Global Skywatch

Ted’s essays

handheld radio recommendation

Tytera MD-390 Progress in two-way radios is similar to that in all other electronics. That is to say this recommendation will not be the optimum choice years from now. Nevertheless, this radio can serve you well for many years. The other caveat is there are many good choices. This is only one of them. I am making this suggestion to help the novice find a solid handheld transceiver that is well received within the amateur radio community. In a crowded field of feature-rich radios, the MD-390 has most of what you would want while being in the lower part of the $25 to $500 price range ($130). IMPORTANT NOTE: Make sure you order this in the 400-480MHz UHF (ultra-high-frequency) model […]

Studio wired

I feel like it has been a long time coming. But when I really think about it, we moved into a trashed homestead 7 months ago. We have made tremendous progress on numerous fronts. Nevertheless, today’s big success is the proper lighting and wiring of my studio. I have had a solar-recharged 12-volt grid-independent electrical system for about 5 years. The primary motivation was for my short and long range 2-way radios; my HAM gear. All of these radios run on 12-volts. You either run them on automotive-compatible systems, or you buy separate power inverters to turn you electrical grid power into juice they can use. That decision was the tipping point to have some independence from power deliveries, […]

Darby Dog Derby

The Bitterroot Mushers are running their 11th annual sled dog races January 13th & 14th, 2018 at Lost Trail Pass at Gibbons Pass Road. That is mile marker ZERO. It is as close to you as whatever your nearest Highway 93 mile marker indicates. That is to say, sled dog racing has practically come to you so you don’t have to go to it. This is the fourth time I will be spearheading radio communications throughout the course for this event. We all learn from experience, and we have had several teaching moments for the comms team in gear, setup, deployment and use. We have also become a highly prized part of their race organization. Other partners include the Bitterroot […]

status report – comms and relatives

Coming soon … My main desk and radio table are set up. My 12-volt panel, batteries and terminal junction are set up. My 2-meter and GMRS (short range county-wide) radios are on the air. Yesterday I got a 3/4″ copper pipe RF ground from the shack wall behind my radios via 3 soldered elbows to the surface of the ground outside. I want to extend the pipe much further across the yard, and bury it as soon as the earth thaws. I previously installed a multi-strand heavy (I think #6, maybe #2) cable from a common post near the radios, out and onto a grounding stake. I anticipate setting up multiple grounds and trying each individually and in combinations, […]

November 4th EMP

Next Saturday may well be very interesting. (As in the Chinese curse: May you live in interesting times) PART 2 As Elias Alias covered handsomely in the post EMPBS, coronal mass ejections or man-made EMPs could thrust us violently into the stone age. If you just arrived at my website and haven’t heard of these, use the above link to study up in a hurry. Next weekend The Deep State’s Department of Homeland inSecurity is running an EMP drill. Eeeek!!! Federal drills have a bad habit of coinciding with a very real version of what they are practicing for. Even more disconcerting, The Drill coincides with the widely publicized beginning of the Soros-and-Friends financed revolution against Trump and FOR […]

introducing new communication systems

The following is a convoluted way to explain my realization today that two-way radio communications networks must be developed in an organized, methodical way. I became an “Office Automation Coordinator” when the term was first introduced within the Hewlett Packard Corporation. We sailed uncharted waters, figuring out how to integrate the new “microcomputers” into the office and manufacturing environment. Tasked with putting computers on the desks of every manager in our 2,000-person division, I focused on training their secretaries so I wouldn’t have 50 high-powered managers jerking me around all day long every working day for the rest of my career. I developed my own classes to teach them installing computers, peripherals, word processing, spreadsheets, and graphing software. I taught […]

grid jeopardy

Three major actions of the sun may hit the Earth hard September 8th and 9th. The possibility of SOME EFFECT is near absolute. We WILL KNOW something hit us. The likelihood of some damage to electronics and electrical transmission somewhere on Earth is very high. Some communities somewhere will lose their power. The probability of global grid failure is around 10%. It is not likely to be catastrophic. That is also to say that it could be catastrophic. Check your preparations for that sort of catastrophe TODAY. While in the midst of moving, I cannot drop everything and go on a prep-shopping binge today. But I can certainly re-prioritize some of my moving activities focusing on electronics and power-failure gear. […]

become an amateur radio operator

Thursdays 4:30-6:30pm Darby Library meeting room July 13th – September 7th Handy in many situations, radio communications can be life saving when phones and Internet are down or out of reach Ham radios start where walkie-talkies leave off, with licensed radio operators communicating around the corner and around the world. ARRL License Manual costs $29.95 includes chapters on every aspect of the licensing exam and numerous practice tests Darby Thursday study sessions are FREE YOU can be an amateur radio operator No electronics background required Click this link for a .pdf poster advertising the class:Ham-radio-class-poster-7-2017 Below is a .jpg image of the class advertisement. TESTING SESSION JULY 17th For those ready to test for Technician, General or Amateur Extra […]