Friday, January 8, 2021

Saying good-bye to my little buddy.

Today we said good-bye to my best buddy of 15 years.....Oliver. Peace be with you, my little buddy you will be missed very much. 

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Starting the New Year with a new PC


And so it begins

At the end of 2020, I decided it was time to update my PC as it has never been done for over 10 years. The choice I had was to purchase a new PC or rebuild what I have, I decided to rebuild the existing PC I have. I choose this as it gives me what I want, I do the upgrades, order the parts that I want and I can leave room for further upgrades in the future. The items I kept were my ATX tower, 750-watt power supply (as it was very new)  GeForce GT 740 video card,1TB Western Digital Black and a 1TB Seagate hard drive for backup purposes. 

One new 2 old hard drives

The replacement parts were the following: 

MSI MPG Z490   This is a very nice motherboard with room for expansion. 

Intel i5 10600K Comet Lake 4.1 GHz

32GB G.Skill DDR4 3200 RAM

Cool Master Hyper 212 CPU cooling fan

Win10 pro 64 bit

Crucial MX500 1TB SSD Hard drive 

The new PC build works great and I finally made the jump to Win10 as my OS. The SSD hard drive is a very nice change and the speed is great. My not so old Western Digital 1 TB hard drive now holds my SSD image files and my Seagate 1 TB drive hold my SSD hard drive clones. By the way, the backup software that I use is Macruim Reflect. It is easy to use and has worked for me without any issues and while using Windows 7 I had to use it twice. If you are a home user the software is free to download and use. 

RAM and CPU fan installed

While I was doing the build I did had a comment on my blog where a reader made me aware of a site called Ask woody. This site is a great resource for PC users and to have full access a donation is asked for. I made my donation and got full access as it's a great place to learn and get feedback. Did I have any issues with the build......yes I did. For starters the Cool Master CPU fan instructions were TERRIBLE and thank goodness I found a YouTube video on how to install the fan on my i5 chip. EVEN with a video I messed up a bit and installed the fan on the CPU facing the wrong direction and I only knew this once I tried to install the RAM and it did not fit. The fan and assembly had to be rotated 180 degrees and then all was good for the RAM installation. When I initialized and formatted the SSD hard drive I'm not sure what I did but it had to be done again as when the OS was in the process of the install  I was getting error messages about the SSD hard drive. 

Next, it was time to install all radio programs and the software that runs alongside them. I am happy to say that all software installed without issue and I am up and running and very happy with the upgrade. 

Thursday, December 31, 2020

2020 in review

 Once again I am looking back over the year and as most of you will agree it sure has been a year of changes! I'm not going to get into any politics or pandemic stuff but I will say that COVID has really affected the ham radio world. The Amateur radio community has in my humble opinion reacted to the pandemic in a very positive way. Club meetings are now online, clubs have a system of checking in on their club members throughout the week, worldwide there have been many "stayathome" call signs, we even had a virtual hamfest, radio dealers have in some areas gone to curbside pickup or bolstered their online presence. This list could go on and on but kudos to the radio community for stepping up and making a difference during this very strange time. 

Closer to home what does VE9KK's year in review look like? Let's start with the 2020 goals I set out 3 main goals for myself: 

- Register for CWop's academy code course.

- Get involved with the local radio club.

-Contacting some DXpeditions. 

So how did I do.....I did register for the CWops academy and was set up for the fall class. I received an email with the expectations of the students. They suggest that an hour per day is needed along with the online scheduled meetings. As the start time drew closer the home dynamics changed as my wife was now working from home in our home office/hobby room. I also was busier with the home reno's than I thought I would be. It would be tough to practice in the home office and with the Renos, time was very limited. I decided early to give up my spot so another person with the time commitment could use that slot. These courses are very popular and fill up fast and I did not want to put forth only a half effort. Because of this, I wanted to spend more of my free time using CW. 

The club involvement was derailed by COVID as the clubs up this way stopped all meetings and really did not get well into the pandemic. 

Contacting DXpeditions again COVID for the most part derailed that goal. 

The below picture is from club log and shows my 2020 operations by mode. It would seem my goal of getting more involved in CW was a success. In 2014 my CW op's was 5.44% and in 2020 it jumped to 55.98. I am not sure where the SSB stat comes from as I was never on SSB. 

So of the events this year have been: 
- We have completed our first full year at our new location down here in the Maritimes and I am very much enjoying the new DX I have been able to get here. 
- Some new radio equipment purchased and other things sold. 
- First-ever online Ham Expo that I attended. 
- Major computer upgrade and more in that in the new year. 

As for some goals for the coming year I am not too sure what to say as I have not really had any time to think about it. I have to get to it in the new year as they say if you plan for nothing you will always meet your goal.