Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas !!!

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus
that the whole world should be enrolled.
This was the first enrollment,
when Quirinius was governor of Syria.
So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town.
And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth
to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem,
because he was of the house and family of David,
to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
While they were there,
the time came for her to have her child,
and she gave birth to her firstborn son.
She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger,
because there was no room for them in the inn.

Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields
and keeping the night watch over their flock.
The angel of the Lord appeared to them
and the glory of the Lord shone around them,
and they were struck with great fear.
The angel said to them,
“Do not be afraid;
for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy
that will be for all the people.
For today in the city of David
a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.
And this will be a sign for you:
you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes
and lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel,
praising God and saying:
“Glory to God in the highest
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

May you and your family enjoy a
Holy and Happy Christmas.

73 de Larry W2LJ

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Some things get better with time

When I was a kid, it was a big deal on Christmas Eve, to turn on the local AM news station out of New York in order to keep tabs on the whereabouts of Santa Claus.

I remember how they'd have a reporter based out at NORAD to relay Santa's position back to the whichever kids or their parents were listening.

Today, it's a whole lot better! There a website that you can go to: NORAD Tracks Santa 2008.

Due to the marvel (and I mean marvel - personal computers are something we take way too much for granted) of the Internet and home computers you can now get accurate, minute by minute position reports for Mr. C.

You can watch him as he flies about the globe and if you download Google Earth, you can even watch it in 3D! If we had this kind of thing when I was a kid, we would have been besides ourselves.

It's so cool to watch as Santa is escorted by F-15s and F-16s as he flies through USA airspace; with our brave military watching over him with care. This is the thing that memories are made of.

Treat your kids and yourself to something you won't soon forget.

Merry Christmas from the W2LJ household. May your day be merry and bright.

73 de Larry W2LJ

Saturday, December 20, 2008

QRP-ARCI Sprint tomorrow night!

From QRP-L :

Hello All.

It is a busy time of year for many of us, but tomorrow gives us a good reason to step aside and make a few contacts with friends old and new during the Holiday Season.


2000Z to 2359Z on 21 December 2008.


HF CW Only.


Members send: RST, State/Province/Country, ARCI member number
Non-Members send: RST, State/Province/Country, Power Out


Member = 5 points
Non-Member, Different Continent = 4 points
Non-Member, Same Continent = 2 points


SPC (State/Province/Country) total for all bands. The same station may be worked on multiple bands for QSO points and SPC credit.

5 Watts = x1
1 - 5 Watts = x7
250 mW - 1 Watt = x10
55 mW - 250 mW = x15
55 mW or less = x20


160m 1810 kHz
80m 3560 kHz
40m 7030 kHz (please listen at 7040 kHz for rock bound participants)
20m 14060 kHz
15m 21060 kHz
10m 28060 kHz

Final Score = Points (total for all bands) x SPCs (total for all bands) x Power Multiplier + Bonus Points.


If operating a HB Transmitter add 2000 points per band
If operating a HB Receiver add 3000 points per band
If operating a HB Transceiver add 5000 points per band
(Homebrew is defined as: if you built it, it is homebrew (kits too!)

If you are operating PORTABLE using battery power AND a temporary antenna, add 5000 points to your final score. (You can NOT be at your shack operating from battery power using your home station antenna to qualify for this bonus.) This is to help level the playing field for contesters who work from the field against contest stations with 5 element yagis at 70 ft.


Entry may be All-Band, Single Band, High Bands (10m-15m-20m) or Low Bands (40m-80m-160m)


Get on any of the HF bands except the WARC bands and hang out near the QRP frequencies. Work as many stations calling CQ QRP or CQ TEST as possible, or call CQ QRP or CQ TEST yourself! You can work a station for credit once on each band.


Email Submission: Submit Logs in plain text format along with a summary stating your Callsign, Entry Category, Actual Power and Station Description along with score calculation to This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it

Snail mail Submission: Submit Logs along with a summary stating your Callsign, Entry Category, Actual Power and Station Description along with score calculation to:

ARCI Holiday Spirits
c/o Jeff Hetherington, VA3JFF
139 Elizabeth St. W.
Welland, Ontario
Canada L3C 4M3


Entries must be postmarked on or before 21 January 2009.


Will be published in QRP Quarterly and shown on the QRP-ARCI website.


Will be awarded to the top scoring entrant in each category, as well as the top scoring entrants from each State, Province and Country. Certificates may be awarded for 2nd and 3rd place if entries are sufficient in a category.

L. Jeffrey Hetherington - VA3JFF / VE3CW
QRP-ARCI(sm) Contest Manager
QRP-ARCI(sm) #9223 / K2 #3375 / KX1 #631

Thanks for the announcement, Jeff!

73 de Larry W2LJ

Friday, December 19, 2008

Got it figured out!

OK - I seem to have gotten it figured out. I was able to get on the "Echotest" server successfully and listen to some test transmissions.

These are the steps I followed - they may or may not work for you. I am using Verizon DSL.

1) Start up Echolink and go to the "Help" menu.
2) Type in "DSL" and hit search topics - this is the part you will be most interested in:

Firewall Issues

EchoLink uses UDP ports 5198 and 5199. To use EchoLink, you must configure your router to direct all incoming data on these two ports to the PC on which EchoLink is installed. Typically, there are two ways to configure this:

  • Forwarding. Most routers allow data on specific ports to be "forwarded" to specific computers. If you expect to use EchoLink on only one PC, configure your router to forward UDP ports 5198 and 5199 to that computer.
  • Port triggering. Some routers implement a "smart" forwarding scheme which tries to direct data to the computer which is most likely to use it, based on requests each computer has recently made. If you expect to use EchoLink any of several different computers at different times, you may wish to try this option. Configure the router to direct ports 5198 and 5199 to any computer which makes outbound requests over UDP ports 5198 or 5199, or TCP port 5200.

EchoLink also uses TCP port 5200. Most routers will handle these requests correctly, since EchoLink always initiates them from the local computer. If you are using firewall software, however, you may need to "open up" outbound connections to this port. (EchoLink does not use TCP for incoming connections.)

Go to and look for the make and model of your DSL modem. Type the IP Address in as a URL. In my case it was (yours will probably be different) in a blank browser window. BIG TIP: Use "admin" as the user name and use "password" as the password to log into your DSL modem. Using "admin" as both the user name and password will not allow you "in" to your modem! At this point, do not try to customize the firewall setting of your modem! Instead, I was able to go to a tab that said "Enable Applications". I opened this and added Echolink as a new application. I entered the Echolink recommended values for Port Triggering and Port Forwarding, saved this as a new application and Viola!, I can now use Echolink for my weekly chats with W3BBO.

Truth be told, I only have a vague idea of what I actually did! All I know is that Echolink now works; and I didn't seem to do any damage to anything else.

Maybe ignorance is bliss!

73 es Good Luck if you're as new to this as I am,

Larry W2LJ

I am back!

Boy, this DSL changeover thing has not been the easiest!

First off, my new ISP service was supposed to start on December 10th. It was just turned on yesterday, December 18th. Somehow, and I don't think that it's a coincidence, I no longer get a dial tone on my phone line! I think Verizon screwed something up when they turned on the DSL. Thank God for cell phones; as the earliest that I can get a technician to come out to the house won't be for another 4 days or so.

Now I have to figure out how to get Echolink to work again. Going through the DSL modem, I can't connect even to the EchoTest server. Something is wrong and I think it's going to take a while to figure it out.

You gotta love technology!

73 de Larry W2LJ