News archive August 2017 - Koos van den Hout

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2017-08-28 I participated in the SCC RTTY 2017 contest from the radioclub location 4 years ago
Again this year had the SCC RTTY contest in the same weekend as the barbeque of the radio club so the solution was to work in the contest from the location of the radio club. I set up with the endfed antenna in the available field.

That field is close to some houses so I had some interference. And the main problem was that the computer control between the laptop running fldigi (the contest logging software) and the radio regularly gave problems, usually leaving the radio in transmit mode. The laptop and the computer interface aren't shielded very well which is probably a reason, combined with the use of the endfed antenna which is known for causing interference since it's an asymmetric antenna.

In the end I made 53 contacts. Less than the number of contacts in previous SCC RTTY contest but I had limited time and local noise was higher than I expected. For a next time I am working on a common mode choke to limit interference to the computer and maybe some noise. And probably next time I contest at the radio club I will try to use a different antenna location.
Read the rest of I participated in the SCC RTTY 2017 contest from the radioclub location

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2017-08-25 (Cooling down after a nice barbecue) 4 years ago
Google+Koos van den Hout : Cooling down after a nice barbecue
2017-08-24 Operated outdoor portable at the location near Maartensdijk again 4 years ago
This morning I had some time and a good reason to leave the house. So I packed the radio, batteries and headphones and loaded all of it in the trailer of the recumbent and cycled to the bend in the road with a table and some trees where I operated portable before.

The local noise was very low again, about S1 on the 20 meter amateur band and about S4 on the 40 meter band. But conditions made the 20 meter band very quiet so I tried answering some calls on the 40 meter band first. In total I had 5 contacts, three of which were activations in the world wide flora and fauna program. Some of the contacts later in the morning were on the 20 meter band after it opened up.

All in all a nice way to spend the morning. Things noticed:
  • My newest lead-acid battery is failing already. It has trouble charging and when the charger thinks it is full it will drop output voltage way too fast. Time for a new battery with more capacity. 20 to 25 amp-hours would be a good value.
  • Getting a rope up in a tree is still annoying, I had to try way too many times. I am looking at fiber poles for portable operations. That would also mean there are possible locations for operating outdoor portable a lot closer to our home. Just a parkbench and some way to tie the fiber mast to something vertical is enough.

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2017-08-24 Uploading FT8 contacts to LoTW from CQRLOG 4 years ago
Other people from my radioclub were reporting they uploaded FT8 contacts to LoTW so I wanted to try this too. I uploaded earlier contacts as 'DATA' (and got some confirmations) but FT8 is the correct mode so I wanted to re-upload them.

After my earlier experiences uploading FT8 contacts to eQSL I expected some database work to be able to upload those contacts again. Finding the right field to set to the right value was a bit of work since I expected the approach to be similar but it wasn't. In the end:
$ mysql -S /home/koos/.config/cqrlog/database/sock cqrlog002
mysql> update cqrlog_main set lotw_qsls = '' where mode='FT8';
Query OK, 77 rows affected (0.01 sec)
Rows matched: 78  Changed: 77  Warnings: 0
That's after trying most lotw related fields and values.

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2017-08-22 New QSL cards ordered, again from LZ3HI 4 years ago
Almost two years after I ordered QSL cards for PD4KH they ran out. I had to print stickers with the PE4KH call sign for a while to update the cards.

PE4KH qsl card front PE4KH qsl card back Now I had time to make new cards and see what the options where. I promised myself nicer cards with not just the standard data but nice colour pictures on the front side so I looked at ideas, drew some things on paper and worked a few evenings in the Gimp to get the ideas into something that would survive being printed. I created files for printing at 600 dots per inch so there should be no strange printing artefacts.

Image credits:

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2017-08-20 Terug van vakantie in zuid-Duitsland en Oostenrijk 4 years ago
We zijn terug van bijna 3 weken vakantie. De planning was om dit keer naar zuid-Duitsland te gaan. We zijn terecht gekomen op Schwarzwald camping Altensteig en na een week doorgegaan naar Kaprun in Oostenrijk naar Camping "Mühle".

Veel leuke dingen gedaan, onder andere ook bergwandelingen op de Kitzsteinhorn gletscher waar we met de lift snel naar hoogte konden om dan daar te wandelen. Hoogste punt bereikt was 3029 meter boven zeeniveau. Daar konden we in de sneeuw een stukje slee rijden.

Bij Kaprun dacht ik toch direct aan de Kabeltreinramp in Kaprun op 11 November 2000. Ter plekke kon ik weinig sporen meer zien van de aanwezigheid van die kabeltrein maar volgens de wikipedia pagina had ik iets verderop langs de parkeerplaats nog wel het herdenkingscentrum bezoeken. Het enige wat ik aan de onderkant kon zien was een stukje ontbrekend bos onder een afdichting in de bergwand. Bovenaan in het Alpine center zat een schuine uitbouw aan het gebouw.

We hebben een keer lunch gegeten in de Krefelder Hütte (een berghut in Oostenrijk gebouwd door de afdeling Krefeld van de Duitse alpensport vereniging) en volgens de kaart van openstreetmap loopt de tunnel van de kabeltrein recht onder die hut door.

Bergwandelen is ons goed bevallen, misschien volgend jaar weer!

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2017-08-19 Moving to https 4 years ago
I received a notification from the google webmaster program that chrome browser would start showing security warnings on due to the search box there.

The simple solution: make the site correctly available via https and redirect to the https version. I found out I already started doing the first bit and therefore the conversion was easy. Now with encrypted connections: The Virtual Bookcase.

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2017-08-16 (The price of privacy? In this case privacy is cheaper. Samsung web browser wanting access to SMS messages...) 4 years ago
Google+Koos van den Hout : The price of privacy? In this case privacy is cheaper. Samsung web browser wanting access to SMS messages versus Firefox focus. With an interesting difference in download size.

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