Amateur Radio

Appalachian Trail Golden Packet event 2018 notes

Due to a family emergency, I’m sitting down close to the beach instead of being atop a mountain summit playing with packet gear setting up a Georgia-to-Maine APRS network. Each year, hams scale mountains and temporarily setup digipeaters in an effort to pass a "golden packet" along the ~2 …

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Dipping my toe into FT8

There has been a lot of talk, recently, about the new FT8 mode that has recently been included in the WSJT software. It’s very similar to it’s older cousin, JT65, in that it is for weak-signal work but the transmission/reception time has been cut down to 15 …

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How to: Work DX, Talk locally, and other questions of new hams.

A friend of mine recently passed her FCC Technician Amateur Radio exam but has been riddled with questions ever since. I’ve been attempting to help but I fear that I haven’t been able to give adequate time to properly answer some "basic" questions that many new hams have …

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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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Cartography

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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Looking for something to map?

Recently people have released tools to make it easy to find something to map on the OpenStreetMap (OSM) project.  If you're looking for something to do take a look at one of these tools:

HOT

The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) focuses on areas in the world that aren't mapped well …

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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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Information Security

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

Content Security Policy and WordPress

For your protection, I've been working on securing this website with all the proper security HTTP headers. Of course, by running WordPress as the backend, I'm making it easy to manage all the data but making it difficult to manage all the pieces and parts of the system's backend. The …

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Search and Rescue

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

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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VOA Radiogram #155 as received in Maryland

I finally remembered to listen in to this weekend's VOA Radiogram transmission from the Edward R. Murrow transmitter facility in Greenville, NC.

The signal strength on 5745 kHz was marginal even with strong S9 to +10dB signals.  It seems the bands are quite noisy with a noise floor of ~S7 …

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