How Will This End?

It’s an amazing political circus, watching Trump and Bannon go after each other.

Billionaire vs. Billionaire!

Media Mogul vs. Media Mogul!

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!

It’s amazing, but the more I read about the details of historic events, the more we seem to be headed back to earlier, rough and tumble times.

Will we see the duel come back?

Telegraphers and Robber Barons

It’s very interesting how control of information and exploitation of both the government and workers by robber barons (speculators) has a direct parallel in the mid to late 1800’s to now.

Western Union was born out of a regional telegraph line, and at first was headquartered in Rochester, NY. Morse’s patent ended in 1861 and telegraphy really took off during the Civil War. The private telegraph companies were able to buy government lines on the cheap. There was government and private traffic being handled and telegraphers were in short demand. There was unchecked conflict of interest, but this was the brave New information world, and life during wartime.

Telegraphers started trade unions to improve their working conditions, but pretty much lost every fight. They were the conduit for information that made many men rich due to having first knowledge of happenings in mines especially. Copper, Gold and other lucrative ores would send news via telegraph, and this made those in the know rich. 

The robber barons were very similar to what you see in today’s stock market. People speculate and gamble based on information. Some get filthy rich. Some lose it all. It’s hard to draw the line between risk, opportunity and luck I guess.

The workers who kept the network open are paid a straight wage, far below the spoils of the speculators. But like software engineers, they had a pretty decent life. There were many others not nearly as well off.

I guess taking risk and playing paper games has been what has benefitted the few in the US. Lots of shenanigans.

I think in those times people at least weren’t as cavalier as our current ruling regime is. Robber barons in the late 1800’s were much better liars and cheaters than our current administration. Talk of “transparency” has always been nothing more than polite lying.

On The Path to 3Y0Z: RI50ANO

This is one of my favorite paths, and its on the way to 3Y0Z. In fact, its only 2000 miles farther to 3Y0Z – and this is South Shetland Islands. The path is so good, I easily worked South Shetlands on 160M. All other bands were a cake walk.

Come to think of it, all of the VP8’s were easy.

I’m hearing them about the same on both the phased vertical array and the 40M doublet / 17M EDZ. And both are a solid S7.

This clearly in the range of the 3Y0Z prediction. I will check it again in an hour when 3Y0Z is predicted to be about S8 at my QTH, but its all adds up even one hour earlier.

2018: The Year of Karma

I’ve brought up the topic of Karma often. “What goes around, comes around” and other expressions express the main idea of Karma.

Today we have Steve Bannon claiming that Trump Jr. and son in law Kushner committed treason. Forget about politics. Here is a situation where you have had many people breaking the law one way or another – with a seemingly endless flow of tweets and infighting between the very parties suspected of breaking the law. Talk about “loose lips”. The phrase that first came to mind was “Crime does not pay”.

Because the main perpetrators are New Yorkers, I had a flashback image of “Dog Day Afternoon”. The hostages are the American Middle Class. But in this case, the bank is not empty. It is a media and social media side show of epic proportions. It just feels like the main characters of this plot are going to completely and totally implode, perhaps with little help from outside of their own self imposed little silver spoon world.

Glorioso Announcement?

In just over a month from now, if all goes well, I will only need Glorioso to get to the ARRL’s DXCC “Top of Honor Roll”. Glorioso is #12 on the DXCC Most Wanted List as documented by Clublog. Its interesting how close it is to Madagascar, Comoros and Mayotte. It has an airstrip, but this is not for commercial flights.

I talked to Seb, F5UFX, and while his team has considered activating it – it is similar to a US F&W entity in that it will require special permission that is not easy to get. As I understand it, the team will have to be French, or perhaps there could be an individual or small team that could go there.

I am hoping for an announcement in 2018 for Glorioso, but we are about to enter the fast slide to the bottom of the cycle. Luckily, my Long Path on 40M to that part of the world is very strong – even with an SSN of Zero. But a team going there would have to be acutely aware of the West Coast, something the FT5GA was not. I would consider replacing all of my antennas and just putting up a 40M 2 element yagi – like the Cushcraft just to work the last one!

If it were to be activated at the bottom of Cycle 24, I would most likely look into using a Remote for the first and last time in my DXCC chase. I cannot let it slip by like I did FT5GA. Most of the guys in the SF Bay Area ran up to the Stanford Club station to work them. I sure wish I would hve tken my neighbors offer, Oliver, W6NV to use is station, but that was back when I was adamant that I would only earn any of these achievements using my own backyard antenna farm and station.

For the very last one, I’d bend the rules and like golf – call it a “Mulligan”!

A Very 40M New Year

Stats from

I heard both Italy and South Africa this morning with solid 59 signals on the doublet on the Long Path. I will start monitoring the late afternoon / early evening path to South America and South Africa starting tonight.

One thing that has been fantastic is how quiet the bands have been – but as you can see, we are probably in for a disturbance soon. But in the last days and this morning, both 160 and 40M have been fantastic and a lot of fun. My 40M capabilities are much better than 160 – and I am sure its a function of the hills around me. While I am “intrigued” by 160M, 40M is by far my favorite. Its the band that keeps me in the game for sure. 2018 is predicted to have half the sunspots, but as you can see this morning, we are working the world on the Long Path with Zero Sunspots, and A of 4 and K of 2, which is really great.

Its funny, I’m checking the signal to noise ratio between the phased vertical array and the doublet, and with no signal on frequency, the noise is S3 on the phased vertical array and S6 on the doublet. This means I was fooling myself that the doublet was better than the vertical array because of the noise, not the signal.

Straight Key Night!

Happy New Year!