New QSL Cards from Kiev!

It's hard to believe, but 1000 QSL cards will fit in my mailbox! I just got my new QSL cards from UX5UO today and boy, are they well done!  I love the glossy front  and thick card stock. Gennady will be getting a rave review from me on exceptional quality and service. Excellent work. Now to get on the air!!!

image.jpg

Again, thanks to Gennady Treus for the great job. I will keep you and your family in my prayers that you all stay safe in Ukraine.  

73 de N5PRE, 

Kevin

Procrastination, or Just Busy?

Good grief! it's been over a year since I posted anything. Well, to be frank, it was a heckuva year in 2013. I wasn't in much of a mood to post because of my job situation. I got laid off from my employer with less than 72 days remaining before my 30th anniversary with them.  Fortunately, they didn't throw me to the curb. I was given a fair severance and the last 60 days of my employment, I was able to search and find a replacement job. It forced me to relocate, however.

Now I am living in Aiken, South Carolina.

It's funny how I just got 500 QSL cards from a printer in China with my Cumming, GA address on them and then find out not long afterward I will be moving to another state!  I didn't immediately replace those cards. I have been somewhat busy with the new job, packing, selling the old house, closing on the new house and life throwing things at me in general that it was a low priority. I only recently got my HF rig back on the air even though I've been in the new house since January.  A few weeks ago, I started looking for a new supplier for QSL cards. I did some research and found Gennady Treus (UX5UO) of Kiev, Ukraine was the best out there. I sent him a preliminary request for a new set of cards using an image familiar to this website, the Radio Active Geek character.  After figuring out that his emails were defaulting to my Spam folder, I was able to respond and offer additional requests for tweaking the design. In spite of the political situation there in Kiev going on currently, Gennady has come up with a good design, I think. I asked him to go ahead and print them. Here's how they'll look on the front:
 

 N5PRE QSL Card Design (Front)

N5PRE QSL Card Design (Front)

I used the Radio Active Geek theme from my site (drawn by my friend N2EST, Jim Massara of Hamtoons.net ) along with the same font I used in the titles for my site (Comiccrazy) to give it a comic book flair.  Jim started off editing at Marvel and I really like his work. You can see some samples at his other site jimmassara.net.  

The obverse of the card has all the details, including a photo of me, QSO details, the website and even room for a stamp and address.  It looks like this:
 

 Obverse of N5PRE QSL Card

Obverse of N5PRE QSL Card

If you are interested in obtaining some excellent QSL cards, check out Gennady's site at ux5uoqsl.com and don't forget to also check out Jim Masssara site and commission a unique ham radio related image for yourself also!

Direct, from China... via slow boat, methinks...

Good thing I was home today to receive this... my order from QSLprinter.com came today via USPS and required a signature. 500 new QSL cards ready to send out! They weren't as vivid as I was hoping on the color and the paper stock isn't as stiff as I had hoped, but they still came out nicely, I think. This is my first attempt to have QSL cards printed, so I'll learn that next time I might bump up the contrast a bit and perhaps make the text stand out more, maybe with a drop shadow or embossed effect.  All in all, not bad for less than $50 for 500 QSL's!  The only other drawback was the amount of time it took to receive them. I ordered them over a month ago. This printer waits until they get a few orders in and then does them in a batch. This saves them money, which they pass down to the buyer.  They didn't print them for two weeks after I paid, but they shipped them the same day they printed them and it took about 18 days to arrive to my door.  In this internet age, where people want instant gratification, it is sometimes hard to come by the patience to wait for something worth waiting for.

Now it's time for me to make 500 contacts...

  500 new QSL cards from QSLprinter.com for less than $50

500 new QSL cards from QSLprinter.com for less than $50

 Photo of the back of the QSL card.

Photo of the back of the QSL card.

A Design that Hams and Musicians Would Love

I was inspired to post a design on spreadshirt.com to appeal to Hams and musicians alike. It's an octal (8-pin) tube socket diagram that can be emblazoned on a T-Shirt or a coffee cup or phone case. On the right T-shirt, it could resemble Iron Man's Arc Reactor! I thought it would be fun to wear to a hamfest, so I designed it for myself and thought I'd share.  Buy one if you're so inclined!

They're on my spreadshirt site here: http://klystrontech.spreadshirt.com/

2013 GARS Techfest

I went to the 2013 GARS Techfest in Lawrenceville, Georgia to try out a famous chili recipe by a good friend N4EWT, who put his entry in the running for the cook-off at the event.  Once I got there, I saw a lot of other cool things and really enjoyed the event.  
One of the cool things I saw was an old teletype set connected to a computer that was a two way communication port for SMS.  You could text a message to it and you could reply to that message using the keyboard.  It impressed a lot of young people there that had never seen that old technology used before. It also was nice to hear a teletype working again... something I haven't heard in years.

Another demonstration that was quite popular was the Tesla Coil demo. It made a lot of noise and the purple discharge was fun to watch. Kids were asked if they wanted to try it out by holding a wand close to it or a crescent wrench to attract the electrical discharge.

 Demonstrating a Tesla Coil

Demonstrating a Tesla Coil

There were young people learning to solder by putting together small kits with electronic parts they had never seen before.  This generated a lot of interest...

 Learning to Solder

Learning to Solder

What I enjoyed most about the event, besides seeing some of my friends, was the opportunity to see and hear Bob Heil (K9EID) in a Skype video call in one of the conference rooms. He talked about his early life and how he progressed from working with organs to ham radio and how he happened to help a lot of rock bands before they were famous. His stories and advice were well received and useful.  I recorded most of the talk on my iPhone. It suffers from being too far away from the speaker, so it isn't the highest quality but you're welcome to listen: 

Bob Heil on Skype.jpg