• Other Ham Radio News

    From Daryl Stout@432:1/112 to All on Mon Aug 3 15:23:25 2020
    Welcome to August,

    Mike (KB5WBH) provided the following update of the ADEM WinLink
    Communication Status yesterday 1 Aug 2020. Please make note of
    this change and adjust as necessary for Emergency Communications.

    *****************************************************************

    As of today Winmor was removed from KB5LZK at the Arkansas Division
    of Emergency Management in Little Rock. Winmor is being dropped by
    Winlink. It was always going to be replaced by ARDOP and they asked
    us to phase out Winmor.

    The current modes that are supported at KB5LZK are Pactor I,II and
    III, ARDOP and VARA.

    73
    Mike KB5WBH

    *****************************************************************

    Thank you Mike for the information.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    ARRL Arkansas Section
    Section Manager: James D Ferguson Jr, N5LKE
    n5lke@arrl.org --------------------------------------------------------------------
    --- SBBSecho 3.11-Win32
    * Origin: The Thunderbolt BBS - tbolt.synchro.net (432:1/112)
  • From Daryl Stout@432:1/112 to All on Fri Aug 14 12:26:14 2020
    With assistance from Gary, VA3GDZ, I've now added a spreadsheet
    of selected D-Star (60), D-Rats (92), and Echolink (99) Nets...to
    go with the PDF files of full and compact versions of these. They
    can all be downloaded at https://www.theweatherwonder.com/elk.htm

    Click on the desired link to download the file. For the Excel
    Spreadsheets, Microsoft Excel, LibreOffice, OpenOffice, or the
    equivalent, is required. For the PDF files, the Adobe Acrobat PDF
    Reader, FoxIt PDF Reader, or other appropriate PDF Reader, is
    required.

    Please send any additions, changes/corrections, or deletions to
    either wx4qz@arrl.net or wx4qz@winlink.org

    Daryl Stout, WX4QZ
    --- SBBSecho 3.11-Win32
    * Origin: The Thunderbolt BBS - tbolt.synchro.net (432:1/112)
  • From Daryl Stout@432:1/112 to All on Fri Aug 28 16:45:33 2020
    FCC Proposes to Reinstate Amateur Radio Service Fees
    08/28/2020

    Amateur radio licensees would pay a $50 fee for each amateur radio
    license application if the FCC adopts rules it proposed this week.
    Included in the FCC's fee proposal are applications for new licenses,
    renewal and upgrades to existing licenses, and vanity call sign
    requests. Excluded are applications for administrative updates, such
    as changes of address, and annual regulatory fees.

    The FCC proposal is contained in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM)
    in MD Docket 20-270, which was adopted to implement portions of the
    "Repack Airwaves Yielding Better Access for Users of Modern Services
    ActΓÇ¥ of 2018 - the so-called "Ray Baum's Act."

    The Act requires that the FCC switch from a Congressionally-mandated
    fee structure to a cost-based system of assessment. In its NPRM, the
    FCC proposed application fees for a broad range of services that use
    the FCC's Universal Licensing System (ULS), including the Amateur
    Radio Service that had been excluded by an earlier statute. The new
    statute excludes the Amateur Service from annual regulatory fees, but
    not from application fees.

    "[A]pplications for personal licenses are mostly automated and do not
    have individualized staff costs for data input or review," the FCC
    said in its NPRM. "For these automated processes - new/major
    modifications, renewal, and minor modifications- we propose a nominal application fee of $50 due to automating the processes, routine ULS maintenance, and limited instances where staff input is required."

    The same $50 fee would apply to all Amateur Service applications,
    including those for vanity call signs. "Although there is currently
    no fee for vanity call signs in the Amateur Radio Service, we find
    that such applications impose similar costs in aggregate on Commission resources as new applications and therefore propose a $50 fee," the FCC
    said.

    The FCC is not proposing to charge for administrative updates, such
    as mailing address changes for amateur applications, and amateur radio
    will remain exempt from annual regulatory fees. "For administrative
    updates [and] modifications, which also are highly automated, we find
    that it is in the public interest to encourage licensees to update
    their [own] information without a charge," the FCC said.

    The FCC also proposes to assess a $50 fee for individuals who want a
    printed copy of their license. "The Commission has proposed to eliminate
    these services - but to the extent the Commission does not do so, we
    propose a fee of $50 to cover the costs of these services," the FCC said.

    The Ray Baum's Act does not exempt filing fees in the Amateur Radio
    Service. The FCC dropped assessment of fees for vanity call signs several years ago.

    Deadlines for comments and reply comments will be determined once the
    NPRM appears in the Federal Register. File comments by using the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS), posting to MD Docket No. 20-270.
    This docket is already open for accepting comments even though deadlines
    have not yet been set.
    --- SBBSecho 3.11-Win32
    * Origin: The Thunderbolt BBS - tbolt.synchro.net (432:1/112)
  • From Daryl Stout@432:1/112 to All on Sun Oct 18 19:34:27 2020
    The following is from several ARRL Division Directors, and from
    Courage Kenny Handi-Hams. There likely will be a similar message
    on the ARRL website soon.

    **

    It is time to protest the imposition of fees for Amateur Radio Licensing.

    The fees Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was published in this morning's
    Federal Register (https://tinyurl.com/yyk8f2yp). The deadline for comments
    is November 16, and the Reply comment deadline is November 30.

    With this in mind, I am extending the following suggestions you might
    consider using in writing to the FCC in response to the NPRM. Our thanks
    to Dave Siddall K3ZJ, ARRL Counsel, for these guidelines. Be sure to
    carefully review the paragraphs; "Some Suggestions" as the information
    therein will assist with much of the applicable background.

    This subject is critical, the timing is critical. I urge you to contact
    the FCC. Address and related information is contained in the article
    referenced in the Federal Register. Please use your own words to express
    your objections to the proposed fees.

    (Good) Arguments Against FCC Fees for Radio Amateurs

    Amateurs contribute to the public good. In many areas, they provide an emergency communications backbone capability at no taxpayer cost.
    Consistently, we have witnessed storms and natural disasters completely
    wipe out internet, cellular, and other means of communication. Radio
    amateurs often fill that void on an unmatched, flexible basis when needed.
    One recent example is the California wildfires.

    Unlike operators in other FCC licensed services, Amateur Radio operators
    by law - domestic and international -- must eschew using their license
    for any pecuniary interest. Amateurs are prohibited from earning or
    charging any money for any communications activity. The expenses for
    their equipment and activities come out of their own pockets, with no opportunity for reimbursement or payment of any kind.

    The United States is experiencing a severe lack of RF engineers and
    expertise at the very time it is needed by the burgeoning wireless
    industries. Amateur radio is helping to meet the deficit, but much
    more is needed, and youngsters (High School and College-aged) are
    least able to afford licensing fees. RF knowledge and related digital
    expertise is needed to maintain U.S. leadership in wireless industries.
    At a minimum, young people (below the age of 26) should be exempt from
    the proposed license fees.

    Amateur radio is self-regulating. (a) Amateur examinations are written
    and administered by radio amateur volunteers. (b) Examination results
    and paperwork most often are submitted electronically to the FCC.
    Electronic submission could be required if there would be a cost savings
    to the Commission. (c) Amateur radio educational classes are conducted
    by volunteers who by-and-large do not charge fees or tuition for teaching.
    (d) The amateur service, in cooperation with the FCC's Enforcement Bureau,
    has a volunteer corps that monitors the amateur airwaves, and has programs
    that try to prevent their misuse before FCC involvement might be needed.
    The amateurs also observe non-amateur signals both within amateur spectrum
    and outside it, and report unusual or suspicious signals.

    Amateur radio continues to be a source of significant technological
    innovation that should be encouraged, not discouraged.

    Some Suggestions

    We do not recommend arguing that the $50 fee every 10 years, which amounts
    to $5.00 a year, will "Kill" amateur radio, even though as proposed, this
    is for each covered application, which includes upgrade applications. Tech-General-Extra could be $150. If exams taken at different sessions, a substantial amount. But it "rings the wrong way to say the whole service
    turns on $5/year for each licensee. If that's all it would take".

    The Commission argues that the charges are required by the statute. The
    word used is "shall", which is mandatory, not optional. But the statute
    does not set the amount, nor does it prohibit reasonable exceptions -
    evidenced by the Commission's proposal to exempt from fees administrative update applications based on policy grounds.

    This is not "aimed at amateur radio to kill it." There is a long history
    and precedent on charging fees for the licensing service involved, just
    as there is for passports, green cards, drivers' licenses (issued by
    states), etc. Better to make pertinent arguments on why the fees would
    impair the public benefits of the amateur radio service than argue that
    the whole service might die as a result of a fee that, in fact, is less
    than the fee many of us paid in the 1960's and 1970's.

    For background: this proceeding is being handled by staff unfamiliar
    with amateur radio. It is being handled in the FCC's Office of Managing Director (OMD), not in the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, where the amateur-specific Part 97 matters are handled. The focus of OMD is
    accounting - budgets and the like for the entire Commission. The fee
    proposals cover every FCC license and service across the board, and the consideration was directed by Congress. It is recommended keeping "ham
    jargon" out of comments, it won't be understood by the intended
    recipients.

    Thank you.

    ARRL Great Lakes Division
    Director: Dale R Williams, WA8EFK
    wa8efk@arrl.org

    ARRL Central Division
    Director: Kermit A Carlson, W9XA

    Comments to the Federal Communication Commission may be filed
    online at:

    https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings

    FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) reference - posting to
    MD Docket No. 20-270
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    * Origin: The Thunderbolt BBS - tbolt.synchro.net (432:1/112)
  • From Daryl Stout@432:1/112 to All on Fri Mar 19 22:24:31 2021
    The late Connie Ballantyne, KB0ZSG (SK), started the International
    D-Star Net several years ago. Tragically, she lost her valiant battle
    with breast cancer in February, 2020.

    Unfortunately, some nefarious individuals have either hacked or
    have cloned Connie's Facebook account. If you receive a friend
    request from Connie Ballantyne, you should MUTE IT, IGNORE IT, or
    DELETE IT -- as it is a FRAUDULENT SCAM.

    Word is being spread around on various D-Star Nets and Facebook
    Groups about this...your help in spreading the word on this fraud
    would be greatly appreciated.

    Daryl, WX4QZ
    --- SBBSecho 3.13-Win32
    * Origin: The Thunderbolt BBS - tbolt.synchro.net (432:1/112)
  • From Daryl Stout@432:1/112 to All on Thu Mar 25 10:36:16 2021
    The National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (NCVEC)
    Question Pool Committee (QPC) is requesting input from the amateur
    radio community on new or modified questions for the 2022-2026 FCC
    Element 2 Technician Pool, which goes into effect on July 1, 2022.

    This may include suggestions for new questions, changes to current
    examination topic areas, or changes to existing questions in the
    current Technician Question Pool.

    The QPC offered guidelines that said it's seeking input that focuses
    on topics that enhance public interest, understanding, and use of
    amateur radio, or focus on STEM hands-on learning and education, as
    well as questions on new technology, digital modes, station setup,
    and operation, antennas, and emergency and non-emergency operation.

    To submit suggested questions for QPC review, the committee asks that
    questions have no more than two 70-character lines, including spaces. Distractors should be no more than 70-character lines long, and
    shorter if possible. Each multiple-choice question must be
    accompanied by four possible distractors, and only one correct answer.

    The answer choices may be in any order, but the correct answer must
    be indicated by the letters A, B, C, or D at the beginning of the
    question. Those submitting suggestions should provide the resource
    information that supports the correct answer, or the FCC Part 97 rule.

    The QPC will accept question comments, revisions, and submissions from
    the amateur radio community via email (qpcinput@ncvec.org) through
    June 30, 2021. This email address is a bulk forwarding mailbox, so no acknowledgement will be sent by return email. The NCVEC QPC will take
    all comments into consideration as it updates the Technician Question
    Pool for 2022-2026.

    **

    Note: Per Part 97.502 of the FCC Rules, only General, Advanced,
    and Amateur Extra Class licensees may submit input for the Techinican
    Class Question Pool (Element 2).

    Only Advanced and Amateur Extra Class licensees may submit input
    for the General Class Question Pool (Element 3). The General Class
    Question Pool won't be updated again until 2023.

    Only Amateur Extra Class licensees may submit input for the Amateur
    Extra Class license Question Pool (Element 4). The Amateur Extra
    Class Question Pool won't be updated again until 2024.

    For more information on the NCVEC, go www.ncvec.org

    Daryl Stout, WX4QZ, UALR Ham Radio Club VE Team Liaison
    --- SBBSecho 3.13-Win32
    * Origin: The Thunderbolt BBS - tbolt.synchro.net (432:1/112)
  • From Daryl Stout@432:1/112 to All on Sun Apr 11 21:30:55 2021
    2021 World Amateur Radio Day is April 18

    What: 2021 World Amateur Radio Day

    Who: All amateur radio operators worldwide

    When: Sunday, April 18, 2021 at 0000 UTC until Monday, April 19, 2021
    at 0000 UTC

    Where: A global event covering all regions of the International Amateur
    Radio Union (IARU)

    Why: World Amateur Radio Day, held on April 18 each year, is celebrated worldwide by radio amateurs and their national associations which are
    organized as member-societies of the International Amateur Radio Union
    (IARU). It was on this day in 1925 that the IARU was formed in Paris.
    American Radio Relay League (ARRL) Co-Founder Hiram Percy Maxim was its
    first president.

    Amateur radio experimenters were the first to discover that the
    short-wave spectrum could support long-distance radio signal
    propagation. In the rush to use these shorter wavelengths, amateur
    radio was "in grave danger of being pushed aside," the IARU's history
    has noted. Amateur Radio pioneers met in Paris in 1925, and created
    the IARU to promote the interests of amateur radio worldwide, and to
    protect and enhance its spectrum privileges.

    Today, the IARU is a federation consisting of more than 160 national
    amateur radio organizations in as many countries and separate
    territories. The International Secretariat of the IARU is ARRL, the
    national association for amateur radio (R) in the United States.

    On World Amateur Radio Day, all radio amateurs are invited to take to
    the airwaves to enjoy our global friendship with other amateurs, and
    to show our skills and capabilities to the public.

    IARU has chosen "Amateur Radio: Home but Never Alone" as the theme for
    World Amateur Radio Day, Sunday, April 18, 2021. The theme acknowledges
    that during our physical distancing to reduce the spread of the COVID-19
    virus, amateur radio stands out as welcome respite for its variety of activities and opportunities - even helping overcome online fatigue and
    social isolation. The amateur radio community has organized "wellness
    nets" to keep amateurs in touch, and check on those who may be higher
    risk or elderly, "stay safe" special event stations across the globe,
    and has encouraged generally higher levels of on air activity.

    For its part, ARRL has accelerated new opportunities for its members to
    connect and learn through the ARRL Learning Network webinar series, and temporary rule changes to popular on-air events to encourage greater
    individual and at-home participation. Over the last year, many
    ARRL-affiliated radio clubs and in-person ham radio events moved their activities online. These efforts have all ensured that radio amateurs
    remain active and involved throughout our common pursuit of skill,
    service, and discovery in radio communications and radio technology.

    How: World Amateur Radio Day is not a contest but rather an opportunity
    to "talk" about the value of amateur radio to the public, and our
    fellow amateur colleagues. It is also a great opportunity to talk about
    your radio club and amateur radio in local media as a lead-up to ARRL
    Field Day (held each year during the fourth full weekend in June) and
    another ham radio related activity in your community - such as
    volunteers who serve in local emergency communication readiness,
    including the ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Service (tm).

    Here are just a few ways to participate in, and promote, World Amateur
    Radio Day:

    ! Get a station on the air! Create your own personal "event" to talk
    about amateur radio to others, including family and friends.

    ! Find out more about World Amateur Radio Day by checking the IARU
    website and other Resources listed below.

    ! Create and hold a special net or on-air event on World Amateur Radio
    Day to raise the level of attention for the celebration, and to
    encourage other hams to talk about our hobby. Consider creating and
    offering a commemorative certificate for contacting your special
    activation. It can be an electronic one as these are cost effective.

    ! ARRL Rookie Roundup SSB is Sunday, April 18, 2021 from 1800 to 2359 UTC.
    The contest is aimed at hams licensed for three years or less. Use the opportunity to wish participants "Happy World Amateur Radio Day 2021" on
    the air.

    ! Get the word out! If you are an ARRL Public Information Coordinator,
    Public Information Officer, or responsible for radio club publicity,
    send a press release and conduct some public relations outreach to
    highlight the day and/or events. Use the IARU theme for 2021 to create
    a relevant, powerful, and contemporary message.

    ! Talk about all of the activities radio amateurs have continued to
    support during the pandemic, and how amateur radio serves our
    communities. Find recent examples of amateur radio in-the-news at www.arrl.org/media-hits.

    ! Promote your personal World Amateur Radio Day activity(ies) on social
    media platforms like Twitter and Facebook by using the hashtag #WorldAmateurRadioDay. Make sure you send it to various clubs,
    reflectors, and media.

    Join us in celebrating World Amateur Radio Day and all the ways amateur
    radio brings us together!

    For a list of resources and other links, go to:

    http://www.arrl.org/world-amateur-radio-day
    --- SBBSecho 3.14-Win32
    * Origin: The Thunderbolt BBS - tbolt.synchro.net (432:1/112)
  • From Daryl Stout@432:1/112 to All on Fri May 7 10:55:11 2021
    From Caryn Eve Murray, KD2GUT, Editor Of Amateur Radio Newsline.

    She forgot the link in the original script in the May 7, 2021
    issue of Amateur Radio Newsline, for the "Fence Antenna" story.
    The link is as follows:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4kU0u59Vo8

    She added "We'll get this in the script ASAP. Thanks so much for
    flagging this!"

    Daryl, WX4QZ
    --- SBBSecho 3.14-Win32
    * Origin: The Thunderbolt BBS - tbolt.synchro.net (432:1/112)
  • From Daryl Stout@432:1/112 to All on Fri May 7 16:31:25 2021
    Due to this Sunday being Mother's Day (in the US and Canada), and
    also because there's a risk of both severe weather and flooding for
    my area...I've decided, as Net Control, to CANCEL the QCWA Digital
    Net for this Sunday, May 9, 2021.

    To me, FAMILY is FAR MORE IMPORTANT than hobbies...including ham
    radio, and checking into nets. While Father's Day is an "afterthought"
    compared to Mother's Day (another stinking necktie for Dad (hi hi)),
    the thing is, without your Mom and Dad, you wouldn't be here (hi hi).

    So, folks can take the day off and celebrate with their Mother's...
    or in my case...remembering the wonderful memories I have of and with
    her, before she died of congestive heart failure just 3 weeks before
    her 93rd birthday nearly 2 years ago.

    The QCWA Digital Net, which normally meets on the QuadNet Array,
    at 5pm Eastern Time Sunday, while canceled this Sunday, May 9, will
    resume on Sunday, May 16. Sorry for any inconvenience.

    Daryl, WX4QZ, Net Control, QCWA Digital Net
    --- SBBSecho 3.14-Win32
    * Origin: The Thunderbolt BBS - tbolt.synchro.net (432:1/112)
  • From Daryl Stout@432:1/112 to All on Sun Jun 6 16:32:11 2021
    Well, with the way my luck has run lately, I'm not surprised with this development. I've had an apparent massive system failure at this end,
    with the following items no longer working correctly over here:

    1) Sound Card and Headset Mic
    2) ThumbDV and BlueDV Program
    3) Web Browser (I guess Windows 10 is next)

    I haven't even tried CQ100 yet, but if the above items still apply,
    then I'm off the air entirely...rarely checking packet, D-Rats, or
    Winlink Email anymore, anyway. It's as if I took a lightning hit.

    So, I am effectively QRT and OFF THE AIR...UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. With
    a stormy weather pattern continuing here, it's probably just as well.
    Plus, I can NOT afford to purchase any of these new items right now...
    because of plumbing and insurance cost issues outside of ham radio...
    and to me, those are far more important than doing ham radio traffic
    nets.

    As a result, except for updating the net list spreadsheets, ham radio
    info on my BBS (weather permitting), or doing a local license exam
    session...it appears that ham radio days are over.

    With the tension and severe migraine headache that has developed with
    this, I'm getting away from the computer for several days...so I won't
    be on email, Facebook, Packet, D-Rats, or Winlink 2000.

    I've also put my phones into "Do Not Disturb" mode, so I'm cutting
    myself off from the outside world for several days. I likely am about
    to have a breakdown from all that has been happening to me anyway...and
    it's time I take a break.

    Daryl, WX4QZ
    --- SBBSecho 3.14-Win32
    * Origin: The Thunderbolt BBS - Little Rock, Arkansas (432:1/112)
  • From Daryl Stout@432:1/112 to All on Tue Jun 8 18:01:26 2021
    Well, I've fixed the audio issue with the headset mic, to where
    I can do my ham radio nets after all.

    Unfortunately, I can't control the weather (my late mother-in-law
    said "you'll be [pooping] in high grass if you could" (hi hi))...and
    between severe weather (tornado warnings to my southwest yesterday)
    plus flash flood warnings and emergencies yesterday and today (some
    areas of southeast Arkansas got over 15 inches of rain today, and
    it's still pouring)...I've had little time to work on the computer.

    The weather also means it's a "net time decision" on whether I can
    do my nets...even with REDUCING the early checkin time to only 30
    minutes instead of one hour. But, no amount of surge protection will
    protect you from a direct or close lightning strike.

    Daryl Stout, WX4QZ
    --- SBBSecho 3.14-Win32
    * Origin: The Thunderbolt BBS - Little Rock, Arkansas (432:1/112)
  • From Daryl Stout@432:1/112 to All on Mon Jul 12 07:49:33 2021
    From a QST from the Portage County Amateur Radio Service (PCARS) Club
    in Ravenna, Ohio:

    PCARS Members:

    I know that there are a few members that fly drones, and some do it to
    inspect yagis that are on TALL towers. Here is something that you show
    know:

    Drones are increasingly used as tools for getting antenna wires into
    trees, surveying site lines, and so on.

    To legally fly a drone in the United States for non-commercial purposes,
    one must have passed TRUST - The Recreational UAS Safety Test (URL below).

    Free training for this is now available, after which someone can take
    the test from one of the (currently) 16 organizations that can administer
    the test. (DPReview -- URL below)

    TRUST: https://www.faa.gov/uas/recreational_fliers/knowledge_test_updates/

    DPReview: https://www.dpreview.com/news/4668719994/faa-releases-trust-free- online-training-required-for-recreational-pilots-to-fly-legally

    (above URL all on one line).

    **

    From what I understand, flying a drone WITHOUT having done the TRUST
    course, can get you into big trouble with the law.

    I personally have no interest in doing such (flying drones), and don't
    have any. But, I understand they can be quite expensive.

    Daryl, WX4QZ
    --- SBBSecho 3.14-Win32
    * Origin: The Thunderbolt BBS - Little Rock, Arkansas (432:1/112)
  • From Daryl Stout@432:1/112 to All on Sun Aug 1 23:32:55 2021
    My apologies for the delay in posting of several items to the various
    ham radio echoes in recent days.

    Last Thursday, I got an uncomfortable feeling between my throat and
    my heart, as if I was about to vomit...but I wasn't nauseated or short
    of breath...and I didn't have the "classic heart attack symptoms" of
    pain in the jaw, or down the arms. But, I went ahead and called 911,
    with the Little Rock Fire Department, and the Metropolitan Emergency
    Medical Services (MEMS) Ambulance, responding in short order.

    I was ambulatory to St. Vincent's Infirmary in Little Rock, where
    my heart rate was racing along at 155!! It had never been above 105
    as I could recall. They hooked me up to an intravenous feed of saline
    (for fluid), and to a medication to slow the heart rate down. The
    latter only worked temporarily, so they added an intraveneous drip
    of a solution to lower the heart rate...and was admitted to the
    cardiac ward. While there, somebody set off the fire alarm in
    another area of the hospital...and there were 2 instances of the
    "Rapid Response Team" with a "Code Blue"...one was in the Cardiac
    Care Unit. I don't know if either of those patients survived.

    I was basically diagnosed with atrial flutter, a cousin to atrial fibrillation. Left untreated, both can lead to a fatal stroke or heart attack...but, it appears that I caught it early enough...so I can stay
    off the Silent Keys page for awhile. The medicine got it down into the
    upper 50s, but stabilized it in the mid 70's. One ham quipped "it's
    like golf...a score of 65 is better than 155" (hi hi).

    It took several hours before they got me to my room, and I thought
    I was going to need heart surgery. As it turned out, I didn't need it
    (i.e. a pacemaker implant)...at least not yet. However, I have two
    follow-up medical appointments this week...a telemedicine conference
    with my primary care physician on Tuesday...then I see my cardiologist
    on Wednesday. He will then decide if I need additional surgery, which
    would obviously require hospitalization.

    Because of a threat of thunderstorms that was forecast in central
    Arkansas on Sunday, US Time (today at this typing), and not knowing
    when I'd get to come home, I unplugged everything, and shut down the
    BBS, before the ambulance arrived. If I have to undergo heart surgery,
    the BBS will be temporarily offline again...but I won't know much else
    until after I see my cardiologist on Wednesday...and I'll post another
    update as soon as I know something.

    They have put me on a blood thinner, and a medicine to slow the
    heart rate, and lower the blood pressure (which wasn't too bad,
    although the heart rate was). I have no idea what caused it. The
    original blood pressure medicine I was on, has been discontinued.

    It was warm in the Emergency Room, and in my room, that I felt like
    I had a fever (I had a slight one at 99.4). But, I ended up getting
    a much needed sponge bath before sunrise Sunday morning (they were
    short staffed), and another one before discharge, to get all the sticky
    sensor adhesives off of me. A female nurse did the first bath, with a
    male nurse doing the second one. Nudity means nothing to the medical
    folks, so I didn't mind them seeing me naked. Besides, I view them as
    being there to save my butt, and not kiss it.

    The female nurse that originally was supposed to bathe me, ended up
    (from what I understand) having to deal with a "Code Brown"...the
    patient defecated in the bed...you can imagine what a mess that was!!
    At least I was able to make it to the toilet in the room...and at
    least I didn't have to worry about a catheter or an enema. Basically,
    in the hospital, they ask you about "The Three P's" -- peeing, pooping,
    and procreation. The bottom line is that "if you don't take care of
    your health, you are sure to be sorry...and may not live to tell about
    it".

    They did do a COVID-19 nasal swab...thankfully, I was negative, but
    many central Arkansas area hospitals are filling up with folks with
    the Delta Variant of COVID-19...and many of those aren't vaccinated.
    For the record, I got both my shots this past April. But, even the
    hospital elevators were segregated, whether you had COVID-19 or not.
    My heart goes out to the first responders, who have to deal with this
    risk every day.

    I was not on Lasix...at least not to my knowledge. However, my bladder
    and kidneys were in overdrive, as if I was!! I will say that the portable
    male bedside urinal is a JOKE!! You end up getting more urine on the bed
    than in the bottle. But, at least I didn't need a catheter (they told me
    that since those are also a risk for infection, they don't use those
    unless absolutely necessary). And, at least my colon didn't shut down,
    either. The main food at lunch and dinner was grilled chicken...so, I
    wasn't cannibalistic (eating ham (hi hi)). Hopefully, just some medicine
    and dietary modifications will be all that's necessary.

    I'm reminded of the joke that Tom Mullica, who did a show in tribute
    to the late Red Skelton, up in Branson a few years ago...you thought
    that Red had come back from the dead!! Anyway, he found out that there
    was a group of nurses in the audience, and he was overjoyed!! He said
    "I'm so glad all of you are here today!! I've been dying to ask this question!!". The hall gets silent, and he looks at the nurses...and
    inquires "Have we had our bowel movement today??!!" The nurses were as
    red as tomatoes, and the entire room was roaring in raucous laughter!!
    (hi hi).

    I am hoping that if I have to get a pacemaker, that it will not affect
    my being around computers, ham radio, or the microwave oven (which is
    the only way I cook things)...let alone my ability to drive. But, if
    those occur, it will basically cut me off from the outside world, as
    all my hobbies would go by the boards...the BBS, ham radio, and square dancing...even though most of what I do in the latter is behind the
    scenes, and off the dance floor.

    A friend of mine (he and his lady friend/significant other, have a
    spoiled rotten dachshund)...has one of the newer pacemakers, that
    apparently aren't affected by things like computers, ham radio,
    microwave ovens, etc. -- and that one can use the Wi-Fi to transmit
    data to the heart clinic.

    My late Mom died of congestive heart failure and atrial fibrillation
    three weeks shy of her 93rd birthday nearly 2 years ago. To my knowledge,
    I don't have congestive heart failure, but I hope to more after I see
    the cardiologist on Wednesday.

    I talked to several hams who have the same thing that I do, and also
    take similar medicines, so their feedback was greatly appreciated. For
    those of you who pray, I covet any thoughts and prayers. I'd like to
    stay on this side of the grass for awhile yet.

    Daryl, WX4QZ
    --- SBBSecho 3.14-Win32
    * Origin: The Thunderbolt BBS - Little Rock, Arkansas (432:1/112)
  • From Daryl Stout@432:1/112 to All on Tue Jul 20 09:55:20 2021
    Doug, AB8M, has been doing a "practice packet net" on Monday
    evenings (see related message for info). But, he may be considering
    ending that net soon...although I've told him I'd like for him to
    continue it. Apparently, another ham is doing a similar net, but
    with more modes to input stuff.

    If the net is discontinued, I will remove the weekly autopost
    message associated with it. For now, The PCL Net, which meets on
    the NS2B BBS in Penfield, New York, will continue. See the
    appropriate information file for more details. I alternate Net
    Control with Bob, NS2B, and am the Scribe for that net.

    Daryl, WX4QZ
    --- SBBSecho 3.14-Win32
    * Origin: The Thunderbolt BBS - Little Rock, Arkansas (432:1/112)
  • From Daryl Stout@432:1/112 to All on Tue Jul 20 18:11:50 2021
    I have UPDATED the file PART97.ZIP, from Title 47 of the Code Of
    Federal Regulations, Part 97 of the FCC Rules, regarding amateur radio.
    Data was last updated in the file as of March 8, 2018.

    There is a PDF file online for download, and a ZIP file with the
    ascii text version of the file. This is designed for use with the
    REGSCAN and BULLET doors done by the late Dave Perry, W4KGU (SK).

    Portions of this file are on ALL Amateur Radio license exams.

    Daryl, WX4QZ
    --- SBBSecho 3.14-Win32
    * Origin: The Thunderbolt BBS - Little Rock, Arkansas (432:1/112)
  • From Daryl Stout@432:1/112 to All on Thu Aug 19 20:54:47 2021
    I have made an update to the PDF Mode Overview file on getting
    started with D-Star, D-Rats, and the QuadNet Array, among other
    modes.

    The main changes were to update the list of available ratflectors...
    I removed several that were no longer online, and inserted a screenshot
    of how they are configured in my D-Rats setup. I also removed a duplicate
    entry in the listing, modified the entry for the Paulding Country Georgia
    ARES Net, and added the Alaska Black Tie Net.

    You can get these by going to the hyperlink off of my bio on QRZ,
    or you can connect to my D-Rats folder, and look for the filename
    with Mode Overview in it.

    There are around 200 nets in the file...mostly D-Star, plus several
    Echolink, and some D-Rats nets for good measure.

    I also discovered that I have Echolink setup correctly (with the
    new version), and I was able to check into an Echolink Net earlier
    tonight. However, the EchoAnswer Utility, an answering machine for
    Echolink, is no longer available, and didn't work under Windows 10.
    Plus, since my callsign was changed 2 1/2 years ago, the registration
    key I have no longer works with it. I don't know if there's a comparable program out there. I'm on Echolink only for nets and sked requests.

    Daryl, WX4QZ
    --- SBBSecho 3.14-Win32
    * Origin: The Thunderbolt BBS - Little Rock, Arkansas (432:1/112)
  • From Daryl Stout@432:1/112 to All on Mon Aug 16 15:54:20 2021
    From a story on the ARRL website, Aug. 16, 2021.

    The $35 fee for a new, renewed, or upgraded ham radio license, or a
    callsign change (sequential or vanity) for US hams, apparently won't
    take effect until 2022. Full details are at:

    https://www.arrl.org/news/fcc-application-fees-unlikely-to-go-into-effect- until-2022

    (above URL all on one line)

    Speaking of changes, the Technician Class Question Pool and exams will
    change on July 1, 2022...with the General Class Question Pool and exams changing on July 1, 2023...and the Amateur Extra Class Question Pool
    and exams changing on July 1, 2024.

    For those involved with license exams in the US, make sure that as those
    dates get closer, that prospective examinees are studying the CORRECT
    Question Pool (2018 Technician, 2019 General, and 2020 Extra). I've had instances at test sessions where examinees failed the exam, because they
    were studying material that was out of date...and they basically wasted
    their time and money.
    --
    Daryl, WX4QZ, VE Team Liaison
    University Of Arkansas At Little Rock Ham Radio Club
    --- SBBSecho 3.14-Win32
    * Origin: The Thunderbolt BBS - Little Rock, Arkansas (432:1/112)
  • From Daryl Stout@432:1/112 to All on Sun Sep 12 20:30:13 2021
    Due to several factors, as of Sept. 12, 2021, I am QRT from D-Star
    until further notice. These include:

    1) Failure of the BlueDV program to connect to D-Star.

    2) Failure of a reinstallation after uninstalling the program.

    3) Failure of a downgrade installation (Windows 10 says a higher version
    is already on the system, but I can't find it).

    4) Failure to get DroidStar to work on my Android phone (the battery is draining too quick as it is).

    5) The local repeaters not on the gateway.

    6) Medical and financial issues, where I can't afford:

    A) A replacement ThumbDV or DV Dongle.

    B) A D-Star Radio or Hotspot.

    C) A new Android phone.

    So, the following D-Star Nets where I was Net Control, are now QRT,
    unless someone takes over as Net Control:

    a) QCWA Digital Net - 5pm Eastern Sunday, QuadNet Array.

    b) HotSpot, Raspberry Pi, SBC, ZumSpot Net, 10pm Eastern Monday,
    QuadNet Array.

    c) Arklatex D-Star Net, 8:30pm Eastern Tuesday, Reflector 48 B.

    d) Trains And Railroads Net, 8pm Eastern Time, Friday, QuadNet Array.

    e) Food Net, 4pm Eastern Time, 3rd Saturday, QuadNet Array.

    I will still be on the air for these nets:

    1) QCWA CQ100 Net, 11am Eastern Friday, 14.347 on CQ100

    2) The PCL Net, 8pm Eastern, Monday, NS2B BBS, Penfield, New York

    D-Rats, Echolink, Packet Via Telnet, and Winlink Express will be
    used VERY SPARINGLY.

    Details on the QuadNet Array are at https://openquad.net -- details
    on CQ100 are at https://www.qsonet.com

    This is a choice that I did NOT want to have to make...I apologize
    for any inconvenience. I will advise if and when I can get back on
    the air, but right now, I'm not optimistic.

    Daryl Stout, WX4QZ
    --- SBBSecho 3.14-Win32
    * Origin: The Thunderbolt BBS - Little Rock, Arkansas (432:1/112)
  • From Daryl Stout@432:1/112 to All on Wed Sep 22 12:05:33 2021
    Two sets of news items:

    1) From Jim Obenhofer, KN6PE, author of the Outpost Packet Program.

    Google Chrome will NOT let you download anything from the Outpost
    website (outpostpm.org). Please use another browser, such as Firefox,
    Microsoft Edge, Opera, etc. to download any files related to Outpost.

    2) From yours truly, Daryl Stout, WX4QZ

    I am finally back on D-Star, after having to reinstall Windows 10,
    and rebuild the registry. I had to do this, because the BlueDV program
    from PA7LIM, that I use for D-Star (it can also access DMR and Fusion),
    would not install or run otherwise.

    So, this is my list of current nets that I run each week.

    Sunday: QCWA Digital Net, 5pm Eastern Time, QuadNet Array

    Monday: The PCL Net, 8pm Eastern Time, NS2B BBS, Penfield, New York

    Monday: Hotspot, Raspberry Pi, SBC, ZumSpot Net, 10pm Eastern Time,
    QuadNet Array

    Tuesday: Arklatex D-Star Net, 8:30pm Eastern Time, REF 48 B --
    Backup is Reflector 73 B

    ** At present, I do NOT do nets on Wednesday or Thursday **

    Friday: QCWA CQ100 Net, 11am Eastern Time, 14.347 on CQ100

    Friday: Trains And Railroads Net, 8pm Eastern Time, QuadNet Array

    3rd Saturday: Food Net, 4pm Eastern Time, QuadNet Array

    **

    For Excel Spreadsheets of selected D-Star, Echolink, and D-Rats Nets,
    go to https://www.theweatherwonder.com/elk.htm -- over 200 nets are in
    the files...in the 4 main US Time Zones (Eastern, Central, Mountain,
    Pacific). Also at that link, is a file with information on The PCL Net.

    For more information on the QuadNet Array, go to https://openquad.net

    For more information on the Quarter Century Wireless Assocation (QCWA),
    go to https://www.qcwa.org

    For more information on CQ100, go to https://www.qsonet.com -- new
    users get a free 30 day trial. Afterwards, it's $39 a year. Paid
    users can also get the QSO-TV add-on. Usage is free on Sunday from
    0000 to 2359 UTC.
    --- SBBSecho 3.14-Win32
    * Origin: The Thunderbolt BBS - Little Rock, Arkansas (432:1/112)
  • From Daryl Stout@432:1/112 to All on Wed Sep 22 16:53:25 2021
    Two packet related items...one a repeat from an earlier message.

    1) From Jim Obenhofer, KN6PE, author of the Outpost Packet Program.

    Google Chrome will NOT let you download anything from the Outpost
    website (outpostpm.org). Please use another browser, such as Firefox,
    Microsoft Edge, Opera, etc. to download any files related to Outpost.

    2) From Bob Smith, NS2B, Sysop of the NS2B Packet BBS

    The BBS computer crashed earlier today, so the NS2B BBS is temporarily
    offline. A new computer has been ordered, and Bob hopes to have the
    BBS back online early next week...in time for The PCL Net at 8pm US
    Eastern Time on Monday.

    Daryl, WX4QZ
    --- SBBSecho 3.14-Win32
    * Origin: The Thunderbolt BBS - Little Rock, Arkansas (432:1/112)
  • From Daryl Stout@432:1/112 to All on Thu Sep 23 14:38:04 2021
    Update from Bob Smith, NS2B, Sysop of the NS2B Packet BBS

    The replacement computer for the NS2B BBS will NOT be in until mid
    to late next week.

    So, The PCL Net for Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, is CANCELED. The net hopes
    to resume the following Monday, Oct. 4, 2021.

    Daryl, WX4QZ, Scribe and Alternate Net Control
    --- SBBSecho 3.14-Win32
    * Origin: The Thunderbolt BBS - Little Rock, Arkansas (432:1/112)
  • From Daryl Stout@432:1/112 to All on Fri Sep 24 09:21:18 2021
    A fellow ham radio operator is helping me with webhosting and domains,
    so I am making some changes to 2 of the 3 websites I maintain.

    1) One of my other hobbies, square dancing, the domain of theassdf.org
    is being allowed to expire. It was a "placeholder" to direct folks to arkansassquaredance.com -- the website of the Arkansas State Square Dance Federation. There are "dancing hams", and at the 1997 National Square Dance Convention in Orlando, I used ham radio to save the life of our shuttle bus driver. I will still work with the latter domain, which is hosted by Zooma
    Web Design.

    2) The Cabot Nightflyers Net, originally a local area net that met on
    Echolink and RF on Sunday evenings, has been QRT for several months.
    They still have a Facebook page, but I don't know if the net will be
    revived or not. I would be Net Control if it was...but there are several
    items to consider, if the net is revived.

    3) My personal homepage at theweatherwonder.com is going to a new web
    domain, which is shorter, and hopefully easier to remember. I paid for
    and registered it this morning, but since I don't have the files for
    it online yet, I don't want to give it out just yet. But, the files at theweatherwonder.com will likely be gone by October 1. I just have to
    get things set with the fellow ham radio operator who is graciously
    hosting the stuff for me. I will update my QRZ bio once the new domain
    is online.

    In the meantime, to get things like Excel Net List Spreadsheets or
    selected PDF files related to ham radio, you can either search for
    my station (WX4QZ) on D-Rats, or email me (my email is good on QRZ),
    and let me know which files you want (this info is on my QRZ bio).

    Daryl Stout, WX4QZ
    --- SBBSecho 3.14-Win32
    * Origin: The Thunderbolt BBS - Little Rock, Arkansas (432:1/112)
  • From Daryl Stout@432:1/112 to All on Tue Oct 5 17:27:46 2021
    I just got a message from Doug, AB8M, announcing that due to
    dwindling checkins, and other issues, the Monday Night Practice
    Packet Net, is no more. So, I have deleted that announcement from
    the weekly postings.

    However, for now, The PCL Net continues on the NS2B Packet BBS,
    every Monday (except during weeks of the US Holidays of Easter,
    Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas,
    and New Years Day), at 8pm US Eastern Time. Look for the related
    announcement here each Monday.

    Yours truly, WX4QZ, alternates Net Control with NS2B, and is the
    scribe for the net.

    Daryl Stout, WX4QZ
    --- SBBSecho 3.14-Win32
    * Origin: The Thunderbolt BBS - Little Rock, Arkansas (432:1/112)
  • From Daryl Stout@432:1/112 to All on Tue Oct 12 02:09:01 2021
    I have been unable to get callsign data updates from hamdata.com
    since Oct. 6, 2021. The website had provided the latest callsign data
    from the FCC for U.S. Hams, and from Radio Amateurs Of Canada for
    Canadian Hams.

    The site has been inaccessible the last several days, so I don't know
    if it has crashed, is down for repairs, or something else. I normally
    post data on the BBS twice a week, but once a week when there is a
    Monday holiday (as there was this week, with the US Columbus Day
    Holiday, and the Canadian Thanksgiving Day Holiday).

    I will check later in the week to see if it's back online. At the
    present time, I don't know of a similar website, which provided such
    a callsign issuance data summary. The QRZ website stopped issuing any
    callsign data updates for its callsign CD's several years ago...not to
    mention they quit doing the data CD's themselves as well. I may end up
    no longer posting such data, unless the site comes back up, or I can
    find a replacement.

    The one thing I would post would be the paragraphs that had been
    at the top of the file, with information on callsigns, license exam
    sessions, etc. -- but this would possibly be posted only on a monthly
    basis.

    As a side note, I have the callsign search door that the late Dave
    Perry, W0KGU (SK) had done on the BBS; but the data is from 2008. So,
    it's obviously way out of date. The door is now basically for purposes
    of nostalgia. And, with Dave's passing several years ago, none of his
    5 ham radio doors (freeware, requiring a DORINFO1.DEF dropfile, and
    without a fossil driver), are being updated.

    Daryl Stout, WX4QZ
    --- SBBSecho 3.14-Win32
    * Origin: The Thunderbolt BBS - Little Rock, Arkansas (432:1/112)
  • From Daryl Stout@432:1/112 to All on Tue Oct 19 15:05:07 2021
    The HamData website (hamdata.com) is back online after an apparent
    server crash. So, I'm able to resume posting callsign data again.
    The site has a quick list of the latest issued ham radio callsigns
    for the US and Canada. See the callsign post message itself for more information.

    Daryl Stout, WX4QZ
    --- SBBSecho 3.14-Win32
    * Origin: The Thunderbolt BBS - Little Rock, Arkansas (432:1/112)