Double Classic Stuff
We're certainly not the first to celebrate the historic connection between classic telegraph keys and classic electric trains, but we'll bet nobody ever keyed a caboose quite like our hero!
Pretty neatly echoic too, the occasion is what's become our annual holiday cover for the K9YA Telegraph, amateur radio's premier eZine, for which you can sign up free HERE.
If this scene gladdens your heart, why not pick up our new cards HERE and send 'em along with best wishes to your favorite train freaks, CW geeks, or anyone still young enough at heart to wanna hunker down beneath dear, dear Old Tannenbaum and drift away.
Dash! and I received our post-war O-gauge Lionel train set when we were both about five, and aside from sticking our paws into AC outlets, we began our electrical education struggling with its enigmatic transformer, wires, binding posts and Fahnestock clips. We all know where that stuff leads, eh? So yeah, electric trains are very much a gateway, uh, hobby to ham radio. And imagine our consternation, when years later, as rock 'em sock 'em 30 wpm brasspounding ham kiddos, we discovered that Lionel manufactured both straight and semi-automatic keys during the second world war, including the all-time iconic J-38 model pictured here.
73, Happy Thanksgiving and have a Merry, ya hear?
Jeff & Dash!
Just completed a big multi-QSL job for Bob W1RE, featuring some of our favorite old school antenna fixin's. Who wasn't instantly beguiled by those Pyrex puppies called out in the old radio books we once checked out of the public library? Those things just LOOK like RADIO, or at least they did in 1960 to a sixth grader who spent too much time with his nose stuck in bound volumes of QST magazine, favoring those about 1935. I always knew pretending I was Andy Hardywould pay off later in life, though I never came close to marrying Ava Gardner.
My good ham friend Nils is a good old fashioned letterpress artist and produced these cards all ready to go with envelopes for Christmas. Nils' Dad cut the lino block from which they're printed too, for a delightful family holiday collaborative. Now available in a number of variations, including Norwegian, at Etsy.com.
Seems like only yesterday I was sketching that little volcano logo on my drawing board.
Suddenly, My Little Volcano is surrounded by gathering 2015 Heard Island DXpeditionary Team Members – scientists, extreme adventurers, and hotshot ham operators signed up for a swashbuckling voyage to a lost world between the Outback and the South Pole.
Huh. Like, I was wicked chuffed when I drew it, but now that VKØEK is getting all very real in the field, hoo boy! Since Dash! and I were kids we dreamed about being just a small part of something this far out and look at us lucky dogs now.
Of course, Dash! The Dog-Faced Ham and I know all about these things. We saw a video at a local club meeting and everything. Dash! told me that he planned to stowaway on the Heard expedition and asked me not to tell, so like I had to promise. Nevertheless, Dash! wasn't specific, so I'm not telling the Dalai Lama, but otherwise, the Heard Island Team has been fully informed and given a complete description, in addition to a bag of candy corn to distract Dash! long enough to cast-off.
Stay tuned. While generally inept, Dash! is capable of anything rash.
Randy Dorman, KB3IFH has been our K1NSS Custom QSL printer of choice for some time now and Dash! and I thank him for delighting so many of our customers with super work and spot-on service.
Of course, Randy prints much more than most of our custom designs. KB3IFH QSL Cards offers a marvelous selection of ready-to-go QSL designs and flipside formats. He'll create custom QSLs from your photos. Plus he features neat little eyeball QSO cards and nifty ham trading cards as well.
So click on over here whenever you need to replenish your supply or start your ham career with a bang-up first QSL
card done-up just the way you want.
PS: A little insight into the ham behind the business. We had the pleasure of sitting-in with Randy at his Dayton 2014 booth. When weather made our business tough outside at the flea market, Randy generously offered us table space in his booth and helped rescue our cold wet enterprise. Trust us hams, Randy is the real deal.
If it seems like we're devoting a lot of space to self- promotion these days, well, it's like this. Dash! and I not a couple of golden-parachuted ham retirees doing this for twilight years giggles. No kidding, this monkey business is what puts beans on our table and you know we're far too pure & proud to beg contributions, stage some cockamamie Pledge Week, or Crowd-Source our way into a zippy little replacement for our long-in-the-tooth 4Runner. Yeah, the card biz seems to have picked up a tad and we're pleased as punch about that. Frankly, the two us are just too old to keep whatever niche appeal we might have under a bushel basket, so we're kickin' out the jams and lettin' er rip. So what's up with the bearded Little Match Girl ham? Beats us. She just shows up around here from time to time, especially during the holiday season. Kind of pathetic, huh? We try not to feed her but every so often we spring for a match or two so she doesn't start keening. Aye-yi-yi, like fingernails on a blackboard. Like, not for nothing, ya know?
2014 WRTC/volunteer.images used with permission ©2014
They're awarded, they now have homes, and at last we can reveal our secret summer project undertaken in a clandestine semi-cloak-and-dagger cartoon conspiracy with organizers of the World Radiosport Team Championship 2014.
In recognition of eight supporting "Super Volunteers," we were commissioned to created a series of lighthearted portraits celebrating the volunteers' contributions to WRTC 2014, as well as their passions inside and out of their shacks.
During the process, we got to know something about some real hams' hams and document a bit of their part in amateur radio history, and we felt honored for that opportunity.
So if you ever wondered if we'd draw custom fun stuff like this for club activities or some special ham of your acquaintance, by golly yes we would! And we have, in a pretty big way.
The rate and the way it works is pretty much the same as a custom QSL. CLICK HERE and check that out.
We create the image and send you the printer-ready, high-resolution art file. It's up to you to have the image printed and framed, but if you're not sure where to get that done, we'll do our best to help you identify an appropriate local digital art printer and framing options, for best presentation.
For reference down the road, please tuck it away, eh?
photo link www.earstoourworld.org
Short Wave, Long Term.
Calling all Friends of the Short Waves!
We're spreading the word about Ears To Our World, a charity founded by Dash!Chum Thomas Witherspoon, K4SWL.
ETOW distributes wind-up radios to isolated villages around the world, an effort inspired by the beguiling radio magic about which we're all mad as hatters.
Here at Dashtoons, we kid radio because we love radio, make no mistake about that. So smitten, we support Ears To Our World as a vital 21st century force for public education and personal liberation. Plain and simple, radio is all about becoming airborne – that's what it was to us and remains so in this digital age, especially in remote and developing areas beyond the internet, cell phones and electric power.