Tag Archives: Paul (W0RW)

Paul’s potentially explosive portable ops in St. Elmo, Colorado

Many thanks to Paul (W0RW) who shares the following guest post:


Operating in St. Elmo Ghost Town, Colorado

by Paul (W0RW)

I have operated in St Elmo (Ghost Town) several times with my PRC319 Pedestrian Mobile.  St. Elmo is at 11,000 feet in a deep canyon so it was hard to make contacts.

My PRC319 runs 50 Watts and I use a 10 foot whip so I had some success to the East on CW. I use a Whiterook MK-33 for a hand held single lever paddle.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Right after my last visit,  July 2015, members of St. Elmo and Chalk Creek Canyon Historical group  cleaned out the outhouse behind the Home Comfort Hotel in St. Elmo, they found a potentially explosive surprise. On the floor of the outhouse, they found what they believed to be dynamite. Later in the day the bomb squad found blasting caps rather than dynamite.

St Elmo Outhouse

[Per the Historical Society] there were only 6 Blasting Caps found at St Elmo’s. They called Ft. Carson US Army EOD and they blew them up right there in the center of town.

While the electric blasting caps are usually shorted and would not be effected by a QRP radio, my 50W radio was  at a dangerously high level to be transmitting near a box of blasting caps.

It would be a smart idea to avoid operating in any old mining areas where unexploded dynamite might exist.

Paul    W0RW

St Elmo, Colorado

Importance of Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) Protection

Many thanks to Paul (W0RW) who shares the following guest post:


Sherlock Investigates: Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) Protection; Is It Still Needed?

Improper handling of electronic assemblies with microcircuits during testing, production, and repair can still cause catastrophic and latent damage. Designers have developed protection methods that reduce ESD susceptibility after the product is completely packaged, so you might not see any damage to final products, but those who build or repair electronic assemblies still have to take precautions not to damage items.

If you are familiar with and employ standard ESD handling procedures you will be safe. The ESD Association has training on their web site https://www.esda.org/esd-overview/

This is the most important ESD fact:

“Static is generated by the contact and separation of unlike materials”.

That means ‘you’ probably are the biggest ESD hazard around your workbench. When you get up out of your chair many thousands of volts can be generated. Grounded wrist straps prevent damage from this.

Humidity is a big factor in reducing ESD damage. If you live near the ocean you won’t have as much ESD susceptibility as someone working in Colorado.

It’s not only electronics that are affected by ESD. Perhaps you have seen the ESD warning signs on gas station pumps. People sliding out of a car that is being fueled has caused fires. Filling metal gas cans in pickup trucks with bed liners can be hazardous; The only safe way to fill a gas can is to place it on the ground.

The pictures shown here are from Sherlock’s Failure Analysis Laboratory. They show the physical damage to microcircuits that was caused by static electricity.

Sherlock (a.k.a. W0RW)  is a NARTE* ‘Electrostatic Discharge Control, Certified Engineer’ (ESD-00020-NE).

*National Association of Radio and Telecommunications
Engineers, Inc.

Paul’s SOTA excursions captured on live webcams

Many thanks to Paul (W0RW) who shares the following guest post:


Can you See Me Now? Portable Operation From a Web Cam.

by Paul (W0RW)

There are now thousands of web cams operating around the world and they make great portable operating locations.

By watching a webcam stream, the stations who works you can watch you live as you talk to and log them.

When I am activating a site with a live webcam, I post the web cam link on my QRZ.com page and then stations who contact me can then go to QRZ, click and watch. I usually have a big sign that shows up on the web cam with my call and my frequency. Even DX guys who can’t hear me can watch me operate.

Many web cams are now live streaming; they give you fast refresh rates and real time video. Other bandwidth limited cams refresh at slower rates and may give only 1 frame every minute.

I was at the ‘Teller 1 Web Cam’ on 8 June 2022 (see photos above) and made 10 Q’s on CW and 10’Q’s on SSB. It has an almost real time video but with a delay of about 10 seconds. It is at 10,000 feet.

The HD Pikes Peak Panoramic Cam that I frequently use (At 14,115 feet) has a revolving 1 minute refresh rate.

I am standing right above the ‘RW’ sign.

The remote Independence Pass, Colorado, Web Camera is a solar powered wireless camera with a 1 minute refresh rate. I am standing just to the left of the tree.

This camera is down now and won’t be back on line until July.

Paul w0rw
Colorado


That makes for a fun dimension in playing SOTA, Paul! Thank you for sharing. So far, I haven’t activated a summit with a webcam, but it looks like there are numerous ones in Colorado. I’ll have to keep this in mind before heading out there!

Paul’s QRP lending library

Many thanks to Paul (W0RW) who writes with details about his personal lending library.

Paul notes:

Half of my lending library contains QRP Books. Now all the books are available for review at the ‘TinyCat’, (That is short for Tiny CATalog).

Go to: https://www.librarycat.org/lib/W0RW

If you have never requested books before then you have to send me an email so I can approve your name and address, (Send email to [email protected]).

After you get approved, you can double click on a book from the scrolling banner or add a key word in the search block to find one (like QRP, Spy, or ARRL).

If you want that book, and it shows as ‘Available’, Click “Check Out” button, then type in the password ‘paraset’. Then select your name to check it out.

That’s it! I will pack it up and mail it to you.

Some Rules

It is all free but there are rules to keep everything moving:

    • Only 2 books at a time maybe ordered out at a time.
    • This is a no smoking library.
    • Return books after 1 month. You only pay return postage.
    • I can only ship to USA addresses.

Use the ‘TinyCat’ Web page to request books.

I don’t need to know when you received the book(s) or when you sent them off.

Procedure: I send the books to you, you read them and return them to me.

Paul Signorelli w0rw

905 Zodiac Dr.

Colorado Springs, CO 80905

Wow–very generous of you to make your books available to search and borrow online. Thank you for sharing this, Paul!

W7L in the 7 Lakes Wilderness Area

Many thanks to Paul (W0RW) who shares the following field report:


Exploring the 7 Lakes Wilderness Area 

It was as a dark and drizzly morning as my XYL (Sharon) and I (Paul)  went up to Cripple Creek, Colorado, and then drove down the Gold Camp Road. The colorful Aspen trees were changing color and even in the drizzle had brilliant yellow and red colors. We proceeded up Fire Road 376 to 11,000 feet, The entrance gate to 7 Lakes. The  South Slope Ranger opened the gate for us and checked our registration. I got out the rain and snow gear and got my poncho on.

(My radio is waterproof).

I don’t normally operate in the rain and snow but this area is available only by pre-registration. The day I picked happened to be a Hurricane remnant day.

The area was just opened to the public this year and there are only 20 cars authorized per day. The area has been closed to the public since 1913–before wireless! This was opening day so I  picked the Special Call Sign, ‘W7L’, to operate with because it is the tri-graph of the name of the area, Wilderness 7 Lakes.

We set out on the trail for Mason Reservoir. As we arrived at the reservoir a snow cloud descended on us accompanied by thunder snow. There were 6 people there already fishing. They said fishing was great, mostly ‘catch and release’. One of the lady fishermen saw the big 10 foot whip on my back pack and asked me if I would like her spot on the lake to fish. I told her I was working ‘catch and release’ on 20 meter CW and I didn’t have a fishing license.

The radio I was using was my 30 pound PRC319 backpack radio which runs 50 watts.

The trail head has a new restroom and a covered picnic table area with one tree nearby for picnic table operations. This is a deep valley (That’s where most reservoirs are kept). So you might need more than 5 watts to get over the hills.

If you have ever taken the COG Railway out of Manitou Springs to the top of Pikes Peak, you have probably seen this area from the “Son of a Gun” Hill.

Warnings: These are high altitude  trails; you must be in good physical condition to hike. Elevations at 7 Lakes range start at 11,000 feet; if you are arriving from a low elevation consider acclimating at 6,000 feet for one or two days.

Bring plenty of water and pace yourself.  Altitude sickness is common. Symptoms can be shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, headache, dyslexia. Also Loss of clear thought processes like: locking your keys in your car (This happened to one of the fishermen), leaving your log on a rock, forgetting how to program your radio, forgetting your operation time schedule or what the upper band limit of the 17 meter band is.

WG0AT, Steve, was with me on my second trip and he made this cool video:

Click here to view on YouTube.

Then he took a side trip from 7 Lakes and went up the adjoining 12,000 foot, Almagre mountain.  See the history at : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_Lakes,_Colorado

You can reserve your place there by applying at  the Colorado Springs web site:

https://coloradosprings.gov/southslope?mlid=29236

Paul (W0RW)


Wow, Paul! That sounds absolutely brilliant! And taking a PRC-319–? Wow! What a way to add a little extra challenge to your high altitude radio adventure!

Thank you for sharing this, Paul!