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Messages - RadioRay

Military Radios / Re: The UK PRC 316 / A-16
November 12, 2019, 02:29:13 pm
The Paraset !  I could certainly a video of you making contact with England while using a Paraset from France

Of course, if you EVER find one of these at a hamfest ---

73 de Ray  ..._ ._
Military Radios / Re: The UK PRC 316 / A-16
November 11, 2019, 07:31:07 pm
$500  Ouch!  With one frequency in the 80m band and possible one other at the high end of 80m , depending upon the variant, you're better with the choices you've already made in QRP rig.  The COOL factor is quite high with the PRC-316 though ;-)

de RadioRay  ..._ ._
Retirement and ham radio are a good mix. 

My Wife & I saw a plaque a few days ago that said it all:

   -Retirement -
Twice the husband.
  Half the money.

Welcome aboard -
General Discussion / Re: Death By Microprocessor
November 03, 2019, 11:32:47 pm
Bushy de Ray -...-

How goes the Morse code practice ? Have you tried a first contact? 

73 de Ray
General Discussion / Re: Site update.
November 03, 2019, 07:52:44 pm
Thanks for the update & especially the SPAM fighting.

Here, my BRAVE browser will not logon but the Firefox and phone does (same password: "1234" but don't tell anyone!!!).  Other than that, it seems to work well .

73 de Ray  ..._ ._
Morse Code / Guess Who I Heard Today ? //Gil//
October 08, 2019, 03:13:55 pm
High winds broke the line holding up my 80-10m dipole, leaving it laying in lower tree tops, AND it's pointed the wrong way to hear France.  However, I heard Gil veeeeery weakly while he was in Morse QSO with a German station.  Gil was using his home made magnetic loop on the balcony and MTR - 5 Watt transceiver! Unfortunately, I heard him probably at the end of the band opening, because by the time the Dk/F4 QSO ended, I tried calling him while he was fading fast. Of course, my RF noise level at this little country cottage is extremely LOW. His RF noise level in an apartment in a town  - I do not know, but local RF noise from chargers, displays, power supplies & etc.  can make a huge difference.

5W, homemade magloop on balcony, distance = 4196.5 mi (6753.7 km)

Food for Thought:   the German station Gil had talked with was easily readable, and -technically- could have relayed some short messages between Gil & I pretty easily. That could be handy in a grid down situation.

72 de RadioRay  ..._ ._
General Discussion / Re: Death By Microprocessor
September 27, 2019, 05:34:48 am
Aaah Bushy!

Good to hear from you, my old friend.   You'll be happy to know that I too am now a pensioner - never thought I'd see the day ;-) 

Like you, the sounds of Morse is also comforting to me, and I usually have a receiver with a wide filter to hear Morse conversations in the background when I'm in my little shed, working on projects. Your practice process provides you a skill-set for life.  Unpretentious, simple, accurate Morse is a workhorse that can be depended upon, and enjoyed even when I've been down to my last copper.

You Morse regimen sounds quite reasonable. To communicate at an accurate 8-10 words per minute in a robust mode like Morse is far superior to 'sometimes' being able to communicate at thousands of baud > if everything is running correctly  and electrical power is plentiful < ( and IF Windows does not kill the system with an infernal update ;-) As the saying goes: "In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is King."

GReat to hear from you !

> Ray

Ps. I once had a girlfriend who -quite literally- could not open a can of food without electricity...  that didn't last long.
General Discussion / Re: Lab599 Discovery TX-500
September 21, 2019, 07:08:21 am
The KX2 is a superb transceiver.  The ability to run highly portable at relatively low current drain - well, that's priceless.  Like you, Gil and others have mentioned, having a more 'hardened' construction would be much appreciated, yet, you are correct, the market is very small for such a ham transceiver , with it's extra costs.  Few hams are physically active.  A 100 Watt transceiver drawing many amps, with a huge lead-acid battery, driven by car to a Park for contest/"Radio Sport" style operation seems to be the goal.  Naturally, when grid-down communication is the focus, points and awards are less than meaningless.  I really don't care if I win the Worked-All-Shoe-Sizes award, as long as my actual needs and a few wants are handled.

Related to that is the dependence upon computers. They do a lot of marvelous things, but are generally a significant burden in size, weight and power and are the first to die. As much as I appreciate Winlink, having used it since the AMTOR days, depending upon MS Windows is a REAL problem.  Exapmle: mt laptop just decided that my Windows 7 is not genuine.  Why, after all these years it has done this - and begun the countdown to killing my USB ports & etc. I do not know, but all this began as the last hurricane was approaching... 'nuf said, I'll stick with Morse and to pass formal traffic, use Radio Relay International / NTS nets, of which there are MANY every day. I can't send pictures and file extensions, but health & welfare messaging is their speciality.

Please keep us posted.

73/72 & GL with the KX2/Lab599.

de Ray  ..._ ._
General Discussion / Re: Lab599 Discovery TX-500
September 21, 2019, 12:09:13 am
Well, I am still waiting for my Hallicrafters Nine-Zillion, from 1962, but I was one of the lucky ones who managed to put down a deposit, so now it's ALL OVER, except the waiting... (image attached)

General Discussion / Re: Lab599 Discovery TX-500
September 20, 2019, 02:40:51 pm
Yes!  That caught my eye as well.  The receive current drain (critically important for field opns) is a bit over 100 mA , which is superb in a full function, rig and the physical layout and construction is where 'we' really need to be for rucksack radio, because anything can work on a picnic table - which is fun- but robust & survivable is worth the extra expense.   I do hope that this makes the transition from prototype into a retail product.

de Ray  ..._ ._
General Discussion / Death By Microprocessor
September 05, 2019, 10:51:04 pm
Well, not 'death' actually, more like 'DEAF by microprocessor'. 

We all know that radio communication in voice is quite power hungry, so Watt-for-Watt, digital modes are more robust in tough conditions.  Of course, Morse code sent via CW is extremely robust, yielding between 13-18 dB 'system gain' compared to voice modes, depending upon who's math you're using. 

The timing with this 'deafness' is 'educational':  About the time that Hurricane Dorian , a category >5< HURRICANE was pounding Bermuda and forecast to come up the coast and do the same to us, I received a Windows update, after which my laptop would not operate.  I went to SAFE mode, and it worked for a little while, then nothing....  This is the ham shack laptop with all my cool radio gimmicks on it, including weather satellite software to download my own images - directly, WINLINK (for emergency status checks with family and friends) & etc.  Windows is still deader than a bag-of-rocks to this day, until I have time to reload Windows from disc & all the software , then reconfigure it all.  I am in no hurry.

Why am I NOT in a hurry to fix my laptop so that I can communicate? Because my straight key and my 1939 McElroy 'bug' work flawlessly, cannot be virused, dDOS'd , have no 'back-door' vulnerabilities, and never have updates and yet work well below the noise level, require ZERO power, leaving only my transceiver(s) with their many battery back-up systems, which I am well prepared for. I have to ask myself:what would I do, if I had never learned Morse, and had to DEPEND upon a computer to communicate for me? If we loose power for the long term  , and iI decide to send 'health & welfare' messages to key friends, I can easily do that in Morse code, either casually through random hams outside of the area, or as formal message traffic via the various National Traffic System / RRI Morse traffic nets. And I can do it with very little power in CW - very, very little power.

A skill like Morse code will serve you for life. Skills take-up no room in your rucksack, weigh nothing and can be enhanced with a cup of coffee,

and brother, do I love good coffee!

Fortunately, Hurricane Dorian has dropped to a -still dangerous- category 2, and it's track indicates that it will only offer this area a glancing blow as it heads-out to sea. At least, that's the forecast. I'll know more tomorrow when I'm looking at it, or not.

de Ray  ..._ ._

We have a MAJOR Hurricane approaching (It's a CAT 5 right now)  .  If you ever wondered how difficult it is to capture weather satellite images without the internet, it's not difficult, but does require the software and a bit of practice. There are MANY YouTube posts with excellent instruction about this, so I will not repeat what they've done. 

Here is an image received within the hour using an inexpensive SDR and no automatic satellite tracking or LNA: (attached)

de RadioRay
General Discussion / Re: Hello! (again)
August 27, 2019, 07:50:30 pm
WooHoo!great to have you back.  Btw I am back home on the Southern Bay , so an easy 80m shot for CW.   PERHAPS WE CAN MEET ON THE AIR to discuss whether I am "the other Ray" or you are ??

73 de Other Ray ( provisional )
Hi Brian,

I don't know whether you know about the group, but Straight Key Century Club (SKCC) hangs aboud 7055'ish and they are desicated to using straight keys, 'bugs' and other non-electronics keying, SOOOO they are a  prime place for slower code with an emphasis on having fun while practicing.  I have several conversations around their hang-out frequencies.  I'm not much of a 'joiner' but I joined SKCC early on, because I like their way of doing thing and how they serve as a platform for people to improve their on the air Morse skills.

73 de Ray  ..._ ._
General Discussion / Re: Hi from the Baltimoron
August 26, 2019, 11:16:11 pm
"...sail and play radio..."

That sounds familiar.  No more sailing for me, but I have to say, that on the hook in some little out of the way place on The Bay, I could hear EVERYTHING !  I remember being over on the Eastern Shore listening to two station in Africa while they had a regional conversation on 40 meters - not so local for me.  I didn't transmit, just enjoyed hearing them.

Also, there's something reassuring about knowing that you can cast off lines, and run self contained for a very long time - and distance.

73 de Ray  ..._ ._