As I will be on vacation beginning tomorrow evening, this will most likely be my last post to the blog for 2012. I do not expect to post here again until the week of January 9, 2013.
So, allow me to wish you the best of the holiday appropriate to your beliefs and also my best wishes for the coming new year.
I have no New Year’s Resolutions. I tried once to set and follow a New Year’s Resolution but failed miserably…I simply forgot about it until September of that year and by then it was too late for that particular Resolution. So, I simply take the time around January first to evaluate my regular goals and see how I might want to adjust or update or discard or add to them for the year. That way, I seem more able to meet those goals I set. Why that works and a New Year’s Resolution doesn’t I have no idea, but there it is.
Over vacation I plan to concentrate mostly on three things: family, writing, and reading. I have a series or two that I’d like to get into, and that will take a few days. As a Tolkien fan, I want to go see The Hobbit but will do so only if the theater has the closed captioning glasses. If not, I’ll have to bide my time and wait for the BR release to get the captions. I know the story well enough to enjoy it on the big screen but being able to read what they say contributes to the experience. And anyway, I’ve got some other movies I want to watch.
My granddaughter and I have been building a Theremin-like instrument driven by an Arduino. When it didn’t work properly, the first thing I discovered was that she’d put one of the jumper wires into the wrong pinhole. Other than that she did a perfect job wiring it up. However, I found that there was an error in the schematic provided online – one of the connections went to an unused pin on the amplifier chip. On top of that, it turned out that the replacement amplifier chip I used wasn’t really a pin-for-pin replacement so I’ll have to re-do that part of the schematic from scratch. Once that’s done it should work and we’ll just need to box it up for her.
I also want to take care of some ham radio stuff. There are a few antennae I “need” to order for both mobile and home (QTH) antenna systems. QTH wise, I’m currently set up for 40m and 20m receiving but the transmitting side leaves something (a lot!) to be desired. I’d like to fix that and provide discrete 40m and 20m capacity. For both 40m and 20m I plan to use two HF Sticks as center-fed shortened dipoles for the QTH system. I also want to add a 20m HF Stick to my Geo Tracker for mobile ops as that frequency seems more active during the times I’m mobile. I haven’t decided if the 20m will replace the 40m already on the vehicle or will be in addition. With all the reading, writing, and other stuff I have in mind, actually putting up the antennae will probably have to wait until spring, at least.
I also want to monitor the PSK bands for a while, see what I can pick up. I tried that during Field Day and at that time I had a good range of signals from around the world, including Russia, Japan, Florida, New England, Caledonia, California, Canada (Ontario and BC), New Mexico, and a few other states. The next time I tried I didn’t seem to be able to find anything at all. So, I want to play around with this over vacation.
As you can see, I’ve got more plans than time, as usual. It’ll be interesting to see just what of all this stuff gets done.
The Apocalypse is scheduled for the 21st but I have a strong feeling it “aint gonna happen”. (See my last blog post.) But it does give me the opportunity to close this post with…
See you on the other side…
…of the New Year!