Into ZL!

For many hams who have been around logging a “ZL” or a ham in New Zealand is not much to write home about. Tonight, after chasing ZL1BD (Al) for the past three days on 20 meters, I was finally able to get him in the log tonight prior to him going QRT. In my excitement and haste I provided him with a “59” report, but gave him the wrong antenna. It was not until after the QSO was over did I realized I had been listening and transmitting on the Alpha Delta DX-EE not the 6-BTV. Either way, it’s a new one in the log!

Don’t be”Alpha Delta 1 Charlie Kilo”

I was in #amateur_radio on EFNet last night and John, KX5JT sent me a link for an upcoming article he wrote for discussing the correct use of the phonetic alphabet when communicating with other hams on the air. This topic seems to reappear weekly on sites like eHam and QRZ.

Having never used a CB radio or have a “handle” I feel I have good operating procedures as it relates to the ICAO phonetics. Part of this goes back to my flight training, where there was one way to do and that was using the ICAO phonetics. A few exceptions as it relates to ham radio, the use of “tree” for the number three and “niner” for nine.

I do recall listening to my father, now N6SV who would substitute the word “sugar” for “sierra” when saying his call sign phonetically. Of course he used both on a regular basis. As for my call sign (formerly my father’s), W6ONV, I end up using both the ICAO and the DX phonetics. If there is a contest I will use “Ocean Norway Victor (or Victoria)” as opposed to “Oscar November Victor.”

Sure some hams have “cute” sayings for their suffix, but are they really necessary in ham radio? Common sense says no, but we know just how common, common sense is, right? So don’t be an “Alpha Delta 1 Charlie Kilo” use the correct phonetics when communicating with other hams. Look for John’s article on or

Rockband 2

After months of hesitation and a week or so of comparisons I finally dropped the $189 on Rockband 2, purchasing it over the highly popular Guitar Hero: World Tour. I picked up Guitar Hero 2 after a buddy had one reserved, but never picked it up, so he gave me the certificate a few years back. Since then my wife picked up GH: III and both games were highly addictive (as if games are addictive like drugs, nicotine or alcohol…more on that later) and playing them were very enjoyable.

The main reason for the RB2 over GH: WT was the wide selection (400+) of downloadable content (DHC) from the XBox Marketplace. Supposedly there is new content every week. I have already bought some Clash and Rush music, but might have mistakenly gotten some RB music that might or might not work (but should) work with RB2. I have not spent that much time with the game, but I do know one thing. I suck ass playing the drums. Talk about taking some real coordination to be good.

I rock with vocals, which is where my main interest lied, as well as playing lead and bass guitar. So far it has been a great experience, who knows I might even get the wife on the couch to play…Rockband 2 that is. So far she has not been too involved in Guitar Hero, so I doubt she will put much time into RB2 over her current love…WoW. Don’t get me started on that damn game.

More to follow after I get more involved in the actual game play aspect of the game, but I already know I do like the game.