Imablog Perspectives of a Canadian in the Old/Deep/New/Geographic South: This is where I ramble on about nothing in particular and post a few nice pictures.

Posts from July 2012

Yaesu VX-8DR X-ray

Put my VX-8DR under a fluoro unit I was testing today. Fluoro generally doesn't provide the greatest resolution images, but enough to see what the innards of my radio are like. Will get a regular radiograph later.

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This is the antenna. Not a whole lot going on aside from a lot of metal.

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9 years. 9!

With all the ham radio stuff going on recently, I completely failed to notice that my blog turned 9 years old a little over a week ago. 9 years of random musings, miscellaneous events and maybe a few interesting observations.

First blog entry was June 23, 2003. Now the blog has entered Year 10.

Wow, who'd have thought.

Yaesu VX-8DR X-ray Take 2

Radiographs of my VX-8DR that show the innards a little better. 81 kV, 5 mAs, small focal spot.

The battery (which is actually two batteries)
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The radio itself
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The antenna. If you look closely, you can see some internal structure now, compared to the fluoro image from earlier.
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Overheating

When I woke up this morning and the house was 28°C (82°F), I didn't have a good feeling about it. The blower inside the house was running, but the heat exchanger thing outside was just making a buzzing noise but wasn't running. Not a good sign.

After last year's maintenance inspection, I was expecting that the unit had finally failed and was going to need to replace it. Today being a holiday, I wasn't expecting to be able to get anybody out to check on it until Thursday or Friday, but when I called the company (Carolina Air Care) was able to send someone out this afternoon, much to my surprise. It took a while for them to get out here (busy day for them it seems), but once the technician got here it only took him one look to diagnose the problem: a blown capacitor on the heat exchanger. A quick replacement and the unit was up and running once again.

The repair wasn't cheap, but it was a whole lot less expensive than what I was expecting. Hopefully this will keep things running a little while longer and give me a little more time to continue saving to replace the heat exchanger. I know I'm going to have to replace it soon. It would just be nice to have a little more saved up for it before replacing it.

When it starts cooling down, I'll have them come out again for the annual maintenance inspection and see how much time I might have left on the unit. Hopefully I can get another year out of it before needing to replace it.

BBQ road trip

Had the opportunity to join my friends Michael, Andra and her husband Michael on a road trip to Scott's Bar-B-Que up in Hemingway, SC, about 90 minutes north-ish from Charleston. We also met Andra's dad there, who in the grand tradition of southern gentlemen, will quite happily tell stories and talk your ear off .

Like all the decent BBQ places, Scott's isn't much to look at, only open three days a week and is quite popular. Oh, and if you decide to go, bring cash. They don't take debit or credit cards.

Scott's BBQ in Hemingway, SC

After an uneventful drive up SC 41, we arrived at this blue and white kind of dilapidated looking building with bins of watermelons for sale out front and the smell of smoke in the air.

Inside, there are drink coolers to the left, a few tables and the counter where you place your order to the right. Large metal buckets containing ziplock bags of fried pork skins tempt you while you stand in line to order.

Standing in line to order

At the counter, you can place your order by the pound or by the hog. You can even BYOH (Bring Your Own Hog) and they'll smoke it for you. They do turkey and chicken too in case you don't do pork. Lunch plates are available too, with coleslaw and baked beans.

BBQ plate with pulled pork, coleslaw and baked beans

I ordered one of the BBQ pork plates to eat there and two pounds of pork and a few chicken leg quarters to bring home with me for later. If you order the plate, you'll get a lot of pork. The BBQ is tasty and their BBQ sauce is vinegary and spicy. Not quite as smoky as I thought it might be, but still very good. The BBQ pork was so good even the normally vegetarian Michael Maher dug in.

Back for seconds

We stayed for about an hour or so enjoying BBQ, listening to Andra's dad tell stories and watching the line of people coming to get BBQ get longer. Eventually it was time to hit the road and head on back. On the way back, Michael, who is a big railroad fan, decided to stop at an old train bridge to get some pictures. It made for a nice little photo op and I came away with some pretty decent shots.

Train bridge

Bolts

Train bridge

Under the bridge

Check out the rest of my pictures from our little BBQ road trip adventure.

Roasty toasty = no running

Summer is here, and with it are the 30°C+ temperatures (in the morning) that completely sap any desire I might have to do anything outside, much less go running in it. This is putting my running goal of 800 km by the end of the year in jeopardy.

I see a lot of people running outside, particularly mid-day, which makes me wonder how on earth they do that.

I've fired up the treadmill and set up the fan so that there's some air flow to keep me sort of cool while I use it. The plan is to use it a little more during the summer but first I have to figure out what units I set it up to display in. I seem to remember setting it up to display in metric so I just need to make sure.

Treadmill running isn't quite the same as running on the road, but it should at least keep me doing something, which is better than doing nothing.

A tribute to Patrick

At tonight's photo meetup, Dee came up with this nice little tribute to Patrick Stuckart. A bunch of us ordered Guinness' and we had a toast to Patrick

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I only knew Patrick for a few years, but I'm glad for the time I did know him. He was always quick with his sense of humour and had a lot of answers to people's questions about photography or photo software. He was a big part of the photo meetup and he'll be missed.

Farewell to Patrick

This past Saturday was the memorial Mass for Patrick Stuckart. It was a very nice service with a fair number of people. There didn't seem to be a lot of tears shed (that I saw anyway), although I did get a little misty-eyed at the end when Danny Boy was sung.

Afterwards was the wake/reception at Daniel Island Club where Patrick did some work. It was a nice casual gathering, pretty much the same people who were at the Mass. Again, not a lot of tears shed, mostly just people hanging out, talking. If you just walked in off the street, you'd never know it was a wake.

Just the way Patrick would have wanted it I think.

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Compatible Weirdness

We're all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness - and call it love - true love. - Robert Fulghum, True Love

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Cannons at Charlestowne Landing

Did you know that cannons get fired off at Charlestowne Landing the third Saturday of each month?

It's part of their interpretive program. Here's one of the "smaller" Saker guns being fired.

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Cannon firings happen at 1, 2 and 3PM. If you catch the 1 or 2PM cannon firings, you can wander down to the Adventure for a while and then make it back in time for the next cannon firing.

Weekend radio fun

Thanks to Tom/AJ4UQ, this past Sunday I got the chance to play radio once again on the USS Yorktown operating as WA4USN. This time Connie/NR4CB/@Bionic_Nerd was there and we managed to work almost 40 contacts from 4 countries including St. Croix and Croatia (Connie was doing most of the working). I think 4 or 5 of the contacts were me operating. Whenever Connie got on the air there would be people piling up to make contact.

Playing radio with Connie

I also got on the air using my own call sign, but wasn't getting any responses back. Still working on getting used to talking on the radio, but Connie was a big help with prompting me on what I should say.

It was a lot of fun getting to play HF radio again. Looking forward to getting my own rig set up one of these days.

BarcampCHS 4 planning

BarcampCHS 4 is going to be held November 10, 2012 most likely at the College of Charleston once again.

Planning for the 4th BarcampCHS is underway and things seem to be rolling along nicely so far. If you want to participate in the planning, we're currently meeting every other week. Watch the BarcampCHS Facebook page or BarcampCHS Google+ page for additional information and updates.

We're currently looking for sponsors and have a number of sponsorship levels available. Contact the organizers if you're interested in becoming a BarcampCHS sponsor!

It's also not too early to propose a session you want to present, or that you'd like to see presented. Visit the sessions page to see the current list of sessions and suggest/propose a session!

Charleston Eats: Three Little Birds Cafe

Smoked salmon and goat cheese omelette
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Mixed berry challah french toast
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Charleston Eats: Cypress

Charcuterie plate
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Steak Diane: Certified Angus Beef®, wild mushrooms, Gruyère potato fondue, truffle peppercorn cream
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Grilled Bavette Steak: Certified Angus Beef®, crab, squash, corn, chanterelles, sage brown butter
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Tahitian Vanilla Crème Brûlée
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