HRN 391: ARRL Director Dick Norton N6AA at the Yuma AZ Hamfest

Dick Norton N6AA, the ARRL SW Division Director, is at the center of the dust-up (Firestorm?) at the ARRL Board of Directors. He's the director who was censured in a special Board Meeting last fall for what the Board said were inappropriate comments at the Visalia DX convention the previous spring. He's also the Director that Hudson Division Director Mike Lisenco N2YBB said was partly responsible for a 'toxic environment' at the League. Lisenco's comments came during a Hudson Division web Town Hall in early 2018, with a link from this discussion. (Note that the audio recording of that webinar is pretty bad, but it's also pretty interesting if you can tough it out.)

In this episode, Dick Norton discussed his censure and the ARRL Board Code of Conduct at the ARRL Forum at the Yuma AZ Hamfest in February. HamRadioNow's host David Goldenberg W0DHG recorded the session.

Radio Rating: A

HRN 390: Huntsville Hamfest Update, Live from Orlando

Mark Brown N4BCD is the new chairman of the Huntsville Hamfest. A little birdie (named Michael Kalter) told him to cross the street and talk to that Gary guy for some free publicity, so we caught up on the latest from what's probably the #3 fest in the US after Dayton and Orlando.

Mark takes over after the passing of Charlie Emerson N4OKL, who we described as "the benevolent dictator of the Huntsville Hamfest" back in HamRadioNow Episode 29


HRN 389: The ZED (and a Dayton Update), Live from Orlando

Sunday morning was the 'drop-by' time for HamRadioNow, apparently. Gary looked up from the laptop where he was working on the HRN website to see founder Fred Lloyd AA7BQ standing there. So of course, let's do a show!

We just got started when the Dayton Hamvention's media guy Michael Kalter W8CI walked by. Both Michael and Fred were time-limited (wrong show, guys), but they generously gave us what they could, and probably a little more. Thanks!


HRN 388: Florida Spectrum Management, Live from Orlando

The full title is Florida Amateur Spectrum Management Assn., or FASMA.

Last year, Bryan Fields W9CR led a coalition of dissatisfied repeater owners and members of the Florida Repeater Council in a successful effort to take control of that organization. There was some conflict, but eventually Bryan's group prevailed. They changed the name to reflect a broader focus, and re-incorporated. Now they have to make good on their pledge to provide better coordination service. Bryan explains how.

Radio Rating: A.

HRN 387: The YL Show, Live from Orlando

The call signs are: WA4YL, AC4YL and AG4YL. So what do you think this show might be about? Dawn, Catherine and Melanie had just given the YL Forum at Orlando, and Gary invited them to keep going on the show.


HRN 385: HamCation TOUR 2018, Live from Orlando

Gary takes you on a video tour of the Orlando HamCation, Sorry, the video is jumpy, but you'll get the idea.

Then we get a surprise guest in the SIB. Fan of the show N1LGQ stopped by to chat, and we put him on the air.

RADIO RATING: B. Even though the TOUR is video, Gary narrates it on-camera pretty well. 

Facebook LIVE Extra from Orlando

Kyle Krieg N0KTK had a beef with Gary, and he expressed it in the HamRadioNow Facebook Group (or maybe it was YouTube.. we get confused). Gary wasn't going to record an 'On the Road' to Orlando, and Kyle was going to 'give him crap' about that, in person.

So of course when Kyle shows up at the SIB*, Gary pushed the Facebook LIVE button and they had a short... OK, 70 minute  wide-ranging discussion.

We didn't make a YouTube video for this, but you can see it on FACEBOOK. We did rip the audio for the podcast:


*Studio In a Booth

HRN 384: AMSAT Update, Live from Orlando

New AMSAT President Joe Spier K6WAO joins Gary for a wide-ranging discussion of all things AMSAT.

RADIO RATING: A. Nothing to see here. Move along (and play the audio).

HRN 383 Live from Orlando

Jason Johnston KC5HWB from HamRadio2.0 helps Gary inaugurate the first LIVE broadcast from a hamfest - the Orlando HamCation. Gary built a new version of the SIB (Studio In a Booth) with webcams and live switching on his laptop. It sort of worked.

HRN 382: West Coast Studio: Kicking the Tires

David W0DHG is putting up a short (30 minute) episode test, along with an on the road interview with host emeritus Gary Pearce KN4AQ.

HRN 381: Digital Voice 2008

From the archives of Amateur Radio//Video News...

Digital Voice for Amateur Radio was the most complex of the three documentaries that HamRadioNow's Gary Pearce KN4AQ produced for DVD, before starting the online show. In 2007, Gary traveled to Alabama and Dallas in one trip, Chicago and St. Louis in another, and Washington DC in a third to gather interviews and footage of what was then just emerging as Digital Voice systems for Amateur Radio. The program was edited and released on DVD in 2008.

The DV modes for HF included a hardware modem from AOR and a software/sound card system called WinDRM (which evolved to today's FreeDV). The VHF/UHF modes in use then were D-STAR and P-25

Of course, these modes have evolved since this program was produced, and newer modes like DMR, Yaesu System Fusion, and NXDN have been developed. Consider this program a snapshot in the early history of Amateur Radio Digital Voice. It's certainly not a current tutorial on operating those modes today.

Here are our two other ARVN documentaries:

And some more D-STAR history:

Radio Rating: C- at best. This was a video documentary, and while there is a lot of talking, most of the pictures you're missing are equipment in operation, locations, and a few graphics. You'll miss a lot, but since there's so much information, you'll learn a lot, too. [The Radio Rating is our estimate of how much you'll get from the program audio without the video. It's not a rating of the overall program. Those are always A+]

Here's a related QLOG entry...

HRN 380: Bored of Directors

David and Gary catch up on the final details of all the proposals and revisions that are going into the ARRL Board of Directors meeting this weekend.

Radio Rating: A


HRN 379: One League Under the Siege*

In this episode we review what's been going on with the ARRL, from the Code of Conduct to the proposed revisions to the Bylaws and Articles of Association. We look at a new group that's formed to protest some of the ARRL Board's actions. And mostly we read some detailed responses to inquiries that Gary and others sent to some of the Directors. They're not coming on the shows yet, but they are being more responsive than we saw initially (though, as Roanoke Division Director Dr. Jim Boehner N2ZZ noted, those responses won't satisfy many critics). 

That new group is called myARRLvoice. Some members of the 'steering committee' for the group are former Board members who could not speak in opposition to League policies until their terms expired on January 1. Now they can. Their web site will have links to the documents we reference in the show.

At the end of the show, you'll see a note about what we've been calling The Best Part of the Show™. That's the banter that comes after we 'formally' close the show (and say Over and Out), that may or may not be related to the main topics of the show. We're not fooling our guests into thinking they're having a private conversation. Facebook LIVE is still running, as is the recording hard drive. But it still gets a little looser than our usual taut, tightly formatted interview segment. And if you're not asking "What show is he talking about?" at this point, you haven't been paying much attention. But it really does get looser.

Anyway, we cut that off the YouTube version of the show this time. OK, it's still a 90 minute show. We're still not fooling anybody. But maybe it'll scare a few less people away.

The full show is in the audio version, and on the Facebook LIVE recording session, if you want it.

Radio Rating: A+. As usual, a few web sites, but we don't even put the text we're reading on the screen (Gary didn't have time to format it). [The 'Radio Rating' does not measure the quality of the program content. It's our guess as to good a radio show it is, without video].

* The show title is a somewhat awkward takeoff on Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, which caused me to wonder 'how deep that is?' Wikipedia to the rescueThe title refers to the distance traveled while under the sea and not to a depth, as 20,000 leagues is over six times the diameter, and nearly twice the circumference of the Earth. The greatest depth mentioned in the book is four leagues. The book uses metric leagues, which are four kilometres each. - Gary KN4AQ

HRN 378: Bouvet 2018

Hal Tourley W8HC is our tour guide for this preview of the 3Y0Z Bouvet Island DXpedition, where 20 top DXpeditioners will travel to the most remote spot of land on Earth to warm up from the brutal winter we're having in North America.

Radio Rating: B+. We've got some pictures and maps from the DXpedition website, so if you can visit there sometime soon, you're all set. (The Radio Rating is our estimate of how well you'll understand the program from just the audio track, without the video.)

HRN 377, BS#11: ARRL, CQ, Happy New Year

The ARRL has yet another proposal coming to the January Board Meeting — a fairly extensive revision to the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws with some curious changes in how the board can remove a member and a DirectorCQ is pointing it out, but they've got their own trouble getting issues printed. And our friend Dan KB6NU has details on his Blog. David and Gary review the review.

Then they talk about the state of and future of HamRadioNow as Gary plans his escape.


HRN 376, BS#10: Holiday Bull Session

David and Gary meander around several topics and eventually land on the proposal by ARRL Hudson Director Mike Lisenco N2YBB to confer voting privileges in board meetings on the League President and three Vice Presidents. We're told that Mike will submit the proposal as a motion at the January ARRL Board Meeting.

If you want to get right to that ARRL discussion, here's the direct link to that spot on YouTube:

And there are cats.

Radio Rating: A. You won't miss anything except the cats, and David's UFO. [The Radio Rating measures our guess about how well you can 'get' the program from the audio podcast, without the video.]

HRN 375: Ham Radio - The Best 1000 Hobbies - 2017 DCC Banquet

From the title, you might expect 2017 DCC Banquet speaker Tom McDermott N5EG to just list all the specialties that make up ham Radio, from ATV to DX, Repeaters to QRP. But that's not the direction he takes. Tom's looking at the leading edge of technology as it applies now, and will apply in the near future, to ham radio. 

And that makes this talk depart from the usually non-technical DCC banquet presentations. He probably left some spouses behind, but even if you're a non-so-technical ham, eventually you'll catch up.

Radio Rating: C. You might need some of Tom's slides to help you keep up. Many of them are just headline text, but there are enough pictures and charts, and a few comics, that you'll miss the context here and there. As usual, if listening leaves too many blanks, watch the video. (The radio rating does not measure the quality of the talk. It is for the audio audience, indicating our estimate of their ability to understand the talk without being able to see all the graphics.) 

And this completes our series from the 2017 ARRL & TAPR Digital Communications Conference, held September 15-17 in St. Louis, MO.

HRN 374 / EmComm Extra #19: (Chicago) Marathon Man

The New York Marathon. World's biggest, right? And Ham Radio is huge there.

The Boston Marathon. Ham Radio is big there, too. And it's, what, #2? 

Nope. Worldwide, it's not even close. In the USA, it's #3 (as of 2015, anyway, the last year a quick web search had stats).

So who's #2. The Marine Corps Marathon in DC? Nope. (But ham radio is big there, too).

#2 is Chicago. The perpetual Second City (even though Los Angeles took that USA title a few decades ago). And yes, even though you've never heard of it, nearly 150 hams pitch in to help it run smoothly.

Rob Orr K9RST has been the lead ham for the Chicago Marathon for the past decade, recruiting from a coalition of radio clubs and individual hams to provide communications for the medical side of the event (similar to the ham's mission at Boston). And as you'll hear, he really has a handle on it all.

Host David Goldenberg w0DHG leads this chat, as Gary KN4AQ hides behind the scenes (mostly). And note that this is the usual in-depth interview, but the show really runs about 95 minutes, and the rest is the 'post-show party' (aka The Best Part of the Show).

Radio Rating: A+. Rob provided some stills that give you a flavor of the event, but you'll get the complete story from the audio.

HRN 373: IMPROVING Citizen Weather from the 2017 DCC

This is Part Two of the Sunday Seminar at the 2017 TAPR DCC.

Part One was in HRN Episode 372 (immediately preceding this episode), and both are on the topic of the Citizen Weather Observer Program - all those weather stations that you and your friends have.

In Part One, Gerry Creager N5JXS described the station components, what data they generate and how NOAA uses it, optimal positioning of the components and stuff. 

Here in Part Two, Gerry is looking to TAPR and hams to help improve the CWOP. There's a lot of detail, but it boils down to two elements:

  • Better Data
  • Lightening Reporting

These are two action items, and at the end of the talk, TAPR President Steve Bible recruited two TAPR members to lead the effort to identify what new data the CWOP needs, then figure out how to generate and forward it (APRS is a big part of data distribution, but it was never designed for this), and look into methods and maybe hardware for providing lots more rapid, detailed lightning strike data. Yes, we are making the sausage here, and you can grind some if you like.

The effort is just getting started, and as you'll hear at the end of the episode, when we produced the video, we didn't have all the contact data for hams who want to participate. We'll update it as we get it at the bottom of this episode page.

Radio Rating: B-. If you're a podcast listener, Powerpoint is not your friend (is it anybody's friend?), and there are lots of slides. Many are text headlines that Gerry covers. Some are graphs and charts that he describes fairly well, but you miss relationships. 



Paul Cecil KA5FPT
(cell) 207-798-2107
Alt email:

Gerry Creager N5JXS
(C) 979.229.5301

Dave Witten, KD0EAG
2322 Deer Creek Ct,
Columbia, MO 65201