All posts for the month January, 2008


This has been a day for changes here. First, after dithering for a while, I finally had our DSL service upgraded. I was an early adopter of DSL from our local phone company and have been running that 384Kb SDSL connection ever since. Recently the ISP made 1.5Mb ADSL service available though initially they would not allow upgrades.  Now they have opened that up and I called today to make the change. It took only 5 hours from phone call to working upgrade. I love our local phone cooperative!

The second change is an experiment with not requiring registration for comments. I’ll still moderate the first comment and do other anti-spam things. If the blog gets too much spam then I’ll go back to requiring registration. I hope this will encourage some friends and family ,who haven’t done so previously, to post comments.

ColdIt is cold (again) here in Iowa. Minus 16°F this morning with wind chill of -30°F. Can you say Brrrrr? I bet you can.

There was an item on the local TV last night that said of 108 school districts reporting to the Dept of Education this week, none have had one full week of classes in nearly 2.5 months without an early dismissal, late start or days missed.

This is turning into one of the worst winters for cabin fever in my memory. Not only is it cold but we still have ice left from a storm in early December. Forecast is for more snow tomorrow and freezing rain Sunday night.

Believe me, when warm weather finally gets here I’ll be dancing naked in the back yard.


Early this morning (01/20/08) I took part in a fascinating radio test, the HAARP – LWA Moon Bounce Experiment It was an attempt to detect high frequency (~7MHz) radio waves reflected from the Moon using regular amateur radio receivers and antennas.

I was quite skeptical of the possibility but still got myself out of bed at 0630z (0030 am CST) to see for myself. The experiment was to last for two hours, one hour on 6.7925MHz and the next hour on 7.4075MHz. Fellow hams will notice that these frequencies are just below and above the 40 meter amateur band, an extremely low frequency for Moon bounce.

The tests consisted of 2 seconds of transmission followed by 3 seconds of silence with this pattern repeated for one hour on each frequency. Since the round-trip travel time for the signal to reach the Moon and return is about 2-1/2 seconds, the echo should occur in the silent period. You can read the other details of the experiment at the link above.

The bottom line: Even with my modest antenna (a multi-band vertical) I was able to hear the signal returning. Not strong, but easily audible. I was really surprised when I first heard the echoes. Even with the transmitter putting out 3.6 megawatts of RF power, I felt it was an amazing feat.

I’ve submitted my report to the people at HAARP and I’m pleased to have made even a tiny contribution to the experiment.

I’ve just had this blog updated to the latest version of WordPress. I think I have all of the customizations back in place. If anyone notices anything that doesn’t match the pre-01/15/08 version, please post a comment here with info about it. Be sure to refresh your cache (CTRL-F5) to see the current state.