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A Sad Truth

This is his son, Matthew Shinn, and I am sadly here to say this will be my father’s last physical blog posting. My father passed away on July 18th, 2012. He will be greatly missed by both his family and close friends. Please send us your prayers for we need each and every one of them right now. He is still here in spirit with us, and I look forward to seeing my best friend again someday soon. Thank you everyone for keeping my father busy and active by reading his posts, he loved blogging. Almost every other day he would ask me if I had read his latest blog, and of course I would reply with a, “No, dad I didn’t”. Words can’t describe how amazing of a man he was and still is, I wouldn’t be half the man I am today without his guidance.

Thank you everyone for keeping up with my dad, I know he sure enjoyed it.

Matt Shinn

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Posted by on July 20, 2012 in Uncategorized


Children and Radio Enrichment

Yesterday at noontime, I didn’t do my normal CW practice for an hour. Instead, I worked the children of Winn Brook Elementary via 18 Mhz SSB and through the good offices of W1HIS. Chuck has been volunteering his services as a science teacher for nine years now and throughout the nine years has used Ham Radio to facilitate that instruction. He solicited his club (YCCC) to donate some equipment and uses an IC_746 Pro and an Icom Amp with wire antennas to introduce Ham Radio, Geography and also Morse Code. The class has enough touch keyers to let each child have one and by the end of class in June Chuck has the students sending and receiving the Morse Code at 18 words per minute.

Chucks class room teacher partner is a lady named Donna who herself has a call ( I forgot it) and has fostered this enrichment for her classroom and permitted Chuck to come into the class setting and worked her curriculum around the Science Enrichment. Aside from normal local SSB contacts, Chuck works some DX which serves nicely to help with Geography and also opens lots of doors for the youth to experience other cultures. It is a lot for young minds to gather in but they seem very enthusiastic.

W1HIS with students at Winn Brook Elementary

We spent about 1.3 hours on 18 Mhz SSB with the children on Friday and worked through each of the three “neighborhoods” that the class is divided into. This was my second attempt at having a QSO with the kids and this one lasted a bit longer than the first and seemed to go very well. There were a number of stations reading our “mail” and some stopped by to compliment the intro to Ham radio to the class. Among those stopping by were KU9RK and KI4EFP. Thanks fellas!

W1HIS with Winn Brook student

All in all a wonderful way to spend some quality time with nice kids. I really enjoyed the whole of that QSO!

Neighborhood 1

Nathanial, Jacob, Eleanor, Symantha, Stella, Calder, Amaleah.

Neighborhood 2

Theo I, Theo G, Rebecca, Kavya, Anya, Ryann.

Neighborhood 3

Brian, Brennan, Isabella, Julia, Juliette, Angelina, and Theo M.

Thanks kids!

Thanks for reading my Blog. Best, Chas W5PG.

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Posted by on January 21, 2012 in Radio, Uncategorized



There is some good mixed with not so good when resolving to a list of resolutions. The good bits involve actually thinking about making some positive changes in your life while the bad bits often include having life itself get in the way of good intentions. So, for better or worse I will post a few in hopes that I can make some progress and focus a bit.

  • Keep up my Morse practice. This hour per day has provided a nice opportunity to focus on radio while not stealing too much time from chores. I’m not, nor will I ever be a “CW Man”, but it is a task I am content to do the work necessary to improve. Someone once suggested that 2000 hours of practice is required in order to be “proficient” in any manually dexterous task. An hour a day for five days per week intimates a time investment of 7.69 years of Morse Practice to become acceptably proficient. That seems like a doable time frame. We have been at this for around 3-4 years now. 🙂
  • Make better use of my IC-735 in QRP mode. Ive set things up to run off of battery power and output 5 watts but have yet to do any QRP CW work. Mostly I fall asleep early and I just need to change my habits.
  • Operate on SKN. I keep trying to get involved but never actually manage to do this. Another opportunity is just around the corner
  • Keep walking each morning. I walk 1.5 miles per day now. Perhaps I can increase that somewhat.
  • Continue with my Primal Diet. Ive taken a holiday since around Thanksgiving. Time to get back on track.
  • Take my son and grandson camping with telescopes and radios. Nuff said.
  • Find a way to have a date night with my wife once per month.

That is enough for one year. It is necessary to have enough but not too many. Someone remind me of this post if I don’t write about about “progress” along the way!

Thanks for reading my Blog and a very Merry Christmas to all. Best, Chas W5PG


Posted by on December 24, 2011 in Family, QRP, Radio, Stuff, Uncategorized


From “The Kindness of Others” Department…..

Received a phone call this morning from a dear friend that has now moved away from Dallas. (WM5DX)….after reading here that I had an interest in QRP he volunteered a surplus to his needs HW-8 in good working order. Now isnt that the cats pajamas? Where did I put my 12 VDC battery? Whoopee!

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Posted by on August 8, 2010 in Uncategorized


Livingston and Penn Data UPdated to early 2011

I found this in some later reading. It looks as though the sun spot data is tracking pretty well.

Updated L&P Solar Data

Best W5PG



Posted by on April 13, 2010 in Uncategorized


Goofy Things To Do While Waiting for MRD Contacts

Clearly I have too much time on my hands. That isn’t a bad thing, but it leads to developing weird posts like this one. While I was listening to 20M awaiting it to open to EU so I could work some MRD stations I started rummaging through old trinkets I had saved. I don’t know why I kept these things but suffice to say I snapped them so I could post them here and perhaps one day one of my children will rummage through this digital stuff long after the originals molder and go to the waste bin. At least there will be a digital trace left for them to contemplate why in the world I would keep such things.

Okay with apologies to all! Firstly my license that followed K3YMA. Wv6GUL (1959) and K3YMA (1961) have long since disappeared.

Conditional because it was admistered on the USS AMerica CVA-66

Due to service and deployments my K3YMA had lapsed. WA7SHJ was its replacement. Chief Fred Bacon administered the test for Conditional while deployed in the Mediterranean.

WB6SFM (Send that on Morse) during college period after leaving Huges

I was inactive while in San Diego CA so I never changed my 7 call to a six until I moved up to La Verne and began college. That’s where I got my first tribander.

Next some China Trinkets. Some of you may have noticed my China red star cap in the photo to the right. I picked up a bunch of hats like that to bring back as souvenirs from the 1985 trip I made for a work assignment. I spent a month in China proper and had the unique opportunity to operate both BY1QH (Qing Hua University) and BY1PK in the China Sports Building in Beijing. The schools name is pronounced Tsing Wha University. They sent me home with some cards so I could QSL for my log entries while there. Just a short side note. Wearing those caps with the Red Star should be reserved for the brave of heart if living in Texas USA. More than curious stares come your way when wearing such apparel around these parts!

Qing Hua - Chinas version of MIT


I used an FT-1 while at BY1PK. My activities had to be monitored while operating

A student named Yuan Bo was my sponsor to operate By1PK and he was a student at Qing Hua University.

Some Bumper Stickers frm my trip to operate VP2MU in 1987 (I think)

We went to VP2MU in 1987 (I think) for CQWW SSB. We rented Chod Harris’ place (Lost something anyone remember?) and spread out all over the local desert landscape. I had hooked up with a group of K8 stations including George K8GG and Greg K8GL among others and we had a blast. Of course all of this is now blown to smithereens after the volcanic eruption several years later. I trust Amstel Beer is still around?

Some of my old QSL cards with captions.

Older Contest "Throw away" Card from AZ

Sigh-returned as station unknown. From Tracy Ca circa 1980's

No accounting for bad taste in QSL cards.....circa 1994 ish

And now the creme da la cream…St. Maarten.

Circa 1995 of so. I thought all of these had been burned.

Joe, Sharon and Chuck,Cyndi had a ham vacation in St Maarten. Some radios slipped into luggage and before you knew it Ham Radio had broken out coincident with a contest! That might have been more than luck at work. From the looks of this motley gaggle of photos I had better commit it to CD in case WordPress blows up. As always….We Be Hammin indeed!

Thanks for reading my Blog. Best, Chas W5PG

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Posted by on April 10, 2010 in Family, Maritime, Radio, Stuff, Uncategorized


Tokelau Islands

My wife left yesterday to visit a new grand baby that was mentioned here some weeks ago. I don’t know why but I woke up at O Dark Thirty this morning and my natural inclination is toward the radio if I cannot sleep. I slipped down to 30 M for an early look and low what is this? A nice signal at 10103. Listening up. Hmmm, wonder who that would be at 1030 Zulu? The answer came along soon enough as you will hear. ZK3YA. Kewl by feet, not inches! Whoda thunkit? And so early too boot. I will attach a short audio file here and you can hear what long distance DX sounds like on a dipole early in our local time mornings. I did not manage a QSO (yet) but I will keep trying. He isnt a tower of strength by any measure but Q 5 nonetheless. Now for some visions of towering palms and white sandy beaches while I have my morning Joe!


Thanks for reading my Blog. Best, Chas W5PG

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Posted by on March 8, 2010 in Uncategorized