February 27, 2015

It is character

Most people say that it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: it is character. -- Albert Einstein

Written by: NJ2X, Michael Maher

February 22, 2015

Goodbye Radio Shack

If you haven't heard already, the US retailer Radio Shack has entered into bankruptcy.  It is sad to see a  94-year-old electronics company fail and for hams, it is especially sad to see a company falter that played a significant role in amateur radio.  It has been a steady decline so the bankruptcy is no surprise.  It appeared inevitable long ago.

Radio Shack started in Boston in the 1920's and grew into a nationwide icon with 4,300 stores.  For radio amateurs, Radio Shack was a familiar source of electronic components, housings, kits, electronics tools, antennas, coaxial cable, connectors, scanners, and HF receivers and transceivers.  For many, Radio Shack was their only local source for electronic components.

The Internet changed everything and being a local source of electronic components seems to have lost its relevancy along the way.  Creative destruction is the phrase often used to describe the effects of the invisible hand at work in the free market.  Business failure isn't pretty to watch and it can be very difficult to experience if you are personally affected; however, poorly run businesses deserve to be replaced by well run businesses offering products and services that people want to pay for.

Image of a Radio Shack logo with a red capital R in a red circle with words radioshack next to it
Goodbye Radio Shack
Radio Shack stores around the nation are being liquidated.  If you haven't done so already, take a trip to your local Radio Shack and scoop up some excellent deals on all things useful around the shack.  We visited our local store recently and walked out with a grocery bag of components, connectors, and even a solderless breadboard all for 90% off list price and totaling only $15.

1980 Radio Shack Catalog showing the DX-300 HF Receiver

As we were packing up, the clerk proudly showed off a printed receipt from customer's purchase earlier that day that was about 8 feet in length.  The clerk said the customer had raided the Radio Shack discrete component bins (resistors, capacitors, 555 timers, transistors, etc.).  We made a point of thumbing through those bins whenever stopping by a Radio Shack store and more often than not walked out with a few interesting goodies.  We hams will miss that experience; though, for some it has already been replaced by a trip to a local electronics parts retailer such as Fry's.  Goodbye Radio Shack thanks for the memories and thank you for supporting amateur radio.

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

Written by: NJ2X, Michael Maher

February 20, 2015

Understand the universe...

If you wish to understand the universe, think of energy, frequency and vibration. -- Nicola Tesla
Nicola Tesla

Written by: NJ2X, Michael Maher

February 13, 2015

Gravitation is not responsible...

Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love -- Albert Einstein

Happy Valentines Day!

Written by: NJ2X, Michael Maher

February 6, 2015

Learn from yesterday...

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to not stop questioning. -- Albert Einstein

Written by: NJ2X, Michael Maher

January 30, 2015

Drives me hazy...

A question that sometimes drives me hazy:
am I or are the others crazy? -- Albert Einstein

Photograph of Albert Einstein with his wife Elsa.  Einstein is pictured holding a pipe.  Both are wearing long coats.
Albert Einstein with wife Elsa

Written by: NJ2X, Michael Maher

January 23, 2015

Voyaging through strange seas of thought...

And from my pillow, looking forth by light
Of moon or favouring stars, I could behold
The antechapel where the statue stood
Of Newton with his prism and silent face,
The marble index of a mind for ever
Voyaging through strange seas of Thought, alone.

— William Wordsworth

Written by: NJ2X, Michael Maher

January 16, 2015

Everyone is a moon...

Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody. -- Mark Twain

Mark Twain photograph shown seated wearing a white hat and bow tie
Mark Twain

Written by: NJ2X, Michael Maher

January 9, 2015

Travel one, ten, or a thousand miles, or even to California...

What would you think of a Universe in which you could travel one, ten, or a thousand miles, or even to California, and then find it came to an end? Even if you were to go millions and millions of miles, the idea of coming to an end is still incomprehensible. -- Lord Kelvin

Written by: NJ2X, Michael Maher

January 2, 2015

It is not really the fish...

In this season of New Year's resolutions here is a little Thoreau to consider...

Some men fish all their lives without knowing it is not really the fish they are after. -- Henry David Thoreau

Happy New Year and Good DX,

Written by: NJ2X, Michael Maher

ARRL Kids Day - January 4, 2015

It is time for the semi-annual ARRL Kids Day event (January 4, 2015).  Kids Day is designed to promote Amateur Radio to our youth and presents a wonderful opportunity for hams to share the magic of radio with their kids or grandchildren, a Scout troop, or a church youth group.
Amateur radio is fun for kids

Kids Day gives youth an on-the-air experience and may even foster on-going interest and becoming licensed. It also gives adult hams a chance to share their station and love for Amateur Radio with their children.
We radio amateurs to listen for those Kids Day participants and answer their calls and be extra patient and encouraging.

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

Written by: NJ2X, Michael Maher