CQ CQ CQ Ham Radio Saturday: QSL Cards and some firsts

Regarding ZedNet and DMR operation, I refer to you THIS.

I created a page for the List of YOUR callsigns.  HERE  Chime in or drop me a note if your call doesn’t appear in the list.

Now for some fun stuff.

I sent my very first QSL cards today.   I had operated remotely when I was at GITMO and made some good contacts.  A couple of them sent me cards with self-addressed (wrong sized) envelopes.  I quickly put together a QSL card for GITMO and sent them off.

That’s it! My regular card is…

The ecclesiastical theme seemed appropriate, as they are searching for my location, as it were.  Also, my local elmer astutely noted the statuette of Mercury as part of the magnifying apparatus.  I was going to have the data on the back, but elmer suggested that putting it on the front was more traditional (and less work for me to make).  In fading the bottom, we lost sight of a great clerical hat.  Perhaps in a next generation, I could shift the date to the upper right… hmmm.

For those of you who are wondering what these cards are for, long before the internet these were used via snail mail to confirm contacts that had been made all over the world.  They are the size of a postcard and many hams still exchange them today.  Special cards can be made for special events.   Many hams will put the most interesting up on the walls of their “shack”.   Some of them are pretty creative.  It’s one of those fun aspects of amateur radio.

Anyway, that’s the card.  Since I’ll be in Rome fro Monday onward, I’ll have to make a few more cards for …

1 – Campo de’ Fiori – where I’ll be staying
2 – Santissima Trinità dei Pelegrini – where I’ll be saying Mass
3 – Vatican City – where I’ll remote operate at least once and then otherwise avoid.

Perhaps we can schedule some contacts.   I’ll try to update my status on the top of the right sidebar when I am on, including the band and frequency, if possible.

Also, in Rome, I plan to have my DMR for working for ZedNet.  C’mon hams!

Also, I’ll call CQ for a good graphic artist who might design an appropriate logo for ZedNet.  Maybe something with… lightning bolts against ones and zeros.

Also, Friday night I made a lot of contacts in the western part of the continent, including Canada as well as a few contacts in Hawaii.  I was booming in, I was told again and again and I was about only call they were hearing on 20 from Arizona to Vancouver to Hawaii.  Hence, I got a pile up.  It’s going to take a while to decipher those calls when they are all coming at the same time.Two other “firsts” occurred, as well.

One guy told me that I was his very first HF contact.  Yay!

And I got DX heckled for the first time by an anti-Catholic fundamentalist, a coward who did not offer his call sign.   Oh well.  Another guy asked me if I knew his parish priest… in S. California.  Which it’s sorta like a guy hearing you are from Minnesota and asking, “Hey, do you know my cousin Fred?  He’s from Minnesota, too!”   Granted the clerical world is a lot smaller than that, and I know a lot of people, but….

Most of the hams I worked were patient and kind and some offered useful tips.   The descriptions of their stations were fascinating.  It’s all about the antenna!  One guy had a wire strung over his rain gutter as a reflector near to a cliff dropping about 400 feet.  Another was running barefoot (no amplifier) into a wire he was hiding in his back yard away from the prying eyes of the home owners association stasi.  Yet another was working on his patio with a home brewed dipole, his radio powered by an electric drill battery.  Each guy had different solutions, some fancy and sophisticated, others making due with some compromise arrangement soldered up from spare parts.

Okay, that’s the report for now.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Charivari Rob says:

    I like the card.

    For some reason, I was thinking of a “burning bush” motiff. Brings to mind happy memories of a dearly departed parish priest who would refer to the rectory office fax machine (during a phase when it was the required channel to receive announcements, etc… from the chancery) as “the burning bush”

  2. acardnal says:

    Speaking of antennas, what kind of antennas are you using on 20 meters?

  3. acardnal says:

    I meant antenna above.

    The cards are very cool!

  4. acardnal: JK Mid-Tri-40 3-element at 75′ on a 30′ hill.

  5. deaconjohn1987 says:

    My Radioddity GD-77 went crazy yesterday after I talked to Fr. Z. I was supposed to be on the ZedNet but was hearing stations from the local repeater. This morning the radio is not working at all. Alas, I guess it’s time to upgrade to a new unit. Any Suggestion? W2JPG

  6. deaconjohn1987 says: suggestions

    Check out my previous posts where I mention ZedNet. WB0YLE made up a list of items that work well for me! HERE

  7. Gab says:

    Another trip?! I can’t handle the stress! Stay away from motorbikes and cars … and planes …

    + Saint Raphael the Archangel,
    thou wast a faithful companion to the young man, Tobias,
    on his long journey from Syria to Media,
    rescuing him from many dangers and,
    in particular, from the danger of death in the river Tigris;
    we beseech thee with all our hearts
    to be a safe guide and an Angel of consolation
    to our dear Father Zuhlsdorf on the long journey
    which he must undertake in order to remove to foreign lands;
    do thou keep him far from all dangers of body and soul,
    and grant that he may come in safety to the haven of his desire.

    Gloria Patri … +

    Love the card, by the way.

  8. Kathleen10 says:

    Those are fantastic. I wish I had some technological savvy. This all looks fun and has a practical application as well.

  9. LarryW2LJ says:

    Fr. Z,

    Any chance of you activating the Vatican Amateur Radio station on any of your trips?


  10. W2LJ: Wow. Yes, I would like to do that. However, it is in the clutches of someone – a layman – who has little to do with anything. He is not very responsive, I hear, but jealously keeps it for himself. At least that’s how it seems.

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