Birmingham's Local News stations interviewing for Field Day 2009

@N4HUB Tune into NBC13’s Midday Show today. Paul Nash, W4JY, will be interviewed after 11:00am about BARC’s Field Day this weekend in Trussville.

@N4HUB Tune in to CBS 42’s Wake Up Alabama show Friday morning from 6 to 6:45am. Jeff Drew, N4JDU, and I will be talking about Field Day. 73, Hub

Saddened by the passing of Charles Spanos, N4DKE

The Amateur Radio community and beyond was saddened Monday morning when we learned of the passing of Charles Spanos, N4DKE.

“It is my sad duty to report that Charles Spanos, N4DKE passed away at 5:30 AM this morning. There are no details at this moment.

Bill, KW4J”

I feel I only new Charles a short time… I moved to Birmingham in 2001 and spoke with him several times over the years on the 146.980 repeater. Some of my commutes and drives after work we would utter the phrase “You load sixteen tons” a familiar song that goes like this:

You load sixteen tons, and what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt.
Saint Peter, don’t you call me, ’cause I can’t go;
I owe my soul to the company store…

Somehow even though the words are depressing when he said it it would brighten the day.

At Shelby County Amateur Radio club meetings when we all did introductions (we gave our name and call sign) he would only say “Ya’ll know who I am”. That was his catch phrase!

Thanks to “Just” John Miller for the following pictures:

Goodbye Charles, we truly lost a great engineer and electronics/antenna genius. You will be missed.

Funeral arrangements as follows:

There will be a viewing of the body at 6:00 pm Wednesday June 17th at the Greek Orthodox Church on 19th Street South with a service following at 7:00 pm.
Flowers can be sent to the church. Donations made be made to ARRL under his name and call sign.

This is in addition to the 11am funeral on Thursday morning June 18.

The link to the church is…

Using Twitter Effectively during Severe Weather

With Twitter becoming more mainstream everyday, it becomes obvious that people will use and adapt it to what they do day in and day out.

As some of you know I work with the ALERT group. ALERT is a Ham Radio group that works directly with the National Weather Service in Birmingham to pass spotter reports to forecasters. We are always looking for ways to help gather reports for NWS.

With the help of James Spann the use of the hastag #alwx was born.  Hash Tag terms are used in Twitter to denote ways to search for topics of interest. In this case #alwx stands for alabama weather.  Many spotters across the state (and other states) have adopted this style tag. Other states would use their abbreviation ending in wx. (example: mississippi #mswx, georgia #gawx, ect…)

Now that  you have some background how can you facilitate this?
Here are some tips:

  1. Twitter web page: you can type in search terms in the following box, once entered you get the option to save that search.
  2. Find Twitter desktop client you can run on your pc or mac.
    • Seesmic Desktop: has a way to save searches much like the twitter home page utilizing the bar at the top:
      then you will get a new column that you can click on:
      image  image
    • TweetDeck: also has a way to add a search column to the application.
      image  image
  3. Find a client you can use mobile.
    • PockeTwit: a windows mobile client that has saved searches as a feature as of today.  At the time of this writing I’m not aware of any other mobile clients that have integrated search.

I hope that give you a starting point! I look forward to seeing your weather reports around the Twittersphere!

Questions or comments can be posted here or give me a shout on Twitter! @KV4S

Russell Thomas, KV4S