The weather today in Central NJ was a very sunny 72F (22C) when I headed out the door from work at lunchtime. I wanted to accomplish two things. I wanted to try the 18 MHz wire that I cut for the PAR ENDFEDZ, and I also wanted to set up the Jackite pole again using my drive on mast holder.
I went to the same park that I went to last week; but I went to the other side. This was away from the tree-filled picnic area and towards the soccer fields and some other baseball fields. I set up right in the parking area:
Set up went very fast, and since the 17 Meter wire is much shorter than the regularly supplied 10/20/40 MKII radiator, I needed to use a piece of coax that I normally carry for when I use the Buddistick. I called CQ and was answered by Mike K8NS who lives in Florida, in the Daytona Beach area.
Mike was 589 here, and he gave me a 569 in return. Copy was solid in both directions. Mike was using an Icom IC-725 to a vertical antenna. My PAR ENDFEDZ was more or less a vertical, although it did slope somewhat.
It was just turning 90F (32C) for the day at Mike's QTH; but he informed me that there was a nice off shore breeze that was keeping things bearable. I couldn't stay too long as I had to get back to work; but it was a rewarding effort. I made a QSO, the wire worked well and the drive on mast support continued to work like a charm. A very productive lunchtime, indeed.
What's that about the blog post title, you ask? Well, off to the right of me, about 75 yards or so was a very big, open field. There were some older gentlemen there flying RC model planes. I was watching them while I was operating; and I guess they were watching me. One of them came over, of course, to ask what I was doing and I started explaining about Amateur Radio (you would think model RC pilots would know something about radio). He asked me if I was actually working anyone, so I took the earbud jack out of the KX3, so he could hear me as I worked Mike K8NS.
"Morse Code ....wow! People still use that?"
"Yes", I replied. "It's still very popular".
"Isn't that nice. It's good to know there are folks out there using older technology than what I use."
I started explaining about SDR, microprocessors, SMD technology and all that; but I was getting a glassy-eyed stare (and you could almost hear the crickets chirping), so I ended up just letting it go at that.
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!