From my Twitter feed: JT65, Shack Nasties, hashtags

@kb6nu The main program is JT65-HF – also a handy add-on is jt-alert, found at

#hamr m0xpd Shack Nasties is bookmarked and I like his sense of humor as a ham radio blogger including tech prowess

hamradioskywave ; Amateur “ham” radio hash tag proposal: #radio #cqdx #hamr_usa #hamr_world

Save 75% on MAKE: e-books

Just got this offer from MAKE: and thought you all might like to know about it. I’m thinking of purchasing Getting Started with Raspberry Pi. They also have a primer on how to make your own PCBs. That should only cost 75 cents with 75% off…….Dan

Thanks for a Great Year!

To celebrate the end of 2012, we’re offering our newsletter subscribers 75% off every PDF in our e-book category. They’re all on sale – from the brand-new Getting Started with Raspberry Pi to MAKE’s Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing, from the Arduino Cookbook to Make: Electronics. It’s time to stock up! Just add any (or all!) of the PDFs in our e-book category to your cart and enter coupon code PDF75. Sale ends when our year does — at midnight PST Dec 31, 2012.

Bar code’s co-inventor dies at 91

A couple of weeks ago, NPR reported that N. Joseph Woodland, a co-inventor of the bar code passed away at the age of 91. I found this to be a very interesting story. First, because the bar code was really so far ahead of its time.

The original patent was applied for in 1949, and issued in 1952, but it wasn’t until 1974 that the first bar code was actually scanned. It took that much time for the scanner and computer technology to be developed enough to actually read and process the bar code. This was long after Woodland and his co-inventor, Bernard Silver, sold the patent for $15,000.

The second reason is its connection to Morse Code. The story reads,

The only code Woodland knew was the Morse Code he’d learned in the Boy Scouts, his daughter said. One day, he drew Morse dots and dashes as he sat on the beach and absent-mindedly left his fingers in the sand where they traced a series of parallel lines.

“It was a moment of inspiration. He said, ‘instead of dots and dashes I can have thick and thin bars,'” Susan Woodland [his daughter] said.

Woodland’s New York Times obituary has more on this story.

Operating Notes: Happy Holidays, calling CQ, K3s

I hope everyone is having a happy and safe holidays. Here at KB6NU, we celebrate both Christmas Eve and Christmas. Christmas Eve is with my family, Christmas with my wife’s family. It’s twice the fun!  Here are my operating notes for today:

  • One thing I’ve noticed lately is other stations calling CQ right near the frequency where I’m calling CQ. Often, I’ll answer their call, and usually they come right back to me. This leads me to wonder why they didn’t call me in the first place. They obviously could hear me, if they’d tuned to my frequency. Usually, they’re sending slower than I was sending, but I’m always happy to slow down to whatever speed they want. Who knows?
  • Does it seem you that there are more Elecraft K3s on the air than other rigs? It seems like half the stations I work anymore are using K3s. This morning, for example, both K1JD and WT2W were running K3s. I’m seriously considering getting one myself.
  • Double the pleasure. A couple of days ago, I ran across KO1U on 20m. We had a short, strained QSO. The band wasn’t quite yet open, and signals were kind of poor. After ending that QSO, I moved down to 30m and started calling CQ. Who’s the first station to reply? KO1U, of course. :) The signals were a lot better on 30m, and my noise level was a lot lower, too.

News for amateurs driving in VA3/VE3

I don’t quite get the sentence that read, “It is recommended that you carry a copy of your certificate and a copy of the exemption in your vehicle.” I’m guessing the certificate means license, but I don’t know how you’d carry a copy of the exemption, unless they mean a copy of the law that shows the exemptions……Dan

RAC Bulletin 2012-071E – Distracted Driving Update – Ontario Regulations Changed 2012-12-22

In light of the prorogation of the Ontario Legislature on October 15, 2012, the amateur radio community in Ontario has raised questions regarding the status of the 5-year extension to the amateur radio exemption in the Display Screens and Hand-Held Devices Regulations that was announced by Minister of Transportation Bob Chiarelli on September 24, 2012. Former RAC Honourary Legal Counsel, Steve Pengelly, VE3STV, has advised that prorogation would have had no effect on the announced extension because it was contained in a regulation passed by an order-in-council.

To further address the concern, Radio Amateurs of Canada is pleased to inform Ontario hams that Ontario Regulation 253/12 has amended the amateur radio exemption sections of former Ontario Regulation 366/09. Specifically, the “January 1, 2013” portion of section 13(1) and the entirety of section 13(2) of Ontario Regulation 366/09 were struck out and replaced with section 3(1) and 3(2) of Ontario Regulation 253/12, stating the new January 1, 2018 deadline. The actual amended Ontario Regulation 366/09 can be found online as well.

Radio Amateurs of Canada will continue to pursue a permanent exemption for Amateur Radio operators in Ontario. Similar exemptions already exist in many other provincial jurisdictions in Canada – thanks in part to the efforts of local amateurs and RAC’s national strategy to address distracted driving legislation.

Radio Amateurs of Canada is Canada’s national voice for Amateur Radio. Our efforts not only promote the Amateur Radio Service but protect it from regulatory interference that may lead to less capability to provide emergency communications. Not already a RAC member? Why not join today at and find out about the many benefits our members enjoy across the country and the world beyond.

It is recommended that you carry a copy of your certificate and a copy of the exemption in your vehicle.

Jeff Stewart, va3wxm – RAC Ontario South Director/Assistant Chairman – Ontario distracted driving committee on behalf of Bill Unger, VE3XT – RAC Director Ontario North – East – Chairman – Ontario distracted driving committee


Vernon Ikeda – VE2MBS/VE2QQ
Pointe-Claire, Québec
RAC Blog Editor/RAC E-News/Web News Bulletin Editor

From my Twitter feed: SDR, Hallicrafters, digital voice

Just found this resource: Coverage down to 50mHz is possible with one type & down to 22mHz with another.

Wish I had the time to play with these things…..Dan

W7DTG: Another boatanchor receiver demonstration Hallicra…


Amateur Radio – FreeDV – Digital Voice Software for Amateur Radio #hamradio #hamr #dx#swl

I’m still not sold on digital voice, but if it were easy to set up, like say PSK-31, I’d give it a try, at least….Dan<

Humorous Repeater IDs

Here are some humorous repeater IDs. The first set were recorded by Don, AE5DW, of Amateur Radio Newsline for Stuart, KD8LWR, for use on the crossband repeater that he’s set up in his backyard. My favorite one is “Located in NW Washtenaw County with HT coverage to all of Dexter, you’re listening to the KD8LWR repeater system.”  Dexter is a little burg here in SE Michigan with, I’d say about 5,000 people.

The second set was recorded by Don for the W4KEV repeater in Knoxville, TN. My favorite from this batch is “With less coverage than the owner’s hair, this is the W4KEV repeater.”

Stuart recorded the third set of IDs, which you can hear on the WB8DEL repeater. It’s on 224.560  MHz and located near Harbor Springs and Charlevoix in northern Michigan. My favorite from this set is, “If you want to be modulated, radiated, aerated, and communicated, you’re destinated when you’re situated on the WD8BEL repeater. Can you dig it?”

Wire and cable throughout the ages

The German Wire Museum (Deutsches Drahtmuseum) in Altena is all about wire and cable—from its use in chainmail in the Middle Ages through superconductors today. Just reading the story about the museum is a real eye-opener. As hams, we tend to think of wire and cable as electronic components, but wire has been used down through the centuries in jewelry, in pianos, in bridges, and many other applications. Interesting stuff.

Should we recruit truckers into amateur radio?

On the ARRL’s PR mailing list, there’s currently a discussion about recruiting truckers into ham radio. The fellow who started the discussion noted that he had talked to a trucker who not only was a ham, but also was actively recruiting other truckers by handing out information packets at truck stops.

There was, of course a lot of back and forth on this topic. Some thought this was a good idea. One fellow commented, “I think truckers would greatly benefit from our repeater systems, IRLP, EchoLink and D-STAR.  I also think it’s long past time to forget about our lost 11 meter band…We’ve had many exceptional ops who got their start on Part D Citizens Band.  We could get many more if we made the effort to be accommodating and patient.  The benefits outweigh the risks.”

Others worried that 2m might go the way of CB (as if it hadn’t already).

I’m all for it myself. I’m for recruiting nearly any group of people that could make good use of amateur radio. How about you?

From my Twitter feed: QRP rigs, logging program, SW digital text

@Stefano_NVR Have you seen G3XBM’s simple transceivers? mod to be on other band than 10m.

These really do look like fun little projects.  The G3BXM website has lot of other cool stuff, including a one-transistor regen receiver project and reviews of the QRP gear that G3BXM uses.


Check out DX Logger, looks to be an excellent logbook for portable use etc. #hamr #dx

A friend and I had talked about doing something like this several years ago. Kudos to the DXLogger people for actually doing it!


More shortwave digital text (and the reason behind it)
Interesting idea. I guess if amateur radio operators can use digital modes, why shouldn’t broadcasters? I’m still wondering exactly what they’d send, though.