Enjoying HF Again After 20 Year Hiatus

Life gets in the way sometimes.  I had in the early 1990's, two HF radios. I had an HR-2510 and a Yaesu FT-101E (but not at the same time). I enjoyed working HF on 10 meters, being a Technician (with code).  In fact, you can look at a few of my old QSL cards and a slideshow (with a pause button) of my logbook here (external site).

I noticed on the Yaesu that the chassis seemed to be hot and would sometimes shock me. I never grounded the chassis before this point and thought it might be a good idea to do so.  Well, when I did that, it hastened the death of the Yaesu. I let the smoke out of it when turning it on one Saturday morning and it never came back to life. I had estimates done on how much it would cost to repair, but it wasn't worth the cost when compared to the value of the radio.  So, it sat dormant in my garage for nearly 20 years.
I sold it at a tailgate sale and the guy that bought it I later found out got it working with about $20 worth of parts for the internal power supply circuit... with a net cost for him: $45.  I was so disappointed in myself for not attempting to fix it instead of letting it languish.  Meanwhile, in those nearly 20 years of no HF in my life, I divorced, remarried, divorced and remarried again.  How life does move on.

Well, this lovely woman I am married to knew my passion for ham radio and found it in her heart to reserve a significant portion of a recent windfall rebate check to allocate for a new HF radio.  I would need to sell some of my unused things on eBay or some other method to make up the difference, but I had a radio fund!  I got to work right away on figuring out what I could sell.  First thought was the Epiphone Les Paul Standard guitar I had in the corner gathering dust. On eBay it went. After a few times of listing it, it sold.  I also had a DSLR I was no longer using... a Canon 40D. I cleaned it up and got almost full retail value for it at a local camera shop!

With the HRO (Ham Radio Outlet) in Atlanta having its annual Customer Appreciation Day sale on December 15, I went armed with enough funds to get what I wanted, an ICOM IC-7200.  I stayed there all day in hopes of winning something like a discount for the radio or the grand prize. There was only one IC-7200 left in stock though, so I made sure if I won the grand prize or got a discount for a radio in a drawing they'd back out the amount I payed to make up for it, then I bought the radio!  I didn't win any discounts or the grand prize, but I did win an MFJ dual band mobile antenna 2m/440 that I don't really need. I may donate it to the club for a raffle. 

N5PRE_7200.jpg

Being in an antenna restricted community, I'd rather the community not know I have a radio, so I opted for a stealth setup. I already had a Transworld TW-4040 antenna in the box for the last two years (I've been preparing for awhile), so I set it up in the attic and dropped coax down the wall with the help of a friend and it looks good.  While I was there, I ran an extra run of coax for 2m and 75 Ohm coax for TV and attached a J-Pole and TV antenna up there to use in the shack as well.... leaving a fish line in the conduit in case I want to add more coax later.

I hooked up the radio to an old power supply that I have had all this time and it powers the radio, but I dare not use more than 50 watts until I can upgrade. It's only rated at 12amps and I need a 22amp power supply at minimum to use 100w output on the ICOM.  That's my next purchase.

So far, I'm taking it slowly and have only checked into one net so far. The Corn Cobber's Net, on 7274.10 Khz. Their story is quite interesting on the origin of using that particular frequency. A nice bunch of hams there.

Revamp of radioactivegeek.com

I spent a little time researching new templates for this site and decided on this one. I also discovered a way to automatically publish photos I put in specific folders on my Dropbox site to make it very easy to update this site as well. Actually, I still have to log on here and click a publish button, but all the folder structure and contents are set in Dropbox. I like that.

I'll try to pay more attention to this corner of the web and not leave it hanging so long. In the future, I'm hoping to do more with Amateur Radio. I still update the arnewsline.org site every week to make it possible to have stitcher play the shows and the podcast to also update. I no longer keep the podcasts here locally... they're at their official site now, but I still get to post them, thanks to Bill Pasternack.  

If you see something that doesn't work or want to know more about something you see here (or if you have suggestions) let me know and I'll see what I can do to update the site to make it better.

73 de N5PRE,
Kevin

So Long, Dad...

I lost my Dad on Wednesday, July 18, 2012. He was ready to go home. I miss him so much already. I created this video in his honor, please watch and know he was so loved.

Amateur Radio Newsline Podcast Change

To those of you who relied on the weekly Amateur Radio Newsline podcast that I have hosted here for the last 3 to 4 years, it is still available. In order to transition to the official site, I had to create it as a new podcast in iTunes.  The links are available on the official website for Amateur Radio Newsline or you can add the link to the new podcast from here:

iTunes Link

RSS Feed

Amateur Radio Newsline™ is Now On Stitcher Radio

You can now hear Amateur Radio Newsline™ while on the go with Stitcher SmartRadio.

On demand News, Talk and More on your mobile phone.

The latest episode is always available for you- no syncing needed… and no memory or storage wasted!

Available for your iPhone, , Android phones, Kindle Fire, WebOS phones  or your BlackBerry.

Downloading is easy, go to Stitcher.com  or check out your app store.

Stitcher SmartRadio- The Smarter Way to listen to radio.

Stitcher brings radio & podcast listeners a better way to listen to their favorite shows and helps them discover new content they’ll by delivering personalized audio streams, on-demand, right on your smart phone.

  • ·       Stitcher is also available in some car dashboard systems (GM & Ford)
  • ·       Stitcher is available on SONOS systems
  • ·       Over 5000 shows on Stitcher
  • ·       Find new shows with the recommendation feature

LINK to Amateur Radio Newsline™