Extra! Extra! Get it while it’s hot!

Dev and I just passed our ham radio extra license exams and we are really excited ! We now have time to do more things like learning to operate CW!

We just bought a used KX1 and I already have it set up for listening and I also bought a paddle for practice but for now our priority is learning to copy cw. LCWO.net has been such a great help. I am now in lesson 5 and I feel that I have some progress. Slowly but surely for sure but I am in no hurry.

Oh, I just upgraded to WordPress 3.6 and I love it! Love the theme and it’s an excellent product ,kudos to the team, you guys rock!

General – Sir yes sir!

Dev and I just successfully passed our Ham radio general exam although a bit ill prepared perhaps. I almost forced her to review for the pass week but she eventually got to cram all that info in.

So now what, well, I am already obsessing in getting on air. I am looking at the KX3 but what I don’t like about it is that its qrp and in order to get it to 100 watts one has to buy an amp which when added to everything costs as much as a K3. Yeah, it’s portable but it seems like I don’t see a lot of people giving it a bad review which makes me a bit suspicious. It can’t be that good!

I’m now almost 80-90% decided on getting a K2-100 which  I find very interesting. A complete transceiver that one can build almost from the ground up. I have little experience in soldering,a bit of a challenge but not impossible .I would probably take this real SLOW and research some more.

I also want to save a bit. I am thinking of foregoing the purchase of a tuner and just make myself resonant dipoles. I already purchased a spool of 14 AWG wire so I would put that to good use. We’ll see how this goes.

Not really in a hurry to do all of these stuff. First of all, this involves a whole lot of dough; next, I am also planning to be doing all CW but I am not even finish with the CW training in LCWO.net  and not only that we are also planning for our Extra next month. So a lot of things on the plate right now.

Heimdal-Kerberos,OpenLDAP and Debian

I am trying to set up Openldap and Kerberos on my server for several days now. Openldap is somewhat working since I am able to login via normal clients, however I am stuck with Heimdal.

Actually at first I went with the MIT version of Kerberos but after I read somewhere that it wasn’t a good idea I went with Heimdal instead. This is where trouble started. It seems like when I installed Heimdal ,It did not completely removed MIT . So I was left with a mess. It keeps on giving me an error that  that the kdc could not be reach but I checked the firewall,nat seems to be working, netstat shows the server ports open also. It must be the dns. Restart dhcp server and client,no go. Searching web then I found out that I set the host name default in my kernel,is this it? Right now it’s set to my domain name. I am now updating my kernel to check this hypotheses.



I finally was able to recompile the kernel and It seems like the default hostname was a red herring. So I kept digging and I found out that Kerberos is really very sensitive to bad DNS configuration. I read somewhere that I need to set up split-DNS in order for it to work. So off I go to the PFsense documentation. And after I set it up! Bingo!

Our first days as HAMs

Yesterday we got our call signs after we took the technician exam last Saturday. There was only three if us that day. Me, Dev and a lady who took her Extra exam. It didn’t take that long probably less than thirty minutes. They really made taking this exams easy. Its just 35 questions out of a pool of 300 and you only need to get 26 right. And besides that all this questions are already given out , so you only need to memorize the answers.

Today is our second day practicing our radio skills. Dev was in Lake Placid and i think she was able to hit the KK4LI repeater but i couldn’t really hear her only the sound of the repeater waking up. It feels a little awkward at first to keep saying my call sign .

KK4RQT testing


On our way home I tried the Sebring repeater W4HEM and I was really lucky because somebody was listening. It turned out this was my very first contact (W4SU) and he actually was one of the volunteer examiners in Winterhaven where we took our exam. How cool is that! He said that he was just passing by on his way to Broward County.

Looking forward to talking to you again ,W4SU. Still waiting for the ham radio tip that you said you’re gonna give me.



Eating brains

I just read an article about the cannibalism that happened in Jamestown.The more I read about it the more I want to throw up. According to the article, this happened during the “Starving time”. It must have been really bad. I don’t know about you but the images of Hannibal and the Demon Barber keeps popping up when I was reading this.

The way it was described and that they had to punch a hole and suck the brain out. It really was a disturbing image there.

This makes me think what if, what if this will happen again. Maybe I’m just neurotic,who isn’t or maybe I just had too much zombie movies and “The Walking Dead” . I don’t know but this makes me feel like my brain is being eaten by zombies.

Useful Git commands

I am tinkering with my Vim setup today and I notice that I could not update my plugin directories without going inside the specific directories. I had set all of the plugins as git submodules and I thought I get it but it seems I still don’t fully understand how this works .

From my understanding ,git submodules is suppose to make updating plugins easier by just using one command instead of going to each directory and doing a git pull inside.

I found a solution from stackoverflow though. Doing a git submodule foreach git clone master and a git submodule foreach git pull worked. I did not see this on the git wiki though. I wonder if this is a hack job. Still it works for me.

Manual Cell Count (Hemocytometer Method)

  • The unit of volume is  cubic millimeter (mm3 ) .
  • 1 mm3  =  1.00003 µL 
  • RBC  = conventional =  x 106/µL  SI x 1012/L
  • WBC = conventional =  x 103/µL  SI x 109/L
  • Plt = conventional =  x 103/µL  SI x 109/L

Neubauer Hemocytometer

  • 1 large square == 1 mm
  • 1 central square is divided into 25 smaller squares so 1 sm square == 1/25 mm or a volume of 1/25 x 1/10 == 1/250 µL
  • depth == 0.1 mm == 1/10 mm
  • count == (cells/#largesquare) x dilution factor x depth
  • count == (cell/#largesquare) x dilution factor x 10

  • example : cells counted = 100 in 4, dilution = 1:200                                                                                             100/4 x 200 x 10 = 50000/mm = 50  x 103/µL


SOURCE: Henry’s Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods 21 ed

ch 29 p 461-462