I do a lot of conference calls. Usually there’s a tone and the participant’s name played when they sign out. If it’s a big call and everyone leaves at the end, this signout cascade gets quite lengthy. Here’s part of one I recently caught: signout cascade.
We go to Phở Vietnam a lot. Catherine probably tires of my attempts to sneak a durian shake onto the order list instead of her usual choice, but really, what can be wrong with a drink that’s made of everyone’s favourite cow-poop-smelling spiny fruit?
So tonight, I thought I’d order it for real. I was very pleasantly surprised. Instead of a beverage with a barnyard reek, it had a delicate flavour, with sweet high notes like a citrusy cantaloupe. I’ll definitely order it again; it’s not one side short of a D20.
I made a card for Catherine:
The original has her contact details, which I’ve left out here. I’d never used Inkscape before; the tricky part was working out the layer alignment while allowing for the bleed. I exported it as a 600 dpi PNG, then sent it to Staples Copy & Print. Turned out pretty well, I thought.
Well, the above may not be the most orthodox antenna placement, but my Maple Leaf Communications Portable J-Pole works a champ when wedged in the tree by our deck. Important reception equipment is here:
I was on two nets tonight; the SARC 2m net and The Mississauga Amateur Radio Club‘s 8:30pm 2m net. I think I’ve got the hang of squelch on the Wouxun now — thanks to Chris and Nick (VE3CLT [of the awesome PC PSU mod] and VE3EBC) for the advice basically to never use CTCSS on a repeater that you’re not 100% sure uses it.
Looks like this amateur radio thing is going to get expensive.
The rig I was looking at — the Yaesu FT-8900R — appeared to be considerably cheaper than all the other multi-band units. It appears that it’s FM only, which is rarely used on the HF bands. The considerably more expensive FT-857D is the cheapest unit that will do 10m/6m/2m/70cm, which I reckon is pretty much where my interest lies.
Then there’s power supplies. Yeah, these beasts need external power supplies. Great big honkin’ 13.8V DC power supplies; about $200 for a rig of this size. Yet more desk space taken up; more cables, more clutter.
If that weren’t enough, there’s the antenna issue. I appear to live in a Faraday cage surrounded by overhead TX lines. Something’s going to have to go on the roof. Well, actually two somethings, as the chance of getting an antenna to work even roughly well on HF and VHF (unless I splash on the expensive and fiddly looking Maldol HVU-8) is close to nil.
So basically, I’m looking to drop a couple of grand on this. Eep.
In better ham news, last night I received my first radiogram, welcoming me to the hobby. Thanks, Paul (VA3PB)!
And for once, most of them were working:
as seen at Durham College.
It’s back, merrily wreaking havoc with the new green shoots, but I’m just happy that it’s there.
Jetpack, don’t you know that if you fool after noon, you’re the fool?
It’s highly likely I’m doing something wrong, but I’m getting nothing on the 2m & 70cm bands in eastern Toronto of an evening. After a week of dedicated listening, I’ve stumbled upon a couple of nets (one of which I briefly participated in), heard one morning commute chat, noted a couple of dudes talking about power supplies in Portuguese, and managed to key up a repeater which said hello back to me. That’s it.
I’m not expecting the airwaves to be crackling with witty repartee all the time, but most of the time there seems to be no-one out there. Calling CQ on simplex VHF might as well be shouting into a hole.