Come Join The Fun!

The Woodrat Show is usually on 3.840 MHz from about 8 AM til Noon, and then again around 3.985 MHz from about 7 PM on.

Enjoy CW, check 7.043 as Woodrats can often be found there...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Even Though The Season Has Closed...

The deer are still very nervous in this neck-o-the-woods! (Click on the picture to enlarge.)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

happy holidays

happy holidays from the redneck cdn rat. evryone take care.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010


This is the last time I try this: OKAY, THIS IS THE FINAL PRODUCT, THE COMMAND POST OF CW,

On Behalf of Frank's "By Golly"

Good job Frank, looks as good as it sounds!

Here's the pictures... (Click to enlarge)




It only takes a little inspiration and a whole lot of junk to confuse the best of us. And

herein without saying much more, are a couple shots of the conception of a key, formatted

after a standard key, but made out of stuff from everywhere. The base is a piece of wood

flooring, pivot junction is cotterkey, square handle stock was the most expensive from a

hardware store at 3 bucks. Screws, nuts, bolts, and the two rear connector anchor joints

for the main key to transmitter wire, all inherited from the either. Took a good part of one

and a half days to build. The cats have brused ribs from getting in my way, the ducks lost

two pounds from me not feeding them, and my socks developed holes from standing so

long in one area. In all must have used five or six tools, sander, drill, hacksaw, file, moto-

tool, skill saw, and a sundry of others. There was good language and a few off color words

as trial and error, assembly and dissembly went round and round. Various extra holes

were mistakes, but my excuse, "those are just for air cooling when I get going fast on the

key," so lets leave it be at that, sounds better.

Bill, W7WEL, was the first contact late one evening on 160M's as we pruned the airwaves

with out ear splitting cw parting the clouds in all directions causing a wormhole to open up

between our houses at which time and distance knew no dimension. Thanks Bill. And onward

to the SKN night and future contacts on CW. I'd encourage anyone and everyone else to do

something similar, as Jeff KF7JGA, Bill and myself have done. It don't matter how nice it

looks, so long as its functional, and hey, "its yours, you built it" thats the great part of it all.

I wish success to all, and a very good Christmas and New Year Season. Talk to you

down the waves of either. --WB7NZI --

Friday, December 17, 2010

My Junk Pile Key

Here is a photo of my Junk Pile Straight Key that I cobbled together in time for the Straight Key Sprint on January 1st.

I used a hunk of stainless steel strapping cut from a large size (5 inch) hose clamp. It cut pretty easy with a pair of snips but wouldn't drill worth a hoot, so rather than try to drill holes for the mounting screws, I wedged it between several screws and mounted it to a hunk of 3/4 inch plywood. One wire is jammed beneath the strap, and the other wire is connected to a screw below the ka-nob. You can see I even added a extra screw on the side to adjust the gap, HA HA!

The next photo shows my new key next to my set of paddles. A matched set!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Cheap and Dirty Straight Key

From a previous post of a project a few years back.....

Need a Straight Key?

So, it's the day before SKN and no straight key! It's off to the junk-box. Ah, an old piece of aluminum from a scavenged torsion bar discarded from a veneer clipper at work, this will work nicely for a base.

And, a micro switch should work instead of open contacts, just need to attach it to a plate with slotted holes for adjustment then fasten to the base with machine screws.

The arm, I can cut from fiberglass pc board, fastening a knob on the end will make a good finish and will feel close to the real thing.

Preparing the base for a micro switch.

The key arm to actuate the micro switch is cut from a piece of salvaged fiberglass pc board. Stiff but flexible enough for a good feel.

Now, I'm all set for SKN!
The finished piece doesn't look like much but it is very functional.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The 2011 CW Challenge

Work All States

Beginning Jan 1st, 2011

Any band

No power limit

QSL card confirmation NOT REQUIRED!

A contact consists of 2-way exchange of signal report, name, and QTH

(Additional rules or changes may be offered before the start date.)

Friday, December 3, 2010

House Guests

For those of you who never experienced the joys of Woodratsmanship, here's one that we had renovating the closet above our bedroom recently. We served him with the 'ol "Victor" eviction notice.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Interesting CW Video

I ran across a little video showing the different CW characters and their sound.!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Tranquility in the Rockies

Frank is camped just beyond that low ridge in the mid-ground at a nice little river with lots of mushrooms to pick and trout to catch!

This work may be done...  (Click on the picture to enlarge.)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Remembering Spring!

Just wanted to share a photo I was lucky to get a couple springs back.  Just happened to catch momma whitetail just minutes after this fawn was born.  I think it was still trying to get its first meal..  (A real "Woodrat Moment")

(Don't forget to click on the photo for an enlargement.)

The Majestic Osprey

Was looking through my photos for something to share with the woodrats..   Nests seem to be in vogue, so here's another one.. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Monday, November 8, 2010

It's a Soup and Fire in the woodstove day!

As Jeff and I were driving into town today, we were driving through thick rain. The snow has moved down off of the mountains and was even along the side of the road as we headed down the east side of Curlew Lake to Republic. It's chilly enough to go back home and have some more of the awesome soup we had for dinner last night and to warm up the house with some of the fine wood we split in our wood stove.

The recipe is so easy that I thought to myself it would be a really good one to share with the rest of the Wood Rats!

Here's our first recipe for our Wood Rat Cookbook.

Autumn Harvest Soup
aka Everything but the Kitchen Sink Soup

1 pound of hamburger (also would be good with Venison, Moose, or Elk)
1 TBSP butter (I use non-salted butter)
1 med onion - diced
2 carrots - diced
2 celery stalks - diced
4 fresh tomatoes - diced
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
2 - 4 med potatoes - diced
3 - 4 cups hot water
1 TBSP fresh or dried basil
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp Black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder (fresh would be good too)
2 bay leaves

Instructions: Brown the meat with the butter and onion. Throw in the carrots, celery, peas, potatoes, and tomatoes. Add the water and then the spices. Cover and cook for 30 minutes, and serve.

A great addition to this meal would be some baking powder biscuits or french bread.

You can pick and choose what you want to put into this type of soup. The sky's the limit. I hope you all try it and enjoy it!

Lori - WR 13

Happiness is a Full Woodshed

We finally got all the wood split and stacked this week, thanks to the efforts of Lori and our son Stan.

We still have another 2 loads coming. We'll stack that stuff up by the back porch and use it first.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cordless Phone Backup

This is how I got my cordless phone system back up and running the other day when the power went out suddenly. I think I'm going to rig a dedicated battery supply for the next time this may happen.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

cool pic

this pic is from the okanagan mtn fire from 2003.

hello all from the canadian rat

just got the go ahead for a post and figured wede give it a try. weather is starting to change so we are going up in the hills atving today to get more nest material!!

grey and gloomy as of this morning,but i see some open sky out there.

signals have been strong as of lately. i hope all you rats are fattening up for the winter!!

ve7ren brent

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Woodrat Video

Here's a little video of the cute Bushy Tailed Wood Rat doing his thing. 

It's hard to hear, so turn up the volume.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Good idea on receipies, er recipees, er, formula's for edible material to put in your body IF you are hungry enough.

Am still trying to figure out how to post pictures.

Its going to be a long Winter, so time to make a list of all the fishing gear and hunting junk, and outdoor equipment, and yard tool fixing and etcetera to repair, clean, and alter, during such time. With the encroaching holiday season, people are pretty occupied it seems. But then the month of January hits us and"WHAMMO"" there we are shrouded with over 16 hours of dark, and if its cloudy which tiz a lot, more than that. Hobbies help prevent scurvy and cabin fever, the itches and strangleurcat'itus. Not to mention the sideways blowing snow/rain, howling banshee winds, tree limbs skudding past ur windows and bounching off the roofs, cougars sleeping in the wood sheds and bears trying to eat your garbage. Don't forget "Ham Radio" it can be an entertaining hobby too.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

How about a Woodrat Cooking Corner?

Hello Gentlemen!

Woodrat 13 here! I've been thinking of adding some of my favorite recipes to the blog. It might be useful for some of you who do your own cooking. I would also like for you to add some too.

Thanks for accepting me into the group. I'm really looking forward to learning new ways to cook fish and how to cook venison and other types of game.

WR13 (Lori)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Neeto Cards!

Here's those QSL cards I recently received from Scotland and the Route 66 Special event.

Spiffy Ground Thingy

Here's how I recently upgraded the grounding of my station equipment. First I picked up a home service panel ground bus bar from Home Depot for less than $4.00.

Then I screwed it to the desk behind my auto tuner and connected separate ground wires from each piece of equipment. One wire runs out the wall to the ground rod.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Figure it Out Guys!

Not too difficult.. just sign in using your gmail email address and your password.  Then click on "New Post," enter the Title, tab forward and begin writing your message. 

To add a photo, click on the icon of the photo (just left of the word "Link") and then  click on "Browse" to browse your computer for the photo you want to add.  (I usually move my photo or photos to the desktop before beginning the blog post.)  Once you have the photo located, just click "Open" and that will move it to you posting.

Now all you have to do is click on the "Publish Post" (Orange button, bottom left) and whiz-bang... ya gotter done!  (just like settin' the hook, or trippin' the trap!)

WR 5

Sunday, October 10, 2010

IN THE BEGINNING...."There were woodrats."

Anyone who missed the discussion on how deep the Mariana trench is and how deep whales can dive, missed Sunday mornings sermon from woodrats nest. AND a good sportsmans update from Tim about current fishing conditions.
The fifty dollar single 20 ga. didn't explode in my hands. IT tight patterened two 7.5 shot loads from 75 feet, a good tight spread of #2's, and one big blast of 03 Buck shot. It held together, made great noise, and the ducks stood on the sideline and clapped their wings.
No pictures yet, but just have to use imagination. Good day to all WoodRat'skees, and a better week coming up.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Splitt'n & Stack'n

Lori has been hefting some big rounds and stacking the wood after I split them with the hydraulic splitter.

We usually put up a few days worth on the back porch at a time.

My Cheapo Mobile Mount

I picked up a 'T' bracket from Home Depot and a cheap plastic basket in the stationary department of WalMart. A couple of zip-ties completes the parts list.

I bent the 'T' bracket to fit inside the basket and secured it with several zip ties.

I measured to make sure the radio had enough clearance to the rear and then drilled one hole for the single bolt. This allows me to swivel the radio left and right so even the passenger can use it.

Finally I secured thee whole contraption to the truck using a small bungee cord through the basket and hooked into the heater vents. This makes for quick removal and re-installation when needed.

This is the driver's side view of the final result. It works just great and the basket holds a lot of extra stuff like the cell phone.

Handy Gadgets I Have Found

This is the "Stump Vice' I mentioned on the radio the other day. It makes sharpening a dull chain in the woods much easier.

Home Brew Paddles

Here are a couple of my favorite home made paddles. 

The green base set is the one I was using this morning.  The base consists of two layers of plastic material, the white brackets were end pieces off an old terminal strip, the contact post between the contacts is a brass screw, the contacts themselves are from an old mechanical relay.   I have a piece of skid proof, sticky material glued to the base.  Add a little spit, give it five minutes and it won't move until you force it loose.

The Second one is my version of the Bencher, since the mechanics are exactlly like it.   This was made probably 25 years ago while I was in maintenance at the local mill.  The drilling and tapping was done on a drill press.

Click on the photos for a closer look.  Sorry about the dust..   (I need to clean it up!)


Several years ago KD1JV began posting radio designs on the internet.  They were so ingenious that many folks building them encouraged Steve (KD1JV) to put together limited run kits.  Many clubs with volunteers do that but for one person to handle a project like that, wow! It takes a lot of energy.  (And a few mistakes in the kitting process.)  So, Steve has put out a few kits over the years, but the most successful were the ATS series of kits.

The name ATS comes from his quest for a lightweight portable QRP rig to take with him on his annual hiking trips on the Appalacian Trail.

In 2005 I succumbed to the enchantment of the ATS and ordered the third update, hence the ATSIII.  (There was also an ATSIV A and B versions following.)

So here are a few photos showing my ATSIII that I used this morning, running 3 watts on 3840 to make a solid showing between N7HMM, WB7NZI, and KF7JGA.

Bill - W7WEL WR5  (Click on the image for a full size view.)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

BBC Morse Code Video

This is an interesting video from the BBC.

Good Idea

I'll not put too much energy into this until I see how many WR's show up. I do think it would be interesting to see regular contributions from the WR's

(I'm using my pocket computer to write this.)

The Woodrats Go Online

Somebody suggested that we 'Woodrats' should have a website.  I gave it some thought and figured a better idea might be a 'Group Blog'.  So here it is.  Have at it! ~ Jeff KF7JGA