The RAIN Report for 04-13-2018

In mid-March Kent Peterson/KC0DGY was working on a story for Amateur Radio Newsline about the Jupiter Amateur Radio club and HF Voyager, their automatically piloted, maritime drone operating in the Pacific Ocean with an interactive digital FT8 ham radio station aboard. Kent had to edit down the interview to under 3 minutes for the Newsline presentation. His conversation with Kurt Kiesow/N6FW contained so much useful info that Newsline decided to share a much longer version of that conversation with the Rain Report audience. Here is an excerpt from Kent's conversation with Kurt. [2018 19M] The RAIN Report hamcast updates Saturday on therainreport.com; it can be heard Saturday evening as part of the block of Amateur Radio programming on WTWW shortwave on 5085 kHZ from Lebanon, TN. Keep on hamming!

The RAIN Report for 04-07-2018

As we learned in the first excerpt from Hap Holly/KC9RP's 2000 conversation with author and Morse code historian, Lewis Coe/W9CNY(SK), Morse Code certainly left its mark on the American frontier even before the Civil War. [2000 P2 14M] Though the FCC dropped Morse code from the entry level Amateur Radio exam in the early 1990s, American history was forever changed by dits and dots. Incidentally Lewis Coe/W9CNY penned a book in 1993 called "The Telegraph, The History of Morse's invention and his predecessors in the United States." It was published then by McFarland and Company. That paperback can still be found on Amazon and on the Mcfarland website. The RAIN Report hamcast updates Saturdays on therainreport.com. It can be heard Saturday nights at 9:00 PM following the Amateur Radio Newsline on the Lebanon, TN shortwave juggernaut, WTWW, on 5085 kHZ KEEP ON HAMMING!

The RAIN Report for 03-30-2018

Morse code was the bane of many a wanna-be ham for years until 'code' was dropped by the FCC from the entry level testing program of Amateur Radio. For the uninitiated the use of Morse code goes back well over a century. Lewis Coe/W9CNY of Crown Point, Indiana got his first ham ticket way back in 1927. Later on he became a CW historian of sorts. In 2000 RAIN's Hap Holly/KC9RP spoke with Lewis about the evolution of dits and dahs. [2000 P1 16M] More about the evolution of CW with Lewis Coe next time. The RAIN Report hamcast is downloadable from therainreport.com; and broadcast on shortwave around 9:00 PM CST Saturdays on WTWW from Lebanon, TN on 5085 kHZ KEEP ON HAMMING!

The RAIN Report for 03-24-2018

When one hears a discussion about Amateur Radio's interfacing with digital technology, i.e. the Internet, Echo link, FT8 and the like, invariably some diehard 80-meter redneck has nothing better to say than "Ah, that's not REAL ham radio!" So just what IS real ham radio? For a European perspective, we turn to Chris Rolinson/G7DDN. Chris recently penned and voiced a commentary addressing this question. [2017 16M] You will find a written copy of Chris's commentary on his website, g7ddn.com; click on 'articles'. Chris happens to be a musician. He has a New album "Piano Reflections" now available on iTunes, Google Play Music, and Amazon Music; he also has a YouTube channel. Your rebuttal to Chris's commentary are welcome, preferably in MP3 format to hap@therainreport.com. This hamcast updates Saturdays on therainreport.com; and via shortwave Saturday nights on WTWW out of Lebanon, TN. on 5085 kHZ KEEP ON HAMMING!

The RAIN Report for 03-16-2018

While we won't be dealing with the luck of the Irish this week, we will travel once again to World War II Germany. A number of civilians known as the French Resistance kept tabs on the German military and High Command in WW2. They surreptitiously transmitted decoded data to the Allies at great personal risk. Tom Perera PH.D/W1TP, an authority on clandestine radio operations of World War II spoke at the 2015 Dayton Hamvention. {2015 P2 17M} You can read a great deal more about the so-called 'enigma cider the primary coding machine adopted in 1926 by all branches of the German military and Hi Command on Tom's Enigma museum web site; See the RAIN Sites Mentioned page for the url. The RAIN Report is heard anytime on therainreport.com; and readily heard Saturday evenings on shortwave via Lebanon, TN's WTWW on 5085 kHz. KEEP ON HAMMING!

The RAIN Report for 03-09-2018

This week we bring you an encore presentation of a 2015 Dayton Hamvention talk about Clandestine communications during World War II. Regular listeners to this hamcast will recall the intriguing story about Russell Hutchinson, Radio Boy, the American P-O-W who virtually risked his life to construct AM radio to help maintain the morale of his fellow 1,600 American prisoners of war in a World War II Japanese p-o-w camp in the Philippines. While Hutch was seripticiously catching war updates broadcast by KGEI radio from San Francisco, on the other side of the world the French Resistance and a number of other civilians were keeping tabs on German communications and the German war machine, transmitting coded data back to the Allies in England and elsewhere. Tom Perera PH.D/W1TP is an authority on these clandestine radio operations. Tom has spoken at the Dayton Hamvention about so-called Enigma machines with which the German Gestapo communicated. At the 2015 Hamvention Tom spoke about the clandestine WW2 'spy' radio operations in general. {2016 P1 17M] Just a heads up that RAIN Founder Producer, Hap Holly/KC9RP will talk about the evolution of the RAIN Report Thursday, March 15, at the Chicago Suburban Radio Assoc., (CSRA)meeting in the Grace Lutheran church, 1100 Manchester Ave. in Westchester, IL; doors open at 7:00 PM. The RAIN Report is available anytime on therainreport.com; and heard 9:00 PM CST Saturday on WTWW from Lebanon, TN on 5085 kHZ shortwave.

The RAIN Report for 03-03-2018

In this first RAIN Report for March, 2018, we present our second excerpt from a lengthy interview with CQ Propagation Columnist Tomas Hood/NW7US by QSOToday's Eric Guth/4Z1UG. Tomas is known worldwide for his ability to simplify the complexities of solar propagation. [2018 P2 20M] You can hear the entire 1-hour unedited interview of Tomas on QSOToday.com. [Used with permission) The RAIN Report updates Saturdays on therainreport.com; and can be heard 9:00 PM CST Saturday as part of the Amateur Radio block of programming on Ted Randal's QSO program on WTWW radio from Lebanon, TN on 5085 kHZ shortwave.

The RAIN Report for 02-23-2018

If you have been following solar propagation over the years, you probably have read propagation columns from Tomas Hood/NW7US. Tomas has been featured on these RAIN Report hamcasts over the years. However, this is the first time we have featured him telling his story. This week we bring you the first of two excerpts from a lengthy conversation between Tomas and Eric Guth/4Z1UG of QSOToday. [2017 P1 20M] We'll bring you our second and final excerpt from this interview with Tomas Hood next time. The RAIN Report hamcast updates Saturdays on www.therainreport.com; it is heard 9:00 PM CST Saturdays as part of Ted Randal's QSO program on WTWW shortwave from Lebanon, TN on 5085 kHZ. KEEP ON HAMMING!

The RAIN Report for 02-17-2018

One of the really unique features of the Dayton Hamvention is its forums. If you're a regular listener to this hamcast you already know that from how frequently we excerpt from them. One of them is the Collins Radio forum. If you repair, restore, or collect Collins gear, (once the Cadillac of ham radios) the hour-long Collins radio forum at Hamvention is the closest thing to Collins Nirvana you'll ever find. And there are only a few Collins enthusiasts like David Knepper/W3ST, publisher of the Collins Journal. He has gone so far as to exhibit his Collins collection in what he considers his own museum in Sidman, PA. This week we excerpt from David's 2017 Hamvention Collins Radio forum talk in which he verbalizes his love for an era of radio long since gone. [2017 13M] David is the publisher of the Collins Journal, available now only on-line. David's email is: collinsradio@comcast.net.

The RAIN Report for 02-10-2018

Pile ups...no, I'm not talking about the recent multi vehicle collision on a nearby freeway the other day. I'm AM referring to pile ups on the HF ham bands when a hard-to-find DX station attracts scores of high profile sing sideband stations. According to inveterate Vermont contester and DX'er Mitch Stern/W1SJ, there is an art to cracking pile ups. [2017 13M] The RAIN Report is copyright 1990-2018 RAIN, all rights are reserved. The Radio Amateur Information Network is streamable from therainreport.com, and is heard on WTWW from Lebanon, TN., Saturday nights on 5085 kHZ. KEEP ON HAMMING!

The RAIN Report for 02-09-2018

Pile ups...no, I'm not talking about the recent multi vehicle collision on a nearby freeway the other day. I'm AM referring to pile ups on the HF ham bands when a hard-to-find DX station attracts scores of high profile sing sideband stations. According to inveterate Vermont contester and DX'er Mitch Stern/W1SJ, there is an art to cracking pile ups. [2017 13M] The RAIN Report is copyright 1990-2018 RAIN, all rights are reserved. The Radio Amateur Information Network is streamable from therainreport.com, and is heard on WTWW from Lebanon, TN., Saturday nights on 5085 kHZ. KEEP ON HAMMING!

The RAIN Report for 02-03-2018

It seems that everywhere one turns today there are lawyers rewriting or trying to rewrite modern and not so modern law. telecommunications lawyer Fred Hopengarten, K1VR has carved out a careerlegal assisting U.S. hams to circumvent cc'n'rs, common covenants and restrictions that prevent so many radio amateurs from erecting reasonable outdoor antennas. The federally mandated PRB1 legislation has been of some help in doing so for a number of years. However as Fred pointed out in his 2017 Dayton Hamvention Amateur Radio and the Law talk, there are 23 states that do not presently have a PRB1-style statute within the state. [2017 12M] The RAIN Report podcast is available via therainreport.com and heard during the Amateur Radio program block, Saturday nights on WTWW, 5085 kHZ from Lebanon, TN. KEEP ON HAMMING!

The RAIN Report for 01-29-2018

The U.S. Amateur Radio Service has had a partnership with the National Weather Service for years. But just how does the modern radio amateur interact with the 192 weather offices nationwide? This week we present some of those answers in an excerpt from a 2017 Dayton Hamvention talk by Brandon Palquin, a Wilmington, Ohio employee of his local regional weather service office. [2017 19M] If you aren't already connected with the NWS, checdk your calendar as spring and its unpredictable storms is just a few weeks away. The Radio Amateur Information Network is accessible via therainreport.com and heard during the Amateur Radio program block, Saturday nights on WTWW, 5085 kHZ from Lebanon, TN. Keep on hamming!

The RAIN Report for 01-20-2018

Do you remember some commentaries in the 90's called Bytes From Q-zed-B? A Chicago area ham named Mark Thompson/WB9QZB expressed his controversial ham radio viewpoints in those days on these RAIN Reports. So just what did his bytes sound like? We'll present two of them for you this week. The first is entitled "Your No Code Accent" from 1994. Our second Bytes, "Ham Radio and Personal Responsability", was penned and voiced by Mark in 1995. [1994&95 13M] Is we can dislodge Mark from his digital absorption, maybe we can cajole him into writing some new Bytes From Q-ZED-B. The RAIN Report is copyright 1990-2018 RAIN all rights reserved. This podcast is available on therainreport.com; and is heard on shortwave 9:00 PM CST Saturdays on WTWW, broadcasting on 5085 kHZ from Lebanon, TN. KEEP ON HAMMING!

The RAIN Report for 01-13-2018

If you have ever served on the technical committee of an urban repeater that maintains links to multiple receive sites, you already know that keeping those links functioning properly can be a real character builder. Now imagine what challenges a handful of mountain-top machines linked together digitally pose. In the mid-1990s Frosty Oden/N6ENV, a CBS television technical director at the time, was trustee and builder of SEVEN such mountain top repeaters on 220 and 440 mHZ in Southern California. This week we concludes our two excerpts from a 1995 conversation RAIN's Hap Holly/KC9RP had with Frosty. [1995 P2 13M] According to QRZ.com, Frosty relocated not long ago to Litchfield Park Arizona. The RAIN Report is copyright 1990-2018 RAIN, all rights are reserved. This weekly podcast is available for transmission under a Creative Commons license on therainreport.com. You can hear it Saturday evenings at 9:00 CST on WTWW shortwave from Lebanon, TN. on 5085 kHZ. KEEP ON HAMMING!

The RAIN Report for 01-06-2018

*Kent Peterson/KC0DGY is holding down the virtual fort for a few weeks while Will Rogers/K5WLR, the default voice of these RAIN Reports gets his erstwhile feet under him from his recent spill.* Most ham operators east of the Rockies live on flatlands. Travel to southern California, however, and the Amateur Radio VHF and UHF horizon undergo a RADICAL change called 'mountains'. While the phenomenal elevations of mountains out west provide extraordinary repeater and remote base coverage today, there are some significant technical challenges that were faced even 20 years ago by repeater owners like CBS Television Technical Director Frosty Oden/N6ENV. Frosty experienced challenges with his 7 220 and 440 mountain-top repeaters that the average flatland repeater owner did not. RAIN's Hap Holly/KC9RP spoke with Frosty Oden/N6ENV 20 years ago [1995] 13M. the RAIN Report is available on therainreport.com; it can be heard Saturday evenings around 9:00 Central time on WTWW, Lebanon, TN.'s shortwave station on 5085 kHZ. KEEP ON HAMMING!

The RAIN Report for 12-30-2017

Are you experiencing extraneous noises or RFI to a ham rig in your home, car or recreational vehicle? Well, from our 'you think you've got problems' department, Imagine the racket Tiffin, Ohio trucker, Gerry Stanford/N8YMP dealt with back in 1995. Here's an excerpt from his Hamvention forum presentation from that Hamvention. [1995 11M] The RAIN Reports update weekly on therainreport.com; and on shortwave Saturday nights on WTWW from Lebanon, TN. on 5085 kHZ. The RAIN Report is copyright 1990-2017, RAIN, all rights are reserved. keep on hamming!

The RAIN Report for 12-23-2017

We DO have some exciting news from the Dayton Hamvention this week. However, first things first. We wanted to bring you a VERY rare RAIN Report that consisted of the reading of A piece called "A Ham's Christmas" that was penned by the late Walter A. Tompkins/K6ATX, voiced more than 25 years ago for the RAIN Report by Chicago ham and broadcaster Oren Brand/K9KEJ. However, that recording is nowhere to be found!...MOST unfortunate. However, back in the mid-90s when Iowa ham Blair Alper/KA9SEQ frequently read items from packet for these RAIN Reports, his mother, Elaine Alper (no call) voiced a legalistic version of a written piece entitled A Visit from St. Nicholas. [1994 8M] From: "henry.ruminski@wright.edu [hamvention]" To: hamvention@yahoogroups.com Sent: Wednesday, December 20, 2017 5:02 PM Subject: [Hamvention] Hamvention News News Release December 20, 2017 Greene County Fairgrounds/Expo Center Building Expansion We are pleased to announce The Greene County Commissioners and the Greene County Fair Board have approved the construction of a new building at the Fairground/Expo Center. Greene County officials have decided to move forward with construction of a new building as it will continue to expand their presence in the region as a world class Exposition Center! Hamvention certainly benefits from the decision to expand the Expo Center footprint. Construction is planned to be complete ahead of Hamvention 2018 and will be used for the event. Additionally, another building on the property previously known as Fairgrounds Furniture, is being vacated and will be available for use by Hamvention 2018. More details regarding the building sizes will be forthcoming but Hamvention is told the floor space added will cover an area larger than the tents Hamvention used in 2017. Although this decision was made to expand opportunities at the Expo Center, Hamvention is grateful for the support Greene County, Xenia Township, and the city of Xenia. Ron Cramer, General Chair Jack Gerbs, Asst. Gen. Chair Michael Kalter, CFO/Official Spokesperson Hamvention The RAIN Report is copyright 1990-2017 RAIN, all rights are reserved. These RAIN Reports are available 24/7 on therainreport.com. It can be heard at the north pole on the Lebanon, TN. shortwave powerhouse, WTWW, transmitting a block of Amateur Radio programming Saturday evenings on 5.085 mHZ. 44's and keep on hamming!

The RAIN Report for 12-16-2017

This week we bring you a most unique approach to what would normally be an audio/video presentation. It has been said that a picture tells a thousand words. In this case, however, you'll have to use your imagination to 'picture' a truly amazing antenna farm. It belongs to world-class Midwest contester, Tim Duffy/K3LR. While you can't visualize what Tim's phenomenal multi multi contest station looks like, put your mind's eye to work and absorb how Tim's described his ten-acre midwestern antenna farm. We excerpted from Tim's 2017 Dayton Hamvention forum talk. [2017 15M] Now that you've heard about Tim's station, go see what you can see of K3LR's amazing antenna farm on YouTube! "It's really SPECTACULAR!" The RAIN Report is downloadable and streamed from therainreport.com, and is heard Saturdays at 9:00 PM CST on the 150,000 watt Lebanon, TN. blow torch, WTWW, on 5.085 kHz. Keep on hamming!

The RAIN Report for 12-09-2017

We go 'tropo' this time with a short excerpt from the 2017 Dayton Hamvention ATV forum, voiced by ham radio instructor and 2006 Ham of the Year Gordon West/WB6NOA. Many of you will recognize the name Gordon West from his well-known Radio School, and radio study materials sold for decades in Radio Shack. "Gordo" lives in SO. Cal. and loves the ever changing weather conditions that make long-range oceanic tropo possible. So just what is tropo anyway? Just ask Gordo! [2017 9M] While the winter doesn't lend itself to good tropo ducting in much of the United States, you now have something to explore come the warm weather months. The RAIN Report can be found on the web on www.therainreport.com; and heard Saturday evenings as part of the Amateur Radio block of programming on WTWW in Lebanon, TN. on the shortwave frequency of 5085 kHz. KEEP ON HAMMING!