While researching results of an antenna I plan on building tomorrow, I happened upon an interesting comment about it on a thread at eHam.
A description of the antenna in question is available on Larry NU4B’s page here. Larry also describes the antenna here on eHam, but the point that caught my eye was made by Eddy VE3CUI, who originally wrote about this antenna in CQ Magazine back in August 1982.
As threads on eHam will do, this one almost sidetracked into a flame-laden tangent due to a superficial comment – the first comment there, however most commenters in the thread were able to see the comparative value of the antenna as described.
In response to the criticism Continue reading 'Theoretical vs. actual'»
Someone forwarded this to me today – I’d heard the audio before but this is the audio with synced animation of the US Airways flight that made an emergency landing in the Hudson River two years ago.
The first video consists of the comms between the pilot, Captain Sullenberger, and the FAA controller as well as the audio from the cockpit voice recorder exchanges between Sullenberger and his Flight Officer subtitled onto the screen. Audio begins 1:18 into the video.
The second video includes audio of the behind-the-scenes traffic Continue reading 'Professionalism'»
Nine of my 10 years in the Navy were spent in the Submarine Service. This posting is about that 10th year - the one I spent aboard a merchant ship as one of a small contingent of other submariners, up from the depths and still working for the submarine community.
Our purpose in the Indian Ocean between Singapore and Fremantle, criss-crossing a segment of the ocean for 28 days between port visits, was to make high resolution contour soundings of the ocean floor and correlate them to precise GPS positions. The resulting data would allow submarines to obtain navigational fixes while submerged rather than risk exposing themselves by coming to periscope depth to obtain a satellite fix.
We enjoyed the opportunity to be on a huge ship with lots of room, our own staterooms and female crew members – Merchant Mariners, whose physical attractiveness varied in proportion to our time at sea. We also had fresh, non-scrubbed air and daylight. Life was good.
This was considered arduous sea duty in that we didn’t return to the US during our year onboard. That was okay with us – we were all single and quite enjoyed the monthly port visits to 9V and, particularly, VK, whose YL’s made us feel most welcome.
But after my first 28 days at sea, with much more free time than would be imagineable on a sub, I knew I needed an at-sea diversion besides all the James Michener and Paul (The Great Railway Bazaar) Theroux books we devoured. So I ordered a Yaesu FT-101 and started educating the ship’s captain about MARS, thinking I could run phone patches for my shipmates when conditions allowed it. Continue reading 'Adrift on the Pacific…..with an FT-101EE'»
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The next two weeks mark the 34th anniversary of the launching of Voyagers 1 and 2 in 1977. Their initial mission was to explore the outer planets, Jupiter through Neptune, and as many of their associated moons as their mutual trajectories would permit.
That was completed in 1989 and was expected to mark the end of useful service. As they sped on in excellent health, NASA realized new and ongoing science could be collected and, like any government agency anywhere, gave extra work to the performers.
As you read this, the twin Voyagers are speeding away from Earth at 12-15 miles/sec. Voyager 1 is 32 light-hours from Earth, Voyager 2 is 26 light-hours away – and yet both are still in ongoing two-way communications with Earth thanks to the Deep Space Network’s antennas in Colorado, Spain & Australia.
That communications consists not only of the Voyagers sending their data (from 5 onboard instruments – each of which has its own team of scientists) and status (via a 23-watt transmitter operating near 2295 MHz), but also the mundane but necessary housekeeping commands from Earth, telling which gyro to use this week, clock updates, etc.
Details of each week’s communications Continue reading 'Long Distance Voyager(s)'»
To improve my fluency, my XYL and I have “Spanish Wednesdays”. No English spoken on that day.
Yesterday was Sunday and when I heard her returning from walking the dog in the backyard last evening suddenly exclaiming “Murciélagos!” I didn’t know whether to open my Spanish-English dictionary or get her a calendar.
A look out the window was all the translation I needed – Bats!
Evidently they thought our home would make a cozy home for their sizeable family as well. Au contraire.
What I thought might be 3 or 4 bats turned out to be 14, living in our door jamb.
Video below: Continue reading 'Murciélagos! (video added)'»
As the shuttle program finally, mercifully ends, here’s a look back at at a time when NASA actually represented, strove for and accomplished that supreme achievement of great men and great civilizations throughout history: the exploration of new and unknown territory.
Two of Apollo 11′s three astronauts have expressed disappointment in what NASA has become, decaying into a feel-good space program whose goals are ill-defined and poorly chosen in light of what they could be. I couldn’t agree more.
Perhaps the biggest deterrent to a space program was the shuttle itself – pretending to be such, it prevented the real thing from continuing post-Apollo.
Who among us who watched Neil, Buzz and Michael back in ’69 didn’t think that by now, we’d have gone on to bigger things with a real space program with all those hallmarks epitomized by Mercury, Gemini and Apollo – innovation, inspiration and new discoveries. Continue reading '11 turns 42'»