Wednesday, January 09, 2008

So I Hear

...Some folks don't believe I have the very latest in modern communications equipment here at Roseholme* Cottage. Ha! See?

I'll point out that's a main line sounder and Vibroplex's very latest bug, with the factory's own Vari-Speed, too. While the Royal mill does happen to be second-hand, it has their very newest "fingertip-friendly" keycap. "Not modern." Foo!

On a related note, I became disconcertingly amused at the Skunk Works yesterday when the phrase, "I'm as happy as a chimp eating a brand-new telephone" occurred to me. In my defense (and that of fans of Magrite and Dali everywhere), it had been a long day and we'd found several examples of how we keep buying books and buying books and they just keep eating the covers.

* Named after the family grant of arms, which features a "naturally-colored rose on an argent field." Lancaster or York? You've got me there. Oooo, is that a touch-tone? Pass the salt!


Anonymous said...

Perfect phone for you:

or this:

Roberta X said...

I've been lusting after the Bluetooth version of that, in fact!

Anonymous said...

Do you have a Bluetooth earpiece that fits underneath your helmet? 'Cause if you do, all you need is a battery-powered vacuum-tube CW transceiver to go "scooter-mobile". Seriously, has anybody ever tried that? May have stumbled into a heretofore undiscovered niche in ham radio: "WAS" - "Worked All Scooters" or "DXCC" - "510-cc or under". K

Carteach said...

You do code?

Ohh.... I didnt need to know that.
Hold while I swoon!

Seriously.... unable to learn it so far... languages just evade me, like winning lottery tickets.

Sold my practice key... after the dust got heavy enough to shame me.

Roberta X said...

'Teach: Well, there's your first problem: you'd've been better off with one of those code-practice-generator boxes than a key! You need to be soaking in it. Sending's easy. After all, code's not really a language, more of a font.

I've learned the code twice, or rather, learned it more-or-less and then really picked it up a year later when I was 15 and took Novice license class. I was plateaued around 10 wpm for years. When I decided I had to upgrade my ham ticket, I was putting in long hours at the Skunk Works North Campus, a lot of it in a combined workshop/office. I tuned in the maritime shore stations (there were a lot still on the air then) on my big SX-28 and let them play all day. Didn't even try to copy much except on breaks. And my speed came up.

I knew I was doing okay, copying the W1AW practice broadcasts at 13 wpm. When I went in to take the tests, I did well enough at 13 wpm that yhey tried me at 20 and I passed that, too! (I'd need to practice to get back to that speed. The bug in the photo is weighted to run in the 10 - 15 wpm range).

Went in for a General, left with an Advanced and 20 wpm credit, back when you needed that.

However, I can't copy a sounder, or not well, and I can't copy American Morse, only Continental, which is the international standard anyway.

Turk: I do have a headset that works under my helmet and I have used the celphone while scootering when I had to. Simple fact is, a scooter will hurt the rider if she is not paying close attention. With the gearshift part of the left grip (twist to shift) and 10" wheels, it is less forgiving than a small motorcycle. The MSF class uses 250 cc Suzukis and they're a walk in the park compared to my scooter.

Anonymous said...

I was given just a desultory code test at the NYC FCC in 1966 at 13-wpm. At 20-wpm, you're better off sounding the words out with your lips rather than trying to write 'em down, so my hat's [er... fez's] off to ya!

I also used W1AW for practice. Commercial telegraph stations for practice? Pretty cool. They ARE on the air most of the day, while W1AW is not. Didn't some of the commercial stations use tone-modulated carriers, not "pure" CW?

The last code test I took was at 5-wpm for my Extra. Imagine that! Just 5-wpm, and they didn't even require verbatim copy! It should still be 20-wpm for an Extra; keeps out the riff-raff.

Anonymous said...

You are aware of using this plus a driver (scroll down... Pretty but his coil resistance is way too low for authenticity.) to drive your sounder with RSS feeds?

Roberta X said...

You're tempting me now, OG! --I've got a $50 special desktop coming from work, as soon as the IS lads diust it off; it's intended as a mod-friendly platform for such things as, yes, adding a tele-graph-sounder driver.

At present, I am running an elderly laptop as my 'netbox, which replaced a '286 when the local ISP was absorbed and the new owner dropped shell accounts. Honest.

Anonymous said...

I think I would actually get a Blackberry if I could find one that used a Morse key for sending. There were two hams on the Leno show last year who competed against a pair of texting 20-somethings to send a short text message; The Keys vs. The Thumbs. And The Keys won easily. But those Morse sounder projects are awesome!

Roberta X said...

Turk, follow back to the links for his monitor and keyboard. You'll be stunned.

...Anyway, I was. Von Slatt's a genius.

Anonymous said...

Roberta, you were right. That stuff is STUNNING! I am in awe.

[breathe in ... breathe out ... breathe in ...]

I can't wait to see the mouse. Holy #$%&!

Anonymous said...

I have actually been present when young adults saw an IBM Selectric and said "What's that?"
Say what you will about thin-air tubes, once I was in a car with a friend-of-a-friend when the tube CB spake, and I very nearly turned around to see who was in the back seat that I had not noticed in the semi-dark.