Monday, December 15, 2008


[acidfree:173 align=left]WB4APR posted to AMSAT-BB news about APRS-XO, an Activity written by KG4GJY that provides an APRS (Automatic Position Reporting System) implementation on the OLPC laptop.

I got the owner of our XO to agree to install it and we managed very easily. Sending took some passcode research, but once that was done N1AIA appeared on

It's a start, but I'd rather use RF than the Internet for future position reports.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

She's got a point there

What's Margie Boulé got to say about letterboxing in the December 2 Oregonian?

To hear or read about the hobby of letterboxing might make it seem odd, or pathetic.

Yes, she's got a point there. But she goes on to compare the experience to "the excitement pirates must have felt following a treasure map."

Monday, November 17, 2008

Arrow II Satellite Antenna

The WA5VJB pair has been wonderful for a year, but taking a step to an Arrow II 146/437-10BP satellite antenna, sans duplexer, would enhance enjoyment and, quite likely, signals received via the birds.

EDIT: Ordered, arrived, and mostly assembled. New feedlines will be necessary.

Thanks, KT.

WB1AAT summarized Arrow versus Elk on the AMSAT-BB...

+ cheaper all around
+ can be easily set up for permanent use
+ easier to aim due to wider beam width. Log periodic are like this.
+ smaller and very fast setup/teardown
+ one connector for dual band.
- no handle for handheld use. You have to make one, but it's extremely easy to do. And no threads for tripod.
- inconvenient if using 2 rigs. Must buy a separate duplexer.

+ copies a few degrees (just a few) lower than the Elk at my QTH
+ convenient built in handle and built in threads for tripod
- narrower beam width - have to "aim" better.
- not easily set up for permanent use. No simple mount and you wouldn't want to leave that "in handle" duplexer outside
- Can easily use for 2 rigs. Just don't use the duplexer (if so equipped) and plug into the separate UHF and VHF

From the CSVHFS 2006 Antenna Gain Measurements, these from WA5VJB's iterations on the Arrow. The measurements are estimates. Gain is based on difference from a reference antenna.

436 MHzCallDesignGain (dB)
WA5VJBArrow Antenna w/8-32 nuts on elements~7.3
WA5VJBArrow Antenna w/plastic inserts on elements~7.3
WA5VJBArrow Antenna w/star washers on elements~7.1
WA5VJBArrow Antenna w/o Diplexer~7.0
WA5VJBArrow Antenna w/"torqued" elements~7.0
WA5VJBArrow Antenna w/Diplexer~4.6

Monday, November 03, 2008


I've claimed 198 QSOs for my most serious SS effort since 2001. As the lines in the log filled, my attention increasingly went to the checks. So many from the 50s through the 70s and almost none from the present decade. My soapbox for the event simply says I'd plot the curve.

I don't have a plotting program and can't bother right now with trying to figure out if OO Calc will let me draw a bell curve, but a couple of key statistics are these:

Number of Years Since First Licensed
mean ±SD = 40.38 ±12.58

Just a single check from the 21st century. That's about one-half of one percent.

On the other end of the spectrum, it was very nice to work W4KFC, licensed 75 years in 2008 and 5-time CW Sweepstakes winner.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Spaceflight Participant W5KWQ

[acidfree:271]The AMSAT SSTV gallery holds images sent by Richard Garriott from the International Space Station and copied by earthbound hams. My receptions were few and not especially impressive. I failed to make a voice contact in perhaps 45 minutes of calling with QRP and a 3-element beam.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Collecting ideas

Based on selections heard, or simply rumor, these are artists or collections I would like to get to know -- or know better -- in no particular order.
  • A Tribe Called Quest - The Low End Theory
  • Various Artists - Classic Appalachian Blues
  • Dizzy Gillespie - on Verve
  • Miike Snow - Downtown
  • Various Artists - What is Hip? Remix Volume 1 Tnx X ****
  • Voltaire Brothers - I Sing the Booty Electric
  • Choral - Mountains Tnx MT ****
  • The Asteroids Galaxy Tour - Fruit Tnx MT
  • Various Artists - War Child Heroes
  • Rokia Traore, Tchamantche
  • Ntjrosie, Atouba
  • Jeremy J? On K?
  • Ran Dass?
  • Trentemoller - The Last Resort
  • Murcof - Cosmos Tnx X
  • North Sea Radio Orchestra (see below)
  • Various Artists - A Treasury of Tall Tales (here)
  • Fridge - Happiness
  • Anjulie - Ep Tnx X **
  • Martin Simpson & Wu Man - Music for the Motherless Child
  • Tony Bennett - Crazy Rhythm
  • Pine Top's Boogie Woogie
  • The Sound of Jazz: Complete Edition (2005) (DVD)
  • Charlie Haden - Rambling Boy Tnx X ***
  • Mike Auldridge - Tone Poems III or The Great Dobro Sessions
  • Roger Webb Trio - on the Swan label?
  • Count Basie Orchestra - some premier collection
  • Mos Def - The Ecstatic
  • Bonobo - Dial M for Monkey
  • Richard Dorfmeister / Tosca - something
  • Anita O'Day - something
  • Alela Diane - something
  • Marty Regan - (Japanese classical collection)
  • Spain
  • From another list: Hovercraft | Trans Am | Olivia Tremor Control | Bowery Electric
  • From another list: Download | Roni Size | Reprozent | Komet | Louis Andriessen | California Ear Unit
  • And
  • there'll
  • always
  • be
  • more...

What do you recommend?

Thursday, October 09, 2008


Wouldn't it be great to be able to support the Summit County Democratic Party next Friday? Just not possible, I'm afraid.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Presidential candidates waste my time

I have watched Obama and McCain repeat themselves ad nauseum. They stay on message, churning out the same arguments, phrases, and misrepresentations of each other, regardless of the questions posed. One more chance next Wednesday to talk to those of us who have registered the message and want more depth, substance, and inspiration.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Dave Connolly gives us Progrography

B-52s research prompted Progrography (a bad name, he knows), at the outset a compelling collection of reviews with progressive rock at its core. Plenty here to guide the listener.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Jax, A-

A- assists as Jackson recites the Pledge, which he has copyrighted...

Pledge to the Planet

I pledge allegiance
to the web of life
of which we're each a strand
and to our planet earth
on which we stand
one ecosystem
under the sun
with diversity
and respect
for all.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Monday, July 07, 2008

Good Pass

Copied these 15 calls (and 2 partials) on an AO-51 mid-continent pass starting about 0040Z and readable for about 12 minutes: N3TL, N5AFV, N5UXT, WB4?WQ, WQ1E, KD8ILL, WB5CKJ, W7JPI, W4TEJ, N5ZNL, KE5UBJ, VE7VW, VE3DRT, KC0TOH (not hearing), W5KUB, ??9L, and KB8OE. I didn't transmit till it was nearly too late, then called Leo after his question to Allen, "Are you still in the footprint?", went unanswered. I was shocked to sound so solid into the bird and easily completed a QSO on a nearly empty frequency. When we finished I heard Ron in BC rapidly turning to fuzz, did a quick click on the mic that seemed to have no effect, then grabbed the clipboard and ran inside to escape the mosquitoes.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Prepping for SuitSat-2

When SuitSat-1 was transmitting in orbit, I tried listening two or three times and the best I could do was a brief quieting. I plan for better success with the successor.

I was unprepared the first time around. Thanks to N6GHz, I've got pointers to some resources that will help me understand and enjoy SuitSat-2...

EE Times: "Extreme design: SuitSat pushes engineers' limits" (June 26, 2008 TechOnline)

TearDown TV video


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

AMSAT-DL's P3E-Satellite

At this writing, 50 Euros = 77.83 U.S. Dollars. That's the minimum donation to reserve a 10x10px space on the website for the promised successor to AO-10, AO-13, and AO-40: AMSAT-DL's P3E Satellite. I even went so far as to create a little box for display.

I'm just not sure I'm ready. After all, AMSAT-NA would also welcome my help, which seems a bit more natural. But international is the way of the amateur satellite world, so I'm open to join in for "GL & 73, Scott N1AIA"

I like that space diagonal to the e in battery.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Dum de dum de dum

How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Axim X30 back in service

Six months ago I missed the wind forecast and ended up atop Mount A in terrible hawk-watching conditions. I found a picnic table, did some editing, and went to check some detail on the Axim. It behaved poorly. And it kept on troubling me long after I brought it home. A little web research and I determined my digitizer was toast.

After several false starts and an international shipping fiasco, I finally took delivery of a replacement digitizer last week. Today, over the course of a couple of hours, I managed a successful surgery and xot_axim is back to its old self with a new front end.

Thanks for background, ideas, and guidance from...

EDIT 20080507: This recipient is currently unable to receive money. Hard to repay my touchscreen source with this kind of message coming out of PayPal.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

A Tree Story

Beckett Limited
Kudos to for keeping this page available.


By Christine Gillette,

A local entrepreneur is marketing a new gift item with an Arbor Day twist.

It's the first product by Beckett Limited Editions of Portsmouth, which was launched this year by Brent Beckett, who gave up the corporate world to combine his love of nature with a sound business idea.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

ISS info

Tnx to N5VHO on amsat-bb for a ready reference...
ISS packet is currently active on 145.825 simplex. You can check to see if packet is active by looking at the reports on any of the following websites:

If packet is off, your chances are low (but you never know) of hearing voice on 145.80 unless it is a scheduled school contact during your pass.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Bogen/Manfrotto 1/4 Mounting Plate

Just screwed one of these to the satellite yagi boom. Now I'll need another for the 'scope.

Bogen/Manfrotto 1/4 Mounting Plate

UPDATE: Tnx Mom. Works like a charm.

Monday, February 25, 2008

VP6DX Logo

K1 + G5 = VP6

[acidfree:195 align=right]When I read the intended operating scheme of the Ducie Island DXpeditioners, I was disheartened. With my HF station restricted mainly to the Elecraft K1, working a 25 kHz split is essentially impossible.

Then it occurred to me: My new Grundig G5 would be my second radio. All that remained was to learn if it, with just a built-in telescoping antenna, would hear the South Pacific station well enough.

It did. Ten days into the VP6DX operation I entered the radio room shortly after dawn, tuned to the low end of 40 meters, and found the operator calling CQ with intermittent answers. I placed the K1 up 25 as requested and within three calls heard my full and correct callsign coming back.

Several hours later, I had a similar experience on 15, bracketing their 150,000th QSO with my 2.

{ Reaction at 25 Feb 2008 04:46 AM }

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

My Political Compass, circa 2008

See the post...

You're right there with Gandhi!

My Political Compass. The Gandhi connection is in the analysis here.

Economic Left/Right: -4.75
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -2.62

Sunday, February 10, 2008

It's Obama in Maine

This guy is lined up for a big advantage from pledged Maine delegates. Cool.

Our town's delegates to the state convention were split 9-9, with Clinton getting a handful more votes than Obama. We had 171 voters.

The Daily Kos referenced this article explaining how Maine's five types of delegates are apportioned. It's a bit confusing.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Questionable Ergonomics

It's her XO, but I was the first to share a Chat in the Neighborhood. She caught me demonstrating poor posture.

XO vicariously

Time for an update on our OLPC G1G1 purchase. Though we ordered on day 2, we weren't even close to getting the XO for Christmas. No problem. We weren't counting on it.

The box arrived on January 3 and the exploration soon began. The true explorer is A, not me. It is she who should direct the process and I who should facilitate it at her request. A test of her enthusiasm and my patience. So far, so good. We're taking our time.

I've little interest in presenting a rundown here, but for guidance I have been frequenting...

Monday, January 07, 2008

Fabrication d'une lampe triode

Wow. Making of a triode. Amazing work by F2FO!