Rickie Traeger Blog: Space-X Falcon 9 Full Thrust Launch, SKYWARN,ARES,Ham Radio, Recent DX Contacts, Etc…





 

Watch the Falcon 9 Full Thrust Launch at http://www.spacex.com/webcast


This is one of those late night blogs. So it might be one of those long ones. Don’t say I did not warn ya, lol

I hope everyone was able to get out and enjoy the weather recently, before the rain moved in. We never did have those thunderstorms.  I was looking forward to those. Oh well, it is not like we won’t have thunderstorms in the future lol.


I been reorganizing my RS/Photography bag. I was able to fit more stuff in it. I also added a hidden tracker in it, in case it gets stolen.  I went through it and found my motion/lightning trigger device. It did not work before, but I am going to try it out again this year, maybe it was operator error before. So wish me luck. I am hoping to get some bad azz lightning photos this year.  We did not have many storms in 2017, I am hoping 2018 will be better.


I am making plans to go chasing in the Midwest this year. Nothing is set in stone yet.  I am talking with a few chaser friends of mine and we are making plans.  No dates are set, probably one the spur of the moment things.  We decided it be cheaper to pool together and do a team thing.  And use the broker to sell our footage to media outlets to help fund the chases.  Like I said, nothing is set in stone yet, so I can not say too much right now, it is in the planning stages still.


Speaking of that topic, I went to our local ARES and SKYWARN meeting on Monday night. it is always a pleasure to attend those.  I don’t want to say too much about the meetings, because I am not sure what I can and can not make public. But it was fun seeing everyone in person and I am looking forward to the ARES and SKYWARN in 2018.


If you want to become a part of ARES and/or Skywarn or just learn about ham radio in the Rockford area,     CLICK HERE


I was able to get 2 DX stations recently.  First one was in Canada, VA3SZ.

The other one was in Venezuela,  YV5ENI.

The band conditions have been up and down the last few weeks. So I was excited to get these.  They both were 5/9 + on the S levels.   🙂


I am listening to Coast to Coast AM as I type this. I am enjoying the topic tonight. The guest is talking about space!  He made a good point that many do not realize. That is when you look up in the sky, almost every star you see has a planet around it. Yes, that is true!  Our universe is vast, beyond any imagination.  And we are learning more things everyday!


Speaking of space, there is a launch in a few hours! The Falcon 9 Full Thrust,  PAZ & Microsat-2a, Microsat-2b is launching just after 8 am this morning.  I plan on watching it. I am excited. Yes, I am a huge space geek. They are testing out the starlink, a space based internet service of 4000 satellites! Also a military earth observatory satellite.

SpaceX is targeting a Falcon 9 launch of the PAZ satellite to low-Earth orbit on Wednesday, February 21 from Space Launch Complex 4 East (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The instantaneous launch opportunity is at 6:17 a.m. PST, or 14:17 UTC. (8:17 AM CDT) The satellite will be deployed approximately eleven minutes after launch.

Falcon 9’s first stage for the PAZ mission previously supported the FORMOSAT-5 mission from SLC-4E in August 2017. SpaceX will not attempt to recover Falcon 9’s first stage after launch.


If you are still reading this, thank you 🙂     I will close this out by saying a few things.  I hope everyone has a safe and happy Wednesday. Also I highly encourage you to get involved in the ham radio hobby. And also watch the amazing Space-X Falcon 9 Full Thrust rocket launch just after 8 am this morning!

 





 

Rickie Traeger Blog: Happy Valentine’s Day, Survival Off Grid Post





I first want to start this off by saying Happy Valentines Day!  I hope everyone enjoys their Valentines!  Happy Valentines Day!

Just heads up if anyone is feeling generous! My Amazon Wish List for now ~ CLICK HERE


As many of you know I always like to be prepared. Best to be prepared, than not be. With the world as it is these days , you never know what may happen. If we had to go back to living like cavemen, not many people would know what to do to survive.  So I figured i would post a generalized survival blog post in hopes to helping or at least motivate others into learning how to survive a bit.

So I been reorganizing everything and going through and seeing what i have and don’t have. And trying to make things right.  Bu SHTF bag is good to go. I just need to add a hobo stove or something like that to it. And I should be good to go there.  I have it tightly packed will all the essentials.  I do need to add my radio equipment to it, but I will probably do that later this week.

I am searching for a few vehicle batteries.  They can be dead.  Yes, you can revive them lol.   I am going to setup a solar panel kit and use it for the ham radio stuff. Basically set it up and get used to it and get to know it.  I need a few vehicle batteries.

If you have one laying around that you been wanting to toss out, let me know!
RockfordScanner@Gmail.com

I been also making plans to work outside a lot this year.  One my other reasons why I want a solar setup.  As spring comes, I want to be able to chill outside and work and lay out and look at the stars, while working as well.  That is my goal for 2018.  Solar panel setup and working outside more this year.

I been researching a lot of stuff online and know many off grid friends. So with the knowledge of online and friends, I think I should be good.

When in survival you need to remember a few things. Safety, Water, Food, Shelter.  Those key things will keep you alive.

I been looking at those life straws, they seem pretty decent.  But at the same time a good ol fire and boiling water would be just as effective, if not more. So why buy one, when you can do it the natural way!  But on a related note, if you have a lifestraw and used it, I would like to hear your feedback on them.

Food: One thing I am really good at, that many don’t know. Is making traps.   Traps are priceless.  They can be used to catch food, warn of intruders, etc…  I won’t go into details for obvious reasons, but one thing I would recommend people researching is, building traps.   You can hunt while chilling at your shelter doing other life saving measures.

Water: One thing about survival and it is key. That is WATER!  I can not stress this enough!  It is extremely important to know a location of a moving water source.  Rivers, streams, creeks, etc…   I think having a shelter several miles away is key for me.  That way I don’t have to deal with flooding, but yet it is still close enough to get the water on a daily basis if needed. Boiling it for a few minutes should kill all the bacteria. As stated above, i been looking at those life staws, and been wanting to try those. But do not rely on those in times of need, boiling the water is the best way.

Shelter:  Well this one can go many directions, so I will keep it short and sweet.  Above ground, on the ground, below the ground, etc…  There are many types of shelters to build. So it is best to research these and figure out what is best for you and your family.  Things to remember are: How many people will it hold, how long you want it up, location, weather, threats, etc… See there are many variables on the situation and so many different types per situation, this could be a long blog on this topic alone. It is best to research and learn on this one.

Safety: This to me is the most important thing. First aid and knowing your surroundings and being careful. If you are incapacitated, well then what good are you for yourself and the team?  Make sure you have a good first aid kit.  Learn your surroundings such as the terrain layout, animals, threats,  etc…  This should be your starting point.   That is your water, food, safety and shelter! You can plan ahead by this knowledge. Yes, I should of added this more towards the top, but I didn’t put these in order lol.

Protection: Weapons are your friends in times like this.  Traps, Knives, Blades, Guns, Crossbows, Twigs, Sticks, Stones, Bricks, Pepper Spray, Batons, etc…  This list is a long one.  Pretty much anything you see can be used for protection.  Ex:Tossing a rock at an animal to fend it off.

Protecting you and your family is a high priority.  I  recommend you building some traps to warn you of intruders and also slowing the intruders down or stopping them. Then when they get closer, then your main weapons come into play.  You need to protect yourself and family, to survive.  Also you have to think about this from animal threats, to hunting, etc…  So protection is a must!

If the worst case scene does hit, many will panic and not know what to do.  So protecting yourself from them, (if they pose a threat) is priority. It is best to work as a team and in numbers, to survive. More people, more knowledge, more survival.

Navigation:  I realized not many people actually know or understand how to navigate via the sun. They use their gps, cell phones, etc…  And not the sun or a compass. I thought everyone knew this. Guess I was way wrong, lol!   So to put a long story short, Sun rises in the East and sets in the West.  If you can remember this, you are good to go.

I suggest reading up online and books and talking to people who know how to survive. This way you can gain knowledge on survival. There is a saying and I live by this one religiously.  “You can strip a man of all his possessions, but you can never strip him of his knowledge” and that saying is priceless.

I have so much to add to this post but I am super tired. So I think I might start up something on my website here on teaching others on how to survive. I think that be a good idea to teach others.

Stuff to have:  I am just naming off a few things here and will make a long list of survival items in the future.

  • Water: Some kind of container to boil over the campfire, lifestraw, etc..
  • Lighter, matches, lint, etc…. to start a camping fire
  • Extra clothes: Socks, underwear, shirt, gloves, hat, pants, glasses, etc..
  • Tent, Sleeping bag, etc…
  • Compass
  • Some kind of weapons for portection
  • Glue, Tape, Duct Tape, Etc…
  • Solar equipment
  • First aid stuff: Bandaids, alcohol, wraps, asprin, antibiotics, etc…
  • Fuel
  • Backpack
  • Lighting such as lanterns, flashlights, etc…
  • Bug spray
  • Whistle
  • Mirror
  • Cans, Containers, etc…
  • Radio equipment
  • Bartering: Money, gold, silver, things people need like cereal, ammo, clothes, etc…  Basically you can barter anything.

Will make an in depth blog on this topic in the future. I like this idea on helping others learn and what better thing to learn, than survival!

 

 

 

 





 

Rickie Traeger Blog: Quick Blog For Today, The Grimm, Solar Storm, Etc…





 

 

It is 7 am as I write this, so I should say Good Morning to everyone.

A solar storm is headed our way. Hoping to see the Northern Lights this week. The downfall on the solar storm is poor HF conditions.  Also it is a good thing that we have our atmosphere. Because otherwise we would have some major issues. But thanks to mother nature, it is just poor HF and hopefully a beautiful light show.

Not to much to blog about today. I spent a great deal of time yesterday reorganizing my go bags. Making sure things are in order and added some things.  It is always best to be prepared, than to not be.

Going to be a heat wave tomm.  Going to be around 40 degrees. Been awhile since we last saw those high temps.  Might melt some this snow we recently had

Well I am going to pop off here. I wanted to pop on here and blog.  I been binge watching “The Grimm”  so I am going back to watching that.

 

 

 





 

Rickie Traeger Blog: Tuesday Blog, Cold and Snow, Ham Radio Meetings, Missing Those Who Passed





 

Good Morning! Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone is staying warm it is -8 right now as I type this and alot of snow on the ground now.

My cousin posted a thing on social media on songs that turned 30 in 2018.  And holy cow that brought back a lot of memories. Hard to believe its been that long ago.  Time flies by.  30 years already.

On that topic,  Been thinking about those I have lost over the years. As they say, gone but never forgotten. I really miss everyone that I lost over the years. My dad, both grandpa’s, aunts and uncles, best friends, etc… I really do feel blessed to still be around these days.  I plan on living to be 116 years old.  So you guys are stuck with me a few more years, lol.    But on a serious note,  I really miss everyone. And I really do hope that when we do pass away, its not the end but the start of a brand new adventure.

Reminder to my ham radio friends, the RARA meeting is Friday. The ARES and SKYWARN meeting is this upcoming Monday.

 

 

 

 





 

Rickie Traeger Blog:: Worked Haiti On Ham Radio, UFC 3





 

 

Good evening everyone.

I been holding off on blogging this week.  I figured it be best to kick back and relax a bit.  Was enjoying the warm weather, but it is now freezing outside!  Joys of winter.  Today is Groundhogs Day, and 6 more weeks of winter lol.

I was able to make a DX contact this week on HF.  It was HH2AA in Haiti.  I was hearing him strong, 5/9 plus. I was lucky to have worked him when I did. Because moments afterwards, he decided to jump off the radio. Right in the middle of a pileup, lol.  

I bought UFC3 earlier today. So I plan on playing that a lot!  I think there is not much difference between 2 and 3. Well that I have saw so far. I am sure there is, lol. But it kinda feels as I am playing UFC2.   Speaking of UFC3, I am going to pop off here and play that.

 

 

 





 

Rickie Traeger Blog: Quick Monday Blog





 

Good afternoon!

I been researching on building a Faraday cage. As you know I am apart of ARES and figured it would be a good idea to build one.  It be a good experience to build one, and also just in case it is ever needed, i will have one.   It is always best to be prepared, than to not be.

I was listening to Coast to Coast AM and they were talking about how real the possibility of an EMP attack is now becoming a reality these days.  Which is flat out scary. Being 2018 and all our defense security, and the possibility of being attacked is scary.  Long story short, I hope it don’t ever happen!  But it is best to prepare, than to not be prepared.

I been eyeing the 3d printers.   I want one, but don’t want to bite the bullet to get one yet lol.  I think there is a lot of potential with one and can build alot of neat stuff. But I been hearing mixed reviews.  If anyone knows of a good one, that is decent priced that I can build bigger 3d projects, let me know.  I definitely want one. But I will probably wait awhile before I get one. When the prices really drop one them, lol.

I mainly want one to build stands for my scanners and ham radio equipment.  I have found a few neat websites that have 3d printing files and they have some pretty neat things to build.  So it be a good thing to try. I just don’t want to buy a 3d printer and have it not live up to my expectations of it lol.

 

 

 





 

Rickie Traeger Blog: Worked Switzerland on HF, Winter Field Day, Enjoying Time Off For Few Days





 

 

I thought I would pop onto HF Friday morning for a few minutes. I called out CQ a few times. Then KN4GBZ responded back to me.  I about dropped ot the floor when he told me he was working remotely in Switzerland!!!   He was there for a vacation ski trip. I was able to hold a QSO with him for a few minutes then propagation bottomed out on us.

Yesterday was Winter Field Day. I was able to attend the Northern Illinois ARES and Skywarn WFD.  But I was not able to make it to the RARA WFD.  I was hoping to make it to both.   At the ARES one, I was able to socialize and see some pretty neat setups.  Being the location it was held at,  I also was able to see a group of deer in the field and a beautiful sunset!   I didn’t work any of the equipment. I mainly went to socialize and have fun.  Which I did 🙂   It was good to see everyone.  It is good to see the Northern Illinois ARES and SKYWARN team ready to go for any situation.

I haven’t did too much RS stuff the last few days. I been taking time away to spend family time.  Later on tonight I am going to focus back on RS.  I was able to enjoy some quality time away.  Now its time to get back in the groove 🙂

I want everyone to still keep Raeanne, Brandon and their family in your thoughts and prayers.  They are going through such a difficult time.  Please send some positive vibes their way.   May Justin R.I.P.

I have missed the last few nights of Coast to Coast AM.  Been some good topics on there too!  Thank god I am a C2C Insider and can listen to them when I want too 🙂   I think my plans later on today, will go and listen to those archives.

 

 

 

 





 

Rickie Traeger Blog: Happy Friday, VHF Contest This Weekend, Bullworker, Etc..





 

Good morning everyone!  I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful Friday!

I made some changes to the Rockford Scanner website. Be sure to check them out. I listened to the feedback and made the changes.

I am going to try working the VHF contest this weekend. I do not do it for competition, but just to do it. See how many I can work.

I have some very sad news 🙁    Due to unforeseen circumstances, I had to get rid of Draculaura. My Pink Toe Tarantula.   Words cant describe how bad I feel right now. But there is one positive thing, she is still in the family!  My brother did NOT want anything to do with her.  But thank god his fiance and her son did want her!  So I know she is in good hands.  My brother is scared extremely bad of her, LMFAO.  But it is good Raeanne and her son wanted her. It makes my daughter and I feel much better knowing that she is happy to take her and she will be in good hands with her.  🙂   And we can go see her anytime we want too.

Ancient Aliens is on all day today. So I will be watching this, as much as I can today.  I like the show.  Some things they do say, is a little out there. But you have to go in with an open mind.  They make some valid points on several things, I enjoy their history and mythology aspects of the show.

I am thinking about picking up a bullworker.  If you do not know what that is, it is an exercise machine. Portable one. I think that should do me good.  I been trying to find one online at a cheap price, but they are not so cheap, lol. But I been told they are awesome for working out. So my next goal is to pick one of these up sometime in the future.

 

 

 

 





 

Rickie Traeger Blog: Rest In Peace Dolores O’Riordan, Meteor Explodes Over Michigan, Northern Illinois ARES and SKYWARN, Photography, X-Files Is On Tonight!





 

 

Good morning everyone!

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Wednesday!

I just found out one of my favorite bands, the lead singer of The Cranberries (Dolores O’Riordan) has passed away 2 days ago!   This is sad, because she was awesome and a hell of an artist!  May she Rest In Peace!


I fell asleep last night, so I missed watching Curse Of Oak Island!  I was super tired though.  So I got some well needed rest.

Speaking of TV shows, my X-Files comes on tonight!   I am super excited!!!


Not too much happened yesterday.  Just kicked back and relaxed awhile.  I been hurting pretty bad lately. As you know I injured myself, and it has been hurting pretty bad. So I been trying to take it easy.


I went to the ARES meeting Monday night.  Driving there and back was a little fun with the road conditions. But I made it there and back in one piece.   I got to meet KV9E (Jerry)  in person. Was awesome meeting him.  I also got to talk to Dave. I haven’t seen him since hamfest.  And we were able to discuss the upcoming Winter Field Day at the end of the month.  And also SKYWARN stuff.  It was a good meeting overall.  Northern IL ARES and SKYWARN is a great group of people and I am proud of them and and proud to be a part of them.  Keep up the great work!


I am trying to work on something for my website here. I don’t want to spoil it yet. But it has been hard to figure out. I like challenges, but at the same time it is frustrating lol.   I will be happy once it is up and active 😉

That is the one cool thing about owning my own website. I can do what I want, when I want and how I want.  It is a part of me and I can express what i like and do not like. And say what I want thanks to the Freedom Of Speech. And speaking of, I need to finish up those questions on the About Me page on here.


I been wanting to do more photography in 2018.  I been thinking of a theme to do. I have several in mind. But I think I will leave it up to my fans (or haters lol)  What theme should I do for photography for 2018?

Speaking of photography, I been going through older photos I took and touching them up and messing around.  Below is just one of many. I been experimenting with HDR and also monochrome.

That photo is of Art Nalls Harrier Jet at the Rockford Airport 5 years ago. I was using my T2I camera back then.  I did a little HDR with this photo. It kind of makes it look “vintage” in a way.  What do you think of the photo?


I just found out a meteor exploded over the Michigan area a few hours ago. Check out this amazing video!


I will close this out for now. May Dolores O’Riordan Rest In Peace! You will be missed by many!  I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful Wednesday!

Do not forget the X-Files is on tonight at 7 PM pm Fox 🙂


 

 





 

Rickie Traeger Blog: Good Morning Everyone! Blog Updates On Draculaura, Quadcopter, Weather, SKYWARN & ARES, Etc…





 

Good morning everyone!

Shout out to the salt trucks crew, they did an awesome job yesterday as the weather came through.  They laid the salt down thick and was hardly an accidents that I am aware of. Many kudos!


Yesterday was warm and I was hoping to get a flight in. But the ceiling was low and it was wet out. So I did not get a flight in, as I was hoping for.


I bought a cheap VR setup. It was $9 at Walmart.  I was able to VR for the first time yesterday. Definitely an experience. I know everyone has probably experience Virtual Reality, besides me lol. But I was able to do it yesterday. I downloaded an app called Haunted House. I was hoping that it would scare me. But it did nit, but it was still a cool experience to do VR and walk around. It takes 15 hours, to recharge this thing, ouch!  But heck, for $9 you can’t beat it.


We had a good turn out for the Northern Illinois ARES and also SKYWARN nets last night. Had some new voices in there.  Definitely good to hear!  If you want to join in (Have to have your ham radio license) or if you want to listen in. It is Thursday nights on 147.195 repeater.  ARES is at 7 pm. SKYWARN is at 8 pm.  Be sure to catch them both!


Draculaura I think is getting ready to molt.  If you do not already know, Draculaura is my pet tarantula.  She has not been to active recently.  And been doing a couple of other key things, that gives me hints she is about to molt.  She has yet to do so, since I bought her.  So I kinda been waiting.  I keep her well fed, so it is just a matter of time. I will post updates on her as they become available.


 

January 12th
Kiss a Ginger Day
National Curried Chicken Day
National Marzipan Day
National Pharmacist Day