Category Archives: News

A-1 Operator Award

Very pleasant surprise, winning the A-1 Operator award last night at the WCARS (Western Carolina Amateur Radio Society) Christmas party. It’s a national award from the American Radio Relay League, which says “First organized in May 1933, the ARRL A-1 Operator Club has a proud history and occupies an important place in Amateur Radio tradition. ..." (photo of Ralph by Stephanie A. Harrill)    Send article as PDF   

W5VE Wins DXCC Award!

dxcc The American Radio Relay League, the sponsor of this award, state: “DXCC is Amateur Radio’s premier award that hams can earn by confirming on the air contacts with 100 countries.”

“Confirming” being the operative work. You can’t just say you talked to someone in New Zealand, it must be authenticated. Two way exist of accomplishing this authentication. In the old days, hams exchanged postcards (we call 'em QSL cards). You could bundle those up when you had 100 different countries and mail them to the ARRL. I did that under my original call years ago, WA4NUO. Today, the ARRL maintains a secure online method of authentication, the Logbook of the World or LotW. Continue reading...

ARRL DX Contest, the Movie

Me, participating in the ARRL International DX contest, where hams talk to as many other stations in foreign countries as possible. It’s great fun!    Send article as PDF   

W5VE on

Below, the start of my bio page at :

1qrz    Send article as PDF   

13 Colonies Award

11224138_10206185948259982_608409981888040627_o[1]July 4th weekend this year, hams all over participated in the 13 Colonies contest. The goal being to make contact with a special amateur radio station in all 13 of the original 13 colonies which formed the nexus for the establishing of these now fifty United States. Not as easy as it might seem at first, only one station in each state and thousands of other hams trying to get an acknowledgement as well. In short, I had a tremendously fun weekend working to get all 13 and made it. My award took almost two months but worth the wait. Already looking forward to next year. It's what we hams do. Have fun! (click on certificate to see it larger).    Send article as PDF   

My Swag from the Shelby Hamfest

20150906_132338[1]It’s a Vibroplex Code Warrior Jr., wonderfully sturdy iambic paddle for Morse code (CW), marvelously crafted and a lot heavier than it looks. Love it. I've had a Vibroplex "bug" (semi automatic key for over fifty years. This acquisition brings me into the modern age. I got to the hamfest earlier specifically looking for a paddle since I want to get back into CW. I would have been delighted with a cheaper BY-1 or anything else of a lesser ilk than the Code Warrior but I lucked into this find at a price less than a used BY-1, etc. Mighty pleased. Yes!    Send article as PDF   

Worked All States (WAS) Award

wasW5VE qualified for the Worked All States award on Sept. 1, 2015. Sponsored by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the rules for this award read in part:  “The WAS (Worked All States) Award is available to all amateurs worldwide who submit proof with written confirmation of contacts with each of the 50 states of the United States of America.” Which means I made a confirmed (a paper “QSL” postcard exchange or an official entry authenticated by both parties online in the ARRL’s Logbook of the World or LoTW) two-way radio contact with one or more harm radio operators in each of the 50 U.S. states.  It took me from Dec. 12, 2014 to Sept. 1, 2015 to achieve these contacts. In this case, all states were confirmed via LoTW. Continue reading…

W5VE Mobile 4 in the Mountains


Taking a break yesterday up near Winding Stair Gap in the beautiful mountains of Macon County, North Carolina. The antennas are for my ham radios — 220 in the front, duoband 2 meters/440 behind (W5VE).    Send article as PDF   

Field Day, Mars Hill NC

(click twice to get photos full screen)    Send article as PDF   

SDR Radios in the Cloud!

[It’s quite logical when you think about it — lots more computer power in the cloud]


The Cloud-IQ is the latest high performance software defined receiver from RFSPACE. The Cloud-IQ offers two modes of operation. The IQ mode, offers 24 bit, IQ streaming to the PC over ethernet. This mode uses our SpectraVue software or third party programs like SDR-Radio, SDR# and GNU radio. The stand-alone “Cloud” mode includes a built-in internet server. In this mode, the radio performs the tuning and demodulation of signals and transmits the demodulated information back to a PC, OS-X, Linux or Android client anywhere in the world.
Continue reading…

KB1HIK New NASA Deputy Administrator

dava [photo from “Building the Future Spacesuit ” by Dava Newman, read here]… “Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor Dava Newman, KB1HIK, has been sworn in as the deputy administrator of NASA. President Barack Obama appointed Newman last October, and the US Senate confirmed her appointment on April 27. The swearing-in took place on May 15 in her MIT office in Cambridge. Newman is Apollo Professor of Astronautics and Engineering Systems and the director of the Technology and Policy Program at MIT. She started her official duties as NASA’s new deputy administrator on May 18 at the agency’s headquarters in Washington, DC. Continue reading...

Amateur Radio Helping Nepal

This video is an effort to show the world how important ham radio communications are to the survival and relief of people trapped in a disaster zone. These operators have worked for hours upon hours to pass messages into and out of Nepal.    Send article as PDF   
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