Dayton 2010

Probably the first time I ever went to Dayton not looking for anything. I figured if something jumped out at me then I would entertain it but I have spent so much time building out the station over the last couple years I am just about done. Well, you are never done but you know what I mean. Myself, Ray W2RE, Frank W2IX and newcomer Bobby KC2UPN (Rays son) flew out Wednesday and had a nice couple days to relax, drink lots of Guinness and eat poorly. As always we stay at the Crowne Plaza which is the ONLY place to stay when you go to Dayton. There is always so much going on with everyone hanging out and partying it really is a great time! I took a few pictures which I was surprised at how few I took this year. I guess I can contribute that to much socializing and meeting new and old friends.

Pictures of the Radio part of Dayton

Pictures of the Dayton Air Museum

My First Hackintosh

Decided to play with a cheap Dell mini 10v off of Ebay and install OSX. Has the latest version of OSX 10.6.3 and I also installed VMware Fusion to play with an Array Solutions AIM4170 antenna analyzer for field use.

Update: The Howto

Here is the guide I followed,
works flawlessly (just double check your bios)

http://gizmodo.com/5389166/how-to-hackintosh-a-dell-mini-10v-into-the-ultimate-snow-leopard-netbook
The first install will take about an hour

After initial install, run
netbook installer 0.8.3 inside your app folder then reboot.

Then download and run latest netbook installer 0.8.4.1 rc1
http://code.google.com/p/netbook-installer/

Reboot and then go to software update, I would only choose the combo 10.6.3 update at first.
this update will take around 45min so be patient.

I would also run netbook installer one more time after the 10.6.3 update and then reboot just to be safe.

73!

Nice propagation to Asia

Past few morning have developed some very good openings into Asia to the East coast U.S. Each morning Jimmy BX5AA has been a beacon with a very strong 59+ signal. I found a spot just above 14.200 and called CQ, worked JA, DV9, VR2, WH2 and BA4’s. Had a nice little pileup going :) Here is a video of Jimmy BX5AA on 20M.

Lightning Strike at N7US

Caught this on the Tower Talk reflector. I think this is a perfect (but unfortunate) example that even with the best protection there is really nothing you can do when you have a direct strike. I was really amazed with the cracked foundation, I never thought that would/could happen.

http://picasaweb.google.com/jim.n7us/LightningStrike100405

From the Reflector:

My US Tower HDX-589MDPL, which is motorized with the remote control option,
recently took a very large, direct lightning hit.  The antennas on it at the
time were (and still are) a Diamond 2M/450 vertical at the top, a 2L M2 40,
a Force-12 Delta 130 30M rotatable dipole, and a 4L (+26M directors) SteppIR
at the bottom.

There are ICE lightning arrestors on the coax cables at the bottom of the
tower and a large grounding panel with arrestors on every coax and control
line at the house entrance.  I also have lightning radials with ground rods
every 16′ going out from the base of the tower and the tower/radial ground
connected to the entrance panel, the telephone, and the electric ground
rods.  With one exception, all ground rods with connected to #4 wire with
Cadwelds, and the #4 wires were connected to each face of the tower with ICE
ground clamps on the cross bracings.

The lightning apparently struck the tip of the 40M reflector, which is bent
into a curl, and that element had the Phillystran linear-loading wire
support break off.  The large box of relays for the tower remote control
exploded.  Inside, the Yaesu rotor control, the SteppIR controller, and my
K3 were damaged.  The condition of my Alpha 87A is unknown, though the power
supply turns on, but the RS-232 doesn’t work. I don’t have another radio to
test it.  The 2M and 450 radios are fine; I would have preferred them to be
sacrificed.

I haven’t climbed the tower yet, but measurements from the ground indicate
the remote switch, rotor, and SteppIR are damaged.

My question concerns the US Tower repairs.  US Tower says the cable and all
pulleys need to be replaced and the tower inspected – all necessary to
ensure structural integrity.  The cables look to me to be undamaged, and the
pulleys seemed to turn, as I didn’t have any difficulty lowering the tower
with a US Tower emergency hand crank.  BTW, anyone with a motorized tower
should consider getting the emergency hand crank in case the tower has to be
lowered when the power if off.

Obviously the relay box has to be replaced.  US Tower’s price to travel from
Kansas to the Chicago area and do the work is unreasonably high, in my
opinion, and they haven’t given me a technical explanation on why the cables
and pulley need to be replaced to “ensure structural integrity.”  They said
that the inspection could be performed by another AWS-certified welder, but
I don’t know of any locals with cable or pulley replacement experience.

Any thoughts on the need to replace the pulleys and cables would be
appreciated.  Yes, I have homeowners’ insurance, but they also are going to
ask why.

Oh yes, one more question.  After the strike, my unfinished basement walls
have several cracks that we never noticed before.  The house is five years
old and is about 50′ from the tower at the closest point.  Has anyone
experienced that?  I haven’t been able to find any literature on the
subject.

Probably related, the water well is about 100′ from the tower, and the water
was cloudy for two weeks afterwards.  The well guys said that the aquifer
can get disturbed in a lightning strike, causing cloudy water.

I have pictures at
http://picasaweb.google.com/jim.n7us/LightningStrike100405 .  (The crawdad
was magically transported to our drive; the nearest pond is several hundred
feet away.)

It’s a safe assumption that my wife isn’t enthused about ham antennas these
days.

Thanks for any information!

Jim N7US

Vote for Pepsi’s Grant to Kanzius Cancer Research Foundation K3TUP

Update: We did it! $250K granted :)

http://www.kanziuscancerresearch.com/

This segment and a few others have been aired on 60 Minutes (one of my favorite shows) a few times showing the idea and now research of John Kanzius K3TUP’s RF Cancer research project. The abridged version is the use of nano-particles and RF energy to kill cancer cells with NO side effects. Watch the above YouTube segment and then head over HERE and vote!

The official website:
http://www.kanziuscancerresearch.com/

Wikipedia about K3TUP:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Kanzius

Go here now and vote!!
http://www.refresheverything.com/kanziuscancerresearch

Google Gets Ready to Take on Skype

There have been a few rumors and predictions that since Google bought out Gizmo5 a while ago that they just might be working on a all-in-one desktop voip solution. I have been using Google Voice for sometime now and really love the free service. I sometimes can’t believe they are giving away such a great service for free but they do have a history of doing just that with other services like Analytics. The move that Google is going after Skype would be a cool one, I have been using Skype as well for an office line and I have to say it works very well. I have also bought and used some Skype hardware phones but they are just not ready yet, the softphone software is much easier to use and more stable. Probably a matter of time until I end up moving over to the Google Voice all-in-one solution unless of course Skype turns the table and offers a free Google Voice like service.

http://www.blackweb20.com/2010/04/13/google-gets-ready-to-take-on-skype/

Anyone else using one or both services?