Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Interesting .........

I read this e-mail on the Flying Pigs QRP Club International e-mail reflector:

Do you need an excuse to take your radio to a park? I try to go out and operate portable as often as I can, but sometimes the motivation is the hardest part. So this year I decided to make my own motivation, and invite some friends.

Announcing:
The Portableradio.org Fall Operating Event!

The rules are the same as ARRL Field Day (with a few minor modifications). Use your favorite log program and submit a summary to a google form available on portableradio.org

The event happens on the same schedule as ARRL Field Day, except on October 21-22, 2017.
Maybe your club does something big for Field Day and you’d like to try something different. Maybe you’ve got a different location you want to test out. Maybe it’s just too darn hot in the middle of the summer where you are. Whatever your reason, join us for the Portableradio.org Fall Operating Event on October 21-22, 2017.

This is a new event, so if you play please submit your summary sheet. The submission link will go live on portableradio.org closer to the event. Results will be posted as soon as possible and updated weekly until the log submission deadline (one month after the event), when they are considered final.

Check out portableradio.org for more details.
73,
N0ECK

At that time of the year up here in the Northeast, this might not be for the feint of heart, as it can get really cold towards the end of October, especially overnight. But then again, sometimes we get a late Indian Summer. Like any Amateur Radio event, participation is the key.  If they can get enough people out to participate, it may grow in the next few years.  If not, and participation is low, well ............ but why dwell on the negatives?

I wish them the best of luck!

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

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Anudder QRP Event!

As I mentioned yesterday, this weekend is the NJ QSO Party. While that's not a strictly QRP event, I plan to participate as a QRP station.  For those QRPers living outside of NJ, or for those who do reside in NJ, but have no interest in the QSO party ......... I have an event for you!

This Saturday is also the New England QRP Club's annual event QRP Afield.

The rules can be found here - http://www.newenglandqrp.org/wordpress/afield/


Of course, this is another event that gives a better multiplier for those operating outdoors with portable antennas, so get on the air and have fun!

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

Monday, September 11, 2017

NJ QSO Party

The NJ QSO Party is next weekend. I'd really like to participate this year, QRP of course.


Over the years, the NJ QSO Party has withered away, almost to the brink of extinction. The Burlington County Amateur Radio Club has done yeoman's work towards reversing that decline. Participation seems to be growing, and I hope to add to that this year with some operating this coming Saturday.

Sunday looks sketchy, but I think I can fit in some time on Saturday.  Check that, I will MAKE some time to fit it in on Saturday, even if it's just 2 to 4 hours.

For the rules and particulars, you can follow this link - http://www.k2td-bcrc.org/njqp/njqp_rules.html

Hope to hand out "599 MIDD" to all of you this coming Saturday!

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

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Situational awareness

This does indeed seem to be an active year for increased Tropical disturbances. Last week Harvey did his number on the Gulf Coast and this week, Irma seems to be determined to wreak havoc too, albeit in another direction. While Irma's path seems a surety for Florida, where she will go after that is still any one's guess.


A certain "anyone", for whom I have tremendous respect is Joe Bastardi. Joe used to be with AccuWeather, but has since moved on.  I'm not sure if AccuWeather ever sufficiently recovered from losing Joe.  His ability to predict hurricane movement and behavior is uncanny. Granted, he's not always right, but he's been correct more often than not. What he came out with on Twitter yesterday, unnerved me.

Joe remarked that so far, the path that Irma is taking is remarkably close to the path taken by Hurricane Donna in September of 1960.


Hurricane Donna is one of my vaguest childhood memories.  I was only three when she traveled up the East coast, but I remember, in particular, how worried my mother was about the impending storm. Kids pick up on their parent's worries; and I was no different. To date, Hurricane Donna is the second strongest storm to visit New Jersey. Numero Uno is Hurricane Sandy, and I have no desire, whatsoever, to live through that again.

So what do you do? A hurricane's path is never a certainty. Just about anything can change it - ocean temperature, winds aloft in the atmosphere, competing high and low pressure systems further ashore. But you CAN plan for a direct hit, even if it doesn't occur. It's way better to be prepared than not.

So, for all my friends living up and down the east coast, this may be old hat for you - but if it's not, here are some tips from the National Hurricane Center and FEMA:

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/ready.php

https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes

http://hurricanesafety.org/prepare/hurricane-safety-checklists/

And from an Amateur Radio standpoint, have those HTs and spare batteries charged up and ready to go. Have your personal Go Kits stocked, packed and ready to go.  For those of you who are into portable HF ops, have those packed and ready to go. If you have a generator for your home, NOW is the time to gas it up and power it up to make sure it works.

To all my readers who are CERT members - remember, even if you are not called out by your respective Office of Emergency Management, you have been trained and are expected to care of yourself and your family and those in your immediate neighborhood.  Do what you can, without putting yourself in danger, and you just might be able to spare your town's First Responders some time and resources.

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

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

An addition

I was surprised to come home from work last Friday evening to see a small package sitting on the front steps.  It was small, but yet a little too big to fit into the mailbox. I haven't purchased anything lately, so I figured it was something for either my wife Marianne, or perhaps for my daughter Cara, or my son Joseph.

But no, it was addressed to me; and when I looked at the return address, I saw that it was a package from my good friend and Ham Radio mentor, W3BBO. I opened the package like a kid opening presents on Christmas morning.  When I opened the box I was able to detect a whiff of "fresh paint" smell. Oh goody, a homebrew project!


It turned out to be a home made DC Voltage monitor, manufactured from a voltage display that Bob had picked up at a local Hamfest, near his home in Erie, PA.  We either spoke about this topic, and my need for such a device during one of our weekly Saturday chats, or Bob is a talented mind reader! Wow!  Adding mind reading to his impeccable talents as a master builder / home brewing craftsman is quite the combination.

This is just the addition that I was looking to cobble up myself for my portable ops battery box.  I know that I can monitor the input battery voltage on the main screen of my KX3; but I prefer having an off board meter.  I can keep a tab on things when I use my batteries as well as when I charge them.

This ammo box, that I purchased from Dick's Sporting Goods holds my PowerWerx deep cycle battery as well as a smaller 5Ah SLA.  The two plastic boxes hold a battery charger and the associated cables that I need to connect these babies up to the KX3.  Now Bob's DC Voltage Meter is a welcome addition that will reside in the same container.

Yesterday, Labor Day was spent performing CERT duties for our town. We host a parade in the morning, a big "lawn party" on the grounds of the Middle School in the afternoon and then a fireworks display in the evening.  Our duty was to aid the Police Dept with crowd control duties so that no onlookers would get hurt.

There was a break between the lawn party and the fireworks, so I went home to grab some dinner and relax for a bit. I grabbed my tablet to check out e-mail and to take a quick look at our town's Facebook page to see what the reactions were to the parade.  Most were positive; but a couple were quite negative.  To the naysayers, I suggested that perhaps they should join the Public Celebrations Committee and help make the parade better next year.  You would think that I had just announced that Santa Claus had been shot dead by the Easter Bunny!

It's really sad that often, the people who complain the loudest are also the least willing to roll up their sleeves to help make things better.  My Mom always said that there are some people who just aren't happy unless they're miserable.  I think she was right.

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

Monday, September 04, 2017

2017 NJQRP Skeeter Hunt Results


The results of the 2017 NJQRP Skeeter Hunt results are in!  Congratulations to the following:

N5GW - First Place Overall
AB9CA - Second Place Overall
N3AQC - Third Place Overall
N0SS - Fourth Place Overall
K9DXA - Fifth Place Overall

To view the entire 2017 Scoreboard, please go here.
To view the 2017 Soapbox comments and photos, please go here.

Once again, thanks to all who signed up and participated - and special thanks to the NJQRP Club for supporting this annual Summertime QRP Event. Without ALL of you, sponsor and participants, none of this would be possible.

It is our fondest hope that the NJQRP Skeeter Hunt will continue to bring you fun and a good time well into the future!

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