Sunday, June 29, 2008

Specialized FMDX Radio: Tecsun CR-1100DSP AM/FM

The TECSUN CR-1100DSP is a specialized design radio for FMDX listening incorporating Digital Signal Processing and dual DAC. It can decode stereo transmissions and delivers exceptional clarity for very HiFi reproduction. There is also provision for MP-3 download directly to MP-3 Player.

TECSUN CR-1100DSP employs a DSP chip from Silicon Labs no. Si4730

Frequency bands:
FM1 87.0——108.0MHz
FM2 65.0——108.0MHz
MW 522——1620KHz,9KHz steps included。
Size: 258×148×63(mm)
External F Connector Jack
Selectable DSP setting, DAC

Diagram 1 above: The Block diagram for the CR-1100DSP (Only in Chinese - Sorry!)

Photo 1 above: The Tecsun CR-1100DSP hooked up to my Grove SP-200 Sound Enhancer going through it's paces.

Photo 2 above: Overall view of the Tecsun CR-1100DSP receiver, the built in speaker is of good high quality and has a larger magnet.

Photo 3 above: Close up of the specialized "S" meter on the CR-1100DSP which displays signal level in dBu and Signal-to-noise Ratio in dB also!

Photo 4 above: Close up of the output jacks on the front panel.

Photo 5 above: Close up of the "F" connector jack on the rear for external antenna hook up.

Conclusion: I cannot read the Chinese manual so cannot advise what the quoted specifications for the RX are, except for the frequency coverage. It appears that the set was primarily designed for FMDX capability and also the Japanese market as the FM coverage extends to receive the unusual Japanese FM bands. Reception on FM is fantastic to say the least and I had such a large choice of stations to listen too with just moving the dial slightly. It had no problem with even pulling in the weak stations and I must say the specialized "S" meter is such a useful adddition. The DSP is doing a wonderful job as the sound rivals that of some of the more expensive top notch HiFi super tuners.

On MW however, there is so much lacking and I am not impressed by the somewhat average performance and would say there is no competition with my GE Super Radio III which still is no. 1 for me when it comes to MWDX.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

New Equipment News: Chinese Made 811 Tube Linear - Pre Production Photos.

I have received some news from some BY radio amateurs on a new tube type HF linear amplifier employing the use of 3 x 811 tubes. There is no price ticket for the linear and indeed no name on the prototype. No specifications were given, just 4 photos, take a look and judge for yourself what it reminds you of?

The metering employs cross needle metering which is back lit, the overall outlook is actually quite good. This is a prototype being evaluated presently and not in production as yet, so please no emails as I would not be able to give you any further details except what you see from the photos and the amplifier cannot be ordered yet. But if I receive anymore information I will certainly report on the same:

Respect for Elders.

An issue that always strikes a raw nerve with me is the issue of "Respect for Elders" or should I say the "Lack of Respect for Elders". I have come across all to often the snobbish, know it all, think they are better, show off, ego eccentric types who's show of general discourtesy to people around them and even worse towards their elders is utterly and dreadfully disgusting. These are real Pigs! These are bigots: a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices.

There is absolutely "ZERO" tolerance in my book for people who disrespect their elders and I will without any hesitation treat them with extreme discontent, make my annoyance for their uneducated and lowly disrespectful and terrible manners made clear and known to them. If they do not acknowledge that they are in the wrong, walk away and turn their noses up, then my conclusion is simple - they all too full of themselves, utter snobs and hypocrites and basically just plain prats or to the point -A**H*les. They have nasty mean streaks running through their veins and are so utterly vain and shallow.

There is not a shred of common decency in any person who is impolite, demeaning, disrespectful and downright condescending to their elders. And if they are told that they have been wrong, do not even bother to acknowledge the fact and apologize for their bad treatment to their elders, they are basically on the same level as horse manure. There is also not a shred of IQ or EQ for such persons. They surely do not command any of my time or respect as their over sized egos and undersized intellects do not deserve the command of my time or respect nor do they deserve the command and respect of any well mannered, educated and leveled headed individuals. Sorry the foul stench that surrounds such people is simply over powering.

Such individuals do not have any sense of morals, commonly accepted decency and surely cannot begin even to grasp the simplest understanding of the concept of empathy. But as with all things in life, such selfish, self-centered, rude, naive and base individuals will reap bad karma and experience the negative side of things, what goes around comes around and they will eventually get their dues many times over.

Such persons to me are coarse and unrefined on the inside and outside, utterly grotesque and ugly and worse then any plague or disease I can think of. It is a pity that society has to suffer with such baseline moronic types. It is no use for such people to try and dress themselves up and play pretend because their true colors will also shine through and their hideous identities will always come through.

So those of you who do not respect your elders, you should learn to grow up instead of being such childish and ridiculous individuals for which most of society will look down upon you. Sorry to say that such people really have stunted intellects.

But you know what is really sad? Recently I had lunch with a well respected clinical psychologist friend of mine and we were discussing this very issue and she told me that it was more then likely that the aforesaid individuals are suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), a form of pathological narcissism. Therefore what I said about a mean streak coarsing through their veins is correct.

Just a pet peeve of mine!



Today's Music Video: Ambrosia - Biggest Part Of Me.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Oldie but a Goodie: Yaseau FT-901DM Competition Grade Transceiver.

You may be asking why the hell would I still want and still keep (and use!) a 30-year old, bulky, heavy ‘boat anchor’ transceiver? For collecting, good performance? At the time of it's release it was the top of the line for Yaesu and was competition grade. Performance wise, many years down the line it is still ranked no. 15 currently as far as close in dynamic range for high performance transceivers is concerned and is still quite hard to beat. In fact many of the so called top of the range HF transceivers now do not have a RF front end that is so hot to trot and cannot even touch the Yaesu FT-901DM. That is the real reason - performance. Yes this amazing old vintage radio has a receiver can perform or out perform better the the expensive models of today! Matched with the FTV-901R transverter and I have a high performance VHF/UHF operating system.

The year was 1977, the FT-901DM was built and designed following on the success of the FT-101 line, the FT-901DM was crafted as a “hybrid” transceiver, using all solid state design except for the driver and final amplifier stages. It uses plug-in circuit boards, popular in the 101, 225, 625 and 301 lines, and it featured a die-cast front panel and spectacular solid mechanical construction inside the case. The FT-901 was among the “cleanest” internal structures that Yaesu ever created.

The real “breakthrough” feature of the Yaesu FT-901DM was the memory system. In a day when the only concept of “memory” was a quartz crystal, the FT -901DM allowed the operator to push a button, wait about five seconds, and in that time the synthesizer would lock in on the current operating frequency and store it for later recall. No other HF radio in the Ham world had memory, and it was a huge performance breakthrough that set the stage for the memory-based transceivers of today.

Another area where the Yaesu FT-901DM shone was in its much improved receiver performance. The FT-901DM was the result of a major effort by Yaesu’s top receiver design engineers, who included a permeability-tuned RF preselector (similar in concept to the “µ-Tuning” modules in today’s FTdx9000! Now may be you will sit up and take note), and the entire receiver section featured at least 10 dB more dynamic range than any previous solid-state receiver from Yaesu. At the time, the dynamic range of the FT-901DM was, by far, the best in the industry, and it led to the wide acceptance of this model in DX and contest circles. Indeed the close in dynamic range is topped today by only a few other very special class top of the range HF transceivers but at much higher prices! So if you can find a FT-901DM or a Ft-902 in good overall condition, it is worth buying one as a second rig. The differnce between the 901 and 902 is purely one of bands, the 902 has the WARC bands included, everything elese is the same.

Don't take my word for it, take a close look at the receiver tests, done by Bob Sherwood of Sherwood Engineering (link). Even after 30 years, the FT-901 is still ranking #15 - defeating numerous modern transceivers with ease. Bob is a respected RF Engineer and what he says about receiver design performance and rankings is basically accepted as Gospel by DXers the world over and is not disputed.

On the transmitter side, the 901 uses a pair of 6146B tubes in the finals, and utilized RF negative feedback to ensure low IMD products. The 901 series was always renowned for its outstanding audio quality and signal purity. Now do you want receiver performance or bells and whistles?

Finally, the FT-901DM included a built-in Curtis Model 8043 Electronic Keyer. The Curtis IC was the “prestige” keyer of the day, and it eliminated yet another box from the desk of an owner.

FT-901 Web pages:

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Yaesu SP-6 + DSP-59Y

The Timewave DSP-59Y was the only Digital Signal Filter built to match existing YAESU radios using the SP-5 and SP-6 external speakers. The DSP-59Y, using the same highly aclaimed filter set as the DSP-599zx, is designed to fit in the phone patch slot of the speaker. It uses the existing A/B switch and 1/4" stereo phone jack on the speaker cabinet and also allows the existing analog filters to be used.

The Timewave DSP module allows the owners of Yaesu equipment to maintain the Original Equipment Manufacturer's appearance. This filter gives the FT1000, FT1000D, FT990, FT890, FT900, and FRG100 the latest noise reduction and filtering DSP technology. Mine is used with the Ten Tec Paragon HF Transceiver.

The speaker mounted DSP-59Y can be used with other radios and transceivers made by other manufacturers such as Kenwood, Icom, Ten-Tec, and Alinco. There are no design limitations in either the DSP-59Y or the speaker that prevents their use with other radios or transceivers.

The DSP-59Y has all the digital noise filters found in the DSP-599zx incorporating the newest high speed CPU. Running at 36.8 MIPS, the extra power gives the user unparalleled features and field upgradability for the future. The DSP-59Y does not have the Test Instrument mode.

Yaesu FTV-901R 3 Band Transverter - 50/144/430MHz

The Yaesu FTV-901R is a three band, VHF/UHF transverter. The basic unit comes with equipped with 144 MHz capability. You may add 50 or 430 MHz as options. Repeater offset is provided for 6 and 2 meters, and full duplex operation on OSCAR modes A/B/J is possible with an external receiver. It is designed to match the FT-901DM and FT-902DM.

Photo above: The front of my FTV-901R (fully loaded) in prestine condition.

Photo below: The rear view of my FTV-901R (Fully loaded with all three modules - 50MHz/144MHz/430MHz).

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Circle Game-Steven Curtis Chapman

The words have allot of meaning, listen to them closely.

Carole King - You've Got A Friend (Covers SLD)

Thank you Jimuel ~ A True Blue Friend Who Can Stand The Test Of Time ~ Arden HK

Cagnet - True ... True (Logo Slide)

From Arden HK:

Robert John - Sad Eyes (Covers SLD)

From Arden HK:

Carole King - It's Too Late (Covers SLD)

From Arden HK:

The Verve - Bitter Sweet Symphony

Kiss Me (English/Japanese Versions) - Sixpence Non The Richer

Took The Last Train - David Gates.

Another fav. of mine - my thanks to Arden HK.

Took The Last Train
Took The Last Train

Took the Last Train to St. Tropez
Had in mind to dance the night away
Experimented with a cognac high
When in France you give everything a try

Soon the crowd dwindled down to two
Not a soul around but me and you
You just smiled in French and took my hand
Spoke the words I tried my best to understand
You're tellin' me-

Viens chez moi
Ce soir va jamais terminer
On va rester toujours ensemble-you're
tellin' me

Come with me
Tonight will last forever
We wiII stay together always

Wake the next day and found her note
Love ya, goodbye that's all she wrote
And every night down at the place we met
I wait for her and those sweet words I
can't forget
You're tellin' me-

Viens chez moi
Ce soir va jamais terminer
On va rester toujours ensemble-'cause
I want you to

Come with me
Tonight will last forever
We wiII stay together always

Save It For A Rainy Day - Stephen Bishop.

One of my favs. uploaded by a friend of over 3 decades - arden HK.

Your So Vain!

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Rather Special World Band Portable - The Kchibo KK-S500

Description: This is a small size reciever similar to the Degens, etc. The difference is this radio includes Syncronous detection (U/L selectable).

KCHIBO KK-S500 DIGITAL DUAL CONVERSION / SYNCHRONOUS DETECTION SHORTWAVE / FM STEREO / MW RADIO FM : 76 -108 MHz MW : 520 - 1620 KHz. (9 or 10 KHz. steps) SW : 1620 - 29999 KHz.

Made in the People's Republic Of China.

Super large LCD display with digital display of frequency, 1000 Stations Memory Presets (200 each for MW & SW, 600 for FM) (Will not lose memory even without battery inside radio). Direct keying input of frequency, knob tuning, pre-set memory and scanning tuning methods are supported. Dual conversion and synchronous detection on SW bands, very sensitive and good selectivity! Excellent sound quality, loud and clear! FM Stereo: Listening by earphone or headphone (I use my Sennheiser PX-200 with this radio and the sound is very good). Automatic turn on of radio by setting of timers. With headphone socket, for private stereo FM listening. Dimensions: 5.9 x 3.5 x 1.4 inches / 150 x 90 x 35 mm. Battery: Uses 3 AA size 1.5V. battery. Supplied with 3 1.2 V AA rechargable batteries, do yourself a favor and throw them away as they are useless.

All lettering on the radio is in Chinese.

Supplied - nice little snap case, ear buds, reel antenna and 220v wall wart.

Conclusion - The Kchibo KKS-500 is a winner, with the sychronous Am detector it has no effort with keeping SW AM signals stable with minimal fading even if only the built in telescopic antenna is used. I throughly enjoy listening to SW broadcasts on this little marvel and in my opinion, for it's value, it is at present one of the better world band portables available coming out these days. The Chinese lettering (No English) is of course a pain, but once you have learnt to navigate the controls, it is all plain sailing. The S-500 has the synch. detect but gives up having single sideband. 1,000 memories? But I never thought that listening to single sideband on a portable was really practical, I will never use that, 1,000 memories - barely use ten. So far the S-500's best feature seems to be shortwave broadcast. Nice radio and a good buy. One of the better sets to come out of China.

Links for Kchibo KK-S500 (Mostly In Japanese & Chinese):

The Kchibo KK-S500 has AM Sync. Detection and no SSB, the Degen DE-1103 does not have AM Sync. detection but has SSB.

Excellent Light Weight Heaphones - Sennheiser PX-200

The Sennheiser PX-200 headphones are built to very high specs, and the stainless steel headband and stainless steel hinges which make them very durable indeed. When the headphones are unfolded they snap into place with a click sound. The extremely flexible cable is no ordinary wire, but, OFC (Oxygen Free Copper) reinforced with Kevlar (material used in bullet proof jackets no less). The ear pads which are covered with leather are replaceable making them modular in construction. You will see from the photographs that I have a pair of them, One set in black and one set in white.

The white pair I use with my Oregon Scientific Discman which I listen to on my daily commute to and from the office when I am on the train. The black pair was originally purchased for use with my Kchibo KK-S500 portable worldband radio ( I will talk about the rather special portable in another post). However I do use them for general use on my radios at night when I do not wish to disturb the rest of the household. So you can see thet they were so good, I purchased two sets.

And it is my recommendation to you to try out a pair, you will not be sorry with these German headphones.

The Sennheiser PX 200 are extremely light weight at only 60 grams. The ear pads are covered with leather are very comfortable and two additional pads have been provided just under the band, which would rest on the head, there are no issues about these being uncomfortable at all. The headband provides just enough lateral force to get the cups to seal the ears, but not so much that it's uncomfortable.

Manufacturer: Sennheiser Electronics Corp.
Part number: PX 200

General Recommended Use:
The noise canceling feature keeps out ambient sounds on buses, trains and airplanes. Plus, they are portable for easy transport.

Product Type: Headphones
Weight: 2.1 oz
Features: Foldable
Type: Binaural
Form Factor: Semi-open
Technology: Dynamic
Connectivity: Wired
Output Mode: Stereo
Bandwidth: 10 - 21000 Hz
(THD): 0.1 %
Impedance: 32 Ohm
Magnet: Neodymium

Conclusion: Best value for money if you are looking for a pair of light weight headphones with good sound quality, you will not be disappointed with them.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Ham Manners - Do You Have Any? - K4QNY

Read through and see if you have any manners?

Congratulations! You've got your new Amateur Radio license and can't wait to start operating on HF phone. However, you're not certain how you want to conduct yourself. After all, there are few if any mandated rules. Most hams have developed good operating practices and etiquette simply by listening to more experienced hams and you will as well. Here are some of my ideas for your consideration. K4QKY "Don"


Always be polite regardless of the circumstances. If not, avoid transmitting.

Set a good example especially for short wave listeners who may be thinking about becoming a ham.

Be a good listener. It will help you better organize your thoughts before transmitting.

Reply to a CQ, or call CQ yourself. It helps keep alive the magic of ham radio.

Speak clearly and slowly, especially when giving your call sign to someone you have never worked before.

Promote friendship and goodwill to DX contacts. Look for ways to get to know each other rather than simply exchanging signal reports and 73s!

Try to keep track of everyone in the QSO. Hopefully someone has assumed the role of "traffic director" to make sure everyone has a chance to contribute to the discussion. If not, don't hesitate to do it yourself.

Make it clear at the end of each transmission which station is expected to transmit next. Try to do this even when operating VOX.

Operate on frequencies that are in whole KHz (e.g. 18.130 Khz). This alleviates ambiguity and makes it easier for everyone to be on the same frequency.

Openly praise other hams when you observe them doing something that you feel is especially deserving. e.g., helping demonstrate ham radio to a group of scouts.

Always be ready to quickly and calmly respond to emergency situations. Rehearse what you would do if presented with various scenarios.

Pause between transmissions. "Quick keying" gives the appearance that other hams are unwelcome in your QSO.

Consider using the Internet to enrich your QSO. Many hams have developed their own comprehensive websites which you can usually find through QRZ.COM.

Respect the privileges of hams operating in other modes on the HF bands including those who enjoy AM.

Make a point to try 17 and 60 meters. Good operating practices are especially prevalent on these bands.

Look for opportunities to "Elmer" newly licensed hams when you hear them on the HF bands. Welcome them, solicit their questions and give them pointers on good operating practices.

Remember that no one country can proclaim to be the leader of the Amateur Radio world. Likewise, no one country's foreign policy is any more right or wrong than that of another country.

Develop good operating practices. You will be doing your part in helping insure the continuance of our long and proud tradition of self-regulation.


Act like some sort of Broadcast Radio station. Your fellow Amateurs will most likely not appreciate such a blatant display of personal ego.

Acknowledge the presence of deliberate interference. After all, that's most likely the overall objective of the person doing the interfering.

Be excessively long winded especially when in a round-table discussion and during times when band conditions are changing.

Just talk about ham radio. Most hams have many more interests.

Operate when you are in a bad mood. You will be that much more vulnerable to losing your temper.

Overuse Q-codes and other ham jargon on the phone bands.

Claim or homestead any particular frequency for nets, schedules, etc. If your designated frequency is already in use, simply move up or down as necessary.

Transmit before first determining that the frequency is clear. This includes transmitting within 3Khz of other known QSOs.

Break into an ongoing QSO unless you can hear the majority of the participants.

Ignore someone new to a round table QSO. We should all do our part to make everyone feel welcome. Avoid making the discussion appear exclusive to your particular circle of friends.

Test your transmitter over the air. It is far better to use a dummy load.

Cough, sneeze or clear your throat into your microphone.

Operate VOX except when in a QSO with three or less participants. It tends to foster "quick keying" which may give the appearance that you don't welcome breakers.

Become a "Band Policeman" quick to tell others what you feel they are doing wrong. In instances where it may be called for, always be polite and constructive.

Turn up your microphone gain or resort to excessive speech processing in order to be heard. Such practices will most likely result in diminished audio quality and increased likelihood of interference to nearby QSOs.

Use the word "break" when wanting to join an on-going QSO. Simply give your call sign between transmissions and reserve the use of the word "break" for more urgent situations.

Join an ongoing QSO unless you have something to contribute to the discussion. It is especially rude to interrupt other hams with a request for audio checks, signal reports, etc.

Operate in any fashion that is not in keeping with good amateur practice. Be certain to always comply with the provisions of Part 97 of the rules.

Knowingly interfere with an ongoing QSO just because you are working DX, especially split frequency.

Say that the frequency "is not" in use when you hear someone inquire. Refrain from responding at all unless you know for certain that the frequency or one nearby "is" in use.

Ridicule other hams or express any negative views of the overall state of Amateur Radio. If you don't have something positive and constructive to say, avoid saying anything at all.

Okay are you a Pig?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Memorex Scanocular - Unique Scanner Radio & Binoculars.

Another unique piece of equipment which I have and would like to talk about is the Memorex Scanocular which is a scanning receiver and binoculars built into one. This is particular useful when your out and about or hiking. Unfortunately this unit is no longer available and is now discontinued and in fact seldom seen on the secondhand market maybe due to it's uniqueness most owners do not wish to part with theirs, I know I certainly do not want to sell mine.

A brief discription - the Memorex TracTec MSB1003 Scannocular is just what the doctor ordered for watching and hearing outdoor sports events or for hiking and hill walking. It features audio from FM (and UHF TV channels 14-20) plus has a built-in 100 channel scanner! You can search in ten different categories: Race Car, Military, 800 MHz, Federal Government, Air, Marine, VHF-UHF, Ham, Weather and FM-TV (Channels 14-20). Other features include: auto squelch, lock and alphanumeric LCD display.

Audio is provided to the supplied stereo earbuds (no speaker) or use your own selected headphones. The included right angle BNC rubber antenna is removable. A neck strap is also provided. This radio requires two AA cells.

The 8 x 25 sports binoculars give you a front row view. There is an interpupillary adjustment (IPD), right eye + / - and a standard focusing knob. The eyecups can be folded down for use with glasses. It is a compact size: 4 x 2.8 x 5 inches, weighs just 1 Lb. (106x75x142 mm).

MSB1003 Specifications:

Race Car 150.9950-151.9550 MHz (5 kHz)
152.8700-153.7250 MHz (5 kHz)
154.4900-154.6250 MHz (5 kHz)
460.0000-470.0000 MHz (12.5 kHz)
Military 137.0000-143.9550 MHz (5 kHz)

800 806.0000-823.9375 MHz (12.5 kHz)
851.0000-868.9375 MHz (12.5 kHz)
896.1125-956.0000 MHz (12.5 kHz)

406.0000-419.9875 MHz (12.5 kHz)

Air 108.0000-136.9750 MHz (12.5 kHz)

Marine 156.0250-162.0250 MHz (5 kHz)

V/UHF 148.0000-174.0000 MHz (5 kHz)

450.0000-459.9875 MHz (12.5 kHz) {except Ham}

Ham 144.0000-147.9950 MHz (5 kHz)
420.0000-449.9875 MHz (12.5 kHz)

FM/TV 88.0000-107.9000 MHz (100 kHz) FM
475.7500-511.7500 MHz (6 MHz) TV Channels 14-20

WX 161.6500-163.2750 MHz (ten channels)

Scanner Channels 100
FM-TV Channels 10
Weather Channels 10 (7 NOAA and 3 Canadian)

Scan Rate 50 channels per second
Search Rate 100-300 steps per second

External Audio
Mini Jack (3.5 mm)
BNC Jack

Power Requirement Two alkaline AA cells (not supplied)
Antenna Flexible antenna included
Antenna Jack BNC
Operating Temperature -4° to 140° F (-20° to +60° C)
Size 7x2.75x6.6 inches 42 oz (177x167x61 mm 1.34 kg)

Magnification 8X
Field of view 314 feet / 1000 yards
Angle of view 6°
Objective diameter 25 mm

Front -

Top -

Extremely Nice Communications Speaker - The Grove SP-200 Sound Enhancer

If you are a DXer with roots back to the late 70s and 80s then I am sure that you will have heard the names Grove and Gilfer Associates. Both of these firms offer a range of high quality accessories under their own brand names for DXers such as filters, preamps, preselectors, antenna tuning units, converters, communications speakers etc. Gilfer Associates are no longer in business and although Grove is still around, does not make it's own line and only deals with large brands such as Yaesu, Icom, Kenwood etc.

I have a number of Gilfer and Grove products. One of the nicest preselectors I use with my receivers for listening is the GA-20. But today I am not introducing the GA-20, I wish to talk about the excellent Grove SP-200 Sound Enhancer Communications Speaker.

This unit is unlike your run of the mill communications speakers as it is housed in a wooden cabinet which does make it particularly attractive. In it's day it was quite advanced and was sought after by most DXers. Indeed if these rare units appear on the market today they are immediately snapped up. When you take a look at the photos below, you will see why. I have one of them and it is definately a keeper, hooked up to a external DSP filter it will rival any modern day speaker and it's attractive good looks are hard to beat.

This is a Grove model SP-200 Sound enhancer/active audio speaker system has notch, peak and interference filters. Also has tape record jacks. This unit also has bass and treble controls, along with a noise reducer and audio gain control (volume control), also has a headphones jack. Tape recorder activation. Tape out and activation are on the rear panel.
Judge for youself now take a look at this beauty:
Front -

Top -

Side -

Rear -

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Desiderata - Max Ehrmann

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.

But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection.

Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.

But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Time Out with friends.

Last night I had a nice night out with some of my friends. Nothing amateur radio related, in fact no hams there except for me. A group of us went for dinner last night 31st May, 2008 to a spot in the New Territories called Lau Fau Shan which is famous for it's seafood restaurants. Needless to say we had a great seafood meal consisting of oysters, crab, pray mantis prawn, lobster, grouper, scallops and lots of other goodies. It was a enjoyable dinner with good friends. Some photos below:

Above: outside the restaurant with Jenny Chan on my left and Janet Tse on my right.

Above: Inside the restaurant L to R: Mathew, Jenny, Steve, Olivia, Otto, Donald, Janet, Janet & John.

Above: Left to Right - Olivia, Steven, Otto

Above: Left to Right - Janet, Steven, Jenny

Some Food For Thought!

Some food for thought, I don't know how many of you remember the Amateur's Code that was written by Paul Segal, W9EAA back in 1928. At the time of writing Paul may have hit the nail on the head and his intentions were good and most probably reflected the hobby back then.

However if we review closely the code and apply it to the present and just look around us, you will probably laugh long and hard. Many of the virtues are long gone and I must say from close observation of some hams that they know nothing about being considerate, loyal, progressive, friendly, patriotic and certainly are far from being balanced.

I see the PTT shack couch potatoes emerging who rush home after work have dinner, have less then 10 words with the family, lock themselves into their shacks and call CQ, work pile ups until it is time for bed and repeat the cycle all over again. Rather pitiful. In fact the majority of their friends are over the air and not real life individuals and the only conversations with friends over the air involve exchanging of RS reports, equipment data, bragging about how much power they have and what their WX and grid locators are.

Many cannot interact outside the shack properly with others and have lost balance and even a normal social life, turning arrogant, self centered, "snobbish" , egotistical and full of themselves - all the exact opposite of Paul's code. They have lost touch with reality and lack undestanding of the proper social skills, manners and etiquette in order to "COMMUNICATE", indeed some are spiteful, rude , nasty and downright mean. The main reason is because many have lost all touch with reality, they think that life for them is about being No.1 in Amateur Radio - just exactly what does that add up to???? A big fat 0! They get jealous easily when their ham friends are doing better - contact wise, contest wise, QRO wise, antenna wise, equipment wise, you name it.

The Amateur's Code

The Radio Amateur is:

Considerate...never knowingly operates in such a way as to lessen the pleasure of others. (Not seen this practised in a long time).

Loyal... offers loyalty, encouragement and support to other amateurs, local clubs, and his or her national radio amateur association. (Sadly we do not see much of this today).

Progressive... with knowledge abreast of science, a well-built and efficient station and operation above reproach. (Unfortunately there are so many Push To Talk Operators who have allot of brawn QRO power and do not bother to study their hobby - they have no idea).

Friendly... slow and patient operating when requested; friendly advice and counsel to the beginner; kindly assistance, cooperation and consideration for the interest of others. These are the hallmarks of the amateur spirit. (not seen much around except on the radio, hahaha)

Balanced... radio is an avocation, never interfering with duties owed to family, job, school, or community. (Many are quite the opposite).

Patriotic... station and skill always ready for service to country and community. (??? You figure)

Written by Paul M.Segal, W9EEA, in 1928.

I am not trying to be silly, truthfully ask yourself, how often do you see your friends these days, indeed take a roll call and you will see that you may be losing friends quicker then you can say 59. Are you considerate, friendly and balanced??? Have you been fair to others??? Take a rain check, you should have a social life outside ham radio, if you don't then sorry there is something seriously wrong and you need to re-evaluate things. Are the only two places you spend most of your time the office and your radio shack - if answer is yes, then there is something wrong with your life.

Do you have a "Life" outside the office and the radio shack, review, if the answer is no, it's all ham radio, then I'm truly sorry for you. Balance out ham radio with family, friends and learn how to keep friends, interact properly in a socially accpetable manner instead of losing them. If you think about it, tomorrow we will all be yesterday's news, so get the ugly big chip that you have off your shoulders instead of being so arrogant, spending time being a show off and trying to be a know it all. Above all remember that no one is the center of the universe and you are not the star attraction.

Fortunately I still have a clear perspective on my life, it is not just about ham radio, it is about my family, my real friends around me and how I should keep a social balance. Ham radio is just only a small part, if ham radio is everything to you - then you have nothing! Do I practice what I preach, yes - my life is not just about ham radio. Ham radio is just only one part, I have other circles of friends, other hobbies and interests and I love to write. Now is your life balanced, if not then you should do something about straightening it out. What is the quality of life and the true value of friendship? If you are upset or even annoyed or angry after reading this post, that's good because I really hit a raw nerve and you know that what I have said here is the truth but you can't face it or except the truth. Don't want to listen, then go back to your shack and interact as a PTT operator with your only friends who are on the radio. But sorry, those are so far away and not the friends close by that you really should pay a bit more attention to instead of neglecting.