Rickie Traeger Blog: Space-X Falcon 9 Full Thrust Launch, SKYWARN,ARES,Ham Radio, Recent DX Contacts, Etc…


Watch the Falcon 9 Full Thrust Launch at http://www.spacex.com/webcast

This is one of those late night blogs. So it might be one of those long ones. Don’t say I did not warn ya, lol

I hope everyone was able to get out and enjoy the weather recently, before the rain moved in. We never did have those thunderstorms.  I was looking forward to those. Oh well, it is not like we won’t have thunderstorms in the future lol.

I been reorganizing my RS/Photography bag. I was able to fit more stuff in it. I also added a hidden tracker in it, in case it gets stolen.  I went through it and found my motion/lightning trigger device. It did not work before, but I am going to try it out again this year, maybe it was operator error before. So wish me luck. I am hoping to get some bad azz lightning photos this year.  We did not have many storms in 2017, I am hoping 2018 will be better.

I am making plans to go chasing in the Midwest this year. Nothing is set in stone yet.  I am talking with a few chaser friends of mine and we are making plans.  No dates are set, probably one the spur of the moment things.  We decided it be cheaper to pool together and do a team thing.  And use the broker to sell our footage to media outlets to help fund the chases.  Like I said, nothing is set in stone yet, so I can not say too much right now, it is in the planning stages still.

Speaking of that topic, I went to our local ARES and SKYWARN meeting on Monday night. it is always a pleasure to attend those.  I don’t want to say too much about the meetings, because I am not sure what I can and can not make public. But it was fun seeing everyone in person and I am looking forward to the ARES and SKYWARN in 2018.

If you want to become a part of ARES and/or Skywarn or just learn about ham radio in the Rockford area,     CLICK HERE

I was able to get 2 DX stations recently.  First one was in Canada, VA3SZ.

The other one was in Venezuela,  YV5ENI.

The band conditions have been up and down the last few weeks. So I was excited to get these.  They both were 5/9 + on the S levels.   🙂

I am listening to Coast to Coast AM as I type this. I am enjoying the topic tonight. The guest is talking about space!  He made a good point that many do not realize. That is when you look up in the sky, almost every star you see has a planet around it. Yes, that is true!  Our universe is vast, beyond any imagination.  And we are learning more things everyday!

Speaking of space, there is a launch in a few hours! The Falcon 9 Full Thrust,  PAZ & Microsat-2a, Microsat-2b is launching just after 8 am this morning.  I plan on watching it. I am excited. Yes, I am a huge space geek. They are testing out the starlink, a space based internet service of 4000 satellites! Also a military earth observatory satellite.

SpaceX is targeting a Falcon 9 launch of the PAZ satellite to low-Earth orbit on Wednesday, February 21 from Space Launch Complex 4 East (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The instantaneous launch opportunity is at 6:17 a.m. PST, or 14:17 UTC. (8:17 AM CDT) The satellite will be deployed approximately eleven minutes after launch.

Falcon 9’s first stage for the PAZ mission previously supported the FORMOSAT-5 mission from SLC-4E in August 2017. SpaceX will not attempt to recover Falcon 9’s first stage after launch.

If you are still reading this, thank you 🙂     I will close this out by saying a few things.  I hope everyone has a safe and happy Wednesday. Also I highly encourage you to get involved in the ham radio hobby. And also watch the amazing Space-X Falcon 9 Full Thrust rocket launch just after 8 am this morning!



Rickie Traeger Blog: Happy Friday!


Good morning everyone. Guess what day it is, yup Friday!

Tonight it is supposed to be around 4 degrees above zero.  But it is supposed to rise! Yes, you hear me right! Monday is supposed to be around 50 degrees and even a thunderstorm! That would be the first thunderstorm of 2018 for us!

The warm weather is well needed!  I had to go up on the ladder yesterday and use a hammer and a flat head screwdriver to chisel out a ton of ice from the roof and gutters. That was a chore in itself!  I tossed some salt down on it, and that made things  a lot better. I tossed the salt on it, waited about 30 minutes and came back and tried to get rid the ice. I should of took some photos of it, but I just wanted to get it done.

I am going to send out a shout out to Lask Roofing.  If you are having any ice on your roof, leaking, etc… issues. Be sure to call them!

I watched the Nascar Duels yesterday.  Was good to see Nascar on tv again.  Was very interesting to see the new car design and the aerodynamics and how it was getting everyone loose. A lot of accidents in the duels, because of the aerodynamics from the new car design. It will be an interesting season for sure.

I am going to pop off here, hoping to catch some zzzz’s.    I injured myself while chiseling that ice, so the rest is well needed.  I will blog later on today.





Rickie Traeger Blog: Winter Storm, NASACR, Olympics Opening Ceremony


Good Friday!

As you know we got slammed with a lot of snow in the last 24 hours. National Weather Service said we got between 6-10 inches unofficially.  Definitely is nice to see the snow!  I can’t wait for spring time, but the snow is nice to see. I guess they said another inch or two overnight tonight as well.

I took my youngest daughter sledding today for the first time.  She enjoyed it. We had fun. Cold but fun.  She went down a few times then wanted to come back home. So after going down the hill a few times, we came back home. We got stuck on the way back home. But we were able to get un-stuck, thank god.  When I got home I did the driveway.  My driveway wasn’t too bad. But the end of the driveway, OMG.  That part sucked.  The city plows come by and plow the street snow into the end of the driveway, and that snow is heavy as heck.

We went to build a snowman, but the snow was not packing. So we have to wait awhile to build one. That will be fun to do 🙂

Tonight is the opening ceremony for the Olympics.  That be fun to watch 🙂   We watched the skating and skiing last night.  The skaters kept falling, was interesting to see. You have to ask yourself, why are all these professional athletes falling?  I mean almost every skater fell during the competition.

NASCAR starts this weekend also!  Stewart-HAAS Racing and William Byron are the people I am rooting for this season.  I wanted to go for a rookie this year, so William Byron it is.  I am excited about NASCAR starting back up as well 🙂







Rickie Traeger Blog: Winter Storm Warning, Everyone Please Be Safe


Good evening everyone!

I thought I would make a quick blog on the weather real quick. 

National Weather Service is now forecasting up to 12 inches of snow in the area now.  (7-12 inches) This will be the biggest snowfall of the season    😎

I am doing a time lapse video of the snow event, hopefully the video turns out good. My luck, probably not lol.  But going to give it a try. It be a cool video if it does work right.

Speaking of, if you have photos or videos of the snow, email them to me at RockfordScanner@Gmail.com

Pretty much every jurisdiction has enforced the snow parking ordinance.  That means you can not park on the street, without having consequences. So get your vehicle off the roads. Or if you have too, they are doing the odd/even parking.  CLICK HERE

As I type this (just after 6 pm) the snow is starting to fall. The heaviest will be after midnight. 1-2 inches per hour is in the forecast. That is a lot of snow!  Friday morning commute is going to be very dangerous.  Officials have already made it clear to not drive, unless you absolutely have too.  At those amounts, the snowplows probably won’t come out until 3 am (like usual) and start their rounds then. Even at that, it will be hard for them to keep up.

Be prepared for possible power outages, being snowed in a day or two, etc…  This can be a life threatening event, if you do not prepare and use commonsense. Stock up on water, food, wood, charge your cell phones, battery backups, etc… The usual stuff.  Also if you need to travel, make sure you have a fully charged cell phone, extra clothing and blankets, flares, roadside emergency kits, etc… If you have a winch, that would be a good addition to add as well.

We have had worse storms in the past. So it is nothing new to our area. But this is the first “big” snowfall of this season. And you know how some people can act and also forget things.  So I wanted to remind everyone, to please use commonsense and be safe out there!

Hopefully the schools that do have school tomm. will cancel for a snow day. And the kids can go out and enjoy the snowday and go sledding and stuff like that.  I know some workplaces said come hell or high water they were staying open. My opinion, I feel that is the wrong thing to do.  Safety first.

Check on your neighbors and elderly.

Here is the forecast from the National Weather Service below


* WHAT…Heavy snow expected. Travel will be very difficult to
impossible at times, including during the morning commute on
Friday. Total snow accumulations of 7 to 12 inches, with
localized higher amounts are expected.

* WHERE…Portions of north central and northeast Illinois.

* WHEN…From 6 PM this evening to 6 PM CST Friday.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…While heavy snow is likely across much of
northern Illinois tonight, there is likely to be a sharp cutoff
in snowfall amounts to the south of Interstate 80.


A Winter Storm Warning for snow means severe winter weather
conditions are expected. If you must travel, keep an extra
flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an





Rickie Traeger Blog: Winter Storm Watch, X-Files, Website Updates, Etc…

wx9rlt, skywarn, ham, radio, illinois, amateur, rockford, winnebago, il, loves park, net, control, repeater, net control, operator, rickie, ricky, traeger, rickie traeger, ricky traeger, storm, severe

Good afternoon everyone! 

It is looking like via the forecast models that Thursday Night and Friday we are going to have the biggest snowfall yet of the season.  On the low end (as in the lowest possible) it appears to be around 5 inches.  On the high end it will be 13.5 inches.  So in all probability we will get somewhere in the middle.

The system has shifted to the North more, which means that we will be getting more snowfall than originally expected. We currently do have a Winter Storm Watch out for us. They said 6-9 inches. I think they are sitting on that 13.5 forecast right now and not making that public.

We all know it is Mother Nature, and she will do what she wants. And I think they are sitting on that forecast right now, because that sure is a lot of snow and they probably don’t want the public to panic.  But the latest models are showing an increase in snowfall amounts since the system has now shifted.

I would suggest everyone to start preparing for a lot of snow. And possibly being stuck home a day or two.  Go get extra food, water, salt, shovels, gas, etc…  The typical stuff.  Make sure your snowblowers are running.

Enough about the snow for now, I am sure I will be posting photos and videos of the event in the next few days


Guess what day it is?  It is X-Files tonight!   So heads up, do not bother me from 7-8 PM tonight, lol.  I turn off all my gadgets and don’t answer the phone or doors while the X-Files is on (also Walking Dead, which will be starting up soon too)   So kick back and watch the X-Files tonight 🙂

I have been updating my website here in the last few days. I been updating the pages. And messing around with stuff. I am going to be adding new fonts probably later on tonight or tomm.   I like to have a blog that has color and spice to it. Instead of the plain fonts. Yes, it is easier to read with it being plain. But I hate being plain, I like to be unique.  🙂  So be on the lookout for the new font styles in the near future!




Rickie Traeger Blog: Tuesday Blog, Cold and Snow, Ham Radio Meetings, Missing Those Who Passed


Good Morning! Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone is staying warm it is -8 right now as I type this and alot of snow on the ground now.

My cousin posted a thing on social media on songs that turned 30 in 2018.  And holy cow that brought back a lot of memories. Hard to believe its been that long ago.  Time flies by.  30 years already.

On that topic,  Been thinking about those I have lost over the years. As they say, gone but never forgotten. I really miss everyone that I lost over the years. My dad, both grandpa’s, aunts and uncles, best friends, etc… I really do feel blessed to still be around these days.  I plan on living to be 116 years old.  So you guys are stuck with me a few more years, lol.    But on a serious note,  I really miss everyone. And I really do hope that when we do pass away, its not the end but the start of a brand new adventure.

Reminder to my ham radio friends, the RARA meeting is Friday. The ARES and SKYWARN meeting is this upcoming Monday.






Rickie Traeger Blog: Svengoolie, Super Bowl, SKYWARN Training


Good afternoon!

Today is the Super Bowl.   Who are you going to be rooting for?

I am going to be rooting for the underdogs, the Philadelphia Eagles.
Last I saw the Patriots were up by 5 points in the spread. I don’t know if that has changed since. But the Patriots were definitely the favorites.

We watched Svengoolie last night.  We didn’t watch much of the Godzilla ones. Last night he played the movie “ANTS”  which was pretty good. It was good to see something besides Godzilla. We love Svengoolie, but didn’t care much for the Godzilla marathon lol.  I never heard of the movie ANTS before. Was neat to see a “new” movie and it was pretty good. We all enjoyed it!

We got a little bit of snow outside now. Not much though. Maybe an inch or 2. They are talking about more snow tomm. they said “Possible significant amounts” that will be nice to see. I love snow, I just hate the cold, lol. I know ya can’t have one without the other, but hey 😛
Speaking of weather, below I posted the SKYWARN training information

To all those interested in storm spotting, the NWS has released their Winnebago County training schedule for our area.

Date: Wednesday, March 14
Time: 6:30pm
Location: Cherry Valley Fire Station 2, 4919 Blackhawk Rd. Rockford, Il 61109

Spotter training classes cover severe weather hazards including thunderstorms and tornadoes. This includes the general structure and movement of severe thunderstorms, identification of important storm features, and safety concerns.

Additional classes can be added. Please check back for updates.
All classes last about 2 hours.
They are free and open to the public.
Classes are appropriate for all ages. Ages 10 and up will likely get the most out of the training.
Pre-registration is NOT required unless specifically noted for a particular class.
Classes are scheduled in collaboration with local emergency management officials.
You may attend a class in any location, offered by any NWS office, regardless of where you live.




Rickie Traeger Blog: Total Eclipse, Super Blue Moon, Curse Of Oak Island. Happy Tuesday!


Happy Tuesday Everyone!

Tonight is Curse of Oak Island. The preview of tonights show looks pretty awesome.  I hope they do find some treasure!

I been listening to the Rockford Airport for awhile today. A lot of traffic for being daytime. Kinda nice to listen too.  I head a L-39 earlier. Also heard some military jet fly by the house fast as heck and heard on on the air. But no clue what it was. All I know it flew by fast, lol.

Tomm. night is supposed to be the total lunar eclipse! They call it the Super Blue Moon, the 2nd full moon of the month. Also a total lunar eclipse.  That will be a little before sunrise in the morning.  So be sure to get outside and watch.

On that note, I am pretty sure we will probably have clouds. It never fails that whenever something awesome in the sky happens, we have cloudy conditions!






Rickie Traeger Blog: 50’s, Hail and Thunder, To A Few Inches Of Snow.



Good morning everyone.  It has been a crazy last 24 hours for the weather in our area. It was in the 50’s, and as I type this it is snowing. We are expected to get 1-3 inches. That i snot much, but still it is a change from what it was not even 12 hours ago. Joys of living in the midwest.

We also had hail and thunderstorms about 12 hours ago.  It hailed for approx. 3 minutes here. It covered the ground. The largest of the hail stones I measured, was just over a penny in size. I am thankful none of our windows were shattered. Because you could hear it coming down and doing some damage.

Now, it is snowing and cold and windy outside. Go figure, LOL.

This mornings commute will be a slippery one. So when you go out, allow extra time and drive slowly.  I have not heard any of the plows coming out yet (at the time of writing this) I am sure they will be out soon though.  Officers are reporting several vehicles in the ditches all over the area already and it is not even 4am. I take that back, it is 4 am right now, I just looked at the clock.






Rickie Traeger Blog: Rest In Peace Dolores O’Riordan, Meteor Explodes Over Michigan, Northern Illinois ARES and SKYWARN, Photography, X-Files Is On Tonight!



Good morning everyone!

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Wednesday!

I just found out one of my favorite bands, the lead singer of The Cranberries (Dolores O’Riordan) has passed away 2 days ago!   This is sad, because she was awesome and a hell of an artist!  May she Rest In Peace!

I fell asleep last night, so I missed watching Curse Of Oak Island!  I was super tired though.  So I got some well needed rest.

Speaking of TV shows, my X-Files comes on tonight!   I am super excited!!!

Not too much happened yesterday.  Just kicked back and relaxed awhile.  I been hurting pretty bad lately. As you know I injured myself, and it has been hurting pretty bad. So I been trying to take it easy.

I went to the ARES meeting Monday night.  Driving there and back was a little fun with the road conditions. But I made it there and back in one piece.   I got to meet KV9E (Jerry)  in person. Was awesome meeting him.  I also got to talk to Dave. I haven’t seen him since hamfest.  And we were able to discuss the upcoming Winter Field Day at the end of the month.  And also SKYWARN stuff.  It was a good meeting overall.  Northern IL ARES and SKYWARN is a great group of people and I am proud of them and and proud to be a part of them.  Keep up the great work!

I am trying to work on something for my website here. I don’t want to spoil it yet. But it has been hard to figure out. I like challenges, but at the same time it is frustrating lol.   I will be happy once it is up and active 😉

That is the one cool thing about owning my own website. I can do what I want, when I want and how I want.  It is a part of me and I can express what i like and do not like. And say what I want thanks to the Freedom Of Speech. And speaking of, I need to finish up those questions on the About Me page on here.

I been wanting to do more photography in 2018.  I been thinking of a theme to do. I have several in mind. But I think I will leave it up to my fans (or haters lol)  What theme should I do for photography for 2018?

Speaking of photography, I been going through older photos I took and touching them up and messing around.  Below is just one of many. I been experimenting with HDR and also monochrome.

That photo is of Art Nalls Harrier Jet at the Rockford Airport 5 years ago. I was using my T2I camera back then.  I did a little HDR with this photo. It kind of makes it look “vintage” in a way.  What do you think of the photo?

I just found out a meteor exploded over the Michigan area a few hours ago. Check out this amazing video!

I will close this out for now. May Dolores O’Riordan Rest In Peace! You will be missed by many!  I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful Wednesday!

Do not forget the X-Files is on tonight at 7 PM pm Fox 🙂