2022-08-15 mk’s Word – Hiding Elephants

August 15 2022, or as I see it, half way through the last real month of summer.

The 160 loop

The 160 loop is progressing, slowly, since I tend to work on it when the weather is just uninviting enough that no one is outside, or even looking out the windows. The radiating loop is now up on three tripods. They aren’t very tall, but I only have so much found lumber. I’d like to paint the thing before the leaves come off the trees to reveal the works to the neighbours. It’s a bit like hiding an elephant in a cherry tree by painting its toenails red, but one has to make the attempt. The coupling loop is in the back yard. It used to be the radiating loop of the HF magloop that was a club project a while back. The tuning capacitor is the same one from the above mentioned project, but with a simpler mechanical arrangement. It is a lot of effort. I have mentioned before the angst of a big project where you aren’t certain that it will actually work at the end of all that labour.

Field Day thoughts – combining multiple logs

We lost a bunch of time on Field Day trying to get the digital station to behave. I gather it was yet another problem getting radios and computers to talk to other computers. We’ll get ’em next year, for sure. For next year we need more operators, new and old, fone, digital and CW. Put next year’s FIELD DAY on your calendar now. If you can get to Carp for a hamfest you can get to Corkery for field day.

At the 2022 Field Day wrap up BBQ, and before, YTZ was saying he wasn’t about to try to do Field Day with separate station logs, since the effort of tying them together to make one Cabrillo file for submission to the ARRL was just too much work. You know I’m not much of a computer guy, but I thought I’d give it a look. The only challenge is putting the combined log in chronological order.

The dumb way to merge logs would be to copy a record from file 2 and put it into the right place in file 1, and continue for each of the hundreds of QSOs. Instead, I copied them into Notepad, then replaced all of the spaces with commas and saved it as a .csv file. The .csv file imported into Excel without issues, with the date and time (and everything else) in nice neat columns. Then I sorted by date and time. Another copy and paste back into Notepad, then add the Cabrillo file header, renamed the file from .txt to .log and ready to go.

First log file:

blah blah blah cabrillo header, followed by
QSO: 28023 CW 2022-01-15 1836 VE3ZY  MIKE    ON          NX6T         PAT      CA
QSO: 28030 CW 2022-01-15 1838 VE3ZY  MIKE    ON          K2RD         IRA      NV
QSO: 28040 CW 2022-01-15 1841 VE3ZY  MIKE    ON          N7NR         DAVE     OR
QSO: 28015 CW 2022-01-15 1844 VE3ZY  MIKE    ON          K6XX         BOB      CA
END-OF-LOG:

The second log in SSB with (what a coincidence) the same times as the other op’s contacts:

blah blah blah cabrillo header, followed by
QSO: 28023 SSB 2022-01-15 1836 VE3ZY  MIKE    ON          NX6T         PAT      CA
QSO: 28030 SSB 2022-01-15 1838 VE3ZY  MIKE    ON          K2RD         IRA      NV
QSO: 28040 SSB 2022-01-15 1841 VE3ZY  MIKE    ON          N7NR         DAVE     OR
QSO: 28015 SSB 2022-01-15 1844 VE3ZY  MIKE    ON          K6XX         BOB      CA

Then using notepad, replace any spaces in both files with just one space:

QSO: 28023 SSB 2022-01-15 1836 VE3ZY MIKE ON NX6T PAT CA
QSO: 28030 SSB 2022-01-15 1838 VE3ZY MIKE ON K2RD IRA NV
QSO: 28040 SSB 2022-01-15 1841 VE3ZY MIKE ON N7NR DAVE OR
QSO: 28015 SSB 2022-01-15 1844 VE3ZY MIKE ON K6XX BOB CA

Then replace the spaces with commas:

QSO:,28023,SSB,2022-01-15,1836,VE3ZY,MIKE,ON,NX6T,PAT,CA
QSO:,28030,SSB,2022-01-15,1838,VE3ZY,MIKE,ON,K2RD,IRA,NV
QSO:,28040,SSB,2022-01-15,1841,VE3ZY,MIKE,ON,N7NR,DAVE,OR
QSO:,28015,SSB,2022-01-15,1844,VE3ZY,MIKE,ON,K6XX,BOB,CA

Copy the second file into the first, and call the files something.csv:

QSO:,28023,CW,2022-01-15,1836,VE3ZY,MIKE,ON,NX6T,PAT,CA
QSO:,28030,CW,2022-01-15,1838,VE3ZY,MIKE,ON,K2RD,IRA,NV
QSO:,28040,CW,2022-01-15,1841,VE3ZY,MIKE,ON,N7NR,DAVE,OR
QSO:,28015,CW,2022-01-15,1844,VE3ZY,MIKE,ON,K6XX,BOB,CA
QSO:,28023,SSB,2022-01-15,1836,VE3ZY,MIKE,ON,NX6T,PAT,CA
QSO:,28030,SSB,2022-01-15,1838,VE3ZY,MIKE,ON,K2RD,IRA,NV
QSO:,28040,SSB,2022-01-15,1841,VE3ZY,MIKE,ON,N7NR,DAVE,OR
QSO:,28015,SSB,2022-01-15,1844,VE3ZY,MIKE,ON,K6XX,BOB,CA

Open the file in excel and sort (in this case sort by column D, then by column E) you get:

QSO: 28023 CW 01/15/2022 1836 VE3ZY MIKE ON NX6T PAT CA
QSO: 28023 SSB 01/15/2022 1836 VE3ZY MIKE ON NX6T PAT CA
QSO: 28030 CW 01/15/2022 1838 VE3ZY MIKE ON K2RD IRA NV
QSO: 28030 SSB 01/15/2022 1838 VE3ZY MIKE ON K2RD IRA NV
QSO: 28040 CW 01/15/2022 1841 VE3ZY MIKE ON N7NR DAVE OR
QSO: 28040 SSB 01/15/2022 1841 VE3ZY MIKE ON N7NR DAVE OR
QSO: 28015 CW 01/15/2022 1844 VE3ZY MIKE ON K6XX BOB CA
QSO: 28015 SSB 01/15/2022 1844 VE3ZY MIKE ON K6XX BOB CA

Before returning it to notepad, change the format of the time column to specify it was 4 digits wide so after midnight UTC, times would look like 0028 and not just 28. Once that has been done, copy and paste back into notepad. The date format can be changed to YYYY-MM-DD, but with only two days in the event, a simple search and replace works fine. Remember to put back all Cabrillo file header information ahead of the contacts and the END-OF-LOG: statement at the end. Rename the file something.log and it is ready to submit.

Other items

Meanwhile, I got the fun of conducting another two Basics and a Morse exam. The Morse one was interesting in that the candidate was a recent Basic and Advanced holder from out of the city who, while interested in CW for portable operations was also enticed to get the Morse qualification to be able to become the examiner for their local club. As with others who get the qualification after actually using the mode for a while, there was no problem passing the test.

Another fun thing this past month was a trip down Rifle Road to an antenna testing spot with VA3YB. This was a spot I had used before, on the edge of the river, without too many people around. Not this time. The parking lot was full of cars full of kayaks and paddleboards and whatever else people use to put themselves on the water. Fortunately, just up the road a bit was a completely empty parking lot with trees and shade. We set up a 40m sloper, tuned it up and added a 20m sloper to the mix. We should be ready to make some noise on the air this weekend during the lighthouse/lightship weekend and maybe even the NA SSB QSO Party on Sunday.

Coming up: an Advanced test for one of those Basic candidates, the 2022 Carp Hamfest, the ARRL September VHF contest and Radio in the Park.

See you on the air.
mk
VE3FFK

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