Need a job? Need some techs?

This morning, I got the following e-mail:

Hi Dan,

I came across you website as we are in search of a Two-Way Radio Repair Technician at our Carlsbad, CA facility. Do you have any sources in the San Diego area that might be interested or even you perhaps for that matter? Job posting listed below…

http://www.twowaydirect.com/careers/

Thanks for your time!

Brandon Ocampo
Two Way Direct
P: 888-742-5893
F: 877-694-6603
3262 Grey Hawk Court
Carlsbad, CA 92010
www.TwoWayDirect.com

I suggested a couple of approaches to Brandon. The first was to contact the military. There are a number of military bases in the San Diego, and I’d guess that he might be able to find some electronics techs getting out of the service. I don’t know how much “real” electronics training the military techs get these days, though.

I also suggested that he contact the amateur radio clubs in the area. I know that guys in our club are sometimes looking for work, and I always post things like this to our club mailing list, if the job is local.

So, if you’re looking for a job, you might want to get in touch with Brandon. If not, perhaps you have some other ideas as to how he can recruit qualified techs.

More QSLs: WA4FAT, N9GUN

Here are two QSLs for my collection that came to me as a direct result of being on Twitter. Bill, WA4FAT, and I set up a sked via Twitter, and we actually made on on-air contact. I haven’t yet worked Tom, N9GUN, but when I mentioned that I’d like to so that I could add his QSL, he fired one off to me. Thanks, guys!

wa4fat-qsl

n9gun-qsl

From my Twitter feed: open source laptop, fritzing, audiophool product

dsantosh_'s avatarSantosh Dahal @dsantosh_
World’s First Open Source Laptop Gets Wideband Software-Defined Radio linux.com/news/hardware/… #SDR #amateurradio

 

DigilentInc's avatarDigilent Inc. @DigilentInc
How to use @FritzingOrg tutorial on our blog with the new Digilent Parts Bin! blog.digilentinc.com/index.php/usin… pic.twitter.com/rXX739iwtn

 

eevblog's avatarDave Jones @eevblog
Audiophool product of the week: futureshop.co.uk/audioquest-dia…

It never fails to amaze me how cheap hams are

So, this morning, I loaded up the Freestyle and took some junk great stuff to the Chelsea Amateur Radio Club hamfest. Now, this is a small hamfest, so I guess that I didn’t really expect much, but I was rather disappointed that I didn’t sell even $150 worth of stuff. What really got me, though, is how cheap some guys are, even after I explain that a lot of what I had for sale was donated to the Hands-On Museum and that the proceeds would go to funding our station there.

For example, I had a small speaker with a small bracket for mounting underneath a shelf or underneath a dashboard. I purchased it for $11-12 bucks at Purchase Radio not long before they went out of business. I had put a $5 sticker on it.

Two guys walk up, and the first one offers me $2 for it. What an insult! When his buddy offered me four bucks for it, though, I accepted.

I couldn't even get $50 for this paddle and keyer.

I couldn’t even get $50 for this paddle and keyer.

The other item that I had for sale was a HamKey paddle and keyer combination, like the units shown at right. I was asking $40 for the paddle, $25 for the keyer, and $60 for the combination. One guy said something, “I can’t go more than $40 for them.” When I politely declined, he said he’d come back later.

When he did come back, I offered to give it to him for $50, but he stuck to his $40 offer. Needless to say, he went home without them.

There’s another hamfest–the Monroe Hamfest–in a couple of weeks, and I’ll try my luck down there. There will be more attendees down there, and hopefully more people ready to buy.

Apparently, I was not alone this morning. When I complained to a friend of mine that I had sold relatively few items, he said that several of the other sellers had told him the same thing. I guess the cheap hams had cheaped themselves out of some good deals.

Press release: RF Test Blog

From time to time, I get press releases that might be of interest to radio amateurs. Here’s one.

Making RF measurements can be difficult, especially if you need to make high-precision measurements. Fortunately, most amateur radio operators don’t need to make such measurements, but you can always learn something by reading articles by those who do it for a living…Dan

Agilent Technologies Announces Availablity of RF Test Blog – A Resource for Making Better Measurements

The RF Test Blog is a resource for finding ways to make better RF measurements. With over 10,000 visits since 2013, this popular blog includes information on equipment and measurement techniques that improve accuracy, measurement speed, dynamic range, sensitivity, repeatability, and more. Ben Zarlingo, an applications specialist for Agilent Technologies, shares what he has learned through several decades of working as an electrical engineer in test and measurement.

What are you doing for Field Day?

2014_Field_Day_Logo_333_X_220My club here in Ann Arbor, ARROW, is still debating what to do about Field Day. We are unable to return to the site it was held at last year, so the organizers are still looking for a site. In addition, they have been talking about downsizing from 4A or 5A to 2A or 3A. I don’t think that decision’s been made yet, either.

That prompted me to ask my Twitter followers what they’re doing. Here’s what they had to say:

@NR4CB: My club sets up in a field adjacent to a city municipal building. I’ll visit them for a while during the event.

@imabug: @NR4CB and i’ll be playing FD with my club from the USS Yorktown in the #chs harbour

@waltham845: Trying to get myself to the top a mountain pass do some qrp. barring that qrp out in the field both battery powered hopefully.

@NS0D: I will be a CW operator for the combined FD operation at the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, MO, using call WW1USA

@W1MSW: @HampdenCountyRA 4 towers, 2 tribndrs, 2 40m monobndrs, 3plexrs, networked stns, N1MM & a whole lot of fun!

@jmurphy7411: Taking part in Formidable Footprint ex w/COARES R1D1. Better to train 4 an exp event than HV fun in a contest

@VA3QV: be operating a 1B station (FT 817 qrp and an end fed wire with 12ah battery and solar panel) somewhere TBD from the Ottawa area

@twintiermedia: Spending it with KB3EIB, his 10 yr old son KD2EVP, his unlicensed son, and our dogs in the woods in Allegany County NY QRPing

@M0PZT: May be out /P on the Sunday to make a racket across the pond. Not sure about this QRP stuff though!

@KD8SRF suggested that we hold it in an Ann Arbor municipal park. The guys looked into that, and not only does the city want money to let us do that, they’re not keen on people staying overnight in the parks.

@KD8SRF then suggested: “If you wanted to go all in, might I suggest Belle isle. State police everywhere. They allow after dark special event. It’s cleaned up.” Belle Isle is the jewel of the Detroit park system. It really used to be fabulous, and the city of Detroit, which has been going through some “restructuring,” has now allowed the state of Michigan to take it over and operate it as a state park.

I actually like this idea a lot, but this is an idea for next year, I think. I would want to make it a SE Michigan event and invite hams from all over the region to participate, not just hams from any one club. Maybe I can even get KD8SRF to help organize this.

So, I’ll put it to you now. What are you doing for Field Day?

From my inbox: 100 years of ham radio, spectrum analysis, mesh networks

Celebrating 100 years of ham radioThis month marks the centennial of the American Radio Relay League, the largest ham radio association in the United States. That means it will be a special year for the hundreds who converge annually on W1AW, a small station known as “the mecca of ham radio” in Newington, Conn., to broadcast radio signals across the globe.

Spectrum Analysis Basics - Application Note 150Spectrum Analysis Basics – A Resource Toolkit. Learn about the fundamentals with Agilent’s most popular and recently updated application note, Spectrum Analysis Basics – Application Note 150, which is now paired with a toolkit of app notes, demo videos, web/mobile apps, and related material.

When the Internet Dies, Meet the Meshnet That Survives. The art and technology nonprofit center Eyebeam recently staged a small-scale scenario that mimicked the outage that affected New York after Superstorm Sandy hit in 2012. As part of the drill in Manhattan, a group of New Yorkers scrambled to set up a local network and get vital information as the situation unfolded.

QSLs: K1EAR, W4ZOO

Two new ones for collection of QSL cards from stations whose call signs spell words:

K1EAR QSL

John writes, “I lived in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area for two years.
Working you brought back a lot of memories.” It was my pleasure, John.

VE4ZOO QSL

Up in Canada, amateurs can have more than one call. Ed’s main call is VE4YU, but when I saw that he also held the call VE4ZOO, I asked if he could also put me in that log and send me a QSL card. After explaining about my odd collection, he graciously agreed to send me one. Thanks, Ed!

From my Twitter feed: Tindie, resonant speaker

blackrockcastle's avatarBlackrock Castle @blackrockcastle
@WIRED: An inside look at Tindie, a thriving new marketplace for DIY gadgets wrd.cm/Rlnkbt pic.twitter.com/pZzItSsUpz@ado_collins

 

n1pce's avatarJohn Ryan @n1pce
April 2014 CQ Plus – Adding Volume With a Resonant Speaker youtube.com/watch?v=nLFPAj… via @YouTube

 

kc5fm's avatarkc5fm @kc5fm
My New Favourite Social Network Is Ham Radio | Business Insider bit.ly/1k5fGIx #ARRL #hamradio

Makers should make things that work

In the March/April issue of CQ, Rich, W2VU wrote the “Makers” column for the regular editor. He writes about a one-tube transmitter that he built. It sounds like an interesting project, but then he says:

I haven’t actually gotten to testing it out yet. I still need to get a crystal and wire-up the connectors for power, antenna, and a key….Frankly, I don’t really care if it works (that would be a bonus, of course), but for me, the real fun was in the building (I’m sorry, making), from staining the wood to winding the coils and putting it altogether. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a piece of electronic art that I’m proud to have in my shack.

While I agree with W2VU that it does look very cool, I would really want to do what I can to make it work. While it might be fun to look at, the real pleasure comes from building something that you can put on the air and make contacts with. Makers should make things that work.