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  • 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: 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: It's a Jungle Down There

    Feb 29, 2012 ... It's Wednesday. The evening meal has been cooked and consumed. The dishes have been washed. My wife Nancy has curled up with a murder mystery and our dog Ariel is busy dismantling a rawhide bone. Checking my watch, I see that it's time to go down to my shack and participate in the weekly ARES ... 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: 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: 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

  • The Amateur Amateur: Simulated Emergency Mess

    10/15/2011. By Gary Hoffman, KB0H Contributing Editor. It was my turn to run the local ARES® net, but I was thinking about asking someone else to do it for me. It had been a stressful day and my speech was becoming a little slurred (I'm struggling with myasthenia gravis). But I hated to impose on the other net controllers, ... Learn More

  • The Amateur Amateur: Doing It in the Street

    Aug 21, 2008 ... I hadn't realized how difficult it would be to obtain them and wound up creating several of them myself. In particular, I completely revamped our St Louis County ARES flyer. I even cranked out a box full of Amateur Radio promo buttons for the occasion. In fact, I was so focused on the promotional material that ... 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: Slippery-Slope Television

    09/28/2009. Our ARES group is going to put on a field station demonstration next month. This will be our third such event, and I'd operated a HF PSK31 station at the last two. I told Chuck -- who will be the site manager this year -- that I hadn't felt I'd accomplished very much during the previous demonstrations. True, I'd had  ... Learn More