If you’re the owner of a mobile or off grid solar power system, one of the most obsessive pastimes is determining how much charge you have left in your deep cycle battery bank. This is also known as “state of charge”. Most people view the battery voltage as a measure of this.
While not totally accurate, the easiest way to determine this is with a multimeter if your solar regulator or charge controller doesn’t have a voltage readout. State of charge does vary a little between a sealed lead acid, flooded, gel and AGM deep cycle battery types and also between brands. Even the weather can play a role.
Field Day (June 22and 23, 2019) is almost here and the planning is underway — for radios, tents, food, antennas—and how to keep them up! You may be lucky and have tall firs or high ridges to get your “skyhooks” in the clear but for many groups, a tower or mast is needed.
Being a veteran of many, many Field Days, I’ve seen a lot of putting-up and tearing-down—and even a falling-down or two—so here is some perspective on how to do the job safely and avoid damage to people and equipment.
“Hunt for Santa Claus” Event Gets Under Way on December 21
From the ARRL website.....
The “Hunt for Santa Claus” (HSC) event will start on Friday, December 21, at 1800 UTC and will end at 2400 UTC on Monday, December 31. Stations should listen for OF9X from the frozen north.
This year, radio operations will be led by “the younger elves,” said Martti Laine, OH2BH, who helps spearhead the annual Santa Radio event. Teenagers Niko, OH5CZ; Otava, OH3OT, and Arttu, OH2FB, are heading the mission along with several other young radio operators, while more seasoned elves will “bang the drums in between.”
Working the young ops will be worth 25 points, identifiable by a two-letter X-report. “For example, Niko will give you 59 XN. The regular elves will give you 5 points and a three-letter identity, such as 59 RAI or 59 TIM. The goal is to contact the elves once on each band-mode,” Laine explained. The five highest scores from each continent will get certificates.
“Many have wondered what has happened to old Santa Claus and his communication arm, Santa Radio, OF9X (‘Old Father 9 Xmas’),” Laine said. “He has not faded away with the poor radio conditions or gotten too old to travel the world for Christmas. All is fine, and Santa Radio is ready to pass on short Christmas messages to people of all ages around the world.”