Random Thoughts, Drinkin' Beer, and Good Music.

Greg Smith, KX0S, Amateur Radio Operator, Audiophile, Soldier, and Teacher

Hobby Stuff
More Hobby Stuff
Past Hi-Fi equipment
Audiophile/Music lover Time
A List of things
Old Time:
Having Fun
Crimson Tide 2009
Crimson Tide 2010
Crimson Tide 2011
Crimson Tide 2012
Crimson Tide 2013
Crimson Tide 2014
Crimson Tide 2015
We were soldiers once
Special Loved Ones
Grand Baby
Ancestors 1
Ancestors 2
Random Things
Drinkin' -Thinkin'
Love's Long Journey
Old Friends
'71 Cherokee Reunion
My Girl

The song playing , by Emmylou, is one I first heard in 1978. This recording was recorded thru tubes, and done with more care than usual. The same song appears on this page again , in the solid state version.

Click to hear ole' Hank.


   Well Hell. You just can't be a Southern Boy without having a few adult drinks sometimes and speaking your mind. Am I wrong here? No! I think it's time for some random thoughts, pictures, and some seriously good music.

   As I grew older ( and maybe wiser?), I began to appreciate where I was from, and those that came before me. If you think about it, we are here right now in the present, but the choices and decisions we made in the past are responsible for our life at the present moment. The same is true of our ancestors. Their lives provided the starting point and direction of ours. It is intriguing to me to discover how they lived, what they did, and their major decisions in life. Perhaps in fifty or a hundred years, our own posterity will ponder the same questions about us. To them , we will be their enigma of history, just as our forefathers are to us. I've created an ancestors page that contains pictures of those that came before me and provided the starting point for my life's direction. It isn't quite completed yet, but should be in a few weeks (that's a lie). It may not interest you, but it's my site and my forefathers ( and mothers), so that page is for them:

Let's don't forget our past.

   In the summer of 2003 the wife and I decided to have a new deck installed. We chose to get one of the composite types that require very little care. It is 18x12 and includes a cedar wood latticed side. It has become our favorite place to be in the short summers we have here. We bought a fireplace to use in the Autumn when the evenings are cool. The next year the wife designed and we both installed a patio at the bottom of the steps. This is where I do my hobby of outdoor cooking. Warm sunshine, cold beer, good music, and BBQ is a hard combination to beat.

Gotta fly the flag!

Very good eatin' comes from here.
At least Vegas thinks so.

The landscaping we had installed.

Blue Angels 2009. Offutt AFB air show.
Over my house every August.

   Between our trees and the neighbor's bushes, our backyard can resemble a jungle if we don't trim it. This song is appropriate.

The Jungle.

      My wife and I were blessed with two children, a boy in 1982 and a girl in 1990. I remember when I was a wild teenager my grandmother told me that one day my turn would come and I would have to deal with a rebellious teenager like myself. Was she ever so right! My son is now grown and has rejoined the ranks of normal sensible people. My daughter isn't quite there yet, but she will be soon. I have learned that the ages 13 to 18 are the only time in our life when age and IQ are the same. Anyway, I love my children dearly and now understand why they are called God's greatest gift.

  Some artists are special. I use this song to help calibrate my equalizer. I quit using the pink-noise generator. I set it to what I like. Isn't that what really matters?

One of a kind.

  When I bought the CD of Hank live at the Opry, I didn't realize that I would hear the "real Hank". Even though the recordings are not up to modern standards, his talent shines right through. In country music, there is still none better.If you like country, get a couple of brews and listen. The following is pure country magic. (It's kinda long too, so grab two beers)

The best country artist ever:

Tide fan in Cornhusker country.
2013. Good season. 11-2, Invited to Sugar Bowl.

View from the bottom. Antennas are eyesores.

Summer and cold beer.
Old fat ass.

If you need a laugh, try this.

Old man gone crazy:

The Deck, 2011. Changed it up a little bit.
Colors like this require some Buffett music.

Heidleberg Castle 1986 with my son.
Heidleberg, Germany

1990, with my daughter.
Lowville, N.Y.

Still the best.


He's still singing.

    In this long and sometimes arduous life it helps to find a kindred spirit that can put our feelings to music. I first discovered this fellow's music in 1973, while going through a particularly bad time, emotionally.  I have never failed to enjoy it since. To me, it is just as good today as it was when I first heard it.

Maybe you've felt this way.

A nice outlook on life.

Amateur Radio Microphones:

     The following recordings are of microphones that may be used for amateur radio voice transmissions. Some are made for radio use while others were not. The radio types I recorded by using the headphone output of the W2IHY directly input to the sound card.. The studio types connected directly to the mixer then output to the sound card. Some of the microphones recorded are the Astatic D-104, Behringer B-1, and the Shure 55SH. I put the Heil PR-40 in the studio category because of it's wide frequency response, but it was designed for radio use. As time permits, I may add more recordings later.

Microphone wiring:  There are hundreds of sites that have all the wiring data for radio microphones. However, I usually don't use them anymore. Most radio (Ham & CB) mics are simple to do. The audio wire is usually inside the shield. The receive wire is closed to switching ground when unkeyed and open when keyed. The opposite is true for the PTT.  Sometimes there is no switching ground, or the switching ground and the shield use the same terminal. Also, pay attention to any radio T/R switching control, usually electronic for newer and relay for older. Be sure to match the impedance too. A mismatch here seriously affects output level and frequency response. XLR is easy, X=ground, L=audio(+),R=audio(-). A hand or foot PTT switch may be needed when using studio mics with XLR, or just use VOX.

Radio Types:

Shure 527B Dynamic Handheld

Cheap Homemade

Astatic D-104 Golden Eagle

Astatic 10-DA

Shure 444

Electro Voice 622L

Yaesu MD-100A8X

Shure 550L

Studio Types:

Astatic 77A

AKG D220S Dynamic

Behringer B-1 Condenser

Shure 55SH Unidyne Dynamic

Nady RSM-4 Ribbon

Heil PR-40 Dynamic

Of course the studio types sound better here. But, in the radio world, where the frequency response is limited by the radio, the radio types hold their own. For breaking through bad conditions they may even be the better choice. The $4 condenser element from Radio Shack may make one think twice about paying the high cost of some microphones. The Astatic 877L housing I put it in cost me $7.50 on Ebay. Doesn't sound too bad for a $12 mic. After listening to these myself, I think I should have used a pop filter on some of them, and probably paid more attention to the levels.


Nady RSM-2 Ribbon

Shure 55SH

  I've had just a little bit (lie) of whiskey tonight. Now I'm gonna talk. I warned of this at the start of the page. My college has got me teaching at a high school for the next year. It's has been quite a shock for me. Even though both my kids have finished high school, and I clearly remember when they attended, I have had my eyes and mind opended lately. I finished high school (dropped out) in 1971. Things have certainly changed since then. It is taking some effort to accommodate these changes on my part. However, the more I reflect upon it, things haven't really changed at all. Mostly, I think I have changed. I've grown into a middle aged man. It seems so ironic to be where I'm at, at this stage of my life, teaching high school students. Oh well, it's just another stone on the path of life's journey. It's a somewhat difficult situation for me, but I'm still Army, and I will adjust and overcome. Besides, what the hell, I'm getting paid extra for it. Time for more whiskey and some music from a CD (album) that I fell in love with in 1977. I've owned this on vinyl, compact disc, and now an enhanced recording on CD. I really doubt if an SACD will follow. Oh well, this ain't too bad. The first song evokes more memories than I can count. The second is just damn good. And the third? Well, the third reminds me of why I like ( and want more of) high end audio reproduction (ps...it evokes memories too). By the way, it should be clear by now that Emmylou is high on my list.

I'm a big, big fan of hers. Have been for 30 years

#1 (Solid State)


Number 3 was recorded twice. #3 1st is from a Sony Cd player to the Behringer mixer and then to the sound card. #3 2nd is from the Marantz CD player into the Behringer Tube EQ(set flat) and then to the Dynaco Tube preamp and the Behringer mixer and then the sound card. Compare using good headphones and adjust for volume as #3 2nd is slightly louder. Both files are large due to high bit rates.

#3, 2nd

#3, 1st

A great place to dock.
Just try not to wreck your boat there.

Is it five o'clock yet?