Cheap Desk Magnifying Unit For Home-Brewers!

As a QRPer I follow a small group of hams that post to the Fireflies QRP org.

If you like to build kits or home brew like me, check out Larry’s W2LJ’s find about a much needed accessory for the shack.

Yeah I know, I can hear it now… Banggood is a company located in China. I have purchased several kits and other odds n ends from Banggood without problems. The only downside… It can take several weeks for delivery.

Psst: If you happen to be a first time buyer over at Banggood, there is a coupon offer and you may be able to get the magnifier for a few dollars!

I’m going to take advantage of this low price because I have been using a small magnifying glass attached to one of those portable alligator clamp stands.

This magnifying glass will help tremendously with these old, tired eyeballs!

Larry W2LJ has been posting on his own blog for years. You may find many of his posts informative. His Blog can be found here.

72 es 73 de KE2YK

Great Ham Radio Prices at k1cra.com

Having good use out of the hamsticks that I bought from Craig’s k1cra.com ham radio store in the past, I ordered both a 6 and 17 meter hamstick for Parks on the Air and some of my other crazy operating and antenna experiments from Craig’s store again yesterday.

Since 2003, K1cra.com has been selling ham radio gear for reasonable prices up in Maine. Check out Craig’s about page for store info.

As always, I compare prices with Amazon. Amazon sells MFJ hamsticks while k1cra.com sells Workman brand. Guess its safe to assume both are manufactured in china. A sad reality these days!

Amazon hamsticks were around $12 more than the Workman hamsticks at Craig’s store and, unlike Amazon, no sales tax is charged. So I saved roughly $16 since there were shipping costs. IMHO that is a good saving on 2 items.

In summary, before hunting around for ham radio gear, you may save quite a bit as I did by shopping at k1cra.com.

What is better than supporting a fellow ham and saving $$$ at the same time.

72 es 73 de Gary Ke2yk

Things To Know Before Getting Your First Two Way Radio

 

A two way radio differs from a broadcast radio in the sense that it can receive as well as send messages and it can be used for communication between two people. Two way radios are available in several different configurations. Configurations include hand held radios, mobile radios and stationary base radios.

Radios can either operate in a full duplex mode or a half duplex mode. In full duplex, two way radios can be used to both send and receive voice or data at the same time over different channels or frequencies. In half duplex, two way radios can be used for either sending or receiving voice or data over a single channel.

There are various things that you should  take into account with two way radios prior to making a purchase. Generally handheld or HT two way radios are very compact, are light weight and are very affordable. Two way radios are available in different styles and are used for a large number of applications. Two way handheld radios have a push to talk button which makes it very convenient to use. Two way handheld radios are available with either rechargeable batteries or replaceable batteries. Handheld batteries are usually made of nickel and cadmium or lithium ion.

Two way radios operate in different ranges. The range specifies the distance that can be used in a two way communication. Two way radios can operate over short ranges or longer ranges depending on various factors like the frequency, terrain, output power, etc. Most two way radios operate in a “line of sight” manner. That is the antennas of two way radios must “see” each other. This just means that they cannot work well in hilly areas and in places where there are large obstructions such as city buildings.

Two way radios today come with a large number of features. Two way radios can use repeaters to help with communicating over longer distances and in areas where line of sight communication is not possible. Some two way radios also provide an option to use the computer in conjunction with a terminal node controller or TNC. The TNC converts the digital data from the computer to analog data which is then transmitted / received by two way radios. Packet radio networks have been around since the 1980’s and are used to communicate with Amateur Radio stations locally and worldwide.

Another thing new users must know about two way radios is that they may or may not require licenses to operate. When toy like two way radios are used as a personal radio within the home for example, there is no need to apply for a license. In addition, radio controlled toys do not require a license.

However, most two way radios do require some form of a license. Operating  Amateur Radio equipment does require a license from the country you live in. In the U.S. the FCC controls all Amateur Radio licenses. All business or commercial radios in the U.S require licenses issued by the FCC.

Two way radios operate on different “channels” or frequencies. Since these “channels” are open anyone can listen to the communication or intercept the messages being sent. To prevent this to some degree, radios come with privacy codes of sorts. Most two way radios and police scanners include the ability to scan the channels and automatically detect these so called privacy codes. Therefore there is no such thing as a truly “private” channel.

Today, entry level equipment can be purchased for as little as $50 to $75. One of the most popular introductory two way radios is the BAOFENG two way radio because of its included options and its very low cost.

 

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