K0OZK, Ozark, Missouri, USA

Hi! It's me! (Who else would it be?)

Image of Rich operating a Navy MARS station, 1977

Rich operating a Navy MARS station, 1977

My name's Rich Clingman, K0OZK in Ozark, Missouri, U.S.A.

The History of a Ham

I was first licensed as Technician Class Amateur Radio Operator in 1976. I'm guessing that I got one of the first "N" calls: N7AEK. I built a Heathkit QRP rig and got discouraged trying to do CW. License expired. Mostly unused.

Well, this photo is evidence that I wasn't totally without Hamming. I helped operated the Navy MARS (Military Affiliate Radio System) station aboard the USS Kitty Hawk (CV63) on 1977-78 WestPac deployment. Long before the days of Internet and email, the way sailors contacted family and friends was by mail (four to six weeks), or by message or phone patch with the help of volunteers at the shipboard MARS station. This photo was used in an article in the shipboard newspaper.

Stupid Morse Code!

While moving in 2011, I came across my old CW key and thought, "If only I didn't need to know Morse Code." (Insert sad face here.) After a little investigation, I found that code has not been required since 2007! (Happy face.) I studied for Technician and felt confident. (I'd been an Avionics Tech in the Navy.) I found out that I could take multiple tests and so I took all three (Tech, General, Extra) in one sitting.

Almost Extra. Extra!

I earned Tech and General. I missed Extra by one question--you know, that question where you say, "I know it's that answer, but I'm going to choose this answer." So, that week I studied more seriously and passed Extra. (Another happy face.) I used Ham Test Online to study. They're still around, and the website looks the same. Don't let that put you off. They still have one of the best exam prep services available.

For several years, with my local club in Ramona, California, I was Network Control (W6WXY) for our weekly net. I also helped with some test prep and exams, but did little else.

I've been a "7", a "6", now a "0"

Ozark Mill. Photo by Ozark Chamber of Commerce.

The Ozark Mill. Photo by Ozark Chamber of Commerce.

When, in 2019, I moved to Ozark, Missouri, I decided to get a local "0" callsign and get more involved in Ham. I found that K0OZK was available and got that. But I still hadn't done anything with my license.

Now, in 2023, wanting to get back into using my Amateur Radio License a bit more, I joined the Nixa Amateur Radio Club. They have an amazing set of repeaters in the Southwest Missouri Linked Repeater System.

Band Plan

I started looking into the Ham band plan (what frequencies are available and what emissions are allowed). There were a lot of PDFs you can download. But there didn't seem to be an interactive app available for that, so I've begun working on BandPlan.info with the objective of an interactive Web App that can be installed on most any device.

Rattle that Ribbit

In August 2023, I learned about a cool emerging tech called Ribbit Radio. It proposes to use our smartphones with our Amateur Radio HTs (Handheld Transceivers) to more reliably and quickly pass messages. The developers have created test/demonstration applications for Android and IOS. (The pre-release test of Ribbit is called Rattlegram.)

In my excitement, within a couple of days, I created a Ribbit PWA Test to test whether a single-application might support all mobile and desktop/laptop devices.