Sunday, July 26, 2009


QSL'ing for some is lots of fun. Others find it a royal pain and some just don't and won't do it. For those that get LOTS of QSL requests, a QSL Manager is the way to go. With today's internet, QSL information is easily obtained and often updated. There are many websites dedicated to storing the latest QSL information on stations all over the world. There is even stand alone programs that you can put on your computer like the GOLIST software that you can update almost weekly.

When I first got into Ham Radio, you would have to purchase a callbook named the "Radio Amateur Callbook". These books (one for DX and one for North America if memory serves me right) were the size of a Chicago phonebook. I purchased these each time a new one was published and that was how you obtained the address of the station you wanted to QSL. You would look them up in this very large book just as you would look up someone's phone number in a phone book. If you wanted to attract attention to your callsign, you could even pay to have it bold faced so it was easy to find!

The same applied to QSL managers. I would use the paper copy of the Golist, another subscription service, to look up callsigns of DX stations that I wanted to QSL. I also paid close attention to BARF-80 BBS information or back then, packet bulletins that you would read on many of the local BBS systems (Bulletin Boards) by checking the listings using your TNC for AX25 packet. Many times you would sit on a frequency until the DX station sent their QSL information. QSL'ing was not as easy back then as you really had to sometimes dig to find the QSL manager or simply the QSL instructions.

Today, this process has been simplified by modern technology but there is still an art to getting a QSL card. I was always a sender for many years when I lived back in Ohio. It was not often that someone really needed my QSL card. I used the shotgun approach back then, after every contest, I would print labels out for each QSO and stick them on a QSL card and fire them all off to the bureau in hopes that I would someday (often years) get a response back. I used direct when possible but that was and still is, very costly. Anything new to me for my award chasing, I would hold out on and look for a direct address or QSL manager. There were times I just never found a good route so I had to wait for someone from that same country to be active again. And at times, this was not only a DX issue, but a stateside issue. People often do not keep their address current with the FCC, which they are required to do. I have sent many direct requests to addresses listed on or the Hamcall website with the envelope being returned.

As always, you need to worry about postal theft. Yep, it does happen and more often than you realize. The slickest job I had seen was in one of my envelopes that I sent to a station in South America. It was apparent that someone carefully peeked into the envelope by slightly opening the back of the envelope at the bottom corner. Most envelopes are glued together and if you look at the rear bottom corners, you can see a small gap where the front and back come together. The skillful person carefully slit the bottom corner open and carefully continued up half of the envelope. They retrieved the one dollar I had in the envelope (it only took one buck back then to get a card from most places) and then glued the envelope back together. It was then stamped, "addressee unknown" and sent back to me unopened, or so I thought. Careful inspection identified the means of obtaining my green stamp. I did send a message to the DX station and he told me that it has been a very big problem for him and I was not the only victim to this type of theft when sending for his QSL card. Now I tape my envelope corners to make it harder to just peek.

Just some basics when wanting a QSL card from me anyway and these basics may work for getting QSL cards from others. My very first advice to anyone is check and do a Google search on QSL Manager information and check the various websites for information. Another great resource is checking the New DX Summit site. You can do a search for a certain callsign under the search menu at the top. Once you enter the stations callsign, you can see the last 25, 100, or even 1000 spots that were sent. Often times this is a good way to find the QSL route that someone may have posted in the comments but this is not always 100 percent accurate. If many stations are posting the same route, there is a good chance you will be safe following those directions. Assuming the operation was not a SLIM (fraud).

My information is posted on which I think is a great practice. If people don't want QSL cards, they should have the common smarts to put a note on and Hamcall. Most hams probably get postal addresses from these websites. Once you check, if there are directions, follow them as asked.

Send your QSL request with an enclosed SASE (Self Addressed Stamped Envelope) enclosed. I enjoy getting QSL cards from around the world and over the years, I have obtained a very nice stamp collection (if you are into that kinda thing). I read all of my QSL cards and I respond to them by handwriting mine out for the return. Yes, putting a sticker on a QSL card, stuffing it into an envelope accomplishes the same thing but I like to make mine more personable. I hand write them out and sign them, sometimes with a comment, or sometimes not.

Anyhow, I normally open up my mail with a knife so putting your SASE in the envelope in such a fashion that would help me from slitting it in two would be nice. Have your self addressed envelope properly stamped and your return address legible is a big plus. Also, a time saver is putting either your address on the SASE on the front top left, or mine. This saves me a return address lable when I send my card back to you in your SASE. I also really like to get self sticking envelopes (peel and stick). I have not licked a stamp in years and I would prefer not to lick an envelope if I could. But, I gladly have and will continue to do so but sometimes if I get several, I will just tape the envelope shut which takes a bit more time.

Some of the other areas you may want to pay close attention to is:

  1. Make sure all areas of the QSL card have been completed. It drives me nuts when people don't fill in all the blocks of their QSL card. I may want to use your QSL for an award and if it appears to have been edited or manipulated, it may not be accepted. Take a few minutes to make sure that everything is completed. If you made a few mistakes, fill out a new card and make it look good.
  2. Make sure when you send it to me, you have MY callsign on the card. I have received several QSL cards for "some other station".
  3. The time on the QSL card is NOT your local time but UTC or GMT time. I think most everyone hates to go through their log by date and time looking for a contact if they can't find the callsign in the log.
  4. If you operate /QRP or /P or /something, make sure you note that on your QSL card. This includes the information from where you operated from. You may be activating a new county for me or even a new grid if on 6 meters in which I can use for an award. I may need your card just as bad as you may need mine!
  5. PLEASE always send your QSL card to me in an envelope when sending direct. For whatever reason, the postal service feels they need to test every stamp they own on post cards and this includes QSL cards. I have received some very nice QSL cards, ones in which it was obvious that someone spent some good money on having printed, get ruined by barcode labels and ink stamps which seem like they get a fresh stamp at each new postal stop. And besides, if it is not an SASE, you probably won't get my card back as I get hundreds of requests a year and I prefer NOT to use my postage stamps to send you one back.
  6. Make sure you have the proper postage on the return envelope. Alaska IS part of the 50 United States so a normal First Class stamp (USA only) will get your envelope back to you. This may sound funny to some, but I have received envelopes with airmail stamps on them. Save your postage stamps and if your envelope is an ounce or less, one First Class stamp will get it back to you.
  7. If you are sending from outside the 50 States, make sure you include one USD (U.S. Dollar) or a properly stamped IRC. Many foreign stations purchase US airmail stamps and will include their SASE using USA postage which works great, too. Just make sure that you put the proper amount on the return envelope. If our postal rates will be going up and it's getting close to the date, always put extra postage on to cover the price increase. I may be on vacation or not have a chance to get your card right back in the mail. I like to refer to this process as using "common cents".
  8. For me anyhow, I ONLY WANT ONE DOLLAR BILL. Often people send me two, one dollar bills. I know that some managers ask for this but for me, if you send me two bucks, you will get one back! One dollar is enough right now to get your QSL card back to you and as much as I appreciate the offer, I will not take the 2nd dollar bill.
  9. When sending a buck in the mail, don't make it obvious. I have always purchased new one dollar bills from the bank for QSL purposes. Why? They are much harder to detect by feel as they are fresh and thin. A used dollar has wrinkles and folds and it much harder to conceal in an envelope. It also helps by putting the dollar(s) inside your SAE or SASE as well. If you can hold up the envelope that you are sending me or any DX station under a light and see that there is a dollar in it, so can someone else. I also tear small pieces of thicker stock paper to put in the envelope to help conceal the buck.
  10. When addressing envelopes, DO NOT put callsigns in the address or return address. Thieves are smart and the callsign itself often times are what they are looking for. You might as well write on the envelope "cash money enclosed" if you put callsigns on it!
  11. Use security envelopes! These are harder to see through due to the way they are made. Yes, they are more expensive but have a few QSL requests at today's return postage rates (often times takes $3 bucks to get a QSL card back from a foreign country) stolen and you have paid for the difference. Cheap insurance in my humble opinion.
  12. I prefer to use European sized return envelopes that allow a bit more room for a larger QSL card. Or stateside, I prefer to use a #10 envelope for the very same reason. Have you ever received a QSL card from W6RO? You don't want a nice QSL card folded I'm sure. They send for the same amount of postage so why not go a bit bigger.
  13. And for me, I have a TON of airmail envelopes so foreign only (outside North America) stations need to only supply their address. This works best if they insert a return address label so I don't have to hand write their address on the return envelope. Again, this is for ME only, per my instructions on A great reason to check instructions first before sending.
  14. If you are sending to a manager, just a simple note of thanks or maybe a bit extra in the envelope for them is not too much to ask. They are not paid to do this great service and if it were not for many of the QSL Managers today, lots of cards would probably go unanswered. Give them a pat on the back when you can.
  15. Last but not least, BE PATIENT!!!! People do have lives and it can take several weeks to get a confirmation back. Relax!!
There are many more suggestions and resources available online for increasing your success rate on getting a QSL card. Today, more people are choosing to do electronic QSL confirmations with either LOTW or E-QSL. I personally support this due to the excessive cost of postage. I do participate in LOTW and someday will again in E-QSL if they ever honor my request to re-active my account. So far, two emails have gone un-answered submitting through their website. I guess there are enough Alaskan stations who already do it. Either way, this is change as time moves forward and we become subjected to modern technology.

Who would have thought just 15 years ago that a DXpedition would be activated from some rare island in the middle of some ocean and you could see your confirmation in the logbook within a few short hours of working them while they are STILL on the island?

The bureau is still in operation but many are feeling the effects of the global economy and some have closed down due to lack of funds. I like the bureau myself as it is a cheap way to get a QSL card but it can take a few years to get them. If you are a patient person, this is another inexpensive way to get a confirmation, assuming the other station particpates. It costs some hams in foreign countries a bit of money to participate so many choose not to.

I enjoy receiving and sending QSL cards and I still have each and every card I have ever received over the last 20+ years that I have been playing on the bands. Not every ham shares my enjoyment of QSL'ing but it has sure been an eye opener working from a location where many people want your QSL card.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Giving Thanks

Nope, it's not a religious holiday but just one of those many things we take for granted. Our fellow ham radio operators and the internet. Take a look at your computer programs and count how many you currently have on your desktop that you downloaded for free. I currently have, just showing on my desktop, 17! Now, add in those programs that you have downloaded and maybe still have on your computer or maybe for whatever reason, deleted. I bet there are many more.

We have become spoiled with being able to surf the internet for programs, downloading them, and having them operational in just minutes. I did this just recently with a program that allowed me to send and receive Olivia. But some dedicated person took time out of their life and busy schedule to create and publish that program.

I can honestly and proudly say that when I find such programs, I have more than once donated a few dollars to the author of a specific program. A cheap way of saying thanks and it helps support any future updates. Even a general note of thanks I'm sure would be appreciated if you are so damn tight you won't spare a few of your dollars even when you use such programs nearly every day.

What's in this post for me? Not a thing! The only code I know is Morse code but in looking at my desktop, it made me realize how many programs I have that came for free with no strings attached, many of which are still supported and get regular updates. So, don't be a LID, give credit where credit is due and next time you see where you can help by donating a few dollars, do it! And lets not forget about websites that support ham radio activity! These people have internet bills for bandwidth usage just like you and I. The more popular a site is, the more bandwidth that is used and the bigger their bill (I have financially donated to these sites as well).

Think about it, a small price to pay for your enjoyment of our great hobby.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What's up with the bands?

Oh, now I know!! Larry, N1TX (KL2R) got me hooked on this website.

It's very interesting to see the correlation between an increase in solar wind and absorption. I now follow this website almost daily. Living up north is already challenging but this is a great tool to use when it comes to deciding if I'm going to play in the shack or if I'm going to do something else. This explains why I'm not hearing much tonight on the bands. After checking out HAARPs Riometer, it's always off to! The numbers say it all and just confirms that I need to partake in some other project. Oh, and a final number check tells me that the SFI (Solar Flux Index) is 68, the A index is 22 and the K index is 1. Yep, grabbing my I-touch and heading to a new location normally called the living room to be socialiable. Wonder what's on TV?? Time to listen to Daughtry's new album, again. If you have not listened to it, it ROCKS!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

July 21st, Auroral Propagation

Many spots on 6 and 10 meters here but only heard K7EK beacon in CN87 at my QTH on 10 meters.

Bands are rough due to the absorption and auroral activity.

As far as 6 meters, Garth, VE8NSD, has a new antenna up and it sure is working great for him. Heard him very strong on 6 meters, 50.125. Garth has been a solid performer into BP53 so far this season.

And the aurora, if visible, would be nice tonight I'm sure.

Monday, July 20, 2009

/ Beacons

Just tonight, I happened to tune down to 28.400 and I heard a ham talking to a few others. I did not catch his callsign but I really didn't care as I actually heard someone talking on 10 meters! Band is open, yes!! So, I do what I normally do, tune down to the beacon portion of the band to see what I can hear.

As I began tuning, it was obvious that the band was open into Canada, FL, LA, GA, and even into WA on the west coast. Not really strong beacons but easily copied. I began to do what I normally do, spotting them on the DXCLUSTER. I do this because I want anyone watching the cluster to know that the band is open into Alaska in hopes they turn their antennas northward. The opening lasted from roughly 0450z to about 0510z and the last beacon heard was WA4ZKO located in EM78.

During that time, I flipped from CW to the beacon portion of the band and up to the SSB portion. I called CQ on 28405 and then went down to 28400 and called several times. The short of it, our 4 hour time difference to the east coast just bites. I have experienced this more than once with the band being open when the rest of the world is asleep. And oddly enough, the band really does not open during the weekends when most people stay up late. I like to refer to these midweek openings as, "crock-a-gation". It's a crock that ten meters opens when it is the worst possible time but thankfully, I have the beacons to listen for and spot. And it's not uncommon to hear some activity on 6 meters during these types of openings.

For now, I will continue to hope that someday I can experience a multi hour band opening on 10 meters and work many hams in many states. I have heard the long time Alaskan stations up here talk about the exciting band openings with wall to wall signals for hours on end. I stand ready, ready to grab my microphone and my key and work as many hams as possible when that day comes. But until then, at least I have the beacons to keep me company when nobody else is around.

Oh, and a pet peeve of mine, why have a beacon if it does not broadcast the grid square?
There are so many that just transmit their callsign and some other odd and end stuff. And why have a list of beacons without the grid square information? With callsigns today not being representative of their call areas, I think this would be a good practice.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Where it all began...

Timeline: Mid 70's

My introduction to radios started out as an early teenager, if not earlier. I was a JR Fireman at the time and my first real experience of talking on radios was being a dispatcher for the Marblehead Fire Department in Marblehead, Ohio. I rode my bike to the fire station and if I did not make any of the equipment leaving the station, I manned the radio. This was my first real introduction to a "callsign" if you will, as the Marblehead Fire Department's issued FCC "callsign" was KQG605. I would log all of the radio traffic on the dispatch log with times and would assist as needed passing messages via the telephone. (
I would also give the 6pm pager test, so my fear of talking on the radio was short lived)

Timeline: Early 80's

Many of my friends were using CB radios to communicate. I purchased a mobile radio and was introduced to SSB. And I also got my first experience with "shooting skip" as I talked with many other CBers outside of my home state. Being able to talk across the country was just amazing to me. It was not the first time I heard "DX" as our low band frequencies for fire and EMS were on 33 MHz. It was not uncommon to hear other fire departments being toned to calls, many of which I had never heard before. And I knew they were west of Ohio, due to the time difference when they gave a time for whatever reason. I also remember hearing some closer "skip" as I would hear a police dispatcher who was from southern Ohio often times when the band would open. My mobile passion turned into a "I need to have a radio at home" passion and my first base station was purchased, a President Washington.

Soon afterwards, I found out that antennas make a world of difference and so I went forth and purchased a Super Scanner CB antenna. To this day, I think that was the neatest antenna and if I had it still, I would convert it for the ham bands.

The Super Scanner antenna was neat because I could direct my transmission one of four different ways. I had one "leg" or element pointed to the north, one leg pointed to the SE and one to the SW. I could also activate all of the elements and it would transmit as a ground plane in all directions. Being so far north, most of my chatting or DX'ing was with stations to the south, but I did have a few friends up in Canada and Michigan that I would talk with. Living on Lake Erie made for some good propagation, and shooting across the water made it easy to talk with others well over 25-50 miles away.

Timeline: 1987

One of my good friends, Don Roeser (KF8FE), whom I met on the CB radio, informed me of Novice Enhancement. Don laughingly told me that if I wanted to chat with him, I had better get my Ham Radio license. So, in a conversation with my mother one day, she told me that she knew a very nice person who she thought was a ham radio operator. He had a large antenna at his house and he lived only a few blocks away. So, I got up the nerve, knocked on his door one day, and that would be the day that started my ham radio venture. This person was Ralph Metheny, WA8GAK. Ralph took me in and we sat down in his shack. I'm sure my expression said it all, as I was nearly speechless. Ralph had an Icom radio and he was listening to the Maritime Mobile Service Net. At the time, I believe it was on 14.313. Ralph checked into the net (I believe Ralph would fill in as a net control while in Ohio during the summer and Florida during the winters) and I knew that this was a hobby I just HAD to do!! Ralph gave me the information for the ARRL (American Radio Relay League). Since this was before the internet boom, I took a coupon that Ralph gave me an I ordered up Tune in the World with Ham Radio book and the 5 wpm cassette tape that would teach me Morse code. I still have my actual book as viewed in this photograph.

I worked at a local water plant, so I spent my evenings walking around listening to my code tape, learning 5 wpm on my portable cassette player. Then in December of 1987, I made the trek to Fremont, Ohio. There I took my Novice exam on December 12, 1987. I passed my Morse code exam with 100 + perfect copy on my characters and also I correctly answered 10 out 10 questions about what had been sent. I passed my written theory test just a few days later on December 14th, 1987. I scored a 96% missing only one question. I was on a roll and I went on to pass my Technician class exam on Jan 9th, 1988 by correctly answering 25 out of 25 questions. I had a bit of extra time as it took at least 6 weeks to get your original license (again, no internet) and there had been a problem with my original 610 form. So, it was resubmitted and I decided to take the extra time to study for my General Class license.

My General Class license was a bit harder as I did not get my 13 wpm code on the first attempt. I did pass my theory on February 7th, 1988 in Elyria, Ohio. I then continued to work on my 13 wpm (at this time, I had just received my Novice license in the mail landing the callsign of KB8DVT). I headed to Maumee, Ohio and passed my 13 wpm code test on Feburary 13th, 1988 answering all 10 questions correctly.

I had some great encouragement from friends, especially Don, KF8FE (at the time, his callsign was N8JFZ). I decided to jump right into my Advanced Class license studying. I needed a hand with the saturated electronic theory, so I asked for the assistance of another ham friend, Gary Fiber (now K8IZ). I headed to Port Clinton and spent some time with Gary as he helped explain the electronic theory questions to me. After lots of simple explanation, I went on to pass my Advanced Class license exam on March 12th, 1988. I missed 3 out of the 50 quesitons asked landing a final score of 94%. Yep, I was happy. Now it was time to focus on the 20 wpm and the Extra Class exam. I was not going alone though. I took the opportunity to push my old friend Don to upgrade as well. Together we both upgraded and I landed my Extra Class license in April or May of 1988 (can't seem to find my notes or my Extra Class study book where I made notes of my progress). Either way, I made it to the top and while on the way, I opted to change my callsign when I passed my Advanced Class license. My licenses finally caught up with my test taking and I received the callsign KE8RO. I thought this was a good CW callsign and I had worked the Queen Mary several times, W6RO and I just liked that darn suffix.

I kept my 2x2 callsign until moving to Alaska in 2003. Rather than signing /KL7 all the time, I decided to apply for a vanity callsign. I enjoyed sending my 8land callsign for so many years, so I decided I wanted a KL8 to signify being from the 8th call area. I wanted KL8RO, but figured after sending KE8RO for so many years, I would get into the heat of the moment and send my old callsign rather than KL8RO. I enjoyed DX'ing and I thought why not KL8DX? I applied for that as my first choice and the rest is history.

Little did I know the confusion KL8DX would cause when I got on the air. Seemed I was immediately confused with KL7DX, for good reason. I had even considered changing my callsign again but I thought better of it. It took more than a year and a half of working in many of the major contests before hams started listening for the number in the callsign. After a few years of operating, I still get confused with KL7DX, but not nearly as often. And to top it off, I have had the privilege of operating the KL7DX callsign on RTTY.

My wife studied and passed her tests, earning the callsign of KL1VB on January of 2007. She changed her callsign to KL8SU, and operates her 2 meter / 440 radio when we head out into the backcountry on our ATV's and when she is mobile. I still have hopes that my youngest daughter will someday have the time to study and obtain her license. The interest is there, just her college studies, work, and her travels don't leave much time.

It sure has been a fun journey from my very first shack, which was in my bedroom of my parents house back in Lakeside, Ohio. My very first rig was the brand new Icom 735.

This radio was on the inside front cover of my Tune in the World with Ham Radio study guide. I fell in love with that radio as soon as I cracked that book open. I have been an avid Icom fan ever since, owning a IC-737A, IC-765 and my current rigs IC-756PRO and IC-751A. Here you can see my Icom 735 along with my Icom 28-H 2 meter radio. Also seen in this photograph is my Ameritron AL-80A amplifier and my Commodore computer with disk drive and PK64 interface for packet. Before the internet hit it big, I would access the BBS, N8FIS, in Fremont, Ohio. I also would use DX Clusters in Michigan, and to either side of my old QTH in Toledo or Cleveland. I at one time had my own DX Cluster with hopes of connecting the nodes between Cleveland and Toledo but I just did not have the elevation to make it a reliable connection. I've been DX'ing ever since and more recently, starting to dabble in contesting. I have met a great group of contesters here in Alaska and they have been very helpful in helping this contesting greenhorn. I have a long way to go, but recently during Field Day, I made the trip to KL2R north of Fairbanks. This was my first group setting and I had the time of my life (more on this in a seperate thread). I have high hopes to operate from KL2R many more times and I hope to head to Willow to meet with with AL1G and the gang down there along with making the drive down Big Lake and to see WL7O and KL7OU's station. I then hope to head to KL7RA and meeting Rich and the contest crew personally.

Operating from Alaska is very different than operating from Ohio. It's not uncommon to get pile-ups when you call CQ on the bands. This has been something new for me and I'm learning to manage such things. Also, the propagation is extremely challenging. I currently operate CW, RTTY, PSK, SSTV, and SSB. I enjoy giving out Alaska to those that need it but I also enjoy the few and far between ragchews.

Now you know where it all began.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


I have to admit, I love RTTY but I also love summer. We will be headed into fall next month and my heart was into starting the NAQP RTTY contest today but with the band conditions and feeling the warm summer breeze coming into the shack, I threw in the towel. I have all winter to play radio and work the contests but now that the wildland fire smoke has moved out and the sunshine has returned, I can't bring myself to park in the shack, even for 10 hours. Sad maybe but when our winters are as long as Alaska winters are, I need to enjoy the outdoors when I can. I did make a few contacts on 10 meters and even more on 15 meters. There is more to life than radio, especially during the summer season. I must admit, if the contacts were flowing at a rate of 100 per hour, I would stick it out. My ATV and the outdoors are calling me so away I go on another adventure but that's the beauty of ham radio, it's always here when I need it.

Friday, July 17, 2009

ARS KL8DX & knowing the CODE

CW - Challenging Would be an understatement but I have always enjoyed this mode. CW or Morse code has always been a favorite mode of mine. I was really introduced to CW when I first went after my license. CW was a requirement to get your Amateur Radio license but has since been relaxed. I had to learn 5 wpm (Words Per Minute), 13 wpm, and finally 20 wpm. With the help of my CW Elmer, K8QWY, I have grown to really enjoy this mode of communication. In the last year or so, I have taken a liking to using a Straight Key for Morse code. I joined up with the SKCC, or Straight Key Century Club and it has sparked my interest in sending CW as many operators did in the early days. I take much enjoyment sending CW with my Navy Flameproof key but I also enjoy using my electronic keyers.

As we experience new things on the internet (such as blogging) we find things we enjoy and often times leave them behind. I have enjoyed using Morse code for well over 20 years now and even though we experience so many changes in electronics and science, Morse remains the same great mode of communication and often times will work when modern modes don't. I have achieved several different awards that would not have been possible without the knowledge of Morse code. I have worked many new countries that I have only worked on Morse code. I have worked (talked to) stations on Morse code when a SSB (voice) signal could not be heard. Anyone can hook up a computer to an interface and operate any digital mode available today. Not everyone can send and receive Morse code without the assistance of a computer and software.

My blogging may come and go but I'm willing to put money on the fact that I will be operating CW until the day I die. I'm not a great or fast operator but the bottom of the bands are what I listen to first. I live for that Continuous Wave of propagation so I can surf my small signal all over the globe.