Monday, July 18, 2011

Perpetual Energy

While the grammar police were combing our previous reports, the Lost Island DX Society was sending a group of representatives to Washington, DC to see if we could help break the impasse on the debt ceiling. Or barring that, see if while distracted by budget issues we could sneak a request for permission to land on Navassa Island (KP1) past the Fish and Wildlife folks. Sadly, the answer is still 'no' on both accounts.

While attempting to find the back entrance into the Capital building, where we hear their cafeteria has a dynamite Francis Scott Key Lime pie, we came upon a sight which set us back on our collective heels for a moment. On the grounds of the Botanical Gardens at the foot of the Capital building sits a windmill that never stops turning. Despite the lack of any wind, this windmill turns continuously. We stopped and observed it for quite some time, and it continued to turn, again, without any evidence of natural wind.


Our delegation sought out one of the groundskeepers of the Botanical Gardens to ask about this miraculous windmill, thinking it must be motorized. Nope, we were informed, the windmill runs off of wind only. The secret is its location. Being at the foot of Capital Hill, it has an inexhaustible supply of hot air to power it, day and night.

Once informed of this, the answer was obvious. So, what does this have to do with Big Gun DX'ers and Contesters? Easy. Every Big Gun station has a similar, though smaller, supply of hot air available. If windmills could be installed at these stations in the proper location, it should be possible to generate enough power to supply at least one Alpha for the contest weekend. Green technology - it's not just for Al Gore anymore.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

IAMRU Contest This Weekend

This weekend the Lost Island DX Society will be participating in the summer festival of QRN, otherwise known as the IAMRU contest. This annual contest, under the guise of an everybody-works-everybody DX contest, is THE platform for a jingoistic radiosport competition between national radio societies. In the past, certain national radio societies have worked the contest rules looking for loopholes like a tax lawyer with an offshore bank account. This year should be no different.

The LIDS are testing some new performance enhancing hardware for the contest this year. The logging computer has been outfitted with some additional hardware and software. For every new multiplier worked, the computer triggers a dispenser and gives the operator an M&M. Green ones if it's a really rare mult. If the rate meter falls below a preset level, the computer trigger a power source connected to the operator's seat which administers a mild shock. If after two minutes the rate has not reached an acceptable level, the voltage of the shock is increased. This continues until either an acceptable run rate is attained or it is necessary to replace the op. If these enhancements work out, expect support for them to be included in a future release of N1MM and Writelog.