Adventures in radio - November 2022
2022-11-13 Revisiting the LIMARC hamfest - Part II
I made it to the LIMARC hamfest early this morning and really did enjoy it this time. I brought a couple of mobile radios to sell at the "sell your stuff table" and while there did seem to be a lot of interest in terms of folks looking at them, ultimately they didn't actually sell. To be fair I only stayed a couple of hours at the ham fest so who knows, if they had been left out longer they might have sold. Anyway, my callsign was clearly marked on them so if anyone wanted to make a post-show offer that's always an option along with Craigslist, Offerup and the ubiquitous Ebay marketplaces.
Frank (KC2ZOR) caught up to me at the hamfest just as I was stepping up to claim a prize drawing. Yes, I actually won the first drawing of the event just as I was purchasing two ham sticks at the Quicksilver table. Frank caught me racing up to the stage to claim the prize and then racing back down to finish my purchase.
The afore-mentioned Quicksilver Radio was there with a few tables sellig antennas, connectors and coax. I thought the coax was a "little" pricey for 100ft and not a brand that I knew about so passed.
Luckily, there wsa another vendor there with even more tables, a huge number of connectors, coax, electric parts etc. I ended up getting several connectors from them but NOT the 100ft LMR 400 equivalent coax as I didn't have enough cash and they didn't accept credit cards.
Altogether a nice hamfest and I am glad that I attended.
2022-11-09 Upcoming LIMARC hamfest
A LIMARC hamfest is coming up this weekend (11/13). I went to the LIMARC hamfest back in February and figured that I would give it a second chance. As I had noted back then, the hamfest was not impressive and did not warrant the nearly two-hour drive it took to get there. Anyway, I exchanged emails with one of the organizers for the coming event who said this one would be different.
I'm going to take advantage of the "sell your stuff" table to bring two of my DMR mobile radios to sell since they are collecting dust. My "shopping list" remains the same as last time: UHF, SMA, BNC connectors and adapters; RG8 or LMR400 coax cables with UHF or BNC connectors in from 10Ft to 100ft lengths; antenna ground spikes etc. I didn't find any of those things at the last hamfest but here's hoping for a better result this time.
2022-11-07 The igate experiment
Long story - short, I ended up taking down my Igate. As an experiment, it did work; the Baofeng plugged into its charger along with a battery pack, continuously charged, connected to the Mobilinkd, and a raspberry pi all worked. I put the whole thing up in my attic, and except for a power and ISP internet outage, there were no problems. With the Abree 42" antenna on the Baofeng, I obtained just under a mile range. I tested this by riding my bike and noting where I logged the APRS beacons. I did send some APRS messages even to my phone, but at the end of the day, this was just plain boring. At the best of times, there was hardly any APRS (radio) traffic, so other than my messages; nothing was going on nearby.
The lack of APRS traffic may be a downward spiral i.e., no igates, so no APRS packets. Without APRS packets, there is no reason to maintain an igate. When I look at the "APRS.FI" sites for Long Island, there are very few igates "out east" compared to the rest of the tri-state area. Anyway, for now, there is not enough traffic for me to depend on receiving APRS signals while mobile, and no real reason to maintain a mainly inactive igate, so bye-bye igate.
2022-11-05 The Jean Shepherd Files
At the midway point of the month, I have added a Jean Shepherd section "Shep", as his fans call him, died in 1999 at the age of 78. I'm mentioning his age because, while some of his stories may not be politically correct these days, they probably weren't politically correct when he originally told them either, but they keep you listening and wanting to hear what comes next. Shep was many things stage and screen actor, radio personality, author, pilot, jazz musician, world traveler and I've only scratched the surface. I still have no idea when he had the time to obtain a pilot's license but one of the things he was, in particular, an amateur radio operator from the days when getting your "ticket" was something you really had to study for and learn - no CW? No ticket and he was doing 45 words per minute at age 12.
I'm only putting up links to the ham radio related stories that I like, but you can always search on the internet, particularly the internet archive, to find a huge backlog of his recordings. This month you can find his 1985 Dayton hamvention keynote address and a story about how he got into ham radio. Enjoy and Excelsior You Fathead!
’73 from KD2WLL - the adventure continues