Sunday, September 25, 2011

Ready to Buy A Portable HF Radio

This last weekend I was out of town. My wife and I went to McPherson, Kansas for the Highland Games and Scottish Festival. My wife's brother runs his own Games here in Wichita, and the local Renaissance Festival as well. I'm of Scottish extraction as well, and I enjoy visiting the games. However, mostly we help my brother in law running his booth or whatever as he is out meeting people and getting making contacts. I admit that I get bored just sitting around. It is time like these that I really want a portable op radio. 

I had considered taking my clunker Kenwood, but its a monster at 38lbs. I would love something I could carry without throwing my back out. The Yaesu FT817 is a dream radio for me, but out of the budget as well. I am going to get me an HB-1B, or other small radio. I have the cash and I've started looking. Below is the Ten Tec R4020, a two band version of the HB-1A.

I also talked to my brother in law about doing a special event station at one of his productions and he was receptive to the idea. I will have to see if there would be any interest from my fellow hams. I don't associate much with the local hams anymore, something I should remedy.


Saturday, September 17, 2011

WOOHOO! Sunspots!


We got us some sunspots percolating on Ol' Sol. Looks like we got about 167 of 'em! Cycle 24 is heating up! Let's get out there and work some radio!

Here is an image from Nasa's SOHO website. This image was captured about 3:25am CDT (isn't insomnia wonderful)

And another pic
I am very excited about this. My weekend (so far) is clear, and I'm going to try and make some contacts this weekend!

Hope all y'all have a great time, too!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Clandestine Radio Operators

I was in a Barnes & Noble book store yesterday perusing the history section when I found a book a book titled "RESISTANCE: The Clandestine Radio Operators SOE, BCRA, OSS" by Jean Louis Perquin.

This book was written by Frenchman whose father had fought in the Resistance in France during WWII. The book, naturally, has a French focus to it, but most of the gear used was British, American, and exiled Polish rigs.

All of the stats in the book are in metrics, which is annoying for me, but since most of the world uses that measurment system, I guess I shouldn't complain.

The book covers where the agents were trained and gives some stories of people who were agents. It has a lot of photos of rigs, a lot of new pics taken in museums and private collection and a great deal of field photos of agents using the rigs.

The suitcase radio above is a British Mk I introduced in late '41. It was a 60w rig.

This is one of the many period photos showing the spy rigs being used in the field in France. The book, as mentioned, focuses on the French, but also includes photos of Norwegian and Greek Resistance radio operators

Another picture of field use. Notice the British made Sten 9mm Submachine guns they are holding.

A couple of more rigs. Sorry about the photos, the glossy paper makes it difficult to get a decent shot.

Another cool thing about this book is that it shows how they powered their equipment. Here is a picture of a tripod with a bicycle seat on top and a generator powered by bicycle pedals.
A rig powered by a
handcranked Generator.

I think this power system is really cool. The tank with the hoses is a boiler that hooks to the box wich is a generator. This steam powered generator was used to recharge 6V batteries. All the field agents needed was wood and water to recharge their batteries. I would love to have something like this for field day!

The bicycle has a generator attached to the rear sprocket.

ll in all, it is a very neat book. It's pricey at $34.95, but it has a load of great pictures. It has the basic stats for the rigs, but it is not very technical in nature. It was also translated from French to English, and the translation has some minor flaws. Publisher information is: Historie & Collections-5, avenue de la Republique-F-75541 paris CEDEX 11-Tel. +33(1) 40 21 18 20 -