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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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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FT-450 on steroids for ARRL Sweepstakes

Thanks to N6WM, I will be using a linear amplifier for the ARRL Sweepstakes this weekend. I also have a new 80m inverted-L antenna and better elevation for my fan dipole.

FT-450 with Linear Amplifier

FT-450 on Steriods

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How do big print outs look?

I’ve never actually printed a very large map, and I am curious how it looks. If you’ve printed a poster sized map, I would be curious to hear how it looks.

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How to post a comment

Just like an email account WordPress blogs are subjected to spam in the form of unrelated and unwanted comments from people trying to get a link to their site. These comments are usually written very generally so they look genuine on every site. I’ve rejected them all because they had nothing related to the subject of the post or this blog in general. I would love to receive comments about this site. However, please make sure that your comments clearly pertain to ham radio or the post/page your commenting on. Your specificity will help me separate your comment from spam.

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Why isn’t the map form working?

The Ruby script that process the map configuration information given in the map form is very particular about what information it will accept. For example, if you enter a Maidenhead grid as fn31 instead of FN31, the program will not produce a map because the first two letters are supposed to be upper case. Similarly, the title will be rejected if it has non-printable or non-ASCII characters.

I wrote the program to be very strict about checking its inputs to ensure that people cannot cause the program to generate a hostile PDF.  Rather than trying to identify and detect all the bad things a malicious person might enter to generate malicious output, I have instead tried to ensure that only safe characters are allowed in the input.

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