Friday, July 16, 2021

DIY End Fed Antenna Mistakes and Success

 A rite of passage of every ham is building our own antenna and as my first test, I picked an end-fed antenna kit from the ARRL shop.  This was my first kit and the first time soldering in long time so I expected some mistakes along the way.  However, some of the mistakes were made due to the instructions in On the Air magazine missing some steps or not clear.

The biggest mistake was to not remove the enamel on the wire before soldering it to the connectors.  I discovered this with my trusty multimeter.  I had to unsolder the connections, scrape of the enamel and resolder. 

An amateur soldering issue was that I touched the case with the iron several times and it melted the rim.  I had to clean up the rim in order to get the lid on again.

I found that the HF Kits instructions were better, especially when making the external connections.

Overall, it was a fun project and I will surely build more antennas in the future.

Primary side connections and counterpoise

Monday, July 05, 2021

Independence Day Weekend

We had some relatives in town for the Independence Day weekend so did some San Diego type activities.  We headed to Moonlight Beach; it was overcast but still nice.  On Sunday, we went to the zoo.  Most of the animals were active and we saw the feeding for the cheetah's, Fennec foxes and wombat.  Lastly, we caught the Del Mar Fair fireworks.  Good times!

Sunday, June 27, 2021

ARRL FIeld Day 2021 in Village Park

 2021 was my first ARRL Field Day.  I set up in the greenbelt in Village Park.  There was a table for my gear and some nearby trees to string up my antenna.  I used a 40m dipole and a multi band Wolf River vertical coil.  Using a battery and transmitting at 100W, I was able to hear most of the Western US but was only to make contacts in California and Nevada.  Looks like I need to work on transmitting more.

Field Day

Monday, June 21, 2021

Shooting around Southern California

Sporting clays at Raahauges in Corona.  They have a great set of stations.  Worth the drive!

Trying the new 20 gauge pump action.

Combat Steel at Rainbow range.

Fun combat shoot with Oceanside Pistol at Iron Sights.

Father's Day 2021

Awesome Father's Day weekend as my parents made their first trip to California since moving to Tucson.

Spent Saturday at the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum with my dad and my son.  AGSEM is a great place and I am glad they are back in action.

Petting zoo

Flywheel of an engine that used to at the Holly Sugar plant in Santa Ana.

Not too many open spaces left in San Diego.

 On Sunday we went to the range to shoot the Lee Enfield No. 4 and the AR.


No. 4


Sunday, June 20, 2021

Green Power Math

Short and concise assessment of the impossible math of going totally "green" and getting rid of fossil fuels.

When I first read it I was curious about the 1.7 PWh of fossil fuel usage and how the author got that number.  By using the first data source reference, you get the energy consumption of CA in 2019.  Adding the first 7 rows which are the fossil fuels, you get 5.7 trillion BTU's.  Converting that to Wh gives you 1.7 PWh.
Note that motor fuel accounts for 1.7 trillion BTU's.  So just replacing all cars and trucks would need 30% of the added power generation.  I.e. one nuclear plant every 9 weeks from now until 2030.  Sounds doable.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Burnt Rancheria Campout

 For our May troop family campout we headed back up to Mount Laguna and the Burnt Rancheria campground.  I enjoy Burnt Rancheria as the sites are very large and there seems to be less generating-running RV's and beer-swilling yahoos.  We had a great hike along the Desert View trail, saw a few PCT'ers and had nice campfire.  Saturday night was super windy but otherwise the weather was great.

One sad note is that it seems Mt. Laguna Sports and Supply is closed.  Note sure for how long but I always liked that place.

Walking into town

Great day along the Sunrise Highway

Trusty Hyundai and Trailer

Tent does great in the wind

Sunday, May 02, 2021

Firearms of Freedom

Jyoti shooting the rifles that won World War II.

M1 Garand, Springfield M1903A3, Lee Enfield No 4