Host ID: 334
I am a farm kid from south-central Kansas. I currently live near the city of Wichita and I am a Systems and Networking Administrator for a local ISP. I have a number of "hacker friendly" hobbies that include Amateur Radio and Model Rocketry.
What's In My Ham Shack
In this episode I am starting what I hope will become a series where Amateur Radio operators talk about what equipment they have and use in their Ham Shacks.
Ham Shack Definition
A good definition of exactly what a Ham Shack is can be found on Wikipedia.
Categories of Ham Radio gear
I tend to divide gear into the following categories.
- Portable - hand-held devices designed for carrying.
- Mobile - equipment that is designed to be used in a vehicle.
- Base - gear used in a fixed station environment.
- Miscellaneous - other stuff.
My Ham Shack
You can google any of these model numbers to see what the hardware looks like and learn more about it.
- Allinco DJ-190 Handy-Talkie
- Yeasu VX-6R tri-band Handy-Talkie
- Yeasu FT-8800 dual-band radio
- New Motorolla Mount (NMO) antenna mount
- Comet B-10nmo mobile antenna
- Comet SBB-5nmo mobile antenna
Base Station Gear
- ICOM IC-746 HF+6m+2m radio
- Grasshopper II vertical HF antenna
- Unknown brand vertical 2-meter/70-cm base station antenna
- MFJ-4225MV Switching Power Supply
- MFJ-949E Manual Antenna Tuner
- LDG Electronics AT-200Pro II Automatic Antenna Tuner
- Computer running Xubuntu 16.04
- West Mountain RIGblaster Advantage digital interface
- MFJ-269C Antenna Analyzer
- Stereo head-phones and microphone
- Push-to-Talk pedal
- RTL-SDR Dongle
- Collection of various connectors and adaptors
Introduction to Model Rocketry
In this episode I introduce the hobby of model rocketry. I specifically highlight some of the advanced elements of the hobby to show how model rocketry goes from being a fun activity for kids to a serious hobby enjoyed by many adults.
- History of model rocketry.
- Early amateur experimentation with rocketry.
- G. Harry Stine develops the model rocket motor.
- Vern Estes develops a way to mass produce motors.
- Basic model rocket components and flight.
- Airframe, nose cone, and fins.
- The part of the model rocket motor.
- Recovery mechanism (parachutes and streamers).
- The launch pad
- The basic flight profile of a model rocket.
- Building a typical model rocket kit.
- Scratch building your own designs.
- Using commercial components.
- Using ordinary materials for rockets.
- Fabricating components: Lathes, laser cutters, CNC machines, etc.
- Using CAD and simulation software.
Craftsmanship and scale modeling.
- Model rocket competition.
- Regional, national, and international meets.
- Events: Altitude, duration, advanced recovery methods, payloads, egglofting.
- High power rockets.
- Large rockets.
- High altitude rockets.
- Supersonic rockets
- Composite motors.
- Complex rocketry.
- Motor clustering.
- Dual deployment.
- Flight computers
- National associations.
- National Association of Rocketry (NAR).
- Tripoli Rocketry Association (TRA).
- Safety codes.
- Liability insurance.
- Local clubs.
A little about my personal interests in model rocketry.
The following is a non-exhaustive list of companies that manufacture and/or sell model rocket kits and suplies. I've primary listed those that I'm most familiar with. There are certainly others.
- Estes https://www.estesrockets.com/
- Quest http://www.questaerospace.com/
- Semroc http://www.semroc.com/
- Apogee Components https://www.apogeerockets.com/
- LOC Precision http://www.locprecision.com/
- Public Missles Ltd https://publicmissiles.com/
- Madcow Rocketry https://www.madcowrocketry.com/
- Giant Leap Rocketry https://giantleaprocketry.com/
- Flis Kits Inc http://www.fliskits.com/
- Wildman Rocketry https://www.wildmanrocketry.com/
These are some of the major manufactures of high power composite motors.
- Aerotech Consumer Aerospace http://www.aerotech-rocketry.com/
- Cesaroni Technology http://www.pro38.com/
These are the two United States national model rocketry associations.
- National Association of Rocketry http://www.nar.org/
- Tripoli Rocketry Assocation http://www.tripoli.org/
Resource for competition rocketry.
- National Association of Rocketry Annual Meet http://www.nar.org/contest-flying/naram-the-nationals/
- FAI World Championship http://www.fai.org/
Here are a number of other interesting links
- G. Harry Stine Wikipedia Page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G._Harry_Stine
- Vern Estes Wikipedia Page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vernon_Estes
- October Sky Wikipedia Page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/October_Sky
- Homer Hickam Jr Wikipedia Page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homer_Hickam
In the show I said that G. Harry Stine worked at the White Sands Missile Base. The correct name for that facility is White Sands Missile Range. But, during the time that Stine worked there, it would have been called the White Sands Proving Ground. http://www.wsmr.army.mil/
Dutch Blitz was created by Werner Ernst George Muller, from Pennsylvania, in the United States, in 1959. It is similar to the game Nertz, which is played with standard playing cards. Nertz had been around since the 1940s. It isn’t totally clear to what extent Mr Muller was influenced by the game of Nertz. He was an optometrist and it is said that he thought the game might help his children learn about colors and numbers.
The game has a theme that originates with the Pennsylvania Dutch culture, which was formed by early German immigrants to eastern Pennsylvania in the United States. The symbols used on the cards are representative of that culture, which tended to be agricultural and of a conservative protestant Christian faith.
Each player has their own deck of cards. The standard set has 4 decks, so it can accommodate 2-4 players. There is an extension pack that adds 4 more decks, supporting 4 more players. Each deck has 40 cards made up of number cards from 1 through 10 in four different colors (suits): red, blue, green, and yellow. Additionally, the red and blue cards have a picture of a boy and the green and yellow cards have a picture of a girl. The decks are differentiated from each other by a symbol on the back side of each card. The four standard decks have the following symbols: pump, buggy, plow, and bucket.
Blitz Pile - A pile of 10 cards that are dealt by each player before game play starts. One of the goals is for the player to get rid of their Blitz pile. When one player clears their Blitz pile, the round is over.
Post Piles - Three piles of cards to the left of the Blitz pile that are used by the player to help sort through cards during the game play. These piles begin as 3 cards dealt out by the player before game play. Cards can then be added to these piles in descending order and alternating “gender”. If one of the Post piles is cleared, the player may take a card off of their Blitz pile to start a new one.
Wood Pile - During game play, the player rotates through their deck by taking 3 cards, face down, and turning them face up and placing them on the Wood pile. The top most card is available to be played.
Dutch Piles - During game play, players can start a Dutch pile when they have a playable card with the number 1 on it. These piles are placed in the middle of the table. The piles can then be built up, in sequential order and of matching color. Any player can play a card on any Dutch pile.
The game is played in rounds. The players do not take turns. When play starts, all players begin playing at the same time as fast as they can. When a player is able to clear their Blitz pile, they shout the word “Blitz” and all play must then stop. That is the end of the round.
When the round ends all of the cards that have been played on the Dutch piles are sorted into their representative decks. Each player counts the number of cards that they have played and then subtracts two times the number of cards left on their Blitz pile. That is their score for the round.
In order to maximize one’s points for a round, the objectives are two-fold. You want to play as many cards as possible on the Dutch piles, but you also want to get rid of as many cards on your Blitz pile as possible.