Archive for November, 2008

2008 ARRL Sweepstakes Phone

Monday, November 17th, 2008

Well, I decided, this weekend, to contact K2NNY, a station operated from Northern New York by some members of the Rochester DX Association for the 2008 ARRL Sweepstakes Phone. So, I heard them, and tried to call them, but they weren’t answering, so I decided to make some contacts and try later. Before I knew it, I had 144 contacts, and it was the next day!

So, without further ado, here are my stat’s from this year’s sweepstakes, my first ever:

Contacts Made: 144

Bands Operated: 80, 40, 20

Sections Worked: 45 unique, as follows: 18 VA, 16 MDC, 10 IL, 9 OH, 7 MI, 5 MO, 5 IN, 4 WMA, 4 WI, 4 STX, 4 NC, 3 SD, 3 MR, 3 ME, 3 LA, 3 ENY, 3 EMA, 2 WNY, 2 TN, 2 SNJ, 2 SJV, 2 SF, 2 SCV, 2 RI, 2 NH, 2 MN, 2 GA, 2 CT, 2 CO, 2 AL, and singles from WWA, WVA, WPA, WCF, SDG, NTX, NNY, NNJ, NM, NJ, KY, KS, EPA, EB, and BC.

So, I had quite a bit of fun! They have all been added to the ham radio log page on this website. A full list of the contacts made during the contest follows the break.

Q# Callsign Date Time On Freq Check Section
1 NC1I 2008-11-5 21:32 7208 73 WMA
2 W3IDT 2008-11-5 21:35 7219 57 MDC
3 W8RC 2008-11-5 21:37 7235 48 MI
4 K2PLF 2008-11-5 21:38 7235 55 MDC
5 N4ZZ 2008-11-5 21:39 7240 57 TN
6 K9CT 2008-11-5 21:40 7243 67 IL
7 WA1BXY 2008-11-5 21:42 7246 06 RI
8 K9MOT 2008-11-5 21:46 7250 96 IL
9 N8MRC 2008-11-5 21:47 7266 96 MI
10 K9MV 2008-11-5 21:48 7266 99 IN


Of Wet Cellphones…

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

Well, my dad decided to wash his cellphone, except I think he really didn’t mean to.. well, the upside is that I got to gut the phone in drying it out, and it’s actually working, somewhat.. there’s some leftover rubbing alcohol in the screen which is drying out (I used alcohol to displace the water) but I think the mic might be busted, kinda killing the whole phone aspect of it :)

Enjoy the pictures, tho!

Alpha Console!!

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

I saw this interesting error on Facebook when going to view a video that was commented on by someone in my friends list, resulting in it being bumped to my attention. This message.. I don’t know, sorta makes sense, sorta doesn’t :) Sure, alpha does, but alpha console? It sounded rather… spaceship-jargon like. Like… here’s an alpha console:

Alpha console?

Props to whoever can correctly name what movie that picture is.. based off of. I actually stole the picture from something on the BBC website, but that’s beside the point.

Just a curiosity I thought I would mention :)

Paperclip CW and Laptop Rescue

Sunday, November 2nd, 2008

Sending CW...

Well, long time since an entry, and I have to attribute the inspiration/motivation to write this one to N2QDK, Mike Wren for giving me the idea to write this entry (ok, he told me to write it..) Anyhow, this weekend was the CW Sweepstakes, a contest on the radio using CW (Morse-code, for those non-radio types). Now, I’m of the newer generation of hams, who didn’t require a morse code test to get their license, but nevertheless, I have been attempting to learn my code. This weekend, Paul Mackanos, K2DB, was operating from his station in the Adirondacks, K2NNY, and he encouraged the members of a local club, the Rochester DX Association (which I am a member of..) to contact him. So, feeling lucky, I decided to try and make a contact with Morse code with him. Without a Morse code key.

At this point, I’m sure you’re thoroughly confused, and it’s ok, you should be. But, ingenious as I am, I decided to make my own, using a paperclip and a 1/4inch mono cable (actually, my sister’s instrument cable.. shhh..). It actually worked alright, and I was able to send a relatively clean rendition of my callsign. Now, receiving.. that was a different ordeal. I am horrible at copying at the speeds that Paul was operating at (or copying at all) so I tried to use CW decoding software on the computer. I was able to decode a few of his exchanges, but a good deal of it was garbled, unfortunately, due to machine error. If I knew the code, I definitely would have been able to copy him, as he had a perfectly fine signal. So, I threw my call out there, hoping for the best. Unfortunately, the poor accuracy of the CW decoding software hindered my means of telling whether he actually heard me or not. Oh well, it was fun!

Toshiba Satellite Laptop BIOS Reset

Now, in other news, I was given an ooold Toshiba laptop by Irv, AF2K, to fix, last weekend. He said, “It starts up with a [BIOS] password prompt, and won’t do anything more.” I figured, ok, I’ll open it up and use the reset jumper. “Well, one of the screws is stripped..,” he says. So, to Google I go, searching for a way to get in: backdoor passwords, special keystrokes, floppy images.. nothing of that sort. Finally, I stumbled upon a website that described a special “dongle” that shorted some pins on the parallel port, bypassing the password and putting you in the BIOS setup. So, off I went, constructing what you see above to the instructions below.

Short pins: (1,5,10) (2,11) (3,17) (4,12) (6,16) (7,13) (8,14) & (9,15)

When I was done, I checked the shorted pins for continuity, plugged it in, crossed my fingers… and voila! I was in the BIOS setup! I cleared the password, and booted up to the strangely beautiful sight of Windows XP. Irv had been telling me, “I doubt you can fix it, I’ve had so many other guys look at it, try and get it to work, but to no avail.” I call him, “When would you like to come pick up your laptop?” Needless to say, he was stunned.

That’s all for now, folks.. come back next time!