10th Anniversary Giveaway!

On April 30th, it will be ten years since the "W2LJ - QRP - Do More With Less" blog was born.

In appreciation for all who read this blog, I am going to give something away to one lucky reader. I have a new, mint condition, unused, complete sheet of fifty United States Amateur Radio stamps, issued in 1964 on the 50th Anniversary of the ARRL - Scott #1260. I am going to have the sheet matted and framed - ready for display on some deserving shack wall. All I ask is that you send an e-mail to w2lj@arrl.net - entitled "Blog Anniversary Giveaway". Include your name, call sign and mailing address.

Any Amateur Radio op worldwide can enter. I will package and ship the framed stamps to any destination that the United States Post Office will accept.

The names and call signs will be loaded into a software program such as RandomPicker on April 30th and a winner will be determined. The winner will be announced here, and then the framed stamps will be posted.

Good luck, and thank you for reading!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Buggin' out!

Now that my Vibroplex Original Standard has gone through its restoration process, via yours truly, now comes the time to hook the lil' bugger (pun intended) up and use it.

Hooking it up is the easy part. Using it is another thing, entirely. In actuality, it's not difficult to use at all. In fact, it's very much like using a keyer and paddles.

That's the problem!

For the past 22 years, I have been using a keyer and paddles. I used to use a Bug many years ago; but it was MANY years ago! My brain is so used to touching a paddle lever and getting a series of dits and then touching the other paddle to get a series of dahs; that it has become ingrained.

Getting on the Bug the first time wasn't too bad. I pressed the lever in one direction and got a series of well formed and well designed dits. So far, so good. I pressed the lever in the other direction and got one well formed; but interminably long dah! Oh yes, that's right ... I AM THE ONE who has to manually make the dahs! Sorry, not used to that! The tendancy is to leave my finger on the lever way too long! Unfortunately, this is International Morse Code I'm dealing with and not American Morse. There are no extremely loooooong dahs in this system!

What to do? Practice, practice and practice some more! I have been sending imaginary exchanges to my keyer with its speaker turned on. This allows me to conveniently send "off the air". And after a few evenings, I judged that I didn't sound way too terribly. So I got on the air and called a CQ on 80 Meters. A guy came back to me and was actually able to decipher what I was sending! Wow!

In reality, while it's not terrible, I'm not comfortable with the way it sounds. My code with the Bug is still a little disjointed and stacatto. My fist is indeed, legible; but it doesn't "flow" at this point. It sounds more like the orchestra tuning up than playing the actual symphony. I pride myself on my Morse being "liquid" and being easy to listen to and decipher. Maybe I'm my own worst critic; but I am not happy ...... yet.

I need some more practice; but I do think I see the light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe in a few more weeks, I'll actually feel comfortable enough to get on the air and not make a fool of myself (again). I just hope that light I see at the end of the tunnel isn't a train!

73 de Larry W2LJ


Anonymous said...

larry 3/2/2006 restoration on ur original standard vibropex int year model 1944 ka4pbq 73 carl

Larry W2LJ said...

Tnx Carl,

I thought that when I looked it up on the Vibroplex page that it was 1949; but thanks for clearing that up for me.


Anonymous said...

larry i guess all standard vibroplex keys look alike. my standard vibroplex is 1944 (my birthday)label broadway, new york.i really wish the label had brooklyn, new york. (my place of birth) 73 carl ka4pbq