Monthly Archives: February 2021

When operating a Foreign Remote Station, how do you Identify?

Reading a related post that paraphrases how an amateur identifies when operating from a foreign station, I started pondering what happens when you operate remote?

Which call sign do you use when operating a remote Flex radio using SmartSDR and the radio is owned and located in a foreign country?

Would you have to apply for a license in the foreign country?

Would you use the call sign of the station owner?

I have done it both ways many times.

If the local control operator is in “Control” then the same 3rd party rules apply as the rules for Phone Patches .

If there is no “control” operator. then it depends on the reciprocal licensing agreements between countries.

That said, if you are dealing with a CEPT (European Conference of Postal & Telecommunications Administrations) country and the USA you definitely can do it and I have done it many times

BTW… don’t get too bothered by the rules police.. most countries do not care that much about ham radio these days… so enforcement of the rules can be very lax EXCEPT when you do something really obviously against the local rules like “Politics, Profanity, Interference. or beating the locals in a contest, Hi Hi!

Just do your homework and do it right.



Loss of Balance – All Zoomed Out

Like many of us the meetings I would have attended for work and for family have largely gone virtual. Zoom, Teams, FaceTime, Teleconference, or any variety of synthetic meeting systems replaced face to face events.

Zoomed Out and Bloodshot!

Or what would have been done in person has been reduced to a text, email or just gets skipped.

You hobby is facing the perceived need to hold its usual hamfests as virtual events for a second year.

Discussing in email, telephone and on-air exchanges whether one intends to buy a ticket and attend, several of us have decided that we are “all zoomed out” intending to give the events a pass.

Often mentioned is the lack of camaraderie of virtual substitutes and the reality that you can time-shift anything you did want to watch to a personally more convenient time slot.
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Non-Radio – 3D printed Medium Format Camera

Decided to return to a bit of conventional Film-Based photography and as I would eventually like to return to developing my own B&W film, I decided to return to the medium format film size, as I found that the larger contact prints of the medium format film substituted for an enlarger in a pinch.

My photography history is both legacy and practical.  One of my grandfathers had a commercial photography studio, and from young on I was sent out with an Argus C-3 with a bulk-loaded cartridge of Kodax Tri-Ex to take pictures.  My films were developed and contact prints made right at the studio, and Grandpa Sig would go over the contact sheets with constructive advice.  We would print off the worthwhile shots, including much darkroom finagling.  Cropping, shading, and every sort of adjustment were part of his lessons.

My the end of elementary school I was developing film in a black bag, and eventually had a mini-darkroom sans enlarger in the basement.
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Why a long lossy feed line masks true SWR

Locally members of our ham community have long though that long feed lines of indifferent/generic/almost-like feed lines are the bee’s knees.

During Field Day there has been times where really long feedlines were deployed as the trusty old MFJ SWR meter reported a good match. Yet the setup was nearly mute and while it appeared to hear better it was more deaf than expected.


Because the long lossy feed line does do stuff, including somewhat masking the true situation.

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Thinking Ahead – Will you be White-listed, Black-list or Grey-listed through Emcomm as an Amateur Radio Operator

Another in the Thinking Ahead series started with

It has been a while since I continued this series, but current affairs seem to make it worth exploring again.  Suggest that the reader check out at least some of the initial batch of posts in the “Think Ahead” series.

In previous posts I discussed about “lists.”

Here I’d like to explore what are White, Black and Gray Lists, how you might find yourself on one or more, and what it might mean to you as an amateur radio operator.

Recap, what are lists?  While taught doctrine uses “White, Black and Gray” as labels more exact labels would be “Good Guys,” “Bad Guys,” and the “Unknowns.  Before anyone gets uptight about the taught labels, the were drawn from popular use in Western Movies and Books.

Who maintains the lists? The lists are arbitrary creations by the users.  They create the criteria and place people into their lists.  This means that while you might be “White Listed” for one agency, an agency that doesn’t know you will likely put you into a “Gray List.”

Who can see the lists? They are seldom published, with the exception of public listings that declare a label (“Domestic Terrorist” is one such “Black List” label we are seeing in the news right now).  For the most part you will usually only be able to infer which list you are one unless the list creator tells you or publishes your status.

Recap on what they mean:

White List – “Good Guys” like the cowboys wearing the white hats in the movies.  The ones you believe you can trust.
Black List – “Bad Guys” like the cowboys wearing the black hats in the movies.  The ones you know are untrustworthy.
Gray List – “Everyone Else” like the background people in the cowboy movies.  The people you don’t have enough information to classify into the White or Black List.

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Amazon Starting to Pay Attention to the non-FCC Approved merchandise being offered

It seems that some Amateurs are mistaking the new Amazon rules for sellers as Buyers Rules –

Sometimes this sort of forum thread drift happens when people doesn’t read the references and jump to conclusions.  Sometimes it is unfortunately bored posters “spicing up the discussion” with conjectures and posts intending to get a rise out of others.

First it is worth checking out what Amazon really said. Amazon’s links:
Radio Frequency Devices (for sellers)
Action Memo (for sellers)

Now set aside the unfiltered comments and ready just what the Amazon memos say.  Remember that in no case will someplace like Amazon even tacitly give as much as a wink-wink approval to products they know are illegal.

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