Archive for the ‘radio’ Category

I Am Back After Life Distractions

The last three years have been, well, challenging.

Tomas Hood, NW7US, at the radio room operating desk.

In 2021, I became ill with Covid.  That was rough, but I bounced back.  That bout with illness caused me to lose my job, though, because I was ill too long.  What is worse is because I was not hospitalized, I did not fall under the protections of “disability,” and had to step down from my employment at that time.  After I recovered, I found employment.

In 2022, I again fell ill to a second CovidThat illness was significantly worse!  I nearly WAS hospitalized, but I resisted this, and hung on by a thread. I made it through, though the illness lasted a lot longer the second time around. Because I was ill for about five months, I again had to step down from employment.  This second Covid was the worst illness I have ever experienced, physically, emotionally, and financially.  I am thankful for my friends and family that were very supportive.

After I recovered, I found employment in late 2022.  It took a while for my health to stabilize, but the new job leadership has been supportive.  I have been happily working at this new job since late 2022.

But, the challenge to recover was high.  I sought answers.

In December 2022, I was diagnosed with Primary Hyperparathyroidism.  Sure enough, the many tests I endured confirmed that I had more than one tumor in at least two of my four parathyroid glands (we each have four of them, because we’re given redundancy for this critical body part).

We each have four parathyroid glands.

We each have four parathyroid glands. They are on the back side of the thyroid. The regulate the body’s calcium. Calcium is critical to all body functions and health.

I had surgery at the end of February 2023 to remove these tumor-riddled glands.  The surgeon, once in my neck, found that THREE of my four glands were tumorous!  He removed the three.  I now have just one parathyroid gland.

Recovery has gone well.  My health is improving nicely.  It is like a switch was flipped, and I no longer have some of the debilitating symptoms like brain fog, extreme fatigue, and an out-of-control metabolism.  I have a stable function of the remaining parathyroid gland, and that is supporting the proper function of the rest of my body.  It is amazing how the whole body relies on these four glands for running correctly!

All of these challenges of the last few years caused enough distraction that my YouTube channel, and my writing, here, as well as other hobby activities, suffered my absence.  Now that I am getting back on my feet with my health, and because my job continues nicely, I am beginning to spend some energy and time on these hobby areas.  I plan on creating and releasing a few series on amateur radio, radio propagation, and space weather, on my YouTube channel.  If you are already a subscriber, you probably saw my latest video where I announce that I am, indeed, back:

If there are topics that you would like me to cover in the new educational videos I am planning and will create, please let me know with a comment to this post, or, look my email address up on my profile at QRZdotCom.  I will do my best to answer your questions and cover amateur radio and space weather topics in which you are interested.

If you are not yet familiar with my YouTube channel, you can find my channel here:  https://YouTube.com/NW7US — Please subscribe and hit the bell to be notified when I release new video content.

I will also post more often on this site.  I appreciate the opportunity to share with you my love of amateur radio, and the science of propagation and space weather which affects our radio signals.

Best regards,

Tomas, NW7US
https://NW7US.us

New Book: Learning, Living, and Loving Morse Code…

There is a new book from a fellow Morse code amateur radio operator, Chris Rutkowski (NW6V), about “Learning, Living, and Loving Morse Code (in a Digital World).” NICE!

Title: “The CW Way of Life
link: https://amzn.to/3Tm3KfD

I received a new book! Here it is, at my radio shack operations desk, at NW7US radio station.

Already, I think it rivals any other book on the topic, including “The Art and Skill of…,” or, “The Zen of…”

It is not, however, meant to replace, but to augment, what is available. But, it is a complete guide, including a “work book” section (nearly half of the book?) on how to improve your skill. Really good stuff, but I’m only in one day.


73 de NW7US dit dit
https://nw7us.us

..

Winter Field Day 2023 (Jan 28, 29 UTC)

Join the Winter Field Day!

You do NOT have to operate from a cold location; home operation is an allowed category.

Winter Field Day is a communications exercise. WFD is held on the last full weekend in January. WFD can be worked from the comfort of your home or in a remote location. You can participate by yourself or get your friends, family, or whole club involved. Winter Field Day is open to participants worldwide. Amateur radio operators may use frequencies on the HF, VHF, or UHF bands and are free to use any mode that can faithfully transmit the required exchange intact. Similar to the ARRL’s Field Day, bonus points are earned in several ways, including using non-commercial power sources, operating from remote locations, satellite contacts, and more.

Winter Field Day

Winter Field Day

Winter Field Day is sponsored by the Winter Field Day Association. We passionately believe that Ham radio operators should practice portable emergency communications in winter environments as the potential for freezing temperatures, snow, ice, and other hazards present unique operational concerns. WFD is formatted to help increase your level of preparedness for disasters and improve your operational skills in subpar conditions. Click here to read more about the history and purpose of winter field day.

Do check out the rules, as there are some important things you must know.

During the last weekend in January, ham radio operators worldwide participate in Winter Field Day. We encourage you to grab your radio, get outside and join us during this uniquely challenging event. Click on the links below to view our 2023 Rules and our Resources page. The Resources page has a plethora of information, including FAQs, logging software recommendations, operating aids, and more.

Website: https://www.winterfieldday.com/

First Ever: Olivia Digital Mode on HF Weekend QSO Party

Announcement: Special Event Weekend, 02/11/2023

THE 1ST EVER OLIVIA DIGITAL MODE WEEKEND QSO PARTY

When is this special QSO party?

Valentine’s Day Weekend.  This event is held this year on February 11, 1400 UTC, through February 13, 0200 UTC

First Ever Valentine's Day Special QSO Weekend Event: The Olivia Digital Mode on HF

First Ever Valentine’s Day Special QSO Weekend Event: The Olivia Digital Mode on HF

Join our mailing group for live interaction with other Olivia users:
http://OliviaDigitalMode.net

Sponsored by the Olivia Digital DXers Club (on Clublog, and on Facebook: Olivia Digital Mode on HF Radio (Contestia included))

Example frequencies:

Olivia Digital Mode Suggested Calling Frequencies on HF

Olivia Digital Mode Suggested Calling Frequencies on HF

Certificate for participants, and more.  Organizer: Tomas Hood (NW7US), PO Box 110, Fayetteville, OH 45118.

This is the FIRST ever weekend QSO party for Olivia.

 

 

What Headphones Do You Use, And Why?

What headphones do you use for your radio operation, and WHY do you use that particular make and model?

Old Time Morse Code and Headphones

I use Audio-Technica ATH M30x professional monitor headphones (cans).

https://www.audio-technica.com/en-gb/ath-m30x

Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Professional Monitoring Headphones

Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Professional Monitoring Headphones

I use my rig’s filters to shape the audio.

1. I’ve replaced the over-the-ear pads with Gel pads. Wearing these cans is comfortable enough to use for extended periods of time (such as contests).
2. The mid-range with these cans is superior to other cans I’ve had.
3. They are rugged, so taking them out to the field isn’t a problem.

73 de NW7US dit dit
..

Where’s My WAZ Certificate?

Guess what! Today, I received (by postal service) this very nice plaque from CQ, for working and confirming all 40 of the worldwide CQ DX Zones.

CQ WAZ NW7US - Mixed

CQ WAZ NW7US – Mixed – Plaque

Many of you wonder, “where are my paper certificates for my WAZ efforts?

At least one, if not all of the following, are reasons why there has been such a long delay in getting paper certificates for the WAZ CQ program:

  1. Paper certificates (blanks) were not available and backordered (Covid, folks).
  2. There is only ONE person doing the lettering (by hand).
  3. The advent of FT8 and FT4 in the WAZ program has SWAMPED the program. There’s a HUGE backlog.

That said, the new CQ WAZ Manager (N4BAA, JOSE CASTILLO) has made the following statement available:

— quote follows —

Effective September 1, 2022, CQ Magazine will no longer provide the Hand Lettered CQ WAZ paper certificate for free.

CQ WAZ AWARD RECIPIENTS HAVE 4 AWARD OPTIONS:

  1. Accept the standard award offering which is a High-Definition PDF file. This file can be printed in color and framed and is very nice. This award is delivered immediately with award letter, thus, no waiting.
  2. Select the traditional CQ WAZ Hand-Lettered award: the cost is $19.00 and includes shipping worldwide. This award option is managed by CQ Magazine and can take up to 180 days to receive.
  3. Select a Level I plaque: 7” x 9” two-tone engraved wood plaque: cost is $57 US / $100 International and includes shipping. Delivery time is under 30 days for US stations and less than 60 days internationally.
  4. Select a Level II plaque: 9” x 12” Floating Etched Acrylic over Black Wood: cost is $91 US / $135 International. and includes shipping.

Here is a video that the administrator has posted, about this:

Delivery time is roughly 30 days for US stations and less than 60 days internationally depending on the actual address.

The intent of this program is to respond to the ever-increasing demand for more options that are still very personalized as well as very elegant.

Not every ham is able to achieve the requirements for a 5BWAZ or 160 Meter plaque, so he is making this offering to everyone!

All questions or inquiries and plaque orders should be directed to the CQ WAZ Manager via email at [email protected] or postal mail via QRZ.com address.

All plaque data will be taken directly from the information provided in your email. The CQ WAZ manager will not be responsible for errors in data supplied by the recipient other than AWARD type and Award number.

To Place Order: send the information below via email to [email protected] or via postal mail to my QRZ.com address and please double-check spelling etc.

Email Subject line should be: “WAZ PLAQUE ORDER – YOUR CALL

Then, provide the following information:

Call Sign:
Desired Name on Plaque:
WAZ AWARD Type
(example: MIXED, RTTY, 15M CW, EME, etc.)
SERIAL NUMBER on award:
Date on Award:
Award Desired:
– Level 1 plaque – $57 US / $100 International
– Level 2 plaque – $91 US / $135 International

There you have it…

73 de NW7US dit dit

 

Unexpected Surprise: What Are The Odds? ATNO DXCC

I have a story for you. All of it is true, but I have not changed my name.

Wow! I am always amazed at those moments in my amateur radio hobby when spontaneous joy is had by unexpected events.

NW7US ATNO DXCC Iran

Iran worked as ATNO DXCC 2022-APR-14

On Thursday, 14-April-2022, at about 17:30 Universal Time (UT), the unexpected occurred, and it started by accident.

I have been reorganizing my radio shack. Once I moved my main transceiver (the Icom IC-7610) from one desk to another, and had it back in operation, I left it tuned to a random frequency, in the CW mode. It was just sitting there, hissing away with the typical shortwave sounds of a frequency on which no one was transmitting. And me? I was going about reorganizing my radio shack.

After a while, I heard the start of a Morse-code CW signal; the operator was sending a CQ call–a transmission that invites a response from anyone who wishes to have a QSO with the calling station. What I heard was, “CQ CQ DE EP2ABS EP2ABS…”

NOTE: This transceiver, my Icom IC-7610, is listening with the new antennathe 254-foot doublet up at 80 feet–that was raised up into the air here at my QTH by a fine crew from Hams in the Air.

I looked up EP2ABS on QRZ dot com, because I did not know from what country/entity the EP2 prefix on callsigns belongs. I was excited to see that EP2 is from Iran!

I started answering his CQ call, “DE NW7US NW7US,” for at least ten minutes; each time he sent his CQ, I answered. Finally, I heard him answering me, “NW7US NW7US DE EP2ABS 5NN…”

I answered back, sending my signal report, “5NN 5NN DE NW7US TU

Soon after that simple exchange, he confirmed our QSO by posting our QSO to Logbook of the World (LotW).

Thus, by accident–as I had simply left the transceiver tuned to a randomly-selected frequency and stayed on that frequency listening while doing my chores–I heard the Iranian station calling CQ. What are the odds!?!?

This is my first QSO with Iran, another All Time New One (ATNO). How cool!

Note: This is a testimony to the work from the crew that did the fine work of getting this antenna installed.  Here is a video presented by Hams on the Air:

73 de NW7US dit dit

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