FREQ 300 #46: EA6NB – Balearic Island

I haven’t been very active Ham Radio wise – but it was a nice surprise to work EA6 QRP in Summer

We do usually get some decent EU DX on 40M during summer evenings. EA6NB is a beacon though – you can hear him almost always. He was one of my first DX QSO’s back in 2001 – when I started DXing.

My wife noticed that I am spending all of my free time with music these days – but every now and then a quick QRP CW QSO is nice. I told her that the only reason I stay in Ham Radio is CW, and that is the truth – if it weren’t for CW, I would sell my gear.

Its a great legacy, and one that will dwindle out probably after my generation is gone. I am very thankful that I was born when I was and was at the very end of the “hollow state” days – in fact, I was the punk kid that OOT’s unloaded their old Hallicrafters junk on – so I actually am post – tube days. I was able to experience that, CW, crystal controlled – and everything between that and SDR’s with great software control – especially my Win4k3Suite – and associated panadapter gear (RSP1 and Xonar sound card).


Covid-19: Week 10 – The Re-opening?

It might be a long time coming …

Most of the US will have re-opening starting this week. While I sure want the economy to come back, I don’t expect much and don’t think anything will happen quickly.

Georgia and Florida got caught downplaying their Covid-19 cases to appease Donald Trump

Nice rearranged statistics. Look at the dates …

I saw a report where Georgia took Covid-19 stats and re-arranged them so it looked like they had two weeks of decline in numbers. The problem is, they forgot to phony up the dates so you could see clearly how they were cheating.

We will create a second wave due to our impatience

Yep, that’s the GOP, bunch of lying, cheating bastards. Give our tax money to the rich and screw everyone else. I know I will stay far away from any public place or even business. In fact, I’ll do this until there is a treatment or a vaccine.

Per the GOP and Trump – if you aren’t filthy rich or a corporation, you can go screw. If you trust your life to ANY GOP politician, you might end up dead. You are theirs to sacrifice for the economy and their political means.

Its not criminal to want to re-open the economy. Its is criminal to fudge stats and give a false allusion that everything is safe when its not. Thank God my state and local officials aren’t Trump ass kissers. I just can’t believe we have become a third world country, but we have.

God Bless all the families who have lost loved ones due to Trump’s total inaction and incompetence. God Bless the local and state politicians who did Trump’s job for him.

KLIB to KBND Fade at 0315 utc

A Dramatic Reading on KY6R Radio . . . 

After putting up my KY6R Big Loops – I started receiving AM BCB stations that I never could before. I was very happy to pick up obscure low power stations up and down the West Coast, and even up into Canada, Mexico, and quite a distance Eastward.

That is the fade from a station in Roseville, CA – near Sacramento fading to KBND in Bend, OR. Both are low power stations, and during winter, this fading starts as early as 4 hours earlier.

No surprise here – I was wondering if these stations would even be heard in Summer, and the answer is yes – its just that the D Layer is energized a LOT longer in Summer – and the days are even longer in Bend than in Roseville, so I can hear Roseville a lot longer than I would in winter.

Inspiration in Tough Times

Waiting for a post Covid-19 world

It’s only been two months since our life and world has been changed “forever”.

While it has been driving some people insane (thugs breaking a Target workers arm after being told to wear a mask), I’m finding great solace in “sheltering in place”.

There are many renditions of a theme that I subscribe to that I never would have in my 20’s, the Zen Buddhist phrase:

“The hardest thing to do is nothing”.

As a young man, I was impatient. I was in a band playing music in dive bars, but wanted success and fast. I was practicing my art but trying way too hard. I wrote some decent songs, but I had not lived long enough nor experienced life and it’s trials and tribulations much at all.

The paradox is – now that I am older, thoughts and creativity are flowing out of me, making me feel even more alive, and I already was doing well in that department since I got remarried almost 15 years ago.

The truth is, making it through a tough time is life affirming. Now add to this the fact that the entire world is going through the same thing. We truly are all in this together. I do think most humans do care about other people and that we hope everyone does well. I believe this because when we read it hear about someone else’s tragedy – even complete strangers, we get sad – we have empathy.

The foil to this are world leader pretenders, but they make us angry and even that makes us more human.

We are then inspired by the doctors, nurses, governor’s and others who are like firemen rushing in to put out a fire.

You know there are countless scientists and thinkers working very hard for a cure. Worldwide!

While we live in scary times, we need to have some hope because these things truly don’t last forever.

I’m just thankful that somehow I’ve become more inspired and less worried – because my local government did the right thing at the right time.

Maybe it’s a glimmer of confidence that leads to hope?

I will continue to tap into this energy because when (not if) things go back to normal, I might lose some if this energy and inspiration.

Covid-19: Week 9 in Lock Down

Birch Trees in Bend – After The Snowstorm – R. Holoch

Its been long enough for this “New Norm” to feel like a new chapter. Big changes happened at work last week, but I still have a job, and I am more excited about work than ever. I have a new project that should kick off soon – and its something I’ve been trying to sell since about December. Maybe this Covid-19 has me realizing just how important it is to appreciate our lives while we have them. Make Hay as the Sun Shines.

I was quite amused at an interview with Democratic Strategist James Carville this past week – where he mentioned that Brad “The Devils Haircut” Parscale just purchased a Maserati, two condo’s in Florida, a Range Rover and God knows what other tacky Nouveau-Riche toys. He is Trump’s Campaign Manager – and there was some stories saying that he might get fired. I read in the Atlantic how Parscale comes from another “interesting” family just like Jared Kushner – another “fine” Father and Son duo. Parscale also received a PPP bailout of $800,00, which sucks because I have heard many companies who haven’t received such a bailout – and they had to have layoffs. Carville is a pretty interesting guy – very smart, very “homespun”, with a great sense of humor. He thinks that all of the people who have come and gone through Trump’s Administration have been fleecing him for all they could get – before they know their time will be up. He calls the Trump Administration a “Pack of Grifters”, and that cross checks with several other stories of late. Karma seems to work on many levels and many different ways. Its very, very obvious that Trump is super desperate – and Carville dropped a bomb by saying that Trump’s People have been feeding him phony poll numbers so they can keep their job and grift just a bit more – before the whole thing implodes. I laughed at how that statement will be seen by Our TV Watching Junky President – and how it will drive him out of his mind. Karma for sure.

This Obamagate thing is so laughable – you can see the desperation. I read another story where the writer said that Trump is like Hitler, but without the Brains or Balls. I laughed at that since I had thought the exact same thing. Long story short – Trump’s Game is known and now so old and stale – its about as impressive as yesterdays dirty underwear. Next cute diversion please – as people die in mass numbers in the US.

Sadly, America has to even read or know about this noise – the real news doesn’t even make it to the news any more. We have a real crisis, and we also have many fine people around the world working hard to come up with treatments and a cure – luckily, I have been able to find some of these stories – but I have to Google around to find these stories – unfortunately we are all subjected to the Daily Trump Clown Review.

How much lower will America Fall? The pit seems endless at this point. There will soon be spikes due to early re-opening economies in some states or some parts of states – get ready for this.

Even in what feels like The Worst of Times, I have been more creative and more energized than ever. I can only pray that they at least find a treatment while we wait for a Vaccine.

Until then, I am going no where and fast. They can open up whatever – and I will gladly let the Darwin Award Winners go and be the Canaries in the Coal Mines.

Covid-19: Week 8 in Lock Down

Precision – R. Holoch, 2008

Here we are, two months more or less with a “Shelter in Place” order. As much as I know how horrible this is for business, I also know it won’t last forever and that we will come back from this abyss. A change in leadership will be necessary, an I hope the States and Governors continue to work together like they have – because I do believe that there will be fundamental changes in the USA that will be better than how things were before – if we all let it be that way moving forward.

For whatever reason – I have been super inspired exercise wise and art wise – both music and Assemblage / Photography wise. I am writing multiple song ideas a week and I have more ideas on art and music projects than I can ever remember.

I have all the patience needed – because like anything in life – you have to suck it up, take the pain before things get better. I’ve lived long enough to know that life doesn’t always go the way you’d like it, and I guarantee you – this year has not – and will not go Trump’s way. No matter what he tries to do – he will be very disappointed that Covid-19 and the economy will not cooperate with his wishes and desires. All the bluster he spews will have zero effect – this thing is a giant beast, and he is no match for it.

You can take that to the bank.

FREQ 300: 3D2AG – Fiji

#45 Towards the FREQ 300 – Fiji

Its been a long time since I bothered turning on the radio more than checking the AM BCB with the KY6R Big Mag Loops. 40M is in great shape this morning, and I do need Fiji QRP, so what the heck.

Win4K3Suite Panadapter Display – Nice!

Ham Radio QRP DXing is a lot less involved than the music writing and recording that I have been doing lately. Its still occasional fun – and CW is a “musical” ham radio mode – more than any other, that’s for sure. Its percussive and it does have a “swing” – or personalized sound to it. Everyone’s timing and emphasis – if they are hand sending, even with a keyer – is detectable, because unlike computer generated CW – its imperfect.

That imperfection makes it fun, and is why it’s the only mode I’m interested in any more.

Ham Shack and Recording Studio

Sundays are Music Days at KY6R

My ham shack has been great, I built it when I first moved in March 2006, after a divorce.

The KY6R Ham Shack and Studio

It’s in the garage, and when I moved into this 1950 ranch house, there was this great small window paned door under the house. Perfect for the shack, and it has a ton of character.

The KY6R Ham Shack is also a great Music Recording Studio

Turns out, while I love writing initial song ideas in our sunny living room, when I get serious about recording parts, it’s out to the shack / studio.

Sunny Living Room

The Zoom R8 is great in the living room when I’m just practicing and trying to get inspiration, and it is also useful in the studio, because it is the analog to digital audio source for Steinberg Cubase and my recordings.

After playing music, Kat and I listen to KPIG – to Kianas fine Americana show and Henry Rollins show on KCRW at night.

I’ll stay here at home enjoying life safely. I’m in no hurry to go back to that shit we called our “normal” life.

This is way better.

KY6R Big Mag Loops Update – Spring 2020

The KY6R Big Mag Loops – January 2020

We had a very dry Winter this year – only 50% of the normal rainfall, so I made hay while the sun shone – and experimented with mag loop receiving antennas, Wellbrook Preamps and my DX Engineering NCC-2. I have the best receiving antenna system that I have ever had – especially for the BCB, 160 and 80M bands, but these loops (2 separated by 70 feet or so and with Yaesu G450 rotators) work well up through (at least) 20M.

I had wondered what might happen as we go into the Summer months – especially on the AM BCB, and I have noticed (as expected) that the D Layer is with us a lot longer – very much based on the longer days. However, the D Layer does disappear fairly quickly after sunset – just as it does during the Winter. I have noticed a little more QSB and QRN, but its not as bad as I had expected.

I haven’t done any comparisons with any other band (yet), but will.

Hello Darkness, My Old Friend

Its been quite a while since we have seen a Sunspot number of 35 – with multiple sunspot groups – and two from Cycle 25 and one from Cycle 24. I used to get excited about this sort of thing – but I’m not feeling it this time. I suppose if I get back into the FREQ 300 maybe I’ll at least get a whiff of the good old DX-ing days, but it does feel a lot like “Been There, Done That”.

It reminds me of 2008 or so – when we dropped into the Great Recession under a GOP President. Here we are again – on the upswing, and in a Depression under a GOP President. Will we elect someone who will spend the next 8 years fixing this avoidable mess?

We shall see.

The sun does mark time though.