Archive for August, 2013

Summer Radio

August 12, 2013

I’ve been able to do a lot of interesting amateur radio related stuff this summer.

The fourth full weekend in June is Field Day in the US and Canada. As I have done in the last several years, I operated from home, running QRP (5 watts) on battery power. I made 150 contacts in several hours. The Bluegrass Amateur Radio Society (BARS) had a good Field Day operation which I visited. Pictures here:

KY-QRP had a field event in a city park on one of our cool days in late July. Here is some video:

I’ve made reference to RTTY, PSK31 and JT65 here, which are the most popular digital modes used in amateur radio. But there are a couple of other interesting modes that I wanted to try: Olivia and Hellschreiber (Hell). I have made an Olivia QSO, but haven’t completed a contact on Hell just yet. Here are a couple of interesting web sites: and

A big acquisition this summer has been a Perseus, a Software Defined Receiver (SDR) manufactured by Microtelecom in Italy.  SDRs are different from “regular” radios because the receiver functions are performed in software. This allows for easy customization and improvement. Read about the Perseus here:

Earlier in the year I established a GlobalTuner in Columbus, thanks to a friend of mine who was willing to provide a site for it, and a computer to run the software. On August 2nd we did some antenna experiments and found a better antenna. It is in the attic but it works reasonably well. Visit the Columbus receiver here: You must be a registered user of GlobalTuners.

I’m not a big hamfest goer but I’ve attended two so far in August. The Columbus Hamfest was August 3rd, and the Lexington Hamfest (held in Lawrenceburg) was yesterday. Congratulations to Pat, AI4W, who won the Ernie Farmer Memorial Award this year. BARS gives the award every year to a ham who has contributed to ham radio in the community.

Congratulations, Sam!

August 12, 2013

I had the pleasure of being in the Schottenstein Center August 4th as my oldest nephew Sam graduated cum laude with honors from Ohio State. His degree is in anthropology and history. He plans to do anthropological research later in the year and then go on to graduate school. Congratulations, Sam!

It has been a cooler than normal and wetter than normal summer here, which is a nice contrast to last summer when we had a stretch of several days with temperatures over 100 F.

The cooler temperatures have allowed me to make good progress on the solar-power system I mentioned. Here is a video where I show the system:

In addition to using it to recharge the battery on my lawn mower, I power a number of other things as well.

I got to spend several days this month working on the Aetna & Baker City, the HO scale model railroad that my brother obtained after its builder passed away. I will be putting some new video up on YouTube this week. Watch this space for a link.