Solar Power All the things!

December - Toffee Apples! Santa! and Gifts!

Kicking off the month with a lovely present is the first full day of solar power operation. The SolarEdge monitoring app is showing nearly 70% of the energy generated today is being sent out to the grid; sweet. I'm looking forward to getting those batteries installed next!


There's also at least one ham radio event soon and more about the solar installation and ham radio.


Continue reading the December adventures in radio notes..



Solar Power and the ham radio shack!

November - Solar Power and the ham radio shack!

Kicking off the month and already halfway through. I stumbled into an online auction held by Your Miss Spiffy Estate Sales, LLC just as I was about to get on my clubs weekly net and only because (a) the auction was ending in less than two hours and (b) since it was less than an hour drive from my house I could easily pickup anything that I won.

When I drove to pickup the three items I won, I ended up talking to a granddaughter of AA2XK, Richard Hiller , now a Silent Key as this turned out to be his estate auction. AA2XK QRZ page is over here:, I don't think our paths crossed (unless he worked the LIRR Hempstead line) as he retired from the LIRR in 1994.

His granddaughter (my bad - forgot to ask her name) did say he was a net controller on the "Graveyard Net". Thank you Your Miss Spiffy Estate Sales, LLC and my condolences to the Hiller family - I didn't know Ritchie personally but I AM going to connect into the Graveyard net (maybe need to use my Wolf-River-coil, or my Alexloop as im not uually an 80 meter guy) to at least say hello and pay my respects. I hope the auction was a success and, if it helps, the equipment IS being used by a fellow ham.

The MFJ-262 1000 watt Dry dummy load has already replaced my tiny in comparison, 10watt dummy load and the (quite heavy in comparison) Kenwood PS-430 Linear Power Supply has replaced my (switching) Chinese PS. I haven't hooked up the MFJ-426b Multireader yet but that's coming.

Another Jean Shepherd audio file find...
This time, a wedding taking place on the 75(80) meter band. Enjoy!


Continue November's activities in the November adventures in radio notes..


Cybersecurity and radio!

September - Cybersecurity, IOT and still communications!

Kicking off the month with a Request For Comment (RFC) from the FCC about Cybersecurity and Internet of Things (IOT) devices. Almost every new ham radio today supports internet connectivity either directly via Digital modes that can traverse the internet or indirectly through options like firmware updates or contact lists or repeater directories. Your ham radio today is very much like IOT devices so this RFC bears paying ttention to.

Okay, so you're rocking a circa 1970 KenwoYaesIcomic rig? This RFC probably doesn't do much for you unless you DO have a computer or two in your ham shack.

For everyone else buying a rig in this 21st century and working with Software Defined Radios (SDR's) this means you. The "S" means software and software means cybersecurity against malware, hackers and other nasties.




August - It's all about communications this month (again).

Communications Today!     
Communication channels are still important today

Okay, so if this month looks suspiciously like last month then I have to confess it is and it's already halfway through this month as well. The summer is flying by and life goes on.

The Hustler antenna was and is up - but testing threw some unexpected curveballs: August adventures in radio notes.! Now this month was supposed to be about communications but in addition to getting the antenna up I wanted to also get my studio mic and mixer connected as well - they are sort of working now but follow along in my article on connecting my mixer and studio mic to the Icom IC-705: Using a studio mic with the ICOM IC-705 . Also, in getting the Hustler antenna connected I ran across a blog and an interesting use of Slack for ham radio clubs - I have no idea if my local club will adopt but hey I'm giving it a shot: August adventures in radio notes.



July - It's all about communications this month.

1. Old modes of operation with new antenna setups. 2. Going portable, perhaps even a POTA attempt. Stay tuned! July adventures in radio notes



June - Summer is coming - time to finish getting that Hustler 4BTV finished!

1. LIMARC Ham Event. 2. Building the Hustler 4BTV. 3. VHF Day, Field Day and stuff. June adventures in radio notes



May - ICOM IC-705 updates and now using the Rtsystems software for configuration

Trying out RTsystems software - I can see the value in the software after spending a couple of hours essentially trying to build something like it in Excel.

The Northern California DX Foundation (NXCDF) putting sad ham DX losers on notice. The mystery of the dummy load and what is an M5stack?  May adventures in radio notes



April - ICOM IC-705 Problems, Troubleshooting, and a happy ending!

Troubleshooting mic problems and help from  2023-03-28 ICOM IC-705 A problem, with a happy ending



March - Has anyone seen the Apple - iPhone Satellite Connection news?

Communications Today!

I haven't seen any Amateur Radio commentary on the Apple iPhone- Satellite Radio Connection which is a little strange considering the potential impact this development may have on bringing new people into the Amateur Radio hobby. I only learned about the iPhone satellite connection a couple of weeks ago, but it looks like Apple has made this feature available for a few months now. You can read about the technology here: (Apple support).


Essentially the Apple Satellite Connection lets the (recent model/iPhone 14) iPhone owner send an emergency text message via Satellite to an Apple message center. The message center can then communicate with authorities. If you set up "Share location" ahead of time, then contacts that you share your location with can also see the transcript of messages being sent to and from your cellphone, satellite, and the message center.


I'm not an iPhone user myself, but in theory, I could be out with my family, at least two of whom have the iPhone 14, be out of cellphone range (the beach just a couple of miles from my house has zero cell phone coverage). In an emergency, they could point their cellphones at the sky and whip off a text-message call for help.


My own Android phone would not have service, and from experience, I could call CQ on 146.520 for hours if not days, and not raise a sausage. This could be huge as (a) it's excellent for non-ham users who are already carrying around an EMCOMM HT in their pockets (the iPhone), already know how to use it (it's a text msg), and (b) the iPhone app walks them through aiming the phone and contacting the satellite. No beam Yagi satellite seeking, no split signal management, no doppler shift alignment. Just text (or just SPEAK the text msg). Apple says this works from most anywhere on the planet - I think the ham radio for emergency communications may have just lost some of its argument at least in terms of why you should learn to use and own an amateur radio. Apple just made emergency satellite communications lower in costs. My son, Michael, took the above video screenshot of his iPhone 14 going through the demo:



February: "bits and bobs month"

shorkie dog with headset


February notes: Long Island CW classes - redux! Short-wave radio is still a thing. Yet another new antenna into the mix and the month has just barely gotten started.

January notes: Ham Radio University. A new case for the IC-705. Mag-loop antennas retro-fitted back into the ham shack and another Jean Shepherd file drops "the mysteries of code school and dx propagation on VHF"

December rollover Twitter and magloops are back

December notes: bring leaving Twitter and moving to Mastodon.; Fixing my mAT-705Plus ATU problem and magloops (really folded dipoles) reinstated in the ham shack.

The end of the igate experiment and a LIMARC hamfest

I wrap up the igate experiment as November brings an end to the project. I learned a lot more about APRS but at the end of the day, an igate repeater is a boring system (for me) even if it is busy, and mine was certainly not active. I also have another LIMARC hamfest coming up this month that I will talk about after the event and a new, so to speak, Jean Shepherd radio recording on his ham radio adventures - how do radios work? Enjoy!


This notebook section

I've had this online notebook running for quite a while, and although there are long stretches where I don't write anything, I find it helpful to refer back to things I've written for my benefit. I am new to amateur radio, getting my technician license in 2020. I tend to learn something I am interested in reasonably quickly, having worked in technology for a long time. This section summarizes things that I learned by picking up this hobby. If I write something today and then in the future realize that I have not correctly explained something or I have missed an important detail, then I update the note. Again, this is written for my reference, but if you also find it useful, thank you.