Hurricanes and Emergency Communication Courses

It’s That Time Of Year Again!

Hurricane Ike

Hurricane Ike

With Gustav Hurricane Ike rapidly approaching the Texas coastline, ham radio operators and the ARRL Gulf states leaders are hard at work preparing for the onslaught of monster storms.

To help prepare for these imminent dangers to the US, the ARRL offers on line ham radio Emergency Communications  courses. Among other courses available in September, the ARRL is offering the following:

September 5th:

  • Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level 1 (EC-001)
  • Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level 2 (EC-002)
  • Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level 3 (EC-003R2)

Other September 5th courses include:

  • Technician License Course (EC-010)
  • Radio Frequency Interference (EC-006)
  • Antenna Design and Construction (EC-009)
  • Analog Electronics (EC-012)
  • Digital Electronics (EC-013)

And on September 19th:

  • Antenna Modeling (EC-004);
  • HF Digital Communications (EC-005);
  • VHF/UHF — Life Beyond the Repeater (EC-008)
  • Radio Frequency Propagation (EC-011).

If anyone has the chance to take one or more of these courses, why not commentabout your experience with the course material.

Solar Cycle 24 Canceled – Ham Radio Operators Furious

Written by drugtestallpoliticians
Dayton, Ohio (IPP) – The next solar cycle was assigned the number 24 but has been canceled by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). Scientists were able to predict that this cycle would have been 30% to 50% stronger than the previous solar cycle and it would have started a year later than previously thought.

Scientists have been unable to accurately predict the intensity of future solar cycles until recent times. All of that changed recently when the Predictive Flux-transport Model was developed and put into effect. This new method is thought to be 98% accurate.

Dr. Povenmire Finootch of the Mount Palomar Astronomical Campus and the senior legal representative of the IAU takes full responsibility for canceling the next solar cycle and has a black eye to show for it. He recently got into a scrap with the head of the North American Ham Radio League, Brent Brookski over the canceling of solar cycle 24. Dr. Finootch claims that the IAU has complete authority over anything related to the visible as well as the invisible portions of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Ham operators take advantage of the increase in solar electromagnetic activity by bouncing radio signals off of the ionosphere to each other in the form of radio waves which are transmited via upper and lower sideband and cw ( continous wave or morse code). When the solar cycle is in full swing it is possible for a Ham operator in North America to talk to his counterpart in New Zealand using a mere 5 watts.

Dr. Povenmire Finootch admits that he has a black eye but that nevertheless he had thoroughly throttled his opponent during a fist fight they had during the Gay Ham Operator’s Convention (GHAC) in Key West last week. The two had become embroiled in a fierce argument over whether or not the IAU had any business sticking its nose into the business of Ham operators and this argument evolved into fisticuffs to the delight of nearby bar patrons.

Dr. Povenmire Finootch seemed to go over the edge when Brookski claimed that Dr. Finootch would not know the the difference between Ohm’s Law vs Kepler’s Law if it “bit him on the ass”. Dr. Finootch replied, “Neither would you then !” Dr. Finootch did not realize that the Ham operator had a well concealed “hair lip” under his moustache and the Ham operator was equally unaware that Dr. Finootch had a wooden eye. The Ham operator had responded by saying, Woudn’t I, Wouldn’t I” to which Doctor Finootch had replied, ” Hair lip, hair lip !” And thus the fight was on.

The PC vs Mac Controversy Rages On

Browsing the Internet with Stumble always turns up someting new to think about, try or check out. Last night’s Stumbling turned up an article about the PC vs Mac controversy again.

The article went on to compare a Dell Inspiron 518 with Vista Home against an IMac with OS X and was based on a very reasonable hardware/price comparison. What peaked my interest in the article was the price difference. I thought it was worth mentioning here because there are people who do need a bit of guidance with home PC purchases. Without going into a lot of detail the Inspiron offered a better graphics card, twice the CPU power (Quad Core on the PC vs Dual Core on the IMac) and 2Gb of additional memory for about $450 less.  That is a substantial savings for budget minded folks. The price difference is based on the article at the time it was written.

Of course anyone who is a die hard Mac fan will tell you that OS X is a hell of an uplift from Windows Vista. As an IT professional who works on enterprise class systems, I can tell you that OS X runs circles around Windows Vista in terms of reliability and features. To reinforce that fact, I asked one of our corporate Windows desktop guys about their plans to roll out Vista across our 1500+ PC’s. He nearly choked on his coffee. After nearly requiring the Heimlich maneuver, he told me that people have been buying  PC’s and formatting the hard drive and reverting back to XP service pack 3.  For some time as a joke, I have been calling Vista, Microsoft’s XP service pack 4.

The bottom line is that if you are on a somewhat tight budget for a computer, or only want to run Windows-centric applications, then purchasing a Dell Inspiron or any other comparitive system is a very solid selection. However, if you want to take advantage of the outstanding engineering, design, stability and features of an IMac and can squeeze it out of your budget,  I would highly recommend this superior engineering masterpiece.