Cold again today. Last night, the low (as per my trusty Radio Shack digital indoor/outdoor thermometer) was 4F (-15C). This was the coldest I think I've ever seen it here since we moved to South Plainfield. That said, it's tough for it to reach 0F or below 0F in these parts. After all, we are only about 10 miles or so as the crow flies from Raritan Bay / the Atlantic Ocean, and that huge drop of water tends to keep the air warmer than destinations inland. Accuweather.com is still calling for 6 - 8 inches of wet, heavy snow later this week, but the dire predictions of a blizzard have seem to have eased.
I spent some time cruising the Web today and was visiting Rex W1REX's site - QRPme Can it! If you can't find something interesting to build from the plethora of kits that Rex offers, well ...... then I am not sure what to say. Personally, I am thinking of ordering the QRP Pocket Pal, and the Picaxe Hatchet Kit. Rex offers a bunch of really neat things that look extremely "do-able" for even the novice builder.
I have been reading with interest, an e-mail thread that has been on the Butternut antenna e-mail list. It seems a recent antenna purchaser out in the mid-West has been nervous about his Butternut being able to withstand the high winds and harsh winter weather out there. I have had my Butternut HF9V for about 10 years now. It has been through several hurricanes, Nor'Easters and even a few blizzards with nary an incident. Back when I lived in East Brunswick, I had an "other" brand vertical (for comparison, both antennas were ground mounted - the Butternut is not guyed, the "other" brand was guyed - both are the same approximate height). That "other" brand antenna gave me agita whenever there was bad weather. Even during normal summer thunderstorms, that stick would sway like a hula dancer on amphetamines. And during winter ice storms? ..... that antenna outdid the best limbo dancers I have ever seen. While it never broke, it was a constant source of heartburn. The Butternut, on the other hand, has been a "set it and forget it" type of deal; and I would recommend the HF9V to anyone.
K6JSS leaves the state of Georgia tonight and heads for Texas. Texas has always been an easy grab for me. Now that I am looking to make a deliberate QSO, I'm sure it will be as elusive as the Holy Grail.
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!