Friday, June 28, 2019

Sometimes technology can drive you back to old school

It's the Canada Day long weekend out this way and I'm off until Monday! My plans are to get some radio time in, do some reading and learn a bit more of what my Icom 7610 has to offer me. To help me with the learning curve I usually wonder to Youtube and watch the videos that are available there. We all have different ways of learning and for me one that works is watching videos. I have found K0PIR has a great website and many helpful YouTube videos. If you are an Icom 7300 or 7610 owner check out his Youtube work and his website  When it's time to expand my skill with a piece of ham radio equipment like the 7610 I also find a well written book to be priceless! When the 7610 came out a short time later on the reflectors there was a buzz about a new book  "The radio today  guide to the Icom IC-7610". I went online to purchase the book and found it was not only available as a traditional paperback book  but also an ebook in Kindle formate. Today we have many Ebook formats available to us but I have found that Kindle seems to be the go too ebook. I opted for the Kindle and in 3 seconds it was available for me to read!
I have read many ebooks in the past and one great option is there can be links added that send you to a site for further detailed reading on a particular point. It's also nice to not have to remember the book when you are out and about an ebook can be viewed on your PC, Ipad and phone as well. For the first time I found a major limitation with my kindle ebook. The Icom guide book had many references where you were asked to return to a particular page. I had never noticed in the past but my kindle version of the book the page numbers were very odd. I guess the wording of page numbers is incorrect as kindle show a percent or a location. The location number is on the thousands! When the author asks you to return to page 55 it is next to impossible to find it and can get very frustrating. In this book in particular you are directed by page number to either move back or forward for further reading. It was really getting to me that I went back to Amazon and purchased the paperback and it was delivered the other day. It goes to show you that sometimes that technology has limitations and going back to the old school still works.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Time to update!

Today was my time to sit down at the PC and check out what amateur radio programs needed updating........now this has always lead me into a computer/software adventure. I use the word "adventure" loosely as it's more like a grey hair adventure. The programs I planned to tackle were:
                    - N1MM+ my contesting program
                    - WSJT-X my digi program
                    - JTDX my digi program I am testing out to see if I like it over WSJT-X
                    - Amateur contact log my logging program and sometime contest program
                    - WSJT-X JTAlert 
                    - Win4icom my Icom 7610 radio control program
                    -  Win4K3 my Elecraft KX3 radio control program

After I had finished with all that excitement it was then time to do a Windows update (running windows 7 64 bit pro), virus software which is Bitedefender and  malware software which is Malwarebytes.

The first program I tackled was N1MM+ contest program and this was one program I have updated many times in the past without issue. I thought this would be a nice place to start off the whole process. I had everything updated and install. When I started the program I was greeted with the message below on my PC.
It read "The remote server returned an error (404) Not found" so it would seem for some reason the great option this programs offers that it looks for new updates to the program and it informs you has an issue. I am  not sure if this is my issue or one with N1MM+ site. I will be later today posting on the N1MM+ user site for further info.
I then moved onto Win4icom radio control program for it's latest and greatest! All downloaded just fine and then when I started the program all was well and it connected with my rig no problem. I then tried to connect my logging program and Win4icom was not able to connect to it. I then went to the settings page of Win4icom and was greeted with the message below:
All of my Aux/CAT ports were now blank but fortunately this has happened to me in the past and  I now keep track of the port assignments. This was not a big deal but it still takes time to redo the whole deal.
My next task was to upgrade WSJT-X to the latest and greatest 2.1.0 rc7 and once done and I started it for the first time I was greeted with the message below:
In a nut shell it was telling me (which I knew) that this program was a per-release version but also (which I did not know) this program was not going to run this weekend. Since I wanted to see  how all my programs were getting along this was not going to do. So I just uninstalled this program BUT it seemed to uninstall ALL my previous WSJT-X programs so it was time to start from scratch and install the version I was using. Fortunately the DLL file was in-tacked and all my settings were loading and I was up and running in no time.
To keep track of my ports, order of program start up and some common problem fixes I have post it notes on the PC desktop.
 Win4k3 was very smooth but it has never been setup to communicate with any other programs at this point it just a stand alone program that controls my Elecraft KX3. WSJT-X JTAlert was the smoothest off all the programs to update.  The windows updates, malware update and scan and the bitedefender scan went off without a hitch. I was going to type that I was "all set to go" BUT software can be a funny thing and so I am just going to just leave to a warm fuzzy feeling inside and that's it.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Blogging......has it seen it's time?

This past weekend up here in Canada has been a long weekend with the Monday as  a holiday. I spent some time just Googling " ham radio blogs" "Amateur radio blogs". I had many hits and  upon visiting the pages that were listed I found most were no longer being updated. I came across blogs were the last post was a few years old. I came across more blogs that have been abandoned than ones that are up to date. I will admit my blog is not updated as often as it should do to the fact there are many things going on and unfortunately the blog sometimes takes second or third seat. With the Google search that I did and the results that came back it begs the question "is blogging becoming something of the past?"  I very much enjoy reading the blogs I have listed on my blog as favourites. I also go to other blogs and check out who they follow and read those as well. I am very much enjoying my blog reading but I was shocked to see how many blogs out there are no longer current. So my question of the day is......"is blogging on it's way out?"

Friday, May 17, 2019

Well the news is out!

Elecraft has added some “eye candy” to Dayton the Elecraft K4! My email inbox has gone from an average daily count of about 25 emails to a new high of 80 to 100! The Elecraft reflector being the  new leader for my inbox. I’m not going to get into the specifics as that has been all over the internet and blogs.  It’s nice to see Elecraft enter this new phase in their product line.....am I going to rush out and purchase a K4.......nope. I am happy with my Elecraft KX3 and the Icom7610. For those of you out there who were considering an Elecraft rig now may be the time as I assume there are going to be those who are selling their K3 or K3S to get cash for a nice new shiny Elecraft K4.