My subscription to Life expired, but I still have a subscription to Mad.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

snow diary

Two inches of snow fell this morning.

Total snowfall this month is 14 inches.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

snow diary

What started out as freezing rain last night, turned to snow and deposited about 1-inch of heavy wet snow by daybreak today.

Total snowfall this month is 12 inches.

Surfin': The Ghosts of Surfin' Past

This week, revisit past installments of Surfin' and the history of wireless communications.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

snow diary

7 inches fell between 8 PM and whenever the snowfall stopped early this morning

Friday, December 18, 2009

disposable printers

We create and print our own cards for the Holidays. Time is running out and I planned to print the cards today.

Yesterday, I went to the local big box store to buy a black ink cartridge for the old Epson printer that is our printer these days. I had a spare color cartridge, but no spare black and I was concerned that I would run out of black ink in the middle of printing the cards today.

Problem is that the Epson is so old that the local big box store did not have the black ink cartridge that the Epson uses.

There was no time to mail order a black cartridge, so I bought a brand new Canon printer for $30, which is cheaper than a set of black and color cartridges.

Considering the price of ink cartridges, printers are now disposable. Next time I need ink, I may buy new printer again.

I printed all the cards we needed with whatever ink I had left for the old printer. I never even cracked open the carton of the new printer and I am tempted to return it for a refund.

Surfin': Top 10 Ham Radio Web Sites

This week, Surfin' revisits the "Top 10" Amateur Radio Web sites.

UPDATE: Seems that Number 6 on the list is kaput. It was there the last time I tried accessing it. Murphy's Law says that it would go down in the interim!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Surfin': Do-It-Yourself Retro

This week, Surfin' visits a very unusual Web site featuring do-it-yourself projects with a nostalgic flavor.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

snow diary

4 inches fell overnight and is changing over to sleet this morning.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Surfin': Twitter, Facebook and Ham Radio

This week, Surfin' considers how Internet social networking connects with ham radio.

UPDATE: Below are the e-mails I received regarding this installment of Surfin' and further below are the comments.


One of the neater uses of ham radio and twitter is to post to your
twitter account using ham radio, aprs and the
website. You can also send APRS messages via twitter through

All of the information is at

very neat - to be stuck in traffic and be able to update my twitter from
the radio.

Indianapolis, IN

Stan, I'm looking at your "Amateur Radio meets social networking" article and wonder if you saw the week-long opportunity that starts tomorrow.

It could be an interesting, short-fuse "QST" exercise to mobilize all hams in CONUS in support of a collective goal... and get DARPA to document amateur radio's contribution and capabilities.



Twitter alert function for Aurora Alerts:

Although they are not directly ham related there are weather type Alerts for the Skywarn/Ham types, also twitter:
iembot_mpx [the MPX is the code for Minneapolis NWS change for your NWS office]
iembot_spc [SPC is for Storm prediciton center]

Another twitter, Emergency mail .org, never seen much out of it but might be worthwhile if the world comes to an end:
Another twitter Vortex 2 (the tornado chasing project from last summer continuing to next summer) twitter if you like following that: vortex2nssl

Brian Richard

My signature says it all. I have enjoyed the social networks a lot. I can tweet “listening on 14.275”, or “going mobile listening on echolink 149493 and IRLP 7060” and have made quite a few contacts this way. Also rather then looking through dxclusters, I just simply look at my twitter feed for dxanywhere and instantly I can see what bands are open.

Dave Hoffman N3PRO

Social networks: – ham radio social networking

Stan -

I am not sure if this is a unique use of Twitter or not, but I use it to send out notices of new blog posts. When ever I write a blog post I also send the title and a direct link to the post in a tweet.

I originally didn't want to use it, but my brother is in advertising and steigic communications and said it would be worth it. I don't use any of the online applications these days to write about every little detail of my life and what is going on - I don't think that is necessary. The way some people use Facebook and Twitter is a little out of hand, in my book. The way in which I use them is very laid back. I am not all over either one.

Steve D'Amico


I just saw your 12/4/2009 article on the site titled "Surfin': Twitter, Facebook and Ham Radio".

I thought I'd share some of my social networking things.

So, I have a facebook account( and I also manage the MVARC's club page. Most of our members are not on Facebook (yet) so there isn't much there, but I'm hoping it'll at least have some presence for our club inside Facebook land.

I must admit some of this is just one big learning experience :-) And Facebook isn't the most intuitive user interface.

I'm a builder, and want to learn more about electronics and homebrewing so I spend a bit of time looking for things to read on the 'net. All that gets culminated in my account. I tell my friends they can pretty much follow me by looking at my account.

One of the interesting ways of using delicious I found is to look at the links of others who have bookmarked the same pages as you, and find things in their bookmarks that you've never seen.

Recently I've been putting together a MOuSeFET transmitter with a friend of mine Craig NC4P, and we're keeping track of the conversations we have in a Google wave conversation. If you'd like to have a look send me your google wave account. If you don't have a google wave account let me know and I'll send you an invite.

....maki.... K4RQZ

Hi Stan,

I think I found the right you to follow on twitter...

Here's the history of my posts. You might find a few even
interesting. Twitter is a great way to share the 'little things' with
fellow hams that would just clutter the mail reflectors...

Bill, WA7NWP

Hi Stan,

I don't really use facebook and actually as I could not find a use for it... deleted my account but I have been experimenting with twitter.

The APRS to Twitter gateway offered by is a really great way to go...I have used this function many times sending an APRS text message out and my daughters (who follow me on Twitter just for this reason) get the message fairly promptly. This works fantastic as some of the areas I play radio from are not within cell phone coverage so it gives me a way to get a message to a non amateur family member out...

Recently there have been some Amateur Radio Operators (WG0AT and VA3SIE) beaconing their locations and operating frequency over APRS with a Twitterlink when out on mini DXPeditions such as the recent Summits on the Air (SOTA) activity weekend.

I also on occasion have spotted my self on an APRS/Twitter system just looking for a rag chew on a quiet afternoon. It lets the 50 people who follow me (minus my two daughters who are not hams) that I am QRU on a frequency and waiting for calls...

Hope these comments help you in your article.

I enjoy your articles and keep them coming...

73 and Merry Christmas


*Bob Sharp VA3QV/VA3RCS*

** *(Blog)*


I read your Surfin': Twitter, Facebook and Ham Radio Internet social networking (ISN) article and was glad to see an article written about this topic as we need to shed new light on to our amatuer radio community.

After dwelling on it for awhile I truly believe that ISN's will provide hams with a new generation of powerful tool applications to help aid amateurs with our hobby from this point on. But the first step to this success will have to be amateurs not being procrastinators. We first need to educate ourselves first with these new services. We need to embrace and take full advantage of them today rather then tomorrow.

My main interest now is television Dxing. I normally came be found on the 2005 Bob's Radio Web, TvFmSkip Log at, a collection of interactive pages for Dxers. Here I can post real-time ionospheric
condition alerts or chat when conditions are not that favorable.

This above site is a great with all it's useful links if you have a net connection while your in the field or mobile using your portable PC that has a web browser to access the link.

What do you do if you do not have that option but would like to communicate when tropospheric and sporadic-e exists at your location in real-time?

That is when Twitter fills the gap, a free micro-blogger that is a short message service that works over multiple networks in real-time. As their header logo states - "Share and discover what's happening right now, anywhere in the world". Here is my tweet:

If you have cell phone service, then you just found the answer. To use it with your phone you will first have to download a client service application(s).

Once the alert are issued using both TvFmSkip Log and Twitter and television Dx starts to appear on the screen I will video record the event with a camcorder. Later it will be uploaded to which everyone knows by this time is a video sharing website on which users can built their own channel to upload and share videos with the world. Here is my Youtube channel:

After that's completed, a copy of the video will be archived on a site know as, a secure offsite file storage, sharing, and media conversion. Basically a online cyberhome that is a free service with up to 2Gb of space for your hobby group page. Their header logo is "All
your Digital Files. One Place". It also offers free email. Here is my hobby group page:

Go ahead and give these new services a try.


Mike Schaffer
Tampa, Florida