Well That Got Your Attention

I didn’t have clue that my last article would be such a hit in tandem with K0NR’s article. If I had known that I would have put maybe a tiny bit more effort into making it much more coherent, a little less of a rant, but holy dang has it got people talking.


On Southgate.

On Amateur Radio Newsline’s Facebook.

It’s practically blown my twitter to smithereens. 

Even Adafruit rehosted it on their blog!

But not on reddit…I didn’t post it there because of self-promotion anti-blogspam rules (i.e. self-spotting not allowed), and partially because I wanted to see how the article would grow organically, but I’m surprised it hasn’t appeared there yet.

[edit1: I posted it on reddit, a few headline-only readers, but a much larger contingent of frustrated younger hams.]


Part of me wishes I had advertising on the site but I don’t, and even if I did it wouldn’t defray a fraction of the hosting costs. This might be viral in the ham radio world, but it’s par for the course on the internet in general. C’est la vie. Also, YouTube has shown us that ads suck for creators.

To headline-readers who email and comment without reading the article. Read it please. I’m getting hate mail and silly comments from dissenting voices like:

“This article is garbage.”

“What a load of crap.”

“Cell phones wouldn’t be here without ham radio!”

I have a strong feeling these commenters only read “Millennials are Killing Ham Radio,” taking up arms over the title without a second thought. Not only is that a problem with hams, that’s a problem with the internet as a whole – so please read, and tell us how you really feel.

On the other hand, it’s heartwarming to see younger people commenting to agree, and disagree with the gist of the blog. There was a lot of good discussion at the Thanksgiving dinner table, and a lot of eyes opening up to a new market/generation of hams.

I do plan to milk this click-bait title by making an accompanying video to hit the non-reader market, and Marty and I will be talking about this, as well as recap on HamJam, ARRL Sweeps, CQWW, and more on our next episode of The Phasing Line Podcast.

So yeah. If you’re new to following the blog, welcome and thank you for following!

$2 Million prize for an Off-The-Grid Disaster Recovery Network: Is Ham Radio Gonna Play?

From https://wirelesschallenge.mozilla.org/:

How can we leverage wireless technology to keep people connected to each other and to vital information sources in the aftermath of a disaster where Internet access is unavailable or compromised?

The Off-the-Grid Internet Challenge seeks solutions that can provide connectivity in one of the most challenging situations: the immediate aftermath of a major disaster. When disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes strike, communications networks are often among the first pieces of critical infrastructure to overload or fail, leaving individuals disconnected from one another and from essential services and communications. With a total of $1M in prize money, the Off-the-Grid Internet Challenge seeks solutions that help individuals wirelessly access each other and information services like maps and messaging following a disaster.


Now that you’re sick and tired of ham radio after spending all night on a radio during last weekend’s Field Day, here’s another thing to keep you up at night.

It’s not very often that the people of the internet make a direct call to the nature of our hobby to do something novel to promote and advance how we communicate in disasters.

3 days ago, I found this in /r/darknetplan, a subreddit made for planners and developers of the decentralized internet of the future, where internet is shared through individual nodes (mesh net) and centralized services (like Gmail, or Facebook) became decentralized, where data is stored and shared via peer-to-peer connections rather than through a serverfarm.

It was then sent out via the APRS-SIG email list. This is when I realized ham radio has a pretty significant advantage: we’re already there.


Well, that was easy. We’ll take our $2 million now. 🙂

Just kidding; it’s not that easy. Applications are open for the $2 Million WINS Challenges until October, 15 2017. Even though AREDN seemingly has this in the bag, it’s up to you to actually bring it to light.

If there’s no amateur radio presence in this challenge, I think I’m going to quit the hobby. For real. I would do it, but I have a day job and a wedding to plan. Don’t kill the messenger!

With that said, while this competition is proceeding, I strongly suggest (or hope) the media barons of amateur radio (ARRL, AR Newsline, podcast media, etc) to talk about, support, sponsor, if not join forces with Mozilla and their WINS challenge. ARRL is in a very prime spot to get some facetime with one of the next generations of hams – those developing decentralized, off-grid wired and wireless networks.

Also, hi again; it’s been a while. I moved apartments, traveled a bit, and had a lot of ham radio downtime. I’m back though. I’ll probably start back up with the Phasing Line Podcast, if Marty still remembers who I am 😛

IMMEDIATE ATTENTION: Missouri Amateur Radio Parity Act

In the midst of our nation getting a new president, we can’t forget the battles going on at home.

I mean, the small battles matter too.

Missouri Amateur Radio Parity Act (MARPA) really needs your help. It’s basically the same parity act the ARRL produced for federal considering, but at the state level. Larry Scantlan KEØKZ is the main guy behind this bill, and he needs a ton of help showing the Missouri government that there is significant public interest in this bill. It failed last time because nobody showed up.

If you like listening to podcasts, check out 100 Watts and a Wire’s interview with Larry and what needs to happen right now. TL;DL: Larry fought his town’s restrictions on owning ham radio inside his own home! He contacted the aldermen of the city and discovered almost everyone was in agreement, and the laws were changed. He then took to the Missouri courts to do what the ARRL’s doing for the entire nation – fight unnecessary HOA restrictions on reasonable accommodations for ham radio equipment.

What you need to do:

Fill out a Witness Appearance form. It’s available right here: Witness Appearance 2017

Fill that out (you may need to add an attachment to fit your testimony in the box) and email it to Representative Bryan Spencer at bryan.spencer@house.mo.gov before the end of the day, Monday, January 23, 2017.

From Larry:


The most critical action needed to today from hams across Missouri is for everyone (and their family members, friends, neighbors, co-workers) to complete and return the Witness Appearance Form (see attached).  This document lets the committee members know that there is sufficient public support for them to consider this legislation in committee and allow it to move forward in the legislative process.  The chairman of this committee will make that decision, not only on the testimonies of those present at the hearing, but also by the number of these forms received.

According to Rep. Bryan Spencer, our Bill’s sponsor, he needs to be able to hand 400-500 of these completed forms to the chairman at the time of the hearing or, as he put, we might as well just write this off.  As of this email he had only received 3 completed forms in his office.

I understand that you may not be able to attend the hearing, and finding time to make a phone call to your representative asking for his/her support may take some time, but EVERYONE can print off this form, complete it, scan it and email it back.  Please email your completed Witness Appearance Form back to Representative Bryan Spencer at bryan.spencer@house.mo.gov before the end of the day, Monday, January 23, 2017.

It’s your turn to act and make a difference.

73,Larry Scantlan, KEØKZ
Wentzville, MO

See the Facebook page for more information and updates: https://www.facebook.com/groups/163548427426968/