Posts Tagged ‘humor’

KM9G Reports On New Phonetic Alphabet

Amateur radio has a long tradition of innovation concerning technology and radio operating practices. This includes innovating with the use of phonetic (or fonetic) alphabets, as previously reported here: Twisted Phonetic Alphabet

Today, April 1st, Steve/KM9G reports on the latest set of fonetics from the AFRL:

The post KM9G Reports On New Phonetic Alphabet appeared first on The KØNR Radio Site.

What Cows Think About 146.52 MHz

I see a lot of cows standing around in Colorado ranch land, and I often wonder what they are thinking. As a result, I’ve been experimenting with a series of graphics that show cows standing out in the field thinking great thoughts. Surprisingly, they are often thinking about ham radio topics. Who knew? I’ve posted these on Twitter (@K0NR) which usually generates some responses.

Recently, the cows were thinking about the 2m FM calling frequency.

Some of my international followers pointed out the 2m FM calling frequency is not 146.52 MHz in their country. Sometimes it is difficult to localize VHF content, so sorry about that.

EA3IEK commented that the calling frequency should also be the listening frequency. (This is the crux of the problem with calling frequencies on 2m FM…what is the best ratio of calling and listening?) So I quickly modified the photo.

Then I could not resist posting this one, inspired by Joey on the Friends television show. Moo. It’s just a cow’s opinion.

73 Bob K0NR

The post What Cows Think About 146.52 MHz appeared first on The KØNR Radio Site.

Innovation in Vehicle Labeling

Twitter is such a wonderful source of knowledge and a great place to pick up amateur radio operating tips. I saw this post from Johnny/W5KV, talking about getting a 146.52 sticker for his truck. (146.52 MHz is the 2m National Simplex Calling Frequency.) I’ve written about these stickers here: Get Your Mobile Frequency Sticker On

A tweet from Johnny/K5KV

These oval stickers originated in Europe, to indicate the country where a vehicle is registered. In general, these oval stickers have become popular for indicating all kinds of things, including country, state, airport code, national park, etc. One of the most common stickers you’ll see has “26.2” on it to indicate the distance in miles of a marathon run. In other words, it means “I ran a freaking marathon” or maybe “I want you to think I ran a freaking marathon.” You’ll also see “13.1” to indicate the completion of a half marathon.  Hence, W5KV’s comment about 6 full marathons. You will see other numbers used on these stickers, such as “5.56” for you firearms enthusiasts.

So I posted this photo of the back of my truck. My 146.52 is actually a magnetic sign, not a stick-on label but the intent is the same.

K0NR magnetic label

But of course, radio amateurs are always innovating to find new ways of doing things. Michael/K2MTS posted this photo of his vehicle with a dust-enabled 146.520 indicator on it.

Michael K2MTS car label
An innovative solution from Michael/K2MTS

Like many brilliant innovations, I immediately realized the advantages of using vehicle dust to indicate operating frequency:

  • No cost to implement
  • Flexibility: the frequency can be easily modified
  • Text messages can be appended, such as “CQ CQ” or “Call Me”

One disadvantage is that it requires your vehicle to be dirty but that seems like a minor obstacle, easily overcome by a short drive down a dirt road.

73 Bob K0NR

The post Innovation in Vehicle Labeling appeared first on The KØNR Radio Site.

Handheld Transceiver Accumulation Syndrome

A Handheld Transceiver (HT) is a convenient, compact all-in-one wireless device for FM operating on the VHF/UHF bands. HTs are sometimes referred to as a Shack On The Belt. There’s a lot to like about a transceiver that has wide frequency range, built-in antenna and power source.

Handheld transceivers may start to accumulate for no apparent reason.

The attractiveness of these devices coupled with a distinct lack of self-control on the part of some radio amateurs can lead to a condition known as Handheld Transceiver Accumulation Syndrome (HTAS). The main indicator of HTAS is that the radio amateur (the HTAS patient) accumulates a large number of HTs for no apparent reason. These radios end up sitting on the shelf or workbench at home, largely underutilized.

Typically, a pile of battery chargers accumulate, all proprietary and incompatible.

Coincident with the accumulation of radios, there is usually a pile of battery chargers, both drop-in and wall-wart style. These chargers are almost always proprietary designs that work with the original radio but no others.

The chargers are just the beginning of a broader accessory quagmire. The HTAS sufferer also tends to accumulate other accessories such as DC power cables, extra battery packs, speaker/microphones and aftermarket antennas. Many of these are also unique to the specific model of HT.

Psychologists that study HTAS note that there are specific buying habits that play into this harmful condition:

The Impulse Buy

HTs have always been relatively affordable with street prices of less than $200. However, the situation changed in the last decade with the introduction of cheap HTs from the Chinese manufacturers, driving the entry price down to around $30. This puts a VHF/UHF radio in the price range of a tank of gas or dinner at a local restaurant, clearly setting up an HT as an impulse buy. “Heck, its only $30, so why not buy the camo version of the Baofeng radio?”

The Mode Buy

Sometimes the HTAS patient is motivated to buy another HT to fill in a specific capability that is missing in their ham radio gear. Of course, the equipment manufacturers are complicit in this — introducing new features and modulation types to drive additional purchases. No single radio does it all, so you need multiple devices to cover a range of features, such as APRS, DMR, D-STAR and Fusion. “I need this new HT to work the other guys on DMR.”

The Special Purpose Buy

A really subtle driver of purchasing behavior is buying a radio for a specific purpose. This is similar to the Mode Buy but is driven by a specific situation. The patient conjures up specific communication needs that justify a particular radio. For example, they may think “I need a small HT that fits in my shirt pocket while doing work around the house.”  Or “I need a little DMR radio just to talk to my hotspot.” Another one is “I need to keep a Baofeng in the glove compartment of the car, just in case.”

Living with HTAS

Fortunately, medical professionals that encounter HTAS report that in most cases the syndrome is not completely debilitating. Many radio amateurs are able to lead normal lives while suffering from the effects of HTAS. In severe cases, HTAS can lead to financial problems, depending on income level and the severity of the problem. HTAS is also associated with a breakdown in personal relationships, especially with married subjects. HTAS sufferers living alone report far fewer relationship problems.

If you know someone suffering from HTAS, encourage them to seek professional help. Treatment options may include psychotherapy and medication.

73 Bob K0NR

The post Handheld Transceiver Accumulation Syndrome appeared first on The KØNR Radio Site.

Radio Club Petitions FCC To Fix Call Area Confusion

The Sundance Mountain Radio Association recently filed a Petition for Rulemaking asking the FCC to reestablish consistency between the call area indicated by an amateur radio callsign and its actual physical location. The current rules allow an amateur radio licensee to retain their current callsign when moving to a new call area and to operate outside of their normal call area without any special indicator. The proposed changes would no longer allow this practice and would force a change to all existing licenses to match the station location indicated on the amateur radio license.
In its petition, the Sundance Mountain Radio Association asserts that there is unnecessary and harmful confusion caused to daily amateur radio operation because the radio callsign is not a reliable indicator of station location. “It is common to work a W9 station and find out the guy actually moved to Florida years ago,” said Leroy Walker (KVØCO), President of the Sundance Mountain Radio Association (Palmer Lake, CO). “This wastes precious time when I am trying to work a particular state or area of the country. The other day, a KL7 station came booming in on 160m and I thought I had a new DXCC entity. Turns out, he was in Nebraska.”

License Modification

The petition proposes that the FCC automatically modify all amateur radio callsigns in the Universal Licensing System such that the call area indicated in the license matches the station location on record. For example, a licensee with the callsign W6ABC living in Texas would receive a new callsign, W5ABC. In the event that W5ABC is not an available callsign, W6ABC would receive a sequentially-issued callsign from Group A, Group B, Group C or Group D, depending on license class. The petition proposes that all future changes in station location be subject to the same procedures, ensuring that all callsigns are consistent with geographical call area. In addition, all vanity license applications must conform to this rule. Radio amateurs operating outside their call area temporarily will be required to identify as “portable” or “mobile” and indicate the actual operating call area (e.g., W6ABC/5).
This is an initial Petition for Rulemaking and the FCC has not yet responded. Walker mentioned that this proposal is the first of many expected to be put forth by the radio club’s Committee to Fix Amateur Radio. Leroy said, “We’ve got a really smart group of guys coming up with some great ideas to improve ham radio.”
Please note the date of publication.
Filed as #satire #humor #fakenews

The post Radio Club Petitions FCC To Fix Call Area Confusion appeared first on The KØNR Radio Site.

The Three Laws of Electronic Measurement

On Saturday, I had the privilege of talking to a group of radio amateurs on the topic of electronic measurements. I opened the session with a short discussion of “why do we even need electronic measurements?” This was captured in three “laws” listed below:

Bob’s First Law of Electronic Measurement

With electricity, most of the time we cannot observe what is going on without measuring instruments.

Bob’s Second Law of Electronic Measurement

When we can observe electricity directly, it is often a bad thing.

Bob’s Third Law of Electronic Measurement

Lord Kelvin was right

The post The Three Laws of Electronic Measurement appeared first on The KØNR Radio Site.

You know you’re a Ham when ……..

So I'm driving to work this morning; and when you commute to work every day, you get a real good chance to look at the behinds of cars that are in front of you.  As I come to a red light and come to a stop, I notice the car in front of me has one of those vinyl decals on his rear window.  It looked like this - but you have to picture in your mind's eye that this was all surrounded by the entire darkness (blackness) of his tinted rear window.


So I immediately start thinking ....... "A A" 

What the heck does "A A" stand for?  "Alcoholics Anonymous"?  "American Airlines? "Associate in Arts"? "Alcoa Aluminum"?

Then it struck me - the owner of the car was of Norwegian descent !  That's the flag of Norway in reverse and not "A A".

I guess that's when you realize you've either been at this Morse Code thing too long; or maybe you just need that first cup of coffee of the day.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!


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