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[#] Wed Jan 21 2015 12:17:32 EST from vince-q

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A fine tropo opening on two meters yesterday afternoon there was!

[#] Sat Jan 31 2015 18:54:38 EST from vince-q

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High Latitude Aurora Alert

The next couple of nights should present a good chance to work DX on six (and maybe two) meters using auroral propagation.

From the east coast, point your beams to the north/northwest; from the west coast, northeast.

Because of the distortion that auroral propagation introduces, it is almost mandatory to use CW or one of the newer digital modes. Voice does work, but it requires vast amounts of patience. CW signals will sound "buzzy" but for auroral DX that is still the best way to go.

Over the years we've worked many states and Canadian provinces this way.

Try it - lots of fun!

Cascade Mountain Contest Station

[#] Thu Feb 05 2015 08:40:55 EST from dothebart

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The first time in ages the german DARC (german amateur radio club) seems to have a growing member base.

Seems as if makers are keen on learning how to use soldering irons and work with electronics, they find the knowledge there and some stay.

[#] Thu Feb 05 2015 10:49:02 EST from vince-q

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Ham radio in the US is also growing again.
It seems, at least here, to be motivated a bit less by interest in "things technical" and more by an interest in "prepper stuff" - as in, ham radio might be a neat thing to have when the "shit hits the fan" and society vaporizes (which, in many instances, would not be the worst thing "society" could do).

[#] Thu Feb 05 2015 21:50:45 EST from TaMeR

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Couldn't just shut-up on this one. 
Totally agree, it's time for anarchy.

[#] Fri Feb 06 2015 15:25:47 EST from roue <>

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And cannabalism. Don't forget that. Also, we could use some good old fashion witch burning. Thems a hum dinger.

[#] Wed Feb 11 2015 16:45:15 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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I'm going to suggest a different reason.

When the popularity of lots of hobbies -- ham radio, amateur electronics, photography, stage tech, etc. etc. etc. took a sharp decline in the 1980's, what was it that was sucking all of the hobbyists away?

We all know the answer to that ... Computers.

Well, here we are decades later, and computers are so capable, so refined, so part of everyday life, that for many people they are now BORING.

This leaves a wide opening for people with inquisitive minds and eager hands to take up other hobbies again.

[#] Thu Feb 12 2015 05:37:43 EST from dothebart

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Definitely a good explanation.


[#] Sat Mar 07 2015 00:00:00 EST from rss <>

Subject: March 07, 1876: Alexander Graham Bell patents the telephone

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On this day in 1876, 29-year-old Alexander Graham Bell receives a patent for his revolutionary new invention–the telephone.

The Scottish-born Bell worked in London with his father, Melville Bell, who developed Visible Speech, a written system used to teach speaking to the deaf. In the 1870s, the Bells moved to Boston, Massachusetts, where the younger Bell found work as a teacher at the Pemberton Avenue School for the Deaf. He later married one of his students, Mabel Hubbard.

While in Boston, Bell became very interested in the possibility of transmitting speech over wires. Samuel F.B. Morse’s invention of the telegraph in 1843 had made nearly instantaneous communication possible between two distant points. The drawback of the telegraph, however, was that it still required hand-delivery of messages between telegraph stations and recipients, and only one message could be transmitted at a time. Bell wanted to improve on this by creating a “harmonic telegraph,” a device that combined aspects of the telegraph and record player to allow individuals to speak to each other from a distance.

With the help of Thomas A. Watson, a Boston machine shop employee, Bell developed a prototype. In this first telephone, sound waves caused an electric current to vary in intensity and frequency, causing a thin, soft iron plate–called the diaphragm–to vibrate. These vibrations were transferred magnetically to another wire connected to a diaphragm in another, distant instrument. When that diaphragm vibrated, the original sound would be replicated in the ear of the receiving instrument. Three days after filing the patent, the telephone carried its first intelligible message–the famous “Mr. Watson, come here, I need you”–from Bell to his assistant.

Bell’s patent filing beat a similar claim by Elisha Gray by only two hours. Not wanting to be shut out of the communications market, Western Union Telegraph Company employed Gray and fellow inventor Thomas A. Edison to develop their own telephone technology. Bell sued, and the case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which upheld Bell’s patent rights. In the years to come, the Bell Company withstood repeated legal challenges to emerge as the massive American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) and form the foundation of the modern telecommunications industry.

[#] Sun Mar 08 2015 19:15:15 EDT from vince-q <>

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"Three days after filing
the patent, the telephone carried its first intelligible message - the famous
Mr. Watson, come here, I need you - from Bell to his assistant."

Not quite...

The very first thing Bell heard coming from his newfangled invention was...

"I'm sorry, the number you have reached has been disconnected"...
<evil grin>

[#] Fri Mar 13 2015 11:44:54 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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Bell said to Watson, "Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you" on that inaugural call.  It was an anachronistic proposal for an AT&T--IBM merger.  Unfortunately, Watson replied, "no, you come here," and hung up.  They were never to meet; the golden chance had slipped away.

[#] Sat Apr 25 2015 21:37:29 EDT from Sig

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I'm on Beale AFB teaching a class for a few weeks. I brought my portable gear. Despite only "fair" predictions from the little web-based solar weather widgets this morning, 10-meter was absolutely hopping. It felt like there was a pileup every 5 kilohertz. I was able to pick up stations clearly from Maine, New York, Tennessee, Kentucky, Michigan, and Florida--but also Japan, New Zealand, and a few others I've forgotten without looking at my notes.

That was with a 16ish-foot wire hanging from a tree in the highest ground I could find in a local park. I actually did slightly better with an MFJ multiband whip (the 1899T, I think).

Of course, those are pretty limiting when it comes to the Tx end. As is usually the case, no one heard me. You can only do so much with 5w; it's all about the antenna, and I didn't have much of one.

Still, an enjoyable afternoon.
I need to get serious about picking up Morse; that would be substantially more effective at the low powers I have at my command.

When I get back home, I have a 2-day emergency response training and exercise thing, so there's that to look forward to. I got into that a few months ago (sort of sideways, via ham radio).

[#] Sun Apr 26 2015 13:10:47 EDT from Sig

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Locator yesterday was CM99HF; I'm actually in Vince-q's neighborhood. I hadn't realized that. (CA is kind of a mystery to me--there's the habitable part (climactically speaking) around Monterey, and then the rest of it.)

[#] Sun Apr 26 2015 13:18:17 EDT from Sig

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Hammon Grove Park, specifically. I recommend it. It was pretty.


[#] Mon Apr 27 2015 22:08:39 EDT from vince-q <>

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Actually that was most likely Harmon Grove Park (on Route 20).
I pass that location frequently, usually on an unpredictable Sunday morning on my way home from the Auburn area.

Ten meters was quite nice late this afternoon here on the Mountain. Worked a station in Brazil - told me I was "the strongest signal on the band, 40 over S9." Not bad for 100 watts into an off-center-fed inverted vee.

I love my mountain!


[#] Tue Apr 28 2015 03:39:31 EDT from vince-q

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Locator here on the Mountain: CM99du

[#] Tue Apr 28 2015 21:06:07 EDT from Sig

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Nepal HF emergency net on 14.205 and 14.215. I was able to pick up a fair bit of discussion on .205, passing back and forth contact information and shipping numbers and points of contact for various aid supplies. I'm going to see if I can do better using a webSDR node, since my portable whip isn't exactly the optimal setup.

[#] Tue Apr 28 2015 22:03:34 EDT from Sig

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Recorded a few minutes, starting just after the net control station started explaining. The link points to Soundcloud.

[#] Wed Apr 29 2015 09:22:32 EDT from triLcat

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Israeli authorities are looking for Or Asraf who hasn't made contact since the quake. it would be pretty freaky if you were able to find info they can't. 

[#] Wed Jun 03 2015 19:35:59 EDT from vince-q <>

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Rather neat thing today.

Beacon copied: XE2HWB

Running about an S1 to S4 w/ QSB.
What makes this "neat" you say?

SIX METERS (50.007 Mhz - CW).
1,280 miles.
He's in La Paz, Mexico - southern tip of the Baja Peninsula.
In the "magic direction" for the Mountain (heading 150 degr or SSE).
And... I'm only using the OCF inverted vee WIRE thingee!
Still no 6m antennas really.

Now THAT is neat!! (I love my Mountain!)


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