Saturday, June 25, 2016

Solar activity at a record low

In my 45 years as an Amateur Radio Operator (ham) I have not seen propagation this low. On June 25th, 2016 the Solar flux was at 77 and there were zero sun spots. To make the best of a very bad situation I did manage to contact two stations in Austrialia (VK) on the 40 meter band (7Mhz.) Solar activity cycles every eleven years and the perditions were; the low was one year ago. I think the low must be now in 2016. For all Amateur Radio operators lets hope for better conditions with Mr. Sun in the future. ..... Jack WB9OTX

Friday, June 24, 2016

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

A risky mission is underway

As a Ham Radio operator I ran phone patches for the crew for 2 years enabling the personal to talk to family and friends here in the states. As a result I am always interested in any article that is published on the pole....... Jack WB9OTX

The new much more modern station

This is the old station

A rare, risky mission is underway to rescue sick scientists from the South Pole

"We were stuck in a place that's harder to get to than the International Space Station," said Ron Shemenski, a former physician for the station who in 2001 became the first person to be evacuated during the dark winter months. "We know we're on our own."
Ron Shemenski

Read the full story

Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station

Past posts from my blog about the South Pole

Friday, June 17, 2016

American satellite starts transmitting after being abandoned in 1967

An American satellite, abandoned in 1967 as a piece of Space Junk has begun transmitting again after 46 years.

An Amateur Radio Astronomer in North Cornwall accidentally picked up the signal and after cross checking with various lists, has identified it as LES1 built by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and launched in 1965. The satellite failed to reach its intended orbit owing to a wiring error and has been drifting out of control ever since.

Phil Williams G3YPQ from near Bude noticed its peculiar signal drift caused by its tumbling end over end every 4 seconds as the solar panels become shadowed by the engine. ‘This gives the signal a particularly ghostly sound as the voltage from the solar panels fluctuates’ Phil says.

It is likely that the on board batteries have now disintegrated and some other component failure has caused the transmitter on 237Mhz, to start up when its in sunlight.

LES1 is about the size of a small car, It is not likely to re-enter the atmosphere for a long time as the orbit is still relatively high. It poses no threat other than that caused by the thousands of other pieces of space junk in orbit.

Phil says its remarkable to think that electronics built nearly 50 years ago, 12 years before Voyager 1, and long before microprocessors and integrated circuits, is still capable of working in the hostile environs of space.

Listening to the signal you can easily imagine the craft tumbling over and over every 4 seconds and the transmitter starting up as the sun rises. He refers to the hobby as ‘Radio-Archeology’!

Phil Williams G3YPQ


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Assault rifle - Semiautomatic - Full Automatic - ???

I set out to explain the difference between semiautomatic and full automatic, also the term assault rifle. I found very quickly that there is so much confusion and deliberate deception in print that it is impossible to explain. That said, unless you know the difference yourself it is a waste of time searching for the definition.
So here is my take:

Assault rifle:
a rapid-fire, magazine-fed automatic rifle designed for army infantry use.
This means it can be full automatic firing - keep the trigger pulled and it keeps firing.
Illegal for civilian purchase.

You must pull the trigger each time the weapon fires. Most are legal for civilian purchase. miss-Called Assault rifles by news media and people that don't know what they are talking about.

Full Automatic:
keep the trigger pulled and it keeps firing until the trigger is released. Illegal for civilian purchase.

A great tribute to the 'Greatest Generation'

I can only send this to people of our generation, since most of today’s people don't have any idea who these men were and that's a pity.  They were all heroes in their own right and made America great in its own right!

Alan Hale - Jr. - US Coast Guard.

Aldo Ray
- US Navy. UDT frogman- Okinawa.

Art Carney - US Army.  Wounded on Normandy beach- D-Day.   Limped for the rest of his life.

Brian Keith - US Marines.  Radioman/Gunner in Dauntless dive-bombers.

Buddy Hackett - US Army anti-aircraft gunner.

Burgess Meredith - US Army Air Corps.

Clark Gable - US Army Air Corps. B-17 gunner over Europe.

Cesar Romero - US Coast Guard.  Coast Guard. Participated in the invasions of Tinian and Saipan
on the assault transport
USS Cavalier.

Charles Bronson - US Army Air Corps. B-29 gunner- wounded in action.

Charles Durning - US Army. Landed at Normandy on D-Day. Shot multiple times awarde
d the Silver & Bronze  & 3 Purple Hearts. Survived Malmedy Massacre.

Charlton Heston - US Army Air Corps. Radio operator and aerial gunner on a B-25- Aleutians.

Chuck Connors - US Army. Tank-warfare instructor.

Claude Akins - US Army. Signal Corps. - Burma and the Philippines .

Clifton James - US Army- South Pacific. Was awarded the Silver Star- Bronze Star- and Purple Heart.

Dale Robertson - US Army. Tank Commander in North Africa under Patton. Wounded twice. Battlefield Commission.

Danny Aiello - US Army. Lied about his age to enlist at 16. Served three years.

DeForest Kelley - US Army Air Corps.

Dennis Weaver - US Navy. Pilot.

Denver Pyle - US Navy. Wounded in the Battle of Guadalcanal. Medically discharged.

Don Adams - US Marines. Wounded on Guadalcanal - then served as a Drill Instructor.

Don Knotts - US Army- Pacific Theater.

Don Rickles - US Navy aboard USS Cyrene.

Earl Holliman. US Navy. Lied about his age to enlist. Discharged after a year when
the Navy found out.

Ed McMahon - US Marines. Fighter Pilot. (Flew OE-1 Bird Dogs over Korea as well.)

Eddie Albert - US Coast Guard. Bronze Star with Combat V for saving several Marines under heavy fire as pilot of a landing craft during the invasion of Tarawa.

Efram Zimbalist Jr. - US Army. Purple Heart for a severe wound received at Huertgen Forest.

Ernest Borgnine - US Navy. Gunners Mate 1c- destroyer USS Lamberton. 10 years active duty. Discharged 1941- re-enlisted after Pearl Harbor.

Fess Parker - US Navy and US Marines.  Booted from pilot training for being too tall - joined Marines as a radio operator.

Forrest Tucker - US Army. Enlisted as a private- rose to Lieutenant.

Frank Sutton - US Army. Took part in 14 assault landings- including Leyte - Luzon- Bataan and Corregidor.

Fred Gwynne - US Navy. Radioman.

Gene Autry - US Army Air Corps.  Crewman on transports that ferried supplies over "The Hump" in the China- Burma-India Theater.

George Gobel - comedian, Army Air Corps, taught fighter pilots.  Johnny Carson made a big deal about it once on the Tonight Show, to which George said "the Japs didn't get past us."

George Kennedy - US Army. Enlisted after Pearl Harbor - stayed in sixteen years.

Harry Carey Jr - US Navy.

Harry Dean Stanton - US Navy.  Served aboard an LST in the Battle of Okinawa .

Harvey Korman - US Navy.

Henry Fonda - US Navy.  Destroyer USS Satterlee.

Hugh O'Brian - US Marines.

Jack Klugman - US Army.

Jack Palance - US Army Air Corps.  Severely injured bailing out of a burning B-24 bomber.

Jack Warden - US Navy -1938-1942- then US Army - 1942-1945. 101st Airborne Division.

Jackie Coogan - US Army Air Corps. Volunteered for gliders and flew troops and materials into

Burma behind enemy lines.

James Arness - US Army. As an infantryman - he was severely wounded at Anzio - Italy.

James Gregory - US Navy and
US Marines.

James Stewart - US Army Air Corps.  Bomber pilot who rose  to the rank of General.

Jason Robards - US Navy. was aboard heavy cruiser USS Northampton when it was sunk off Guadalcanal. Also served on the USS Nashville during the invasion of the Philippines - surviving a kamikaze hit that caused 223 casualties.

John Carroll - US Army Air Corps.  Pilot in North Africa.  Broke his back in a crash.

John Wayne - Declared "4F medically unfit" due to pre-existing injuries - he nonetheless attempted to volunteer three times (Army - Navy and Film Corps.) so he gets honorable mention.

Jonathan Winters - USMC. Battleship USS Wisconsin and Carrier USS Bon Homme Richard. Anti-aircraft gunner - Battle of Okinawa.

Karl Malden - US Army Air Corps. 8th Air Force- NCO.

Kirk Douglas - US Navy. Sub-chaser in the Pacific.  Wounded in action and medically discharged.

Larry Storch. US Navy. Sub tender USS Proteus with Tony Curtis.

Lee Marvin - US Marines.  Sniper.  Wounded in action on Saipan.  Buried in Arlington National Cemetery - Sec. 7A next to Greg Boyington and Joe Louis.

Lee Van Cleef - US Navy.  Served aboard a sub chaser then a mine sweeper.

Mel Brooks - US Army.  Combat Engineer.  Saw action in the Battle of the Bulge.

Mickey Rooney - US Army under Patton.  Bronze Star.

Mickey Spillane - US Army Air Corps - Fighter Pilot and later Instructor Pilot.

Neville Brand - US Army - Europe.  Was awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart.

Norman Fell - US Army Air Corps. - Tail Gunner- Pacific Theater.

Pat Hingle - US Navy. Destroyer USS Marshall

Paul Newman - US Navy Rear seat gunner/radioman- torpedo bombers of USS Bunker Hill.

Peter Graves - US Army Air Corps.

Randolph Scott - Tried to enlist
in the Marines but was rejected due to injuries sustained in US Army, World War 1.

Robert Altman - US Army Air Corps.  B-24 Co-Pilot.

Robert Mitchum - US Army.

Robert Montgomery - US Navy.

Robert Preston - US Army Air Corps. Intelligence Officer

Robert Ryan - US Marines.

Robert Stack - US Navy. Gunnery Officer.

Robert Taylor - US Navy. Instructor Pilot.

Rock Hudson - US Navy. Aircraft mechanic - the Philippines.

Rod Serling - US Army.  11th Airborne Division in the Pacific.  He jumped at Tagaytay in the Philippines and was later wounded in Manila.

Rod Steiger - US Navy.  Was aboard one of the ships that launched the Doolittle Raid.

Ronald Reagan - US Army.
Was a 2nd Lt. in the Cavalry Reserves before the war.
His poor eyesight kept him from being sent overseas with his unit when war came, so he transferred to the Army Air Corps  Public Relations Unit where he served for the duration.

Russell Johnson - US Army Air Corps. B-24 crewman who was awarded Purple Heart when his aircraft was shot down by the Japanese in the Philippines.

Soupy Sales - US Navy.  Served on USS Randall in the South Pacific.

Sterling Hayden - US Marines and OSS.  Smuggled guns into Yugoslavia and parachuted into Croatia. Silver Star.

Steve Forrest - US Army. Wounded - Battle of the Bulge.

Steve Reeves - US Army - Philippines.

Ted Knight - US Army - Combat Engineers.

Telly Savalas - US Army.

Tom Bosley - US Navy.

Tony Curtis - US Navy.  Sub tender USS Proteus.  In Tokyo Bay for the surrender of Japan .

Tyrone Power - US Marines.  Transport pilot in the Pacific Theater.

Victor Mature - US Coast Guard.

Walter Matthau - US Army Air Corps. B-24 Radioman/Gunner and cryptographer.

Wayne Morris - US Navy fighter pilot- USS Essex.  Downed seven Japanese fighters.

Wiliam Holden - US Army Air Corps.

William Conrad - US Army Air Corps.  Fighter Pilot.

And of course we have ..... Audie Murphy, America's most-decorated soldier, who became a Hollywood star as a result of his US Army service that included his being awarded the Medal of Honor.  Would someone please remind me again how many of today's Hollywood elite, sports celebs and politicians put their careers on hold to enlist for service in Iraq or Afghanistan?

The only one who even comes close was Pat Tillman, who turned down a contract offer of $3.6 million over three years from the Arizona Cardinals to enlist in the US Army after Sept, 11, 2001 and serve as a Ranger in Afghanistan, where he died in 2004. But rather than being lauded for his choice and his decision to put his country before his career, he was mocked and derided by many
of his peers.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
I submit to you that this is not
the America today that it was seventy years ago.

And I, for one, am saddened.

My generation grew up watching, being entertained by and laughing with so many of these fine people, never really knowing what they contributed to the war effort.

Like millions of Americans during the WWII, there was a job that needed doing they didn't question, they went and did it, those that came home returned to their now new normal life and carried on, very few ever saying what they did or saw.

They took it as their "responsibility", their duty to Country, to protect & preserve our freedoms & way of life, not just for themselves but for all future generations to come.

I'm forever, humbly,
in their debt !!!

God Bless them all !!!

Thank you Ken A. for forwarding this to me.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Flag Day - June 14

In the United States, Flag Day is celebrated on June 14. It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened on June 14th in 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. The United States Army also celebrates the Army Birthday on this date; Congress adopted "the American continental army" after reaching a consensus position in the Committee of the Whole on June 14, 1775.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

The Sunspot Cycle

The sun controls the Amateur (Ham) radio frequencies,  posted at the web site is loads of information for the Ham operator and others.

Monday, June 06, 2016

Remember 6 June, D Day

Jim Collinsworth - Wallace Kelch from Versailles
Both died in WWII

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Update on my Elecraft KX3

The KX3 is about the size of a small note pad but has many more features that some of my radios that are ten times its size.

After two weeks of the learning curve I am learning how to get the most out of the radio. This beast is very hard to opperate, but once you get by the intense learning curve I must say this is a fantastic radio. I have spent hours looking at and trying to find the correct button and or menu entry. Some buttons with just a momentary push gives a result, but a 1 1/2 second push gives another assignment, then a 3 second push gives another. I must keep the manual or the Nifty book lying next to the tranciever to know what to push. When completely brain dead my good friend Bryan (N8WD) in Ohio gives me the help needed to do what I want to accomplish. If this radio put out 100 watts instead of 15 it would be a king of the Ham Radios. I have found tho 15 watts is normally enough wattage to do the job. A good antenna is a must tho. I have disbelievers on SSB, they tell me I must be running at least 100 watts. On CW I get better reports most of the time than I give out to 100 watt stations. The filtering is be on reproach. The noise blanker works great also. It has a built in voice keyer and 99 memories. There is a computer interface to do many things that would be hard to do with the buttons on the radio. It will take me awhile longer till I can lay the book aside but I will get there in a few more weeks. This is a radio for a young sharp mind but I'm 70 years old and slow. All and all I love this radio and it sure makes Ham Radio fun. I have worked several states on 40 meters, no DX as of yet but that will come in time. I check into the Indiana Traffic Net on 75 meters each morning on SSB with just a few watts sometimes even 5 watts and I have never needed a relay. ..... to be continued. Jack WB9OTX
See the KX3 Web site.