Sunday, April 16, 2017

Bank Swallows

These little birds come to our home every year. Yesterday was the first day I have seen them (Apr. 14th, 2017) They nest in a bluebird house but after  they leave the bluebirds take over the house. It is a sure sign of Spring when they arrive.I call them Bank Swallows but there are other names that people call them like Sand Martins. Read about them at Wikipedia.
Taken in my back yard

Saturday, April 15, 2017

444 miles per watt on 30 meters

It was just before sunset at my location (QTH) and just after sun rise at Perth Australia, this is called the gray line in Ham radio lingo. As I do many times I checked the propagation of the different radio bands. I found the 10 Mhz. (30 meters) band was my best chance for working longe distances (DX). I switches the 30 meter antenna to the transceiver clicked the mouse on the computer to the transmit mode. The funny sounds of JT65 mode called CQ DX WB9OTX EM79. The computer called for about 50 seconds the turned the transmitter back to receive. A 50 seconds wait then there it appeared on the monitor, WB9OTX VK6LC -06. This told me a fellow Ham in the far West of Australia was calling me. My report sent back to him was a -08 a very respective signal strength for the both of us. When we both signed off with our best regards (73) I used the computer to log the contact then a look at QRZ, a database of all radio amateurs. This told me VK6LC was located just a few miles South of  Perth, Australia. this was a distance of 11,100 miles from my antenna here at Versailles, Indiana. I was using only 25 watts of power and my antenna was a 1/4 wave that is gronnd mounted with 20 1/4 wave radial wires. A very simple 23 foot aluminum tube. (pictured above)
If you would like to see the station of VK6LC CLICK HERE
This little story is very common to Radio Amateurs. Its like fishing, you never know what you will catch when you put out your call, But Western Australia is a real big fish on the 30 meter band.
73, Jack WB9OTX

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Lots of Ham Radio Photos

Top 20 15 10 Bottom 17 12 Meters
Click HERE to see the pictures

Monday, April 10, 2017

(Japan) Bataan Death March April 9, 1942

74 Years Ago
A burial detail of Filipino and prisoners of war uses improvised litters to carry fallen comrades at Camp O'Donnell, Capas, Tarlac, 1942, following the Bataan Death March.
Read  the full article


Saturday, April 08, 2017


The "grey line" is a band around the Earth that separates daylight from darkness.  Propagation along the grey line is very efficient.  One major reason for this is that the D layer, which absorbs HF signals, disappears rapidly on the sunset side of the grey line, and it has not yet built upon the sunrise side. Ham radio operators and shortwave listeners can optimize long distance communications to various areas of the world by monitoring this band as it moves around the globe.
See a grayline realtime map

Paul Harden, NA5N on Grayline
Read his full story

Earth imagery derived from the NASA Blue Marble

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Catch a Falling Star

50 Mhz. Meteor scatter is a new mode for me. After about 50 yrs. in the Ham Radio hobby this is one that I have missed. I found communicating via a streaking meteor is much easier than I expected. I was never too excited running 6 meters in the past, but this is a new challenge. If you can transmit 25 watts or more, have a computer, and some time you can work other stations via a meteor trail. Don't give up if you are not going to be one of the big gun boys. I have made contacts with 25 watts and a dipole antenna.
But it takes time and patience The bigger the antenna and higher wattage will increase contacts and slow wait time. Give it a try, Its habit forming.
......... Jack WB9OTX
A beginner’s guide to meteor-scatter communicat

See another Page


image from

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Equinox, Eggs in the balance

The egg being the most literal and obvious of all fertility symbols, ancient eggish customs survive not only in the form of egg rolling and Easter eggs, but also in the quaint superstitious belief, most often attributed to the Chinese, that you can stand a raw egg on end during the equinox. Apparently this derives from the notion that, due to the sun's equidistant position between the poles of the earth on the first day of spring, special gravitational forces apply.

From a skeptical point of view, the first objection that comes to mind is the fact that there's another equinox on the first day of autumn. Why is there no talk of balancing eggs on end in September? Secondly, while it's true that on both equinoxes the earth's axis is perpendicular to the sun, so day and night are of exactly equal length, there's no scientific reason to suppose that that alignment has any appreciable effect on gravitational forces here on earth. Thirdly, if the equinox can cause this curious anomaly, why aren't there others? Why don't we hear talk of being able to stand broomsticks, pencils, lollipops, or toothpicks on end?

Read more

Chuck Berry Dies at 90

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Pi Day - March 14

Pi Day is an annual celebration of the mathematical constant π (pi). Pi Day is observed on March 14 (3/14 in the month/day date format) since 3, 1, and 4 are the first three significant digits of π. In 2009, the United States House of Representatives supported the designation of Pi Day.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Monday, March 06, 2017

Made in USA

The Made in USA mark is a country of origin label indicating the product is "all or virtually all" made in the United States. The label is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

In general, goods imported into the United States must have a country of origin label unless excepted, but goods manufactured in the United States can be sold without any sort of "Made in the USA" label unless explicitly required. Requirements to label domestic content include automobiles and textile, wool, and fur products. Any voluntary claims made about the amount of U.S. content in other products must comply with the FTC’s Made in USA policy.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia