Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween: What to do with your 4 ft. dish in the off-season

Take one Andrew 4 foot dish, add the glass globe that doesn't fit on your ham shack ceiling fan since you put the CFL in, a random piece of translucent red plastic, some cinder blocks... and a strobe light.

Instant flying saucer. ;)

Here's the prototype in the back yard:


Out in the front yard for the tricker treaters, with a visitor:


And a close up of our little green friend.


I had a stroboscopic tachometer set at an annoying rate behind the driveway gate, (variable rate strobe) and my Jacob's Ladder running up on top of a step ladder, where it could be seen, but not trigger any lawsuits. They don't photograph so well, I shot some crummy video, perhaps I'll post that later.

Some neighbor up the street had a 2 foot tall Tesla Coil, so I feel a bit out-done. Means I have to build a BIGGER Tesla Coil for next Halloween!

We ran through 5 bags of candy by 8:00pm, had to tear it all down, run inside and shut off the lights. ;)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

10/11 TRW Swap after-action report.

I unloaded a lot of small bits of junk, definitely took in enough cash to make up for the sleep deprivation. I did not, however, sell any of my "big ticket" (and physically large) items shown in the post below. A lot of serious lookers asked a lot of questions, but no one threw out any offers. Thats just how it goes some months. I take a few non-ham items for the heck of it, I finally sold a pair of Mr. Gasket cast aluminum small-block Ford valve covers that I've literally been trying to sell for 5 years or more!

I did drag these home, a Navy RBW panadapter (that has the unfortunate 5 Mhz IF instead of the desireable 455 Khz.) and a working General Electric Phoenix UHF radio on 446.0 and some other repeater pair. (they don't do PL, apparently.) I verified its functionality right on my own swap meet table with the radio in the Exploder.


I was hoping to see some more two-way/pageing/analog cellular 900 Mhz junk... I did find a guy with a 900 Mhz Motorola Maxtrac.
He said "Make me a good offer" when I asked him how much. I hate it when they do that!!! Throw out a number for crying out loud.
So I said "How about ten bucks?"
"Thats not a good offer." Then he wouldn't speak to me, and I moved on.  I wanted to say Hey buddy, you're at a Ham Radio swap meet, you're dealing with some of the cheapest people on the planet! (and in the case of TRW, some of the most malodorous.) My additional theory is that a lot of these "regulars" I see there don't have more than three bucks on them, based on their past purchase history. ;)

There was another guy who had some Spectra control heads, it took him quite a while to decide he wanted $10 each for them. Not knowing so much about them, I passed.

I didn't see anything super-duper cool, or any particular item that I really had to exercise the self-restraint to not mortgage the farm for, so it was a good day in that respect!  I had wanted to take a picture of all my junk set up, but somehow that didn't quite happen. Next time!  I'll be out there  selling again in November. Won't be in December, but I may go to browse. The last Saturday of January will be the Desert Rats Hamfest in Palm Springs, I plan to take a load of junk down there to sell. What I call the coldest, darkest depths of the Southern California Winter was shorts and T-shirt weather down there last year!

Friday, October 28, 2011

TRW Preview

Some of the stuff I'm dragging out there in the morning:




4-1000A Amp RF Deck



AM-8C/TRA-1, a Mil surplus Class C RF Amp deck, 75-100 Mhz as it sits, easily modifyable to six and two.




So come on out tomorrow, don't forget your wallet. ;)

Spectra Fail.

Spectra Fail

A 900 Mhz Spectra I received from eBay isn't happy. Fortunately, the seller was cool and gave me the partial refund I asked for. Yet another project!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Obligatory messy shack pic

Testing the mobile posting feature.

Ham Radio Beepers? (paging)

I recall playing with some discarded pagers and decoding POCSAG right before I went to Radio Shack and bought the Technician-Class study guide.

I've been trying to swing a deal on a 900 Mhz Motorola Nucleus transmitter. Why? Its the cheap big iron of the day, thats why. Its also 500W on 900Mhz, and cheap! Heck, if the pieces for a 900 Mhz repeater fall in my lap, (freely or cheaply) why not build one?

But what about actual paging on Ham Radio frequencies?  We are nerds, aren't we?   ;)

See this article.


'Bout time, huh? ;)

My name is Jason, Amateur Radio call sign W6IEE, I live in Burbank, CA.

Here's what'll hopefully be a better way to capture and share progress on projects. Or, proof of progress!

Irons in the fire:
*converting commercial trunking radios to 902/927 Mhz FM Ham band.
*Microwave transverters: 1296 Mhz, 10 Ghz, and 2.4 Ghz, with more to follow. I'm am member of the San Bernardino Microwave Society.
*10 meters! I've been waiting since I was first licensed in 1998 for this band to live up to its reputation, and finally it is.
*Cleaning the junk outta the shack!  I am a confirmed pack rat when it comes to interesting electronic junk. I'm trying to move out he projects that never gained any traction over the last few years. This means I drag junk out every month to the TRW (aka Northrup Grumman) swap meet in Redondo Beach. Sometimes some new junk follows me home.

This "affliction"  is where the title of this blog comes from. See a reference to my former call, KF6PQT:

I'm also a big fan of vintage gear... thats right, TUBES rule! But there will be no transistor-hating here.