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VE2DPE Eclectic News: Issue #3 - The Unexpected You Expect From Me
October 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.


The Ham Radio Buff

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

The Latest Article Published on HamRadioSecrets.com:

In recent years, radio receiver technology has made extraordinary strides in terms of value for dollars spent to acquire one. This article will help you make the right decisions if you intend to buy a receiver, be it for HF, VHF, UHF or SHF reception.

You will also discover which antenna type will both match your needs and your receiver of choice.

Side Dish of the Month

For those of you who, like me, have bought a NanoVNA or intend to buy one, here are a few Youtube links to information that I believe you will find helpful:

NanoVNA-H4 Made Easy

How to Use the NanoVNA

NanoVNA Tips and Tricks

Basics of the Smith Chart


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

In the August 2020 issue, I revealed who should bother with creating a Web site and why I created HamRadioSecrets.com. But there are countless other examples of successful sites out there.

This month, I'm presenting a website owner who recycled himself into a completely different field of work.


This could be the story of latent talents, those that bloom to fruition only when you pay attention to them, sometimes with the help of obliging circumstances.

Very few people will turn into webmasters and website content writers. Some do because they do not fall willing victims to preconceived ideas that freeze them into inaction.

It takes a certain amount of self-confidence, if not self-respect, to ignore that little voice inside whispering that "you are out of your depth" ahead of time when, in fact, you are already making plans to take the first step.

The first step is all it takes. It's not going to be in vain if it is followed by another step... and another in a direction that beckons.

I'm reminded, as I write this, of the question I'm sure you all know: "How does one eat an elephant?"

Slowly, one bite at a time! It's the only answer that makes sense.

= = =

This month, I'd like you to meet David Schulze, a United States Army Veteran.

He proudly served his country for eight years in the United States Army and then he served an additional five years working as a civilian in Iraq and Afghanistan with the United States Military.

When he returned home from the Middle East, he began looking for an enjoyable (less stressful ;) way to earn a living.

In September of 2009, he started David's Garden Seeds®, with his wife Juanita, because gardening is his favorite hobby.

Here, I'll let David tell us himself how he turned his hobby into a small business and a rewarding lifestyle.

By the way, his website enabled him to expand his business way beyond local customers successfully. To do so, he relied on a proven online business building process called Solo Build It!


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

Today, I'm writing this newsletter on my main workhorse, a Mac... (To avoid being repetitious, the remainder of this introduction is still available in issue #1 of this newsletter.)

This Month's IT Topic

What real-time operating system runs on spacecrafts?

QNX was the first real-time operating system (RTOS), developed in 1980, but it had a fatal flaw: it was a proprietary Canadian product. As such, it was not on the US Military procurement radar.

Instead, the European Space Agency (ESA) developed a RTOS in 1988, the RTEMS (Real-Time Executive for Military Systems). Its original purpose was to serve as a real-time guiding system for US Military missiles.

Prior to RTEMS, WindRiver, a company based in Alameda, California had come out with VxWorks in 1987, seven years after QNX. But it was found to be unsuitable for many space missions because it had an inflexible task priority management which could not be reprogrammed at will.

On May 4, 1995, RTEMS was released as open source and became Real-Time Executive for Multiprocessor Systems. It then became available for use on ESA's space missions.

That's not all, by far. The article, from which the above information in part comes from, becomes a much more fascinating read than that. It's worth reading.


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!


Quantum mechanics are being used here to explain the global warming of the atmosphere... and the theory is astonishing.

1. About halfway into this video, we learn that Earth emits global warming infrared energy called thermal radiation.

2. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere absorbs this thermal radiation emitted by the earth.

Now, in meteorology, it is a well-known fact that the lower atmosphere is warmed (or cooled) by being in contact with the earth!

But the theory put forth by this video suggests that the carbon dioxide molecules, present in all levels of the atmosphere, are warmed by the earth's thermal radiation, which makes the entire atmosphere warmer (not just the lower levels).

= = =

Has earth itself been getting warmer, thus increasing its emissions of thermal radiation which, in turn, is warming the upper atmosphere?

If so, what could be causing the earth's surface to get warmer?

Perhaps part of the answer might lie in the theory that I shared with you in the September 2020 issue of this newsletter.

  • Remember the scientifically proven existence of deep ocean volcanic activity?
  • Remember also that 72% of the earth's surface is sea water?

Could deep-sea volcanic activity be increasing? If so, why?

If that's the case, we are in hot water!

But, as this article states, the problem is that we only have very limited means of measuring sea water temperature!

Fortunately, according to the same article, it seems that there might be a way of improving our measurements using earthquake sounds!

Improved sea temperature measurements would certainly help us find out if our seas are indeed getting warmer and, if so, hopefully help us find out why.

The entire question remains intriguingly open.


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
The Nonfiction Writer

I'm a nonfiction writer. I play it safe. I only write about what I'm really passionate about. This way, I can remain on familiar grounds and never have to take chances by straying into unknown territory. In addition, I can remain truthful by never having to invent reading material, just to be interesting.

I have been writing about ham radio for the past 12 years. Before that, I was writing mostly about meteorology. My articles and reports were almost always written to explain, in layman's terms, how our atmosphere influences our economy and our daily lives.

I was born with an analytical mind. Therefore I have been called upon, at times, to analyze, dissect, redesign, document, complex operational information management systems and processes. It's been both a blessing and a burden. In other words,

  • It's a blessing when I can have a meaningful influence on improving how things are done by making them more efficient and effective.
  • It's a burden because I invariably (used to) end up "between a rock and a hard place" - between higher management and mid-managers, not to mention rank and file employees.

I don't do that to myself anymore! ;)

I just stick to what I love most, which is writing to help others understand what I know and love. That, my friends, is called a recursive process in computer programming. Yes. That's yet another one of my "hobbies". But I digress.

Going back to nonfiction writing...

Malcom Gladwell is one of my favorite nonfiction writers. He does not have to "spin a yarn" to make a dry topic interesting. He writes for mere mortals and he has been very successful at it. He is the author of 'Blink' and 'The Tipping Point', among many other popular titles. I was first hooked to his style of nonfiction when I read 'Outliers' in the summer of 2009.

Today, we are fortunate because - as a Masterclass Instructor - he now teaches how he finds and researches topics and how he distills big ideas into simple, powerful narratives. Nonfiction at its best. I will never catch up with his talent, of course, but I'm having fun working on it. :)

If you already love to write, be it fiction or nonfiction, but lack confidence in your ability to write well, then I highly recommend this book: The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century by Steven Pinker. ISBN 978-0-14-312779


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
Online Marketing

What do I aim to achieve with my online marketing?

One of the purposes of HamRadioSecrets.com, since 2008, has been to promote my expertise online as VE2DPE - a 47-year amateur radio veteran - as a source of ham radio information among the most reliable on the Web.

Even if the aim of marketing is usually to sell something tangible - a product or a service - it will not be successful if you only concentrate on selling.

If people are going to trust you enough to buy your recommendations, you are going to have to earn their trust first.

That can only happen when you give that is, share useful information that will help individuals understand the pros and cons of products or services they are looking to buy. That's what I call critical decision-making information. It helps people in their decision-making process which, ultimately, will benefit them by saving them time and money.

Give and You Shall Receive

You will only benefit (get what you want) after you have shared useful information with your website visitors (given some of what they want, free).

People will trust you because you will have helped them make the right decision. Thanks to you, they eventually realize that they have become a much better informed consumer.

People will always buy more readily from someone they have come to trust.

Therefore, it's simple: earn that trust and your online business will succeed financially.

However, if you are to gain the required level of trust, you must know your stuff, inside out and sideways. That's the only way you are ever going to be able to help someone understand the benefits (for them) of what you have to offer.

In other words, if, for example, you try to sell every possible type of floor covering, you are probably not going to do too well unless you have considerable experience in installing and taking care of all of them! You have become a true expert. So, share tips on how to select and install floor covering.

Of course, there are likely other experts in your field of expertise. But remember:

  • None have your specific expertise.
  • None have your ability to explain clearly and effectively what you have learned over the years.
  • You and your expertise are as unique as your fingerprint!

Too many aspiring online entrepreneurs neglect to recognize that. So, they fail. Invariably.

I know a fair bit about HF wire antennas because I have built and tried many different types and configurations since I obtained my license in 1973. Therefore, I can easily and knowledgeably explain how to build them and what sort of performance one can expect of them. I know the pros & cons of each type. I can share the tips & tricks I have developed during all those years of experimentation.

I share a representative sample of my expertise on my website. My website visitors like what they read. That is why my eBooks sell well.

I only promote my eBooks on Amateur Radio HF Antennas on my website. Not very much else.

Out of the 500-600 individuals who visit my website each day, enough of them buy my eBooks to reward me for the hard work of writing them and self-publishing them.

Admittedly, creating a well-structured website, and writing hundreds of articles to meet my intended audience's expectations is also a lot of work. But I love the ham radio hobby and I love to write to help people understand concepts that they might not otherwise.

So, it's not work... but rather a labor of love!

My eBooks are not sold directly on my website. The site just serves to:

  • Help people by providing useful information.
  • Built trust doing so.
  • Promote my expertise and my eBooks.

Other than the cost of hosting my website, and a few related odds and ends, not one penny is spent on advertising. My Web presence is enough to make my eBook series known to its intended readers.

The actual selling and dealing directly with customers is handled by Amazon, Google Books, Kobo Rakuten, Gumroad and Apple Books.

In summary, my marketing boils down to:

  1. Promoting my expertise and my eBooks online directly to the hundreds of individuals who intentionally visit my website HamRadioSecrets.com each day;
  2. Leaving the actual selling to the outlets mentioned previously.

I never pay for advertising. Ever. Instead, I let the search engines and word-of-mouth do the work of letting people know I exist online... and that I can be useful to them.

Traditional Advertising: The Harsh Reality

Here is how I see traditional advertising: it's like taking a snapshot of the sky, at irregular intervals, in the hope of catching your favorite species of bird in full flight, because they are known to fly up there, now and then. Good luck with that!

Traditional advertising is almost always catching people off-guard, while they are doing something else or have their mind elsewhere. In doing so, you expect (hope) that enough people will notice and buy what you are peddling. In my view, that's a haphazard way of doing business.

In fact, the only type of traditional advertising that really works is the “brainwashing” type which consists of repeatedly exposing a random audience to the same message, over and over, until it sticks in their subconscious as the "only" product or service that can meet their needs. There is usually a stiff price tag attached to that kind of marketing!

Conclusion

Compared to traditional advertising, my helpful online presence will always be:

  1. More effective - because it only touches individuals who intentionally seek me (website content) out.
  2. More efficient - because it is considerably less costly.

P.S. A website must be more than a good-looking shell. It must mean business and be structured to be your effective marketing agent online, 24/7. I'm in business online thanks to a unique and proven business building process called Solo Build It! (SBI!).


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


Hi, I'm an iTunes and Netflix Addict

I watched 'V' for Vendetta on iTunes a few days ago. A 2005 science fiction fantasy thriller that I had watched years ago. I found it very unsettling because of the times we are living in ... and November 3, 2020 looming. Serious food for thought.

I watched The Social Dilemma on Netflix last night.

It shook me because I have had this rebellious feeling boiling inside me for some time now. And it was increasing.

I deleted my Facebook account last year because I was disgusted with Mark Zuckerberg not clearly showing me that he wanted to change.

I had decided to stop contributing to this trend that large corporations have set in motion which is... getting your attention with the intent of getting you to do something(s) that they want, instead of something that you want or should want to do.

The documentary The Social Dilemma has confirmed that I was right to rebel.

However, I remain active on Twitter where I feel the manipulation is much less than on Facebook. In other words, I don't feel I'm being manipulated... as much. But I remain on my guard.

You won't find me on any other social media platform than Twitter.

Meanwhile...

Help Is on the Way

"SPOT® is a nimble robot that climbs stairs and traverses rough terrain with unprecedented ease, yet is small enough to use indoors. Built to be a rugged and customizable platform, Spot has an industry track record in remote operation and autonomous sensing."


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 one ham radio operator had to say about my website www.HamRadioSecrets.com :

"Congratulations! Your ham radio website is the FIRST one I ever bookmarked. I have looked at ham sites for years, but they were throwbacks to the early years of HTML, buggy with bad links. Your site was current and flawlessly built. Great job and thanks for the days it took to build the website. Merci, mon ami!"

Charlie L. Young Jr. KY5U

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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". Click here. Or, if you prefer...

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