I have a CB radio in the car, a radio I've owned forever. But it's got just the right balance of features and not-too-fancy that I always end up using it if I try anything else. Well, the car went in for service the other week and I took it and the amateur radio control head out because I thought they might have to pull the center console for troubleshooting. They didn't, but the radio has been sitting on the floor in here for about a week now. And I was reminded that the back light for the RF/SWR meter has been burnt out for ... probably longer than it's worked, at this point. (Yeah, I've had this radio a while.)

So after some disassembly I determined it was using a small 12v incandescent bulb, as I suspected. The filament long gone. Thankfully the bulb was mounted in a little silicone insert/diffuser making it really easy to remove from the meter in the radio. I acquired some 3mm warm-white LEDs, and with the help of a 1k resistor, replaced the burnt out bulb.

Knowing that I'd probably not have any spoons free when the new GPS receiver arrived, I went ahead and found the pinouts for it (it uses a mini-din 6 connector) and made up an adapter to connect it to the existing DE-9 adapter that plugs into the radio. It needed a +5v power source, so I just cut the old power adapter off the dead Garmin and wired it in.

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Having success there, and a desire to avoid further contortionist acts that anything on the interior of a car requires, I moved on to the antennas.

Simply removing the antennas caused one of the NMO mounts to come apart. I'm pretty sure when Dad has removed and reinstalled the antennas in the past, he's over-tightened the antennas, which will lead to this.

Once I had everything apart, I cleaned the trunk lid around the antennas thoroughly. I put rain caps on them when I visit the car wash, and they cover an area around the mounts as well.

Having done all that, I carefully reassembled the mounts. I lack the fancy tool to keep the center of an NMO mount from spinning when tightening the outer nut, but I've found that a pair of tiny needle-nose pliers works wonders. Especially the curved kind. I cranked down on the nut on each mount as much as I dared, without crushing the integrated washer and grinding it into the trunk lid. Hopefully they wont come lose again.

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I just unearthed this photo. Sadly I'm not in the radio world anymore, so it sits in the shed, forgotten these days.

Left to right, top to bottom:

* Stereo, for audio from the computer in the room.
* The empty hole is for a Uniden BCT-8 scanner, driving Trunk-88 on the PC. It decoded the control channel of the local trunked radio system and let me keep an eye on it. I was one of the main techs that supported that system, so I found it a useful tool
* Motorola Astro Spectra with W9 control head, 800Mhz. Used for monitoring/testing the Type II/SmartZone systems we supported in the area
* Motorola XTL-5000 with W9 control head, 800Mhz, Used for monitoring/testing the P25 systems we supported in the area. Super handy for asking "Is it up?" of the one that was far away and the users were less than helpful
* Radio Shack HTX-10 10-meter AM/SSB/FM, having nothing more advanced than my tech ticket, 10M was the only HF band I could do voice on (IIRC)
* Yaesu FT-7900R 2M/440 transceiver

I stumbled across these photos of my last work van, once I got all my radios set up in it.

A Motorola Maratrac and CDM-1250 for VHF and UHF, control heads mounted to the shelf above the drivers seat. An AM/SSB CB and Motorola XTL-5000 with W4 head mounted where the rear view mirror would typically be (no rear windows, so no mirror). Stereo, controls, Kenwood TM-D700 (amateur VHF/UHF and APRS), and satellite radio all on the dash. Radio Shack Pro-2096 digital trunking scanner mounted to the side of the center console. Not shown, all the two-way radio speakers are mounted to the ceiling above the front seats. And of course there's a forest of antennas on the roof.

I was looking for an image, and I found this photo. My first tech van, circa 2010.

A Motorola XTL-5000 with a W9 control head for customer radio systems, a Motorola Maratrac for VHF (mostly amateur), a Radio Shack HTX-10 10-Meter amateur radio, and satellite radio, because good music is critical.

So I did this yesterday. I discovered I don't know where my 5.25" disks are to test it, but I've got a machine ready for em once I sort that out.

Fun fact: You can program HT (say a ) straight from the built-in UART on the

I had worked this out a while back and tested it successfully with . It uses port /dev/ttyAMA0

Had a bit of a duh moment, looking at this screen, trying to figure out how to tell this cheap BIOS it now had a 5.25" floppy drive. Eventually logic prevailed and I made a better selection.

Speaking of things I forgot I ordered, look what just showed up from China!

Do not place penguins with bow-ties in the freezer.

Do I open it, or sell it on eBay as "vintage"? It even says "A division of Tandy Corp." on the back.

Look what I just found in a desk drawer. Not as old as it looks, there's a 2007/2008 calendar in the back. Still, too pretty for someone with handwriting like me to be writing in.

Got some help for the heavy lifting, and finally found a home for the Apple //c.

Now what to do about all these desk drawers full of stuff sitting on my bed....

Woo! My MMJ connectors arrived! I replaced the one I "made" on the back of the with the real thing. No longer will I have to be concerned about it pulling out due to a lack of a locking tab. If anyone else needs any I'd be happy to share my source.

Wait. What? No, I want it processed no _later_ than the due date.

Are you lazy like me? Open up a text editor with the hashtags for tonight's movie and stick it at the bottom of the screen where it wont interfere with the pinned hashtag or your toot box. Make the editor window Always On Top. You can copy and paste the hashtags, and more specifically when you inevitably accidentally copy something else to the clipboard, it's easy to get it back. (I had this problem last month).

Two quick photos before I turn the accursed lights off and enjoy the sweet darkness.

Behold! The , complete with a nice dumb terminal.

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