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KD3Y last won the day on September 10

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About KD3Y

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  • First name
    Anthony
  • Nickname
    Anthony
  • Military service
    Yes

Amateur Radio

  • License class (USA licencees)
    Amateur Extra
  • License year
    2021

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  1. Well, the difference in an SAT and an FCC test is....passing an online SAT doesn't get you a college degree. I was a deputy and private investigator in Texas and worked some of the casinos in Lake Charles. It's amazing what some people will do just for the Adrenalin rush of cheating. It wasn't about whether they won or not, it's the thrill of "beating the casino". I took all my three tests the traditional way, but my local club gives the "online exam" and I could beat it tomorrow. They require you to have two cameras, one on your computer, and one on your phone. You do a 360* pan with your phone so they can see the room you're in, then you prop it up a few feet away from you so that they can see your hands on the keyboard during the test Then they supposedly watch you throughout the entire test on the camera on your computer screen. And then after all the rig-a-ma-role about panning the room, I'd sit down at my laptop, step on the foot pedal to inconspicuously turn on the projector that is putting all the slides with the answers on them on the wall 10 feet in front of me out of the cameras view, and take the test. I'd miss one or two on purpose just so not to look suspicious. Here at the community college you can rent the projector (free) with a college student ID. And on base you can rent one (free) at the MWR office with a military ID. Another popular way to "beat the casino" was the wireless glasses. They have a pinhole camera on the bridge where your nose is. Not noticeable from more than a foot away. The test taker is wearing his "hearing aid". The guy with the wireless monitor is sitting in the next room seeing everything on the screen the test taker is. When the test taker pauses, the confederate gives him the answer to the question on the screen in his earbug. The wifi video glasses are available on Amazon for $59.99. The really good ones are $199. For a computer screen 12 inches away, the $59 ones are all you need. The screen isn't going to be far enough away for the sucky resolution to matter. The problem with untrained and unseasoned people trying to proctor an online exam, is most people that haven't worked investigations or law enforcement just don't comprehend how nefarious and sneaky some people are and the lengths they will go to to cheat. I caught one student when I was proctoring at the community college. The instructor had given them a copy of the test the week before so they could study. The 20-question exam was identical to the "study guide". Same questions, same order. The student had gone down his pencil in order and made a dot into the wood of his pencil with a thumbtack for every question. One dent for "A", two dents for "B", three dents for "C", and four dents for "D". So if he didn't know the answer to question #5, he just pretended to think about it will holding his pencil the right way...count down 5 rows, he sees three dots, the answer is "C". It was so lazy it was funny. I mean, who couldn't memorize 20 questions on a "Intro to computers" course after the instructor gave you the test with the answers? Most of the "old goats" at my local club are 50 to 70 years old and are doing good if they can figure out how to install Chirp on their Windows 98 computer and plug it in to their radio. So I just don't put much confidence in them outsmarting a sneaky kid who can write Java and C# and has been building his own computers since he was 8 years old. And you think I'm being funny. I swear to God. I had a service call to a lawyers office a few years ago. The NC court system went online and they now require all attorneys to file their documents online. His service call was that he couldn't connect to the NC Court system server and he couldn't file his documents online. I sit down as his paralegal's desk....this is 2014 now....and he's running Windows 95 on a dial-up network for his law office.
  2. When I hear "volunteer radio operator" the image that pops into my mind is the guy wearing the BDU's, some kind of "Ham Radio, call sign XXXX" police-style badge clipped to his belt, a black tee shirt with some kind of emblem on it that pretends to convey some sort of authority, combat boots, sunglasses, baseball cap with his call sign embroidered on the front, and a baofeng with the four-foot-long whip antenna who follows behind the firetruck or police car looking for an emergency to interfere with. Probably has a clipboard lying on the passenger seat so he can fill out his "incident report" form he printed out on his computer. Your average "prepper guy" who has a mobile 2-meter radio in his jeep fills this position. I get it that hams help with natural disasters and crisis and such, but I suspect the more experienced (and more helpful) ones do it from their shack. I prefer "Recreational Radio Operator" for your average "no-training" ham. I was a cop long enough to understand the best thing a citizen can do to "help me" in an emergency is stay the hell out of the way. Now if it's a person who actually has some FEMA or ARRL or ARES formal training to assist in an emergency, then that's a different story. Those people are actually doing a professionals job without the pay, know when to help and when to get out of the way, and in that case "volunteer radio operator" fits.
  3. Good evening Gentlemen, I've been studying my Morse some more to try to get more proficient at it. I created a couple of videos that I can listen to when I'm doing other things, so I thought I would share them here in case some others might find them useful. The first video goes through the alphabet in order A to Z. That ones a little easier. The second video scrambles the letters up so you don't just memorize them in order. That makes it a little harder as you have to actually know the Morse code for each letter and you can't simply guess the letter by what's coming next in the alphabet. Video No.1 https://youtu.be/CcyF5YwZRLk Video No2 https://youtu.be/2iF2u-cwnzI And of course I still have my interactive Morse code practice tool on my website at http://www.kd3y.com/KeyPractice.html 73, Anthony kd3y
  4. Officers is always blaming us poor lowly enlisted guys for everything. ;)
  5. They sell the replicas Jim, fairly cheap. If you're looking for a genuine one you probably won't find it at a fair or antique shop. I understand eBay is full of fakes at genuine prices, so keep that in mind so you don't get "got". Depending on your taste and budget they vary from really nice expensive to not so expensive. A google search turns up a lot of modern replicas. https://www.chelseaclock.com/radio-room-clock https://www.cafepress.com/amradio.4040868
  6. Here's one from a British ship. It is marked for the 500 Khz (red) and 2.125 Khz (green) silent periods. So if you were in distress, you had the opportunity every 15 minutes to send an SOS uninterrupted by regular traffic, on one freq or the other.
  7. I'm got lucky with my local repeater. The county EMS and police have their racks in the same building and use the same tower. So there's 1,000 gallons of fuel and a standby generator. My repeater isn't going without power if any fuel can be had.
  8. Self deploying is too much like volunteering.....I learnt my lesson already..... "I need three volunteers"......"What for First Sarn't?......."Now I need two volunteers".
  9. It's a clock for a radio operators room on a ship. Prior to the Titanic, there were no "rules" for radio. Every company sort of did what they wanted to do and any power level they wanted concerning radio. After the Titanic loss, the Radio Act of 1912 was passed and regulations were made. One of those regulations were all ships at sea and all coastal stations had to have a 24-hour radio watch. If you recall, the closest ship to the Titanic was the Californian, but it's radio operator had closed the radio room and gone to bed. So he never received the Titanic's SOS call. The Californian was within 10 miles of the Titanic and could have most likely saved everyone had the radio operator been at his post. One of the new regulations was that there were designated times of radio silence. They were denoted by the red wedges on the clock. Because back then, with the spark gap, and everyone doing what they wanted to do regarding transmitting, SOS signals were often walked on or just not heard. The "emergency" frequency was designated 500 KHz by the Radio Act of 1912 and the +15 to +18 minutes and +45 to +48 minutes after each hour were "radio silence" where all radio operators on ships were required to stop transmitting and listen for SOS calls. They later added the 2125 Khz in the 1940's and those times were 0 to +3 and +30 to +33 minutes after the hour. Those radio silence periods were denoted with green wedges, so later ships clocks had both red and green wedges on it. Any radio operator transmitting during the radio silence periods would hear "QRT SP" (Stop sending - Silent period!) and he might lose his coveted ships job and be reassigned to a land station. After the titanic disaster, some guy, I forget who, invented a radio device. It didn't transmit, it only listened. They were installed on all ships. When an operator keyed four four-second dashes at one second intervals, the machine would flash lights and ring loud bells automatically. So if the Marconi operator was asleep or away from his desk, all the noise and flashing lights would get his attention to the SOS call. I guess you could say it was the first EPIRB. The red sections around the outside of the dial indicate four-second dashes at one second intervals (the operator would hold the key down as the second hand traveled the red section and release it as it traveled the white section. I guess the idea was if your ship was sinking and you were in a panic, it was a visual aid so the ships radio operator would do it right to trigger the radio alarm on nearby ships. The Radio Act of 1912 required each ships radio room to have one of these clocks easily visible to the radio operator. Real clocks with this face from that era sell for $1,000 to $2,000 dollars. They were also fitted on aircraft during both world wars for the same reason. Maybe that's why he valued his since he was a pilot. Here's an image of the radio operators clock on the Liberty Ship SS John Brown.
  10. So I found this tide clock in a thrift store. About a pound of solid brass, not the thin tin brass stuff. I had seen them online for $160 but there wasn't a price tag on it. I asked the lady how much it was, expecting to hear $60 - $80 or so. She said the clock doesn't work and she'd take fifteen bucks for it. I couldn't get my wallet out fast enough. I bought a clock mechanism for ten bucks and did some photoshop work on some photo cardstock. Now I got a neat clock for the shack. ""CQD, CQD, this is Titanic......."
  11. KD3Y

    Coax

    LMR-400 may be just as good or better UV protection as RG-213 but I didn't question it. I assumed if LMR-400 was newer and better than RG-213, the UV protection was probably there. The guy spoke of it in his video when he compared RG-8 family to RG-213. But I never realized until you just mentioned it that he never mentioned UV protection in his RG-213 to LMR-400 comparison. I believe for the price difference of thirty bucks it's worth the LMR-400. If it was 50 or 75 dollars difference, then it'd be a consideration. I especially appreciate the the EMI and RFI sensitivity advice. I'd like to stay as far away from EMI and RFI noise as I can.
  12. KD3Y

    Coax

    Thank you Sir. My "longer version" had the details. But if what I've learned about coax is true (and correct me if it isn't) I had settled on LMR-400 but after watching some youtube videos on "which cable to use" and such, I was swayed to RG-213 by "the experts". That's just how it is when you don't know what you don't know. From what I understand, RG-58 is high loss in VHF & UHF, used mainly for runs less than 50 feet in frequencies above 100 Mhz and less than 50 feet for frequencies above 400 Mhz, often used for mobile radio installations in a vehicle. Readily available, cheap, but high loss. OK for short runs, such as mobile installations is vehicles but it's high loss in long runs. RG-8X is better than RG-58, Works well for 50 - 75 foot runs in UHF & VHF but still lossy. Medium price range. But quality varies with manufacturer. RG-8U was the military spec 52 ohm, better than RG-8X due to the larger diameter center conductor and suitable for 50-75 foot runs in the UHF & VHF frequencies. RG-213 replaced the mil spec RG-8U and has lower loss and better UV protection than the RG-8 family (which is why I considered it since half my run will be outside in the sun. LMR-400 is the best, very low loss and suitable for the Ghz range. Since I'm only using VHF and UHF right now, my man question was, am I wasting money on LMR for performance I'm not going to use when RG-213 will do the same thing. Not trying to be a cheap ass, I just don't see the need for paying extra for capabilities I'll probably never use. My run will be about 75 feet. Through the floor, across the crawlspace, through the foundation block, then 20 feet up the mast. Probably half that will be outside in the sun and salt air. If LMR-400 is what I need, then I don't mind spending the extra 30 bucks. I think I can rule out RG-58 obviously, and RG-8X, and probably RG-8U. So I was in a toss up over RG-213 or LMR-400. I also was concerned though I'm simply VHF and UHF now, I probably will go to HF in the future, and didn't want to have to re-run cable again in a year unless I had to. On a less bothersome note, for any interested, I updated my website last night and added my morse code practice key HERE. I still get an error when the user keys in some dot/dash combo that doesn't exist in morse code. I can't determine if it's my script that's returning the error or if it's a limitation on the cheap hosting I'm using and the server doesn't' know what to do in that case. Probably the later as it works fine local until I upload it to the server. Oh, and I usually drink Newcastle, so I'm a cheap date. 🙂 Anthony kt4obx
  13. KD3Y

    Coax

    Maybe this post will go thru. The last one posted Thursday morning disappeared in the "Needs moderator approval" shredder. So rather than waste 15 minutes typing out a detailed, well explained paragraph, since it probably won't post this time either, I'll just cut to the chase. Can I use RG-213 for my radio to antenna run, about 75 feet, for UHF & VHF, or will LMR400 offer me something that RG-213 can't?
  14. KD3Y

    Antenna mast

    Thanks Jim. I learned more in the Infantry than just how to paint rocks and how to mow grass with a pair of scissors. ;)
  15. KD3Y

    Antenna mast

    Yeah that's what I was considering when I was thinking about how I'd do it. My buddy Larry up the road about 4 blocks has a similar antenna on a 40 foot tower in his backyard. That whole thing is iron. When I get it grounded and get my coax, I'll let you guys know what I learn so far as TX and RX.
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