Lost in Transit

So far, my hit ratio for making a successful Winlink connection over HF is 1 out of 20. My antenna just sucks that much, and my radio keeps overheating and turning off the output, and QRM/QRN causes any ongoing connections to fail. And then there’s the difficulty of burning an RMS node by failing the […]

Winlink 2000 – Email on the Wind

Since I have my ham rig already set up for soundcard modes, I decided to give WinLink 2000 a try. WL2K is an email-over-the-air transport system that can take advantage of many modulation modes and frequencies, and allows a remote station with no Internet access to send and receive email messages complete with attachments. It’s […]

Tiny, Cheap, Expensive

Picked up an RTL-SDR software-defined radio dongle. Because reasons. After an evening of driver hell, I decided today that maybe I should read the quick-start instructions. Gosh, they’re more helpful than I imagined. Finally got the SDRSharp software to recognize the dongle and start tuning and decoding radio. Unfortunately, my poor old laptop is just […]

Parallax

When I’m playing with my radio in a public park, I try to make sure that I am physically safe by being aware of my surroundings while my headphones are on, and that I’m always presenting the right image that I’m just a guy doing a thing that’s totally natural and nonthreatening. It usually gets […]

Future Propagation

It’s massively unfortunate that amateur radio puts me in close proximity with doomsday conservatives and people who talk about zombie apocalypses as if movies were real. They talk as if knowing how to use a radio is a vital survival skill, right up there with firearms, hunting, and shelter. When unlicensed people talk to me […]