Saturday, November 24, 2018

UpstateHam site update

Our web site HTTPS settings have recently changed. All visitors are now able to view our site/blog over an encrypted (secure) connection by visiting Existing links and bookmarks to this site will continue to work.

A few months ago a Google Chrome browser update started checking and identifying non-secure web site addresses. If you were using the Chrome browser you might have noticed the "Not secure" message in your address bar. We decided that we should upgrade our settings to insure a more secure connection for our visitors. You will now notice a closed padlock icon and "https" in the address.

Please email us with questions or comments at

Friday, November 23, 2018

A History of Curtis Keyers

(VA7GUR picture)

A friend; Brad Mitchell; N8YG, sent me a link to a presentation he did back in the 90's. Later he also wrote a follow up article on the history of Curtis Keyers for QST (August 2016 issue of QST). He recently annotated the presentation and shared it on YouTube. It's a pretty interesting story. Check it out! (Thanks for sending that along Brad!)

Link to the You tube video of the annotated PPT presentation from Pacificon:

Link to a ARRL brief article on John G. “Jack” Curtis, K6KU, SK:

Thursday, November 22, 2018

The future of tracking radio signals from above

I recently stumbled upon a few news references to a new company that is working to advance the tracking of Radio signals from above. The company; HawkEye 360 just launched their first satellite based system, named Pathfinder, on the most recent SpaceEx rocket launch.

The company expects the US military to be increasingly interested in the technology, especially considering that HawkEye 360 can deploy its sensors on airplanes and high-altitude balloons (in addition to satellites). That feature could allow for real-time tracking of drones and weak signals on a battlefield.

Another planned use of Pathfinder is more down-to-earth: The technology could detect improper use of the radio-frequency spectrum, including interference between cell-phone towers. Such interference can cause data loss between mobile devices and towers, leading to slow and unreliable internet, among other problems.

From the companies web site: "HawkEye 360 is developing a new, geospatial information solution that will use radio frequency (RF) technology to help monitor global activity across air, land and sea and assist with emergencies. Our constellation of small satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO) will collect information on specific radio signals worldwide to provide high-precision radio frequency mapping and analytics that we can customize to our clients’ needs."

Read the full referenced article below for more details on their future plans.

article link:

HawkEye360 company web site:

More of the story:

Monday, November 19, 2018

Santa Net returns on 3.916 Mhz beginning November 23rd

For the 13th consecutive year, The 3916 Nets will be presenting The Santa Net on 3.916 MHz. Good girls and boys can talk to Santa Claus, via amateur radio, nightly at 7:30 PM (Central) starting Friday, November 23, 2018. The Santa Net will run nightly at 7:30 PM Central through Christmas Eve, December 24, 2018. Link:

Pete Thomson (KE5GGY), of The 3916 Nets, commented on The 3916 Santa Net. He said, "Christmastime is our favorite time of the year on 3.916 MHz. Our group thoroughly enjoys helping young people and their families have a shared Christmas experience that they'll always remember. In addition, Santa Net has introduced a lot of young people to the magic of amateur radio."

Youngsters can talk to "Santa at The North Pole" via strategically placed operators who relay the voice of Santa. Thomson said that The Santa Net is a team effort that involves the efforts of a number of 3916 Net members. He said, "In our first year, we connected 10 kids to Santa on Ham Radio and it's grown steadily since. For 2018, we're expecting between 600-700 children to participate."
Prenet check-ins are welcome each night starting at 7:00 PM central time.

The Santa Nets are presented annually by The 3916 Nets. The Rag Chew Crew, The Tailgaters and The Freewheelers are all amateur radio nets that meet on 3.916 MHz nightly. For more information on The 3916 Nets, go to For more information on The Santa Net, email KE5GGY at Gmail dot com.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

2018 SKYWARN Recognition Day - December 1, 2018

2018 SKYWARN™ Recognition Day - December 1, 2018 from 0000z to 2400z

SKYWARN™ Recognition Day was developed in 1999 by the National Weather Service and the American Radio Relay League. It celebrates the contributions that volunteer SKYWARN™ radio operators make to the National Weather Service. During the day SKYWARN™ operators visit NWS offices and contact other radio operators across the world.

SKYWARN Recognition Day Operating Instructions:

1. Object For all amateur stations to exchange QSO information with as many National Weather Service Stations as possible on 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6, and 2 meter bands plus the 70 centimeter band. Contacts via repeaters are permitted. SKYWARN™ Recognition Day serves to celebrate the contributions to public safety made by amateur radio operators during threatening weather.

2. Date NWS stations will operate December 1, 2018, from 0000 - 2400 UTC.

3. Exchange: Call sign, signal report, QTH, and a one or two-word description of the weather occurring at your site ("sunny", "partly cloudy", "windy", etc.).

4. Modes: NWS stations will work various modes including SSB, FM, AM, RTTY, CW, FT8 and PSK31. While working digital modes, special event stations will append "NWS" to their call sign (e.g., N0A/NWS).

5.Station Control Operator: It is suggested that during SRD operations a non-NWS volunteer should serve as a control operator for your station.

6. Event and QSL Information: The National Weather Service will provide event information via the internet. Event certificates will once again be electronic and printable from the main website after the conclusion of SRD.

7. Log Submission: To submit your log summary for SRD use the online submission form.

Deadline for log submission is January 31, 2019.

For More Information:

Tuesday, November 6, 2018