I have made some notes here which hopefully explains how I figured it out. Nothing clever, just lots of print statements and trying to figure out what the hex characters actually meant.
I got an email from my better half this morning asking me what deliveries I was expecting as the postman had left a note. I couldn’t think what it could be and quickly forgot about it.
Much to my surprise, this it was is was…
What a lovely certificate for my (fairly minimal) participation in the experiment. In fairness the photograph taken with my phone does not do it justice.
In a conversation late last year (at the TAPR DCC) I was asked what is the actual level of APRS activity in Ireland. Thinking about the answer for a while, I realised that I really didn’t know, and that got me wondering how to go about visualising it.
I quickly came across Leaflet.heat, a Leaflet plugin plugin for generating heatmaps, so I bodged together some python to grab packets of moving stations from the APRS-IS backbone and put them into a format Leaflet.heat can read. After gathering about 6000 data points, here is what it looks like:
So, there you go, it is fairly conclusive that Cork city has the most ‘on-air’ APRS activity. This is followed by Waterford area, Galway area and then the main motorways.
I was looking for something to watch/listen to while tidying up my inbox today after being away for three weeks or so. We took in the ARRL/TAPR Digital communications conference while in Florida. As I enjoyed this years DCC so much, i went looking for last years DCC banquet speech. Ward Silver, N0AX, gave an excellent talk on the direction the hobby should take for it’s second century. I particularly liked his comment about contesting and being “able to heard the world turn”. Thanks to Gary Pearce, KN4AQ for attending the DCC and working so hard to make the videos available (feed the pig!).
Last weekend, I joined other members of Tipperary Amateur Radio Group on the farm of Paul, EI3ENB for the SSB Field day.
Unfortunately we weren’t able to get any decent runs going on 20m or 15m which would have helped our score quite a bit, however Eoghan, EI5HBB was at the microphone when we got a decent run on 80m for about 90 minutes in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Looking forward to next year already!
The International Amateur Radio Union HF Championship was on last wekend, so, after a stint as EI0HQ Saturday evening on behalf of the Irish Radio Transmitters Society, I did some Search & Pounce operating on Sunday morning.
Since then the first thing I do when I get home is check the post for any new QSL cards, first thing in the morning I’m checking LOTW to see if any new confirmations have come in. I’m even checking LOTW during the day, just in case (94 confirmed this morning). It has become a bit of an obsession!
So there I was early Saturday afternoon wondering what to do with myself before the England-Italy match kicked off. The CQ WPX RTTY contest was on, so I sat down in the shack, installed Fldigi, and configured it to work with my K3. I have a 15m Inverted V Dipole up which is my best antenna, so I operated in Search and Pounce (S&P) for a bit and was working away nicely with no real issues other than the operator hitting the wrong keys on the keyboard.
Last time I operated a RTTY contest from home like this I was using a Kenwood TS-2000X, I was very very disappointed with the radio at the time, so much so that I sold it pretty quickly afterwards. It appeared to suffer badly with strong signals capturing the automatic gain control (AGC) and completely blocking out out the weaker stations. The K3 was having no such issues (thankfully).
This left me with a quandary. What do do about the Rugby? Well, my Intel Nuc has a Mini DP connector so I borrowed the screen from my Mac Mini, opened up RTE Live on it and voila!
I took a break from the contest for the Ireland-France game and resumed afterwards, finishing up with about 130 contacts (QSOs) in the log by Saturday evening.
I did not feel well Sunday morning, so I gave myself the modest goal of 200 QSOs. After a break to watch Scotland get robbed of a win against Wales, I ran for a bit, then hit 250 Q’s, returned to S&P again then 300, finally deciding that I had enough done at 329.
That said, I really really missed having a bandmap. A band map is a display of recent DX spots by frequency. You can see one in the middle of the picture below. This display is user-configurable in many ways including the length of time to display, the frequencies to include, etc. It lets you see at a glance what activity is on the selected band and, if you see a station you really really really want to get into your log. You can pounce with a click of the mouse.
After the contest I was chatting to G0HWW on IRC about my issue and he pointed me at an old blog post of his (thanks Darren), initial testing seems promising but rigctld seems to exit with errors now and again. More work is needed I think.
Sunday afternoon, in the melee, I was running and a callsign appeared on my screen that seemed familiar, N9TGR. I responded with my normal report and was trying to figure out how I knew the callsign. I saw the other stations report appear on the screen and at the end of it was “UP THE DUBS”. The penny dropped. In 2009 I travelled to Chicago to present at the ARRL and TAPR Digital Communications Conference, somehow Andy Ronan, N9TGR (a dub, and no relation that we know of and also EI6KG), got wind I was going to be there and suggested that I call out for dinner with him and his family one of the evenings while I was there. I also remember joking it would be highly unlikely that we would ever meet up on air! Suffice it to say I spent a most enjoyable evening with Andy and his family, they showed great hospitality, great memories!
This morning I had the following waiting for me in Logbook of the World.Given that I live in an urban area and am quite restricted in what aerials I can put up. This contact has me smiling from ear to ear this morning. What a fantastic job by the Lord Howe Island DXpedition team I’m sure I wasn’t easy to hear in the pileup.
I finally got around to trying CQRLOG this weekend. I say finally because I knew it existed, but somehow it kept slipping my mind. On a long drive home on Thursday evening I listened to LHS Episode #128 where the author Petr – OK2CQR was interviewed so it was a good reminder.
My motivation was to get more functionality from my logging program, especially since I am making more time to operate, and, I am more actively chasing new DXCCs.
During the interview, Petr mentioned his other project HamQTH.com, a service that I use regularly enough. He mentioned that he would like to see more pictures, so I obliged by uploading a picture of my QSL card. I don’t have a decent picture of my shack at the moment. It is a bit of a mess.
Anyway, if you are a looking for another reason to ‘jump ship’ from Windows to Linux on your shack computer, this is definitely a good one.