Monthly Archives: October 2011

2011 CQ WW SSB – Really don’t mind if you sit this one out…..

Not every weekend that offers an excellent contest – and from what I hear interesting band conditions – can work out for an operator.

Between travel, family home from University (including the drive out to pick up and then later drop off), local Football Playoffs with family playing and an excellent symphony concert, there was simply not enough weekend to make a showing.

Travel & time outside of the house really put the final touch on leaving the K9ZW station silent:

“The home fire burning: the kettle almost boiling
but the master of the house is far away.”

There is next year, where there may not be Playoffs and sons willing to come home from University to spend time each year.



Tagged ,

Personal Emergency Communication Preparedness for a Modern Radio Amateur the Freecomm Way

What is the Radio Amateur’s responsibility for Personal Emergency Communication Preparedness?

Yeah, let’s get that answered and out of the way.

In absolutes their responsibility is “none” – zero, nada, zilch – none.

Personal Emergency Communications Preparedness, even for those of us who are ARRL members, is not a requirement.

[ Wipe Brow and Sigh here ]

That out of the way, it would be an extraordinary Radio Amateur who didn’t have some level of interest in Personal Emergency Communication Preparedness.

That interest could range from simply being glad there are ARES/RACES Groups, to having a grid-independent multi-mode station with portable personal go-packs.

What you do is completely up to your interests, resources, whims and desires.

Some years ago the Freecomm idea of active Personal Emergency Communication Preparedness without the formal structures & obligations was floated.

As a response to the increasing professionalization of existing Emcomm organizations the Freecomm idea is to share techniques, operating pricinples and ideas, without an imposed hierarchy and operating procedure.

Freecomm is most able to use innovative techniques and adaptive structure to accomplish Amateur Radio’s emergency communication desires, where Emcomm is about meeting the served agencies’ requirements in the ways & methods they dictate.

It could be argued that Freecomm is Emergency Communications for the True Patriots in our society.

Very curious what readers think of the distinction – am I making too much of the Freecomm/Emcomm difference, or is it as important as I’m seeing?

Comments welcome,



Tagged , , ,

National Mole Day 2011

Just about time for Mole Day (10-23 or Oct 23rd if you will):

National Mole Day Foundation, Inc.

The theme for Mole Day 2011 will be: Moles of the Round Table.

What is Mole Day?

Celebrated annually on October 23 from 6:02 a.m. to 6:02 p.m., Mole Day commemorates Avogadro’s Number (6.02 x 10^23), which is a basic measuring unit in chemistry. Mole Day was created as a way to foster interest in chemistry. Schools throughout the United States and around the world celebrate Mole Day with various activities related to chemistry and/or moles.

For a given molecule, one mole is a mass (in grams) whose number is equal to the atomic mass of the molecule. For example, the water molecule has an atomic mass of 18, therefore one mole of water weighs 18 grams. An atom of neon has an atomic mass of 20, therefore one mole of neon weighs 20 grams. In general, one mole of any substance contains Avogadro’s Number of molecules or atoms of that substance. This relationship was first discovered by Amadeo Avogadro (1776-1858) and he received credit for this after his death.

To find out more about The National Mole Day Foundation, how to become a member or just to read some mole jokes, select your topic below.

via National Mole Day Foundation, INC..



Tagged , , ,

High-Low Tech – Programming an ATtiny w/ Arduino

ATtiny Pinout

ATtiny Pinout

One of the issues with working with Arduinos is the $20-40 cost for a full board when included in your project.

Certain levels of code sketches can be run on a single chip replacement, the ATtiny45/85 chips.

I bought 10 of the larger memory version ATtiny85 chips for $16.00 from Newark with 50 electrolyte capacitors for another $3.00 or so.

MIT’s High-Low Technology has a tutorial:

Programming an ATtiny w/ Arduino

This tutorial shows you how to program an ATtiny45 or ATtiny85 microcontroller using the Arduino software and hardware. The ATtiny45 and ATtiny85 are small (8-leg), cheap ($2-3) microcontrollers that are convenient for running simple programs. They are almost identical, except that the ATtiny85 has twice the memory of the ATtiny45 and can therefore hold more complex programs. We like to use both of them with paper circuits and other craft electronics. To program them, we’ll use a port of the Arduino core libraries created by Alessandro Saporetti and slightly modified by HLT.

via High-Low Tech – Programming an ATtiny w/ Arduino.

More when I get a chance to try this all out!


Tagged , , ,

Splitting off a separate Mancorad W9DK Radio Club Blog

To let me keep “With Varying Frequency” on focus as a personal amateur radio blog, my local club Mancorad has a new Blog format announcement page at:

We’re working to integrate their page Blog with Twitter, Facebook and the website.

Like they say “Now back to our regularly scheduled programing” here.



Tagged , , ,

Digital Ham Magzeines – Perhaps and then Perhaps Not… CQ Group Moves to the eMagazine

Today another email arrived about the new digital editions and the reversion of World Radio Online to a paid-for-content format, apparently only available in digital form.

Discounts for early adopters offered:

On Oct 15, 2011, at 2:37 PM, CQ Communications wrote:

Having trouble viewing this email? Click here
WorldRadio Online, CQ Amateur Radio, Popular Communications and CQ VHF Digital Edition Debuts just days away!
Join Our Mailing List!
Links to Visit Our Websites:
CQ Amateur Radio
Popular Communications
WorldRadio Online
CQ Communications, Inc.
CQ Online Store

Just a quick note to remind you that there’s only one week left to get 50% off on a WorldRadio Online subscription! The 1-yearWorldRadio Online Charter Subscription Special ends on October 24th.

While the CQ Amateur Radio, CQ VHF and Popular Communications Digital Edition Charter Subscription Specials listed below do not have expiration dates at this time, they do offer substantial savings – with extra-special savings for current print and “combo” subscribers.

You’ll find a complete list of digital edition debut dates below. The option to view WorldRadio Online, CQ Amateur Radio, CQ VHF and Popular Communications magazines on your PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android (2.0 or higher) – is just days away.Order today!

wro11-2011WorldRadio Online
November issue debut is scheduled for October 25th – order today!
Time is running out to take advantage of WorldRadio Online’s Charter Subscription – 50% OFF– special pricing. This “online only” magazine combines its traditional focus on the people and groups who make up the ham radio hobby with regular coverage of popular ham topics, including DXing, emergency communications, antennas, “trail-friendly radio” and much, much more! Click here to order!

WorldRadio Online 1-Year Charter Subscription Special – Only $9.97
Hurry, this Special Offer ends October 24, 2011.

Don’t miss WorldRadio Online’s November issue debut on October 25th!Order your 1-year Charter Subscription today for $9.97 that’s 50% Off the regular one-year subscription price of $19.95.

CQ-11-2011CQ Amateur Radio
Digital edition debut is scheduled for November 1st – order today!
Fun to read, interesting from cover to cover, written so you can understand it. That’s CQ. Read and enjoyed by thousands of people each month in 116 countries around the world. Click on the links below to subscribe today!

Add a Digital Subscription to your current CQ Print Subscription $17.00 You’ll save $19.95 off the regular rate!

Digital Edition Only – 1-year CQ Charter Subscription $27.00
You’ll save $9.95 off the regular rate!

Print & Digital Combo- a 1-year new subscription to both! You’ll save $19.95 off the regular rate!
Click on link for Print Edition’s destination: USA $53.95 CN/MX $66.95 Foreign $78.95

PC 12-2011 coverPopular Communications
Digital edition debut is scheduled for December 1st order today!
The World’s most authoritative monthly magazine for Shortwave Listening and Scanner Monitoring. Read by more active listeners world-wide. Click on the links below to subscribe today!

Add a Digital Subscription to your current Pop’Comm Print Sub $15.00
You’ll save $17.95 off the regular rate!

Digital Edition
Only – 1 year Pop’Comm Charter Subscription $24.00
You’ll save $8.95 off the regular rate!

Print & Digital Combo- a 1-year new subscription to both! You’ll save $17.95 off the regular rate!Click on link for your Print Edition’s destination: USA $47.95 CN/MX $57.95 Foreign $67.95

VHF Summer 2011CQ VHF
Digital edition debut is scheduled for November 7th – order today!
A magazine devoted entirely to the VHF and UHF coverage you need and want – published as a quarterly! Click on the links below to subscribe today! Add a Digital Subscription to your current CQ VHF Print Sub $11.00
You’ll save $15.00 off the regular rate!

Digital Edition Only – 1 year CQ VHF Charter Subscription $18.00
You’ll save $8.00 off the regular rate!

Print & Digital Combo – a 1-year new subscription to both! You’ll save $15.00 off the regular rate! Click on link for your Print Edition’s destination:USA $37 CN/MX $47 Foreign $50

While both the print and digital editions will be identical in content, digital editions will provide readers instant access to the numerous video and audio links noted in feature stories, columns and product reviews and advertiser’s websites with a click of the mouse! All digital editions will be hosted by Zinio, one of the top names in the e-magazine hosting business. As a digital subscriber, as soon as an issue goes “live” you will receive email notification that a copy has been placed in your Zinio online library – ready to view, print and/or download. Your issues will remain in your Zinio online library indefinitely!

Here’s a complete list of our digital debuts hosted by Zinio:
WorldRadio Online’s November issue – scheduled to go “live” October 25th
CQ Amateur Radio’s November issue – scheduled to go “live” November 1st
CQ VHF’s Fall issue – scheduled to go “live” November 7th
Popular Communications’ December issue – scheduled to go “live” December 1st
Click here to view all of CQ’s digital magazines in the CQ Online store.

Take a moment right now and place your order . . .
you’ll save a bundle and be among the first to enjoy these great new digital editions!

Dorothy Kehrwieder
CQ Communications, Inc.

Personally I am giving any digital magazine a miss, unless it is a print subscriber perk included in the cost for a print version.

Consider it a personal foible, as if I pay for a publication – Magazine or Book – I want the physical thing.

Then I am the sort to write notes in it, clip articles, cover a publication with post-its and then i share my copy.

A minor issue with WRO (World Radio Online) is that I had a paid for subscription that was converted to a duplicate print-issue of CQ magazine rather than refunded when WRO left the newpaper paper print format, and bluntly I was shortchanged in that process – what did I possible need a second copy of CQ and repeated efforts to merge the two subscriptions went nowhere, and WRO’s shortcomings become a sharper issue in a paid for format that will ten cost me an additional amount fo time to print a real copy of anything I want to work with in physical print.

Your milage may vary, of course.



Tagged , , ,