ON THE SQUID

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Doomsday Eclipse Carbondale Illinois August 21, 2017

Are you serious? Be sure to mark the calendar for The Great American Eclipse. A total solar eclipse will take place on Monday, August 21, 2017. There’s something spooky going on in Carbondale, Illinois, aka Little Egypt. Whaaat?

The longest duration of totality will be 2 minutes 41.6 seconds at 37°35′0″N 89°7′0″W in Shawnee National Forest just south of Carbondale, Illinois and the greatest extent will be at 36°58′0″N 87°40′18″W near Cerulean, Kentucky between Hopkinsville and Princeton, Kentucky.

The eclipse will be the first with a path of totality crossing the Pacific coast and Atlantic coast since 1918.

Southern Illinois is also known as “Little Egypt”:

The nicknames for this region also arose from the political tensions prior to and during the American Civil War, as regions of the state allied differently with North and South. Because southern Illinois was settled by southerners, they maintained a sympathy for many issues of their former states. They supported the continuation of slavery. They voted for Democrats, at a time when the northern part of the state supported Republicans. The meaning is expressed in this description of the 1858 campaign of Douglas and Abraham Lincoln:

“In 1858, debating in northern Illinois, Douglas had threatened Lincoln by asserting that he would ‘trot him down to Egypt’ and there challenge him to repeat his antislavery views before a hostile crowd. The audience understood Douglas: overwhelming proslavery sentiment and Democratic unanimity in Egypt had led to the nickname.”

Are you serious? Whaaat?

Today: Jan. 5, 2017
Yesterday: ISS Radio Report Wed, 2017 – 01 – 04 12:39
Twitter link: ISS Fan Club

It was the first Wednesday in the month of January. The year of 2017 ushered in some very pleasant weather for much of the United States, just as Quebec and Vancouver in Canada had been hit quite hard with layers of snow. There was a report indicating that the city of Vancouver had no more free road salt to offer?

As of today, we are receiving a good amount of snow in the states. No problem. I’ve heard of one incident where there was a 3-to-4 car pileup nearby, so it sounds treacherous for highway traveling. It’s a bad situation out there. The accidents keep coming on the radio. Meh.

HF propagation is not all that great today either. Forty meters is almost empty. Eighty meters is showing some limited activity.

The Icom in my mobile has been programmed with the downlink frequency, which is 145.800 MHz if my memory serves me right.

The voice of the ISS astronaut was registering a decent signal; probably peaking at around a 6 or 7. I don’t think he ever hit a full “5 9″ signal report, but he was very readable.

It seems like the operator said that he was the only American on board. Several other comments were interesting fodder for wintertime conversation.

He mentioned that laundry was not likely in space. Instead, the clothes are worn until no longer tolerated.

Emails can be instantly sent and received. The operator voted while in space.

Everything in space floats.

Good day and stay warm. 73

The Raspberry Pi is a neat little gadget which is hooked up to my HDMI port on the new television set. How to connect Raspberry Pi to an old style TV? Is this possible? A simple adapter is required: Parts Express 3.5mm Plug (4 Pole) To 3 RCA A/V Cable 6 feet.

What you have is a 3.5 mm jack, similar to the headphone jack, and this adapter plugs right into the Pi. On the opposite end you’re using RCA jacks, the red, white and yellow. These will plug into the old CRT type TV. The 3.5 mm supplies the audio and video feed.

Obviously if you have access to the new television, then you will need the HDMI cable.

There’s one more thing to mention. A memory card will be necessary in order to transfer the software to the Pi box. Here’s the link: SanDisk Ultra 32GB microSDHC UHS-I Card with Adapter, Grey/Red, Standard Packaging (SDSQUNC-032G-GN6MA).

Yes you can score the latest of technology in the den, kitchen, or bedroom, and enjoy the latest programming that’s on the market.

How much entertainment can you handle?

It’s Easy As Raspberry PI 3

Raspberry Pi

Grasping today’s technology is invigorating if not, shall we dare say, enlightening. We’re entering another phase of technology if you will, and it’s easy as saying Raspberry Pi 3. If you want to discover the future of computing, then here’s the action kit: CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 Kit with Clear Case and 2.5A Power Supply.

A memory card is what it takes to transfer the software to the Raspberry Pi box, in order to initiate the startup. One must download the software from a computer.

Also, the user really needs a wireless mouse and preferably a wireless keyboard, and FYI, this particular wireless mouse does a fantastic job. Some may prefer the Raspberry Pi remote control to keep it simple.

Here’s the combo package: Logitech MK270 Wireless Keyboard/Mouse Combo, Logitech Wireless Mouse USB (Black).

While utilizing the HDMI cable, the user can employ a monitor or a television set that is equipped with the port, and most modern sets do have the port.

Being an irrational number, Pi cannot be expressed as a fraction, as Raspberry Pi 3 cannot be expressed exactly as usable technology, yet there are various possibilities. Welcome to Raspbian land.

Raspbian is a Debian-based computer operating system for Raspberry Pi.” It is now officially provided by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, as the primary operating system for the family of Raspberry PI single-board computers. It is Linux based, however, there are versions that use Windows instead of Linux.

Pascaline in size, format is the nature, whereas radiant energy can be released by certain electromagnetic processes.

To begin with, the Noobie may consider the NOOBS format, as well as LIBREELECT. Add-ons are too numerous to mention. What is fashionable today may be out of vogue tomorrow.

When the unit first arrived in the mail, I was not exactly enamored with what was entailed. It seemed like a hopeless cause, yet I plowed on, realizing that each step would be incremental in nature, and not giant leaps.

And I would like to emphasize that the kit is a fantastic deal; I am referring to the setup process, which became easier and equally rewarding with the bumps.

As time elapsed and progress moved forward, I began to realize what a gem I had received. While I still consider myself in a learning curve, I envision the future of technology embracing this gadget, as well as other gadgets just like it.

Education, entertainment, computing, and other lists will probably travel in this same direction, as technology becomes more available in various forms. The units are becoming smaller, faster, and more mobile.

Basically, what you have is a mini-computer without the luggage, and without the price tag I might add. The kit is reasonably priced, especially when compared to other high-priced gadgets on the market.

The USB ports, the electric adapter, and everything else worked fine. Nothing is perfect and I do recommend the user be gentle with the outlets, just like any other computer. The unit is wireless and it does have a port for the ethernet cable. The wireless part worked flawlessly, but in the future I may acquire the ethernet cable to see if there’s a difference in speed, which I doubt will be significant.

Would I recommend this unit to other enthusiasts? You bet! The tech level is just a bit higher, so having someone tech savvy at arm’s length is going to be a must, at least until the setup is finished. From then on it’s pretty much smooth sailing.

Forgive me for the pun—it’s easy as raspberry pi—and raspberry pie is delicious…

Chromecast Not Working on Ubuntu

While trying to cast a video in Chrome on Ubuntu I discovered that the system wasn’t recognizing my Chromecast device. So I did what any techie would do: I tried turning the Chromecast off and on again. After that didn’t work I scavenged the Internet for answers. To my avail a savvy user had a quick solution to the problem.

Go to chrome://flags/#media-router in your browser and under Media Router change the setting from Default to Disabled. You will then need to reboot the Chrome browser for the changes to take place. You should be able to cast videos to your Chromecast again.

It seems that Google is no longer supporting 32-bit based Chrome on Linux systems anymore. You must have a 64-bit system to download the latest version of the browser. Oh well, at least I got my Chromecast to work again.

The slot antenna can be made out of any metal surface or plate, with the length of the slot being cut out by a frequency determined in advance. It can be designed and constructed using a discarded TV dish reflector. Believe me when I tell you that it works.

In essence, what you have is a half-wave dipole, and I suppose a quarter-wave. At roughly 12 inches, I was aiming for the UHF scanning range. The 12-inch edition worked quite well on VHF frequencies also.

I don’t know why, but when I cut the slot longer, the signals started to weaken. On this particular day band conditions were not ideal. Go figure.

If you look at the design of the satellite dish, you’ll see two main bolts in the center that hold the frame together. I grabbed one of the bolts, after cutting a 12 inch slot with my saw blade. (Safety glasses are recommended.)

(Be sure to stay clear of the frame when sawing, because you’ll bite into the frame and ruin the dish, like I did. It’s good that I had a spare. Actually, a piece of metal flashing might work better anyway.)

I drilled a hole opposite of the other bolt that was still holding the frame. So what you have is a 12 inch slot and 2 bolts on each side of it. In my experiment, I chose to go dead center of my 12 inch slot, which I found out later was not the proper measurement. The feed point is supposed to be off-center. What can I say.

When I used the feed point in the center it worked great. Matter of fact, when I lengthened the slot, receive was not as strong.

The correct measurements (VHF 2 meter band) call for 24 inches on the horizontal line, with 7 1\2 inch line on both sides of the cut (39 inches total). The feed should be about 4 1\2 inches from one of the 7\12 inch sides.

The horizontal slot will offer vertical polarization by the way, if you can wrap your head around that one!

Make your own balun using 6 turns of coax, or grab a TV transformer balun, if you are using the dish for receive. I was in the scanner listening mode.

To my surprise this project did work. With my 12 inch slot fed at half point, I received frequencies a good distance away from my shack.

Those that live in a homeowner restricted area could opt to use their satellite dish as a 2 meter antenna! This sounds like a crazy idea, but I think that it might be pulled off.

Give it a try!

Save The Data During Power Outages

Power outages are here, there, and they’re everywhere. Don’t you just hate it when you’re in the middle of something and the black screen stares at you? Boom boom, out goes the lights! Can you save the data? Won’t you?

Thankfully, there’s battery backup for desktop computers, wireless networks, gaming consoles, and more. Here’s what you need: APC Battery Backup & Surge Protector (BE750G) – 750VA 10-outlet Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS).

The UPS will not make your coffee for you, nor will it make breakfast for you, but it will supply battery backup power during nasty power outages and save the equipment in the process.

Canon imageCLASS Laser Printer

Canon imageCLASS MF227dw

Not long ago the ink jet printer was considered the printing standard, but the new kid on the block is the all-in-one laser printer (Printer Copier Scanner Fax and Canon 137 Toner Cartridge).

This version comes with 4-in-1 functionality – print, copy, scan and fax.

It’s the latest in tech fashion.

Let’s keep it real. Print using iPhone with Apple Airprint.

Yes, many of us in the tech crowd share these same ideas—avoid replacing the ink recurrently, printing in black, bounteous features, wireless—and more. We’re used to being served and we want served now; wireless is the preference.


If utility expresses interest in a more compact unit with just the basics, then the Canon imageCLASS is the appropriate choice.

Functions : Print.

Canon imageCLASS LBP6030w Wireless Laser Printer

Canon imageCLASS LBP6030w

Print from virtually anywhere with easy wireless connectivity. This is a black and white laser printer that is a great fit for personal printing, as well as small office and home office printing.

It seems to me that Canon has found firm footing in the printing universe, no doubt stemming from the superb quality of the digital camera, supplied by said corporation.

The ink jet printer is not a relic yet, and I still use the Canon that I’ve owned for several years now. The quality of printing has been excellent and I will not be getting rid of mine anytime soon.

There’s only one small matter and it’s not with the quality. The problem is replacing the cartridge every few months or even weeks, and feeling like there should be more pages yet to print. This is not exactly painful; it’s only a nuisance to be avoided.

If you’re wondering about the two different prices between the images and the links, one includes the toner and the other does not.

Yes, one could spend several hundred dollars for the optimum beams, which might extend 100 feet into the horizon. Or, one could expand the idea of a very cheap 26-inch bicycle rim. Admit it, we’ve heard about tuning a bicycle rim and using it. It will definitely go on 10 meters! SWR Antenna Analyzer is optional…

Amazing homemade HF loop antenna is a fantastic concept to explore. QSL.

Per HamRadioConcepts:

“Hf loop antennas made out of something that almost EVERYONE has at their home. A MUST WATCH video for the amateur radio enthusiast. Using the MFJ-935b we made one from a bicycle rim for 10/12 meters, and a tape measure, yes, a tape measure, that is still completely useable after using it for an antenna. What will we think of using next?”

Personally, I’d go for the 20 meter tape loop. Thirteen feet will get you resonant on the 20 meter band for the DX (14.220 Mhz). Good luck.

Awesome guys. 73…

There’s no doubt about it. Life is full of uncertainty, friends sometime stray away, the roof may leak, the winds will howl often in the winter, and the hot summer sun will give you a good sunburn if you stand around too long. A positive outlook is required even for skeptics. If life gives you lemons, just add some honey.

Instead of depending on others to make your drink for you, show some grit and make your morning drink all by yourself. You’ll need one lemon, one teaspoon of raw honey, and one glass of pure water.

The honey will not mix so well with cold water so it might be better to warm the water up, then add the honey. Honey is a source of important nutrition that is overlooked.

Now that we have the honey water mixture, we add the lemon juice, after squeezing the juice out of a lemon. The lemon has unfairly been ostracized by the English language, but the lemon offers healing within itself. The yellow fruit can be used for culinary and cleaning purposes.

The lemon is a source of vitamin C and contains phytochemicals.

The honey and lemon drink has some amazing benefits, especially if one is trying to lose weight, or one simply wants to live a healthier lifestyle.

If you desire a healthy functioning liver and want to flush the digestive system out, the lemon has the magic. Drop the soda and start drinking raw lemon juice from a real lemon, and not juice from a factory.

After refreshing yourself with this wholesome drink first thing in the morning, wait about an hour before having breakfast.

If life gives you lemons, just add honey, and you have hydrated yourself.

Cheers! To your health.

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