On Winter Field Day; more Python fun

I received a comment on my grumpy Winter Field Day post from earlier this year. It seems some other hams were a little frustrated with their WFD experience and have branched out to create a “Winter Field Day Association.”

I think many of us who participated this year were frustrated by SPAR’s handling of WFD. As it stands, no participants have been able to submit logs from the January 2015 event, as the e-mail address for log submissions seems to be broken. If I recall correctly, our club made a decent effort during the event and logged more than 60 QSOs. We certainly hate to see that effort go to waste.

From Tom, WD8MBE, yesterday:

Would like you know that WFD is still alive with or without SPAR support.
A Winter Field Day Association has been created and we are in the process of creating a website just for WFD. Soon, we will have the ability to accept logs, leave comments, etc.

We are hopeful that the 2015 logs can be resubmitted to our website for proper scoring.

And I certainly hope they are successful. There is also a “Winter Field Day” Facebook group active. Just search for it.

So it looks like some enthusiastic WFD fans are making some in-roads into getting this event back in shape. I couldn’t be happier. As I’ve said in the past, this was the event that really made me a ham radio operator.  I don’t want to give up on it!

Pooping around with Python

So I wrote a little about incorporating some Python coding on my Linux-based “old-school bulletin board system” in a previous post. A few days ago I finished my second ham radio BBS util, the “HamCall” callsign look-up tool. This one, as expected, grabs data from QRZ.com.

This one was slightly more complex than the solar data util, as it needed some “exception handling” to account for missing data fields on some QRZ accounts. For example, if a user queried a callsign without a listed e-mail address, the program would bork. Similarly, I don’t like how QRZ stores certain info: License classes for example, are just E, G, T, etc., so I did some simple checks to produce a nicer output.

Some screenshots of it in action are below. I had to get a flying pig in there of course!

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 9.47.46 AM

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 9.47.59 AM

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