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.

QSLs – 3/12/11

Here’s a selection of some of my recent QSLs. The first two, from K0BE and VE3SO are for my collection of QSLs from stations whose callsigns spell words. I’m including the card from OM2VL just because it’s from Slovakia, and my XYL likes Mickey Mouse.

Miscellaneous Notes: LOTW Update, E-Books, W8AO/W8IO

LOTW Update
My last posting on my experiences with Logbook of the World (LOTW), “Is LOTW More Trouble Than It’s Worth,” was one of my most popular posts, in terms of the number of responses it generated. I published that in November 2009. Since then, I again changed computers in my shack, and not wishing to go through the hellacious process I went through last time, I just haven’t bothered getting LOTW up and running again.

A couple of days ago, however, a fellow graciously asked me if I would QSL via LOTW. He asked so nicely, I could hardly refuse. Besides, it had been more than a year since I last uploaded my log to LOTW.

Fortunately for me, this time the installation process went without a hitch, and I had it all up and running again in less than 15 minutes. I uploaded my latest QSOs in short order too.   As of Sat, 5 Mar 2011 UTC, I have  10,133 QSOs uploaded and 1,507 QSOs confirmed, including 89 countries. This is compared to 8,928 QSOs uploaded and 1,160 confirmed, including 81 countries on Nov. 30, 2009. I’ll have 90 countries as soon as S9DX uploads their logs.

E-Books
As I mentioned before, I’ve started selling Amazon Kindle and B&N Nook e-book versions of the No-Nonsenses Technician Class License Study Guide. While it’s not in any danger of breaking any sales records, I have been somewhat amused. In two and a half months, it’s sold about 20 copies.

W8AO/W8IO
Last Saturday, down at the museum, I worked W8IO,  who lives in Macedonia, OH. About an hour later, I get a call from W8AO, who lives in Wooster, OH, only about 50 miles away from Macedonia. During the course of our conversation, I mentioned that I’d worked W8IO earlier that morning.

On his next transmission, W8IO tells me that he used to work W8AO all the time, but that he hadn’t heard him in quite a while. (That’s not too surprising, actually–they’re only 50 miles apart.) He asked me to convey his regards next time I worked him. I just thought it was quite a coincidence to work both these guys so close together, and that they knew one another.

Outgoing Buro Rates Rise

From the ARRL Letter 1/13/11:

Effective January 17, 2011, a new pricing structure will go into effect for the ARRL Outgoing QSL Service. With the new rate structure, amateurs will no longer need to count outgoing cards and then guess as to what to pay based upon a half-pound rate; a simple weighing of the cards is all that is necessary to determine what amount to send to the Bureau. This new structure also accommodates a small rate increase in response to recent postage, shipping and handling costs.

The last rate revision for the Outgoing QSL Service was in January 2007. Even though international shipping costs have remained flat over the last 4 years, domestic shipping costs have risen more than 16 percent since 2007, while material and handling costs continue to climb 1 to 2 percent each year.

The new rate will be:

  • $2 for 10 or fewer cards in one envelope.
  • $3 for 11-20 cards in one envelope, or
  • 75 cents per ounce, for packages with 21 or more cards. For example, a package containing 1.5 pounds — 24 ounces, or about 225 cards — of cards will cost $18.

If you have any questions concerning the ARRL Outgoing QSL Service or the rates to use the service, please send them via e-mail to buro@arrl.org.

More QSLs

Here are three of the latest QSLs that I’ve received from stations whose callsigns spell words.

Actually, the only one of the three that’s mine is VE2DIG. Jim, K8ELR, actually worked F6BEE and VE3MOON down at the museum. They arrived today in a pack of QSLs that we received from the bureau.

VE2DIG QSL

F6BEE

VE3MOON QSL

W4BUD Latest QSL in My Collection

W4BUD QSLThis card from Sam, W4BUD, is the latest to be added to my collection of QSLs from stations whose call signs spell words. I was making a rare appearance in the phone band, and had just finished a QSO when Sam broke in, asking for a signal report.

Sam writes, “My call was issued to me in 1953, so it is not a ‘vanity call.’ W4BUD was originally issued in the 1930s to someone who became a Silent Key, and I was lucky enough to have it re-issued to me.”

I Hit the Jackpot!

Yesterday, I hit the jackpot, QSL-wise. I received four cards from stations whose callsigns spell words. I was expecting the cards from W4JAM, W5CUB, and W0MAN, but the card from AB0TO was a bonus. I hadn’t yet gotten around to sending him my QSL. He noted that he’d read my QRZ.Com page and wanted to add to my collection. Thanks, Dave! My card will be in the mail shortly.

This is HOPE?

The conference Hackers on Planet Earth takes place this weekend in New York City. It looks like a lot of fun.

There will be a ham station there, using the callsign N2H. According to the Make: magazine blog, they will be operating on:

  • 28.370 MHz,
  • 14.270 MHz,
  • 7.260 MHz, and
  • 3.885 MHz

Apparently, there are no CW hackers in the bunch. (I’ll have to try to figure out how to change that.

Here’s the cool QSL card designed specifically for N2H:

N2H QSL

ANY Time is a Good Time for a QSL


The first QSL is from Paul, KB8ANY. He apologized for being so tardy, noting that he had intended to reply right away, but my card must have slipped under his printer. That’s where he found it a couple of weeks ago while cleaning his shack. He returned my SASE, but it only has a 37-cent stamp on it!

No problem, Paul. I really do appreciate getting your card.

The second QSL is from Randy, KC0CCR. No, I haven’t started to collect QSLs from stations whose suffixes are acronyms. I liked this card because of the cat and the caption, “When you use CW, no one knows you’re a cat.” This is, of course, a paraphrase of the famous New Yorker cartoon that shows two dogs, with one saying to the other, “On the Internet, no one knows you’re a dog.”

Thanks for the chuckle, Randy.

A RIB, an EAR, and a Hank of Hair

More QSLs from stations whose call signs spell words. I’m still looking for a TOE and an EYE and a LIP.