On the road with "Cactus" and Miss Joan

honoring Apollo 11 45th Anniversary

Posted in Uncategorized by k4ymb on June 30, 2014

Dear Folks,

MD, WA4DXP, is organizing a Ham Radio SPECIAL EVENT….. honoring Apollo 11’s 45th Anniversary….

Contact one or both of the Special Event Stations, W4A at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center or W4R (rover)
July 18-20, 2014 and get one or both of these special event QSL cards.

Check these special calls out on QRZ……

Contact one or both of our Special Event Stations, W4A at The U.S. Space & Rocket Center or W4R (rover) July 18-20, 2014 and get one or both of these special event QSL cards.

Send YOUR card confirming contact along with a SASE (Self addressed, Stamped Envelope) (or request an online QSL request confirmation via our QRZ page, outside US, send 2 green stamps) Send to:

Apollo 11 Special Event

C/O William Bathgate KD8IGK

307 Clinton Ave, Suite 100, Huntsville, AL 35801

Just contact us from start time July 18, 2014 @ 23:00 UTC until end on July 20, 2014 @ 23:59 UTC on one of these approximate frequencies: 3821-3826, 7189-7195, 14.242-14.247, 28.420-28.425 on SSB. We will also operate brief times in the CW and PSK parts of these bands. We need your call, name and state/country on contacts. The Apollo 11 mission landed on the moon on July 20, 1969 @ 20:18 and six hours later man walked on the moon. We will be operating multiple transmitters and members of the HARC club K4BFT (using call W4A) on the grounds of the US Space & Rocket Center as well as a Rover station W4R moving on the grounds of the S&RC as well as around the Rocket City of Huntsville during the Friday to Sunday night time period. We do not plan to operate overnight Friday or Saturday.

Homer Hickam, author of "October Sky, The Rocket Boys" will be on premises some of the time and will operate the microphone, so you may get to talk with him. Other dignitaries of the Space Industry are being invited and you may have a QSO with them as well as members of K4BFT the HARC Club station.



My F-150 Installation

Posted in Uncategorized by k4ymb on June 30, 2014

Dear Folks,

This is an email that my friend Ken, NJ4C, sent to Paul, K4BET, about his installlation …. This might be some help to others… "Cactus"


Cactus alerted me to your F-150 installation problems and since
today is a rainy day and I can’t work on the farm I thought I’d
take pictures and describe my installation in hopes it might
help you. I am able to work all bands on my radio and have
worked lots of DX and alternator noise is of no consequence.
I also needed to document my installation to help another
ham with his installation.

When installing mobile installations there are different problems that
occur that we don’t have at our shacks and I know you know that.

My installation has never given me a moment’s problem since I figured
out that it was really OK! To start with, I have a car installation and an
2012 F-150 installation. I will go over the F-150 installation. My radios
are Kenwood 480HX radios that Kenwood recommends the two power leads
be connected direct to the battery. My antenna is the Tarheel 200-HP.
The radios are 200 watt radios. Both my radios use the Turbo Tuners
and after about 3 years with my car and 2 years with my truck…
….I have had no problems at all. All power wiring on both installations is run
to the motor area through the channeling underneath each of the doors.
On my F-150, I have attached the Tarheel mount to my Camper Hitch.
In both my installations is the success I had hoped for. There are no
special or magic tricks involved in either installation. So, lets begin:

1. Installed 2 ground straps to antenna. One small ground strap is
attached to the antenna mount and runs alongside the coax back
under the truck to the frame. One large ground strap is attached
to the hitch mount which is welded to my Camper Hitch.

2. Radio Grounded to Frame. My radio is under the back seat and a small
ground wire (yellow connector) is run directly to the frame underneath
the cab. You can see the Turbo Tuner next to the radio. The
radio is operated with the control head that I have placed next to
the driver’s seat.

3. Negative Battery Connect. I run the negative wire from the radio
direct to the battery stopping short to add fuses and chokes with
the wire running through a small choke or two.

4. Positive Fuse Box Connect. I run both positive (10 gauge)
power wires direct to the fuse box area stopping short to roll
each wire around each large choke and to add fuses.
Also, for added measure you can see the two wires running
through two small chokes where I connected the wires to
the fuse block connection.

5. Use of Chokes at Antenna. At the antenna I have used plenty
of chokes on the antenna power wire and I have also run my coax
through and around another choke. Chokes and grounds are good
and help hold down interference.

I hope this might help you in someway..I often think that my use
of Kenwood radios (since 1982) have made mobile operations
trouble free.

73’s my friend

Cutest chicken house

Posted in Uncategorized by k4ymb on June 26, 2014

Dear Folks,

My friend MD’s, WA4DXP, XYL was down in Florida and came back with a dozen chicken eggs…. Well… Judy hatched them all out at home in Huntsville.. Where and what do you do with a dozen 3 week old chicks???????

Is this not the cutest chicken house you have ever seem?????????

This beats all….

Heathkit HamShack

Posted in Uncategorized by k4ymb on June 26, 2014

Dear Folks,

Miss Joan and I had the best time ever visiting John, WB4ENG and Rebecca, N4IZK, here awhile back, and John was showing me his Heathkit HamShack.

Today, John is putting the FINISH TOUCHES on his playhouse…..

There is no way I can do this work of love justice with words.

So here are some of the scenes…

Dear Folks….. It is all in here….

Finishing touches!!!!!

What more can I say???
Heathkit Green no less….

John is starting this first day of summer with his passion…….. Heathkit Green

We love you all,

"Cactus" and Miss Joan

Shoe Polish George, KD4CFO

Posted in Uncategorized by k4ymb on June 26, 2014

Dear Folks,

I hope all you Daddies have had the best day ever… It sure has been a great day here for O’ "Cactus" and Miss Joan’s place… My whole bunch were here and we had the best time….

Speaking of a great day, I talked to Shoe Polish George, KD4CFO, and Jo Ann this afternoon and they too had a house full of love ones… I think he said about 25 of the kids,

grandkids and great grandkids, 3 dogs, 2 cats and a goat made it the best Daddy’s day ever….

We were talking about all the rain, so George just had to brag a little on his garden…….

Now these are going to be just fine….

Silver Queen; I hope… My favorlite….

It want be long…

George’s best friend….

Check out these big boys….

Soon to be on the table….

What a wonderful day for George and Jo Ann…. and his Family… The goat too!! Hi Hi..

Hope to see all of you at Stan’s next month… "THE BIG" July party…

I love you all,


Grow light interference…

Posted in Uncategorized by k4ymb on June 26, 2014

Dear Folks,

More on Grow Light Interence….. "Cactus"


Colorado Ham Tracks Down, Resolves Interference from Pot Cultivators’ "Grow Lights"
The ARRL already has complained to the FCC that so-called "grow light" ballasts can generate severe interference on the HF bands. According to a recent article in The Coloradoan, retired electrical engineer Tom Thompson, W0IVJ, first noticed interference on 40 meters at his location in Boulder a couple of years ago. So, he coupled his own portable receiving loop with a direct-conversion receiver that he could use to walk around his neighborhood and pin down noise sources. In at least one instance, the problem emanated from a domestic marijuana-growing operation — a "grow house."

A 1000 W grow light. [Tom Thompson, W0IVJ,

"With the increase in legalized medical and recreational marijuana comes an increase in RFI due to electronic grow light ballasts," Thompson explained on his website, where he describes how he constructed a filter that considerably reduced interference from the devices. "These ballasts are usually switching power supplies, capable of lighting 600 to 1000 W high-pressure sodium or metal halide lamps," Thompson said. "The switching frequency is usually 50 to 70 kHz and is rich in harmonics." Thompson said that because the light fixture is separated from the ballast by about 25 or 30 feet of wire — approximately a quarterwave on 40 meters — the RFI may be strongest on that band. "I have heard radiations from these systems up to about one-half mile away," he said. "When the [marijuana] plants are young, the lights are on 24/7. After about 2 weeks, the lamps are on for 12 hours, and off for 12 hours." Thompson said that since most systems are on a timer, it’s possible to predict when the RFI will start, once you have determined the initial "on" time.

W0IVJ’s receiving loop. [Tom Thompson,
W0IVJ, photo]

Thompson said one of the interfering growers was nice enough to loan him a lamp ballast for testing, and he was able to get a used lamp for free from a local grow shop. He gives away the common-mode choke filters to owners of offending lighting systems. As the article in The Coloradoan pointed out, with 22 states and the District of Columbia now allowing medical marijuana, and Colorado and Washington permitting its recreational use, "there’s been an explosion in the number of people growing their own pot, much of it indoors." The noise problems are reported to be worst in Colorado and California. Thompson told The Coloradoan, "If I can track this down, anybody can track this down. If I listen long enough, I can tell when they turn the lights off…you can tell exactly when the harvest is." Thompson has written an article on the topic of tracking down and resolving such interference. It is scheduled to appear this fall in QST. W1AW Centennial Operations Now in

Some Extra Stans Pictures

Posted in Uncategorized by k4ymb on June 26, 2014

Dear Folks,

Some more puctures from Stan’s from ken, NJ4C

Hello from Stans06-14

Posted in Uncategorized by k4ymb on June 26, 2014

Dear Folks,

Miss Joan, Ken, NJ4C, and I really enjoyed the ride and this day at Stan’s. Andy, W4SQE, and I had a good time and productive time discussing the Tennessee CW traffic net… All of this should come together this fall and the CW net should be better than ever… Let’s all get our keys oiled up and have a good time this fall and winter on 3.562 MHZ @ 19:00 CST….

I believe we had about 25 or so at the party and all had the best time….

Let’s get on with the pictures….

Driving up at the same time, John, WB4ENB and Rebecca, N4IZK

met Miss Joan and me in the parking lot.

Ken, NJ4C took the picture..

Riding in style, Roy’s, KJ4BPN trike…

Ron, KE4KO, comes tooling up on his "REALLY" home made trike.

Ron designed and built it all.. Check out the fenders..

Mr. Net Control, Wheatie, NY4O and his Sweetheart Sheila.

"THE" main attraction…

Water Meter Jim, K4WMJ and Roy, KJ4BPN…

Fred, N4MFD, Ron, KE4KO and Joe, WB4CXU looking back.

Here are the party makers… Bob, K4CTT, Ken, KJ4C

and the "Rail Road Man", Bruce, AJ4VF….

Andy, W4SQE giving Ron, KE4KO a copy of the CW code..Hi Hi..

And Fred, N4MFD saying, " he sure needs it" !!!!!

My two best Sweethearts, Brenda KK4CJG and Wade, KJ4WS;

our other 3980 Net Control….

Buddy, KA4DLW and his Sweetheart Mimi….

No matter what the occasion, the happiest couple at the party..

Glenn, K4AVA and his Sweetheart Judy.

Call the Law!!!!!!

Buddy, KA4DLW, Roy, KJ4BPN, me, K4YMB,

Ron, KE4KO, Ken, KJ4C and Fred, N4MFD

Talking it over, Miss Joan, My Sweetheart, Judy, Glenn’s, K4AVA Sweetheart

John, WB4ENB, his sweetheart Rebecca, N4IZK and Barbara, Andy’s , W4SQE, Sweetheart.

They are having a good time…

Now here is a good picture of Water Meter and me that Miss Joan took….

That is Joe in the back ground saying, "Don’t you believe it"

Two men of many talents, Ted, KS4MH and John, WB4ENB..

Rail Road Bruce, AG4VF and Glenn, K4AVA talking it over….

John, Rebecca greeting Andy and Barbara

making sure Andy has lunch.. Hi Hi…

Folks, Ron, KE4KO now has a halo……

Andy and Wade looking over the Morning net roster…

Happy crowd…..

The last of the crowd, Andy and Fred checking out Ron’s machine….

Honestly Folks, I think this has been one of the happiest Stan’s ever.

All just happy to be able to be here…

So until next time, which will be our "BIG" July get together next month,

We love you all,

"Cactus" and Miss Joan

PS… Ken says, he loves you too……

Pot growers noise

Posted in Uncategorized by k4ymb on June 26, 2014

Rugged RF Power module

Posted in Uncategorized by k4ymb on June 26, 2014

Dear Pat,

Now this is the answer…. A couple of these ol’ boys would make you "top shelf" 3980… Hi Hi….