Ted’s essays

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 […]

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. […]

Ham license class begins February 1st

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. Run with your talents. Every person who has come to all of the class sessions and studied two or more hours between sessions passed the FCC Technician License Exam at the end. […]

Darby Adult Ed calendar is up

I have contributed numerous classes to the community, most through the Darby Adult Education program in southwestern Montana. An interesting array of people share their skills and passions with others in this nice little community. This Spring Semester is no exception. We have many nice choices in front of us for new experiences, knowledge, training, friendships and fun. I am bringing my first-level Amateur Radio class back by popular demand. I must be nearing 50 people I have helped earn their FCC Technician or General Class licenses. My guarantee: If you attend every class and study a few hours a week, you will pass the FCC Technician Exam at the end regardless of your technical background or lack thereof. I […]

Tuba Christmas Friday in Missoula

and many, many other cities throughout the USofA. This Friday, Dec 13th, 2019 at 7:00 pm in Southgate Mall Lucky’s Court Brooks St Missoula a platoon of musicians gather to make joyous noise with their tubas. They are open-minded enough to embrace players of euphoniums, baritones and Sousaphones as well, which makes for a marvelous combination of voices. Speaking of voices, they highly encourage the audience to join them by singing the Christmas Carols that are so familiar to those of us who grew up in this country. They typically play the first time through to the appreciative audience, then a second verse joined by hundreds of happy voices. As proof of this event’s popularity, it has been going on […]

Bitterroot threat analysis

With a little help from my friends, we developed a current list of threats we could imagine to the world as we know it – specifically, our little corner of the world. The process, and threats are applicable to much of our country. Developing a useful list is a four step process. It is best to have several minds involved. I doubt the results change significantly from four participants to fourteen or more, but there is a minimum number to have the synergy of ideas from one triggering thoughts from another. 1) Brainstorm a list Hewlett Packard taught this for working in groups. It had to be fast, fun and friendly. Ideas came out and were scribed onto the board […]

Bitterroot Community Band videos

Here are videos taken from our July 25th Daly Mansion gig. The canopy of trees overhead does not reflect and focus our sound like a real bandshell, but it came out fine… probably better live than with a compact camera on video mode. I, on the other hand, never get past the back row while we are playing. Thus this is as close as I can come to hearing our music from the front and thank my wife for shooting us. ๐Ÿ˜‰ – – – – – – The musicians involved fondly call this “The summer sight-reading program”. We practice a generous fistfull of charts on Tuesday, then play them later in the week for an audience. Next week we […]

Bitterroot Community Band remaining summer schedule

There are a few opportunities left to catch this band before they close down for the winter … okay, more accurately, the non-summer season. We play while public schools are not in session. That is because a significant number of our musicians as well as the director are music teachers during the school year. Thus we only run our “summer sight reading program” during the non-school period. Everybody is welcome. Thus the skill levels vary a bit, but I happened in front of the band while it was practicing Tuesday and it sounded sharp! In the trombone section at the back of the band I rarely get the big picture. But it is good. The reviews are good. The price […]

Jungle Antenna Building Workshop

July 6, 2019 – Darby, Montana Six of us came to my Bunkhouse Road workshop from SE Darby hills, Hamilton and Alberton canyons – Technicians, Generals, Amateur Extras Some white-board work explaining the math in metric and inches Our calculations were primarily done in metric (Ted’s slide rule prefers it) 300,000,000 meters per second / 147,000,000 Hz = 2.04 meters = 204 cm a quarter wave antenna will be about 50 cm long, as will each radial Measurements were done with metric + inch tape measure Hardware: dual binding post to BNC connector BNC to SO-239 Adapter choices of light and heavy electric fence wire electric fence insulators home-made pvc pipe insulators Poly-pipe Tees and drip irrigation pipe for radial […]

Bitterroot Community Band

— This is a summer-series concert band open to anyone who wants to play their band instruments. We play high school level charts at various free-to-the-public gigs around the Bitterroot. — I encourage you to print one of these schedules for your bulletin board [and another one or two for public bulletin boards.] 2019 Summer Schedule .pdf

emergency communication

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, once again I address the subject of what do you do when your phones and Internet stop working? Wonder and Nothing useful Are the two answers most people will default to. I know I am unusual in planning and preparing for such a scenario. I not only think of ME and mine, but want others to have value in their radios as well. So I produce an attractive, sturdy laminated card that they just might keep with their two-way radio enabling them to find value in it when no other means of mid-range communication is available. I hereby introduce GEN III of my cards. I will distribute as widely as […]