Saturday, September 23, 2006

Weekend goofing off

This is another short podcast. We'll get back to the 'standard' 99Hobbies format soon, but first, this one made me laugh out loud, and I wanted to post this while I had the chance.

This weekend I made a new friend, Jon, from Iceland. Jon has made over 600 QSOs during the Scandinavian Activity Contest JUST during THIS WEEKEND! ( see ).

BACKGROUND: I'm tuning through the band and hear Jon ( ) calling CQ, so I give him a call. No sweat, easy copy on both sides. He answers me, and I log Iceland, both signals very strong. Very cool. I spot him to the DX network, and a few guys call him. Maybe three people call him. My guess is that most people think they would never be able to penetrate a pile-up for Iceland.

But Jon is calling CQ so often, and no one answers him, that I thought I should make a phone call and see if my friend Scott can work him. Scott lives in a condo, and he doesn't have the luxury of big antennas. In fact, he is not allowed to have any antennas that even would work on 20 meters.

When I called Scott today, he was in a meeting at work. But he answered, and actually went out to his car and gave it a try. He got Jon on his third try.

And then he went back to work.

I think we have our priorities set just fine, don't we?

Oh, and by the way, if you don't think you can make the contact, you should probably give it a try anyway.


Monday, September 18, 2006

SATERN and emergency communications

No, not a spelling mistake. This is SATERN, the Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network. Every year around this time you hear a lot about hurricanes, and you also hear amateur radio volunteers performing public service, providing communications when the usual means fail. You can join them.

At the 2006 Boxboro convention I talked with Joe Fratto, N1RLO, who was manning the SATERN booth. This was another guerilla attack by me, and Joe had no advance notice that I was looking for someone to point a microphone at. Joe was very gracious and talked with me about some of the cool stuff that SATERN does when nature lashes out.

Show notes

SATERN is at
and much contact information is there, for your particular part of the world.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

QCWA at Boxboro

Have you been a ham radio operator for 25 years or more? The Quarter Century Wireless Association (QCWA) wants to hear from you. Chuck, K1IGD explains why.

This conversation was from the floor of the Boxboro convention, and in all fairness to Chuck, I really did stick a recorder in his face and ask him some questions. He did a great job of describing the QCWA in three minutes or less. I want to talk to him again. This was fun!

Show notes

QCWA is at
The Boxboro convention is at
Chuck's contact information is at

Boxboro Convention:

While I was at the Boxboro convention ( ) this year, I bumped into Joel Harrison, W5ZN. As you might expect, he was very busy there, but was gracious enough to spend a few minutes for an interview with 99 Hobbies. What a great guy, and I just really liked his attitude about ham radio and its future. Unfortunately, the recorder was off for a lot of this, but here is 3 minutes of our chat.

As I listened to this clip, I can hear us talking pretty quickly, lots of excitement, and a really fun time. If you have never been to a convention (they are different from a hamfest) you should give it a try.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Only for women: the YLRL

The Young Ladies Radio League (YLRL) is a very serious, very fun, and very active group on the air. Today I talked with Anne Manna WB1ARU about the YLRL and why women should get on the air.

BTW, guys should plan for these contests. Even if we don't get points (sometimes we do), just striking up a QSO will attract others to the frequency, of course.

There are upcoming contests - give it a listen!!!

Show notes

YLRL is at
WRONE is at