Status Update

What have we done for the hobby in the last two weeks?

Clean up the field day mess and put everything back in place.

Write code! I completely reworked my code for the QRZ.COM XML interface (lookup call info through the web). For ‘insiders’: I re-engineered it into a standalone class that I can compile to a .Net DLL. I did the same with my code to determine the DXCC info for a callsign. That was quite a job which deserves a special item for .Net programmers here. I also subscribed to along the way. I use their CTY.XML to look up exceptions. Their database is over-complete.

What more did I do? Write more code! I’ve made a giant leap forward for the new version (from scratch) of the UBA log checking soft. Giant leap is good, but we’re not quite there yet. I’m stuck at 97% auto-check, that means I will need to scratch my head over some good routines to accurately check the remaining 3%. And check / test the code thoroughly.

Today I fixed a TFT monitor that was underway to be recycled. I saved it from that cruel destiny. It didn’t work, unless you waited half an hour – then the image popped up. As we electronics-lovers all know: this points to leaking capacitors. The weakest link in every circuit: electrolytic caps. Sure enough, on the power board I found seven capacitors with a ‘popped’ head. I replaced them with approximate values I had in my parts stock and there you go: it’s alive! An obvious and simple repair, I still got it  🙂

Now I need to find a way to hook it up as a second monitor in the shack. I thought of a USB-VGA card as a second, external graphics adapter but I read some nasty things about the functioning of these things. Change from on-board video to a new dedicated graphics card with the so called ‘dual head’ option? Any ideas?

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