Got the new magmount through the mail yesterday. I put the new Comet radiator on and slapped it on the roof of the Explorer. I am noticing a small but definite improvement in reception. The place where I work must be in a small RF shadow, though, as far as the two repeaters that I frequent are concerned. I still do not get adequate reception until about 5 minute's worth of driving North from the work QTH. Before the new antenna, it was about 10 minutes worth of driving. So there is some improvement; but not as much as I would have hoped for.
Last night I received a phone call from a newer Ham in Southern New Jersey who was asking for some advice on setting up a station and getting involved in QRP. I always like talking with newer Hams, particularly when they ask about my favorite subjects!
Once again, the advice given was to get up a decent antenna as high as possible that the backyard will permit. It's all about the antenna, particularly when you are looking for QRP (or any) success. Compromise antennas are all right for temporary portable operations; but for the home station, you want the best antler up there that you can manage. And that usually equates to dipole as "high up as you can get it" for most Hams that I know.
My advice on learning Morse Code, was to download either Koch Trainer or MorseGen. Both of these software packages are wonderful. It's nice to see the long way we've come since those old AMECO 33 1/3 LPs!
Ideally, I will be meeting with this newbie Ham at some point in July. It will be nice to put a face with the callsign and telephone voice.
This weekend promises to be busy; but I hope to find enough quiet time to submit both my Hoot Owl Sprint and June NAQCC Sprint logs.
72 de Larry W2LJ