys at the FRRL on 2m and during the next meeting.

A shout out to the LARC VEC - THANKS FOLKS!!

I want to say a big thanks to the LARC VEC ( for providing the opportunity for people to take their Tech or upgrade test at the Dayton Hamvention. They were all courteous and professional and provided a lot of encouragement for those of us who never tested before, they also did it free of charge, amazing!

Considering the amount of people who showed up for testing these people kept a smile on their face and a professional attitude all through the event. Thanks again!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Dayton Hamvention!

So, it's Saturday and I'm in Dayton Ohio for the Hamvention. I took my Tech test this morning and passed. I thought about going straight back and going for the General but decided against it since I haven't studied near enough to hope to pass.

My wife and I walked around the inside and outside exhibits and found many items that would have been worth buying but found the prices were much higher than normal so ended up just buying some books. She now thinks she would like to re-learn CW so we picked up a book and will be buying a better keyer than she has from her Army days.

We are heading home in the morning feeling refreshed I hope! I passed my exam woohoo!! Starting this week I start studying for the General so I hope to have that one nailed down by the end of June.



Sunday, March 9, 2008

Becoming a "Ham" even without CW not easy, why you ask?

Because Ham's don't seem to like to help those that aren't knowledgeable about the hobby. If you have your license, great everybody is helpful. Don't have it, "get your license, then come back"... "Buy a shortwave, get to know the bands"... "You can't transmit anyway so wait" No wonder the number of Ham Radio operators isn't a large one. What is the best receiver, a $200.00 hand held or a (for example) FT-897D that can do it all... why you asking me? I have NO IDEA. I asked but was told to get my license, well folks, I want my radio now, not months from now, I want to get to know the equipment now, I'm actually pretty good at getting to know electronic things and while I'm getting to know the radio I can study for my Tech and be a few steps ahead...... but ...... no..... no help for me.... get ... the .... license.... first..... I can hear the echo now.....

I have posted on few forums for help picking out new equipment, I also ordered my license books and how to become a Ham Operator. Seems other people have posted complaints about the lack of mentors for the hobby and how people seem more wrapped up in lack of CW requirements and people getting a license than they do in helping people get into the hobby. They seem worried that people will flood the airwaves with unlicensed un-knowledgeable talk. Perhaps some people do this but to assume it, not cool.

So where was I, oh yes, I posted on a few forums wondering what would be a good radio to begin this hobby. The response, get a license first, then you'll understand what you want. Strange, you would think people would step up and say, you interested in 2 meter or strictly HF? My response would be not sure, I would like to talk to people local on the repeaters but am more interested in listening right now. Buying a SW radio doesn't help in this regard much, not the ones I have found anyway. BUT, nope, no help at all from anybody, so I'm on my own and when I do get licensed I'll know who to avoid on the airwaves, if they are that un-helpful online I can't imagine they are much better on the air.

So, I'm going to order a Yeasu FT-897D, the makings of a sloper, buy the CHA-250BX so I don't need an automatic tuner, buy a meter and a good power supply and hopefully find some help installing it and using it properly so it doesn't become a paper weight.



Sunday, January 6, 2008

HP MediaSmart EX470 Windows Home Server Review

I'm going to be installing a new HP EX470 MediaSmart server for a friend soon. We ordered it from BestBuy online for $599.00, this is the same price everybody else is selling it for so where you buy should probably be dictated by return policy and customer service. Considering what you get, this price is reasonable. We also ordered 3 Western Digital 500gig hard drives to bring capacity to a very respectable 2TB.

I received the EX470 on 1/4/08 and began working on it yesterday the 5th. I installed the drives which a 4 yearld could install. My first impression is the EX470 is a high quality and very easy device to work on. I should mention that I have been testing WIndows Home Server since Beta1 on my own hardware and am still waiting for my own OEM copy but so far this software has been excellent.

Getting back to HP's version of it I powered up the EX470 and put the software setup disk in my main desktop and let it find the server. It found the server and walked me through the initial configuration. It installs a desktop link for the HP Medis Server and a link to the default shares. I completed the setup, no users or other shares have been created yet because I'm going to do that when I install it at my friends house.

I ran some benchmarks to see how fast files would copy using SiSoft Sandra 2008, network speed on my personal home made Windows Home server ran at 70MBps, benchmarks to the EX470 ran about 10MBps which was dissapointing to say the least. I ran a rebuild of the EX470 and benchmarked it again, same result. I have a Buffalo TeraStation here so I ran the same test on it at got about 10MBps, same as the EX470, considering this was to be a primary backup server you'd think they would have paid close attention to this. I have never been impressed with the TeraStation's performance either but it has done its job over the past 2 years. Perhaps since many will be backing up wirelessly after the initial backup they felt this performance was good enough, who knows.

Next I opened the Home Server console frm my WHS box and the EX470, mine opened several seconds faster but the delay wasn't that bad for the HP. Since I'm going to be managing this device over the internet I'll see how it works for remote access after the install. My experience with the EX470 was a very good one and I think most people will be happy with it's performance and features.

I know I'm knocking it for network performance but I doubt the average person will notice it as much as a geek like me would. I'll post a follow up after I install the unit very soon.

New Year = new blog

I have been posting on MySpace and Live Spaces but they aren't really blogs. So, I'm giving this a shot. I'll be writing about technology mostly (EDIT:, changed blog to an RV blog 11/9/10) but during baseball and football season I may rant about a win or a loss here and there. I'm going to do my best to avoid politics even with the '08 election coming up but you never know, I may have to spout off once or twice.