Tag Archives: K9ZW Just Rambled

REPOST “With Varying Frequency” Technical and Housekeeping

REPOST from March 17th 2011 – any updates are in Brackets


 

Some thoughts on how “With Varying Frequency” runs:

Quoted Materials:

A kind person pointed out that a recent post was unclear in attribution, leaving the possibility that a reader wouldn’t know what was quoted and what I wrote, and they were right!

WordPress allows several tools to create Bog Posts, and I’ve been using several of them. One that is quite useful to share other web content, “Press It,” handles quoted material differently than expected – guess reading the directions before use would help!

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REPOST: Year 1859 and the use of “73” for Best Regards

REPOST – Original Post Date was 28th March 2008 – link has been updated


Amateurs often are left wondering where some of the traditions & conventions used in Amateur Radio came from.  It is always a surprise to learn that some are 150 years old predating the hobby by many decades.

One often asked is where did 73 as shorthand for “Best Regards” come from and when did it come into use?

WOOD’S PLAN 

OF 

TELRGRAPHIC INSTRUCTION, 

ARRANGED BY THE 

PROFESSORS AND TUTORS 

OF 

“MORSE’S TELEGRAPH INSTITUTE” 

SYRACUSE, N. Y. 

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1864, by 

“ Morse’s Telegraphic Institute “ Association, 

In the Clerk’s office of the District Court for the Northern District 

of New York. 

Has  the citation:

73- Compliments to _____ .

Check out more history of numeric shorthand at:

http://scard.buffnet.net/pages/tele/wurules1866/92code.html  Updated Link: http://www.civilwarsignals.org/pdf/woodsplan.pdf

73

Steve
k9zw_logo1.png

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REPOST: Personal Emergency Communication Preparedness for a Modern Radio Amateur the Freecomm Way

REPOST from Oct. 28th, 2011

What is the Radio Amateur’s responsibility for Personal Emergency Communication Preparedness?

Yeah, let’s get that answered and out of the way.

In absolutes their responsibility is “none” – zero, nada, zilch – none.

Personal Emergency Communications Preparedness, even for those of us who are ARRL members, is not a requirement.

[ Wipe Brow and Sigh here ]

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REPOST: Why I only do Independent Personal Emcomm….

REPOST from Nov 28th 2011

—-
I’ve been asked why I limit my Emergency Communications involvement to little more than Personal Preparedness?

There are a whole raft of reasons:

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REPOST: Freecom, our Real Communications Friend in Time of Emergency?

REPOST from Feb. 2nd, 2009

When the chips are down, and full Emcomm is running, how will “we, the people” maintain communications?

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Projects at the K9ZW South QTH – New AlfaSpid Rotor

It is maintenance time at my home QTH. Fixing storm damage, wear and tear, doing preventative maintenance and replacing broken things.

I’ve had some serious help from Vern K9EME in the work. Actually too often it must be admitted I was watching as Vern K9EME took care of the work.

A high energy strike nearby (I think it was when a nearby streetlight was “smoked” by lightning) had finished off an increasingly unreliable rotor, taken out the half-sloper, and I had some damage occur at the same time to the larger Log Periodic antenna, with one element suddenly impossibly drooping.

Fixing the half-sloper was easy. The solder from the main wire to the connector was gone – simply burnt away, and soldering things back together and inspecting took care of that problem.

Swapping out the rotor, an old Ham-IV for a new AlfaSpid RAK was a real challenge.

This tower is a Tri-Ex LM354 and is a motorized crank-down with manual tip-over.

Here is the new rotor going into place:

AlfaSpid RAK replaces Ham-IV

AlfaSpid RAK replaces Ham-IV

 

The AlfaSpid RAK rotors I have all came from Alfaradio.ca in Edmonton Canada. The units are built in Poland, are a very different design than the typical small ham radio rotors, are unfortunately a bit pricey but offer great precision, high reliability, better capabilities and more precision.

Here is a bit closer what it looks like:

 

The AlfaSpid RAK up close

The AlfaSpid RAK up close

 

It was challenging work to get everything sorted and K9EME’s experience made all the difference.

As there was very heavy duty eight-wire rotor cable in place, we wired the four-wire AlfaSpid with double wires on the sensor connections.

After verifying everything with a multi-meter we photo-documented how we wired it:

Photo-Documentation is a Good Thing!  RAK wiring up close

Photo-Documentation is a Good Thing! RAK wiring up close

Cannot tell you how useful pictures are when years later something needs fixing or replacement.

Getting the Greenheron controller operating with the AlfaSpid didn’t go well, and I called Jeff at Greenheron who quickly help me figure out the protective TranZorb diodes had been fused along the way. A quick temporary fix and all was well and replacement diodes were ordered online.

The Tennadyne T-8 is actually missing a bit of the square boom at the lower longest element. I have a call into Tennadyne for the spares, but it is hunting season in Michigan and Wisconsin, and I got the answering machine,

I have a concept for a repair that should stand up for now. More in another post.

I’ll spare sharing the inspection and PM, but when you have a tower down and over it is a good time to do a full service.

73

Steve
K9ZW

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