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  • The Amateur Amateur: Cablegrim

    06/21/2011. By Gary Hoffman, KB0H Contributing Editor. The cables are out to get me, there's no doubt about it. I should have known as soon as my first DB9 serial to USB cable went sour on me. I attributed the problem to a nearby lightning strike, which did indeed scramble a number of my electronic devices. But a serial to ... Learn More

  • The Amateur Amateur: Meet the Zombies

    10/27/2008. There are a number of organizations that find ways to perform community services and have fun at the same time. I had already encountered a Klingon Assault Group during a blood drive some years ago; I had even chaired a convention for a Doctor Who fan club myself where we raised money for children's ... Learn More

  • The Amateur Amateur: Virtually There

    08/30/2011. By Gary Hoffman, KB0H Contributing Editor. Yesterday upon the stair. I met a man who wasn't there. He wasn't there again today. Oh, how I wish he'd go away -- William Hughes Mearns. My wife Nancy and I were sitting in a Mexican restaurant having lunch. Between bites of my taco, I described the ... Learn More

  • The Amateur Amateur: Standoffish

    May 16, 2012 ... One -- at the south end of the roof -- held a television antenna and was useless for Amateur Radio operations. It wasn't high enough and would have required a ridiculous length of feedline to reach. The other three masts were clustered near each other at the north end of the roof. I really should have spread ... Learn More

  • The Amateur Amateur: It's Not Easy Being Green-less

    Mar 31, 2013 ... Many years ago, my grandfather used to build radio sets and sell them to his neighbors. Somewhat later, just after World War II, he and my father installed radios in cars for Western Auto. They saved up their earnings and eventually started Hoffman Radio-Television Sales and Service, which was the ... Learn More

  • The Amateur Amateur: The Net Controller's Speech

    02/22/2011. By Gary Hoffman, KB0H Contributing Editor. You've probably heard something surprising on the air. It may have been something unpleasant, like cursing or an off-color joke. It may have been an unexpected opportunity, such as a close-out sale at a local electronic store. Or it may have been something more ... Learn More

  • The Amateur Amateur: Packet, Part II

    Apr 27, 2009 ... Winlink 2000 (sometimes written as WL2K) is a clever system that uses Amateur Radio to send basic e-mail. This can be an extremely valuable tool in a disaster situation where access to the Internet has been lost. In fact, the ARRL now recommends that ARES® groups develop Winlink capabilities. Learn More

  • The Amateur Amateur: Fun, Fatigue and Fur

    07/23/2011. By Gary Hoffman, KB0H ARRL Contributing Editor. My wife Nancy and I have a very sweet dog named Ariel. As near as we can make out, Ariel is 95 percent Swedish Lapphund, absolutely beautiful and as furry as they come. During the summer months in Missouri, she sheds and the whole house becomes furry ... Learn More

  • The Amateur Amateur: Ready, SET 1, SET 2...

    Sep 22, 2012 ... “Who did you say you were again?” the receptionist asked. “Gary Hoffman,” I said . “I'm with the Amateur Radio Emergency Service. I'm supposed to run a test on your Amateur Radio equipment.” I was patient, even though I knew that the SET ( Simulated Emergency Test) was supposed to start right at that ... Learn More

  • The Amateur Amateur: A Day in the Parking Lot

    05/22/2009. "Okay, I'm here," I thought as I pulled into a parking space. I shut off the engine and just sat there for a minute. I glanced down at the clipboard lying on the passenger seat. It held my "what-to-do-and-in-what-order" list. Once I started doing things, though, there would be no stopping. So I just savored the moment, ... Learn More