For those of you building Elecraft Kits like the K2, KX1, etc. you should consider using these lead bending tools to form your components perfectly.

Speedy Bend Lead Formers

It took a little while to locate a source, but I finally found and purchased a set from Production Devices in California.  They are called “Speedy Bend.”

Here is a simple way to protect your radio investment from the high voltages induced by lightning activity.


Just attach it to your radio and hook the antenna lead to the protector. Ideally you would put this at the entrance to your house or vehicle, but anything is better than nothing. It is a very simple spark gap device which may not protect your radio completely. However, at under $10 it is well worth having at least some peace of mind.

Football on the wall this season?  I hope so.  We have finally decided to get a wall mount high definition television (HDTV).  The price points are amazing right now.  We stopped by Sears with some idea of the dimensions over our fire place mantle.  Even with written down measurements, we still had a hard time visualizing how the various available flat panel HDTV sizes would look in our home.  So we wrote down some of the actual box measurements for several screen sizes and taped sheets of paper to the wall, just like shingles.  The smaller units did look good, but the paper models helped us rule out smaller sized.  Here it is…

12 August 2007 · Topic: CB

Since many folks new to CB radio might get confused by the available, but illegal 10 meter radios which have 40 channels just like real 11 meter CB radios do, here is a list of legit frequencies and the corresponding channels.

Good ol’ CB Radio

When shopping for a CB radio you are well advised to ask if it works on the real CB frequencies.

04 August 2007 · Topic: CB

Here is yet another CB shop that got slapped…

To their credit, this shop fought pretty hard with point-of-sale signs explaining the illegal radios were for amateur radio use only.  They even used an attorney to communicate with the FCC.  None of that mattered one wit.  $7,000.  What blows me away yet again is they continued to sell the equipment even after being told how the FCC interprets the particular model in question.  Sigh.

If you are an attorney representing a CB shop concerning so called Amateur Radio Service only transceivers collect your money from your client first because you are probably going to lose.

04 August 2007 · Topic: CB

Here is yet another example of a play by play showing just how stubborn CB shops can be insisting they have some kind of right to ignore FCC rules created, enforced and, yes, interpreted by the FCC…

Read all of it and see how the FCC gives stores chance after chance to straighten up yet store owners wonder in amazement how they get caught when FCC undercover customers buy the illegal radio again.  The only thing that makes any sense is the profit from selling illicit products must outweigh the $7,000 to $100,000 fines collected easily by the FCC with super simple detective work.  Maybe dodging “the man” is part of the fun.

04 August 2007 · Topic: CB

For some time we all have been aware that strange 10 meter CB like equipment has been available. Marketed as Amateur Radio transceivers, these units appear to be mostly available from CB shops around the country. What is so funny about all this is the FCC is continuously leveling fines against the marketers of this equipment yet they seem un-phased claiming some sort of right to do whatever they want. The FCC is so very obviously right about this I just don’t get why the marketers want to wear a sign that says “kick my butt… please.” Just what are the details…


Ever wonder why truckers use twin antennas for their CB radio needs? Here is an article which uses simulation to examine the merits and pitfalls of this technique.

Simulation of Two CB Antennas