A couple posts on radio communications

I wrote a couple posts for another site (full disclosure, it's one run by my wife and me) on radio communications in emergency preparedness (aka "Prepping").  Being prepared for, and being part of, the response to disasters that happen within the US is one part of my day job.  So it just made sense to... Continue Reading →


Thoughts on the Falcon Heavy Launch

Something amazing happened today - the SpaceX Falcon Heavy successfully launched from Cape Canaveral. I have to say that I haven't been as excited about a launch since I was a kid watching the Apollo launches.  From the live stream I watched it was clear that the folks at SpaceX love what they do - the excitement... Continue Reading →

How to match FIPS codes and states

Here's another hard drive archeology find - a class that includes two simple yet very useful methods: one to return the FIPS code for a state and one to return a state for a given FIPS code. These are really useful when working with cadastral or agriculture data sets. public static class FIPS { private... Continue Reading →

Longitude to UTM Zone

I recently replaced my home PC with a new HP laptop.  Of course doing that requires moving everything to the new box.  Whenever I move (computers, offices, houses, whatever) I use it as an opportunity to see just what the heck I have tucked away. I found some old c# projects and decided to take... Continue Reading →

DIY Dual-band J-Pole Antenna

I recently met with some friends from a local prepper group and learned how to build a simple, inexpensive dual band (70cm and 2m) J-pole antenna.  This antenna design is pretty well known (the ARRL website has several articles on it, including this one) and quite easy to make. The "twist" on this build was... Continue Reading →

A quick and dirty Eclipse projector

There's been a lot of talk about this year's solar eclipse.  Here in the DC area we will see about 91% coverage.  You can find several websites that will show you how to create a pin-hole viewer, and of course eclipse glasses are the latest fashion rage. Many years ago I worked another eclipse.  The... Continue Reading →

Software Defined Radio

The local Ham Radio Outlet had a sale on the SRDPlay RSP1, so I picked one up.  It was a snap to set up, with only a couple of downloads required.  The device itself is quite small and very lightweight, which are important factors for me.  I also picked up some RG-8.  I was "gifted"... Continue Reading →

Another Thrift Store Find

As a full-time RVer, we struggle with how best to maintain connectivity to the Internet.  Public WiFi is risky, but free.  Dedicated LTE solutions are more secure, but very expensive.  So we often use campground WiFi with a couple layers of security at our perimeter. But that raises another issue - the poor quality of... Continue Reading →

Thrift-store Find

Whenever my wife wants to go to a thrift-store I usually kill time by looking through the books and the electronics.  The electronics are usually iffy - you never know if they work, and the stores that do allow returns often just provide store credit. Even with those limitations, I usually end up with some... Continue Reading →

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