ShopTalk Sunday: Survival Radio – ATS-25 School

Today, we’re going to turn you into a competent basic radio operator.  It may be a much longer report than usual, but it’s a four-day weekend for many, so what the hell, right?

Much of this morning’s discussion will apply to radios other than the ATS-25 (and its many variants) that may be purchased on eBay or via Amazon.  The biggest part of any “radio success” is always the operator, closely followed by the antenna and time of use.  After that, dumb luck figures in, too.  Bringing up the tail-end is the actual radio itself.

HF radio bands begin at 3 MHz and span upward to 30 MHz.  Above this, you get into VHF, and over 300 MHz you’re into UHF.  The part below 3 MHz down to the bottom of the AM broadcast band is the Medium Wave (MW) band.

The lower bands tend to be noisier, especially in the summer months due to heat lightning.  Winter nights though, bands quiet down.  Working DX (distant) stations is extremely enjoyable here.  Summers are fun, too.  However, you’ll be using the higher bands (above 5-6 MHz) most of the time during daylight.

In the winter, even a moderate receiver on the low bands with average sensitivity (-125 dBm for example) can be satisfactory.  On the high bands, manufacturers know sensitivity and selectivity matter.  So, the extremely good (many times the price of an ATS-25) professional grade receivers will sniff down to as low as -146 dBm.  Exotic preamplifiers and high gain (Yagi or dish) antennas rule up in the VHF region where line-iof-sight and noise figures become a preoccupation.

But I digress.  Put your ears on now and pay attention.  We’ll begin with the basics first….

An Operational Context

As an aware human, you no doubt realize there is a solid chance the world could blow itself to smithereens any second.  Or, one of the belligerent nations (which sadly includes us) could decide pre-emptively to launch cyber warfare with the objective of taking down the Internet.

These are not simple “prepping problems” to address.

Nuclear War prepping includes reading Kearney on Nuclear War Survival Skills ($1.99 on Amazon for Kindle). Cyber warfare involves having a workable strategy to ensure you can pay your bills, put a little food on the table, and pay property taxes, all while defending yourself and loved ones from…whatever.

Regardless of the way Future unrolls before us, the “high ground” is Communications.  We cannot navigate the coming shit storm unless we have a pretty good idea where the adversaries are, who’s planning what and have skills to minimize our risks.

Strangely, most people seem to get more excited about “talking on a radio” than learning the art of concentrated, focused, listening with intent.

There’s a great deal of focus here on the “art of electronic intelligence” (including how to design and build your own home intelligence platform) in the Peoplenomics archives.

Before we get into specifics of owning and using a reasonably inexpensive shortwave (and more) receiver like the ATS-25, we need to begin with our contexts and from this evolve our “use cases.”

Planning for Calamity

A reader scolded us recently for spending so much time on global affairs.  “People are much more likely to suffer from a hurricane coming ashore, extreme weather like tornadoes, and even perhaps earthquakes.”  Which is absolutely correct.  But just one (rare) world war could be terminal.

Which is why the shortwave (and other band) radios are really your third (and maybe fourth) lines of defense.

The first line of electronic defense is the “electronics in front of you.”  This includes your phone being set up to receive push notifications from one of the weather sites and even going so far as to also follow one or two news channels.  Not long bursts of talk shows, or anything like that.  No, just the short two- or three-minute news summaries that typically roll by on AM news stations at the top and bottom of each hour.  Basic awareness.

In the car, where we assume you don’t text and drive, there’s the car radio.  Have you deliberately filtered all the stations in your area down to the one (or two) that have the best news, traffic, and weather? Days and nights? Summer and winter?   Sometimes, one station in a big metro area is great in the morning commute but manages to get sucky in the afternoon.

With the phone/LT/car sorted out purely for their information content, the next prepping/survival radio is a competent NOAA All-Hazards Radio.  This should be in use 24/7 in your home.  Plugged into the wall, of course, but also checked for battery back-up twice a year when checking your home’s smoke/fire detectors.

These are just some basic competences in living a survivable lifestyle, but like they say in football: Most of the game comes down to “blocking and tackling.”  Having a home/family meet-up plan is another “should be basic” concept to have ironed out.

Constructing a Gap Analysis

This may seem a bit pedantic – since I will be teaching you how to set up a competent radio monitoring plan – but I can’t count the number of people who “fall in love with the idea of a thing” and promptly waste their whole investment of time and learning because of boredom.

An aside here:

Living on my sailboat for more than a decade, it always struck me that typical “stink potters” (powerboaters) would get into boating for a few years and then get out of what’s a wonderful hobby.  The reason, near as I could figure, was that over time, spending all that time on the business end of a varnishing/brightwork brush, applying several coats isn’t what they thought boating would be all about.

Which is why, on Friday’s after work, I’d be off on a fresh adventure (new port every weekend) while the typical short-term burnout candidates were sanding teak.  It was really quite remarkable.

Now we get to the point:  If you are going to get into serious radio use, the “Number-One Thing” is to have an idea about what you want to listen to.

In this article (and another follow-on piece on setting up a software defined radio – SDR) the very FIRST agenda item is having a plan to gather specific information.

Frequency Guides

Before setting up the radio (plug in the USB-c cable and get it charging while you’re reading) we need to share basics of how the radio bands work.

The radio spectrum evolved from very low frequencies – with long antenna wavelengths up the spectrum to very (even super and ultra) high frequencies – with shorter antenna wavelengths over time.

All of these frequencies behave in specific ways of great importance to us.  First, all antenna lengths are variations of the formula for a radio half wave [468 / frequency in MHz.]

Knowing that I hang out on 3.806 MHz on holiday mornings, you can calculate a good half wave antenna length would be [468/3.806 MHz.].  Rounds off to 123-feet.

Now, we split this half wave antenna in half, stick an insulator in the middle of it, and connect one side to the center conductor of the radio antenna port.  Two quarter waves. The other side, grounding the coaxial cable’s shield to the radio chassis, should yield very useable results.  Two 61.5 foot quarter wave wires comprise a half wave dipole.  Simple.

Well, except it’s not.  The reason that AM radio bands require much taller towers is simply because the divisor gets to be smaller.  At 1500 KHz on the AM band (which is 1.5 MHz when you slide the zeroes…) the “quarter wave vertical antenna” becomes ½ of [468 / 1.5].  A vertical stick about 156-feet tall.

Now let’s consider a station toward the low end of the band.  WLW is in Cincinnati, Ohio at 700 KHz.  Sliding the zeros, that’s 0.7 MHz.  So an ideal quarter wave length tower for them might be 334-feet!  Literally, you can drive around the country and get a good estimate which end of the radio dial a local station is on, just eyeballing the height of an AM tower!

The higher the radio tunes in frequencies, the shorter good antennas become.  At 100 MHz on the FM band, a quarter wave antenna is down to 2.34 feet, or about 28.1 inches.

This actually brings us to a key switch on the back of the ATS-25:  The one that says FM in one position and everything else in the other.  If you’re unable to get anything to be heard, check that the switch is in the correct position.  And even then, manufacturing does make mistakes now and then, so try both positions and use the one that works best.

Build A Listening Plan

We’ll start at the lowest end of the spectrum and work toward higher frequencies as we go.  What we’re after are radio frequencies that MIGHT be useful in an emergency.

Longwave Band:  Once upon a time, the longwave bands (30 KHz up to the bottom of AM Broadcast band) was useful for radio direction-finding.  Aircraft NDBs (non-directional beacons) are still audible here if you’re near one.

The easiest way to find local NDBs is to visit  Since we live near Palestine, Texas (airport code KPSN) the NDBs near us come up as:

NDB name         Hdg/Dist             Freq             Var         ID

CROSSROADS            141/21.3             215       02E       CSZ     -.-.  …  –..

PYRAMID       095/25.5             418       06E       PYF     .–.  -.–  ..-.

Now, as long as you’re on the local (to you) airport page, there are some additional frequencies to make note of.  These will not apply to the ATS-25 (first receiver) users.  But if you graduate to an SDR (software-defined radio) this gets to be really useful stuff to have on hand.

The ATIS or AOWS frequency is useful.  The Airport Terminal Information System or Automated Weather Observing System.  Which (for us) is AOWS on 118.025 MHz.  The tactical use here is 24/7 local weather via radio. No internet needed!

The second VHF radio frequency – which will matter when we get into SDRs in a week or two – is the regional Air Traffic Frequencies used by the FAA.  Three-quarters of the way down the page for us (here: AirNav: KPSN – Palestine Municipal Airport ) you will find the IAPs.  Instrument Approach Procedures.  These are the useful parts:

KPSN approach plate

On one sheet, you know where to call up live weather from the automated weather, who to call (“Fort Worth Center this is Beech…“) once airborne and what the local Unicom frequency is.  Unicom is where plane-to-plane and plane-to-ground is worked at untowered airports.  Going too fast for you?

Close the “future frequencies to keep” notebook, we’ll get into a ton more in the SDR project.

For now, let’s stay focused on the ATS-25 capabilities.  It’s basically a low band radio, except for the FM broadcast band. We’ll do the VHF bands when we get into our mini school on SDRs.

AM Radio Band

Long-time reader William of Radio Ranch was kind enough to share a handy one-page summary of many of the so-called clear-channel AM radio stations that you may be able to home in on with an ATS-25 and a basic 25-75 foot single wire receiving antenna.

Click here to download it.


Ham and Shortwave Bands

All of the ham radio bands are listed in the American Radio Relay League Band Plan chart here.

In addition, whenever there is a big emergency – like a hurricane coming ashore, for example, or after an earthquake – the ARRL will put out advisories as to emergency nets that will be meeting to pass traffic (like health and welfare inquiries for people unable to communicate via normal methods).

There are several key things about the ham bands that are useful.

First is understanding the basic modes of reception.  You will no doubt already know that AM means amplitude modulation.  But SSB – single sideband – may not be as familiar.

The way SSB works is pretty cool:  You take a signal (like in AM where there is a carrier at the center of the transmission) and then you either filter or phase out the modulation on one sideband and while you’re at it, the carrier is also balanced out.

This is why single sideband has 8 to 9 times more “talk power” than an AM signal.  It’s just very efficient and only utilizes less than half the spectrum compared to wider AM.

The hip shot here is on frequencies below 10 MHz, or so, convention is that LSB – the lower sideband is used.  While on higher frequencies, like the 20-meter band around 14.3 MHz, you’ll hear only upper sideband typically. The 40, 80, and 160-meter bands are typically lower sideband when listening to hams.

There will be marine and commercial stations below 7 MHz that us upper sideband.  This is something of a convention of the ITU – the International Telecommunications Union.

The latest models of the ATS-25 may also have a Morse decoding routine written in.  For this, adjust the radio (using the attenuator function) to prevent overloading.  Distortion from overpowering the antenna will garble copy.

Last, but not least, give a try evenings on the 3985 KHz/ 3.980 area and look for some of the AM fone nets still going on.  Extremely different sound than the SSB nets. The AM Forum – Index (

Also bookmark the ARRL ham net search tool here: ARRL Net Directory Search. NTS is the National Traffic System.

Select Military Frequencies

While WoRR and I might drop ears onto Hickam Field, now and then, a much more in-depth summary of military HF SSB is found here: Top 100 Military Shortwave Frequencies (

HF Weather Fax Frequencies

Here’s another one to file away for possible future experiments:  With an inexpensive sound card adapter – push the audio coming out of the ATS-25 headphone jack into a sound card line in – can be used to drive your computer.  When you hear warbling sounds and it’s not in the ham bands, may you can find it in here: WORLDWIDE MARINE (  These are mostly WeFAX.

Once you have the audio coming to the computer?  We’ll get into that after we get the radio fired up.  But where?

Shortwave Listening Guides

Several good websites where manufacturers have searchable guides:

Shortwave Frequency List ( and SLG-V10-AUG2021-FINAL-I.pdf (

In addition, several good websites to look through:

Shortwave Radio Listening Quick Start Guide – along with Shortwave – Worldband Radio Stations – Best Time To Listen to Shortwave Frequencies (

CB Frequencies

As if we don’t have enough to keep our ears and eyes going, click over here and copy over to a local file the list of CB radio frequencies.  CB Radio Frequencies and Channels | Right Channel Radios This can be entertaining, at times. (Children’s Band we called it…)

Times to Listen

The shortwave bands operate very differently depending on time of day, time of year, and even where we are in the Solar Cycle.

At the clock level, the higher frequencies work best in the daytime, say 10-12 MHz and higher. Night time, the lower frequencies begin to bounce off the F2 layer better, so the frequencies from 8 MHz and lower (even to the bottom of the MW AM broadcast band in winter) are where the best “radio station fishing” will be found.

Setting Up Your Radio

The first step is to get it charged up before using. Honestly, I just tossed mine on the charger workstation in the shop where we can charge literally anything

Give it a couple of hours to charge, but this is time you can spend devoted to what kind of antenna to use and your frequency list with listening plan.

A “get started” antenna can be any old piece of wire, 20-feet or longer plugged into the antenna port of the radio.  To make life easier, for a buck or ten you can get a BNC connector (the type on the back of the radio is a BNC female) into which you plug in a BNC male connector test lead.  This gives you alligator clips to try on whatever is metallic and might work as an antenna.

My friend Jeff is always in the Strange Antenna Contest and he’s not only transmitted on railroad tracks and an Army tank on display at the local Guard HQ but lots of other places as well.  Even a barbed wire fence (not electric!!!) will work dandy. If it’s metal, it’s a potential antenna.

The Amazon part for the preassembled connector is BNC Male to Alligator clips.  Until it shows up, just stick one end of 20-feet of whatever wire in or alligator clip something onto the whip antenna.

That little whip looks OK, and it works on the FM band.  But, for much better lower band performance, get a longer antenna into the radio.

With the antenna plugged in, at last, the moment of truth arrives. Will you hear anything?

Turn On

Power Switch is on the back.

ats25 back panel

Make sure the antenna switch is in the correct position for what you wish to listen to:

ats-=25 antenna switch

Power will come up (after a boot version message) and look similar to this:

ATS25 front panel

A sharp ham radio sort will see how this radio is set up:  For listening to low-speed Morse code (CW stations) that might be working around the 14.050 calling frequency for the SKCC and FISTS code preservation groups gather. 14.049 is toward the lower end of the 20-meter ham band.

Their frequencies are dandy places to find good, hand keyed, Morse.

Some Notes from the Manual

My radio came with a manual, whip antenna, and a stylus to push the touch screen.  You’ll want to keep the stylus around, since if you have big fingers (or like me, you’re “all thumbs”) it reduces errors.

Notice in the picture above I have the bandwidth set to 1 KHz?  Listening to voice *(up in the phone portion of the ham band) I’d open that to 2.2 or 3.0 KHz.  If you don’t, the bandwidth is sharp enough that voice can become harder to understand.

Listening and Tuning

The “normal” mode of the radio when first booted up has the receiver’s big knob in tuning mode. Press in on the knob and it will then control the volume.  Another press (after adjusting the volume) will get you back in the “tuning” mode.

As the manual explains things:

“1.VOL: press “VOL” to adjust audio volume using encoder, press VOL again to exit.

2.Mute: press “MUTE” to activate mute radio.

3.Preset: press “PRESET” to activate, select using encoder Fm stations pre-recorded in skech. when there are no stations programmed and ignored, press “AGC to exit.,” (this read oddly to me…Is this how they describe the preset memory for bands?)

4.Step: press “STEP” to activate. It only works on MW, SW and LW frequencies. You can select the frequency step in Ikhz, Skhz, 9khz and lOkhz. Once selected to go back to the previous step, press “STEP” again and choose your preference.

Pick smaller steps for SSB and CW/Morse/Data use.

5. Mode: press “MODE” to activate, select the type of modulation in the MW, SW and LW ranges, it can be LSB, USB or AM. Not work when FM active.

6. Ham: press “HAM” to activate, select the reception bands with LSB or USB. to exit press “BROAD” and choose the track without “HAM”.

7. Broad(broadcasting}: press “BROAD” to choose FM, MW, SW and LW band.

“Ham” is self-explanatory.  MW refers to the Medium Wave band – nothing more, or less, than the regular old AM radio band.  SW gets you into the preset ranges of the “normal shortwave bands” and in the evenings late this time of year, the 39 and 49 meter bands can be interesting.

Although these are ATS-25 instructions, generally the same names or control conventions can be found on most SW radios.

A Short Course on Noise

Shortwave radios like this are prone to noise.  Not so much because of their design (which isn’t bad, save a few bits of mechanical instability, but still way better than what any of us grew up with) but because modern home electronics generally suck.  Most people’s lives are online streaming, on FM radio, or coming in on cable, AM radio has been left as a kind of poor bastard child to the more “modern media.”

The main noise culprits are generally anything that uses a triac, SCR, or PWM controller. Dimmers for the lights can be deadly to enjoyable listening.  Good Hack-a-Day post over here The RFI Hunter: Looking For Noise In All The Wrong Places | Hackaday will aid you in your search.

Best, cheap, noise detector is a dollar store transistor radio, tuned to the high end of the AM radio band and turned up so you can hear static.  Walk around the house and hold the radio’s built-in ferrite loop antenna this way and that.  If the noise is getting louder, you’re probably getting closer to a noise source. Turn things on and off, adjust the lights, and so on till you find the culprits.

Be sure to turn the radio while you’re RF sniffing, though.  Ferrite loops are highly directional. After all, they’re at the core of all those old radio direction-finders.

60-years ago, my late mother was always courteous when I was working DX (distant) stations on my basement radio set up.  She had an old Kenmore Sewing Machine with a foot controller that – I swear – would blow your ears off, if you weren’t expecting it.

More Modes? Download FLDigi

This is a cross platform digital decoding program available open source.  With minimal cobbling, you can run a little audio from the ATS-25 into your computer soundcard, diddle with the levels and get capable not only of getting WeFAX forecasts, but also pull in all those hams on PSK-31, Morse (there’s a converter in FL-Digi), radioteletype, and more.  (See how the radio is really getting some “legs” under it here?)

Since the ATS-25 has a small “waterfall display” a visit to the people behind FL-digi’s short course here might pay handsome dividends: Sights & Sounds (

Otherwise, the download page for the app is: fldigi download | Skip most of the setups (like your name and callsign and such as you won’t be transmitting with an ATS-25!) and just concentrate on the IO and getting comfortable with the modes.

The idea is simple:  Take the audio out from the ATS-25 and plug it into the “Line In” sometimes called the “Aux In” on your sound card.

The most useful starter modes are likely PSK-31 (try 14.070-14.075 in USB) and also FT-8.  There is a Morse reader in FL Digi, as well.  Manual speed tuning of the CW reader speed is often needed.  Go back to the “sights and sounds” link to practice your ear a bit and it will reduce guesswork.

The process is:  Tune in to a digital station with headphones.  Not too loud.

Then unplug headphones and use a 3.5 male-male cable into the sound card.

Begin FL Digi session.  Adjust FLD for mid range level using your computer’s sound mixer control settings.  With a good balance, you should be able to copy many stations.  IF you overload the soundcard, it will be a great time sink.  In digital work, it’s the quality of signals, not how loud, that matters.

An Oddity for the Road

One last point – and it’s a kind of pet peeve of mine.  Insulation.  Yes.  In-the-wall insulation in your home can be a radio shielding material. America went through a phase, a decade (maybe two) back when all the good custom homebuilders were using foil-faced insulation.

Sure, it kept a little additional heat in (reflective to infrared at some level) but the devil of it was the AM radios in homes no longer worked as well.  With weak signals, and aluminum facing didn’t help, the eventual replacement of the AM radio stations by less noise prone sources was all but assured.

This still plagues certain homes (and even office tenant improvements from the period) and the hint in this direction is routers have shitty range and you end up putting Wi-Fi extenders or going mesh.

Ah, progress, right?

There, have fun.  With a little practice, the ATS-25 can be a real joy to play with.

And if the you-know-what hits the fan, you’ll at least be able to hear what hams and far-distant radio sources are telling of what has happened. Assuming someone is left, mind you. Put the movie “On the Beach” on your rewatch list.

HF will be down – mostly out of commission – for up to a week, and perhaps longer, after an initial round of nuke lobbing, due to all the ionizing radiation.  Normally, though, the bands will open up again in a few days’ time.  That’s when the real value of robust communications will start to shine.

“Anyone left?”

Since the Fourth is a holiday, a few comments on various antenna options.  For now, a piece of #22 bell wire stuck in the BNC connector and 20-12,000 feet long will work.

Write when you get rich,, ac7x

75 thoughts on “ShopTalk Sunday: Survival Radio – ATS-25 School”

  1. Panic In Year Zero (1962)
    Opening scene is a close up shot of a car AM radio.

    “That wasn’t lightning!”
    “What’s up, Dad?”
    “The only thing that…”
    “Maybe they’re testing. Las Vegas isn’t far.”
    “No. Las Vegas is over there. Los Angeles is in that direction.”
    “What do you think it is, Dad?”
    “The radio! If anything is wrong they’d have it on the air.”

    The radio, the radio, the radio…

  2. “But just one (rare) world war could be terminal.”

    The 9th of Av, coming soon!

    Stu has more info, new post at

      • Add another to the growing list! Mine is supposed to be here tomorrow! Thanks George, great dissertation!

        • (The Host bows in the direction of CTB. But, realizing he has no idea where CTB is , he turns, then again.
          All the faster he turns and again, still faster! He blurs, he’s spinning so fast. Then suddenly, he stops, sways a bit more and falls over….)

        • So, for a beginner’s ham radio, does that ATS 25 work on it’s own, or is it computer dependent (I can use any usb charger, not just the laptop?) I can use it manually with the dials, or it needs a computer screen interface to operate?

          Can I use a 3.5 mm jack to plug in speakers?

  3. Well done George. Looking forward to your treatment of the SDR. I put the ATX 25 in next to my tablet and SDR dongle in an admin bag that can go with me in the truck. A someday project for me is to get some kind of organised notebook/manual made up for the kit. The ragged little spiral notebook is OK but anyone but me would not be able to decipher it.
    Happy 4th everyone.
    Stay safe. 73

  4. How much you want for a hassle free viewing.???
    I hate it with ads and I hate the site moving me to ure ad stuff crap.
    I AM a subscriber for wed + sat

    • First, there are no ads on the Peoplenomics site. My plan, to roll that content off HTML and into CM platform (WordPress) should allow me to put the content up -ad-free – on the PN site.
      But these things take time – many moving pieces, for example consolidating the chartpack into a new data table that will output more usefully as higher resolution PDF charts. And that means plugins for s/w all over.

      It’s on the list, though and I hear you. Interestingly, for every 1 subscriber there are >200 nonsubscribers…

      • NOMB George, but you do put out a LOT of valuable information for free. I have whitelisted the site on all the adblocker and privacy plugins I can find but I still get the notice, even now on my little lowly notebook I keep in the shop. But rather than spend my time trying to track down WTF is doing it now I’ll just deal with it. Whatever you work out works for me.
        Just sayin.

      • my antenna is tuned. i love the advertisments. the often tell my future. todays says “Live and work in Hawaii, up to $65,000 sign on and relocation bonus. let us help you live you always wanted.”

        i accecept. thank you!

        good morning! woke up, did my morning rituals, grabbed my coffee, walked outside to sunshine, warmth and 3 little birds sitting on the fence singing. i sat down and fired up a camel red and thought, Truly I am Blessed and Highly Fortunate.

        then started singing the A, B,C’s till i got to L and it went like this. el you see key see andyyyyyy. hahaha.

        im happy to report that yesteday i went to take Mr Tucker Marshall Riley to get some chew toys because he is only 11 weeks old, puppy and chewing on everything. on the way to the store. he uhmmm uhhh ate half the book of revelations out of my Bible in the back seat.

        I had a mirrad of thoughts spin through my mind. first one is going forward we shall address him by his Christian Name: The Prophet Tucker Marshall Riley.

        Im on “Wolf hill” in Spokane, Wa. He is sleeping in the back seat digesting The Word of God.

        metephorically it speaks to me, that the end of the world has been cancled. because a Dog my homework.

        so it apears like prosoperity and good times from here on out.

        just an FYI.

        Happy 4th of July. interensting to note:

        On July 4, 1884 France presented the United States with an incredible birthday gift: the Statue of Liberty!

        and currently in france…. on topic with the 4th of july. i seem to remember a few years back france saying, “we need to take in all these poor islamic refugees.” huh.


        you know one of my friends told me george. i envy you. you are like on perminent vacation. i said, i dont really have my shit together as much as one would think. he said no, no, no. having your shit together doesnt mean owning a house and a wife all that. that is what they tell you your supposed tp have to be estabished in this world. you, have freedom Andy. you come and go as you please. you are always doing fun stuff. one day your back stage at some big rock festival, then you are off to alaska, then you are driving trains in the mountains in south east idaho, over at a rodeo in wyoming the next week, then off flying planes in utah and arizona, or over in vegas and dating an exotic dancer for 3 days, or going to palm springs and selling cars then flying off to hawaii for the winter.

        i said yeah i just go where ever THE DUDE takes me.

        he said you know what your lige reminds me of? i said what is that. he said you dont like one song on the radio? you change the channel and listen to something else for a while. you live just like that.

        i laughed and said yep. just like that. so this morning i thought, oh i know a radio fella. so i came on here to see what you were talking about. and laughed. because the topic is life and radios. haha.

        cool. thanks man.

        walked outside to sunshine, warmth and 3 little birds sitting on the fence singing.

        this is my message to youuu wooh whoohooo!

        play ~ 3 little birds ~

        • Andy,

          “Do you know that at this very moment you are surrounded by eternity? And do you know that you can use that eternity, if you so desire? There! Eternity is there! All around! Do you know that you can extend yourself forever in any of the directions I have pointed to? Do you know that one moment can be eternity? This is not a riddle; it’s a fact, but only if you mount that moment and use it to take the totality of yourself forever in any direction.”

        • hmmm. went outside and maybe 30 or so little birds were sitting on my car.

          so i said ass, cash or grass. nobody rides for free. :)

          havs a great summer man.

        • well you know. i hadnt been to the big city in 3 or 4 months. been fresh off the farm food. i saw an A&W burger joint so i thought hell yeah. got a double cheeze burger and a root beer. 2 hours later i shit 10 times. hahahaha. i thought i havent had fast food in almost 4 months. im used to making a salad by going out and picking it. fresh eggs laid that day for breakfast.

          first stop light in spokane look over and a lady is sitting on the sidewalk put a needle in her arm. and another chick is doing tweaker yoga in the intersection. fuck. i forgot what its like in the city.

          probably head back to the mountains tonight. thinking about it. peaceful there. rather hang out with the bumble bees and the red robins than the yoga tweakers.

          seems the better fer now.

          the bees love me and it seems the birds now too.

          life is beautiful

        • “i saw an A&W burger joint so i thought hell yeah. got a double cheeze burger and a root beer. 2 hours later i shit 10 times. hahahaha. ”

          LOL …. busy lifes experiences

          what is funny is when you pass a bubble.. a fluffy… and you can tell from the smell what it was exactly that you had to eat.. and someone comments that hey do you smell.. ( whatever restaurant you were at.. ) don’t go to cali.. you might end up with a balloon attached to your body LOL..

  5. I keep getting redirect to Ad Blocking page. Every two minutes or so. What is going on? Damn annoying !

  6. I keep getting redirected. To the Ad Blocking page. Every two minutes. Damn annoying !!

  7. “And if the you-know-what hits the fan, you’ll at least be able to hear what hams and far-distant radio sources are telling of what has happened. Assuming someone is left, mind you. Put the movie “On the Beach” on your rewatch list.”

    only if.. there’s still power.. the us grid was not designed for was designed for the business model.

      • Yes.. I am working on a gas line for a genset..found out that they have to change out the lol and regulator.. the gas company asked how old it was and what markings were on it lol lol I said I see property of Moses inscribed..the lady laughed.. but the meter and regulator I have isn’t big enough ..

  8. My summer bicycle hobby project is progressing. I did two 12 mi rides yesterday, which puts me up at the 24 mi range that I had come up with as a minimum endurance goal. The main limit on my endurance seems to be the heat index at this point. The legs were still going strong after 24 mi, but the rest me needed to take a day off to cool.
    I’ve been trying out new suntan potions. I am liking this one:

    • Why, next you’ll be stopping for pedicures!!! (just giving you shit, lol) – keep it up, young man. Even even on low approach to 75, I can still do 100 miles a day on any old bike you want.
      (As long as it’s in the bed of a p/up truck with a case of Rolling Rock…)

        • Hmmm strange as it sounds, I hear the same thing! Except occasionally its the voices of readers mumbling and grumbling with the odd sound of power tools and digital radio noises and….

        • Hey, every once in a while I have to talk to myself, just so I can have an intelligent conversation…

      • Lol lol lol lol..
        when I was young I rode bike everywhere in DC.. hell it was five times faster than a car..
        anyway ..years later .. I was remembering my journeys on bike and though why not.. there was a restaurant five mikes away that made a wonderful shake.. I got on the daughter’s bike and off I went.. got about a mile puffing like an old which point I walked back pushing the bike..
        I built this house at what 40.. the contractor I hired to do the foundation took the ten grand deposit and ran..he left a hammer my ten thousand dollar hammer..
        so to save money I lowered the roof pitch to save a few bucks.. that was years ago.. the insulation settled I thought ok I will go up and dust some up there..crawled up and realized I was a lot smaller and a whole lot younger I hired a young man to do it lol lol…

  9. George
    If things really do turn to S*** in this country I have a suspicion the Fed’s will try to jam all communications!

    Just a wild and crazy idea.

    They would never try anything like that, would they?

    • They don’t have the channel/sweep xmtrs to handle it on HF. On the other hand, an emp per week, and yeah – 1910 sketchy except for us low power CW/Morse ops…
      Just remember to never transmit in the clear unless you have real traffic. There is a reason the USAA sends ops half mile or more from any encampment. Radio direction finders. Use cheap antennas in the trees and suitably long antenna feed lines and have watch posted over your 360

      • Now your getting into tactical LRRP operational craft. Nice! Now there is another topic for a STS.

        • well i just cooke up 2 lbs of apple smoked bacon and 18 farm fresh eggs i brought with me. large glass of OJ. then we are heading to the lake after breakast to see what tweetys want to play on the blanket with us.

          i saw earlier, everthing is going great for the demicrats in Baltimore. good for them. everyone gets to see wide in the open the results of progressive policies. a smasshing successs.

          its not like i didnt tell everyone last year. “we set july on fire.”

          me? im state farm. “like a good neigbor.”

          see ya when i see ya.

    • if things go south it’s going to be pure hell in United states. we haven’t had a war on these shorts except for BLM and over 150 years

  10. George,

    … a different sort of “Constructing a Gap Analysis”

    The Chinese Macroeconomy, based on enormous corporate debt (29 trillion equivalent US dollars)supplied by (CCP) Chinese bank lending, is collapsing. The nonlinear gapped low valuation last week in the Bank of Shanghai’s price is telltale within its ongoing monthly, weekly, and daily decay fractal patterns.

    Chinese financial institution workers have received pay-cuts of 30-50 % over the last 3-8 months and are defaulting on real estate mortgages, which are the linchpin of the Chinese macroeconomy’s equilibrium and maintenance.

    For China this is very much like the US in 1929 – with the great exception of the Chinese population implosion. While the US will likely have a very hard landing, the Chinese will have a 500 mph into a 40-foot rebar reinforced cement wall decimation.

    Observe the ongoing 3/28 /2023 11/28/22/4 of 16-17 day :: x/2.5x/2x/1.5-1.6x valuation collapse of the Bank of Shanghai.

    • I checked three different financial websites.., and I can find no chart on Bank of Shanghai’s stock price that shows any kind of a massive drop in price as the chart you show on the blog. For the week, the Bank of Shanghai is up 2.9%
      – Where did you get that chart and price?? I would really like to confirm this.

      • Bigcharts: CN:601229 Bank of Shanghai Co. Ltd. A (SHG) … A nonlinear gapped low drop of 6+% occurred between 26 June and 27 June 2023.

        {And as Tesla goes … From Tesla’s 1/3/23 ending trading day low a fractal decay series of 24/56/46 of 57-58 days is observable, where a 1/3/23 24/56/46 of 48 day :: x/2-2.5x/2x fractal growth series’ final peak valuation (note the 56 day second fractal’s characteristic nonlinear gapped valuation drop between day 51 and 52) then undergoes rapid decay in the last 9-10 trading days and the 1/3/23 x/2-2.5x/2x peak valuation growth fractal series efficiently becomes a y/2-2.5y/2-2.5y decay fractal. Tesla’s final interpolated fractal series is from its intermediate low on 5/16/2023: 7/15/12 of 13-14/10-11 days :: x/2-2.5x/2x/1.5x – 1.6x.}

  11. Coconut condensed milk and sweetened co senses milk..

    1 can sweetened condensed milk
    3 cups of shredded coconut
    mix together..

    make into little balls or bars chill..
    1 can of condensed milk
    4 tbsp butter
    1 cup of crushed peanuts
    double boiler
    milk chocolate
    2 cups of rice crispies
    or two cups of your favorite cookie blended into a powder..
    mix it in then coat the coconut balls or bars.
    dip in honey then coat with ground nuts, cookies or powdered wrap and enjoy

    to make condensed milk..
    fill pint jars with whole milk..
    wipe the rims with vinegar
    put lids on
    put it in a pressure canned bring to 10 lbs. for fifteen minutes j. then turn the heat off..
    to make sweetened condensed milk its 1/2 cup of sugar per cup of milk

  12. Converting sweetened condensed milk into a caramel ice cream topping..

    take a can of condensed milk.. not a pull tab.. put in a pan of water and simmer for two hours..if you want darker caramel then go three hours.. make sure that the can or jar is always submerged with about an inch of water above it..

  13. For shelf stable canned milk you only use skim milk bring the pressure canned to 10 lbs then turn it off.. let cool..
    to can butter.. heat the butter up to a simmering boil stir to keep the milk solids from scratching on the bottom .the milk solids will then foam up on the top. skim this off..then fill your jars wipe the rims then put the rims on..shake the butter every five minutes for about a half hour..then refrigerator.. cans will seal as the boiling butter cools in the jar..

  14. I have been using & playing with the Tecsun PL-660 – find it here:

    Do you have any experience and-or knowledge of this radio? I have had very good success with this unit – as a back-up ‘listener’. I have had no problems and several good surprises with it. [ I added a 40 foot antenna.]

      • Lol lol lol
        I live in a radio free dip on the planet .. you didn’t have cell service up until they built the tower .. tv.. no rabbit ears here.. you have to ha e cable or no television.
        people have suggested a roof antenna.. I point to a 60 ft tower a few blocks away..on top of that is an antenna for local stations.. I’d meet one big tower to get anything at all if tshtf… books lots of books..
        back in the day to get cell service you put on an aluminium foil hat grabbed a few cloths hangers and crawled up on the roof .. maybe just maybe you got a signal lol lol..
        we have a security system and cameras up the wazoo.. they constantly have issues with monitoring lol..

      • I do like the security system.. if a fire breaks out we will have firemen here in seconds..

    • The one I have was great out of the box for about a week then the tuning knob went wonky. I opened it up and the knob and parts not soldered correctly just fell out of the frame. Picked up the PL-880 and it has been a great little radio ever since.

  15. “Strangely, most people seem to get more excited about “talking on a radio” than learning the art of concentrated, focused, listening with intent.”

    I always tell people that the ham radio hobby is 90% listening. Growing up in Wisconsin with long, cold, dark winters, I learned to listen a lot. AM radio DXing was great. And the shortwave bands were always a source of pleasure in finding exotic, far away places. As a ham, first you listen… and when you find a distant (DX) station that you want to contact, THEN you call…(and call, and call, and…)


    what kind of morons come up with this stupid shizt…and to think..the shiztheads that do.. make in the upper six figures a year..
    time for my rant..
    greenscap the cities who xares if a kid pulls a carrot or some fruit . put co2 filters on street lights build solar towers at every substation a mini grid if you will startingat the furthest point from the power plant.. promote soil energy to homeowners.. and small wind..
    as far as blocking the sun give the biden war a chance. if he gets his way we will have a nuclear winter…

    • Au contraire, mon frere…

      I think it’d be wonderful if Mr. Gates and Mr. Biden built a, say 4000 mile in diameter solar shield.

      It would thrust Earth into the ice age we’re going into anyway, but it would do it so quickly that nobody’d be able to remove the shield before people started dying by the hundreds of thousands. These idiots don’t realize that a 2°C drop in average temperature would render farmland above 30° north (or below 30° south) non-arable, and virtually everything above (below) 40° virtually uninhabitable. I have a pile of Siberian Huskies and I built my first igloo when I was 6 — pretty sure I can build a greenhouse out of permafrost before the cupboard and larder run dry…

      so bring it.

      When incredibly powerful idiots (both “intellectual,” like Gates, and otherwise, like Biden) strive to create a world where everyone (including them) has to physically struggle and fend for themselves (’cause no amount of money will be enough to pay someone to take care of you, while their kids starve to death), eventually they’re going to succeed.

      I’m likely going to live somewhere between 30 seconds and 30 years longer than the mileage I’ve so-far accumulated, and I’m getting damn’ tired of trying to fix stupid… So go ahead, Mr. Gates, and build that shield!

  17. 2 Way Communication in a SHTF situation.

    Will add the same comments I have made here multiple times.

    In a SHTF situation what is happening CLOSE to you is MORE important wrt 2 Way Communication than what is happening far away. (for far away all you need to do is “listen” since you can’t do anything about what is happening there).

    For CLOSE in communication the cheapest and easiest communication modes if you are NOT a Ham are 2 types of radios:
    1) GMRS walkie talkie and GMRS vehicle radios. GMRS Walkie Talkie for the 3 to 5 watt models will have a 1/2 to 2 mile range (depending upon terrain). GMRS Vehicle Radios of the 15 watt variety (imo Midland’s units are the best performance/price) will have a 3 to 8 mile range (with a good antenna). Remember, the longer antenna the better – very important for vehicle or home base use!! Those stubby antennas on most GMRS walkie talkie radios cut your theoretical range by about 1/2 to 2/3 (only a couple of models allow you to put longer antenna on them) – the vehicle radios allow a REAL antenna to be connected to them (GMRS requires a mail in license application – covers entire family)

    2) CB Single Sideband (full power). Using CB SSB and a decent (full 84″ whip size) antenna you will generally have a solid 10 miles vehicle to vehicle or house to vehicle and if it is in good location 20 miles (knew one guy on a hill in Tenn with a CB beam and he had a solid house to vehicle range of 80 miles). CB AM is not much better than GMRS in most applications. (no license required for CB).

    Some truckers ILLEGALLY use the Ham 10 meter band, which is right nex to the CB band, with an amplifier in order to have a 30 to 60 mile range on AM. LOTS of equipment sold to the truckers for that purpose … but if you use that withOUT a Ham license you are operating illegally.

    One other CB trick is if you can get a CB unit that is built for export (not limited to just the US legal frequencies) you can “illegally” use the frequencies BETWEEN the regular CB frequencies and thus have your own “private” frequency – illegal, but known to be done on a regular basis in some parts of the country (particularly on ranches out West). Buyable … but you have to look around to find them and they sell for about 15%-20% more for the same radio.

    Remember in a real SHTF situation the odds of any Repeater Stations (amateur or GMRS, yes there are GMRS repeaters too, great in the mountain west) being on the air will probably be near ZILCH since they require electricity to operate (and must have suffered NO damage) in addition to potential users needing an access code for most of them. Don’t think the range you get by using a repeater is going to be anything close to what you get with a direct to direct system. Do NOT count on ANY REPEATER WORKING in a SHTF situation!!

    (do NOT bother to buy an AM CB radio imo … spend the extra money and get an SSB model)

  18. OK … went to the FLDIGI download site, hit the “Download” button and all it downloaded was the “Message” application. NO set up for the various modes … but could compose a message to send!!

    So … went back to the download site and the SMALL print said look in the FILES section … do NOT push the Download button.

    So … did that, downloaded a file about 1/2 way down that was titled FLDIGI and STILL have no screens that allow a set up for the different modes but do have MORE WAYS to COMPOSE A MESSAGE.

    Whoever designed the FLDIGI website has BURIED the actual program so deep I can’t find it!! It is not anywhere near the top and is NOT available via the FLDIGI setup file!! which is actually only another message composing file … (The download button only downloads the ARRL message composing app)

    Sheesh … I am not the most computer literate person out there but why have a Download Button when it doesn’t download the main program that is supposedly available SOMEWHERE on the website? I can’t find it.

    A little help would be appreciated!!
    (obviously they do NOT want anybody except computer or ham radio nerds to get their hands on the program!!)

  19. Thank you for this information on the ATS25. I drifted away from hobby listening, but just saw a spark of interest.

      • “More than 10X the money”

        I know, but it does everything and if QRP is insufficient, you can pair it with an AGM and a field linear (might have an XPA125B and a Z100+ laying around — The Z is not as sexy as icom’s tuner, but it’s $400 I don’t have to spend) and put out enough signal for “Feds” from just about ANY nation on the planet to find you…

  20. First time I’ve checked in for a very long while. Energy is different, sad, same old railing at the world. Love you guys but time is up. No time to read the comments. Time is precious. The clock is ticking….always ticking…. I wish you well. There is no Armageddon, only hope reborn. Gaze into the first light and remember the love, all of the love you hold dear in your heart.

  21. George wrote:

    “Now let’s consider a station toward the low end of the band. WLW is in Cincinnati, Ohio at 700 KHz. Sliding the zeros, that’s 0.7 MHz. So an ideal quarter wave length tower for them might be 334-feet!”

    When I was growing up I was in the WLW listening area, and yep, I can certify that when they built that tower for WLW in the 1920’s it certainly was in the 334′ height range. TALL for it’s day and still there and being used today … nearly 100 years old. (just down the street from the biggest of the VOA broadcast sites near Mason OH)

    WLW was still broadcasting at ONE MILLION WATTS when I was growing up. Even during the day you could hear it in Chicago. At night you could hear it from the Rockies to Boston to Jacksonville, and everywhere in between. Truly a 1/2 to 2/3 continent wide radio station back in the day when they were running 1 million watts. (in my high school and college days no matter where I traveled in the Midwest, Mid South, and NE I could always listen to WLW in the evening/night – was never in the deep south in those days,)

    (there were two Mexico stations also broadcasting at or near those power levels as I recall. Once near Tuijana and one just across Texas border but I forget where – both were in English catering to the US market and in fact both had studios on the US side of the border. The one in Tiujana was supposedly the BIG evening station that the kids in Southern California would listen to, it had the biggest California DJ’s of the time if the radio history stuff is to be believed – out of my region so I never heard it)

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