Monthly Archives: September 2008

Autumn Shack Changes II – Rough List of Items to be Sold


I’ll be putting together information to sell/trade unused gear from my shack:

  • A TenTec Pegasus, maybe two of them
  • The Dentron Tuner
  • The Henry Amp
  • A lot of very heavy duty 3CX-series tubes type stuff
  • A LDG AT-1000 Original Series (I never used it here)
  • The GAP Titan DX (Spoken For – Pending Funds)
  • The HFPacker Amp (Unbuilt Kit)
  • and a bunch of extra shack stuff

Info with pictures should go up here first during the month of October. Want to be realistic about how much time I have to box & ship stuff when offering it.

If there is something special you would happen to be interested in before I get the sales information posted, drop me an email.

On the acquisition side I am interested in having an OMNI VII in the shack and a K9YA Receive Four-Square antenna.  Otherwise I am getting to the point of being reasonably comfortable with the gear I am using.



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With Varying Frequency – Amateur Radio Ponderings is 21 !!

With Varying Frequency – Amateur Radio Ponderings is 21 – 21 months old that is!

What started 21 months ago as an effort to share what I had been learning with others, and as an exercise to make sure that my sons’ KC9FVR, KC9JGD and KC9NWB contention that I was a computer illiterate were unfounded, has kept going as a modest project with many thousands of readers every week!

Thank you all for the occasional kind words of encouragement!

Now to get some of my half finished draft articles done…..



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Shuffling the Shack – Autumn Changes

Making a few changes at the K9ZW shack as I get ready for Autumn:

Going Out – several rigs, some spare equipment I never use and a project or two that have gone nowhere.

Coming In – a possible new rig, a new vertical antenna (in Spring), 

The Out-List:

  • The Yaseu FT-897 with AT897 & LDG Meter (Going to a New Ham)
  • One of the Spare TenTec Pegasus Transceivers
  • A Dentron Tuner
  • A Henry Amp
  • Quite a collection of very heavy duty 3CX-series tubes
  • and a lot of misc “shack chaff”
  • Selling the GAP Titan DX 
  • Taking down a NVIS antenna that lost it’s feedline

Projects Ending:

  • The HFPacker Amp Kit will be sold (not enough time)
  • Not Cabling in the GAP Titan DX at its wood-line location (ditto)

Incoming Shack Items:

  • Possible TenTec Omni VII upgrade from one of the Pegasus
  • A Shack-in-Operation Light
  • Better Operating Desk
  • Dedicated Digital Station with switching-in (no cable swaps)
  • Upgrading of the Shack Computer

Projects being Finished Up:

  • Upgraded lightening protection
  • New Tower-Base Utility Box (in fabrication now)
  • N-Connector Conversion on remaining gear
  • Moving one of the OS-X Computers into the Shack 
  • Better QSO/QSL tracking system

That should take me into next Spring!




Dekatron Spinner – Fun Gizmo from the Past

Dekatron Spinner

Dekatron Spinner

US Mail brought a parcel from Germany with a Dekatron Spinner I had ordered.

What is a Dekatron? From The Free Dictionary:

A Dekatron (or Decatron, or generically three-phase gas counting tube or glow-transfer counting tube) is a gas-filled decade counting tube. Dekatrons were used in computers, calculators and other counting-related devices during the 1940s to 1970s. “Dekatron” was the trademarked brand name used by Ericsson Telephone.

The dekatron was useful for computing, calculating and frequency-dividing purposes because one complete revolution of the neon dot in a dekatron means 10 pulses on the guide electrode(s), and a signal can be derived from one of the ten cathodes in a dekatron to send a pulse, possibly for another counting stage.

What is a Dekatron spinner?

From Dieter’s Website:

A Dekatron spinner displays a spinning dot by using a vintage ‘Dekatron’ style glow-transfer counting tube.
The colour of the dot depends to the gas the tube is filled.
Neon filled tubes display a red-orange dot.
Argon filled tubes display a purple dot.
The spinning frequency depends to the mains voltage the spinner is connected to and to the counting steps of the Dekatron.
If the spinner is connected 50Hz and the Dekatron is a 10-way counter the dot spins with 5 turns per second.
If the spinner is connected to 60Hz the dot spins with 6 turns per second.
If the spinner is connected 50Hz and the Dekatron is a 12-way counter the dot spins with 4.17 turns per second.
If the spinner is connected to 60Hz the dot spins with 5 turns per second.

Quite a nifty looking device:

Dekatron Spinner

Dekatron Spinner

I have to be honest in that I haven’t 100% decided what I was going to do with it. I’d like to work it into a “Station on the Air” indicator outside of the room I use for my radio shack, though initial family take is that this Dekatron is too cool to use in a simple sign.

It is interesting enough that I might just have to get a couple more!



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News – MacHamRadio Goes Offline October 3rd

Passing along some news:

News – MacHamRadio Goes Offline October 3rd

MacHamRadio ( started in 2003 as a site to promote ham software for the newly released Mac OSX. That was when there wasn’t much software for OSX and there was a real need for a central location to find the latest Mac software for amateur radio use.

In the past five years MacHamRadio has fulfilled the original purpose. OSX isn’t new anymore. There are other sources to find amateur radio software (and some really great developers!) The Ham-Mac email reflector continues to serve as a great resource for sharing information.

It has become increasingly hard for me to maintain MacHamRadio as a good resource. Business travel and personal commitments have taken priority. It is time to pull the plug and take MacHamRadio offline. MacHamRadio will go offline on or around October 3rd.

Thanks for the encouragement and suggestions over the past five years.

Steve Muncy, NI5V

Apparently there is a possibility for the website to find a new sponsor & webmaster, so interested parties could contact Steve NI5V though the MacHamRadio website.



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TenTec Updates the Jupiter

TenTec has a lot of great things going on.

At Dayton 2008 they showed an updated Jupiter and now have offered much of the updates as retrofits and firmware updates.

Check out the TenTec Jupiter Download/Upgrade Page.

I’ll be evaluating which and when I might upgrade mine.



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