My plans for another backyard Field Day operation were busted by a family event whose attendance was not optional. I hated to miss out, but I’ve given myself wide latitude not to push too hard this year given all that has transpired over the last few months. I’m hoping for a big rebound in radio activity when the air turns a little cooler later this year.

I had wanted to put the K2 back on the air this year. It doesn’t see much activity. It makes me sad to think about all the radio equipment I’ve owned over the years that has long since been sold or traded away. The K2 is the only bit of 20th century ham equipment that I have kept. I built it from a kit in 1999, it’s #524.

I might have swapped it at some point too except my wife wouldn’t let me. Sometime during the assembly process I had her hold something while I soldered it and the transferred heat burned her finger. Since then she has always proclaimed that I can’t sell “the one that burned my finger”. So I haven’t. It’s probably still the best CW receiver in my entire collection and I’d like to put it on the air a lot more often.

Collecting a few choice boat anchors is always possible. But it won’t be the same equipment I owned back in my earlier days of radio. That fact makes me sad. What I wouldn’t give to get back the HW-16 and HG-10B transceiver and VFO that I used to make my first amateur contacts.

Word to the wise, keep something from your novice days, some day you’ll wish you did.


A few readers thought I was being pretty hard on Mastodon, the internet service, yesterday. I disagree. I think as a Twitter replacement it’s a complete failure though I get that some hams have figured out how to connect with small groups of other hams to force it to be useful. But that completely misses the point that the general migration from Twitter to Mastodon has ended and it appears those numbers have largely reversed.

I’ve actually been pretty happy without social media since I left Twitter and Mastodon. My experience has been that those were mostly useful for sharing links to interesting content and I find RSS feeds more effective. As for using the medium as a real-time chat client, that might work, but there are easier and better methods available. For instance, I’ve been enjoying the VarAC community via it’s Telegram thread.

Splash-Less Summer

It’s been getting a lot warmer here as summer has officially gotten underway. The heat has been less problematic than the dry weather. We are a couple inches short of average rainfall for the month of June - a critical growing period for crops here in the Heartland. There is some possibility of severe thunderstorms here tonight. I’d prefer to get rain without storms though beggars can’t be choosers. Still, Independence Day and the month of July are looming large on the calendar and June has so far been a disappointing month for farmers around here.