A very dear friend of mine, who is a Ham, recently decided that the best situation for him and his XYL, was to move out of their house and into a Senior's housing complex. This is becoming more and more common as owning a house is taxing. It's taxing on your time, it's taxing on your finances, it's taxing on your peace of mind. For those on a fixed retirement income, sometimes it's the only thing to do. In my friend's case, I don't think it was so much of a money thing as it was a peace of mind and peace of body thing.
But here's the problem; and I mentioned it in the first sentence. He's a Ham ..... a pretty darn active Ham. He's definitely not one of those "on the air once every few years" kind of Hams. So in the process of moving, he also had to give up his antennas.
Now I don't know about you folks out there; but in that regard, I guess I'm kind of weird. If something happens to one of my radios or one of my antennas, I just don't feel quite "right" until I get it rectified. Even if I don't be happen to have the yen to be on the air that much during that time period ...... just knowing that "I can't" makes me uneasy. There's just something calming and liberating about knowing that I can enjoy my hobby any darn time that I want to - that all is up and running if I want it to be.
So I felt badly for my Ham buddy. Right now, I'm in a point in my life where I don't even want to imagine about having to do without an antenna. Even though he had gained a new kind of freedom - freedom from worry, freedom from the extra financial burden - I was a bit concerned as to how he was going to deal with his new situation. For Ham radio isn't just a hobby for him. For him, like me and so many others, it's part of who he is.
So I was very happy to get an e-mail from him today. In it, he explained that he threw a hunk o' wire out off his apartment balcony, hooked it up to one of his QRP radios and had a QSO! Way to go! Okay, so maybe it wasn't a QSO with the outer reaches of Inner Mongolia; but the important thing is - he's on the air again! And for the most part, any time he wants to get on the air, all he has to do is throw out that hunk o' wire and he's pretty much good to go.
Another advantage of QRP. That's something you really can't do with the kilowatt station and expect to remain alive with your skin intact.
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!