Getting close to DXCC

I am getting close to a DXCC award. I’ve got 99 worked and 93 confirmed. However, QSLs for some of the 99 were requested multiple times without any success.

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Azimuthal map generation back online

I’ve upgraded to Prawn and Ruby 1.9, so the map generator is back in business. There are still a few bugs that I need to resolve, so I’ll be fiddling with it for a while. Let me know if you see any other problems.

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Azimuthal map generation is temporarily offline

Ruby Prawn logo

Ruby Prawn’s logo

My web hosting provider upgraded Ruby from 1.8 to 1.9. The upgrade is generally a good thing. However, the upgrade broke the Ruby PDF writer library that my azimuthal map generator uses, so the generator is temporarily offline. I’ve been meaning to upgrade to the new Ruby PDF generator called Prawn for a while, but I haven’t had enough motivation until now.

Right now, most of my energy is directed towards preparing for the ARRL November Sweepstakes SSB contest this weekend. I’ll be on the air from a friends station, so I’ll have a much better score than normal for me. I don’t know if I’ll have enough time to fix the site before this weekend or not.

Special thanks to Johannes (DK5II) for bringing the problem to my attention!

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Geo location fixed

I hadn’t realized it, but the geo location function was broken. It should be fixed again now.  The site is up to over 111,000 maps generated. I should mention that the “Estimate Location” button uses a free service provided by

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The amazing amount of comment spam

I’ve started to think about turning off commenting. Even with RECAPTCHA, I am getting tons of WordPress comment spam. For example, while I’ve been writing this paragraph, 5 more spam comments came in. For the sake of recording 117 legitimate comments, I’ve had to filter out 7,783 spam comments. A pretty poor signal to noise ratio.

If I decide to turn off commenting, amateur radio operators can find my email address from my call sign using any of the normal means. I may also try activating a second level of spam protection. It’s sad that i has to come to this.

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Back to CM97fn for JOTA 2012

I am going back to the Boy Scouts of America’s Rancho Los Mochos this year. I’ll be on VHF and HF on Saturday October 20 trying to make contacts around the country and globe.

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Working on contest scoring software

Recently, I have been working with a team from the Northern California Contest Club to write software to score and report the results from the California QSO Party (CQP). This has been chewing up all my programming time, so I haven’t had time to make improvements to the azimuthal map program. I hope to get back to it again after the contest scoring software is done. Thanks for the suggestions.


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New number formatting

Special thanks to Bart, SQ1K, for a suggestion about a better way to format the numbers around the circle. I’ve implemented the new formatting, and it’s deployed to the site.

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Point your antennas at CM97fn for JOTA 2011

This year, I am pleased to announce that I will be activating the Boy Scouts of America’s Rancho Los Mochos during the annual, international Jamboree On The Air on October 15, 2011. With the help of KF6H and perhaps others, we will be putting Webelos and Boy Scouts on the air from 9am-5pm Pacific Daylight Time.

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Worked last QSO for ARRL Triple Play!

Tonight, I completed the 150th QSO for the ARRL’s Triple Play Award. I started thinking the award was a possibility last November when I worked 40 ARRL sections by CW during the ARRL November Sweepstakes. It has been my primary ham radio goal for the past 3 or 4 months.

The last QSO to complete the award was with Ted, KN5O, in Louisiana by CW. A Bay Area ham, John (KI6BEN), recommended Ted for a QSO, and I set up a sked with him via email. Conditions on 20m weren’t all that great. His RST was a 569, and mine was 559. He had it uploaded before I did. Thanks Ted!

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