Sunday, December 4, 2016

Scopes for Air Rifles?

A very good friend of mine has a really nice 22 cal air rifle. I forget what brand it is, but it cost him around $450, and got very good online reviews on several of the air rifle forums, and it's served him well in keeping the rabbit population under control on his vegtable farm.

WELL......he dropped it a couple of weeks ago, and the optics on the (CHEEP!) scope got knocked out of alignment to the point that when I looked through it, instead of seeing a round circle of light, I saw an oval.

And it kind of rattled a bit when you shook it...

So, I gave him the scope that came from Marlin on my 336 (I replaced it with a Nikon scope), along with several sets of rings of various heights so he could get it mounted to his preference. I helped him sight it in, and all is well. The rifle is a real ass kicker for an air rifle, and will punch clean through one side of a galvanized trash can, and almost through the other side at 25 yards. Pretty impressive to my thinking!

HOWEVER....he keeps reading on the forums that you need to use a specially designed scope made specifically for air rifles to withstand the back-and-forth shock that comes from the piston slamming forward to compress the air, and then the recoil from the pellet going out the barrel.

I'd never heard of that before. Can anybody with air rifle experience shed some light here, or is it just an "Internet Myth"?

He's worried that that "expensive" scope I gave him will get damaged, and even though I don't want the scope back, I'd like some info to put his mind at ease.....

One Upsmanship.....

From an email a buddy on the Iowa sent....

I know it's fake, but it's funny, too....

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Not Much Here; Carry On!

Just been cleaning up the Radio Room a bit, mostly sorting through all the magazines (the paper kind) that have stacked up, and deciding which ones to keep, and which to dump.

I'll probably box up the car mags I don't want and ship them to one of my friends back in Illinois. Not too expensive if you use Media Mail, but it can take up to 3 weeks to get there from here.

And I've dug up a bunch of electronic items for eBay. I've got one of the original "FunCube Dongles" that's basically an SDR receiver-on-a-stick, and is the one that kicked off the whole "Cheap SDR" craze. Far better than a $20 dongle as it should be, as it was about $150 when I bought it.

The little "SDRplay" will also go on the block, as the AirSpy outperforms it by a wide margin.

A couple of RCA and Heathkit VTVMs, a couple of Heathkit Code Practice Oscillators and a Heathkit electronic keyer will go, along with some Toyota suspension parts I bought that are just too track focused to be relevant to street operation. The urethane bushings I installed are plenty "good enough" for my car, and I really don't think the Techno Toy Tuning track control rods, with their spherical rod ends in place of compliant bushings, would work OK on the street. The car I rode in that had them would rattle the fillings out of your teeth, and I don't want that.

I'll get started in on the garage cleaning ('s a never ending battle) on Sunday, and probably wind up with full "garbage" and "recycle" bins for Monday's trash pick up.

We used the last one of our "Large Item" free pick-ups for the year from the city last week, and got rid of a 75 gallon fish tank, some furniture that had been left outside and was deteriorated rather badly, and a "glider" type swinging chair/bench. It's like a porch swing, but has it's own frame so you can put it any where flat. That was gone before the city truck even got here, as we have some "junque dealers" who prowl the streets looking for items like that that can be refurbished, and sold at swap meets, or kept for their own use.

ANY large item made of metal will disappear, sometimes in minutes depending on what day of the week it is, and I doubted that item would make the city truck before it got here. It just needed a new canvas awning, it had no rust on it, and probably made the guy who picked it up smile.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Interview Wirh General Mattis

This is about 40 minutes long, and worth every second of your time.

I think President Elect Trump has made a wise choice....

And I just saw this over at the Western Rifle Shooters Association:

Be Safe, and Stay Alert

a.k.a. "Condition Yellow".

We won a major battle in November, but this war is far from over.....

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Is Trump "Your" President?

For those that don't get it, a simple flowchart:

Saturday, November 26, 2016

CBS Comes Clean

Or about as close to it as the lamestream media is capable of doing.

Go RTWT over here.

More Rain

Which is cool because drought!

It started an hour or so ago as a light sprinkle, and now it's a genuine RAIN storm. It's under .1" as of a few seconds ago when I checked my weather station, but NOAA says it should continue most of the day.

Good news for the Central Valley area where a lot of farming is done. We didn't have any reported mudslides from the last storms that came through, but if this one dumps a lot of rain that might just change.

And the little Airspy SDR radio just keeps plugging along. I did some monitoring of the APT Weather Satellites, and although I didn't save the audio files to convert them to images, I saw NO signs of strong-signal "breakthrough" like I did with the USB dongles I was using.

If you're looking for a Software Defined Radio receiver that's far better than the $25 dongles, this one gets my vote.

And I've tried almost all of them....

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

Having some family members and friends over for dinner and some board/card games.

Hope your day is a happy one as well!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Airspy SDR First Report

I didn't need to find a USB extension as the USB cable that came with this little was plenty long enough to reach from the back of my Linux PC all the way around to the front and still have a couple of feet left.

SO....I plugged it in, ran dmesg, and was reqward with the following:

[17442.607014] usb 1-1.6: new high-speed USB device number 4 using ehci-pci
[17442.700026] usb 1-1.6: New USB device found, idVendor=1d50, idProduct=60a1
[17442.700040] usb 1-1.6: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
[17442.700042] usb 1-1.6: Product: AIRSPY
[17442.700044] usb 1-1.6: Manufacturer:
[17442.700045] usb 1-1.6: SerialNumber: AIRSPY SN:573064DC314023C1
[17443.788553] Linux video capture interface: v2.00
[17443.818345] airspy 1-1.6:1.0: Board ID: 00
[17443.818350] airspy 1-1.6:1.0: Firmware version: AirSpy NOS v1.0.0-rc10-0-g946184a 2016-09-19
[17443.819047] airspy 1-1.6:1.0: Registered as swradio0
[17443.819050] airspy 1-1.6:1.0: SDR API is still slightly experimental and functionality changes may follow
[17443.819079] usbcore: registered new interface driver airspy

 This tells me it discovered a new USB device, queried it, and the device responded with it's ID, and the revisions, including what firmware is loaded into it. Very nice!

Then I started GQrx, selected "AIRSPY" from the choices, and brought up KLOS, 95.5MHz.

After that check, I tuned it to 162.550MHz for NOAA Weather Radio, and set up the filters and gain settings appropriate to listening to narrow FM voice.

It's been sitting like that for about an hour now, and there's been NO "break through" from strong local transmitters, and no funny images or spurs appearing in the panadaptor/waterfall display.

This is quite a bit better than any of the USB dongles I've tried, and I suspect it would be quite a bit better than the SDRplay receiver I have, although I gave up trying to make that radio work with Gqrx.

I haven't tried it with Linrad yet, but I'm sure it will work just fine.

And I suppose I'll try the GNURadio Companion program again, but it's pretty obtuse to use, and assumes you know a whole lot about exactly what you want to do with your hardware, and also understand the hardware extremely well.

So far, this little receiver looks like a real winner!