CQ CQ CQ – Ham Radio Saturday – UPDATED – Echolink use

LinkingExample Echolink


I don’t have too much to report on the Ham front today. I’ve been busy with other things.

There was a field day last weekend but I was unable to get involved. There was a 1st Mass to attend on Saturday and may other pressing things. On Sunday I had two Masses, so that was that.

I had an email (at last… they are pokey in responding) from the people who made my Juicebox. You might recall that it had discharged and I couldn’t get the batteries going again. I wrote to the company… I’ve only been trying to resolve this since APRIL. Anyway, they are sending two new batteries (when… who knows…) and I will do the work of swapping them out myself. The Juicebox has an Anderson Power Pole option. And that leads me to my next point…

My Kenwood T140 came (from a reader) with an Anderson Power Pole cable. So, when I get the Juicebox going again, I’ll have a good power source for the Kenwood. I’ll try setting it up with a Buddistick.

Other than that, I’ve been doing a little Morse and lacksidasically looking over materials for the Extra exam. I have a couple little Baofeng UV-5r radios now. One is tuned to the local repeater and I have reached out a few times to local regulars I hear doing some rag chewing. One, as it turns out, is a reader of this blog who recognized my voice. One of the other radios I would like to set up to listen to local LEO/Fire etc., but I haven’t figured that out yet. One should go into my Go Bag in my car.

I got the Baofeng data cable, but I wasn’t able to get the software to install.  That’s going to take a little effort, it seems.

I will switch on my Echolink program for a while today, if any of you check that. One of our readers here (who sent the Kenwood) has made his node availble to us: 554286 – WB0YLE-R  (Thanks!) Remember: You must be licensed to use Echolink. BTW… there is a great iPhone app for Echolink. I can see quite a few hams using that method to connect.



After an attempted contact in the “WDTPRS Cafe” I did a couple level tests at the ECHOTEST node and found that my mic was waaaay too quiet, underpowered.  I switched to a new USB port (powered) and that helped.

UPDATE: 5 July

It looks as if someone tried to contact me via Echolink at 03:36 CDT and again at 0649 CDT (I was just heading off to Mass).  From the log information, this may have been a priest!  I see your call N____ but I won’t post it here.  I looked for you in Echolink, but didn’t find you.

I am quite interested networking with clerical hams! … yes… I wrote that: “clerical hams”.

I could write “clerical amateur radio operators”, just what fun is that?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. The Masked Chicken says:

    Ohhh…I just had a cool thought. How about a training session for all the commenters? We could become Hams, together, sort of a large pigsty (you might have to think about that one)? We could be the Heavenly Hams or Hamway to Heaven, or the Microwave Hams or the Catholic Call-signers or What Does the Pork Really Say, or Heavily Hammed Priests and Laity, or Hammed and Dangerous or In Ham’s Way or the Electromagnetic Evangelizer’s. We need an Elmer.

    The Chicken

  2. Chicken: This is the effect of long distance bus travel on you, isn’t it….

    You’ve clearly paid a heavy price.

  3. benedetta says:

    May I suggest naming this group after the animal who led such a charmed life featured in All Creatures Great and Small? Something such as the Nugent Coalition…?

  4. Knittingfoole says:

    My brother tried to get me into the ham radio thing. I never had the confidence in myself. Should I dare comment with his call letters? Or is that verboten without his permission?

  5. Knitting: Probably better to ask him first, no?

  6. MWindsor says:

    Hey Father Z – when you get the power situation worked out and are ready to try to transmit something on HF, let us know here well in advance. We can try to connect from all over if we have some notice.

    You can program each of your UV-5R’s to work all of those frequencies. I’ve got three of them now, and each one has the same channels programmed. The only catch is that the LEO and FD in our suburbs are all in the 900+ MHz range. But I can hear the big city well enough. There’s also a standard SAR frequency that DHS uses within the US that sometimes has a wee bit of noise on it…training mainly.



  7. MWindsor says:

    Sorry. It’s not DHS. It’s actually FEMA: 155.160 – you can’t transmit on it, but there’s no harm listening.

  8. MWindsor says: Interesting. I preppers can listen to FEMA discussing the “camps” they are building for us.

    I managed to get one of the little Baofeng to connect, the 5RV2+, but not the other two. Anyhoo, I programmed in some LEO/Fire frequencies. I still have to figure out the scanning part. It looks as if I can set some frequencies to “skip” during scanning.

  9. dahveed says:

    Hi Father,
    I’m a fairly newly minted ham, using a Baofeng UV-5R+, myself. Just wanted to let you know that they work pretty well with an open source program called chirp, for programming. It can be found here: http://chirp.danplanet.com. Mine’s just set for a number of repeaters, since I live in one county and work in another. But they’re great for not much money.

  10. Knittingfoole says:

    Quite right Fr. Z. He enjoys getting in touch with new people. I shall inquire.

  11. MWindsor says:

    “…preppers can listen to FEMA discussing the “camps” they are building for us.”

    Actually, Father, I think it’s more like you can hear them hunting for you before they send you to the camp.

    (Dear NSA Monitor – All this is said in jest. Honest.)

  12. Father Zuhlsdorf says:

    NSA, indeed.

    And I would like to welcome once again the 17 national security agencies which usually tune in.

    Hey! My offer still stands! Send me your addresses and I’ll send pizza on the nights you are assigned to me!

  13. benedetta says:

    The NSA Father? Do we actually believe that our own government would…spy…on its own citizens…as if…as if we are living in some sort of a domestic cold war situation? Why, that would be downright un-American! Surely you jest…

  14. Mike Morrow says:

    I’ve been licensed for almost a half-century…also held a commercial radiotelegraph license for merchant marine radio officer service.

    I don’t find anything attractive about radio communications that use or require some non-rado assistance. Radio communications that is point-to-point relying ONLY on the physics of radio propagation between those points will never be subject to control by internet monitors.

    The most fundamentally reliable mode of radio communications remains that outdated unpopular mode known as high frequency Morse radiotelegraphy, sent and copied “by head” with no computers anywhere.

    [Okay… I guess that means you won’t try to contact any of us via Echolink. Come to think of it, why use radio? Wouldn’t it be better just to beat on a log with a stick? I mean, that’s the sure way that doesn’t even require electricity! o{];¬) ]

  15. rwj says:

    Somewhere, Homer Simpson just said: “Mmmmm. Clerical hams.”

  16. The Masked Chicken says:

    The term, “Ham,” comes with the switch from telegraph-based telegraphy to radio-based telegraphy. The influx of amateur experimenters were said to be, “ham-fisted,” because they couldn’t do Morse Code (supposedly) as well as the professionals. Of course, once telephone lines were strung and telephone became ubiquitous, the distinction lost all meaning. It is an interesting observation that the term, “hacking,” has a similar etymology. Originally, a hacker was someone who came up with a clever way around a problem. As time went on, the word morphed to indicate someone who breaks into communications systems, but among geeks, an unexpected quick-and-dirty patch job to a problem, especially involving code, is still called, admiringly, a hack.

    Now, here is a question for the gallery – obviously, one cannot transmit without a license, but I can’t where it would be illegal to listen. Isn’t that true? I don’t know anything about Echolink, but why couldn’t one stream the acoustic output to a web page? At least those without a license could listen to the interchange. It only takes a few lines of code to do this.

    The Chicken

  17. Chicken says: would be illegal to listen

    It wouldn’t be illegal to listen to ham contacts over RF or Echolink. However, with Echolink, you have to be registered and to do that you have to have a verifiable license.

    So, get your Technician license!

  18. The Masked Chicken says:

    There are some websites that do live streaming of Echolink, which is an interesting legal situation, since Echolink owns the technology, but not the audio stream. Got to go – more Crosses on my little journey await.

    The Chicken

    P. S. Can one transmit in Latin?

  19. pj_houston says:

    Since you’re not bringing back Z-chat, I guess I’ll have to get a license.

  20. Give me a couple days… just finished with a three day reenactment in Gettysburg…i’ll set up a shoutcast stream and publish the URL when it’s working, ok?

  21. The Masked Chicken says:

    Dear Bryan Boyle,


    The Chicken

    P.S. Where do the re-enactors sleep during the re-enactment? I would ask who won, but James T. Kirk wasn’t there to reprogram the simulation so that the other side could win.

  22. benedetta says:

    Well, I guess for some of us there’s always semaphore?

    I was looking around for a good place to park this comment and finding none decided why not open a fresh rabbit hole. I was wondering whether anyone else who enjoyed the photos of Princess Charlotte’s christening would like to consider the vestments of the Archbishop of Canterbury? Many of the photos I looked at this afternoon did not do them justice, however I caught the ad orientem view whilst viewing British news on video. I can certainly comprehend that an EF baptism would not go for something such as that, but granted, Church of England, I thought not altogether bad at all, and in fact, rather gentle and lovely for a little princess’ christening? And the older sibling was looking spiffy as well. With so much troubling news in the headlines, I really appreciated the moment of marking the important moment with decorum and joy, even if just a fleeting moment anyway.

  23. Weetabix says:

    Re: scanning with the Baofeng. In the .csv file generated from the chirp program, there’s a “skip” column. Type “S” in the memories you want to skip during scanning, then upload the .csv file back to the radio. Then, it will only scan the memories with no “S” in that column.

  24. Fr. Bryan says:

    Well, I am interested in networking with other “clerical hams” too. Especially with the state of things these days. I haven’t figured out Echolink yet though. But I could do a sked on 20 or 40 meters. Also, a sked on Echolink would be good too. Maybe also time to use the Amateur Radio Traffic System and send a radiogram again. ve 73.

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