November 27, 2022

What happened to GlobalQSL? Unused credits? Were QSL cards actually sent?

Many years ago, when I first learned about GlobalQSL, I found the proposition immediately compelling.  For a relatively low cost, you could upload your QSL data and GlobalQSL would print double-sided full-color QSL cards, of your own design, and mail them to anywhere in the world.  It seemed like a good value which greatly simplified sending international QSL cards.  I bought credits and began using the service for all my international QSL cards.

Somewhere along the way the company seems to have stopped keeping their end of the bargain.  The GlobalQSL website is no longer functional and customer credits have apparently vaporized.   Customers are left wondering what happened to GlobalQSL?  What happened to the unused credits?  Did the company actually send QSL's or simply pocket the money?  Why no communication to customers explaining what happened?

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

November 13, 2022

Completed 10m DXCC

The return of 10 meters band activity has been a blast.  I am thankful for elevated sunspot activity in 2022. Today, I completed and confirmed my 100th 10m contact required to earn the 10m ARRL DX Century Club (DXCC) Award.  A big THANK YOU to Pierrick (HH2MK in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti) for the contact and confirmation on the LoTW.  I have made these contacts with a modest 100W transceiver and a homebrew 80m Skywire antenna.

This contact also brings me a bit closure to earning the ARRL DXCC Challenge Award.  I have 642 contacts out of a total of 1000 required for the award.

Flag of Haiti

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

10m Worked All States and 5-Band WAS

Today I made contact and confirmed on LoTW my last two States required to complete the ARRL 10m Worked All States Award.  These were also the last two contacts I needed complete the ARRL 5-Band Worked All States Award.  Today was a good day for radio, 100W, and my homebrew 80m skywire antenna!

A big THANK YOU to both Christian (KI0D in South Dakota) and Joe (AI0Y in North Dakota) for helping me complete and confirm these last two remaining contacts.  North Dakota and South Dakota had become rare DX on 10m for me after many months of searching.  I am delighted conditions were favorable this morning.

Thank you also to the ARRL for creating the Worked All States awards.  These awards have been a lot of fun to work on over the years and have kept me interested in the hobby of amateur radio.

North Dakota and South Dakota

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

November 11, 2022

October 24, 2022

1,500 US Counties Confirmed on

Made good progress hunting US Counties over the prior month confirming 100 new ones on  Confirming all 3007 is a labor of love and I am not 49.9% there.  Not sure I will actually reach 100%.  All the same, I enjoy the process and challenge.

1500 US States Confirmed on

North Dakota and South Dakota seemed to be my most challenging States.  I often wonder if I have an antenna null toward ND and SD?   

I have a feeling completing contacts with all AK Counties could be the most difficult in the long run given the enormity of the State and the relatively small, concentrated population.

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

October 12, 2022

Two-Way Radio Communication for Scouts

Radio and scouting are a great combination.  Scouting recognizes the interest of scouts in radio and reflects this in the annual Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) and the Radio Merit BadgeJOTA is the world's largest scouting activity.

Scouting is the ideal time to earn an amateur radio license.  Making your first amateur radio contact with your own call sign as a scout is amazing experience. Making contact with your other scouting friends is even more fun.

Scouts BSA Radio Merit Badge

A two-way radio is also an important piece of communication and safety equipment on backcountry outings where mobile phone coverage is absent.  Scouts can use FRS walkie-talkies to communicate with each other while at camp or hiking with no license required.  Amateur radio licensed scouts can use their own amateur radio two-way radios.  Regardless of the class of equipment, it is important for scouts to learn good radio operating practices.  Here are some helpful guidelines to good operating practices based on the Scout Law.

Good Operating Practices

  • Be prepared - Think about what you are going to say before transmitting.

  • Be trustworthy - Take care of troop radios and return them in the same condition they were issued.

  • Be loyal - Keep your antenna in a vertical position and elevate it to improve signal strength.  If you are in a structure, try moving near an open window or moving outdoors to improve signal strength.

  • Be helpful - Press the push-to-talk button and pause one second before speaking.  There is a short delay before your radio begins transmitting.  Pausing will prevent your message from being cut off.

  • Be courteous - When initiating a transmission, first identify your intended recipient then identify yourself.  This avoids confusion on shared frequencies.  Example: “Jill this is Jane, do you copy?”

  • Be kind - Give the person you are calling time to respond.  Remember, they may have heard your call and are unable to respond immediately.

  • Be thrifty - Use short, clear, and concise messages over the radio to save battery life.  Repeat essential parts of the message to help make sure it is understood.  Keep your radio on and monitor for safety, accountability, and patrol/troop messages.

  • Be clean - Speak across the radio microphone rather than directly into it in order to produce a clear undistorted message.

Scout radio operations also benefit from the use of standardized vocabulary of basic radio terms.  These terms are known as pro-words.

Radio Pro-Words

  • Mayday - Used as a distress call in an emergency situation.  When used, repeat three times: mayday, mayday, mayday.

  • Correction - I made an error in this transmission.  I will continue with the last correct word.

  • Radio check - This means, “What is my signal strength and readability?”  Responses include: “Loud and clear” (or 59), “Weak but readable,” “Weak and distorted,” “Strong and distorted.”

  • Over - I have finished speaking.

  • Say again - Please repeat your last message.

  • Stand-by - This means, I acknowledge your transmission.  Please wait for me to respond.

  • Go-ahead - I am listening and can respond.  Please proceed with your message.

  • I spell - Say this prior to spelling a difficult or ambiguous-sounding word.

  • Read back - Please repeat my entire transmission back to me.

  • Roger - Message received and understood.

  • Affirmative / Negative - Yes / No

  • Out - Our conversation is finished.

The ability of Scouts to communicate using radio under difficult conditions is enhanced by having the ability to spell words using the international phonetic alphabet.  There are times when our spoken words cannot be understood when transmitted over the radio.  This can be caused by a weak signal or high noise levels.  Often, our words can be understood via radio by spelling the words out using the phonetic alphabet.  Knowing how to do this is a critical survival skill for Scouts.

Phonetic Alphabet

A Alpha

E Echo

I India

M Mike

Q Quebec

U Uniform

Y Yankee

B Bravo

F Foxtrot

J Juliet

N November

R Romeo

V Victor

Z Zulu

C Charlie

G Golf

K Kilo

O Oscar

S Sierra

W Whiskey

D Delta

H Hotel

L Lima

P Papa

T Tango

X X-ray

Have fun in the outdoors and be prepared.  Having a radio transceiver and knowing how to use it is an invaluable asset since it provides additional options to communicate in the event of an emergency.

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

September 16, 2022

1,400 US Counties Confirmed on QRZ.COM

US County hunting is a long difficult process.  It is good to celebrate milestones along the journey.  Today, I confirmed 1400 US Counties on  It is a step forward toward completing contacts with all 3,007 US Counties in the 50 states. 

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

September 11, 2022


I was rather surprised to see that today, passed the 1,000,000 views mark.  This wasn't something I was paying attention to or anticipating.  It is fun to see all the same.  Thank you to all of you who are interested in adventure in amateur radio.


Good DX and 73, NJ2X

Confirmed contacts with 10 out 10 New Hampshire Counties

I have been slowly accumulating United States County contacts toward the United States Counties Award.  This is a rather ambitious award (at least for me) as there are 3007 US Counties.  It certainly takes patience to work and confirm contacts with them all.  As with any challenging journey, it is important to stop and smell the roses when they appear.

I recently confirmed my last New Hampshire County (10 out of 10) with a 30m FT8 contact with W1GQQ (Alan) located in Coos County, NH.  That brings my total number of States completed toward the United States Counties Award to five.  Just 45 more US States to go! :-)

Flag of the great State of New Hampshire

The great State of New Hampshire is also well known as the Live Free or Die State.  Each time I see the state's motto, I am reminded of the spirit of fierce American independence conveyed by Patrick Henry's 1775 speech.

"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" -- Patrick Henry, 1775

Are you collecting US County contacts?  If yes, what is your strategy?  Do you happen to know someone who has successfully completed this award?  How did they go about it?  Please leave a comment.  Would love to hear from you.

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

August 14, 2022

BLM campgrounds need friends like YOU!

I just returned from a family Perseid meteor shower viewing campout in Northern California at a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) campground far from civilization and far from light pollution.  Mother nature's lightshow was stunning.  We enjoyed breathtaking views of The Milkyway, a full Moon, and meteors streaking across the sky all night.

Meteor Shower

We knew the location would be a great for meteor viewing since we had stayed there many times over the years.  It is a dry camp with clean pit toilets and a well-maintained road and a half-dozen treed camp sites each with fire rings, covered picnic tables, and plenty of space between the sites.  As a basic campground, it was just perfect for our needs.  The campground doesn’t get much use (or trash) since it far from crowds and is mostly frequented by sportsmen who tend to be respectful caretakers of natural resources.

While breakfast was being prepared, we walked our campsite picking up the odd bits of trash such as bottle caps, pull tabs, rusty nails, unidentifiable metal bits, aluminum foil, cigarette butts, plastic wire ties, wrappers, plastic detritus, broken glass, etc. 

Our family practice is to make our campsites better than we found them.  This is easy to do and only takes a few minutes at the end of every outing after packing up.  All the trash goes straight into the garbage bag which we pack out.  A clean campsite helps others enjoy the site, and we believe this tends to promote a mindset of keeping the camp clean.  Clean tends to attract clean and trash tends attract trash.

Our camp breakfast preparation took a little longer than expected, so we made good use of the wait time by extending our cleanup to include the other unoccupied campsites.  This was also easy to do as it only took a few more minutes to pick up trash in each site.  This particular BLM campground was free of charge, and a cleanup was our way of expressing gratitude and paying it forward to the next happy campers who will come after us. 

Make your campsite better than you found it

BLM campgrounds need more friends to help keep them clean and beautiful.  Each of us can make a meaningful difference.  Bring a garbage bag (or two) whenever you go to BLM properties and take a few minutes during your trip to make it better than you found it and then haul the trash away with you when you leave.  If more of us adopt this habit just imagine how much more pleasurable our collective camping experiences would be.  It starts with shifting mindset and behaving like a steward of our County's beautiful public lands.

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

June 24, 2022

The most popular ham radio event of 2022

“The most popular ham radio event of all is called ARRL Field Day, held on the fourth full weekend of June every year. More”
― ARRL Inc., The ARRL Ham Radio License Manual

Have a safe and happy Field Day!



Good DX and 73, NJ2X

May 22, 2022

WP4RQP Digital QSL Card

I received this beautiful digital QSL card today from Jonnathan, WP4RQP in Puerto Rico.  Thank you for the QSO Jonnathan.

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

April 19, 2022

Digital QSL card from W5DMA

I received a really nice electronic QSL card today from Jovan, W5DMA in Colorado.  The card features a beautiful photo of the Rockies.

W5DMA Digital QSL Card

Good DX and 73, NJ2X