Monday, September 17, 2007

Was I crazy?

Last Saturday, a group of about 14 people got together to make power supplies for our ham radios. I was told that it would be easy, all you had to do was follow directions. I had been pricing power supplies on the Internet and found that the cheapest one we could buy was about $ 95.00. A friend of mine told me that you could make them for about $ 29.00 so I asked him how we could do that. He gave me the name of a man, he knew, that built them and he would probably be happy to help our group out. I called the man up and he agreed to help us. I reserved the multi-purpose rooms at the church and got the word out. We were told to bring some power tools like a drill, a soldering iron, screw drivers and pliers. He told us that it wouldn’t take but about 4 hours to do the job.

Saturday morning I went in at 8:30am. to set up some tables and chairs. The group was coming in at 9:00am. to start assembling the units. When Bro. Boyer came, he asked several of the men if they could help carry in supplies. He passed out, to each on of us, a little quart sized bag with nuts, bolts, screws, resisters, fuses and other items that I had never seen before. We picked up a plastic container and a thing that looked like a motor. There was also a small fan that we had to install. I took one look at this stuff and wondered what I had gotten us in to…This stuff was so over my head that you would need a pair of binoculars to find it. The men acted like they were let loose in a candy store, picking up parts and putting it together. The three women and I looked at each in astonishment. It turned out that the women were put on an assembly line installing the fans, cutting wires, doing some soldering and doing the easier stuff. I still felt like a duck out of water.

The time went by quickly and at 1:00pm. it was evident that we were no where near finished. Robert Riedel was the first one finished and he left around 4:00pm. Most of the people had working units after they were tested, but there were three that had too much voltage. They worked on those for several hours. Around 6:00pm. I started vacuuming the floor and trying to clean up. At 6:45pm. I told the men that I had to leave and they promised to clean up. I know one thing for sure, I’m not going to do that again….I even wonder if it was worth it to save $65.00.

I went home stressed out, so TF and I went out to dinner for our Saturday night date. We did a little grocery shopping on the way home and when we got home I could barely put away the groceries. I rested my head on a pillow on the couch and promptly fell asleep in my clothes. I woke up the next morning on the couch with a blanket over me.

Did I mention that 8 of us went together and purchased our ham radios? We ordered the IC-2200H Icom single band (2 meter) unit. It is a sturdy little guy that can be used as a home base unit or it can be used in your car as a mobile unit. We got a discount rate with a $ 20.00 rebate thru the end of September. What a deal. Next on the agenda we are purchasing some Arrow J-pole antennas. Once that is done we should be able to transmit! Yea!!! KE5KIO over and out.


At 11:01 PM, Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

You are a game and brave soul, Lucy...I don't tyhink I would have done all that myself. The extra $65. would be worth it to me cause I am a dunce when it comes to this kind of stuff! Much Much good "Hamming"....! (lol)

At 11:49 PM, Blogger RC said...

certainly sounds like an adventure!

At 8:01 AM, Blogger Diane J. said...

Now I would have loved putting together those power supplies. I like things like that, but my hubby couldn't care less about anything electrical, technical, automotive or do-it-yourself.

Hope your Tuesday is great!

Love and hugs,


PS: I did prepare the chicken for my casserole the night before so when I got home from church I could assemble the casserole and bake it in a short amount of time. It goes together quickly and cooks in about 30 minutes.

At 8:05 AM, Blogger Granny Annie said...

And the beauty of a ham radio is??? Should I get one? I'm truly thinking about starting to raise homing pigeons. Also, do you take Countryside Magazine? It is our favorite magazine on homesteading and publishes six issues a year.

At 5:48 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Sounds like a blast. I was interested in this when I was young, somehow never ended up getting into it.

At 7:55 PM, Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

That's sounds like a LOooooooNG Day!
Things often take a lot longer than we expect them to. Life just seems to work that way for some reason.
I hope you enjoy those radios!!
You asked my hubby's age.
He is 47, so he will cross the 50 threshold before me, and he can tell me what it's like. :-)


At 4:14 AM, Blogger Merle said...

Hi Lucy ~~ What a lot of work and trouble. I hope you enjoy the radios when you get them set up.
I have copied the Chicken in Creamy Pan Sauce as it looks and sounds easy and delicious. Thanks for that. Glad you liked the Social worker story.
We sure do not see what is going on around us, or realize the power of prayer. Take care, Lucy, Love, Merle.

At 7:06 AM, Blogger Big Dave T said...

I'm not very technically proficient myself. I'd probably still be there working to construct my own unit.

Hea, I wanted to answer here a couple questions you asked after my latest blog. My blood sugar was normal at last test, but I'm getting it tested again in a couple weeks. My "censored" blog was going to be about my male hormone replacement therapy. 'Nuf said.

Also, the bees are gone. It could have been a cold snap, or it could have been one last try I had at dumping insecticide on the suspected nest. So I took the new mailbox down, which is fine with our mailman.

At 12:41 PM, Blogger SusieQ said...

I would have been absolutely no good at putting together a ham radio. Mostly I think I would have run out of patience.

Other than for entertainment reasons (I think it would be fun to be a ham radio operator), what are the practical reasons for having a ham radio in your situation?

At 5:06 AM, Blogger An80sNut said...

I'm wondering what the total was of finished power supplies was. And, sure, it might not have been cost effective but if some social bonding occurred and people learned how to make a power supply for themselves... it might have been worth a day.

At 8:05 PM, Blogger Lucy Stern said...

old lady of the hills - I think that next time something like this comes up, I will vote Noooooo!

rc - It was definately an adventure.

Diane - I am going to try the cassarole next Sunday.

grannie annie - I have never heard of the Countryside magazine. It sounds right up my alley. The reason we are doing the ham radioing is for emergency preparedness. Two years ago, we almost go hit with Hurricane Rita and 95% of the people in Houston had on cell phone or land line phones. Ham radio is always up and running and used extensively in an emergency. I am the emergency preparedness co-ordinator in our church group and I want us to be able to communicate in case of an emergency. We have a large creek going thru our church boundries and it could flood easily in a large storm. With ham radio we can keep track of everyone. We might be able to help the Red Cross or FEMA as secondary units.

Paul - I just got interested in it in the last two years. Love it.

Jamie Dawn - It was a LOooooNG day.

Merle - I definately like Hamming.

Big Dave - Glad your blood sugar is doing well...And...I'm glad the bees decided to leave. Hang on to that mailbox, you never know when you might need it.

Susieq - check out grannie annies answer.

an80snut - The total for finished power supplies was 11 and yes, there was a lot of bonding and fun for the day. It was still exhausting. I have now ordered some J-Pole antennas for us so we can get up and running.

At 10:44 PM, Blogger Rachel said...

A very long day indeed! Sounds like it'll be great fun to have one though once it's all working and certainly handy to have!

At 7:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A day with friends ... so worth it.

At 10:34 PM, Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Thanks for your visit, my dear Lucy....And, this is still all Greek to me...! (LOL) You are very smart!

At 12:35 PM, Blogger Sean said...

my next project. i'm shopping for a whole kit radio to assemble when i'm overseas, something i can try to reach back to the states with. hope to hear your power supplies and new radios go great together.


Post a Comment

<< Home