This Weekend on the Radio at the Hands-On Museum

This weekend, I spent several hours at the museum getting the station up and running (and playing around a bit. On Saturday:

  • I brought a keyboard, mouse, and power cord and got the computer all hooked up. It seems to be running OK, but since I forgot to bring the password with me, all I could do is to get it to boot up to the log in screen.
  • I made a few phone contacts with the new Omni VII. Once I got the mic gain set properly (18%), I got some very good audio reports. One guy said it could use a litttle more bass, so I’m going to play around with the audio filtering a little bit more. There are some comments about this feature on the TenTec Wiki.
  • The Omni VII’s antenna tuner seems to work as advertised, i.e. being able to handle an SWR of up to 10:1. I don’t remember what SWR I measured last week on the 40m phone band, but the tuner tuned without a problem.
  • I forgot to bring the paddle on Saturday, so I didn’t get a chance to try out the internal keyer. I was surprised, though, to learn that it doesn’t have an memories. That’s really strange for a radio from a company whose radios have always be well though of as CW rigs. So, I’m thinking about buying an external keyer for the station. Any suggestions?
  • There are still no graphics to draw attention to the station, but the AAHOM people are working on that. Hopefully, we’ll have something by December 27, the date that the space station contact is scheduled.
  • On Sunday, I was joined by Jim, K8ELR, and we:

  • installed Ham Radio Deluxe, ACLog (from N3JFP), and MultiPSK on the shack’s computer. Jim used Ham Radio Deluxe to log our single contact for the day.
  • had a QSO with AD5WI on CW using the paddle that I brought with me. AD5WI is in Pea Ridge, AR. Gotta love the name of that town.
  • talked at length with one of the museum’s docents. He expressed an interest in what we were doing and asked about the origin of the term “ham radio.” After noting that it came from the days of telegraphy, we got into a discussion of telegraphy and radiotelegraphy, including the use of abbreviations and Q-signals. He got it right away, noting, “That sounds a lot like instant messaging.”
  • told the docent that we were enjoying the permanent space, but the layout wasn’t very inviting. My XYL, Silvia, said that we should keep the half door at one end of the space open, but it’s spring loaded, so that it automatically closes. That didn’t deter our docent. He got a big roll of tape and taped the door open! That did the trick. We got several visitor to wander in and talk to us. We’re going to have to find a more permanent way of keeping that door open.
  • tried tuning the antenna on 20m, and the radio did indicate that it was able to tune it, but, when I transmitted, the “HIGH CURRENT” light came on. That didn’t seem like a good thing , so we didn’t do that again.


  1. Saw your post and maybe would be an option for keeping the door open. Other colors at . Or maybe a block of wood to wedge between the door and the door jam.

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