Monthly Archives: December 2021

Bye Bye 2021!

Anticipating that this post may be 2021’s finale, I would first like to thank my readers and commenters!

A very interesting year for me. I’ve been working hard on a special project that will directly benefit all of my work colleagues. A learning curve for me, but one that helping out so many people makes worth undertaking.

In the New Year my ability to fill in the blanks when asked improves.

In terms of Amateur Radio a a number of other passions the level of engagement in this special project has reduced everything else.

I don’t think I will make 10,000 QSOs for the year, definitely didn’t spend as much time on the air rag-chewing as hoped, my station build advanced in bursts remaining incomplete, and while a bit sad in isolation were an easy price to pay to do so much good.

Wishing each of you a Strong New Year! Why “Strong?” Because we need to be Strong in our values, faiths and principles before we can get to the “Happy” part.



Lots of Distractions

Lots of extra distractions have cut sharply into my writing time.

Nothing horrible, but as such things always seem to arrive in waves, doing a bit of treading water.


On the plus side certain long term projects change from “project building” with all the extra work into “project maintenance” which should be a lighter load, mostly making the transition with the new year.

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Are you on the air? Moderate 2021 Efforts

Took a quick retrospective of my 2021 ham radio activities, as I found my 2021 ham radio activities wanting.

While I did surpass my goal of the equivalent of one QSO per hour 24/7/365 for the year (needed more than 8760 QSOs for the year) the preponderance of my 2021’s roughly 9000 QSOs are the lower quality beacon-like FT8 contacts.

Not very happy about the high FT8 ratio after starting 2021 with the mindset that I should do a lot more conversational QSOs, whether voice or digital.

My ability to pick up FT8 contacts really took off when I got my remote setup better sorted. Even as I type now I have an instance of WSJT running FT8 displayed on a second monitor, where a couple mouse-clicks will complete another QSO.

My setup while remote is simple. Running:

  • SmartSDR/DAX/CAT v3.4.39 with
  • WSJT-X as modified by SQ9FVE and
  • a small Powershell script to do a running display of my latest contacts.

The modified WSJT can run semi-autonomously, which is really controversial.  Where it endears itself in my eyes is its updated/modified GUI. The updated/modified layout works better for me. YMMV.

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Early Aviation Radios

Recently a few pictures and links have been going around featuring a couple very early examples of radio in aircraft.

This 1915 model looks very sharp:

Aircraft radio telephony transmitter, complete with round valve and microphone, made by CE Prince, 1915. This was the first successful air-to-ground radio telephony set, used at Brooklands in 1915 to transmit voice over wireless from an aircraft to the ground.

Another one like it, without the tube, is in a museum that has pictures online:

Rather heady-stuff when new!



RDF using WSPR – Looking for Flight MH370

Information on the use of WSPR to search for Flight MH370 has been trickling out since Spring. Finding the whole thing interesting, I’ve assembled a set of links to explore the methodology.

The analysis explained:

In a Nov. 30 report (pdf), the engineer said he had analyzed the plane’s flight path and final movements using Global Detection and Tracking of Any Aircraft Anywhere (GDTAAA) software based on the Weak Signal Propagation Reporter (WSPR) data publicly available on WSPRnet.

“The WSPRnet data provides hundreds of radio signals every two minutes during the flight of MH370,” Godfrey wrote in the report. “These radio signals propagate around the globe between transmitters and receivers with help of refraction in the ionosphere. The path of an aircraft can disturb the propagation path of the radio waves.

“A single WSPRnet signal disturbance is a candidate progress indicator, multiple WSPRnet signal disturbances are a candidate position indicator, where two or more propagation paths cross at a particular location.”

Lengthy articles (dated Dec 1st, 2021): or

The Findings:

More on Methodology:

WSPRnet Homepage:

About WSPR:

A page of Videos Explaining WSPR:

The pdfs have links to the various Search for MH370 websites, if that is your interest!



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