Quiet Contemplation

Autumn is a great time to sit back and, like the harvest, reflect on the growing season and contemplate what harvest time means in my life. Where have I been? Where am I headed? You can’t change where you’ve been, but I like to ask “What if” questions about the future. Some are very short term, and some long term. They all involve cost…

The Carrington Event and 3Y0Z?

One hundred years and six months before I was born, The Carrington Event occurred, which was an amazing set of solar explosions that set fire to telegraph apparatus and gave operators serious shocks. The author starts out with a series of solar explosions that occurred in 2003, not long after I started DXing, and one that happened right during the 3C0V DXpedition. He then…

Gamma Rays and Top Band?

I recently went to a planetarium, the first time in decades, and was so excited to hear the the ESA (European Space Association) is launching a deep space telescope (Athena) in 2028 to study gamma rays and other phenomena in deep space. On a few occasions, space weather experts have tried to explain Top Band propagation, and there is not much that we know…

How Low Can I Go?

OK, now that I have nailed all of my big goals for this year (already) it’s time to get very, very serious about losing 50 pounds. Ten years ago I lost 30 pounds, so I know exactly what and how to do this. Every Sunday I’ll put a small mention in my blog as a way to put pressure on my self. My goal…

Amazing Six Months!

I’ve hit an amazing Six month “Sprint” in my life. Working at Credit Karma has proven to be the absolute best work experience I’ve had in my 36 year career. I have built the companies first Enterprise Data Dictionary, which included the data model, Python meta data generators from all sources, and after learning React.js with Redux and Material.ui, I’ve developed the first web…

October QST “DX Issue” Cover

This year’s ARRL QST edition does not feature a team, but instead, its an antenna farm. I have been very curious about this since VK0EK was immortalized on last years DX Edition, and was also on the cover of the DXCC Yearbook. For me, DXCC has become quite boring, but with the maker and ongoing antenna work, I am always engaged and happy –…

Final Notes on the U.RAT

I installed the URAT out back at the base of the “Mod Bob” antenna. I experimented for a few hours and I was able to get a decent SWR on 160, 80, 40 and 30 by doing this: 160M – bypass the capacitors and use a shunt coil at the antenna feed 80M – use the capacitors with that same shunt coil 40M – same…

U.RAT Version 2.0 and Experiments

The u.RAT that I will set up tomorrow will replace the Palstar BT1500A, but only as a test – to see if two Palstar C600 variable capacitors plus one inductor will work on 160M. I expect it will work on 160 and 30M, but not sure about 80M. I split the control box and the drivers so that the Raspberry Pi Zero is in…

Where Have All The Top Banders Gone?

There were three announced 160M activations this summer that never happened. There have been at least 4 mega DXpeditions whose 160M activation was pitiful in the last several years. I do understand that its a hard band to put antennas up (and keep them up) and that it also doesn’t have the “ROI” that other bands offer. I had expected as we slide down…

Cool for August

This was a great album – lost in the dust of the 90’s. I used to think the 80’s was my favorite decade music wise – but its really the 90’s. This entire month has been one of the nicest weather wise for August. After a pretty warm June and July, we have had a strong persistent fog along the coast and it extends…