Saturday, April 25, 2015

The demise of Radio Shack and where to buy stuff locally


Generations of home electronics hobbyists, ham radio enthusiasts and computer geeks spent their growth-spurt years hanging around their local Radio Shack stores. I was one of them. None of us are happy to have witnessed the company's long slide toward irrelevance and its looming exit from the retail landscape. The company's heyday ran from the 1970s through the late 1990s, when it rode the CB radio craze as the largest retailer in the market, and then transformed into a creditable maker of computer gear.
I am reminded of heading to my local Radio Shack store after school to get batteries, crystals, parts and books. My first crystal radio kit, a 101 Electronics project kit and first VHF scanner all came from the “Shack”. Remember the Battery of the Month Club card? Was I the only one that waited for the new catalog each fall? The manager in my local store was a great guy! I scored lots of “damaged” goods for little to nothing from the return shelf in the back of that store. His support was another influence that shaped my career choice and several lifelong hobbies. So the “Shack” as we once knew it is another Silent Key. What do we do now? (read more below)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

2 days until the Drumlins Hamfest!

Hope to see you there this Saturday 4/18!

More information at : http://www.drumlinsarc.org/hamfest.htm
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UPDATE: Great Hamfest by the Drumlins Club! It was great weather, lots of tailgating and deals to be had. Great facility, nice tailgating and plenty of dealers inside. This club hit a home run agin this year.


We are already looking forward to next year!

See you all at Rochester on June 6th!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Need your help - Balloon launch April 12th

UPDATE: BALLOON SUNDAY - Launches from Hilton NY and Olean NY

An extra note today.

My friend Mike and students from Olean, NY are also looking for altitude record this morning.
My Beacon is still going up by 2:00PM (Hilton NY), perfect day for balloons.

Thanks
Jim,N2NXZ
....................................................
Gang,

Full story below........

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Yaesu Webinar: Fusion Digital - Sunday April 12th - 8pm

A note from Chris Wilson at Yaesu:

Good Afternoon Valued Yaesu Customers,

If you are interested in participating in our online Fusion Digital Webinar Sunday April 12th at 8 PM EST (5PM) Pacific Time, please register at the following URL: 

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5390523246639558402

Best Regards,

Chris Wilson / N0CSW
National Sales Manager, Yaesu USA

* the instructions and log in information for the webinar will be forwarded to you after you register

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
UPDATE: 4/9/15
- Everyone....Please only register if you are going to attend.

I am shutting down registration at 750 people, we have to pay for each seat even if its not used (up front). We are going to leave 50-80 seats for those who want to join us when the webinar begins.

So, if you are not sure please join us on the Day of the webinar rather than using up a seat. There will be some spots available before we start.

Best Regards,


Chris W / N0CSW

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

RAGS Auction Thursday Night

APRIL 9th 2015 - RAGS MEETING:  

RAGS AUCTION NIGHT!

BRING SOMETHING TO SELL, COME READY TO BUY!
THURSDAY 4/9 -7PM,

NORTH SYRACUSE COMMUNITY CENTER

more info at: http://www.ragsclub.org/home.html

Radio Amateurs of Greater Syracuse (RAGS) is an ARRL affiliated club promoting all aspects of Ham Radio in the Syracuse, NY area.

Friday, April 3, 2015

147.39 Repeater update.......

Another Yaesu System Fusion update from Pat, WN8Z:

Late this morning I slipped the 147.39 DR-1X repeater back in the rack at the tower site near Fulton. I have decided to do all the "upgrades" in steps. Presently the repeater is in the auto mode. digital in = digital out & FM in = FM out and is in place without any external controllers. In the very near future I will, as time permits, connect the Arcom RC-210 external controller and echolink controller back into the system which can only be used in the FM analog mode. Digital transmissions are handled by the internal controller and all gps positioning and data services will remain available as they are now.
It is not possible to set a mixed mode (digital/fm in = fm out) once an external controller is added into the mix. Echolink has had a lot of usage on this repeater and I hope to continue offering the service. For this reason I decided to go ahead and bring it onboard in the Fusion repeater and operate in the current configuration. I also anticipate supporting APRS (all Fusion radios are APRS capable) sometime late spring by adding an APRS gate to extend this service to the northern area. An antenna upgrade is also planned in the near future.

Analog users should enable full ctcss on their radios if you do not want to hear the digital madness - if your radio allows BCLO ( busy channel lock out) you might want to enable it on your memory channel. If a digital conversation is in use and you desire to see who or what is going on, wait for the digital signal to quit (there is no hang time in digital mode) and transmit your callsign. If the digital users have configured their radio properly (AMS - automatic mode selection) their radio will immediately switch to analog FM and the conversation can continue.

Digital is new to our part of the state and we all have a learning curve to deal with. I ask that all users be courteous and patient with each other. Feel free to experiment and use the system.
Digital users: Set you radios in AMS - Group mode is not allowed at this time without prior approval
.
Feel free to leave a comment, suggestion, or question here or I can be contacted on email at wn8z at arrl dot net.

de Wn8z

Thursday, April 2, 2015

AWA Spring Meet - May 2nd

AWA SPRING MEET and BIG AWA AUCTION
 Saturday May 2, 2015 Bloomfield, New York

 As part of this year’s Antique Wireless Association Spring Meet, the AWA will hold a very special, a very BIG auction of duplicate items from the Museum’s collection. The BIG auction will be held in the afternoon at Rhonda’s Auction House just down the street from the Spring Meet and the Museum. Don’t miss this very special, very BIG auction. A partial list of items to be auctioned will be posted on the AWA web site as they are set aside for the auction.

Come early in the morning to the Spring Meet and enjoy the flea market (better yet, bring items to sell), the bargain table Museum sale, Dan’s doughnuts and coffee, and at 10:00 am, visit the Museum.

The BIG auction will begin at 1 pm with Rich Estes auctioneering. The auction preview will be open at Noon at Rhonda’s Auction House. Also, take some time for lunch and browse for antiques at Rhonda’s Antique Center. And, enjoy all this for only a $5 admission ticket. If you are not an AWA member and want to visit the Museum, buy a Spring Meet/Museum admission combination ticket for only $10 (a $2 discount for admission to the Museum)

The tentative schedule for this BIG day: 

7:00 am Flea Market opens Veteran’s Park
8:00 am AWA Museum Bargain Table Sale Annex Building, Veteran’s Park
10:00 am Antique Wireless Museum open until Noon
Noon Auction pre-view Rhonda’s Auction House
1 pm Rich Estes starts the BIG AWA Auction

Because of the nature of the auction this year, AWA will not be able to accept member’s items to be auctioned at this event. But, please bring them to the AWA Convention to be held August 11 to 15 at the RIT Conference Center.

Directions: http://www.antiquewireless.org/location-and-campus-details.html

AWA web site: http://www.antiquewireless.org/2015-spring-meet.html

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Spring SkyWarn Training

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Binghamton has started spring SkyWarn training. They have both On-line and local training classes available. I can personally speak of the great job the NWS Binghamton office does with this training. 

What is SKYWARN?
The effects of severe weather are felt every year by many Americans. To obtain critical weather information, NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS), part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, established SKYWARN® with partner organizations. SKYWARN® is a volunteer program with nearly 290,000 trained severe weather spotters. These volunteers help keep their local communities safe by providing timely and accurate reports of severe weather to the National Weather Service.

More on SkyWarn and Amateur Radio:
http://www.upstateham.com/p/skywarn.html

Link to the training schedule:
http://www.weather.gov/bgm/outreachSKYWARNtraining

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

147.39 repeater update from WN8Z; Pat

3/25/15 - 147.39 repeater update:

A quick update on the progress of the Yaesu Fusion repeater in Fulton on 147.390. I now have all the components on the bench - DR-1X. Arcom RC-210 controller. ADR external interface, HRI-200 WiresX interface, Echolink interface, laptop pc and a spare duplexer and will be working diligently in the evenings to get everything working correctly. There are a few unpublished quirks concerning the repeater that Yaesu didn't tell us about when first released, and a few typos in what docs they did release. All in all it looks to be a worthwhile and doable project.

The GE Mstr II was taken off the air Wednesday and in it's place is a loaner Kenwood repeater that is putting a signal out on the air during the transition to the DR-1X. I have no timeline when the DR-1X will be placed in service.

A special shout out to Jack, W2QYT, (keeper of the Auburn double O) for the use of his spare "floating" baby repeater allowing me to keep .39 on the air, and to the other repeater guru's who have contributed to the 39 project!

de Wn8z