Friday, November 30, 2012


I needed a little antenna for my analyzer to allow me to receive RF signals from my HF rig. I could have just stuck a wire in the center of the BNC connector on top of the analyzer. In fact, I did just that and it worked. But it was a compete pain in the ass to deal with. So I thought I'd build something a bit more substantial and permanent.

I went to Radio Shack (a bit of whining on this topic to follow) and bought a male BNC. I had some RG-8x in the basement so I cut off a piece and added the BNC to it. Stripped the end of the coax to allow the signal to reach the center conductor and viola', a baby antenna is born!

It connects right up to the analyzer, all nice and solid like. Now I can move forward on my zerobeating dilemma. But first, I have to get some painting finished on the outside of the house. My poor, ever suffering wife would like to see it done. It's been nearly a year now.

I guess I can understand why she's just a bit annoyed at me from time to time.

Radio Shack. Remember when it was a place you could go to buy electronics parts? I do. I worked there through most of high school. Mr. Moore was my boss. He owned the store. That was back in the days when Radio Shack had both franchise stores and company stores.

Mr. Moore was an electrical engineer by trade. He was also a B-29 pilot during WWII. After the war he went to work for Westinghouse in the program that developed a lot of the microwave technology we all take for granted today. Eventually he bought the store and developed a nice little business.

Anyway, the store was wall to wall electronics parts. Sure, we sold stereos and CB's (boy did we ever sell CB's. It was the '70's after all) but it was the parts that flowed out the door faster than anything else. People used to do their own repairs, fixing the TV's and radios, the appliances and do-dads that were part of everyday life.

Not so much anymore. And Radio Shack reflects that new, pathetic reality. Hardly any parts to be found now-a-days. It's all phones and other toys that require absolutely no user skills. Just plug and play.

And doesn't that just say about all that needs to be said about our country today. Nobody does anything for themselves any more. How many times have you passed some twenty something guy standing on the side of the road with a flat tire and a phone to his ear, calling for HELPPP!!! The useless nimrod never thinks of getting out the jack and doing it himself.

Well, the times they are a changin'. People better start learning these basic life skills again or they're going to be in a world of hurt as this plug and play world stops playing.

And that's enough whining for one day. I hear a paint brush calling me. And the faint whisper from a cold beer for the end of the day in the background.


  1. I hear ya about the Radio Shack stores.....gone are the old days for sure.

  2. The radio kits, the first build your own computer kits. We do miss the good old days.
    Guess that makes us too old.

    Happy Sunday to you!

  3. One of the many markers on the getting old trail, I suppose. I'm starting to hear myself say things that sound like they came right from the mouth of my dad. And, just like my dad, saying them over and over again. Now I'm starting to make up words to replace the ones I can't seem to remember while I'm talking to someone. My younger friends just laugh. I tell them to yuck it up now 'cause their time's coming.