Ham radio

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woodartist

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Joined
Jun 23, 2006
Posts
563
Location
Wandering the Old West
AES Las Vegas, NV
4640 South Polaris Ave
Las Vegas, NV 89103

It is a bear to find, and is near LV Blvd. Actually the road runs parallel and is only a few blocks West. I'd suggest using a new map. The Street isn't very long. Anyway, good supply of stuff there since they are a main mail order outlet. I don't have the maps with me at the moment, although even with the map I made several wrong turns ;)

You can give them a call when you get into town: 800-634-6227
702-647-3114
 

woodartist

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Joined
Jun 23, 2006
Posts
563
Location
Wandering the Old West
Small store but they do have a display on the shelves behind the counter with some real nice goodies :) Also some smaller stuff on display racks. They also give you free napkins if you drool ;D
 

John From Detroit

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Apr 12, 2005
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24,765
Location
Davison Michigan
ROFL (Free napkins)  I can imagine.

My major ham-radio shopping spree was in May, in Dayton, and I came home with the above mentioned TS-2000, which works great bu the way  I'm starting to get back into a "Ham" cycle.  (Where IN enjoy the hobby more) as well, the 2/440 FM gig was getting a bit stale but now that I upgraded my vintage Tech + to General (Just did the paperwork) I have more I can do... and I'm taking classes cause one thing I learned when I worked as a roofer was once you start climbing a ladder there is no sense stopping till you get to the top and once I get the EXTRA I don't have to worry about band limits any more.  With an Extra the spectrum can be divided into two groups of parts... One group is the area where I'm allowed to operate, the other group is the area where the TS-2000 WILL NOT operate.  I can let it's computer worry about "out of band"
 

Smoky

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Joined
Mar 11, 2005
Posts
3,589
Location
wherever we are parked
Thanks guys for the scoop on the boy toys!

I just got back into ham radio after a long hiatus.  Still holding the extra class.  Last year in phoenix I picked up the Yaesu 857D.  It is small and compact and perfect for an MH.  It provides more bands than my old Kenwood 930S used to provide at ten times the size.  And about at the same power.  Also picked up a yaesu handheld for 2 meters.  Geesh even the 857D has 2 meters along with all the HF bands.  Maybe in Las Vegas I can pick up a speaker mike for the handheld and wear it to my next hamfest.

I have yet to visit a Harbor Freight but have heard a lot about them.  I did visit Fry's in Phoenix a number of times.  The Admiral wants to know why these stores would interest me when we are in Las Vegas.  I told her it is just "boy stuff".  ;D

W3PY

 

John From Detroit

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Apr 12, 2005
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Location
Davison Michigan
Well Smokey... I went with the Kenwood TS-2000, all the HF bands 160 through 10, Plus six, two 1.4 Mtr and 70cm (though there is an issue with 1.4M in that it uses the same antenna out as 2mtr and they don't play nice together... yet)

2mtr and 70cm can be received on the "Main" or on the 2nd receiver, 160-6 main only and I think but am ont sure 1.4M on the secondary only.

AM/FM/SSB/FSK/CW and more, plus jacks to control external hardware such as Amplifiers and switches.

User's manual is dang near bigger than the radio (Is bigger than my Yesau FT-51r, but then it's manual is bigger than it is too)

So far, I'm kind of happy with it.
 

woodartist

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Joined
Jun 23, 2006
Posts
563
Location
Wandering the Old West
Well, I have a TS-440 and it is overkill because all I work is CW...natural, no computer:) Used to copy 65 wpm but age has slowed me down a lot. Not sure but guessing 30 wpm now. Regardless, I still enjoy the old CW..brass pounder at heart ::)
 

Smoky

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Mar 11, 2005
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wherever we are parked
Woody, CW is my favorite mode also.  I was never at 65, but I could copy 35 in my head without paper.  I used to use a brass pounder straight key and then moved to a vibroplex mechanical bug.  Now I have one of those little bencher paddles to use with the Yaesu 857D which has built in electronic keying.

My first rig in the 1950s (I was 12 years old) was the Heath AT-1 transmitter with a Heath AR-2 receiver, both built by myself.  Later I added a Heath VFO to the AT-1.  then I built a Globe Scout 65B, adding the old VFO to it.  Finally I got a Kenwood 820 transceiver and built a Heath SB220 linear amp.  Then traded in the Kenwood 820 for the Kenwood 930s.  had a 60 foot tower with the thunderbird THX6DXX beam.

Now it is like starting all over again in the motorhome with tiny rigs and tiny antennas.  ;D
 

woodartist

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Joined
Jun 23, 2006
Posts
563
Location
Wandering the Old West
I sure know about the antenna problems Smoky:) I got my license when I was age 12...and you know kids. I picked the CW up very easy ( wished I had done that with a foreign language) and just enjoyed the heck out of it. Kind of like poetry or music in a way ;) I built the DX-20, DX 60, And Apache transmitters...as well as several homebrew 807's and 6146's. Never did build a receiver...unless you can count the crystal ones with an amp. I'm currently trying to figure out a good approach to attaching a Hustler and mast to the rig. Oh, keys. I started with a J-38, went to the Vibroplex bug, and then a keyer. I now have the old J-38 and it is enough ;) Have to cut down on equipment.....Anyway, when I get things going maybe I'll see you on the air. 20, 15, and 10 meter CW and sometimes the newer HF bands....well, new as of 20 years ago:)....oh, I used a TA-33 which was a great beam. Obviously no room now ::)
 

Smoky

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wherever we are parked
Woody:

When I went to the HRO store last year, getting back into ham radio, I was shocked at the cost of straight keys.  I used to buy them for $5 or $10.  I could not find one for under $100 and they are basically the same design.  What a ripoff.  The price is obviously affected by the decline of ham radio compounded by the even more rapid decline of CW.  Compounded yet again by the conversion to automated keying.  I can only guess that so few straight keys are made that they have to raise the price to compensate for low volume of sales.

It turned out to be cheaper for me to buy the Bencher paddle and take advantage of the built in Yaesu keyer.  Maybe I will find one on Ebay.

 

John From Detroit

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Apr 12, 2005
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Location
Davison Michigan
Re: Cost of straight keys... Yes, you used to be able to get them for ten bucks

And you used to be able to get gas for 25 cents a gallon too.

About the same time

Prices on long established stuff like straight keys tend to go up,  Computer prices go down as more players enter the field and the technology to build them is improved.  But as you said, that straight key design has not changed much since before Thomas Edison, so the design, and the manafacturing process is more or less locked in and thus as prices for materials and labor and "overhead" goe up, so does the price.

Sadly part of that overhead is the fat raises company managers get while labor endures yet another wage freeze, but there I'm getting into politics so I'm not going to say any more on that topic.
 

woodartist

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Jun 23, 2006
Posts
563
Location
Wandering the Old West
Well, I've seen the keys ( J-38's) a lot cheaper than 100. Might want to check Ebay? I used to make my own on a piece of wood using a piece of tin, 2 screws, and a cabinet knob. Sounds odd, but does have a nice feel. The N. Vietamese used a metal stylus that they would drag down a piece of wood that had metal bars on it. For example, letter "A" would have a small piece of metal (dot) and a longer piece of metal (dash) and the connection would be completed as the stylus was dragged ( drugged) over the metals. Kind of a neat innovative "keyer."  :)
 

Smoky

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wherever we are parked
Radio Shack used to sell the straight keys for around $10.  They had the nice slide switch you could close to tune your transmitter.  Have not seen them at RS for a long time now.
 

John From Detroit

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Apr 12, 2005
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Location
Davison Michigan
I actually built a straight key recently (two of them in fact, gave one away) I need to photo it and submit to ARRL for publication.

You see, it has five screws, one spring, two nuts and the rest of it is WOOD, yes, WOOD, it's a WOODEN key.

And the wood is all scrap left over from another project, save for the knob, that I had to buy
 

woodartist

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 23, 2006
Posts
563
Location
Wandering the Old West
Sadly ( for me) CW is fast going on it's way out. Even the merchant shipping industry no longer requires Morse operators. Guess the hand keys are becomming a collector's item ::) Either of you been to any Hamfests lately??? Might be a good place to get some keys? I haven't been to any decent ones because we are usually in small towns and in the West. ............You might have better luck John, submitting your key design to the Antique Wireless Association....ARRL might not be interested :eek:
 
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