From breadboard to Perma-Proto board

First I took the little Morse code kit and put it onto a breadboard. Over at, they have these neat Perma-Proto PCBs that are circuit board versions of a breadboard. Makes it easy to transfer something you’ve assembled on a breadboard to something a little more permanent.

I picked up a few a little while ago with the intention of transferring the breadboard version of the Morse code kit to a Perma-Proto board and finally got around to it this evening.

DSC00703.JPGDSC00704.JPGIt turned out pretty compact and can be powered by a 9V battery, or three CR2032 button cells (shown). The clicky button still isn’t great for tapping out Morse code, but it mostly works.

A nice relaxing couple of hours spent melting some solder.

Shopping list for Atlanta Hamfest

Will be heading back to the Atlanta Hamfest in June, so I guess I need to start thinking about a shopping/wish list and to set a budget for myself.

At the moment, the list is pretty short

  • Cable adapters and connectors
  • Morse code keys (I seem to have a bit of a collecting bug now)
  • Antenna analyzer
  • Antenna building supplies
  • Oscilloscope probe(s)
  • Test gear

I’d love to be able to score another deal like I got with the HD-10 I found at the Orlando Hamcation. Looking forward to seeing all the different offerings out in Atlanta.

Charleston VE Testing

Did you know that here in Charleston SC there are ham radio licensing tests (VE testing) administered on a regular basis? That makes it pretty easy to get your amateur radio license once you’re ready.

The Charleston Amateur Radio Society (CARS/WA4USN) holds licensing tests on the second Saturday of every other month (even numbered months) up at Trident Medical Center starting at 9AM.

The Trident Amateur Radio Club (TARC/W4ANK) holds their licensing tests the third Wednesday of each month at the Goose Creek Masonic Lodge starting at 7PM.

In addition to the regular VE testing sessions, both groups will conduct classes followed by testing if there’s sufficient interest. Just contact them to make arrangements.

So, once you’re finished studying, just head on over to the next VE testing session, show your IDs, pay the fee, take the test and walk out with your new/upgraded amateur radio license!

TARC swap meet

Planning on heading out to the TARC swap meet this coming weekend to see what it’s all about and maybe pick up a few things so I can get CC1 on the air. It’s up near Moncks Corner, so it’s a bit of a drive. No idea how large it is or how many people to expect to show up, but it will be a good chance to meet some more hams.

Ham meetup? Ham-up?

Ham radio clubs can be a great place to meet other hams and to find out what’s going on in the local ham community. In the Charleston area, there are two formal clubs that I’m aware of. I’ve been a member of the Charleston Amateur Radio Society (CARS) since I got licensed, and recently learned about the Trident Amateur Radio Club (TARC).

CARS has their regular meetings on the second Monday of each month, and while the meetings are a good source of info for what’s happening in the area, they’re rather business-like and can be kind of boring. TARC meetings are on the third Monday of the month. I haven’t make it to a TARC meeting yet but from what I’ve seen on their website, their meetings seem a little more casual.

Outside of regular club meetings, I haven’t come across many other gatherings of local radio people. There’s a Monday/Wednesday/Friday breakfast meetup at the Bojangles on Ashley Phosphate. It’s a nice little meetup that I’ve had a couple of opportunities to get to when I have an excuse to be in that area for work. It’s not something I can get to on a regular basis though.

It got me thinking that it would be nice to have a regular evening or weekend gathering where local radio people can get together. There are numerous possibilities for things to do:

  • talk about radio
  • get on the air and play radio
  • check out the newest rig
  • make things
  • share/collaborate on projects
  • code practice
  • study group for getting/upgrading your amateur radio license
  • sharing radio know-how
  • just hang out for some face-to-face rag chewing. 

As for meeting places, it could really be anywhere. Coffee shop, someone’s garage, out in a park or field somewhere.

Anybody interested?