Being a Ham Means Figuring Things Out

CW, Digital

A setback day today, as I finally received a USB audio cable for my attempts to use fldigi with my mac laptop (one of the few SDR programs that works on macOS). I was so looking forward to CQ’ing on my available bands with CW in an automated sense, but no luck.

The USB audio cable I ordered (manufactured in Greece, no less), doesn’t seem to work. It is quite frustrating to wait forever for the requisite parts only for me to once again face the world of failure and non-support on Apple Mac computers.

The ham software world is very driven by Windows software, something hams really need to change. For the most part, most hams I talk to are using old versions of Windows, and rarely know much about computers– a direct opposite of my life. Had I the desktop software skills, I would totally try to port many of these apps available to the Mac realm.

So today has been a setback on several ham fronts: CW was a hard study today, I found the bands empty when searching, and now my foray into digital modes has been halted by technology.

But, I am not despairing (too much). Part of being a ham is persistence in the face of a problem. Trying different ways and different configurations until you get the setup right and are able to talk to others.

Ham Code Guide

CW, Digital

Spurred by the previous post, I’m using the Koch method for learning Morse code (CW). I’m attaching here a document I made back when I first became a ham in 1999 that is a quick reference for prosigns and Q-Codes. Morse is also there, but I do not recommend CW by sight, has to be reflexive by sound.

A good iOS mobile app for this is Ham Morse by AA9PW.

Here is my reference document: Ham Code Guide by KF6UJS.

Hello world!


Hi folks!

I got into ham radio in 1999, but mostly just worked in VHF hitting SF Bay Area repeaters on 2 meters. I wanted ultimate portability, but never knew what it would be like to have a powerful rig. In 2017 (yes, 18 years later of my handheld talkies gathering dust), I finally got moved to find out more about HF and higher-wattage rigs, and got a Yaesu FT-857D. This opened up what hams have known all along: There’s a big world of radio out there to learn about and explore!

This site will have some of my learnings and notes about new contacts, as well as some of the passions that drive my interest in radio technology.

Thanks for stopping by! More to come, hopefully in less than 18 years.