Ham Radio Vanity Callsign Quest

Amateur Callsign Regions

Image: Amateur Radio Callsign Regions - Click to enlarge.

Since we have escaped from California and now live in the 7th call area (the free state of Arizona), I am trying to dump the 2×1 6th area (California) callsign in favor of a K/N/W7×2 vanity call. As of today, I’m 0 for 19 tries with one vanity application still pending. I am hoping to have a new 7th area callsign by the end of 2018.

This post is actually a continuation of a series started on the Minstrel a while back. Those posts are currently inaccessible via HTTP but somewhat accessible to me via FTP. More on that as things progress.

The process of getting a Vanity Callsign is fairly simple. You apply for an account sign-in on the FCC ULS (Universal Licensing System) and apply for your vanity callsign there. A couple of sources to see what calls are available are Radio QTH Vanity Calls and AE7Q Query Tools. Either of these sites provide which calls are available and much more.

The competition is quite intense when applying for these popular callsigns, hence the lack of success as mentioned in the first paragraph. I have seen the odds vary from 68:1 down to 4:1 over the nineteen unsuccessful tries. The probability for success of my current application for W7EC is 5.56% with seventeen other competitors. All applications received for a given vanity call are electronically tossed into a hat and a random winner selected.

I will post updates to this effort as time progresses. Wish me luck.

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Cactus and its Pups Transplanted

Removed from Plastic Pot You probably remember our “Cherry RedTrichocereus Grandiflorus cactus, the one with the bright red or hot pink flowers. Well, today it was time to separate the overcrowded parent from the pups in the original pot.

Bob took his circular saw to the plastic pot in order to cleanly remove the cactus and its roots. The result is seen at the right - the cactus sans pot on a camo tarp. The tarp was there to retain the soil that we brushed away from the roots. The residual soil went into the transplant pots along with some local sandy soil.

The yield was the original main cactus and a bunch of pups ranging from mature to very small. All were transplanted into pots except for the very small pup which went into the ground in my xeriscape garden outside the courtyard main gate.

Before attempting to separate the cactus and pups, we consulted with several on-line sources describing methods for separating cacti of this type. We think that some of the pups that broke off of a main stem without the roots will develop them in their new pots (or in the ground) over time. The main cactus and larger pups had partial root systems that made it into the new pots.

We’re hoping that eventually we will have bright red flowers happening all over the courtyard and xeriscape instead of all in one place. You can see from the photos below that we are spread out a bit now. Click on any image to enlarge.

Parent Cactus Large Pup Cactus

Three Small Pups Very Small Pup in the Xeriscape

Medium Pup Medium Large Pup

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Classic Cars, Aircraft and the Weather

Classic Cars on Display

Damsel and I attended the 24th Wickenburg Annual Classic Car Show and Fly-In today. The remnants of Tropical Cyclone Sergio, however, were to cut the festivities short after about two hours into the four hour event. We got there ahead of the rain, though, and scored a souvenir T-shirt and got some pictures. The impending rain caused many of the previous fly-ins to stay at home, so the exhibits were limited today.

Air Medical Helicopter Maule M6 STOL Airplane

The helicopter (above left) is normally parked at the Wickenburg Hospital Helipad when it isn’t airborne in an air ambulance capacity. On the right with the oversized tundra tires is a Maule M6 short takeoff and landing (STOL) airplane. With a 235 HP Lycoming engine, this plane is capable of lifting off before you pass the first set of runway lights, and will land in rather confined areas with an approach speed of 45 MPH with 50° flaps deployed.

Classic 56 Chevy Wagon Arizona Rangers Pontiac Convertible

Here we see a clean classic 1956 Chevy Station Wagon which was one of the better nostalgia inducing displays. The Arizona Rangers were on hand to provide security and traffic control. They brought this lovely Pontiac Bonneville Convertible along with them.

Flooded Roadway View from the Courtyard

We were home and parked in the garage before the heavy rainfall began. I took the photo on the left during an interlude in the rain when we were out walking the dogs and Damsel took the one on the right from the courtyard. This is our usual flash flooding we get when there is a cloudburst.

Click on any image avove to enlarge.

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Arizona Still Number One for Gun Owners

S&W 686Yesterday, I learned about Arizona’s status as the best state for gun owners. The Arizona Citizens Defense League notified us about the Guns and Ammo Magazine survey via email and FecesBook®.

Image: Damsel’s Smith & Wesson 686 in .357 Magnum. Click on the image to enlarge.

For the SIXTH consecutive year Guns and Ammo magazine has rated Arizona as the #1 state for gun owners. The ratings are published in the November 2018 issue. Click here to view a copy of the ratings.

The AZCDL email contained the following information:

States were measured by the following criteria:

▶ Right To Carry
▶ Treatment of “modern sporting rifles” (ARs, AKs, etc.)
▶ Magazine capacity limits
▶ Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground
▶ Treatment of NFA firearms
▶ Miscellaneous issues such as constitutional protections, preemption, restrictions on gun or ammo purchases, CCW reciprocity, availability of places to shoot, etc.

Arizona scored a perfect 10 in the numerically rated categories and a YES in the Magazine Capacity Unlimited column. The citizens of our state owe our great score to the relentless efforts of the Arizona Citizens Defense League who, since 2005, have organized and lobbied for our Constitutional and God-given rights to self defense.

Open the G&A Report (.pdf) to see where your state is ranked by Guns and Ammo.

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Classic 50-ish Dodge Pickup Truck

50-ish Dodge Pickup

In what might be a prelude to the 24th Wickenburg Annual Classic Car Show and Fly-In, this clean 50-ish Dodge Pickup passed us this morning while we were on our way to the clinic for lab work. Damsel took several shots of the truck through the windshield as it approached us. This was the best one - Click on the image to enlarge.

We’re planning on attending the Car Show/Fly-in event on Saturday. Will try and get some pix posted then of both cars and aircraft.

The lab work was routine blood tests for both of us. We try and keep a regular check up which is prudent at my age and beginning to be for Damsel who qualifies for Medicare this winter.

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Retirement Milestone Nine

nine.pngIt’s hard to believe that another year of retirement has passed, for which we’re very grateful. We had a good year with some travel to visit family and see the sights of the great American Southwest. We have had a good health year, only suffering some of the usual senior aches and pains, but nothing too serious.

We still love living here in the Sonoran High Desert of Arizona. We currently are experiencing some light rainfall with a promise of heavier showers overnight. That should break the drought in this area good and proper.

During the coming year, we are planning a vacation in the springtime to visit the grave of my great grandmother Emma in Montrose, Colorado. She was buried there in 1960 and until just a few weeks ago had no marker on her grave. Damsel and I changed that and ordered a slant from a monument company in nearby Delta. We would like to visit the cemetery again to view the marker in person and decorate it with a wreath. My great great grandmother Adeline is also in that cemetery so we will place wreaths on her marker which she shares with her son, my great uncle Ulysis.

We don’t have a lot of other plans for the coming year and are playing it by ear, so to speak. We have plans to do some home improvement; painting the house exterior and walls plus new furniture for the inside. It should be a good year until the tenth retirement anniversary next fall.

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Tropical Cyclone Rosa

Tropical Cyclone Rosa

It looks like we Arizonans may be in for a taste of the remnants of Hurricane Rosa, currently situated in the eastern Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California Sur. The storm is expected to head northward and bring rain and flooding to northwestern Mexico and the Southwestern United States. The current forecast track of the storm will bring the center of it directly over us during the next few days.

We can already see signs of the weather that Rosa is going to bring. There are cumulus clouds beginning to form in all directions from here in Wickenburg. There is a layer of thin cirrus covering the southern sky.

The warnings include heavy rainfall and possible flash flooding, which is something we’re used to getting during monsoon season. Damsel and I did our usual thing to go around the property and secure loose objects that the expected winds might blow around. We took down the flags and stored them away until after things calm down.

Rain and embedded thunderstorms are forecast starting tonight and lasting through Thursday. The image above is from the National Weather Service. Click to enlarge.

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