Monthly Archives: October 2022

Missed Contests – 2022 CQWW SSB

A extra helping of pressing immediate needs kept K9ZW off the air for the CQWW SSB.

That it was super weather outside also changed priorities as well, but to a lesser extent.

My Friday my day first finished at 11:30 pm, and then on Saturday you would have found me at work at 5:30am, followed by a series of events not always in my control.  All rather than on the air contesting.

By the time I got my head above water, the contest was in its last hours, and honestly I needed peace & tranquility more than air time by that point.  I looked at taking the walk to my workshop radio room and firing up the contest position, and realized that I was just as likely to nod off in the station operating chair as work QSOs.

Next time… hopefully!




Creating Durable Systems – Monitoring and Cameras with Remote Systems

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

The Monitoring and Cameras with Remote Systems can be broken down further into:

  • Security Cameras (Inside) for which I presently use Cameras, but am actively testing options to leave the Canary platform.
  • Security Cameras (Outside) are a mishmash of various cameras, again I am actively testing options to standardize.
  • Operational-Aid Cameras (Inside) are cameras pointed at various gear to observe indicators and meters. I do not have a standard yet.
  • Operational-Aid Cameras (Outside) are cameras point at towers to confirm direction & operation.  I do not have a standard yet.

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

  • Standardizing on specific camera setups for each use-case.
  • Documenting the final system, including troubleshooting documents.
  • Procuring enough backups to handle typical problems.

In terms of Redundancy/Backup/Failure Options having spares on hand is likely to be the limitation of “Plan-B” options.



Halloween Ham Radio

Herman Munster apparently was a radio guy! Certain know he was a “ham!”

There is a nice write up what this was all about:

Occasionally QSL cards are hawked. It has been hard to establish if the studio actually did special QSL cards at the time. I’m thinking what is offered are nice reprints of something made up later?

Not that Herman was the only monster-show ham, as Gomez Addams are took to the radio:

Information on this episode was less forth coming during research.



Check One Two, Check One Two .. Tap Tap Tap .. Is this thing on?

Okay, “With Varying Frequency” has a group of followers, a group that comments fairly often, and then the majority that read without leaving much of a trace.

While much of With Varying Frequency is “Note to Self” in nature, knowing what readers like would be helpful.




Does Ham Radio build your Smarts? Or does Ham Radio attract the Smart ones?

Using rough numbers, the FCC say 772000 of our 330,000,000 population have ham radio licenses.  Again roughly that is 1/4 of a percent of the population having a license for our hobby.

In even distribution (again roughly to keep this simple) one out of 400 people is licensed.

Yet the numbers in certain occupations appear much higher than 1 out of 400, suggesting a skew towards these professions.  Science, medical, military, management, inventors all seem to be over represented.

While we easily can notice clustering where 2, 3 or 10 out of 400 in a field are licensed, it isn’t possible to tell from statistics whether our hobby developed these folk to perform higher or if the hobby just attracts higher performers.

Personal take is the hobby both attracts and develops.


Those interested in and already highly skilled or established on the path becoming highly skilled, seek out the ether and the technology, along with those whose desire to communicate are readily attracted to ham radio.  You might consider them “naturals.”


And those who take up the hobby find themselves in the midst of the like minded and in a wonderland of technical possibilities that both cultivates endless opportunities for personal growth through amateur radio.

Doesn’t matter where your starting point is at your ham start

Oh, as for certain to have the people that shine there ends up being those who do not shine so very much that are the contrast.  Yet these folks (mostly) are fine hams nonetheless!  One observes that by proximity and close examples that those a bit behind in shining out, do advance themselves at least in terms of amateur radio.  I’d consider that a validation that ham radio builds your smarts!

Some outstanding folk that have/had ham radio licenses are (taken from a recent Fond du Lac Amateur Radio Club Newsletter):

Source newsletter: FDLHams_October Newsletter compressed

Club website: (I am an honorary life member)



The Computer Story

Friends were doing an email discussion about their earliest computer experiences.

Roll back to about 1974 when my high school received a teletype-style terminal to the university’s mainframe. The sort of terminal where it would punch tape and later you could load your program from that tape. Pretty certain the units was a Model 33 and while we programed in Basic, the end machine was something Unix.

Teletype Model 33 ASR teleprinter keyboard with punched tape reader and punch

Our terminal didn’t last, as apparently the dedicated line was expensive.

But joy-joy the school was loaned a Wang 2200 where we learned “Wang Basic” and had to schedule our slice of time at the machine.

My father’s firm received an IBM System/32 – this video is not theirs, but does show the machine:

I did get to do the training intro stuff, but once it was needed for production kids were not allowed to touch it.

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