Exploring the Peninsula 

Kelley and I went driving on Sunday. This was my second trip in three weekends. I take these rides so that we can explore the Olympic Peninsula and surrounding area. Seeing that we’ve lived on the island for 3 years now, it is about time that we see all the cool things in the area.

What we found, was more stuff to go back and see. On this ride, we drove out to Aberdeen. We passed the Rodeo Drive-in Movies, a pretty cool looking paintball course, a disc golf course, and a retired nuclear power plant at Satsop (which appears to offer guided tours, if you call ahead).

When we arrived in Aberdeen, we stopped at a Starbucks and had a couple of drinks while we talked. I plotted out the course around the 101 loop, but it was too late to take the six-hour drive around the northern part of the highway. We decided to do that another time. While looking at the route, I noticed a hotel on the map, the Quinault Lodge, which looks really cool. This, too, will be an excellent destination for another time.

I’m planning to do a few more of these trips. There’s a lot to see in this area. Most of it is just the natural beauty of the undeveloped countryside. It’s a good way to spend time.

Now I can Draft in WordPress

I recently received an email from WordPress.com talking about a new plug-in for Google Docs that will allow me to save my Google Doc as a WordPress draft. This would be really cool. I’d be able to use all of the formatting features of Google Docs and have those features on any Android device.

This would level the playing field across apps for WordPress. No longer would I have one set of features on one device and another set on my phone, because the WordPress apps are different.

Even better, I’d also be able to share the document with other people while editing the draft. This allows me to change my publishing workflow to incorporate more ideas and perspectives into the blog post, without having to do a bunch of copying and pasting across platforms.

Now, if there were a Grammarly plug-in for Google Docs, I’d really be happy. That part of the workflow still needs to be done in the WordPress editor.

So Many Choices, but Only 16 Channels

In the last year, I’ve been volunteering for amateur radio events whenever possible. I worked the Rotary Auction last year, and the Chilly Hilly this past weekend. For both events, I programmed new frequencies into my radio on the night before the event.

Here’s what I have decided to cover so far. From the Kitsap County Emergency Communications Plan, each region of Kitsap County has a 2-meter and 70-centimeter frequency (in MHz):

  • South Kitsap Simplex (147.46 & 445.850)
  • Bremerton Simplex (147.48 & 445.875)
  • Central Kitsap (147.50 & 445.900)
  • North Kitsap (147.52 MHz & 445.925)
  • City of Bainbridge Island (147.54 & 445.950)
  • Medical Net (147.56  & 445.975)
  • County Wide (445.825)

Furthermore, there are repeaters that we use for emergencies. Those are the same repeaters used for events.

  • The BARC repeater (444.475+ PL=103.5)
  • The Kitsap County repeater in Silverdale (145.43- PL=179.9)

And then, there are a couple of customized channels:

With the Baofeng UV-5R, you have 127 channels. This will allow you to put all of these frequencies into the radio. However, with the Baofeng 888s, you only get 1 band (70-centimeter) and 16 channels. This means that you have to choose what channels you are going to keep.

For my radio, on Saturday, I did this programming:

Channel Name Frequency Offset Tone rToneFreq
1 W7NPC 444.475 +5 TSQL 103.5
2 K7SCN 440.95 +5 Tone 110.9
3 446
4 445.95
5 445.85
6 445.875
7 445.9
8 445.925
9 445.975
10 445.95 TSQL 100
11 445.95 Tone 100

This covers the two repeaters that we were using for the Chilly Hilly, The North America simplex call for 70-centimeters, simplex channels from the communications plan, and the BARC simplex channel with tone squelch. Lastly, I added a channel with tone encode but not decode just in case someone doesn’t have their radio set up to encode.

This is the 888s setup that I’ll start with when I work my next event.