Christmas Day 2005 has come and gone, even though the Season officially lasts until January 6th, Santa was very, very good this year to my wife and kids; and he was especially nice to me, Ham radio-wise, this year.
Through a hint from my wife, Santa brought the 2005 Christmas Key, a miniature ornament sized; but fully functional straight key. This lil' key is an object of beauty to a veteran CW op. It's perfectly sized for portable operations; but will probably end up never leaving the house! It is surprisingly stable and does not "walk" when being used upon my bench.
Through a hint from my Mom, Santa also brought a Hi-Mite for 15 Meters. This is a great little rig from Dave Benson K1SWL and Small Wonder Labs. It's based upon the famous RockMite series; but includes a VFO so as to be more flexible than the crystal controlled, single frequency RockMites. My Mom was fascinated that a radio kit could arrive in such a small envelope. I explained the situation to her and told her that I would show her one of my Rockmites so she could see just how small a radio can get. As I grew up she remembered the days of the big boat anchors with tubes that glowed. She came to recognize that radios were getting smaller through the various transceivers that I had owned throughout the years; but she wasn't quite ready to believe how small these Small Wonder Labs wonders really are.
Finally, through a hint from my sister, Santa brought a copy of the new ARRL book on basic radio concepts. It's a good book to have, even for a seasoned Ham like myself. I've never been a technical wizard of the likes of Dave Benson K1SWL or Steve Weber KD1JV. Maybe by reading this book and becoming even more comfortable with the basic principles, I can at least begin to understand more thoroughly the genius behind the masterpieces they offer.
All in all, it was an especially good Ham radio Christmas. I had not seen the likes of one of these in a few years. Mind you, I enjoy getting the customary shirts, PJs, and other more traditional "Dad type" of presents; but it was an extra special treat to find a few Ham radio items under the evergreen.
73 de Larry W2LJ