Sunday, January 24, 2016

Planet Nine discovered

Planet Nine, as the astronomers have dubbed it, would be the first genuine planet discovered in our solar system since Neptune was found in 1846. (Pluto, found in 1930, was officially removed from the list of planets in 2006 by the International Astronomical Union.) And it’d be a big one. The model predicts that Planet Nine is five to 10 times the mass of Earth. Astronomers say it is possible such a substantial object could have eluded detection, because it allegedly lurks in the farthest outskirts of the solar system — moving in a lopsided path whose closest approach to the sun is still 40 times as far as Neptune. Each orbit would take upward of 10,000 years.
Read more at there page

Saturday, January 23, 2016

J6 New Group Photo with Names

Click to enlarge

Standing  L to R
Tom J6/K4ZGB Budd J68FF Rick J68RL Jack J6/WB9OTX 
Bryan J6/N8WD Larry J6/W7DGP
Kneeling L to R
Chris J68HF & David J6/W2LNX
Photo taken by: Ernest J69Z

Friday, January 22, 2016

YoWindow Screen Saver and Weather

YoWindow is a great weather prediction and screen saver.
I am not much for screen savers but I do use and like the weather reports.
There are several views that you can choose but I like the airport one.
Its free for the taking at:

Monday, January 18, 2016

CCC "Civilian Conservation Corps"

The Civilian Conservation Corps came into being in the spring of 1933. It's goal was twofold: to provide needed economic relief to families suffering from the effects of the Great Depression and to protect and develop the natural resources of the United States. We strive to honor the contribution that the CCC, "The Boys" of the corps made to our country and to our natural environment.

Click to enlarge 
There is a little known place just West of Versailles that has no access road, you will have to do a short walk to arrive at the location, and after you get there you will not see anything except an explosives bunker and some chiseled out square stones. This was the site of the CCC quarry. Most of the stone was taken from this sight to form the wall to the right just past the entrance of the Versailles State Park, altho, standing in the midst of this forgotten quarry you can imagine the sounds and sights of the many men of the CCC.

There is a monument honoring the workers located in front of the Versailles State Park office. Next time in the park stop to view and read the plaque.... A little known piece of our history that most have forgotten or never knew......  Jack
Click to enlarge

Monday, January 11, 2016

Magic Made Real

This is one of the neatest things I've seen in a long time
I can't show you a photo, so take a chance and see it
for yourself. Click the below link.

Just learn morse code program

Program Features:
Accurate Morse code timing
Thorough evaluation of code copied
Customizable character set
International characters
Selectable speed, pitch and volume
Optional Farnsworth timing
Creating Morse code audio files
Generate Morse code from text files
Practice selected characters
Practice common words, abbreviations and Q codes
Optional dual pitch for initial learning

And Its free

Friday, January 08, 2016

Monday, January 04, 2016

Turkey Vulture Migration Project

There is a "Buzzard Roost" near my home and I enjoy watching them catch the updrafts to gain altitude. I know of two of these roosts and have loosely watched them come and go each year. Most people have no idea that the buzzards migrate each year. This web site gives some information on the subject
I'm sure the Wright Brothers and Mr. Curtus gained much information on flight by watching these birds. The image was taken by me ater a dead cow was located in the field near our home. Click the photo or go to other views at sights in my back yard.  In the Summer look at the top of the State Police radio tower to see the Buzzards taking a short rest break there......... Jack

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Sometimes you just can't win

I decided I wanted to operate on 160 meters. I constucted a random length dipole. It was as long as the property line and as high as the tower would allow. It required an antenna tuner but the tuner I had did not cover 160. I purchased a MFJ unit that was almost new and at about 1/2 price as a new one. My friend Jerry said I would not like it and he was so correct. I smoked it in about 2 or 3 days. I fixed it just as good as new and sold it for what I paid for it. And don't you know the guy that bought it just loved it, boy was I glad. I then talked to another friend and he recommended a 4k Palstar. I found one used on a Ham Radio swap board. It arrived but it was a lot larger than I had room for on my radio desk. It did work very well on 160  threw 40 meters but stunk on every band above 40. I was not happy with this so I advertised on the internet that I wanted to trade for a 2K Palstar. Right away I got an offer of the 2k and $100 for my 4K. The 2K arrived and was put in line and wow this one worked great and was smaller to boot. Now my antenna was still the random length dipole. After being on the 160 meter band a few nights I soon found I was not hearing nearly as well as the rest of the fellows. I decided to try a sloper antenna, this was an antenna that I had years ago. It was installed but I soon found it was not doing any better than the dipole. Now what ? I then read many antenna articles and decided an off center fed dipole was the one. I could have made one but I found an ad for one that was about the price of the home made one. An order was placed and in a few days it arrived. I installed the antenna, there was no pruning at all, It was to be hang up and that's it. You guessed it, The SWR was out of sight, all the bands were 3 to 1 or even above that. I tried raising the ends, lowering the ends, raising the feed point, nothing worked. I contacted the seller and he agreed to refund the money. Now what? I remembered telling my son that "you have to be smart enough to know when to give up" and that's what I did, no 160 meters for me. I went on an adventure to St. Lucia BWI and found that I really liked the 17 meter band. This was the best band of all while there. I made hundreds of QSOs on 17 while on St Lucia. Back at home I had no antenna for this band. I hurriedly put up an inverted vee on the side of the tower. After trimming the antenna several times it became resonate in the middle of this narrow band. It worked very well but was I satisfied ? No, I had to improve it. I decided to try a delta loop. The calculator came out and the wire was cut to the formula, 55 foot total. A 4 to 1 balen was to be the center insulator but where was it. after digging threw several boxes out in the back yard shed it was found. I measured to the points where the insulators were to be placed and installed them. I just  stood back thinking what a good job I had done. Well I hung the antenna in its place and took a reading, Oh no it was off the scale of the meter. No matter what I tried, cutting, lengthening, raising, lowering nothing helped. After thinking about it for a day or two I thought I would try it with no balun at all. The books tell you to use a 4 to 1 balun or a 75 ohm matching stub, I tried it with neither. After hanging it back up it was put on the meter and I found it was just slightly out of the ball park. After a few inches of wire was added it was just perfect. Now I have a perfect working 17 meter antenna. A home run ! Yes you guessed it again. There was a solar storm and the band was all but dead. I tried 100 watts and calling CQ over and over I received no answers. The 1.5 KW amp was switched on and another string of CQs were tried. I did get two answers but they were so weak I could not even get their call signs correct. I had to give up but the band conditions will get better in a few days. I know the antenna will be a good performer so I just have to wait for the sun to settle down to normal and the band recovers. Look out Europe and the Pacific, I'll be calling you soon ! ....Jack WB9OTX .... UpDate :The band improved a few days later and the antenna as I thought was a winner. Although it is only 30 foot high it works the West coast with +S9 reports. Many very nice QSOs have resulted from this antenna. It is better than the Inverted Vee and quieter to QRN, Yep I'm the winner.
Click to enlarge

Friday, January 01, 2016

Keep on the Grass

From "CoolStop"