COVID-19 How To Make A HomeBrew Face Mask

At the ripe old age of 71 and one who has to fend for myself, I have recently become increasingly concerned about the rapid spread COVID-19 around here during this crazy crisis.

Venturing out for supplies and fuel is a real problem. As we all know by now the virus can survive for very long periods of time in colder temps and on certain types on types of surfaces.

What perplexes me most is the lack of discipline folks have. Here on Long Island, few wear gloves and fewer people wear masks when out in public.  Now I’m not one to be paranoid about such things or listen to the prophets of doom in the media circus or hang on every word the CDC pushes out but there truly seems to be a real lack of concern about this virus where I live.

One of my pet peeves is gas pumps. IMHO, gas pumps are probably one of the most  dangerous surfaces to come in contact with. Yet, I see very few people with any form of protection against a surface that can be held by hundreds in a single day!

I have had limited success finding disposable gloves in the supermarket but masks are nowhere to be found.

To circumvent  the mask problem, I have Googled around for reasonable ways to make homebrew masks. Of course none of these masks will ever measure up to an N95 mask but making a homebrew mask appears to be worth the effort.

The New York Times offers a step by step guide on rolling your own.

From Googling around, I also found out that face shields made from 100% polyester microfiber have a reasonable density for protection. Alpha Defense Gear sells a wide variety of face shields for both men and women.


Ham Radio will always be the ultimate way to perform Social Distancing

72 and 73 Be Well Be Safe de KE2YK

Quick Review – Wouxun KG-UV8E Tri Band HT

Wouxun KG-UV8EBought the Wouxun KG-UV8E based on the good experience I had with the KG-UVD1P.

The Color display is very good and rather large for an HT.

The 2600 mAh battery life is exceptionally good and does not drain when powered off as the KG-UVD1P does.

A group of us locals have access to a 1.25 meter repeater and performance on the band is very good even on low power.

The channel / VFO Knob gets tight in spots and the screw holding rubber side cover was so loose it was ready to fall out.

Very loud reception causes the speaker to be distorted.

After purchasing the radio, I found out that there is and E and T version. The difference is that a factory reset of the E version causes the firmware to reboot to Chinese while the T version reboots to English. Of course flipping through the Ching-lish manual will save your day with the E version.

Since I only had an old (pain in the ass) Prolific chipped programming cable I also purchased the Red programming cable. The Red cable was hassle free with Windows 10. No monkeying around with the old drivers from the stone age as is the case with the old Prolific chip. Unlike the expensive RT Systems cables, the red cable was around $15. By the way, the Red cable also works for Baofeng and I’d imagine some Kenwood HT’s as well.

Again no radio is perfect but for the price it was a decent buy for the additional 1.25 meter band. If you are looking for specs or videos, Google it. There is no point in regurgitating the same information that’s already available on countless other Web sites.

KX3 Sees The Light of Day!

Ke2yk's Elecraft KX3



After being told by a fellow QRP’er that 15 CW has been up recently, I managed to drag my KX3 out of its Pelican case this morning.

Its been awhile since it has seen the light of day. Didn’t see much point to powering it on since my main antenna has been down for some time and the amazing Par End Fedz that I jury rigged in the yard some time ago has been beat to hell by the lousy winter and the high winds here in the Northeast.

After being very surprised by the fact that the auto-tuner was able to tune without moaning and groaning, I thought what the hell.

I tuned down to 21.025 and started hearing Europe. What was even more of a surprise is that I was able to work stations @ 5 watts on the first attempt.

That doesn’t say much about my skills but it says a HELL OF A LOT about that Par End Fedz antenna.