Parks On The Air (POTA) may have started out as a fun way to get outside into the Big Blue Sky Shack and play radio, but now it has become very competitive. Those who like to take a casual approach to activating parks can still enjoy their hobby their way, but others have a different, … Continue reading Has POTA Become a Radio Sport Contest?
Let’s Dump RS(T) Signal Reports!
How much use is a signal report - really? In theory it is a good idea to tell the ham at the other end of the magic, invisible wire how well you are receiving their signal. In practice the report you send is of little to no use whatsoever. Why is that? I can cite … Continue reading Let’s Dump RS(T) Signal Reports!
The Decline and Fall of RaDAR
One of the first things that attracted me to this hobby was operating in the great outdoors; or as I refer to it now, my Big Blue Sky Shack. I enjoyed erecting wire antennas out in the field and calling CQ to see if I could get any responses. That was in the days when … Continue reading The Decline and Fall of RaDAR
Why I Log with Pencil and Paper
A fellow member of my club has very strong opinions about logging. He is an avid contester and uses N1MM for nearly everything - including POTA activations. At a recent presentation to club members he derided pencil and paper loggers and said "this is the 21st Century!" I wasn't offended; he said it in a … Continue reading Why I Log with Pencil and Paper
Hello, What’s Going On Here Then?
Do you ever feel slightly guilty about operating your ham station out in the big blue sky shack in full view of the public? I do. A ham station can look very suspicious to somebody who doesn't understand the hobby. Where I like to operate there are often signs with rules about "permitted activities". The … Continue reading Hello, What’s Going On Here Then?
To V or not to V? Obey the rules!
Rules? It has been said that rules are for the guidance of wise men and the obedience of fools. Sounds a bit harsh but it may have some truth to it. In our hobby it might be better expressed as "rules are for the guidance of experts and the obedience of novices". What is an … Continue reading To V or not to V? Obey the rules!
Hooray, No Internet!
Remember that day, during the summer of 2022 when Rogers Communications wasn't? Wasn't providing communicaions, that is. No cell service. No Internet. It was the nearest thing to Armageddon for many users, but not for me. I actually felt a complete sense of relaxation and smug satisfaction that my own life was not completely bound … Continue reading Hooray, No Internet!
What Are We Prepping For?
In the summer of 1969 a musician called Country Joe McDonald went onto the stage at the Woodstock festival in New York and performed an impromptu solo performance to fill a gap in the schedule. The song he performed became an iconic memento of the festival. To paraphrase Country Joe's lyrics: "and it's 1,2,3 what … Continue reading What Are We Prepping For?
Enough About Winlink Already!
The most important task that amateur Radio operators could be asked to perform in an emergency is … to send emails? The amateur radio emergency preppers have circled their wagons around a technology called Winlink. This proprietary collection of software facilitates sending emails over radio. Those who live in the Winlink bubble have made sending … Continue reading Enough About Winlink Already!