Monday, September 13, 2021

NGC-7000 meets K-4415

North America Nebula, Nikon Z7 II, 300mm/f4
On two separate evenings last week I made nighttime activations of POTA K-4415.

By far, the best part of it all wasn't the radio-activity or the astrophotography - it was simply the being there. Alone, at night, under a clear, star-filled sky.

The Milky Way was prominent from horizon to horizon immediately after turning off the car's headlights, with my eyes not yet dark-adapted.

Maybe that's a significant appeal of this new astro-photo bug that's bitten me and I'm only just now starting to realize it.

The photo obtained is my least-favorite in the new-to-me genre but that doesn't diminish the experience a bit. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

The photo is of the North America Nebula (NGC-7000). That other redness east of "Florida" is the Pelican Nebula. In other words, blobs of interstellar gas. Galaxies impress me; gaseous clouds, not so much. But the technology required to capture them - that piques my interest.

The new auto-guider works, and works well. I was able to make 3-minute exposures with not a hint of elongated stars. By itself, the tracker is only good for 60, maybe 90, seconds before stars start looking like the commas in this sentence. Add an autoguider and new possibilities emerge.

It works like this:

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Elecraft KPA-500 for sale (local buyer preferred)

I no longer have a need for my KPA-500 amplifier and, due to its weight, prefer to sell it to someone locally here in the Houston (Kingwood) area.

The amplifier is wired for 240VAC - the cord will not be included as I need it for my new amp. Spiral-bound manual is included.

It is in excellent condition and operates properly on all bands. Smoke-free home.

$1750 cash if sold locally.







Tuesday, September 7, 2021

The 30-year war of Lieutenant Onada


In the spring of 1974, Japanese army Lieutenant Hiroo Onada was finally relieved of duty. This was on the Philippine island of Lubang, where he'd been living in the jungle since 1944.

Lt. Onada was a World War 2 special forces officer whose orders were to remain on the island until he was relieved by Japanese forces:

“You are absolutely forbidden to die by your own hand. It may take three years, it may take five, but whatever happens, we’ll come back for you. Under no circumstances are you to give up your life voluntarily.”

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Building a Moxon for 40.6 MHz

After looking at various assembly methods for 6m Moxons, I finally settled on a design, scaled it to 8 meters and bought the parts. Total price was right around $28.


If you've ever thought about building a Moxon for any band between 2 and 10 meters, I highly recommend taking a look at this video from Steve AD4XT. It provides an effective way of providing a central spreader and a mount, all in one - and at a low price.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

POTA K-3056 with the HF-316 MagLoop: I am not an alligator, but.....


The gate leading in to this park opens at 8am and there were 5 other cars waiting when I arrived. We then drove in and the others emerged from their cars with cameras and long lenses. Bird photographers, I thought.

Over the course of the next two hours I learned that they were there to photograph alligators. The long lenses allowed them (unlike me!) to keep their distance from these creatures.