POWr Countdown Timer

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Making progress



Working on the front half - the CP board and the front panel.  I got the board mounted into the front case; and in the process, I think I discovered an error.  Not sure where it is though - the parts list or the assembly manual.

The kit is shipped with (6) 2-56 1/4" Black Pan Head screws.  According to page 13 of the manual, you need three if these to mount standoffs to the CP board.  But then you need four more to mount the plastic bezel (which attracts dirt like crazy, BTW).  That would give you a total of seven needed - one more than the six they ship you.

I brought this up to the KX3 reflector and will see what the answer is.  Knowing me, I probably read or did something wrong.

For ESD protection, Elecraft recommends three different ESD mats that can be used during construction.  They're all rather pricey, so I am using my trusty Radio Shack ESD mat that I have built all my other kits on.  That's the red you see in the photo above.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Rats!

I did a complete inventory of my KX3 hardware and am sad to report that I am missing some screws and lock washers.

I sent off an e-mail to Elecraft letting them know what was missing. Normally, I wouldn't even bother, I'd just go off to Home Depot or Lowes to pick up equivalents, but these screws are black. That means they are going to show from the outside, and I don't think either store will have black hardware.

I might have to stop off at Greenbrook Electronics on the way home from work tomorrow, in the off chance they might carry black hardware.

I know what you might be thinking, but no ........ I made sure to do the inventory in a box top, so that nothing could roll off the table and on to the floor - or worse.

To their credit, Elecraft sends a small bag of "spare" hardware. Unfortunately, nothing that I need is in there.  I will try to start the build tomorrow night, but I think right from the get go, I am going to need some of these missing screws.

Heavy sigh.

Hmmmmm ..... the good news is that I may only be one screw short.  In a burst of inspiration, I went down to the basement to the parts drawer where I kept screws that were left over from my K1 and K2 builds.  I think I can make do until the missing parts arrive.  Moral of the story? Don't throw stuff like that out!  But don't become a hoarder, either - yes, I know it's a fine line!

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

There is a saying here in America

and probably other countries, too. It's for when things don't work out quite up to your expectations. The phrase that is used is "Guess I'm a day late and a dollar short".

I have to make an alternative.  "Guess I'm a day early and a dollar up!"  Because, when I came home from work today; and looked down while I was unlocking the door - this is what I saw:


'Twas sitting right there, on the front stoop - waiting me to pick it up and bring it inside. And it arrived a day early!  According to the e-mail that I had received from the folks in Aptos, I was not expecting this until tomorrow.

Upon opening the box, I saw now nice and neatly everything was packaged:


The errata sheet, followed by the manuals (building and owner's) and finally the boxes containing the goodies underneath.

As long as this has taken, I am in no glorified, all Hell bent, gotta-get-it-done-now rush.  I am going to spend tonight clearing off my worktable in the shack, and will take some time to re-read the construction manual - again.  Right now, if nothing comes up out of left field, I am anticipating construction being completed over the next two evenings.

Pictures and details to follow.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Monday, May 28, 2012

eBay - gotta love it

if you're a seller!

Just for the heck of it, I've been keeping a watch on the auction for an ATS-3B that ended tonight.  I was watching a bidding war right before my very eyes.

The final winning bid was $317.00 - not bad for a kit that originally sold for $160.00.  Admittedly, it is assembled and comes with a carrying case.  But that is almost double the original price.

I mentioned before that I think that eBay is a very good thing for sellers.  You have to wonder how many items end up garnering a bigger selling price than they ever would in a classified ad situation.  The "macho" of not allowing yourself to be outbid? A feeding frenzy - like sharks drawn to prey? Or is it just consumer ignorance?

An ATS-3B for over $300, that NorCal Doublet the other week for $60. Admittedly, I'm not in the market for either item, so maybe if I was, those prices would not seem so inflated.

It will be interesting to see what that Palm Mini Paddle and Code Cube end up going for.  Right now, they're at $90.00 with about 40 minutes to go.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Memorial Day 2012


Happy Memorial Day!

Although officially, Memorial Day will fall later this week, it will be observed this Monday.  So in the US, this weekend is always called "The Unofficial Start to Summer".

There will be parades, B-B-Qs, parties, shore getaways, lake getaways, family gatherings, picnics, notable radio contests, etc, etc, etc.

No matter how you are spending your weekend, please be safe and have a very good time.  But somewhere during that good time, please take a moment to remember and pray for all those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our Nation, during all the conflicts that we have faced.  That is what this holiday is all about.

Freedom is not free and we honor those who have paid the debt for us.

 "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends."





72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Done!


The paddles are done.  The assembly was in the class of "Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy" territory. And assembly time was all of about a 1/2 hour or so.

The instructions provided by Doug Hauff were superb and easy to follow.  The hardest part, installing the compression spring was no big deal at all.  Slipped one end of the spring over one of the spring retainer screws and used a tweezer to finagle the other end over the other screw.  No launching into orbit or getting lost. Viola!

What I like most about these are:

1) Materials - nice grade of aluminum.
2) Weight - minscule.
3) Size - Super small; but yet not to the point where these are difficult to use. And I can be ham fisted, at times.
4) Ease of adjustment - Here's the best part.  I like my paddles to have MINIMUM arm movement. There  should be no "clacking" and the closer I can get the feel to compare to a touch keyer the better.  I succeeded here with the DCP.  The adjustment screws have a fine enough thread pitch where this was easy to attain.

The only thing that I have to say that is negative, is that when you have the paddles attached to your radio (and it is on), you have to be careful about how you pick these up if you want to move them.  Your first inclination will be to reach down (or over) and just grab the key with your hand. If you do it that way, you will most likely start inadvertently sending dits and dahs. Like I did - several times. Oops!

That minor inconvenience being noted, I would give these paddles a 5 out of 5 star rating.  For their intended use, these paddles will more than fit the bill.  Now all I have to do is figure out some kind of leg mounting scheme.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Commencement

Not graduation - began working on my American Morse DCP paddles tonight, just as I thought I would.

I spent some time polishing up the aluminum.  First, I gave the metal pieces a light scrubbing with one of those copper Chore Boy scrubby pads.  Then I used some Noxon metal polish (that I forgot I had!) that I found on a shelf. Lastly, a going over with a polishing wheel on my Dremel.


Not a mirror finish, but a lot shinier than they were originally.  All I did was remove the top layer of oxidation. I am sure that with time, the metal will get dull again, but for now, it looks pretty darn nice!

Tomorrow night I will assemble everything - shouldn't take long at all.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

One of the uber QRP operators

If you're really into QRP portable operations, you know, QRP from the great outdoors, then you may have heard about Steve Galchutt WG0AT.

If you haven't ever heard of Steve, then you owe it to yourself to find out more.  Steve and his two pack goats, Rooster and Peanut are a QRP portable operating team, extraordinaire.  Seems like Steve and the boys are always out somewhere, inducing RF into the ionosphere to somewhere.

Besides being a superb QRP op, Steve is also a gifted videographer when it comes to his adventures.  He has an entire YouTube channel devoted to them:

http://www.youtube.com/user/goathiker?feature=results_main

I have had the honor and privilege to work Steve when he's been out and about as well as from home.  Check out his YouTube videos.  You will be entertained, educated and inspired all at the same time!

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

BTW - got an e-mail from Elecraft - a certain small 5 lb box will be here next Wednesday. WooHoo!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

American Morse DCP Paddles

Now that things are starting to settle down, tomorrow evening I will probably begin building my American Morse DCP Paddles that were my birthday gift. I don't think I am going to go real fancy and mirror polish the aluminum pieces; but I probably will go over them very well with either some steel wool or perhaps the Dremel with a polishing wheel.

There's a set of Palm mini paddles up for bid on eBay  I would really like a set of those. Yesterday, the high bid was about $26 - today it's up to $76 with five more days to go. The auction includes the Code Cube keyer, so the "buy new" price for both is about $195 (this is the gray model).  Knowing eBay, I am willing to wager that by the time the auction is over, the selling price is not going to be that much of a bargain.

It has been my experience that folks can get "caught up in the moment" and bid wildly just so as to not "let it get away".  This can be great if you're the seller -  and if you're one of the bidders, unless you REALLY want the particular item, it can cause you to sigh, shrug your shoulders and walk away.

If I get time during lunch tomorrow, there's an Eastern Mountain Sports store near where I work.  I just might head on over there and start looking at padded cases to store the KX3 in when I place it in my knapsack or rucksack.  I want to keep the new radio in as good condition as my K1 was, even after nine years. It literally looked brand spankin' mint new - like it just came out of the box.

From one of the QRP e-mail reflectors, someone made me aware of this 6 X 9 padded pouch from Maxpedition padded cases.  For $33, it looks like a nice solution - but I'd still like to see what the outdoors store has in stock.


The idea, of course, is to keep this all as light and small as possible.  Antenna, battery and radio should be able to fit quite nicely into my small CQ knapsack that I purchased at Dayton back in the 90s.  I don't think I am going to flip for a whole new case - like the Lowepro Traveler 140 camera case that has been bandied about by some of the guys.  But I have to admit, after watching this YouTube video about the Lowepro Traveler 150 by TJ, W0EA, I could be persuaded if I could find one at a good price.



Maybe I'll head on over to the local WalMart this weekend and see if I can find one at a real good price like TJ did. 

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

More bad news

From the ARRL:

SB SPCL @ ARL $ARLX006
ARLX006 Former ARRL First Vice President Steve Mendelsohn, W2ML (SK)

 ZCZC AX06 QST de W1AW Special Bulletin 6 ARLX006:
From ARRL Headquarters Newington CT May 23, 2012
To all radio amateurs
SB SPCL ARL ARLX006 Former ARRL First Vice President Steve Mendelsohn, W2ML (SK)

After a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer, Steve Mendelsohn, W2ML, of Dumont, New Jersey, passed away May 23. He was 67. An ARRL Life Member, Mendelsohn began his time with ARRL in 1983 when he was elected as Vice Director of the Hudson Division. After two terms as Vice Director, he was elected as Hudson Division Director in 1987. In 1996, the ARRL Board of Directors elected Mendelsohn as its First Vice President, where he served until 2000. The next year, he was again elected as the Hudson Division Vice Director, serving through 2004.

Outside of his League activities, Mendelsohn was active both as the Communications Director of the New York City Marathon and, along with his wife Heidi, W2MLW, as the Game Day Frequency Coordinator (GDC) for the New York Jets. The November 2007 issue of QST featured Mendelsohn on its cover along with an article about him and the GDC program. Mendelsohn was inducted into the CQ Hall of Fame last week for his contributions to the ARRL, the New York City Marathon and the National Football League.

Mendelsohn was a 30 year veteran of the US Navy, rising to the rank of Senior Chief Petty Officer, with a Cryptologist rating. He received two Navy Achievement Awards for creating an important national security database for personal computers. While stationed in Scotland in the late 1960s, Mendelsohn was GM5AHS. He was a member of the North Jersey DX Association (NJDXA) and was the current President of the Bergen Amateur Radio Association (BARA). At one point, Mendelsohn served as President of both organizations simultaneously.

''Steve's passing is a great loss in the world of Amateur Radio,'' said ARRL Hudson Division Director Joyce Birmingham, KA2ANF. ''I will always treasure the times I spent with Steve over the many years I knew him. To me, and to all of Amateur Radio, he was a strong leader, dedicated mentor and most importantly, a true friend to many of us throughout the entire Amateur Radio community. Most recently, as a courageous fighter, Steve battled pancreatic cancer, but still continued to serve the ham community until the end and enjoyed many hours on the air. Our prayers go out to his family and his beloved Heidi. Rest now, my friend, you are at peace. We will miss you.'' '

'Steve brought a unique personality and perspective to the ARRL Board,'' said ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN. ''Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time of loss.''

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Further information about Steve's life may be found on the web at, http://www.arrl.org/news/former-arrl-first-vice-president-steve-mendelsohn-w2ml-sk .

(End)

I knew Steve through my time as President of the Piscataway Amateur Radio Club and oddly enough, through this blog.  Some of you may remember that I posted about him early on after his initial diagnosis.  We had maintained some e-mail communications from time to time about Amateur Radio and other things.

Above all, he was a boon to the Ham community and a true, true gentleman. He will be sorely missed.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Pinch me...

so I can be sure I'm not dreaming!

Is it true?  I guess it is!  This finally appeared in my "inbox" today:

"Dear KX3 Customer,

Your KX3 order is expected to ship during the week of 5/23 to 5/29. The exact day is not known at this time.

(Snip)

If you have any corrections or changes to your order please let us know.

If you need the shipping delayed for any reason that is fine. We can ship at the later date you specify. (You're kidding, right?)

Once we have received your confirmation your order will ship as soon as possible. (That was sent immediately!)

The day it ships you will receive an email from the shipper ( either UPS or USPS) with the shipping notice. The KXBC3 (didn't order one) is currently on backorder. It will not be included with your KX3 shipment. As soon as it is available, we will ship it to you.

We look forward to your reply and shipping your KX3 order. Be sure to reply!!! (I did, I did !!!!)

 Regards, Vicki Seavy

Hallelujah!

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

QRPTTF 2012 (K6BBQ Style)



72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

This n' that

We did end up making that trip down to the Camden waterfront yesterday.  There was so much to see at the aquarium, that we didn't make it to the USS New Jersey.


But after seeing it from the outside, all of us decided that we really want to go back to take the tour. That we didn't make it there yesterday may have been serendipitous, anyway.  As yesterday was Armed Forces Day, the New Jersey might have been a busier place than normal.  We WILL get back there this summer - somehow, someway.

Congratulations are in order to the two newest members of the QRP Hall of Fame, Terry Fletcher WA0ITP and Jay Bromley W5JAY. They both richly deserve the honor and it's good to see them inducted.

Not much news on the e-mail reflectors about new QRP items at Dayton.  With the proliferation of e-mail capability via cell phones, iPads and other tablets, I was expecting more.  Either there wasn't much in the way of news, or perhaps we'll start hearing more once folks get home and settled in.

I am hoping that with the Dayton dust settling that there will be good news headed my way from Aptos, CA this week,  My buddy sent me an e-mail letting me know that he's closing on his house on May 31st.  Looks like this horse race is going to be a photo finish.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Friday, May 18, 2012

This is the kind of thing I need

to lift my spirits, even if it's lifting them just by a hair.

Thanks, Jim!

http://www.w1pid.com/winriv/winriv.html

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Feeling numb

My Mom's funeral was today.

The week was busy with running here, running there - taking care of this and taking care of that.  Now all the busy-ness has come to an abrupt end and I am feeling numb.

Normally, I'd be keeping my eyeballs peeled for news out of Dayton.  Still doing that somewhat, as K4SWL has been posting some neat photos (check 'em out) on his blog - The QRP'er.  But it sure hasn't enticed me like it has in past years.

I was hoping against hope, to come home and find "that e-mail" from Elecraft in my In Box as there was indication earlier in the week on the KX3 reflector that a bunch of kits would be shipped today.  Nothing there.

The good news is that Marianne may be off from work tomorrow, which is an extremely rare thing as she always works on Saturdays.  If that's the case (and I am praying that it is) then I will immerse myself in spending quality family time with her and the kids.  We were kicking the idea around of going down to Camden, NJ to visit the State Aquarium that is located there, as well as the Battleship New Jersey which is berthed there.

If we go to the USS New Jersey and I can get some photos of the radio room, which is now filled with Amateur Radio gear, I will post them here.

Be well, my friends!

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Godspeed !

To all my friends headed to Dayton Hamvention and to all my friends headed out to FDIM, I wish you Godspeed - safe journeys there and back home.

Enjoy the friendship and camaraderie and please fill up the e-mail reflectors with bits of news, please!

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Thank you so much!

Thanks to all of you out there, who have so kindly shared your thoughts, prayers, kind comments here and elsewhere as well as e-mails that I have received during this difficult time.  I am so blessed to have so many friends because of Amateur Radio, and this blog.  Even if we've never formally met, I consider you all to be truly great friends.  Please know you have my utmost appreciation and gratitude and that I will, in turn, be remembering you all in my prayers.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Monday, May 14, 2012

This is truly difficult.


This is the most difficult blog post that I have ever made.

It is with a heavy and broken heart that I have to announce that my Mom, Doris Makoski, passed away tonight.  She was 83 and died due to complications from cancer. Thankfully, she passed peacefully in her sleep with my sister and my brother-in-law and me at her bedside.

My mom is the person most responsible for who and what I am.  She taught me a lot and always told me to never be afraid to do the things that I wanted to do.

While I am happy that she is no longer suffering and in pain; and that she's gone on to the reward that she so richly deserves, I cannot describe to you the loss and void that I am feeling right now.

If you would remember her in your prayers, it would be appreciated.

Larry W2LJ

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Memories

I was reading my good friend Kelly K4UPG's blog; and my memory was quite neatly jogged by the video he posted for the old REMCO game, "Fascination".  I remember the commercial like it was yesterday. My cousins had the game and I used to love to play it.

I was so taken by the video, that I went on over to YouTube and did a search on REMCO, looking for other commercials for toys of my youth.  I found this one, which I only vaguely, vaguely remember in the very recesses of my memory - but maybe it had something to do with becoming an Amateur Op in my later years?



On the same page, I saw a link to this video - and got a kick out of it as well.



If you were around for the 50s and 60s, you probably ran around with one of those in your pocket or school bag.  I remember sneaking a radio like that into school in 1969 so I could listen to the Mets beat the Orioles in the World Series.  Ah, yes - back when they actually played World Series games in daylight hours!

And all the nights spent spinning the dial, either listening to Jean Shepherd K2ORS on WWOR or looking for DX stations like KDKA out of Pittsburgh or KMOX out of St. Louis.  Good times!

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Monday, May 07, 2012

Quick Announcement

The official Web presence for the NJQRP Skeeter Hunt will be:

http://www.qsl.net/w2lj/

Pardon how it looks for now.  I'll be working on it soon; but right now, helping my two harmonics with their science fair presentations is taking precedence.

It looks pretty crude as of right now; but hopefully I'll be able to figure out how to make it more elegant looking by the end of the week.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Skeeter Questions

Questions about the NJQRP Skeeter Hunt have been filtering in. Here's some answers:

Question - "I have a question that you or someone else may have the answer to. At one time, several years ago wasn't there a transmitter project that was called a 'MOSquito'? It possibly was a transceiver. If I recall it was in one of the magazines, CQ, 73, or Ham Radio."

Answer - I think you're thinking of the Miss Mosquita - The DL QRP Project still has that kit available:
http://www.qrpproject.de/UK/missmosquita.htm

Question - "Do I have to be a resident of NJ to get a NJQRP number?"

Answer - I'm assuming you mean a Skeeter number. Certainly not!  Anyone worldwide, who desires a Skeeter number can have one.  And as far as I know, NJQRP numbers are still given out when you join NJQRP - anyone can join that fine organization, also.  For the record, W2LJ's NJQRP number is 47.

Question - "Any thought about multiop or multi multi stations? A couple of us are thinking of a cookout and contest afternoon."

Answer - No, I hadn't, but it sounds like a cool idea to me!  Want to get a group together and have a cookout and get some radio in?  Sure!  All I ask is when you submit your log, to list the operators who participated.   Of course, this will be considered a separate operating class - but no problem with that.  I will make note of it when I update the rules.

Question - "You'll probably need to add some clarification on the "Kit" points. Some of the other "homebrew" contests are not counting modular kits like the K3 and KX3 as homebrew anymore, does this contest?"

Answer - This might rankle a few purists. But as far as I am concerned, for the Skeeter Hunt, here's the definition of "kit built". The operator's hands were involved in more than 50% of the building of the kit. Solder need not necessarily be involved. If you built a K3 or KX3 with your own hands, it counts. If you finished a kit (half of it or more, I will let the entrant judge that for himself) that someone else started, it counts. If you're using a PFR3A or a KX1 or whatever and you didn't build it yourself? Consider it commercial equipment. The idea here is to have fun and not get too trapped in the details. The honor system will rule - there will be no checking.  If anyone homebrews a key or paddle for the Skeeter hunt, please send a photo with your entry!

Question - "I am assuming it is ok for skeeters to operate in the field for the event?"

Answer - That's the whole idea!  Get out with your gear, get on the air and then share your tale of adventure with the rest of us!

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Friday, May 04, 2012

Wow!

I saw this on eBay today:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/HF-antenna-QRP-Norcal-Doublet-Portable-/120903732214?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c266c8bf6

Someone in Spain is auctioning off NorCal Doublets.  This particular one has 12 bids on it with about 2 1/2 days to go.  High bid is $31.00 US.

Holy Shamoley!  I have to start getting busy building NorCal Doublets and posting them to eBay !!  I have built several of these from ribbon cable as well as light gauge speaker wire.  They do work decently well, and they are cheap to make.  For what I paid in materials, $31.00 would be a serious return on investment.

The handing out of Skeeter numbers is going well.  If you hit the extreme right tab above, entitled "NJQRP Skeeter Hunt", you'll get the rules and you'll be able to see the roster as it currently stands.  I am going to update it as often as I can.  As of this very second, 39 Skeeter numbers have been handed out.

Ward Silver of the ARRL has been notified, so The Hunt will appear in the August "Contest Corral".  I will send an e-mail to CQ this weekend, also.

Ahhh!  My birthday present arrived in the mail today - the DCP paddles from American Morse.  Tiny little package for a tiny little key.  I hope to start the build this weekend and will post some photos.

The kids (including yours truly) want to see "The Avengers Assemble" this weekend. Hope I can get tickets - all local shows around here for tonight are already sold out.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Announcing the First Annual NJQRP Skeeter Hunt

The NJQRP Club is announcing a new summertime operating event - "The Skeeter Hunt".  The objective is to get QRPers out of their shacks for the day; and into the fresh air and sunshine, to spread their wings and fill the airwaves with "Skeeters".  While commercial equipment can certainly utilized, bonus points will be awarded for those who personally home brewed their own or kit built their own equipment (equipment not built by the operator would not count as either home brewed or kit built - it would be considered commercial equipment).  The inaugural event is to be held on Sunday August 12th.  It will be a four hour sprint - from 17:00 UTC to 21:00 UTC (1:00 TO 5:00 PM EDT).


 The theme for this year is "My favorite outdoor place".  You are encouraged to operate from your favorite outdoor place and tell us about it in your Soapbox comments.


Stations who wish to be designated as "Skeeters" can get a Skeeter number by requesting one by sending an e-mail to w2lj@arrl.net  Skeeter numbers would be issued from May through the day before the event.

Station Classes and Multipliers
X1 Home stations - commercial equipment
X2 Home stations - home brewed or kit built equipment
X3 Portable station - commercial equipment
X4 Portable station - home brewed or kit built equipment

Portable stations cannot use permanent antennas, i.e you can't work from your backyard, hook up to your dipole or tower and yagi and be considered a portable station. Also, portable stations cannot be connected to the local power grid - alternative energy sources must be used - solar, battery, wind, etc.

Suggested Call - Either CQ QRP or CQ Buzz

Exchange -
Skeeter Stations - RST, S/P/C, Skeeter number
Non-Skeeter Stations - RST, S/P/C, Output power

Mode - CW
Power - 5W max

Scoring -
Working a Skeeter Station - 2 points
Working a non-Skeeter Station - 1 point

Total score equals the number of QSO points times the number of S/P/Cs worked on all bands (stations can be worked on multiple bands for QSO points and S/P/C credit) times the multiplier for station class.

Bonus points - design and home brew a key or paddle specifically for the event and earn an extra 1000 points.

Suggested frequencies:
The QRP "Watering Holes
80 Meters ~ 3.560 MHz
40 Meters ~ 7.040 and 7.030 MHz - also consider using from 7.114 to 7.122 MHz for a "slower" speed CW area.  We want to have everyone involved!
20 Meters ~ 14.060 MHz
15 Meters ~ 21.060 MHz
10 Meters ~ 28.060 MHz

These are suggested starting points, of course. Feel free to spread out and give your "Skeeter" wings a chance to do their thing.

Logs, photos and soapbox comments can be sent to w2lj@arrl.net no later than 30 days after the event.  Certificates will be issued to the top scorers of each category as well as others to be determined.

A table of call signs and issued "Skeeter" numbers will appear on a separate page on this site.

Hope to hear and work all of you during this new event. Special thanks to the NJQRP club for their sponsorship!

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Severe case of Dayton envy!

I really envy all of you fortunate enough to attend the Dayton Hamvention and FDIM.  Looks like a bounty of good QRP stuff will be available.  Doug Hendricks KI6DS, posted this to QRP-L today:

Hendricks QRP kits will be at Dayton again this year, and we will be in a new location. Our booth numbers are 459 and 460, located right across from the ARRL in the Ball Arena. And we have 9 new products, yes, you read it right, 9. Here they are:

1. The Weber Tribander designed by Steve Weber, KD1JV. This is a 3 band CW Transceiver and you get to pick your bands from the following: 15, 17, 20, 30, 40 and 80 Meters. Digital display, Custom Case, DDS Vfo, and Encoder Tuning. If you have wanted a PFR on other bands or with rotary encoder tuning, this is the radio for you. Price: $200.

 2. The Tuthill 160 designed by Dan Tayloe. Finally, a cw transceiver kit for 160M. We have expanded the popular Tuthill series to now include 160M with a full 5 Watts of output. Basic Kit is $100 (show special), optional Digital Display, $35. Now is the time to get this kit so you will be ready for 160 in the fall.

3. SMK-2. The popular surface mount 40M CW transceiver designed by Dave Fifield is back. And it is improved! The SMK-2 comes with 2 Frequencies, and is complete with case and connectors. Plus there is an optional Crystal Board available for switchable frequencies. The Transceiver is $40, Optional Crystal Board is $10. Frequencies are 7.030, 7.040 and 7.122MHz.

4. 41dB Step Attenuator. We have kitted the popular design that has been in the ARRL handbook for years. Ken Locasale designed a great looking case, and everything is included. Great for working low power and for transmitter hunts. $50.

5. Rock Hunter Chassis for the DCxxB series. We now have a case, connectors and an addon board to give 2 additional frequencies for the DCxxB series of transceivers. We have had many, many requests for a case for the DCxx series of transceivers, and now we have it. $20 for the case, connectors, controls and addon frequency board.

 6. Red Hot 40 Transceiver. We will have a special price on the Red Hot 40, the high performance 40 Meter CW Transceiver designed by Dave Fifield. The show special is $200, which is $50 off the regular price.

 7. Repackaged Tayloe SWR Meter. Ken has come up with a great little chassis for the SWR Meter designed by Dan Tayloe, N7VE. $25.

8. Sota Tuner. This has been one of our best sellers since we introduced it in September. The Sota is an End Fed Half Wave Tuner with a metal case, stainless steel hardware, and only weighs 2.5 ounces, and the price is $30.

9. Two Fer Transmitter. The Twofer is a great little transmitter. Available on 40 or 30 or 20 Meters. Show special at $30.

We will also have show specials on the Tenna Dipper, with a price of $70, MMR40 at $175, NADC40 basic kit w/out digital display, $100, Ft. Tuthill 15, basic kit no display, $100.

Stop by the booth and say hello to Steve Weber, KD1JV who will be in the booth on Friday and Saturday, plus Dean Davis, Darrel Swenson, Ken and Karen Locasale.

Plus, we will be able to take credit cards this year for the first time. We accept Visa, Mastercharge, Discover and American Express. I am kitting like crazy and really excited about this year at Dayton. Hope to see you there. Doug

Sounds like it's a good idea to bring lots of radio money along.  Maybe it's a good thing that I'm not going? At least that's what the XYL is probably thinking.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

New Summer Operating Event

I've been working with the leadership from the NJQRP club to start a new annual Summertime outdoor QRP operating event.  My idea has earned their blessing.

Thanks to George N2APB and Joe N2CX, I will be announcing the details for the First Annual NJQRP Skeeter Hunt, in the next few coming days.


Stay tuned !

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Nice article

While strolling through the links at eHam, I came across this link to a very nice article about Rex Harper W1REX of QRPME fame:

http://www.keepmecurrent.com/reporter/news/not-your-father-s-ham/article_4bb5d548-8ed3-11e1-947b-0019bb2963f4.html

On a KX3 note, a Ham friend of mine has decided that he and his XYL are not cut out for apartment living and have found themselves a small house to live in. Closing is near the end of this month.  Right now it looks (as he described it) like a "horse race". Which will occur first - arrival of the KX3 at W2LJ's house - or my Ham buddy and his wife closing on their new house?  My bet's on them.

Hmmmmm ........ maybe I spoke to soon - this just came out on the KX3 reflector from Steve WG0AT:

Great News... Kit#1 to be Field Tested via kit assembly/manual ...ships 05/02/12 tomorrow. Just heard from Bob/K6XX at Elecraft we've been asked to "Kit-test", as in assemble, Kit# 1 using the latest rev of the kit manual and provide feedback on the process.

I've had Elecraft kit building experiences before with their K1, KX1, and K2 but not with any of their recent preassembled gear like a K3 etc. So it should be interesting to see how we do without the smell of a hot solder filling the room. (wonder if they sell solder scented candles aka Ham candle, Hah!)

My KX3-kit was originally destined for shipping via UPS ground but I thought 2-day air in this case would be a much better choice. (Next Day Air is ~$100!) 2nd Day air would get my kit here Friday PM. That's assuming UPS does their job? Bob agreed and graciously offered to ante up the difference. This gives us the weekend to build and mark up the manual (if needed) and get the feed back to Elecraft before Monday (Maybe even as early as Sat? ...no promises!).

Obviously at this point sooner is mucho better than later! (And no need to go into the waiting 'whine' song we all dread hearing! Instead ...it's soon over folks! - Peanut) So with any luck and we should be putting our brand new #1 Phillips to use this Friday PM! ...YEEAH Baby!

Will keep you posted but if you hear silence for me Friday PM remember that's a good sound! ...Sri, no video - I want to focus on task! Video comes later.

Cheers, Steve ...WGOAT/Rooster & Peanut
http://www.youtube.com/goathiker
http://w0-sota.org/


72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!