Month: June 2018

Living Room Air Conditioned Fixed

So we went to turn on the air conditioner in the living room and no air was blowing out of it.

Weird – so do what I always do with misbehaving. For example I know what air conditioners are – they’re effectively heat pumps with a high pressure and low pressure system.

Took about a dozen screws out of the AC case – dumped the water out of it from the rain yesterday and turned it on while it was on the bench. Now the fans worked – I spun them by hand before I powered it up so maybe some bad lubricant or such.

It powered up just fine, fans ran, compressor ran. All is good so cleaned the case and blew out the coils.  No signs of coolant leak.

Re-assemble it and everything down to a level 5 torque on the screws.

We now have Air Conditioning in the living room.

Music: The Gay Edition

So to wrap up Pride month at least for the north eastern United States here’s my musical tribute. All gay artists to my knowledge. What inspired this is my Amazon music player – it was on a roll playing a bunch of different gay artists.

Let’s start with Bronski Beat.

Smalltown Boy:

And just because Jimmy Sommerville is the lead in Bronski Beat here’s the Communards.

Never Can Say Goodbye:

Here’s Patrick Crowley.

The song is Menergy – and yeah it works:

Then of course there’s Modern Rocketry.


And I cannot forget Erasure.
Chains of Love:

That one above brings back memories of my friend Ron. He passed away in 1993. But prior to that I can recall hearing this in a little gay club called Galaxy in  Providence. And the lyrics – well just listen and you get it.

Then of course there’s:
A Little Respect


The Radio I most often carry with me

I love my little TYT MD-380. It’s the 70cm version and I’ve got a different antenna on it. It’s shorter than the stub duck that comes with it.

Plus there’s precious little DMR here in RI. But I do have the New England Code plug installed on the radio so when I travel into Boston I’ll have to see how DMR plays.

A QSO per day

If I can I try to have one amateur radio contact per day. That’s what a QSO is. I also like operating QRP – low power. My QTH is Providence, RI. FN41GT which is my grid square location.

So there you have it amateur radio speak.

3D Printed Organs

This is fucking fascinating. I knew it was coming but wasn’t sure when. Clinical in five years ok – that’s good. Think about it though. I’ve known for some time we’ve been able to 3D print the hollow organs like esophagus, bladder etc. But tissue with blood vessels has been the holy grail.

Not anymore. So with this technology we can print kidneys, livers, pancreas, lungs – and the heart may be next. And since they’re grown from a patients own cells there’s no risk of rejection. I’d say tech like this will tack 30 to 50 years of additional life to all of us.

In fact I’ve posted before on what extended lifetimes would mean. The pressure to have children when you’re young could potentially be pushed off until your in your 70’s. Imagine that.

Technology is catching up with the fiction. If you read any of the Heinlein books you know that Rejuvination Clinics are a common item in them. And they expect the market for this to jump from $23 Billion in 2015 to $94 Billion by 2020. This presents a good investment opportunity I’d say. And it will be a game changer for medicine. No more will we lose 4,000 or more people per year due to organ failure. That’s one I can think of off the cuff.

Just think what more could we 3D print? Arms? Legs? Eyes? The list is endless.

Had only this technology been available back in 1992 perhaps we could have saved my Uncle – he died from Cirrhosis of the Liver at age 42. So sad he’s gone but glad that in the future they can just grow a new liver for someone and it’ll save thousands of lives.

Pineapple Orange Cake

So today I made an Orange-Pineapple cake.

All you need is the following:


  • 1 package yellow cake mix (regular size)
  • 1 can (11 ounces) mandarin oranges, undrained
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 1 package (1 ounce) sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 carton (8 ounces) reduced-fat whipped topping

Note there’s no added sugar – just what’s in the fruit and cake mix. And for the whipped topping I couldn’t. I just whipped some heavy cream with a little vanilla via the power whisk.


  • In a large bowl, beat the cake mix, oranges, egg whites and applesauce on low speed for 2 minutes. Pour into a 13×9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray.
  • Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
  • In a bowl, combine the pineapple and pudding mix. Fold in whipped topping just until blended. Spread over cake. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 231 calories, 5g fat (3g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 310mg sodium, 43g carbohydrate (27g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.

Originally published as Pig -Pickin’ Cake in Taste of Home June/July 2006
A bit difficult snagging that pic. But the topping is nothing but fresh whipped cream with a little vanilla, crushed pineapple and sugar free instant vanilla pudding. It’s awesome.

One thing about being a HAM

You end up on a lot of roofs. I was mentioning how we’d been up on top of Bradford House in Providence (It’s known I believe as Sister Dominica Manor) and on top of a college building putting up repeaters.

So we were asked if we’d like to see the setup on the roof. A picture was snagged of course I’m the 2nd from the right facing toward the church tower. The gentleman in the striped shirt he does the national weather service announcements you hear on 162.400MHz in these parts.


Field Day 2018 Notes

So this was my first Amateur Radio Field Day in years. I got there around 11AM and stayed until about 5:30PM. I couldn’t get there for the test session at 8AM though – I’m told there was only one person who took the test.

Here’s the setup:

That was the 6m band setup. I was somewhat chagrined that there was no CW work this time round. Perhaps next year I sort of prefer Morse Code for contest work. And a decent set of headphones. That’s a must for CW.

Got to be the person responsible for logging 20m band contacts. Then I got to work 40m phone. And being 40m requires a general or above – I was good with my extra class license.

I did get to show I was an amateur radio dinosaur though – and instructing in the fine art of noise reduction using the old Squelch control and then the Noise Reduction button on the Kenwood TS-2000. DSP noise reduction is interesting. I do like the radio though and may purchase on in the future.

And as is the case with lots of things, even with food being there we only got about a dozen or so people there today. Even got to experience drift in phonetics – with a Mike/Mario swap. Didn’t say anything though just chalk it up to personal flair I guess.

Got to see the rooftop setup for PEMA – all I can say is first they’ve got a decent set of antennas and the grounding system for lightning arresting is awesome.

Did see some old friends – there’s Brian K1PVD who I know from my years at the Attorney General’s office – he was doing IT for the RI State Police. Then Mike N1BEE .


Field Day 2018

So this year I’ll be visiting the PEMA field day activities. It should be interesting as I haven’t been to a field day exercise in many years.

Probably because I let my membership in W1AQ lapse. And I sort of went quiet in the hobby for some time. I mean the net and it’s fun sort of diminished the value of being on the radio as much.

But I find myself at least clipping the radio on my belt and listening. Occasionally throw my call out and talk to a few folks. I forgot how fun that can be.

I should go dig out my VE creds – they’re doing a test session but at 8AM on a Saturday is a little too early for me.

And I have already programmed in the simple frequency on my Yaesu VX-7RB: }