News archive May 2016 - Koos van den Hout

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2016-05-27 Reminded of Computing Across America 4 years ago
Steven K. Roberts on Behemoth II A fellow radio amateur posted an old picture somewhere of Steven K. Roberts on the Behemoth "Big Electronic Human Energized Machine, Only Too Heavy" bicycle, a recumbent bicycle with computers and amateur radio as a joke suggestion to me. But this is more than just a joke to me, I follow the work by Steven K. Roberts since somewhere in the 1980s when I saw an article and picture about him in a popular science magazine. Articles and pictures by Steven K. Roberts are now collected on microship.com where some of the old memories seem to have gone the way of the 404 after almost 30 years of gathered digital history have been reorganized.

Steven is still busy with the same ideas, nowadays on a nice sailboat, as can be seen at Blog - Technomadic & Gonzo Engineering with regular projects.

Browsing the site I found some interesting videos such as the ones in Vintage Video: Computing Across America - Hackaday and Computing Across America - April 1988 - Louisville WHAS11 Bernson's Corner - Youtube.com.

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2016-05-26 (Still using insecure passwords? I'm not saying this research is very thorough or scientifically correct...) 4 years ago
Google+Koos van den Hout : Still using insecure passwords? I'm not saying this research is very thorough or scientifically correct but I like the presentation as a tool for awareness.
2016-05-24 Updating the Electronic QSL collection for SWL reports 4 years ago
In the Electronic QSL received at PD4KH / PE4KH I have some SWL reports received via eQSL and I decided I should note these correctly. So I updated the script that generates this page and now NL12621, DL-SWL/DE1PCE, R4A-1227 and others are properly noted.

I haven't found a conclusive list of all SWL 'callsigns' so I may miss some.

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2016-05-23 (""" As the administrative heart of McMurdo, the Chalet has the power to (unofficially) stamp our passports...) 4 years ago
Google+Koos van den Hout : One of the places I would love to visit (and I know it is nearly impossible): the South Pole.
2016-05-20 Following allong with Hamvention 2016 4 years ago
Hamvention 2016 on aprs.fi
Hamvention 2016 on aprs.fi, map from google maps
I am following the 2016 Dayton Hamvention safely from my own location. Lots happening there which is interesting and maybe I should go there one day. But for those 'playing along at home' there are lots of option nowadays: following hashtag #hv2016live on twitter, with interesting pictures and reports by @ke9v Jeff Davis on twitter and seeing the aprs.fi APRS map around Dayton which went from two or three APRS stations this morning (Dutch time) to a lot of active APRS stations at the moment (see screenshot).

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2016-05-09 Laatste voorbereidingen voor Mills on the Air 2016 4 years ago
De laatste voorbereidingen zijn klaar: de software op de laptop die de radio kan aansturen en de gegevens kan overnemen voor logging is getest. Gewoon hamlib voor de aansturing en cqrlog voor de logging. Werkt allemaal prima, even een test verbinding mee gelogd. Een extra coax kabel en bijpassende koppelstukken zijn er nu ook. Alles op een rijtje in Mills on the Air 2016 PE4KH.

Update 2016-05-16: en de resultaten maar even toegevoegd bij Resultaten Mills on the Air 2016 PE4KH, waarbij de korte samenvatting is: "waardeloos".

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2016-05-09 (I will be active in the Mills on the air event upcoming Saturday 14 May 2016. Under my own callsign ...) 4 years ago
Google+Koos van den Hout : I will be active in the Mills on the air event upcoming Saturday 14 May 2016. Under my own callsign PE4KH from mill 'Het Pink' in Koog aan de Zaan in the Netherlands locator JO22JL.
Activity will be on 40m HF and maybe 20m depending on propagation/activity.
2016-05-08 I participated in the ARI International DX contest 4 years ago
yfktest in ARI-DX contest screen
yfktest in ARI-DX contest screen
I participated in the ARI International DX contest 2016, organized by the Associazione Radioamatori Italiani. And this time I even did some voice contesting (phone) too!

As mentioned before phone contesting with Linux is available. I gave yfktest a spin and noticed it did not support the ARI-DX contest. With copying and modifying the Hungarian DX contest I think I found what was needed to support this contest enough to allow me to enter valid exchanges including Italian provinces. Getting the current claimed score right would take a lot more work.

So I gave it all a try and answered a number of CQ contest calls.

With the headset interface for my FT-857 radio connected and the footswitch in use both hands are available to type callsigns and serial numbers. I decided I need a better place to put at least the front of my radio: when I work in voice mode I need to spin the big dial a lot more so it should be easier to reach, it is currently on a high shelf above the monitor. Getting a sore shoulder from just a while on the radio is not a good thing. Given earlier experiences with RF interference in computers it may be the best to separate the front from the radio so the dial is not to far but the radio signals are.

When the time to play with the radio in the afternoon was finished I took a pause and later in the evening I continued in RTTY mode which was also an option in this multimode contest.

Conditions for HF contesting were bad since there seems to be a new source of noise on the HF bands. Where I was used to noise being S7/S8 level it is now constantly at the S9+10dB or S9+20dB level.

The results:
Total number of QSO in your log is 25, Including 0 QSO with errors, Valid QSO - 25
Band  QSOs Dupes Points Mults
160      0     0      0     0
80       0     0      0     0
40       9     0     54     9
20      16     0     70    10
15       0     0      0     0
10       0     0      0     0
======================================
Total   25     0    124    19
Claimed score is 2356 points

Update 2017-01-06:
And the results are in, I guess it takes the italians a while to check the logs.
        ARI International DX CONTEST 2016
           Band     QSOs    Pts  Mul

           160m        0      0    0
            80m        0      0    0
            40m        9     54    9
            20m       16     70    9
            15m        0      0    0
            10m        0      0    0

           Total      25    124   18 ==>     2232
The only thing changed is the number of multipliers in the 20 meter band.

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2016-05-02 I participated in the Russian worldwide multimode contest 2016 4 years ago
This weekend I had a few hours to play radio and I participated in the Russian worldwide multimode contest 2016. I also participated in the Russian worldwide multimode contest in 2015 so there is a chance now to compare the results.

Saturday afternoon and evening I was active on 40 meter. Mostly in PSK63, only a few contacts in RTTY. PSK63 decodes better at the same signal to noise level so it's easier in search and pounce mode. Again having more access to the 40 meter band is good in this case, I made a lot of contacts in the 7.040 MHz part.

Sunday morning I was active on 20 meter until I had a nice number of contacts in the log and it was time to go out and enjoy the weather.

I had a few nice runs where I called CQ and got several answers after another. I have some ideas about analyzing the cabrillo logs for qso rates.
Band  QSOs Dupes Points Mults
160      0     0      0     0
80       0     0      0     0
40      63     1    380    37
20      16     0     50    15
15       0     0      0     0
10       0     0      0     0
======================================
Total   79     1    430    52
Claimed score is 22360 points
One QSO was noted as incorrect because I was returned a Russian 'oblast code' for a Ukranian callsign. I guess some politics are involved there, I'm not very good (yet) at recognizing which callsigns are from which country.

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2016-05-02 Experiences with vectored VDSL and amateur radio transmissions 4 years ago
It is a while after my last report on Vectored VDSL and the influence of amateur radio transmissions and it's time to share the current experiences especially with the change to the DrayTek Vigor 130 VDSL modem.

The first conclusion is that the modem doesn't matter much. I am now used to the connection dropping and retraining when I start on a 'new' frequency. I haven't figured out yet what the exact definition of 'new' is, when I haven't been active for a number of days on 20M PSK31 the first transmission on that band can trigger the disconnect. There seems to be no direct influence on the maximum speed after the reconnect, it sometimes goes up. A serious change of frequency (different band or a different part of a band) can trigger another disconnect.

In the mean time an xs4all user shared after long debugging of vectored VDSL problems to have found the cause in the PLC (powerline communications) network devices as delivered by xs4all for television over IP. Yet another reason to not use PLC. But in the ideal world the lastmile connections for high speed would be fiber-based anyway.

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, reachable as koos+website@idefix.net. PGP encrypted e-mail preferred.

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