Astatic D-104 Lollipop Mic Restoration

Astatic D-104 MicEarlier this year (2016) I was on the radio on SSB, and I received an audio report during a longer conversation that described my audio as nasally and difficult to listen to. I did some research on the Astatic D-104, and there was a modification that was supposed to change the characteristics of the mic. I attempted this mod by following a step-by-step PDF which involved using a JFET, but for some strange reason it didn’t work well with my radio. It didn’t have enough audio output to push the finals of my radio! Time to put it back to how it was… The problem is that I don’t remember, and I didn’t document it before tearing it apart the first time. Continue reading Astatic D-104 Lollipop Mic Restoration

Raspberry PI File Server: Backup Ham Radio Data

Prepare for Disaster

It happened once before when I was KK4FGM. I had a logbook on a computer that died, and I lost my entire logbook. It was never uploaded to LOTW, QRZ, eQSL, or anywhere, so I lost all credit for any awards or recollection! Since getting back into HF in December 2015, I have made 100% sure that I have duplicate copies of my logs and other important data on a separate device. Continue reading Raspberry PI File Server: Backup Ham Radio Data

Inverted Vee 40m Dipole and Mast

My Purpose

Antennas in the back yardIt has been a long time since I have experimented with antennas and yard ornaments (tall, antenna holding things like towers and masts), but recently I have been annoyed by the performance of my Hustler 5BTV vertical. I have vertically polarized noise that tends to aggravate me, so I wanted to try an inverted vee dipole to see if conditions improve.

Lately, I have been working CW, and I have had some fading signals and noise, so I figured that the dipole might help some with this. The issue is that I needed somewhere to mount this thing! Continue reading Inverted Vee 40m Dipole and Mast

Solo Hike at Providence Canyon State Park

The back country trail is a beautiful hike. I enjoyed looking at the scenic route, and this spot kept my attention for a snack and rest.
The back country trail is a beautiful hike. I enjoyed looking at the scenic route, and this spot kept my attention for a snack and rest.

The day has come and gone for my first overnight backpacking trip, and it was a 100 percent success. Success did not come without some challenges, though. This was a great trip for me to put my gear to the test before heading out on a two night, three day hiking adventure with some friends on the weekend before Thanksgiving. There were only two weaknesses in my gear that arose during the trip: water and foot gear. There was a third oversight in gear that caused a problem with my foot gear, but it’s almost unrelated; I misplaced my pocket knife. Continue reading Solo Hike at Providence Canyon State Park

Preparing For My First Overnight Hike

Before the Beginning

My first time in a hammock, and I can't wait to sleep in it!
My first time in a hammock, and I can’t wait to sleep in it!

After being invited to go hiking in November, the itch to go hiking before the big trip has taken over. I love camping, and I am extremely excited to get to go hiking with a bunch of guys. I have been looking for a chance to go on an overnight hike before the big one, and the chance has arrived. The paper planning stage of gathering and purchasing gear for hiking is about to bear the fruit of a hike. Continue reading Preparing For My First Overnight Hike

Camping Without Being A Pack Rat

My son and I enjoy coffee around the camp fire.
My son and I enjoy coffee around the camp fire.

For most of my childhood I can remember going on camping trips with my dad, and I remember it being so simple camping as a young man. The stories I can tell of the cold, rainy mornings huddled over coffee or being tormented after dark by my uncles are treasured. The memory of having my eyesight choked out from smoke while blowing on a fresh fire is inescapable. One thing that I can barely recall is how much crap we took with us. I’m almost certain that my dad was a minimalist camper. We probably had the smallest tent, slept on the ground in a sleeping bag, and had just what we needed to cook and eat. I remember it being a no frills trip that was enjoyable. Continue reading Camping Without Being A Pack Rat

Backpacking With Friends

My son opened my new Teton hiking backpack!
My son opened my new Teton hiking backpack!

I was recently invited to go on a men’s hiking trip that is scheduled for Mid November 2015, and I naturally couldn’t say no to the adventure. My boss and friend, Eric, invited me and said that I could borrow his wife’s hiking kit to make sure that I’d like the adventure before investing in my own equipment. I was good to go until I started researching things, and I couldn’t stop myself from diving in head first. Continue reading Backpacking With Friends

DIY 50 Ohm Oil Cooled Dummy Load – A Smooth Move

I couldn’t help with the laxative one liner. I had a lot of fun working on this dummy load project. It’s been in my hands for about two years. Frank, K9TIE, sent me the assembled can a few years ago, but I never went to the store to purchase the mineral oil (a laxative). I decided that I would build it since I needed a higher-power capable dummy load. Continue reading DIY 50 Ohm Oil Cooled Dummy Load – A Smooth Move

10 Meter Mobile

HTX-100 on the Jeep's dashI realized on October 12, 2013 that it had been eleven months since I had last made an HF contact of my own. I made some during Field Day 2013, but those weren’t really mine. There were several reasons why I couldn’t get on the air. I had lots of receive noise, little time, and an uncomfortable ham shack. I believe that I have solved these problems. Continue reading 10 Meter Mobile