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

Saturday, August 24, 2013


In case you missed it, Tom Christian, VR6TC, died on July 7 at age 77.

Friday's issue of The New York Times had an article about Tom's life including his radio exploits.

(Thank you Norman, W9VQ, for the heads-up concerning the article.)

Friday, August 23, 2013



Log entry number 162 was a tough one --- not because I could not hear it, but because I could not identify it.

I heard it yesterday at about 1750Z playing continuous 1950s and 1960s oldies without a break between songs for announcements, station identifications, or advertisements.

I waited patiently for 1800Z figuring that there would be an announcement at the top of the hour. I was wrong --- just continuous oldies until I gave up at about 1805Z to return to work.

Today, I found them again at about the same signal strength (S-3) playing continuous oldies, but this time, I was on the radio before 1700Z hoping that I would hear a speaking voice at high noon.

I lucked out and there were a series of speaking voices that definitely identified the station as WALK in Patchogue, Long Island, New York on 1370 KHz transmitting 500 watts 52 miles south-southwest of here. The screen capture above shows the WALK station building and antenna (Source: Bing Maps). By the way, WALK is my fourth logging of a station on 1370 kHz.

Equipment used to receive WALK was the stock radio and antenna in my 2007 Subaru Outback Sport.

Thursday, August 22, 2013



Logged number 161: WYBC on 1340 kHz, which is my first logging on that frequency. WYBC is the Yale University station running 1 kW from a transmitter located in the marshes of the West River in West Haven, Connecticut (as Google Maps illustrates above.)

Equipment used to receive WYBC was the stock radio in my 2007 Subaru Outback Sport.

Monday, August 19, 2013



Look what I found growing in my backyard over the weekend. That mass of mushrooms is about 30 inches wide.

A friend says they are edible. I say anything is edible once.

Friday, August 16, 2013

It was 44 years ago today

woodstock_poster Forty-four years ago today, Joe (WA1CYU), Ron (no call), and I drove up to White Lake, NY, to attend a rock concert.

We drove Friday night. Traffic was heavy, but the New York State Thruway was NOT closed, man!

We got a room in a motel on Route 17B “not far from the concert site,” according to the motel man. Overnight, Route 17B became a parking lot and we walked 10 miles (“not far”) to the concert.

We sat in the field on Yasgur’s farm and listened to Quill, Country Joe McDonald, Santana, John Sebastian, Keef Hartley Band, The Incredible String Band, Canned Heat, Mountain, Grateful Dead, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin and The Kozmic Blues band, Sly & the Family Stone, and The Who.

The sun rose Sunday morning, Jefferson Airplane were about to begin their set and I convinced Joe and Ron to exit the premises because I was feeling deathly ill. Traffic had loosened up and we managed to hitch a ride back to the motel, so I did not have to walk ten miles in my deteriorating condition.

I arrived home Sunday afternoon with a fever and stayed in bed for a few days dealing with flu-like symptoms.

What a weekend!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Printed Circuitry - Remco Science Kit


I got my feet wet in electronics (which I know is kind of dangerous) playing with this educational toy. Hours of fun for only $1 – it is amazing what a dollar could buy back in the early 1960s.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Surfin': Got DX

Over the weekend, I came across a shoebox full of old QSL cards that contained the QSLs I submitted for DXCC credit over the years. I have DXCC credit for 291 "countries" in mixed modes, 268 in voice mode, and 210 on 10 meters, but I have not been actively chasing DX since the mid-1980s, which coincides with the birth of my daughter. Can there be a connection?

Looking through the cards was a trip down memory lane as I could clearly recall some of the contacts. Like the time I worked 3V8AA in Tunisia on Christmas morning in 1981. While I was trying to get that new country in the log, my family was downstairs "urging" me to join them so that they could start unwrapping Christmas presents.

Or the time I was the very first stateside station to work the 1981 K6LPL DXpedition to Juan Fernandez Island (CE0). K6LPL ran into some difficulties with the local government, which was threatening to shut down the operation before it even started. As the first USA station K6LPL contacted, I was enlisted to make telephone calls to his Dad to help straighten out the mess.

After perusing the lot, I was curious as to the rarity of some of the countries I worked. What was rare in 1985 is not necessarily rare in 2013 and vice versa. I Googled up a couple of "Most Wanted" lists: DX Magazine's Most Wanted Survey, updated in January 2013 and  Club Log's DXCC Most Wanted List for August 2013. Since the latter was current, I used that list to compare it to my list.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I have QSL cards and DXCC credit for 8 of the top 10 most wanted entities, 16 of the top 25, and 35 of the top 50.

Until next time, good DX and keep on surfin'!

Last Call for PSR Articles


This is the last call for articles for the End of Summer - Pre-Digital Communications Conference (DCC) issue of TAPR's quarterly newsletter, PSR.

The deadline for the next issue is Thursday, August 15. So, please send your cards, letters, articles, etc., whatever you have, to the editor of PSR, wa1lou (@)

FYI - the DCC is in Seattle this year, September 20-22. The DCC details are here.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Surfin’: Pinning the Needle (and Other Radio Parts)


Source: Pinterest

My daughter is into arts and crafts and was an early adapter of Pinterest. She talked about all the arts and crafts stuff on Pinterest, so I assumed that the website leaned in that direction and did not offer much in the way of techy stuff. I learned that my assumption was incorrect when I finally got around to exploring Pinterest.

Pinterest is a pinboard-style photo-sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, and hobbies. Users can browse other pinboards for images, "re-pin" images to their own pinboards, or "like" photos. (Source: Wikipedia)

Go to Pinterest, search on radio, ham radio, amateur radio, AM radio, FM radio, shortwave radio, antenna, QSL, etc. and you will be inundated with hundreds of related images and videos pinned by Pinterest users. Some of the images are unique, some you will recognize, some are off-the-wall, most are worth a look and some are worth exploring further.

So far, I have two Pinterest boards, Radio and Ham Radio, that I am slowly filling with pins and I am following a few other boards of interest. (When you follow another board, new pins on those boards automatically show up at the top of the page after you log in so you don't miss anything.)

Until next time, keep on surfin'!

Thursday, August 8, 2013



At 0030Z today, I added number 160 in my AM radio station log: WNSW, “The Voice of Russia,” on 1430 kHz located in Newark, NJ, 84 miles southwest running 10 kW. The station’s signal swung from one extreme to another over a half-hour period; most of the time it was about an S-3, but at times it was so far down in the mud that it was inaudible and on one occasion it built up to an S-7. My receiving equipment: C.Crane CC SW Pocket receiver and CC twin coil ferrite antenna.

The photo above is a screen capture of Google Maps Street View of WNSW’s impressive antenna farm on South Broad Street, one block west of the Garden State Parkway. WPAT AM (930 kHz; number 58 in my AM log) and WPAT FM (93.1 MHz) also transmit from this site.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


Source: Bing Maps

On Sunday, August 3 at 0000Z, I logged AM radio station number 159: WJIP on 1370 kHz in Ellenville, NY, 75 miles west running 5 kW. The station format was 24/7 comedy and the signal was good enough (S7) that the broadcast actually made me laugh!

My receiving equipment: C.Crane CC SW Pocket receiver and Terk Advantage antenna. That is the WJIP antenna in the screen capture above (source: Bing Maps).

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

I've been away

Late Saturday night, my daughter sustained injuries in a car accident. I have been dealing with the fallout the last few days and have not had any time to blog.

The hospital released my daughter today and she is now home to heal, so I will be blogging again real soon now.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Tungsram Radio

Vintage circa 1940 art deco style postcard advertising the Tungsram radio tube and light bulb manufacturer of Hungary. In business since 1896, Tungsram was awarded a patent for electric bulbs with a tungsten filament in 1903. Later in 1934, they also announced a patent for an electric bulb filled with krypton. Both provided a longer lifetime for electric bulbs. (Source: Wikipedia)