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W0CHP Ham Radio & Tech Musings

About this site

My smokin' hot XYL is my best friend, and we talk about everything. So when I frequently discuss my experiences with ham radio, she looks awfully confused. And only a tiny subset of my friends are hams. Even those hams/friends frequently have no idea what I am talking about. Ergo, I use this site as a platform to document and communicate my thoughts and feelings on the state of ham radio, and how it’s evolved (and even devolved) over time. My hope is that the other three or four hams out there that see and feel things the way I do, can relate to my articles.

I use copious amounts of “bad” language in my prose, and I often call spades, spades. I can hurt feelings. However, that’s not my intention. It’s sometimes an undesired outcome of brutal honesty.

But, Why?

I created this site in late 2020, as a vehicle to rant and rave about my ham radio musings and experiences. Many aspects and operators of ham radio are annoyances, and they burn my ass to no end, so here is where I bitch and moan about those annoyances. However, I always try to qualify my bitching. I am simply trying to educate and convey information that I feel would make ham radio and other tech-related communities better, smarter and more vibrant. With pedantry and swearing mixed-in.

At the same token, some aspects and operators of ham radio delight me to no end, and I document those experiences here as well.

If you don’t like this site, me, etc., I don’t give a rat’s ass. Go play with your little ham buddies using shitty, Windows-only EchoLink on shitty-ass Windows.

It may come across that I have a crappy attitude. About certain things, you bet, and I can usually qualify it from years of experience and contributing. Otherwise, I’m a nice guy, and those close to me know this.

In a nutshell, I know of no other ham operator on the web that publishes articles critical in nature regarding the hobby. They are typically articles about the next big thing/product/mode/etc. and other forms of ass-kissery. This site is brutally honest, as I pick apart the hobby, the technologies and the people.

Colophon

Only F/OSS is used to create, edit and (self-)host this website. It’s written by hand in the Vim editor, layout generated by Hugo, deployed with OpenSSH, git and sundry Bash and GNU Make scripts, hosted on a FreeBSD server in my home running an Apache HTTP Server.

As a side tangent, one of the major gripes I have in the ham radio world, is the seemingly prolific production, use and development of shitty, proprietary garbage software and systems, mainly running on insecure and buggy Windows platforms. Fuck that shit; we don’t do that here. Ever.

Proprietary garbage, IMNSHO, goes against the very open, historic and experimental spirit of ham radio. I’ve been ham radio’ing well before shitty Windows software was created. And ham radio has been around much longer than shitty software.

I feel that I’m qualified to make these statements because of my long history of the many contributions I’ve made to the Free and Open Source Software community. I’ve been an F/OSS evangelist, user and developer well before it became fashionable. Many unreliable proprietary commercial/corporate systems, were converted, by me, to platforms leveraging F/OSS solutions, proving the utmost reliability, security and performance…and they are legacies.

But I digress, as usual.

FAQs / Frequently Made Statements

You seem like an asshole.
I am, sometimes. But I can qualify my reasons for being an asshole. Other than that, I’m sincerely a nice, happy guy.
Why the dark website? It’s hard to read.
If you spent the last 30-something years coding and hacking1 all night long, you would have a dark website, too. Fortunately, you can control how it renders on your browser by bypassing the style sheet; but my bet, is that most hams don’t know how to do this. Not my problem.
You say that you abhor Windows and proprietary software…so how do you program your DMR/etc. radios?
There are many options that I use, all F/OSS. Examples include dmrconfig, QDMR, Chirp, etc. I found them, So can you.
What annoys you the most?
It’s not a “what”, it’s a “who”: People who don’t take initiative.
Are you happy about anything?
Lots of things. I have an affinity for real hams and hackers who provide wonderful resources to the community. Fortunately, there are many of these fine folks.

  1. For the ignoramuses and sheeple who read into the shitty media, etc. improperly using the (old) term “hacking/hacker/hack” as if it bears a negative connotation, please allow me (or Wikipedia for that matter) to enlighten you. ↩︎