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At the prompting of friend and inspiration Brady Pamplin W5LH, I sat for and passed both the Technician and General Class exams for amateur radio operator at HamCon last month. I now have limited privileges on limited frequencies. This has been something I have wanted to do since I was a Scout (they were called Boy Scouts in my time).
While I was originally issued a ‘systematic’ call sign of KI5FDS (kilo india five foxtrot delta sierra, aka “First Dale in Space”), I applied for and was granted a modification for what is known as a ‘vanity call sign’, which came in today. I can now get ‘Radio Operator’ license plates that say “KI5SME”, as well as participate in important disaster preparedness exercises such as Field Day.
A short dissection: The prefix “KI5” is the currently available code for new licensees in Region 5 (Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas). The suffix “SME” could stand for “subject matter expert”, but it really stands for “someday, maybe Extra”, referring to the “Amateur Extra” class that is the next higher level after General. The official definitions are available at the FCC web site.
The more observant amongst you may have noted a striking, yellow banner emblazoned across the top of each and every one of the pages of this, your favorite web destination. What could be behind such a serious and dire notification? Rest assured, nothing was amiss. I simply wanted to let you know that I would not be able to ship your orders until Monday, because I had slipped the leash, jumped on a plane and jetted to Seattle to help celebrate my granddaughter Olivia’s third birthday. Now I am returned, everything is as it was, orders are shipping as scheduled and I hope you agree with me that it was totally worth it.
I’m designing and building a whiteboard plotter as an Arduino demonstration project. I’ll be creating a build log for this project and hope to have a working prototype within a week or so. Stay tuned!
Today I’m happy to announce a new addition to my blinky LED kit line-up, the aptly-named “12 LED circle”, or 12LEDcircle for short. It’s a small, round PCB with 12 bright blue LEDs around the edge. It comes with a pre-programmed microcontroller that lights up the LEDs in various mesmerizing patterns. You can see a demo of the various blinky modes on my YouTube channel.
Kits are in stock and ready to ship today for $12.95.
The store will be closed for a week starting today, 12 July 2016 until 19 July 2016. I will be off on another tiny adventure to a faraway land. You can still email me at firstname.lastname@example.org but it might take me a while to get back to you. I will most likely not be able to receive phone calls, however.
OK, I’m back now. Wow, what a trip! I traveled to three continents (counting this one) and got to meet lots of interesting people.
The store is back open again. Shop to your heart’s content!
New products are on their way. Your old favorites are here, as well. Additionally, I’ve upgraded the web site to be encrypted by default, so all transactions (even your browsing) should remain relatively confidential now.
It’s good to be back. The yard is showing some signs of neglect, but hopefully I’ll get that sorted out shortly.
Do drop me a line and let me know how you managed to get along without me for so long!
I’m leaving the country for an unspecified amount of time in pursuit of challenging adventures. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to process any orders during the duration.
More details as the adventure unfolds!
I wrote another book. This time it’s about building your own electronics lab, titled Building Your Own Electronics Lab. It gives the reader a gentle introduction to electricity and electronics and how to safely learn and play with them. Basic tools and components are discussed and some simple starter projects are presented. The main idea that I tried to put forward is that the electronics hobby is fun. It’s also fun to share with others.
Both paperback and e-book versions are available from Amazon.com, or find it at your favorite bookseller using the ISBN 978-1430243861.
Effective immediately, my new phone number is (330) 732-5307. Give me a call sometime and let me know what’s going on.