I’ve been going through some papers around the house and scanning them onto my computer for longevity sake. Recently, I ran across an article I published in Project OSCAR’s The Satellite Beacon journal back in 2005. I reprint it here for those that might be interested in what …
It happened again. I hit some keys while editing in JOSM and my imagery started centering itself while adding a way. I’ve done this in the past and it’s really quite annoying. The "feature" is documented on the web but due to a misspelling you can’t find …
John, KE4TZN, and I were discussing the idea of replicating the Coastal Linking System in DMR. The difference being that the existing network uses audio linking where DMR, and other digital modes, use an IP-based network for routing the links.
IP networks, not to be confused with Internet-connected networks, switch …
Outdoor temperature: ~21C
Relative Humidity: ~65%
Sky cover: Mostly clear with a few high clouds starting to build towards the west.
Observatory: Beach at Willows Colony
Harlan and I went out to test a new-to-us telescope in a spot I had previously thought would be good for nighttime observations …
Earlier this year we purchased a Chevrolet Bolt EV. It didn’t take long to figure out one-peddle driving, which is awesome. But now that we have put ~7,600 miles on the car, I feel comfortable talking about the efficiencies and costs.
Overall, the vehicle has averaged 3.3 …
I’ve been running WG3K-NJ, an APRS Firenet server, for a few years now, which is configured to connect to a core APRS-IS server to provide upstream connectivity to the rest of the network. Tonight I got thinking about network efficiencies and wondered if this connection could be made any …
I took at a short trip up to Catoctin Mountain Park at the beginning of the year and stayed in a rustic cabin with no running water and no electricity. It was nice, to say the least. For evening entertainment I used my Elecraft KX3 with a longwire antenna to …
When I started dealing with serious information security we created a lot of paper. This wasn’t regular information printed on paper but very sensitive information that could be very damaging if it ever found its way out of the building. If this paper was ever deemed to be trash …
Just found this on Twitter, even though it’s a rather old article from 2011 "Builder uses solar power to heat Fairbanks home in the winter"
FAIRBANKS — Sunlight poured into a large south-facing window and drenched the stained concrete floor, stones and flower beds in warmth. Like batteries, these features …
A friend and Sensei has shared this story with me a few times and I share it here so I will not forget it. Searching for it on the Internet turns up many iterations but I’ve not come up with a definitive author.
A senior monk and a junior …
Today I received my December electricity bill from Baltimore Gas and Electric (BG&E) which reminded me that I hadn’t actually looked at our electricity usage over the past year since we had the solar panels installed. We started producing electrical power on 19 February 2018 and by April …
Due to a family emergency, I’m sitting down close to the beach instead of being atop a mountain summit playing with packet gear setting up a Georgia-to-Maine APRS network. Each year, hams scale mountains and temporarily setup digipeaters in an effort to pass a "golden packet" along the ~2 …
It’s interesting to me that we’ve come so far from where we started when looking at the landscape of the Internet. As originally built, content was hosted locally and it was a benefit to obtain it at a distance (over the Internet). Now, all content is hosted in …
It has been a couple of days since I had made it out to the hive. The weather has been quite rainy as of late and that makes the trail quite muddy. In my absence the girls seem to have been carrying on, doing their thing. Today I visited around …
Harlan and I made a quick visit to the hive today. I was very proud that Harlan not only voluntarily came to the hive but also got within a meter of the hive to checkout what the bees looked like coming and going.
There was less of an ant highway …
Well… I’ve had better days. It has been three days since I had started my new colony and I was quite excited to see what was going on inside the confines of the box. Going out there I knew in my head what I wanted to look for: eggs …
There has been a lot of talk, recently, about the new FT8 mode that has recently been included in the WSJT software. It’s very similar to it’s older cousin, JT65, in that it is for weak-signal work but the transmission/reception time has been cut down to 15 …
Everyone seems happy at the new homestead. It was, however, raining off and on today so it seemed our new lodgers were mostly staying indoors.
I did remove the wedge that was propping the lid open and added a concrete block to the top which will hopefully keep everything together …
I’ve been toying with the idea of getting bees for a while but with all the moving about I’ve not considered it to be something that was feasible. Well, now that we’ve put down roots I felt that it was the right time to dive in. Thanks …
Shortly after publishing this original post, many of my concerns were addressed. ProtonMail now supports sending mail that is signed and/or encrypted using OpenPGP. This is a huge benefit to the secure-email community. It is also possible to use your own key which allows me to use …
A friend of mine recently passed her FCC Technician Amateur Radio exam but has been riddled with questions ever since. I’ve been attempting to help but I fear that I haven’t been able to give adequate time to properly answer some "basic" questions that many new hams have …
I’ve maintained a blog for the previous ten, or so, years in one form or another. The first iteration was hosted on some platform that I don’t remember followed by WordPress (.com and self-hosted). I’ve grown weary of all the third-party stuff that gets brought in when …
- When: 2017-12-24 from 1543Z to 1625Z
- Where: Snowy Mountain - W3/PD-007
- Who:Just me
- Ascent: 148' over 0.64mi** **
- Equipment:Elecraft KX3, SOTABEAM MIDI antenna
- APRS Coverage: Excellent
- T-Mobile Coverage:Good. Had 4G (no LTE) coverage at …
- When: 2017-12-23 from 1832Z to 1915Z
- Where: Methodist Hill North - W3/PD-006
- Who: Just me
- Ascent: None (see below)
- Equipment: Elecraft KX3, SOTABEAM MIDI antenna
- APRS Coverage: Excellent
- T-Mobile Coverage: Nil
I arrived at …
Updated: 2017-12-20 @ 0315Z -Not doing Long Mountain, adding Snowy Mountain.
Looking at taking a few days and going hiking up in Pennsylvania this upcoming weekend. I have at least two summits in my sights: W3/PD-006 and [STRIKEOUT:W3/PD-013] W3/PD-007 that I'd like to activate for Summits on …read more
Somehow, in all this mess, work does get done...
The scary thing is, I haven't yet fully moved-in yet so this could get better, or worse.read more
Years ago I was given a CLOVER2 board. I later gave it away to someone who was interested in trying to add capabilities to his BBS. I now have found the cables for it! I wonder if I can figure out who got the board or if someone else could …read more
Years ago, Bob Bruninga, WB4APR, talked about a "good" antenna for APRS SATCOM applications. It was a 19-inch vertical antenna that would function on both the 2m and 70cm bands, and had lobes that were up around the 30-degree mark. Looking for information on that antenna last night I found …read more
Spinning the dial on the HF radio, the other night, I ran across Radio New Zealand International broadcasting news and music. A bit shocked to hear sounds coming from the opposite side of the globe at such a late hour I confirmed that they were, indeed, broadcasting from Rangitaiki! (This …read more
This weekend's reception of Shortwave Radiogram was cut off at the beginning due to an operator error. I had left my computer up and listening to WRMI but had also left the automatic frequency control (AFC) feature turned on. This meant that fldigi ended up surfing around the bandpass instead …read more
Success! That’s the word I’m using to describe my latest battle up a summit. It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t without some failure, but I’m willing to give this trip a grade of B. Luckily I had some help…
When: 2017-07-15 from 14:00Z …
I recently started working with Calvert K9 Search, a local SAR team that specializes in using dogs to search for people. In an effort to improve communications between the command post (base) and teams …read more
- When: 2016-11-11 from 18:04Z to 18:33Z
- Where: Emmaville Mountain North – W3/SV-019
- Who: Amanda KI4IWS, Harlan, Elise, and myself
- Ascent: Drive up
- Decent: Drive down
- Equipment: Elecraft K1, SOTABEAMS Band Springer Midi, Navy Flameproof Key
- APRS Coverage: Good coverage
- T-Mobile Coverage: Good coverage
Missed all the VHF+ contest this year but I'm hoping to get my antennas back …read more
Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with the POSM or its development. I'm just an OSM contributor who thought this was neat and wanted to share the love.
For a while I've been envisioning some sort of system that would allow map data to be collected over a large …read more
On Saturday, 16 July 2016, Dave KB3RAN, Steve N3IPN, and I hiked up Apple Orchard Mountain (SOTA W4V/RA-001) to activate it for the Appalachian Trail Golden Packet event. While we were there we took advantage of the altitude and activated the summit for Summits on the Air (SOTA), National …read more
Turning on the radio this morning I was surprised to hear Puerto Rico coming in loud and clear on 50.125MHz. Once I had KP4EIT and HI3TEJ (Dominican Republic) in the logs I checked the DX Cluster to check the activity. There appeared to be many other stations from the …read more
During the weekend of July 16th I plan on being atop Apple Orchard Mountain, in Virginia, operating in the AT Golden Packet event as well as doing some VHF+ work while I'm there. I'll be accompanied by Dave, KB3RAN, and Steve, N3IPN, who are planning to operate QRP HF voice …read more
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Last night I was having a conversation with Marty KB3MXM, ARRL Maryland-DC (MDC) Section Manager, regarding notification of ARES® members in times of need, quickly. This isn't the first time I've written about the topic and not much has changed. Taking another look at the subject has given me the …read more
The other day a fellow amateur radio operator, WJ3K, caught me on the Annapolis repeater and asked me whether I was seeing odd things happening on the APRS network. Specifically, whether or not I was seeing station tracks getting bounced around as if an old packet had been injected into …read more
The signal strength on 5745 kHz was marginal even with strong S9 to +10dB signals. It seems the bands are quite noisy with a noise floor of ~S7 …read more
You've built your mesh or 802.11 network to support your activity. Now what? Unfortunately, most client software doesn't support peer-to-peer activities. You have to have a server acting as the central repository and distribution point for your data. Sounds complicated...
It can be daunting to make these resources available …read more
I've been working on securing my postfix configuration to enforce certificate validation and encryption on some known, higher-volume, or more sensitive connections between SMTP servers (port 25).
On many of the connections I've setup for secure transport there have been no problems (assuming proper TLS certificates are used). Unfortunately Gmail …read more
Earlier today I made contact with Bert, F6HKA, at a distance of 3,845 miles. We first made contact on 15 meters using 5 watts. The band conditions were so good that I hooked up the K1 and we made contact on 17 meters. That 17m contact was made with …read more
This morning around 9AM I got mixed up with a crowd on 144 MHz. Since I'm the new guy I ended up with a pileup on my hands! I picked up KA3QWO, KG4KWW, K1PXE, WB2SIH, K3GNC, WV2H, N2FKF, W1AN, and WB2QEG in very quick succession. We then ventured up to …read more
Tonight I worked several station with two in particular being W1AN and WZ1V. Both of those stations I worked on three bands: 144, 432, and 1296 MHz. W1AN is a little further away than WZ1V but both are fairly close to each other in Connecticut with WZ1V being a bit …read more
I'm interested in VHF and higher bands. Unfortunately my current home doesn't permit me to really dive into these bands like I'd prefer (with LOTS of big antennas!). So, to get my fix, I'm hoping to build a rover station that I can use go catch some new grids and …read more
In 1997 I received my first amateur radio license. The FCC granted me KF4OTN back then and exercised it the best I could. Fast forward to my move to Virginia and I decided to drop the "KF" in favor of "W" (it cut down on the time to transmit the …read more
Unless you were asleep at the dial you probably heard a lot of yelling, begging, and contacts being made on the HF bands yesterday. From 1200Z yesterday to 1200Z today stations were on the air doing what contest stations do - making contacts. Ahh, yes, it was the weekend for the …read more
While looking over my DXCC statistics I noticed that my log didn't match the DX station's log as uploaded to Clublog. I double checked my log and it looked like a good QSO but upon …read more
Taking immediate advantage of my new Extra Class privileges, last night I picked up a new DXCC entity - Asiatic Russia. This one has been difficult for me. I worked the entity back in 2002 but couldn't get a confirmation. Since then I've heard them but never been able to work …read more
As a security engineer it's usually difficult for me to endure many of dumb things companies do. It's quite sad when a company that prides itself on creating solutions for building internal solutions to protect customer data actually starts pushing its own data out to Google and other "solution" providers …read more
Thursday was QSL bureau day (the day in which I receive cards from the bureau). If that wasn't exciting enough, I also received an envelope with a return address of "Rarotonga, Cook islands"! Oh yeah, I finally got E51JD confirmed! This is my 149th confirmed DXCC entity.
The stamp on …read more
It would appear that my K1 is stuck transmitting 6 to 7 watts no matter what the power output setting is. I can only assume that the contacts I made for this award were not made using 100 mW but rather 7W.
I have already responded to the award …read more
Years ago I purchased a 40-80-160m dipole antenna in hopes of getting a good signal out on the lower bands. Unfortunately the antenna ended up being too large for my yard and I didn't use it. Fast forward to now and I've got plenty of room for antennas. When I …read more
I ran across a paper that was written discussing the shortwave broadcast station at Woofferton, UK, last year, and thought I'd share it. It's a really interesting read and gives you a perspective of what it took to maintain such a station with a near-constant change to technology. It's in …read more
I've noticed a few of my favorite websites failing with some odd error from Firefox.
The Firefox error message is a bit misleading. It actually has nothing to do with the website supporting SSL 3.0 but the advanced info is spot on. The error "ssl_error_no_cypher_overlap" means that the client …read more
Earlier this month I volunteered to take over the position of ARES Emergency Coordinator (EC) for Calvert County. The previous EC had gotten busy in other areas and decided it was time to step down. I've held this position before but in a different location so while the job isn't …read more
The ARRL Sweepstakes contest (phone) took place last weekend and I spent a few hours on the air making a few contacts. Although I didn't have much time to spend on the event I did add twenty new contacts to my log. Since I'm working on my WAS from my …read more
The Arrow Antenna for satellites has an optional diplexer that allows easy operation of 2m and 70cm from a single feedline. I've used this configuration for over ten years with no problems. I'm not sure, exactly, what happened but the diplexer failed. After ordering a new one I started digging …read more
Due to a bug in mod_ssl, the ability to remove TLS 1.0 (and only support TLS 1.1 and/or TLS 1.2) has not been available. The fix has now made it to CentOS 6 and you can now fine-tune your cryptographic protocols with ease.
Before the fix …read more
I was surprised at the difference three and a half megahertz made this evening. While chatting with my friend Emily, N1DID, we started trying different bands to check for a better signal. Fifteen meters was okay but twelve was better. We decided to try ten meters for the heck of …read more
Yesterday I was tuning around 20 meters and heard packet! Wow, it's been years since I've used packet (outside of APRS which is a different animal when compared to this). Turns out I stumbled onto the Net105 frequency with all of their users. It's quite busy there and I've seen …read more
Earlier today, Dave W3PQS and I installed my UHF repeater up at the CARA site in Sunderland. The repeater is on the air on the TMARC shared, non-protected pair which makes the system quite portable.
In …read more
This morning I received an email from my "administrator" saying that I needed to validate my email address within the next 48 hours or my email account would be suspended. Seeing as how I'm my own email administrator, I couldn't remember sending out such a message, I decided that this …read more
Yesterday I had a broken QSO with K9?H?. We were running CW and between the fading, the Doppler shift, and my poor CW skills I couldn't quite get the full callsign and exchange. And then, of course, I was also chasing myself all over the transponder. This morning was …read more
I had a good pass of FO-29 this morning so I figured I'd give it a try with my 2m/70cm loop antenna. I wasn't expecting great things as this is not a gain antenna and I'm not sure how much of the signal is actually radiated up but I …read more
If you've recently completed a key signing party or have otherwise met up with other people and have exchanged key fingerprints and verified IDs, it's now time to sign the keys you trust. There are several different ways of completing this task and I'll discuss two of them now.
After a crazy cab ride from the train station I arrived at a hotel that is in the general area of SouthEast LinuxFest (SELF) but not co-located. *sigh* This side of Charlotte isn't as pedestrian-friendly as it could be.
The first day (Friday) of SELF was pretty good. I generally …read more
Generating a PGP using GnuPG (GPG) is quite simple. The following shows my recommendations for generating a PGP key today.
$ gpg --gen-key gpg (GnuPG) 1.4.16; Copyright (C) 2013 Free Software Foundation, Inc. This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it. There is NO WARRANTY …read more
Outdoor temperature: Unknown
Relative Humidity: Unknown
Sky cover: Unknown
Observatory: Sunderland Road
Tonight I started the Binocular Messier Club Logbook. The idea is to observe all Messier objects using only binoculars. Each observation should be accompanied by a written observation and drawing.M53 (Glob)
Time: 03:30 …
Okay, I'm thinking about parabolic antennas right now. I created a spreadsheet that would take care of all the formulas some years back but I can't seem to find it now. I'm trying to find all the formulas that I need to get the information I need to make my …read more
Just copied program 61 of the VOA Radiogram on 5145. The program was transmitted from the Edward R Murrow Transmitting Station down in Greenville, NC. I've seen this place many times and am happy to have copied its transmission now. I'm also lucky that I was watching Twitter just before …read more
E-mail is inherently insecure. Just as sending a post card, any message sent by e-mail can be read by any number of people, including those monitoring the network path, the servers that process the message along its route, or anyone with access to the distant computer. Basically you should consider …read more
My friend Hubert has started compiling statistics of Alexa's top 1 million websites. Specifically, he's looking at their SSL/TLS settings and attempting to show trends in the world that is port 443. He recently released his May numbers showing a slow but mostly improving security environment. I'm hoping he'll …read more
Okay, I don't really mean to advocate this as a privacy solution because it is and it isn't. If you truly want privacy of your email you mustuse end-to-end encryption like PGP/GnuPG or S/MIME. That said, I think it's good to encrypt things, even ciphertext, over the …read more
Yesterday I unofficially* crossed the 150 mark. That's 150 DXCC entities worked. I've actually worked 151 as I just picked up 3B8CF (Mauritius Island (AF-049)) tonight on 20m CW. That means I've added 21 new entities to my log just this year. I've also added quite a few new islands …read more
Earlier this week the Calvert Amateur Radio Association (CARA) hosted its monthly meeting with a program by a local guru of mesh networking. Keith KB3TCB gave a presentation on what mesh networking is and what it can be used for. I've known about mesh networking for some years but never …read more
- $ time openssl genrsa 15360Generating RSA private key, 15360 bit long modulus
<magic happens>real 2m39.541suser 2m39.236ssys 0m0.006s
Since moving to Calvert County and getting my Carolina Windom up (radiating East-West) I've added five new DXCC entities to my logs:
- Kuwait - 9K2WA - 20m SSB
- Wallis & Futuna Islands - FW5JJ - 17m CW
- San Andres & Providencia - 5J0X - 10m SSB and 10m CW
- Kazakhstan - UN1L - 15m RTTY
- American Samoa - KH8/DL6JGN - 12m …
If you've been a QRZ.com user for a while you probably noticed a lock-down of information in recent years. The effort prevents amateur radio operators from using automated methods (like logging software) to collect contact information on their fellow radio operators. And while you can easily establish an account …read more
Okay, I admit it, I'm a closet cartographer. There are few things that excite me like looking at, building, and working with maps. Luckily for me the OpenStreetMap (OSM) Project was born and I started contributing back in 2008. Back when I was starting contributing I was making minor changes …read more
I've been arguing with my web hosting company about their use of RC4. Like many enterprise networks they aren't consistent across all their servers with respect to available ciphers and such. It appears that all customer servers support TLS_RSA_WITH_CAMELLIA_256_CBC_SHA and TLS_RSA_WITH_CAMELLIA_128_CBC_SHA, in addition to TLS_RSA_WITH_RC4_128_SHA (although the latter is preferred …read more
Just ran across this article discussing how horrible the cipher preference list is in Android. That's a lot of bad crypto on the streets right now.read more
Like it or not, the basis of trust for much of the Internet is based on Certificate Authorities (CA). Companies like Verisign, GoDaddy, and GeoTrust are in the trust business. They will sell you cryptographic proof of your Internet assets (namely your domain name) that others can use to verify …read more
Recently at my $dayjob the remote workers were asked what collaboration tools we used to get our work done. I thought this was a good topic and so I provided the following:
- IRC - This is the bread-and-butter tool for communicating with people inside and outside of my team. If I …
Not that this is really news but if you hand your message to a third-party for delivery you have no expectation of privacy. Agree with it or not that's the way it is inside the United States …read more
If you've done any reading of 20th century European history then this story will seem familiar. Back then there were places where you had to be careful about what you said to whom. It could really be anything you said to any number of people including close friends, family members …read more
I'm happy to read the Washington Post story discussing the House committee's hearing on the NSA's domestic spying programs. It's encouraging that both parties aren't happy with the programs and that "...there are not enough votes in the House now …read more
Why Privacy Matters Even if You Have 'Nothing to Hide' by The Chronicle Review
Using Metadata to Find Paul Revere by Kieran Healy
We Should All Have Something To Hide by Moxie Marlinspikeread more
Someone recently asked what my GPG.conf file looks like since he hadn't updated his in... years. Okay, let's take a look and I'll try to explain what each setting is and why I feel it is important. I'm not guaranteeing this as being complete and I welcome input from …read more
I was recently introduced to a privacy issue when refreshing your OpenPGP keys using GnuPG. When refreshing your public key ring using a public key server GnuPG will generally use the OpenPGP HTTP Key Protocol (HKP) to synchronize keys. The problem is that when you do refresh your keys using …read more
I thought this was a fantastic article. It skims over the fact that if you aren't paying for a service then you are probably the product being sold. Google, Facebook, and many other companies make billions of …read more
Much of our daily lives are contained within our smartphones and computers. Email, text messages, and phone calls all contain bits and pieces of information that, in the wrong hands, could harm our privacy. Unfortunately many people either don't understand how vulnerable their data is when sent across the Internet …read more
Someone sent me a link to the Port scanning /0 using insecure embedded devices article that was recently published. Describing the Carna Botnet, this project aimed to prove (or disprove) the hypothesis that there were one hundred thousand open systems on the Internet in which to make a botnet. I …read more
Last week while publishing a new guide I ran into a problem creating the Transifex client configuration file (.tx/config). The configuration file is generally a hateful file that requires a lot of manual manipulation to add in all the POT files for translation. This file exponentially increases the hatefulness …read more
Many websites have both the traditional, unencrypted HTTP and the SSL or TLS-encrypted HTTPS addresses available to access their content. Wikipedia is one good example of this functionality. You can easily view Wikipedia using traditional HTTP protocol but if you wanted or needed a little more privacy the HTTPS …read more
Today a line was crossed. I'm not sure if it was the insanity of spending all day writing nine lines of Python (I am not a developer... I am not a developer... I am not a developer.) or what, but I really wanted to do git commands from within vim …read more
CC BY-NC xkcdread more
A forthcoming article on the Red Hat Security Blog got me to ask the question: is it possible to have yum remove dependencies when uninstalling packages? The answer is a somewhat surprising "yes"! The functionality is turned off by default for a good reason but that's no reason why everyone …read more
An article on Opensource.com caught my attention today. The article focused on developing and using open source solutions in libraries. Libraries are one of the places where openness and sharing go hand-in-hand. Why more open source software solutions aren't found there I don't really understand.
Take my library for …read more
In the past I've been frustrated by a lack of Linux-supported software for programming my amateur radios. Sure, the Kenwood software that they gave you to use would kinda work under Wine but it's Wine and who wants to operate under …read more
A bad (as in it's a 10) Java vulnerability has been discovered. Affecting Java 7 Update 10 and prior versions, this vulnerability can allow an untrusted Java applet to escalate its privileges without requiring code signing.
Currently, the only defense to this vulnerability is to disable Java in your browser …read more
I'm excited. Earlier this week I accepted a position at Red Hat working on a very cool project that has the ability to affect many open source, and not so open source, projects in a very positive way. The opportunity that I was presented was too good to turn away …read more
Last night I ventured out to the greater Davidsonville area to meet some of the people I've been talking to on the local repeater and to join the club. I've always felt that it was important to support the local club financially as well as with my time. The members …read more
I received confirmation for my August contact with 7X4AN, today. Most excited to receive another "new one" I confirmed receipt of the QSL. Mohamed is one of those courteous CW operators that will happily slow down for you if …read more
Mutt is one of those programs I have a love-hate relationship with: I hate to love it. It's flexibility and almost infinite configuration options makes this email client one of the best and worst to use. Once you get mutt configured you'll want to put the configuration file in the …read more
I checked the mail, yesterday, and was surprised to see a whole box full! Not much in the way of junk mail but I did receive two radio-related mailings. First was an envelope from "Commanding Officer, U.S. Coast …read more
I love to use my little Grundig shortwave receiver to tune in the world, at night, in hopes of tuning in traditional music from lands I've never visited. With fewer stations on the air it's becoming more difficult to find these stations. I thought I'd share one station that continues …read more
Today I boxed up my radios, rolled up the coax, and removed all my antennas from their heights. This is all in preparation for our move to Maryland in a few days. We have almost completely packed up everything we own and either moved it to the boat, into storage …read more
Today I received a QSL in the mail from 8R1Z in Guyana, South America. I worked Lennox on 14 August 2012 and was quite pleased to have a return QSL from him in a month's time. Contact was made on 20-meters SSB when conditions were good and the confirmation represents …read more
It's Spring cleaning time, again, and I'm offering up the following items for sale:
- [STRIKEOUT:Kenwood TS-480SAT HF transceiver. Includes power cable, hand microphone, and original box. $700 obo + shipping.]
- [STRIKEOUT:Kenwood TS-790A with the UT-10. 144/432/1200MHz all-mode transceiver. Includes power cable, hand microphone, and original box. This …
The weather was nice enough for me to get some of my antenna maintenance done that I couldn't do during the cold winter months. First on the list was to completely remove the 23cm (1.2GHz) antenna from the top of the tower. While I've had good luck working stations …read more
I run a SKS key server and watch my daily numbers to see how many keys get updated, etc. Being a numbers guy I wondered how many people, like me, update their GPG keys, I specifically update the expiration date and generate new encryption keys annually, at the beginning of …read more
A recent discussion on the Radiogram listserv got me wondering about my traffic handling numbers since I started working in NTS in 2010. Here's what I came up with:
In 2010 I handled 960 messages, sending 250 of my own. In 2011, however, I handled 1658, creating 365 myself. That's …read more
The first QSO of 2012 was with a good friend of mine, Joe K4EIT. Joe received his ticket late last year and I have been trying to hook up with him ever since. With our schedules dividing us it has been difficult at best. Today, however, the planets aligned and …read more
Someone asked me, earlier this week, how to setup a "very secure Fedora 16..." system for a user that mostly surfs the web and uses email. Instead of responding directly to that user I'm writing this in order to get others to comment and provide additional information that I may …read more
HSMM, or High Speed Multimedia, networks provide IP-based wireless network communications over amateur radio microwave frequencies for the amateur radio community. Many different services can be offered across this network providing a wide range of communication operations to the users.
Because this network is IP-based, the network will …
Earlier today John WB8RCR and I released the Fedora Amateur Radio Guide. Depicting many of the programs available in Fedora's repositories, these free and open source software packages provides many tools to turn any amateur radio operator into a truly geeky operator.
John did a wonderful job putting together the …read more
The ARRL processed my DXCC Award update for 2011 in record time this year. Since I received the Mixed DXCC award last year I have added 14 new entities to the confirmed list bringing my total up to 115 current (116 total). Here's the running total including year 2011:
TYPE …read more
Did you know there were five principles of Amateur Radio written into the law that is Part 97? Those principles are:
(a) Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary noncommercial communication service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications. (b) Continuation …
I don't understand the use of the Internet in conjunction with Amateur Radio. Echolink, Winlink 2000, and IRLP all setup a false sense of security for users. Creating a dependency on something you cannot control means that resource won't be there when you need it. Most recently the American Radio …read more
I received my SKCC WES Participation Certificate today; very cool. I've been a member of the Straight Key Century Club (SKCC) for almost a year and had never participated in their Weekend Sprint (WES) which takes place every month for twenty-four hours. I scored 115th out of the 199 entries …read more
Just submitted my 2011 DXCC Update to the ARRL. I submitted fifty QSOs via LoTW and twelve QSOs via paper QSLs.
New DXCC entities include:
- 5B - Cyprus
- CE9 - Antarctica
- CP - Bolivia
- CT8 - Azores Islands
- CY0 - Sable Island
- EU - Belarus
- GU - Guernsey
- PJ4 - Bonaire
- TF - Iceland
- TK - Corsica
- T7 - San Marino …
About half way through the month of October I realized that I might have a chance to hit the five hundred message mark to qualify for the ARRL's Brass Pounder's League. As the liaison from Virginia to 4RN and sometimes from 4RN to EAN I have the potential to move …read more
I friend of mine recently tested for the Technician-class Amateur Radio license and passed without trouble. Not that this is surprising given his history in the communications world (fricken helium atom, Sir). What I find neat is his style of operating as a newly licensed ham. I remember when I …read more
I received the QSL cards for the N4I DXpedition today. Received QSLs have been answered and will go out in tomorrow's mail.read more
According to Part 97 of the FCC rules (specifically §97.221 Automatically controlled digital station) automatically controlled digital stations have 134.5kHz of space to work in on the the HF bands (10 meters through 80 meters). Breaking this bandwidth up into 500 Hz channels* we see that we have …read more
My wife, being the organized one in our household, believes that everything has a place and everything in its place. Items should also be labeled so that you know what they are, their purpose, and most importantly where …read more
NTS traffic is addressed very simply:@NTS. So if I was going to send an NTS message to the ARRL I would use 06111@NTSCT. Simple, right? And I'm assuming that most BBSs would allow you to route traffic based on the @NTSportion of the address but not FBB. FBB …read more
Swiss OpenPGP Keyserver (where PGP Pathfinder obtains its data)read more
A small cadre of hams invaded Core Banks (Portsmouth Island), North Carolina (NA-067) for the 2011 Islands on the Air (IOTA) contest as N4I. Although many others activated NA-067 from other islands that were much …read more
The Core Banks (Cape Lookout) DXpedition team will be heading to the island tomorrow morning. We plan to have at least one phone and one CW station on the air this weekend (digital modes are an option as well). We will be QRV as N4I beginning Friday through Monday and …read more
Finally received a response from the QSL request I sent for last October. In good form I received several "extras" along with the confirmation cards. I didn't receive a response to the question I submitted so maybe that will be coming soon.
I'll add this to my other QSL from …read more
A few months back Google introduced "2-step verification" for all Google accounts. This amounted to multi-factor authentication (something you know (password) and something you have (token)) for all web-based Google applications. Cool, right? They created an app for the Android, I-Phone, and Blackberry devices that acted like a token and …read more
Southeast LinuxFest Day Three started off with a... headache. Not a hangover but one of those random migraines that I've been trying to ward off with medications. It wasn't debilitating but it was annoying enough to keep me out of the Puppet Labs class.
I was able to hack on …read more
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Day two at SouthEast LinuxFest (SELF) began way too early as I had not received enough sleep. Of course this is a Linux conference; who really gets enough sleep during these things?
Ben had already setup the Fedora table in the conference area of the hotel so I helped with …
Day 1 of SELF was quite busy. Several Fedorians met for a FAD to discuss FUDCon finances. Ideas were hammered out and Max or Jared or ... should be posting details on that later.
After the finance talk, Jared and I got together and started hashing out a framework on the …read more
Joat and I left Virginia around 1PM, this afternoon, and made the drive down to Spartinburg for Southeast LinuxFest. Officially starting on Saturday, we came down a little early for classes that are happening on Friday and the FAD that I'll be participating in. I'm also hoping to get some …read more
A couple of weeks ago I posted a message on identi.ca inquiring as to if anyone knew how to get my multi-function HP printer device to scan. I got a couple of responses but, unfortunately for me, these responses dealt with devices that were much nicer than mine.
Today …read more
Not to get into the political battle that is occurring in Egypt but I wonder how the organization of both news gathering agencies and organizers would have fared had they been using StatusNet software (the software that supports identi.ca) on a local computer inside the country instead of utilizing …read more
Eighty-eight (88) guides in forty-two (42) languages comes out to be six hundred and thirty (630) guides that have been published, so far, to the Fedora Docs website. That includes everything from Fedora Core 1 to today. With the release of Fedora 14, earlier this month, we introduced twelve new …read more
15 meters is open to Europe from the east coast of USA. You have to be greater than 4000 miles, less than 6000 miles, and the wind has to be blowing in the proper direction for those stations to hear me. I missed on OH0 because they were just too …read more
Last week I received my Yubikey and promptly figured out how to use it with my Drupal installation using the Yubico authentication server. Since then life got in the way and I haven't had a chance to work on my other projects that I want to get working. I did …read more
Received bureau cards today. All from Europe and no new confirmations but I always enjoy receiving the art work that is QSLs. Confirmations received from:DL5CJDC1MUCDO7NDF8FAZF5PUDF7ZSI4IKWYR9PEI9FVBHA7TMHA1TNX9A5WOK2WEDIZ5DKJDL8SCGHB9CXZEA1ABTOE2GEN
My Europe stack of cards is getting …read more
I was surfing through the shortwave broadcast bands and stumbled upon Radio Ukraine International. They were transmitting some very beautiful music and I was hypnotized. This is why I really love shortwave radio.
I wish I had been around when orchestras were broadcast live to the world on shortwave. How …read more
If you haven't heard, the President is drafting legislation that may require hardware and software developers to install backdoors in their encryption solutions and give the keys to these backdoors to the US Government. In my opinion, this is an increadibly bad idea.
- This has already been tried and failed …
I've been meaning to introduce myself, really I have, but I just never got around to it. My neighbor, one street up and over a bit, put up a 70-foot tower a number of months ago and put a very impressive beam on top. That was an immediate indicator that …read more
Here's something I've been thinking about. If you have a VoIP phone system in your house with your own phone switch (like Asterisk) why couldn't you hook in a transceiver to monitor your local repeater or simplex frequency so you could monitor throughout the house without having to carry an …read more
There needs to be a comprehensive list of all NTS nets and NTSD stations. This list needs to be in text format and a "pretty" graphical format and should be available on the ARRL website under NTS.
This would make it easier for those of us on the road to …read more
I just installed the new CQRLOG on both my computers. I noted that in the release notes that a change was made to the main logging screen that allows netbook users to more easily use the program. I was very excited about this as I do run a small laptop …read more
A few friends and I have been playing with IRC encryption courtesy of FiSH. This extremely simple program is a plugin for irssi, XChat, and mIRC and provides symmetric encryption for channels and asymmetric encryption for private messages.
While not really useful for open source project communication it might be …read more
When Fedora 13 hit the streets I was excited to see a new backup solution, Deja Dup, included in the distribution. For the past several months I've been using my own version of a backup solution, namely rsync rdiff-backup, which always felt a little cobbled together. But now I have …read more
The other day I found myself reading about a new Firefox plugin that will automatically select HTTPS for various websites (and you can make your own rules, too). The plugin, created by the EFF, is named HTTPS Everywhere.
Basically it knows that there are several popular websites out there that …read more
I was able to attend many talks during the second day of SELF and here are some of the information I gleamed from the discussions.IPv6The speaker on IPv6 was from ARIN. He was quite upfront with the situation regarding IPv4 addresses. In short, we should run out of …
Received a nice surprise in the mail, today. TG9AHM sent his card, a sticker of the Guatemala flag, and two smaller stickers showing the image from the front of the QSL card. Very nice! The stamps on the envelope were also a nice surprise and will immediately go into my …read more
Writing the title of this post was extremely difficult for me. This morning I checked my email to find a message from Gregory informing me of Hugh's passing yesterday and the dates and times of his visitation and funeral. I was shocked, to say the least.
Hugh was my boat …read more
Received a card from ZB3R, Gibraltar, today which confirms my DXCC entity number 99. So close to my DXCC I can taste it!read more
I received a QSL card from JH7XMO in Japan for our contact on 06 March 2010 and then on LoTW I received confirmation from VP2MPR in Montserrat for our contact on 10 March 2010! It's a good day.read more
Got lucky today. Saudi Arabia and Lebanon managed to make their way into my logbook today. Needless to say I was very excited to put them there. I also received confirmation, via LoTW, from New Zealand for a contact that I made a couple of weekends ago. So that puts …read more
This morning I received the ARRL's ARES E-Letter (24 Feb 2010) and found it riddled with how Icom's D-Star system was so great and the answer to all our problems. The entire letter seemed to be one big advertisement for Icom, actually. What I can't understand is why the ARRL …read more
Received DXCC QSL #92 for Trinidad today! 9Y4SRR sent his card via his manager in record time. Thank you!read more
Received a reply to my QSL for TL0A, today. Glad to make #90 the Central African Republic!
QSL cards from Africa always make me stop and think about the world. I've received sunset pictures from South Africa, mountainous sea-scapes from Cape Verde, and various scenery pictures from Madeira Island, but …read more
Heard 10m was open this morning but concentrated my efforts on 6m as it is rarely open this time of year. Worked NJ2F, N2WB, N3LL, W4LT, and K4MM, all from Florida. I didn't really hear anyone else on but the Florida stations were saying that the bands were crowded!read more
I picked up this little beauty at FrostFest yesterday in Richmond. I've been looking for a backup HF radio for the shack but this one is quickly becoming my primary rig! It came with a power supply, hand microphone, mobile bracket, and the manuals.
The audio is quite clear and …read more
- That was a switch in my email client Thunderbird 3 that I did not have checked because I wasn't sure what it was doing and I certainly didn't want my Inbox to be cleared every time I exited the software. So I decided to do a search for it to …
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Climate talk, Alaska government business, and Dave Briggs. What do these three things have in common? Each of these subjects had more light shown on them by someone cracking email messages and releasing those messages to the public over the Internet. Of course there are many more of these events …
I just received the January 2010 issue of LINUX Journal and was surprised to see a penguin with headphones, a microphone, and a amateur radio callsign! Awesome! There is a four page article which starts to show the relationship between open source software and amateur radio and how one can …read more
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Still experimental, the Interactive National Weather Service (iNWS) provides solutions to users who want to receive weather information from their mobile devices. Included in this service is the ability to receive weather bulletins via e-mail or SMS message in real time. The service continues to get better so I thought …
I just pulled down the December version of Linux Journal a couple of minutes ago. I made it all the way to page 4 and read that next month's issue would be on Amateur Radio (or at least some portion there of). I'm excited to see that Amateur Radio and …read more
A discussion was had on one of the Fedora IRC channels months ago about the "proper" way to handle expiring GPG keys without breaking the web of trust. It was my opinion that by generating new keys every so often (yearly?) that it would increase the security of the overall …read more
I've been thinking a lot about volunteer responders in the scheme of emergency management. Many of these groups lack a robust communications system without which you are going to be stuck in the mud.
So what about ARES groups. From the emergency managers point of view ARES is a communications …read more
- All antennas are up. I now have 11 elements on 2m, 22 elements on 70cm, and 25 elements on 23 cm. I was able to trim a couple of branches out of the nearby tree and now my antennas swing nearly free through space.
I've also noted that the only …read more
Top antenna is 23cm (1278MHz) and the lower one …read more
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Came home to find a long box on the doorstep. Opened it up to find my new 23cm (1.2GHz) antenna ready for assembly. In less than an hour I had my twenty-four element loop yagi put together and ready for talking. Now I just need to get some N …read more
Well, things took a slight turn for the worst last night. After receiving the UT-10 and the coax, N-connectors, and rotator control wire I realized that the pole I have stuck up in the air isn't wide enough to support the rotator. Apparently the pole is 1" in diameter and …read more
I haven't posted anything lately but that doesn't mean that nothing has been happening.
First, a couple of weeks ago I found a Kenwood UT-10 1.2GHz module for my TS-790A. I've been looking for one of these for going on two years. Finally my eBay alert came through and …read more
Last night eBay sent me an e-mail saying it had located a UT-10 for me. I jumped on it! I've been looking for one of these for about two years. The price was right, too, so now I'll have 1.2GHz in the TS-790A in a couple of weeks! Oh …read more
I'll be leaving around noon tomorrow (EDT) for Raleigh, NC. This is the weekend for the American Diabetes Association's Tour de Cure of which I've volunteered for via Carolina Helping Hams for going on ten years now. This is an excellent event where bicyclists ride either 80 or 100 miles …read more
I had the pleasure of doing a mini-DXpedition over the Memorial Day weekend on Hatteras Island. The YL and I setup a 20m SSB station in the tent using a MFJ 20m SSB Travel radio, a hamstick rotatable dipole, a 12ah battery, and a 18w solar panel.
Overall, the test …read more
More and more sensitive communications are occurring over unsecure instant messaging (IM) systems. These messages go through a third-party and can be read anywhere along the way. An easy, open-source solution does exist to help protect these communications, however.
First you need the IM client called Pidgin. This client works …read more
A few years ago, when I had just passed my General test, the solar cycle was still up to where I could hear 10 meter repeaters all over the east coast. I used to chat with the owner of a 10-meter repeater on the island of Puerto Rico often. The …read more
I was surprised to see a bureau envelope in my mailbox today. I really wasn't expecting it as I haven't really been on the air that much but some how they had some cards for me.Cards received today:SP9LJD - PolandNP2/AK2P - St. Croix IslandLX7I - LuxembourgVE2AXO - Quebec …
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The BBC is reporting that China censored Obama's speech on a number of websites. This is yet another reason why the Internet does not, and cannot, replace shortwave broadcast. Shortwave broadcast is very difficult, if not impossible, to block. Governments have tried in the past to keep their citizens from …
Opened the mailbox this afternoon and found my QSL from Victor Cuesta YV4DYJ of whom I worked on AO-51 back in September. Very cool. Glad I was able to make this contact using 5 watts and my hand-held station in my front yard.read more
So I'm sitting at the Staples Mill Rd, Richmond Amtrak Station waiting for the northbound 84 when none other than Seth Vidal walks up to me and says "do you work for Red Hat?" noticing the Shadowman hat I'm wearing. Maybe we should host a hackfest on the train!
Just …read more
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- 16:00 21,470 kHz - BBC Africa Service - Excellent signal. SF:71 A:7 K:1. TX from Ascension
- 17:00 13,675 kHz - BBC World Service - Good signal. SF:71 A:7 K:1 Unknown from where it is being transmitted. 18:00 13,675 kHz - BBC World Service …
- 19:xx 15,400 kc - BBC World Service - Very loud in VA.
- 23:00 9,885 kc - VOA - "Welcome to the VOA, in Spanish!"
- I was just curious what percentage of the HF band is being used for Shortwave Broadcast versus Amateur Radio. Here's what I came up with:Shortwave: 6.145 MHz  or 22% of the HF band .
Start End Bandwidth 25.670 26.100 0.43 21.450 21.850 …
Things I need to purchase:
- 2.4GHz Downconverter ($105)
- UT-10 1.2GHz Module for TS-790A ($450)
- 432MHz Yagi ($357)
- 432MHz Preamp (MSP432VDG-160) ($240)
- Yaesu G-400X rotator pole mount ($40)
- 2.4GHz Patch Feed
- LMR400 feedline (amount?) ($.92/ft or $.81/ft >= 100')
- Mast pipe for mounting the antennas.
- Rotator control …
I just worked a pass on AO-16. Heck yeah it was early. But having the bird all to myself at 5:45 in the morning means I get to test my antennas without stepping on anyone else. I did work N8OQ but it wasn't easy. And I'm not really sure …read more
Now comes the interesting part. How do I hold up my antennas so they can twist and turn as required? I don't plan to be in the same location in two years so I don't want to do anything permanent. I currently have a 30-foot pole up next to the …read more
The most important part to a radio station is the antennas. You could probably lump in the feedline as well but I think I have that figured out for the moment.
So what antennas do I already have and what do I need.
- 11-element 2m beam (single polarization, currently …
I'm ready to take the next step. I have a set of azimuth and elevation rotators and I even have a 2M beam. I think it is time I get serious about my satellite operations. Not that I don't have fun working the FM birds via my HT and an …read more
Every day or so my local packet BBS receives a humor post from W1GMF in Massachusetts. I really enjoy the jokes but I'm really impressed by the path the message has to take to make it to Yorktown, Virginia. The path looks like: KR4MA N9NDS KB0OFD N0KFQ KB8DM N4JOA N9ZZK …read more
I don't hide the fact that I am a contractor to a few US Government organizations and deal specifically with security issues. As such, I'm asked if I'm seeing any open source or Linux items in my daily work. Unfortunately the answer is always "not as much as I'd like …read more
Last weekend was CRAZY! 105+F heat index and over 300 bicycles somewhere between Koka Booth Amphitheater in Cary and Oxford NC. Yep, it was that time again... The American Diabetes Association's Tour de Cure. Where else can you find enough crazy people to ride their bikes somewhere between 75 …read more
Got a return QSL from EA6SX today. Before you say "You didn't have Spain?" you should know that this isn't exactly Spain. Turns out it this is from the Balearic Islands in the Med. Contact was made on 16 Mar on 17 meters.Grid JM19ikIOTA EU-004
Thanks Mike for …read more
Before travelling the seven hours back to Virginia, today, Amanda reminded me to grab some stuff off the Internet that we could listen to on the way home.
I went to my favourite radio programs and downloaded their latest (and some times a few more) podcasts. I burned the files …read more
The school newspaper where my wife is a student reported yesterday that William and Mary would start giving students an option for what computer (and thus operating system) they could run. Apple will be coming to the campus starting this summer. I'm all about giving people an option away from …read more
Last night John and I were up on 75 ragchewing and we noted the relatively high noise floor. Now it is 13:50z and the noise floor still seems high on some bands. Here are the current conditions:160m - S580m - S375m - S5 with static crashes (nearby thunderstorms)60m …
At my job we create very large documents for customers explaining how we are going to test their systems. These documents are usually a couple thousand pages long which means the files can also get pretty large.
I got curious to see how big the file would be based on …read more
So I have been looking for a simple "terminal" program to run that will allow me to interface to my terminal node controller (TNC) that I use for packet on Amateur Radio. I've found two programs that work but each of them has some crazy side effects that limit their …read more
SANS Internet Storm Center is reporting that possibly several under-sea cables have been cut near the coast of Egypt. Several countries in that area have reported slow connections or complete packet loss. India is experiencing a 50% packet loss at times due to all their traffic having to flow out …read more
I've been having problems with my radio station lately and it has really started to bother me. I've used two antennas and haven't been satisfied with either one of them. Before I was using a 40-80-160 dipole but the 80m portion was too long and didn't want to work right …read more
On October 20th I completed my application and sent my cards to the ARRL for verification that I had met the requirements for the IARU's "Worked All Continents" award. Exactly seven days later I not only had my cards returned but also had my certificate as well. Now that is …read more
It appears that I'll be working the November Sweepstakes with friends this year. Ed, KN4KL, will (hopefully) be sponsoring us at his house for the contest and will be joined by Jeremy, KO4SJ, and Jason, N4ZBE. There was even a rumor about Amanda, KI4IWS, joining in the fun. I guess …read more
Got 114 QSLs mailed to the ARRL Outgoing Bureau yesterday. Costs less than $3.00 for shipping so I'm happy about that. I also sent out a handful of DX cards via Airmail as well. All but five have been sent as I'm waiting for IRCs from the Post Office …read more
A man can only take but so much and I have gone well beyond that. I have figured out where I stand in the ham radio community, I am not a contester but rather a DX chaser. The CQ WW RTTY DX Contest goes for 48-hours and it is quite …read more
Well, actually it is day one plus four hours or so. I haven't been really "competing" but I have been grabbing the QSOs that I could. So far I've racked up 160 QSOs on 4 continents, 42 countries, 28 US states, 7 Canadian providences, and 16 CQ zones. Not bad …read more
Last night I put the final touches on the 20m vertical antenna I built the previous night. Looking over everything and checking it twice I thought I had everything taken care of. I looped a branch in a nearby tree and pulled the antenna skyward so that the base was …read more
Ten days ago I reported on my blog that the ARRL wouldn't recognize QSOs taking place via the ISS for DXCC or WAS. I got the response I was looking for today from Norm Fusaro, W3IZ. Thank you ARRL for letting this happen. Now I have QSOs to upload to …read more
I'm going to build a new antenna I found in the 2003 edition of the ARRL Handbook. This antenna was originally published by the ARRL in their September 1984 edition of QST in which Chuck Hutchinson, K8CH, explains his "Tree-Mounted HF Groundplane Antenna".
I will be building the 20m version …read more