Monthly Archives: January 2022

At least in Ham Radio the Media is usually truthful (or not?)

At least in Ham Radio the Media is usually truthful. Or maybe not so much.

Government messaging may be the leader in the media failings, and the media’s ham radio ignorance a crowding second.

Add a dose of “mystique” the mix for a true blend of “propagandizations, ignorance, and awe.”

Few media outlets have staff with direct amateur radio knowledge assigned where they can weed out the gross mistakes.

Almost none have enough background knowledge on staff to sort the wheat from the chaff in terms of what is even possible when the government or other sources are blowing smoke.

Media in terms of ham radio, are “repeating” rather than “reporting.” Media is reporting usually with second or third hand sources distancing the media distancing from any actual events or investigation.

Media largely depends on the FCC with other parts of government, Wikipedia type references, and if they reach out the ARRL/QRZ/eHam people and their communities, for a layperson’s take on ham radio events.

Once media has a quotable source the stop investigating an issue.

Rarely do the contrast the various voices within the ham Radio Community.

Previous posts mentioning this phenomena are:

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Telnet access is port1123

ssh access is port 1122 

http (regular web) access is proxied through

gopher access may follow

SPOT BBS Login Page

A reminder about the K9ZW SPOT BBS project.

SPOT was the name of my old FidoNet OPUS system some 30+ years ago.

SPOT was actually S.P.O.T. for Someone Playing On Transistors, which seems are good as anything else way back when.

Remember (without the :8888) is NOT an internet URL, rather it is the same sort of shorthand we use on the internet to let you remember the BBS’s address. If you enter into a browser it does not resolve. That might change down the road.

From within the BBS world by Netmail address is k9zw at 21:1/224   In most systems you put the user name and the routing into two separate entry fields.

Two interesting features are:

  • Gopher Access via main menu “/+” command.  This feature allows some access to the world of Gopher.
  • Multi-Relay- Chat (MRC) via the main menu “/M” command.  This is dedicated BBS-to-BBS IRC channel with its own GUI.

The message area has feeds from FidoNet, fsxNET, WhisperNet, LegionNet, VKRadioNet and more.  I’ve created a Cybernetics File area and allowed another file area for a group of people interested in conspiracy theories.

Some terminal programs you can use are SyncNet, NetRunner and PuTTY.  I’ll put directions if you need them.  From most browsers the should work.

Hope you enjoy this BBS blast from the past!




Eight-Band Propagation Continues

It is fun to have some better band conditions. (21 JAN 22 starting at 1300 UTC)

Working FT8 remote to my home station (Flex-6700 to a ZeroFive Flagpole vertical antenna in this instance) I was in fairly quick order make exactly 8 QSOs, one per band, before I switched to working for DX on 17m:

KB9ZM EM57 1.840861 mhz (160m) FT8 Sent: +04 Rcvd: -02
N5IF EM11 3.574155 mhz (80m) FT8 Sent: -07 Rcvd: -21
AI2D FM29 7.074821 mhz (40m) FT8 Sent: +02 Rcvd: +10
W2AOC FN20 10.137057 mhz (30m) FT8 Sent: +12 Rcvd: +05
N3DNA FN20 14.074903 mhz (20m) FT8 Sent: +05 Rcvd: +19
KP4JRS FK68 18.100200 mhz (17m) FT8 Sent: +01 Rcvd: +00
F5ADE JN06 21.075078 mhz (15m) FT8 Sent: -08 Rcvd: -15
CO8LY FL20 24.916068 mhz (12m) FT8 Sent: +03 Rcvd: +03

The remote setup lets me run some QSOs when physically not at the home station, by basically adding an internet link from my home station to where I am actually at.

My current series of QSL cards allows me to indicate which physical station I am using and also indicate where I was when I made the contact.

One of the new QSL Card Designs

While I much prefer being in my shack to make SSB QSOs, these remote digital QSOs are miles better than not being on the air at all!



Eight-Band Propagation – Jan 2022

January 2022 is featuring days where it is pretty easy to get eight ham bands during the day on HF.

Starting last week, around the 10th, I started making QSOs on 160m, 80m, 40m, 30m, 20m, 17m. 15m and 12m each day.

Nothing typically heard (for me) on 10m or 6m.

Several days I did pick up 10m QSOs, making for a few 9-band worked days.

It remains amazing that propagation can vary enough to allow such flexibility over time.



Beware the Winds – A Bit of Tower Mischief

A week or so back we had extraordinary winds. Steady 40 mph (65 kph) with 60+ mph gusts (100 kph) for a prolonged period. Local weather recording stations noted occasional gusts much stronger, though I cannot say if my QTH saw those mega-gusts.

Checking on the new log periodic it was still up there (yeah!) and all “looked okay.”

About a week later the beam’s SWR changed and then dropped off. I figured a feedline issue or perhaps a popped lightning arrestor given we had two periods of snowstorms with heaving lightning and thunder.

Yesterday the +4F (-16c) weather improved to a nicer +28F (-2c) and I walked some of our trails. One medium sized tree down that will have to be cleared with chainsaws, and everything looked pretty good.

Just one thing was working in the back of my mind. The log periodic wasn’t pointed in the direction I had left it. And it had moved since the previous day when I had looked at it from the workshop.

Feedlines are likely wrecked as the beam is drifting. My Skyneedle has an indirect rotator system where the rotator turns a jackshaft that is coupled to the mast with a heavy chain.

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Local Clubs – Northeast Wisconsin DX Association

Northeast Wisconsin DX Association

Our area DX club is – the Northeast Wisconsin DX Association.

NEWDXA has about 110 (live) members plus a few DX honorary members and the SKs who passed while members (Total list is a bit over 130 members).

The rough catchment area in Northeast Wisconsin includes Brown, Calumet, Door, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Marinette, Marquette, Menominee, Oconto, Outagamie, Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara, Winnebago counties, plus some of the 15 counties in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

A good bunch of folks, several who are very avid DX chasers with tales to tell. Meetings are usually at a restaurant when Virus conditions allow.