Wednesday, July 16, 2008

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Ham Events Brimming Over

There are lots of events coming up for radio enthusiasts.

Mike and Key (3/8)

Mike and Key's famous Ham flea market is on March 8 from 9-3 at the Puyallup Fairgrounds. There will also be exam sessions for anyone who wants to get or upgrade their ticket.

MicroHAMS (3/22)

Microsoft's Ham group will be hosting a digital conference on March 22 at the Redmond campus. On-site registration is $15 and includes lunch, snacks and internet access.

Communications Academy (4/5-6)
This year's event will be held on April 5-6 at South Seattle Community College. Charles Simonyi (KE7KDP / HA5SIK), space tourist, is Saturday's keynote speaker.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Be a 'Global Cooler'

XtracycleI recently stumbled across the cargo bike community and was amazed at the number of options for folks who want to dump their cars. Clearly, 10-speed commuter bikes have been around for years, but people who want to get groceries or take their kids to daycare have an increasing number of options.

I was really impressed with the cargo carrying capacity of the Xtracycle and Mundo bike, which are extended-length frames with cargo space behind the rider. The efforts of WorldBike to make something like the Big Boda available to entrepreneurs in developing countries are awesome. To take the cake, the Bakfiet is an incredible feat of engineering which can replace the family car.

Interestingly, the German city of Muenster has an extensive system to encourage cycling. Gilbert Hanson visited the city in 2000 and has an impressive array of information on bicycle promotion there.

To sum things up, watch a cool video from 'global cooler' kipchoge.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Ever Thought About Amateur Radio?

Have you ever wondered how you could get involved in ham radio?

It's easy. There is a wealth of information online including study sites, practices tests, and the complete test question pool for each license class. In addition, many local clubs hold classes. In case you haven't already heard, learning Morse code is no longer required.

Study the questions, contact a Volunteer Exam Coordinator, and show up for the test. There is a $14 test fee.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

More on cooking systems

Here are a couple new(er) arrivals to accompany my earlier review of portable cooking systems.

First is a how-to for building a soda-can stove. This concept has been around for a while, and it is widely used by travellers and ultra-light hikers. An ingenious concept - MacGuyver to max.

Next, the wood-gas stove is a concept similar to the larger Vesto. This stove will burn almost any solid fuel.

Friday, February 16, 2007

The Kelly Kettle - brilliant for brewing a fine cup of tea

I learned about the Kelly Kettle on Wikipedia, and Outdoor Idiots has an entertaining article about this fascinating device. It appears the Kelly Kettle was invented by Irish fishermen for making tea in remote locations. With only a limited amount of time and fuel, one can have one or two cups of tea.

It is available from the Kelly Kettle Company in County Mayo, Ireland. The Eydon Kettle Company in the U.K. also sells a version called the Storm Kettle.

The New Zealand army used a similar device, called the thermette, during World War II.

Friday, January 26, 2007

No more code

It's official: Effective February 23 the FCC will no longer requires learning morse code (CW) to pass any of the ham license exams. Kinda sad and the end of an era. FWIW, CW still has legit uses, and is the best mode of transmission for long distance and lossy conditions. The first hams on scene after the Indonesian earthquake of 2004 used CW to pass their traffic.