Saturday, July 02, 2005

Building a book shelf 

I would like to build a “reference library” of sorts here on the blog in the form of an on line book shelf. Not to post the book themselves but rather to have a list of titles and some quick comments and reviews. I will be writing up a few posts about items that I have in my book case when I get the time. If you have any titles that you would like to add to my list drop me an email with as much detail as you can and I will add them. Thanks.

(0) comments

Westmoreland County info 

Well as of the morning of Saturday July 2nd the Hamblog site is still down. I'll write some additional thoughts on that latter.

The reason I bring up Hamblog is that if you live in Westmoreland County public safety communications have gone dark unless you own one of the new APCO 25 compliant scanners. If you are an avid scanner listener and do have a radio with digital capabilities you know the next thing you need for your efforts is information.

One good source for that information has been an amateur radio operator K3SAM who lives in the county. In addition to his own web site he has kept a running commentary on the system as it developed with a web log at Hamblog. Like me I think he has become dismayed with the amount of recent down time at Hamblog and has set up shop here at Blogspot. You can read his entries there and I will add him to my links section. If you are trying to keep up with the new Westmoreland County system it is must read information.

(0) comments

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Interesting tidbit from Amateur Radio News Line 

An interesting note from this weeks Amateur Radio News Line. If you are my age and involved in electronics one of the best known names in the industry is Electro Voice. Even if you never got involved with amateur radio at some point you tinkered with amplifiers and sound systems. And if you read Popular Electronics or Electronics Illustrated in the 50's and 60's you could not escape seeing their adds in the magazines. I have owned a number of Electro Voice microphones over the course of time but never really knew anything about the company other than the fact that they were the leader in their field.

So I was surprised this evening while listening to News Line when it was announced that Albert Kahn, K4FW, the founder of Electro Voice has passed away. He was ninety eight years old so the news of his becoming a silent key was not unexpected. The surprise came when I learned that he was also the founder of Ten-Tec maker of amateur radio equipment. As with so many other things in life I am learning that if you educate yourself on the history of any given subject it becomes all the more interesting. If you go to the Amateur Radio News Line site you can download an MP3 version of this weeks broadcast and listen to it or you can get a transcript in the form of an ASCII text file to find out more about Albert Kahn and what legendary football coach Knute Rockne had to do with the founding of Electro Voice.

(0) comments

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Field Day 2005 

Well I worked through Field Day. Bummer! I did make it up to the Skyview Radio Society site while they were setting up for the event. I dropped a few items off and said that I had to go into work and hoped to be back latter in the evening to put in some operating time. Not only did I not make it back Saturday evening but before I got out of bed on Sunday morning my pager was going off.

The plan had been to attend church and then head up to the club site to get in whatever operating time I could before it was over. Well I did not get home until after 20:00 hours so that went down the tubes. Next year I'm turning the pager off! Hope everyone else had a great field day for 2005.

(0) comments

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Fairwell to NewCom 

My first “scanner” was a Motorola Twin V tube receiver strip that had served its useful life mounted in a frame next to the matching transmitter in the trunk of a taxi cab. I built a power supply to run it in the shack and purchased a crystal for the main dispatch frequency for City of Pittsburgh Police. When I started listening to public safety radio with more than one receiver a frequency that came to my attention was 45.50 mHz where the dispatch center known as “Shaler Desk” could be heard.

It was not that I was all that interested in what was going on in Shaler Township but the fact that so many communities received all of their public safety radio communication from that single point. Because I worked for an alarm company that maintained their central receiving panel for fire and security systems I paid a number of visits to Shaler Desk and got to meet some of the voices entered my various radios through the antenna connectors.

About ten years ago for a number of reasons “Shaler Desk” became NewCom Communications. The physical facilities underwent a major upgrade and the frequency moved up into the UHF range becoming a multi channel radio system. Some of the voices coming from my speakers disappeared but many of the old familiar ones remained and their level of professionalism notched up even further.

This past week marked another major change in public safety dispatching in Pittsburgh and the North Hills in particular. Allegheny County is in the process of taking over all dispatching functions and as a result NewCom has ceased to exist as of last Friday June 24th 2005 morphing into Allegheny County north zone. If you follow the links in this posting you can read a fairwell message to those that “made it so” for these many years.

(0) comments

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?