02-28-2014 10:19 AM
It's Friday! Here we are......waiting for yet another winter blast. Actually two of them in quick succession are expected. Don't know how much snow we'll get. Seems to depend on location. We could get as much as 8 inches they say. But...on the other hand...we might get lucky and squeak by with only an inch or so. Right now it is 50 degrees out there. Hard to believe.
Hope y'all have a great week ahead.
03-01-2014 8:26 AM
We were at 80 yesterday in DFW and tomorrow is supposed to be in the 20's with a wintery mix. Gotta love winter sometimes.
03-03-2014 10:18 AM
Luckily, our forecasted 9-12" snowfall got whittled down to 6-10 and then 4-7. We received a little less than 3. Kind of a victory for this Winter. It has been a bad winter in Indianapolis - this has been the snowiest meteorological winter (Dec 1 - Feb 28) and we are 3" off the record for the entire season. Yuck.
03-03-2014 8:10 PM
Yeah, it's been a really weird one here also. But no shortage of cold. Last night's low was -5.2 degrees. The clouds cleared away during the night and let the warmer out to the atmosphere. So down, down it went. Still a long way from the 15 to 20 degree below zero we used to experience back during our Iowa days in the 1970's.
Cabin fever is getting me down. We may just throw some things in the car.....along with my oxygen producing equipment....and point the nose south. Well...I can dream can't I?
I'm still deeply involved in discovering all the features on this new TV. Many of them we'll probably never use. Even the 3-D is not high on our list. Sources are rather limited. Even off of the Internet. Guess I should go find a decent 3-D, blue ray DVD deck to replace the old one. Seems a shame to spend the cash because I really don't know when we would have time to watch. Only so many hours in the day and evenings and there are so many detective and mystery stories on existing sources......favorites of my dear wife. Remember when we had only one TV channel which signed on at 5 PM and off at midnight? Heck....I remember when there was only radio.....and my pop used to tell me about his crystal set and using it with a very long wire antenna to tune in KDKA in Pennsylvania.....the 1st commercial radio station in the U.S. Wonder what folks will be using in the next 75 to 100 yrs.
WOW......just seeing story on the news.....teen age girl sledding down a hill....hit a rock and fractured her spine. So sad. At least the surgeons were able to relieve the pressure and apparently she won't be paralyzed. A close call, for sure.
03-04-2014 11:18 AM
and my pop used to tell me about his crystal set and using it with a very long wire antenna to tune in KDKA in Pennsylvania.....the 1st commercial radio station in the U.S. Wonder what folks will be using in the next 75 to 100 yrs.
The internet. Heck, even Ham radio uses the internet with Echolink. Some say that's not real ham radio, as you can "QSO" between two Echolink connected computers and not even go on the air. The only QSO's that I've ever done were via Echolink. I got my Technician license back in 2006 and did a 2 meter QSO with a ham in Missouri. I hooked a headset to my PC, used Echolink and my voice came out of a repeater in Ava, MO. You can even now get Echolink for your smartphone.
03-04-2014 8:33 PM - edited 03-04-2014 8:34 PM
I've never used that EchoLink system but have heard about it. I would prefer to just get on the HF bands for the long haul. That's REAL ham radio. But I do have a close friend in Virginia who is a very active DX contestor. He is a member of a group that has built a huge antenna farm with lots of beams for the various HF bands.....plus a rather large "shack" with all of the transceivers and 1.5 KW amplifiers. The whole system is capable of remote control via the Internet. In other words....I could sit here at home with my computer and DX on the HF bands through that monster station in Virginia. I'm not well versed on just how it all works. He is a code fan and almost all of his contacts are made by that medium. Rarely uses voice. Here in the Kansas City area there are a few HF club stations that can be accessed via VHF 2 meter or 440 mHz bands over club owned repeaters. During the 16 years that my wife and I traveled all over the U.S. in our motorhome I used the heck out of my ham gear to keep in touch with friends all over the world.....but primarily in the U.S. My antenna was a multiband vertical which I mounted right at the roof line on the motorhome and I built it so that it would tilt over and could be clamped down for travel on the highways. When parked I would raise it and it stuck about 35 feet up in the air. It was great. But I've not been active on the bands for quite a few years now. Too many hobbies....not enough time.
03-05-2014 7:16 AM - edited 03-05-2014 7:21 AM
Yeah some really despise EchoLink but I could see that as a cool way to bring kids into the hobby and the hobby needs youngsters.
On a sadly similar note; I'm sure that you've heard that Radio Shack is closing 1/4 of their stores. They lost their way as they ventured too far from their mission. They became "Cell Phone and iPod Shack." Their bread and butter were electrical components, kits, robotics and such. If they could partner with schools (high school, colleges and trades) to invigorate electrical and engineering trades. They would then have a huge audience. Concurrently, they could partner with schools to restart the amateur radio hobby. Software Defined radios (SDR's), Echolink and Computer Interfaces should excite the younger set moreso than simply a HT or transceiver. RS has always "offshored" decent knock off equipment - and as such, they could produce ham gear that will be 30-50% lower than overpriced Kenwood and ICOM gear. IMO.
03-05-2014 8:08 AM
When I saw the Super Bowl commercial for Radio Shack where "the '80s called and they want their store back." (see below if you missed it), I was thinking, "y'all are so missing the point."
I want my 70s/early '80s Radio Shack back. Sometimes you need that capacitor (socket, fill in the blank) now, not two days from now. Or maybe some help figuring out how to replace this odd duck component that you can't read the codes on. When you go in for a component, the guys there are so clueless it is embarrassing. Looking for a circuit board header (had one to show), the guy wants to sell me an IC.
I'm not buying a Cell phone from Radio Shack. When I went there to try to buy a universal power supply (you know, a wall wart with adjustable voltage and output cables) I found a wall full of warts of different specific voltages, and anemic current ratings. They were out of the one I needed, and if they had had it, it would have been $30. It's no wonder. I'm surprised it's only 1/5th of the stores.
03-05-2014 10:55 AM
It's always sad to see these old favorite stores in danger of closing down. Even Sears is having difficulties.
Believe it or not.....I worked for Radio Shack....in a store in the big mall in Independence, MO. I was there only a year....1989....and then we sold our home, moved into the RV and traveled full time for 16 years. Anyway....It could be fun working there. A big headache was having to inventory the entire store every two months......with all those little packages of parts hanging on the pins. But it was educational. Never dreamed how creative shop-lifters can get. My favorite stuff to sell was computer and audio gear. But I really HATED having to sell those blasted electronic toys and RC cars. Hated those things with a real passion. By that time the ham radio gear had pretty much disappeared from Radio Shack, except for a couple of models of 2-meter gear. That was sad because it was ham radio and other electronic hobbiests that Radio Shack got its start with. In Boston I think....but I'm not sure anymore. Senior memory problems....ya know?
Anyone else remember those fabulous catalogs from Allied Radio in Chicago? Oh my. As a teenager I used to spend hours pouring over that big thick annual version.
03-05-2014 1:30 PM - edited 03-05-2014 1:36 PM
Allied was going away, when I got interested as a teen. Indy used to have a weekly newspaper like Freecycle, called "The Trader." When I was in Junior High, I poured through it and saw that someone had an Allied Space Spanner regenerative SW radio for $15. I called Dad. He worked second shift and when I awoke, the next day, it was setting in the breakfast nook / shack, already hooked to my Inverted L antenna.
RS catalogs? Look here!
I do hope that RS follows my logic here and reenters the amateur radio world, by partnering with schools and clubs. It will help ham radio and drive down ridiculous ham store prices. For instance, Kenwood and Icom make dual band HT's in the $150 range. There are some knock off Chinese brands (such as Baofeng) that are just as good and way less than $50. Kenwood and Icom are made in China, too. Then there are the Software Defined Radios such as the Perseus and Winradio. There is no reason that they should cost $1000. There may not be $100 worth of parts inside. Crazy.
03-06-2014 10:40 AM
That was sad because it was ham radio and other electronic hobbiests that Radio Shack got its start with. In Boston I think....but I'm not sure anymore. Senior memory problems....ya know?
You're memory is just fine Phil. It got part of it's start in Ft. Worth Texas from a leather goods store back in 1919 and a Radio Shack in Boston in 1921.
From the Corporate HQ website.
"RadioShack traces its roots to two separate and very different entrepreneurial ventures: The Hinckley-Tandy Leather Company, a supplier of leather shoe parts to shoe repair shops founded in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1919; and RadioShack, a retail store and mail-order operation that was established in Boston in 1921 to serve the needs of radio officers aboard ships. RadioShack quickly grew to encompass a handful of stores in the Northeast, as well as a successful electronics mail-order business. The Hinckley-Tandy Leather Company also prospered, and in 1954, it sold its flagship leather business to expand its scope of operations. In 1959, the company shortened its name to Tandy Corporation, and in 1963, Tandy Corporation acquired RadioShack, marking the company's start as a personal electronics retailer. In 2000, Tandy Corporation changed its name to RadioShack Corp., listing on the NYSE under ticker symbol RSH."
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