Global Skywatch

Ted’s essays

purchase and use of BaoFeng two-way radios

BaoFeng UV-82HP$62.89UHF / VHF128 ChannelsOutput: 7 Watts I have helped well over a dozen people earn their amateur radio licenses. But I recognize the effort to study for, and pass the FCC exam is not for everybody. Much more accessible is The General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) licensed radio service. A $70 FCC GMRS license has no testing requirements and covers your entire family’s use for 5 years. BAOFENG makes good, affordable radios that can listen to several other bands and legally enable you to transmit, that is communicate, via GMRS channels. Significantly, unlike the inexpensive blister-pack big-box-store radios, these transmit at much higher powers, and are capable of utilizing repeaters for long-distance communications. My favorite of their current offerings […]

implementing 4th Amendment

USofA Constitution, Amendment IV The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. Of course these protections are long gone. (Sorry Ben) Warrantless searches of homes, often by violent teams of men above the law number in the thousands every year, and continue to rise. Heavily armed checkpoints on public roads are regularly set up with forced medical investigation of bodies as well as searches of travelers’ vehicles. Phone calls and correspondence are nearly 100% […]

farewell facebook

Maybe I should call it “fakebook”. Nah. Fakebooks are books full of standard charts that musicians use to “fake it” when they don’t have a song down pat. I have several of them… jazz, latin, dixieland… Meanwhile, back on facebook… The Internet, primarily facebook destroyed the drop-dead-certain coronation of Clinton II. The ruling elite and its mainstream media monopoly were so convinced they had it perfectly rigged that Newsweek even printed and distributed a “Hillary Wins!” issue. Boy would I love to have one of those, but they recalled ’em all. However, The Bilderberg Group isn’t inclined to make the same mistake twice. Facebook has to change. They own it too, after all. Zuckerberg isn’t some lucky genius. He is […]

Radio Communicating Options

Darby Adult Education has a couple of classes in their fall program that interest me. One in particular is near and dear to my heart. The main reason is that I am a major proponent of having two-way radios for communicating where phones are unavailable and yelling is ineffective. I am so much in favor of using two-way radios that I created and teach the class. Sign-ups are open officially through next Monday, September 26th. As you can see in the course listing below that this 3-hour overview session only costs $6 regular and $3 for seniors. Click the headline below to see the entire set of course listings for the fall semester. Radio Communicating Options Handy in many situations, […]

war on coal

SEATTLE (AP) — Gov. Jay Inslee says he’ll approve a bill allowing Washington state’s largest utility to set aside money for the eventual shutdown of two coal-fired electricity plants in Montana. The Obama administration and friends appear to have declared war on coal energy. This does not seem to relate to coal’s fit in the overall energy production, consumption and environmental impacts. And it very definitely has a negative impact on Montana’s use of our natural resources … which is also jobs and our way of life here. Modern coal mining and energy production is far cleaner than its reputation, and currently meets 34% of this country’s energy needs. Were one to want to reduce coal energy production, intelligent approaches […]

radio communicating options

Handy in many situations, radio communications can be life saving when phones and Internet are down or out of reach. This 2-hour overview covers walkie-talkies across the yard to ham radios around the world. What radios should you have for emergencies? What do they cost? What do they do? How can you be sure they will be available when you really need them? Regular, non-technical people become Ham radio operators all the time. Should you? If so, how? I am offering one of the classes on the calendar for the Darby Adult Education Spring 2016 session. Darby School District Adult Education The class currently has 5 people signed up. It will be canceled if there are not 7 or more. […]

Bounding Beagle

I LOVE my Canon Power Shot SX710 HS camera! It has been a decade or so since my backpack full of Canon camera gear served any useful purpose. Fresh 35mm film that delivered true colors simply became unavailable. End of a favored hobby. A friend gave me a show-n-tell on his Canon Power Shot and I was convinced I could come reasonably close to having the best parts of my old hobby back. There are some things it doesn’t do quite as well, but almost everything is far better with the technology they packed into this little pocket powerhouse. A lit box in the screen on the back of the camera outlines where the camera is focusing. It automatically sets […]

emergency radio cards

Assuming that phones and Internet will work unfailingly forever is extraordinarily popular. This is despite the fact everyone knows they don’t, can’t and won’t. Worse, they will fail when everyone most wants information on what is going on and wants to share information on their needs and situations. I recognize this better than most. While to me the need for a radio-based communication network seems obvious, it obviously isn’t. Planning and preparing for the uninterested is challenging, but I’m up to the challenge. Here you have the best tool I’ve heard of. I made up this graphic intended to be printed two-sided on cardstock, cut into fourths and shared with people who might store it near or with their radio. […]