Sunday, April 24, 2011
KD8BIG; My Amateur Radio Shack
I had one radio, my FT-7800; it at the time was all I needed as I only held a technician license. Well, I also had my VX-7R HT-(Handy Talkie).
After pulling the radio in and out of the vehicle daily so I could participate in local nets and rag chewing in the house, I decided it was time to invest in another radio to keep in the house. At the time I was still only a Technician and really had not seen a use for any HF rigs so I went with the FT-8900. It had everything I needed and more considering I knew the FCC was going to allow Technicians privileges on 10 meters soon.
See more of my reasons for the FT-8900 here.
Then I became disabled, unable to work, drive or go very far from home.
With that I had no need to keep a second vehicle for my wife and me so I sold mine and brought the radio inside.
Shortly after that I had to sell my radios to pay medical bills.
Then I was a Ham with no radios.
A local ham felt for me and had a Radio Shack HTX 242 that was collecting dust and needed a home so he gave it to me. It was great to be back on the air. After a year of that happening the person who bought my original radios had not yet had the opportunity to take his amateur radio test and was moving his business out of state and had no need for my old radio gear so he, being a good friend gave me the gear back and told me not to worry about repaying him. He was glad it helped me and the family out.
A few months after that I decided it was time to upgrade to my General Class license and with that came the need for more radio equipment, i.e. my FT-897D. My wife told me that I should get the radio I wanted and get whatever accessories I needed. Well that was all I needed to hear so I went all out and not only bought the FT-897D but also purchased the Yaesu HRI-100, MFJ-1279M, MFJ-969 Deluxe Versa Tuner and the Yaesu FP-1030A power supply, followed with a couple of keys.
Yeeee Haaaaaa. I had it all.
Except the new Lap-Top and Desk Computer I now think I need.
So now I have all these new toys and only a 5 foot desk.
I now have 5 radios, 2 Police/Fire/Air Traffic scanners, Antenna Tuners, Sound Card Radio Interface, WiRES 2, Meters, Analzers and 2 power supplies.
That is plenty of room until I decided to re-arrange my room and desk.
I had a mess of power cords, wires and coax.
An Amateur Radio Station is not complete unless you have a computer, AM/FM Stereo with CD and Cassette decks.
I discovered that watching videos on You Tube sounded better if I had my computer connected to the stereo.
Desk lighting, I have 2 desk lights, very important. One is used more as a nite light so I can play around at night with-out causing my wife additional aggravation while trying to sleep. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the Lava Lamp, “Really”.
So now I am re-wiring everything and also trying to clean up the amount of wires. I have an electrician friend who will be running another couple of outlets to my room and I also decided it is time to have a ground bar instead of the 10 ground wires that come up from the basement to the equipment.
While looking for a ground bar I came across this, Ham Radio Grounding Kit by Storm Copper Components, Co.
I have not ordered it yet, I will this week and let you know how it works out along with a photo of it. Yes, I’m going with the one with my call sign.
In the mean time I guess I better continue to clean up this mess.
Before I go, I just remembered seeing High Current DC Multi-Outlet Strips in the MFJ catalog. Anyone have any experience with them? Are they worth getting? Hmmmmm~
HOW TO READ PROPAGATION NUMBERS
The A index [ LOW is GOOD ]
- 1 to 6 is BEST
- 7 to 9 is OK
- 11 or more is BAD
Represents the overall geomagnetic condition of the ionosphere ("Ap" if averaged from the Kp-Index) (an average of the eight 3-hour K-Indices) ('A' referring to amplitude) over a given 24 hour period, ranging (linearly) typically from 1-100 but theoretically up to 400.
A lower A-Index generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; a low & steady Ap-Index generally suggest good propagation on the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.
SFI index [ HIGH is GOOD ]
- 70 NOT GOOD
- 80 GOOD
- 90 BETTER
- 100+ BEST
The measure of total radio emissions from the sun at 10.7cm (2800 MHz), on a scale of 60 (no sunspots) to 300, generally corresponding to the sunspot level, but being too low in energy to cause ionization, not related to the ionization level of the Ionosphere.
Higher Solar Flux generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; Solar Flux rarely affects the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.
K index [ LOW is GOOD ]
- 0 or 1 is BEST
- 2 is OK
- 3 or more is BAD
- 5 is VERY VERY BAD
The overall geomagnetic condition of the ionosphere ("Kp" if averaged over the planet) over the past 3 hours, measured by 13 magnetometers between 46 & 63 degrees of latitude, and ranging quasi-logarithmically from 0-9. Designed to detect solar particle radiation by its magnetic effect. A higher K-index generally means worse HF conditions.
A lower K-Index generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; a low & steady Kp-Index generally suggest good propagation on the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.
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