Thursday, December 09, 2004

Christmas List. What sort of a loon posts his Christmas list on the blog of his family and friends? This one.

I thought I would structure the list according to the vendor. In every case, you can order of the internet.

American Morse Equipment

The phone number is(805) 549-8065

This titan of American industry makes the “Mity Box”. This is a small metal box in which one installs a tiny radio transceiver called “the Rockmite”. I have built the Rockmite. It consists of a small printed circuit board covered with little radio components, out of which emerge tiny cables and wires. At the end of the cables and wires are switches, jacks, and a potentiometer. But it has no real home. So American Morse offers a box for it, the “MityBox”. It sells for about $23.

Universal Radio

Universal Radio is an electronics store in Ohio (a state now held in some esteem in these parts) and sells equipment and parts for amateur radio operators and short-wave listeners. Universal Radio has a good web-site based catalog. I have bought things from them and I like them.

I would like to have a “Digital Multimeter”. This is a meter that measures voltage, current, and resistance. I use it to help me build my kits. I bought one from Universal a couple of years ago. It worked great until I left it out in the rain last month. I need another one now. Universal has two of them on its website:

The SE MM6162L digital multimeter, which sells for $21.95.

The Sinometer VX890C+ Digital Multimeter, which is more expensive at $29.95. (I thought I would tell you that this one is more expensive than the other one, just in case you missed it.)

I would also like to have a “coax switch”. “Coax” is short for coaxial cable, which is the sort of feedline ("transmission line") I use to contact my antennas outside the house to my equipment inside the house. I now have several transceivers in the house, and sometimes I have to disconnect the coax from one transceiver to connect it to another transceiver. If I had a coax switch, then I could just turn the knob and, voila!, the antenna has moved from one transceiver to another. Amazing.

There are several coax switches available. I like the Alpha-Delta switches, the “Delta- 2", which sells for $44.95, and the Delta-4, which is more expensive. The Delta-2 would be just fine. Don’t get the Delta-2N or the Delta-4N, because I use PL-259 connectors and not the N type. The N type would be for UHF and VHF antennas, and I only have one transceiver for those frequencies (so far). There is also a less expensive switch by Daiwa, the CS-201, for $21.95. Frankly, that one would be just fine.

Being a bit lazy, I would like to have a couple of pre-assembled coax cables. (I could make them myself.) These are short lengths of coax with connectors at each end. They help you string pieces of equipment together on the way out of the house to the antenna. I would like The RG-8X cables that are 12, 18, 24 and 36 inches long. Any one or more of them would be fine. They run from about $5 apiece to $6.50.

I would like a box of “coax-seal”. This is stuff you put around an antenna fitting that you have outside. It keeps the water and moisture from getting inside the fitting. It’s a perfect price: $2.99.

Another really nice gift would be a set of power pole connectors. They come in a kit of 12 pair, and I would like to have the 30 amp size. The webpage explains just what the “power pole” is. It’s a wonderful invention that allows you to have a universal plug to connect electrical things to power sources. There is no male-female problem. The connectors go both ways. But if it violates a religious scruple of any sort, feel free not to consider this item. Anyway, when you get to this page scroll down to Order #2228, item C30/PK/12. It runs $10.49. One or two of these kits would be great.

A Bencher Iambic Paddle would be nice to have. This is an advanced type of Morse Code key that plugs into a circuit that actually does the keying automatically. You will see two paddles. If you press one paddle, the electronic keyer in your transceiver will issue a series of perfect dots (we hams call them “dits”). If you press the other paddle, the keyer will issue a series of perfect dashes (we call them “dahs”). With an old fashioned telegraph key, called a “straight key”, one must push down the key and let it up to make dits and dahs. (I use a straight key, and there is no shame in it.) With a keyer and paddle, you just squeeze gently. The one I would like is #0458 BY-1, the Iambic Black Paddle. As you can see, people will spend a lot of money on these things.

Oak Hills Research.

I have bought three different kits from this company, and have had a great time building them. There are two things that I would like to have to “upgrade” the transceiver I built.

One is a kit to build a "keyer". This is the electronic circuit with which one would use the iambic paddle that I discuss above. You can install such a keyer in the OHR 100A transceiver I built about a year ago. You can find several keyers here. Be sure to get the one for the OHR 100A, not the OHR 500A. There is a basic keyer for $29.95 and one with a memory for $39.95. Why a memory? It is because there is a basic amount of information that one always telegraphs when he is involved in a conversation with someone new when using Morse Code. With a memory keyer, you can program that stuff so it automatically does the right "dits" and "dahs" while you peel a banana. But either the one without the memory or with the memory would be fine.

Another upgrade would be a “Ten-turn VFO Tuning Pot” for the OHR 100A. A “tuning pot” is a variable resister, called a potentiometer. This is something with a knob that tunes you up and down the band, sort of like those knobs that you turned to move up and down the broadcast band on the radios you had as a little person. There is already a "tuning pot" in my OHR 100A, but this one THIS ONE! has a much finer ratio. It costs $15.05.

Morse Technologies

This site is related to the Oak Hills Research site, and sells some small tools that help with kit building. The web page has a long list. Here are three items that everyone needs in his tool box:

MX-hbc 4" Brass Calipers. $3.95

MX-47553 Precision Tweezer Set. $5.95

Needle files, 12 piece set. $8.95

Small Wonder Labs

Small Wonder Labs produce “the Rock-Mite” kit. I mention the Rock-Mite above. I recently bought this kit and put together. It is incredibly tiny and puts out a very tiny signal. (I still haven’t worked anyone yet. I will announce it when I do.
I did hear someone from the Azores tonight. I called him, but I don't think he heard me. There were a lot of other hams tryng to work him. They did not have Rock-Mites.) Small Wonder Labs has a number of other nice kits. For those of you with money burning a hole in your pocket, there are several I would someday like to have:

The 7.00-7.15 / 40 mA version of the DSW-II. $150.00.

The 40 meter version of the SW+. $55.00.


Now we are getting serious.

This company builds the Lexus of amateur radio kits. Either of the following would be fine to put in my stocking.

The KX1 Ultra Portable CW Transceiver Kit. $279.00 in its most basic form.

The K2 HF Transceiver. $599.00 in its most basic form.


The “Buddipole” is a portable antenna. This would be something I would take on a camping trip. It is way cool.

Frankly I would like the Buddipole Deluxe Package Its on sale for $390. But the basic Buddipole would be fine. I can add on later.

So, there it is. My Christmas list. Or you can get me some tube socks. I like white.

No comments: