Who am I?

My name is Rick and I’m an Amateur Extra Class licensee in the USA. My ham call sign is N0NJY - November Zero November Juliette Yankee in standard ITU phonetics. I am retired, live on an island with my wife JoAnne (KB0IRW). We’ve both been hams for over thirty years. I have been both an Amateur and Professional communicator, a communications officer in the United States Air Force for 26 years.

I was an electronics technician for the military, and engineer for the Missile Defense for 44 years total between the two. In 2015 my wife and I departed our home in Colorado after selling it, and everything we owned, buying a large sailboat and spent six years cruising the East Coast of the United States, until 2020 when a hurricane destroyed our marina, and forced us to move off the boat temporarily. In the mean time, my wife was diagnosed with her second recurrence of cancer, and ended up going through her third round of chemo for six months. Deciding not to remain on the boat, we bought a home on the island and have lived here for the last year and a half.

I have been a teacher (college level teaching basic, advanced and digital electronics), a military guy, an engineer, a sailor, a bow maker (called a bowyer), fletcher (making arrows), a “survivalist” which is today called a “Prepper”). I am also a Science Fiction Author, and have written a manual on survival communications (called “Basic Survival and Communications Skills in the Aftermath” - Amazon.com).

Why am I doing this?

I want to help expand knowledge of people, in particular those who want to become Amateur Radio Operators, and Preppers. This is certainly a “niche” and I want to fill it because I receive questions every day about ham radio, and prepping, and how they go together. I hope, here to provide those answers. I’m not looking to make money, I want to help people learn.

The Amateur Radio Community is, to some, a dying community. The Federal (perhaps I should say Feral government?) is dying to suck up our radio bands and reallocate them for money. They have already grabbed a lot of our spectrum, and unfortunately some of our ham organizations are less than perfect at fight back.

If we can grow the amateur community, it becomes more difficult to justify removing our spectrum. Further, radio communications, and prepping go hand-in-hand, even though some do not see the connection. I hope that soon, folks will see this.

How this works…

We will treat this like a blog. There are no fees, there is no money changing hands (I know this is how many on Substack make their living though). The only thing I hope will be changing hands here, is information.

Information is knowledge, and we all know that Knowledge is Power.

I am not a politician, and I am not going to run for office. But I will fight to keep my country free. We are currently watching a take over of the United States from an internal enemy who are trying to shift narratives and the very power of the Constitution away from the Founding documents, and onto themselves.

Most of us Hams tend to shy away from politic discussion on the radio, and I am not much different. However, I’m still going to point out the problems in this country, while trying to help you all see them, and learn.

If you do not like my politics, you believe “preppers” are stupid or crazy, or you’re not really interested in learning about this stuff, then this is probably not a place for you to hang out and read.

However, if you’re interested in Prepping, Survival and Radio Communications, this is the place to be.


In my olden days in the military I used to say, “An Ex is a Has Been, and a Spert is a Drip under Pressure.” There are experts on some things. I am an expert on radio theory. I have held a teaching position and I taught a lot of material in the military to my troops. I was good enough back in the 1980s to have held a Senior Communications position in the White House Communications Agency under Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush. I traveled with those men, and former Presidents (including Carter, Nixon and Ford, all the First Ladies living at the time and many others, for whom we provided communications.

I am NOT an expert on everything. I do, however, have a significant amount of knowledge to pass on, and while I won’t bore you with details, and likely will forget things from time to time, I will endeavor here to provide as much as I can, to allow YOU to do your own research, and studies.

I am not here to give you all the answers, or tell you about every, single circumstance where you can do “this or that”. My job is to provide you with some tools you can use to help yourself advance in radio theory, and to be able to achieve your goals of licensing. Also, I hope my information will give you some insight as to what “Prepping” truly is about.

Other places to find me:

N0NJY's Ham Pages

Rick & JoAnne's Sailing/Cruising Blog

N0NJY's Ham Learning Channel on Telegram

American Patriot Reality Check

American Patriot Reality Check on Substack

N0NJY on Truth Social

N0NJY on Twitter

and lastly my author Page

Rick Donaldson, Author

73 to all, may you all learn and I’ll see you on the AIR!

To find out more about the company that provides the tech for this newsletter, visit Substack.com.

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Preppers and Amateur Radio Communications


Rick Donaldson

Retired USAF, Retired Engineer (Missile Defense Agency), Amateur Radio Extra, Prepper, Airman, Sailor, Tinker, Spy and many other things.