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Messages - RadioRay

As we used to teach in survival classes:
1. Shelter ( clothing is your first layer of 'shelter'.
2. Water.
3. Fire. kitchen.
Classifieds / Re: QRP CW - HB1B
March 15, 2024, 06:23:12 AM
Yes!  The present reality is not a bad one, because of the thousands of memories of mountains, deserts and a little bit of salt water. Had I remained home, in front of a TV set when I was young, now I would indeed be bitter because of a wasted life.

A note to those still physically fit: Run, jump and dance while you are able and later you will thank yourself for not sitting comfortably at home. 

73 de Ray  ..._ ._
Morse Code / Re: Written Message - Advantage
March 15, 2024, 05:52:03 AM
Ha ha ha!  I like it, Sparks. 

That receiver looks like the type that would bring back memories. While I do enjoy the radio equipment that I own now, it does NOT produce the sort of affection as the older, -usually tube- equipment which I used a long time ago in the Army. Likely, this is even stronger for ship's R.O. and shore station operators. Oh, to know and to recall the many messages, needs and wants, sent via the old radios.

73 de Ray  ..._ ._
Classifieds / QRP CW - HB1B
March 13, 2024, 10:07:54 AM
The reality is that I'm just not able to hike and enjoy outdoor radio much at all, these days: welcome to old age and injuries ;-)  .  So,

NO LONGER FOR SALE:  ......  // removed by RadioRay . //

HB1B Sale

73 de Ray  ..._ ._
Morse Code / Written Message - Advantage
March 11, 2024, 10:47:40 AM
Another advantage of Morse instead of voice is the built-in ability to accurately produce a written message to avoid confusion. 


Thanks Sparks.

Interesting article. Yes, people need to know that Telegraphy was not replaced because it did not work: it worked VERY well, and for over a century.  It was replaced to eliminate the need to pay for for the trained telegraphers in both salaries and training time.  If anyone can push a button to send a message, then companies don 't need to hire the highly skilled radio officers aboard ship, or on shore stations and others.  The 'legend' that 'its too hard to learn Morse code' is untrue as proven by the MILLIONS of children learning basic Morse code in their teens and before. The militaries of the world and radio schools of all stripes taught the code to millions for over a century.   As a child in my very early teens, I taught myself Morse code using LP records, sitting in my room. Later the Army really polished my Morse skills, but that was built on the foundation of Morse I taught myself and used on the air as a school kid

73 de Ray  ..._ ._
CB / Re: Coordinating with other CB Emergency Prep groups
February 02, 2024, 12:28:37 PM
CB radio for community communications certainly has a place. When I lived in a timber community south of Alberta in the U.S. State of Idaho, CB was one community 'intercom'.  The limiting factors are range ( usually less than ten miles on flat ground at best) and also the interference when ( as you mentioned) long range propagation was in.  Being drowned-out by mega power stations from a thousand miles away ruined our community use, often for days at a time, unless we were VERY close together and could reliably set the squelch to not listen to the interfering station coming into our little, secluded valley.  OTOH, up there, most people had CBs (AM was still most popular) so it is a good idea, most of the time. 

The hams among us used 2 meter FM with repeaters on mountain peaks for local/regional and also used the ham 60 meter band for a regional 'party line'.  This being in the frequency range of NVIS gave great communication capability in and out of the steep mountain valleys.  Very little flat land up there, so NVIS was essential to tie communities together. There was also a commercial HF ( MHz)radio community in use for decades, linked with the business of a local bush pilot.  Remote families could call to have the pilot's staff buy groceries and to fly them in to specific meadows/air strips in isolated areas.  I do not know if this is still operating in this era of cell towers, but it worked rather well.

Goos to see you aboard,

RadioRay  ..._ ._
Antennas / Re: Duct tape antenna
January 05, 2024, 12:41:09 PM
hahhhahahaha !  This is a MUST WATCH video: fun and useful.   Thanks for posting.  Now to go get my duct tape from the workshop and some copper 'slug tape' from the greenhouse.

73 de Ray  ..._ ._ 
Here in the USA we have been experiencing significant delays in banking transfers ESPECIALLY PAYROLL DEPOSITS. With the multi-year impacts of job killing COVID restrictions, inflation/weakened buying power and more, this is very significant damage to many Americans' home budgets. 

This is a key reason to keep some cash in locally useful currency, a source of safe drinking water, and food on the shelf with a way to prepare it.. If you have a bug-out location in mind, ensure that you have fuel to get there at all times.  Sitting in a potentially hostile long gas line is a bad plan.

The link above if good food for though during morning coffee/tes.

- RadioRay
Antennas / Re: End Fed Trolling Wire Antenna
August 23, 2023, 07:46:58 AM
Oh! I had never thought of using leader wire, and did not even know that it came in a copper/copper wash. Thanks for showing up how you do yours. 

73 de RadioRay  ..._ ._
I remember reading about that TALL ship and the use of ham WINLINK being the only communication method to get the rescue started. Another advantage of HF radio is that - unlike a satphone- HF radio is a BROADCASTING method and if using a common mode CW, SSB voice &etc. MANY station have the potential to hear the distress call, not only the one phone number dialed from the satphone.  Satphones tend to lose signal when under huge columns of clouds, like the cells and super cells involved in violent weather.  I've been there and experienced that.  Satphones have their places, but if it'saboard the ship for summoning emergency assistance,, better to go with an EPIRB, for all the many reasons.

All in all, I'd rather have an old Sparky on the other end of the radio link, with headphones screwed-on tightly. 

de RadioRay  ..._ ._


Because we live waaay out in the country, we had one choice: to get internet, we got Hughes satellite internet a decade ago. We had big thunder storms several times per week and the signal droped to zero.  Seems their satellite microwave downlink does not penetrate several miles of thick, cumulo-nimbus clouds.  Scatter and absorption is a REAL problem on certain microwave frequency bands. Fortunately, since then , fiber-optic internet has come to our area  :-)  Got rid of Hughes immediately.

- de RadioRay  ..._ ._
Morse Code / Re: QRP DX
March 10, 2023, 10:19:36 PM
Good question.  The comms begins with propagation first.  The easiest antenna length does no good, if the band is too high for your regional comms/NVIS.  80 meters is a real work horse for regional comms.  The great news is that stringing a 130'ish foot piece of wire at low height is easy. Remember that for local comms having the antenna up a bit over head height is a good >start<.  Any EASY elevation after that helps, but is generally not essential.  I've done a lot of outdoor/wilderness radio and mil radio opns, where a bit over head height was what was practical.  That's not good for long rages, like a thousand miles or more, but fine for regional/high take-off angle work, usually within the one-tank-of-gas-distance ( 0-350 miles,. which matters most to me.

I'd recommend either a simple dipole cut to frequency BEFORE you deploy or Gil's favorite , the End Fed Half Wave wire.  The EFHW is somewhat easier to deploy and retrieve, especially in trees.

CW DX!  Definitely,  A little wire and Morse code is amazing.  I just had a basic QSO with a fellow in Germany on forty meters using my QRP rig, maybe five Watts. and a dipole up only 30 feet. It would have been better to have the dipole at 60 feet for that long haul, but he and I talked for about 15 minutes in slow, handsent Morse/CW, so it was still working - even at QRP levels.

Please let us know how things are going for your radio excursions./

73 de RadioRay  ..._ ._
Thank You, Sparks !

People who think radio is obsolete are ignorant. They see it as comparing a row boat to a ship.  When a mighty ship sinks, the lowly rowboat becomes King.

73 de Ray  ..._ ._