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NEAR-Fest XXIII May 4th and 5th 2018 / Re: Ham Jam!
« Last post by DrOptigan on May 06, 2018, 04:55:30 PM »
*pokes his head out of the bunker*

Wow, what a jam! A bit odd compared to the other ones, but I think we made it work. Thanks to everyone who put up with my keyboard playing and singing. Maybe we'll do Freebird at the next one..........  :P
aka Dr. Optigan
Follow the Odyssey of the Mind team's progress as they compete in World competition in Ames, Iowa at

Video of the New England Tech Trek, NE(T)2

From FACEBOOK posted by Jenny Gore 5/05/2018:

“This weekend was beyond crazy. We took seven 4th and 5th grade girls to #nearfest and the NE(T)2 conference to raise money for their Odyssey of the Mind World Finals trip. 

They were invited to/given a table in the technology building and were also given permission to solicit donations (no one has ever been allowed to do that before). THEN they were told that whatever they raise, the organizers would match up to $500.

The ARRL thought it was awesome, interviewed them and will be doing an article showcasing their solution.

These girls were so sweet and patient with everyone! Even with the older “seasoned” crowd that would talk about things over their heads, they would smile and ask questions. They made everyone feel special.

At the end, they had raised $455. During the closing ceremony, the head organizer guy “Mr. Mike” (see below) brought them on stage, allowed them to talk about their “odyssey”, then told the crowd how NEAR-Fest was matching up to $500, but they were a bit short of that. He then said, “Who will help them reach $500? Even a dollar will get them closer.”

Everyone lined up to donate! Everyone!! People just kept coming and coming. Their donation jar got so full that they had to take the lid off. Then it got so full that they had to squish bills down. Lisa had to walk away because she was crying, it was so beautiful! I choked back most of my tears, and hid the escaped tears behind my sunglasses. In the end, they came away with $1,214 dollars!

I cannot thank the amateur radio community and tech community enough. You guys and gals are the best people!! Thank you so much!!!”
NEAR-Fest XXIII May 4th and 5th 2018 / Door Prizes
« Last post by W1RC on May 02, 2018, 08:35:42 AM »
We will be drawing for the following prizes this time.

First Grand Prize:  Elecraft KX2 with KXAT2 Antenna Tuner, MH3 Hand Mic, KXBT2 Battery Pack and KXBC2 Charger.  Value  $1100.75.  Please note: Winner must provide their SSN as a 1099-MISC will be issued.  You do not need to be present to win.

Second Grand Prize: Radioddity GD-77 dual band VHF/UHF digital (DMR) walkie talkie with programming software and cable valued at $99.00.  You do not need to be present to win.

Second Grand Prize: Certificate for one night’s stay at the Holiday Inn Express, Manchester NH and a Guest Pass to NEAR-Fest for two people and one vehicle.  Value $180.00

Be sure to fill in your ticket stub and drop in the prize drum located on the stage at the Relaxation Grove.  PLEASE WRITE OR PRINT LEGIBLY.  Include telephone number and email address.

Drawings will be held at the stage at the Relaxation Grove at the following times:

Friday: 12:00, 2:00 and 4:00  Second Grand Prize: Radioddity GD-77 dual band VHF/UHF digital (DMR) walkie talkie

Saturday 10:00, 12:00 and 2:00 First Grand Prize: Elecraft KX2

Door prizes include a 2018 ARRL Handbook, courtesy of Ham Radio Outlet, a $50 ARRL Gift Certificate and a $25 ARRL Gift Certificate, compliments of the ARRL, a Certificate for one night stay at the Holiday Inn Express, Manchester NH, (value $150) compliments of the hotel.  You need to be present to win one of these prizes.

Door prize winners will be able to choose the prize they have won from the “prize pool” so the earlier you claim your prize the better the choice will be.

Winning numbers of unclaimed prizes from earlier drawings will be announced at later drawings during the fest so please attend to see if you won an earlier prize.  All Door prizes not claimed by 2:00 PM Saturday will be forfeited and redrawn at a later time. 

More to come so please check back later.
Mister Mike's "Mishigoss" Board / A Short Treatise on Men’s Leather Jackets
« Last post by W1RC on April 30, 2018, 11:37:54 AM »
Leather Jackets:

Men’s leather jackets are very popular for many reasons one of which is that, if properly cared for, they will last a lifetime.  Also they are comfortable to wear and never go out of style.

Military leather flight jackets, such as the iconic US Army Air Corps A-2 jacket and A-2 styled jackets are very popular.  Here is an excellent Web site that provides comprehensive information on the A-2.

It is important to know about the different types of leather used in the manufacture of jackets.

Cowhide is the most common leather used to make jackets because it is durable, easy to care for, and resistant to water and dirt. Its tough qualities are especially prized by motorcycle riders and police officers. Cowhide is affordable and functional.

Lambskin is very soft, luxurious leather. Fashion designers prefer its naturally light weight and velvety touch. It finishes beautifully, has a soft hand, and drapes well. With a little extra care, lambskin is very wearable and is the ultimate luxury.

Horsehide is rugged enough for military wear. That's why the Army Air Corps used it for the famous WWII A-2. High grade horsehide is supple and comfortable, but still tough enough for a military jacket.

Goatskin is perfect jacket leather because it is durable as well as supple, soft to the touch, and very comfortable to wear. Of all leathers used for,garments goatskin resists abrasion the best.  Goatskin jackets last so long they are passed down from generation to generation. I've seen goatskin jackets that look even better after 50 years of wear than they did when new. Both the Navy and Air Force use goatskin for their G-1 and A-2 flight jackets.

Leather Terminology.

Chrome-tanned - Leather preserved with chromium compounds and other mineral agents to produce supple leather for garments, shoes and gloves.

Vegetable-tanned - Leather preserved with tannins from bark, seeds, and wood to produce strong and slightly stiff leather for luggage and belting.

Drum dyed - Leather dyed in a rotating drum until the dye completely penetrates the leather.

Aniline - Leather dyed with transparent aniline dyes to produce a beautiful transparent finish and suppleness. No pigment is used, but a light finish may be applied to color or protect the leather.

Semi-aniline - Aniline dyed leather topped with a very light coat of pigment and finish to even out the color and increase durability.

Pigmented - Leather coated with resin containing pigment. Pigment gives leather a uniform color and shade. Low-grade leather needs thick coats of pigment to cover up cuts and scars.

Thickness - Leather thickness is measured in millimeters or ounces per square foot. One-ounce equals about 1/64-inch or 0.40 millimeters thickness. Jacket leather is usually between two and four-ounces.

Top grain - Leather from which only the hair and under flesh have been removed.

Grade - Leather grades range from A to D depending on the type and amount of flaws. Grade A hides are clean with no flaws. Grade B has a few slight imperfections. Grade C has healed cuts. Grade D has unhealed cuts. The higher the grade, the less pigment needed to finish the leather and the more beautiful the finished jacket.

Shearling - Sheepskin with the wool attached. The wool can be straightened or left naturally curly.

Mouton - Shearling tanned and finished for fur.

Leather Tanning Steps

Raw skins are soaked in a vat of salt brine to temporarily preserve them.
Preserved skins are soaked for several days in a solution of lime and sodium sulfate to remove hair and fat.
Clean skins are treated in a bating vat with an enzyme and sulfate or chloride to remove the lime.
Hides are placed in a tanning drum with chromium compounds or vegetable tannin.
Tanned hides are placed in a fat liquoring drum with oils and greases to increase pliability.
Hides are dyed with chemical or vegetable dyes in a rotating drum.
Dyed hides are milled in a rotating drum to soften them.
Milled leather is rolled, stretched, and dried to make it strong and uniform.
Leather is finished with pigment, wax, oil or glaze.
Finished leather may also be buffed or polished.

Sources of A-2, G-1 and other fine leather jackets. 

Formerly known as Flight Suits Limited, Gibson & Barnes of San Diego makes a very nice line of leather jackets.  My favorite is the Skyliner Airline jacket made for American Airlines pilots.

These companies manufacture A-2s and variations from original patterns and are for those who,want an authentic jacket that is wearable.  They are quite pricey, over a thou.

Eastman Leather Company, Devon England

Buzz Rickson, England

The Real McCoy, Japan

This,company manufactures their jackets in Turkey amd are made-to-order.

Then there is always eBay.

Repair and Restoration services.

Even though the leather is very durable and rugged the knit cuffs, waistbands and zippers often need replacing.  These resources also offer new lining, leather restoration and repair.

NEAR-Fest XXIII May 4th and 5th 2018 / Re: Ham Jam!
« Last post by Whoz Your Daddy on April 28, 2018, 07:22:37 PM »
Ham Jam!
NEAR-Fest XXIII May 4th and 5th 2018 / Re: Ham Jam!
« Last post by DrOptigan on April 23, 2018, 03:41:38 AM »
Looks like there'll be nobody here but us chickens! ;D

With any luck, I'll be there with the Big Red Farfisa™ and other goofy keyboards in tow, as (un)usual. Should be interesting to see how things pan out. Any idea about whether or not we'll be able to record this one? Anyway, see ya's there!  8)
aka Dr. Optigan
NEAR-Fest XXIII May 4th and 5th 2018 / Re: Ham Jam!
« Last post by Whoz Your Daddy on April 23, 2018, 12:09:53 AM »
NEAR-Fest XXIII May 4th and 5th 2018 / Re: Ham Jam!
« Last post by KB1NZN on April 22, 2018, 08:53:37 PM »
Pointing the way ....
NEAR-Fest XXIII May 4th and 5th 2018 / Re: Ham Jam!
« Last post by Whoz Your Daddy on April 22, 2018, 06:45:07 AM »
i'll bring the e-drums!!!
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