Saturday, June 21, 2014

Summer - it's finally here!

After a long, cold Sprinter (that's what you get when Winter seems to last endlessly into Spring), Summer is finally here! Yay! And as promised, as of today, numbers are being assigned for the 2014 NJQRP Skeeter Hunt.

The Hunt will be held on Sunday August 10th this year - and right now, the best place to see the rules is at  http://w2lj.blogspot.com/p/njqrp-skeeter-hunt.html. I am trying to get the QSL.NET page updated with the new bonus points rules, but the server seems to be down right now.

Yes - bonus points this year for gathering enough letters from callsigns to spell out the word "SKEETER". 100 extra points will be added to your score if you accomplish this feat. In any event, the NJQRP Skeeter Hunt is a grand time and folks seem to enjoy themselves a lot, so send me an email (w2lj@arrl.net) and reserve your Skeeter number today.

Today was also the Raritan Valley Radio Club annual hamfest, which is held at Piscataway High School, in Piscataway, NJ.  The weather was absolutely beautiful - perfect for a hamfest!  It was sunny and it got up into the high 70s.  Very nice, but yet not exasperatingly hot. And as you can see from the two quick photos that I snapped with my phone, there was not a cloud in the sky. Unfortunately, it was perfect sunburn weather. Reporting time for the hamfest workers was 5:00 AM and as I was driving to the hamfest site, I had realized I had forgotten to bring sunscreen.  I discovered the hard way that there are NOT a lot of places open at 5:00 AM where you can buy sunscreen!

There were plenty of vendors and lots of buyers. The ARRL had a presence with the appearance of Bill Hudzik W2UDT, our section Vice Director. (Psst!  It helps that he's a club member!) We also had a VE Exam session, where three people earned their Technician licenses, and we also had one upgrade to General and one upgrade to Extra.



In the top photo, you can see the huge mast sticking up from an old broadcast van that Brian N2MPM had acquired. Running up the mast was a PAR END-FEDZ antenna that Alan W2AEW using to make QRP contacts.  If you follow this blog, you know that I have mentioned Alan's YouTube videos in the past. He does an excellent job producing videos on how to use test equipment and other neat technical tutorials. If you haven't subscribed to his YouTube channel, then you are cheating yourself. After you read this go over and subscribe - it's definitely worth it.

Here's a video he took of today's festivities:


Pulling off a hamfest like this is a huge undertaking. Thanks to the direction of our two Hamfest Committee Chairmen, Drew W2OU and Rich W2PQ and all the members of the RVRC, this comes off flawlessly - year after year.

In between my duties of assisting with the parking and placement of the vendors, and being the lead in administering the VE session, I did get a chance to look at the various wares on the tables.  I purchased some BNC to PL259 adapters and some large alligator clips that we will to connect to batteries that we will be using next weekend during Field Day. Not a big spender much to the discontent of the vendors, but much to the delight of my wife.  ;-)

I've been up way too long and am making way too many typos - even more than I usually make, so it's off to the sack for W2LJ. (Thank God for spellcheck.)

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to sedn the very least!
Skeeter #13 for 2014

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