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Messages - KK0G

I couldn't agree more, I can't recall ever reading a vitriolic, hateful, name calling, smart ass comment on here such as is commonly found on other ham forums. Sure, we've debated and disagreed on subjects from time to time but it's always done respectfully, life would be boring as hell if everyone agreed on everything all the time. I  think the main reasons we have such a helpful, friendly atmosphere is; 1 - this is a very small group in comparison to the big ham sites so statistically we'll have a smaller number of the type of members who would troll just to stir the pot and; 2 - simply from the name of the site,, the forum is somewhat limited in the subject material we usually discuss which tends to attract like minded members. To sum up, this is a great bunch of folks and we should all thank Gil for providing this sanctuary.
Morse Code / Re: The best way to learn Morse code.
April 14, 2017, 04:40:09 PM
Quote from: Rescue9 on April 14, 2017, 08:41:13 AM
This is frustrating beyond belief. Having learned the "dit dah counting method" , wrapping my mind around thinking of the words and letters as sounds is problematic. I keep trying, but I've been so bummed that lately I don't even want to touch the radio.

Sent from my m8 using Tapatalk

Yep, that's why almost everyone strongly advises against learning code at a speed slow enough to count individual characters, it's much more difficult to break a bad habit than it is to learn a new one. No need to worry though, crank the code speed way up, maybe 18-20 WPM, while leaving lots of spacing between letters and I think you'll be amazed at how quickly your brain starts to instantly recognize the different sounds of each letter. Getting frustrated is normal, it happened to all of us. Keep practicing, it won't happen overnight but you'll get there.
Daaaaah........ what?  ;D
Quote from: gil on April 06, 2017, 02:53:33 AM
Their carrying capacity is reduced too, so they couldn't carry the battery for their FT-891..


At 2 amps current draw on receive, an Olympic athlete couldn't carry enough battery to make an FT-891 last more than a few days!  8)
Quote from: cockpitbob on April 05, 2017, 10:02:07 AM
No kidding!  I went to the big ham convention in Boxboro, MA last year.  Looking at the average ham there reminded me I really need to refresh my 20 year old CPR training.  I'm surprised the ambulances weren't stacked up in the parking lot like taxis at the airport.  The obesity rate must have been above 50% and the average age well above 50.  On average, grooming didn't seem to be a high priority either.  This is the one disappointing aspect of the hobby for me.  I'd be more involved if there were more active and energetic hams.

The obesity rate of hams is likely close to the same rate as the rest of the country, we're probably the fattest country on the planet but I won't shame them for being fat, hell I'm not the same lean, mean, machine I was when I was 20 years old. What I will shame people for is filthy, disgusting, no, make that non existent grooming, that is inexcusable. If you can afford amateur radio gear you can afford soap, water, and non piss stained clothes. I have zero remorse for shaming people in that way either, shame is an emotion that evolved in humans tens of thousands of years ago for good reason, it's a powerful tool that helps shape a healthy and productive society.

And now that we're completely off topic........  ;D

Quote from: gil on April 03, 2017, 05:21:59 PM

I have also learned that wires are not your friend. Manpacks have everything built-in. Tuner and battery are part of the radio. We have too many things connected to our portable radios, it's a mess. I had a first epiphany about this when I put everything for my MTR on a clipboard. I had the radio, tuner, battery, speaker and key all attached to the clipboard using 3M Dual Lock strips. What a revelation! The only cable coming out of the clipboard was the antenna coax. I found the same philosophy in military radios, and it works. It eliminates points of failure and reduces the mess. You can move the radio without having a bunch of stuff dangling behind you, breaking and getting lost. It reduces water ingress in bad weather. We need to group our devices in one case if possible.

I couldn't agree more, this is one of the reasons I love my KX1. It's obviously nowhere near as rugged as a military radio but with its built in batteries, tuner and paddles the only things I need other than the radio itself is earbuds and wire for an antenna, and that could be scrounged up from practically anything with nothing more than a pocket knife if need be. I don't use coax either which is one less thing to fail or lose. I even went so far as to modify my KX1 by adding binding posts to the case connected to the tuner output so I didn't have to carry a BNC to binding post adapter.
Quote from: gil on April 03, 2017, 05:31:23 PM
QuoteThey're just catering to what their customers want.

Certainly, but do they know?

Remember the camo-painted IC-7200s... Remember the SGC-2020? Try buying one on Ebay... Try buying a PRC-2000... Even the RT-320 is getting more expensive while the British Pound is going down. Have you seen the "manpack" milled cases for the FT-817nd? Not to mention the numerous pseudo-military antennas out there, and some manufacturers are making a lot of money selling crappy home-depot-material antennas with "military" buzzword advertising. Some almost get it right and make good stuff, but others, and I am thinking of one particular offender, oh boy! Talk about crap... I am convinced there is a large market just waiting...


But you have a distorted and/or biased view of this potential market because you hang out with, communicate with, and seek out other like minded individuals, the big three are large corporations and will see things quite differently than you and I. They know that their potential customers are already limited simply because amateur radio operators are already a tiny fraction of the total population, folks like you and I are an even smaller fraction of that tiny fraction, they're going to put their efforts, marketing, and research where the money is. Besides, we have WAY better products to choose from in Elecraft, MTR series etc, the other guys can have their Yecomwoods. LOL
Quote from: gil on April 03, 2017, 03:31:11 PM
What are they thinking?

They're just catering to what their customers want. Hams like us that trek beyond the park bench are in the minority, most of them are not concerned at all with the ability to operate truly portable for more than a few hours at most before heading back to the shack....... fancy bells and whistles sell lots of radios, low current draw sells far fewer radios.
Yeah, what Gil said. :-)

None of the "big three" -Yeacomwood - make anything that I would consider suitable for low power portable work, as Gil said, all those bells and whistles suck up huge amounts of current before you've even had a chance to transmit. I'll stick with my Elecrafts and my MTR that both sip electrons at an infinitesimally tiny rate compared to anything from the big three.
Net Activity / Re: Preppers Calling Frequency.
February 23, 2017, 08:37:54 AM
Quote from: gil on February 23, 2017, 06:45:54 AM
QuoteNo 40 meter phone from the continental US below 7.125

Darn. Well, I really want a frequency that can be used with all modes from anywhere. Back to the drawing board, but we stay on 40m. Too bad because some small CW rigs won't go as high as 7125.


I'm not sure such a frequency legally exists. I don't have a band chart in front of me so I'm just going off of my feeble memory but; it clearly can't be in the CW sub-band as obviously CW is the only allowed emission; it also can't be in the CW/Digital sub-band as phone isn't allowed there; and finally I don't think it can't be in the phone sub-band as I believe digital is not allowed there (correct me if I'm wrong). Fortunately CW is the wild card since it is allowed everywhere on all bands but I'm not sure there's a spot where phone and digital are both allowed.
Morse Code / Re: The best way to learn Morse code.
February 17, 2017, 12:57:21 PM

Good tips MaryAnn, thanks for sharing.

Quote from: MaryAnn on February 17, 2017, 12:10:17 PM

One last thought:  I don't understand it, but some folks just don't like CW.  Sometimes I wonder if CW is just so foreign to them that they can't even spell it... ;)   

MaryAnn, NS7X         

Some folks don't like CW!?!?  :o 

I suppose I was one of those folks many years ago, I barely learned just enough code to squeak by on the 5 WPM test to get my General ticket and beyond passing the test I had zero interest what so ever in CW, my interest was phone and digital. Fast forward a few years and me being a very technical minded person who likes to build stuff, I kept noticing all these cool QRP kits available for what seemed to be bargain prices. But alas they were almost exclusively CW only rigs and of course I had no interest in annoying dits and dahs............. or did I? 8)  I made a half hearted attempt to re-learn code but my interest was short lived. A few years later I read an article by none other than RadioRay of this forum that re-sparked my interest in CW, this time I buckled down and really dedicated some time towards learning code and it started to get relatively easy in short time. I started making QSO's on the air and suddenly my proficiency skyrocketed because I was having fun while learning which made the whole process completely painless. I started building QRP kits and the rest is history, I haven't transmitted a phone signal on amateur radio bands in many years and in fact I only own a single HF rig that will even do phone, an old Icom 735 that is buried in a desk drawer somewhere in my shack.
Net Activity / Re: Preppers Calling Frequency.
February 16, 2017, 09:17:49 AM
I agree wholeheartedly that it should be on 40 meters, 80 meters and lower requires a huge antenna and propagation is not consistent enough above 40 meters. One disadvantage to 7.100 MHz is that none of the crystal controlled micro rigs work there, but then I'm biased towards CW. Of coarse it's sort of a chicken and egg situation; if the frequency becomes well established and popular, more rock bound rigs will be built/sold for that frequency.
General Discussion / Re: Ham Radio ABC's for Preppers
February 15, 2017, 09:51:07 PM
Quote from: MaryAnn on February 15, 2017, 07:07:25 PM

Is there a difference between a survivalist and a Prepper?

I would say not but I suppose it's just semantics.

Quote from: MaryAnn on February 15, 2017, 07:07:25 PM

On HF cw, is there a Prepper calling frequency (such as: up 60 kHz from the bottom of the band)?  HF phone?  Are there any HF Prepper nets?

None that I'm aware of. What several of us here on the forum have done is set up semi-regular skeds with other members. In doing so we discover what band works best at what time of day during what season etc. Most of us use CW at QRP levels but there may have been others using other modes. Hence my previous comment on folks buying a radio, tossing it in with the supplies never to see the light of day until it's needed; without a knowledge base, experience, and skill your chances of successfully using amateur radio when needed is slim to none. Of course this is true of the majority of supplies, tools, gadgets, etc. that lots of folks stockpile........ skill trumps equipment almost every time.
General Discussion / Re: Ham Radio ABC's for Preppers
February 14, 2017, 09:00:29 AM
The two biggest mistakes I see most preppers making in this area are;

1. As Gil mentioned, current, current, current. In a real SHTF situation power will be a very precious and limited commodity, extremely low current draw should be of the utmost priority.

2. Passing a Technician test, buying a couple of handhelds's, tossing them in a go bag, and then forgetting about it is a huge waste of resources. If you don't have the skill that comes from regular use, amateur radio will be of practically no use when the SHTF.
Morse Code / Re: KX1 Discontinued.
February 14, 2017, 08:36:38 AM
Sad news indeed, I love my Elecrafts. My KX1 already has all the available options but there are several options for my K2 that I've just been waiting to order "someday", looks like I better make that day pretty soon.

I'm like you Gil, the K3 line just doesn't excite me. No doubt they're a great performing rig but the reason I love my Elecrafts is because they're high performance, full featured radios that I got to build at the component level......... slapping pre-populated boards into a chassis and screwing the covers on is not a kit in my opinion.