I was surprised, honored and humbled when I was recently approached by Nelson De Sousa KD2CYU, President of the Tri-County Radio Association and was invited to come and give a talk about QRP at one of their club meetings this coming year. The invitation came out of the blue, and to say that I was flabbergasted is an understatement, to say the least.
The TCRA, which was founded in 1934, is home to the W2LI repeater. So we're one letter apart from each other, call sign-wise. How cool is that? Tri-County refers to the fact that the club is located in the area where the NJ Counties of Middlesex, Somerset and Union come together. This is a VERY active club and they pride themselves that they are a radio club - not a repeater club, even though their W2LI repeater has great coverage throughout the area. They have not one, but two meetings a month, conduct VE sessions, do Fox hunts (the radio-directional finding type), and engage in many other activities. Whew! They do a lot!
First contacted via e-mail and then by telephone, Nelson and I had a nice chat the other evening. QRP seems to run deep in the roots of TCRA, with a lot of past members having been or current members being avid QRPers. We spoke with each other for about a half an hour, and agreed that I will come and speak at their meeting on Monday, May 4th.
Between then and now, I hope to put together an interesting Powerpoint presentation concentrating mainly on portable QRP operations. They say you should talk about what you know, so I should be on terra firma here.
I'd like to cover Parkpeditions, SOTA outings, and of course, operating from your car during lunch breaks! Really, I'd like to talk about any excuse for packing up your gear, getting out into the sunshine and operating from the great outdoors. I hope to put in an especially good word for the classic outdoor QRP exercises - Freeze Your Buns Off, QRP To The Field, the Flight of the Bumblebees, QRP Afield, the Sizzle Your Buns Off Sprint and of course, the Skeeter Hunt. Can't get away without pushing the Skeeter Hunt, can I?
I've done a bit of public speaking in the past, and of course, I've been involved in teaching Amateur Radio license classes. But this is different. This is spending some time with your peers (who I have the greatest respect for), many of whom have way more experience than I do, talking about my favorite aspect of the hobby. Pray that I don't screw up!
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!