Thursday, December 13, 2018

Better late than never

You know that old saying, "He's a day late and a dollar short"?

That's me.

I'm a day late in posting this, but it's relevant to all of us Amateur Radio operators, especially the DXers among us. For 117 years ago, on December 12th, 1901 a single Morse Code "S" was transmitted via radio from Poldhu, England to St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada.


You can argue all day about who actually invented radio, but it was Guglielmo Marconi who first succeeded in proving that radio signals could traverse the Atlantic. His detractors, "The Experts" of the day, came to a "consensus" and insisted that radio waves could only follow the curvature of the Earth and would be limited to a range of 200 miles or less.

Marconi believed different and was able to prove them wrong.

You can read more about this, if you want, on the History Channel page for December 12th - https://bit.ly/2zWRsCV

I wonder what Mr. Marconi would think of modern QRP'ers, with our ridiculously short antennas (compared to the miles of wire he thought necessary) and our measly 5 Watts?

I think he'd be beaming and would be the prime SOTAteer.

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

Friday, December 07, 2018

QRP Field Day is not as hard as you might think!

There was a post on the 4 States QRP Group e-mail reflector, where one of the members asked if anyone from the group was interested in doing an all QRP Field Day effort.

It's really not that difficult a proposition and I heartily encouraged them to do so. SPARC and NJ2SP got started doing Field Day in 2014. A bit of background - we were founded in April of that year. Planning for Field Day only two months later doesn't leave you with much time, does it? I opened my big fat mouth and suggested that we just go to the local park, throw some wires in the trees and go from there.

Wow, did that take off!


That year we entered under the 2A Battery banner. We came in 3rd place in our category, 39th place out of ALL 315 stations running 5 Watts that year, 16th place out of 97 in our Division, and 7th place out of 44 entered in our Section.

I fully suspected that even with that great inaugural performance, the club would want to go QRO in 2015. To say I was surprised when they made it known that they wanted us to stay QRP would be an understatement! We've had a blast every year and 2017 was THE banner year for NJ2SP so far.

2017 saw us end up in 2nd place in our category, nationwide and 8th place out of ALL 321 stations running 5 Watts. 4th place out of 98 in our Division and 2nd place out of 36 in our Section.

In 2018 we placed a greater emphasis on "Elmering" and PR for Amateur Radio, in general. As a result, we didn't place as well as 2017. But hopefully with a few new members that we have introduced into our fold,  2019 will allow us to do all that AND get fannies behind the mic and key in order to get those QSO totals back up again.

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

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Elecraft's 20th Anniversary

It's hard to believe they've been around for that long. To celebrate Wayne Burdick N6KR was interviewed on Bob Heil's "Ham Nation" Web show.  Here's a link:

https://twit.tv/shows/ham-nation/episodes/379?autostart=false

I haven't watched it yet, but will do when I get a chance.

I'll never forget that Field Day some 17 or 18 years ago when Bob W3BBO brought his brandy-new K2 to our PARC Field Day outing. One look and I knew I had to have one of them puppies for myself some day.

After a K1, a K2 and briefly a K3, I have settled on my KX3 as the day-in/day-out rig for W2LJ. It's equally hard for me to believe it's been over six years since I made that choice.

Where does the time go?

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

Monday, December 03, 2018

All is quiet

on the Amateur Radio front - sadly.

I've been to busy with other "nonsense" to give radio the time it deserves, lately. In fact, last week I missed both QRP Foxhunts. On Tuesday because my son was involved in an MVA (no one was hurt - just car damage - thank God!) and I just didn't have the heart to get on the air that evening. Thursday night I attended an ARES Connect webinar. The weekend was spent doing house chores and starting to get the house ready for Chrsitmas - decorating the outside, inside and all that jazz.

However, during my weekly Skype session with W3BBO, I decided which kit I am going kick off the 2018/2019 Winter Building Season with.


It's a cheapie little o'scope kit that I purchased from Bangood about a year ago. I know, I know - you're all thinking, "But Larry, you get what you pay for!" And that's true. I don't expect much from it. But if I can use it to trace signals on circuit boards, it will have been worth it.

Besides, it doesn't look very complicated and should go together rather quickly. Just what I need before jumping in with both feet with my QCX and Bayou Jumper.

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