Saturday, January 21, 2006
If you are like me you are old enough to remember when radios “glowed in the dark”. I have many fond memories of working on and using those radios with the glowing glass bottles in them lovingly referred to by their fans as “boat anchors” . There are some advantages to the new solid state rigs that don't require you to poke around among test points with several hundred volts on them. Remember when one of the first things you learned was “safety first” one hand with the meter probe and one hand in your pocket? And make sure you were not standing on a conductive surface, or in water!
One of my first ham band only receivers was a Hammarlund HQ-110AC and I just couldn't believe how much better it was than my older general coverage short wave receives like my Hallicrafters S-38E. Hammarlund was legendary for their ham band only and general coverage receivers in the 50's and 60's along with a number of other names that have faded into history. If I had been aware of the fact that the also made transmitters I had forgotten about it until recently.
My friend Paul, KB3LZP, has made a hobby of keeping these vintage radios alive and well. So when I overheard him on a local two meter repeater talking about restoring a Hammarlund transmitter I just had to check it out. Talk a look and see if this image as well as others on Paul's web site invoke fond memories for you also.
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
I would like to see the entire county divided into quadrants, six at the most preferably less, each with its own call center and radio dispatching point. There should be a single uniform radio system with everyone on the same band. It doesn't have to be a trunked system and I would prefer that it was not. What I would like to see is county government seek out competent and knowledgeable people who understand the technical requirements of their communications needs that will work up a plan based on sound engineering practices. I don't hold out much hope that will be the case but one can wish.
So here is what the editorial page of the Post Gazette had to say about Allegheny County's 911 system.
Editorial: Playing catch-up / The county's 911 system is progress, sort of
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
In 2006, Allegheny County has finally joined the 1990s. The county this week is moving emergency dispatchers out of the last of its regional dispatch centers, the final step in consolidating to one countywide 911 system.
That is certainly a good thing, promising both improved service and increased efficiency. But given that it's 69 years since Britain debuted its "999" system, 38 years since the first 911 call placed in the United States, 24 years since Minneapolis-St. Paul launched a seven-county enhanced 911 system, 20 years since Allegheny County proposed a consolidated system and 16 years since the state began providing funding for countywide systems -- excuse us if our enthusiasm seems a bit faint.
The delay comes courtesy of our feudal system of 130 municipal nation-states. Local cities, boroughs and townships resisted when the county first proposed a centralized system in 1986, refused to bend when the state got involved in 1990, then achieved an ironic watershed in 1996, when 14 municipalities finally got together -- not to back consolidation -- but to sue to block the county's attempt to force them to share six dispatch centers.
To read the entire story follow this LINK.
Skyview Radio Society in New Kensington founded in 1960 has a long history of service to the community in a variety of ways. Over the last few years under the leadership of Bob Baston, WC3O, and others the club has seen a growth in membership and a number of improvements at the clubs facilities on Turkey Ridge Road.
In addition largely though Bob's efforts the club has gotten a lot of positive publicity in the local new media especially local news papers. Here is a link to the latest article about the club published in the Valley News Dispatch a Tribune Review paper. LINK TO SKYVIEW STORY
While the ARRL does a good job of representing the hobby in Washington DC it is the local clubs like Skyview that make up the grass roots efforts so vital to the continued growth of amateur radio. Please visit the clubs web site if you would like to learn more about them and tell a friend. Skyview offers a number of classes and activities for young and old alike. If you know someone who is interested in our pass time this could be their gateway into the hobby.
Monday, January 16, 2006
LINK TO TRAMA NET POD CAST
Sunday, January 15, 2006
Well the upgrade to SuSe version 10.0 is just about complete. I have backed up my data files and then did a “clean” install of the new version. Then I restored my data and am currently working on all of the little “teaks” and configuration files for the various applications. There is a new version of the Thunderbird mail client available so I downloaded that and upgraded it as well. As with my laptop system so far I am VERY pleased with the latest offering from the Open SuSe site. After I put the system through its paces I will let you know if any problems arise. If you don't have Linux in your shack yet you should consider it.