Taking this opportunity to offer a universal “bless you” to everyone dealing with allergies right now…

What happens when we’re ALL old? The Financial Times recently reported that Japan’s number of over-65s is at a record-high 29%, while the amount of under-15s is at a record-low 11%. The country’s native population is falling at a rate of nearly 100 people per hour, leading to the biggest annual drop (837k) in the number of Japanese nationals since records started being kept in 1950. Japan has tried to address its fertility crisis by enticing families with financial incentives to produce more children, but thus far those efforts have failed.

If a trend like that spreads to the US (it has) then plans to phase out the old guard in amateur radio to make way for more youthful diversity and inclusiveness isn’t likely. Maybe it’s not that ham radio has too many old people, maybe it’s too many people are old. Bill Clinton became President more than a quarter century ago, yet the two current leading Pretenders to the Throne of that same office are both older than him. Young people? Psh! Youth is Unobtanium.

I sure picked a bad time - to return to paper QSLing. The US Postal Service filed a notice with its regulators to increase prices on First-Class “Forever” stamps to 73 cents from 68 cents, marking yet another price hike for the financially beleaguered federal agency. If approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission, the change would take effect in July. Stamp prices have soared 36% since 2019 when they cost 50 cents.

CW is Fun! This month’s NAQCC Letter Challenge: Al’s Cadillacs. Al as in Al Capone. He had several. His top of the line was the “Series 452 Imperial Sedan. This one had bullet-proof glass, gun ports and armor plating with a 452 cubic inch, V16 engine, smoke screen system and a port in the floor for dropping oil or tacks to hinder pursuit … very James Bond-ish.” Use letters from stations you work each month to fill out the Challenge. New topics each month. See the current NAQCC newsletter for all the deets.

Updates: A few of our favorite things were updated this week:

  • VarAC V9.1.0 is here! With EmComm mode, Vmail templates/forms, Auto ALC per band, frequency hint, Log4OM lookup, Hamlib support, 2m/70cm Calling frequencies, etc.
  • S.A.T. Controller firmware update. A self contained antenna rotator and radio controller. Natively controls Icom radios, Yaesu rotators and can interface with PSTRotator.
  • Kiwi v1.666 release is out for KiwiSDR 1 and 2. Many changes/improvements including integrated antenna switch, spectrum passband marker and suggestions from the Kiwi community.

Zero Retries 0147 - 2024-04-12 — What’s New at DLARC; Why TARPN?; Advantages of a Bit-Regen Rptr for LANs: Why It’s So Hard to Get People Excited About Using Packet Systems, and We Need Better, More Flexible User IFs. Seriously? You don’t subscribe to this excellent newsletter? Click the button and get onboard today.