All posts by bdonova1

Tim Hunkin Videos

Possibly in the 90s you saw the British TV show called “The Secret Life of Machines”. It featured maker and cartoonist Tim Hunkin. I hadn’t seen anything about him in years, but he recently started a YouTube channel and started a new series of videos called “The Secret Life of Components”.

Though not ham radio specific, it discusses many things that still may be of interest. Six have been released and they are still being released about 1 per week. Prominently featured are his hand-built arcade/novelty machines.

His Secret Life of Machines shows have been remastered for his YouTube channel.

Though some of the topics might seem elementary, I find I learn something in every episode.

Here is the link to his channel, give it a try:

Inputting Paper Logbooks to PC

Since I started logging electronically in the early 2000s, it certainly has been a made ham logging much more versatile and is considered a required tool for most hams today. There is so much you can do, with LoTW,, HRDLog, Clublog, etc. for tracking awards, confirming QSOs, and contest logging.

Since I got started a bit late with electronic logging, I actually went back and wanted to log past contacts that were done on paper. When I initially started with this idea, I only went back to when I received my current callsign, K2AS, in 1997. So I only needed to go back maybe 10 years or so, and a big chunk of that time I had moved QTHs and was off the air for a while.

I couldn’t see an automated process working, as my handwriting was not great and I have trouble figuring out callsigns I wrote down in my log, much less expecting an OCR to be able to read it.

Initially I tried to utilize the current electronic logbook I use, Ham Radio Deluxe, but it proved to cumbersome for the task of transferring paper logs to PC. I tried a few other ones as well, but they have too many features and are designed for real-time logging.

The tool that I finally came across which makes the manual transfer of written logs to PC is called Fast Log Entry by It is a simple program that saves files in plain text format, and also will export to ADIF format. It has a simple method of log entry that includes a number of simple shortcuts to make it as easy as possible.

There may be other methods out there I’m unaware of, but from my searching, this one worked best for me.

Luckily, the number of QSOs I needed to enter were probably in the neighborhood of 1000, so if you have thousands to enter, I hope you have a lot of time. I did it in chunks, doing 1997-2008 or so in one chunk, then went back a coupe years later and over a couple of days did from my novice days in 1971 up until 1997.

I’m guess very few if any of these contacts will be confirmed on LoTW, but it will be nice to have all of my QSOs logged electronically. I have them in my HRD logbook now, and logbook as well.

Maybe one day one of these old QSOs will get matched up with the other end and I’ll get an email from a contact from back in 1971.

Fall 2020 XARC Fox Hunt


We’re announcing our fall 2 Meter Fox Hunt Saturday, November 7th at Mendon Ponds Park.

All four foxes will be within walking distance of the start, so there will be no driving involved. This will enable participants to be far enough apart to be Covid-19 safe. Nevertheless we will require everyone to have (and use) a mask.

Tentatively the hunt will start from the Canfield Road parking lot. Registration will be at 9:00 AM with the hunt starting at 9:30. We ask everyone to bring a lunch. After the hunt we plan to meet at one of the shelters for awards. The rain date for the hunt will be November 14th.

The hunt is free and opened to everyone. You can hunt alone or with a team (so long as you obey Covar-19 distancing requirements).

Frequencies and hunt rules will be distribute in about a week.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

We hope you can join us.


Bob Karz, K2OID
Ned Asam, W2NED

Hunt Masters

Repeater Update

Harry W2HRY and myself replaced our 2 meter DR1X repeater with a new DR2X model. All went well and settings are the same for the moment. We will likely move from a CTCSS Tone Squelch to a DCS (Digital Coded Squelch) system in a couple of months.

DCS is a newer and better system from a performance standpoint. It will hopefully eliminate squelch hang and noise.

Here is a photo Harry took –

Website Etc

At one time it was setup so that all posts here on the website were automatically published on our Facebook page ( ). Apparently that stopped working a few months ago, so I investigated why. Facebook now requires all websites that publish to Facebook be from sites that have SSL enabled (https). The additional cost for that feature is approx $70/yr.
Other than Google (and maybe others) labeling this website as (Not secure), lowering our search index ranking, we probably cannot justify paying the additional costs.
We aren’t trying to sell anything, we don’t ask for sensitive information, our dues payments are handled by PayPal (with https). So we really don’t need it, other than the convenience of our posts being reproduced automatically on our Facebook page.
I will try to manually copy posts here to there, but can’t guarantee they will always end up on Facebbok, so you will have to bookmark this page and visit occaisionally. Sorry.

Fusion Nets

Just a reminder of a couple of nets that the W2XRX 2 meter repeater will often be connected to:

  • Southern Tier Fusion Tech Net – Sundays 8:00PM
    Access is through W2XRX repeater DN mode C4FM. The room number is 40963 for anyone who wants to connect direct. Check-ins encouraged
  • MNWIS Fusion Technical Net – Mondays 8:30PM. DN Mode C4FM. The 2 meter repeater is usually connected via K2AS Wires-X node. Check-ins only with announcements, questions, comments. Room is 21493