My subscription to Life expired, but I still have a subscription to Mad.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

WVBF and CFMJ

CFMJ

Added two new stations to the AM radio log last night:

At 2300 UTC, I heard WVBF on 1530 kHz transmitting 2 watts 106 miles east-northeast from Middleborough Center, Massachusetts. Signal was S0 to S2 into the CCRadio-SW and CC twin coil ferrite external antenna.

At 0200 UTC, I heard CFMJ on 640 kHz transmitting 50,000 watts 348 miles west-northwest from Lincoln, Ontario. Signal was S0 to S1 into the CC Radio 2E and Terk Advantage external antenna.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

WILI

WILII only logged seven new AM and FM stations during July and August.

VHF conditions were usually excellent during the daylight hours of the past two months as indicated by http://aprs.mountainlake.k12.mn.us/ However, I was usually sitting at my desk at work during those times drooling over what the propagation map was displaying, but unable to take advantage of the situation.

And so it goes.

Casually tuning the C.Crane CC Radio 2E Enhanced on Labor Day evening, I did add a new FM station to the log, WILI on 98.3 MHz transmitting 1,050 watts 39 miles to my east in Willimantic, Connecticut. WDAQ, 31 miles to my west southwest usually occupies 98.3 from my location, but conditions were such that WDAQ was a no-show and WILI was an S-3.

C’est la vie!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Waterbury Fancy Cancel to Wolcott Town Clerk


This cover, which I won in an eBay auction is very interesting to me for a number of reasons.

It was addressed to Henry Minor, Esq. in Wolcott, Conn., who was the Town Clerk of Wolcott for 27 years. (I have called Wolcott my home for the past 31 years.)

The cover was postmarked on September 13, 1962, in Waterbury, Conn. (Waterbury was where I was born, raised and lived for the first 32 years of my life.)

The cover has a "fancy cancel."

"A fancy cancel is a postal cancellation that includes an artistic design. Although the term may be used of modern machine cancellations that include artwork, it primarily refers to the designs carved in cork and used in 19th century post offices of the United States.

"When postage stamps were introduced in the US in 1847, postmasters were required to deface them to prevent reuse, but it was left up to them to decide exactly how to do this, and not infrequently clerks would use whatever was at hand, including pens and 'PAID' handstamps left over from the pre-stamp era.

"A number of offices began to use cork bottle stoppers dipped in ink. These worked well, but would tend to blot out the entire stamp making it difficult to check the denomination, and so clerks began to carve a groove across the middle of the cork, making two semicircles. Further enhancements included two grooves cut crosswise (the four-piece 'country pie'), and then two more, for the eight-segment "city pie", and notches cut out of the outer edge to lighten the cancel further.

"The carving process seems to have sparked the creativity of clerks across the country, and soon thousands of designs appeared, ranging from shields to skulls to stars, geometrical shapes, animals, plants, and devils with pitchforks. Among the most common fancy cancel designs are stars and crosses of varying designs. The Waterbury, Connecticut post office was the master of the practice, and turned out new cancels for every holiday and special occasion. Their 'Waterbury Running Chicken' cancel, perhaps a turkey since it appeared close to Thanksgiving of 1869, was in use for only a few days and is now the most prized of all 19th century cancels, with covers fetching very high prices.

"The era of fancy cancels came to an end in the 1890s, when the Post Office Department issued new regulations standardizing the form of cancellations." (from Wikipedia)

For a webpage full of Waterbury fancy cancels, see http://www.theswedishtiger.com/1861water.html.


Friday, August 15, 2014

ARRL/TAPR DCC: Only 3 Weeks Away

The 2014 installment of the ARRL/TAPR DCC is only three weeks away, on Friday, September 5th through Sunday, September 7th at the Austin Marriott South in Austin, Texas.

The DCC has two days of technical forums on Friday and Saturday and a concurrent introductory forum on Saturday. On Saturday night, the banquet will feature an interesting speaker and the Sunday morning seminar is "Introduction to SoC FPGA Programming for Mixed Signal Systems" by Chris Testa, KD2BMH.

There will be free tables in the demo room to demonstrate projects and vendors to demonstrate products.

Time is running out, so those interested in attending should register for the DCC and make hotel reservations ASAP.

More DCC information is available on TAPR’s website.