We drove separately to our SLAARC breakfast in South Lyon as Linda had plans to walk with Diane at Kensington Metropark after breakfast. We drove through some heavy rain after which I chatted a bit with Tom (W8TAF) and Mike (W8XH). As always, we enjoyed the breakfast conversation with our fellow amateur radio operators. Linda left at 9:15 and I lingered until 9:30 enjoying my last cup of coffee. I paid our check and had just headed for home when Mike (W8XH) called me on the radio. We had a good chat about my Hi-Q 6-80 mobile HF antenna and will try to find a time to test it using his newer VNWA. Mike has learned a lot about how to use it in the last couple of years and is always willing to put that knowledge to use to help his fellow ham. I would love to figure out a way to mount this antenna so we can take it with us this winter and use it, but I doubt that will happen. We just have too much else that has to get done in the next month that is more important than this.
At home I pulled up the DX Engineering website on my iPad. I found their Mix 31 snap-on ferrite chokes and put them in my cart. If I can find a few other small things to buy the order will qualify for free shipping. I suspect that will not be a problem.
Next I pulled up the Sony alpha app and researched the acronyms they use for various features of their cameras and lenses. The model numbers for their A-mount lenses all begin with SAL (Sony “A” Lens) and their E-mount lenses all begin with SEL (Sony “E” Lens) so that helps sort those out right up front. However, they make both 35mm full frame (36mm x 24mm) and APS-C (24mm x 16mm) lenses in both mounting systems. The FF lenses can be used on APS-C bodies, such as our Sony a100, but the APS-C lenses, which always include the letters “DT” in the product name, cannot generally be used on FF bodies. Our new Sony SLT-a99v DSLT camera body, however, can detect a DT lens and automatically limits the active portion of the sensor to an APS-C size area.
SAM stands for “Smooth Action Motor” and SSM stands for “SuperSonic wave Motor” both of which are used with certain lenses, especially large telephoto ones, that have their own internal focusing motor. OSS stands for “Optical Steady Shot.” Even though the alpha series cameras have image stabilization built into the body some Sony lenses also have image stabilization built into them.
One of the things I was trying to find out is which lenses have distance encoders so they will work with the ADI (Advanced Distance Integration) feature of the a99 body and compatible Sony flash units. The lens specification table in the alpha app was not really clear on this point. Some lenses were marked with a small circle for this feature and others with a dash. If their nomenclature is consistent with other entries the dash means “no”. Logically then the circle means “yes” but I did not pursue this further. I will have to experiment with the 18-70mm APS-C format lens that came with the a100 and see if it supports ADI.
I opened the B&H Photo Video app and revisited the reviews on the Sony HVL-60m flash. Although more expensive than the HVL-43m I added it to my cart. Besides being more powerful it has an available external battery pack which I found and also put in the cart. Finally, I added the Cotton Carrier dual camera harness to the cart. I found my Minolta electric shutter releases and checked to see if they worked with the alpha 99. They did!, so I did not need to order new ones. B&H was closed for online order processing until 7:30 PM this evening so I did not submit the order right away. The Cotton Carrier is on sale until the 26th so I will submit the order tomorrow while the sale price is still valid.
Linda got home at 12:30 PM and we had the last two vegan hotdogs for lunch. She then started preparing dinner and I went to my office. I did a load of laundry, dealt with e-mail, checked in with RVillage, and copied photos from both the Sony a100 and the Sony a99 to my computer. I updated my BCM article spreadsheet and then moved article folders to the proper directories and deleted them from my BCM Dropbox folder. I added 80 pounds of solar salt to the water softener and then brought the laundry upstairs and hung it up. By 4:30 PM I was feeling very tired and took a short nap until Meghan and Chris showed up at 5 PM.
We showed them the driveway and bus projects and then went inside the house just as it started to sprinkle. Everyone selected a beer and we were standing around the kitchen when a brief, but very intense, line of storms moved through our area with heavy rain and strong winds.
For dinner Linda made a salad of dark leafy greens with tomatoes, carrots, mushrooms, and raisins dressed with a raspberry vinaigrette. The main course was a Farro pilaf with dried cranberries, onions, garlic, broccoli leaves, and slivered almonds. Yes, broccoli leaves. The whole broccoli plant is edible but until recently only the flowerets were available in stores. The side dish was Brussels sprouts cut in half and oven-roasted with salt, pepper, and a little olive oil. Dessert was pears in wine. She used the Witch’s Brew, a spiced red wine that was perfect for this dish and this time of year. After poaching the pears she reduced the wine to a sauce and chilled everything in the refrigerator for hours. (The pears were made ahead of time as was the Farro, with the main dish being finished just before serving.)
We sat in the living room with the fireplace on and chatted about houses, pets, travel, sports, and the upcoming holidays. Meghan and Chris stayed until 8:30 PM and then headed home. It was a nice visit during which both cats actually came out of hiding and allowed themselves to be petted, a rare treat in Jasper’s case.
We were both tired, partly the residual effect of our altered schedule on Wednesday and Thursday, so we finished clearing the table and went to bed. The Detroit PBS Create channel was featuring vegetarian (including vegan) episodes of various cooking shows so we watched a few of those before turning off the TV and going to sleep.