Thursday, April 30, 2020

Moving house after 25 years

We've lived in Killarney Heights for about 25 years (with a few gaps including two years in Hong Kong). It's a quiet suburb north of Sydney and was a nice place for young kids. 

During that time, I've become very friendly with some people in our street and beyond. (That photo on the right was taken before social distancing).

It's a conservative electorate. Tony Abbott was our federal member but he was thrown out by a large swing at the last election. The suburb has a very active Facebook group which is both funny and useful. There's also a satirical blog that sends up observations about the area but hopefully with a warm heart.

Moving house is an eye opening experience.

I've accumulated too much stuff over the years and during packing I can see the folly of my ways. I've bought the same thing multiple times after losing sight of the previous ones. I've bought things and never used them. Getting rid of things takes work. A few things were sold on line and the local Facebook group is a good place to get people to take away things for free.

In recent years the rubbish bin has been replaced with a smaller bin and the local tip is quite selective about what they will take, so it's actually hard to get rid of stuff.

Our kids both live in Melbourne so we're moving there. I will miss this area and my friends throughout NSW but if COVID-19 has taught us anything it's that video conferencing is a great way to chat.

I'll particularly miss my 40m dipole over the large gum tree at the back of the block here. I'm sure the antenna situation in inner-city Melbourne will not be as low noise.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

ARNSW Radio Experimenters Group meeting again via video

Since the COVID-19 isolation came in to effect, we've been having meetings of the ARNSW Radio Experimenters (Home Brew) group via a Skype meeting. Today we held the second "normal" meeting. (We've also been holding a few lunch meetings which are less structured and more social in nature.

Today we had Ali, Gary, John, Stephen, Colin, Kevin and Peter.

Peter, VK2EMU, was mentioned in dispatches on the most recent edition of the Soldersmoke podcast. He had been mentioned in the last episode as the builder of a power amplifier with 6 meters. A misunderstanding! It turns out that it's an amplifier for 40m that has six meters on the front panel. See below.

We had a pleasant chat about what each of us is up to that went for about an hour. I recorded the audio and you can hear it here.

I talked about a few topics of interest to home brewers including:

* QSO today interviewed VK3HN, Paul Taylor where he talks about home brew radios for SOTA.
* A recent podcast from Hackaday drew my attention to the fact that you can buy surface mount components in the form of a book. For example, here's one from Little Bird.

Today, I had the final radio operation from the current QTH. I listened to the Sunday broadcast on 20m with a small dipole in the front yard and participated in the call-back. Next stop is a small unit in Alphington in Victoria. It looks like there's a bit of a yard with a tree so I hope to throw some wire up shortly after moving in.