Vanity Calls – More practical than vain

When I was a Grasshopper Ham, and somehow stumbled my way through the 20 wpm code requirement then in effect to become an Extra Class, I wanted something more than KT4QK.  I wanted my initials (vainly, but in vain), because K4WR or W4WR were not available when the vanity calls came out in the nineties.  Living in the South, I wanted a “four” call so I did limit myself that way.

In truth, it seemed that one of those calls might be available as it had expired and not been renewed by an older ham in Alabama.  It wasn’t really up for grabs yet as less than two years had passed since expiration, so I surmised he had passed on to the land of ham radio nirvana (you know, then one where there’s no qrm or qrn and the sun spots are always hot and the DX always hears you), but I felt funny trying to reach his widow or family to see if he’d died so I didn’t do it.  Instead, I settled on K4WK (Wayne K Robertson is my name) and I love it; dandy for CW.

WA4YNE was available at the time and momentarily tempted me as something clever, but as one who operates CW more than Phone, felt it would be kind of messy, a sort of morse code tongue-twister.

WA4YNE has now been claimed by a ham named Thomas but his middle initial is W so maybe that’s for Wayne, and W4WR is now owned by someone who’s initials match, so I hope everyone’s happy and radioactive.

This is Wayne,  k4wk,  Thanks for listening; you’re in the log.

Wayne Robertson, K4WK, is a regular contributor to and writes from Georgia, USA.

Return to SOTA Summit W0C/SP-094

Back in the summer of 2013, I did the first Summits On The Air (SOTA) activation for W0C/SP-094. This is an unnamed summit (10350) near Trout Creek Pass not far from our cabin. Although I did activate it, I only made two radio contacts from the summit (so no activator points awarded). A thunderstorm had moved in and I decided to abandon the effort. Actually, I don’t recall much from that activation other than getting skunked due to weather.

Summit of W0C/SP-094
Joyce/K0JJW on the summit of W0C/SP-094

So today, Joyce/K0JJW and I returned to the summit to set things right. Following Walt/W0CP’s suggestion, we drove the Jeep from the south (Hwy 24) taking FR 305 to FR 376 and parked just off the road at 38.86967, -106.03146. FR 305 is a good 2WD gravel road; FR376 is easy 4WD (or high clearance 2WD). A winter storm warning was in effect the night before we hiked, so I wondered if the weather was going to win again. As it turns out, we had 3 or 4 inches of new snow on the ground which was not a problem.

SP-094 hiking route
Hiking route shown in blue.

From the parking spot, the hiking route is not critical. Just head for the summit. We decided to swing slightly to the east which gave us a little less slope. It also provided us a nice walk across the top of the ridge that extends out to the southeast. As you can see from the photo, the summit is flat with a reasonable number of trees. Round trip distance is 1.5 miles with 700 feet of vertical. Easy peasy.

Once on top, we called on 146.52 MHz and worked Bob/W0BV, Skip/W9GYA, Jim/KD0MRC, Walt/WZ0N, Dave/N0KM and Ken/WA6TTY. We also made a couple of 446.0 MHz contacts with some of the same stations.

Earlier, as we left for the trailhead, I got an email from Steve/WG0AT that he was headed up Mt Herman (W0C/FR-063). This sounded like a great summit-to-summit opportunity! I figured we’d need our best 2m fm station, so I got out the Yaesu FT-90 and the Arrow 3-element yagi. I saw him spotted on SOTAwatch so I called him multiple times on 2m fm. Finally, I heard someone else talking to him on 146.52 which caused me to swing the antenna back and forth. Sure enough, I could hear him…barely…with the antenna pointed way south of his location. This often happens in the mountains…the direct path is not always the best path on VHF. I just barely worked Steve and got him in the log.

We stayed on the summit for a while, enjoying the view of Mt Princeton, then hiked down. It was a wonderful activation…much better than the first time.

73, Bob K0NR

The post Return to SOTA Summit W0C/SP-094 appeared first on The KØNR Radio Site.

Bob Witte, KØNR, is a regular contributor to and writes from Colorado, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

LHS Episode #222: The Weekender VIII

Welcome to the latest Weekender edition of Linux in the Ham Shack! It's a wonderful weekend in the neighborhood, ours and hopefully yours. In this episode, we bring you the regular assortment of amateur radio contests and special events coming up, some Open Source conferences to attend, some fun challenges, an interesting Linux distribution with a different idea of filesystem management, wine, whiskey and snacks. What could be better? Thanks so much for listening!

73 de The LHS Crew

Russ Woodman, K5TUX, co-hosts the Linux in the Ham Shack podcast which is available for download in both MP3 and OGG audio format. Contact him at [email protected].

Special Presentation: Clyde Haehnle Remembering WLW & VOA

AmateurLogic.TV Special Presentation is now available for download.

AmateurLogic.TV Special Presentation: Clyde Haehnle, Remembering WLW 500 KW Super Power and Building VOA Bethany Relay Station. Recorded May 17, 2014 at the National VOA Museum of Broadcasting. Clyde was the last surviving engineer from the WLW 500 KW era. His stories recount some of the major achievements in broadcasting during it’s heyday.


You will probably also like our special 2013 tour of the VOA Museum.


George Thomas, W5JDX, is co-host of AmateurLogic.TV, an original amateur radio video program hosted by George Thomas (W5JDX), Tommy Martin (N5ZNO), Peter Berrett (VK3PB), and Emile Diodene (KE5QKR). Contact him at [email protected].

LHS Episode #221: Svxlink Deep Dive

Hello and welcome to this latest episode of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode, we take an in-depth look at the Linux-native Echolink client called Qtel, the server, called Svxlink, and the conference bridge called TheBridge. Most of the episode is devoted to getting your own Svxlink server up and running and connected to a radio for link or repeater service but we do touch on all aspects, clients and operations of Echolink. Thanks for listening and we hope you enjoy!

73 de The LHS Crew

Russ Woodman, K5TUX, co-hosts the Linux in the Ham Shack podcast which is available for download in both MP3 and OGG audio format. Contact him at [email protected].

Weekly Propagation Summary – 2018 Apr 16 16:10 UTC

Weekly Propagation Summary (2018 Apr 16 16:10 UTC)

Here is this week’s space weather and geophysical report, issued 2018 Apr 16 0126 UTC.

Highlights of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 09 – 15 April 2018

Solar activity was at very low levels with a few isolated B-class flares observed.

No proton events were observed at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit was at moderate levels on 09 Apr and high levels on 10-15 Apr. The largest flux of the period was 25,451 pfu observed at 12/2155 UTC.

Geomagnetic field activity was at quiet to active levels from 09-13 Apr due to negative polarity CH HSS effects. An isolated G1 (Minor) storm period was observed early on 11 Apr. Quiet conditions were observed on 14-15 Apr.

The period began with solar wind speeds at about 375 km/s, total field (Bt) at about 3 nT, Bz weakly negative to about -3 nT and the phi angle in a positive orientation. Early on the 9th, an SSBC from a positive to a negative orientation occurred coupled with a CIR in advance of a recurrent, negative polarity CH HSS. Winds speeds gradually increased in near 580 km/s by 11/0700 UTC, Bt peaked at 9 nT on the 11th and the Bz component was variable between +9 nT to -7nT early on 10 Apr. The period ended with wind speeds near 300 km/s coupled with a weak magnetic sturcture.

Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 16 April – 12 May 2018

Solar activity is expected to be at very low levels throughout the period.

No proton events are expected at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit is expected to be high levels on 16-30 Apr and 07-12 May due to recurrent CH HSS effects. Normal to moderate levels are expected from 01-06 May.

Geomagnetic field activity is expected to be unsettled to active levels on 19-20 Apr and 06-10 May due to recurrent CH HSS effects. Mostly quiet levels are expected for the remainder of the outlook period.

Don’t forget to visit our live space weather and radio propagation web site, at:

Live Aurora mapping is at

If you are on Twitter, please follow these two users: 1. 2.

Check out the stunning view of our Sun in action, as seen during the last five years with the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO):

= = = = =

BOOK SALE: Space Weather and Sun Science – get these from Amazon, and help us stay online!

NOTICE: When you buy this (or any item after starting with this link), you are helping us keep our and other resources “on the air” (up and running!). In other words, you are helping the entire community. So, check out this book:

Here is the link to Amazon:

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Tomas Hood, NW7US, is a regular contributor to and writes from Nebraska, USA. Tomas is the Space Weather and Radio Propagation Contributing Editor to 'CQ Amateur Radio Magazine', 'The Spectrum Monitor', and 'RadioUser UK Magazine'.

AmateurLogic 116: Friday The 13th

AmateurLogic.TV Episode 116 is now available for download.

Emile completes the ‘Cheap Old Loop’, Peter loves his FRG-7, Tommy & George experiment with the D-Star apps for iOS and Android with an Icom ID-4100 and Kenwood TH-D74A, Mike joins us for a look at his Inverted VE3MIC OCF Antenna, plus more lots fun and information.



George Thomas, W5JDX, is co-host of AmateurLogic.TV, an original amateur radio video program hosted by George Thomas (W5JDX), Tommy Martin (N5ZNO), Peter Berrett (VK3PB), and Emile Diodene (KE5QKR). Contact him at [email protected].

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