Friday, December 31, 2010
We had several families visit us on Christmas day, including the Duffy's from Riverside, the Daoust's from Carlsbad and the Cordray family from Murrieta. Our daughter Carrie Ann took this photo. Our son Matthew was also here.
Our son Bill Jr. and his family (Becca, Bailey, Bristol and Liam) celebrated Christmas a little closer to the North Pole from their home in Ketchikan, Alaska.
This year we had our gift opening early, and did something a little different for dinner... we had pizza! Not a traditional holiday dinner to be sure, but everyone seemed to like it, and there were some good left-overs!
On Christmas eve Robbin and I visited her mom, Florence, who couldn't make it to our party due to illness.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
The islands are located about 700 miles northeast of New Zealand. A group of ham radio operators from Germany spent several weeks on these uninhabited islands.
Above is a map showing the islands (Kermadec is at the very top right of map).
At left is their on-line log showing the bands I worked them on. The photo below shows just one of several operating positions and antennas the group set up.
This was a first-class (and very expensive) ham radio operation to a part of the world that seldom has any visitors, much less ham radio activity.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
The chart at right shows the breakdown of my contacts by continent.
Africa is always the hardest continent to reach, but I still managed to have 7% of my contacts from that area, including The Gambia, Cape Verde, plus the Canary and Madeira Islands.
Altogether I had 135 contacts from around the world in 50 different countries. That is a very modest score, but then again, my station is also very modest!
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Also enjoying the feast were Larry and Carrie Cordray and their daughter Haylie.
We had a nice surprise when our son Bill in Ketchikan, Alaska called to wish us all a happy holiday. His family just returned from 10 days in Seattle where he was in training.
The food was excellent... the "kids" did a great job... and Robbin and I enjoyed the day with all of them!
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Never heard of them? Neither have I. So, I took a look at the back of the box and, amazingly, this product is made in EGYPT!
How they can possibly make, ship, distribute and sell a box of cereal from Egypt for $1 defies logic.
No, I didn't buy any in case you were wondering!
Sunday, November 7, 2010
On the way home I took granddaughters Haylie and Kayla to the beach near Carlsbad Village. Got this near-sunset photo with the cellphone.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Liam was 8 pounds and 6 ounces, and measured 21-1/2 inches. Here he is in his very first photo.
Parents Bill and Becca of Ketchikan, Alaska, are tired but doing just fine. Liam joins his two sisters, Bailey and Bristol, who are excited about the new arrival.
He is the fifth generation to carry the William Colston Albrant name, and our 10th grandchild.
Welcome to the family Liam!
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
As mom and dad (Carrie and Kelly) head off to Minnesota for 4 days, Grandma and Grandpa Albrant played host to Chloe (age 3) and Ava (age 10 months).
They were funny, and cute, and delightful... and we enjoyed having those little sprites around to make us feel young again!
In these photos, Ava shows off the flower in her hair while sitting on Grandmas lap, and Chloe gives Grandpa her funny grin during their lunch on the patio.
Ava learned a new trick -- coming down the stairs backwards. Meanwhile, Chloe went grocery shopping with Grandpa and she insisted on buying a clove of garlic because it smelled so good and she wanted to take it home!
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Here are some news "briefs" to entertain you all:
1. Robbin spent most of the weekend painting the family room and kitchen. As usual, it looks like professional did it!
2. While painting behind the refrigerator, we discovered an area where the ice maker hose was leaking. Some mold and wood rot. Letting it dry out and asking experts how to repair it.
3. This Saturday is the monthly Ham Radio Swapmeet in Chino Hills. I'll be there at 7am sharp, looking for good deals!
4. They posted some photos of my high school reunion on Facebook. Boy, those people can't be my classmates -- they're a bunch of senior citizens!
That's all for now. Hopefully we'll have pictures of something interesting next time!
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
We had a pretty wild thunderstorm hit Murrieta yesterday... lots of thunder and lightening. Several homes in a nearby town were hit and caught fire. Thankfully I remembered to unhook the antenna coax from my radio! Took this short clip with my camera phone.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
With wonderful weather, three kinds of pizza, plus gourmet sandwiches and other treats, it was a great day of fun and relaxation.
Our other Carrie (Carrie Ann) from Fallbrook drove up with her husband Kelly and daughters Chloe and Ava.
Carrie Renee's children (Haylie, Quinton and Colston) also enjoyed the day along with Bill and Robbin.
In the top photo Carrie Ann (left) and Carrie Renee play with Ava. In bottom photos, Kelly and Chloe do some splashing while Haylie (at right) and her friend get some serious suntan time.
You can click on this link to see more photos: SLIDESHOW
Thursday, July 1, 2010
My Field Day participation was based on using a small radio with low output (QRP) and battery power. The HW-8 transceiver (the small green radio pictured above) puts out about 4 watts -- the same as a small night light! The battery is charged with a small solar panel.
During this years Field Day I operated between chores, shopping and sleeping, with about 8 hours of total operation. Even so, I made 82 contacts with stations as far away as Hawaii, Alaska, Texas, Ohio and Illinois.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
This one looked pretty good cosmetically, but didn't work when I got it. After replacing the filter capacitor and some other parts, it now works like new... and it looks cool!
Spent several hours last night listening to CRI (China Radio International) and some other foreign broadcasts.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
At right, Carrie Ann and dad pose long enough to have their picture taken.
In the other photos, dad Robbin and Chloe mug it up for the camera while Kelly and Ava scout out some new picking areas.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
After playing and eating most of the day, we all went to Kahoot's in Murrieta to see the rabbits, snakes and all kinds of other critters.
Even with a big box of toys, it seems most toddlers prefer playing in the water, and a fly swatter makes it even more fun, as Chloe demonstrates!
Finally a nice dinner and then it was time to clean-up. Pictured here, Ava Renee helps grandma get the dishwasher loaded up!
We had a great time, although these little ones sure kept Grandpa and Grandma busy!
Friday, May 28, 2010
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
I received this today via email. It's a page from a 1960 issue of Electronics Illustrated showing a home-made, 4-tube transmitter/receiver project.
This is the "stuff" that we did as kids back in the mid-20th century and, amazingly, a simple set like this could communicate all over the world.
an enlarged view)
Pictured below is a 3-tube set that I made back in the mid-1960's. It had three tubes (6L6 transmitter, 6SN7 receiver and 5U4 power supply), and fit in the attache' case shown in the photo.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
The March issue of CQ magazine had a nice little write-up on my "vintage" station (top photo above). This was part of the "How It Works" column, written by Dave Ingram for the past 30 years.
The equipment shown in the photo is from the 50's (the receiver) and the 60's (transmitter). Both units work very well, and are in very nice condition. I had a schedule with Dave to have a contact using this set-up, but conditions were not good enough to work him on the east coast.
Sadly, this is the last column Dave (K4TWJ) wrote as he passed away on January 20. I had spoken with and emailed Dave several times over the years.
To read the text, click on the image for a larger view.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Pictured above is the view in front of Applebee's restaurant, where we had dinner on Friday night. This was the start of a snowstorm that dumped about 6 inches on us.
This is not the nice soft "throwing a snowball" kind of snow. It's icy, crusty and hard as a rock, which makes walking and driving a challenge. I'm glad to be home!
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Today I finally got the old GRC-109 military "spy" radio on the air, and made two contacts right away! One of the contacts was with John (N4HBH) located on the east coast in Virginia who gave me a nice signal report. The other contact was with a station in Oregon.
The video above shows me calling CQ (calling for any station). Sorry there's no sound, but it shows the lights on the transmitter blinking as I send the call.
This was about the easiest set up I can remember. Just hook the transmitter to the power supply, hook up an antenna, and start transmitting. This radio is about 50 years old, and puts out about 25 watts of power. There is a matching receiver that I would like to add to this setup.
In the video you can see me using the little key that is built right on top of the transmitter.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Friday, January 8, 2010
The little transmitter is about 8-1/2" x 5-1/2", about the size of a VHS video tape. It runs about 10 watts output and covers from 3 to 22 megacycles, quite a range for such a small set. It only operates "cw", or morse code mode, and has a built in key!
Although low power, with a decent antenna this transmitter has good long-range capability, and many hams have worked around the globe using this set. There is also a matching receiver and power supply that I would like to find (see photo below).
On the left is a home made power supply that I hope to "mate" with the transmitter. I'll do an update once I've connected the two units and run some tests.
There is some interesting background on this radio set. Click on this link: SPY RADIO