nonsense verbosity and "The Society for the Prevention of Dead Air Space"

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kop
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nonsense verbosity and "The Society for the Prevention of Dead Air Space"

Post by kop » 06 Dec 2018, 08:27

My dear Karilee killed a pair of 6146's in the HW-101. It seems she was distracted while tuning and left a high current on them for hours (actually over night!) . The tears and self recrimination were awful to see. Her self imposed penance was to tooth brush every square inch of the set while looking at the schematic. In the process she found two original construction faults . My question is when do I tell her that I've done nearly the same thing having failed to repair a return spring in a Turner/Telex desk mic and left a transmitter keyed for days....

Some years ago I randomly instituted "The Society for the Prevention of Dead Air Space" during a late night tirade on 11m. The reason being was the feast or famine of the bench technician. I had just managed to survive or out last what seemed to be a steady influx of broken equipment that had to be fixed NOW . Everyone wanted it NOW. I was a bit of a rare service in that through warranty at a service center I had acquired an eventual hoard of loaner CB's for my "customers" . What a mistake that was. Now they had a way to ask several times a day if there radio was fixed, when it would be fixed, and how much it was going to cost. Multiply that by twenty. I couldn't turn the radio on without hearing it. I even heard arguments start over who's radio was next in line no matter what parts availability or shipping schedule was. Another issue was the loaner radios. I got them back smoked beyond economical repair, physically destroyed, covered in unidentifiable primordial ooze, or never saw them again. Eventually this led to a non refundable $25 "bench fee" for the loaner radio and to put the customer's radio in the test rig. So, what has this got to do with the "The Society for the Prevention of Dead Air Space"?

Inundated with broken radios and at the time a significant order for repair parts I approached the Memorial day weekend with an extra day in hand and proceeded to sit down at the bench with my just received parts order. An undetermined period of time later I had a stack of repaired radios . I'll spare you the details but there wasn't one that was an intuitive repair. Nothing was easy. I had to resort to the backup to the backup of my soldering iron at one point. The 50MHz scope died and I had to build a pickup and go straight to the vertical plates of an EICO 500KHz scope. My counter took a holiday and inexplicably returned to service later in the week. The SynGen refused to stay on any particular frequency and I was reduced to a Heath T.V. alignment generator. I had begun the marathon with enough ready snacks and microwave food to last the weekend. Then the microwave died. In the end the stack of repaired radios reached nearly 40 units.

Tuesday night I began on the air contact with the owners of these radios. crickets.
I had loaned out approximately 20 radios and no one was on the air!?
I continued this on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, to no avail. Saturday morning I was looking at my empty bench, the frequency counter that had repaired itself, a freshly repaired SynGen , the pile of broken replaced parts, and started to add up the money I was owed for the repairs. Then I looked at the cost of the parts order and the parts I had actually used. Next was the time I had spent over the weekend . To say that I was more than a bit upset would be an understatement. In a fit of inspiration , determination and just plain pissed, I packed up the hilltop kit and headed for the mountain .

I should explain the the hilltop kit. A Dodge tradesman 300 4 x 4 with a 383cid and multiple alternators. Three audio mixing boards, A custom 8 bay ,8 track rack with cued sounded bites (pre .wave file days) , multiple radios , a collapsible 5/8 wave , a three element beam on a mast through the center roof vent , several wire antennas , a well muffled generator for AC and a small (weed eater attached to a single phase Kubota permanent magnet generator) DC generator , three way refrigerator, several stoves, and a number huge batteries for "ballast".

I assembled and set up on the mountain top. The mountain was conveniently located nearly in my back yard so it wasn't much of a stretch. The mountain has a commanding view of the Puget Sound basin. For reference the map location, https://tinyurl.com/y9hxtyxb . I was about to give my 40 delinquent customers a piece of my mind . I brought each and every customer radio with me and proceeded to call each and every customer on their own radio. I had a unique box that I could attach and switch multiple radios from . Not only could it switch coax but DC, and audio. Of the 40 customers not one answered in the first hour. Toshiba's gift to the unrepentant freebander , the 2SC2879, now comes into play. I got on the local frequency and began making a total nuisance of myself. At every opportunity I identified my location as "Foothills of the cascade mountain range, Northwestern corridor of the United States of America, Evergreen State, Northern Hemisphere of the planet Earth, System Sol, Somewhere out there on one of the spiral arms of the Milky Way Galaxy, unit 7177 evergreen state.". By noon I had worked all continents, most of the solar system, several random asteroids and a an operator in Georgia that began to ask the frequency " whatever you do don't ask him where he is ..." . As the day continued I began to "unintentionally" interfere with local communications in a premeditated 5 minute on 5 minute off pattern of transmission containing every handle , every radio , every repair that had not answered . I included made on the spot promotional bites for everything from preparation-H for hearing disorders due to repeated cranial rectal insertions to always maxi-pads for radios with terminal bleed over. The various recorded sound sound bites ranged from Strother Martin's "what we have here is a failure to communicate" to R. Lee Ermy's immortal rant as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman. I included Dezi Arnez's "Lucy , you got some 'splainin to do" along with several memorable Saturday Night Live "commercials", Bas-O- Matic, Puppy uppers doggie downers, Robco pocket fisherman-Swiss Army knife-and UZI submachine gun, With a name like ______ it has to be good. Abbot and Costelo's who's on first made the cut as well. Leave it to Beaver 1980 Pot Brownies from Langan & West AKA "Those Dudes" of KISW 99.9 FM Seattle. The list goes on .

News travels fast on 11m and rumors even faster. The rumor started that I was threatening to obliterate all 40 radios by tossing them off the cliff to the tune of Arlo Guthrie's "
"And I went up there, I said, "Shrink, I want to kill. I mean, I wanna, I
Wanna kill. Kill. I wanna, I wanna see, I wanna see blood and gore and
Guts and veins in my teeth. Eat dead burnt bodies. I mean kill, Kill
KILL, KILL." And I started jumpin up and down yelling, "KILL, KILL,"
This got me a visit from a local County Mountie that decided to do a "welfare check" to see if I was truly mentally imbalanced or just a moderately insane CB'er on the hill top . What ensued was a humorous conversation about the low life , scum suckers that had stiffed me for the repairs and just how wonderful it was to out in the world with such a view and great company. Officer friendly eventually left after listening to a segment that began with Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong's "Dave's not here man" and ended with sgt stedenko . Either the officer couldn't dream up a violation or was actually amused I couldn't tell. I suppose having completely policed the area for others trash and filling several garbage bags had added to some small amount of credibility and accountability for my pretense on the mountain.

By 10:00pm several friends had joined me on the mountain and an ad lib craziness kept the transmitters busy until well after 2:00am as we gave the drunk driver report via received scanner reports. There was even one woman's report of being sexually assaulted by a Deer . You just can't make that up . Those that were staying bedded down and with goodbye's done we kept an ear out to make sure all made it down the hill safe. Our deed done all that was left was an early morning breakfast and break camp to head down the mountain.

All the radios in question were paid for and retrieved within the next week by their owners and I had a unique experience to remember . I soon changed the outgoing message on my phone to "we're sorry , we are unable to complete your call as dialed , please hang up and try your call again, if you need further assistance hang up and dial your operator". I lifted the recording directly from the phone so it sounded very realistic. I had to remind family and friends that the usual beep followed the recording and the message machine did indeed work. Curiously with all these radios repaired and back in the hands of their owners our "home frequency" went nearly silent for weeks. All these radios that had to be fixed NOW were silent. I had given up my week end for what? something had to be done.

The 40 delinquent customers were given honorary membership immediately. Those that made the trip to the mountain were considered the "board of **** - taters" (I'm a bit of a **** and my long time handle being Spud) . Any that were added after the fact were the "able auxiliary" and referred to themselves as "The Mad Irish Army" in deference to my Irish heritage and the fact that well over half of the total could claim Irish ancestors.
Over the ensuing several summers trips were planned, parties were advertised, road trips were accomplished and episodes of drunken debauchery perpetrated. As with all things the "The Society for the Prevention of Dead Air Space" finally went the way of a diaspora of sorts. Members moved away, interest waned and , funerals. It had served a purpose to unite a counter culture that needed an excuse to exist.

A souvenir was recently found in the very same Dodge van dating back to that night . The girlfriend had arrived on the mountain directly after work with a pint of Kentucky's finest that was promptly drained and became the container for her ruined pantyhose(?!). Although the van has changed hands several times it's still in the extended family and treated as a family member. The pint bottle has made it into the local CB hall of fame as on of the few remaining artifacts of the night.

While digging through the boxes left over from the move here I found a curious mix of baggies in a paper bag with several 8 track tapes. I dawned on me that I've been carting this detritus around for near 30 years. It was the parts removed from the 40 radios and two of the 8 tracks from the trip. Also in the box was the turner desk mic with the still un-repaired lock. I suppose I'll have to tell Karilee she isn't the only one ...

Now as far as the "The Society for the Prevention of Dead Air Space" goes I recently answered a request for my location with "Foothills of the cascade mountain range, Northwestern corridor of the United States of America, Evergreen State, Northern Hemisphere of the planet Earth, System Sol, Somewhere out there on one of the spiral arms of the Milky Way Galaxy" to which the distant station replied "7177 Evergreen State I presume" . Once identified as one of the regular participants in our 11m mayhem, contact information was exchanged and we had a good laugh over the phone. He admitted that he was one of the 40 delinquent customers and that he still had the radio! Amateur Radio tends to make the world smaller. We both are recent amateur licensees and extras as well as VE's. It comes as no surprise as he always was something of a stand up and pay it forward guy. As we lamented the current band conditions the subject of the "The Society for the Prevention of Dead Air Space" came up and we wondered how many were still alive (a consideration 30 years later) , how many still had an interest in radio, 11m or amateur. How many were still in contact?

We have made an effort to locate the membership and have found a number of amateur licensees as well as a few that continue to hang on to 11m operation. We're floating the idea of upgrading , licensing and recruiting from the original 50 or so that remain. In these days of supposed nonexistent band conditions some of us make the observation that the bands are dead until the next contest. All we need to do is get on the air and try.

This was supposed to be an introduction. I guess it is after all.

"The Society for the Prevention of Dead Air Space" is dead , Long live "The Society for the Prevention of Dead Air Space"

AF7XT de Dennis
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MrWeetabix
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Re: nonsense verbosity and "The Society for the Prevention of Dead Air Space"

Post by MrWeetabix » 06 Dec 2018, 08:49

Quite the first post...... but welcome all-the-same. :thumbup:
26TM175. OP: Craig. QTH: Tynemouth. Also 163TM175 when mobile in Wales 8)

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kop
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Re: nonsense verbosity and "The Society for the Prevention of Dead Air Space"

Post by kop » 06 Dec 2018, 08:58

Fortunately I'm not always so , loquacious...
I've got a few tales to be told.
I've been at this (radio) for a bit so I may be able to help once in a while.
Thanks for the welcome
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mw0uzo
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Re: nonsense verbosity and "The Society for the Prevention of Dead Air Space"

Post by mw0uzo » 06 Dec 2018, 12:03

Bravo and welcome, that post brightened up my morning! :lol:

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