Current Login ROSTER for John's KD5AXU Gulf Coast 6 METER NET.
Click to View/Copy or Capture the 6M Net
Covad-19 is still ravaging the world. So please maintain social
distancing (15' apart) and please wear a face mask in public.
Interested in becomming a Ham Radio Operator?
Free OnLine Web Classes by George W5JDX and Tommy N5ZNO
TV Shows devoted to Ham Radio: TWIT.TV and Ham Radio Now
WANTED: (by private collector)
Military Surplus TBY CRI-43044 Code Talker Backpack Radio
Contact Mike - K5HUM
Hurricane ZETA zaped our Spectrum Node around 9am on 10/29.
(however the web server was up and running again by 4pm cst)
Want to test PEANUT, ECHOLINK, DMR, DSTAR or C4FM?
E-Mail; or, visit my CHAT ROOM 7AM till?
Any News/Links to share?? E-Mail to K5HUM@ARRL.NET
(when this occurs please try again 5 minute later)
(derived from e-Mail, Chats etc)
(Q) I purchased a new Android Tablet, but I cannot find some
my favorite utilities in their new play store. What happened?
(A) A friend suggested using an alternate play store, called Aptoide.
Google to locate it and then install it.
(Q) I heard of an App called DudeStar that can run DStar on a PC without
the expensive Ambe USB Dongle. What am I missing here?
(A) DudeStar comes with an onboard software vocoder to do what the
USB hardware Ambe Dongle does. However, all reports I get indicate
the quality of the audio is lacking. Google DudeStar for more info.
UPDATE: Apparantly DudeStar is now out of business.
(Q) About LINUX once again! opinion please, should I migrate to Linux?
(A) If you have an old Windows XP computer thats collecting dust, Linux
might breath some new usable life into it. Otherwise, unless you are full
of adventure I would stick with Microsoft. But, if you decide to use Linux,
I would recommend it only if your computer is an AMD64 type, and you
install the 64b Linux build. Note: this is soley based on my experiences.
(Q) Regarding LINUX again, I need some help. A Bud gave me a jump
drive with Linux Mint on it. I managed to get Linux installed with the
choice to boot into either Linux or Windows. Unfortunately Linux is like
being dumped into a foreign land where no speaks english.
(A) First off, like you, I am a Linux newbe, but, I can suggest where
you can find help. Mint comes with an IRC Hexchat client that boots directly
into a Linux help forum with lots of helpful volunteers. Next I would search
YouTube for Linux help. Finally you could visit your local public library
for books dealing with Linux. Note, I am still doing all three!
(Q) I visited the CGCHN Video/Voice Internet Chat Room several
times on Wednesday and Sunday evenings, (the two off nights), but no
one is ever there. Does anyone ever use it?
(A) That chat room runs 24/7 on a dedicated machine and its totally
voluntary. Give the URL to any of your Buds and invite them to
meet you there.
(Q) I see you mentioned updating an old XP Desktop to Linux. Is it true
you no longer need to worry about getting a virus with Linux?
(A) First off I am a total newbie with Linux. And, I heard what you
heard. However, with that being said, old habits are hard to break,
so I installed ClamAV and ClamTK for Linux. Both are free and available
to auto download and install using the Linex Terminal with these keys:
$ SUDO APT-GET INSTALL ClamAV
$ SUDO APT-GET INSTALL ClamTk
(however, moving on........)
I also highly recommend this Clipboard storage and retrival utility:
$ SUDO APT-GET INSTALL CLIPIT
and for managing Files, these two:
$ SUDO APT-GET INSTALL KRUSADER
$ SUDO APT-GET INSTALL KATE
(swipe, copy and paste - as required :)
(Q) I have an old PC with Windows XP. It's so out of date I cannot do
much with it, but the drive is still good and it connects ok to the Net.
What do you recommend I do with it?
(A) I would install the free OS Linux Mint 2.0 (see more details).
Mint comes with FireFox (and Chrome if a 64b system); so, you can
still surf with it, do e-mail, plus video and voice chat (if it has a Cam
and Mic - but if not, you can always add that).
(Q) I notice you have been to the East. When did you start?
And, what Lodge were you raised?
(A) I was raised in Albert Pike Lodge #376 at the Masonic Temple on
St Charles Ave, New Orleans. I have been practicing my Obligation
since 1971. Its a great mens fraternity and I highly recommend it to
those that have the interest and time.
(Q) You mention 6 meters a lot, whats so great about it? Isn't it kinda
like CB radio for the Hams who cant copy morse code?
(A) Careful! I got my start with 6 meters back in 1956 using a WW2 surplus
backpack radio called a TBY. 6 meters is great for local chats, but
there are occasional band openings that delight those who love the band.
There is also a weekly Thursday 6M net on 50.15 in my aera with several
dozen regular participants. If interested contact John KD5AXU, the Net Op.
(Q) I see you on EchoLink every day, but always busy. Why be there
if you have no interest in rag chewing?
(A) I basically use Echolink as an "I'm online flag", and
since all Browsers now support video chat (with the WebRTC protocol),
my preferences for both Ham and non Ham ragchews lie there.
(Q) I tried to chat with you on your whereby.com/k5hum site but the
room was locked and you never answered my repeated Knocks??
(A) For security, one reason could be that I require brand new visitors
to have video. Was your Cam on? For established friends or family
I permit voice only; BUT, why use a video medium WITHOUT video??
(Q) As a former professional pilot, whats your take on the reports of
Military pilots regarding UFO's (UAP's) operating off the Atlantic coast?
(A) My best WAG (since they defy known human G force limits as well
as speeds, is that they are robotic controlled observational vehicles similar
to those we recently sent to study Mars. Who they belong to, is up for
speculation; but, as I understand the reports, they have not shown
any agression (yet!).
(Q) I LOVE the SDR web pages, but when will they be coded to transmit?
(A) Excellent question. The problems are two fold. First Hams need to be
licensed by the FCC to transmit. How do you establish that? and, also
prevent unlicensed Hams (John Q public) from having Xmit access?
Maybe some brilliant Ham Coders will figure all that out?
(Q) Mike, reference the SDR previously mentioned, it stopped working
giving an error when the page loads. Thought you should know.
(A) Its a bug, however N4BUT says there are 3 workarounds until the
author fixes the bug. 1) Clear the Browsers CACHE, or 2) run it on a different
Browser, OR 3) use this KiWi build.
(Q) Mike, I wish to try SWL'ng, so where is the best place to shop for
an inexpensive short wave receiver for monitoring the Ham radio bands?
(A) Since you already have a computer (and are online), I would
suggest a Software Defined Radio (or SDR) that you can operate
using your computer. I was just introduces to SDR by a Ham Bud (W1PI)
and I was impressed. Several big upsides are 1) nothing to install,
just click this link N4BUT-SDR and it auto loads just like a Web Page
(just create a Bookmark). And 2) , there is no immediate need for you to
install an antenns. More and more clever and resourceful Hams are running
free SDR Ham Band servers on the Internet. The SDR Web Page above is
reasonably intutive to use and runs on most modern Windows Browsers.
(Q) Why are you such a big promoter of WebRTC? Thats not Ham Radio.
(A) I am a big promoter of people talking with people. How they do it is
less important. However I like free and easy. Two major players in that
arena are WHEREBY.COM (free for 4 users) and JITSI.ORG (totally free
for up to 75 and run by volunteers). Both offer the users autonomy in creating
their own video/voice/chat systems (without needing to buy, download and
install more software). The WebRTC protocol is now built into all
Browsers and its free. Using it is just a matter of chosing a unique
room name and appending it to either of the two WebRTC domains. Here
is one example: HTTP://WHEREBY.COM/K5HUM (which I monitor). Use JITSI similarily as "HTTP://MEET.JIT.SI/YOUR_ROOM_NAME_HERE".
Obviously your Computer must have a Microphone and a Video Cam,
but most Laptops do. Next you must run the Link on your computer, and
share it with your friends or family. An easy way is by e-mail. For more
details or your questions, click my K5HUM link above! Enjoy!
(Q) I would like to become a HAM. Can you offer me some guidance?
(A) If you were local, I could put you in touch with several Hams who
are actively involved in assisting in that process. Otherwise I suggest
you e-mail "arrl.org/licensing-education-training" for guidance. Or, if
you happen to live in a city with a good book store, like Barnes & Noble
look for the ARRL Ham Radio License manual.
(Q) We have a Ham Club 25 miles from your QTH. Consider this
a personal invitation to join us!
(A) Thanks for the invite, unfortunately my time is very limited.
However, I do what I can to help promote local activities, including
Field Days, Ham Fest and participating in Nets. If there is something
special you would like mentioned here, pass it on.
(Q) I know about the paperclip Icon in Peanut that opens your
default Browser showing available rooms, but I'm more interested
in the call letters of Hams currently visiting those Rooms. Ideas?
(A) Yep, add this link http://peanut.pa7lim.nl to your Default
Browser bookmarks. This page will have a panel that shows
Rooms with Active QSO and call letters. With some clever
croping etc you could fit just that panel onto your Desktop.
(Q) Mike, I note that you are finally getting into Linux. What
took you so long? Its a great OS. At this rate how long before
you build a Pi? HiHi
(A) Honestly I moved to Linux so as not to lose the use of two
old Win XP laptops. Plus Linux was free, a BIG incentive.
However, after being thougherly spoiled by Windows 10, I have
no plans to totally migrate to Linux and, at almost 80 years
young, I have no desire to deal with new learning curves.
(Q) Mike, whats the difference between a URL and a HotLink?
And, what does it mean to be a "default " program?
(A) A textural URL must be copied and pasted into the address
window of your Browser in order to view that website. A URL
thats a hotlink (typically one that highlighted or underlined) just
needs a left mouse click to load your default Browser and take
you to that website. Most well written programs sense the HTTP
protocol header and display a URL as a hotlink, saving you time.
A DEFAULT Browser (as an example) is the one that loads from
clicking a URL hotlink. A computer with several Browser allows
you to chose (in its setup) which one becomes the default.
(Q) OK, I converted my old W7 Laptop to Linux Mint, but already
its saying there is a new release but that I should be cautious.
Whats with that?
(A) Welcome to the world of Linux! Typically upgrades are bug
fixes (or so I am told ;) I trust the geeks who create this stuff
and keep all my machines updated - with zero problems so
far! but.........do you feel lucky?? :)
(Q) Mike, what are the steps involved to upgrade an
old XP Computer to Linux?
(A) I am happy to pass on the info I received from G4NZV.
Start by reading this GUIDE
Next, determine if your computer has a 32 or 64 bit OS (likely 32)
then Download the appropriate .ISO file below.
Download 32 BIT LINUX ISO
Download 64 BIT LINUX ISO
(I recommend using a quality 16gb USB stick)
Then Download the Flasher and follow the simple instructions.
I am happy to share what I have learned if you run into issues.
(Q) I heard you recommending a QST subscription to a new Ham on
Peanut the other day. Whats your favorite column?
The one guy I never fail to read is Joel Hallas - W1ZR of "The Doctor
is In" fame. His range of knowhow is truly amazing.
(Q) I heard a rumor that after many years you are switching over
from Windows to Linux Mint?
Thats not totally correct. I am trying to make several old XP
Laptops usable again, without having to spend money for the
latest copies of Windows. Plus a good buddy (G4NZV) is holding
my hand as I venture down this new road. I am still a big Windows
(Q) I heard you say you were not political but you must have an
opinion on the Qanon movement, so OM, what say you?
(A) I just recently heard of it. But let me speak on why I feel we
should listen to our authorities (i.e. those we elect and empower
to represent us). As an Instrument Pilot I was trained to listen to
ATC and follow their guidance without questions. Then, once on
the ground, there were other channels available if questions had
previously arrisen. Marching on active runways or invaiding control
towers would have been considered unacceptable puerile behavior.
(Q) Why are Video chats using WebRTC any different from say
downloading and installing ZOOM?
(A) You actually answered your own question without realizing it.
WebRTC is a protocol that's built in the Browser, (like HTTP or FTP)
which does all the heavy lifting. When you connect to a site that
supports WebRTC, like WHEREBY or MEET.JITSI, the resulting room
is created by the protocol in your Browser, on YOUR computer. In
other words, there is nothing to download or install. WebRTC
creates a dynamic virtual room on your computer, which disappears
when YOU close the room or close your Browser. Your only task is
to pick an unused room name; OR, use another users room name,
and subsequently connect to their room IF its running.
(Q) I know you are a fan of Peanut. I heard its possible to monitor
ALL the chat Rooms to see who is there, but how?
(A) Open this web site (i.e.) the Peanut Dashboard and let it run along
side the Peanut GUI (window) on your active Desktop.
(Q) I heard you remark that you like and use WHEREBY as well
as MEET.JIT for video chats. Can you narrow that down to just
a few pluses and minuses of each?
A WHEREBY room offers a 4 person video/voice/chat free of
charge; 12 users for $10 a month; and 50 guest for $15 a month.
A Chat box is available that allows hot links. Desktop or Application
GUI sharing is available, as well as Recording. There are no user
time limits and Rooms can be locked and registered.
A MEET.JIT room is totally free and can accomodate 75 users with
no time imits; JIT rooms can be password protected, and new visitors
placed in the Lobby (if desired), until approved by the Room Admin.
A Chat box is available that allows hot links. Desktop or Application
sharing is available as well as Recording. There are no user
SPECIAL NOTES: In either case above, rooms are initally created
the moment the specified "URL/ROOMNAME" is entered into a Browser
that supports the WebRTC protocol (and most all Browsers do); the rooms
are dynamic, and close (cease to exist) the moment the last person
in the room leaves. Check out my personal K5HUM WHEREBY room;
or, the Central Gulf Coast Hurricane Net i.e. CGCHN JITSI room.
(Q) Whats so great about this PEANUT Ham program I keep
reading and hearing about?
(A) Well, it matters not if you are a newly minted Ham or an
old timer, Peanut puts the world of communications immediately
at your ingertips, with zero investments in rigs or antennas. You
only need a computer and the Internet; or, an android smart phone.
For more details, and to download Peanut, visit the author
PA7LIM's Website. (yes there is a Windows version too!)
(Q) Mike, you sold me on becoming a Ham. What is the next step?
(A) I would recommend you begin with a Technician Ham License
Study Manual. You can purchase it from the A.R.R.L. Next you need
to locate an ARRL volunteer examiner. A friend Tyrone - N5XES gives
the exams down south, but email him and he can put you in touch
with someone in your neck of the woods.
(Q) Mike, does the English room on Peanut have an administrator?, or
is it un-monitored?, because I have a complaint. Some users now park
there and tie up the room for hours with their personal agendas.
(A) As far as I know the Peanut is self regulated. I think the creator
David - PA7LIM, had no idea how popular Peanut would become.
Currently the use of English, or any other Room, is first come,
first served. But, good HAM deportment has always required that
long QSO's etc, should QSY to other Rooms with less traffic.
(Q) I need several more USB ports on my computer. What is
the simplest way to get them?
(A) The easy way is to purchase an inexpensive multi port USB
Hub. A 5 or 6 port model usually sells on E-Bay or Amazon for
under $10. Plug it into one existing port and get 5 or 6 more.
(Q) I am not a Ham, but I love to chat with lots of new people.
Where can I go to find lots of people?
(A) Great question. Search for a Ham on Telegram who could
steer you in the right direction, his name is Clay, call is W1PI.
Meanwhile, don't give up on becoming a licensed Ham!
(Q) Is there a way to independently control the volumn on Apps
rather than ALL the volumn? I'm running Windows Ten.
(A) Yep. Find and open your Volumn Mixer for your sound card.
Try right clicking the Speaker Icon, bottom right, OR go to the
Control Panel, Hardware & Sound, and select Adjust System
Volumn. There you will find sliders for all active audio.
(Q) Mike, I live on a small 50 acre farm. My Barn is about 1000 feet
away from my house. My WiFi is iffy out there, is there a solution?
(A) Depends; if there is a source of power (light pole ets) between
you and your barn, you could position an inexpensive WiFi repeater.
The task will be protecting it from weather.
(Q) What advice do you have for someone just starting out
with a computer and the Internet?
(A) Above all else, learn to use and ask GOOGLE!
(Q) I need something to work with Adobe PDF files but cannot
afford Adobe. What else is there?
(A) I like two freeware editors, one is called AbleWord and the
other is called Neat Office. I'm told Microsoft was some free stuff
too. Google them to get download details etc.
(Q) I heard you promoting the use of shareware. What are some
shareware utilities you believe are invaluable?
(A) One that I have used for years. Is ClipMagic a free
utility for saving and organizing every item you used COPY on.
(Q) I close the Telegram program (with the X) but it appears
to continue running and receiving calls. How do I actually shut
(A) To completely close Telegram, so its no longer listening,
you must find and click the 3 vert dots on top rt. to reveal
the "Log Out" menu choice and click it.
(Q) Are you behind in updating the CGCHN Web site?
Occasionally I get yesterdays files.
(A) Try reloading your CACHE by pressing Ctrl+F5 when
on the Web Site. Those keys work for most Browsers.
(Q) I just purchased my first W10 tablet but the virtual
keyboard is driving me nutty. I see no USB sockets for
using outboard USB peripherals like a keyboard. Solution?
(A) Most new Tablets come with Bluetooth for adding other
devices like wireless Bluetooth keyboards, mice etc. Small
Bluetooth keyboards can be found on e-Bay or Amazon for
(Q) Do you know of a group of Hams that meet on JITSI?
(A) I do; try HTTPS://MEET.JIT.SI/HAMCAM1 - however
its password protected and I was asked not to publicized it.
So, e-mail or whereby me for the password. And, if you know
of similar gatherings on WebRTC based web sites like JITSI
or WHEREBY (or??) please let me know.
(Q) Mike, since MEET.JIT handles 70 users and WHEREBY has
dropped back from 50 to 4, why are you still using WHEREBY?
(A) I suppose the best I can offer is "brand loyalty", plus I met
several principles at Telenore who have always been helpful.
On top of that I have very little need for more than 4 users and
when I do I simply QSY to MEET.JIT(.)SI
(Q) Mike, I downloaded the Web Server (HFS.EXE) you use and
I can access it on MY Browser, but no one on the Web can reach
it. Can you offer me any clues?
(A) The best I can do is mention what needs to be done at the
beginning. You must forward tcp/ip port 80 thru your Router
and Firewall. This assumes your ISP will allow it. "HOW to do
that" depends on your hardware and operating system, and is
beyond the scope of a simple answer. You might find more
detailed help by Googling "how to port forward" on an XYZ
(Q) What is your objection to DOWNLOADING and INSTALLING
Com Apps for Internet communications? I kinda like ZELLO and
(A) Zello and Telegram are good programs but they both suffer from
the same disadvantages; you must download, install, and register
them. Where as, WHEREBY and JITSI are based on the WebRTC
protocol thats now built into all Browsers, and, are ready to go. Plus,
JITSI allows 75 users, with many useful features, and is open source,
and therefore TOTALLY FREE.
(Q) I heard you mention a new nightly Internet Forum for the Central Gulf
Coast Hurricane Net that meets concurrently while the Net runs. Details?
(A) Yes, visit the CGCHN Forum and if you like it, bookmark the link. You
can invite all your Ham Buds. Note: You will need a functioning CAM
and Mic. the PASSWORD is "CGCHN" if asked.
(Q) I want to video chat with a friend. With the dozens of Apps now
available, what App is FREE and easy to setup and use?
(A) Easy is in the eye of the beholder :) Personally, I like anything
based on the new WebRTC Protocol, (that is now built into most
better Browsers). I dislike any Apps that have to be downloaded
and installed (i.e. SKYPE, ZOOM TELEGRAM etc etc.) Now, if its
just you and a friend (4 is free), I suggest WHEREBY(.)COM/RM_NAME
For large groups (up to 75) I recommend MEET(.)JIT(.)SI/RM_NAME
JIT is open source, so always free, and has lots of nifty features.
(Q) I just purchased a new W10 Laptop that came with Microsofts
new Edge Browser and I love it. So much so I now uses it exclusively
to monitor my video chat room. However, I am so used to running
Chrome for G-Mail I installed it too and run it in the background to
monitor for incoming e-mail. Here is my issue HiHi. I also run Peanut
to chat. If I click on a Ham's call in Peanut it opens QRZ.COM in the
Edge Browser which disrupts my video chat running there. Whats
(A) Install FireFox (or??) and make it your DEFAULT Browser. Now
if you click a Ham call your default will open on top of everything
else. After viewing, close or minimize and you are set to go again.
(Q) Mike, why arent you keeping the CGCHN Web page upto date?
(A) The CGCHN is mainly a co-operative effort by just a few Hams.
As the Admin of the web server I get by with the least of the efforts.
Each Net Controller files a Logon list for that night to our Net Scribe
who inturn tabulates everything and ultimately forwards the active
sheets to me, whereupon I post them on the ARC.TZO.COM server.
Obviously any break in the system causes delays. Before you complain,
please volunteer your help and participation. Please contact W5ORA
(Q) Can you share some of your favorite TV shows that are devoted to
the hobby of Ham Radio?
(A) Sure, I have never found one that I didn't like, so, here are several
that I frequently watch. Please don't be offended if I failed to mention
yours. Just Google "Ham Radio TV shows" for more.
AmateurLogicTV - HamTV - HamRadioNow and TwitTV
(Q) I heard Microsofts new Edge Browser is a clone of Chrome. Have you
used it? and what happened to the CGCHN web site?
(A) Yes, IMHO the new Edge Browser is as good as Googles Chrome if
not a clone. As for the CGCHN web site, I am just the hardware guy, John
- N5JHF was the chief scribe in charge of supplying the daily documents.
John has been down recovering from a Quad Bypass. We hope he will be
returning to his regular activities as soon as he is able.
(Q) I cannot afford Adobe but would like to read and edit PDF files.
What do you recommend for a good FREEWARE PDF editor?
(A) Another Ham Bud recommended something called AbleWord and
Neat Office, both for Windows 10. Between the two you can edit and
convert most formats to PDF etc and vice-versa. AbleWord can be
downloaded HERE and Neat Office can be downloaded HERE
NOTE: Download and install times vary from 5 to 10 minutes.
(Q) I know you now use WHEREBY for video chats but what happened
to MEET.JITSI? It was one of your favorites a while back.
(A) Interesting that your bring that up. JITSI is not only still around
but has dramatically improved. First its still TOTALLY FREE, and like
WHEREBY easy to independently create a room. Plus it has all the
whistels and bells of ZOOM and MEET.
Want more details?, call me in my video chat room above.
(Q) How can I transmit live video from my smart phone "in real time"
to an online friend without any added software or gadgets?
(A) Easy, you and your friend can setup a free video chat room
on WHEREBY (or JITSI). He keeps his room running, then you
open your cells Browser and type in his WHEREBY (or JITSI) chat
room address. Example: My room is HTTP://WHEREBY.COM/K5HUM
Want more details?, call me in my video chat room above.
(Q) Mr HUM, what is your secret for staying online 24/7?
(A) Nothing secret about it, Everything runs on a W10P Dell Laptop
with lots of RAM (8gb) and a BIG 50gb SSD. If the grid goes down the
internal battery keeps the server going, assumming the Net is
still there. The Internet pipe is 100gbps. So, there it is!
Want more details, get me in my chat room.
(Q) Mike, how can I get a page on your ARC web site?
(A) I will consider it but there are some caveats. However
why not run a web server yourself? Meanwhile contact me in
my video/voice chat room on WHEREBY (see below) and tell me
what you have in mind. Bare in mind the ARC index is devoted to
CGCHN and anything else will be a blind subset.
(Q) Mike, I see you post a lot on Quora. Is it worth your time?
(A) The answer to that question is still out there. I was told I
could make money by providing questions that would grab attention
and get lots of replies and likes. I have been active every day for a
month now, asked over 100+ questions and earned a total of
56 cents :) I'm glad I have a nice pension lol
(Q) Why all the noise about Zoom? Google's Meet offers all the same
advantages (video/voice/chat) and is Free for 100 users and 60 minutes!
(A) Good point! My preference for free small get togethers (4 or less)
is still WHEREBY.com. Once you chose a room name thats all anyone
needs to join. And being based on WebRTC it works in any of the current
popular Browsers (Edge,Chrome,FireFox). My room is my Call - K5HUM
Example: copy and paste ( http://whereby.com/k5hum ) into your browser.
(Q) Mike, you are smart enough to know that communicating (chats etc)
over the Internet is NOT Ham Radio. Where is your loyalty?
(A) I adhear to the belief that "Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder".
This reminds me of QRP'ers who enjoy knocking their heads on
brick walls because it feels so good when they stop! :)
So, enjoy whatever floats your boat :)
(Q) Mike, would be greatful if I could send you my W10 Laptop
and have you straighten it out! I'm willing to pay!
(A) There is a 95% probability you can do that yourself with
the W10 "RECOVERY" command. Recovery offers two options,
"Keep your Programs and Data" OR "restore to like new",
(the latter option is used by resellers).
(Q) Mike, where are you originally from?
(A) I was born and raised in the Big Easy (Gentilly). Went to
Saint James, Saint Aloysius, Delgado & LSUNO. Became a Commercial
Pilot and moved to Diamondhead (with a runway in back yard).
Ten years later, when age caught up with me, we moved to
a fishing camp in Lake Catherine. Finally a heart attack brought
me to the North Shore (Abita Springs) where I reside today ;)
If you think you know me, please say Hello
(Q) Mike, I follow you on Quora but notice you cherry pick the questions
you answer. How come?
(A) I tend to avoid questions that could easily be asked of Google
or Bing etc, as well as questions that simply make no sense. Then
I only reply to questions that I believe I know the answers too :)
"It's better to remain silent & be thought a fool, than to open mouth
& remove all doubt" -Abe Lincoln-
(Q) Whats the best software to run Ham Digital modes on my Computer?
(A) Here is a link to David PA7LIM popular Digital Windows Programs,
where you can download both BlueDV and PEANUT.
The BlueDV Windows program can run Dstar, DMR and Fusion (C4FM).
Note: PEANUT only requires a PC with Internet and a soundcard but
BlueDV will require a USB Digital Transcoder
Interested in WebSDR? Try NA5B HF Web Receiver
(Q) I am a new DStar user who is mostly interested in QSO's.
I see dozens of MODES indicated by letters like A,B and C etc.
Can you suggest a good Dstar Reflector and Mode for Chats?
(A) Yes, it is a bit confusing. Try REF001C and REF030C for starters.
This Web page may offer some heads up on DStar Reflectors and their locations.
(Q) What's your opinion on all the emphasis on Digital Modes
today, such as DMR, dSTAR and C4FM? Good? Bad? Or??
(A) I am an old ham from the days of simple Amplitude Modulation.
So, I can recall the snide comments when frequency modulation and
Donald Duck (SSB) arrived. Hams have always been innovators.
I like how the digital world has integrated into personal computers.
An obvious upside is I no longer need a cumbersome antenna,
just an Internet connection, which everyone has today! (see next)
(Q) Wooooo! Why not just talk on cell phones? Where are the
challenges, like acquiring WAS, WAC, and WAB certificates??
(A) Well, how about WAM (worked all modes?) I believe Ham
Radio is still evolving. Who knows whats next? Maybe Hams
will one day load the ionosphere with trackons that carry
communications around the globe with no infrastructure.
-=QST=- It is my sad duty to report the recent passing of a good friend
Don Devine - KC1RX from Covad-19. Don and I explored every new
chat/video platform that appeared over the last 30 years. May he RIP.
(Q) Mike, my Browser is stuck on last weeks ARC.etc Web Page!!
(A) When on ARC.TZO.COM force a refresh using Ctrl+F5
(Q) I see you run a small home Web Server. Is it something
anyone can do? Or, should I pay and use a Web Provider?
(A) Yes, anyone can do it. There are two basic ways to go about
it; use a drag and drop web builder like WEBS, OR, if you
feel proficient in HTML roll your own using a free windows server
like that found HERE. However, I will caution that running
a 24/7 Web Server from my QTH is a true labor of love :)
(Q) With all the new free video chats avaible today why are
you so strong on this WHEREBY company?
(A) Thats a fair question. I guess because it flat works, with
good video and audio quality. But more importantly, because
its based on WebRTC, a proven protocol thats BUILT INTO EVERY
BROWSER (i.e. there is NO APP to D/L or INSTALL, or REGISTER,
and gives users IMMEDIATE access by simply typing WHEREBY
into their Browser with their selected room ID. Click
HERE to see it work or ask questions (i.e. HTTP://WWW.WHEREBY.COM/K5HUM).
(Q) I heard a rumor that you are a W10 expert - ok so much
for buttering you up :) I have wierd problem, can you help?
(A) As a Mason I am obligated to help a Brother, but it takes
some trust on your part. IOW, I will need remote access to
your computer. This is easily and safely done with an App
called TeamViewer. You will need to download and run it then
give me the ID and password it generates when you run it.
We can first communicate by Phone, EchoLink, PEANUT,
or WWW.WHEREBY.COM/K5HUM (video, voice and text).
(Q) I have been a Ham most of my life and truly enjoy the
hobby. Unfortunately at my age I am no able to climb towers
and put up antennas. However, I love ragchewing. Whats an
old elmer to do to stay active?
(A) First, you are not alone. The average age of Hams today is
climbing. Half of my interest is the technology. Have you tried
any of the new hybred on-line or internet modes? I recommend
PEANUT for starters. Its FREE and can run on any Internet device
without extra hardware. There are many VHF/UHF REPEATERS
available for the HT and mobil enthusiast. For more details and
free software go here www.pa7lim.nl
(Q) What is involved in running a home Web Server?
(A) Right off its a thankless job that requires special port 80 server
software to run a conventional site. Next, a solid knowledge of ports,
firewalls, and a willingness to keep a machine running 24/7.
(Q) How is the sub domain "ARC.TZO.COM' able to support Web Pages
other than the Central Gulf Coast Hurricane Net (CGCHN)???
(A) The CGCHN holds the INDEX position, every other page is a sub page
to that Index. To reach the sub pages, one must know the exact file name
and append it to the sub domain url as in ARC.TZO.COM/6M_NET.TXT
This offers some security, minimizes the traffic load on the server, and
allows for other (more?) pages to run on the server.
(Q) Many HAM's today seems to hold an EXTRA Class Ticket diluting
what was once considered a special ranking. Whats your opinion?
(A) Careful! I hold an Extra Ticket HiHi, but since you asked for my
opinion, I think the criterion for the Extra Ticket should be changed
to length of service and given without examination. Example, the
General should be given on request, the Advanced after 5 years of
unblemished service, and the Extra after 10 years. The Technician
should be the tough exam with more on Digital and SHF and given
ALL privileges. My reasoning is based on the fool (idiot?) proof design
of modern Ham Rigs, which 99% of new Hams purchase, as opposed to
those (the Technicians) who want to build. Comments anyone??
(Q) What do you honestly think about the possibility of life in other
(A) I am open to the possibility.
(Q) Your opinion?? What caused the Myan's to suddenly abandon their
magnificent cities in central america?
(A) The common answer is dieases, droughts, lack of foods, etc but
many find those answers un satisfactory. I fall in that latter group.
(Q) The Ham who created BlueDV for Windows did a great job. Once I
setup DMR, DSTAR and C4FM and have them all Linked - is there a
way to quickly change which mode transmits without re-linking??
(A) I agree about DlueDV. I suggest sending David a small token$
of appreciation. As for changing the xmit default, just click the desired
xmit mode in the box right above the green jewels.
(Q) Why are you still using that TZO sub domain service for your
Web pages, when FQDN's are so inexpensive today?
(A) I guess old habits are hard to break?
(Q) Your Web Site was offline for several hours yesterday. What
happened? Nothing serious I hope?
(A) The big downside to operating a home server is you are subject
to the dependability of the ISP. Mine was back online in two hours.
(Q) QUORA is loaded with weird questions and poor grammar. However
I enjoy your replies. So, how do you pick the questions you answer?
(A) The poor grammar is immaterial if I sense the question is legit.
Typically I only answer one out of every five sent to me, and then
only when I feel I can contribute accurately and meaningfully.
(Q) What does, and does not, constitute Ham Radio communications?
(A) This (still raging) debate stems from purist who insist if RF is
not the principle medium it cannot be called RADIO. Since the goal
is still communication, its my opinion these discussions are
fun and perhaps interesting, but serve no useful purpose.
(Q) Mike whats the big deal with all these Digital modes?
(A) Big deals?? hihi, a few are: aside from crystal clear audio,
unique channels (called Rooms), with many divided by interest
and locations, and you can tell from the "Last Heard" list who
was recently using the system.
(Q) What is an Easter Egg as it relates to Web Pages?
(A) Typically it referrs to harmless undocumented, funny, or useful
links buried in Web Pages.
(Q) Is there a preferred way in Windows to switch xmit modes using
PA7LIM's BlueDV software?
(A) I simply click the mode slider in the GUI to OFF then ON. The
only downside I'm aware of is having to re-link the connection.
(Q) Since you like Cosmology, do you think the universe has
(A) No, I subscribe to an infinite flat universe as opposed to one where
if you travel long enough you will return to where you started.
(Q) In our recent chat about Time Travel you suggested that
the grandfather paradox was not necessarily valid. We broke
off before you defended that assertion. So please elaborate?
(A) What if any changes made in the past simply forked into
another parallel reality??
(Q) How can I determine the optimum spot to place my router
and or WiFi box in my great room for the strongest signal
from my provider?
(A) I walk around the room with a cheap WiFi detector. Signal
penetration is indicated by the number of green led's that glow.
E-Bay sells two: IoGear and E-Trust
(Q) Mike, this Web Page is drab and unimaginative and needs
some serious attention to be brightened up.
(A) If you are volunteering I will take any help I can get! So???
(Q) I see you frequently listed on PEANUT'S Last Heard
Dashboard; I call but never a reply. Is there a best time?
(A) Sorry about that. EMail and lets schedule, or try EchoLink.
(Q) I'm hearing a lot of mention about "4G-W2 Mobile Radios"
Can you elaborate more? Advantages etc?
(A) Sorry, I'm not up to speed on that but I have a friend
(Clay - W1PI) who probably is. Get his e-mail from QRZ.COM
or find him on Zello where he runs an Amateur Radio Group.
(Q) What are your available modes of communication aside from
the Radio Ham Bands or the Landline?
(A) For Ham friends I'm available vi the following methods:
EchoLink(K5HUM), DStar(04C), DMR, FUSION(XLX307),
PEANUT(ENGLISH) and for everyone: WhereBy
(Q) Consider this a personal invitation to attend our NEXT Ham Fess!
Hopefully by then the Covad-19 pandemic will be behind us.
(A) Thanks! Believe me, I would love to go, so I am going to make a
bigger effort. When I was younger I also never missed local Field Day's.
(Q) I heard you provide free basic web pages to other Hams. How
do I get get in on that?
(A) What I do is offer a page off my existing sub domain. Send me
an idea of what you have in mind, and I will consider it, but I make no
promises. However, my offer is not restricted to only licensed Hams.
NOTE: Licensed Ham are also elegible for various FREE services,
including Web Pages, at QSL.NET
(Q) The ARRL's QST magazine just promoted ZOOM for groups to
meet to comply with mandated social distancing due to the COVAD
epidemic. This sounds like a natural for the Hurricane Net that continues
to lose Net Controllers. So, what do you think?
(A) I am open to the idea but I am only the WebMaster for the Net,
not their parliamentarian. Some of the Net principles might resist
the idea because its NOT ham radio. I will go with the consensus.
(Q) What do you recommend for protection against malware etc?
(A) Aside from ALWAYS keeping your operating system up to date,
(and avoiding the dark web), for 3rd party scanners I like BitDefender.
Digital/Repeater Links Contributed by Ian G3ZHI.
(Q) Can you suggest a few Windows Utilities that you cannot live without?
(A) I like ClipMate (for storing and organizing everything you Copy with
Ctrl-C), and UltraEdit (a do it all file editor). Both are Shareware, can be
found on the Web, and definitely worth the coins (IMHO).
(Q) Do you have a favorite Web Browser??
(A) I am liking the new Microsoft Edge browser more and more, especially
for video; but I also use Chrome (exclusively for e-mail), Firefox and Opera.
(Q) Do you have a favorite Ham chat client on the Internet? Non Ham??
(A) I like PEANUT, and frequently can be found in the English room
otherwise, I like ZELLO for voice and ZOOM for general video, but
my favorite PRIVATE video chat app is WHEREBY because it easiest for people to use, requiring no special software, only a modern Web Browser (assuming they have a Cam and Mic).
(Q) I would also like to run a home based Web Server like you.
Is it complicated? What would you recommend?
(A) First you need to be well versed in arcane subjects like port
forwarding, DNS, TCP/IP, Routers, and Firewalls. Then a good
knowledge of scripting language (minimally HTML) and PHP and
PERL. Next is associated cost with hardware platforms, Internet
providers, and long hours. Oh, did I mention getting a UPS?
My frank advice is to find a 3rd party WYSIWYG Web Site Provider
like GoDaddy etc. HOWEVER, to answer your question, I have
used many (like KeyFocus and Abyss to name a few), now I am
obeying the KISS rule, and using a small simple Server known
as the HTTP File Server.
(Q) Mike, my W10 Laptop did an MS upgrade and never recovered.
It locked up. Before I take it to a shop, can you HELP?
(A) Sometimes those Windows updates end poorly. To regain
control of the operating system, unplug any power pack then
carefully remove the battery, wait 15 seconds, then replace the
battery and try rebooting normally. 99% of the time, it will.
(Q) Mike, we are relocating and I would like to find a good home
for our dog. He is affectionate and gets along well with all.
(A) Unfortunately we already have four. Before you consider
the SPCA, try running an Ad in a local paper. We love dogs and
wish we could take him in; however, we will ask around.
(Q) Why must you repost my questions to you?
(A) The volumn of messages I get is quite low so it isn't a
problem plus, and being retired, it gives me something to
do. However, what goes here is selected for the possibility
of broader interest, and, my wife likes to play editor.
(Q) Mike, how about sharing a few of your favorite Web sites?
(A) Sure, glad to. Here are a few that I can recall from memory.
For a generic check of your ISP speed try https://fast.com
To quickly clear your Browsers desktop click ABOUT:BLANK
To find your current IP address click checkip.dyndns.org
To see who currently has an IP click IP assignment and enter the IP.
(Q) Mike, when video chating I saw a big round analog clock on your
monitor. Whats the URL for that??
(A) There are likely many but i like this Clock
Join the ARRL "QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo" beginning Aug 7
Get all the Details Here then you must Register to participate.
(Link Contributed by Don KC1RX)
(Q) Mike, despite your admonitions against it, would you help
me setup a small home web server like yours??
(A) The best I can offer is to do some screen sharing to give you
insights as to how I am setup. If that interest you, contact me vi
the "Ask or Tell Mike" link down below
(Q) I see you echo a lot of questions and answers here that readers
ask you on the Quora.com web site. Are you paid by Quora?
(A) No, its purely ProBono.
(Q) Why are you hung up on WebRTC for chats? (i.e. WHEREBY)
A lot of users do not have CAMs or want to use them.
(A) Being lazy I like FULL duplex audio (i.e. no click or touch or
push to talk). Next, Cams are NOT required; so, if texting is your
thing, you can do just that. Then, there is screen sharing.
(Q) Is there a way to hear what I sound like when using the BlueDV
(A) Yes, for Dstar reflectors try linking using the E (echo) mode. For
Fusion, look for the PARROT reflector. Transmit and count to 5 and
the reflector will echo back what you said. Adjust accordingly.
Got a Question, Comment or Contribution? Ask or Tell Mike!
Help testing your PEANUT, ECHOLINK, DMR, DSTAR or C4FM?
E-Mail (see below); or, visit my CHAT ROOM
Any News/Links to share?? E-Mail to K5HUM@ARRL.NET
(when this occurs please try again 5 minute later)