March 26th, 2007

on NB

Not quite panicked

I'm leaving home at 16:15 tomorrow for the month long trip, and am a bit less panicked.

I'm carrying a fair amount of equipment, but some of the antennas haven't turned up, so can't really finish packing until I give up on them tomorrow afternoon. I'm really annoyed at Force 12 and slightly annoyed at Comtek, but I have backup plans, and after this trip I'll have most of that equipment in stock here, since I expect it to arrive, but late, and I'll keep most of it.

I'm, of course, stressed that I might forget something, but I'm probably fine.

One thing that looks like a real win is the Palm TX that I picked up for use as a ebook reader.
I have 96 books on it, and I've read and deleted two. Some of the books came from Project Gutenburg, so I need to try to contribute there; but a number are pirated (I couldn't locate legitimate sources for the prime ones). So how much, and where, should I send money for downloaded versions of Patrick Obrian, Terry Pratchett and JK Rowling books?

It appears that my mobile GSM 'phone won't work in American Samoa or Samoa- the same seems to true in Japan. The former because they've not caught up, the latter because they've moved on.
I couldn't reasonably use it in Lakshadweep, either, since there weren't any local SIM cards to be found.

I'm hoping the HF email will work, but that's dependent on HF propogation, and the magic numbers are SF:74 A:12 and K:3. The first is solar flux, 74 is very low and higher numbers are good.
The other two are geomagnetic activity, with A at 12 and K at 3 being high (low is good), especially given a SF of 74. That also affects the success of our DXpedition, of course.

Bad propogation means short distances and short time windows for making contacts. Japan and the US will be OK, but we'd really like to work a lot of Europe, and that's going to be hard.
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