Posts Tagged ‘Off topic’

So what did and didn’t happen in 2012…..

Over all it was a very good year as I and my family had good health (I did have a cancer scare but things turned out to be ok).

1.The year started out with me earning my way toward the  ARRL Diamond DXCC award, I wanted to do it QRP style and well I came up short with only 83 DXCCs for the year. BUT having said that I am very very happy with the results of 83 contacts and I am sure I can snag the others this year for a DXCC award in the QRP category.

2. A new radio arrived as well the Elecraft KX3 and that sure is some radio and I  have not yet been able to give it a real good workout.

3. I started out 2012 wanting to increase my CW coping speed for contests and the best way for me to do that was to get on the keyboard.  My keyboard skill is find expect for the numbers and where they were without looking. I have now accomplished that goal as well. I had used various CW programs to help me out with the speed and getting the numbers and keyboarding are now in harmony.

3. I wanted to clean up the shack of unused ham gear no sense it sitting there taking up space....that was done (my beloved KX1 included). I was very surprised at the amount of money that came in from stuff that I was not I am looking at my K2 along with the external Elecraft tuner and amp (100 watt) and thinking of putting in up on the auction block. I have the Elecraft K3, KX3 and ordered another K2 to build and sell over the winter months when ham radio is slow.

4. I was able to work my first split contact which to me was pretty cool.

5. I starting posting videos on Youtube up to this point I have a total of 8 videos, 22 followers and 5,638 views to date. It was rough going at first trying to figure out how to upload, edit the video and getting my Iphone to do a half decent job of recording as that is all I have as of yet.

6. During the summer months I was able to pack up and use my Elecraft K2 for some short QRP CW contests. It was nice to get out in a local park and operate the rig.

7. I descovered the art of QRPp operations and was able to top my miles per watt award

8. My kit building was strong and included Qrpometer, Hendrick attenuator, KX3 (kinda a kit), starting a new Elecraft k2, Smart charger, adding a gell cell to my  K2 as well as some mod's to the Elecraft K3.

9. For some strange reason it was the first year I have not gone to  any ham radio flea markets.....not sure why that is?  Wait a minute I can think of one reason....lots of junk!!

Back up on my captcha soap box

Some time ago I blogged about the Captcha's one would have to deal with when trying to leave a comment on some blogs.  Over time Captcha's have changed and not for the better. I can remember when they were simple......a pain but still simple to solve. Then I guess cyber bots became smarter so the Captcha's  became harder!!  The new Captcha's had a "wave" to them along with upper and lower case letters. Then as fate would have it the dam bot's did it again became somehow smarter....the Captcha's then had an UNCOOL way of blending their letters together and burring them to boot, oh and lets add numbers now too.
So my latest Captcha rant is......this week I was going to post a comment on a blog and on the comment page it contained the Captcha  along with the comment box. There was the blur, the wave and numbers as usual so I filled in the maze and then added my comment. I proceeded to hit the post button I was then informed my Captcha attempt did not match....surprise surprise!! I was instructed to hit the back button and try again. To my surprise my comment was gone and I had to start all over again!!! Is this the NEW Capthca....mess up and your punishment is to start all over again. I guess from now on I am going to  have to add but another step to my comment process, highlight and copy the comment in case I am punished and have to start again and maybe again and get the idea.
I am stepping off my soapbox now........thank you.

Did you ever have “one of those days”

It's now Sunday and it's not been "one of  those days" BUT one of those weekends!!! Now that it's Sunday the frustration factor for me is just about blowing it's way through the roof  here. Maybe if I vent my weekend on the blog it will help level the playing field for me....oh and thanks for listening. Well Friday started off like any other Friday. I woke up to celibate the TGIF feeling, the weekend was here. My work day went well but it was after work that things when a little funky. After going to the gym I got back in my car to head home only to find I had left my Iphone and company cell in the change room. So back I went and both phones were gone!! I looked around in the change room and nothing, I checked with the front desk and no one had turned anything in. It was back out to the car thinking maybe they were in my gym bag or in the car somewhere. I ended up going back to the front desk at the gym to call my cell to see if rang in the change room. I called the cell and low and behold it started to ring at the front desk!!!! It was turned in and the young lady at the desk within all of 5 minutes forgot it was turned in
. Getting home I found the internet, home phone and cable not working. I called the provider, was on hold for over 25 minutes being told how important I was to them and to please hold. Seems there was a problem in the area it was being worked on. At this point thought I would work on my Elecraft KX3 movie with some final editing with Apples Imovie. Turns out you need the internet with Imovie to view the tutorials which I need so that was stopped as fast as it started. Since I was on the subject of the KX3 felt is was time to finish off the calibration of the rig. Well how do you think that worked out!!! Not so good the rig was calibrating transmit bias and was in some type of a loop were it would not stop. Oh well have to save that one for Elecraft Support on Monday. 
Endless calibration...that had 3 failed upload to blog attempts

Time to start dinner, went to open the cupboard under the sink......there was an smell coming from there like something had died. Turned out to be a leaking drain plug in the sink drain trap. The drain trap turned into an adventure.....purchased gaskets that were to small. Then I found the replacement drain plug complete with good to be true drain plug turned out to be to big. Drain trap has to be replaced save that for next weekend, for now  put some silicone on the plug with a bowl under the trap.
Hey on Saturday the phones and cable were up and running but no internet. It was back on the phone to tech support and after unplugging and plugging things in and up and down stairs to the basement to the modem. The support came to the conclusion the modem was toast and so was I almost after all that running around the house.
Picked up a new modem at the cable store and hooked it up.....funny thing nothing in the house wants to connect up to the modem!!! Great back to tech support on the phone that for some reason now is NOT WORKING!!! Called them on the cell and they know about the phone troubles but the internet is good to go I was told.  Told her my troubles about getting on the net and the response was "I have no idea what's wrong" I was told I was not stating a problem to her just a statement....can you believe that!! To make a long story short I did it myself it turned out the modem and my Apple airport router did not like each other. With a few menu adjustments to both units they are fully in love with each other.
As I began saying today is Sunday and to not turn this post into a book not all adventures were mentioned. The lights in my radio room flickering, loosing my car keys while at the mall, dropping carton of milk at the grocery store (yes it went everywhere), leaving my debt card at the machine, taking a picture with my Nikon camera to have it display a message "all files are corrupt" then totally stopped working..... the list goes on. So it's now Sunday, Julie thought a nice trip to Starbucks with my laptop and her Kindle would be relaxing. That sounded great until the laptop decided to not start....nothing. When I got home I got the Linux CD out to see what I could do. I started the Laptop and it started just fine!!! I started and restarted that thing at Starbucks like 10 times and nothing it now works like a charm.
So how has your weekend been going???? To think it's not even over yet the adventure here at VE3WDM lives on.

Very embarrassing

The bands were very dead for DXCC's so I turned the radio off and decided to just do some web surfing and that soon became same old same old. I then had a brain storm that it has been just way to long since I had a good old fashioned QSO. Most of my time has been hunting for counties that I need for my ARRL Jubilee award. This meant for the past few weeks and maybe a month or so I have been just working the CW key with "599 73 TU" and that's it. I turned the K3 on and it just happen to be on 14.060 and KM4CU was calling CQ. I came back to him and the QRP to QRP conversation I thought!! Tom's code was great from code..... not so much. I was absolutely embarrassed. I kept messing up his call, I could not even get passed "nice to meet you" it was like my mind went BLANK I was not able to figure out what to say and how to translate it to code!!!  Tom was very fast to send his 73's to me (it was like I was an ugly date). Once again I just struggled with the ending and once done ( which seemed like for ever) Tom was just was like a Morse code blind date that just went south very fast.......very embarrassing!!!! Tom if you read this blog I am very sorry for the code train wreak. LESSON LEARNED

Passwords and email address’s

Please see Listening to my readers post for update on the social media scene at VE3WDM's QRPowers blog.  

Now that the blog is two years old and I have started to get the hang of posting, linking URL's, uploading pictures and changing the format of the blog around now and then. I felt it was time to move the blog (and me) along toward the social media arena. I have had a Facebook site (this link has been disabled due to possible virus threat) for some time now but have not really used it. I do have a Twitter (this link has been disabled due to possible virus threat) account as well and have been known to "tweet" now and then. I have not really been committed to either Facebook or Tweeter. It's not because I feel they were of no use it was I had idea what I was doing!!!

 Well this weekend was the time to take the social media swan dive, easier said than done. I tried to log into  my Facebook account after numerous password failures I was asked to have a pass word reset sent to my email. For some reason it was sent to my (forgotten about) Gmail account. Kinda hard  to get the Facebook reset in an email account were AGAIN I had no idea what the password was!!!
 At this point I am two passwords in the hole, Gmail wants me to enter the "hint" regarding my password...favorite pets name of which I had many and the list went on. After many failed attempts  Gmail is going to send a reset password to my Hotmail account, now we are cooking with gas I know that account and password!!
 I logged into my Hotmail account and there was nothing from Gmail. After waiting for over a half hour and nothing meant something was make this a little shorter story apparently I have TWO Hotmail accounts well you learn something new each day. BUT back to no password again!! After several attempts a reset was going to be sent to my other Hotmail account. To finally get into my Facebook account I have to receive a reset password in one Hotmail account to then log into my second Hotmail account to reset that password to allow me to get the reset info for the Gmail account. One hour and 10minutes later I am in Gmail....not sure why now but I'm there. Oh it was to get info on the Facebook log in troubles, I am happy to say Facebook is now up and running and so is Twitter. Oh and the Twitter adventure I am not even going to get into but a very similar safari to that of Facebook.

Two years of blogging…………

It's hard to believe that I have been blogging for 2 years now!! I have had a great time learning about the hobby from other bloggers. I have been able to expose myself to new areas of ham radio. It's because of blogging I have dipped my toes into QRPp very low power operations. I was able to make a 45,686 miles per watt contact earlier this year. I have somewhat moved away from Windows as my only OS and invited Linux into the mix. That has turned out very well although it's been learning curve but a refreshing challenge. Also with reading many posts about outdoor QRP operations I have also started to do the same, operating from parks in the area as well as my car when the weather is not so inviting. I have taken on the challenge of the ARRL Jubilee award and hoping to complete it (as you only have one year to complete it) and doing it with QRP power.

Once again it is the readers time to give me some input......
What they would like to see more (or less) in the blog?
How is the flow of the blog?
Are there topics you enjoy more than others in the blog?
How is the setup of the blog sit with you?
Finally any other input you would like to add don't hold back let me know!

It has been a Captchas morning!!!

Its been one of those days
As those who read my blog on a regular basis I did have a post not to long ago about these DAM captchas that are used when you post a comment. After reading the post you may had gotten the idea that I was not really a fan of fact I don't use them on my blog. I do get more spam now but I just delete them and move on. Well this weekend I have been trying to post a comment or two on blogs that use the captcha. For some reason I have not been able to crack the letter pattern. At first I thought it may had been my laptop and it being Linux and all......but not so. I have tried it on my XP OS, Mac OS and Windows 7 and on all the machines I am shut out from solving the captcha!!!!! Are the chaptcha gods raining their wrath down on me OR are others of you having troubles as well?? As a side note I thought maybe it was due to the fact my Linux OS was out of date and needed to upgrade. So I began the upgrade and for some reason Oliver my cat (for now anyway) walked across the keyboard. He must had "Pawed" in a keyboard combo and now I have to totally re-instal Linux and all the programs that were on the laptop are now gone.

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