Category Archives: K9ZW Operations

Inbound DX QSLs

They arrive in packets of 8-12 cards from the NIDXA bureau.

Second half of the recent arrivals

About seventy arrived, from:

  • Norway
  • Luxembourg
  • Holland
  • Belgium
  • Germany
  • Poland
  • France
  • Spain
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Hungary
  • Denmark

The XYL is thumbing through them while having a coffee, as so many are quite interesting cards.

Afraid I’m going to pull out the confirming QSL exchanged cards, before setting the lot aside while I catch up on my self-induced QSL chaos.



Moral Conundrums – Dangerous DX

Much like yelling “jump” to someone standing on a bridge railing, is working/encouraging DXpeditions to physically dangerous destinations a morally clear thing to do?

It is also freaking expensive – a recent DXpedition trimmed short by conditions was tallied as costing almost $40 per QSO!!!

As DXers are we like the little kids playing near a busy road, daring each other to run across to the other side and back, hoping traffic doesn’t wipe someone out?  Just egging each other on, which is good fun until someone ends up hit &  hurt (or worse)?

Some have suggested we attribute an “extra risk” rating to DXPedition opportunities – where if a location is rated by how much extra risk is incurred.

Obviously taking a trek to sat St Pierre is not much more risky than normal tourism, but is obscure because the route there is complicated, whereas a DXPedition assault to Rockall in the far north Atlantic is so risky that to date only military teams have gone there.  These differing levels would get a score.

What to do with the scores is argued about – whether to even do anything more than making people aware of risks levels?

Personally I am avoiding supporting or working DXPeditions that feature noteworthy risk levels.  I’m not going to guilt myself egging folks to put themselves at risk.  Now if I happened on someone calling CQ from one of these places, I will work myself through the moral conundrum at that moment, but I’m not going to actively push people into danger zones – lest we end up with combat zone operations counting for DXCC!



LoTW – Certificate Renewal Time

Seems a Logbook of the World (LoTW) “certificate” has to be renewed every 36 months, as at the end of January an emailed notice arrived saying:

According to our records, your ARRL Logbook of the World Callsign Certificate for:


expires at:

Feb 9 16:39:02 2023 GMT

To continue submitting log data for this call sign and entity, you must renew your Callsign Certificate. Renewal is quick & easy before your Callsign Certificate expires; if your Callsign Certificate expires, a new one will need to be requested.

Instructions for renewing can be found at:

The LoTW Team

Apparently ARRL’s LoTW has a window, where you won’t be told you should renew until there is a tight window, which is you do not renew before that deadline your certificate cannot be renewed. If you go past the deadline a different process creating a new certificate is required.

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K9ZW Home Remote Back Up, SPOT BBS Close

K9ZW Home QTH Station is back up for my remote operations.  SPOT BBS project is close, but not up yet.

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Sixteen Days and What Do You Get? – K9ZW Home Remote Back Up

Old sayings:

“Troubles never arrive alone.” (Central European Saying)


Q: How do you eat an elephant?
A: One bite at a time…

One little SSD in my OPNSense Router takes a dive, and the knock-on effects ripple across the LAN and across WAN access.

Sixteen days ago that SSD borked the K9ZW Home Station’s remote capabilities along with about everything else at our home.

As I type I am making the first QSOs of a temporarily restored setup, using a low-feature router in place of the failed unit.

Some upsides is that most of the data from the failed SSD was recovered, including the OPNSense configuration file, the temporary router seems to be working well enough, and other than SPOT BBS which needs another configuration sort out to be back up, things are running.

Downsides is the original device ate the replacement SSD and the problem may be deeper than a bad SSD. The replacement ordered – a Q1055GE PfSense Industrial Router 8 * 2.5GbE I225V B3 LAN Intel Core i5-10210U Processor 6M Cache, up to 4.20 GHz Fanless Mini PC AES-NI 4*USB Rs232 Firewall Appliance(8G DDR4 RAM, 256G mSATA SSD) – will take a couple weeks to arrive. And the SPOT BBS configuration remains an enigma as I made less notes than I need now to unravel the software specific reconfiguring – that is a “my bad” issue.

So little by little the gremlins are being dealt with!  And it is a lot more fun to be back on the air remotely!




Stuff Breaks – Router Failure affects K9ZW Station and SPOT BBS Project

Minor hardware failure with replacement parts already in the works, has put the SPOT BBS and the remote aspect of the Home QTH K9ZW Station off line.

An internal SSD failed in a router/firewall, failing well before the expected MTBF.

Simply did not have time to program in the ports and configurations into the backup setup with everything else going on.