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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Ham Radio business in...TMNT?

Remember the 1990 film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? The comic book martial arts quartet hit the big screen at a peak in their popularity and the world was introduced to reptilian combat as the four turtles (Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael, named after famous Italian inventors and renaissance artists, not MPLM modules shipped to the ISS!) battled gangs of ninja thieves plaguing New York City led by the Shredder, a heavy metal bad guy who is intent on ending the pizza-craving turtles.

I was watching it Friday night with my kids when I caught a real quick glimpse of a sign in the warehouse where the "Foot" clan resides, just as their summoned to meet Shredder.

The sign is shown briefly (I only saw it for 2 seconds and stopped and went back on my DVR to look it over) but it apparently advertised a CB/Ham Radio business. See the screen captures I made below:

Screen capture of TMNT just before Shredder (the bad guy) makes his screen debut.
Close-up of the sign
As you can see, the blue part of the sign has a logo (I assume an old Cobra CB Radio logo) and below it the writing states "HAM WORLD" with some indiscernible writing preceding it (I again can only assume it to say "CB & HAM WORLD" but that's just a guess).

If you think I noticed this "right away", I've seen the movie about a dozen times (4 in the last 3 weeks for some reason) and this is the first time I ever noticed it.

If anyone wants to take a guess as to what ham radio/CB store in Manhattan that this belonged to, fire away.

Stanford Ovshinsky, inventor of the NiMH battery, dies at 89

Stanford Ovshinsky, who may not be a household name but was the inventor of the nickel-metal hydride battery, passed away Wednesday night at the age of 89 after battling cancer. Throughout Ovshinsky’s 50-year career, he received over 400 US patents that cover a range of different technologies, including NiMH batteries, hydrogen fuel cells, and thin-film solar cells.

More on Ovshinsky here.

NiMH technology has certainly improved handheld radio performance since its development, and Ovshinsky deserves a special shout out for his ingenuity.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Now THIS is a porcupine

Every now and then when I go to a hamfest I'll see a plethora of vehicles in the parking lot that look straight out of science fiction, what with antennae all over the trunk, the hood, the top, or somewhere in between. They are affectionately called "porcupines" in many circles.

Then there's this guy...

Sometimes I'll catch a porcupine on a web site or two, here's one from People of Walmart:

Even the ARRL has a few porcupines every now and again:

A Google search yielded this beauty:

How do you even SEE out the window?
I think the most antennae anyone I personally knew had on their vehicle was 5. I myself had 2 at the most. Actually, 3. My old pickup truck had a 10m stick on the back bumper, a mag-mount 2m on the top, and a dual-band thru-the-glass mount for 2m/440 (which never tuned correctly).

My philosophy is that if you need to have an antenna on your car, have a radio to go with it. If you have so many radios that people can't get in the car, then you might have therapy in your future...

But seriously, some do go overboard with their passions in life, but as long as it's safe and responsible, then by all means have at it.