Category Archives: Random Thoughts

Better Late than Never?

That is a question not a statement.  I will admit it, I am a procrastinator.

When I got back into the hobby a few years back, I didn’t have any QSL cards.  When I got my General ticket and started making contacts, I thought I would just print out some QSL cards for the few that I got by mail and that would be good.

KB0ASQ QSL CardWell of course I fought the printer when feeding the card stock and then I didn’t like the design I came up with and of course when I designed them, I needed to send them in an envelope and they didn’t fit in a standard envelope.

So of course they just piled up on my desk.

Not anymore.  I finally got to the point where I was feeling guilty and just ordered some from  They showed up in about 3-4 days and today I spent about an hour filling them out.  To anyone that was waiting on a qsl card, I sincerely apologize and promise to not let it happen again.

A couple of things I have learned from this:

1.  Keep it simple.  I need to just have a card that I don’t have to mess with putting in an envelope.  One that I can just fill out, slap a stamp on and mail.

2.  I don’t need to mess with label printing programs.  Since most of my qsl’s are through, I don’t really receive too many in the mail.  So for me it’s just best to hand write them out and get them taken care of before I push them under a pile of papers.

Sometimes I tinker too much and end up not fulfilling my obligations.  I really need to take that to heart with everything else in my life.

eWAS finally

I finally got the eQSL eWAS award.  I have been waiting on South Dakota since about March or April.  Sunday night after field day, I came down to the shack to turn the equipment off and noticed a Ø call sign on JT65-HF.  It took me a couple of times, but we made a connection.

So in a matter of about 2 minutes I made that last contact needed to get the award.  Thanks, KØJV I really appreciated.


It’s Summer Time!

The summer season is finally here. I know summer doesn’t officially start until June, but we all know that Memorial Day kicks off the summer season.

RustyBucket's IHC S100So during the summer I typically work on my other hobby/passion/obsession. If you want to check out what KBØASQ does for fun when he isn’t tinkering with Ham Radio, take a look at

Vintage Pickup Trucks have been a part of my life for almost 20 years now.  I have let it slip for the last five years or so, but the bug bite bad again this year, so off we go again.  At least Ham Radio is less expensive.

Senate Companion Bill to HR607

ARRL Bulletin 14 ARLB014
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT May 25, 2011
To all radio amateurs

ARLB014 Senate “Companion” Bill to HR 607 Avoids Impacting Amateur

On Thursday, May 19, Senators Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) and John McCain
(R-AZ) introduced S 1040 — The Broadband for First Responders Act
of 2011 — in the Senate. While it has a similar objective to HR
607 — introduced in February by Representative Peter King (R-NY-3)
— this Senate bill, unlike HR 607, does not call for auctioning any
portions of Amateur Radio spectrum. Both bills call for the
allocation of the so-called “D block” of spectrum, 758-763 and
788-793 MHz, to facilitate the development of a public safety
broadband network.

On learning in February that a Senate version of HR 607 was being
drafted, ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, met with
staff members of the Senateâ?Ts Homeland Security and Governmental
Affairs Committee who were working on the bill to share the ARRL’s
concerns with regard to HR 607. “They seemed very receptive to our
argument and appreciative of the public service contributions of
radio amateurs,” Sumner said. “It is gratifying to see that S 1040
avoids impacting our spectrum allocations.”

Sumner explained that while some media reports are referring to S
1040 as “the Senate version of HR 607,” it is important that radio
amateurs not oppose S 1040: “There is no reason for us to do so. We
support the creation of an interoperable broadband network for first
responders. Other than to oppose any method that would impact
amateur spectrum use, we do not support one method over another of
achieving that objective. We only oppose one aspect of HR 607, not
the entire bill.”

S 1040 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Science,
Commerce, and Transportation, chaired by Senator Jay Rockefeller
(D-WV). Senator Rockefeller earlier introduced his own bill, S 28,
to address the same general topic. Neither Senate bill would impact
amateur spectrum.

Icom 746Pro Fixed

I made a post a week or so ago about my Icom 746Pro not transmitting.  I stated at the time that I didn’t have time to work on it, so I was going to send it off to get fixed.

Well I looked around and found some reviews for Mike Nadeau – N1EQ.  They were all good so I contacted him about working on the rig.


Icom 746Pro

I have to say, from start to finish, Mike has one of the most professional service organizations I have worked with.  Being in the computer business, we have to send things off for repair all the time.  I would love to find a company as organized and responsive as Mike.


You have to request a time to send the unit in, so I did that and when the time was appropriate, we double boxed it and shipped it to Mike Fedex Ground.  I wish I knew why it takes so long to ship from the middle of the country to the East cost, but it took 6 days. to get to Mike.

He got it on Wednesday Afternoon and by Thursday morning at 8:47am my time, he had it fixed.  Here is what he found:


“As expected, your rig has the re-designed PA board with MOSFET finals. And it also has the latest factory upgrades to the RF and CTRL boards.

So far, it has been my experience that these late-production units are much more reliable (IC151 failures are rare). But for whatever reason (I assume a factory error), some of them had a 4.7-ohm resistor, instead of a 10-ohm resistor, in place of R3 on the PA board. And this causes the pre-driver FET (Q1) to overheat and eventually fail.

Anyway, this was the problem with your rig. So I replaced the pre-driver FET (Q1). And I replaced R3 with 10-ohm.”
He then added a clip heat sink since I do mostly Digital Modes.  He shipped it Friday and by the middle of this coming week, I hope to be back on the air with it.
So I would rate the experience with Mike a 5 star.  Just be sure to recognize that he only accepts online payments such as Paypal.



Good News on HR 607


Mike Lisenco, N2YBB

May 19, 2011, Massapequa Park, NY – A delegation of Amateur Radio operators from the Long Island / New York City area met this morning with Congressman Peter T. King (R-NY) to discuss his recent proposed legislation, HR 607, and its impact on Amateur Radio.

Congressman King said that he fully understands and appreciates the importance of Amateur Radio and the service it provides to the community, and that he would see to the modification of the bill so that the 420 – 440 MHz band would be excluded from the spectrum to be auctioned. The delegation included Mike Lisenco, N2YBB, ARRL Section Manager for New York City / Long Island (NLI), Peter Portanova, WB2OQQ, NLI Local Government Liaison (LGL), George Tranos, N2GA, NLI State Government Liaison (SGL), and Jim Mezey, W2KFV, NLI ARES Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC).

“The Congressman went on to explain that it was never his intention to remove the 70 centimeter band from Amateur use. He further asked us to `get the word out’ and inform the Amateur Radio community that 70 centimeters is not in jeopardy,” said Lisenco.

Lisenco, Mezey and Tranos spoke about the importance of Amateur Radio emergency communications while Portanova, who is also the local AMSAT representative, addressed satellite and other amateur use of the 70 centimeter band.

The Congressman was very receptive to the group, who also extended an invitation to attend Field Day locations in his District.


KE7VLC Amateur Extra Class
Orion Thrower



Weather Spotting

It has been another crazy week around the shack this week.  I got my Icom 746Pro sent off for repair and it is already on its way back.  I have a lot of un-ham related projects going on too.

So one of the projects worked on this week was getting started rebuilding the local ham pool available for spotting duties.  I know it’s late, but there has been some turn over in local emergency management and the local Weather Service Office.

We have meet with both and now have a plan.  We have two members who are going to man stations at the Weather Service and our shack at the Red Cross.  They will then call a Wx net during severe weather.

They are also working on procedures for call up and how to get the information to Weather Service personnel and Emergency Management.  We are really starting from scratch, since the system kind of fell by the wayside the last couple of years and we have no documented procedures from before.

The final step will be to call hams in the local and surrounding counties to try and get them to participate.  We will be recruiting two types of spotters.  The full blown kind that will go to specified locations and some that just report from their home QTH.  Most of the area that we cover is rural, so home QTH is almost as good as a roving spotter.

Wish us luck, anyone with experience in this would be encouraged to post a comment.

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