Pinned toot

As a polymath, I always have the feeling that I get lost in all of my different interests and projects. Sometimes I think the fediverse can help me to get things under control. But it possibly will only increase chaos.

I'm working in the humanities but like to challenge myself with obsolete technologies. Looking at the soldering iron in my shaky hands is terrible but it will not prevent me go on trying.

On the air I hate 59 - 73! contacts. If you don't want to talk, do not answer my call. (FT8 is not an option.)

Always look at the big picture and try to dive deep. If you're only interested in your niche, we'll have little to share.

Well, this took an awful lot of time this year. But after the third warmer day in a row (16° C today) with sunshine and little wind, finally the apple trees show their first buds.

Last year I was able to swim in the sea at this time.

Coming up this evening: the 56th Baltic Contest (organized by the Lithuanian Radio Sports Federation).

Starting at 2100z (until 0200z) - so 5 hours.

Only CW and SSB, only 80m.

So if you want to make some contacts with stations in the Baltics (LY, YL, ES), switch on your radio. Should be doable from anywhere inside Europe.

lrsf.lt/en/welcome-to-the-balt

I intend to use one of the trees as an antenna mast. Just because it grew so straight and nicely. It is 14.50 m tall. Perhaps it is already too big - let's see (I am currently using a mast that I got from a 12 m high one for my 20m dipole). The tree is an alder.

If you want to try it yourself: don't use an alder tree but a fir tree. First you need to dry the tree. Jack it up on stones so that it doesn't come into contact with the ground. Later you have to peel off the bark, otherwise insects will spread underneath and decompose the trunk. (I do this with an sharp ax.) When dry, the stem seems almost as light as paper and is easy to set up. If you have a winch at hand, you can do it yourself.

I have to cut down a number of trees. We started with some of the smaller ones - just to get the feeling again: they are about 15 m high and 22 years old.

Now this is what you get, after you cut the trunk into pieces (and took the branches away).

That may look like quite a pile here on the foto but let me asure you: it would be just enough to run one of my stoves three times. That would make a perfect heating in winter for one day. Or for two or three days at the moment.

And it took 22 years ...

-Open

One would think that there is at least one thing not affected by the covid-19 situation: radio sports. Physical distance is a prerequisite here and we only make contacts via electromagnetic waves. But first you need to have access to your QTH, right? Since the Estonian islands are currently cut off from the mainland (for anything else but the bare necesseties), this can be a problem.

I'm not much of a contester. But I was glad to step in during the -Open Championship yesterday. Because every Estonian prefix is ​​considered a multiplier in the final score there was the question whether ES0 would be represented at all. For a moment it looked like I was the only station prepared and willing to take part on any of the islands.

I made156 QSOs during the 4h contest (on 40 and 80m) and only in the the last half hour I realized I could have made a respectable result if I had taken the matter a little more seriously ;-)

my station is working fine but other's are working even better.

On tuesday I put the station on test on 20m again. I mean: seriously. The morning began with a K-index of 1 dropping to 0 later in the day. (These are DX conditions and would not be very favourable for phone operation with 100W.) Stations from the US had a big advantage that day.

I imagined that I could maybe spot more than 200 stations during the day. (And I actually stopped monitoring with a result of 223 spots.) But it wasn't as easy as I thought. My result only meant 44th place in the . wspr.pe1itr.com (I used to be 25th once).

Stations in USA were easy targets, but only 2 australian stations, 2 from Japan and not 1 from south-america. Not exactly the best conditions!

Fathoming : Modernity was all about mobilization and speed. Every now and then there may have been marginal counter movements with the aim to slow things down a little bit. But putting everything to a standstill? Inertia? Ruhende Körper?

With fascination I stare at these "Stay at home!" signs. It's exactly the opposite of what my mother had to tell me every single day when I was a child. "Go outside!" - that meant: go playing with the other kids. Be active. Move. Use your body. (But I liked to stay at home, reading, listening to the radio, dream the day away.)

And now, quite late in my life, I became the avantgarde of a static way of living. ( I don't know why everbody talks about 'social distancing' and not about 'human statics' or 'immobility'?) But as so often in a situation of binary oppositions, it doesn't change much, when you just shift dominance to the other side. After all, I can now feel how others usually look at me: How can anybody be that out of tune with the commandment of the hour?

We had to relocate an anthill today. The ants built their home about 10 m from the house. Our house is made of wood. Ants like to chew wood. A classical conflict of interests.

Someone had told me, you should keep the layering of the hill in order to disturb the ants as little as possible. So we shouveled the ants, layer by layer, into plastic containers and numbered them (the containers, I mean :-). Then we took them to the forest, where they were supposed to find a new home.

My wife suggested, we could come back soon to see how they are doing. But I have the feeling that would go too far.

Life in times of : The nearest grocery store is about 10 km from our house. It is a small shop where mainly the elderly buy their stuff, who often do not have a car. Since it does not seem a good idea to go shopping there in times of Covid-19, the employees have come up with a very simple and effective system: you simply order your things by phone, pay the invoice by bank transfer and they put things ready for you at the back exit. You drive past whenever it suits you and load the groceries into the car.

It's like online shopping, but it does not require any additional infrastructure: a g4 mobile network is sufficient. (It's obvious that this only works here in the countryside, where there are never more than 2 people shopping at the same time and the shop assistant has time to walk through the store and pack your things.)

When I told my brother, he was amazed: the things are really there, nobody stole them? Well, it really depends on where you live, I suppose. ;-)

Seems that I am back in the game: 148 unique spots today during 8h on 20m. Half of the time with broken audio. I'll go chasing the wspr "big guns" on Tuesday :-)


argh! I think I detected the problem. It's not the antenna, but the SignaLink USB soundcard modem, that was not connected properly to the transceiver. (so ultimately the idiot sitting in front of the transceiver.) Signals are much stronger now.

I'll make a new wspr test tomorrow. (And keep you updated.)

Show thread


Follow-up on the last post: I was eager to check, if the situation on 20m went back to normal today. Well, not really. Though there is some improvement. 64 unique spots received in 3h (and we are still up and running). But the signals are weak in average (and the stations quite nearby - around 1500 - 1800 km.) Waiting for the States and Canada coming up.

The real surprise came when I checked my own transmits: more than 50 spotters each). That's much more than I am used to. Usually I can hear others much better than they can hear me. (I'm runnig 5W. That's pretty much for , I know, but I can't turn my old transceiver down any further.)

I thought I know everything about the propagation at my QTH from phone operation already. That was obviously an illusion! Really love as a tool.

What was there going on yesterday on 20m? During one of my habitual monitoring that I try to do at least once a month since last autumn, I could report only 42 unique spots during more than 8h. (Just to give you something to compare: In January and February it was about 180 unique callsigns in 12 h.) I was so puzzeled, I started to check my antenna. Couldn't find anything wrong though. What a drastic change in propagation!

Life in times of : Back from ghosttown. I had to take the car to get some drinking water from a well in the next town. No human interaction involved. It was bit scary: the only human being I saw was an older woman on a bike, transporting a kind of box. There were a few cars in the streets. Other than that: total emptiness.

It seems that the fauna gets inattentive already. A squirrel crossed the road that sleepy, I really had to slam on the break.

I think it's day 12 of where I have met no one except my wife. Great times for though.

Yesterday I needed a GUI on one of my old 3s. I was never comfortable with raspbian and though I liked ubuntu mate, it was a bit sluggy. So this time I took an ubuntu server image and installed a desktop myself (lubuntu in this case - but I will try an even leaner one later.) Works really great - give it a try!

I forgot how long it takes with such a small machine to pull up a desktop (and I did not even have to compile anything). Did this with the bsds all the time.

By the way: what is state of the art with on the raspberry pi today? Would prefer to use it but do not have the time at the moment to do the research.


How do you do this? Let's say you want to follow someone / something who/ that posts "a lot" (e.g. a newsbot). But you don't want him/ her/ it to choke up your timeline. So you mute it? And you have do de-mute it, in case you want to see the posts? I'm probably overlooking something here. Thanks for any advice.

Life in times of : Arrived home safely! I was really concerned about the police controls. Traveling to the estonian islands is suspended - except for the islanders. I was afraid they would ask me where the hell I have been the last 3 weeks (difficult familiy situation).

Switching on the radio I hear SG7A calling CQ on 80m, warming up for CQ WW WPX. Very good signal 59+10. Well it's Sweden, nothing special from Estonia, you may think. But the time is around 2200 UTC. It's the first time I worked Sweden when it's not in the morning.

Anyway: switching on the radio, pressing the PTT and talking to SG7A immediately, after 3 weeks of absence, gives you feeling of freedom, that maybe only a fellow ham can understand.

Life in times of -19 : As I fear to be cut off my home for several months - Helsinki is already closed - I prepare for a trip to ko18lw later today. Wish me luck, as there is plenty that could go wrong on this trip.

Just to not alarm anybody: I'll travel "sealed" in my car from door to door and will stay in quarantine in case I ever get there.

As a polymath, I always have the feeling that I get lost in all of my different interests and projects. Sometimes I think the fediverse can help me to get things under control. But it possibly will only increase chaos.

I'm working in the humanities but like to challenge myself with obsolete technologies. Looking at the soldering iron in my shaky hands is terrible but it will not prevent me go on trying.

On the air I hate 59 - 73! contacts. If you don't want to talk, do not answer my call. (FT8 is not an option.)

Always look at the big picture and try to dive deep. If you're only interested in your niche, we'll have little to share.

tilde.zone

masto instance for the tildeverse