Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Sunday, February 28, 2016
I knew I couldn't get too complacent with a Technician license and had to keep going to get on HF. Back to my two favorite learning resources I mentioned in my last post for some General studying. I'm excited to have passed my General on Superbowl Sunday, 02/07/2016. That day was full of good news, as I got home and turned on the tube to watch my favorite Denver Broncos win the Superbowl. What a day!
Next up...researching HF rigs. I've already started looking, and I can tell you I've probably already put more research into HF radios than I have my last car. HF transceivers are ridiculously expensive.
- Kenwood TS-480SAT
- Yaesu FT-450d
- Yaesu FT-867d
- ICOM IC-718
- Yaesu FT-817d
- Elecraft KX3
Why now? Because I was given a Baofeng UV-5R5 handheld transceiver by my father-in-law this past Christmas. I had put it on my Amazon wishlist a while back, hoping to buy it when I got my license. It was a big surprise to receive it for Christmas! That was just what I needed to buckle down and pass the test.
I'll admit having some experience homebrewing electronics as a kid probably gave me an easier time than some on the test, but there was still a vast amount of information I wasn't familiar with. There were two resources I used exclusively to pass the test. The best was HamExam.org Amateur Radio Practice Exams. If I wasn't in front of a computer and wanted to get some studying in, I really liked the Android app Ham Test Prep. Best part is that both are free.
The Baofeng UV-5R5 has been pretty good. I've been able to hit local repeaters, sound quality reportedly is fine, and battery life is excellent. I added a Nagoya NA-771 antenna (pictured), which helps greatly with reception. As you can see, I like taking advantage of the portable aspect of the HT. I have a feeling that's going to be my favorite part of the hobby.
I'm pretty excited to be a ham. Shortwave listening was fun, but I'm stoked to be able to make contacts.
Sunday, June 10, 2012
The current hammock camping setup. A Hammock Bliss No-See-Um-No-More hammock with built in bug shield (I do live in the South--necessity IMO), and an ENO ProTarp. So far in my backyard hangs it's been a good combo. The day the photo was taken of it, the weather was wet any the inside remained dry.
I've got three goals for this hammock business to work: get more comfortable, find a faster and more reliable way to set it up, and try to rid myself of motion sickness. The last one is particularly a bugger since I hear it's quite rare. I believe a reliable setup will achieve the first goal as well.
So far so good.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Getting it home was interesting...I bought the bike from MaxBMW in New Hampshire. I hatched a plan to fly and ride, but with little Brian only being 3 months old, we thought it best to ship the bike and not have me gone a long weekend. So 2 agonizing weeks later, the bike is finally mine!
Why a new bike? The V-Strom is an altogether better bike for my purposes than my previous ride. Mainly, it's a lot more comfortable all around. The ergonomics are better, the engine is smoother, the wind noise is better on the highway, and so on. It also is considered a dual-purpose bike that will perform reasonbly well off-road in good conditions, which is where I'd like to go if the opportunity arises. It's no motocross bike, but it'll handle packed dirt and gravel roads easily.