Warning: This post is several years old and the author has marked it as poor quality (compared to more recent posts). It has been left intact for historical reasons, but but its content (and code) may be inaccurate or poorly written.

This minimal Python script will convert a directory filled with tiny image captures such as this into gorgeous montages as seen below! I whipped-up this script tonight because I wanted to assess the regularity of my transmitter’s embarrassing drift. I hope you find it useful.

import os
from PIL import Image

x1,y1,x2,y2=[0,0,800,534] #crop from (x,y) 0,0 to 800x534
squish=10 #how much to squish it horizontally

### LOAD LIST OF FILES ###
workwith=[]
for fname in os.listdir('./'):
    if ".jpg" in fname and not "assembled" in fname:
        workwith.append(fname)
workwith.sort()

### MAKE NEW IMAGE ###
im=Image.new("RGB",(x2*len(workwith),y2))
for i in range(len(workwith)):
    print "Loading",workwith[i]
    im2=Image.open(workwith[i])
    im2=im2.crop((x1,y1,x2,y2))
    im.paste(im2,(i*x2,0))
print "saving BIG image"
im.save("assembled.jpg")
print "saving SQUISHED image"
im=im.resize((im.size[0]/10,im.size[1]),Image.ANTIALIAS)
im.save("assembled-squished.jpg")
print "DONE"

Script to download every image linked to from a webpage:

import urllib2
import os

suckFrom="http://w1bw.org/grabber/archive/2010-06-08/"

f=urllib2.urlopen(suckFrom)
s=f.read().split("'")
f.close()
download=[]

for line in s:
    if ".jpg" in line and not line in download and not "thumb" in line:
        download.append(line)

for url in download:
    fname = url.split("/")[-1].replace(":","-")
    if fname in os.listdir('./'):
        print "I already downloaded",fname
    else:
        print "downloading",fname
        output=open(fname,'wb')
        output.write(urllib2.urlopen(url).read())
        output.close()




Warning: This post is several years old and the author has marked it as poor quality (compared to more recent posts). It has been left intact for historical reasons, but but its content (and code) may be inaccurate or poorly written.

These should speak for themselves. Which signal is mine? Obviously I’m the crazy person who thinks it’s funny to merge molecular biology with amateur radio.

Belgium JO10UX:

England G4CWX:

France JN39AB:

Massachusetts W1BW:

Nevada KK7CC:

Netherlands JO22DA:

Alaska KL1X:

Italia I2NDT:

New Zealand ZL2IK:

Germany DL4MGM:





Warning: This post is several years old and the author has marked it as poor quality (compared to more recent posts). It has been left intact for historical reasons, but but its content (and code) may be inaccurate or poorly written.

This page documents the progress of my MEPT (manned experimental propagation transmitter) endeavors. If you have questions, feel free to E-mail me! My contact information can be found by clicking the link on the right navigation menu.

The Soup-Can Transmitter

The Signal

The Spots

Florida – 288.3 miles away (W4HBK) May 22, 2010

Massachusetts – 1,075.5 miles away (W1BW) May 27, 2010

Belgium – 4,496.3 miles away (ON5EX) May 27, 2010

Germany- 4,869.2 miles away (DL4MGM) May 28, 2010

Essex – 4,356.4 miles away (G6AVK) May 28, 2010

New Zealand – 8,077.6 miles away (ZL2IK) May 29, 2010





Warning: This post is several years old and the author has marked it as poor quality (compared to more recent posts). It has been left intact for historical reasons, but but its content (and code) may be inaccurate or poorly written.

I added a backlight to my oscilloscope! My o-scope’s backlight hasn’t worked since I got it (for $10), so I soldered-up a row of 9 orange LEDs (I had them in a big bag) and hooked them directly up to a 3v wall wart. In retrospect I wish I had a bunch of blue LEDs… but for now I can’t get over how well this worked! Compare it to the images a few posts back – you can really see the grid lines now!

I know this is super-basic stuff for a lot of you all, but I haven’t found a place online which CLEARLY documents this process, so I figured I’d toss-up a no-nonsense post which documents how I calculate the power output (in watts) of my QRP devices (i.e., QRSS MEPT) using an oscilloscope.

I think I have increased power output because I’m now powering my 74HC240 from this power supply (5v, 200A) rather than USB power (which still powers the microcontroller). Let’s see!

There’s the signal, and I haven’t calibrated the grid squares (this thing shifts wildly) so I have to measure PPV (peak-to-peak voltage) in “squares”. The PPV of this is about 5.3 squares.

I now use a function generator to create square waves at a convenient height. Using the same oscilloscope settings, I noticed that 10v square waves are about 7 squares high. My function generator isn’t extremely accurate as you can see (very fuzzy) but this is a good approximation. I now know that my signal is 5.3/7*10 volts. The rest of the math is pictured here:

140mW – cool! It’s not huge… but it’s pretty good for what it is (a 2-chip transmitter). I’d like to take it up to a full watt… we’ll see how it goes. My 74HC240 is totally mutilated. I accidentally broke off one of the legs, couldn’t solder to it anymore, and thought I destroyed the chip. After getting distraught about a $0.51 component, I ripped ALL the legs off. Later I realized I was running out of these chips, and decided to try to revive it. I used a dremel with an extremely small bit (similar to a quarter-round burr in dentistry) and drilled into the black casing of the microchip just above the metal contacts, allowing me enough surface area for solder to adhere to. I’m amazed it works! Now, to get more milliwatts and perhaps even watts…