Technician Review and Testing

A Ham Radio Technician Review and license testing will be held January 12, 2013 at the Garland County Department of Emergency Management office, 401 Mid America Boulevard, Hot Springs, Arkansas.

The Review will begin at 8:00 AM, with testing starting at 1:00 PM. There is no fee for the review.

Students wishing to test will need to provide positive identification. The testing fee is $15.00, cash or check only. Individuals with prior ham radio credit will need to show a current license, or a FCC Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination (CSCE) in order to upgrade. All levels of FCC Amateur testing (Technician, General, and Extra) will be available.

Interested people may download the Technician Study Guide at this link:

Print the file and become thoroughly familiar with the contents. Usually, reading the document several times will be all that is needed to pass the test.

We will provide a Review where questions will be discussed and answered. Questions prior to the Review may be directed to:

J.M. Rowe – n5xfw (at)
Bob King – w5lvb (at)
Donna Jeffus – djeffus (at)

This class is sponsored by the Spa Amateur Radio Association, the Garland County Department of Emergency Management, and the Southwest Region of the Arkansas Hospital Association.

Please share this email with people that would have an interest.


J.M. Rowe
Arkansas RACES/ESF 2 Liaison Officer
Arkansas Army MARS
Interoperability Officer

Robert (Bob) King
Garland County Department of Emergency Management – Deputy Director / COM-L
Spa Amateur Radio Association, Inc. – President

Contest Insanity

After what has been going on tonight I had to write a post about this and vent. We have a contest going on right now. One would think that this wouldn’t be anything to vent over. I’m trying to listen and participate in one of my favorite nets that has been on the air at the same time and frequency every night for over 20 years. Upon inspecting the rest of the band and being unable to find a single empty spot I have decided to unplug for the night. The contest participants have turned 75 meters into a solid band full of QRM. We have stations running full legal limit and are spaced at most 5hz apart across the entire band. They seem to have no respect for anyone else trying to use the band for normal routine things. There should be some courtesy exercised in contest operations not to turn the band into complete garbage. I will not participate in a contest that degrades the quality of amateur radio for everyone. There is absolutely no excuse for this. Thankfully the contest doesn’t go on all that long and things will return to normal soon. I would never operate where I am going to interfere with other stations. Most of the operators out there are of the same mind. All it takes is a few bad apples to ruin it for everyone else. [Vent Mode Off]

73 and I’ll catch you all down the bands somewhere

Mobile Friendly

Mobile users please bear with me as I am working on customizations. I know I have a few things broken and looking pretty bad on mobile devices at the moment. I keep thinking I’ve found solutions only to find they make things worse. The simplest things end up being the worst on the back end. I’ll get everything back to “normal” soon.

Solar Indices

I’ve been working on some customizations to the website code. The most noteworthy is the Solar Indices now being displayed in the header. The information will update automatically and be as up to date as what NOAA is putting out. There will be refinement of the look and formatting of this as time permits. As it stands the code is functioning and running on a schedule without manual intervention. There is more information for this and other related topics that can be found from the Links section. Since solar activity effects HF propagation I felt that this would be helpful to the ham operators out there.

Comment Spam

For those out there that feel it necessary to spam my comments here you are wasting your time. This is the reason that comments are moderated. I won’t censor any legitimate comments as long as they are related to what is being commented on. I don’t put any advertising of any kind on this site and if you think you can spam your advertising here you’ve got another thing coming. If you start turning bots loose I have countermeasures in the ready. I would rather not have to go there to inconvenience legitimate users. I’m the only one that sees that spam and even if it was something I’d otherwise be interested in, they will be selling snow cones on the river styx before I ever dignify your spam with even a glance. So quit wasting your time and mine.

As a result of the constant stream of unrelated SPAM attempting to infiltrate the comments it is now necessary to register and log in to post comments. It’s free and easy to sign up. The scum that feels it necessary to cram advertising down everyone’s throats are ruining it for everyone. I would prefer to keep comments wide open, but I don’t have time to police spam.

Thanks and 73

Even more to come

Now that the current tasks have been completed I can turn my attention back to enhancing the site and adding several new sections that have been suggested. While it is very possible to spend a large amount of money on this hobby it is also possible to get in without having to take out a second mortgage. One of the things I’m going to build is a getting started section to serve as a handy guide for those new to ham radio. Things like echolink and software defined radios offer ways to get on the air without breaking the bank. If you’d like to listen to HF and you don’t even have a receiver go to the and you can listen online right now and get a small taste of what software defined radios can do. Any suggestions for new hams just getting started would be greatly appreciated.