WA2IAC Love

After adding the MediaWiki to this site, I took a break from a crushing workload, and surfed Google to see how much of the Wiki and this site had been indexed. The answer, of course, was “all of it” (as Admiral Poindexter answered to the question as to what information the Government’s “Total Information Awareness” program would collect). Of course, along with entries I would have expected were some surprises.

wa2iac-loveI came across an image (I suspect adapted from the image above) with the filename “wa2iac.png” on a site called TinyPic. Click on the link to see the actual image. I don’t care to repeat it here and get dissed by Google (yes.. chilling effect!).

Now, I mused, I am a lover, and a fool for certain types of women (who are, perhaps fools for me – but it’s all good). As my musing continued, I wondered who might have posted this, and why they had named it by my callsign. I don’t believe I’ve ever killed love (metaphorically, or otherwise). There are aspects of this art that I could take as clues. Strong clues. But not that fit, really.

As the band “Orleans” observed in a song I like: “So when you love, take it easy, cause shortcuts are a waste of time… Every breath has it’s meaning, blowing it out an taking it in… So take care what you do, ’cause it all comes back again.” I’ve always tried to live love so if it does come back again, it will be OK. Alright, so it just happened to be playing on the Internet radio I’m listening to as I write this. I still like it.

So it’s a mystery. I’m not crazy about mysteries unless they make me stop and think, because I like things that make me stop and think. Of course, any additional clues would be appreciated…

And then, there’s the matter of the placement of that arrow…

Update: 7/23/2013

I have discovered one possible clue of  who the perpetrator might be. In what I suspect to be the “source” image (above), the arrow is in the butt. In the image this article references, which contains explicit language (and so is not shown here; click on the link to see it), the arrow is in the back. The creator of the image had to have enough image editing skills to change the image in that way. And the mind that would come up with and execute the plan… well, there’s a pretty good hint. Still on the trail, but perhaps the game is a foot.

Update: 4/1/2013

Some time ago, I spoke with the chief suspect from the previous update. Either well played, or the suspect is not a suspect. The case remains open.

ALSA Audio for the Raspberry Pi

I ordered a Raspberry Pi about the time it was announced last year. At the time, it was necessary to order it from the UK. As a result of SNAFUs, I didn’t receive it till the end of last summer. By then, I was deep into work requirements that gave me little personal time. No time for ham radio, for sure.

Just a few days ago, I got past the point of loading Raspbian onto an SD card and getting the device to boot. Although I have a general interest in the Pi, and had already been exploring applications with a similar device, the “Guru Plug”, I now have a specific application for the Pi.

My first application is an audio/radio application that is running on several of my computers, and is starting to monopolize hardware that I’d rather be using in other ways. So my first definite Pi project is to get that audio project running on the Pi, so I can offload my other, more valuable systems, and return them to their original purposes. The application requires ALSA audio on Debian/Ubuntu, and not too much processing power. The Pi seemed a good fit. So, once I got it up and running, the question was: Does it support ALSA, and if so, does it support the Debian audio tools enough that my project will run on it? I don’t have the definitive answer yet, but it’s looking good.

Yes, the Pi supports ALSA audio. However, the support is NOT done in hardware per se (that is, not as in most modern laptops). It’s partial emulation, and partially the bcm2835 chip used in the Pi for HDMI output. This requires a kernel module that, in the case of the Pi on the “official” Raspbian distro, is loaded at boot time by default.

For more technical discussion of this subject, please see this page on the WA2IAC wiki.

Friday AM Fun Day

Status

I had a good wake-up this morning starting at around 6:15. I woke up early this morning, turned on the Boulder remote, and tuned to 3.875 just in time to hear the beginnings of AM activity. Lots of very fine signals!

I enjoyed a round-table with Steve N0BF, Rod W5CZ,OJ K0OJ, Jack K0HEH, Mark KA0SKK, Rob W0FT,Jerry KD0PD, Steve W7JSC.

OJ remarked he had worked some 10M AM’ers in New Hamster on 29.05, which sounded very encouraging! I’m still hoping for some QRP/DX activity like I enjoyed during the last solar maximum. KA0SKK’s 3 807’s modulated by two more 807 bottles sounded fine, and brought back memories of hacking around with a Johnson Mobile I rigged up with an outboard solid state modulator (it was borrowed from the K2TK club founded by W2AAF [SK]). W7JSC was making it in from somewhere in the field near Cheyenne, WY with a R7000 to 100′ of wire, weak but full copy.

IP Remote Operation Now Routine

Status

Thanks to IP Remote Operation, my daily check-ins to the South Dakota Morning Weather net have been hardly impacted by my move. While my now-limited collection of equipment now remains packed in boxes, my ops have been affected more my by personal stamina than anything else. Well, you know how your stamina is affected by moving, right? Since I can’t and/or won’t pay for someone else to do it all for me, moving is always exhausting.

The strange result of this brave new world of ham radio is that my operations on HF have been unaffected while my VHF/UHF operations are, to the extent that my HT remains unpacked! I could use the remote for VHF/UHF, but stubbornly refuse to. So it’s all virtually in my mind.

Recollecting that I only heard of IP Remote operation about a decade ago, it certainly appealed to me at that time, but I never would have imagined it impacting me personally the way it currently does. How has IP Remote Operation affected you, your thinking and/or your operations?

73, WA2IAC

Moving

Status

During July and into August, I’m going through personal changes… new work, and moving. Not very far. But as a ham, there’s always an extra-added dimension to moving.

Questions like: Where will I put my gear? Where will I store the gear I’m not using. Should I sell some stuff.

Even more important questions like: Where can I put an antenna? What kind/how big? Will I be able to run QRO? Or, in restricted situations like mine, can I put up an antenna at all?

The good news is that my new QTH is at ground level. I’ve been on the third floor, which presents ground challenges. But I’ve learned how to cope with those issues very effectively over the years. The new QTH is at ground level. That will change the challenge to one of getting the antenna(s) as high as possible. Looks like I’ll be able to put up my trap 15/20m dipole for sure, as well as a stealthily placed 2m/70cm beam that will be on a better path to the BARC repeaters (sure would like to work some ATV on Thurs evenings). There is also the opportunity to put up a stealth longwire, at least 300 feet. Possibly better. As for putting up something more resonant to get on 40M and 75/80M with, I can only try and experement! But clearly, the futures for putting up antennae in the new place are better.

Perhaps moving won’t seem so bad as a result.

And now, back to the boxes…

Stolen Ranger

I lost several vintage Johnson rigs in the aftermath of the house fire that briefly killed me in 2005. Much of the gear was rescued from the house fire, while nearly everything else I owned was pretty much gone. Unfortunately, that gear disappeared in 2006 – several months later.

Sadly, I suspect a fellow ham was responsible, but I’ll probably never know the truth unless someone confesses. I do have pictures of much of the gear that was stolen, but many of those photos are buried on off-site backups, or backups of a laptop that was not at the house when the fire occurred. Bit by bit, I’m finding those images and will be posting them on the website on a page that will collect all the information about the stolen gear. However, as the information comes to light piecemeal, I’ll post it in this blog.

Here’s an image of the Johnson Ranger that was stolen. It was given to me by a member of the Rockland Repeater Association. Possibly WB2KSP or his son. I’m still tracking that down. However, the image is how the transmitter appeared at the time it was stolen.

This Johnson Ranger was stolen from WA2IAC in 2006

Johnson Ranger Stolen from WA2IAC in 2006

It’s been about 6 years now, and I’ve pretty much given up hope of getting this rig and the others back, but if you have information about this rig or its whereabouts, please let me know.

Of interest, atop the rig is a Lafayette CB Walkie-Talkie. To the right is a meter which I believe is the stock meter used in the Heathkit DX-60B. I didn’t like the way my DX-60B looked, so I restyled it, and that included swapping in a cooler looking meter. To the right of the meter is a card from a DEC PDP-11/70 (Q-Bus). To the right of the rig are some awesome books, mostly QRP related. Those are gone too. At the lower right is a blue book with yellowed cellophane tape on it. That’s a 1934 ARRL Handbook. A sliver of a 1978 edition of the same is also visible at the bottom.

 

Welcome to the Blog

73 All — I’ve been busy, and it looks like I’ll be getting busier. I don’t want that to get in the way of posting new information, so to make it easier on myself I set up this blog.

There are still lots of updates and new material for the website, and this blog will not replace those. What the blog will do is make it easier for me to make regular updates about my activities, my shack, my ham related interests, and so on.

As an additional benefit, blogs are naturally interactive. So please, feel free to comment. If you’d like to make this blog a place to make your own posts, that’s a possibility too – let me know.

Thanks and 73,

Gregg WA2IAC