Let’s Keep Talking

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rk4fd.jpg

This is a postcard from a fellow human who is uniquely identify as RK4FD. I talked to him via Morse Code on 7,030 Kilohertz. at 00:18 Coordinated Universal Time on 19 February 2022 on the eve of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. I told him I am in New Jersey and he told me he was transmitting 1,000 watts. That’s all I know about him other than that we are both humans and he was alive at that moment in time. I cannot express in words how deep the connection is that I feel toward him right now.


“War is what happens when language fails.”
– Margaret Atwood


I am an amateur radio operator, N2BA, first licensed in 1966.

I am an avid contester meaning that I like entering competitions where hams try to see how many different people they can talk to all over the world.

The marvelous thing about radio contests is that although fiercely competitive, you win by helping your competitors win.

For example, imagine it is mid-February 2022 and you are competing in the ARRL DX CONTEST with Paul Bogachev, RK4FD, 9 hours drive south-east of Moscow. He has an amazing shortwave station that has logged 156,007 contacts between December 21, 1987 and February 1, 2022. You won’t be able to win that contest by refusing to talk to him because the winner is the person who talks to the greatest number of people who could possibly beat them.

The information we exchange with each other in a contest is trivial. For example, in the ARRL DX Contest that I did last weekend, I told RK4FD that I was in New Jersey and he told me his transmitter generated a kilowatt of power.

There was a poignancy in our communications this time because it was on the eve of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. I talked to 53 stations in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. It didn’t matter the particulars of what information we exchanged. What we were saying underneath it all is:

“We’re still alive and we’re still talking.”

It makes me cry to think that that might not be true for some of us, this time next year.

The problem isn’t that some of us stop talking because we die. That happens every year. That’s when a ham becomes a silent key.

What makes me cry is that this time some of us might die because we’ve stopped talking.

73,

Brooke, N2BA, YN2SX

P. S. Last weekend I made a total of 780 contacts in 98 countries over 12 hours. Below are are the contacts from my log who were in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. Click on the call letters to see their station.

If you want to see who else has participated you can go here. If you see call letters of someone who interests you, you can find them at QRZ.com. If you create an account, you can find their email address. If you email them, perhaps you could ask them to read this article, translate it into their native language and pass it along.

That’s my idea of a contest for 2022. I call it: Let’s Keep Talking.

QSO: 3528 CW2022-02-19 0001 N2BA 599 NJEU4E599 500
QSO: 7030 CW2022-02-19 0018 N2BA 599 NJRK4FD599 KW
QSO: 7015 CW2022-02-19 0038 N2BA 599 NJUW1M599 KW
QSO: 14040 CW2022-02-19 1543 N2BA 599 NJRA3AN599 100
QSO: 14040 CW2022-02-19 1544 N2BA 599 NJUR8RF599 200
QSO: 14040 CW2022-02-19 1546 N2BA 599 NJUW1M599 KW
QSO: 14040 CW2022-02-19 1547 N2BA 599 NJUR5QU599 100
QSO: 14040 CW2022-02-19 1548 N2BA 599 NJEW8AX599 80
QSO: 14040 CW2022-02-19 1548 N2BA 599 NJRL6C599 100
QSO: 14040 CW2022-02-19 1548 N2BA 599 NJUA6CC599 KW
QSO: 14040 CW2022-02-19 1549 N2BA 599 NJR4KO599 KW
QSO: 14040 CW2022-02-19 1549 N2BA 599 NJRM2E599 KW
QSO: 21047 CW2022-02-19 1556 N2BA 599 NJUB7K599 KW
QSO: 21047 CW2022-02-19 1602 N2BA 599 NJUW0K599 KW
QSO: 21047 CW2022-02-19 1604 N2BA 599 NJUX0FF599 200
QSO: 14038 CW2022-02-19 1641 N2BA 599 NJUY7NR599 100
QSO: 14033 CW2022-02-19 1643 N2BA 599 NJR5AJ599 KW
QSO: 14033 CW2022-02-19 1643 N2BA 599 NJRU3A599 KW
QSO: 14033 CW2022-02-19 1643 N2BA 599 NJUW1M599 KW
QSO: 14033 CW2022-02-19 1644 N2BA 599 NJUX1BZ599 100
QSO: 14033 CW2022-02-19 1645 N2BA 599 NJRM6Y599 500
QSO: 14033 CW2022-02-19 1646 N2BA 599 NJEV1R599 KW
QSO: 14033 CW2022-02-19 1646 N2BA 599 NJR6DJM599 KW
QSO: 14033 CW2022-02-19 1649 N2BA 599 NJRC3W599 KW
QSO: 14033 CW2022-02-19 1650 N2BA 599 NJEU1DX599 100
QSO: 14033 CW2022-02-19 1650 N2BA 599 NJRT4G599 KW
QSO: 14033 CW2022-02-19 1653 N2BA 599 NJUR7MZ599 100
QSO: 14033 CW2022-02-19 1654 N2BA 599 NJUV5U599 KW
QSO: 14033 CW2022-02-19 1655 N2BA 599 NJUT4U599 KW
QSO: 14033 CW2022-02-19 1655 N2BA 599 NJUT5VX599 100
QSO: 14033 CW2022-02-19 1658 N2BA 599 NJEW1I599 K
QSO: 14033 CW2022-02-19 1659 N2BA 599 NJUW0K599 D
QSO: 14033 CW2022-02-19 1701 N2BA 599 NJUY1HY599 KW
QSO: 3516 CW2022-02-19 2350 N2BA 599 NJRW7K599 KW
QSO: 3520 CW2022-02-19 2351 N2BA 599 NJUW1M599 KW
QSO: 1834 CW2022-02-20 0133 N2BA 599 NJUT6UD599 KW
QSO: 1836 CW2022-02-20 0208 N2BA 599 NJRT4G599 KW
QSO: 14030 CW2022-02-20 1600 N2BA 599 NJR8TT599 K
QSO: 14023 CW2022-02-20 1603 N2BA 599 NJRA2F599 500
QSO: 21047 CW2022-02-20 1609 N2BA 599 NJEU1A599 KW
QSO: 21095 CW2022-02-20 1609 N2BA 599 NJUA2FZ599 KW
QSO: 14084 CW2022-02-20 1616 N2BA 599 NJRC7A599 KW
QSO: 14084 CW2022-02-20 1620 N2BA 599 NJUC7A599 KW
QSO: 14084 CW2022-02-20 1622 N2BA 599 NJRN6MA599 100
QSO: 14084 CW2022-02-20 1623 N2BA 599 NJR5DT599 KW
QSO: 14084 CW2022-02-20 1625 N2BA 599 NJEU3A599 500
QSO: 14049 CW2022-02-20 1645 N2BA 599 NJRN3P599 100
QSO: 14049 CW2022-02-20 1647 N2BA 599 NJUS7UK599 100
QSO: 14049 CW2022-02-20 1645 N2BA 599 NJRN3P599 100
QSO: 14049 CW2022-02-20 1655 N2BA 599 NJRC6U599 K
QSO: 7059 CW2022-02-20 2218 N2BA 599 NJEU1A599 KW
QSO: 14020 CW2022-02-20 2245 N2BA 599 NJUA0DX599 KW
QSO: 7002 CW2022-02-20 2321 N2BA 599 NJRW1A599 KW
QSO: 7027 CW2022-02-20 2325 N2BA 599 NJRM2U599 KW

Author: Brooke Allen

Founder – Viral Virtue, Inc.

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