W0ZSW goes to 24 hour service

W0ZSW has a 24/7 schedule now, replacing the old daytime-only schedule.  Please be respectful of all other users by returning controls like RF Gain and Split to their normal positions before you log off.  Also, please use the lowest power level needed for all transmissions to avoid interference to other electronic equipment at the station location.  If interference remains minimal, we can keep the station in operation full-time.

TS-480 close up.
TS-480 close up.

W0ZSW scheduled maintenance

W0ZSW will be down for scheduled maintenance on Friday morning, 18 November 2016.  The station’s power supply will be replaced and testing will be completed in time for the station to return to service for ARRL November Phone Sweepstakes weekend.

Accessibility Improved at W0EQO

Users connecting to W0EQO will now hear the receiver audio immediately instead having to find and toggle the power button on the graphical user interface. While there are keystroke commands for the basic functions used in operation of the RCForb software, there is no such command for the radio’s power switch. That meant that JAWS users had to use a tedious process of trying to find the button labeled PWR with the JAWS cursor.

Now when you connect the radio is already running.

W0EQO is back!

Thanks to antenna wranglers Joe, KC0OIO, Keith, AG0H, and Bill, N0CIC, station W0EQO is back in service with a completely new antenna. The new dipole is 300 feet long, fed with 450 ohm ladder line and a current balun.

The crew worked in the rain for at least part of the day, raising the new antenna high on the tower, then running the usual tests to make sure everything is tuning.

We have added 160 meter capability! This isn’t that big a deal in the summertime, but in the winter when the nights are long and the thunderstorms of summer have gone away 160 m serves up some excellent contacts.

Please contact Pat, wa0tda@arrl.net for station transmit permission and to report problems.

Thunderstorm Season Begins in Minnesota



Spring is here in the Northern Hemisphere. That means we will be entering the thunderstorm season in Minnesota – a dangerous time for remote base station equipment due to the risk of damage by lightning strikes. Even nearby lightning that does not strike the station antenna can damage station equipment.

In the case of nearby lightning – within 25 miles of the station – it is prudent to take the station offline and disconnect the antenna. But the hosting of an HF remote is a tricky business, since one cannot always be at the station location to take it offline when lightning strikes are nearby. Sometimes bad weather is predicted, but may not arrive for many hours. If the station owner cannot be available during that time frame, the station may have to be offline for an extended period. Since the service is offered by volunteers who share their stations, we all need to manage expectations. While we want to have the stations available as much as possible, the station manager cannot be available all the time!

You may contact me at wa0tda@arrl.net if you have questions about when the stations are available.

Happy Spring, everyone!