Monday, August 12, 2019

Where the heck did it go!!

Now that I'm getting up there in age......well heck I was always like this and it really has nothing to do with age! Have you ever put something somewhere so you would not forget where it was.....to only look for it one day saying to yourself " I know I put it somewhere I would not forget but I forgot! Many time with Ham radio I have had items that were used very seldom and when needed it I  just get very frustrated looking EVERYWHERE and just not being able to find it. Oh and I do want to mention that when I do find what ever it is I don't need it anymore. I have found myself looking for certain soldering tips for my Weller soldering station, a nice long DVI cable, wall warts and the list goes on. Most times it has ended in frustration not being able to locate something I know I have and at the time very much needed.
Once I eventually find what I was looking for here is what I do......When originally looking I take note of the first place I went and tried to locate it. This place at the time seemed the most logical place for me to have put it, once I find the item it is returned to this first place I looked . I also with my iPhone take a picture of it in the place I placed it. This may sound silly but for me it really has worked. Many times when I went to look for this item once again I actually looked in this first place that logically comes to mind and there it was. If the spot I was wanting to place it did not seem to be the right fit, for example a Weller soldering tip in a spot were it could easily fall and get lost I put a 3x5 card there with it's location. With ham radio (for me anyway) I have found myself turning the shack upside down for an item I know I have but can't locate and the above ideas help me out a great deal. Are there any ideas my fellow ham's that you can add?

Thursday, August 8, 2019

It was time to pack up the shack for the move.

And so it begins
I sure do hope this is the last move for a very very long time. Today it was time to pack up the shack equipment and all the millions of cables. I was very fortunate I kept the boxes for most of the gear as packing it in the OEM box is the way to go and make sure it arrives in one piece at the other end. For the past few weeks I would not had been able to get on the air anyway as the room where the radio is has been over run with packed boxes. Once we get down to the new place in New Brunswick time will be spent setting up the house and fixing little odd's and ends that the home inspector made us aware of. Once all these jobs have been taken care of then it will be time to set things in motion and
begin the setup of the radio. As for an antenna I am for the short term going to use the MFJ 1788 loop unit I get my bearings regarding an antenna. One thing I am looking forward to is getting on WSPR and finding out where my signal carries from the new location on the east coast. Before all this happens I will look into my new 2 letter VE9 call not sure how long this application process will be. I will look after this as soon as we move, by the time the boxes are unpacked and we are settled in I hope to be sporting a new VE9 call. The Icom 7610 in it's own OEM box will be riding the trip in my SUV and not the truck. As well as the other 2 boxes of goodies that will be not in the truck but the smooth ride of the SUV. Once things were all packed it was hard to believe all the power and control cables I had. When you slowly add items to the shack you just don't see all the cables you really do have. One thing I always took the time to do was label each cable. When you pull and pack everything no matter how sharp you are it's impossible to remember where each cable goes. The labeling of each cable has made a possible grey hair experience way more pleasurable.
To top off the box...cables and cables. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

A time for celebration

The time has come to move onto the next adventure in my life.....retirement. Today was my last day at work, a company were I had been for 30 years. It is going to be a huge routine change for me but I want to make sure in this next phase that I do get into a routine. There is some changes that are coming down the pipe that already have been put into motion. The first change is we are moving from Toronto Ontario to the out skirts of Moncton New Brunswick in Atlantic Canada. Julie and I are not city folks and were really only in Toronto as it was closer to where we both worked. New Brunswick offers a slower pace, lower cost of living, it may sound funny but it's dark at night and quite too. As for ham radio I will be changing to a VE9 call from my present VE3 call. I have always wanted a 2 letter call but here in Ontario it's a very difficult challenge. I noticed on our Federal Governments website that in New Brunswick there are plenty of 2 letter calls available. The other week I was looking at them to see which ones had a nice CW ring to them.
Once settled into the new place with boxes unpacked, furniture setup, the little "oh look at that" stuff around the house that has to be fixed and resting my weary bones once all that is said and done it's time to setup for radio.
I have always wanted to get involved in the CWops CW acadamy program to get my code speed up to some decent contest speed. I had looked at this program in the past but with work I just could not see myself having the needed time they were asking of students. I did not want to take a spot to find I could not complete the demanding program. I would have blocked someone who had the time and could advance. So this is a program I want to look into and get my code moving in the direction I have always wanted it too.
Paying more attention to my blog regarding posting and updating as I am sad to say it has taken a back seat. In the past I did not want to post for the sake of posting something. I hope with retirement and my increase activity in amateur radio with operating, reading and going to club meetings it will spur me on to posting.
Along with the above activities there will projects around the house, getting out to exercise and saying a warm hello to our new neighbours. Then there is the touring around the area that Julie and I can do as well.
I am not sure how many posts I will be pumping out in the near future as our move is at the end of August and before that it's the task we all love....packing. The the next task.....unpacking and setting up.
Thanks to all for your support with the reading and commenting on my blog and as the song goes
 "see you in September"

Friday, June 28, 2019

Sometimes technology can drive you back to old school

It's the Canada Day long weekend out this way and I'm off until Monday! My plans are to get some radio time in, do some reading and learn a bit more of what my Icom 7610 has to offer me. To help me with the learning curve I usually wonder to Youtube and watch the videos that are available there. We all have different ways of learning and for me one that works is watching videos. I have found K0PIR has a great website and many helpful YouTube videos. If you are an Icom 7300 or 7610 owner check out his Youtube work and his website  When it's time to expand my skill with a piece of ham radio equipment like the 7610 I also find a well written book to be priceless! When the 7610 came out a short time later on the reflectors there was a buzz about a new book  "The radio today  guide to the Icom IC-7610". I went online to purchase the book and found it was not only available as a traditional paperback book  but also an ebook in Kindle formate. Today we have many Ebook formats available to us but I have found that Kindle seems to be the go too ebook. I opted for the Kindle and in 3 seconds it was available for me to read!
I have read many ebooks in the past and one great option is there can be links added that send you to a site for further detailed reading on a particular point. It's also nice to not have to remember the book when you are out and about an ebook can be viewed on your PC, Ipad and phone as well. For the first time I found a major limitation with my kindle ebook. The Icom guide book had many references where you were asked to return to a particular page. I had never noticed in the past but my kindle version of the book the page numbers were very odd. I guess the wording of page numbers is incorrect as kindle show a percent or a location. The location number is on the thousands! When the author asks you to return to page 55 it is next to impossible to find it and can get very frustrating. In this book in particular you are directed by page number to either move back or forward for further reading. It was really getting to me that I went back to Amazon and purchased the paperback and it was delivered the other day. It goes to show you that sometimes that technology has limitations and going back to the old school still works.