W9DXCC Wrap-Up… Hams be prepared just in case, and Buck Rogers Radios

Sitting in our hotel room at the end of the 2015 W9DXCC in Schaumburg, Il.  An excellent experience all around.

The generosity of ones fellows in the hobby cannot be overstated.  I really enjoy these events as the expertise of those with time and resources are shared so willingly!

Keynote speaker was ex-FCC General Counsel, Riley Hollingsworth K4ZDH, who as always spoke well and to the point.  Main take away were two somewhat unexpected things, one about shared humanity and another larger on why the world needs hams even more with the Internet of Things.

On humanity Riley reminded us that those few hams who are awful on the air are largely troubled souls that the system isn’t or can’t help.  Not a few are veterans dealing with those issues.  While not specifically asking for anything from the audience, he brought home that these folk are people too.  Kind of a reminder that we can do better.

The bigger statement was in many ways a vision of a post apocalyptic mission that hams can fill.  As the Internet transitions to the Internet of Things, the risk of systemic failure increases, but worse the risk of system denial (cyber terrorism) has profound consequences that the ham services may help mitigate.

The TEOTWAWKI scenario wasn’t expected, and I have to admit I agree with Riley, including the decentralized ideas he expressed which are the same as those behind the  FREECOM supplement/replacement for EMCOM.

I will return to the FREECOM theme in a future article.

The other huge takeaway for me is again an admiration for the technical excellence and elegance of the FlexRadio Systems Flex-6000 series.

Gerald K5SDR the founder of FlexRadio Systems and Craig K9CT as a member of their advisory team, shared much time showing off upcoming features intended for SmartSDR v1.5, a prototype Maestro unit, and an unreleased hardware accessory.

The intergration and smoothness of the massively expanded capabilities impressed me as much as the feature set.  The feature set had been slowly leaked by FRS so for 80% of the upgrade there is nothing unexpected.

What amazed was how the improvements flowed as if they were always there all along.

I also loved my quick touch and feel chance to play with the Maestro.  Somehow I can imagine a ham not wanting one.  The touchscreen really appealed.

Another fine event- congratulations to NIDXA for putting on such a fine ham gathering.




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4 thoughts on “W9DXCC Wrap-Up… Hams be prepared just in case, and Buck Rogers Radios

  1. […] spoke about the need for compassion, even for those who intentionally disrupt our communications, and hinted that many disturbed […]

  2. Joe KB3PHL says:

    With all due respect to Mr. Hollingsworth, I don’t agree with the suggestion that some of the people causing intentional interference on the Ham bands are veterans with mental health issues. Granted there might be a few vets on the air with mental problems, but I think the majority are just immature individuals from the CB ranks who never should have been allowed to have a Ham license.

    • k9zw says:

      I think we can count on information having factual basis. Hollingsworth dealt with these folk to the point he described how one day they would be threatening him with harm on the telephone and the next they were in tears asking for his help.

      Whatever the sources of their mental illnesses, I think we can agree they are “just not right” and would be awesome if they were less often on the air.

      Hollingsworth also pointed out that much on the air people complain about while offensive may not be so clearly actually illegal, and even when it us may be hard to prove and presumably convict.

      Sad stuff from sad folk for sure.



    • Mike WB8CXO says:

      I became a Ham in 1969 totally missing CB which was (I think) reasonably tame back then. I remember the horrid QRM’ing of Midcars that often shut down the net. This was a time when code was required before the mass infusion from the CB ranks. So I don’t agree the current interference problem can be blamed on CBers now hams. It’s an ongoing problem that has plagued all popular ham bands for decades. The only defense is to be smarter than these people and IGNORE THEM!

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