Introducing the new SWLing Post Message Board!

Friends, I’d like to share some good news with you!

The short version:

I’ve created an SWLing Post discussion board that anyone can join, free of charge, at

My hope is that this will be a spot for community members to get quick answers to questions and connect with other like-minded operators.

Everyone is welcome and this board is already populated with a number of moderators who will make sure that all questions–no matter how simple–are welcome. Trolls and rude people will be weeded out.

I would encourage you to create an account and check it out:

The long version:

In the past, I’ve mentioned in posts that email from readers and subscribers (of both and the SWLing Post) has increased to a point that I can no longer keep up with them. It became very evident when I went camping in West Virginia last month and came back home to find no less than 60 messages in my inbox. These 60 messages were all ones needing some sort of reply or acknowledgement–they didn’t include notifications and SPAM.

I take pride in replying to each and every message I receive, but sadly I can no longer keep up with the volume. Sadly, I don’t have enough time especially with my busy family life.

In fact, I realized recently that replying to emails is actually taking a large bite out of the time I have to do content creation. I can’t let that happen, because that could quickly lead to burn-out. Both of my sites are pure labors of love and I enjoy them immensely.

What are these emails exactly?

The vast majority are questions about radio gear, antenna construction, purchasing decisions, and folks simply seeking general advice. I would estimate that at least 70% are coming from people who are new to the world of radio. Being passionate about this stuff, I try to help and mentor as best I can. Truth is, though, I’m often a bottleneck if someone needs advice quickly; I frequently run 1-4 weeks behind answering emails because I must find a dedicate morning or afternoon to tackle them all at once. Those blocks of time are rare.

When I answer a question, that reply is only seen by the person who asked it unless I turned the question into a public post (which I try to do with common questions, but requires permission and takes additional time).

On top of that, I’m often not the best person to answer a reader question, so I end up referring people to other sources.

Of course, I also receive news tips, guest posts, article ideas, and kind compliments from readers. These messages are very important to me, actually, and I always give them priority because they fuel content on the SWLing Post and QRPer. I still plan to go through these, of course, as I love sharing your projects, stories, field reports, and more with the community.


I consternated over this problem for months and have reached out to some of you for advice and suggestions of how I could decentralize answering community questions.

I’ve looked at a number of solutions including the creation of an email group, using a modern chat room, and even platforms like Discord. Many of these require downloading apps and are tied into platforms that could change rules and ownership over time. Many are difficult if not impossible to search via generic web searches.

In the end, I wanted to keep the solution “in house” and open source. I also wanted the content to be publicly available to read, search, and archive. I wanted any interaction–i.e. posting and replying–to require logging in with a valid email address and creating an account. This keeps SPAM to a minimum.

The Solution

I decided to create two discussion forums–one for, the other for the SWLing Post— using the phpBB open source application. Many of you recommended this platform–thank you!

A couple weeks ago, I created both installations and made some very basic modifications. I’m very new to this, so I’m positive I’ll need to tweak permissions and forum settings for it to work well. I only have one or two forums in each board as of now, but will add ones that make sense to help filter discussions.

How you can help

I’ve called upon a small group to test the discussion board for a few days and we already have a number of moderators.

If you know me, you’ll know that I like to keep both of my sites on-topic and free of trolls. I like them to be a safe space for all ages. I only moderate comments when someone:

  • uses more than “PG-13” language,
  • dives into heated political or off-topic discussions (there are better sites for that out there),
  • treats others with disrespect,
  • or is simply a troll trying to stir up negative comments.

Discussion forums are a bit like a garden and if they’re not weeded, you lose control. It’s for this reason I need trusted moderators; people I know and who are regular contributors here on the SWLing Post.

Of course, we also need helpful, kind, and encouraging mentors. I want this space to be one where no question is too basic or simple. A safe place for open discussion.

The SWLing Post Message Board:

Feel free to create an account and post your messages and questions.

Keep in mind, that it might take time to sort out permissions, forum settings, etc. so I’m sure there may be a few hiccups along the way. I’m very new to this.

Thank you!

I don’t want anyone to feel an obligation to get involved in the discussion forum; I post this because many of you have asked how you can help.

I think a community-lead forum will actually be a much more efficient way for newcomers to feel invited and get the answers and encouragement they need to move forward.

Many thanks to all of you for all you do. I’m truly humbled by your support and kindness!



Spread the radio love

19 thoughts on “Introducing the new SWLing Post Message Board!

  1. W2ASS

    I wonder if starting a FB page (not group ) that links back to this site would work.
    Post the link on your FB SWL page that will send you back to this site.
    Anyone can comment on your FB page under your post.
    We wouldn’t have to go through the robot clicking photos to reply. Plus you will get more replies with more traffic.

  2. jack dully

    As others have mentioned and myself,the verification code needs to be revamped and simplified,especially for those with a color perception issue.I exhausted my attempts to register due to that difficulty for the first time,ever.

  3. Tom


    The SWLing Post is an extremely valuable resource but can often require an inordinate amount of your time and effort to keep it current. For this we are very grateful and I/we will do whatever is necessary to keep things here running smoothly. Thank you for all you have done to support this interesting hobby of ours.


  4. HammieHammer

    Excellent initiative! Looking forward to reading the posts. And if I can contribute to any discussion, I will.
    Regards from Scotland

  5. Don Hall

    I hope I (we) can take some of the load off of you with this new wrinkle. Creating it was no small bit of extra work, but this investment of time will pay off. Your content and editorial work is too valuable to risk losing via burnout. I’m off to create my account, and thanks for all you do.

  6. Rob W4Zng

    Thanks Thomas. A great time-saver for you, faster turn-around for people with questions, and a robust solution for everyone. Will see you over there.

  7. Bill V Lee

    Most horrible Verification module I have ever NOT seen.

    The image is so “noisy” that I can’t see or make out most of the letters.
    I went through 10 of the “schemes” before I could find a “clean one” where the letters were not in bad colours or over top of each other.


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