It’s not always enough to just schlep up a whip antenna and pump out 150mw. If you are going to do radio, you ought to think as radio. Radio has its own geography and biology. It breathes with the day and the moods of the Sun and Earth.

Feel the analogue, viscous, ineffable way radio flows. Then you can actually do big and interesting things with it.

Hams often get this. Few others do these days... 🤷🏽‍♀️

And no, doing digital modes doesn’t absolve one from the vicissitudes of radio. It merely obscures, in a hubristic brute force way, what is happening within the ground and air.

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@Shufei walkaway net has to be radio first to make sense i think.

the properties of radio are just so different. this is one of the concepts that attracted me to NDN once i started digging into the ideas: radios have native broadcast capabilities. why not build a network based on *that*?

@xj9 Ooo, please tell me more about your conceptions of “walkaway net”? What do we need to build on basic outline?

I feel like we are all inching closer to some kind of threshold... it needs a manifesto or three.


i might need more that 500 chars for this. i will write you a note in my gem capsule, does that work?

@Shufei a brief outline gemini://

i'm happy to expand on anything that's too terse or vague do act upon.

@Shufei slightly rushed, but I figure its better to have a conversation about it than to try to get it perfect the first time!

@xj9 Replied, with thanks! Looks like a good track to trod so far.

@Shufei yeet

gonna try to get in the habit of doing correspondence more directly over gemini for the rest of the discussion :)

@xj9 Me too! We still need to work out a chat solution for Gemini, and a notifications for gmiphlog replies. Please ping me somehow somewhen.

@xj9 I reckon that if it’s something requiring more than one toot, and / or it is something worth hoping may be read again in 6 months, Gemini/Gopher is the best forum.

@Shufei i sent a sub to your xmpp account. if you prefer irc i'm also xj9 on ~chat

@Shufei the earth is a giant CL tank circuit. i think only nicola tesla fully understood that.

but yes. you are so right. HF in particular is endlessly complex. vhf around here is also bizarre due to fog inversions and ducting

@bamfic If only we could all have the deep perception of Master Tesla!

HF is weird indeed. VHF has its own peculiarities, too, which I’ve played with for a few years. Especially at dx. Mountain lensing never ceases to astound me. It’s often utterly unknown outside ham circles as a potential low power propagation vector.

@Shufei @bamfic I think I can guess from the name, but can you tell me more? Or point me to some resources on mountain lensing?

@M0YNG @bamfic

Wiki serves it up better than I, natch. The practical applications I learnt from experimentation and elmers. Basically you beam the lense edge to curve over intervening mountains to reach down into valleys. Supposedly ferrous ores play a part in it and reflection, natch, so the palpable effect is one a bit like tropo ducting, but closer dx and with more funky paths.

It’s heaps fun!

@M0YNG @bamfic In other words, when people say, “line of sight”, us mountain top VHF weirdos say, “bah!”

@bamfic Oh, it’s so fun on VHF! It blows people’s minds on 146.52 when a beam snags the lens just right to get over mountains.

@Shufei I want to operate ELF someday. I want to see that huge antenna in the upper peninsula of michigan

@amsomniac ELF is capital. Such weird ground waves. What antenna would you make?

I once read the designs a chap made for using an oak tree as an antenna. He wrapped an induction coil around the trunk to couple it, then tuned it at feed point for 500kcs or whatever. I reckon that could work for lower, too...

@Shufei ooh I love that. I haven't done any antenna research in a while, I'm fascinated by underwater radio but super ignorant too

@amsomniac I’ve heard about Trident radios from one of the horse’s mouths. They basically had a super long zep with a bobbin on the end, then tuned it by just reeling it out to follow the sub!

Let’s ponder this together sometime, eh? I’d love to do a jaunt on ELF someday, and am interested in water radiophysic too, but also ground wave dx propagation possibilities...

@Shufei let's do! I've also been meaning to play around with radio for caves because most of my caving friends ( @emmett @asvhl and @maxj) are also radio people

@Shufei You would have loved some of the talks at TAPR DCC this past weekend. Lots of propagation measurement experiments.

@nivex I sure would! Are they going to publish video recordings somewhere?

@Shufei Yep. The full days are already up:
Day 1:
Day 2:

They're planning to go back and slice them up per talk to make it easier to find things.

@nivex Ooo, thanks heaps! I’ll try to catch these soon.

@Shufei Unfortunately, been a ham for over 20 years (active for about 14), and I still don't get what enables good HF contacts. I've tried for years to make QSOs on HF back then (usually on 40m), but never succeeded.

@vertigo @Shufei living in a rural area seems to be the highest correlation to good hf. antenna height + antenna size + power + lower noise floor

@bamfic @Shufei Yeah; alas, most of the contemporary HF QSOs these days focus on topics of little to no interest to me, and/or eventually devolve to discussions of/about "the libs."

One of many reasons I've actually, seriously contemplated just letting my ham license lapse.

@vertigo @Shufei i think having the means, motive, and opportunity to transmit NVIS "cloud warmer" mode over greater than line of sight without having to climb mountains will be very useful when the next earthquake, fire, flood, etc hits.

and as the civil war intensifies, i don't want radio to end up being a nazis-only resource. kinda like guns.

@bamfic @vertigo I grok the above sentiments, most heartily.

Most of ham as “the hobby” is shite. It’s bubba with his 1500w and opinions. Thankfully that is far from the whole of ham radio. The problem is they are quite the notable element, a just stereotype or not.

Get away from phone and contestors, and one gets a much more pleasant social context. Digital modes are where tech types hang out, and those for more nuanced conversazione; CW yet has some of the olde decorum.

@bamfic @vertigo One needn’t go to mountaintops, though it certainly helps. As far as HF play goes, my takeaway has been the aerial might as well be any tunable junk if one has ferrite beads on cables and a big heap of grounding wires. That takes care of much grotty.

As for the social obstructions... I co-sign not ceding my turf to Bubba P. Trump. It’s an issue, a bit of sand in the craw. But the good does balance out the bad there too, often enough.

@Shufei @bamfic I will admit that digital (and especially packet) radio still has a spark of interest from me.

But, only a spark.

@vertigo @Shufei I want to get this new Olivia mode going, and I think there is one other new one that is open source.

@bamfic @vertigo They all kind of have to be open source, natch. Otherwise it’s encryption, haha.

Olivia is a blast. It’s tops for me still.

There’s new modes every year. The specs are fun to read, too, to see what people are experimenting with in terms of signal integrity, FEC, encoding... Radio is a good test bed for cutting through interference, and I know of no other field where amateurs can be a part of that sort of “bare metal” science at this scale.

@bamfic @vertigo By the by, Olivia, Throb, &c are great modes to meet interesting techies. They cut through bad band conditions well, so I’ve had some lovely chats with people that way. The FEC makes it nice and slow, so contesters avoid those modes, haha.

@bamfic @Shufei Going along this line of reasoning, you're better off being a pirate radio operator anyway; a callsign puts your entire identity out as a public record, telling everyone who knows where to look who you are and where you live: a nazi's wet dream.

@vertigo @Shufei A good point. Oh well, maybe it wouldn't be that useful.

Regardless of hypotheticals, earthquakes and fires are a reality on the ground already. Regardless of what natural or man-made catastrophe hits, I'd like to be able to get messages out and in, surrounded as I am by mountains on 3 sides and the Pacific Ocean on one.

@bamfic @vertigo It’s a just fear these days, the identification. But the VE’s don’t precisely vet the information you provide... You can say you live at 458 Bugs Bunny lane, Walla Walla if you are canny about it.

Regardless, the problem with going pirate / clandestine is that you’re even more under scrutiny. And you forego the training one can acquire under legit regimes like ham. No one is doing serious propagation studies on freebands. No one can.

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