Category Archives: K9ZW

Could your Ham Radio become illegal? Pondering the logical extension of Red Flag processes.

The social temperament of contemporary society is to not look to ourselves for decorum & order, but to demand that government effectively act as a stern parent enforcing order.

This has led to the administrative process of Red Flag rules where on a unverified claim without due process legal sentencing is administer & enforced PRIOR to either an actual crime or fair trial.

There is are huge political and legal discussions behind this inversion of our legal system and constitution. In this piece I am simply “not going there” in suggesting we should debate these important societal decisions in an amateur radio blog, but rather want to pose a question very important to our hobby:

What if Red Flag rules end up being applied to Amateur Radio?

What if on the unsubstantiated claims made to the government if your station could be shut down or if you gear could be removed for protective custody?

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FlexRadio Innovations – Integral FT8 and Contesting

Jeff KE9V attended the W9DXCC 2019 event and reported on his web diary:


Gerald, K5SDR took a little extra time to show me the new (not yet released) iOS software that permitted him to make FT8 contacts on his iPad via his station in Texas. It wasn’t just a session running in a window on the iPad, it’s an actual application with a modified user interface to take advantage of the iPad format. He told me the software is ready to go but since Apple is imminently updating iOS to version 13, they want to wait and shakedown the new app with it before it’s released.

Speaking of Flex, every contester who spoke and that I casually bumped into were all FlexRadio users. I guess I’ve missed that transition. You can argue all you want and point to Rob Sherwood’s receiver data but all the big dogs are still running Flex whether you realize it or not.


Not certain if the FT8 integration is a FRS project or a partner project. Jeff KE9V is better briefed than I am at this stage.

I’m certainly eager to have an all-in-one client solution!




Wisconsin Parks on the Air 2019 Event – Sept. 21st

From an ARRL section announcement in my inbox:

It’s coming soon!

2nd Annual Wisconsin Parks on the Air contest coming up on
Saturday, September 21, 2019. Hours: 11 am – 6 pm Central.
See the website:


A flyer and rules are available as pdf’s on the link above.

Would seem like a great excuse to get our and do some field work, or to make contacts with those who are out in the parks.



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I’m a Ham or am I? When to be noticed and when to be unnoticed, and much much more!

Some ideas on being ready and when to notice/unnoticed to borrow from:

  • It is best to be prepared – remember Noah built the ark before the flood.
  • Someday you may be unexpectedly or unavoidably exposed and/or exploited by malignant actors with nefarious intentions.
  • Electronically you may need digital protection (including physical protection of equipment), identity management, and an understanding & control of your online & on-air signatures.
  • You may need to understand the tracking and fingerprinting of both digital & radio devices, along with countermeasures to limit your exposure.

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First QSOs from the new K9ZW Radio Room

I should have grabbed some pictures, as last night (UTC was Monday September 9th but local date was still Sunday September 8th) I completed a handful of QSOs from the new radio room.

Despite several transceivers physically in the new Radio Room, actual transceiver used was a Flex-6600M located ten miles east at another of my operating sites.

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Antenna Elements Bugged – Insect Damages to Aluminum Tube

In the takedown of the former Main K9ZW station tower an element from my Tennadyne T-28 LPDA broke in handling!

The inside of the aluminum element was a power like sand, and the inner wall of the element had been reduced to powder.

Broken Aluminum Element

The break was crisp and was more a snap.

So what might have done this?

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