View RSS Feed

My blog...Mine, MINE!!!!

Life in General...getting better!!!

Rate this Entry
So after being sick for almost two weeks life is finally getting back to normal. I've recorded some music down in the studio, got my diaper sewing projects done, I plan on taking my outside Christmas lights down Monday (weather permitting of course...does not look promising), and maybe getting a good antenna built for the 10 meter band. Got the quad core desktop finally free of malware and virus infections, installed and played World of Warcraft, and installed some games my wife has wanted for a while. Perhaps I'll even feel like cooking Monday....perhaps some applewood smoked salmon and garlic butter rice. I'm getting productive again...go figure.


  1. Marka's Avatar
    The apple wood bit sounds especially good!
  2. Cottontail's Avatar
    I used to spend a lot of time on 10m FM. Now would be a great time for that, if not for the fact that my 20-year-old Cushcraft A3S finally croaked last November (trap seals failed and they filled with water). I'm hoping it's all dried out now, but reassembling it to test it will be a pain. If not for crazy amounts of work, I'd probably have thrown a temporary wire up in a tree. Instead, I've been VHF/UHF-only for nearly five months and am going nuts. (At least I can listen to the news in CW, heheh)

    73 DE Cottontail
  3. DaveTDL's Avatar
    I've never done 10m FM. I used to do a lot of CW on 10, but it's been so long that I've probably forgotten how. I have a Kenwood TS-820 but it bit the dust. I gave it to someone to help me figure out what was wrong, and he's not got it figured out yet. Right now all I have for HF is a HTX-100 10 meter with a power supply, so that's all I can do. I need to throw an antenna up though. Since severe weather season should soon be upon us I'll get active again on VHF. I do miss my Kenwood though.
  4. Cottontail's Avatar
    I have fond memories of the HTX-100. A childhood friend of mine and I got into ham radio in high school (in 1992), and he went out and bought an HTX-100. We shortened an old CB base antenna that he'd gotten for free, and immediately worked New Zealand. Talk about instant gratification!

    10m FM can be magic. A local (Seattle-area) friend and I decided to give it a try one night after having spent some time down in the SSB portion of the band. In the middle of our conversation, a guy in Florida decides to pop in, sounding like he's on a local 2m repeater. I was hooked!

    I'm a CW nut too, though, especially when there's a contest afoot. I mostly work on 20m, 15m, 10m, and 6m, as these are what my present antenna farm allows (or would, if the A3S was back up). I do also have 2m and 70cm in the shack, but have never managed a CW contact on them. I am a regular on several 2m FM nets, however. Present rig is an IC-9100, which I recently blew several years' worth of hobby budget on. It's been great -- really enabled me to clean up the shack! I was slightly nervous about an everything-in-one rig, but Icom is only 15 minutes away from me, so if something ever happens, I can just walk it in to them.

    I hope you get the TS-820 working. One of my local ham buddies is an elementary school teacher and set up a ham shack and weather station at the school. He thinks the 820 is the best HF rig ever made, and actually went out of his way to get a second one to put in the school. They did a Field Day a few years ago, and it was super cool to see that the kids knew how to tune and use it without adult supervision.

    Well... there went a wall of text! Eek!! Sorry.
  5. DaveTDL's Avatar
    Hey, that's okay...I love to talk ham radio. I actually have done CW on the lower portion of the 2 meter band. It was back in the 90's, and I was using a homebrew CW key that was only suitable for QRP. It was pretty cool. I've also tried to work satellite, but have never had an antenna to do it right. One day on the way to the store we listened to the folks on the space station do an interview with an elementary school in Iowa on 2 meters...that was pretty cool. I need to get a rig that does 10 meter FM. Doing a QSO with someone in Florida who sounds like he's on 2 meters locally would be so cool. I also have fond memories of the was also my first HF rig after I got my General. I homebrewed a dipole, put it up in the attic, and was working South America right away. I also like 40 meters a lot. I'd be interested to see if the band has cleared up since the international broadcasters are supposed to be leaving most of that band. Or maybe I'm wrong and they are not supposed to be leaving...who knows.

    Have you ever used a Butternut vertical? I had an HF-6V with the optional 30 meter coil. It was a great antenna....SWR under 1.5 to 1 from 10 to 80 meters. I did a lot of 40 meter work with that one. The radials are a bit of a pain though...I just didn't have room to lay them out properly.

    Okay, now I've made a mini wall of text.
    Updated 18-Mar-2013 at 19:02 by DaveTDL (Typo)
  6. Cottontail's Avatar
    I haven't used a Butternut, no, but my father has an old Hustler 5BTV that he's been trying to loan me. It works well, but I've resisted the urge to borrow it as I can just see it sapping my desire to fix the A3. (Although I need to fix the A3 for Field Day regardless, or else people will be mad at me!)

    I do have two Isotron antennas, one for 40m and another for 80m. I haven't used them since college, and am not sure why I’ve kept them. I installed them in the attic of my first college apartment, but proximity to the radio and other sensitive electronics caused major "RF in the shack" issues unless I operated QRP. 40m was a great place to practice CW, though, as there always seemed to be folks who were willing to take it slow. I think my first CW contact was on 40m (not using the Isotron), and I was probably sending at like 3 WPM or something similarly unbearable. In hindsight, I can't believe anybody had the patience for that!

    I really regret missing my opportunity to contact Mir before it became a meteor shower. When I was in college, one of my fellow ham club members had a packet exchange with Mir using his HP-48 calculator and his HT! I was blown away.
  7. DaveTDL's Avatar
    I actually got to where I could reliably do about 15 WPM at one point. I used CW on 40 meters all the time, and one night had a 3 hour QSO with a ham in New Mexico. This was back when you still needed 20 WPM to pass the Extra. I roadblocked at 17 WPM....I could not get past that speed. I passed the written for the Extra, but of course that has long since expired. Now that the CW requirement is gone, I really need to study the written again so i can get Extra. I'll leave my call unchanged though. I've had the same call for over 20 years now and could not ever see myself using another call.
  8. Cottontail's Avatar
    I've heard that the Extra theory now is a lot more involved, but I haven't looked at it. In the old days, Advanced was the killer. I hated committing all those resonance formulas to memory! I did squeak past the 20 WPM, but it was a couple of years before I was actually conversing at that speed, and even now there will be times where I'll miss something and lose the meaning of most of a transmission.

    I do actually listen to those CNN CW feeds. They've been a great way to build vocabulary. I started by just letting them play whenever I was sitting at my computer at home, and quickly started picking up whole words. Watch out, though, as they contain just about every Morse character in existence, including a ton of punctuation that no ham would ever bother with! - the Adult Baby / Diaper Lover / Incontinence Support Community. is designed to be viewed in Firefox, with a resolution of at least 1280 x 1024.