Ted’s essays

coronavirus advice

Straight out of the box, The Woodpile Report hits a homerun out of the state. This is excellent advice for the possibility of the threatened pandemic. Throughout his post he touches on the latest rage in mass fear mongering several times. Each one is worth a good look. It really does not make a lot of difference whether the flu is as awful as some reports have it or that reports are overblown as others claim. The second and third order effects will be a big deal. We are already into quarantines exceeding half-a-billion people, states, countries, ports… global shipping is plummeting; all forms of production are shutting down before our eyes… the world-wide supply chain is about to hiccup […]

2-way radio repeaters

I created a presentation for our local ham radio club to explain the environment our repeater engineer was dealing with. The problem many great sites have is that their prominence attracts multiple transmitters with each addition making it harder for the repeater to pick up the signals we want out of the electromagnetic flood. Thus the situation I describe with this Downing Mountain repeater is common to many. I called this “Tracking A Transmission”. We follow a signal from the operator’s mouth through his radio and up to the repeater overlooking Hamilton Montana. Once the repeater gets the information, it transmits it out from a large antenna with 50 watts of power pushing it as much as 50 miles away. […]

electricity, components & circuits

Chapter 3 in the Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL) Ham Radio License Manual is the most challenging to most students. Remember that out of the 35 questions on your written exam, 26 correct answers is a passing score. You can afford to miss nine, or one out of every four and still earn your Technician’s License. You could miss, or even skip over every component and circuit question without failing your exam. Do not get all balled-up in this one chapter. On the other hand, it is cool, and even useful to understand a bit of this stuff. So let’s try to GET IT, without stress or strain. You likely already found my favorite online exam preparation tool HamStudy.org I […]

snow season snapshot

I start here with the pretty stuff. This twelve-second video clip is the view out my studio window when the fat, fluffy flakes fly. Regardless of the work it brings to keep the walkways and driveways clear for safe travel, this classic snow falling look is calm and peaceful to watch from a nicely heated home. Next up is a movie of the work portion this recent storm brought me. On prior occasions I was under-dressed for blowing snow. I geared up with mask, goggles, super mittens and, well, I was quickly overheated and had to shed some of what you see in this video. snow blowing from Ted Dunlap on Vimeo. When we took on this new homestead […]

Libertarian Party of Ravalli County

I had to work to track down the Libertarian Party shortly after I arrived in the Boise area. It was a handful of guys who spent $6,000 Idaho state income tax checkoff money every year on burgers, brews, pizzas and inconsequential travel. Over the next two years I wrested control from them, gambled my savings on an outstanding state convention that came within a few dollars of repaying my loan. The Libertarian Party of Idaho quickly grew to 85 people with a lot of visible activity. Now I am the interim chair of the Ravalli County Libertarian Party. Neither I nor the chairman who handed me the baton have come up with invigorating ideas or activities, but I do not […]

wave behavior

Whether it is a stone tossed into a glassy-smooth pond, sound waves coming out of a trombone or electro-magnetic waves enabling radios to communicate, the wave behaviors are direct relatives to the physicist. One such person built a model to demonstrate wave behavior then his employer, Bell Labs, produced a movie of it. I almost called it a video, but those were not yet invented in 1959 when this was produced. Last year I pounded enough correct answers into my head that I passed my Amateur Extra exam. My motivation was that I really wanted to UNDERSTAND radio much better. I did not clear that hurdle on pure expanded knowledge of radio, but I found several tools that helped. […]

don’t bring me no bad news

My daughter’s 8th grade class put on the play WIZ. I loved it… likely helped that my little girl who had done so poorly academically shone in dedication to learn and perform two leading roles… doing a good job of building sets, costumes, memorizing lines, actions and tunes very well. A dramatic change inspired by performing arts. I was completely taken with their song “Don’t Give Me No Bad News”. Tear them up, Grammar Nazis That tune has come to my mind many times in the ensuing 20+ years. Click the PLAY arrow on the right for an audio-only version. You can listen to it while you read on. While not knowing what is going on, or what is […]

why TedDunlap.net went AWOL

I changed my web hosting plan to save a few bucks. It has been a MAN VS MACHINE struggle to get my websites back up and available ever since. Perhaps old brain VS new technology … or patience VS intracacy … or something like that. Machine slapped me around for several days now. My web host encourages the use of a third-party service to prevent malicious players from flooding my website with bogus requests that would bury it and their servers hosting me. Siteground was wonderful, backing up and moving my stuff intact from one server to the less expensive one. They gave me a couple things to do with clear instructions and I was off and running. BUT […]

Darby Dog Derby 2020

I led a team of ham radio operators who provided two-way radio communications throughout the two day event. It really was fun for all… the mushers, the comms guys and the visitors who came to watch the show. I mostly stay secluded in my comms truck shell, “The Beast” where my mobile radio has the speaker volume so I can hear radio traffic over the dog noise. I did step out to take a few photos and three short video clips that I share here. Darby Dog Derby Skijor 11 start from Ted Dunlap on Vimeo. Darby Dog Derby 8 Dog hookup part 1 from Ted Dunlap on Vimeo. Darby Dog Derby 8 Dog hookup part 2 from Ted Dunlap […]

help with my web hosting bill

Help defray the costs of hosting this website. My annual bill reminds me that I ought to offer you the opportunity to help me afford my publishing empire. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Without help it is around $700 a year out of my pockets. It went up a lot last year when I upgraded to a faster, stronger, better hosting plan. I have just enough traffic that I cannot go back. I set up a donation button below that accepts PayPal payments or credit card payments through them. As the panhandlers on the street say with their cardboard signs, ANYTHING HELPS. – Ted – […]

comms plans for Darby Dog Derby

The 2020 Bitterroot dogsled race weekend is coming up. I have the two-way-radio support plan mapped out, radios programmed, testing complete, batteries all charged up … I think we are as ready as we can get. For more details about the weekend, the participants and the races, go to The Bitterroot Mushers website. Each year we learn more, adding refinements to patch holes as we find them. Ideally we have 8 checkpoints with a checkpoint worker and a radio operator at each. That’s a bit dreamy as the last couple years we are lucky to have one person serving both roles at each. Bitterroot Emergency Amateur Radio Services (BEARS), the comms team, recently changed affiliation to Corvallis American Legion […]

final day of registration for ham class is Friday

This a repeat of my previous announcement. There is one more day of online registration for Darby Adult Ed classes. We stand ONE STUDENT SHORT of having enough to make it happen. I am bringing another amateur radio operator licensing class to Darby, Montana via the Darby Adult Education program in its Spring 2020 schedule. I have not keept track, but think I have personally assisted 40 or 50 people to earning their FCC licenses through my study groups in the Darby library. The snide saying goes, “Those who CAN, DO. Those who cannot, TEACH”. I’m okay wearing that. Good instructors are as rare as good anything else. I did not choose this calling, blessing or curse. It chose me. […]