Field Day 2020, APRS, Updates, and Civil Unrest

June 26, 2020

Well like many things in 2020, Field Day 2020 is going to be different this year.

I actually think it’s a good thing. For many groups Field Day has become way too much of Yet Another Contest (YAC) and a reset would be healthy.  I remember hearing some guys fussing last year about how Field Day just wasn’t as fun as it used to be and too much work to pull off. Sorry guys, but Field Day is like Christmas. If you’re tired, stressed out, and sort of glad that it is over with then you’re doing it wrong.

While the ARRL has hinted along these lines, consider doing something different this year. Maybe do something more off-grid EMCOMM realistic than YAC (Yet Another Contest) like operation. Maybe pack your gear up and go operate off battery or generator somewhere where you have to improvise more. This could be nothing more than going out in the back yard, a park, mobile on a high point, activating your favorite camping spot, etc etc.

Maybe do more than the usual SSB/CW stuff and also test your digital/packet modes off-grid.  Maybe pass some P2P traffic/messages over digital.  Maybe see if your state STM will guard some HF frequencies on a schedule for incoming P2P traffic. Try getting that message and acks/replies from point A to B without ANY internet transport while operating off backup/emergency power.

I often come across EMCOMM operators that constantly pick the lazy way of doing things commenting “well if power is out and internet is down I’ll just do this or that.”  Sorry but talk is cheap so go out and do it. See if you can actually do it fully off-grid during the optimal conditions of “normal” times.  Those that have worked a few real world disasters will tell you that if you haven’t actually tested things under realistic conditions then you are just asking for “I didn’t think about that” gotchas and quality time with Uncle Murphy later on when you really need things to work.

 

Summer Plans?

Well I’ve been bachelor’ing it for over a week now. Ah man it’s freakin’ amazing what one can get done when left alone for more than an hour! LOL The XYL went back to work on a long trip that will end in Denver. From there she’s taking a rental down to her family’s place in Iowa to visit with them till I get several items wrapped up here and head west in a few weeks.

Given what is going on now all our plans are “soft” this year but we both are suffering from serious mountain-time withdrawal LOL. Given the Festival de Crazyville going on lately it looks like a really good summer to go disappear into the mountains where it’s easy to unplug from it all.

Fall will equal a lot of work helping with harvests on both family farms. So a couple months of Summer is about all the break I think we’ll probably get this year LOL.

 

My Field Day 2020 Plans?

Well last evening’s shop project was replacing the coax on my 6m slim jim style antenna (300 ohm twinlead design) from where I made the mistake of originally using solid center conductor RG-58 for the feeder on a roll-up antenna.  After a few years of being packed around and used a lot you can figure out what happened inside that coax. Hey it was all I had handy at the time, but lesson learned. Ah those things you learn from actually using/testing your gear under real usage scenarios LOL.

If weather allows I plan on going 1-B portable QRP back at a hilltop camping site on the EM78PP/EM78PQ line. Hopefully I can get some on-air validating of the repaired antenna on 6m SSB and probably work some packet too.

Right now the weather forecast doesn’t look too promising as rain is fine, but I’m allergic to lightning LOL. Unless one is looking for a Darwin Award nomination it’s a bad idea to be on top of a hill, under a tree with an antenna hoisted up into it when lightning is around 😉

 

Ham Radio Time?

Well between work and playing wannabee farmer and helping with three gardens I haven’t had as much spare time for ham radio stuff as I would prefer. Still managing to get some projects done and have some fun on 6 meters SSB and packet.  If you haven’t been on the 6m weak signal modes this Spring then you are missing out on a lot of fun.

Yes even some 6m packet/APRS DX has been flying around lately with the Conway, AR node and VA 6m APRS stations popping in at times.  Some asked if K4AF-6 is down. Judging by APRS-IS it appears to have been down since the first of the year. I also didn’t note it on the air a few months ago when visiting family in Haymarket, VA. We had a nice strong opening to that area of VA on Father’s Day (June 21st) and it was not heard but the Calverton VA digi was ripping in at times.

I worked the CQ 160m Contest on remote from my sister’s place in SC. 160m is a band that is growing on me. No VHF contesting so far this year. I know, I know but just too many other conflicting priorities so far. Kind of hoping to maybe work part of the CQ VHF Contest from the mountains, but will probably be busy keeping some fly line wet if you know what I mean 😉

Been working on upgrading station grounds and installing some outside antenna disconnect boxes for the 4-land gear. I wanted to make it easy for my neighbor hook-up or disconnect the main lightning rod HF antennas here for me while we’re gone. Normally my cousin will handle that for me on his daily visit to check on things and feed the animals for us, but wise to have a Plan B. I have considerable lightning protection in place, but the best protection is always physically unplugging things.

Another project completed this winter was to build an identical hamshack desk for the 7-land QTH and then another frame to allow mounting the gear stacked “vertically” to allow easy tear down or moving it around. The first desk I built was originally for the 7-land QTH, but it became part of the 4-land home office/hamshack.

We’ll be looking at some land this summer and considering getting an RV to live in for awhile if we find a place we buy and want to get started building. Thus a perk of keeping the radio gear in an easily moveable frame makes it easy to move things from the shack to the RV as needed. Like any good ham I have my ideas for the ultimate hamshack/geek-cave layout when we settle down and I build the “last hamshack” I’ll probably build.  For now this approach works fine and provides consistency between the shacks.

I’m also enjoying getting back in SWL’ing which was my original radio enjoyments that led me to some of my career and hobby choices. Enjoying chasing NDBs, DXing the lower bands, and chasing mediumwave DX when time allows.  Spare time project has been installing a couple nice beverage antennas for VLF and mediumwave DXing.

Having some fun on 80/60/30/17/10m robust packet at times. Yes 17m is open at times. I worked the 4-land BBS via the KY Gateway on 17m several times from WY a few months back.

One of the Spring robust packet connections ended with a surprise tail-end connection from a friend /P in Haiti that got a nice DR-7400 modem for Christmas. That link up turned into a 24 minute 10m/17m crossband chat session via the Jonesville and my home home nodes…..gotta love BPQ32 + RP LOL. Was neat to hear what was really going on Brazil (his home country) weeks before it showed up in our news here stateside.

I even worked the KY Gateway on 15m (yes 21 mhz) RP from Iowa (usually a 30/40m path) on a short skip opening. Always fun to see hat you can do with “5 watts and wire” QRP.

Yeah 40 and 30m have been the workhorse bands for a couple years now, but the higher bands are so much less crowded. So even at the bottom of a solar cycle it’s a good idea to keep an ear out for short/e-skip propagation indicators.

 

APRS Stuff

On the 2m APRS front I helped an old packet friend over in SE Indiana work on resurrecting the Dearborn County 2m APRS Digipeater.  KB9GYO-2 is online from his office in a low power configuration till he can acquire the needed gear better suited for installation back at the old original tower site.  Even the temp installation has helped improve 2m APRS coverage in NKY. 

The BPQ32 Jonesville node can technically provide APRS digi/gate functions on any or all ports just like it does on the 6m 1.2k port. Over the past few months we’ve done some testing of alternate-QRG APRS on the 2m 1.2k and UHF 9.6k ports and found that approach could work very well if needed. Since we have done some APRS on UHF simplex in the past we may test enabling APRS on the node’s UHF 9.6k port this Fall to have handy if needed. That said, the existing 6m APRS and groundwave into K4KPN-10 should cover most anything we really need.

It’s also been an interesting tool for seeing what the real world mobile coverage of the system is on UHF, 2m, and 6m using APRS setups. I need to take a 220 radio out sometime and see how well it plays across the area, but suspect it will beat UHF and slightly outperform 2m even with half the TX power as that’s what we observe on classic packet uses.

When time allows I’ll do a more detailed posting on what was observed while doing mid-day (to minimize inversion enhancement) during heavy foliage loss season. Basically reasonably solid mobile coverage (modest mobile setup) for 30+miles on 6m, 25 on 2m, 20 or so on 70cm. Note that is mobile packet coverage, not voice coverage. Takes a decent signal level to get 1200 baud packet to decode a moving mobile station, even more so for the UHF 9600 signals. So basically some worst case mobile-to-base range testing.

Even had a little 6m/10m packet groundwave DX fun the other morning while in Richmond. There’s a couple spots down there that we can hit our dispatch repeaters if the band is in decent shape while down at the academy. While eating breakfast at one of them, for giggles, I tried the 10m RP port and got in fine. So I swapped in the 6m whip and worked the BBS via both ports at 64 miles mobile to base. I had to make a meeting so I didn’t have time to try the other ports but 6 and 10 meters were getting it done that morning.

 

Is W4VPN Still on 80m RP?

Since some have asked….yes it is still there. I got into it from a pit-stop in southern Kentucky the other day as I came back from SC.

80m_W4VPN_SKY_2020June

While I can tell the 80m antenna works better on the truck than the car, it’s always fun to see what a few watts of robust packet can do. S3-4 on the mobile and I was most likely at the NF (noise floor) on the other end but still linked up.  #GottaLoveRobustPacket

Admittedly I was unable to get into it from SC, but I only had my 40/30m end fed wire antenna available there. Only had some mid-afternoon downtime available and that’s a poor time for that 80m path even with a better antenna. Plus he may of had it offline due to local weather or testing other things.

PS – John KX4O sysop’s that system. Please contact him if you have questions regarding it.

 

Protests, Riots, Crazyville?

Several interesting exchanges in the inbox lately from friends in my LE and non-LE circles. I could write a multi-volume novel on things and several aspects few consider.

My soundbite answer is summed up as “I stand with the peaceful and innocent.”

Longer version…..

As someone with an LE background whose work sometimes has him on the grounds of three different LE academies, I would offer up a caution. Many of your large police agencies are increasingly struggling with recruiting new officers. Policing now pays a heck of a lot better than it did back in my day, yet fewer and fewer folks want to pursue that career. It’s a growing problem in law enforcement across several major metro areas.

This recruiting problem has resulted in more than a few of these agencies lowering the bar on their recruiting standards. More than a few instructor friends have commented that agencies are increasingly hiring folks that they would of never hired just 10-15 years ago. Don’t get me wrong, with a good FTO and adequate supervision most of these recruits will become good officers. Unfortunately some will be walking liability time bombs poorly suited to the challenges of modern law enforcement.

Note:  We have over three quarter million police officers in this country. Most do an exceptional job of keeping our communities safe by reasonable enforcement of our laws. Are there bad apples out there? Sure there are, just like any other large group, but I think the fair minded will understand a few exceptions do not equal the rule.

 

As far as the riots go?  Well unfortunately well intended peaceful demonstrations tend to get invaded by certain criminal elements. It’s also pretty clear there’s both money and organized support feeding a lot of the criminal element.

While keeping in mind this is a few weeks old, some good food for thought within. For the hams I know Jon is a ham and think the other two are also hams. For those looking to be offended and upset by the “Roof Korean” comment, its a term they don’t mind and you need to brush up on your history studies.

 

Are there some serious problems with policing today? Yes. Are some changes needed? Yes, but a lot of what I’m hearing is not going to help. Why not? To fix a problem you have to gather all the facts and then actually identify the root problems versus just repeatedly playing politics with the symptoms and exploiting people.

Unfortunately instead “take a breath, wait for all the facts” rational problem solvers we now get an ever increasing deluge of “we gotta look like we did something” political pandering, camera whores, and frankly insulting levels of virtue signaling. Too many politicians playing distraction from their own failures while acting like they had nothing to do with the collapsing conditions in their area.

Of course our shameful political media complex is a more than willing participant in a lot of this. Hate, fear, lies, and division sells. It’s now all they have to sell. Business is good and thus they see no need to change. It is now all about ratings, views, and clicks. The full truth is increasingly the first casualty of every incident. Real journalism in the national media is increasingly rare and usually only by accident. Sad, but it is what it is.

Most of what I’ve seen offered up lately is just going to make the jobs of the “good” officers out there even more difficult. This will cause more recruiting difficulties, increase the number of officers leaving large metro agencies for other careers or smaller agencies, and add to a flood of early retirements. That’s not theoretical, it’s already happening. Several of my old LE friends comment “glad I’m retired” and others can’t wait to retire or seriously considering relocating or retiring early.

One of our newer deputies out west is from a large SoCal agency and oh the stories of political insanity he can tell. He now enjoys working a low crime area full of good hard working people that for the most part we all get along just fine. Works where he feels welcome, supported by his bosses, supported by the community, gets to be more peacekeeper than revenue generator, and doesn’t even have to be careful about where he grabs lunch or a cup of coffee while on patrol. His comment of “we should of left that sh#%2hole 10 years ago” speaks volumes.

 

The Seattle Mess?

Thankfully all my Seattle family moved out into the distant suburbs years ago.

Seattle is a good example of a once great city (one of several) that has been “circling the drain” for years now. A city in dire need of productive policy changes versus all the political denial and distraction blame games. The ongoing neutering of law enforcement is ultimately just making things worse for everyone there.

I recognize the following is a long video, but it is a rare piece of actual journalism. Worthy of at least watching the first 30 minutes of if you want some insight into what is going so wrong in several of our major cities. Warning, you are going to see some things that not easy to watch if you care about your fellow man.

To be fair to the good people of Seattle, you could replace Seattle with the name of several other cities in our country.

That’s enough for now.

73

WA4ZKO

 


7/4-Land? K4KPN-14 RMS, K4KPN-10 APRS, WA4ZKO-7 HF Gate

March 19, 2020

Greetings from the Land of Uncertainty. Hey, it is what it is.

An update to deal with some of the FAQs in the inbox. I’ll “may” go into more detail over the weekend if I get enough downtime.

 

K4KPN-14 RMS Gateway:

Early this morning I re-enabled the K4KPN-14 RMS (Winiink packet gateway) on the Jonesville node/app stack. I received some “nudges” about bringing it back considering everything going on now. While we don’t particularly need it for our local needs, I do get the case for it possibly being handy due to being located between two major cities. I was out of town and originally denied the latest request, but a family issue brought me back to 4-land briefly.

To be clear I don’t foresee this COVID-19 disaster becoming a real communications emergency that will require a major ham radio response. But there are a lot of unknowns here that only time will answer. Plenty of room for “oops, we never thought about that biting our backsides” problems to develop.

Plus there is always the possibility of another natural or man-made event developing on top of this virus disaster and cause failures or serious overload of existing strained systems. Let’s face it, the earthquake in Utah reminded us that we need to avoid getting “tunnel vision” on the COVID-19 threat.

K4KPN-14 is back on the air for a roughly 6-month probationary status. Later this summer I will review usages levels and decide if it remains available after that. #UseItOrLooseIt

I did a quick stress test of all the RF ports below except 220 as I don’t have 220 in the truck. All looked solid.

Port QRG Mode
1 441.050 9.6k
2 145.690 1.2k
3 223.660 1.2k
4 WAN
5 28.148 USB RP
6 50.620 1.2k

I’m leaving to catch a ride back west here in a bit, but will try to test the 220 port on remote this weekend when I have some downtime. The guys also wanted Serial-over-IP PWAN access to a Pactor and 1200 baud modem so we have some redundancy into the digital side of NTS if needed. That will be worked on over the weekend as/if time allows.


 

K4KPN-10 30m RP APRS Gateway’s Future?

Lot of inquiries regarding the future of the K4KPN-10 30m RP APRS Digi/Gateway’s future due to SCS announcing the EOL of the SCS Tracker DSP TNC.  Rest easy, we have no plans to shut down K4KPN-10.

The underlying component availability problems that impacted the Tracker will eventually impact some of the other older SCS models. I suspect at some point we’ll have a Gen 3 Tracker, but nothing official yet. With the Coronavirus mess on top of the lingering NYU/Rappaport mess it is safe to say SCS has other priorities for now. How all that plays out will certainly have impact on their future product lineup.

The EOL of the current SCS Tracker DSP TNC does not mean RP is dead.  Plenty of existing Tracker TNCs out there along with other modems that do Robust Packet.  There is ZERO indication that SCS is abandoning Robust Packet. The SCS Tracker DSP TNCs have proven to be reliable workhorses.

KYPN has at least one spare Tracker TNC on hand, preprogrammed, and ready to plug-n-play at the K4KPN-10 station if something happens to the current TNC. That said, we use RP elsewhere and the one on our 10m port is considered “essential” to local needs. Thus if something happened to the current K4KPN-10 TNC before a replacement model becomes available then we would have to debate utilizing our spare TNC on 30m RP APRS or keeping it for the non-APRS 10m RP port. We will cross that bridge when and if we get to that point.

 

Future Planning?

Obviously everything just got flipped on its head overnight….for all of us.

As far as KYPN’s future? If you don’t read it here or on the BBS then give it the credibility of your typical Wash’ DC politician LOL.

We are considering getting a 2nd “spare” RP TNC so we don’t get stuck with the tough decision previously mentioned. Obviously other higher priorities are at play right now, but KYPN will do it’s best to make it across the long haul ahead.

Remember KYPN is not some large formal club with a big member dues funded bank account. Unless you are super wealthy (hope you have copious liquidity right now LOL) we all are going to have to tighten up the budgets going forward for awhile.

 

Endless uncertainty about so many things right now.

I join many in deep concern (understatement of the year) about what we are likely to see happen to the NYC area and parts of the west coast here in the coming weeks. It is what it is, denying reality doesn’t change reality. The math is what it is and none of the models look pretty. That said, we will get through this.

A good one for the “It’s no worse than the flu bro” folks….

Not mine, but makes a point. I’d add that in parts of Italy the bodies are piling up in churches. The Italian healthcare system is rated the 2nd best in EU. Yeah their healthcare system has it’s share of problems, but they are a first world country.

Not that anyone is going to escape the impact of this, sure looks like Spain saw the NY/NYC mess and said “hold my beer” and royally screwed its citizens.

While it’s not an end of civilization type of pandemic, it is going to kill a lot of people across the globe and here in the states. It is time for all of us to mentally prepare ourselves for a spell of endless bad news as we witness some dark history ahead.  Don’t panic, but be prepared. Be prepared to take care of yourselves and not depend solely upon others.

Take care of yourselves and your family. Be flexible, be a team, be proactive vs reactive. We just spent the last 24 hours nearly moving heaven-n-earth to get a precious 92 year old member of the family out of a facility that we were not comfortable with him being in if things go seriously sideways in the NYC area. That after a weekend of my NYC and CT extended family turning the 4-land farm QTH into a busy B&B as they fled south to family places in the saner lands of Alabama and Tennessee.

Never imagined I’d see some of the things we’ve all seen in just the last week or so. Neighbor came over Sunday when I was packing the car, saw what I was taking and asked “you going to war or not planning on coming back?’ Told him that I usually pack against a known itinerary so this is kind of surreal. Had to pack for the possibility of having to stay and function from one of four locations for unknown periods of time.

Moving on…  Maybe we will get lucky and going “whew, we dodge that one” in a few months. Suspect we best all start wrapping our minds around the concept that things are going to get worse. Then it’s going to get even worse before it gets better.

The news today was refreshing in a way, but we still have the immediate problem to deal with this Spring and none of the math or models look good.

 

WA4ZKO-7 HF Gate

Some have inquired about if I have the WA4ZKO-7 RP HF Gateway node active. It will be active at times on QRGs like NET40R and NET30R.

Sorry I can’t provide a live schedule or the like. It is a convenience node/gateway into the local packet WAN. May or may not be available on a day to day basis since it uses my 4-land shack radio which I may need for other remote uses at times.

We are entering storm season and I’m counting on others to disconnect/connect antennas based upon local weather there. Since I don’t have a spare for the Tracker TNC on it, no storm chances will be taken with it or all the associated hardware (IC-7300, ATU, PSU, TNCs, etc).

 

Bugging out to 4-land or 7-land?

Well actually we have several options including a 0-land option at the XYL’s parents farm in Iowa. Just got the XYL back in from Chile and she’s wrapping up work this week. What’s left of their decimated (thank you virus) Spring flight schedule can be handled by the younger pilot crews that are lower risk and need the flight hours/paychecks.

For a few days we’re going to be helping her family repair some farm equipment. Like so many farms out there they have had a couple rough years and need a good year. Going to spend a few days there helping them save some money on repairs by doing it ourselves. I was going to go out and do that in April, but too many unknowns now to wait that long. Life has to go on and the crops have to be planted this Spring….well that is if we would like to keep eating.  #NoFarmsNoFood

I can Telecommute for 70-80% of what I do. We’re both blessed to be where we have some work from home-office flexibility for now.

Basically plans are open after we get done in 0-land. Maybe back to 4-land, maybe just camp out in 0-land to see how things look after a few weeks. At this point we just don’t know for sure. Obviously wise to be in a good spot in case a national lockdown occurs so travel comes with some risks. I suspect at some point we’ll see some state/regional lockdowns around some of our major cities. I really don’t want to think about what it would take to go “national” in scale and the damage that would be done.

The 7-land QTH is in a high traffic tourist haven with considerable supply chain risks, so probably not the best place to be in something like this. A friend’s QTH in S. Idaho has less traffic this time of year, but also considerable supply chain risk. We have open invitation to a friends place out on the reservation and frankly that may well be the best 7-land safe haven for something like this if it mutates again or everything really derails.

 

Seeing too much fear out there. For my American readers…. Prepare, not panic.  Buck up, this is America and we WILL get through this.  In the words of Sootch “Be Strong, Be of Good Courage. God Bless America, Long Live the Republic!”   #LetsRoll

 

WA4ZKO


Inbox ?s Frequencies, 80 Meters?

November 5, 2018

Apparently starting blogging again after several months of being scarce results in a rash of inquiries. Since I have a rare Monday afternoon off after unpacking the car and running errands this morning I’ll tackle a couple things.

Frequency wise nothing has changed this year other than the addition of APRS to the six meter port of the Jonesville node. Below should make a good quick reference:

BPQ32 Node KYJVL - Jonesville, KY EM78PP 
Port 1: 441.0500 MHz 9.6k   (primary user port)
Port 2: 145.6900 MHz 1.2k   (user port)
Port 3: 223.6600 MHz 1.2k   (user port, low speed linking)
Port 4: WAN            (intrasite Canopy/VPN links)
Port 5: 28.1480 MHz USB RP  (user port)
Port 6: 50.6200 MHz 1.2k    (user port, APRS Digi/Gate)
 
NODE = K4KPN-4
BBS  = K4KPN-1
CHAT = K4KPN-13
RMS  = K4KPN-14

Some have asked if there will be an 80m RP port? Maybe a temporary one next Fall, but it will involve whether or not some spare gear becomes available. I’m not going to go “buy” gear just for an 80m port because it’s not going to be a viable band at the future site. Problem revolves around space constraints, local noise floors (80 is nasty there), and control op privileges.

10 meters may have to be it for HF depending on who eventually takes over daily control op responsibilities of all K4KPN gear. The two most likely future control ops are still “techs” so that plays into things – I’m doing some nudging LOL. The trustee/control op questions will be part of the decision making on what bands move to the future site. Technician class licensees can both use and be control ops of that 10 meter robust packet port above so NBD there.

 

WA4ZKO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


N0KFQ Silent Key

November 5, 2018

On Tuesday October 30, 2018 N0KFQ Kenneth Oscar Higgs became a Silent Key at age 88. The country, his family and the Branson Missouri community lost a good man. The packet radio community lost a good operator and a well known fixture in and long time contributor to the HF Packet BBS scene.

His obituary can be found here.

Ken, who went by “K.O.” was one of my early packet BBS mentors and helped me with the conflicting documentation out there on BBS HA when I was setting up my first full featured BBS. Years later when I worked with John (G8BPQ) on getting NTS forwarding added to BPQMail, K.O. was a source of good input as his FBB based BBS frequently handled NTS traffic.

To this day I’ve always kept an account on his BBS and would stop by occasionally, but not nearly as much as I should of. We all know how it is with us guys, we want to stay in better contact but “life” happens with family, work, etc.

KO’s wife Billie was also a ham (KB0WSA) and was also active in packet radio and ran one of the area packet nets for a long time. She passed away a few years ago. They both had a good life and witnessed a lot of history.

A comment from a friend’s email regarding KO’s death “We packet guys are all getting old and dying off.”  As I do my best to ignore the proliferation of gray hairs, I can’t disagree that attrition is doing a number on the packet radio community. We would all be wise to try and better engage the younger members of our hobby. Let us try to get more of them interested in and active on APRS and other packet radio applications. They are the future.

Well 88 years was a good long life. On behalf of KYPN and myself…. Rest in Peace K.O.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4

 

WA4ZKO


Fall 2018 6m APRS and Misc Update

November 2, 2018

Figured I’d take this “downtime” evening in 4-land and toss together a quick update on the 6m APRS system and a status report. Note that I have several draft blog postings that I’ll try to finalize in the coming weeks. Sorry for the lack of posts, but get used to that being the new normal on here due to other priorities. Hey, you get what you pay for 😉

Well hopefully everyone had a good summer. I wound up being back-n-forth bi-coastal more than originally planned but it’s all good. It stresses the XYL at times, but like I remind her “we’re healthy, we have a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs, we can pay our bills, job security is not a concern, and we’re ahead of the game on retirement plans so let us realize just how blessed we are.” We recently got in from a nice Fall trip up in New England. We were a bit late for peak Fall foliage color in the inland areas, but there was some spectacular color along the coastal areas.

We stopped in 4-land for a quick work project and I needed to absentee vote this year. A longtime friend and former co-worker is running for Judge Exec and his Chief Deputy is running to fill his shoes as Sheriff. We also have a somewhat interesting statehouse race.

So I just cast what may be my last vote as a Kentuckian. The other half is an official Wyomingite so we’re heading back west this week so she can vote there. Plus we both need to get a pile of work done before holiday hustle and bustle arrives.

Hey where the heck did 2018 go to? Current plans are Thanksgiving in 4-land, then another extended family Christmas in the Idaho mountains, followed by New Years Eve in Wyoming. Hey the snow is piling up on the mountains so holiday mountain grandeur and fresh powder to play in = yes please!

Hopefully during some of the holiday downtime I can get the blog and some other ham radio documentation projects caught up for the locals. No guarantees though LOL.

Okay, moving on to some status reports….

6m APRS:

K4KPN-6/-4 was moved from the Jonesville tower site to the Jonesville “East” tower site (my personal tower) in early September after some coverage testing. The east site has a lower noise floor (better receive performance) and still meets coverage needs into the three tough to cover EMCOMM relevant locations we keep that port around for.

The K4KPN-6 6m APRS Digi/I-gate remains on the air 24×7 on 50.6200 MHz using 1200 baud AFSK and no changes are currently planned.

KI4WEF recently got his home Outpost PMM terminal on the air again from the new home he is building. He’s on a temporary 6m antenna till he finalizes how he’s going to setup his new station. His station is also beaconing an APRS compatible beacon so we have another 6m APRS station on the air.

I haven’t had time to confirm the details but scuttlebutt is 6m APRS is being used in some of the Marine Corps Marathon events. Cool eh?

 

Packet and Repeaters:

Most all the packet gear has been shifted over to the club callsign.  I just got the coordination for 444.4250+ repeater switched over to the club callsign and will reprogram it’s ID when time allows. This is all part of an evolving plan to move things over to the JFD tower site and let Greg, Lonnie, and Mark manage it once we fully retire out west.

There has been some talk about making 425 dual-mode analog/FUSION or analog/P25. The reasoning will be explained later on. It’s currently on the air from Williamstown in low profile test mode as I need to finish tweaking it. Current plans are to relocate it back to its primary site at JFD once some antenna and feedline repairs are completed there. ETA on that move = good question, probably going to be next Spring.

 

Node/BBS/RMS Shutdown plans:

Several have understandably asked if these systems will still be around in a few years. First off I’m not going to guarantee anything. I have plans but I can’t predict the future. It is just just a hobby, we don’t charge a dime in dues, we do what we do for the love of packet radio. Several silent keys and folks moving off for work/retirement reasons have left KYPN and packet activity in N. Kentucky at a fraction of what it used to be. It is what it is.

Actual local utilization will drive choices on what remains. Rack space and site integration issues at the future site will also play a role. There’s not going to be room for everything there so if I was to hazard a guess? The 10m RP, 220 1.2k, and 441 9.6k ports will be what remains. For those wondering what packet gear to invest in? There’s your answer 😉

 

2m APRS:

The K4KPN-15 2m APRS Digi/I-Gate is scheduled to be turned off January 2020. It is at a location where I lease space for my day job. I’m slowly extricating myself from my KY obligations and will not need that space come 2020.

I don’t have any free site that would accommodate K4KPN-15. Hopefully some others will step up and run some of the local 2m APRS infrastructure.

K4KPN-15’s days are numbered. Plenty of notice has been provided.

 

30m RP APRS / K4KPN-10:

While there are no current plans to shut down K4KPN-10 I am looking at moving it to a site near the VA/KY border. This is where one of my day job clients has a spare HF antenna and some rack space.

I’ve had the VA site patched into the WAN loop since July. I’ve been playing with both IP and stream feeding a spare modem on the remote radio there into K4KPN-10. Results show very little difference in NOAM and S. EU coverage and a slight improvement on the N. EU path. So that’s looking like an option I may explore further when time allows for me to run more tests from out west.

 

Well I’m beat and we want to hit the road early so that’s enough for now.

WA4ZKO


K4KPN BBS & RMS Gateway are Available

June 9, 2018

KYPN would like to announce the full availability of the KYPN Dry Ridge BPQ32 based packet radio site as of June 9, 2018.

The following packet radio applications are available:

K4KPN-1    BBS
K4KPN-4    Node
K4KPN-13  Chat/Conference Server
K4KPN-14  RMS Gateway

The above packet radio applications are normally available 24x7x365 to appropriately licensed amateur radio operators on the following frequencies/modes:

SYSTEM PORTS:
441.0500 MHz 9600 baud *
145.6900 MHz 1200 baud
223.6600 MHz 1200 baud *
28.1480 MHz USB dial, 28.1495 CF, Robust Packet “NET10R” *
50.6200 MHz 1200 baud **
* High availability, primary port.
** Dual-use port, both general use & 6m APRS WIDE1-1 Digi

All 5 bands and 3 modes are published to the Winlink channel listing.

Recommended user software:

KYPN recommends Outpost Packet Message Manager version 3.0.0.333 for BBS access. Full installer is available for download here.

KYPN recommends Winlink Express v1.5.12.0 or newer for RMS access. Available for download from here.

More details can be found on the K4KPN-1 packet BBS under messages #1 thru 8.

More details in future blog posts and the work in progress draft KYPN System FAQ.

 

The KYPN team.


K4KPN System FAQ

June 1, 2018

This is a work-in-progress….

FAQ #1 – Any other HF bands than 10 meters?

Answer:  Not at this time. We may add 80/40 or 30/17 meters in the future, but that is a big maybe at this time.

 

FAQ #2 – Why only 10 meters, why not a lower band?

Answer:  The 10 meter port’s primary purpose is to provide an additional coverage option for local fringe locations that even the 6 meter 1200 baud packet port struggles with due to noise/distance etc.

Remember 28 MHz behaves very much like 30 MHz VHF-Low with propagation characteristics well suited to the hills and valleys common to our coverage area. 10 meter Robust Packet fills the need.

We are not offering lower bands at this time due to the main HF antenna the site is dedicated to remote HF/VHF station use and that takes priority for now. A future site may allow for a 30/17m port, but no scheduled date of availability or guarantee on that.

 

FAQ #3 – Why Robust Packet, why not one of the soundcard modes?

Answer:  We have not found soundcard modems to be reliable enough for 24x7x365 use at a remote site. It is one thing if the system is down in your basement or over in the corner of your hamshack, but modem evaluation criteria changes when the system is miles away at a tower site. We also wanted a mode/modem that was suitable for BOTH interactive use with packet applications (BBS, Chat server, etc) and message transfers. Lot of the other modes are okay for message transfers as that was what they were designed/optimized for, but often poor choices for interactive connections.

Robust Packet is hardware modem based and gives us an excellent mode for interactive access and plenty of message transfer speed for our particular needs. It also works well with weak noisy signals, has considerable immunity to multi-path, and often works in fringe locations where the 6 meter AFSK packet port will not.

 

FAQ #4 – Is DX use of the  6 or 10 meter ports allowed?

Answer:  Yes, but please yield to any local users on QRG.  The 10 meter port beacons every 10 minutes to help detect band openings.

The 6 meter port beacons an APRS compatible beacon every 5 minutes to help detect band openings. The 6m port also functions as a WIDE1-1 APRS digipeater.

 

FAQ #5 – What is WYJAC, BBSJAC, etc?

Answer:  WYJAC (WA4ZKO-4) / BBSJAC (WA4ZKO-1) is a test/dev node and BBS at our 7-land QTH. The Dry Ridge site is linked to it over a private network, thus you will see those nodes/applications showing at times. It will also allow migration/expansion of the KYPN packet network and applications later on down the road.

Please do not leave messages on the WA4ZKO-1 BBS as it is just a test BBS for now.  Please leave all messages on the K4KPN-1 BBS unless instructed to do otherwise.

 

FAQ #6 – Is telnet access available?

Answer:  Yes, but it will be considered on a case by case basis. For now it is restricted to those with access to the inter-tower KY<>WY VPN LAN/WAN network. Those within VHF/UHF range will be required to have a functional and actively used “RF” packet station before telnet access will be considered. The goal of the packet BBS is to provide a RF only messaging system, not breed laziness and apathy towards having effective RF access.

Yes having a Winlink RMS gateway on the system kind of conflicts with the above LOL. It is secondary to the conventional packet systems. Trust me, it took some convincing for me to even offer it, especially on VHF/UHF.

The K4KPN-14 Winlink gateway is on “probation” as far as I’m concerned. If it’s not used then it will eventually be turned off. If it becomes a PITA in terms of admin or abuse then it will be turned off. Many said they wanted it, now we’ll see if that was just talk and how it will be used 😉
 

FAQ #7 – Does the KYPN systems have backup power?

Answer:  The K4KPN-10 HF RP APRS I-Gate/Digi is at a secure tower site with backup power options.

The K4KPN-1 (BBS), K4KPN-4 (Node), K4KPN-6 (6m digi/I-gate), K4KPN-13 (chat svr), and K4KPN-14 (RMS) systems are located on a private tower site near Jonesville. This site has short term battery bank backup in place to allow it to stay online till manual transfer to an on-site generator.

The K4KPN-15 2m APRS I-Gate/Digi is located in Williamstown. The station has very limited battery backup. Normally it will be shut down during an extended power outage. It should NOT be counted upon for emergency uses. Also note current plans are to decommission it in January 2020.

 

To be continued….

WA4ZKO


Packet Update, Winlink, Is Ham Radio Dying? Puerto Rico

May 26, 2018

Since the inbox shows some got worried when we went west early with only the APRS gate/digi project done I guess an update would be a good idea.

We went west for a friend’s wedding.  Pro Tip: Few things can compare to a wedding set against the Teton Mountains. Since we spent most of the post-holiday Winter season in 4-land I also had several 7-land biz/personal items needing attention. I flew back and the XYL is driving back as she wanted to stop and visit with her Iowa family.

For the worries about the packet stuff getting done this Spring/Summer? Well I had been waiting on two Liebert UPS systems to come in so I can finish up the power and remote control side of the “packet/HF” rack. They are in and this looks like a somewhat slow weekend/week ahead so we’ll see what gets done this week. completion time = good question. Between work and Dad’s health issues I’m not going to commit to any timelines on hobby stuff as I can barely nail down a work schedule beyond a week out. It is what it is, family and work come first.

What’s going to be put on the air?  Well I can say for sure that a 10m RP port and a UHF 9.6k port are coming. Our core occasional EMCOMM needs can be met by a local packet BBS with a 10m RP port plus a UHF 9.6k port. I’m still back-n-forth on spinning up the 2m/220 1.2k stuff. Granted we have lost several local ops in the last decade or so due to SK and job related moves, but I’m frankly more than a little shocked at how dead ham radio seems around here and across Kentucky.

A lot of area packet and voice infrastructure has came and gone within the last few years. “Lack of usage” is usually the reason given. Even worse I often hear sysops of existing gear commenting that they really can’t justify keeping unused stuff on the air. Several have said they’ll run it till they take storm damage then it will not be repaired. Use it or loose it folks.

APRS activity for “Dayton” seemed to be down somewhat. On that note, one of the western Kentucky ops emailed me that he came up for Dayton and could not hit a single Winlink packet gateway with his D710. I looked at the Winlink gateway map below and could only ask where are all the gateways? Lexington/Frankfort is a dead zone??? Several of the WKY gateways seem MIA. The SE KY gateway doesn’t exist, it is actually just a misconfigured Georgia gateway.

ky_rms_pkt_map_dayton_wknd_20180520

The other day I was at a tower site and tapped into a VHF-Hi antenna port to a nice true 6 dBd omni up at 210′ AHAG that I can hit repeaters from Lexington/Richmond, Louisville, and up into Dayton/Columbus from. Fired up Winlink Express, pulled the freshly updated channel list below and could not hit anything. Granted I was just using 4-5w from a FT-817 (very possible 25/45w could change things) to a 150-160 MHz optimized antenna. Still that’s not much of a gateway selection list compared to a few years ago. Lot of previously active systems around here are gone, misconfigured, or off the air for some reason. Yes I checked for the EMCOMM group.

RMS_Packet_few_20180526

Past chats with some of the Winlink sysops I know all reveal a common thread. Folks talk of wanting this or that infrastructure and it sees a brief burst of interest then activity just fades away. One sysop that shut his gateway down told me it was seven months before someone asked about his gateway’s status LOL.

In fairness this is not just a packet problem, we also see similar with the current state of D-Star, DMR, and the analog repeater scenes. I ran our group’s portable analog repeater from a couple sites from October 2017 till early May 2018. I kept it patched into a couple systems so I could both record and monitor any activity on it.  Over all that time the repeater’s total transmit time was just over 52 minutes. 99% of that was just the IDer running from lots of kerchunking, only four unique callsigns heard beyond mine, and two brief QSOs. As I told the guys, no need of risking that to storm damage for that amount of activity so it is back in storage till this Fall.

Several have commented that the hobby is dying a slow death. While I’m not going to be that dramatic the hobby is definitely facing some serious activity related challenges in most areas of the country. This even includes areas which used to be hotbeds of activity. We now have a boatload of paper hams and hams that have gone or remain inactive for a wide variety of reasons.

Kentucky has nearly 10,000 licensed hams so “where the heck are they?” is a fair and obvious question. I found it revealing awhile back when the primary ham radio mailing list for the state revealed only about 450 subscribers when they began a move to another mailing list system. I just looked and only around 190 have migrated to the new system after several months. One does not need to be a Harvard MBA to be floored by those numbers. Yes it’s easy to be a Negative Nate on this stuff, but Step 1 to fixing a problem is recognizing that you have one.

When asked about the latest ARRL licensing proposal I can only respond with “I  don’t think lowering our standards once again is going to change much. The downsides are many for a hobby of technical pursuits. I do thank the ARRL for the free lunch.”  For those wondering about the “free lunch” portion of that? Well I made a lunch bet back in 2016 that if ARRL membership continues to decline then expect another push to lower licensing standards.

To be blunt, the further “dumbing down” of the hobby is not the fix unless the problem revolves around fixing the flow of subscription/advertising money. You know it’s not like passing the current General class test is so difficult. Common to hear stories of folks that take the Tech test, pass it, then be handed the General for giggles and either pass it or barely fail it. It’s not like during the last solar cycle we had Techs piled up deep on the sweet chunk of 10m spectrum they already have access to. Since chasing “quantity” (ahem money) hasn’t worked out so well maybe it’s time to try focusing on quality?  I could go on and on but this post will likely be long enough as is LOL.

So back to VHF/UHF packet…..

Considering all the above I’m obviously going to have to ponder how much 1200 baud VHF gear I want to put on the air. Would it see enough BBS and Winlink usage to justify it? If it wasn’t for already having the gear and putting in the extra rack space for the remote HF-UHF station then it wouldn’t even be on the table for consideration.

 

My stance on Winlink….

I’ve never been overly warm to the VHF/UHF side of Winlink. It doesn’t make as much sense as the HF side of Winlink does. One of the locals did make a reasonable argument that since the Dry Ridge site serves several counties across a handful of power grids and ISPs then there are a few EMCOMM scenarios when VHF/UHF packet Winlink access could be useful, especially at 9600 baud.

I’ve never been a huge fan of Winlink for a variety of reasons. Some are security related, the abuse that goes on, software stability, software roadmap stability, and ability to audit what content is flowing over systems under my license. Let’s examine each one of these..

  1. Security remains a big concern. Moving things onto a certain cloud provider doesn’t help make one feel all warm and fuzzy but I get why they did it.
  2. The abusive use of Winlink on HF remains a concern. Sounds like it’s gotten worse now that the solar cycle has forced more and more of the HF Winlink folks down onto already crowded lower HF bands.
  3. Software stability issues remain. Client software glitches are one thing, but gateway software needs to be rock solid. We are now how many years into the development of the RMS software?
  4. The software roadmap appears as spastic as ever. There is really no reason why the version silliness needs to go on to the degree that it does. I mean come on after all this time surely we can have long term production versions that do the basics and do them well. Then have a beta fork for those that wish to play with whatever new shiny soundcard mode is the current rage. If I put RMS services on my gateway and it’s a never ending PITA of having to upgrade and revalidate new software versions then RMS will quickly go bye bye. I can always use the SMTP functions in BPQ32 for my own limited “Plan D” backup email needs.
  5. The ability of the sysop to audit content flowing over his/her RMS gateway is a mandatory requirement in my book. If you can’t inspect the content flowing over your system then how do you detect abuse and ensure rule compliance. While it’s not as good as it could be I will  credit the WDT for giving RMS gateway sysops some ability to review messages flowing over their gateways. Does it need improvements? Yes, but it is a start in the right direction.

So as you can hopefully see there are many things being considered in regards to what will be reinstalled and what new features will or will not be available.

 

Packet TNC options…..

Some have commented they would consider saving up for some packet gear if they knew with some certainty about what is going to be available long term. 10m RP (Robust Packet), 9.6k UHF, and maybe the 6m/220 1.2k baud AFSK ports should be around for the long haul. Due to how noisy the VHF band can be in some of our needed coverage locations I may convert the 6m 1.2k port to RP also. If I put the 2m 1.2k and 220 1.2k ports back online their future will be dependent upon their usage levels which I will examine in a couple years to see if they are worth maintaining.

Two decades of experience showed the 220 band was more useful than the 2m port. This was due to being cleaner spectrum and greatly reduced desense/bleed-over issues when we worked along side our public safety systems which are predominately 150 MHz. 145 MHz also tends to be full of various noise/QRM sources and that problem is only getting worse.

 

The ARRL / ARES Puerto Rico Adventures?

My KP4 trip was months afterwards and unrelated to any of that hot mess. I’ve heard both some first hand accounts and a lot of second hand stuff including the thought provoking interview the HRN crew did with a couple ops that went into post-hurricane KP4 for disaster relief. In short I could write a mini-novel on that topic. I’ll just hit on a few key points here that will be lengthy enough.

First – The ham radio failures in more than a view major drills and disasters of the last couple years should serve as major wake-the-heck-up calls for the EMCOMM folks. I’m around a lot of LMR and EMA folks for my day job. Trust me today many of these leaders are not impressed by the local ARES groups and are going to call the MARS folks first. Lot of this is due to past bad experiences and the often correct observation that their MARS teams are both better equipped, better trained, and thus more likely to meet a particular EMCOMM tasking.

If ARES wants to sell itself as the ones to call for when all else fails then ARES better be equipped, trained, and well practiced at operating under such conditions.  Hint – it takes more than fancy radios and go kits.

Second – Please DO NOT send folks into disaster zones with only soundcard modes for Winlink needs. Yes I concede that it sounded like they had to put that HF gear together quickly (didn’t already have it????) with portability and accountability in mind. Still for the love of Pete equip them with quality Pactor modems that are going to work better under the often marginal conditions of such deployments. Keep the soundcard modems as backups if you wish. That “you get what you pay for” saying has some merit to it.  Hint – there are reasons why SCS doesn’t sell soundcard Pactor software when they could make a fortune if they did.

PS – SCS would probably deeply discount Pactor modems to such official staged HF disaster go kits if asked via the proper channels. They have been generous towards good causes in the past. Hint hint hint hint!

Third – Even at this point in the solar cycle, down there, that time of the year, the higher bands will often be your best friends so take appropriate antenna system(s) with you. This “we’ll do it all on 80/40m” mentality continues to be a recipe for failure. 60m NVIS will be handy and having a good antenna for the WARC bands is a really good idea. Be aware that 15-10 meters may not only be open some during the day but may provide some nice SNR on the link. The propagation predictions within the Winlink software are barely useful for the lower bands and can’t predict all the propagation modes on the higher bands. A good op learns HF propagation, understands both solar cycle and seasonal changes, is aware of single/multi hop short skip possibilities on the higher bands, checks the beacon subbands, and tries to use the highest band available for a particular path.

Forth – It seems time for AMSAT to start dreaming big again. Imagine what could be done with a 9600 baud store-n-forward digital bird or two up there. Yes that is easier said than done, but we also need to think beyond HF.

All the above aside, at least some aspects of the KP4 deployments in 2017 were moments ham radio could be proud of even if it was an ugly year for ARES stateside. We also got a real world lesson on the importance of knowing how to handle formal traffic and the NTS folks have things to be proud of.

I see some latched onto the lack of good ICS over the deployment cycle. Not thoroughly knowing both sides of the problems revealed afterwards I would refrain from bashing that aspect of things. As someone that was a first responder for nearly two decades I can tell you that regardless of what you are told beforehand you need to go in prepared to walk right into chaos. You’re not there because things are going well. You must be flexible, able to prioritize, work as a team, and able to adapt on the fly to various surprises. These are situations poorly suited to those that can only function off checklists in textbook scenarios. Ultimately they got a limited crew in, did some good, and then got everyone out safely. Could it of gone better? Of course it could of. There will always be room for improvement.

Non-ham politics of the Puerto Rico disaster? Well in many ways KP4 was a long neglected mess before recent events put it front and center. It did not get that way overnight and it will not be fixed overnight. I think the bigger question is will the repaired infrastructure be well maintained long term? Can their previously struggling economy recover from all that has happened?

WA4ZKO


Stay Tuned

April 22, 2018

Well after two weekends worth of discussion and debate, some Kentucky Packet Systems will be returning to the airwaves soon. Not everything is returning and a lot of what is returning will only remain if it sees enough usage to justify it. This week’s projects have been tower climbs to re-feed the VHF/UHF antennas on my personal tower and tweaking the microwave links between the sites that will be used.

Our utility company recently replaced a pole next to the Williamstown building where I still maintain a minimal office/storage site. When they scheduled that I pressured for new hardware (vs just swapping it to a new pole) and better grounding. This has helped some with the nasty 6m/2m noise floor at that location. As such I’m going to see if it will be useful to have a low profile APRS I-gate there. With the loss of the KB9GYO digi last Fall, Edgewood’s limited coverage down this way, and the reduction in coverage from the Lexington digi, the area’s local 2m digi coverage is very poor now. I’m not certain how much a low profile I-gate/Wide1-1 digi in Williamstown will help, but we shall see what T&E reveals this week.

Do note that this I-Gate site will not be permanent, it will eventually be turned off.  I’m leasing that site and seriously doubt I’ll still have any need for it in a few years. The proper fix for the APRS network is a much better I-gate location and a local medium profile digipeater. Sorry but I can’t provide either and others are going to have to step up and provide better 2m APRS infrastructure. Sorry, it is what it is.

Yes the local APRS scene is in near shambles. My inbox since last summer makes it clear that I’m not the only one that has noticed. My initial monitoring of the 2m APRS network from a medium profile location quickly revealed many problems.  A lot of stuff with poor signals, misconfigured software, and of course the usual congestion from abuse/silliness on the channel from adjacent areas. My my what a mess the 144.3900 APRS frequency is anymore. I can’t imagine why I prefer the HF APRS network over the 2m APRS network for my needs LOL.

Some have asked about K4KPN-10’s future? Well I just signed a 3 year contract on two very nice fiber runs into that site and invested in a new HF radio for it last Fall. Safe to say KYPN remains committed to keeping that on the air. Plans to eventually move it to Wyoming? No plans to move it out there since it is not wise to place another HF gate there that close to Bill’s excellent gate in Montana. With VE7OI’s new gate coming online and the excellent observed performance of K4KPN-10 out that way by myself and Randy (K7LNR) it seems clear that the N. American 30m RP APRS network is best served by K4KPN-10’s current location.

With the solid internet (both fiber and dialup) at that site now, it’s proving relatively easy to properly monitor, control. and keep secure from afar which has been one of my top control op concerns. When you run stuff under the automated & remote control rules you have an obligation to monitor and keep control over anything putting RF into the air. Obviously there are no guarantees – it’s a hobby, we provide it for free – but currently KYPN has no plans to change K4KPN-10 for the foreseeable future.

Not sure how much of the local packet gear will be back online before we head back west in a few weeks. Dad’s health and my day job project list will have at least myself coming back to 4-land fairly often this summer. Plenty of opportunities to finish whatever is not completed this time around.

Last but not least, no I’m not back to stay. We will be very “bi-coastal” for a few more years for work/play and helping care for an elderly parent. That said our retirement is coming sooner or later. I like southern Idaho just as much (same quality of life and a heck of a lot cheaper) but the XYL fell in love with NW Wyoming. She recently switched the car registration, moved her business, and made herself an official Wyomingite. You can guess how our WY vs ID homestead planning conversations go….Wyoming it is LOL.

I will do another post soon detailing what is coming back permanently, some background, what is coming back conditionally, and what will be turned off in a few years.

Stay tuned!

Jeff
WA4ZKO