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Showing posts from February, 2011

KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog

Friday at last.  This has been an exciting seven days in the KKBG-FM/KHLO-AM news room.  With the turmoil in the middle east, the nasty mainland U.S. weather, and the continuous rise in the daily cost of living, there are sufficient stories to keep several news people busy.  Never a dull moment this month. I'll paraphrase an old Chinese saying--"may you be blessed (or is it cursed) by living in exciting times." The news from the amateur radio front is just as confusing and strange as the happenings in the so- called "real world." During a recent break from the daily schedule of newscasts, I purused the 24 February 2012 edition of "The ARRL letter".  Usually, I just glance through the e-mail edition and file the few stories I consider worthy of later inspection.  But today, there were several stories that show both the highs and lows of our hobby, and by tenuous extension,  the current state of our nation and people.  In the good ne

KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog

Nothing like a seven-day work week to make one appreciate a day off.  In the radio business, there are really very few vacations, especially for the one man news departments in small markets like Hilo, Hawaii.  So, following the season opening drag races over the weekend, I find myself doing the regular Monday news shift.  To me, President's Day is just another work day, and the day is filled with all kinds of things to keep the mind busy.  Count your blessings that you do not live in Libya, Bahrain, or Yemen.  Young folks living in those countries have a grim future--no jobs, repressive regimes, and little social mobility.  It's sort of getting dressed for the prom and having no date.  Once the news day is over, I'll complete the required transmitter and computer checks and head for the little piece of paradise I call the "shack".  The oper- ating position is really a small extra bedroom my xyl and I use for storage.  The Swan 100 MXA and rela

KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog

This has been an exciting week in the radio station news room.  With all the events unfolding in the Middle East and even here in Hawaii, there hasn't been much time to get on the air with the trusty Swan 100-MXA.  I did manage to restring the 40-meter ver- tical and an improved radial system over the past few days.  The old MFJ fiberglass mast has been removed from service.  The combination of salt air, wind, and rain have weakened the pole considerably, so I re- cycled the structure for whatever usable parts I could and repositioned the Jackite mast I bought a few months ago.  I attached 32' of #14 gauge wire for the radiating element and attached 10 radials, varying from 16-32 feet to fit the contour of my postage stamp lot.  I'll add a few more radials in the days ahead.  Presently, the arrangement seems to work well.  My Drake MN-4 ATU (with 1:4 balun) seems to handle the system fairly well. I'm running approxi- mately 25' of 450-ohm window lin

KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog

Now that the super bowl is over, it's back to what some of us in the news business call the "real world". With things the way they are these days, who's to say what is real anymore?  On one hand ,you have the largest national block party with a truly outstanding game and , on the other hand, you have a nation struggling to climb out of an ever deepening financial black hole.  Surely makes for an exciting year--never a dull minute.  After a full day of reporting everything from riots and revolution to acts of heroism and  pure kindness, I'm ready to call it quits until the next news cycle begins.  The Hawaii Island news week began with a kidnapping on Sunday.  It seems the suspect commited acts of violence against some family members last week and has been on the run from police.  Police were able to find the car in- volved, but, so far, there has been no trace of him or his unlucky victim.  Police say this whacko is possibly armed and should be c

KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog

This has been a very busy week in the radio station news room.  The problems in Egypt have gained an importance in Hawaii that we islanders usually don't have.  Several Hawaii residents are trying to get out of Cairo amidst the confusion, violence, and disorder. I hope they make it.  Once this day is done, I'll be glad to put the cares of the Middle East and Hawaii's deficit economy behind me until Saturday morning. Although our economic woes pale beside those of Illinois, California, and New Jersey, the Aloha State is just beginning to cope with a stubborn $844 million shortfall.  Everything is going up now--taxes, fuel, and electricity.  I know, what else is new?  Anyway, it's off to the Swan 100 MX, the ole J-38 key, and the new inverted vee in the backyard.  My yard is quite small, so I had just enough room to squeeze in a 40-meter vee. Fortunately, I had some extra 450-ohm ladder line, so I can use the skyhook from 40 to 10 meters.  The ladder lin