The Freewheeler’s Net

The other evening I was spinning the dial on 80M looking to make some contacts. I came across a friendly chat going on…the frequency 3.916MHz.  I threw out my call sign as a first-time check-in for the Freewheelers net that was going on, Ethan was the net control that evening; I was welcomed with warmth, open ears and arms.

I applied for membership, just waiting on my membership certificate! Besides my old club up in Maine, and the great folks at MARC these operators were so friendly and welcoming they made me feel at home. Last night I took part (at the tail end of) The Saturday Night Free For All. I was welcomed by Pete (KE5GGY) and a few other fine folks; I had a great time rag chewing with the group until it was bedtime.

Taken from the 3.916 website:
Continue reading “The Freewheeler’s Net”

The 14th Annual Santa Net

For the 14th consecutive year, The 3916 Nets will be presenting The Santa Net on 3.916 MHz. Good girls and boys can talk to Santa Claus, via amateur radio, nightly at 7:15 PM (Central) starting Friday, November 29, 2019. The Santa Net will run nightly at 7:15 PM Central through Christmas Eve, December 24, 2019.
Continue reading “The 14th Annual Santa Net”

Planned Improvements

My Ham Shack is in my home office. Here is what my Shack looks like currently.

My current base rig I have is the Yaesu FT-991A, it operates on VHF/UHF as well as the HF frequencies, the desk mic is the MD-100.  My equipment sits on a simple wooden desk that has four drawers for storage.

I’m looking for recommendations on desks that will accommodate current equipment and any new equipment that will be added. In the next few months I will be adding an Icom ID-5100A Deluxe, a second power supply, Heil Pro Headset and foot switch. Come 2021 I will be adding an Icom IC-9700 and moving the Yaesu FT-991A to my Emergency Comm Equipment.

Any suggestions or ideas will be welcome.

St. Paul had a Scribe?


Every Sunday evening I am a part of  a Christian Net (round table) on our local repeater; it is called Ham’s for the Lamb (if you’re in the Montgomery Alabama area it happens at 19:00 Central Time on 146.84 with a tone of 123 Hz).

Last week I was asked about Romans 16:22.  Lets get into the scripture.  Let us read Romans 16:21 and 22 so we have some context.
Continue reading “St. Paul had a Scribe?”

CQ CQ Field Day!

The Montgomery Amateur Radio Club cordially invites you to the annual Field Day Operations.  What is Field Day? “Field Day is ham radio’s open house. Every June, more than 40,000 hams throughout North America set up temporary transmitting stations in public places to demonstrate ham radio’s science, skill, and service to our communities and our nation. It combines public service, emergency preparedness, community outreach, and technical skills all in a single event. Field Day has been an annual event since 1933, and remains the most popular event in ham radio.” If you are in the Montgomery Alabama area please stop by and learn about what us Hams do!
Continue reading “CQ CQ Field Day!”

Rick Scott or Write In

I try not to get over political in my writings. Though I needed to take a few moments to address my fellow Floridians.

One of my Florida neighbors asked why I’m supporting Rick Scott for Senate (our current governor). Well to put it plainly Bill Nelson is not a friend of the Amateur Radio Community or our rights assured to us by the FCC Part 97 Rules. Mr. Nelson lost all respect from me when he refused to allow a bill that would help amateur Radio operators enforce their part 97 rights with HOAs and other like organizations (deed restrictions and/or gated communities), come out of committee. So he also lost my vote.

Amateur Radio operators especially here in Florida and other gulf states are vital assets to local, state and even up to the federal level of government. In the event of a natural disaster or even terror attack and communications are down there will always be Amateur Radio.

Most know I lean heavy on the conservative side but I’m neither a Republican or Democrat, I have my own checklist that I go by and if a person meets those things then I will entertain giving them my vote.

Be a friend to Amateur Radio and vote against Mr. Nelson, if you can’t vote for Mr. Scott write someone in.

Turn the Bands Green

Since I am home and recuperating from the hospital I thought what better way to relax than to play on the radio.  Today being St. Patrick’s Feast Day there is a contest going on called Turn The Bands Green.

From the website for the contest: “Many people worldwide, annually celebrate St Patricks Day by going green, with many amateurs running special event stations as part of the festivities. St Patricks Day is a celebration of an Irish legend and national holiday on air with our friends and family, whilst promoting on-air activity through a fun award, and a chance to show what an enjoyable hobby amateur radio is.”

The event runs over the full 48 hour period over the 17th March worldwide
(12 noon on the 16th March to 12 noon on the 18th March UTC)

The St Patrick Day Award is 48 hrs of fun noncompetitive on-air celebration of St Patricks Day. As we say “Go Green for St Patricks”.

Now, remember that Saint Patrick was Italian so this Italian will try and make as many contacts as possible during this event (so long as the propagation is with me). I will be operating on HF probably 20M or 40M in the General Class portion of the bands.

ARRL Wake Up!

This is my response to the ARRL:

I am a member and an accredited VE, I am against this and will be sure to inform the FCC about this if they open it for comment. Part of the incentive to upgrade is the opening of HF to General Class.

As a Technician you start to learn all that theory you learned to pass your exam. Gives you good operating practice. For myself it was in part (a huge part) of why I upgraded to General. Now as a General and have played on HF I’ve noticed that most of the good DX is in the Extra portion of the band. So I’m studying to upgrade again; and once I’m done with getting my Extra I will learn CW.

We have these incentives already in place, do not try to re invent the wheel, de KC1FLG.

The issue that sparked that:

ARRL has asked the FCC to expand HF privileges for Technician licensees to include limited phone privileges on 75, 40, and 15 meters, plus RTTY and digital mode privileges on 80, 40, 15, and 10 meters. The FCC has not yet invited public comment on the proposals, which stem from recommendations put forth by the ARRL Board of Directors’ Entry-Level License Committee, which explored various initiatives and gauged member opinions in 2016 and 2017.

This action will enhance the available license operating privileges in what has become the principal entry-level license class in the Amateur Service,” ARRL said in its Petition. “It will attract more newcomers to Amateur Radio, it will result in increased retention of licensees who hold Technician Class licenses, and it will provide an improved incentive for entry-level licensees to increase technical self-training and pursue higher license class achievement and development of communications skills.”

Further thoughts on this (after I submitted my reply) is that the FCC Part 97 Rules specifically 97.1b-97.1d where not taken into account here. This section spells out the incentives in our general purpose.

97.1   Basis and purpose.

The rules and regulations in this part are designed to provide an amateur radio service having a fundamental purpose as expressed in the following principles:

(a) Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary noncommercial communication service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications.

(b) Continuation and extension of the amateur’s proven ability to contribute to the advancement of the radio art.

(c) Encouragement and improvement of the amateur service through rules which provide for advancing skills in both the communication and technical phases of the art.

(d) Expansion of the existing reservoir within the amateur radio service of trained operators, technicians, and electronics experts.

(e) Continuation and extension of the amateur’s unique ability to enhance international goodwill.

I’ve seen some saying change is good. However change for change sake is not good. Should we just throw out Part 97 Rules and let anyone get on the bands? No! We have a good way of doing things and a good reason too. Leave it as it is!

Having been an active ham and being able to play on HF outside the small window as a Tech (operating at Field Day and at club station) I really got the bug to upgrade. More should be done at the local level. Clubs need to wake up and really encourage their Technicians to further their training.

Part 97.1b-d shows a good reason why we have our incentives. I know my club is getting better at including lower level license in things…the biggest problem we face is we have a membership role of over 150 but it is only ever the same 20/25 people doing anything and Lord forbid you put out a call for volunteer. We should do what was done to us in the service when it came to volunteering!

MAC & HAM

Note: this is not my Shack

Calling all Amateur Radio Operators who use Apple/MAC computers! I came across this nice resource for us. Go to: http://macham.club/macham-club/

They are providing for us something completely free. “Free email service for ham radio operators who work with Apple/Mac.”

K1NAT

My beautiful bride never ceases from making me feel so proud. As most of you should know by now Snowie passed not only her Technician Class but also her General Class Amateur Radio Operator Exam.

She was originally issued the following call sign from the FCC: KN4GWP. However she didn’t like how it felt on the mouth so she applied for and was approved a vanity call sign, and the part that makes me proudest is she did it without my help. So my XYL is now K1NAT!

I’m one very happy and proud OM/Hubby.