Category Archives: radio - Page 2


A Spread from CQ Magazine

Last night, I was sitting in my Jeep waiting for my son to finish something and I pulled out my CQ Magazine. There was a really great spread on a team that ran a DX expedition to the British Virgin Islands. They were chasing the ghost of an Englishman who fixed up a sailboat and headed out to see the world on his own. He made a lot of contacts as he rounded the islands and was on the air for quite a while.

I’m a sucker for tales of Englishmen who head out into the world to chase something like that. It’s back to being a conquistador of the useless (a reference for those into the climbing scene of which I am decidedly only a spectator). There is no good reason for going out to sea like that. Even less to poke around with a radio. And less still to go to an island with the express purpose of being someone for people who are in their homes to call. But being useful isn’t much of an end, is it? Not most of the time, I don’t think.

I watch these folks go out and try to ship themselves and their gear to all parts of the world to sit on a lonely island in potentially harsh conditions simply to say “I’m here! Can you hear me? I can hear you!”

Living now, in the After (and there are so many things that have ended in the past few years that this is most assuredly an After Time), it’s easy to see why someone would want to drop it all and wander off. There is very little to be seen or gained from the vantage point of a computer screen.

Fishing. Geocaching. Camping. Overlanding. SOTA. POTA. Any kind of field radio, really. All excuses to get outside and check a box on a list you made yourself that is accountable to no one else. And that serves no greater purpose than to be logged in your own, personal journal.

No, I don’t have any maps open on my desk. Why do you ask?

Nerd Radio

FT8 waterfall graph showing crowded bands.

The bands are alive! Lots more sunspots lately. And you know what that means? Wait… This is the wrong blog for this kind of post. Still, it’s the hobby that keeps my mind working on things that aren’t horrible.

I’ve been looking for good places to go fishing. I’m playing with my ham radio an awful lot. And Fathers Day is just around the corner. Are any of these things related?

It’s highly likely that they are.

Stick to the hobbies. Read the books. Enjoy the ride. Slow things down. As a friend of mine had in his email sig for years, “THINK: Where Available.”


A radio that has shortwave capabilities.
A fine shortwave radio.

In the world of tech, there are some things that never seem to die. We’ve seen an acceleration of communication tech over the past 20 years that is quite stunning. But as it has become ubiquitous, it’s also become less interesting. As a radio nerd I’ve turned to scanning through the shortwave frequencies looking for rare and weird things. This little unit does not disappoint.

There’s a world of things happening out there. From apocalyptic preachers to political screeds to music I’ve never heard before. Wild stuff to have on in the background as I work in my office in The New Normal.