October 2016

I recently resumed publishing – CALLING CQ – a weekly letter for amateur radio enthusiasts. It’s not a “news” letter but rather an adjunct to the many other services and publications that promote the hobby. Delivered directly to your inbox. Subscribe today.

I managed to rile a few feathers earlier this month by suggesting we consider a test-free amateur radio license in the United States. Replies were contentious enough that I felt it necessary to post this follow-up to further clarify what I was thinking.

My brief review of the new television series, ‘Frequency’ loosely based on the 2000 movie with the same name. There’s a ham radio connection here, but not much of one.

I attended the Fall meeting of the East-Central Indiana (ECI-QRP) QRP group last weekend. Bill Murray, W9VC of Richmond, Indiana talked about his growing collection of tube testing equipment. Bill is a home-brewer of tube-type transmitters and the need to test tubes led him to learn all about the process. Rich Meiss, WB9LPU also attended and showed off two of his handcrafted straight keys. I just took pictures — and won the door prize, an assembled OHR-100A for 40 meters!

I’ve maintained a low-profile IRLP node (4212) at my home since 2003 and believe that when it comes to linking systems, IRLP provides the best all-around experience. I recently upgraded my node hardware to Raspberry Pi. You can find me on IRLP most weekends, often monitoring the East Coast Reflector (9050). Give me a call.

ARRL’s HF propagation guru Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA says that we’re in for a long-term downturn in solar activity leading to more meager conditions on the bands. He’s right, but I believe it’s going to be much worse┬áthan that.