Category Archives for "Technology"

7 Holidays and Vacation

It was a great Thanksgiving and vacation! I know, everyone is already focusing on Christmas but I haven’t blogged for a while so I’m playing catch up. We tried something new on this trip…we “drove” from Orlando to Tennessee, instead of flying. Fourteen hours of driving in two days, at our age…need I say more? But it was all worth it.

What really made our trip great is that Kelly and I each got to do something we  enjoy. For me it was, Thanksgiving with my family, for Kelly it was spending quality radio time in my parent’s back yard.

Lots of food Karen Dad Mom(1)

Mom roasted a beautiful 22 lb turkey and Dad did the carving. But that wasn’t all, my brother brought 3 turkeys, so we had deep fried turkey, smoked turkey, roasted turkey and all the trimmings.

Harmon Family Turkey Day 2009 (2)

I believe their were around 22 of us. The best part was that we were all able to sit together in one room.

Family means little ones who get all the attention

Family means little ones who get all the attention

Since we were all in one room, no one was sent off to another room to sit at the ‘little kids’ table. It really was one big happy gathering, kids and all. (Of course we all know that the little kids are the best part anyway.)

Girl talk

Girl talk

The next day, when the big event was over, there was plenty of time to talk and visit with family. (This is me, my sister and sister-in-law getting in some good girl talk with Mom.) It was a great relaxing weekend.

Kelly radio bkyd

And as I mentioned, Kelly got his quality ‘radio time’. The best part for him was that he was able to put his antenna up in my parents back yard and leave it up the whole time we were there (something he can’t do in our condo setup in Florida). Each day he could just walk outside with his radio and start transmitting.

Kelly radio  deck

Of course this Florida resident wasn’t quite use to the below 40 degree weather, but it didn’t stop him. Even when the rain came, he just moved up to the deck and continued his fun.

4 Kelly’s Bear of a Day

Grrrrrrrr. That’s what I heard all day Friday as Kelly prepared for Saturday and what he knew was going to be a bear of a day. As a matter of fact he turned into a Polar Bear on Saturday. Not just any Polar Bear, but he became #173 Polar Bear—as part of his radio buddies’ “Polar Bear QRP” Day.

Polar Bear Day happens only during months that end in “bear” as in Octo’bear’ and Novem’bear’, at least that’s the way it was explained to me. Anyway, I haven’t mentioned much about his ham radio hobby so I thought I’d share a couple of photos with you.

Kelly -Lake-Fredrica backgrround

He set up his antenna and radio in our neighborhood lakeside park. He talked to a few “bears” from other states and even heard some Europe stations, a few German and Scandanavians also.

Radio on Table

This is his portable radio set up.

Kelly at the table

And here you can see Kelly tuning in to get a clear transmission. He had a great Polar Bear day and can ‘bearly’ wait for the next one.  For more details you can visit his radio blog at:    K4UPG.com

6 Second Harmonic in Branson, MO

We spent the first weekend of May in Branson, Missouri where my alias was, Connie “XYL of K4UPG”. This is where Kelly, alias K4UPG, introduced his “Second Harmonic” to the world of electronics and Amateur Radios. Are you confused yet? Let me explain.

We took our grandson, Killian, with us to Branson to the OzarkCon09, which is a four-state conference for QRP Amateur Radio operators. They use various code words when talking to one another over their radios. For example:

XYL stands for Ex-Young Lady, which is the code word for “wife”.

The code name, “Second Harmonic” stands for “grandson,” which means our son would be Kelly’s “First Harmonic”. I won’t try to explain how the 2nd harmonic of a wave in a signal, is a multiple of the fundamental frequency, because I’m already confused. So, on to the fun stuff.

We picked Killian up from school and headed for Branson.

We picked Killian up from school and headed for Branson.

Photo below: At the hotel Killian checks out the “tools of the trade” that Grandpa has brought…one set for Grandpa and one set, just for Killian.

He can’t wait to try out the soldering iron.

He can’t wait to try out the soldering iron.

With the voltage meter Killian runs a test on his CD player.

Killian runs a test on his CD player with the voltage meter.

At the conference Kelly & Killian head to the Vendor Fair to check out their wares.

At the conference Kelly & Killian head to the Vendor Fair to check out the various products.

Photo below: Killian is drawn to the LED lights and is eager to buy a LED kit to put together later in the hotel room. Uncle Cy (behind the table) was one of many who were happy to help Killian get involved.

This vendor is known to everyone as, Uncle Cy.

This vendor is known to everyone as, Uncle Cy.

Photo Below: The highlight of the conference was Friday night’s “Hands-on kit building workshop”. The experts, Dar & Darrel, guide everyone through the building of a “signal injector / signal tracer test set” . This tool is used for troubleshooting and testing circuits and amateur radio equipment.

Workshop for learning how to build a kit.

Everyone gets set up for the workshop.

Grandpa gets Killian started with a bag full of parts and a circuit board.

Grandpa gets Killian started with a bag full of parts and a circuit board.

Photo below: Killian got lots of attention from all the guys who wanted to see him succeed and enjoy himself. They were eager to help him.

Darrel helps Killian with expert instructions.

Dar helps Killian with expert instructions.

Killian concentrates as he begins the soldering process.

Killian concentrates as he begins the soldering process.

Photo Below: Then, Doug Hendricks of QRPKits.com comes to everyone’s rescue with the PCB-Vice for only $30. The red aluminum vice shown in the photo holds the Printed Circuit Board which is then free to rotate 360 degrees for easy maneuvering.

Killian gets a free PCB-Vice.

Killian gets a free PCB-Vice.

Doug, who teaches & coaches girl’s basketball, gave this PCB-Vice to Killian at no charge “as an encouragement to the young fellow”.

Soldering can be very tedious but Killian was a quick learner.

Soldering can be very tedious but Killian was a quick learner.

Photo Below: Now Killian puts on the headset to test the kit and see if he put it together right. If he hears a tone when he makes contact with the alligator clip…that’s a good sign.

It works!

It works!

The finished project!

The finished project!

Photo Below: The guys were so great with encouraging Killian. During the drawing of prizes, a couple of the winners weren’t present and Killian became the “default” winner of those prizes.

Killian returns with one of his prizes...a book about radios

Killian returns with one of his prizes...a book about radios.

Photo Below: Back in the room Killian puts together the LED light kit he bought earlier from Uncle Cy.

Killian puts another kit together...LED light kit.

This kit is easier than the first one and comes together in no time.

Flip the switch, and the light comes on.

Flip the switch, and the light comes on.

It Works!

It Works!

That smile says it all. We had a great time and wouldn’t trade that weekend for anything. Grandkids really are great!

4 Tomorrow is our Walk 4 The World

Kelly & His Pedestrian Mobile Radio

Tomorrow is it! The big day of our Walk For the World walkathon. We went to the beach this past weekend for a trial run of Kelly being “mobile” with his ham radio. The photos show you the set up he has designed for himself to be able to walk with the radio & antenna and talk with other states and countries. We were working out the bugs and did find a few things that will need to be tweaked.

Tall Antenna and Bicycle Flag

Tall Antenna and Bicycle Flag

The antenna is pretty tall, as you can see in the photos, and the bicycle flag did what it was suppose to do, but the wind gave us a challenge. We sure attracted a lot of attention from the other beach goers, as you might imagine.

Kelly Talking to California

Kelly Talking to California

The important thing is that the radio worked! He talked with California, Michigan, Chicago, Ontario and even heard from Spain. (For a more technical explanation go to Kelly’s blog www.k4upg.com.

Kelly Tuning His Radio

Kelly Tuning His Radio

We’re Ready for the Walk!  walkfor-the-world

Now Kelly is making last minute adjustments for the radio setup and all our other gear is ready to go. We have been blessed with responses from several of you to sponsor us, and others have committed to pray for us and for a successful event.

Can we hold up for the 10 mile walk?

The weather is suppose to reach a high of 90 degrees and the humidity will be up, according to the weatherman. We will start early to beat the heat, around 7:00 am … we are suppose to finish just before noon.

Not all funds have been collected yet, so a final tally announcement on how much was brought in will come later.  So, stay tuned for a report and photos of how it all goes! (And, pray for us!)

Set up on the Pier with Ocean in the Background

Set up on the Pier with Ocean in the Background

And by the way, we had a great weekend and visited with the Missions Chair Person at a church in Tarpon Springs on Sunday. We counted the whole tripl…a big success. (Except for the sand flea bites I got on my ankles.)

Walk for the World

The countdown has started, and March 28th is “D” Day for our big walkathon event – one week away. Are we ready for our 10 mile challenge (40 laps)? Wait until you see how ingenious Kelly has been in preparing his “Radioman” setup.  See Kelly’s K4UPG.com Blog for photos of our weekend at Honeymoon Island. (More about this below.)


The Cause:

Our PIONEERS staff is walking to raise $100,000 to send missionaries to 6,500-plus unreached people groups around the world. (Click here to see a brief description how the funds will be used to accomplish our goal.)


walkfor-the-world

Multiplying the Blessing:

A foundation has established a matching grant enabling us to double what we raise, dollar for dollar, for up to $250,000.


The Radioman:

Kelly is taking his ham radio with him to help pass the time as we walk. He has designed a creative way to talk to various countries, states and cities on his amateur radio while walking. Wait until you see!


Pray As We Walk:

We have asked sponsors to give us their prayer requests so our staff can pray for them as we walk. There will be a manned “prayer station” along our route that will be passing out these prayer requests to the walkers as they pass the booth. Kelly will report to the prayer station the countries/states/cities he has contacted, and they will pass that info on to the rest of us so we can pray for those places also.


hfpack_man_tm

hfpack_man_tm Pedestrian Mobile

The Design Challenge:

Radioman calls this type of radio transmitting being “pedestrian mobile,” in Ham Radio talk.

  • Challenge #1: He had to figure out how to “wear” the radio while still being able to reach the controls.
  • Challenge #2: He will also have to carry the rather large battery that powers the radio.
  • Challenge #3: He plans to mount his “Buddistick Antenna” onto an Alice Pack Army backpack (instead of on the extended stationary mount, as seen in the photo below).
Kelly mobile with his radio, and his Buddipole antenna in a ground mount with 3 guy lines for stability

Kelly mobile with his radio, and his Buddistick antenna in a ground mount with 3 guy lines for stability

Stay Tuned For Results:

Many thanks to those of you who have agreed to either pray for our event or to sponsor the two of us. We will post results of how well we do in funds raised, how many laps we actually walk, the names of places Radioman contacts, and of course, some fun photos of the event and of Kelly’s pedestrian mobile design.

3 QST: HamCation, HamCation

QST is amateur radio talk for: Attention – Bulletin; It is a Ham radio Q signal that is “calling all Radio Amateur’s” attention to a “bulletin”. Thus, my title QST: HamCation…

If you did not attend the Orlando HamCation held at the Central Florida Fairgrounds last weekend, then you missed a perfect opportunity to become submerged in the world of Ham Radio and electronics. It was a first for me and I was blown away. There were easily over 5000 people there, possibly more since they had 10,000 last year. These ham-ventions are held all over the US and this one is the largest in the Southeast.

Yellow hat...Is Kelly Smiling? You Bet!

Yellow hat...Is Kelly Smiling? You Bet!

WHAT WAS IT LIKE?

There were over a hundred commercial vendors inside 3 large buildings enticing “hams” with the latest and greatest electronic devices. But that paled to where the real action was taking place. Outside there was one of the largest fairground tailgate areas around. There were rows & rows of RV’s, trucks, and cars with their tailgates or awnings opened, and swap tables filled with amateur radios, parts, computer hardware, software and more. It was like the biggest ham & electronic flea market ever, with prize drawings & food hawkers! Kelly was in 7th heaven and we soaked it all in.

NOTE: You can find Kelly in all the photos by the bright yellow ball cap he is wearing.

"Let me see, what do I get first?" he said rubbing his hands together with anticipation.

"Let me see, what do I get first?" he said, rubbing his hands together with anticipation.

Something Has Caught Kelly's Attention

Something Has Caught Kelly's Attention, "Hmmm, do I need that?

There Was Something For All Ages

There Was Something For All Ages

The Tailgate Vendors Went On For Blocks

Outside: The Tailgate Vendors Went On For Blocks (Kelly on right)

The Tailgate Flee Market: "This is just what I want at a great Price."

The Tailgate Flee Market: "This is just what I want at a great Price."

THE HIGHLIGHT

One of the highlights of the weekend for Kelly was when we attended a Sat. morning forum presented by  Buddipole Antennas. Kelly had just bought one the week before and the presenter was the designer himself, Budd Drummond. Kelly would not only get the inside scoop on its use, but also get to meet the designer. And, it was better than that. When Budd heard Kelly had just bought one, he brought him up front, explained all the intricacies to him and had Kelly assist him with setting up his products.

Kelly Meets Budd Drummond, Designer of "Buddipoles"

Kelly Meets Budd Drummond, Designer of "Buddipoles"

Budd Drummond has Kelly Assist Him In Set-up

Budd Drummond has Kelly Assist Him In Set-up

The Buddipole goes Segway Mobile

The Buddistick goes Segway Mobile

What’s a Buddipole? It’s an antenna system designed to be lightweight and compact for portable operations, easily fitting in a travel bag, and still not compromise on performance. Perfect for what Kelly needs.

Compact Case With Buddipole

Compact Case With Buddipole

The Compact Antenna Fully Expanded - Ready to Go

The Compact Antenna Fully Expanded - Ready to Go

It was a great weekend and we truly enjoyed ourselves. We didn’t win any of the drawings, but hey, there is always next year.

2 “MISSIONS COST GOD HIS SON”

THE QUSTION IS:

Are we “asleep in the bottom of the boat” like Jonah, and “is the church failing in our mandate“?

Missions Cost God His Son was the theme for our “Global Impact Celebration” missions’ conference held at Pine Castle United Methodist Church, where Kelly and I are members. (See photos at end of this posting.) Keynote Speaker J. Lee Grady, editor of Charisma magazine, author, award-winning journalist, and ordained minister delivered a challenging and thought provoking message from Jonah 1: 1-5.

JONAH:

Rev. Grady spoke about Jonah being in a deep sleep in the bottom of a ship, when God sent a violent storm that threatened to break up that ship. He shared that the storm came, because of a disobedient servant (Jonah). Rev. Grady related this to; ‘We are in a storm today, not just because of the politicians & Wall Street, but also because the church is asleep in the bottom of the boat’.

THE CHURCH TODAY:

He explained that the church has been given the Words of Life – life saving equipment – and we are failing in our mandate to take it out to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria & the Ends of the Earth. We are keeping it to ourselves. God wants our GPS systems to be reprogrammed so we can be heading in the right direction. If we obey, we will see our ship taken to the shore of Nineveh and we will take life to the people.

YOU DECIDE IF THE QUESTION ABOVE IS TRUE

Rev. Grady’s serman ties in with a webinar Kelly listened to about Significant Facts & Trends in the North American Missions Movement (NAMM). The researcher was Michael Jaffarian, Senior Research Associate for Operation World. Here is just one area that he spoke about:

FACTS:

The NAMM is a $6 billion industry with 822 separate organizations;
Those 822 divide into 5 major kinds of mission agencies:
Denominational
Founder  Based
Task Based
Mom & Pop
International Expansion of North American Ministries

LENGTH OF SERVICE:

  • There are about 43,000 N. American long-term missionaries, numbers growing, modestly. (Length of service-more than 4 years.)
  • There are about 8,000 N. American middle-term missionaries, numbers may be declining. (Length of service-less than 4 years.)
  • There are about 150,000 N. American short-term missionaries, numbers growing strongly. (length of service-two weeks up to one year.)

TREND:

The best estimate of the number of American short term mission-trip participants: 1.5 million. (length: 2 weeks or shorter)

The North American churches are sending more than sixty times as many mission-trip participants overseas as long-term missionaries.

Imagine, if an average of $2,000 is spent to send those 1.5 million: that = $300 billion compared to $6 billion given toward long-term workers. Would we consider this a good use of our missions funds?

RESULTS OF TREND?

GROWTH:

Strong growth in short-term missions & mission trips has not produced strong growth in long-term missions. (The number of long-term missionaries is not even keeping up with the rate of national growth.)

GIVING:

It was thought short-term trips might give participants a heart to give to the missions’ program. Research shows that those who are giving, are giving to others going on short-term trips. Again, long-term missions has not benefited from this program.

Mr Jaffarian ended on a positive note: “Trend is not destiny.”       The direction of God trumps the direction of trends.”

This webinar was sponsored by: The Mission Exchange

Photos below are from our Global Impact Celebration – Missions Conference:

Children in Parade of Flags Opening Ceremony Wed. Night

Children in Parade of Flags Opening Ceremony Wed. Night

Wed Night Children's Program

Wed Night Children's Program

Children in Tradional Dress Performing Their Songs

Children in Tradional Dress Performing Their Songs

Youth Skit: Missionary Sharing Her "LIGHT" with the Lost World

Youth Skit: Missionary Sharing Her "LIGHT" with the Lost World

Congregation Visting With Missionaries at Their Display Booths

Congregation Visting With Missionaries at Their Display Booths

Kelly & Connie in Traditional Dress with their display booth set up in the "Missionary Hall"

Kelly & Connie in Indonesian Traditional Dress with their display booth set up in the "Missionary Hall"

1 Biggest Loser Contest

Kelly & I have joined the office “Biggest Loser Contest.” We have 35 participating – with 22 women and 13 men. We each paid $10.00 so the cash reward for the women will be $220 and the men, $130. The results for Kelly and me after the first week were incredible…read on.

biggest-loserIt wasn’t difficult to decide to do this diet. Kelly had slipped back into the same symptoms that brought us off the field. That was scary! The Atkins diet made a difference then, and it looks like it is working again.

Kelly Has Reason To Celebrate! After just one week his blood sugar level fell below 100 for the first time in years! Hallelujah! And all because he corrected his carb intake. In One Week! And, he feels soooo much better! icon-carb-counter

Since then his blood sugar has been as low as 86. As for me, I won the first week of “Who lost the most weight percentage wise”. I lost 6.5 lbs. that week. As for the rest of our office group – 84.5 pounds total, were lost the 1st week.

Kelly's Ham Radio Call Sign

Kelly's Coffee Head & His Ham Radio Call Sign

Coffee Head Is Gone! The worst part was going off of caffeine cold turkey. I know, we should have done it gradually, but we didn’t.  We paid for it too. The 2nd & 3rd days brought on horrible headaches and body aches. Wow, this was an addiction! The 4th day was a break through; our heads cleared and we started to feel human again. The best part though was that by the 4th day, the hunger pains and cravings between meals was completely gone. Do you know how freeing that is?

OK, we will keep you informed of how well we do. I believe the contest ends around March 9th. But since it’s not about the contest or money, but eating right and feeling good, we plan to work toward making this a “life-style” of being healthy.

9 “K4UPG” (Kelly for Unreached People Groups)

Hurray! Kelly did pass his test and was able to renew his old Amateur Radio license. He has new “call letters” now, “K4UPG,” as you saw in the title. If you understand the kind of missions work we do, you would agree K4UPG is very apropos for him. Possibly there will be opportunities to share about the Lord to other “hams” when they ask him about his call letters.

As Kelly reacquaints himself with his old hobby of 30 some years ago, he has had to reacquire various items, parts and tools of the trade. EBay has been a great resource and it is easy on the pocketbook.

This last weekend we had our first Amateur Radio outing so Kelly could test his radio. Our housing community has a 30 acre lake just a couple of blocks from us with a small and simple park area overlooking the lake. (Simple means: 3 weather worn park benches & 2 small picnic tables.) It is a very “open” area without electrical wires or tall buildings that would interfere with his reception, ideal for what he needed.

The Lake

The Lake

It was extremely windy so we had to set up in an area a little more protected by trees. “Set up” meant, stringing his antenna coax between two trees about 60 feet apart. And, the higher up the antenna, the better the reception. With the wind, this was a challenge!

Kelly, Throwing The Line Over The Limb

Kelly, Throwing The Line Over The Limb

Ally-oop, And He Makes It Over The Limb

Ally-oop, And He Makes It Over The Limb

The 2nd Tree about 60 ft Away From The First

The 2nd Tree about 60 ft Away From The First

Kelly Attaches Antenna Ends To The 2 Lines

Kelly Attaches Antenna Ends To The 2 Lines

Since last weekend, he has been researching different ways to get his antenna strung between the trees without throwing his arm out of joint. He has come up with some ingenious ways, so the next post about his radio adventures will probably introduce you to one of these.

For this outing, he was testing his transceiver and mostly just listening. (He’s still working on the “tuna can” transmitter, waiting on parts. NOT- kelly it is done!) With the receiver he was able to “listen” to the chatter over the airwaves. He actually heard other amateur operators transmitting from the Falkland Islands, Costa Rica and from different states all over the US. The day was a success.

The Alcov Protected From The Wind By A Tree Line

The Alcove Protected From The Wind By A Tree Line

Close Up, And He's Getting A Signal!

Close Up, And He's Getting A Signal!

Look Close: The Antenna Wire Is Hanging From the Line Above

Look Close: The Black Antenna Wire Is Hanging From the Line Above In Font Of Kelly

Kelly's View Of The Lake & My Bench Between The 2 Trees

Kelly's View Of The Lake & My Park Bench Between The 2 Trees

While Kelly was having fun I was doing one of my favorite things, sitting on one of those weather worn park benches reading a good book and trying to keep warm. The book was “The Lotus and the Cross” by Ravi Zacharias, which I highly recommend.

Self Portrait: Connie Sitting On The Park Bench And It's Windy & Cold

Self Portrait: Connie Sitting On The Park Bench And It's Windy & Cold

Connie's View Of The Lake On Park Bench As She Reads

Connie's View Of The Lake On Park Bench As She Reads

It was a great weekend and we both enjoyed that day. We look forward to many more.

Our Largest Group Of New Missionary Candidates In 9 Years

God’s call to fulfill His promise to see a people from every tribe, nation and tongue brought into his Kingdom has not gone unheeded (Rev. 7:9). Forty-five new missionary candidates attended our January Candidate Orientation Program this past week (Jan. 4-9). It happens five times a year so this is just the beginning. What a great way to start the new year of 2009!

cop-jan-08-group-photo-3

I never tire of seeing these “called out ones” of all ages, from all over the country, stream into our training center. Each one has their own story of how God has touched their lives and brought them to this point. We feel privileged to hear these stories first hand and be a part of seeing their dream start to come to fruition.

Take for example, Nazir (not his real name), a 67 year old US citizen from Pakistan. He came to the US over 30 years ago with his family as a teacher. Now this guy has a story! He proves it is never too late to answer God’s call.