More than just a Ham radio blog.
is an informative, cynical and sometimes humorous look at what is happening in the world of amateur radio.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Not quite dead yet!

Contrary to what my regular reader might be thinking CQHQ is not dead and neither am I. As I have said several times in the past sometimes life just gets in the way of living. It would almost be true to say that in some ways amateur radio has had to take a back seat in my life for a while, but as I am rarely away from it for more than 12 hours at a time it would be stretching the point somewhat.

So where have I been? you may well ask, but mostly the answer would be nowhere in particular. The facts are these; My employer of thirty odd years has sold his business, I still have the same job working for the same bosses but the name on the signs have changed. This all results in some upset both in terms of things that need sorting as well as some emotional turmoil. It also has meant me learning another function. Something that should have been done some time ago, but the funds for the training resource were not forthcoming. Knowing they would no longer have to worry about budget issues with the old employer meant I got my training, and have been up to my neck in corporate bull ever since. The last two months have been busy too due to covering my colleagues holidays and visiting hospitals, loads of folk scaring the hell out of me. Will people please stop being ill it is starting to effect my health too, worrying about you all. I have my own issues but nothing life threatening just at the moment.

On top of this my second eldest son moved back home, so that he can learn to drive and get a car with the goal of getting a better paid job. He is a talented graphic designer but without transport he cannot get to where the well paid jobs are and almost all of his pay was going on paying his rent etcetera. It seemed like a good idea but a lot of work later and we now have two houses of stuff in one house. Correct that, we had three or four houses of stuff already and it now really is a bit cramped.

It was recently slightly worse than that due to an issue we had at the radio club. One day some time ago we turned up for a meeting to find our radio shack and workshop had vanished along with all its contents. The shack and workshop were in a forty foot steel container that the Mold Rugby Club had kindly said we could "Do with what we want.", unfortunately it was not theirs to give away. Therein lies the problem of ever changing committees and the control of assets. It belonged in fact to a senior benefactor to the rugby club who from what I gather had a disagreement with the rugby club, over some issue to which I was not privy, threw his rattle out of his pram and took all his toys with him. We had by that time being using the container for over two years. Our initial problem was getting our gear back. Thousands of pounds of radio and test equipment, which had been swung up on a crane and transported and then swung off the wagon by crane. We feared everything was broken. The Police said it was nothing to do with them and was a civil matter. Even our wrecked antennas and chopped coax (surely criminal damage at least) were nothing to do with them. Typical British Bobbies too bone idle lazy to help someone even when the perpetrator is known. Eventually I calmed down, but I still had to ask a third party to intercede with the guy.

Anyhow, to cut a long story short the mini-bus full of Ukrainian Bratva with pick axe handles were called off and we got our gear back, mostly undamaged. This was mainly due to the power cables and coaxes that stopped the rigs and equipment from sliding off the benches. Many thanks to the guy from GB4FUN for assuring me things might not be as bad as I suspected when I told him the situation. A travelling shack with gear left on benches, he knew a thing or two about how things move about or rather don't move as much as they might.

So we collected all the gear and it too was stowed at my house until we could find alternative storage. Thank goodness that stuff is out of my shack and the lounge floor and the passage, but what a crippling loss to the club. We used the workshop as a temporary school room for the Radio Amateurs Exam courses, away from the noisy bar in the main club and were able to do practical and on air tests and lessons .

Finally I have been on my annual two week SOTA holiday/pilgrimage to Scotland. There is another story there but it mostly rained and we only did two summits, however it did have it's moments and I did return with a new rig, an Icom IC-7400 as a birthday present from my wife. What a fabulous radio and there are loads of them out there, taken as to trade-ins for the 7410 and 9100 Icoms and the Kenwood 590S. So now really is the time to buy one, if like me you cannot justify the price of the latest rigs. Mine looks absolutely new and the mic was still sealed in the packet. I paid a lot less than I would for a second hand IC-7000 and that is a mobile rig without a built in tuner. If like me you have wanted one since they came out then get one now before they all disappear. Trade in that old Yaesu FT-857D or Icom IC-706 MKIIG if you have too, you may only have a couple of hundred to pay. By the way I didn't I still have mine, it is an emotional thing, but I might part with one for an IC-910X to match the 7400. Oh well Christmas is coming and when you wish upon a star...

By the way if you have a steel container you would like to donate to Mold and District Amateur Radio Club we have just the spot and don't forget our silent key/sale and swap meet event, it is turning in to a mini rally fast. 8pm 14th September 2011.


  1. if you need a new radio home try Carnaby Caravans
    they might get hold of 7 year old mobile home they build new ones and replace 7 year old ones have a stack they just chop up for wood and bin the rest. look them up on the web.
    Peter M1dbb

  2. Good suggestion Peter but a mobile home would be no-where near as secure as a steel shipping container. If we could find a nice farmer with a quiet spot out of sight on a hill even a smallish caravan would make a nice shack, but in a quite public place we would need more security. Aside from lifting the thing on a low loader the container was almost bomb proof. Added to that it was partitioned in to the shack and the workshop. So once through the reinforced steel door there was another and then most of the gear was under lock and key in steel cupboards bolted to the wall. It was unfortunate that everything had not been put away at the time, but luckily we got away with it.

  3. Mobile home sounds good..
    but as you say steel container is better!!
    (you would not find the steel container full of disadents or refugees ..) as you might with a mobile home .
    Mobile home bed, cooker,toilet shower,flat screen tv heating free electric .... hang on a minute that sounds RATHER GOOD...
    where is me JIM -JAM,s.....