Year Nine

In my forty-odd years of employment, I kept a list of things I wanted to do, but for reasons of expense or time, I had to put off. “Fly an airplane” was one of them. “Write a novel” was another. When I retired at the beginning of 2015, I reviewed the list. Some things were […]

Something Broke

A week of intermittent attempts at JT-8 on my ham radio failed to make any contacts. Not a single one. JT-8 is computerized ham radio encoding for low power contacts. In simplified terms, the computer transmits tiny parts of a message “redundantly” (repeatedly) via ham radio to a similar set of equipment at the receiving […]

Summits On The Air (SOTA)

I earned my first SOTA points a week ago as an activator, and again this morning as a chaser. (My amateur radio call sign is K7EDS.) Activators pack a complete amateur radio station to the summit of a qualifying mountain. Ascent must be on foot or bicycle. Motorized vehicles are not allowed. Once at the […]

Pixie Ears

The hearing of my Chinese Pixie is much better now. Pixie is a ultra-minimal ham radio transceiver that started several decades ago. The circuit has been tweaked, modified and improved over the years with the same goal of super small and simple. The last couple of years, some Chinese electronics companies have started selling them […]

QuartzFest 2016

(Click any picture to enlarge. Descriptions are in the comments for each.) I drove two hours west from Phoenix last Saturday to Quartzite, Arizona for the swapfest at the end of 2016’s week long Quartzfest. The pickings were slim, however, and I came away empty handed. But by no means was the trip a waste. On the contrary, […]


If we talk on amateur radio, we might exchange QSL cards. On the back, I’ll write the UTC (universal date and time), frequency and mode (voice, CW, PSK) and some brief remarks. When a ham (amateur radio operator) receives a QSL card, after checking their ham radio logbook to confirm the contact, he or she would send a QSL card […]

Why Mac?

Why Mac? For one thing, if you do many different things throughout the day, it’s extremely easy to switch focus because the Mac can have all things going at once. The screen shot is my current set of desktops, and the details of one of them. Note that’s plural: desktops. Across the top are the […]

Antenna Analysis (New Toy!)

Ok, Ok, you’re right. It’s a new toy and I wanted to show it off. You’re absolutely right. But I learned some things and can do better on my next wire antenna. So, take this as a sales pitch or a gee-golly-wiz piece or whatever. But I learned some things and, to help me remember them, I’m […]

Flux Your Braid

Grand knows his stuff — thank you, Sir! More flux did the trick. If you’ve been following the action here, you’ll know that I botched my first attempt with the integrated circuit you see here as “The Problem”. The two pins in the lower right corner of the 1/8″ square integrated circuit are shorted together […]