Sunday, October 19, 2014

What a Drone Can See From 17,500 Feet

Pretty damn impressive.

And "they" say they have no idea what was going on at Benghazi.....

Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Present for the Battleship Iowa

While I was there today running one of the HF stations for JOTA, I happened to notice numerous pallets of "dummy" shells down by the outdoor crew break area.

I'd read in out crew newsletter that these were being delivered, but hadn't seen them yet.

Each pallet had a tag stating that it weighed 4250 lbs, and we have STACKS of them:

These were freebies from the Navy, we just had to pay the freight.

And I don't even think about how much it cost to ship them from Indiana to SoCal!

Next time I'm there I'll have my Nikon with me, so I'll get some close ups of the individual shells.

And as soon as I get some pix of the JOTA event, I'll post them here.

Suffice to say we ran 130 Scouts, in four groups, through the 4 stations we had running, and got them all signed off for the "On-The-Air" portion of their Radio Merit Badge class.

We even worked W7BSA, and K2BSA, which made some of our Scouts really happy.

And they ALL had a great time exploring the Iowa!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

250,000 Page Views!

Which aint bad for a little blog that's not updated regularly, doesn't run pr0n, and really doesn't have much to say.

Spent all day on the Iowa finishing up the three W-J 8718A receivers we have.

Next week we'll run some tests on them to determine if they all meet the sensitivity specs, and if they do, we'll call it a wrap.

*Most* of the 1051 receivers are working, but about half of them need the belts that connect the tuning mechanisms to the front panel knobs replaced.

We were able to contact the company that makes the drive belts, and they graciously provided us with enough spares to replace all the belts in all the receivers (we have something like 20 of them), along with some extra spares for the parts cabinet.

Now that we have the W-J 8718A's back on-line, my focus is going to shift to getting the original HF transmitters running again.

The first step will be to physically inspect each one to see if any parts or assemblies have been pulled, and "red tag" any we find that have had parts removed.

Then we'll pick a likely one that's easy to get at, and start running the "New Installation" guide in the back of the manual we have.

These are rated at 1000 Watts continuous (100% Duty Cycle) use, and could put out quite a bit more with a different power supply.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Between the Honey Dew list, my time on the Iowa, and doing some "emergency" repairs on PC's for friends, I've been keeping pretty busy these days.

The last of the suspension parts came in for my Supra (new springs! I'm dropping the front 1.5" and the rear .75"), so I'm planning on getting started on her Real Soon Now.

Finished up rebuilding a PC I'll be taking down to the Iowa so we can do computer-based logging on, and that should help keep the records straight.

We're making several hundred contacts per week, and it was getting to be a chore filling out all the cards an envelopes for QSL cards.

AND........Friday was kind of a bummer for my wife and I. I gave one of her best friends a ride to and from the hospital for her colonoscopy, and she's got a major problem. She has an ulcer "the size of a nickle", and the Doctor who did the procedure is already talking chemo and radiation, so she and my wife are rather distraught.

She won't know for sure until the biopsy results come back, so we've got our fingers and toes crossed.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Monday, October 6, 2014

"Failure To Fire" Is Going Offline

One of the more, uh...."interesting" webcomics has published it's final episode today.

Yep, "Failure To Fire" is going dark.

The author might do a few "afterword" comics, but for the most part he's decided to close up shop and get on with his other projects, and life in general.

I don't remember when I first started reading "Failure To Fire", but it sure was a fun ride while it lasted.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

NRA Basic Pistol Class AAR

Well, we taught another 14 people the NRA Basic Pistol class yesterday.

We started with 15, but one young lady vanished after about an hour. She's an LPN, so we figured maybe she was called in to work or something.

As usual, we had quite a wide variety of people, from Patent Attorneys to web designers, to a retired Navy Officer who brought her son with her.

 Some of the students had prior shooting experience and were taking the class to improve their skills, while others had never handled a gun before.

They were all very interested, followed directions well, and we had no safety or firearms handling issues at all.

After the classroom session was over, we headed out to the range to let the students get some hands-on practice.

The basic format of this is to fire 20 rounds at a blank sheet of 8-1/2x10 paper, then 20 rounds at a target, and then 10 rounds at a fresh target for scoring.

The blank paper is used so we can get a feel for the students handle the gun, and correct any errors they might have with stance, grip, and sighting in. I always tell them to try and hit the center of the paper, and then use you first hole as a target and try to get the rest of the rounds "in the same hole", or if you're really off, then try and get your next shot closer to the center.

We had one little Ruger Mark-II malfunction (magazine wouldn't go in), and some ammo problems, mostly failure-to-feeds. The lead instructor told me the Mark-II's are a bit finicky about what ammo works in them, and with 22LR still being a bit scarce, we just try and live with it.

We also saw a bunch of stove-pipes which I assumed was from limp wristing, but after instructing the student who was having the problem to grip the pistol tighter, the problem lessened.

The 20 rounds on a target went well, with ALL of the students shooting 100% in the black target area, and a several getting 100% in the orange bull's eye!

Te retired Navy Officer had some problems with her stance (she was shooting her own pistol, a Taurus clone of a Beretta 92), and once I corrected her, she came right on target.

The 10 rounds on target was a bit different, as the students felt some "pressure" for being in competition.

Two scored 100%, so we had a 3 round shoot-off, with one young lady getting 100%, and the guy she was up against getting two in the orange, and one on the edge.

All-in-all, it was a great day, and we trained 14 more people in the proper handling and the basics of shooting.

Friday, October 3, 2014

"An OBLIGATION To Defend Ourselves"

Latest from Bill Whittle.

He says the title of this post at 3:03 into the video.

I'm going to assist with another "NRA Basic Pistol" class tomorrow.

Hopefully it goes as well as the last one I helped with.