Posted on August 13, 2018
August is a big transition month – where it starts with the daylight of summer . . .
The sun at the end of August – reminds me of “Dark Helmet” . . .
And ends looking like the Autumnal Equinox. This is significant – especially at the bottom of the sunspot cycle – because two things seem to coincide to help DXers – especially on 40M have some HF DX to work, and that is – with mostly Zero sunspot days, there are theories that gamma rays that can get through with a weak ionosphere have an ionizing effect at VLF – but this is an area that seems to be ripe for new study:
A year ago, Kat and I visited the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, MT, and we attended an excellent planetarium there and the show discussed deep space study – and the EU Space Agency plans on launching Athena in 2028:
I’m quite excited that we will most likely learn quite a bit from this project, and I will be freshly retired at that time. I also believe that the USA will still be the leaders of all things space and science:
Posted on August 11, 2018
Ham Radio Deluxe Satellite Tracker
Back in 2001 or 2002 – I tried playing with satellites – and had two M2 “Eggbeater” antennas, a Kenwood TS-2000 and an ICOM IC-910H. It was fun – but my pursuit of DXCC took over my ham life completely.
Having worked just about everything I want DX wise – it might be a good time to get back into satellites and possibly EME. EME sounds like a lot of fun – but I don’t want another amplifier, and it seems like you really need power for that mode. However – just receiving EME could be fun.
I’m not sure it will be worth the cost – and since the rig won’t be released until 2019, there is no rush – but its interesting to think about the possibilities anyway.
Posted on August 3, 2018
Today is the day my first “product” at work will launch in Beta. Its an Enterprise Data Dictionary “Explorer” Application at Credit Karma. We think its so good that we might Open Source it.
Its pretty much the most fun I think I have ever had at work – and while we will get everything lunched today, I expect next week will be interesting as we support the first day of many in the company checking the app out.
Posted on August 1, 2018
Cycle 25 predictions have recently been upgraded to be about what Cycle 24 was. That means I could very well make DXCC #1 from Orinda, but I just realized that I will be retiring and moving from Orinda just about the time that we hit the peak of Cycle 25.
When I realized this, it got me thinking about my life and the solar cycles that have occurred since I was born at the peak of Cycle 19. I started as a ham (WN2QHN) during Cycle 20 (similar to Cycle 23 and 24), and so ironically, I have only ever been active as a DXer during the worst Solar Cycles since I was born.
This isn’t a bad thing – living down here in a bowl with the worst conditions of any cycle since Cycle 19, and I still made DXCC Honor Roll in 11 years is testament to perseverance, and I hope a modicum of skill.
After reading The Sun Kings last Summer and Chasing Venus this Summer, I realize that solar cycles are indeed a clock of sorts, and that Solar Cycles have indeed influenced my life to some degree.
Posted on July 30, 2018
I have a remote switch for 75 and 80M (R1, R2 and R3), and by adding in a relay before these, I can switch between my 60′ tall 75 / 80M vertical and a Cushcraft MA160V for Top Band.
This would be a couple hour project – and one that I need to try to get done before VP6D – which is the next time someone will be on Top Band that I should try to work – not because I really need anything for an award – but because its the only upcoming challenge on the road map ahead.
I am starting to wonder if 3Y0Z represents a bigger historical marker than anyone has expected – I think in the History of the DXCC Program it will prove to be a watershed moment – that some entities simply will become impractical to activate – a “bridge too far” if you will. I believe that rising oil prices, inflation due to trade wars, and being at the bottom of Cycle 24 will put a serious damper on DXpeditions from happening. at least in the short term – and maybe even in the long term.