Loretta and I have dinner with “the boys.” From L -R, me, Brad Boyd, Nick Boyd, Wyatt Yarnell, Justin Cain, and Loretta Casler. Leramy Carner, who had a scheduling conflict, was unable to be with us. Yes, my arm is still in a sling. Photo by Brad and Nick’s mother.
Five weeks after breaking my arm in a motorcycle accident, I made good on a promise to the five young men who rescued me. I’d promised I’d take them out to dinner at any Montrose restaurant they chose. I mentioned the Stone House, one of the most upscale restaurants in town. Well, the boys consulted among themselves and chose Taco Bell, so that’s where we went!
Again, my hat is off to Brad and Nick Boyd, Leramy Carner, Justin Cain, and Wyatt Yarnell, five tremendous young men! And congratulations in advance to Justin, the youngest of the group, who graduates from high school this coming week on May 19th.
View of Billy Creek State Wildlife Area. Everything is green! That’s Grand Mesa in the distance.
The broken arm precludes riding the motorcycle, so I took our Chevy Blazer up over the newly-opened Ouray, Colorado, County Roads 2 and 4. Just beautiful! The Blazer goes a lot slower than the motorcycle! And parts of CR 4 are pretty rough—almost at the Blazer’s limit, given that the Blazer does not have the high clearance of a Jeep. But, I made it, took several pictures, and share one with you above. I do love springtime when everything is so green!
These roads are closed to “all human activities” from January 1st to April 30th every year, presumably so big deer can make little deer. The roads are now open. CR 4 has some rutting and some rocky parts. CR 2 has a bit of rutting, especially close to US Hwy 550, but is otherwise pretty accessible.
Chinese companies have entered the US ham radio market. They’ve come up with some very inexpensive handhelds, with prices so low that they’re hard to ignore. The Chinese radios will do everything that the Japanese radios will do, but that doesn’t mean that they’ll do everything the same way. The Japanese have been in the US ham radio market for decades. Three popular brands are Yaesu, Kenwood, and ICOM. Over the years, these manufacturers have become highly attuned to the US market. Their radios are easy to program and easy to use.
The Chinese radios are variants of public service radios made for an entirely different market. In this market, the person who has the radio really isn’t allowed to fiddle with it. Actually it’s the same in the United States—only in amateur radio is a radio operator also allowed to be the radio programmer. That may seem odd, but your firefighters and policemen use radios that are set up by specialists. Well, these radios cover VHF and UHF frequencies. So it wasn’t too hard for Chinese makers like Wouxun to add a keypad (almost universally missing on public service radios) and market them to US ham radio operators. Both the Wouxun and the more recent entrant, Baofeng, reflect this public-service heritage. In what they call “frequency mode,” or what the Japanese would call VFO, you can input frequency directly using the keypad. In fact, the Chinese radios, instead of “VFO” and “memory,” have “frequency mode” and “channel mode,” meaning exactly the same thing.
But the similarities disappear there. Both the Wouxun and the Baofeng are designed to be Continue reading →
The Baofeng UV-5R+ proved itself competent to work in an APRS setup. The points are along Ouray, Colorado, County Road 8 between US Hwy 550 and Vista Point (CR8 is not yet open beyond this—too early in the season). Click on image for larger version.
I assembled the equipment the same way, except I added the Tiny Track 4′s display and a keyboard, to see how well I could send messages via APRS from the mobile unit (KEØOG-5) to my home station (KEØOG-1—which connects my Davis weather station to the APRS network). I stopped at key intersections, pulled to the side of the road and sent APRS messages (yes, there are Continue reading →
This 28 minute lecture will put you well in front of studying Section 6.6, Feed Lines, in the ARRL General Class License Manual for ham radio. Plan to spend some time with this one—it’s worth the effort. It covers material that will be on the test, and also gives the background behind the material. Enjoy!
When you’re done reviewing the video, click here to go back to the list of General Class license videos.
Yes, it’s true that I crashed not long after I took this video, but I suppose there’s no harm in putting it here. For quite a number of years the only connection between the Peach Valley recreation area outside of Olathe, Colorado, and the Montrose Adobes north of Montrose, Colorado, was via a few singletrack trails. There was a large chunk of land, a private inholding, that straddled the road between the Montrose Adobes and Peach Valley. Last year the BLM struck a deal with the landowner, and the road is now open to everybody. So, even though the sign says that there is no through route, in fact the road is open for travel. This video transits the entire road in five minutes. The actual journey took quite a bit longer than that, but I speeded things up. You may ask why motorcyclists go to this desolate place, but the answer is that all the beautiful places are still snowed in. Anyway, it was on my way back to Montrose after taking this video, that I had my crash. Sadly I have no video of the crash.
On Saturday afternoon I crashed my Yamaha dirt bike and broke my arm! Just to show you how tough the motorcycle is, the only damage to it was a broken bracket that holds the clutch lever in place. I did not fare so well. The story of what happened after the accident is so interesting, I thought I’d share it with you.
The weather this time of year is fickle. In fact, as I write this, it’s snowing outside. But Saturday was a pretty nice day. So I hopped on the bike and rode some of my favorite routes near here. Around 4:15 PM I was on the dirt road that connects the Peach Valley recreation area and the Montrose Adobes. I thought I was riding carefully and was watching for ruts because the road was very rutted. But I guess I wasn’t watching closely enough. And, to make matters worse, Continue reading →
I’m always on the lookout for inexpensive equipment to recommend to new hams, and the BaoFeng UV-5R+, at around $60 including shipping on Amazon, fits that bill. Here’s the review I wrote for Amazon:
“I put my new Chinese Baofeng UV-5R+ through its paces and it seems like a competent inexpensive dual-band ham radio handheld transceiver. It shares some features with its cousin, the Wouxun KG-UV3D (note the similarity in Continue reading →
Here’s your video introduction to Section 6.5, Specialized Antennas, in the ARRL General Class License Manual for ham radio. Watch this 16 minute video prior to studying the section, and you’ll be prepared to understand terms such as NVIS, log-periodic antennas, multi-band antennas, and the ever-elusive Beverage antenna. I recommend watching this video at 720p, the highest resolution available, as I do some drawing and the lines are pretty thin.
In the video I show a website that gives you near-real-time MUF propagation conditions for NVIS-type work. That website is www.spacew.com/www/fof2.html.
When you’ve finished, click here to return to the list of the videos.
Errata: In the introduction, “a couple you’ll see quite recently” should have been “a couple you’ll see quite frequently.” Also, I mention the May 2005 QST article. It was actually December 2005.
I like to share information and that's what this site is for. I love living in Southwestern Colorado in the San Juan Mountains, part of the Rocky Mountain range. I enjoy motorcycling, both street and dirt, so I keep GPS tracks of my travels to share along with photographs. Oh, the wildflowers aren't bad either!
I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or more commonly known as the Mormon Church. There's lots of misinformation out there about the Church. Why not check out mormon.org for an introduction to the doctrines and a chance to see member profiles, or if you want in-depth information, including the various books of scripture, lesson manuals, and policy manuals, go to lds.org. To see my personal profile on mormon.org, click here.