Look what came in today’s Mail.

Look what came in the mail today.  It will be my 71s Birthday day on the 2nd of August.  BDARRL2014

If you want to send something related to Ham Radio, I will humbly accepted them as well as the above.

Considering that I was born in Conn., it would be nice if they at the ARRL HQ would put someone to Scottsdale to aid this creaky old body in putting up  the HF antenna that’s sitting on the patio out back so I could get on the air.

Antenna Down

Here in Scottsdale Arizona we have had some windy and rainy weather the last few weeks  Last Thursday however was clear and my wife and I took advantage of the nice weather to soak up some Arizona Sun.

While sitting on our backyard patio we noticed that half of my wire HF antenna was no longer connected to the pole that is mounted on the West end of the house.

I had noticed that I had not been able to hear any activity on the bands but never thought to look at the antenna.  Lesson learned.

Now I just need to find someone who can get it back up, or maybe I should just wait until I put up the vertical antenna I have been looking at.  That would add at least two more bands.

Citizens Broadband Service

This week I reported on Amateur Radio Newsline and my report was the lead story.  Clink on the audio below.

It’s not like “being on the air” but I enjoy recording these stories for Bill Pasternak  – WA6ITF who is the president, Co-Founder of ARN.  If you would like to hear the full Amateur Radio Newline, you can click right here and it will take you to their site.

Fun.

Using my new Yaesu FT-60 this week has been fun.

Relearning things about how radios actually work.  Yesterday, while talking on the Scottsdale Amateur Radio Club’s UHF repeater from our front year was reminded that moving as little as 12 inches could make all the difference.

I just changed the direction of how I was standing and was told that my signal had dropped off.  Went back, by just turning my body back to the right, while not actually moving physically, I was told that I again had a strong signal.

Also surprised at all the traffic I’m able to hear on 146.520, the National Simplex Frequency.

Once again that’s just using the Antenna that came with the radio.  Can’t imagine what it will be like with an antenna on our roof.

Me.

I’m having fun with my new FT-60R/E .  The more I “play” with it the more I learn about what I need to do.

Last night a local club had an on the air meeting and I was listening and figured out that there is one problem.  ME.

The radio is hearing the output of the repeaters better than I expected but I can’t hear what is being said.  On top of that, I can’t understand what is being said.

I’m not going to get into the Long and Sad Story, but I have been without hearing aids for almost a full year now and it doesn’t help to listen and participate on the air if one can’t understand what is being said.

Maybe I should come up with a Close Caption device to add on to HTs.

 

Hand Held.

After trying two other HTs,  I have been able with the help of Gary, N7GJ, the manager of the HRO here in the metro Phoenix area get a radio that I can program.

It’s a Yaesu FT-60R/E and you can see it in my shack in the picture below.

I know it’s hitting 3 repeaters, 2 UHF and 1 VHF, as I can hear the repeater come back when I transmit ” KI7UP Testing”.  I haven’t as yet asked for a signal check.

Considering I’m sitting at my desk using only the antenna it came with, I’m happy with the fact that I can hit the 3 repeaters I have entered in.  As I read more in the manual I will add more local repeaters and also simplex frequencies.

That’s to come.

Tried Twice.

I have attempted twice to add a VHF/UHF handheld and each time the unit I purchase would not program.

I have to be honest, it’s most likely me, and the computer I have.  I have been able in both cases to sell the radios for what I paid for them.  And in both cases, the person who purchase them has been able to program them.  The second by using an old laptop computer that he had sitting around after having no luck with the computers he uses daily.  That tells you something.

I think this next time, I’m going to have to bite the bullet and spend some money, stop trying to get the lowest price, get a radio with a proven track record from a Major Company.