Thursday, May 23, 2019

New QRP Group

Thanks to Twitter, I have come across what seems to be a relatively new QRP group, based out of Indiana. They call themselves "Fireflies QRP"


Right now, I only see a presence on Twitter and there is a Groups.io e-mail reflector. Here is there Mission Statement (for lack of a better term):

"Welcome to the Fireflies QRP group. We are a group of amateur radio operators devoted to operating with low power, typically 5 watts or less. We embrace the spirit of doing more with less and operating outdoors. We encourage building your own equipment, also known as "home-brewing" and we are always willing to help someone new to the hobby. All are welcome to join, no dues... just fun!"

What I like about this group is, of course, their philosophy lines up quite nicely with my own. But it's more than that. Right now, their presence is just Twitter and the Groups.io e-mail reflector. If I hadn't run across them on Twitter, I wouldn't have known about them - and ironically, that speaks volumes to me. To me it says that the group is more concerned with the hobby and having fun than anything else.

I look forward to keeping in touch with the Fireflies. Who knows? Someday I might even get the chance to get out to Indiana! In the meantime, I hope to meet and work many of them via the ionosphere.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

"175 years old you say?"

"Why, you look don't look like a day over 30!"

Seriously, this Friday marks the 175th Anniversary of the first public use of Morse Code. Interestingly enough, May 24th in 1844 was also a Friday.


The Smithsonian Magazine has an article about it - https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/morse-code-celebrates-175-years-and-counting-180972248/

It's a pretty good article for those not versed in the Code and its history. The author claims to have a connection with Amateur Radio, but a search of his name on QRZ didn't prove to be conclusive.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

FDIM 2020?

The kids are in college and don't need Dad to chauffeur them, anymore.

For the next 52 weeks, $20 a week into an envelope to pay for hotel, gas and food come next May.

Possible? I certainly hope so! Maybe I can finally meet a lot of you, face to face for once.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

QRP and non-QRP Events this coming weekend

As I've mentioned before, this coming weekend in the US of A is Memorial Day weekend. In addition to the true meaning behind Memorial Day itself, the weekend is the unofficial kick off to the Summer season.

My good friend Jim W4QO put this post on the new qrparci.io reflector. He has some good advice here:

I know many of you could care less about entering a contest but there are two in the next few days that you should consider.  Go to: https://www.contestcalendar.com/weeklycont.php Notice that there does not seem to be much going on this week, but

1. WPX is Saturday and Sunday.  This is a great contest for the QRPer as you work anybody anywhere.  It is a CW contest and this is a chance to test our your equipment, if nothing more.  Get on and look for someone calling CQ.  I'll tell you, by Sunday afternoon, they will be begging for your QRP signal.  If your callsign is somewhat different (not a simple W or K like mine) that makes you even more valuable.

2. The QCX Challenge (http://www.qrp-labs.com/party.html).  Please note that you do not need a QCX to operate in this one; heck, you do not even have to be QRP (yikes!).  It is a bit different as it has 3  separate periods during the day on Monday.  The first session is 9 to 10 AM Monday morning in the east US.  If nothing else, let's honor Hans who gave a very nice talk at FDIM by getting on in
record numbers!

Jim W4QO

This Sunday in Central NJ is looking to be partly sunny/cloudy with a high of 87F (31C). A nice day to either get out to one of the local shady parks; or perhaps just operate from the backyard patio. I got the table and chairs cleaned last weekend and got the umbrella up. It makes for a nice operating position with quick access to a lot of ice cold water in the fridge!

Keep in mind - we are currently about two weeks away from the 75th Anniversary of Operation Overlord - D Day. I'm sure there will be plenty of Special Event stations on the air to commemorate the history of that very significant day. As I find them, I'll try to post them here. Here are two from the ARRL listings:

06/01/2019 | W2W D-Day Commemoration

Jun 1-Jun 9, 1300Z-2200Z, W2W, Baltimore, MD.

The Amateur Radio Club of the National Electronics Museum (K3NEM). 14.244 14.044 7.244 7.044; 80 meters (3.544, 3.844) and digital modes possible.. Certificate & QSL. W2W D-Day, P.O. Box 1693, MS 4015, Baltimore, MD 21203.

Amateur Radio Club of the National Electronics Museum (ARCNEM) will operate W2W in commemoration of the anniversary of D-Day and the role of electronics in WWII. Primary operation will be June 1-June 2 with additional operation possible during the June 3-9 period, as operator availability permits. Frequencies +/- according to QRM. QSL and Certificate available via SASE; details at ww-2.us

06/06/2019 | 75th Anniversary D-Day Invasion

Jun 6-Jun 9, 1200Z-1700Z, WW2DDM, Bedford, VA.

Old Dominion Chapter 202 QCWA. 3880 KHz AM, LSB 3585 KHz CW 7285 KHz AM, LSB 14.245 MHz USB. QSL. WW2DDM c/o H. A. Boaz, Jr., 1389 Budd Lane, Montvale, VA 24122.

Bedford, VA is the location of The National D-Day Memorial. Bedford was the home of the "Bedford Boys". These were the nineteen young men from Bedford that died that day and four others died during the rest of the Normandy campaign. The town of Bedford had proportionately suffered the greatest losses that day. That is why the US Congress established the D-Day Memorial in Bedford, VA.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!



Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Silly thought

So how long do you think it will take for the first owner of a top-of-the line Elecraft K4, to apply for Vanity Call sign K4HD?

It's available.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Hey ...... I got some "stuff" done!

I was going to get a haircut on the way home from work last night. My local barber is open until 7:00 PM and I got there at just before 6:00 PM. There was one guy in the chair and one guy waiting. I figured there was enough time to squeeze in a haircut.

The barber was just finishing the guy in the chair. I was happy because I thought there'd be no problem with him getting two haircuts in before closing time - the one guy waiting and then me. The guy in the chair seemed to be a bit fussy. As he looked in the mirror at his finished haircut, he was asking the barber for some touch up here, and here and here and here ...........

I looked at barber and he looked at me. "I'll come back tomorrow.", I said. He looked at me gratefully and said "Thanks."  I think he was anticipating spending some unexpected time finishing a job that, to me anyway, looked like it was already finished.

That got me home earlier than expected, which allowed for some time after dinner to get some of the stuff that I had posted about, done.  I got both the Skeeter Hunt Webpage and the Skeeter Hunt page on this blog updated. I use Mozilla Kompozer for publishing the Skeeter Hunt and the SPARC Webpages. The more I use it, the less I forget. What I mean by that is, that there are certain settings I need to insure are correctly set before I publish an html page. If I don't set the parameters correctly, the changes don't take and I get confused (not a hard thing to do to W2LJ!). The more often I use Kompozer, the less likely I am to make a misstep.

I also got a prototype sticker done for our Field Day posters. I say "prototype" because I have to present this before the membership tomorrow night at our monthly business meeting. I'm sure many of you know how that can go. I tried to keep it simple and to the point. We'll see how it's accepted tomorrow night.





My apologies for the shaky photo of the poster. It was a lamp light situation as the flash produced a glare on the poster's glossy finish. It must have been the equivalent of about 1/30th of a second exposure on an SLR. But you get the idea. There's a huge white space at the bottom of the poster to put in location and time details. That sticker pretty much matches the space available. We'll see what changes membership recommends.

For some reason, I had trouble sleeping last night. I went to hit the sack at around 10:00 PM, slept for an hour and then was up from 11:00 PM to about 2:00 AM, tossing and turning. Hindsight being 20/20, I realized this morning that I should have gone down to the shack and either turned on the radio or melted some solder. I guess I was too anxious about falling asleep to fall asleep. Next time (which I hope doesn't happen) I'll go to the shack.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Monday, May 20, 2019

Upcoming "stuff"

Summer is fast approaching with Memorial Day weekend coming next weekend, here in the US of A. While the day itself has solemn reverence for remembering those who made the Ultimate Sacrifice in service to our country, the weekend also serves as the "unofficial" beginning of Summer.

There's lots to do in the upcoming weeks ahead, and a lot of that involves getting ready for Field Day. I have to get my posterior over to Home Depot to purchase 260 feet of wire for the 160 Meter dipole that I want to build.  Before I do that, I need to get over to Spring Lake Park with a tape measure to see if this is even going to be feasible. No sense of building a 160 Meter dipole of the trees aren't approximately where I need them to be in order to support it.

I also meed to get our Field Day posters finished so that our club members can get them distributed. Filling in that big blank box won't be difficult - getting membership to agree what we want to put there might be.

Sunday, June 9th is the 3rd Annual Cookie Crumble Contest. Huzzah! I have NOTHING scheduled for that Sunday this year. Our normal soup kitchen duty is being performed by another group next month, so the day is free for me and I intend to keep it that way.  I am hoping to set up from Cotton Street Park in town or maybe even Washington Rock again. Both parks have very tall tress in which to hoist up my PAR ENDFEDZ.  I also need to get over to either WalMart or Target for a new bicycle pump. I had mentioned in my post about SPARC's Special Event station that I couldn't use the antenna launcher. It turned out the pressure leak that I was experiencing was because of a hole somewhere in the pump hose. Later on that afternoon, I tried pumping the launcher with a pump the Vadney brothers brought and it worked just fine. It was NOT a leaky Schraeder valve like I had originally suspected.

It's going to be very weird operating these QRP events this year without running into WA8REI, N8XX or N2CX. Those were three call signs that I could usually bank on in QRP events. They will be sorely missed.

Yesterday was a very warm day, so I got the patio furniture cleaned up for the season. Hopefully, that will allow me some chances for outdoor operating this Summer when the weather permits. I'd like to do a lot more experimenting with the magloop to become even more familiar with its "ins and outs". I've used it quite enough to know it's a viable alternative to my permanent antennas; but I need to spend more time with it to become so familiar with it that I know it "like the back of my hand".

I also need to get the Skeeter Hunt Webpage updated for this year; as well as the Skeeter Hunt page of this blog - they pretty much mirror each other.

Wow! That's a lot of stuff to do in and amongst the other "normal" stuff that I have to do every week. It's a good thing that THIS kind of stuff is stuff I enjoy doing!

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP -When you care to send the very least!

Friday, May 17, 2019

K4 photos

In an interest to keep up with the latest Amateur Radio news, here are some more photos of the K4, courtesy of the "The SWLing Post" blog:





I believe when all is said and done, you'll be looking at a minimum of around $4000.00 (US).

I guess that's what you pay for the newest, best and brightest top-of-the-line rig from a top-of-the-line company. As for me and my household, I don't think so.  I'm quite happy with my KX3 and besides, I have two kids in college.

What I am interested in, though, is that Jeff Davis KE9V stated that Hans Summers from QRP Labs said that the QSX radio should be on the market in a few months. A new QRP kit that I can build for under $200? Now that's something I can sink my teeth into!

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Not fake news....just a leak.




No doubt, more details will be coming from Hamvention tomorrow. (A hat tip to Jeff Davis KE9V, my on site Hamvention source).

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

I am at a loss for words, right now.

I saw this on Facebook this morning. I am shocked. And I'm struck that Joe passed on May 14th, the same date my Mom passed.


This was posted by Joe's son, Kevin. Joe was one of the pillars of NJQRP.

Joe was the permissive force behind the NJQRP Skeeter Hunt, along with George Heron N2APB. If it weren't for the two of them lending the prestigious name of NJQRP to the Skeeter  Hunt, I doubt that it would have become what it has. For that I will be forever grateful.

Joe was also quite the operator in the past few years. While he was never a stranger on the airwaves, Joe admitted to me during one of our talks that, when the NPOTA bug bit him, it bit him with a wallop. Throughout the 2016 NPOTA event, Joe was a familiar fixture on 7.034 and 14.060 MHz, giving out park contacts to anyone who could hear his signal. I have him to thank for boosting my own tally.


When NPOTA ended, Joe's appetite for activating parks did not! He and his son Kevin seemed to travel everywhere, putting parks on the air. When he activated Edison State park in April 2017, I took the opportunity to meet him for an eyeball QSO.

Joe was an all around "Ham's Ham". He operated, he designed, he built, he wrote, he mentored, he befriended - he did it all. He will be sorely missed,

Requiescet in pace, Joe.


72 de Larry W2LJ

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Thinking ahead to Summer

This unseasonably wet and chilly May has me yearning and pining for Summer. It's hard for me to believe that the Memorial Day Weekend holiday is less than two weeks away. It seems like I'll be grilling hot dogs and hamburgers with a sweater and cap on! All joking aside, the hot weather will be here before you know it and Summer will go by in the blink of an eye.

Keep in the back of your collective minds that the EIGHTH Annual NJQRP Skeeter Hunt will be taking place on Sunday, August 18th. As usual, sign ups for Skeeter Numbers will be accepted as of the First Day of Summer, Friday June 21st.  Please! NO REQUESTS before then! I'm sorry to do it; but early requests will be ignored. I want everyone to have a shot at a low number - for some reason, they seem to be coveted.

This year's requirement for the Points Bonus will actually be quite simple, but will take some thinking and ingenuity on your part.  To get the 100 Bonus Points for 2019, all you have to do is ........



display either one of these images somewhere at your operating position and submit a photo with your log summary.  Simple - right?  The most ingenious or unique way of working the logo into the station photo will get a special prize (in addition to the bonus points) - what that is, I have not determined yet. But it will be something special, I promise.

So hopefully, if someone asks you what the heck it is that your doing, you can point to the logo and "splain" to them that you're huntin' skeeters.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!



Safe travels!

Safe travels to all my friends and readers who may be travelling to Hamvention and FDIM this week.

May the weather be good, the traffic be light and may your experience be a fun and joyous one - and may the return home trip to your loved ones be safe and uneventful.

Godspeed!

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Monday, May 13, 2019

Facebook re-post

Saw this on Facebook this morning under "Amateur Radio Funnies", and there is something to this that does bring on a chuckle.


I think many of us have been in a DXpedition pileup, or a pileup for a super rare one when someone starts to try to rag chew with the prized contact in question. And there have been times when I have had this impatient sentiment, too - but it also got me thinking.

Maybe it's due to growing older and perhaps gaining a little wisdom? - but sometimes I get tired of the competition and the quickie "UR 599 TU QRZ?" QSOs. It's nice, from time to time to have an honest-to-goodness relaxing rag chew with a DX station (or ANY station for that matter). After all, isn't that part of what Amateur Radio is all about? Making friendships, overcoming boundaries?

Making DX Honor Roll is a remarkable, honorable and laudable achievement and I have the utmost admiration and respect for those who have done so. But I never want to become jaded like that one Ham who sold all his equipment after receiving his Honor Roll plaque, because he thought "I did it all" and there was nothing else to be gained by remaining in the hobby.

I may not get on the air as often as I should, I will never make Honor Roll (I know that, for a fact), and I will probably pass one day with a bunch of unfinished projects taking up space in my shack, but I do enjoy the comforting thought that Amateur Radio is there in the background of my busy life, and will continue to be a source of enjoyment for me in the future.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Sunday, May 12, 2019

One of my best Amateur Radio purchases

One of the best Amateur Radio purchases that I have ever made is not what you might consider to be a "normal" Amateur Radio item. It's not a rig, or an accessory, or anything you might see in a everyday, run of the mill Ham shack.

One of my finest Amateur Radio purchases occurred back in 2016, when I purchased two of these from the ARRL back in the NPOTA days.


I thank God that I had the foresight to buy two, long sleeved NPOTA T-shirts from the ARRL

So why am I talking about this? Today, Mother's Day - May 12th 2019 has to be one of the most miserable Mother's Days, weather-wise, in memory. The high temperature for today was only about 45F (7C), and it's been on and off rainy, misty and raw - a very raw and unseasonable and most uncomfortable day.

A perfect day to wear one of my long sleeved NPOTA T-shirts.  Not only do these shirts bring back memories of one of the greatest Amateur Radio operating events that I have had the privilege to participate in, but they are also very beefy, soft and very, VERY comfortable. In fact, during the colder months,I practically live in these things on weekends when I'm not at work. I only wish that I had the foresight to purchase more than two. I will have these until they are threadbare. These will be with me for a very long, long time.

Kind of stupid, right? But I love these two shirts so much that, for me, they rank right up there with the best Amateur Radio purchases that I have ever made. Call me crazy - you'd be right!

72 de Larry W2LJ

Monday, May 06, 2019

Three Field Day ideas

This has more to do with Public Relations than the technical aspect of Field Day. You may want to consider these for your Field Day effort if you set up in a public setting with the intention of talking up Amateur Radio. These are a few new ideas that we (SPARC) came up with for our 2019 outing.

Guest book - I don't know why we haven't thought of this before! We will have a guest book by our public information table/display. It's useful for keeping track of guest operators, but also for anyone from the general public who has come by and shown interest in our hobby. Space for name and e-mail is probably sufficient - some people get uncomfortable with leaving too much personal information

Posters - We decided to purchase a pack or two of these from the ARRL:


We' will add the necessary info in the blank box, and we're hoping that the local merchants around town will be so kind as to display these in their windows or bulletin boards.

Signs - In addition to our club banner, we had some small signs/banners printed up by VistaPrint during one of their many on-line sales. It is a series of 1.5 X 3 foot signs that we will display in front of or close to important areas of our Field Day site.  We felt that these would be good to explain to people what is going on that may be too shy to actually come up and ask any of us about what's going on.

For example, one will say "Solar Power - we use this solar panel to charge the batteries that power our radios." This will go close to the solar panel.

"Portable tower/antenna - this ladder holds the antenna that we use to communicate around the country and the world." This of course, will be close to the tower, but far away enough to be at a safe distance from it.

We have a few others to go by the communications tent, by the information tent, and so on. We're not certain that these will have any real effect, but they were relatively inexpensive and it's our hope that they will give our Field Day site a more hospitable atmosphere. I know there's nothing like a smile and a handshake to foster that hospitality; but sometimes we're either under-manned for the moment; and sometimes visitors are not ready to "people". Hopefully the signage will fill in those cracks.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Saturday, May 04, 2019

It rained

Maybe that's the best way to describe our Fifth Anniversary outing at the park today. When I arrived around 10:00 Am, it was gray and dreary but still pretty much dry. Dave KD2FSI had been set up for a while and was trying his hand at working 7 Land QSO Party stations. He still needs Montana and Nevada for WAS, so he thought today might be the day.

I watched him for a bit and chatted with him for a bit more. I should have gotten straight to setting up my station instead, because as soon as I started, the sky opened up. It wasn't a gully washer and didn't rain hard enough to deter our plans, it just made setting up an uncomfortable affair.

I had planned to shoot a line up over a nearby tree and run the PAR END FEDZ over to it. That would have gotten the far end of the antenna up somewhere around 45 feet.

As I say, that's what I had planned.

Things didn't work out as planned. As soon as I pumped up the antenna launcher, I immediately lost air pressure. I suspected a bad Schraeder valve, or possibly a leaky joint somewhere. I didn't want to waste too much time, so I went to "Plan B".

It's always good to have a backup plan, and outdoor QRPers are a resourceful bunch. I like to feel that I fit into that category and every now and then, I do. I ended up parking the Jeep a little further away from our operating position and used my drive on mast and the 31 foot Jackite pole as my antenna support.

My Jeep, on the right, is supporting the Jackite. You can see the mast support by the front passenger tire.

I've used this set up before numerous times, so I knew it would work. It did, and once again I was not disappointed. As usual the PAR presented a very good match to the KX3 and my signal seemed to be getting out pretty well. At our 1500 UTC jumping off point, I made three quick CW contacts on 40 Meters and two fo them were with good friends Bob W3BBO and Cliff KU4GW.. Things seemed to be going well. Then Dave fired up the 20 Meter SSB station and at 100 Watts, he just wiped me out. Not wanting to be a killjoy, I figured I'd let him operate a while and when he wanted a break, I'd resume 40 Meter CW.

Dave KD2FSI operating 20 Meter SSB.

One of the guys must have told him the trouble I was having, because he went over to his van, brought out a little silver box and handed it to me. It was a 40 Meter pass band filter. I put that in line and "Whammo!" - problem solved. Both stations operated for the full amount of time, not impeding each other in the slightest.

Bill W2AOF logs as Marv K2VHW makes contacts on 40 Meter SSB.

All in all, it was a fun day. We didn't make nearly as many QSOs as we had hoped, but the ones we did make were solid. Our Club President, Bill W2AOF, went to a nearby sandwich shop and brought us lunch. Marv K2VHW made a coffee run to a nearby Dunkin' Donuts and brought back some much needed caffeine.

Dave W2OIL and Danny KC2YRC, friends of ours from the ETS of NJ Club (and Honorary Members of SPARC) were there and took a look at my antenna launcher (which they had made for me). They pressurized it with their bicycle pump and it held, no problem. That means my $5 cheapie Walmart foot pump finally gave up the ghost after 5 or 6 years - probably a leak in the hose or the filler valve. I'll need to acquire another before Field Day. I was relieved that it wasn't a problem with the launcher itself.

And wouldn't you know it? At the very end, the rain abated, the sun came out and it warmed up quite nicely. Nevertheless, we had fun, enjoyed each other's company and got some winter kinks out in preparation for Field Day next month. That's what mattered the most.

If you worked us, we thank you. If you heard us, but didn't get through, we thank you for trying. Maybe we'll have better luck in about six weeks when it's Field Day, and NJ2SP is once again on the air, this time as "3A NNJ".

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Friday, May 03, 2019

This is just too cool - QCX 3d!

Posted by Eugene Kovalchuk on Facebook

https://skfb.ly/6KnvN?fbclid=IwAR2j7VZupHe7yXdP-BEWnBj7UVCifpUD_8J7LdJyd2WwFRYBvNf9XmAvEYM


This allows you pan, tilt and rotate and look at the QCX from just about any angle.

Wish I was smart enough to do stuff like this!

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

"The claims of my demise are greatly exaggerated."

With the announcement of yet another digital mode du jour. FT4 - there are some who insist on dancing (yet again, prematurely) on CW's grave.

As I've stated before, so many times ..... my personal opinion is that Amateur Radio is a big enough tent to accommodate everyone's interests. I did digi in the 90s. Granted, it wasn't PSK31 or the newer FT modes; but it was RTTY, PacTOR and AMTOR. These modes were quite exciting at first, but eventually grew boring to me. All the conversations that I was having seemed to consist of a bunch of key presses to release a bevy of pre-recorded macros. Spontaneous conversations took place; but they became fewer and harder to find. That's why I drifted back to CW as my only mode of operation.

Now, that being said, I realize that my case is not the case for everyone. If digi floats your boat - then bravo! Go for it with gusto, kid! I like it when you are happy! But at the same time, please don't look down upon me when I politely say, "Thanks, but no thanks."  That doesn't make me a fossil, a cranky old fart, a relic or a yesterday's stale bread. It's just that I know what I like, what I'm good at and what brings me a modicum of pleasure.

As an added note, I do not look down upon, frown upon or consider anyone less of an Amateur Radio Operator because they never learned or just plain don't like Morse Code. Again - more power to you! Engage in whichever mode it is that makes you happy that you spent time doing it. But at the same time, don't regard my favorite aspect of the hobby to be "old fashioned", "irrelevant", "useless" or "unneeded in this day and age" just because it befuddles you.

Perhaps my feelings about CW were summed up by a lot of what Dale Parfitt W4OP wrote in a post on QRP-L. I asked Dale if he would mind if I re-posted his post here. He most graciously granted me permission - here it is:

"I think the decline in CW may be more associated with the decline in civilization in general. Fewer and fewer people seem inclined to work hard and more and more seem to be embracing the concept of a welfare state, participation trophies etc. In the amateur sector, the exams have become a matter of memorization as opposed to understanding,  off the shelf rigs replace homebrew and the focus of amateur radio today appears to be chatting as opposed to furthering the technical aspects of the hobby.

CW is a skill that does require work. But so enjoyable, and high speed CW is more akin to holding a conversation. I could work piles of more contacts off the moon if I did one of the digital modes. But for me, it is all about hearing these weak signals and constantly improving my station. I won't go into the fact that some of the digital guys on the moon seem to have to communicate via the Internet to complete  the digital QSO.

On HF, a nice CW ragchew,  adapting to the other's fist, using my brain and dealing with the vagaries of propagation, QRM  is what it's all about. If I want to simply send a message, I can text someone or send an email. All this has nothing to do with me being an old fart (although chronologically, I am one) . I embrace design software, love surface mount, design a lot of my  rigs and build more than I operate.

YMMV,

Dale W4OP"

Thanks Dale! I guess chronologically, we're in the same boat; but like you - for me it's about the challenge - and constantly marveling about how my radio signal gets from Point A to Point B without the aid of anything else but my radio and antenna, my key and my brain. And I think there are quite a few of us who would still like to occupy a seat on this pleasure craft - so for those out there who think we CW devotees are nothing more than a bunch of aging, irrelevant fossils ....... pay close attention to Dale's "YMMV". It's an invitation for us all to engage in what we enjoy while maintaining our mutual respect for one another.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Monday, April 29, 2019

Getting ready for Field Day

Even though it's only April, SPARC is getting ready for Field Day,


I've added our NJ2SP Field Day info to the official ARRL Field Day locator, and we're in full preparations swing.  Once again we'll be operating 3A with a GOTA station. This year, though, I'd like to add a proper 160 Meter dipole so that we can make contacts on Top Band through out the evening. The W3EDP was successful in making contacts for us on all bands last year 160 Meters through 10 Meters, but on 160 Meters it was a compromise antenna. Only the loudest and nearest 160 Meter stations were able to hear us. With a proper resonant antenna, we should be able to make more than just a handful of contacts.

We're also intent on doing more to get the local Scouts to come visit and operate this year. We need to start advertising that to the local troops now, because once the Scouts scatter for the Summer, it will be harder to get the message out.

What does your club/organization do to put Field Day in the eye of your community? Anything?

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!