Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Virtually Change the World!

Donate your computer's idle time, to projects that will truly benefit humanity!

check out the World Community Grid

They will provide the free software that does it all for you.

If you join the WCG, then be sure please join my Team 'Team World Radio'. I have already donated over 500 days this summer of computer time. I use older but dedicated computers setup in a VMware mini-Grid to maximize my efforts.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Reading for FUN // SolderSmoke - The Book!

A book by Bill Meara N2CQR/CU2JL/M0HBR the host of the QRP classic podcast SolderSmoke.

I've loved the show from the very beginning, hanging on every story. His stories are wonderful, and not because they are unique, but because they are our stories too. If you like I have been interested in the uber-geek pastime of Ham Radio then chances are you will find that many of Bill's childhood stories will resonant in a eerie sort of way with your own life. I recently picked up SolderSmoke - The Book! from LULU.COM and I'm planing to read it at work during my lunch break, in true SS style.

Also, If you have not had a chance to listen to SolderSmoke but are interested in QRP radio and other subjects of interest like Astronomy, CW & Electronics. Be sure to check out SOLDERSMOKE - The PodCast too. (It is free)

Coils and Inductors Chart

As I got in my car this morning I was treated with a welcomed chill in the air. A very welcome chill indeed, after the heavy rains and muggy humidity which have lingered over the Metro Atlanta for the previous weeks.

Therefore, Winter must be near (or at the very least fall) and that really means only one thing, more time in the shack, building and operating radios. After many set backs last year with my QRP efforts, I thought I would start a fresh and get truly organized. One of those efforts is to better understand "inductance", I have always had a tighter hold on resistance and capacitance, but coils have always been somewhat more baffling to me.

After a few minutes searching around the web and QRP watering holes, I was rather unsatisfied with he current state of reference materials available for the amateur builder. I was able to find a few charts, but most with contradictory data, and a few helpful formulas. Using the formulas, I built a spreadsheet to help me, and presumably others with most of the more commons incarnations of toroidal and air coils. In weeks to come, I hope to expand the air coil document to include forms like Star Bucks coffee stir'ers and other item commonly found (preferably free) items.

I have put together a few charts to help myself to better build and catalog the different options available to me when building home-brew QRP rigs.


Although I have built many, I'm still clueless as how to calculate the values for Binocular Transformers and Bi & Tri-filar coils. - Maybe some helpful HAM would care to comment.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sun Spots and Atlantic Storms Correlation

In order to comply with the complaining about the low solar numbers quota that every HAMs must comply with as per of FCC rules, Earlier this week while driving I was amusing myself by dreaming about higher solar activity. -- Doesn't everybody?

In this particular day dream, I started to notice that there was an apparent relationship between solar activity chart in my head and the hurricanes I could bring to mind, please remember I'm driving, so my data was more than a little fuzzy. So this PDF is a result of an attempt to do a slightly less fuzzy back-of-an-envelope type of calculation.

I got my Solar Data and chart from the Solar Influences Data Analysis Center - (SIDC)

and my Storm Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - (NOAA) - (and a few others)

This seems so obvious that I knew I could not have been the first to notice, so a little google search turned a few references, but the best and cleanest seem to be this wiki entry. Where it names good 'le GATECH as the authors of just such an idea.

OK, so it is not a new idea, but an interesting one all the same. Notice the storms seem to ovoid the peaks (and troughs - except for Betsy). My original idea was that really large US hitting storms would only occur 18 mo ~ 24 mo AFTER the solar peak. This simple chart shows that is not exactly exclusively true. While it is true that storms do seem to follow that pattern, they also seem to happen 18 mo ~ 24 mo BEFORE the solar peak. This needs a little more work before any real conclusions can be made, but there does seem to be a pattern.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Tennessee Fire Tower

The Tennessee Fire Tower article featuring n4AOW was in the Summer 2009 CQ VHF+ magazine.


CQ-VHF+ Mag - ki4SGU AT Golden Packet Article

Well after playing around with the blogspot software and interface this weekend. I think I am now ready for my next post, this time including a linked PDF. The trick was to upload the docs into my google docs area.

This article originally "aired" in the CQ/VHF+ Spring 2009 Edition, for the now completed APRS Golden Packet event. I am including it here now for completeness, since I am planning on making this my new home and cyber soap box.

AT Golden Packet Article

Friday, September 11, 2009

Where would Cloud 9 be, if it were a DX entity.

This morning on my work I was discussing where is 'Cloud 9' might be if it were a DX entity, CL9 in Cuba came back one of the repeater's usual suspects (Dick /k2UFT). But searching my memory I could not remember ever working any CL9 from Cuba (or any where else). Most guys on the radio know I'm originally from Cuba, so naturally they think I know everything about the place, not so.

But the idea got me intrigued, when I got to work I wrote a few email to a few Cuban Hams I know and I quickly got my answer.

The prefix CL9, CM9 and CO9 belong to Radio Clubs or Hams authorized to operate from a Radio Club.

I also found out a little about their grid squares (super for 6m work, more on that soon), call signs and their license class system.

There Are 3 Ham's Classification:
CO - First -- HF/VHF/UHF/SHF bands & all modes, 2Kw HF. (Extra)
CM - Second -- HF bands SSB/CW and VHF bands FM, 500w in HF. (General)
CL - Third --- Segments on 160 & 2 Meters SSB, CW and FM. (Novice)

I had worked plenty of Cuban Stations in the past, but I guess I had not pay that much attention. OK, so much for Cloud 9 and my first official blog.
OK I have decided to launch myself into the blogosphere. I have created this blog in an effort to be able to document the various points of interested that I am interested in, mostly Ham Radio, but I'm sure from time to time I will have other thoughts, however fleeting the may be.

I'm still new to the blog spot interface, so please forgive me if I commit any formatting sins.