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VE2DPE Eclectic News: Issue no.4 - Eclectic topics worth mulling over
November 15, 2020

"I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious."
Albert Einstein


"I feed my brain a steady diet of information from a wide selection of nutritious sources. Variety and quality are key.
Being eclectic helps, of course!"

Claude Jollet VE2DPE


October 15, 2020 - Issue #3


In This Issue

  1. The Ham Radio Buff
  2. The Website Buff
  3. The Computer Buff
  4. The Weather & Climate Buff
  5. The Writing Buff
  6. The Lay Marketing Buff
  7. An Eclectic's Smorgasbord
  8. Straight Talk

You are receiving this issue of my newsletter because you subscribed to it, a gesture for which I am grateful.

I will strive to meet and hopefully exceed your expectations in every issue. If not, I trust you will let me know.

That being said, by all means read on.


Disclosure: Before you read what follows, I must inform you that I am a Solo Build It! (SBI!) affiliate and, as such, I may earn a small commission - at no extra cost to you - if you buy SBI! after having clicked on a link in this newsletter.

The Ham Radio Buff

"Sharing my ham radio knowledge on HamRadioSecrets.com"
Claude Jollet VE2DPE

The Latest Article Published on HamRadioSecrets.com:

Ever Dreamed of Getting on 160 Meters?

I have found a positive aspect to the COVID-19 pandemic and its repercussions on our lives.

I have been able to concentrate on catching up on the backlog of projects that 'normal' life activities kept interfering with in the past.

Thus, I have finally completed the design, testing and documentation of my latest antenna project: a smaller than normal, resonant 160 meter antenna.

I'm really proud of this one because it's extremely simple to build and install.

Normally, a dipole for 160 meters requires at least 260 feet of horizontal space, plus supporting ropes at each end. Plus it is usually installed too close to the ground, in terms of wavelength, which turns it into a NVIS (Near Vertical Incidence Skywave) antenna, mostly good for very short-range communications.

I recently posted a new article on HamRadioSecrets.com about my much shorter version. A portion of it is 'vertical', which increases the possibility of longer-range communications. Read all about it here.

Side Dishes of the Month

QRP HF Transceiver

As I might have already told you, I own a KX2 QRP SDR HF transceiver, made by Elecraft. I love it.

That does not mean that I don't look at new competing QRP SDR transceivers when they appear on my radar screen.

For example, take a look at the Russian-made Lab599 Discovery TX-500 HF+6m QRP HF transceiver. It's certainly good-looking! It also covers the 160 and 6 meter bands, while my KX2 does not. I don't care about 160, for which a suitable antenna can be a problem when operating portable. But I do appreciate being able to access the 6-meter band. The Discovery TX-500 is also about 5% less expensive than the bare bones version of the KX2, which might be attractive for some of you.

Sporadic E Propagation Presentation

Sporadic E is a complex propagation mode. So, Jim Bacon, G3YLA, starts his 51-minute presentation with a review of where we are with current understanding of Sporadic E, ideal for the many newcomers to amateur radio. An excellent presentation.


If you have any question or comment about this topic, please do not hesitate to write to me here, care of "The Ham Radio Buff".

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The Website Buff

"Sharing my knowledge of website information architecture and content management, acquired since 2005."
Claude Jollet VE2DPE

Each month I introduce you to another website owner to illustrate how enjoyable and rewarding it can be to share one's expertise with a website.

Meet Nick Usborne. He is an inveterate coffee lover. So much so that he spends a considerable amount of time trying different blends, different methods of making an outstanding cup of coffee, with all kinds of coffee-making equipment.

It's his hobby.

Nick shares his knowledge of coffee on his website named "Coffee Detective".

Nick's website is another example of using a website to turn a personal expertise into a rewarding occupation. It usually begins part-time. When the rewards increase with recognition, it often evolves, unintentionally and quite naturally, into a full-time small online business.

Since the pandemic hit the world earlier this year, people have turned to the Web in hordes. Therefore, it is quite appropriate to investigate the income-generating potential of a website.

You would not know where to begin? That's quite understandable.

Back in December 2008, I began implementing a proven online business building process named Solo Build It! (aka "SBI!").

As a result, a few months later, HamRadioSecrets.com became a full-fledged micro business online. It has since become a small, yet full-fledged online business.

SBI is much more a website builder. It's a building process for small online businesses. You implement the process one step at a time.

What will it cost you to give it a try? Less than one dollar a day to build and grow a small income-generating online business!

But what will it cost you to look into it? Nothing!

So go ahead. Take that first step. Do something constructive with your expertise. Let the world in on it!

Oh! And please don't just take my word for it. Judge for yourself!


If you have any question or comment about this topic, please do not hesitate to write to me here, care of "The Website Buff".

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The Computer Buff

"Sharing my knowledge of computers, acquired since the late 70s"
Claude Jollet VE2DPE

From "Computers" to Computers

Some highly specialized women mathematicians were called "computers" much before electronic computing machines became known as computers!

This fascinating story is about the six women who made ENIAC possible.

The Quantum Internet

The scientists behind the ENIAC could not have imagined today's computers: tiny CPUs millions of times faster than the electronic computing machine they were building.

In a similar fashion, the computer buffs among us are having a hard time grasping the foundations of the next generation of the quantum Internet and quantum computers. It's called quantum mechanics.

The article in Discover magazine should help (most of) us understand what it's all about. A must read.

For those of you who prefer watching a video instead of reading, there are many on the Web. For example this video explains what quantum entanglement is but concludes that quantum communication is not possible in practice...yet.


If you have any question or comment about this topic, please do not hesitate to write to me here, care of "The Computer Buff".

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The Weather & Climate Buff

"Sharing my 31 years in meteorology with Canada's Meteorological Service"
Claude Jollet VE2DPE

Introduction

What follows is the kind of stuff we would talk about on night shift, at the weather office, when the weather was nice and we could quietly explore ideas amongst ourselves. I'm retired now, but my mind has not!



What! It's Happened Before!

Here is a recent Scientific American article for you to mull over.

Title: "If Past Is a Guide, Arctic Could Be Verging on Permafrost Collapse" By Chelsea Harvey, E&E News on October 19, 2020

Quote: "Ancient sediments show rapid warming and rising seas caused massive thaws that unleashed carbon into the atmosphere" ... "The study suggests that three distinct periods of rapid climate change over the past 27,000 years (...late Pleistocene and early Holocene...) each coincided with massive thawing and collapsing on permafrost landscapes."

The background source of the Scientific American article is a geology research article - titled: "Remobilization of dormant carbon from Siberian-Arctic permafrost during three past warming events" - reporting findings of a scientific study conducted by: Jannik Martens, Birgit Wild, Francesco Muschitiello, Matt O’Regan, Martin Jakobsson, Igor Semiletov, Oleg V. Dudarev, Örjan Gustafsson

I light of the above, I cannot help but think that there could be more than meets the eye behind our present-day global warming episode.

There must have been pretty advanced and industrious Homo sapiens on Earth to trigger those events at the time. Because, let's be honest, it couldn't be Mother Nature acting up all on its own again during our era. Right?

I'm not going to apologize for being sarcastic here.

Again, I'm not saying there is no global warming now because there is, of course. I'm just saying... Man can be so conceited, at times.


If you have any question or comment about this topic, please do not hesitate to write to me here, care of the "The Weather & Climate Buff".

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The Writing Buff

"Sharing my nonfiction writing experience which began in the mid 60s."
Claude Jollet VE2DPE

How I Write my Nonfiction eBooks

I have already told you, in a recent issue of this newsletter, that I only write nonfiction.

I publish some of what I write in the form of eBooks which are sold on Amazon, Google Play Books, Kobo Rakuten, Gumroad.com, Apple eBooks and a few other outlets.

Amazon KDP also produces and sells my eBooks in paperback form, on demand.

Writing a nonfiction book is easy if you have a deep knowledge of the book's subject matter.

Self-publishing is also easy if you know how. But that's for later.

To begin with, I have decided to reveal to you how I write a nonfiction book. Here are the different stages.

  1. I choose a topic I am knowledgable about.
  2. I find out if there is a high enough level of interest for this topic. If not, I choose another topic! How do I accomplish this critical part of my research? How do I manage to obtain reliable demand results? That's something the "Marketing Buff" can explain. Spoiler alert: It's called "Brainstorm It!", one of the many modules of SBI!
  3. Once I have validated the demand for the topic I have chosen, I do some additional research to fill the gaps in my knowledge because, after all, I'm not perfect!
  4. I subdivide the main topic into chapters (subtopics of the main topic). I do this in "draft mode" because I reserve the right to change my mind at a later stage - both in the choice of a given subtopic and in their sequence in the book.
  5. This is where I begin to flesh out each chapter. I don't do this linearly as in chapter one, chapter two, etc. Instead, I add text to the subtopic that suits my fancy that day. This ensures that my 'love' for the subtopic bubbles to the surface... instead of something (sigh) that I decided to write about (yawn), way back, during my planning stage. Get what I mean?
  6. I let simmer overnight what I have written. The next day I review what I have written. I will invariably find a better way of saying some things and/or in a better sequence.
  7. I run that text through Antidote software. It checks my grammar and spelling, of course. But it also checks my style and a significant number of other aspects of my writing. It often suggests a better way of saying some things.
  8. I "rinse and repeat" steps 5-7 until I have nothing more to add that will help my readers understand the main topic of the book. On average, I usually go back on what I have written 5 or 6 times before I am satisfied.
  9. I will then let the book rest for a week or two until I feel I am ready to have a fresh look at it. That usually triggers another bout of revisions.
  10. When I'm done, I will ask a good and reliable friend to read it and comment. By reliable, I mean that he can be relied upon to "hold no punches". I appreciate his input very much because, after all, people pay for my eBooks. They deserve nothing but the best!

I will usually repeat the last two steps, two or three times, before the final draft emerges and I feel I have a winner.

The above is a "dry" summary of my writing process. There is much more to it than that, of course, but it would require a whole a book... that I might just write some day.

Self-publishing

You might remember that I mentioned self-publishing, very briefly, in the September 2020 issue of this newsletter.

In an upcoming issue, I plan to outline the essential steps to successful self-publishing. It's my "secret recipe". I still have to decide how much of it that I can reveal without sacrificing the "edge" that has made my self-publishing successful, in my small niche.

As an appetizer... writing nonfiction for a small niche is critical to success.


Meanwhile, if you have any question or comment about this topic, please do not hesitate to write to me here, care of the "The Writing Buff".

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The Lay Marketing Buff

"Sharing the online marketing experience that I have acquired since 2005"
Claude Jollet VE2DPE
As I have told you before, www.HamRadioSecrets.com is my online business's main promotional engine. It's my official representative online, working for me 24/7.

I'm a nonfiction writer. Therefore I promote my eBooks on my website. If I were a woodworker, I would promote my furniture. If I were an auto mechanic, I would promote my services, and so on.

In fact, you can promote anything online, with or without the ultimate goal of selling something - your product(s) and/ or services... or even those of someone else!

Nonprofit Organisations Also Use SBI!

You can even build a website that "means business" - with the help of SBI! - dedicated only to effectively spread the word about something you strongly believe in, without any intent of making a penny out of it, such as a nonprofit organization would! Here are two examples.

  • Advance Africa is one of many examples of charitable organizations using the effectiveness of SBI! to reach their audience. Caring for others in need is in the business of giving.
  • Another good example of a nonprofit organization is Crafting4Good.org. The name says it all, but a more detailed explanation of their mission is available on their website. It's worth reading.

Both deserve your support.

Conditions for Success Online

However, you can only be successful online if you :

  1. Restrict yourself to what you know and love. I'm serious.
  2. Share useful information, freely and generously, with your online audience. Why? To build trust, because only people who trust you will buy from you instead of from someone else... unless what you have to offer is so unique that they won't find its equivalent elsewhere, no matter how hard they look. Remember. You can always rise above the competition by sharing - in your own unique way - helpful decision-making information with your intended audience. In return, they will reward you by buying from you. It's that simple!
  3. Ensure that you meet a 'real demand', one that you have accurately measured and analyzed with the help of a trustworthy service, such as Brainstorm It!

If you are not ready to abide by the above three rules, you will fail online, no matter what your goal is. Again, it's that simple.

The majority of people, who attempt to succeed online, do so by falling prey to the unsubstantiated and implied promises of easily generating income with a website or blog or a Facebook page or a seller's account page on Etsy, eBay and the like.

Very few succeed because they are only offered part of the solution.

Building an online business is like building an offline, brick & mortar business. It's a complex process that takes time and discipline. It goes much beyond a good-looking store front and a clever business logo.

So complex, in fact, that none, repeat, none of the website-building services, be it Wix, SquareSpace, GoDaddy, Weebly, Vistaprint, Homestead, Amazon AWS, WordPress and the like, ever venture into explaining what building an online business entails and, even less, how to!

Don't believe me?

See for yourself. Examine all website building and hosting companies. All of them 'unabashedly imply' that they can help you generate an income (aka "succeed") but none of them explain how, step by step. None.

None of these companies provide a list of website domain names of business owners whose online business is successful because they use their product. None.

Only one company can prove that the business process it offers actually brings results: an enviable and income generating online presence.

Take my SBI!-built online business for example. Each day, an average of 550 individuals choose to visit my place of business: www.HamRadioSecrets.com. They do so because they are looking for information. Some of them find it so useful that they buy one or all of my eBooks on "Amateur Radio HF Antennas" - if that is what they were looking for.

Any online business that has 550 visitors intentionally walking in each day - that's over 200,000 individuals and potential customers per year - cannot help but be successful.

Even if only 1% of them were to buy an eBook from me, that's over 2000 books sold each year! Obviously, it would not be worth remaining in business today if I were to sell only that many books each year.

Admittedly, I also promote a business-building service called Solo Build It! (aka SBI!)

I am proud to be an SBI! affiliate because I know its business-building process works. In fact, SBI! happens to be the only one of its kind out there! Its only "competitors" are companies full of implied promises of wealth (if you build a website with them) without ever explaining 'how to' actually build a true online business, step by step.

So. There you are. If you ever want to build a viable online business, trust me. You can rely on Solo Build It! to show you how and be there for you, ready to help, every step of the way... for as long as you want to remain in business!


If you have any question or comment about this topic, please do not hesitate to write to me here, care of the "The Lay Marketing Buff".

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An Eclectic's Smorgasbord

"I'm not Einstein (not by a long shot)
but I too have always been passionately curious!"

Claude Jollet VE2DPE



Prime Video

Yes. My name is Claude and I'm a movie addict.

I watched Castles in the Sky on Prime Video on Oct 12, 2020.

Why did I love this movie? Because:

  1. I am a former 'weather man' (31 years in operational meteorology with Environment Canada).
  2. I am a ham radio operator with a special interest in antennas.

Quoting from IMDb.com:

"It is the mid-1930s and the storm clouds of WWII are forming in Germany. This film charts the work of Robert Watson Watt, the pioneer of Radar, and his hand-picked team of eccentric yet brilliant meteorologists as they struggle to turn the concept of Radar into a workable reality. Hamstrung by a tiny budget, seemingly insurmountable technical problems and even a spy in the camp, Watson Watt also has to deal with marital problems as he chases his dream. By 1939, Watson Watt and his team have developed the world's first Radar system along the south east coast of England - a system that, in 1940, will prove pivotal in winning the Battle of Britain."

Source: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3311900/plotsummary


Netflix

I also watched The Queen's Gambit - A Netflix Limited Series.

Absolutely riveting movie. It's the story of a young chess prodigy. Based on the book by Walter Tevis.

How can you not be addicted to this kind of movie?

P.S.: It's rated 8.9 by IMDb.com. A clear indication of the movie’s worthiness.


Music to Celebrate By

Here is what I played on my Mac when my latest antenna experiment worked as planned.

Did it put a smile on your face? :)


If you have any question or comment about this topic, please do not hesitate to write to me here, care of the "An Eclectic's Smorgasbord".

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Straight Talk


Here is what Melanie A. Glemser had to say about my website www.HamRadioSecrets.com :

"Hello, great site!!! I've always been interested in getting my license,(my dad was K8BRS out of Detroit area, silent key '72), and recently I've been checking out sites to get info on home-brew gear and licensing help; That's how I came upon your excellent site. Just wanted to give something back, even though it's not much! Your site is a wonderful source of useful info, kind of like a notebook with all of this good stuff in it you don't want to forget, and refer to often. Thank you for being out there, spreading the word; I will be visiting often! I will let you know when I get my license!"

M.A. Glemser, Atlanta, GA.

She later submitted this update:

"I noticed my quote was still up on your ham radio web site. Now you can change the signature to "Melanie, KM4GQN", although THAT may change soon - I'm currently studying for the Extra, so I'll give up that long 2x3 with a large CW weight for a sequential 1x2".

73 de Melanie, KM4GQN

Congratulations, Melanie! I'm glad that you have found my website content useful.


P.S.: Cilck here for more testimonials.

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Where Else Can We Get Together?

Meet me @VE2DPE on Twitter. I'm on 'almost' every day... when I'm not writing content for www.HamRadioSecrets.com or for this newsletter... or answering email requests for additional information... or doing research for the aforementioned activities ;-)


The End... For Now!

This free newsletter "VE2DPE Eclectic News" is published by Claude Jollet VE2DPE, owner and editor of www.HamRadioSecrets.com. If you liked its contents, "pay it forward" and send it to a friend. If you are not already a subscriber, don't rely on hand-me-downs! Please consider subscribing here.

Now that you have read this issue, I would love to know what you think of it. Please tell me here.

See you next month, on the 15th, at the "crack of dawn"! :)

73 de VE2DPE

Claude Jollet

www.HamRadioSecrets.com

P.S. If you have not already done so, please consider buying one of my eBooks on "Amateur Radio HF Antennas" - here. Or, if you prefer...

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