— IslandCT —

Island Creative Time
The family web site of Kelly Sears and Patrick Sears.

Having server problems.

Please be patient as we move to a new server.

IslandCT Latest Podcast.

IslandCT 2018 podcasts
IslandCT 2017 podcasts
See above to left for previous years.

054 - Hurricanes.

Recorded: 2018-09-20
Duration: 35'


Topics:... Intro. ... Hurricanes providing oportunity for studying rainforest recovery. How warming affects rainforest ability to recover. Puerto Rico. Heat lamps on forest floor to simulate increased temperatures. ... Transition. ... Video (Donihue, Nature publication) showing lizard holding on to post in high wind. Foot pads, femur length, humurus length, etc. Ability to hold on. Changes in morphometry found after hurricane passage. ... Transition. ... School starting. ARDF season starting. Peach jar out. US Championships coming to NC. ... Watching the ARDF World Championships in Korea. Like following the Olympics. ... This summer US Champs to NC. Charles and Nadia planning ARDF classes in Cary. ... You look different : ) Kelly passed her technician exam - Yippieee! New equipment including Icom 7100. Philosphy of different interests, building and operating. Early times in our ARDF events with barely any equipment. ... Baofeng UV-5R. Not tuning below 146 MHz. CHIRP software on Debian. Using the special cable. Plans to use Baofengs during ARDF events. ... Future plans. Power and battery work for in the field. Gel cell. Event coming this weekend. Then two more for school. Then the BOK ARDF. Plan on working with library earlier next summer. ... Outro.

053 - Bear Island trip 2018

Recorded: 2018-07-22
Duration: 65'


Topics:... We recorded this during our trip to Bear Island. Recorded July 14--22. Intro. ... Jul-14 Sat. In evening, in tent. Getting to Bear Island. Heavy traffic on the intra-coastal waterway. ... Jul-15 Sun, 2045. In tent. Woodcock, whip-poor-will. The new huge (4-man) tent. The new poles and new guy-line system for tarp. Bugs not too bad. Egrets, ospreys, terns, brown pelicans. Using fins. Strong rip current. Stars in the evening. ... Jul-16 Mon, 0620. Just after breakfast, on the beach. The weather. 13 minutes to walk to bath house area (BHA), 7 minutes to run back. ... Jul-16 Mon, 1727. Having dinner. Met Chris, a former student of Kelly's. ... Jul-17 Tue, 2113. In the tent. New string LED lights. Campers at camp 9, broken poles, 20-25 mph winds. Sand flying up under the fly and onto the mesh. The long shore current was super strong today. Expecting a 0200 down-poor. ... Jul-18 Wed. Early morning, around 0530. Patrick hunting for the whip-poor-will. Very little sound. Listen for the birds. ... Jul-18 Wed, 0828. During to NE end of island, on the way back. Blue crab, fish, huge hermit crab. Egrets, mud snails, huge colony of tiny hermit crabs. Small plovers. ... Jul-20 Fri, 0701. Walking towards SW end of Bear Island (the long hike). Started at 0651 from mile 0.0 at BHA. Seeing woodcocks fly by at breakfast. The grackles. Seeing the International Space Station. ... Jul-21 Sat, 1544. Bad noise from the wind. Packing. No tarp; it's packed away. Finished packing by 1030. Prepared for storm yesterday, so some packing was already done. Hit by storm last night. Ranger Brian. Glass lizards. Corn snake. This morning, saw a night-jar, white patches on winds. Breakfast in the rain. Flame-up of the stove. Lighting the stove outside the tent. New raincoats. Guy-lines and banking of the tent. Wind whipping rain under the fly and into the tent. ... Outro. Check out the web page for the Bear Island trip, many pictures.

IslandCT Blog - Recent Entries.

091. What to expect at the October 20 foxoring ARDF.

2018-10-12. Patrick & Kelly.

Fig. 2.    Some of our foxoring poles. Each has the foxo number on a piece of PVC tubing at the top. A red punch is hanging from the pole. There is also a tag identifying it as part of the CHCCS event. This picture was taken before we painted them with camouflage paint. The inset shows a close-up of how they look with the paint.

You'll get a map with all the control points marked on it. There will be a fox close to each control point. So unlike in classic events, you'll have a good idea where each fox is before you start. But the foxo transmitters will be so weak that you won't be able to hear the foxes from the start location. You can plan your route as soon as you get your map. On course, you will orienteer to control points using the map and compass. Each control point will be centered on a feature such us a boulder or a trail crossing. So you will know when you have reached the control point by finding the feature.

As you approach the control point, you can listen for the fox. If you hear the fox before you reach the designated feature, you can go straight for it. Right next to the foxo transmitter, there will be a pole labeled with the foxo number and with the punch hanging from it. Punch your card, and go for the next fox. When you're all done, go for the homing beacon and finish.

. . . Read more here.

090. What to expect at the April 29 Sprint ARDF.

2018-04-19. Patrick & Kelly.

Fig. 1.    Orienteering flag and sprint pole. Compare the orienteering flag on the left to the sprint pole on the right. As you can see, the sprint poles are brightly colored and easy to see. But they are much thinner and can easily be missed.

The sprint event will be different from our classic events in the following ways. The course area will be smaller and you will get through the course faster. There will be more foxes but they will be closer together and closer to trails, which will make them easier to find. Conversely, there will only be a pole at each fox rather than an orienteering flag, which will make them harder to find. Also, the foxes will not stay on as long. Generally, getting a quick rough heading will be more important. Sprints are a fast paced, a bit confusing, and much fun. ☺

. . . Read more here.

089. Instructions for 80 m transmitters to use on April 21.

2018-04-19. Patrick.

Fig. 1.    Main transmitter layout. The switches with changed functions are labeled A, B, C, in red.

This blog post describes the changes in 80m transmitters functions caused by recently flashed firmware. It's mostly for Joseph who will be using the transmitters on April 21 but also as a record.

. . . Read more here.

088. IsCT news - First outdoor tests of the new ARDF 2 m transmitters.

2018-02-03. Patrick.

Fig. 1.    Kelly powering down the transmitter. At that moment, she was switching the transmitter to manual mode before shutting off the power. This is a happy moment. We finally know these will work.

We've had great progress in the last month. For the first time, we have an RF PCB that works and an controller PCB that works. The code has been adapted to these new boards. We have our first antenna and feedline built. And for the first time, we built the new type of battery pack that will power the 2 m transmitters. Today was the big test. Our first test of the whole system put together outside, getting out a receiver, walking away and finding out if it will work. Success! Happy day! ☺

. . . Read more here.

087. IsCT news - ARDF 2 m transmitter progress.

2018-01-28. Patrick.

Fig. 1.    Controller (top) and RF (bottom) PCBs just after testing. The 9V-size battery on the top was powering the controller board and a benchtop power supply was powering thr RF board. The only load on the RF output was the oscilloscope probe.

We've had great progress in the last month. I thought that this weekend we would finally have the first working 2 m transmitter. Maybe not with full functionality, but not a prototype either. A transmitter that would eventualy be used in a real event. Almost. Maybe almost.

. . . Read more here.

86. IsCT news - We're back, again.

2017-11-14. Patrick.

We're back! Actually no, we've been here the entire time. It may seem like the website is asleep. Just looking at the home page, there hasn't been a new blog post since Apr-10 and the latest update at the top was on Aug-17.

But that's just the front page. We've been super busy with ARDF and if you go to the CHCCS ARDF home page, or our ARDF event report list, or our ARDF calendar, you will see what we've been doing.

. . . Read more here.

85. IsCT news - A crazy three weeks.

2017-05-02. Patrick.

It's been a crazy three weeks since the last news entry. We recorded two more podcasts (only one is uploaded). We've had two CHCCS ARDF events. We did some antenna experiments with new tuners we got from Charles Scharlau. We helped with registration and control pickup at an o-meet. We visited Isaac in Augusta, GA. We got the course timing system deployed at one of our ARDF events for the first time. We got 2 m transmitters deployed at one of our ARDF events for the first time. We started using a larger ARDF course, and larger maps. We finished building our new control flags (30x30 cm instead of 15x15cm). We have a new blog entry for showing what equipment is used during our events and we have updates going the the 80 m transmitter web page.

. . . Read more here.

84. IsCT news - CHCCS ARDF Spring Season opener changes plans for the next few events.

2017-04-10. Patrick.

This last Saturday, we ran the first CHCCS ARDF event of the Spring. It was a lot of fun and went pretty smoothly. The only technical glitch was the starter box batteries going dead. But we didn't have many participants so it was easy to just count down the time with them using a watch.

. . . Read more here.

The text we wrote, pictures we took, and system we used to layout our web pages are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Link to License. This means that you can copy anything you want, use it and alter it as you want, as long as you give credit to us for the original work, provide a link to the license, and explain any changes you made. We try to make sure all other content we display is also available to use. But check the sources we list before using them.