Plano Balloon Festival

I posted a thank you to the Plano Balloon Festival’s Facebook page this morning and someone actually had the nerve to say “They didn’t do a thing but charge ppl money and cancel everything.” …  Yep, it is all about you. They decided to take the easy way out and just cancel everything and take your money. Seems like the best way to get the crowds to return next year. So, what REALLY happened: Weather … Continue reading

Back on the air.. no really

The Flex 6300 is back! FlexRadio did a once, twice and three times over on the radio and said everything was fine. They did a firmware update, performed all factory checks on it (at least twice), accepted my payment, and sent my radio back. At this point I’m not exactly sure what the heck happened. I am back on the air and did make a couple of minor changes to the station… Surge Arrestor One … Continue reading

… and Back off the air

Well, that didn’t last long. It seems that the thunderstorm we had a week ago did some damage to my Flex-6300. While operating I noticed a wide horizontal line across the panadapter and about 15-20 seconds later we had thunder. So, I had a lightning strike in the 3-5 mile range, and apparently got enough of an EMP to take out part of the radio. My symptoms are/were: Right after the strike, the bands went … Continue reading

Back on the air!

It took a lot of effort, but I made it! I pulled new LMR400, some nice heavy rotor control cable and two runs of CAT6 cables yesterday. I also reinstalled the roof-top mast and rotor. Today, my middle son helped me hoist the hexbeam antenna back up on the roof and I installed a new ground bar and strap. I got cluster monitoring working in HRD and then attempted to get on the air. Not … Continue reading

“New” Shack Update

Like everything here, this update is long overdue. I remodeled a spare bedroom around two years ago. I built a custom sit-stand desk from pallet wood, linear actuators and steel. I installed new lighting, flooring, ceiling, crown molding, etc. I bought a new FlexRadio 6300, built a new PC, got dual monitors, configured everything with HRD. I installed a new KIO Hexbeam on the roof, with a G450A rotator, an ERC interface and was all … Continue reading

So close… but no cigar

I took the day off on Friday to try to get ready for Field Day this year. I planned to operate as class 1E. Here is what I managed to get done in a little over 36 hours: Moved all gear into shack and got set up on the new desk. Set up PC with Ham Radio Deluxe/DM780 (I forgot I gave my previous laptop tomy brother and wiped the drive), LoTW, etc. etc. I … Continue reading

Ham desk

After working on this thing for some evenings, and most weekends for about 4 months, I finished my custom designed and built sit/stand desk, and uploaded a couple of videos that detail the entire build process… take the third link if you just want to see the finished product.

New shack is almost finished!

I am very excited! I transformed my daughter’s old room, which was yellow, pink and blue, into the nicest room in the house. It is a nice flat grey called ‘Elephant Skin’. I added ‘Ironwood’ laminate floors, white casing, baseboards and crown molding. I even did bead board on the ceiling and added a couple of track lights. No more hot/cold garage. Maybe I will actually get on the radio again! My son appears to … Continue reading

Field Day 2011

Well, Field Day has come and gone. It was much as I expected: Too much sun Good eats Learning Too little sleep Lots of friendship Too few operating stations Interference from our own stations A good time all around And here are a couple of pics. Sorry.. they are of me. 😉

Mobile Installation Complete!

It took almost all day, but I’m done installing my Yaesu FT7900R in my 2008 Mazdaspeed 3. I tried to keep it as stealth as possible. Here’s what was involved: Installed Diamond K412S as low as possible to avoid the low clearance in the garage at work. (this was really a K412NMO that I converted to SO239) Installed Diamond SG7500 antenna and aligned three pivot points. Removed hatchback trim panels and pass-through rubber housing. Removed … Continue reading