Wednesday, September 22, 2010

HoSARC at the NYC Maker Faire Sept 25 & 26

The New York Hall of Science Amateur Radio Club will be running an exhibit on Satellite communications at the New York Maker Faire on Sept 25 & 26 2010. Our exhibit will cover Home Brew HF stations, our "Go Box" portable stations and live Satellite communications as propagation permits. There will be a special QSL card made just for the occasion and we are looking forward to spreading the word on Amateur Radio to like minded "Makers".

The Maker Faire  has been around since 2006 and like its namesake the Make magazine it celebrates  "arts, crafts, engineering, science projects and the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset." These are all interests near and dear to any HAM's heart. If you have time this weekend, and you are in the New York area, please come on down. It promises to be quite a show.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

FieldDay 2010 Photos.

Here are a few pictures taken during the HoSARC 2010 ARRL Fieldday. We had a great time and made many contacts, amid the wind and the occasional pileups.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Field Day 2010

Everyone at HoSARC has put in a lot of time working on this Field Day and it looks like this year will be a great event for the club. We have BBQs dipoles, mono-band Yagis and tons of food. Should be fun.
Patrick KC2RBE

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Amateur Radio way to prove you are a human.

I was sending a web based E-mail comment about something on the TAPR website and noticed their clever method of "proving you are a human" to prevent spam. The likelihood of an web based CW skimming E-mail spambot is pretty slim, so this looks like a very secure amateur radio based feature for a website. I have always heard that the simplest solutions can be the best, and here is a great example. I am hoping to catch a east coast based DCC in the future as their cutting edge presentations look amazing. Understanding all of it is another story,

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Making an animated RSS feed for QRZ & 73s page.

How to post your RSS feed on your or page:

The HAM Blog
Have you ever wanted to keep your or pages updated with a dynamic widget showing the most recent entries from your blog? Then a RSS feed may be what you are looking for. This simple syndication tool is a very easy but powerful tool for making your website/blog content available in multiple places quickly. In the tradition of amateur radio Elmer-ing, I am writing this post to let you know how I am using this tool. You may find it helpful in your Ham related project also. With some simple copying and pasting, you too can have these automated tools helping you share you amateur radio experience.

To be clear, I am not a web guru, and all advice here is offered as an example of what I have done and has no warranty either implied or otherwise. My goal is to share what I have learned in order to encourage more amateur radio blogging & twittering because the web is one of our best resources.

One of the easiest way to share your work in "Hamology", as Gordon West calls it, is to start with a blog with an automatically generated RSS feed. Any of the major blogging engines these days have this feature so that is not an issue. (List available at bottom of post) The RSS feed itself is a small XML document listing the titles and URLs of items on your blog in chronological order. Once you have found your RSS feed location, just start a Feedburner account and point it toward the file to take advantage of the options the service provides.
The Feedburner help section covers this in much more detail.

What you can do with your feed:
Now that you have your RSS feed setup, you can start leveraging the power of Feedburner to help promote your blog on your or bio page. Click on the "Publicize" tab of your Feedburner account to find the option we are working with.
Once you are in the "Publicize" tab, just click on "Headline Animator" and follow the instructions to create a animated headline like the one I have at the top of this post.
In order to add the animated headline to my qrz and 73s pages, I selected "Other(just gimme the code)" and posted the resulting HTML code into the pages. In my case I unchecked the " Grab this link" check box from the resulting pop-up window for a cleaner look.

Below I have screen shots of the resulting widget additions to my qrz and 73s pages.
I hope you have found this post helpful.

Resulting and pages:

List of free blog sites that offer RSS feeds:

In the next post, I will cover automatically adding your blog content to your Twitter page.
Please share your ideas/corrections in the comments section.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Ham Radio has been "Slashdotted"

Slashdot is a website I have been reading for years and I was very happy to see it running a story of the NPR report on the changing population of amateur radio operators. This brings together two of my favorite things, nerdom and news. After seeing report after report over the years about the future disappearance of amateur radio, comparing our hobby to a finite product like VHS or 8 track tape, it is so refreshing to see a report about the progress we are making in building our numbers. It is very easy to gloss over the "antiquated hobby" of amateur radio. But when you learn that people are using Morse code and digital modes on their own transceivers built into Altoids cases transmitting across the globe on just 5 watts of power, or working with the military on open source Software defined radio platforms, the argument of amateur radio as a dying hobby does not hold water. This hobby of ours has so much to offer people from all walks of life. Just last month we added a few more people to the ranks of the Hall of Science Amateur Radio Club or HoSARC. I have a feeling we will look back on these days as the start of a new era of amateur radio. I can not wait to see what is next for our hobby.

Friday, March 26, 2010 redesign getting off the ground soon!

As per the ARRL website the redesign and launch is headed toward completion! I for one am looking forward to the new site. They have been working on it for some time and it promises to be a big help for promoting our hobby. I was calling ARRL regarding an unrelated matter and a member close to the project was nice enough to tell me that this weekend should see a change in one of our favorite web watering holes.
Looks like April 12 is the new go live date.
The new is now live!
And it looks great! The interface looks smooth and up to date. Each day you can see that they are adding new features and tidying up loose ends. It was not a small job, but I think it is a significant step in the right direction. The archive information is easier to find and access. They even tell you how many days are left on your subscription! Nice job all around.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Hams, Twitter, and the Web 2.0 social media.

Just read a great ARRL article concerning the Web 2.0 social media phenomenon and on Twitter in particular. I have a few experiences of the speed and power of twitter myself. In addition to Amateur Radio, I am active in the Open Source community, in particular the BSD operating system. Last week I made a video recording an interesting talk about PFSense. On the way out the door to make the recording I "tweeted" about making the recording. I was surprised to see within a few minutes, Scott Ullrich the co-founder/developer on the project, had "re-tweeted" my message to his thousand plus followers.

I can not wait to see how this very powerful tool will be used by inventive Hams. One use for twitter is the ability to dispense very important information quickly. Some of the first pictures of the "Miracle on the Hudson" actually came from TwitterPic the twitter picture sharing service. I would not be surprised to see a version of this used over D-Star network to get information out of emergency zones. Of course to be used responsibly, there will have to be controls in place, and that will come in time.

No two people will use this information tool the same way, but it is good to know it is available to us should we need it; kind of like amateur radio.

Friday, March 5, 2010 has a fantastic HTML editor!

I have long wished to have a more interesting bio page and tonight I finally did something about it. While logged into, I selected the "click for more detail..." green bar and selected the "Edit Record" button noted in the image above. In resulting page, I clicked on the "Add or edit your biography text, fonts, etc." link and found the following simple HTML editor that is great for adding details to any QRZ bio.

With the advent of "Web 2.0" and all the online media options many people would like to add more than text and an image or two. In that case has you covered. If you look toward the bottom and select the "Advanced" button you get a HTML editor with much more power and advanced options.

Embedding videos, editing the actual HTML code, it's all there. I particularly liked the ability to toggle between regular webpage and full screen editor mode. They even have multiple pasting options for copying your data into the page. I feel I have only scratched the surface on this powerful FREE tool, but I can assure I will learn more and report back here. Below I have attached before and after pictures so you can judge the abilities if this editor for yourself. Just click on any of these images for a larger view. I am not a web designer by any stretch of the imagination, but the this well engineered website has me thinking I could be! QRZ relies on contributions from the amateur radio community and I will be making one soon, hope you can too.
I have traded a few emails with Fred L Lloyd AA7BQ and found out that the advanced HTML editor software is the open source Java based TinyMCE, the platform you would expect from a long-time Sun man like Fred.

Before &After:

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Amateur Radio emergency comunications in action!

I was listening to a few hams using the LIMAC repeater for an interesting talk on Physics. Just as they were about to sign and clear there was an emergency break-in call. It was Raymond Larsen, N2ZEM asking for someone to place a Suffolk Police 911 call as he had just witnessed an auto accident in which a woman was injured. It was the first time I had heard something like this and the receiving operator (KC2QIQ I believe) snapped into action and handled the call like a pro. It is one those moments that really makes you proud to be a part of such a civic-minded hobby. Even if you are just monitoring.

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year, New QRZ Forum update.

Seems is getting into website upgrade activities in addition to the ARRL. I just tried to update a post I had made on the QRZ forums and was greeted by the page you see below. Looks like 2010 is shaping up to be a great year for Amateur Radio. If you would like to see a larger version of the picture, please double click on it.