Skip Hamvention 2023, Go To ICU in Dayton

I had so many plans for my Hamvention 2023 visit on Friday and Saturday, May 19-20, 2023.  For example, I planned on many interviews including one with N3ZN, maker of great Morse code keys.  I also needed to visit the Card Checker Service of the ARRL DXCC program.  I had a handful of DX cards I was submitting toward DXCC credits.

NW7US, in ICU at the hospital, instead of attending Hamvention 2023).

NW7US, in ICU at the hospital, instead of attending Hamvention 2023.

But, I collapsed about 40 minutes after I got to the Hamvention, on Friday morning! I had just finished getting my DX QSL cards checked at the ARRL booth, then I collapsed. After only being at my first Hamvention for a brief 40-some minutes, I was taken by ambulance to an ER of a Xenia-area hospital.  My blood pressure was difficult to measure at the initial moments of being at the emergency room — it was about 60 over 40, and I had NO radial pulse.

After a CT scan of heart and neck, and blood lab work, I was transported again by ambulance to a hospital near Dayton. There, I was admitted to that hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) around 5:30 PM on Friday.

I’m writing this on Saturday, from my hospital bed, as I’m still in ICU in Dayton. I hope to be discharged tomorrow (Sunday, 21 May 2023).

The working diagnosis is Acute Kidney Injury (AKI), caused by a combination of issues starting with my parathyroidectomy surgery, a few months back. I had three of my four parathyroid glands removed because they were completely tumorous.  I wrote about that in my previous entry on this website.

Turns out my calcium levels were lower than they should be, causing problems throughout my body, but especially in my heart. Additionally, I was severally dehydrated due to two medications I had been taking because the VA doctors thought I should be on them.  But, these meds were working against me. One of those I don’t even need, but the VA had me taking. That one is FUROSEMIDE. The other is LISINOPRIL.  I don’t have high blood pressure, nor water retention.

At the ICU, I have stopped taking those meds.  I’m on an IV, getting hydrated, and getting calcium supplements.

My kidney function is improving but I’m going to spend another night in ICU until they feel confident I’ve made full recovery.  I hope to be discharged on Sunday, 21 May, 2023.

I hope all of you that were at this year’s Hamvention have enjoyed the fellowship of radio enthusiasts. Maybe I’ll meet many of you, next year!  I will make videos of Hamvention 2024, if all goes well in a year’s time.

If you were at Hamvention 2023, share some highlights in the comments!

UPDATE:  On Sunday, I was released from the ICU, and I am now home recuperating.  Monday is a bit rough, so am not at work, yet.  BP is normal, and I am on new medication for my heart so that I do not get dehydrated by the furosemide and lisinopril.  Here’s hoping for next year’s Hamvention, which I hope to attend.

73 de NW7US

Visit, subscribe: NW7US Radio Communications and Propagation YouTube Channel

June QST: SOTA, POTA and VHF Contest

My article that describes last year’s SOTA/POTA/VHF contest activation from Pikes Peak appears in the June issue of QST magazine. This VHF/UHF activation occurred on the Saturday of the ARRL June VHF Contest and qualified for Summits On The Air (W0C/FR-004 Pikes Peak) and Parks On The Air (K-4404 Pike National Forest). The article highlights the use of the North America Adventure Frequency of 146.58 MHz.

I made 80 radio contacts that day, on the 6m, 2m, 1.25m, 70cm, and 23cm bands. Not a great score for the VHF contest but quite nice for a VHF SOTA and POTA activation. My primary piece of equipment was the ICOM IC-705, which enabled all modes on the main VHF/UHF frequencies.

If you are an ARRL member, look for the article on Page 58 of the print edition of June QST or the online version. Not an ARRL member? Darn, you should fix that if you want to read articles published in QST.

If you are an ARRL member, please look at the article and consider voting for it in the QST Cover Plaque Award. Thanks!

73 Bob K0NR

The post June QST: SOTA, POTA and VHF Contest 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].

Amateur Radio Weekly – Issue 286

Amateur Radio Weekly

Announcing Amateur Radio Daily

I was planning to announce this as a celebration of the 300th issue of ARW, but events transpired to allow this to happen much sooner!
Amateur Radio Daily is a web site (and RSS feed) highlighting additional and more timely events beyond what’s featured in this email newsletter. So if you find yourself craving just a bit more Ham Radio news, please check out Amateur Radio Daily.
It’s all a big experiment and feedback is welcome. For more info around how this project came together, read on.
73, Cale K4HCK

Top Links

AuGratin: POTA hunter utility
AuGratin allows a POTA hunter to easily log contacts with activators.

Shortwave DB: Shortwave transmitter map
For radio enthusiasts, DXers or anybody with a shortwave radio to help identify shortwave signals or to view general broadcast schedules.
Shortwave DB

Simplest way to guy a telescopic fiberglass antenna pole
My needs are fairly basic: rapid deployment, lightweight and uncomplicated.
Ham Radio Outside the Box

SolderBaloney and SolderTruth
This is so nuts that it actually had me checking to see if this was possibly an April 1 joke. But alas, it is quite serious.
SolderSmoke Daily News

National Hurricane Center Amateur Radio Station annual test
The Amateur Radio station of the National Hurricane Center, WX4NHC, located in Miami, will conduct their on-the-air test on Saturday, May 27.

102 US Representatives ask carmakers to keep AM radio
They also ask if past federal loans and subsidies could mitigate the cost of interference remediation.
Radio World

Chairman of the DRM Consortium: DRM is smart and on the way up
It’s versatile, flexible, and spectrum and energy efficient — so much more so than classic radio broadcast.
Radio World

Marconi “T” HF aerial switch
It’s quite easy to make your conventional Doublet, Dipole, or G5RV become a “T” antenna.


Boeing 737 ground-to-air Ham Radio contact
Contact with AI7RP piloting a Boeing 737 from Detroit to Seattle from 284 miles at 34,000 feet on 10 meters.

Using your US HT in Europe
What kind of license do I need? Where and how can I operate?

Corner antenna
Having fun with a corner reflector dipole.

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The QMX from QRP Labs

QRP Labs have announced the new QMX 5 band digital transceiver.


Initially the firmware supports CW and Single tone FSK modes, but may be upgraded to SSB in future firmware updates:

Available as a kit or fully assembled, you can bet that this is going to be the hottest QRP product of the year.

Further details:

Steve, G1KQH, is a regular contributor to and writes from England. Contact him at [email protected].

CLE 292 Needs Your Input

In preparation for something never done before in a CLE, the organziers are asking for your input. See their quest below. I will post the usual 'Hunting For NDBs..." blog outlining all of the rules in a few days but in the meantime, please see if you can help and hopefully participate in the monthly activity.

 Dear Beacon Listener


Joachim and I (Brian) are asking for your help!

We would like to know which active NDB is your NEAREST and which two others are also of special interest to you. 


Maybe you have visited the site of one or more NDBs or you have other special reasons to remember them.

Everyone is invited to send us their own three ‘votes’, so we hope to have a large number of special NDBs to listen for during the coming coordinated listening event (CLE). 

Your choices, with everyone else’s, will decide all of the NDBs in the Seeklist for the event. 

This is our FIRST  ‘YOU-CHOOSE’ CLE (and it will probably be our last!).


You do NOT have to listen yourself in our 292nd CLE (26-29 May) though everyone will be very welcome to send a log if they want to -  but you will probably be interested in the results, showing who logged your own chosen NDBs and from where.


Please send your choices during the next 7 days to [email protected] (that email address sends only to us, your Listening Event Coordinators Joachim and Brian)

Please help us by using the following format for your votes:


       NDB1: (your nearest?)  Ident:  ABC  345 kHz   Location1        

Ideally, your 3 choices should be NDBs in your own Radio Country,  

       NDB2:                              Ident:  DEF   543 kHz   Location2      

or in ones that share a land border with it.

       NDB3:                              Ident:   GH   432 kHz   Location3        

(e.g. If listening from Oregon, try to choose from OR, WA, ID, NV and CA)

You can find our list of all the Radio Countries at:

          Chosen by (your name):   eg  Brian Keyte


                 Your Radio Country:   eg  ENG                                               

                  I can be identified:        *YES / NO                                      

Joachim or I will send an acknowledgment for your ‘votes (see below)   to your sending email address.

 (If someone has already nominated one of your NDBs - unlikely? - we’ll invite you to choose an alternative)

 *The CLE results will NOT show who nominated any of the NDBs.

 However, in the Coordinators’ Comments afterwards we’ll probably mention some of the interesting reasons why NDBs were chosen.

 Please choose NO above if you would NOT want to be identified there.

 For those who also want to listen during the Event, we’ll send the CLE292  EARLY ADVICE  to NDB List in a few days.  That will be followed, after the ‘voting’, by our FINAL DETAILS, including the seeklists showing all of the chosen NDBs.

If there is anything you need more advice about, or if you have any other comments, please feel free to email the two of us at [email protected]



  Joachim and Brian

Steve McDonald, VE7SL, is a regular contributor to and writes from British Columbia, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

Exploring a New SOTA Summit (W0C/SC-102)

We were looking for a SOTA summit to activate near Salida, so I started to poke around using SOTLAS. There is still plenty of snow at the higher elevations, so we wanted to stay lower. SOTLAS has some useful filtering features that allow you to show only the summits of interest. Initially, I looked for a summit that Joyce/K0JJW and I had not yet activated.

Bob/K0NR and Joyce/K0JJW with SC-102 in the background.

Then I noticed that an unnamed summit (W0C/SC-102) had never been activated, not by anyone. When a summit has never been activated, it is often because it is really difficult to access or it is on private land. Using Gaiagps, my preferred mapping software, I checked out land ownership and the surrounding terrain.

A map of the area around SC-102, which is indicated as the 8380 waypoint.

The summit is on land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The box labeled Sand Gulch is Colorado State land. This area is clearly on public land without any private property to deal with. We considered two routes to get to the summit. One option is to hike up from the west, which would probably work. But we noticed a 4WD road that approached from the north side that might provide better access. We weren’t sure how difficult the road would be to drive but we decided to give it a try. The road turned out to be easy 4WD, with just a few steep sections that might prove troublesome if the road were muddy. It presented no problem for our stock Jeep Wrangler. There were several side roads not shown on the map that could be a diversion, so having Gaiagps on my iPhone was helpful.

The red line is the 4WD road and the blue line is the hike to the summit.

The parking spot for the Jeep is shown on the map above. We were careful with the route finding for this summit, even though it is only a mile or so. We wanted to stay on top of the ridgeline and not get lost in one of the side drainages. Gaiagps on my phone recorded the hike as 1.1 miles one way with an elevation gain of 360 feet, so not very difficult.

The Jeep Wrangler parked at the “trailhead”.

The photo below shows the typical terrain as we hiked along the ridge. There was plenty of pinion pine and juniper, along with a surprising number of small cacti. Since the summit is unnamed, we decided to call it Cactus Ridge.

There is no established trail but the bushwacking is relatively easy. This photo shows the typical path with not-so-dense pine trees.

We made contacts mostly on 2m FM (146.52 MHz) using the 50-watt Yaesu FT-90 transceiver driving a 3-element Yagi antenna. I was curious to see how far we could work because the summit is not that high and sits roughly in the canyon of the Arkansas River, between Salida and Canon City. As expected, Salida stations (KD0VHD, K0LPR) were close by and easy to work. Stations in Buena Vista (KF0IHL, KD0MRC, W0BV) also came in quite strong. Our best DX for the day might be N0KM near Center, CO at a distance of 55 miles. But we also worked K0EEP, N0CFM, and KA0SDE camping somewhere near Jefferson, perhaps 60 miles or so, not sure exactly. Although they were due north of us, we had to point the Yagi antenna to the south to work them, apparently getting a nice reflection off one of the high peaks. Similarly, when we worked K0LTH in Guffey (to the north), we had to point the antenna south. We tried to work Amanda/K1DDN in Canon City but were unsuccessful. I thought we might be able to funnel a signal down the canyon to her with a few favorable reflections. No luck with that, but you never know until you try.

Thanks to everyone that listened for us and worked us!

The weather report was sketchy for the day but conditions were cloudy and warm (50 deg F) when we were on the summit at 11:30 AM. Later in the day, after we were back in Salida, we had rain and snow coming down. Springtime in the Rockies.

This was a very enjoyable summit, partially because it had the experience of exploring something new. The easy 4WD road was a pleasant surprise and made us wonder where the other roads in the area lead. At 8280 feet, this summit is only worth two SOTA points. But it’s not about the points, right?

73 Bob K0NR

The post Exploring a New SOTA Summit (W0C/SC-102) 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].

Amateur Radio Weekly – Issue 285

Amateur Radio Weekly

Bill to replace symbol rate limit reintroduced
Congresswoman Debbie Lesko introduced The Amateur Radio Communications Improvement Act on May 11.

Enhanced SKYWARN system embraces GMRS
Made up of both Ham and GMRS repeater systems, Ham and GMRS clubs join forces.
Chattanooga Amateur Radio Club

Introducing NetFinder
The definitive Ham Radio net directory.
Midnight Cheese

A Ham Radio Memorial Day
Amateur Radio is not and should not be just about radio.
Off Grid Ham

RepeaterPhone [iOS App]
Connect to AllStarLink and Echolink repeaters from a single iOS app.

The Perfect Bug
No one needs a $580 key, but this is a very fine piece of engineering.
Ham Radio QRP

Tuned CW filter made from PVC pipe
It gives at least a 6 db boost at 700-800 Hz.

Android tablet with a built in two way radio
136-174mhz, 400-490mhz DMR/FM – Embedded RTL-SDR.

Best bang-for-the-buck antenna ever
One of my best Ham-related purchases in 45 years.


Flying above downtown Seattle with Ham Radio operations
Flight over the majestic Seattle Skyline and Space Needle while conducting 2-meter FM radio operations.

What Morse Code taught me
A view from a non-Ham.

License-free WinLink
Sending Winlink over license-free walkie talkies.

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