Monthly Archives: December 2007

Hogmanay until Ne’erday! Happy New Year!

With the XYL having definate UK roots, and a Scots side to the family to boot, wishing all a great Hogmanay and Happiest Ne’erday as they start the New Year seems only natural!

 Happy New Year!




Planning 2008 for “With Varying Frequency” Blog

Looking into 2008 I’ve planned some minor changes for “With Varying Frequency” which I hope will improve the quality for the several hundreds of readers each day:

  • Less Posts – will be trying to not double/triple post in a day, rather planning to post once every couple days.
  • A few Guest Posts -as I’ve asked a few very talented folk who do not blog to write a couple guest articles.
  • Simplified Look – Most likely with less Categories and on-page clutter.
  • Stubs for Loosely connected Posts – The main posts for The Rambling Series and A Good Read Series will move to a sister blog “Random Hold” and only a short stub post will appear here.
  • Some Experiments – Expect a couple trial-balloons checking the waters for interviews of other amateurs, a few more focused gear reviews, a New Ham Series and a few other trial posts.

Should be fun.  With Varying Frequency started as an experiment to see if I could improve my writing, to show my children that I could work the technology and to share the bits of knowledge others had shared with me.

Looking to 2008 !! Here, Here !!



Planning a School Day – Contest University for Dayton 2008

Contest University 2008

Contest University 2008’s website has been updated and registrations are being taken.

New for 2008 is a separate Alumni/Advanced session for returning Contest University course members.

Dayton 2008 is already on my calendar as is attending the Alumni Session of Contest University.

Hope to see you there!



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“Radio Hams” 1939 Film – Neat Look to the Past AND the Future of Amateur Radio

Cliffhanger proves truth stranger than fiction. Rarely does a top movie cameraman become a film’s central figure portrayed by an actor. But in this little MGM short, actor Alonzo Price plays the role of real-life cameraman, world traveler, and adventurer Clyde DeVinna. One of his round-the-world trips took DeVinna to film scenes for “Eskimo” in Alaska, where he “camped out” in an igloo-like hut. Inside that closed space, DeVinna’s gasoline heater emits carbon monoxide fumes that begin to overcome the cameraman. As he is losing consciousness, he uses his amateur short-wave radio to call for help — all the way to a fellow “ham” in New Zealand. The latter radios the SOS to a second “ham” in Hawaii, who relays the call to a 3d “ham” elsewhere in Alaska. That ham desperately attempts to contact police near the location of DeVinna’s hut, in hopes that somehow a doctor could be found to get to DeVinna before it’s too late… Written by Prof Steven P Hill, Cinema Studies, Univ. of Illinois.



Just Listen to Me – What do Digital Modes Sound Like?

Our friend John NZ9Z emailed remarking how neat the BARTG resource listed the ARRL Contest Rate Sheet was (BTW Highly recomend you subscibe to the Contest Rate Sheet – it always has something for everyone).

Often new hams and amateurs first starting in Digital Modes ask what does a mode sound like and here is the BARTG Link John NZ9Z mentioned and several others:

The British Amateur Radio Teledata Group (BARTG) wibsite on what the different digital modes sound like: (Updated URL 08 OCT 09)  (MP3 or WAV Samples of: ALE, ASCII, CHIP, DominoEX, FELD HELL, FSK-W, JT65A, MFSK16, Olivia, Pactor, PAX, PAX2, PSK125, PSK31, Throb, SSTV, AMTOR-FEC, AMTOR-ARQ, DRM, MT63, sitora, sitorb, packet 300 baud, packet 1200 baud, and RTTY (170 shift 45.45 baud))

An overview of the range of amateur digital modes together with audio samples by WB8NUT
(WAV Samples of: Amtor, Pactor, G-TOR, PactorII, Clover, RTTY, PSK31, Packet, Hellschreiber, MT63, Throb, and MFSK16)

KB9UKD’s exceptional collections of large number of audio samples of different digital modes, including many non-amateur modes (Nextel, TETRA, Pagers… dozens & dozens):

Sean G4UCJ’s webpage of data modes and WAV audio samples: (Updated URL 08 OCT 09)

The Amateur Radio link compendiums list more sites or of course you let google be your friend to find for more sites with samples.

Good listening!



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Looking to ’08 – Plans for the K9ZW Shack

Seems an amazing year to have gone past quickly and with so much done.

The usual end of year work, social & family activities have kept me off the air as much of these last few weeks. A handful of contacts here and there is the best I was able to do.

In the midst of all the life-whirl I have been able to make up a short list of tasks & goals for 2008, which some I will share:

  • Make the Shack Lightening Protection better and permanently housed.
  • Simplify the on-desk arrangement of gear.
  • Get a digital mode set-up finalized to eliminate re-cabling to run digital each time I switch over.
  • Change out the shack computer to one with enough ‘power’ to run all the station features and the extra software wanted at one time.
  • Bottom out the remote operations issues with the project with W9EVT.
  • Switch over the remaining UHF 239 connectors to N-Connectors (where possible).
  • Sell-off or store unused gear.
  • Draw a new station plan, including wiring.
  • Continue working at building a conversational speed CW ability.
  • Get on the air more and do a few of the major contests.
  • Get log entry and submissions up to date, finishing out mailings, GlobalQSL/eQSL/LoTW uploads and recheck my DXCC counts.
  • Plan a Spring 2008 Hamcram for the club.
  • Help the group of club Techs who want to upgrade get their General Class.

All should be simple enough, though none of the tasks is trivial.  Looks to be a nice mix for 2008 – some technical, some personal, some educational – but a lot seems to center on a couple focuses:

  • get organized
  • eliminate “noise”
  • do some self-study
  • help others

Gee, it seems like Amateur Radio is a lot like “Life!!”

Or perhaps like the non-religious side of  the “Meaning of Life” as they say – prepare, learn & teach.

Whatever… it will be a great 2008 if I can do some operating and help get more people involved in our hobby.



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