What is a Glitch?
By Bob Wexelbaum, W2ILP
The first thing that I want to say is that a glitch wouldn’t be a glitch if we knew exactly what it was. In the rest of this treatise I will try to define the word “glitch” and to give you some insight about its origins.
During World War II there was
a rush to mass produce and fly military aircraft. From this there had to be some new
terminology to attempt to explain technical troubles that had no logical
explanation, at least no logical explanation before better instrumentation
could define the cause of electrical or mechanical troubles that had to be
hardware trouble because there was no software and no digital computers at that
time. To account for the troubles, that
were sometimes called “bugs”, a mythological character was defined to be the
cause of any trouble that could not otherwise be defined. The character was called a “Gremlin”, and a
Gremlin was said to reside in any airframe whose ground crews could never rid
that plane of intermittent bugs that were “griped” by the pilots. Somehow something must be verbally used to
blame that which is not entirely defined and in WW2 it was simply to say it was
the work of the Gremlins. In a similar
vein we may comprehend that there must be a word used to define any
intermittent trouble that can’t be easily troubleshot because it never happens
when you are testing for it… but happens randomly when you aren’t looking. If you are an engineer or a technician, you know what
I mean. You can’t tell your boss that an
intermittent trouble was the work of Gremlins because that is not
scientifically acceptable. Next we come
to the digital age. The digital age that
began in the early 1960s brought us all a new set of words that specifically
defined digital terminology. Words such
as bit, nibble, and byte defined specific digital units that formed digital
words. A bit was the smallest of these
and it could only be a digital “one” or a digital “zero”. What happens when a bit is not always what it
is supposed to be? This case had to be
defined unless it was a “don’t care” case. I know that if you are to succeed as a modern
digital engineer you must use the proper buzzwords to define things even if you
really didn’t know exactly what you are talking about. When I was a field engineer I visited
I was able to hook up the
amplifier to the
FIELD DAY – JUNE 28-29, 2008
Field Day is now over and I am really pleased at how well it worked out. I have to thank Ray, W2DKM for getting us such a great site. He also arranged to get us help with stringing our 40 and 80 Meter dipoles way up through the trees on Friday afternoon. Thanks also to Bill, N2SFT for bringing his trailer to shlep the generator to the site. (Note that the term “shlep” refers to lugging something from one point to another. It is never a shlep to bring home new ham gear, no matter how heavy, but it always a shlep to bring something back from a hamfest unsold.)
We had some guests of Gordon,
KB2UB from his affiliation with the Coast Guard Auxiliary. They joined us and set up with a ground
mounted 20 Meter vertical. We set up two
rigs with the 40 and 80 Meter dipoles.
We operated continuously all day Saturday and straight through the
night. Sunday we closed down a bit early
as I had some commitments and everybody decided to shut down early and take
advantage of my access to return much of the gear to the
Of course I also have to thank Jack, WB2PYK for his sumptuous cuisine. The Coquille St Jacques and Boeuf Bourguignon were magnificent, but the Canard a l’orange was a bit too tart. (Just kidding – even Jack can’t do that at FD.)
Since the computers that we used in the past are so old and no one remembers how to use them, we decided to do things the really old fashioned way with paper log and dupe sheets. Seemed to work out pretty well, as I did not hear any complaints. Remember that for decades that was the only way…and everyone managed fine.
Not only did Ray get the site, but he even volunteered to handle the scorekeeping. In a magnificent coincidence he gave me a heads up on the details just as I was sitting down to write this.
80 Meters 183 CW contacts 185 Phone contacts
40 Meters 155 CW contacts 96 Phone contacts
20 Meters 51 Phone contacts
Total 670 contacts
Looking at the results by band, it is clear that we are really in the doldrums of the Sun spot cycle, with most contacts on 80 and decreasing as the frequency goes up. The sunspots are supposed to start to increase with the attendant improvements in RF propagation. As the New York Mets used to say, “Wait ‘till next year!”
GRUMMAN AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
MINUTES OF GENERAL MEETING 6/18/2008
Karen KC2OPX, secretary.
The meeting was called to order by Ed at 5:50 PM.
TREASURERS REPORT – Ed, WB2EAV REPEATERS Gordon, KB2UB
Finances continue to be in good shape. 146.745 is putting out 50 Watts.
VE REPORT – Bob, W2ILP NET REPORT- Zack, WB2PUE
No VE session this month, since no Thursday night net was good.
applicants applied. Sunday morning net was as usual.
Ed obtained insurance for the club. We will use it for Field Day.
We have one new club member from Northrop Grumman.
Continuing to plan for Field Day:
Gordon and Ray plan to meet with Ed at Grumman on the Wednesday before FD to pick up equipment.
The meeting was adjoined at
40 Meters: 7.289 MHz at 7:30 AM EST Sundays.
2 Meters (via repeaters): 146.745 MHz (-.600)at Thursdays.
145.330 MHz (- .600) at Thursdays.
[Tone for both repeaters is 136.5 Hz] (ARES/RACES) Mondays
General Meetings of the GARC are held on the third Wednesday of each month, starting at 5:30 PM. The meetings are usually held at the Ellsworth Allen Park in Farmingdale. Driving directions and maps can be obtained from http://www.mapquest.com It is suggested that the GARC Web Site be checked to be certain of meeting location, which may change after this newsletter is distributed. Board meetings are held eight days before the General Meeting.
GARC WEB SITE
The web site of the GARC can be found at http://www.qsl.net/wa2lqo/ Webmaster is Pat Masterson, KE2LJ. Pictures of GARC activities, archives of newsletters, roster of members, and other information about the GARC may be found there.
Most of you have been informed about the present popular theories about recent Global Warming. The most popular view was publicized by politician, Al Gore and astrophysicist Steven Hawking. This theory has more or less been endorsed by many academic professors, who tend to want to be recognized for agreeing with what they believe must be true because it has been made so popular that all politicians of all political parties in the US are forced to agree with it or fear not getting elected to any office. In my own opinion as a ham, who has lived through periods of Sun spot activity and decline, they should know better. Actually there is now an extreme difference in the views of scientists as to whether or not Global Temperature is cyclic and whether or not Global Warming is being caused by the increased burning of coal and the generation of carbon dioxide and most importantly whether or not there is anything that humans can do by using energy conversion methods that can decrease what is now popularly being called Global Warming.
I would like all of you who
are interested in this subject to read a paper by David Archibald, called
“Solar Cycle 24, Implications for the
I am not a qualified scientist but this paper and a report from the Soviet Astronomical Observatory, has convinced me that my ham radio DX intuition may be correct. At any rate it presents a contrast to the popular Global Warming theories. If it is true that we will soon be experiencing Global Cooling this paper should be of interest to any ham who lives on Earth and converts electricity from coal burning or oil burning electric generators to RF…even if he sells his SUV….I think.
Here is another cryptogram:
JFY PYOGYJ VA RNAY NP FVHYPJB DHU ADNG UYDRNHX . NA BVM ODH ADZY JFDJ,
BVM’WY XVJ NJ IDUY. –XGVMOFV IDGQ--
Solution to June’s Cryptogram:
NEVER LEARN TO DO ANYTHING: IF YOU DON”T LEARN YOU’LL ALWAYS FIND SOMEONE ELSE TO DO IT FOR YOU. –MARK TWAIN--
GRUMMAN AMATEUR RADIO CLUB OFFICERS FOR 2008
President Ed Gellender WA2EAV X02-14 516-575-0013
Vice President Gordon Sammis KB2UB Retiree 631-666-7463
Secretary Karen Cefalo KC2OPX 631-754-0974
Treasurer Ed Gellender WB2EAV X02-14 516-575-0013
1Yr Board Member Zack Zilavy WB2PUE
1YrBoard Member Dave Ledo AB2EF
1Yr Board Member Bob Christen W2FPF
2 Yr Board Member Bob Wexelbaum W2ILP Retiree 631-499-2214
2 Yr Board Member Jack Cottrell WA2PYK Retiree 516-249-0979
Trustee WA2LQO Ray Schubnel W2DKM Retiree
STANDING COMMITTEE CHAIRMEN
Contact VE: Bob Wexelbaum W2ILP Retiree 631-499-2214
Webmaster Pat Masterson KE2LJ Retiree 813-938-4614
Last month I wrote about my kitchen remodeling
project. To keep you informed about this slowly evolving Darwinian progress I
continue now, although I admit it has nothing to do with Ham Radio and I can’t
blame Sun spots or Global Warming for my countertop template being made later
than previously predicted and the countertop being delivered late as well. Surprisingly
the heavy quartz silestone countertops are made in
In spite of the above, I did
manage to attend FD and to stay over night working 40 Meter Phone. I managed to work 50 contacts. The going was rough due to noise and too many
signals. My best DX was western
“Whisky Alpha Two London
Queen Ontario…Three Alpha…November
w2ilp (Inventing Logical Phonetics?)
GARC VE EXAMS
We are continuing to proctor exams for all classes of ham licenses on the second Tuesday of each month, starting at 5:00 PM.
The present exams are:-
The Element 1 CW exam is no longer required.
Element 2: Technician
Element 3: General
Element 4: Amateur Extra Class
Please Note:- THE EXTRA CLASS Q & A WILL BE CHANGED AS OF JULY 1, 2008.
The fee for 2008 is $14.00 for all exams taken in one sitting.
Applicants for upgrades should bring their present license and a photocopy of it and know their FRN number.
New, first time applicants should be aware that their Social Security number will be required on their application form, unless they register with the FCC for an FRN.
All applicants should bring picture ID such as driver’s licenses.
Until further notice exams will be given at:-
All applicants should contact W2ILP to register, so as to confirm location. If no applicants apply, the exam session will be cancelled. Study material is available at the web sites of the ARRL
All VECs use the same Q &A pools.
Since the beginning of the VE program the GARC has provided opportunities to take the ham exams monthly, during all 12 months of every year.
Bob Wexelbaum, W2ILP and the GARC VE team. For any information e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: (631) 499-2214
CQ de WA2LQO
VOL. 81, NO. 7
Bob Wexelbaum W2ILP
All the members of GARC (we hope!)
CQ de WA2LQO is published monthly by the Grumman Amateur Radio Club for its members and friends. Send articles and amateur equipment advertisements to: W2ILP. Articles may be sent by e-mail or postal mail. They can be in MS Word format or simply in plain text. Articles will only be edited when permission is granted by the author.
For insertion to the WA2LQO website, information may be sent to Pat Masterson.
Pat Masterson’s e-mail address:
Ed Gellender’s e-mail address:
Edward.Gellender@ngc.com or email@example.com
I have been a member of the Grumman Amateur Radio Club for
many years. Every year that I worked at
Grumman I attended Field Day, except for two years that I was working in
Bob w2ilp (Incentives Long Past)