Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A few things

Two things pointed out to me by Bob W3BBO, who directed me to the "ARRL Contest Update" e-mail, which I had just kind of glossed over without reading properly:

This was submitted by Paul WØRW, of QRP Pedestrian Mobile fame. QRPTTFers - keep this in mind!

"This coming Saturday, April 27th, is Morse Code Day! Samuel Morse was born in 1791 and his invention of a telegraph and an effective coding method for text created the first "on line" medium, truly changing the world. The special event station W2M will operate from Locust Grove, Morse's villa, from 1400Z to 1900Z. (Thanks, Paul WØRW)"

No better way to honor Morse Code Day than by getting out for QRPTTF and pounding on some brass, eh?  Also, this relating to Morse Code from the ARRL:

"More about Morse with Morse Code Day coming up - if you are interested in Morse Code in baseball, here's an audio file from KCMO on the early days of baseball reportage (featuring an ex-President) and there is some secret Morse at Fenway Park in Boston. (Thanks, Rich K8MEG)"

Secondly - and this is really cool!

"Dave K1TTT has put one of those unmanned video drones to an excellent purpose - checking out the antenna farm without a climbing belt! Dave is using a Parrot AR-Drone 2.0. It's hard to tell who is having more fun with the drone - Dave the operator or Pablo the excited dog! (Thanks, Tim N3HX)"


This is what Dave did with it. Personally? Dave's a much better man than I. I would probably have totally wrecked the drone and the antenna!



Lastly, this little tidbit from the ARRL that looked extremely interesting:

"Speaking of maps, Rick ZL2HAM has created ViewProp a terrific new mapping program that takes a stream of spots or Reverse Beacon Network reports and plots them on any of a collection of maps from DX Atlas. Not only are the receiving stations displayed but the path between them, with color indicating the band and variable persistence, among other interesting options. It's fascinating to see the different bands opening and closing as the Earth rotates. Both globe and flat map presentations are available in this beta test version. If you'd like to help complete the test process before ViewProp 1.0 is released, check in on the software's website or join the online discussion group."

Mondo thanks to Ward Silver NØAX for supplying us with all this really, really great information.  Ward is a true gentleman and his efforts should be appreciated by all of us. His Contest Update e-mails are truly one of the best benefits of being a League member.

On a personal note, I hit some snags coming up with my latest and greatest version of a drive on antenna mast support for my Jackite pole.  The base of the Jackite pole is 2 3/4" in diameter, and the weight of a length of 3" pipe is more than I want to deal with. So I am in the process of designing something totally different.  When this hacked-up, jerry-rigged Rube Goldberg is done, I'll post about it here. Any suggestions for improvement will be welcome.  But rather than describe what I'm doing, I'll supply pictures, because words alone will not be adequate to describe this upcoming abomination.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

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