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I/O: Less Output During Legislative Session
Or how my day job interferes with my ham radio hobby time!
I manage a statewide nonprofit association
In my day job, I manage a nonprofit association of conservation districts in Washington State. A very large part of this work includes advocating for conservation district programs and funding throughout the year, particularly during the legislative session.
The current legislative session convened on January 9, 2023 and this year it is a “long” session lasting a scheduled 105 days. My advocacy staff totals two people (including me) and a professional lobbyist. As of this moment, we are tracking 61 different bills being considered by the Washington State House and Senate. On top of this, there are numerous budget and funding conversations happening.
My day job pays for my amateur radio hobby. I have a feeling I won’t be outputting a lot of new material for the Random Wire over the next few months. I hope you will stay the course with me because I am certain I will write more once the Legislature leaves town. And in the meantime, I may need to write about ham radio just to get my mind off of legislation and funding!
What’s on my workbench?
You might be wondering what I am working on that may make it into a future Random Wire post. Here is a short list to whet your appetite.
DMR – I bought a DMR radio and have loaded a codeplug into it. Next up will be either purchasing/building a DMR hotspot or configuring my ClearNode device to serve the same purpose. My cousin-in-law is well-versed in DMR and is giving me a hand as I try to overcome my past difficulties in understanding how it all works.
LoRa – I have purchased a few LoRa devices loaded with Meshtastic software. This is interesting stuff. As I look at the display on one device at this moment, it is picking up another device 53 meters away, one 7 km away, and another 11.8 km away. Also of interest is using low-cost, low-powered LoRa devices as APRS trackers and igate/digipeaters. LoRa-APRS devices will have me actually assembling a few units, something I look forward to. I’m sure I’ll have more on this soon.
Tiny computer instead of an RPi – I have also bought an old Lenovo ThinkCentre computer to experiment with. Yesterday, I ordered a neat little device that plugs into the M.2 drive slot and creates a second network interface. Yes, that means I may be able to utilize this device in line between my home router and the rest of my home network. Having two network interfaces in one device should almost eliminate latency and collision problems. The tiny PC was $127 from Amazon: Lenovo ThinkCentre M900 Tiny Desktop Micro Tower PC (Intel Core i5-6500T Up to 3.1 GHz, 16 GB Ram, 256 GB SSD, USB 3.0, WiFi) Windows 10 Pro (Renewed)
Those are the most current activities that are trying to pull me away from my paid work. Thank you for understanding and I look forward to sharing some of these ham radio activities with you soon!