I really wish Houston had an active Amateur Radio community

I’m in the market for a used solid-state HF (shortwave) receiver, a proper “tabletop” model, but unfortunately Houston doesn’t seem to have much of a local amateur radio “scene” that I can find.

The last time I hooked up my 2-meter transceiver, I heard ONE active repeater in the area, and that was after about half an hour of searching. As for any kind of local “swap meet” or forsale/wanted list, none seem to exist. There are some clubs down around NASA, but that’s a way from here. There’s Houston Amateur Radio Supply, but they’re a half-hour drive away and don’t have anything used for under $300.

I’ve tried eBay, but keep getting outbid by a dollar or two at the last minute for the last three auctions that I have bid on. One for an Icom 720A, one for an Icom R-70, and one for a Radio Shack DX-300.

Anybody reading this have (or know of) a solid-state HF/shortwave receiver sitting in someone’s closet that needs a new home? I have a budget of $150.

(I’m trying to rebuild my “ham shack” in the process of upgrading to a General-class amateur radio license from my current Technician-class)

Your Grandfather’s MAKE Magazine

I recently came across a 4-volume set of the Popular Mechanics Illustrated Home Handyman Encyclopedia & Guide (from 1961) in the bargain bin at a local used book store. Of course, I grabbed them – for less than $5 total!

The ~4000 pages of projects are amazing – it’s basically your grandparents’ equivalent of today’s MAKE Magazine; with a lot of projects that wouldn’t be printed today due to liability concerns.

They’ve got everything from planning/building/remodeling a house, woodworking, metalworking, making your own boat/go-cart/children’s playground equipment, indoor shooting ranges, to radio repair, electronics, photography, gardening, farming, and equipment to make handling your farm animals easier.

Over the past four days I’ve taken pictures of the title pages and illustrations for the most interesting articles, and put them up on Flickr. I’ve also contacted Popular Mechanics to see about getting permission to break out the scanner and make proper PDFs of the best stuff.

The Flickr collections page, with one set for each volume, is here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrbill/collections/72157603639900790/

JANUARY 14th UPDATE: I’ve received permission from Popular Mechanics to make PDFs of the articles and put them online! That’s coming soon.