November 14, 2014

Investment in knowledge...

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." -- Benjamin Franklin

Written by: NJ2X, Michael Maher

November 12, 2014

Beware of trying to build a society...

We must beware of trying to build a society in which nobody counts for anything except a politician or an official, a society where enterprise gains no reward and thrift no privileges. -- Sir Winston Churchill

Sir Winston Churchill

Written by: NJ2X, Michael Maher

November 7, 2014

America's quiet warriors...

America's quiet warriors are the legion of ham radio operators, 700,000 of them, who are always at ready for backup duty in emergencies – amateur, unpaid, uncelebrated, civilian radio operators, during and after floods and fires and tornadoes. After the 9/11 attacks, hams were indispensable in reuniting friends and families. Most recently it was they who expedited the search for debris after the Columbia Explosion , and right now, at this moment, they are involved in homeland security to a greater degree than you would want me to make public. — Paul Harvey
Written by: NJ2X, Michael Maher

November 2, 2014

ARRL Centennial QSO Party - NJ2X standing as of November 1, 2014

We have been enjoying the ARRL Centennial QSO Party since getting our station on the air August 15, 2014 after being off the air since the beginning of January 2014.  You can check your current standing on-line.  It is fun to watch your statistics grow.  Wish we would have been able to operate all year - would have made a big difference score-wise.

Working the W1AW portable stations is really fun.  Planning to pick up as many as possible between now and the end of the year.  NJ2X is in the top 32% for the Centennial Points Challenge (left) and the top 19% on the W1AW portable stations leader board (right).

Good DX and 73, NJ2X
Written by: NJ2X, Michael Maher

November 1, 2014

On this day (November 1) in science history...

On this day in science history, November 1st, 1878, the first telephones are installed on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

This is portrait photograph of Alexander Graham Bell wearing a three piece suit.  His hair and full beard are both gray.
Alexander Graham Bell

Good DX and 73, NJ2X
Written by: NJ2X, Michael Maher

October 31, 2014

Difficulties in mathematics...

Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater. — Albert Einstein

Photograph of Albert Einstein standing in front of a blackboard during a lecture in Vienna in 1921
Albert Einstein

Written by: NJ2X, Michael Maher

October 25, 2014

Massive solar flare disrupts worldwide HF radio communication

Hams worldwide were having a great time today in the CQ WW SSB Contest (2014.10.25) on HF until about 17:00 UTC when a massive X-class solar flare caused radio blackout worldwide.  The sound of all the HF bands closing down was remarkable.  The only HF communication remaining active was via ground wave propagation.  The HF radio blackout started to lift about 18:30 UTC with the re-opening of the 10m and 12m bands and then the other bands over time.

X-class solar flare erupting 2014.10.25
Photo by NASA/SDO

Full disk image in orange color tones of the sun showing a massive X3.1 solar flare
Massive X3.1 Class Solar Flare 2014.10.24
Photo by NASA/SDO

So what does X3.1 solar flare mean?  Solar flares are classified as A, B, C, M or X according to the peak flux in watts per square meter (W/m2) X-rays near Earth, as measured on the GOES spacecraft.
ClassificationPeak Flux Range picometre (W/m2)

A< 10−7
B10−7 - 10−6
C10−6 - 10−5
M10−5 - 10−4
X10−4 - 10−3
Z> 10−3
Within each class there is a linear scale from 1 to 9.n (apart from X), so an X2 flare is twice as powerful as an X1 flare, and is four times more powerful than an M5 flare.  X class flares up to X28 have been recorded.

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

Written by: NJ2X, Michael Maher

October 24, 2014

Inventions have been the product of experiment and work based on physical reasoning...

Anyone who has had actual contact with the making of the inventions that built the radio art knows that these inventions have been the product of experiment and work based on physical reasoning, rather than on the mathematicians' calculations and formulae.  Precisely the opposite impression is obtained from many of our present day text books and publications. — Edwin Armstrong
Drawing of Edwin H. Armstrong
Edwin H. Armstrong

Edwin H. Armstrong invented the regenerative circuit, superheterodyne circuit, superregenerative circuit, and FM radio. 

Written by: NJ2X, Michael Maher

October 17, 2014


Simplicibus itaque verbis gaudet Mathematica Veritas, cum etiam per se simplex sit Veritatis oratio. (So Mathematical truth prefers simple words since the language of truth is itself simple.) — Tycho Brahe
Portrait of Tycho Brahe
Tycho Brahe

Written by: NJ2X, Michael Maher

October 12, 2014

Phonetic Alphabet Viewer iPhone app for learning the international phonetic alphabet

There seems to be an app for nearly everything.  Are you working on learning the international phonetic alphabet?  Well it turns out there is an app for that too - the Phonetic Alphabet Viewer available on the iPhone.  This is a very simple app that provides the student with an interactive visual method of learning.  Simply touch a key to see the phonetic equivalent spelled on the screen instantly.  The price is right too - FREE.  The app also has solid customer ratings which is often a good indicator of product quality.

Go through the alphabet in sequence saying the phonetic equivalent in your head.  Then press the letter to check if you have it correct.  When you find a letter that you struggle with pause for a moment to repeat the phonetic three times while focusing on the word.

You will be speaking the international phonetic alphabet in no time.  Practice, practice, practice, ...

Phonetic Alphabet Viewer screen shot

Good DX and 73, NJ2X
Written by: NJ2X, Michael Maher