• [FOAR] The power supply connector dance contest... (7/21)

    From FOAR via rec.radio.info Admin@21:1/5 to All on Mon Jul 18 13:48:30 2022
    [continued from previous message]

    This also sparked discussion on the TLF mailing list about how we might implement this kind of functionality long-term. Those two things, the fact
    that I could hack my own copy of TLF and discuss long-term updates is why I think that Open Source and Amateur Radio are an obvious match.

    I released my ssbdaemon script as Open Source too, so I immediately
    benefited from other people looking at it and giving me feedback. As a
    direct result my code improved, my tool became more useful and those
    changes were published for anyone to use, immediately.

    At this point I should mention that although I'm using TLF, ssbdaemon is a drop-in replacement for cwdaemon and should work anywhere as a direct replacement, so tools like CQRLOG, Xlog and others can use it with no
    changes to their code.

    Back to the discussion about the usefulness of this tool in relation to our hobby.

    I think that a tool like mine does a number of things. It achieves the
    direct purpose that it was built for, making it possible to create a more universal voice-keyer, but it also does other things.

    I set out to make TLF do callsign voice-keying, but in solving the problem,
    I managed to build a tool that was universal to any station using an
    external Morse-keyer, regardless of whether or not they were using TLF.

    Several emails commented on the way that I'd come to this solution and
    observed that this opened opportunities beyond my script, including
    operating Single Side Band contests remotely.

    As a direct result of my release there's now a discussion underway in
    relation to how TLF manages band changes. It's not finished, likely it'll
    go through several iterations and might not be implemented immediately, but
    the fact that this discussion is happening comes as a side-effect of my

    This little script, truthfully almost trivial script, is causing change to happen in unexpected places.

    It did make me wonder if there are little things like this that we can do
    to bring awareness and activity to other areas, things like man-made
    climate change and how we might achieve that in tiny unexpected ways.

    As for running a contest with my new voice-keyer, propagation permitting,
    keep an ear out and let me know how it goes.

    I'm Onno VK6FLAB
    This posting includes a media file: http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/20211031.foundations-of-amateur-radio.mp3

    How to run an SSB contest without using your voice ...

    Posted: 23 Oct 2021 09:00 AM PDT

    Foundations of Amateur Radio

    As you might know, I consider myself a contester. I derive great pleasure
    from getting on air and making noise during a contest. It gives me a
    wonderful opportunity to test my station, hone my skills and work on
    learning something new every time I participate.

    Due to circumstances I've been away from contesting for a number of years,
    but recently I was able scratch my itch from my own shack. For 24 glorious hours I was able to make contacts from the comfort of my home, being able
    to make a cup of tea, eat some dinner, stay warm, catch a nap when the
    bands were closed and generally have a blast.

    My set-up worked well. Operating QRP or low power, I used a basic contest logger, since I wasn't expecting to be making many contacts. To
    automatically call CQ, I recorded my voice and set-up a script that played
    the audio, waited four seconds, then played it again. Using my audio mixer,
    I could turn that on and off at will and between that and the headset I was wearing I had loads of fun and even made contacts!

    During the last three hours of the contest my partner came home. After
    hearing me attempt to confirm an exchange for a while, it became apparent
    that making exchanges, calling CQ and generally talking out loud was going
    to be an issue in our home, since my shack is within hearing range of the entire house. That or I'm going deaf and my voice is getting louder. I do
    get excited from time to time!

    For the past several months I've been trying to find a solution and until
    today I wasn't getting any closer.

    I didn't think I was asking for too much.

    I'm looking for a contest logger, that runs on Linux, that has the super
    check partial database, knows the contest rules and most importantly, has a voice keyer with the ability to actually voice the exchange itself, as-in,
    not a pre-recorded audio file, but the ability to speak any callsign and
    any exchange.

    As an aside, the super check partial database is a list of frequently heard contest callsigns, originally introduced by Ken K1EA, which if used
    properly, helps you when you're deciphering a callsign on a noisy band.
    Using it to guess calls and make mistakes can result in significant
    penalties for some contests.

    The only tool I've come across that does all this in any way is N1MM. It
    runs on Windows and I have to tell you, the idea of having to buy a new computer, just to run a supported version of Windows just doesn't do it for
    me. N1MM also doesn't use Hamlib, so my radio needs to be physically
    connected to the computer. I won't bore you with my weeks of attempts, but
    it became farcical.

    During my months of exploration I looked at and tried plenty of other
    tools. Many of them aren't intended for contesting, don't have access to
    the super check partial database, don't do voice-keying, don't run under
    Linux, require weird bits of extra software, have little or no
    documentation and a myriad of other issues like having to compile from
    source with arcane library requirements, the list goes on.

    One contender that got close was a text only tool called TLF. It got so
    close that I almost used it for my previous contest. In the end I didn't because it was doing unpredictable things with the display and I had to
    write my own contest rule file for an unsupported contest which I couldn't
    test in time to actually use.

    Today I took another look.

    TLF doesn't have a voice-keyer on board, but it does have the ability to interface with a Morse-keyer, which is interesting, since it implies that
    there is a process that translates callsigns and messages typed in with a keyboard into Morse, which might mean that it may be possible to pretend to
    be a Morse-key and make voice sounds instead.

    The Morse-keyer software in question is cwdaemon. It accepts text messages
    from TLF and then converts those into Morse code and then directly controls your radio to generate dits and dahs on-air.

    I started digging through the source code when I realised that cwdaemon
    might have a debug mode that shows what it's doing. Turns out, not only
    does it have a debug option, you can also prevent it from keying your
    radio. Which means that I should be able to get TLF to generate the
    messages, cwdaemon to show those messages and me to do something useful,
    like play audio files as appropriate.

    If I pull this off, it will mean that I can operate my station as if I'm running CW, but the radio will be transmitting voice, which makes for a beautiful way to save my vocal chords whilst running a contest without bothering anyone else and do this without needing to install Windows, which frankly, in my book is a win.

    If I succeed, and I think the odds are good, I'll publish my efforts on my github repository for you to use, if you're so inclined.

    I have to confess, when I started this adventure, I was not at all
    convinced that I could make this happen and I'd all but thrown in the
    towel. It still quite unbelievable to me that this kind of thing doesn't
    appear to exist, but if all goes well, it should soon.

    What are you going to be doing for your next contest?

    I'm Onno VK6FLAB
    This posting includes a media file: http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/20211024.foundations-of-amateur-radio.mp3

    The inherent redundancy of a compromise antenna

    Posted: 16 Oct 2021 09:00 AM PDT

    Foundations of Amateur Radio

    For an activity that's seeped in the art of communication, amateur radio is
    a diverse collection of people, joined by a common interest and kept
    together using imperfect language describing an intrinsically complex
    science in the hope that we can learn from each other to get on air and
    make noise.

    In this cooperative endeavour, language is important.

    Let me start with a limerick by Arthur Frackenpohl:

    There was a young fellow of Perth
    Who was born on the day of his birth
    He married, they say
    On his wife's wedding day
    And died when he quitted the earth

    Stay with me.

    In this day and age, first and foremost, let me give you a short summary, cobbled together from bits and pieces of a new invention, conceived whilst watching the evening sunset in close proximity to the beach.

    What this cornucopia of tautologies has to do with our hobby might not be obvious, but let me illustrate.

    Consider the phrase: "a compromise antenna", as-in, "Oh, I'd never use that antenna, it's a compromise antenna."

    If you've been in this community for any time at all, you'll have heard
    that phrase and unless someone pointed it out, you might not have realised
    that it's essentially unhelpful.


    Because as I've said many times before, all antennas are a compromise, by definition. This is true at several levels.

    At a fundamental level, an isotropic antenna is a theoretical antenna that radiates equally in all directions - horizontally and vertically with the
    same intensity. It's infinitely small and operates on all frequencies with infinite bandwidth. It should be obvious, but this antenna cannot
    physically exist, so every built antenna represents a collection of
    trade-offs or compromises and no antenna can radiate more total power than
    an isotropic antenna.

    Beyond that, within the physical constraints of antenna building there are
    many more compromises. Now this might not be immediately obvious, so let me elaborate.

    Consider a 28 MHz, seven element Yagi antenna. With a 12m boom, a 5.3m reflector element, a turning circle of 7.5m and weighing in at 53 kilo. At
    20m above the ground it has a gain of 17.5 dBi and handles 1.5 kW. It's physically capable of withstanding 180 km/h winds. It's a lovely piece of
    kit and if you have the space, it's absolutely something you might want to receive for your birthday and bolt to a mast somewhere near your radio.

    If all antennas are a compromise, you might ask yourself, how is this
    beautiful 10m Yagi a compromise?

    For starters, its total radiated power is less than an isotropic antenna.
    It works between 28 and 29 MHz, but nowhere else. It radiates signals
    really well in one direction, but not in any other. It requires lots of
    open space and as a fixed installation, it must be on a heavy duty rotator clamped to a tall mast. To actually acquire and install requires more funds than I've spent on all my radios to date.

    Some of what I've mentioned might be acceptable to you, some not. For
    example, if you're always portable, this antenna makes no sense. You make choices to select an antenna that's best suited to the job and in doing so,
    you are introducing compromises.

    Additionally, there are amateurs who would have you believe that a
    compromise antenna is one with high loss.

    High loss in comparison to what?

    If you live in an apartment block, there's no way that you can fit that 10m Yagi inside your bedroom, so you compromise and use a magnetic loop antenna instead. If you're on the top of a mountain, there's no opportunity to
    erect a structure, so you use a self-supporting vertical. If you're in a
    car, you cannot erect a horizontal dipole and drive down the highway, so
    you bolt a whip to your jalopy.

    All of the choices you make to fit a purpose, an environment, a budget and available material will combine into an antenna that hopefully gets you on
    air making noise.

    When someone tells you that an antenna is a compromise antenna, what
    they're really saying is that you made compromises that they're unwilling
    to make. That's easy to say if you have infinite space, money, experience
    and opportunity. In other words, they're just blowing hot air.

    The whole point of antenna building is to find a particular set of
    compromises that suits your situation at the time that you're doing it. The intent of this hobby is to learn what the impact of a particular choice is
    and how it affects the operation of an antenna in a specific situation.

    Next time you hear the redundant phrase "that's a compromise antenna", ask
    what compromises they are describing that they don't accept and decide for yourself if they are compatible with what you're attempting to achieve
    within the resources available to you.

    I'm Onno VK6FLAB
    This posting includes a media file: http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/20211017.foundations-of-amateur-radio.mp3

    Standard Information Exchange in Amateur Radio

    Posted: 09 Oct 2021 09:00 AM PDT

    Foundations of Amateur Radio

    The art of storing information in such a way that it doesn't devolve into random gibberish is an ongoing battle in the evolution of the human race. Egyptians five thousand years ago were perfectly happy storing information using hieroglyphs. They used it for well over three thousand years, but
    today you'd be hard pressed bumping into anyone on the street who knows
    one, let alone one thousand characters.

    Latin fared a little better. It's been in use for over two thousand years,
    but other than fields like biology, medicine and of course some religions,
    the best you can hope for is et cetera, mea culpa and my favourite, carpe noctum, that and a few mottos scattered about.

    Using technology to store information is no better. If you have a 3.5 inch floppy disc tucked away in a drawer, can you still read it today and do you know why it's called a floppy disc? What about a 5.25 inch, or 8 inch
    floppy. What about tape. Do you still have backups stored on DAT?

    Even if you could physically read the information, could you still make
    sense of it? Can you open a VisiCalc spreadsheet file today? That was
    invented during my lifetime, first released in 1979. The latest release was
    in 1983.

    My point being that storing and retrieving information is hard.

    Amateur Radio is an activity that has been around since the early 1900's,
    over a century of information. We describe our collective wisdom in books, magazines, audio recordings, websites, podcasts, videos and tweets.

    One of the more consistent sources of information coming from our activity
    is logging, specifically QSO or contact logging. There are bookshelves full
    of paper log files, but since the advent of home computing, logging now is primarily an electronic affair.

    If you've upgraded the software on your computer, you know the pains
    associated with maintaining your log across those transitions. If you've changed operating systems, the problem only got worse.

    Currently there are primarily two standards associated with logging, the
    ADIF and Cabrillo specifications. Both are published ways of describing how
    to store information in such a way that various bits of software can read
    the information and arrive at the same interpretation.

    As you might expect, things change over time and any standard needs to be
    able to adopt changes as they occur. How that happens is less than
    transparent and in an open community like amateur radio, that's a problem.

    Used primarily for logging contacts, the Amateur Data Interchange Format or ADIF is published on a website, adif.org. There's lively discussion in a mailing list and since its inception in 1996, it's evolved through many versions, incorporating change as it happens. Like the adoption of new
    digital modes, new country codes and administrative subdivisions.

    Used for contest logging, Cabrillo is published on the World Wide Radio Operators Foundation, or WWROF web site which assumed administration for
    the specification in 2014. It documents changes as they occurred, like
    adding contest names, station types and contest overlays. While there's
    clearly activity happening, there doesn't appear to be a public forum where this is discussed.

    Speaking of public.

    The DXCC, or DX Century Club is a radio award for working countries on a
    list. ADIF stores those country codes using the DXCC country code number,
    which is part of the specification published by the ARRL, the American
    Radio Relay League. The list of DXCC entities is copyrighted by the ARRL,
    which is fair enough, but you have to actually buy it from the ARRL to get
    a copy. This is a problem because it means that any future archivist, you included, needs access to a specific version of both the ADIF and the then valid DXCC list, just to read the information in a log file. To put it
    mildly, in my opinion, that's bonkers.

    Relying on external information isn't limited to ADIF. Cabrillo relies on external data for the format of the Location field which indicates where
    the station was operating from. Among others, it refers to the RSGB, the
    Radio Society of Great Britain who maintains a list of IOTA, or Islands on
    the Air, published on a web site that no longer exists.

    There are other issues.

    It appears that for the Cabrillo specification there is no incremental
    version number associated with any changes. Version 3 of Cabrillo was
    released in 2006. There are 31 changes published to update Version 3, but
    as far as I can tell, they're all called Version 3, so anyone attempting to read a Version 3 log will not actually know what they're dealing with. To
    give you a specific example of three changes. In 2016 the 119G band name
    was changed to 123G, which was changed in 2021 to 122G. All three labels
    refer to the same band, but until you actually start looking at the file
    will you have any indication about the version used to generate the file.

    Let's move on.

    Contesting. Not the logging or the on-air activity, but how to score a
    contest. What activity gets points and what incurs a penalty? Do you get different points for different bands, for different station prefixes, for
    low power, for multiple operators, for being portable and plenty more. Can
    you make contact with the same station more than once, if so, how often and under which circumstances? What is the exchange, how does it change, if at
    all? Each of these choices are weighed by contest managers all over the
    globe and they do it every time they run their contest. For some contests
    that means that there are dozens of rule versions across the years. To give
    you some idea of scale, the modern CQWW was first run in 1948 and there's
    at least one amateur contest every weekend.

    Now imagine that you're writing contest logging software that keeps track
    of your score and alerts you if the contact you're about to make is valid
    or not, or if it incurs a penalty if you were to log it. That software is driven by the rules that govern a particular contest.

    Some contest software is updated by the author every time a major contest
    is held to incorporate the latest changes. Other contest tools use external definition files, which specify how a particular contest is scored.

    As you might suspect, that too is information and it too is in flux and to
    make matters worse, there is no standard. So far, the tools that I've found that make any concerted attempt at this all use different file formats to specify how a contest is scored and of those, one explicitly points out
    that their file format doesn't incorporate all of the possible variation, leaving it to updating the software itself in order to incorporate changes
    that aren't covered by their own file format. That is sub-optimal to say
    the least.

    Personally, I think that there is a place for a global standards body for amateur radio, one that coordinates all these efforts, one that has a
    lively discussion, one that uses modern tools to publish its specifications
    and one that does this using public information with an eye on record

    I'm Onno VK6FLAB
    This posting includes a media file: http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/20211010.foundations-of-amateur-radio.mp3

    You in the community ...

    Posted: 02 Oct 2021 09:00 AM PDT

    Foundations of Amateur Radio

    The other day a member of our community proudly showed off their plaque for first place as a Short Wave Listener or SWL in the Poland SP DX Contest. Together with their dad they listened on 80m using a WebSDR and logged all
    the contacts they were able to hear. Their participation didn't include transmitters, since neither have got their callsigns, yet.

    To me this illustrates exactly what it's like to dip your toes into the
    world of amateur radio and it's a path that many amateurs have taken to
    become licensed and transmitting.

    I'm mentioning this because that same short wave listener also won a
    platinum diploma from the anniversary of Stanislaw Lem's 100th birthday
    amateur contest.

    If that name sends tingles of excitement down your spine, you're familiar
    with his work. If not, you might be interested to know that Stanislaw Lem
    was a world acclaimed Polish writer of science fiction who died in 2006.

    This random discovery, in addition to giving me ideas about opportunities
    for contests and awards, reminded me of other times when in one setting
    I've been surprised by information relating to another setting. In this
    case, science fiction. In previous workplaces I've come across software developers, technicians and managers who outside their roles in computing
    were active as volunteer fire-fighters, paramedics, writers, stage
    performers, singers, foster parents and more.

    It occurred to me that we in the amateur radio community spend most, if not all, of our time discussing amateur radio, but that we likely share other interests with our community. I recently discovered other science fiction nerds, a cos-player, there's some volunteer fire-fighters and the like, no doubt there's more.

    My point being that in addition to finding more common ground between us as
    a community, we also have the opportunity to share our hobby with other
    people who share our interests. It's hard to imagine that science fiction
    fans and fire-fighters for example are unable to relate to amateur radio.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not advocating that you hit the members of your
    other communities over the back of the head with amateur radio. Instead,
    think of it as another way to connect to that group.

    The thing that strikes me about our amateur community is the diversity that
    it encompasses. It means that there's likely plenty of other interests that
    you will find that bind you to other amateurs and it likely means that your other hobbies and interests might share some of your amateur interests.

    Truth be told, as all consuming as amateur radio is, it's not the only
    thing that defines you and it's not the only thing of interest to the
    people around you.

    What those interests are is up to you.

    Only one way to find out.

    Talk with your friends.

    I'm Onno VK6FLAB
    This posting includes a media file: http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/20211003.foundations-of-amateur-radio.mp3

    The sun shines on our hobby in unexpected ways.

    Posted: 25 Sep 2021 09:00 AM PDT

    Foundations of Amateur Radio

    When you begin your amateur radio journey, one of the first things you
    learn about that's not directly involved with radios and antennas is the ionosphere and its impact on long distance communications. Immediately
    after that you are more likely that not to be introduced to the biggest
    plasma experiment in our backyard, the Sun.

    With that introduction comes information about solar flares, solar flux, sunspots, geomagnetic storms, coronal mass ejections as well as the solar cycle, the solar index and associated propagation forecasts.

    Before I dig further, I will point out that I'm mentioning this with the ultimate aim for you to get on air and make noise, so fasten your seat-belt
    and let's go for a ride.

    The Sun is big. If it was hollow, it could fit more than a million Earths inside. The Sun accounts for 99.8% of the total mass of our entire solar system. About 73% of the Sun's mass is hydrogen, about 25% is helium and
    the rest, about 1.69% is made up of all the other heavier elements, both
    gasses and metals, which add up to around 5628 times the mass of Earth.

    The Sun rotates. Counter-clockwise. Since it's mostly plasma, it doesn't
    rotate like Earth does. The equator takes about 24 days, the poles around
    35 days and because its rotating on an angle of about 7.25 degrees from
    Earth's rotation axis, we get to see more of the solar north pole in
    September and more of the solar south pole in March.

    Earth orbits the Sun in a year, but it's not a circular orbit. We're
    closest to the Sun in December and furthest from the Sun in June. It takes about eight minutes and 19 seconds for a photon leaving the Sun to reach
    Earth, but that same photon can take between 40,000 and 170,000 years to
    travel from the core where two atoms were heated and compressed to fuse
    into a new element releasing a photon and heat. It takes this long because
    the photon keeps bumping into other atoms along the way. While we're at it, consuming about 4 million tons of hydrogen per second, the Sun will take another 5 billion years to consume all the available hydrogen.

    Whilst we experience the Sun as a source of light on a daily basis, as a
    radio amateur you know that light is just one tiny part of the
    electromagnetic spectrum. It should come as no surprise that the Sun is radiating across all frequencies all the time, only some of which is
    visible to our naked eye.

    As an aside, it's interesting to note that our eyes are essentially
    translating light into electricity, or said differently, your eye converts radio spectrum into electricity, something which your radio antenna also

    Back to the Sun.

    I'm highlighting this level of solar complexity because there's so much
    talk about the A index, the K index, the SFI, the solar cycle and
    propagation by experts and amateurs that it's easy to hide behind those
    numbers and think that a low A between 1 and 6, a low K of 0 or 1 with an
    SFI above 100 will give you the propagation you're looking for.

    If you think for a moment that the weather forecaster has a difficult job accurately telling you if you need to postpone your outdoor activation
    because of rain or snow, then you can begin to understand just how complex
    the interplay between the Sun and our ionosphere is. And I haven't even mentioned that the ionosphere isn't static either.

    It's important to remember that the cute little weather icons you see on
    the TV news are just as much an indicator of expected weather as the A, K
    and SFI numbers are for the Sun and its impact on radio propagation. They
    give you an idea of what might happen, but it doesn't mean that on any
    given day something completely random and isolated happens that just
    affects your station and the path that a radio signal took from your
    antenna to that other rare DX station.

    Just like it would be smart to take an umbrella with you when there's rain forecast, it's also smart to consider the bands you want to operate next
    time you go on air with a particular solar forecast, but just because it
    might rain, doesn't mean you're guaranteed to get wet.

    So, in other words, wait for it, get on air and make some noise!

    I'm Onno VK6FLAB
    This posting includes a media file: http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/20210926.foundations-of-amateur-radio.mp3

    We need more glue in our hobby ...

    Posted: 18 Sep 2021 09:00 AM PDT

    Foundations of Amateur Radio

    Since December 2010 I've been licensed as a radio amateur. For some this
    seems like a long time ago, for others, it's just the beginning. In my time thus far I've attempted to document and describe my journey and in doing
    so, I've had the unbeatable pleasure of hearing stories from others who
    were inspired by my efforts to join, or rejoin the hobby.

    It occurred to me that it's hard to tell when you look at any one amateur
    if the ink on their licence is still wet, or if the whole certificate is
    faded and yellowed with time.

    You also cannot tell by looking if one amateur turns on their gear in the
    car during the daily commute, or if they go out on expeditions to remote locations twice a year.

    The callsign a person holds tells you even less, let alone the class of
    their license.

    In our community we talk about mentoring and we call such people Elmers,
    but do we really use this as a way to glue together our hobby as its
    namesake might suggest?

    As a result of my profile, there's a steady stream of commentary about what
    I do and how I do it. As you might expect, there's both good and bad,
    sometimes describing the same thing from opposite sides in equally heated terms.

    I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that playing the man and not
    the ball will get you completely ignored. If however you have a specific grievance with any technical aspect of what I'm contributing, by all means
    let me know, but be prepared to provide references because it might come as
    a surprise, I do research before I open my mouth. That's not to say that I don't make mistakes, I'm sure I do and have.

    Before this turns into a self congratulatory oration, I'd like to point out that all the negative feedback I see all around me does nothing to grow our hobby, does nothing to encourage learning, does nothing to reward trial and error and it doesn't contribute to society at large in any way.

    I'm mentioning this because I also receive emails from amateurs who have
    left the community, not because of lack of interest, but because of the bullying that they've experienced.

    I know that there are several local activities that I avoid because it's
    just not fun to bump into people who are friendly to your face whilst being vicious online.

    It continues to amaze me that this topic keeps recurring and that it keeps needing to be called out. One thing I can tell you is that ignoring it
    doesn't work. I've described previously what you should do instead when
    you're the subject of such petulant behaviour, but it bears repeating. Say
    it out loud.

    "Thank you for your comment. I don't believe that it's in the spirit of
    amateur radio. Please stop."

    Feel free to use that phrase anytime someone in this hobby makes you feel uncomfortable.

    One final observation. If you've not personally experienced this behaviour that's great, but it doesn't mean that it doesn't happen or that it's not endemic. Consider for a moment how you'd feel if you were attacked whilst
    being active in a hobby you love, for no other reason than that the person attacking you didn't like the wire you were using to construct a dipole or
    some other equally outrageous reason like your gender, sexual orientation, license class, choice of radio or preferred on-air activity.

    Say it with me:

    "Thank you for your comment. I don't believe that it's in the spirit of
    amateur radio. Please stop."

    I'm Onno VK6FLAB
    This posting includes a media file: http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/20210919.foundations-of-amateur-radio.mp3

    The Fox Mike Hotel Portable Operations Challenge

    Posted: 11 Sep 2021 09:00 AM PDT

    Foundations of Amateur Radio

    Getting on air and making noise is what it's all about, so last week,
    that's exactly what we did. Randall VK6WR, Jishnu VK6JN and I participated
    in the Fox Mike Hotel Portable Operations Challenge which is specifically scored to deal with power and mode differences between stations by using a handicap system that they liken to playing golf. Having been the winner of
    the Sir Donald Bradman Award in the Millmerran Memorial Golf Tournament for making the highest score on the day, this speaks to me in more ways than I
    can say. In case you're wondering, more hits in golf is bad and I'm not a golfer.

    [continued in next message]

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