Friday, June 22, 2018

Field Day Quandry

OK, heresy of heresies ...... I am not stoked for Field Day this year.


It's been a really tough couple of weeks here at work as the result of things I'd rather not elaborate about.  Nothing terrible, or job threatening - just a tough situation right now. I know, we all go through these, and I shouldn't feel sorry for myself. It's just that it's so exhausting!

As a result, I'd much rather loaf and nap the weekend away. Add to all this that our local forecast is for general wetness and thunderstorms for Saturday, it looks like we may be in for a repeat of Field Day 2015.  That was the Field Day that we got so soaked, that I was amazed we all didn't come down with pneumonia.

But I will be there at 10:00 AM tomorrow for setup, with a smile on my face, ready to get to work and get down to business.  I'm sure that once my earbuds fill with Morse and my fingers start tapping out those all too familiar dits and dahs, that I will find myself being happy about being in my element.

Hope to hear you! For your part, I hope you will keep an ear out for NJ2SP (our club call). We'll be operating 3A (Battery) NNJ again this year - so we'll be QRP. Yay!

Hoping we don't get soaked or zapped, I remain faithfully "yours truly".

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

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Wow!

Them Skeeter numbers are going fast!

Today is the First Day of Summer and we already have 59 Skeeters ready to take flight on August 19th.


I'm glad to see we have a lot of regulars coming back - tried and true Skeeters who have been there since our first run back in 2012. And even more exciting is seeing new calls and names that are making 2018 their first "go".

Whether you're a seasoned veteran or a totally green newbie, it matters not!  The NJQRP Skeeter Hunt is meant to be more fun than anything else. Yes, there are certificates to be had for getting the high scores (and yes, I still have to get the 2017 certificates mailed - my first act of business after Field Day), but even more important is getting outside with your gear and participating. And even if you can't get outside, there is still the fun to be had spending an enjoyable afternoon making contacts with other QRPers.

Remember,, there is a SSB category for those of you who have a disdain for dits and dahs - so no excuses!

72 de Larry W2LJ - Perennial Skeeter # 13
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

You know you're a Ham when ........

So I'm driving to work this morning; and when you commute to work every day, you get a real good chance to look at the behinds of cars that are in front of you.  As I come to a red light and come to a stop, I notice the car in front of me has one of those vinyl decals on his rear window.  It looked like this - but you have to picture in your mind's eye that this was all surrounded by the entire darkness (blackness) of his tinted rear window.


So I immediately start thinking ....... "A A" 

What the heck does "A A" stand for?  "Alcoholics Anonymous"?  "American Airlines? "Associate in Arts"? "Alcoa Aluminum"?

Then it struck me - the owner of the car was of Norwegian descent !  That's the flag of Norway in reverse and not "A A".

I guess that's when you realize you've either been at this Morse Code thing too long; or maybe you just need that first cup of coffee of the day.

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

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

It's getting to be that time!

The NJQRP Club is announcing the 7th Annual " Skeeter Hunt", which will be held on Sunday, August 19th. As in the past, It will be a four hour sprint - from 17:00 UTC to 21:00 UTC (1:00 TO 5:00 PM EDT).


QRP 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 will be issued from June 21st (the First Day of Summer) through the day before the event. You do NOT have to be a portable station to be a Skeeter - home stations can be Skeeters if they so desire.

You can send your e-mail requests in now, if you want to; but the Skeeter Hunt roster will not be published until the first day of Summer. We have to have something to look forward to, no?

As in past years - Skeeter numbers are not issued for life. They change each year. This gives everyone an even shot at getting the much coveted lower numbers. The only exception to that rule is that I assign myself lucky number 13, each year.

This year's theme will be "Water - the breeding ground for Skeeters!"  Operate near any sizable body of water - lake, ocean, creek, river, bayou, stream, brook, pond, etc, for an extra 100 bonus points.

The rules can always be found at http://www.qsl.net/w2lj/  The rules are not cumbersome, this is meant to be an easy going, friendly little operating event where everybody gets to have an enjoyable day behind the radio.

So get out of your shack for the day; and into the fresh air and sunshine, and spread your wings and fill the airwaves with "Skeeters"!

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

Monday, June 11, 2018

A neat little app

I ran across this the other day, while I was in the Google Play store and I did a search under Morse Code:


The name of the app is Morse Notifer Free.  There is also a Morse Notifier Pro, which you can pay for; but I chose to download and install the free version. What the app does is to let your smartphone ring using Morse Code instead of the usual bells, whistles, or tunes.

While the app does a whole lot of stuff, the feature I like the most is the SMS text message notification.  When a text message comes through, the phone will not only notify you that you have a message - but also who is sending it.  For instance, when my wife texts me, I hear "Message Marianne" come out of my phone.  On the other hand, if someone is texting me that I don't know - or if I haven't associated a name to the number, the phone will let me know that.  For instance, if I get a Nixle alert the phone will send "Message Unknown 88877".

Another neat feature that I like is there's an hourly chime.  At the top of the hour, your phone will et you know that its "TIME 1000" in Morse. It uses the 24 hour system so when it's 5:00 PM, the phone sends "TIME 1700".

Another neat feature is that Morse Notifier can set the vibrator of your phone to send in Morse. So when you've silenced the phone, you can feel the Morse instead of  hearing it. It takes a little getting used to; but once you realize what it is, you pick up on it pretty fast.

Here's a link to the instruction sheet if you might be interested - http://100dof.com/software/morsenotifier/manual_morse_notifier.pdf

I haven't fully explored all the possibilities, but it's neat to hear morse Code come out of your smartphone instead of the standard stuff.  One caveat, I believe, but am not certain, that this app is for Android phones, only.

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