Monthly Archives: February 2020

Ham Radio and Coronavirus – hardly a peep?

WIth the W8S Swains Island DXPedition pushed out to fall in response to the Coronavirus precautionary quarantine (See Jeff KE9V’s write up at ) what else are you hearing about the Coronavirus of substance on the Ham bands?

I had hams email me if I was aware of any Coronavirus response frequencies being used. They had read my prior postings: and and I had to tell them I had heard of no special frequencies in use.

What might be the cause for this?

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Creating Durable Systems – Computer Network and Computers

Creating Durable Systems within the K9ZW Main QTH Shack is a series started with:

The Computer Network and Computers system can be broken down further:

  • Internet Provisioning – Primary is via Fiber from the Main House System, Backup is Tethered Cellular
  • Shack Network, including to tower – Primary is CAT6e and Wireless, Backup is direct replacements
  • Main Station Computer – Primary is a i7 Flex-Ready PC, Backup is use of one of the Backup Computers
  • Auxiliary Station Computers – Primary are a mix of Linux and other small PCs, Backups are to move to remaining Auxiliary or Backup Computers
  • Backup Station Computers (additional operating stations) – Primary are fan-less “deskbook” PCs, Backup is redundancy in number of Backup Station Computers
  • Routers, Media Converters, POE/Power Supplies – Primary are marked units, stadardized as much as possible, Backups are direct replacements on site in storage
  • Underground Cables/Fiber – Primary are in conduit and have a second wire or pair of fibers, Backup are laid on ground temporary cables or wireless from stock on hand.

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Creating Durable Systems – Work Stations and Operator Comforts and Shack Water/Waste

Creating Durable Systems within the K9ZW Main QTH Shack is a series started with:

The Work Stations and Operator Comforts and Shack Water/Waste system can be broken down further:

  • Shack Heat
  • Shack Cooling
  • Water
  • Toilet
  • Vermin Control
  • Security

The needs for its final build-out, testing and commissioning include:

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Safety First – Carbon Monoxide in the Ham Shack

CO Detector – 10 year sealed battery type

Saturday Morning I walked to my hamshack, and was greeted by a smell something akin to exhaust gas along with a loud alarm going off as I opened the door.

A sealed-battery wall mounted Carbon Monoxide detector was going off and the room actually had a slight haze.

Obviously the direct vent wall mounted furnace was the cause.

So all the doors and windows were thrown open so I could investigate.

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Let’s talk on the Radio, but perhaps put off Eyeball-QSOs for a bit? A ham’s Response to the Coronavirus

I had been asked if I was planning to go to Dayton 2020?

After a fairly short reflection on the topic, I think not this year.

Though I have some other concerns that influenced my decisions – work load, some family needs, and a station build that is stalled for better weather – this new Coronavirus thing tipped the scale personally.

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Revisiting LoTW (Logbook of the World)

LoTW (Logbook of The World) when it first came out was not a great experience.

Back in its early days I tried, and basically gave up.

Well like all things in heavy use, LoTW has gotten a lot better.

Using the ARRL link I decided I would knuckle-down and see if I could get things going.

I found LoTW much easier and much quicker than in the day.

As a starter it took only a day to get my main certificate approved, that is so much better than the weeks plus postcards sent in the mail stuff back in the day.

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