Category Archives: Radio

Is This Blog Dead?

Short answer: pretty much, but I’ll still keep it around for the archived material, such as my bicycle trip across the USA, and my Kenmore dryer mounting hardware post which seems to be of use to many. Also a couple of posts on using Open Street Maps and using my Garmin for on-bike navigation seem to be of interest to more than me!

I’d say that I don’t have the time to post, but that’s not entirely true. It’s just that, in general, I’d rather not spend the time writing about doing something, when I could be spending more time doing it!

One other update from mid-2019: I disabled all commenting on this site. The spammers are getting more creative, and since I rarely post, the spam battle is not worth fighting.

Orange County Tour de Cure Recap

At the end of October, I supported the American Diabetes Association “Surf to Summit” Tour de Cure bicycle charity ride in Orange County, California as a bicycle mobile radio operator.

For most of the other bicycle charity rides (such as the MS ride the weekend before), I just show up with my bicycle on the day of the event and then ride bicycle radio support for the selected route. But for this event, I wear multiple hats, as I am also on the planning committee as the route chair, with the main task of being the one who comes up with all of the routes for the bicycle riders. Consequently, that meant I woke up at 3:30AM in order to help set up at 4:30AM. Continue reading

Mounting a Ham Radio Antenna on a Bicycle

My initial interest for mounting an antenna on the bike was to do on-bike radio support (I am a licensed ham radio operator) for charity bicycle rides.

First Generation Setup – October 2012

I started with a Comet SBB5 antenna. It does not require a ground plane, giving me more flexibility with mounting options. I used a Minoura saddle mount bottle cage holder, but flipped it upside down. That gave a flat surface for mounted an aluminum plate. Then I drilled a 5/8″ hole and mounted a Diamond C101 cable assembly. Continue reading

Long Beach Tour de Cure SAG Support

Normally I have supported the charity rides as a bicycle mobile radio operator. But I had bowed out of the two April Tour de Cure rides – I was out of town during the San Diego ride, and I’d been off the bicycle for too long to effectively support the Long Beach ride. But late last week Bonnie said she was short a radio operator for one of the SAG wagons. At 3PM on the day before the ride, I finally found a babysitter and gave Bonnie the AOK that I would be able to help. I then went to Ham Radio Outlet and got a mag mount for my antenna, just in time for the event! Continue reading

My First Time Bicycle Mobile Experience

I’ve participated in many organized bicycle rides over the years, but this time around I wanted to volunteer to help out with the ride and give something back. The Tour de Cure was a worthy cause, since my wife has Type 1 diabetes, and most of the money raised goes directly towards fighting diabetes, with little going to overhead expenses.  In the months leading up to the event, I worked as the road logistics co-chair, with the main responsibility of developing the road routes to be used for the ride. On the day of the event, I was able to enjoy taking a break from the organizing portion and be a “worker bee” as part of the MARC team – a group of motorcycling and amateur radio enthusiasts who donate their time to provide support for charity bicycle rides. My assignment was to be the bicycle mobile “tail” for the 55 mile ride. Continue reading

Toyota Sienna Mobile Installation

I wanted to have a mobile amateur radio installation in my 2000 Toyota Sienna minivan for trips or for use as a support vehicle for bicycle events, but I didn’t really need a “full time” installation. So I went with a “semi-permanent” installation in which the necessary wiring would be in place, but I would add in the mobile radio (which is normally my office “base station”) and antenna when I needed it. Continue reading

Handhelds: Baofeng UV-5R and Wouxun KG-UVD1P

I had already picked up a Wouxun KG-UVD1P handheld for about $100. But then I saw some reviews of the Baofeng UV-5R. and figured it would be a perfect low cost emergency spare HT which I could leave at the mountain cabin. The best price I found for the UV-5R was only $48 shipped from  When I saw that I could use the SMA antennas which I had previously bought for the Wouxun, and I could use my existing Wouxun cable to do the programming, I knew I wouldn’t have any additional “hidden” costs and so I placed my order.

Within a couple of weeks, a box wrapped in brown paper arrived from Hong Kong. Continue reading

Kenwood TM-721A Modifications

There were two modifications which I wanted to make to my newly acquired Kenwood TM-721A dual band radio. The main goal to replace and relocate the battery, as it is soldered to the front control board. And while I was in there, I’d enable crossband repeating, as the resistor R121 which needed to be removed is near the battery.

I had to remove twelve screws to get the top and bottom panels off. Then six more screws to remove the front panel. Then I could swing the front panel down, unlike my Kenwood TM-241A where I had to remove all the knobs and locknuts in the front.

Continue reading