Friday, September 18, 2020

Don't get discouraged!

 When it comes to head copying CW.

This post is directed at the relatively new to CW folks out there. I HOPE there are some relatively new to CW people out there, reading this right now. And for those of you who are new to CW or maybe new to faster CW, I know how easy it is to become discouraged with copying CW in your head. I've been there myself ...... I know.

I started out in my Novice days copying EVERYTHING down on paper, word for word. Looking back on it, that was a ridiculously easy thing to do at 5 WPM. But when you are new and wet behind the ears, that was a Herculean task.  Eventually, over time as my speed increased and I upgraded to General, I changed to just writing down just the "important stuff" - you know ... Name, QTH, RST, age ..... that kind of thing. 

When I became an Extra after mastering 20 WPM, I still kept at that practice. But as I tried to ever increase my speed, I realized that I had to leave writing behind if I wanted to continue to make progress. I had to break the habit of writing stuff down and get into the habit of just copying stuff n my head, because writing stuff down does two things:

1) It takes time

2) It is distracting.

I have no idea how the military and professional radio guys used a typewriter to copy! I have a hard time chewing gum and walking at the same time. Copying AND typing - no way, that's not for me! It's all I can do to just keep things right in my head.

I think the biggest fear of relying solely on head copy is missing something and getting all bolluxed up. Personally, that caused me to freeze up from time to time and start missing a whole bunch of stuff. You miss one word, then two, then three, then whole sentences and the next thing you know is you feel like Charlie Brown from "Peanuts"!


The key ...... and I think is the hardest part to master,  is to just relax and copy the best you can. Miss a word? Don't panic! Miss two words? Again - don't panic. Forget about what you missed and get yourself concentrating on what's coming at you in the moment. Panicking only makes you miss more and more.

As an example - last night I saw my friend Bob W3BBO spotted calling CQ on RBN. I ran down to the shack in an attempt to start up a QSO with him, only to find I had been beaten to the punch. By the time, I got downstairs, got the radio tuned to 3.560 MHZ and the earbuds in my ears, Bob was already in QSO with Ernie AA2YK. Instead of shutting down, I decided to "copy the mail" and I did it all without writing a single thing down! 

Did I miss a few words here and there? You betcha! But I didn't let that bother me. In very quick order I had to mentally force myself to stop and re-start copying again. I had to break the cycle of worrying about what I had missed, ignore it and just go on from where I had left off. And once you can do that, you'll find that it works, every time! I listened in on their almost 30 minute rag chew and enjoyed listening to two good Morse Code fists.

If I had to do it all over again, I think I would have started relying on head copy a lot sooner than I actually did.  I still write the necessary details down for logging - time, name, call - but that's about it. The rest I just copy in my head and now it seems as natural as falling off a log. It makes the entire CW experience a lot more enjoyable.

72 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Thursday, September 17, 2020

QRP Afield this Saturday

 Courtesy of KE1L on QRP-L:

September 19, 1500Z-2100Z (11am-5pm EDT) 
Bands: 160 through 10, no WARC bands or 60 meters 
Modes: CW, voice, digital 
Exchange: RST, S/P/C, NEQRP number or power level Full rules follow 

More info at https://www.newenglandqrp.org/qrp-afield-2018/ (that link is current despite the 2018; it was already on the ARRL contest corral before I took over as administrator so we're sticking with it for this year) 

QRP Afield, sponsored by the New England QRP Club, is the original QRP contest for field operation. It was first held in 1994. The next oldest, QRP To The Field, was first held in 1995; it was originally sponsored by the NorCal QRP Club and is now run by the administrators of QRP-L. This year Shirley Dulcey KE1L has taken over as the contest administrator of QRP Afield. 

QRP Afield is always held on the third Saturday of September. Most years, that makes it the last QRP contest of the summer. In years when that Sunday falls on September 21 it can instead be the first QRP contest of the fall. In many years it is concurrent with the Chowdercon informal social gathering of NEQRP; the organizer of that event has not yet announced whether it will happen this year. 

In the recent past we haven't posted a clear definition of a field station. That's a question that is certain to arise because of the COVID crisis. I found this from 2014: 

Permanent Location: Any location using commercial power AND/OR permanently installed antennas Field Location: Any location using battery/solar/natural power AND temporary antennas. That means that your backyard, front porch, patio, or other similar location qualify as a field station IF you use temporary antennas and portable power. Further rule starting this year: 

QRP field stations must follow the ARRL Field Day definition for qualifying for the battery powered classes. In other words,no fossil fuel generators. QRO field stations can use generators, though they rarely enter QRP Afield. This is mostly meant to cover POTA or IOTA activations or stations participating in state QSO parties that might make some contacts in QRP Afield. 

Recommended frequencies: CW near 1810, 3560, 7030 7040 and 7122, 14060, 21060, 28060 SSB near 1910, 3985, 7285, 14285, 21385, 28885 Digital modes on their customary frequencies 7030 is now the primary QRP spot on 40, but some older crystal-controlled radios may be operating on 7040. 7122 is a gathering spot for slow-speed CW. 

Exchange: NEQRP members: RST, S/P/C, NEQRP number Non-members: RST, S/P/C, power 

If you would like to become a member, see https://www.newenglandqrp.org/membership/. NEQRP membership is free and open to all radio amateurs with an interest in QRP. There are no location restrictions, though all of our in-person gatherings are in New England. 

Scoring: One contact per station per mode per band 
New clarification for 2020: all voice modes count as one mode 
New clarification for 2020: all digital modes count as one mode 
QRO at a permanent location: 1 point per contact 
QRO at a field location: 2 points per contact 
QRP at a permanent location: 5 points per contact 
QRP at a field location: 10 points per contact 

Multiplier: S/P/C, once per BAND (not per mode) 
All three modes (CW, voice, digital) count the same for scoring 
No bonus stations 

Logs: Email to mark@buttery.org; send Cabrillo files (preferred) or text Include the summary sheet from https://www.newenglandqrp.org/qrp-afield-2018/ If you must, mail logs to the address on the site. Email is preferred Logs must be received by October 20.

The weather forecast for my QTH for Saturday is mostly sunny, with a high temp of 65F (18C) for the day. I have my annual physical scheduled for the morning. Hopefully, after that's over I can quickly complete my normal weekend chores and get on the air from the backyard for a bit.

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

Saturday, September 12, 2020

This looks interesting!

 

Tracking Our Next Solar Cycle
The Sun goes through regular cycles of activity approximately every 11 years, and tracking these cycles is a key part of better understanding the Sun and mitigating its impacts on human technology and astronauts in space.

Join scientists from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for a special episode of NASA Science Live on Tuesday, Sept. 15, at 3 p.m. EDT as they discuss predictions for the upcoming solar cycle. The public can send questions during the event using #AskNASA on Twitter or by leaving a comment in the chat section on Facebook.

If you have the time and are available, this looks like it may be well worth it. I will even try to listen in the background from work.

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

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

Been a while

 Since my last post. A lot has been going on.

First off, I totally FUBARed my QCX 40 circuit board while attempting to remove T1 in order to rewind it. I obliterated some traces and solder through holes. It may not be so, but I'm writing it off (for now) as a loss due to my impatience and for working on it while I was too fatigued to be doing so. I'm not getting rid of it, or tossing it out - just putting it on the shelf for now.  I learned some valuable lessons, so it was not a total loss and I will carry those forward when I begin building the QCX+ 20. One lesson is to ditch the Weller soldering station that has been my standby for the last umpteen years; and going with the one I purchased from Circuit Specialists. This soldering station will allow me to control the temperature more precisely, so that if I do have to perform some re-work, I won't burn things up..

That's going to be a while, though. I published the 2020 NJQRP Skeeter Hunt Scoreboard the other day and that can be seen here.

Composing the Soapbox is next and that's going to take me a while. There were over 130 log summaries sent in, the majority having comments and many having photos as well. It's going to take me a while to get that published. For instance, I worked on it for a couple hours tonight; and I've only gotten through the first 16 entries. That's a little bit more than 10%, so I've got a good bit of work ahead of me.

This is the part of the Skeeter Hunt that is my favorite, right after operating, of course. Being able to let the QRP world know what the participants used, how they set up, describing the fun they had - for me, this is the icing on the cake. That being the case, I want to do it right and give it the effort it deserves. I also truly believe that the Soapbox section is what makes Hunters come back year after year.

I don't get rid of them, either. If you go to www.qsl.net/w2lj, you can see the Soapbox comments going all the way back to the beginning in 2012. I enjoy going through them myself from time to time to see how the NJQRP Skeeter Hunt has evolved.

72 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least!


Saturday, August 29, 2020

Almost there!

 


I got L1 and L4 wound and installed and T1 wound and installed on the QCX40. T1 did not turn out as picture perfect as Hans' construction manual, but I'm 99 and 44/100ths % sure that I got it wound and installed correctly. Tomorrow, I'll try and finish up and perform the smoke test.

I must admit, if I had to do T1 over (and who knows, I may have to yet!) I would not wind it as one continuous winding with loops between the windings. If I end up having to do it over, I would do each winding separately.  As long as the winding are done in the same sense, for example, all wound counter clockwise and all the first windings going under, then it works out the same as Hans' method. 

This past week at work was a bear with a lot of late nights and hard days. At 63, I don't bounce back as easily as I used to when I was younger. Because of that, I am trying to do as little as possible. Kit building is more like play than work, so I'm taking the opportunity to get some rest and have some fun at the same time.

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

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Debating

 I keep debating in my head whether or not I should post about this - but I think I have something of value to offer here, so I am going to go ahead. What's that old saying? "Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!".

This post is going to deal with questions - specifically questions asked in our Amateur Radio community.

Last weekend I asked a question in a comment on Facebook. It was a popular Amateur Radio related topic page - which shall remain nameless. Admittedly, I didn't read the original post too well. It was lengthy and I kind of just glossed over it. My fault 10000% and I freely admit it - and I freely admitted it on the Facebook page. However, the question I asked seemed innocuous enough and I expected a three, maybe four word answer. That's all it would have required.

Instead, I got pilloried for even bothering to ask. "Didn't you read the post? AND YOU STILL ASKED THAT QUESTION?  SERIOUSLY? Do you know how many times we get asked that? Do you know how FRUSTRATING that is?"

That's not the word for word diatribe I received, but you get the gist. When I tried to explain why I asked what I asked, it got even worse. I responded (as I will explain below) and for my efforts, someone thought it was cute and funny enough to post this image of a crying towel.


I tried to explain that questions are a part of life. In my own life, I get asked a million questions a day - I know, that's an exaggeration, but it feels that way sometimes. People don't read and people don't listen. Sometimes they're tired, sometimes they're hurried and in a rush, sometimes their minds are focused on other weighty matters. It happens.

But that is NEVER is an excuse to be rude or condescending. One of the hallmarks of excellent Customer Service and just polite human behavior is to answer questions courteously and with a smile.  Even if you're screaming in your mind and ripping your hair out in your mind because it's the millionth time  ...... be kind.

One of the things that drives me crazy the most is when someone, particularly an Amateur Radio neophyte, will ask a very simple and easy question about something and someone answers with "RTFM", or says something like "How did you pass your test?". Is it so hard to give a courteous and polite answer? If you don't have the time to give a detailed answer then suggest a publication or location where they can find the answer and perhaps gain a little knowledge in the process. There's NEVER an excuse for being rude.

If you're frustrated and tired of hearing the same question over and over ...... grow a set and get over it, or better yet keep your mouth shut. If you're in a place or doing something that you really enjoy but part of that involves answering questions from maybe hundreds of people ..... well, that's life and part of what you got yourself into.  Always remember that other old saying, "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen."

Be kind. Always. It's a good rule to live by.

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

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Interesting review

 https://swling.com/blog/2020/08/lets-hit-the-field-with-the-new-lab599-tx-500-discovery-qrp-transceiver/?fbclid=IwAR2loU8Ub1VIdzapMpxbSBxEqx8Ms9ZRY4DucaWgpthHNgSm0HwLoYRVilQ

The lab599 TX-500 Discovery 500 QRP Transciever - initial thoughts on the part of Tom Witherspoon K4SWL (who I've worked on the air many times). Tom authored a good write-up and I encourage you to read it.

The rig looks like a real winner - although it seems a bit strange how they chose the 6 pin connector to hook up a CW keying device - and the fact that you'd need to devise your own connector cable to hook up a set of headphones or ear buds is a"different approach" to say the least.

It's nice to see that more and more companies are making products and kits for our market. It would seem that QRP is indeed alive and well - perhaps more than ever (even if Ol' Sol ain't exactly cooperating right now).

72 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Here it is Wednesday

 and I'm already contemplating the weekend.

There's so much to get done! I need to get the oil changed in the Jeep, get the grocery shopping done, get the lawn mowed and some bushy overgrowth cut back.

BUT ....... what I really want to get accomplished this weekend is to finish, or at least nearly finish the QCX 40 and that means tackling T1 with its multiple windings and loops. I've read the instructions a couple of times already and will again before the weekend. Winding T1 in the QCX reminds me a lot of winding the main transformer in the Emtech ZM2 tuner, which I built years ago and is still a mainstay in my portable ops backpack. That wasn't all that difficult and I keep reminding myself of that as I get closer to taking on this task. I still have the L1 and L4 toroids to build and install and I want to get those dome before the weekend, so I can devote my attention entirely to T1. It looks like a more daunting task on paper than it will probably end up being in practice.

Inside my head, I still feel like I'm in my 20s. But from time to time, it's easy to realize that even though I "feel" like I'm in my 20s in my head, the truth is starkly different. Back in those days, my eyesight was better and I could put together a kit without much more aid than a really good light source. Now I need magnifiers, and all the other help that I can get. Back in my salad days, I would have put together this QCX in an evening; or perhaps two. I can remember working on Heathkits until 2:00 or 3:00 AM and then getting up at 7:00 AM the next morning to get going to work. These days, I'm between the sheets by 9:00 or 10:00 PM at the latest, and if I'm not,  I really feel it the next day.

My Mom always used to say to me, "Larry, don't get old." and I always used to answer her, "Mom, there's not much I can do about that.".  I now know what she meant. We spend our younger lives wanting to have the "freedoms" that we believe come with adulthood. Sometimes, it turn out that they're not quite cracked up what they seemed to be.

It's been a busy week at work, so far three days in. I've been coming home not wanting to do much other than "vegging out", but I have been working on the Skeeter Scoreboard. I've gotten over a hundred log summary e-mails so far, and I've tallied up the first 50 or so into the spreadsheet. The Scoreboard will be published over Labor Day Weekend; and I'll put out plenty of notice about it when the time comes.

Keep in mind there are still two big events coming up in the 2020 Outdoor QRP season - the Peanut Power Sprint and the Leaf Peeper Sprint. I'm looking forward to those, even as they mean the close out of the season. Every August we get a day or a couple of days that have that "first kiss" of cooler weather that remind one that Autumn and Winter are on their way. The past two mornings have been in the upper 50s (around 14C) as I've headed out the door to work. Those temps have definitely reminded me that the changing of the seasons is on the way in just a few short weeks, and that my beloved Summer only has a short time left.

72 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Monday, August 17, 2020

2020 NJQRP Skeeter Hunt

 NJQRP Skeeter Hunt Day 2020 arrived much as it did for 2019 - gray and gloomy. But this year, there was a difference - rain was added to the mix and there was no clearing come mid morning. I fully intended to set up outside on the patio table under the big umbrella anyway. I went out there around Noon to wipe the table dry, and to get the antenna up. As I was standing there, wiping down the table, water kept dripping down off the umbrella and onto my back. "Oh, this is NOT going to work" was the thought that entered my mind. I don't mind cloudy, I don't mind humid, I don't mind cool (it was only 66 F at the time), but I DO mind wet.

The decision was made to operate from the shack. There went the X4 multiplier and the home brew antenna bonus up into a puff of smoke. However, I'm not in it to win in any case. As Contest Manager, I consider myself ineligible. I do like to put forward the best effort I can, though.

The bands seemed plenty busy once starting time rolled around. 40 Meters was best for me. I worked a few on 20 Meters, but signals were very weak. QSB was terrible on both 20 and 40, but at least the signals were louder on 40 and I was able to deal with it.  I tried listening and calling CQ on both 15 Meters and 80 Meters for a bit, but it seemed that both those bands were about as inhabited as Robinson Crusoe's island. No one there but me - not even Friday.

I came upstairs at about the halfway point for a needed "Nature's Call" break. Wouldn't you know it? As I looked out the living room window, the rain had stopped and the sun was trying to break through the clouds. I was tempted to quickly set up for doing the second half from the backyard, but it occurred to me that that would be a scoring mess. Even though my score doesn't count, how do you score a 1/2 home operation and a 1/2 backyard portable operation? As it turned out it was the wise choice. By the time the closing bell rang, the gloom and spritzing rain had returned for an encore performance

At 2100 UTC I had finished up with 30 QSOs in the log. Not my best effort by any means, but still a lot of fun. Thanks to all who participated and made the Skeeter Hunt possible. I may do the background work to get it going, but you guys are the ones who are the wind beneath its wings. Without you there's no NJQRP Skeeter Hunt, and for that I am eternally grateful. MY reward in all of this is hearing stories about how you folks had a good time. There's so much un-cool stuff happening in the world today and we need to get a break from it, even if it's just for a few hours. If I can help bring some enjoyment to people's lives for even a little while - it's all well worth it.

For the next two weeks, I'l be collecting log summaries and on Labor Day weekend, I will publish the 2020 Scoreboard. Certificates and soapbox will follow as soon as I get the chance and time to work on them. 

2021 will mark the 10th running of the NJQRP Skeeter Hunt. I have to think of something special for the occasion.

72 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Saturday, August 15, 2020

NJQRP Skeeter Hunt - tomorrow!

 Tomorrow, Sunday August 16th is the 9th running of the NJQRP Skeeter Hunt.

Over 270 of you have signed up for Skeeter numbers, so there should be lots of activity out there. Our fingers are crossed that the Propagation Princess will be in a good mood and will cooperate. This is an all time record number of Skeeters - NJQRP thanks each and every one of you for participating. It's not too late to sign up for a number, I'll be issuing them right up to about 10:00 AM EDT tomorrow for any late comers - just send an e-mail to w2lj@arrl.net and I'll send you an e-mail back with your Skeeter Number for 2020.

If anyone is fuzzy about the rules, please visit http://www.qsl.net/w2lj - the rules are easy and not cumbersome. The exchange is easy and the main goal of this exercise is to provide ample fun - no jumping through hoops here.

Lastly, in these COVID times, please remember to stay safe. Back yard operations with a temporary antenna and a power source other than your home's commercial mains count as portable for the Skeeter Hunt. No need to go off into the public if you feel safer at home. If you do venture out, please keep yourself safe by observing your area's restrictions (i.e facial coverings, social distancing and above all Common Sense). We at NJQRP want to have you all back next year for the 10th Anniversary of the NJQRP Skeeter Hunt.

Go out there, be careful and have fun! Hope to hear you and get your call signs in the log!

72 de Larry W2LJ - Skeeter # 13

QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Friday, August 14, 2020

Decisions, decisions

My Weller WTCPT soldering station is going nigh on about 35 years old or so. I got it as a Christmas present from my parents back in the days when I was Service Manager at Sinar Bron. Each of us in the department had one and we used them every day, of course. They are like Timex watches in that "They take a licking and keep on ticking!"

My tips are getting old and worn and it's getting a bit more difficult to find new ones. And when you find them, "They ain't cheap". So I had to do some soul searching. Do I buy new tips, or is it time, perhaps, for a new soldering station?

I was looking at the 75 Watt station available form Circuit Specialists. 


It's only $33 plus shipping.  It also comes with a hearty recommendation from Bob W3BBO, who has one. As tempting as it was to order one, I decided to go on eBay where I found some WTCPT tips. With shipping, three brand new tips came close in price to  (but still below)  the new soldering station. I may regret my decision, but the Weller has served me for so long and for so well that I'm going to take the gamble and bet that the handle will continue to work for the foreseeable future. A replacement handle is about $99, give or take a few $$$. If it ever kicks the bucket on me, then I'll look for something new.

I was looking at reviews of newer Weller soldering equipment on eHam and was concerned with the comments. It seems that they're not being made like they used to, so I am going to hold on to my relic from the past - for the time being, anyway.


A relic holding on to a relic - works for me!

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

Monday, August 10, 2020

W3BBO to the rescue! Once again.

 I mentioned in the previous post how it's QCX toroid time. I had mentioned to Bob W3BBO that as excellent as Hans Summer's assembly manuals are - they differ from Elecraft in one important way.

When you're ready to wind a toroid in an Elecraft kit, they generally start off the step with something like this "Cut off a 12 inch piece of the supplied magnet wire". In the QCX manual, Hans just gives you the toroid nomenclature and the number of turns. I'm not a rocket scientist - how much wire do I need without cutting too much and wasting some - or cutting it too short and REALLY wasting some?

Bob W3BBO had the answer, as always.  Go to W8DIZ, Diz Gentrow's Website at kitsandparts,com. He has a toroid page complete with winding info.

Take for instance - L4 on the QCX 40. It's a T37-2 toroid and you need to wrap 16 turns on it. Simply go to https://www.kitsandparts.com/xtoroids.html and you will see that you need a 10 inch length of magnet wire. Easy peasey, lemon squeezy! 


This is the stuff you automatically know when you are a home brewer par excellance, which Bob W3BBO is and I am obviously not. Thanks again, Bob - for pulling my fat out of the fire. In thanks, I will pay it forward and pass your tip to others out there who may need it. (I'm probably alone in that regard).

72 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Progress!

It was a pretty busy weekend with a lot a lot of "stuff" going on.

Saturday began with our "new normal" VE testing session in the Clark, NJ Municipal Building Parking Lot. Months ago, pre-Covid, we used to chuckle when we'd have three candidates and maybe ten VEs show up on a Saturday morning. Now, we need every VE we can get. These outdoor, socially distanced exam sessions require that many VEs and more, in order to maintain integrity and reasonably quick paper flow. We seem to be getting better at it each month and we've been getting good feedback from the candidates / new licensees.  It will be interesting to see how we're going to do this once colder weather arrives in 3 or 4 months.

The rest of the day was occupied with grocery shopping, cleaning, lawn mowing and various other little things that needed my attention. I set up a new Wifi range extender/repeater in the house as I was contending with a few dead spots, and I also want to set up a Webcam to accompany my weather station so that when I check into Weather Underground, I can visually see what the weather is like at home when I'm not there. I also do most of the cooking on weekends in order to give Marianne a break in that department.

The second Sunday of each month, I volunteer along with our Church group at a local soup kitchen. They've resumed, as they were halted for the last few months. Instead of giving our guests a "sit down' meal, we're giving them a complete take out meal, as we don't have enough indoor space to accomodate social distancing requirements. That eats up a bit of the day, but there was enough time before Mass and after soup kitchen to work some more on the QCX.


At this point, I'm pretty certain I'm more than 1/2 way done. I finished getting all the resistors in, the two RF chokes, all the electrolytics, the potentiometers, the trimmer cap, the transistors and the voltage regulator. I also got the power inlet, the pin headers and the three test points installed. Of all the components installed so far, those three singular test points were the biggest pain in the butt. You can't bend the "lead" to keep them in place - so you have to find a way to support them from underneath to keep them in place while you solder.  You can't use a finger to hold them in place as they get hot when you solder them in.  They're also shorter than some of the surrounding components and that doesn't help matters.

The solution that I worked out was to use the foam strip that the ICs came on. I placed that on top of each pin after I inserted it, carefully inverted the circuit board and then soldered each pin in place, while the foam supported the pin from underneath and prevented it from moving laterally, or moving away from the circuit board. Once again - never throw anything away that's excess before the kit is complete. You may never know when things like a piece of IC foam or even a clipped component lead might come in handy for something on down the line.

The next step is the toroids and the main transformer T1. I have no problem with toroids. I'm a toroid veteran from my K1, K2 and their respective auto tuner builds. But just because I'm a veteran doesn't mean I'm complacent about it. It was after dinner when I finished for the evening. I want to work on the toroids when I'm a bit fresher. Maybe I'll attempt them during evenings this week, taking my time and going slow.

The long range weather outlook is not looking great for my QTH for next weekend. I'm sure it will probably change between now and then, but right now the forecast for next Sunday (Skeeter Hunt Day) is for showers and perhaps a 1/4 inch of precipitation. If that is indeed the case, and things don't change, I'll probably end up setting up in the back yard under our big patio umbrella instead of going to the park that I usually go to. I did this a couple of years ago and it worked fine. The only problem is that situation would preclude me from using a home brew antenna for the event. There's just not enough space for my portable W3EDP that I use on Field Day, and I'd probably end up deploying the PAR End Fedz, which I've used in the past. I could conceivably use my EARCHI end fed, but the total length of that is 50 plus feet, while the PAR is around 39 feet, which is much more suited to the limited space I'll be dealing with.

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

Friday, August 07, 2020

Idiot !!!!!!!!

 Of all the bone-headed, idiotic things that I have done ....... I realized that I have missed the deadline to send in my Field Day results to the ARRL!  I feel like such a moron.

I've let down my fellow SPARC members. Argh!

72 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least!