UrbanBeam up 65′ vs. 2 Element Yagi up 65′ on 40M

The UrbanBeam right now is actually only up 45′, not the 50′ I thought. Its not a great DX antenna at this height – but it did seem to (usually) match the DX Engineering DV-40-P phased vertical array. I suspect that the DV-40-P had a pretty great low take off angle that beats a low 40M dipole. When I had the DXU-32 up only…

Elecraft KX-2

The diminutive Elecraft KX-2 My “very serious” DXing days lasted from 2001 – 2013 for Honor Roll, and I stayed high energy “OCD” throughout about 2016, mainly because of my involvement as co-organizer of VK0EK. Heard Island is my last ATNO. My wife said I could go to Heard Island, and after some soul searching I knew where I drew the line. I was…

Wake Up and Smell the QRP Coffee

The OHR WM-2 Rocks! It’s a great morning when you wake up and test a new piece of gear with coffee. I had one bad solder joint on the board. The instructions warn you to use a very fine tip, and I thought mine was thin enough, but in retrospect, I should have used the thinnest pencil tip. My Haako soldering station, with heat…

Mining The Goldmine of Personal Capacity

Looking ahead, my work will be rewarded with more work At work, we are into the final month of building a killer product that I designed and where I am mentoring a grad school student on her summer internship program. I was in a similar situation last year except this year the product is much better – and based on what I learned there…

The Songs of Our Lives

My 1930’s Regal wooden tube guitar amp and Epiphone Century arch top guitar Back in the days when dinosaurs roamed San Francisco, I played in nightclubs Switching Yard at the Hotel Utah in San Francisco – Circa 1985-ish I’m glad I was there when you could send your cassette tape and get a gig. Those days are long gone – money, power and privilege…

This Blog

I’ve been blogging for a few years now – and I think at first I was really concentrated on DXing and DXCC specifically, but over time I’ve changed – so I changed my blog. My previous blog was “The Armchair DXer”. That was when I was fairly single minded. The last “bastion” of my DXing was DXCC on Top Band – and I loved…

Tariffs, Ham Radio Gear and “DXcitement”

The Mosley SF-402-A 40M 2 element yagi I’ve noticed a recent increase in aluminum and stainless steel prices – and other metals – and it has finally “trickled down” to Ham Radio Antennas. So much winning! I have wondered if it might be smart to purchase an antenna before prices shoot up again – and they will. It would only be a “back up”…

JavaScript, React and CCPA / GDPR

JavaScript (and better yet TypeScript) almost seems to have been made for React . . . It might be the other way around – React must have been designed to leverage the “wackiness” of JavaScript. JavaScript in many ways is the most weird and wonderful programming language out there right now. And React does in the browser what the Microsoft Windows SDK did for…

Icom ID-51A-Plus2

The recent Ridgecrest Earthquake woke me up regarding earthquake preparedness. We have had an “eerily silent” 30 years since Loma Prieta, so we are ridiculously long overdue for a big one in the SF Bay Area. One of the best ID-51A features is the ability to upload a repeater database from a Micro SD card (which includes traditional FM and DV repeaters) and then,…

OHR WM-2 QRP Wattmeter

I hope to wrap this project up today – I have the chassis mounted parts left to go and just a few PC board mounted parts to go – mainly the RF sensing section. I did get a new Hakko soldering station. I needed to know the heat temperature, because I learned the hard way when I melted the cheap Chinese ceramic wafer switch…