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The profile picture has been changed to a combination of photos, related to the D-Star Trains And Railroads Net that I do every Friday at 8pm Eastern/7pm Central/6pm Mountain/5pm Pacific, on Reflector 26A. A Commemorative Certificate is available for those who checkin (in Adobe Acrobat PDF Format)...but the station MUST have an email address to receive it.

The photo on the left is yours truly (the Conductor for the net), taken at the Arkansas Railroad Museum in Pine Bluff, Arkansas (photo by Peter Smykla). On the scrolling name badge on the Conductor's Hat, it notes "Welcome Aboard From The Conductor".

The photo on the right is a CSX Railroad Crossing in the snow (the photo is used with permission of Abacus Software)...and the two in the middle are my current QSL Card...and a logo for the D-Star Trains And Railroads Net. The logo was designed by Paul Frey, K9PTF...with the Rock Island logo provided by Andy Wellman, KF4JQD. To get a bigger and better resolution of the profile photo, please click on it. 

A YouTube Video, done by Gary Wilt, W2GJW, from the story from the Sept. 22, 2017 edition of Amateur Radio Newsline, is located at:


Yours truly can be seen operating 20 meter HF Railroad mobile, on the Arkansas and Missouri Railroad Troop Train, on Memorial Day Weekend, 2011, along the former Frisco line between Springfield, Missouri, and Fort Smith, Arkansas, from a YouTube Video done by Steve Tune, KC5FWE, located at:


At that time, my callsign was AE5WX. I was originally N5VLZ...and now WX1DER...all noted below. 

A list of other nets that I'm on during the week...either as Net Control, or as a checkin...is in my D-Rats Shared Folder, along with lists of selected D-Star and D-Rats Nets, plus other ham radio related files. Just look for WX1DER on D-Rats -- if you don't see the callsign, please try again later.

I was first licensed as N5VLZ in 1991 as a No-Code Technician. Shortly thereafter, I began running various traffic nets and hamfest talk-ins around the central Arkansas area. I started using packet radio in 2000, and Echolink in 2006. And, I began using D-Star (via the DV Dongle) and D-Rats in 2012.

Because of antenna prohibitions and RFI issues, for the most part, I operate "internet only". The one EXCEPTION is a small 10 watt packet station that will soon be online as a TNC Mailbox. I tried to get it to work with a BBS door, done by the late Dave Perry, W4KGU (SK), but since the program "thinks another connect is already ongoing), I can't use it. However, I can use the EZ Packet program for a TNC Mailbox off of the LIT59 Packet node.

While the idea of operating "internet only" makes the "purists" cringe...the bottom line is, "if you can't get on the air, why get licensed in the first place...let alone bother to upgrade??". Plus, it's hard enough to get hams to serve as "Net Control", whether on RF, VoIP, etc. So, I can't see why we should penalize hams who are in situations (through no fault of their own), where RF gear and antennas are prohibited...so, they have to operate "internet radio" instead.

In July, 2007, 5 months after the FCC dropped the Morse Code requirement for amateur radio licenses, I used HamTestOnline to upgrade from Technician to General in 14 days, and from General to Amateur Extra 13 days later; making it the BEST MONEY I EVER SPENT in amateur radio.

I upgraded not so much to operate on HF, but primarily to become a Volunteer Examiner (VE); because at a central Arkansas Hamfest several years ago, they were literally "begging and pleading for VE's" to help with the license exam session. I realized then that this would be a great way to give back to the hobby, and it was the most rewarding of all of the things that I did with amateur radio, from October, 2007 to the present. I've participated in over 180 license exam sessions, either as an administering VE, or as a VE Team Liaison. I usually run, or help with 2 sessions a month (if not more) in the central Arkansas area...usually on a Saturday.

In June, 2009, I changed to the AE5WX vanity callsign, AE for Amateur Extra, 5 for the 5th Call District, and WX for Weather...mainly Skywarn severe weather operations, which got me interested in ham radio in the first place. I've been indirectly struck by lightning twice (although I carry no electrical charge, and can be handled safely (hi hi)), been under 2 tornadic funnel clouds, been within a mile of an F-1 and an F-4 rain wrapped tornado, and been in swirling floodwaters.

While I respect the weather, I admit I get very nervous when severe weather threatens the area. It'd be nice if severe weather was out in the middle of nowhere, not bothering anyone...but, the bottom line is, that someone's property is being damaged or destroyed...and tragically, many are injured, and lose property, or their lives, during severe weather. I am offline during thunderstorms, and can't even try to work via Wi-Fi, due to intense lightning that usually accompanies the thunderstorms moving through the area. The first thing that usually goes down during storms (winter weather or thunderstorms), is the internet and the cellphones...and lightning strikes around my apartment like an ungrounded Faraday Cage during thunderstorms.

In December, 2012, I changed to the WX1DER vanity callsign, which stands for "Weather Wonder"; the name of a series of weather features that I did while I was in college nearly 40 years ago at the University Of Arkansas At Little Rock (UALR), majoring in Radio/TV/Film. They have an amateur radio club, and an amateur radio callsign server that mirrors the FCC ULS. Little did I know that my "radio" would become "amateur radio". The feature itself ("A Weather Wonder") was patterned after "A Meteorological Minute", a series of features that The Weather Channel was doing shortly after it began operations. I am the VE Team Liaison for the UALR Ham Radio Club. And, the name came from a phrase that I coined, which tells the truth about forecasting..."We analyze data, forecasts, and text. But, wonder what weather will happen next". I'm NOT a meteorologist, but an amateur weather enthusiast. However, I know enough to be dangerous, and "I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night" (hi hi).

Also, "weather wonder" is the domain name of my personal homepage, The Thunderbolt -- A Weather Wonder (www.theweatherwonder.com -- I recently changed webhosting providers to save money, so the domain has changed), my weather group on Facebook (The Thunderbolt -- A Weather Wonder), and my ham radio and weather oriented computer bulletin board system, The Thunderbolt BBS (Telnet or Website login to wx1der.dyndns.org). The BBS is offline whenever thunderstorms threaten the central Arkansas area to protect from lightning damage; so if you can't access the BBS, please try again later. The BBS is running Synchronet BBS software, as noted above.

Postings in the weather group on Facebook are RESTRICTED to WEATHER RELATED ONLY. Any other postings will be deleted, and the poster will be removed from the group. I am VERY SELECTIVE on who gets on my Contact List. While I am also on Google Plus, Twitter, and Skype, these 3 are used VERY SPARINGLY in comparison to Facebook.

While I remain a Life Member of the American Radio Relay League, and a Life Member of Courage Kenny Handi-Hams, I do very little with either of the organizations anymore (except for license exam sessions with ARRL/VEC), and am not a paying member of ANY ham radio club in Arkansas...because of all the political bickering between clubs, especially in over who handles severe weather nets better...or being constantly interfered with on repeaters in Arkansas.

As a result, at the present time, with very few limited exceptions, all of my "on the air" activity is done OUTSIDE of Arkansas., where I feel more welcome. The only Arkansas ham radio activities that I'm involved with are as Webmaster of the Cabot Nightflyers Net (www.thecabotnightflyers.net (note the new domain)), and the Hamming In The Park page (www.theweatherwonder.com/hamnpark.htm (note the new domain)). As noted above, I help with central Arkansas area license exams, and am the VE Team Liaison for the UALR Ham Radio Club.

I'm a proud member of "The Royal Order Of The Wouff Hong" (having gone through it at the 2007 ARRL Great Lakes Division in Cleveland, Ohio, and the 2013 ARRL Delta Division Convention in Rogers, Arkansas). A good time is definitely had by all during the initiation ceremony to this "secret society". Except for one being a paid up ARRL member to participate, I can't go into details as to what goes on, as you have to experience it for yourself. There is nothing degrading or vulgar...you will do a lot of laughing...and participants get a very nice certificate afterwards.

I'm also a member of the Portage County Amateur Radio Service (PCARS) Club in Ohio...the Memphis Digital Amateur Radio Club (MDARC) in Tennessee, a member of the North Carolina Radio Group (NCRG)(obviously in North Carolina), and the Philadelphia Digital Radio Association (PDRA) in Pennsylvania. I do very little else with the clubs, due to my being so far away, but checkin to their nets when possible. And, as of 2016, I'm a member of the Quarter Century Wireless Association (QCWA), and a member of the Arklatex Chapter of the QCWA. But, due to health and financial issues, I rarely travel outside of Pulaski County, whether for ham radio or other activities...and, that includes hamfests, or other events. 

Anyway, I've made ham radio "a family affair"; even though I'm only the second (and probably, the last) ham radio operator in my family to be licensed. With Credit and Glory to The Good Lord for the inspiration, I have created 3 skits in "The Creative Juices Department", as follows:

A) The Ham Radio Wedding -- where ham and radio are united in "Holy Telephony"

B) The Honeymoon And More -- their first night together, and the harmonics early years.

C) Ham For The Holidays -- a Christmas In July theme, based on the melody of "The Twelve Days Of Christmas". It's now "The Twelve Days Of Hamming".

D) Sound effects for ham radio digital modes and selected Third Party Traffic, for item A above.

The first 2 skits have quite a bit of ham radio pun humor (especially the second one), and the third skit picks 12 items from the ham radio hobby. Go to the website of the Cabot Nightflyers Net (URL noted above), click on "The Nightflyers Net" Navigation Tab, and scroll down the page. You will need an appropriate MP3 player to listen to the MP3 files, and the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the PDF file...a combination of everything into one file. 

As noted above, I operate "internet only", due to antenna prohibitions where I live (H.U.D. subsidized housing for the disabled). With both the law of entropy, and the fact that many of the residents out here have medical devices, that could be adversely affected by RFI, I do NOT have any RF gear. Plus, the rules prohibit coaxial cable across the floor (it's a tripping hazard, and it's also a violation during monthly inspections...some more than once a month), and antennas are also prohibited. 

Except for the nets noted below, I am RARELY ON THE AIR. However, to contact me, you can use one of the following methods:

1) Email (the best way to contact me). You must be logged onto the QRZ website to view it.

2) Go to my personal feedback page at http://www.theweatherwonder.com/fbk.htm -- and follow the instructions.

3) Leave a message to WX1DER on D-RATS (usually up only on selected evenings U.S. Time)

4) Leave a message to WX1DER on Winlink 2000.

5) Eyeball QSO's at selected central Arkansas Hamming In The Park events, or license exam sessions. 

I will reply via email as soon as possible, so please include your email address if you want a reply.

A file of the nets that I'm involved with is on the Echolink Nets page that I maintain (http://www.theweatherwonder.com/elk.htm) -- look for the link that notes a list of nets that I check into. The file is in PDF format, current as of the date at the top of the file, and you'll need the Adobe Acrobat Reader to download the file. You can also get a list of Selected D-Star Nets and D-Rats Nets (in PDF format) by emailing me, as per option 1 above. The latter also includes links to D-Star HF Nets and XRF D-Star Nets...and these are available for download via D-Rats, when I am online with that mode.

73 (Best Wishes), and 75 (May God Bless You And Yours) DE WX1DER.

8453524 Last modified: 2017-11-15 00:16:27, 13348 bytes

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QRZ Logbook Summary for - WX1DER
Latest Contacts for WX1DER at QRZ.com
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W0WMM 2013-07-03 2m FM FM19rc United States William M Mitchell

Book Totals: 1 qso's   1 confirmed Get a free logbook at QRZ.COM

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