Still using Windows XP?

If you are, you’re not alone. According to about 3.5% of all desktops and laptops out there are still running XP.

A new vulnerability may change that number soon, I hope. According to the article, I’ll link it below, Microsoft is pushing out a patch for this new problem and including XP devices. That makes this the first patch for XP in a couple of years.

The only details here say it’s related to Remote Desktop Services, but that’s about it. It does say that Windows 8 & up computers aren’t affected by the flaw, but no mention of how Windows 7 may be impacted.

If you dig around a little, and watch in restaurants you dine at, you’ll see Windows XP used all around you and, if these businesses aren’t prepared to apply the patch, it could be a mess.

I’ll step out there and say that I believe it will be a mess before long.

Check out the full article on Wired Windows XP flaw

73 y’all, K5RFL

Can we call this Extreme Ham Radio?? It’s cool! (would not catch me doing it, though)

Southgate ARC will have an extreme sort of radio event in about a week and a half.

Parachute Mobile Mission 35 set for May 25

Make a successful QSO with one of the airborne radio nuts and get a one of a kind QSL card to remember it. Details below.

73, K5RFL

Found this on another site. Heads up for International Museum Ship weekend June 1-2

LT-5 WWII tugboat Special Event Station – Oswego, NY —

“In anticipation of the International Museum Ship Weekend Event on June 1st and 2nd, W2LGA will be setting up a special event station at the H Lee White Maritime Museum in Oswego, NY. The station will be set up at the LT-5 WWII tugboat. This tug was used during the Normandy invasion of June 6, […]

LT-5 WWII tugboat Special Event Station – Oswego, NY —

Yet another digital mode FT4

Joe Taylor, author of WSJT-X, has announced the FT4 digital mode.

FT4 is 2.5x faster than FT8 and is specifically designed for contesting. Here’s an article on QRZ giving a little more information. FT4 Digital Mode It uses less bandwith than RTTY and has fixed messages like FT8. Will you be trying FT4 during a contest anytime soon?


New hams use more technology..

Updated title for better reference. I hope you enjoy the read and share your thoughts.

The world of amateur radio has many different modes of operation. Among the different modes there are extremes of sorts. I’m not a master of any mode in ham radio and only jack of a few, but let’s talk about a few here, then we’ll tackle some more in another post.

I noticed a comment on the aging demographic post about the young hams and how much time it seems they spend looking at a phone screen or playing a video game to pick up a microphone. Let’s start here and see where it goes.

It’s no secret that the current generation, especially in the 18-30 range, is more likely than their elder counterparts to have a tech oriented lifestyle from the way they plan and work to the way they travel and play. In an effort to bring the younger crowd in, I think we need to be sure and introduce new young hams to Echolink.

The majority of young adults carry around a smartphone of some sort and Echolink gives a way to immediately take advantage of that technician license while they save up for an HT or mobile rig. As I sit here and type this post, I just answered an Echolink station, KN4TSK, from TN who recently got his tech ticket and a fellow ham was showing him how Echolink worked so he can begin taking advantage of it now.

The quicker we can get new hams on the air, the more likely we will be able to keep them on air and active in our area. Here’s my last 2 cents before moving on from this. I think we would benefit from having information on how to download, and setup, Echolink on Android and Apple devices as well as Windows at each testing session.

In this manner, when an individual successfully passes his/her technician exam, this information can be handed to them, and briefly discussed, before they leave. Within 3 days following the exam, once the individual has their call sign issued, another area ham could be tasked with reaching out to them to assist in getting them onboard with Echolink and making a contact on the W5YD repeater.

In addition to Echolink, there a number of other digital modes of communication that may be a draw for some. Personally, when I started learning a little about ways to marry my love for computers to my love for ham radio together in digital communication, it was exciting to me. I’m not head over heels about it, but it has stirred my curiosity to the point that I keep digging just a little bit more here and there to learn a little more about it.

SSTV, FT8, JS8 Call, FreeDV, PSK. RTTY, JT9, WSPR,… and more. The idea of picking up a microphone may not interest every potential new ham, so be ready with some information about other modes that might be of interest to pull them in. In this instance, we are sales people of a sort. We have a product, a service, that people will like and enjoy, but we have to listen to these people in order to understand what aspect of the product will most interest them in order for us to “close the sell” so to speak.

Be great stewards of ham radio, in general, and be involved in whatever ways you can in your area. Join your local ham radio club, take part in club activities, local nets, reach out to new hams, etc. You might not be able to take part in every activity, or be at every meeting, but you might be better positioned to elmer a new ham in some way.

What do you think?

Caleb, K5RFL

What does an aging ham radio demographic mean locally?

Based on the regulars who attend the club meetings, at least in Starkville, our average active operator is around 55+ years old. I’d venture to believe that Columbus has a similar demographic, maybe even a higher average age overall.

So what does that mean for ham radio in our area? Well, lucky for us, we have a number of pretty enthusiastic ham operators who are “contagious” to young hams. The K5DY club president, Doug (K5BAK) is one such ham. As a matter-of-fact, it was the result of chance conversation with Doug on the W5YD machine a couple of years ago that had me sitting for my General license test a short time later and becoming an active member of the K5DY club.

Doug is one of several hams like this in the Golden Triangle area. I don’t remember all of the call signs, so comment with the callsigns of any ham around us that has been an encouragement, or a positive impact, to your ham activity. Some others that I can think of at the moment whom I’ve fed off of their enthusiasm for the hobby are John (K5DDT), Steve (N5OMK), Jeff (N5ZNI), and Allen (AG5ND).

When you think of the ones who are leading the pack, so to speak, in our community, many are at, or near, retirement age and beyond. I hope no one takes offense to that, because that’s not at all the intent. You’re not “old” folks. This is just to say that recruitment, inclusion, and encouragement, of young hams is a vital part of the future of ham radio in our area. That’s true everywhere but, personally, I’m in the Golden Triangle/North MS area and that’s where my priority is.

We’ve had a great start to the 2019 year with several new hams coming in and getting active pretty quickly. We’ve had a couple of Day in the Park activities that were fun, but had light attendance overall. I’ve heard it said in many club meetings, from several different operators, that an active radio club is important to recruiting, and keeping, new hams. This K5DY club has worked with the Lowndes Co. ARC this year to setup opportunities like the Days in the Park and breakfast at Vowell’s, in addition to the Lowndes Co breakfast, which I can’t recall the name of at this time. Please forgive me for that.

We need more of our veteran operators to be a part of these events in order to interact with and encourage the new hams that attend. It’s great to see a few excited hams at a Day in the Park event, but imagine the impact it could have if we had 10 or more in attendance operating CW, HF, Digital, or whatever mode you prefer. For a new ham to get to witness the various modes in action is huge and would give you a chance to share your passion with someone else. You may end up being an elmer to a young ham.

Question for today: Is the aging demographic of ham radio operators in our area a concern to you? If so, why? If not, why not? Let me know what you think and how you view the state of ham radio in our area.