Amateur Radio

Apple Orchard Mountain for APRS Golden Packet and SOTA

Apple Orchard Mountain sign I must be a glutton for punishment. This is my third time visiting Apple Orchard Mountain (AO) and its steep climb to the top with way too much stuff. But I’m always rewarded in the end with awesome views, excellent VHF and UHF range, and interesting phenomena. This trip …

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Satellite APRS Article from 2005

I’ve been going through some papers around the house and scanning them onto my computer for longevity sake. Recently, I ran across an article I published in Project OSCAR’s The Satellite Beacon journal back in 2005. I reprint it here for those that might be interested in what …

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Coastal Linking Network: A thought experiment in replicating the Coastal Linking System for data.

John, KE4TZN, and I were discussing the idea of replicating the Coastal Linking System in DMR. The difference being that the existing network uses audio linking where DMR, and other digital modes, use an IP-based network for routing the links.

IP networks, not to be confused with Internet-connected networks, switch …

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Astronomy

2019-06-11 Astronomy Observations

Conditions:

Outdoor temperature: ~21C
Relative Humidity: ~65%
Sky cover: Mostly clear with a few high clouds starting to build towards the west.
Observatory: Beach at Willows Colony

Harlan and I went out to test a new-to-us telescope in a spot I had previously thought would be good for nighttime observations …

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2014-06-11 Astronomy Observations

Conditions:
  • Outdoor temperature: Unknown

  • Relative Humidity: Unknown

  • Sky cover: Unknown

  • Observatory: Sunderland Road

Tonight I started the Binocular Messier Club Logbook. The idea is to observe all Messier objects using only binoculars. Each observation should be accompanied by a written observation and drawing.

M53 (Glob)
  • Date: 2014-06-11

  • Time: 03:30 …

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Bees

Bee Diary: 2018-06-07 - Into the hive, one last time

Bees amassing at the entrance to the hive

When I last went into the hive I was so nervous and excited I ended up forgetting to look for the things I wanted to look for. I don’t really want to go tearing into the hive and disturbing the house too frequently, but knowing I needed to look …

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Bee Diary - 2018-06-05

It has been a couple of days since I had made it out to the hive. The weather has been quite rainy as of late and that makes the trail quite muddy. In my absence the girls seem to have been carrying on, doing their thing. Today I visited around …

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Bee Diary: 2018-05-31

Harlan and I made a quick visit to the hive today. I was very proud that Harlan not only voluntarily came to the hive but also got within a meter of the hive to checkout what the bees looked like coming and going.

There was less of an ant highway …

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Buddhism

Two Monks and a Woman

A friend and Sensei has shared this story with me a few times and I share it here so I will not forget it. Searching for it on the Internet turns up many iterations but I’ve not come up with a definitive author.

A senior monk and a junior …

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Cartography

JOSM: Fixing the "Centering map when drawing" feature.

It happened again. I hit some keys while editing in JOSM and my imagery started centering itself while adding a way. I’ve done this in the past and it’s really quite annoying. The "feature" is documented on the web but due to a misspelling you can’t find …

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POSM, OSM without the Internet

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with the POSM or its development.  I'm just an OSM contributor who thought this was neat and wanted to share the love.

For a while I've been envisioning some sort of system that would allow map data to be collected over a large …

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My Mapbox article for OpenSource.com

Exterior of the Mapbox OfficeBack in December I met with Eric Gundersen (@ericg), CEO of Mapbox, and Alex Barth (@lxbarth), lead of Mapbox’s Data Team, at their DC office to discuss their work within the open source community. I was happy to find their office have the "start up" feel to them and …

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Computers

The loss of local content

It’s interesting to me that we’ve come so far from where we started when looking at the landscape of the Internet. As originally built, content was hosted locally and it was a benefit to obtain it at a distance (over the Internet). Now, all content is hosted in …

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Moving to Pelican

I’ve maintained a blog for the previous ten, or so, years in one form or another. The first iteration was hosted on some platform that I don’t remember followed by WordPress (.com and self-hosted). I’ve grown weary of all the third-party stuff that gets brought in when …

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A response to 'Strong Encryption and Death'

I recently read an article on the TriLUG blog mirror discussing access to data after the death of the owner. I've also given this a lot of thought as well and had previously come to the same conclusion as the original author of the article has:

"I created a file …

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Energy

Cost comparison for operating an EV compared with an ICE

Earlier this year we purchased a Chevrolet Bolt EV. It didn’t take long to figure out one-peddle driving, which is awesome. But now that we have put ~7,600 miles on the car, I feel comfortable talking about the efficiencies and costs.

Overall, the vehicle has averaged 3.3 …

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Article: Builder uses solar power to heat Fairbanks home in the winter

Just found this on Twitter, even though it’s a rather old article from 2011 "Builder uses solar power to heat Fairbanks home in the winter"

FAIRBANKS — Sunlight poured into a large south-facing window and drenched the stained concrete floor, stones and flower beds in warmth. Like batteries, these features …

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Electricity usage for 2018

Today I received my December electricity bill from Baltimore Gas and Electric (BG&E) which reminded me that I hadn’t actually looked at our electricity usage over the past year since we had the solar panels installed. We started producing electrical power on 19 February 2018 and by April …

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Information Security

Security of Shredding Services

When I started dealing with serious information security we created a lot of paper. This wasn’t regular information printed on paper but very sensitive information that could be very damaging if it ever found its way out of the building. If this paper was ever deemed to be trash …

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A review of ProtonMail

Update (2018-07-25)

Shortly after publishing this original post, many of my concerns were addressed. ProtonMail now supports sending mail that is signed and/or encrypted using OpenPGP. This is a huge benefit to the secure-email community. It is also possible to use your own key which allows me to use …

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Ditch All Those Other Messaging Apps: Here's Why You Should Use Signal

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Search and Rescue

Blue Ridge Parkway Search and Rescue Exercise 2019

Boy, that was fun. I’m just getting back from a search and rescue exercise (SAREX) that I participated in as a prospective member of the Search and Rescue Tracking Institute (SARTI). Having operated as a flanker on a canine search team during the previous two years, I decided to …

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Virginia Search and Rescue Conference 2019

A track for tracking. I attended the Virginia SAR Conference in Appomatox, Virginia this year and had a blast! The primary reason I attended the conference was to attend the Lost Person Behavior class, taught by Bob Koester himself, along with the companion Train the Trainer class, which allows me to teach the class …

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NASAR SARTECH II Complete!

National Association for Search and Rescue logoOver the past few months a small group of us from Calvert K9 Search Team (CK9) have been working towards our NASAR SARTECH II certification.  The four of us have been meeting several times a month, in addition to studying at home, to learn lots of material and become proficient …

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Shortwave Listening

Received WRMI QSL

Front of a WRMI QSL Card I took at a short trip up to Catoctin Mountain Park at the beginning of the year and stayed in a rustic cabin with no running water and no electricity. It was nice, to say the least. For evening entertainment I used my Elecraft KX3 with a longwire antenna to …

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RNZ QSL card received

Spinning the dial on the HF radio, the other night, I ran across Radio New Zealand International broadcasting news and music.  A bit shocked to hear sounds coming from the opposite side of the globe at such a late hour I confirmed that they were, indeed, broadcasting from Rangitaiki!  (This …

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Shortwave Radiogram for the weekend of 29 September 2017

image0This weekend's reception of Shortwave Radiogram was cut off at the beginning due to an operator error.  I had left my computer up and listening to WRMI but had also left the automatic frequency control (AFC) feature turned on.  This meant that fldigi ended up surfing around the bandpass instead …

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