Ted’s essays

NVIS amateur radio antennas

Unless we are on a mountain peak or Kansas flatlands with line-of-sight views of everyone we want to talk with, there are barriers resisting our two-way communications. With our Very High Frequency (VHF) and Ultra High Frequency (UHF) radios we compensate by installing specialized radio systems (repeaters) on high ground to repeat signals over a much wider area than we can reach from our own radios. These can extend our VHF and UHF ranges to 50 miles or so. Repeaters are both expensive and could be a weak link in emergency comms – that is they may not be working in certain disaster scenarios. Amateurs with General or Amateur Extra class licenses can use their High Frequency (HF) radios to […]

updated ham radio operator class schedule

Welcome to Amateur Radio FCC, licensing, getting your license March 16th, 1000-noon, Darby Library books available from instructor for $30 [$33 for spiral bound] (save $10.45 shipping) Radio and Signals Fundamentals March 23rd, 1000-noon, Darby Library Electricity, Components and Circuits March 30th, 1000-noon, Darby Library Propagation, Antennas and Feed Lines April 6th, 1000-noon, Darby Library Amateur Radio Equipment April 13th, 1000-noon, Darby Library Communicating With Other Hams April 20th, 1000-noon, Darby Library April 27 no class – library unavailable Licensing Regulations May 4th, 1000-noon, Darby Library Operating Regulations May 11th, 1000-noon, Darby Library Safety May 18th, 1000-noon, Darby Library FCC License Test Session – Technician – General – Amateur Extra – May 25th, 9:30-noon, BJ’s Restaurant Stay after testing for […]

popular class

Turnout for the Spring 2019 ham radio class first day was outstanding. Icing on the cake is that a highly-knowledgable, skilled, professional teacher is bringing his young son to every class. I could not ask for a better co-teacher. Sixteen students and two instructors filled the Darby Library meeting room. They came from all over Ravalli County most planning to earn their FCC Technician license, but a few will be testing for the next level, the General class. I’m studying double: their book to insure good mentoring every Saturday plus the Amateur Extra manual so I can take the third and final step up the amateur radio licensing ladder when we all test in May. My drafted co-teacher came from […]

Bitterroot Ham class starts Saturday

I am reposting this to catch any stragglers. Response has been good enough to assure the class will take place. I will know in a few days how many new FCC license holders will be testing mid-May. One thing that holds many potential licensed hams back is their lack of electronics, radio, electrical or related background. I absolutely promise that electro-mechanical incompetents can and do pass this test. Another question I get is the expense. Paperback Technician Manuals are $30. Spiral-bound are $33. The testing session costs $17. Passing your first test earns you the FCC Technician license with no further costs between now and renewal ten years from now. Radios can be purchased for $25. It goes up…up…up from […]

Idaho Liberty .com is moving

It has taken me a long time to reach this decision, but I will be retiring that website. I started blogging in 2007, establishing IdahoLiberty.com as my first website. TedDunlap.net came along several years later as did a couple that came and went. I have been posting almost exactly the same content as IdahoLiberty at Bitterroot Bugle .com since I moved from Idaho in 2013, and reinvigorated that old-time newspaper name from this territory last used in the late 1800s. Ted Dunlap playing with the Grand Canyon in a trombone choir of echoes on one otherwise quiet February 1st morning … utilizing a pitch-adjustable bugle Montana elk bull bugling its territorial claimsI was amazed and thrilled when the first name […]

dimbulb savings time

Sure is a shame about the hour I am losing this weekend. It was the one hour of the year I intended to spend worshiping our government… maybe next year. While there is even a .gov website describing circadian rhythms, other than the governments of Arizona and Hawaii, the rest of the governments within the USofA seem to be clueless about it. I’ll put it in simple terms even a legislator can comprehend: Messing with our clocks messes us up. The ONLY purpose it serves is to twice every year demonstrate governmental control over our daily lives. It COSTS the economy money. It kills hundreds of people every year. And, most importantly, It pisses me off. One year I skipped […]

painting with pastels

It is official I am an artist You can plainly see I now have my Artistic License I came by it honestly Made it myself ———— I have long been wanting to do more drawing and painting than will fit in the little squares of my wall calendar with Sharpie pens. I never quite get around to it. Years ago I inherited some water color tools from my Step Dad. Even that did not get me started. So I signed up for the Pastel Painting class the Bitterroot College offered this January/February. THAT WORKED. I did a lot of gearing up for a type of painting I had not considered, but it turns out I really like the medium. […]