Friday, January 15, 2010 Zulu
Ham Radio Technician Test in XML and XForms, redux
Chris Wallace saw my Ham Radio Technician Test in XML and XForms post and pointed out a few simplifications that could be done:

I've taken Chris's data and fixed one more typo (question T7C09 wasn't RNC valid), and re-indented it back to two spaces. I have updated the RNC schema and Ham radio technician tests to use the new data. Thanks, Chris!

Adding the images would be a good next step. Probably I will split them out into individual files and add relative URI references to them within the document; the XForms display can use the XForms output element with a mediatype of "image/*" to display.

Chris also has on his page an XQuery presentation of the test, plus some starts at interactive versions. I believe XForms is more suitable for the interactive version, and XQuery and XSLT for a static presentation; so in some sense, Chris and I are doing things backwards, as I started from a static version and he's started from an interactive version. But I'm sure we'll all learn something fun.

A bit of background: Dan McCreary and Kurt Cagle are strong promoters of the XRX approach, combining XML, XForms, XQuery, and XSLT with REST. I do this in my Day Job, which is coincidentally at Xerox, but there's no connection between the name XRX and Xerox, nor is Xerox interested in my ham radio work!

I'm going to continue to use this test pool as a use case for XForms 1.2 Future Features for making the interactive part of the testing easier to author. XForms 1.1 has some features (such as the ability to add nodes) that will make it possible to update the test instance with spaces for answers, even without the cooperation of the original test author, but ideally XForms 1.2 would capture this use case and make it easier to describe declaratively.

- posted by Leigh @ 17:29 z 1 comments
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Wednesday, January 13, 2010 Zulu
Ham Radio Technician Test in XML and XForms
With the release of the new Technician (Element 2) test data from NCVEC, I've produced an XML version of the test data (with schema). It doesn't yet include the figures. I also created an a XForms page (works in most browsers) that will let you view the questions and answers.
- posted by Leigh @ 23:58 z 2 comments
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Tuesday, January 12, 2010 Zulu
Chinese OTH Radar

With the events in China, it seems likely that the interference on 40m and 60m is from either Chinese or Taiwanese Over-the-Horizon Radar.

Shown here are images from fldigi for the close-in spectrum and quisk with the 96 KHz spectrum, both from an Elecraft K3.

It definitely occurs in bands. There's a strong one in the 60m range, and another just below 40m (shown). It extends into the lower portion of 40m as well, though about 20dB less strong.

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- posted by Leigh @ 16:02 z 0 comments
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Monday, December 07, 2009 Zulu
K12G (K12M) audio amplifier tube kit
Nearly completed
I built an S5 Electronics K12G amplifier kit, a new version of the K12M kit. The kit came without a chassis. Though S5 does offer a chassis, the style wasn't one I wanted, so I built it on an LMB box as others have done. I need to do a little more painting, but it's in use and working now. This page describes some of the choices I made.
- posted by Leigh @ 02:09 z 0 comments
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Friday, October 09, 2009 Zulu
QRPacificon / Norcal QRP / HFPack Dinner
Although the Norcal QRPacificon 2009 page doesn't say the location, there is a dinner tonight according to James KA5DVS:
Location is the Hometown Buffet in Milpitas: 212 Ranch Dr Milpitas, CA 95035 This is just across 237 from the hotel. There is a reserved area for Norcal QRP starting at 5:30PM and the HFPack folks are most welcome to join us.

(previously reported)

- posted by Leigh @ 22:24 z 0 comments
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Monday, September 28, 2009 Zulu
Difference Engine 1
Difference Engine 1
A copy of the portion of Babbage's first Difference Engine that was built. This one is under glass, and was made by IBM in the 1970's.
- posted by Leigh @ 00:59 z 0 comments
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Babbage's Difference Engine
Difference Engine 2
Babbage's 2nd Difference Engine, built in London in modern times and on display at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. You can see them operate this one daily.
- posted by Leigh @ 00:58 z 0 comments
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Friday, September 25, 2009 Zulu
Europe Beam Pattern

Today in celebration of sunspots I pointed my beam at 30 degrees (Europe) and left fldigi and PSK Reporter running. When I got home I saw signals throughout Europe and Asia and the US, but a particularly strong line through Europe. Sure enough the line is at 30 degrees. I know the SteppIR pattern isn't that tight, but what a coincidence!

- posted by Leigh @ 04:36 z 2 comments
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Sunday, September 20, 2009 Zulu
QRPacificon October 9/10 2009 in Milpitas
Pacificon is likely not to be with us next month, but the Norcal QRP is having an activity in Milpitas, and HFPack group will also be participating. The event will take a recess for the ASVARO Flea Market on the Saturday 10th in the morning and resume in the afternoon. For more information, read below or visit
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [QRP-L] QRPacificon 2009 additional details
Date: Tue, 1 Sep 2009 15:44:36 -0700 (GMT-07:00)
From: James Bennett
QRPacificon 2009 will be held October 9 and 10th this year in Milpitas at the Crowne Plaza Hotel:
Crowne Plaza Hotel
Hotel Front Desk: 1-408-3219500  | Hotel Fax: 1-408-3219599

The hotel is located in Milpitas just a short distance from the San Jose Airport has a complimentary airport shuttle.
Free parking for guests and attendees of QRPacificon 2009.

Hotel booking link for QRPacificon 2009 rate of $65 per night :


 If you do not wish to book online, please call 888-233-9527 to make reservations and ask
for the Norcal QRPacificon 2009 rate of $65

QRPacificon 2009 Events schedule
Silicon Valley surplus store tour Friday afternoon

No host dinner Friday evening at 5:30 (location to be announced)

Meet and greet in the hotel ballroom along with vendors and swapmeet  ~7-11PM

Saturday morning is the De Anza College Electronics Fleamarket:   http://www.electronicsfleamarket.com/
Folks often arrive with flashlights before daylight to get the best bargans.  The location in Cupertino is about a 20 minute drive from the hotel.

We will start presentations at 10:30 and will have a great lineup of speakers. Presentations will run through the day

Lunch will be 12:30 to 2PM with presentations following until 5PM

Saturday evening is dinner on your own 5-7PM

At 7 we will regroup in the ballroom for an auction.  Due to time constraints, we will limit it to one item per
seller.  So bring something surplus to you that needs a new home.

We will also have door prizes and lots of fun so come out and join us for QRPacificon 2009.

Doug, James and the Norcal QRP Club

- posted by Leigh @ 04:07 z 0 comments
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Saturday, August 22, 2009 Zulu
USB 5V Car power adapter converted to APP
USB Power Adapter with APP
I got a 5V USB power adapter for my car, but it broke and fell apart. I retrieved most of the parts, but the tip was lost. So I took it apart, and found broken wires and bad solder joints. I replaced the tip with an Anderson PowerPole connector.
Read more about my USB car adapter converted to Anderson PowerPole.
- posted by Leigh @ 21:44 z 0 comments
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HP5216A Frequency Counter
HP 5216A
At the ASVARO Electronics Flea Market I bought an HP-5216A frequency counter. It needed a new power cord, and some other TLC.
Read my HP5216A Frequency Counter Saga.
- posted by Leigh @ 19:35 z 0 comments
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Monday, August 17, 2009 Zulu
Arduino - High Sierra Sidekick Antenna Controller
Arduino Sidekick Controller
I'm building an Arduino-based High Sierra Sidekick antenna controller.
See current status.
- posted by Leigh @ 02:48 z 0 comments
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