Yearly Archives: 2018

Red Hot Radio

As it turns out, just like in audio engineering, in 2-way radio you can’t just look at the power meter and assume your signal is great. It might actually be unintelligible.

Back in my early days (6 months ago), I noticed that my RF power meter seldom hit 100W on voice. I know that the duty cycle of voice on sideband is significantly less than 100%, but even the peaks weren’t hitting it. Frustrated with apparently not getting my signal out of the region, I turned on the built-in audio compressor, tweaked the compression amount, and got that average power a bit higher to somewhere that looked right.

As I learned recently on the regional AARC 10-Meter Net (Sundays 3pm CT on 28.410MHz USB), my fellow net participants complained that there must be some RF feedback into my mic or something because my vocal peaks were seriously hot and distorted. They had been complaining for a few weeks, and I assumed it was some insufficient grounding in my car. While discussing it during a net, I mentioned that I had compression turned on; they asked me to turn it off, and the distortion went away.

Huh!

So, uh, remember that owner’s manual thing, and the part in it that tells the owner how to configure mic gain and compression? Yeah, so if I follow that, and look at the ALC (audio level control) meter instead of the RF power meter, and if I adjust things so the average and peaks stay within a specified range, then my signal should sound better.

I hooked up my dummy load, went to 10m sideband, spoke gibberish into the mic and tweaked the mic gain and compression amount to a range that makes sense (at least visually). I’ll try an A/B test on the next 10m net to see if it worked.

It’s not the output power that wins friends and gains contacts; it’s the signal quality. You can reach across the country on 10W if your antenna is good, the sky is right, and your signal is clean. Otherwise, you’re splattering your distorted RF energy across the band, you’re burning battery power, and you’re wasting someone else’s time.

Embers

Moral ideologies do no service to creativity; they stand on its tail, keeping it from reaching above the table, keeping it below the roof, housing it inside to hide it from the world.

Abandon logic, destroy self, consider chaos as a tool to release Creation. The missing piece of the dream is motion. Motion begets creation. Direction doesn’t matter. Move, move your ass. Get out of stasis. Loose the chains and set yourself free.

You can be more than your life’s lessons. Those voices from the past are not with you now; they don’t give a damn about your future. They only give a damn about their own present, about convincing you they are right. Let them go. Your energy is no longer theirs; it’s yours.

Be bigger than that.

Flip Page

Two-thousand and Eighteen Ano Domini (whichever dominar you choose).

That’s right, we made it. Not by any choice or effort on our part. It just happened. We can’t really take credit for it. Anyway, here’s me rhapsodizing about how great the next year in my life will be, blah blah blah, but really, I’m not so positive. I’m cynical, really.

[CYNICISM INTENSIFIES]

See, instead of going to parties tonight to celebrate with other humans, I’m sitting at home alone. That’s right. I’m letting myself get hung up on friction and with a lack of inertia, looking at the Internet with a glass in one hand and a keyboard in the other. Social avoidance. I don’t mind the party, but I fear the expectation (it’s not you, it’s me). And so, without putting any effort into getting up and going to where the other humans are, I stayed here. Alone. I had invitations, but deftly avoided all of them. Phew, that was a close call.

I guess you can say I am leaving 2017 exactly the same way i lived it. And that’s a fucking shame.

Really, lately I’ve been getting called out for my cynicism and negative thinking. I really, really need to stop that, or at least be more delicate with it. Sometimes people don’t want me to talk like Grumpy Cat. I can’t help it sometimes, but really I can help it by just shutting up. Eh. I need to cull that behavior and try to stop pointing out the riggings underneath things. Sometimes people don’t want to know, and it’s not worth telling them. Anyway, enjoy this educational video to kick-start your self-examination:

I hope 2018 is better. I really do. In the grand, universal scale of things, it means nothing. Earth time is infinitesimally insignificant, and time itself is a human construct, blah blah blah, but whatever. I need to update the copyright on this site and wish us all the best. So here’s me wishing you the best. Happy New Year, from me, to you. Phaysis loves you.