Forum Replies Created
June 22, 2014 at 4:52 pm #11695
The ham station was up and running the last I heard. I too, have not been down for a few years. I did hear the amplifier went down, so you are stuck with 100 watts. That should work fine on 20 meters if the band is up. The station is computer connected so if you want to try your hand at PSK31 or SSTV give it a try. Those don’t need much power. You must have a ham license and you can only operate in the portion of the spectrum you are authorized to use.
The station in general tries to limit RF noise in general, hence the ban on wireless. This extends to FRS walkie talkies , RC planes and helicopters, as well as all the computer wireless. There is a fair amount of science going on that listens to radio signals in the ionosphere. On top of that the everyday safety workings of the station and the links to the real world, keep them somewhat susceptible to harmful emissions. Emissions are not controlled by the FCC. Instead they are controlled by the Antarctic Frequency Coordinator (who follows FCC ham guidelines) and there are some odd things. The pagers operate in the ham bands and there was a very sensitive science experiment listening to signals in the 6 meter band. We had to go to a lot of trouble to get ham use authorized at MCM. Because it has demonstrated life saving capability it was approved.
That said, you can go through the process of applying for a permit to operate your particular wireless unit. If it is deemed to have a benefit to the community as a whole that would offset any potential interference issues, you might get it approved. But, it sounds like this is more stuff for your enjoyment only. I wouldn’t hold my breath.
MikeJune 22, 2014 at 4:31 pm #11814
I wouldn’t worry too much. A lot of the equipment is kind of old. I was a supply person at McM, and we all had to learn to drive the loaders. Because they turn by articulating in the middle, they can be a little tricky and the concept of using them with forks attached takes a little getting used to, but if you understand the concept of how hydraulics work, it probably won’t be a lot different than using forks or a bucket on a tractor. The bull dozers? I don’t know. There’s a lot more levers and pedals on one of those things. Good luck.June 22, 2014 at 4:31 pm #11813
I wouldn’t worry too much. A lot of the equipment is kind of old. I was a supply person at McM, and we all had to learn to drive the loaders. Because they turn by articulating in the middle, they can be a little tricky and the concept of using them with forks attached takes a little getting used to, but if you understand the concept of how hydraulics work, it probably won’t be a lot different than using forks or a bucket on a tractor. The bull dozers? I don’t know. There’s a lot more levers and pedals on one of those things. Good luck.February 21, 2014 at 3:30 pm #11810
It’s already happening
The odds are good, but the goods are odd.February 2, 2014 at 3:30 am #11786
Well that’s cool.
who would have guessed you would have made your own. As I heard the seals it made think of the people who speed up or slow down sounds. It might be fun to speed these up and see if it sounds like a dog barking or something.January 13, 2014 at 3:29 am #11808
And I’ll add, that by and large, while the chances of anything bad happening are pretty slim. A death or serious injury on the ice cuts right to the core of the entire population. As a group we tasked with not only watching out for ourselves, but also watching out for the safety of our friends and coworkers. Having your co worker get frostbite is as much your fault as his. Antarctica is a dangerous place. and the myriad of safety rules are there as much to protect everyone else from what would happens if one person gets hurt. A death or serious injury destroys the morale. As much as you think if you die or have an accident, it only affects you, you are wrong. Somebody will put their own safety on the line if you get into trouble, Most would prefer that never has to happen.
Best to do like Glen said and take a private dive cruise and not put the station at risk.November 29, 2013 at 6:32 am #11794
Lorie and I went to Thanksgiving buffet instead of cooking ourselves. It was like a mini McMurdo feast.November 18, 2013 at 3:11 am #11709
I can’t answer about the IT job fine points, but I can talk a little about the PQ process.
It’s been called something akin to an astronaut physical. For most people, it will just be a routine physical. You won’t notice much else. It will be all the normal things a your doctor will check for in any physical. Anything out of the ordinary, though, gets flagged.
Behind the scene, the blood exam tests for everything (some things that don’t normally get checked in a yearly physical) and if one of the tests is off just a little, you get flagged for follow up. At various times, my calcium, glucose, creatinine, cholesterol, etc have all been out of bounds a little and got me a recheckup. All ended up being nothing, but it did add a lot of time to the PQ process to have to wait for another appointment.
Other things like the abnormal EKG that I have have resulted in rather expensive follow ups with a cardiologist every two years. Normal stuff for most people and nothing that was of concern to the cardiologist or anyone, but just the fact that it is not the norm got me regularly flagged.
Because of the amount of time involved getting appointments for retests, it behooves one to get the physical out of the way as early as possible. If they are asking you to take a non emergency catscan, sometimes it can take 6 weeks just to get the appointment. Even longer for the radiologist to read the results and even longer for them to get back to your doctor. Then you have to send it to the program and pray they don’t want more follow ups.
It is also the norm that people wait to the last minute and when they caught not completing the PQ in time, it leaves the door wide open for an alternate, who took the exam seriously.
As time is running out at the start of the season, it’s not uncommon for someone to be hired at the last minute, get his PQ done and passed right away and be down on the ice while the primary is still waiting for followup appointments.November 16, 2013 at 2:11 am #11703
I might add that IT security is pretty tight, so there are a lot of computers to be checked and upgraded. You have all the standard problems of programs that people need suddenly not working. You and or the techs will be responsible for keeping the IT infrastructure alive with parts you may or may not have in stock and no way to get replacement parts in quickly. Add in the cyber attacks which you should do a pretty good job at blocking, but damn somebody connected an unapproved device and it snuck past the firewall. All in a days work.November 12, 2013 at 5:25 am #11723
I’ll echo Glen.
Returning people get rehired for the same reason they get rehired anyplace. They are known commodity and it’s already known that they can do the job. The program gains a lot of collective knowledge when people return year after year. They’ll be working while you are still trying to figure out what you are allowed to do and what you aren’t.
The bottom line though is that most of the time not everyone comes back. Apply for everything you are qualified for. If you get a helper job and you are satisfied with the pay, and you prove yourself, you will most likely be first in line the next season for the job you want.
As far as pay goes, it is a bit deceiving. It’s hard to figure out how much you are making when you have no choice about paying for anything. No food, water, electric, fuel, car insurance, etc. No nothing. All your money goes in the bank. I made less that my old job in the states, but with the old job I barely broke even, with the ice job, I gained 8 thousand dollars or more in 4.5 months.
That said , you can spend money and use it up if you aren’t careful. Some will drink it away In the bars. You get a free air ticket home with stops in NZ or other places. Spending a few months traveling around the world between contracts can use up the cash too.October 16, 2013 at 5:03 am #11729
I’m not going down to the ice anymore, but it’s my understanding that they no longer have a GA pool like in the past.October 14, 2013 at 4:55 am #11743
At least one of my friends is stranded in Christchurch with no money. last I heard he was sleeping on the beach under a tarp and looking for a tent. He is waiting there to see if his wife is also going to be let go as well. So sadOctober 8, 2013 at 12:38 pm #11739
Well, today is the first day they might make a decision to abandon the summer season. Keep your fingers crossed.October 7, 2013 at 4:15 am #11738
Nope, I’ve been furloughed along with almost everyone else in the National park service. I hope it doesn’t shut down the Program. At the end of this I go back to work. Canceled Antarctic seasons might not.September 14, 2013 at 3:31 am #11746
Well? Did they like you enough to talk to you about going down?