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VE2DPE Eclectic News: Issue no.5 - Taking a few more steps off the beaten path
December 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

December 15, 2020 - Issue #5

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.


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.

Also, if you buy one of my eBooks, I will earn a meager royalty, of course.

I know. I feel silly to state the obvious but many countries demand that I, as a publisher of content, disclose this.

That's the way things 'work' in 2020.

The Ham Radio Buff

"Sharing my ham radio knowledge on"
Claude Jollet VE2DPE

An Upcoming Article on

Small Magnetic Loop Antenna (SMLA) for QRP

I have been actively looking into SMLAs for transmitting QRP power levels. I am mostly interested in SMLAs for use on 80 and 40 meters. Here is why.

When we moved to my present QTH, from the densely populated Montreal suburbs, the neighbors were scattered about and my radio environment was very quiet.

But, for the past 20 years or so, there has been a boom in single dwellings around us and, more recently, apartment buildings have sprouted within spitting distance.😞

Needless to say, my QRM has increased considerably and, unfortunately, my off-center fed 80 meter dipole and my 40-meter dipole are picking up all this noise too effectively.

(Image source: AA5TB)

I first searched for commercially made SMLAs. Wow! I balked at their price$$$!

The prices motivated me to look into building my own. I found numerous sources of information on homemade magnetic loops on the Web and I believe I have acquired enough information to help me avoid the pitfalls and keep my expectations at a reasonable level.

My first experiment will be to use a small magnetic loop that I would use indoors, to receive 80 and 40 meter signals on one of my SDR receivers. I will likely have to use a preamp. We'll see. In that scenario, I will be transmitting QRP signals using my outdoor full-size dipoles.

In a second scenario, I might try building and using an SMLA, that I would also use indoors, to both transmit (QRP) and receive 80 and 40 meter signals. That's going to be awkward because my shack is in the basement and QRP energy might not get out so well. We'll see.

There is no harm in trying anyway. Who knows? I might be surprised. After all, all my friends know this: I'm an incorrigible optimist!😉

When I finally do build a satisfactory prototype, I will publish an article on my website to describe what I did and what results I got. Stay tuned.

Side Dish of the Month

Sunspot Cycle 25 to Have More Bang!

Academic Paper Predicts Sunspot Cycle 25 Could be Among the Strongest Ever

A research paper titled "Overlapping Magnetic Activity Cycles and the Sunspot Number: Forecasting Sunspot Cycle 25 Amplitude" by Scott W. McIntosh, Deputy Director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, et al., has concluded that Solar Cycle 25 could be among the strongest sunspot cycles ever observed, and will almost certainly be stronger than the just-ended Solar Cycle 24 (sunspot number of 116). The scientists say it will also most likely be stronger than Solar Cycle 23 (sunspot number of 180).

(Source: The ARRL Letter for November 19, 2020)

Now I ask you: is that good news or what?

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

This month, I would like you to meet Ashley Cotter-Cairns. An individual truly off the beaten path.

His passion is comic books. He has been reading them and collecting them since childhood.

After trying to earn an income on the Web with websites, catering to audiences unrelated to his own passion, he decided to spoil himself and use the money he had made to launch a new venture. This time he moved into his own element. And, this time, he succeeded.

Today, Ashley's passion for vintage comic books has made him the "superhero" for people trying to assess the value of their collection, or trying to sell it at a fair price. I will let Ashley share his story here and his latest update here.

Launch The Solopreneur in You!

Solo Build It!

You may have guessed by now that Ashley's success is directly related to his passion for comic books and his use of a unique business-building process called Solo Build It! (a.k.a. SBI!)

Ashley's top advice: put your passion to work for you, focus only on that and your business will succeed.

Of course... that's if you are interested in building a small online business, from the ground up, one carefully measured step at a time, while avoiding all the usual debilitating pitfalls aspiring solopreneurs invariably fall prey to.

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

Quantum Computers

Last month, I wrote about the quantum internet.

This month, I want to introduce the two technologies that are presently racing to power the first quantum computer:

  • superconducting qubits technology which is basically compatible with classical chip technology
  • trapped ion systems which is an entirely different technology

The alternative technology - trapped-ion systems - is gaining momentum in the quest to make a commercial quantum computer.

Right now, neither technology appears to be a potential clear winner. It looks like each technology may end up being useful, but at different tasks. This article should help you understand what this race is all about.

Nano Everlasting Battery

"The Nano Diamond Battery That Changes the World"

The company developing it - NDB Inc. - describes it as a universal life-long self charging green battery.

These batteries hold the promise of being much more efficient and longer lasting than regular rechargeable batteries, be they for electric vehicles (EV), smartphones, portable computers, consumer electronics, etc.

The Nano Everlasting Battery is device agnostic!

Their goal is to reinvent electricity & create a planet without fossil fuels by 2040.

Details are available on their Web site.

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


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!

On Computer Modeling of Climate Change

Computer modeling of complex and dynamic phenomena is only ever as good as the quality of its premises. Only very minor errors in initial assumptions can throw you in left field in a hurry.

For example, NASA’s space program engineers and Elon Musk’s own space program know a lot (the hard way) about initial decisions based, at first, on untested premises.

Present-day climate models also suffer from yet to be tested premises. They assume, from the start, that man - and only man - is responsible for climate changes.

One of many limited premises being relied upon lies in the temperatures recorded at the surface by the WMO (World Meteorological Organization) surface observing stations.

In North America, for example, a number of stations are considered “core”. They represent a group of “reliable”, time-tested observations which go back far enough in time to give us some perspective. All other observations elsewhere in the country - mostly automatic weather observing stations nowadays - are always compared with data from these “core” stations. It’s a sort of quality check for non-core stations. That works fine for short-term weather forecasting computer models, say up to five or seven days.

But many “core” weather observing stations were first built and located in remote areas, well away from populated areas and many were installed in the 30s and 40s. Some even date back to the late 1800s!

However, with time,  many "core" stations became less isolated as industries and people began to settle ever closer.

To make a long story short, many “core” stations eventually became “heat islands” due to the presence of man and his activities nearby.

These "heat islands", being islands, are not representative of the temperatures prevalent in the surrounding country side.

Nevertheless, this observed increase in surface temperatures at core stations, is fed as a “core” data into climate models. This data becomes part of the premises upon which climate data models are based upon.

No wonder the IPCC thinks man is the only one responsible for global warming! All they have to rely on is what present technology can measure and quantify.

Furthermore, the weather stations mentioned above are on land!

Now, you might remember, from a past issue of this newsletter, that land only covers about 28% of earth's surface. The rest is ocean where we have virtually no weather observing stations to speak of and, thus, no hindsight into the evolution of the temperatures in the lower atmosphere over 72% of the earth's surface!.

In other words, the IPCC's theory is based upon a very small sample of surface temperature data.

Would it not be nice if we had the technology and the open-mindedness to consider that other sources (causes) of change that might be in play?

More on Premises and Computer Modeling

Here is more food for thought on 'premises' other computer-based models rely on to 'predict' an outcome...

- - - - -

Modeling the spread of the new coronavirus is only relatively reliable because epidemic behavior of past viruses has been studied for a long time.

But, modeling the ‘consequences’ of a totally new and unknown virus is a very different matter. We have to work with some untested premises which belong to the realm of future research, not in known and tested science based on past events.

- - - - -

On another note, the science behind polls and surveys also suffers from partly false premises being fed into the so-called time-proven statistical models.

For example, the intense use of social media - and its lot of unverified information - has polluted what used to be reliable premises on human behavior.

Hence, polling firms have been unable to call elections with any kind of accuracy since social media took the polled population by storm, infecting it with an avalanche of unverifiable information, and introducing biases that are impossible to quantify into the so-called reliable statistical models of the past .


Computer models are only as reliable as the information you feed them.

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 to Self-Publish a Book

Before I outline the self-publishing steps, allow me to give you a little bit of background.

I was forced to learn how to publish a book by myself after having repeatedly tried, unsuccessfully, to get a publisher to accept to publish my work. In doing so, I turned a very frustrating experience into a most enjoyable and rewarding one.

They claimed that there was no market for what I had to offer. I set out to prove them wrong... and I did!

- - - - -

I discovered that book publishers are inclined to hedge their bets heavily. Most of them will only publish authors who have already proven that their writings already draw a readership!

Now, I ask you. How can an author get recognized if no publisher will publish his/her work?

In an attempt to solve that problem, most authors will turn to 'traditional' methods to acquire recognition and hopefully become worthy of a publisher’s attention. They will:

1. Write articles or short stories and submit them to specialized online websites or offline magazines.

2. Get critics to write (hopefully) favorable reviews of their published work ... if and when it ever is, that is. Yes, it's also difficult to get magazine editors to publish your writings. Sigh!

Well, I found that the most effective way to get published is to acquire credibility by submitting my best work to a targeted audience - online - on my own website.

I'm a nonfiction writer. I write about what I know well: amateur radio (a.k.a. ham radio) and, especially, about amateur radio HF wire antennas.

For example, I created, a website on which I share my knowledge of amateur radio. My primary intent is to help aspiring ham radio operators and shortwave listeners better understand the many aspects of the ham radio hobby.

In doing so, I have acquired a significant readership, a portion of which buys my ebooks (and paperback version thereof). greets an average of 600+ visitors per day. That's over 200,000 'potential customers' a year... and the visitor traffic increases each year!

I have proven to myself that I do not need a book publisher to get my books published and sold! I have become a successful self-published writer on my own by promoting my writings myself.

My website - - is my very own literary agent online, tirelessly promoting me and my eBooks, 24/7, very efficiently and quite effectively at that!

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

Cutting to the Chase

You might as well face it. There is only one way to successfully run a permanent marketing campaign on the Web.

You need a well-structured website to act as your permanent and active marketing agent online.

Don't make the mistake most people do of making it all looks and no brain!

A website is not a large billboard next to a highway. A website is virtually invisible, lying deep at the bottom of the sea (Web)... until Google decides to lift it out of anonymity and buoy it up near the surface where people can find it.

1. Google tells you exactly what you should do to succeed online. (

2. Solo Build It! (a.k.a. SBI!) gives you clear and complete instructions on how to meet Google's expectations.

When you meet Google's expectations, your online permanent marketing campaign succeeds.

It's that simple.

Consider Google as the big burly bouncer who decides whether you should be allowed to get in on the action. It's a surprising metaphor, I know. But it has the merit of conjuring up a vivid picture of what the reality is like on the Web.

When people look for information or things on the Web, using Google as a search engine, Google turns around and picks the sites it considers most likely to meet expectations and offers them up in their order of merit. Yes. Google assigns a quality rating to each website! Don't ask me how. It's complicated and proprietary (Google's secret recipe).

And, as Google handles about 85% of searches on the Web... your website had better be in Google's good graces!

Getting Back Down to Brass Tacks

I'm not saying it does not require time, patience, perseverance and work to build an online business. It does. Building a successful business always does, be it online or offline. But, the advantage you have, if you implement SBI's business-building process, is that you will ensure that you will be doing the right actions, in their proper sequence, to meet Googles requirements and, consequently, to obtain a successful business online.

It is perfectly feasible if you put SBI! to work for you.

If you really want it, do what it takes to get it!

That's all. 'Nuff said.

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

How Do Creative People Come Up With Great Ideas?

I like to put my thoughts and ideas on what I call "the back burner". When I write, I can churn an endless series of drafts, because every time I come out of a procrastinating spell, I end up rewriting large chunks of the draft that I let simmer for a while. I found this TED talk immensely comforting. It's all about me and why I eventually succeed in some aspects of everything I do. Hey! It appears I'm not so weird, after all.🙂

Besides, I firmly believe that all the pleasure lies in the quest! (now, who is it that said that first...?)

The Most Powerful Learning Tool (That Doesn’t Involve Studying)


This article is a must read. I will say no more because I do not want to spoil the surprise.

In fact, Scott Young's Web site is full of absolutely fascinating information on... Oh! I'll just let him say it: “For the last ten years I've been experimenting to find out how to learn and think better. I don't promise I have all the answers, just a place to start.”

Android Is Now the World’s Largest Earthquake Detection Network

The feature is being distributed through Google Play Services for every Android phone running version 5.0 and up. The Android 5.0 and up requirement means 94 percent of the 2.5 billion Google Play Android devices will have access to the feature. This article explains. (Source: Ars Technica)

CW Can Be Music to Your Ears

Wait for it. It's slow to start.

This tune, named Calling all Stations, is part of a very enjoyable album titled Skywave by Kwook. "... mellow, dreamy, hypnotizing effect embedded in all twelve sonic ambient excursions, all delicately shaped and sculptured."

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 Warren Rothberg, W4WR, had to say about my website

"I don't provide feed back very often, but I have to let you know that this is one of the more enjoyable sites I've been on in a very long time. Thanks for putting the effort into it. I do not know of anyone (ham or otherwise) that I would not recommend this site to. It has something for everyone and regardless of your class of license or level of experience, there is something there for you too!"

Warren Rothberg

P.S.: Click here for more testimonials.

With 2020 hindsight (sorry, just couldn't help it ;), we will be looking back at this chaotic year as, well, an indelible milestone in our lives.

Most of us will have survived, in the end, but we will, perhaps, have also lost family members or close friends.

In 2021 and beyond it will be our duty now to close ranks and forge on.

I wish you all a better year in 2021 (2020 shouldn't be hard to beat ;)

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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 or for this newsletter... or answering email requests for additional information... or doing research for the aforementioned activities ;-)

The End

This free newsletter "VE2DPE Eclectic News" is published by Claude Jollet VE2DPE, owner and editor of If you liked its contents, "pay it forward" and send it to a friend.

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

73 de VE2DPE - Claude

Claude Jollet

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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