Friday, August 22, 2014

Let People Know You Are A Ham Radio Operator

  Once in awhile I will be driving down the road and I see a license plate saying something about Ham Radio. It may have the persons call sign on the plastic frame that holds the license plate. I also see the license plate with the call letters on it. Most people may not pay attention to what the letters mean. Maybe if the plastic license plate holder said something then people would know that is what the letters are your call sign letters. I just feel it would be another way to share the hobby and let other Ham Radio Operators know who you are out there on the open road. So get yourself a Ham radio License Plate holder today and show your call sign. If you are looking for a nice gift idea for a birthday or holiday I would look at some of the beautiful Ham Radio Plaques . I made my own Ham Radio Plaque and it is in one of my posts, so you can see how I designed it.
  Another way of letting people know that you are an Amateur Radio Operator is by wearing the ever popular baseball cap. I don't think there is any place that I have gone where someone is wearing a baseball cap. A baseball cap with your call sign or just some saying about Ham Radio would make a nice gift. I know over the years my kids have given me various baseball hats. They range from worlds greatest Dad, lucky Dad or even Off Duty Dad. Then I have my favorite DX Engineering baseball cap. On our recent trip to the Buffalo Zoo and Niagara Falls I could not count the number of people with baseball caps on. There are lots of other types of Ham Radio Clothing ideas to choose from to show that you are proud of being a Ham Radio Operator.
  The next item I see all the time are stickers on the window of a SUV or someones car. If it is your parents vehicle they may not want you putting stickers on the windows. I have seen some signs being held in place by suction cups. If a window isn't possible then see if it can go on the bumper. Bumper stickers have been popular for years. I used to use a Kiss Delta Sonic sticker to cover up a small dent in the bumper on one of my old cars.
  The other popular item I see is the ever popular coffee cup. Of course you don't have to drink coffee to have a coffee cup or mug. I have seen some with callsign  letters or just a little Ham Radio saying. If you don't want a coffee mug then get a T-Shirt with your callsign or something said about Ham radio. Maybe you are in a club or working with emergency situations. If I remember the last time I went to the HamFest here in Rochester New York there were plenty of Ham Radio Operators with T-Shirts with call signs or even the Baseball cap with a callsign or club name on them. Once again any of these items would make a wonderful gift. There are plenty of Ham Radio Gift ideas out there on the internet for everyone especially if you are a Ham radio Operator. Christmas is just around the corner so start planning for gift giving as soon as possible.
  If you look around I would check out ebay or amazon for any Ham Radio gift idea. There are plenty of dealers on the internet that have various types of gifts. Just be sure to check out any seller or reseller for good or bad reviews. Once again I am sure there are plenty of other places to purchase gift ideas for that Ham Radio Operator.
  Thank You for reading from Dan KC2YTI   73s.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Plastic Storage Containers For Your Ham Radio Equipment

  Do you need a place to keep all your Ham Radio tools and accessories for building your parts for your antenna projects . I have found it very handy to use PLASTIC STORAGE CONTAINERS for the various things I have for Ham Radio. I would recommend using some kind of a Plastic Storage Container. If it is for electronic components keep the integrated circuit chip in a esd foam or in an esd static bag to protect the component from static electricity. I know I have collected various tools and equipment in my Ham Radio Hobby so far and have parts from other projects.  I kept some things in old metal toolboxes or any kind of box I might have come across.  I do have a small metal storage container with 25 little plastic drawers. This came in very handy for holding the small components such as resistors, capacitors, transistors and many other parts and components. I never know when I might to have to fix something. I also had all my noise generators and electronic projects that made lots of different sounds stored in this parts holder.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Buying Ham Radio Equipment Online Remember To Protect Yourself

  I have heard of a few different people buying something from places such as ebay only to either never to receive an item or just get a dead boat anchor. My advise is to always check the seller for their rating and any reviews good or bad. I had a friend who bid on something and then he was contacted by the seller telling him the shipping much higher than what was quoted in the auction on ebay. This almost reminded me of an illegal practice used by resellers known as bait and switch. In other words the seller gets your attention by a good price and he reels you right in. The next thing you know the resellers price has all of the sudden gone up. So my advise once again as buyers, protect yourself.  The same advise goes even if you are buying something new from amazon. I have even seen some computer repair services use the same shifty tactics.

Friday, July 18, 2014

A Couple Of Yaesu Radios I Was Considering When Looking For My First Base

  When I was looking at various Ham Radios when starting out in the hobby I had a fun time trying to decide what to choose. As I have said before I received different catalogs in the mail from Universal Radio, DX Engineering, AES Electronics, Ham Radio Outlet and R&L Electronics. I also scoured the internet looking for any information I could find. I was looking at various youtube videos on various Ham Radios. I was also going to the websites where the catalogs came from and I was looking for reviews. I was also going to and reading all the different reviews. Checking for good or bad information.
  The few Ham Radios that I was considering were made by Yaesu. They were Ham Radios that can be used in a base situation in the Ham Shack or in a Mobile situation in the vehicle. The first one I was looking at was the Yaesu FT-897D. It is a High Frequency (HF), UHF and VHF Transceiver. It was indicating that it will put out 100 watts total power from 6 meters to 160 meters. This was a good point, because my budget did not have the room for a HF Amplifier. It carried a 4.6 out of 5 point rating on, which is not bad at all. There was also the optional battery pack that could be used while in the field, which was another good selling point. Well my search continued at that point.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Need A Boost get An HF Amplifier For Some Extra Wattage To Get Through That Pile Up

    It seems like there are a lot of Ham Radio Operators that are running a good bit of power on the High Frequencies. I hear some operators running up to 1500 Watts. Sometimes you can tell they are driving that SWR up there, because they have that tell tale nose pinch sound. The problem is if they do not get that under control with some serious tuning they will eventually burn out their transmitter. A long time ago I remember someone running a 250 watt amp  into a pdl II beam antenna.  I knew other people that were running 500 watts from their vehicles. Other people were running 1200 watts from their base stations. It was funny that the person running 250 watts sounded better that the person running 1200 watts. The key was that he kept the swr down and the power flowed properly.
  Since I have had my General Ham License I have looked at different Amplifiers. So far Ameritron Amplifiers are out of my budget. I think the only way I may be able to afford one is to either win the lottery Hi Hi or find one used through ebay. I have been looking at some from RM Italy. They are generally a mobile amplifier. I have seen some you tube videos where the person is using a power supply to power the amplifier and the radio has plenty of watts to drive it. For the most part the reviews I have seen have not been bad. The problem is they are not regulated in this country and may cause some splatter on the bands. The only thing that catches my attention is the price. It Should be noted that from what I understand they are not legal in the united states by the FCC.
  I think for now I will keep saving my pennies. I will also keep watching the used equipment for some good deals. There are plenty of very good amplifiers that are used and do a very good job. You also have choices between all solid state amplifiers and amplifiers with tubes in them. If I decide to go with the used department I will make sure to check out who the seller is. With an item that expensive I will take no chances. What I would like to see is companies like Ameritron make some Hf Amplifiers in the 250 Watt range for a decent price. Maybe we could see some amplifiers made in the USA for some good prices.
  Well for know I will just work with the 100 Watts my Kenwood TS-2000 puts out. Thank You for reading from Dan KC2YTI 73s.