Saturday, September 13, 2014

Big Solar Storm Heading To Earth


   The past few days every time I looked at the internet while working on computers at work was the stories about the big solar storm heading towards earth. It was supposed to hit Saturday, which is today. Well so far so good in Rochester new York. I woke up this morning and neither the power went off and the clocks were all okay. I went to the barber shop to get my hair cut and they were watching the television sports channel on the satellite dish with no interference or loss of signal. Needless to say I am happy the power did not gout during my hair cut or I really would look funny. Then it would be time for a brush cut.

                          Northern Lights show main result of massive solar storm hitting Earth
                                                                   by Canada news

   I came back home, turned on my computers and turned on the ham radio. I went through the various bands and so far so good. I am listening to the 20 meter band on 14300 Mhz ,which is the Maritime Network. There is the usual amount of noise for this time of year and signals are normal. I have noticed that in the past few days some ham radio operators have been speaking to other ham radio operators exclaiming that they usually don't hear that person. Maybe the solar storm is effecting the propagation while it was on it's way here. Who knows maybe I will hear some fellow Ham Radio Operators from other countries that I don't usually hear.
  I guess I will just have to wait and see how the weekend progresses. When most people hear that we are going to have a solar storm they wonder if it will hurt people and what should we do. Well as far as people themselves go it will not harm you. The problem is that it can affect the power grids. This means that the power could go out and we would be left in the dark. I would worry if you are driving and the power goes out so do the signal lights at traffic intersections for example. This could lead to bad accidents. If it were to happen my advise is to use extreme precaution and look out for your fellow human being. Below is a video on things that can be affected.


    Okay so how does propagation get affected by the suns solar storm you may be asking. Well in the video below they are talking about field day and how it will be affected. The fellow in the video is Tomas Hood NW7US and he is an expert on space weather. He writes a column in CQ Magazine on space weather and he is very informative. I would look him up on youtube and check out his videos if you are interested in space weather. In any event check out the video below.


   Well the weather outside is not too bad today. It is pretty cool here in Rochester ny and the sun is trying to shine on and off through the clouds. It is getting closer to Fall and it looks like it could be an early one. Who knows so I just say take it as it comes and enjoy the day. If the power goes out spend the time with your family and friends. You can always as some Ham radio Operators say play Ham Radio on another day. You can always get a generator to power your Ham Shack if the power goes out.
  Well Thank You for reading from Dan KC2YTI 73s.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Ham Radio Antenna Design And Simulation Software

                             Antenna simulation tutorial 1 - 4nec2 user interface
                                                                   by dx2hunt
  When I started think about designing my own ham antennas I looked around the internet for any free software I could find. Yes there are quite a few good ham radio antenna calculators out there. Some of them are very good for Yagi Antennas, Dipole Antennas, Quad Antennas and many more. Most of the time like me I have to think of something that will fit in my small backyard. I do have my 10 to 80 meter dipole going from the backyard over the house to a tree in the front yard. The apex is on a mast on the chimney at about 35 feet. It does a very good job with the end points about 16 feet off the ground.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Let People Know You Are A Ham Radio Operator

  Once in awhile I will be driving down the road and I see a license plate saying something about Ham Radio. It may have the persons call sign on the plastic frame that holds the license plate. I also see the license plate with the call letters on it. Most people may not pay attention to what the letters mean. Maybe if the plastic license plate holder said something then people would know that is what the letters are your call sign letters. I just feel it would be another way to share the hobby and let other Ham Radio Operators know who you are out there on the open road. So get yourself a Ham radio License Plate holder today and show your call sign. If you are looking for a nice gift idea for a birthday or holiday I would look at some of the beautiful Ham Radio Plaques . I made my own Ham Radio Plaque and it is in one of my posts, so you can see how I designed it.
  Another way of letting people know that you are an Amateur Radio Operator is by wearing the ever popular baseball cap. I don't think there is any place that I have gone where someone is wearing a baseball cap. A baseball cap with your call sign or just some saying about Ham Radio would make a nice gift. I know over the years my kids have given me various baseball hats. They range from worlds greatest Dad, lucky Dad or even Off Duty Dad. Then I have my favorite DX Engineering baseball cap. On our recent trip to the Buffalo Zoo and Niagara Falls I could not count the number of people with baseball caps on. There are lots of other types of Ham Radio Clothing ideas to choose from to show that you are proud of being a Ham Radio Operator.
  The next item I see all the time are stickers on the window of a SUV or someones car. If it is your parents vehicle they may not want you putting stickers on the windows. I have seen some signs being held in place by suction cups. If a window isn't possible then see if it can go on the bumper. Bumper stickers have been popular for years. I used to use a Kiss Delta Sonic sticker to cover up a small dent in the bumper on one of my old cars.
  The other popular item I see is the ever popular coffee cup. Of course you don't have to drink coffee to have a coffee cup or mug. I have seen some with callsign  letters or just a little Ham Radio saying. If you don't want a coffee mug then get a T-Shirt with your callsign or something said about Ham radio. Maybe you are in a club or working with emergency situations. If I remember the last time I went to the HamFest here in Rochester New York there were plenty of Ham Radio Operators with T-Shirts with call signs or even the Baseball cap with a callsign or club name on them. Once again any of these items would make a wonderful gift. There are plenty of Ham Radio Gift ideas out there on the internet for everyone especially if you are a Ham radio Operator. Christmas is just around the corner so start planning for gift giving as soon as possible.
  If you look around I would check out ebay or amazon for any Ham Radio gift idea. There are plenty of dealers on the internet that have various types of gifts. Just be sure to check out any seller or reseller for good or bad reviews. Once again I am sure there are plenty of other places to purchase gift ideas for that Ham Radio Operator.
  Thank You for reading from Dan KC2YTI   73s.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Plastic Storage Containers For Your Ham Radio Equipment

  Do you need a place to keep all your Ham Radio tools and accessories for building your parts for your antenna projects . I have found it very handy to use PLASTIC STORAGE CONTAINERS for the various things I have for Ham Radio. I would recommend using some kind of a Plastic Storage Container. If it is for electronic components keep the integrated circuit chip in a esd foam or in an esd static bag to protect the component from static electricity. I know I have collected various tools and equipment in my Ham Radio Hobby so far and have parts from other projects.  I kept some things in old metal toolboxes or any kind of box I might have come across.  I do have a small metal storage container with 25 little plastic drawers. This came in very handy for holding the small components such as resistors, capacitors, transistors and many other parts and components. I never know when I might to have to fix something. I also had all my noise generators and electronic projects that made lots of different sounds stored in this parts holder.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Buying Ham Radio Equipment Online Remember To Protect Yourself

  I have heard of a few different people buying something from places such as ebay only to either never to receive an item or just get a dead boat anchor. My advise is to always check the seller for their rating and any reviews good or bad. I had a friend who bid on something and then he was contacted by the seller telling him the shipping much higher than what was quoted in the auction on ebay. This almost reminded me of an illegal practice used by resellers known as bait and switch. In other words the seller gets your attention by a good price and he reels you right in. The next thing you know the resellers price has all of the sudden gone up. So my advise once again as buyers, protect yourself.  The same advise goes even if you are buying something new from amazon. I have even seen some computer repair services use the same shifty tactics.