Ham Radio in the News – October 31, 2001

Here is the latest Ham Radio in the News:

99-year-old Ham radio operator still tuned in. This story speaks for itself. I hope I’m still making QSOs when I’m 99.

KL7OT Makes a Contact

Arlene “Buddy” Clay, 99, with her Ham radio set up. After 67 years living along the Kuskokwim River, in January she moved from Aniak to the Primrose Retirement Community in Wasilla. (from The Frontiersman)

Radio club helps to make Halloween a treat. I like this article because it describes ham radio providing a public service that is not emergency communications. I also like the name of the newspaper: The Daily Gleaner.

150 years ago, a primitive Internet united the USA. While not directly related to ham radio, this article puts our current communications technology in perspective. The telegraph was the invention that set the stage for today’s Internet.

Ham Radio in the News – August 22, 2011

When Pigs Fly. A blog posting by a reporter—who also happens to be a ham radio operator—on the art of QRPing.

70 years of ribbing, hamming and wedded bliss. Bob and Dorothy Truhlar attribute their long marriage to a healthy sense of humor, as well as a clear division of duties, and a common interest in ham radio. And, they both admit, a bit of blackberry brandy every now and then doesn’t hurt.

Ham radio verification cards on exhibit at Harford Community College. This exhibit features QSL cards as examples of an “operator’s personality and home life.”

WD4LZC: On the Air and Online

I’ve worked Larnelle (Stu) Harris a number of times, including this afternoon. He is a great operator, as attested to by the fact that he is a member of the First Class Operator’s Club and the Amateur Radio Hall of Fame. He’s also a gospel music star and a member of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

Now, he’s a member of the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame. According to an article on BREATHEcast, a Christian media website, that makes him the first person to have entered all three halls of fame.

If you hear him on the air, give him a call.

I Believe in Ham Radio

WPSU, public radio from Penn State University, has a feature they call, “This I Believe.” It allows their listeners to tell others about their personal philosophy and core values. I Believe is based on the 1950s radio program of the same name and the media project (launched in 2005) from This I Believe, Inc. and Atlantic Public Media.

The latest program in this series is by Ellwood Brem, K3VY, who believes in ham radio. He says,

I believe the world would be a more peaceful place if we were all amateur radio operators. I’m an amateur radio operator — sometimes called a ham radio operator — and I’ve been one for forty-nine years. I delight at talking on my short wave radio to people all over the world.

You can listen to the entire essay if you go to the PSU website.

Interesting Stuff from the Mailing Lists

Here are three items that caught my eye in the last couple of days:

  1. Project Calliope. Project Calliope is a satellite funded by Science 2.0 and being launched by a mad scientist who is a space & music enthusiast. It’s launching on the “TubeSat” platform. It’ll be an ionospheric detector transmitting sonifiable data back to Earth for web streaming and remixing. Conceptually, it’s a musical instrument in space, played by space rather than just after-the-fact sonified.
  2. The King’s QSL Card. Most of us who have been hams for more than a couple of years know that the late King Hussein of Jordan was a ham radio operator, callsign JY1. This posting is a story from a British ham who was fortunate enough to work him a couple of times and get his QSL card.
  3. Yuri’s Night. Yuri’s Night is April 12, 2011, the 50th anniversary of human spaceflight. Part of this celebration will be ham-radio related, specifically a test of ARISSsat-1, which is scheduled for deployment sometime later this summer.

W4ACM, SK

I didn’t know W4ACM, but he sounds like a guy that I would have liked to have known.  He was 100 years old and an amateur radio operator for 84 years!  I found a link to the obituary below in an e-mail I receive every day from Google alerting me to new “amateur radio” content that it’s found on the Net. Perhaps if you live in or near Fredericksburg, VA you could attend the service…..Dan

 

Carleton H. Gray

W4ACM, SKCarleton H. Gray, 100, entered into eternal rest at Greenfield of Fredericksburg on Friday, March 4, 2011. He will be truly missed by his family and all the lives that he touched.

He was born on Aug. 11, 1910, in Artas, S.D. His loving wife of 57 years, Zianna A. Gray, who passed on March 11, 1996, and five brothers preceded him in death.

Carl built his first radio receiver in 1923 from instructions in the Boy Scout Handbook and the Radio News Magazine. He obtained his amateur radio license in 1926 and his commercial license in 1930. During World War II, he served for nearly four years on active duty with the Army Signal Corps. He worked as an engineer at several Midwest broadcasting stations, one of which was where he met his wife, Zianna. After their marriage, he accepted a civil service appointment as a radio engineer in 1941 and was assigned to the Army Signal office in Omaha, Neb. In 1962 he transferred from Omaha to the Office, Chief of Engineers in Washington, D.C. He retired in 1973 as chief of engineers. In 1988, he received the Veteran Wireless Operators Association’s Deforest Audion Gold Medal Award that recognizes the achievements of men who have distinguished themselves within the electronic field. Silent Key W4ACM.

Carl was an elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and a member of Heritage Presbyterian Church in Alexandria. He was also a member of QCWA, VWOA and the ARRL. He was an avid fan of the Baltimore Orioles and the Nebraska Cornhuskers. They have lost a true fan.

He leaves to cherish his memory, a son, Alan S. Gray and his partner, Natalie Balderson, of Richmond; a son, Richard M. Gray and his wife, Vickie, of Fredericksburg; a daughter, Linda L. Rayner of Charlottesville; grandchildren, Alan Stephen Gray Jr. and his partner, Dani Barker of Inwood, W.Va.; Kristin L. Rayner of Charlottesville; Kelly D. Gardner and her husband, David, of Italy; and Jennifer Brown of Fredericksburg; and two great-grandchildren, Alex Gray of Inwood and Thomas Gardner of Italy, as well as many other loving family and friends.

A service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, March 11, at Covenant Funeral Service, 4801 Jefferson Davis Highway, Fredericksburg, Va., 22408. Burial will follow at noon in Quantico National Cemetery. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service.

Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society or to a charity of one’s choice.

The family would like to thank the caregivers of Greenfield and Mary Washington Hospice for their special care over the last several months. We would also like to thank Chancellors Village, where he lived for 12 years.

Online guest book is at covenantfuneralservice.com.

N5LU, KB6ZL, and WB8KVS

A couple of days ago, I worked Bill, N5LU.  I had worked him a couple of years ago and noted in my logbook that his previous call was KB6ZL. I thought it quite a coincidence that his previous callsign was so close to mine.

This time, I got the rest of the story. As it turns out, Bill was living in Concord, CA at the time, and took the Advanced Class test at the San Francisco FCC office, where I’d taken the test a month or so earlier.

Now, if  you think that’s coincidental, listen to this. Prior to living in California, Bill lived here in Michigan—Milan, MI, to be exact, which is just down the road from Ann Arbor. His original callsign was WB8KVS, and he took the General Class test at the FCC office in Detroit.  Before I moved to California, I lived in the Detroit area, and my original callsign was WB8KTZ. I also took the test at the Detroit FCC office, again just a month or so before Bill did.

He beat me to the 1×2 calls, but I still think I’m hanging on to my 2×2 call.

A Nice Note…

A couple of weeks ago, I worked John, VE3IZM from WA2HOM, our club station at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum. As it turns out, John had only recent obtained his license, and while he had made contacts from other stations, this contact was John’s first from his own shack. What a kick that was!

Of course, I sent him a QSL card, and this morning, I received this e-mail from him:

Hi Dan,
Well, Sir, you have to know you have made this old dude a very happy camper. I received your QSL card today and have it mounted in a double sided frame for permanent display in the shack!!!

I will be sending you one of mine, just as soon as they arrive from the printer.

73 and Best Wishes for a very Merry Christmas

John VE3IZM

He included this photo of his shack. You can see the QSL card mounted in the frame in the upper left-hand corner of the photo.

ve3izm_shack

Thanks for the note, John. I hope we work again soon.

Operating Notes

Last week, I didn’t operate very much. I made no contacts at all Wednesday or Thursday, and I hoppened to notice that, for 2009, my number of contacts per day actually fell to below three per day. Of course, this does not include all of the contacts I’ve made ate the museum, but even so, I feel like I’m slacking off.

Friday, I did make a bunch of contacts, though; nine to be exact. One of the contacts was with Doug, NJ1T. We had a nice, long QSO. One thing we discussed was his cap (see right). I commented on it because I sometimes wear a cap while operating during the winter. I do it because it gets cold down in my basement. Doug wears one because he’s bald!

Another thing that we have in common is that we both have websites. Doug’s website is called The Deaf DXer. As the name implies, he has a lot of information to help hams who are hard of hearing. There are also pages describing his antenna experiments and other aspects of his hamming.

Unfortunately, it looks as though I may have lost the log file containing those contacts. The hard disk in my Mac laptop finally bit the dust, and I’m not sure that the log file is going to be recoverable. I made a backup of the log file about a week ago, but those nine QSOs will be lost if they can’t recover the file.

I debated about whether or not have a new hard drive installed, but $200 for a new hard drive is certainly cheaper than buying another laptop. I was thinking about doing it myself, so I Googled for instructions. I found some excellent-looking instructions on ifixit.com, but after reading through them, I decided to have someone else do it. The Web page noted above lists 42 different steps—and that’s just for disassembly! To put it all back together, you have to perform all 42 steps in reverse order.

On Saturday, I operated WA2HOM at the Hands-On Museum for a couple of hours. Saturday was Skywarn Recognition Day, and since we’re big on special event stations, I tried to work as many of them as I could. Although I managed to hear quite a few of them, not all of them could hear me. All told, I worked six:

  • K5LCW – Lake Charles, LA
  • WX9ILX – Lincoln, IL
  • KX4MLB – Melbourne, FL
  • K0MPX – Burnsville, MN
  • K0DMX – Des Moines, IA
  • WX4HUN – Huntsville, AL

On Sunday night, I checked into the University of Michigan Amateur Radio Club net. The net control station, Pat, WA4DSR, asked me if it was true that American Morse was more efficient than International Morse Code. Now, I’d always heard this, but didn’t know how true it was. After the net, I Googled around for more information.

One resource I found was Chapter 20 of the book The Art & Skill of Radio-Telegraphy. This book claims that messages are “handled at a rate about 45% faster on the Morse line than on the International channel.” One reason for this is that dahs in American Morse are generally shorter than dahs in International Morse. It also notes that letters are 73% shorter and numbers 65% shorter in American Morse than they are in International Morse.

After the Sunday night net, Stuart, KD8LWR, and I had a 40m QSO. This has become regular sked for us, and I enjoy cranking it up to 35 wpm and blasting code at one another.

All in all, it was quite a busy weekend in ham radio.

Who Do You Talk To?

When I tell people that I am a ham radio operator, people often ask, “Who do you talk to”? When one of my friends, Ovide, K8EV, was asked this question, he answered:

You asked whom I might talk to on ham radio…

See Who Do You Think is A Ham Radio Operator? Notable Ham Radio Operators Around the World. I was not included in this list–must be an oversight.

I haven’t talked to anyone on the list but I have had interesting conversations with navy captains, civil emergency radio installers, radar operators, and airline pilots as well as the more usual run of engineers, scientists, computer specialists, farmers and ranchers, long-distance commuters, and lot’s of retired rag-chewers, asocial curmudgeons, codger-ranters (I consider myself a proud member of this last category!).

A more zany listing is available on the N1MAA website. Note article in left column on Princeton’s Nobelist Joe Taylor of pulsar fame bouncing amateur radio signals off the moon. The feat of sending radio waves into space and back was first accomplished by Cindy’s (Ovide’s XYL’s) dad (also a ham radio operator) in 1946 using the most powerful radar transmitter built at the time.

BTW: the most recent Nobel Prize to a ham was just awarded to George Smith at Bell Labs for the CCD (charge capture device in our cell phones, cameras, Hubble telescope, etc.)

Unfortunately, the Notable list is rather out of date. There are lots of SKs on the list, including many that aren’t noted as being SKs. Sorry to say but JY1, K7UGA, FO5GJ, and KB2GSD are all now no longer with us.