L'amateur amateur ... ou est-ce le radioamateur amateur ... ou l'amateur radioamateur ... En tout cas, j'adore cette chronique, par Gary Hoffman KB0H. Lorsque j'en aurai le temps j'essaierai d'en traduire quelques bouts.
The Amateur Amateur: Discovering the Junkosphere
(Mar 25, 2004) -- I was in my basement recently, contemplating the sad state of my ham shack. Radio-related odds and ends lay everywhere, including on the floor. My wife Nancy and I had made serious attempts to get it all under control, but to no avail. I kept installing shelves and benches, but they kept disappearing into the debris. I hauled a boxed workbench downstairs, assembled it, and placed it in my shack with the idea that I'd finally have a place to do things. I admired its pristine condition, its clean surface and vowed to keep it that way. A week later it was gone, and in its place was a heap.
The Amateur Amateur: A Classy Seminar, Part II
(Feb 18, 2004) -- My sense of being watched by hungry wolves returned. Only now there were two packs, circling each other, wary, watching for possible territorial incursions.
A Classy Seminar, Part I
(Jan 21, 2004) -- You've probably figured out by now that I like to try new things. Like many Amateur Radio operators, recent events have gotten me thinking about emergency communications. I was already a member of a Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) group, but its activities were strictly limited to SKYWARN (weather spotting). That was rewarding, but I kept wondering if there was more that I could do.
Fifteen Milliseconds of Fame
(Dec 20, 2003) -- My Amateur Radio book would have plenty of visual references, like little smiley-faced electrons dancing merrily down the feed line.
Thanks for the Megahertz!
(Nov 20, 2003) -- This is a column about Thanksgiving. Every married man knows that he had better thank his wife first. My wife didn't just tolerate my hobby, she joined me in it.
Smoky Mountain High
(Oct 19, 2003) -- They say that ham radio is a great hobby. They say that you get to meet new people, chat with distant friends, learn new things and participate in community activities. I just wish I had time to do some of that stuff.
Saturday in the Park with Ray (Part II)
We continue the saga of my participation in the St Charles Amateur Radio Club's Field Day activities. Last time, I described the relaxed, friendly atmosphere at the site.
Saturday in the Park with Ray (Part I)
It was a strange moment. On the one hand I felt closer to the group than I had before. On the other hand, I felt guilty that I had never developed any CW proficiency myself.
The Junkman Cometh, Part III
To recap, my brother Chris, K1KC, was in town for a visit. He is often called "the junkman."
The Junkman Cometh, Part II
The Junkman Cometh, Part I
My brother, Chris, is my Elmer. He's also an inveterate accumulator of stuff--also known as "junk."
But are you a real ham?
This time, we run down the criteria that determine whether or not you're a real ham.
The HF Chronicles -- The Sweet Sound of Success
"A true ham never quits. He just tries something else!"
We Have Met the Examiners, and They are Us
Revealed: The trials and tribulations of being a volunteer examiner.
The HF Chronicles--EC-001 and Contacting NTS
CW--Her Plan Versus My Plan
My wife Nancy and I got our Advanced-class amateur licenses in October of 1997. It had taken a lot of effort, so we didn't immediately think about upgrading to Amateur Extra. The Advanced class exam was too fresh in our minds. It would take a while before we stopped having nightmares about resonance equations and Colpitts diagrams.
Short-Lived Success with Shortwave
The Amateur Amateur's HF adventures continue. Eventually the time came to make a contact. "Left alone, I would probably still be just listening," he says.
The HF Chronicles--A New Mode of Thinking
We continue to discover the wide, wide world of HF and, among other things, how SSB is different from VHF and UHF repeater operation and why headphones often are necessary to domestic tranquility.
The HF Chronicles--Part Deux--or--So Many Knobs, So Many Buttons
My last column described installing an HF antenna. The antenna sat on the roof of my house, not connected to anything. Once I worked up the courage (and money) to purchase an HF transceiver, I looked through catalogs and perused Web pages. I did this for a long, long time. The array of options available on HF transceivers was truly bewildering. I didn't even know what most of the features were.
My First Step Toward HF--High on the RooF
I am still in the early stages of the HF game--still experimenting, still learning, and still not sure I know what I'm doing.
Lessons in The Radio Facts of Life
I like Mike, but his repeater drives me nuts!
Putting It All Together (A Kitbuilding Saga)
Kit-building frustration is at the core of this month's adventure. A kit that I'd hoped would nurture my wife's fledgling interest in the mechanics of radio turned out to have just the opposite effect.
Upgrading Made Difficult
The 20 WPM Morse code exam started. At that exact moment, a construction crew just outside started up the world's loudest jackhammer. I thanked heaven that we were not taking the Morse code exam!
Assaulting the Battery II
Last time on The Amateur Amateur: I described how the battery for my hand-held stopped holding a full charge, vented my frustrations regarding a battery seller, and went on to discuss my dubious attempts to revive my failing battery.
Assaulting the Battery
I wrote this column to share with you what I've learned about batteries. Some of what I'm about to say is going to make me look pretty stupid.
Too Sexy for My Shack
Sibling rivalry is extended to the arena of ham shacks.
The movie Frequency employed ham radio as a plot device. The film now is available in video, just in time for the holidays.
The Amateur Amateur: Mobile Flambée
This time, we highlight the hazard potential of mobile installation power wiring. A proper mobile installation should include adequate fusing. Before installing mobile power wiring, you should first make sure the wire will handle the required current. A check in the Component Data chapter of The ARRL Handbook for Radio Amateurs should provide a good guide. Adequate and well-placed fuses are necessary to prevent fire hazards. For maximum safety, fuse both the hot (positive) and ground (negative) wires near the battery. Automobile fires can be both dangerous and costly!
Choking on RF
The intrepid newcomer encounters common mode problems in a mobile environment.
I traded in my old car and got a newer one. My old car was bright red and had lots of antennas. My neighbors probably thought that I was the fire chief. I was fond of my old car; it was my Amateur Radio training ground. I learned more about radio from that car than from any other source. Cars don't live forever, though, so I had to get a new one.
The "Calm" After the Storm
In this installment, we learn how the proverbial calm after the storm isn't always so calm, especially when it comes to restoring your antenna systems after they've been damaged.
Storm Spotting--the Hard Way
We introduce a new column that deals with the perils, pitfalls and, of course, the pleasures involved with being a newly licensed Amateur Radio operator.