Friday, October 12, 2007

Point me in the right direction 

I stumbled across a neat web page that while aimed at television viewers could be of interests to hams and scanner listeners. Set up by the Consumer Electronics Association this site lets you put in your street address and gives you bearings for all of the local radio and television stations. It is intended to help those out that are upgrading to high definition television sets and want to pull their content from the air but I think you will see the benefit for us once you try it.

Follow this link to look for your self. WWW.ANTTENNAWEB.ORG

By the way even though the site asks for all kinds of information about you I only entered my zip code and it worked just fine for me.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Voice with pictures, what will they think of next? 

Regular readers know that I spend a fair number of time units listening to Net Casts, or Pod Casts if you prefer, most of them with a technical bent many being dedicated to amateur radio. Net casting has brought about fulfillment of a promise that the cable industry made years ago. They told everyone that with the capacity of cable there would be so many channels that “narrow casting” would spring up and you would have a dedicated channel for butterfly collectors and another for coin collectors and on and on. While there are a number of channels now days that focus on specific areas of interest on both cable and satellite there still has to be enough ears and eyeballs out there to to be able to finance the production and distribution of programming.

Not so on the Internet where anyone with a microphone and a camera can produce content that might appeal to a very small number of people. Many do just that and do it because they love talking about and sharing information on their favorite topic. Ham radio has benefited from this as there are now a number of well done audio pod casts for our hobby. Two of the best examples are This Week In Amateur Radio and Amateur Radio News Line.

Produced once a week like many other things in amateur radio they are far from an “amateur” production. If you click on the link of either program above and listen to an episode you will see exactly what I mean.

Always on the lookout for new content I recently found Amateurlogic.tv which is a video pod cast. You not only get to listen to your fellow hams talk about there interest in the hobby but get top notch video as they deliver stories about ham radio and give instructions on interesting projects that you can try out yourself. I have downloaded a number of their shows and I have to tell you that I'm very impressed with the quality of the content.

Take a look for yourself and see if you don't agree. Point your web browser over to AmateurLogic.tv where you can read their blog and look at the archive section with all the past shows. I think you will enjoy it as much as I have.

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Lets hope it never really goes away 

I had been hearing about a story in the Wall Street Journal all week involving Morse Code but did not really have a chance to investigate and see what it was all about. My good friend WW3A who has transplanted himself to Texas sent me a link to the story and I thing all will find in interesting.

I have never become proficient enough at the code to really enjoy it but I do think it is a great way to communicate and despite the fact that you are no longer required to learn it for an amateur radio license I think it will be around for some time to come.

(In Plain English: One Man's Bid To Save Morse Code)
PRESCOTT, Ariz. -- Nostalgic for simpler days, retired astrophysicist Chuck Adams is translating classics of boys' lit into a language he fears is going the way of kit radios and marbles: Morse code.
Holed up in his high-desert home crammed with computers, radio receivers and a very patient wife, Mr. Adams uses homemade software to download online books with expired copyrights, convert the typed words into Morse code tones and record them on compact discs he sells on the Internet.

Follow this LINK for the entire story.

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