We are moving back from our winter residence in Spain to the home base
in the Netherlands. At this time of the year we are moving from camp
site to campsite, as we need electricity for the heating. We use the gas
only for cooking, and although the size and shape of bananas is strictly
regulated within the European Community, they have not been able to
standardize the GAS BOTTLE. That means we take 2 full 11 kg bottles with
us from Holland, and they have to last until we come back.
First thing I do as soon as the electricity is connected to the camper
is to put up the "email antenna". It consists of a telescoping carbon
fishing rod and 10 meters of wire. About 7 meters of wire is wound very
loosely around the extended fishing rod, which is then put on 20 cm of
steel pipe. The rest of the wire is pulled to the front of the camper,
making it sort of an inverted L antenna. Inside, the wire is tuned with
a manual T-filter tuner.
While we were still in Benicassim, 2500 km from the server, I could
connect to the internet all through the day on 30 meters with S6/7
signals, it stopped abruptly at 22:00 UTC. The connections were
characterized by deep QSB, caused by multipath propagation. Of course
pskmail handles qsb easily, but it does slow down the data transfer as
blocks hit by qsb under the noise level have to be repeated, and block
size is automatically reduced so overhead is increased...
Here in a camp site north of Limoges, (must be a distance of some 1600
km from Stockholm), there is no sign of multipath. The server is a
stable S8/9, just like a ground wave connection. And this is 20:00 UTC.
It really is great fun to see block size going up to 64
characters/block. And also to work through the pactor traffic which
takes place on this frequency although we are in qso.
I cannot check the mid day conditions, as we are driving during that
time. I get the mail during breakfast, or while running for the fresh
bread in the morning, and I send the new posit after we arrive at the
Within 2 days we will be home, and I can start working on the servers
again through the remote connections via the internet... should think
about ssh via pskmail...
Today we hit the Autopista again. We drove from Benicassim to Sitges,
which is some 40 km SW of Barcelona. The camp site here if full, and we
have S7/8 noise on 30 meters. The afternoon session with pskmail did not
work, but at 9:00 the server is S8/9, enough to get the information
through. As the WX is bad on the next trajectory to France, we have
decided to stay for a while. Be it only to slowly get used to the lower
temperature (we have only +20 C here).
Found this, thought you might be interested:
More intense solar storms predicted ahead
A new computer model predicts that the next solar cycle will be up to 50 percent stronger and begin a year later than expected, scientists say.
O.k., I will admit it. I lost quite some time today because of a well-known problem I should have recognized.
The thing is, I am doing my regular email via PSKmail, and one of the messages I wanted to post to email@example.com just would not get through to the server, whatever I did... It was only a small message, but it just stuck there and repeated the same sentences every time. The server seemed completely deaf for it.
After trying 6 times (I am that type of person, just don't give up easily) I wrote a 2k test message and tried that. It went through like honey through a well oiled esophagus (if you know what that is).
'Look at the file', there must be something in the file. So I looked at the file with gedit, with joe and with bvi. Nothing alarming in there. Tried to upload the message again.... failure. Then, I looked at the file with less, and BINGO. There they were, 2 ^M characters. 0x0D is the so-called carriage return, a relict from old times when letters were hammered into a piece of paper with a mechanical device with steel objects. The paper would be fixed to a carriage, which was pulled forward with a spring, and you would make it return by pulling it back by hand.
I had forgotten that I had copied the text of the message from a MS$ windows machine at the trailer park's registration office (I use webmail at least once a week to read newsgroups that have a lot of uninteresting traffic, and to release mails that hang in the spam filter) , which still resembles that good old typewriter. (Interesting to note that a typewriter those days cost about the same as Micro$oft XP now, but they lacked a blue screen and the user support was free of charge).
In will have to filter these fossils from the messages before they can do their damage.
I just wanted to warn you. Beware of the typewriter, it still haunts us!!