For most of March & part of April, I’ll have a lot of spare time on my hands and not many of life’s normal distractions – a dangerous combination. And I’ll be in that hotbed of cultural activity – Oklahoma City.
As William Clark said upon reaching the Pacific Ocean in 1805, “O! The joy!”
To fill in the idle hours I’ve arranged a series of projects that I’ll be posting about here:
- Building the HF Converter for my FunCube Dongle. Not just building it, but trying two techniques that I’ve not used before – (1) using the solder paste/hot plate/hot air gun method of soldering and (2) using my webcam to display a magnified image of the SMD components and their placement on the board. This idea was written about in the March 2012 issue of QST.
- Pending the success of that I’ll continue the techniques and build my ATS-4 – or not – maybe conventional soldering will be more my style. Either way, the ATS-4 will get built soon after the HF Converter.
- Operating CW in the Oklahoma QSO Party – maybe as a rover; maybe fixed in a rare-ish county. I’ve re-vamped the mounting of the FT-857D in my car and did it the right way rather than the half-assed way mentioned in a previous post. Now I have one of those flexible extension arms to which the face of the Yaesu is mounted. The guts of the rig are conveniently under the passenger seat.
- A few outdoor excursions with portable QRP, or Have ATS-4, Will Travel. Travel where? Probably the Wichita Mountains, my favorite place in Oklatucky (that’s an inside joke, not a 51st state). Check out the slide show con music. If I can put the camera down, the ATS-4 will get a workout.
- The helicopter? I bought this gadget 2 days ago having absolutely no idea about how to fly it. Is it a toy or can it really fly in a stable manner with someone like me at the controls? I had no idea. Five flights and $50 later I’m happy to report that I can chase the dog around the house, hover, fly to, fly from, spin…whatever – all with amazing ease. Who woulda thunk? So here’s my thinking – Aiptek and other brands of thumbdrive-sized video cameras exist for $20-$40. Gadget lovers like yours truly are putting them on these helis and posting their videos and still photos to YouTube. My plan is to become enough of a “pilot” to return home and make aerial photos in all directions from my dipole’s feedpoint. Just something to put on my QRZ.com page like all the Yagi owner’s do ;-)
We’ve all gotta make our own fun, right?!
About that $50…that wasn’t for spare parts – that’s the total cost of heli, tx/rx, LiPo battery & charger. How do they do it…?