Archive for August, 2008

QSO Logging and Loose Ends

Sunday, August 24th, 2008

Hello all, it’s been a bit since the last post, but since then, I’ve put up a real-time ham radio contact log, on the Ham Radio tab, that shows my contacts as I put them into the log. I’m using DJ1YFK’s YFKlog and some PHP of mine to do it, which is executed within the Wordpress page using the Exec-PHP plugin. Fun!

Oh, and I forgot to mention that I purchased a new antenna, a Diamond RH77CA, for the dual-band HT, which has great reviews on, and from what people claim there, has fairly good off-ham-band performance as well, allowing me to use my HT on FRS and MURS. I haven’t yet received the antenna, I just purchased it last night, but maybe I’ll do a review when I get it :)

And, for those that don’t know, back in mid-July, I purchased a Kenwood HF transceiver, the TS-450S, used off Craigslist, along with an Astron RS-35A power supply and a Mirage UHF amplifier… a stellar buy of $375 for the lot. Here’s the transceiver, with MFJ tuner, in all its glory…

TS-450S and MFJ 949E

I also made a custom wallplate with SO239 passthroughs for the antenna connections coming into the house. My mom was grateful for this, and not having a hole in the wall with wires coming through.. she would hate that.

Antenna Wallplate

I’m pretty sure I was going to mention something else, but when I left to take the pictures of the equipment, I forgot it.. Oh well! Enjoy!

King Corn

Sunday, August 3rd, 2008

KingCorn, originally uploaded by maxkelley.

I just saw this movie, called King Corn, a documentary about two guys from Boston who move to Iowa to grow an acre of corn to discover exactly where it goes. The film is really quite eye-opening in many ways, because the corn they grow actually is barely edible without processing, and will mostly be used as animal feed, or be made into sweetener (corn syrup). Another stunning fact is that cows fed by corn actually are simply waiting for death, as it is not natural for them to be fed corn-based feed, and it just fattens them up. A cut of meat from a corn-fed cow that has 9g of saturated fat will have only 3.5g fat if it were grass-fed, the natural way. (I believe that’s what the statistic was..)

If you have a chance to see this movie, it is truly worth it, and it just shows how much our economy and our nation is changing. It is nearly impossible to survive as a small family farm that is not a subsistence farm, for, in the case of these two, it actually cost them money to produce and sell the corn, and the only profit they received is from the government paying them because they are producing corn. It should be interesting to see where our nation will be going in the coming years.

On another note, look forward to more frequent, normal posts now… perhaps a few projects, even :) I plan on repurposing a Dish TV satellite dish for long-range Wi-Fi… stick around :)

Thanks to for the photo..