Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Summer is almost here!

Sign ups for the 2019 NJQRP Skeeter Hunt are almost here!



That's right - this Friday is the First Day of Summer 2019 - and you know what that means!

Applications will be accepted for Skeeter Numbers for the 2019 Skeeter Hunt.

For those not familiar, this event has become one of the Summertime QRP operating staples. It is a four hour QRP Sprint that will be held on Sunday, August 18th. The idea is to get you and your equipment to the Great Outdoors for some QRP fun. A Skeeter Number is not a requirement, but it adds to the fun, so why not get one for yourself, or your group if you want to get out and operate with a bunch of friends?

All the details can be found on the Official NJQRP Skeeter Hunt Webpage.

To apply for a Skeeter Hunt Number - send an e-mail, BEGINNING ON FRIDAY, the First Day of Summer, to w2lj@arrl.net and you'll get an e-mail reply with your number. If you don't get an acknowledgement, then I didn't get your e-mail - so try again!

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

Skeeter #13 (in perpetuity

Monday, June 17, 2019

Sometimes you run across things that surprise you.

Every day, I have one guilty pleasure.  I get on the Web and I go to two different sites where I can read the comics. There, I said it. 62 years old and I love to read the funny pages. Some new ones are my favorites, like Zits, Pluggers, Sally Forth, Bliss, and Andertoons join my old favorites like Beetle Bailey, Blondie, BC, the Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Mutt and Jeff, Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft - and of course Peanuts and Family Circus.

Anyway, while reading the comics, advertisements always pop up.  Most of the time they seem to be for things that barely interest me, or mostly have nothing to do with me. Yesterday, however, was a different story.  One came up with the words "Ham Radio" in it. And it wasn't for any of the usual suspects such as Gigaparts, or Jameco or DX Engineering. This ad was for a company that I never heard of; and it immediately caught my eye.


My concern here, is that while they DO mention that you need to be a licensed Ham to use these products legally, the average buyer might just say "Pfffffffft" to that requirement and will start using this stuff illegally. Many might say it's just an ill-founded worry, but IMHO, I think it's a legitimate concern. As it is, with the proliferation of inexpensive HTs, I hear plenty of interlopers that are obviously not licensed on the local repeaters - another reason that I am mostly an HF kind of guy.

The other thing that surprises the heck out of me is the "Ham Radio Go Kits" page on Facebook.  Have you ever visited that site? I look at some of these Go Kits that these guys put together and I think, "Geez, you'd need a crane to move that thing!". I thought the purpose of a personal Go Kit was to be relatively light and portable, so that you can go anywhere and provide emergency communications wherever it might be needed. What's the purpose of building a Go Kit that you need a hand truck or dolly to tote around?  That might be OK for a local shelter in town, but what if it's a situation like they had in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria? If you're being tasked to some remote location, I would think you'd want to simply pack as much as you could into a backpack that you would then carry into the affected area. Elaborate and pretty is nice I guess, and may generate lots of "Oooohs and aaaahs"; but unless your setup is tactically ready and efficient, it may not end up being of much use. When I think of "Go Kit" - personally I think of portability - not necessarily a shack away from home with all the bells and whistles. And if something more elaborate is needed, at least put it in something that already has wheels built into it that can be easily pulled or pushed around.  50+ pounds in a hard Steelcase with one or two handles that needs two guys to carry it just doesn't seem to cut it, in my mind.

Field Day is coming up this weekend and the CW station, for which I am responsible, will be coming to the site contained entirely in one backpack and one plastic ammo box.  Not that I would want to; but if I had to, I could comfortably walk it to the Field Day site without exhausting myself in the process of getting it there.

Sorry for the rant - maybe it's just Monday morning crankiness.

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


Sunday, June 16, 2019

W2QW Hamfest

The day dawned clear and a bit chilly. Getting up at 4:00 AM to be on site at 5:00 AM was no picnic. As the sun rose, the temperatures rose also and a big, hot cup of coffee went a long way towards warning me up AND waking me up.

The first job of the day was working with Tim AB2ZK and Craig AC2FE to park the seller's cars into appropriate spots. We had a pretty steady stream right up until the 8:00 AM start time. We almost filled the lot thanks to the spectacular weather, but not quite. One of these years, we will.

All photos courtesy of Jim Roselli N2GMA

The VE Testing session began almost as soon as the parking duties were done. We started the filling out of paperwork at 8:30 AM, so that we could begin testing at 9:00 AM, sharp. We were expecting about four, five or maybe six candidates at the most. Imagine our surprise when we ended up with nine candidates!

The team, which was the K2ETS VE Team, did a magnificent job keeping everything flowing smoothly without the slightest hitch or hiccup - except for the breeze. Halfway through the exam session, a pretty good breeze kicked in. We were using keys, HTs, anything we could find to use as paperweights to keep papers from blowing all over Creation.






In all, out of the nine, we were able to award one new Technician license, four upgrades to General and one upgrade to Extra.

Photo courtesy of Pete Fierro KD2ARB

After the exams were over, I was able to spend some time with Dave KD2FSI who bought a Hallicrafters receiver that was in EXCELLENT shape. It didn't look like it was new, out of the box, but it sure wasn't far from that condition. Then I got to spend some time in the shade with our ETS of NJ Group who had a club table at the hamfest. Before long, it was time to come home, to process the VE paperwork and get it into the mail so that the ARRL can get the new license and upgrades to the FCC as soon as possible.

Did W2LJ buy anything? Not really, besides a pork roll, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich. My goal for the day was to find a 9V wall wart to use with the little o'scope kit that I'm building. There was a box of wall warts at the K2ETS table, so while I was doing the VE thing, Dave W2OIL and Dan KC2YRC went through the box and found one - and of course, typical for them, they wouldn't accept anything for it.

So, yeah, it was a great day with friends and a very productive morning to boot.

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

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Ham Humor for the Day


Would this make QRP "small potatoes"?


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

If you happen to be in the area

Central New Jersey, that is ......... this coming Saturday is one of the better (I am biased) NJ Hamfests.


I will be there to help direct vendors to their spots in the early AM, run the VE Session at 9:00 AM and to help man the K2ETS Club Table the rest of the time.

So if you're in the area, come have a good time and make sure to look for W2LJ and say "Hello".

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

Monday, June 10, 2019

QRP Day ???

July 2 or if you write the day and month digitally, as we do in the USA with the month first and then the date, it would be 07/02 or "72", or so say the Indiana QRP Fireflies.  In order to celebrate "QRP Day", they are instituting the Fireflies QRP 72 Sprint.

The details can be found here: http://ko9f.org/FF72Sprint

Let's hope and pray for better band conditions than we had yesterday for the Cookie Crumble!

72 de Larry W2LJ - Firefly # 39
QRP - When you care to sent the very least!

Sunday, June 09, 2019

The Cookie Crumbled

I did my best to participate in the Cookie Crumble contest today. The only thing that I can say is that the Cookie was way past crumbling, it was darn near obliterated!


This wasn't due to anything wrong done by Emily WC3R or Tim W3ATB - they did everything right. The organization and prep work they do is outstanding. The Sun and the Propagation Princess just went on holiday, is all.

Technically, the contest is still going on for another hour, but I wrapped the station up. I was set up on the backyard patio table with the Jackite supporting the PAR ENDFEDZ. I made one contact in four hours and that was with Kevin KE3V in Erie, PA on 40 Meters. It was a tough go with an RST of 339 both ways - not good at all.

20 Meters yielded nothing. I heard some SKCC WES stations on the air, but even they were very weak and were hard copy. Someone needs to find out who it is, exactly, that is supplying the Sun with acne meds. We need sunspots!

I sure hope solar weather improves a bit for FOBB and the Skeeter Hunt.

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

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

June 6, 1944 - Lest We Forget - 75th Anniversary


May we never forget the sacrifice of all the Allied Troops who fought to save the world from Nazi tyranny. May their bravery, courage, fortitude, and determination forever live in our hearts to always protect the freedom and liberty that they fought so hard to preserve. May God, our Father, bless them all, now and forever. In a very special way, we remember those who brought radio to the battle.








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

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

CERT Week

June 3rd through the 8th is National CERT Week. This actually started in my county, Middlesex County, NJ about 5 or 6 years ago. Our County OEM set aside a week to recognize the various CERT Teams throughout the county and word spread about it. Soon enough, other counties in other states started doing the same. As time passed, enough CERT Weeks were being conducted to warrant a unified, national CERT Week observation.

Last night, the Mayor and Boro Council of South Plainfield awarded the South Plainfield CERT Team with a Proclamation.


It's hard to believe that it's been 15 years since I took the classes and became part of South Plainfield CERT. As a team, we've been through a lot of public service events, a couple of hurricanes, a few blizzards and there have been many, many more classes taken to further our knowledge base. A few of us have taken the Homeland Security AUXCOMM classes and have reached that rank.

If I had to do it all over again, I would, in a heartbeat. The people that I volunteer with put in a lot of their "free" time, give a tremendous effort, and are genuinely fun to work and be with. We are proud to stand behind our town's First Responders and offer them the assistance they need so that they can concentrate on more pressing matters that is their job to handle. And really, that's the purpose of CERT - not to be a First Responder, but to assist those who are, so that they don't get bogged down in the minutiae, and can do the jobs we need them to do.

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

Monday, June 03, 2019

While we're on the topic of solar weather

I discovered an article on line from Newsweek:



I guess computer models allowed these scientists to do a little forensic orbital history investigation and see how the planets aligned during past sunspot cycle highs and lows,  and that they were able to gather data supporting their hypothesis. That is, until someone comes up with a new theory, no doubt!

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

The good and the bad

This weekend was great!

My daughter graduated from High School on Saturday and will be on her way to college this Fall to study Nursing. It's wonderful to see how our baby girl Cara has grown into a competent young woman, full of promise and potential. I can't wait to watch her soar!

This weekend was not so great!

Since Saturday was so busy, that left me with only Sunday to get on the air and hunt for Museum Ships. The bands were pretty crappy and I ended up working only one, W5T the Battleship Texas. I snagged them with 5 Watts on 20 Meters. The only other ship I did hear was NS7DD, the USS Turner Joy based in Eugene, Oregon.  Even pumping up the KXPA100 to 95 Watts didn't get the job done. I just couldn't make the contact. They were 449/559 at best and the QSB was horrendous, and they eventually faded into oblivion, as the band changed for good.

There were probably a ton of ships on SSB, but since I have the Log4OM cluster set for CW only, there wasn't much in the way of MSW spots on Sunday. Oh well.

Next Sunday is the Cookie Crumble Contest. I am very much looking forward to that. The past two years, I was not able to devote my full attention to it because of other commitments. This year, I have kept my calendar open so that I can devote more time to it. Now, all I need is for the weather, both solar AND terrestrial to cooperate!

Speaking of the weather, last evening we had another bout of thunderstorms. We were under a severe thunderstorm watch until 10:00 PM, local time. The storms didn't get severe, in that there were no damaging winds or hail, but there was a lot of rain and thunder and lightning. The Acu-Rite lightning detector recorded 199 strikes within a 20 mile radius from about 8:00 to 10:00 PM, local time. As soon as that little guy made its first chirp, I was in the basement disconnecting coax. It started detecting lightning strikes way before I was even able to notice them through the windows.  I think this is going to turn out to be one of my better investments.

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

Friday, May 31, 2019

Hey! I almost forgot !!!

This weekend is Museum Ships Weekend!  This is always a lot of fun to see how many you can work. And the event is sponsored by none other than the Battleship New Jersey Amateur Radio Station.


As per the ARRL Announcement

Museum Ships Weekend will take place over the June 1 – 2 weekend, sponsored by the Battleship New Jersey Amateur Radio Station NJ2BB. Radio operation will be from a variety of vintage and noteworthy vessels. This is not a competition.

So far 75 ships are on the roster to take part. All stations working at least 15 different participating ships will receive a certificate, if they send a copy of their log showing these contacts.

While operation on any amateur frequency is allowed, most ships will be operate in the General portion of the bands. PSK31 operation will be on 14.070 MHz, 10.142 MHz, 18.100 MHz, 21.070 MHz, and 28.120 MHz.

Some ships also may be found on 75 meters (3.880 – 3.885 MHz) and on 40 meters (7.290 MHz) using AM, some using the vessel’s original restored equipment.

This is what I love about Summer - there's always something going on, just about every weekend. If you follow the link above, you'll get a list of who will be on the air. Log 15 ships and $4 will get you a piece of wallpaper for your shack.


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

Another D Day Special Event


This one is being carried out by the Torbay Amateur Radio Society in England.  Here's the info that the ARRL is disseminating:

June 6 will mark the 75th anniversary of Operation Overlord during World War II and the D-Day landings in Normandy. To commemorate those who took part, a small team from the Torbay Amateur Radio Society (TARS) in England is organizing a chain of five special event stations along the UK’s southern coastline. Each will be based in the geographical area of a beach-landing force point of departure and will use a relevant call sign.

TARS will activate a site above Brixham Harbour in Devon — a departure point for many US soldiers who later landed on Utah Beach and will use the call sign GB75UF.

Other clubs activating similar relevant locations will use these call signs: GB75OF — Omaha Beach, South Dorset Radio Society; GB75GF — Gold Beach, Southampton ARC and Soton University Wireless Society; GB75JF — Juno Beach, Itchen Valley ARC and Waterside New Forest ARC, and GB75SF — Sword Beach, Fort Purbrook ARC.

In addition, TARS hopes to have two club stations from the Normandy area of France activating sites on the beaches. Logging is being coordinated centrally, and stations who contact two or more of the stations within the chain will be able to download a suitable certificate to commemorate their achievement. Details on logging, certificates, and operating frequencies will be available on the TARS website. Contact the organizing team via email.

SSB frequencies will include 3.644, 7.144, 14.144, 18.144, 21.244, 24.944, and 28.244 MHz (data only on 10.144 MHz). Stations operating on CW or data will attempt to use similar frequencies ending in 44.

And now for something completely different.

I saw some Hams talking about this on one of the e-mail reflectors I subscribe to. It's the Acu-Rite Lightning Detector.


With the plethora of bad weather we've been getting here, I went onto eBay and picked one up for $20. It arrived yesterday and I put the batteries in, turned it on and it started detecting local lightning strikes immediately - at about 17 miles out. At that point, I wasn't even hearing thunder rumbles. Within a few minutes I WAS indeed able to see flashes and hear thunder, so it seems to work. 

A few hours later, it started chirping again and sure enough - about ten minutes or so after chirpage, another thunderstorm was upon us. I will keep this little guy going so that when I'm home and the antennas are connected, I'll get ample warning that it's time to go disconnect. Better safe than sorry!

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

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Scary evening

Last night was Senior Award night at the High School where our daughter Cara attends. When we got out of the ceremony at around 9:00 PM the sky was a mass of lightning. We were in the midst of a good ol' fashioned electrical storm.  It was to the point where the periods of darkness were actually farther apart than the instances of lightning. The lightning seemed to be occurring in all directions, too - East, West, North and South of us, all at once. It was like there were fireworks displays all around us and while we couldn't see the actual fireworks, we could see the flashes from the explosions. The last time I remember an electrical storm of this intensity and duration has to be more than 25 years ago.


There was no rain, no booming cracks of thunder, just low rumbles with the skies lit up all over. This little patch of Central New Jersey made out well, thanks be to God. Other parts of NJ did not. Way to the north of us, much closer to the NY border in Stanhope, NJ a possible tornado did a lot of damage to Lenape Regional High School. There was a sports award banquet going on and everyone huddled in the gym while the storm raged. Besides the structural damage, two teens were injured by falling branches on the way to their cars in the parking lot. The damage to the school roof was enough to cancel classes today.

Closer to the north of us, a strong cell that had rotating winds raced across Morris and Union counties and into NYC and Staten Island. There were reports of heavy rain, hail and damaging winds. To the south of us, way down in Salem county, there was also a strong cell with rotating winds that did damage down there.

I heard on the news this morning during my drive into work, that this may have been the first time in the recorded history of New Jersey that three possible tornadoes occurred on the same day, within hours of each other. This was the same storm system that ripped the roof off Hara Arena in Dayton the night before. The National Weather Service will be busy in New Jersey today, trying to determine if these were indeed tornadoes, or possibly macro or microbursts of wind. The Doppler Radar evidence of rotational winds seems to be leaning towards tornadoes at this time.


Of course, the antennas were unplugged that the W2LJ shack last night, and they remain unplugged. We may be in store for more thunderstorms, some possibly severe later this afternoon and this evening. Stay safe my friends! This is a good reminder for all of us Amateur Radio operators who are currently living in this Summer season - keep those antennas unplugged and off your radios whenever you're not home and while a storm is raging and you are at home.. There does not have to be a direct hit to damage your gear. Enough static in the air from nearby surrounding lightning is enough to damage your prized Ham Radio possessions. Unless you have invested into a comprehensive system for lightning abatement at your shack that you are willing to trust 100%  (like in the photo above), it's easier and less expensive to disconnect and toss the cables out the window.

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

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

I guess

Nature did some of the demolition company's work for them.


A tornado blew the roof off the Hara Arena in Dayton last night. Taking a stroll down Memory Lane, the very first time I went to Hamvention in 1985, I remember that, after the long drive, we got to the hotel to freshen up. I put the TV on in my room and the news anchor was announcing that the local are was under a tornado watch.

Nothing came of it, but on my trips to Dayton I have seen thunder and lightning, heavy downpours, fog and even snow flurries one year. And of course, scorching sun and heat, heat, heat!

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

QRP-ARCI and contests

It would appear that QRP-ARCI is back in the contest business. After advertising for a Contest Manager, QRP-ARCI President Preston Douglas WJ2V announced last week that the position had been filled.

While there is still no dedicated calendar of events on the QRP-ARCI Webpage, an announcement did appear for the Hoot Owl shootout, which was held last evening. This really was a Sprint, in the truest sense of the word, lasting only an hour.

I desperately wanted to join in on the fun, but yard work consumed practically the entire day for me and I was asleep by the time the starting bell rang. You know ....... it's funny. In my mind I still feel like I'm in my 20s. My body, however, just can't do all the stuff it used to. What took me almost the entire day yesterday, I probably could have knocked out in 3 or 4 hours when I wore a younger man's clothes.

I guess that until QRP-ARCI re-institutes a Contest Calendar on the Webpage, the best thing to do is to keep checking for announcements or keep an eye on the WA7BNM contest calendar. Also, http://qrpcontest.com/ is a superb resource.

I did manage to set up the KX3 and the magloop Sunday afternoon at the patio table for a couple of hours. 20 Meters was filled with WPX Contest stations, and I worked a few just to make some contacts. I heard one pair of stations on 30 Meters having a rag chew. Calling CQ on both 30 and 40 Meters went for naught.

While I have, and can make some remarkable contacts with the magloop, I still feel that it is a compromise. It seems to be best suited for situations when there's nothing else that can be used or deployed. In instances where there are no trees from which to hang a wire, or if you're in an HOA situation where max stealth is of utmost importance, the magloop WILL keep you on the air. Just don't expect to make the same amount of contacts that you are used to, using something more "conventional".

Before anyone gets their hackles up that I'm bashing magloops, this is of course IMHO and YMMV.

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

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Memorial Day Weekend 2019


Never forget the ultimate sacrifice they made so that we could enjoy the Freedoms they fought so hard to secure and maintain.

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

Friday, May 24, 2019

Humor for the day

Posted to Facebook by N0ZED


LOL!

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

So ..... go pound some brass!

Since today is the actual 175th anniversary of "What hath God wrought", it seems fitting and proper that we make some time to get on the air at some point today and pound some brass. I intend to get on tonight after dinner to attempt a rag chew ........ or something. Maybe I'll hear some DX or a special event station.

The plan for this long holiday weekend is yard work, yard work, yard work. I have a lot of digging, trimming, planting and mulching to do. I won't be able to accomplish it all this weekend, even though Saturday and Monday look like beautiful days for it. No, this is going to be a multi-weekend chore taming the landscaping at the front, side and back of the house.

Sunday is supposed to be partly cloudy with a high temperature near 90F (32C). I will take a break from the yard work on Sunday and hope it can be my "on the air" day. Maybe a visit to one of NJ's many State Parks? I've wanted to visit Hacklebarney State Park (K-1618) for a while now.  In all the posts of all the activations of NJ parks, I don't remember seeing Hacklebarney being activated. If it has, it certainly hasn't been often.


Never having visited Hacklebarney before, I would assume there is a picnic area where I could set up and operate from. I would probably bring the magloop as a backup, as sometimes park employees get touchy about putting wires up in trees.


That's the ideal plan, anyway. If "stuff happens", which always seems to when I make plans, then there's always Edison State Park or perhaps a park in town that's not part of POTA.

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

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Field Day Public Service Announcement

Courtesy of the ARRL


Again, a hat tip to Jeff K9EV for posting this to Twitter

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

New QRP Group

Thanks to Twitter, I have come across what seems to be a relatively new QRP group, based out of Indiana. They call themselves "Fireflies QRP"


Right now, I only see a presence on Twitter and there is a Groups.io e-mail reflector. Here is there Mission Statement (for lack of a better term):

"Welcome to the Fireflies QRP group. We are a group of amateur radio operators devoted to operating with low power, typically 5 watts or less. We embrace the spirit of doing more with less and operating outdoors. We encourage building your own equipment, also known as "home-brewing" and we are always willing to help someone new to the hobby. All are welcome to join, no dues... just fun!"

What I like about this group is, of course, their philosophy lines up quite nicely with my own. But it's more than that. Right now, their presence is just Twitter and the Groups.io e-mail reflector. If I hadn't run across them on Twitter, I wouldn't have known about them - and ironically, that speaks volumes to me. To me it says that the group is more concerned with the hobby and having fun than anything else.

I look forward to keeping in touch with the Fireflies. Who knows? Someday I might even get the chance to get out to Indiana! In the meantime, I hope to meet and work many of them via the ionosphere.

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

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

"175 years old you say?"

"Why, you look don't look like a day over 30!"

Seriously, this Friday marks the 175th Anniversary of the first public use of Morse Code. Interestingly enough, May 24th in 1844 was also a Friday.


The Smithsonian Magazine has an article about it - https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/morse-code-celebrates-175-years-and-counting-180972248/

It's a pretty good article for those not versed in the Code and its history. The author claims to have a connection with Amateur Radio, but a search of his name on QRZ didn't prove to be conclusive.

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

FDIM 2020?

The kids are in college and don't need Dad to chauffeur them, anymore.

For the next 52 weeks, $20 a week into an envelope to pay for hotel, gas and food come next May.

Possible? I certainly hope so! Maybe I can finally meet a lot of you, face to face for once.

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

QRP and non-QRP Events this coming weekend

As I've mentioned before, this coming weekend in the US of A is Memorial Day weekend. In addition to the true meaning behind Memorial Day itself, the weekend is the unofficial kick off to the Summer season.

My good friend Jim W4QO put this post on the new qrparci.io reflector. He has some good advice here:

I know many of you could care less about entering a contest but there are two in the next few days that you should consider.  Go to: https://www.contestcalendar.com/weeklycont.php Notice that there does not seem to be much going on this week, but

1. WPX is Saturday and Sunday.  This is a great contest for the QRPer as you work anybody anywhere.  It is a CW contest and this is a chance to test our your equipment, if nothing more.  Get on and look for someone calling CQ.  I'll tell you, by Sunday afternoon, they will be begging for your QRP signal.  If your callsign is somewhat different (not a simple W or K like mine) that makes you even more valuable.

2. The QCX Challenge (http://www.qrp-labs.com/party.html).  Please note that you do not need a QCX to operate in this one; heck, you do not even have to be QRP (yikes!).  It is a bit different as it has 3  separate periods during the day on Monday.  The first session is 9 to 10 AM Monday morning in the east US.  If nothing else, let's honor Hans who gave a very nice talk at FDIM by getting on in
record numbers!

Jim W4QO

This Sunday in Central NJ is looking to be partly sunny/cloudy with a high of 87F (31C). A nice day to either get out to one of the local shady parks; or perhaps just operate from the backyard patio. I got the table and chairs cleaned last weekend and got the umbrella up. It makes for a nice operating position with quick access to a lot of ice cold water in the fridge!

Keep in mind - we are currently about two weeks away from the 75th Anniversary of Operation Overlord - D Day. I'm sure there will be plenty of Special Event stations on the air to commemorate the history of that very significant day. As I find them, I'll try to post them here. Here are two from the ARRL listings:

06/01/2019 | W2W D-Day Commemoration

Jun 1-Jun 9, 1300Z-2200Z, W2W, Baltimore, MD.

The Amateur Radio Club of the National Electronics Museum (K3NEM). 14.244 14.044 7.244 7.044; 80 meters (3.544, 3.844) and digital modes possible.. Certificate & QSL. W2W D-Day, P.O. Box 1693, MS 4015, Baltimore, MD 21203.

Amateur Radio Club of the National Electronics Museum (ARCNEM) will operate W2W in commemoration of the anniversary of D-Day and the role of electronics in WWII. Primary operation will be June 1-June 2 with additional operation possible during the June 3-9 period, as operator availability permits. Frequencies +/- according to QRM. QSL and Certificate available via SASE; details at ww-2.us

06/06/2019 | 75th Anniversary D-Day Invasion

Jun 6-Jun 9, 1200Z-1700Z, WW2DDM, Bedford, VA.

Old Dominion Chapter 202 QCWA. 3880 KHz AM, LSB 3585 KHz CW 7285 KHz AM, LSB 14.245 MHz USB. QSL. WW2DDM c/o H. A. Boaz, Jr., 1389 Budd Lane, Montvale, VA 24122.

Bedford, VA is the location of The National D-Day Memorial. Bedford was the home of the "Bedford Boys". These were the nineteen young men from Bedford that died that day and four others died during the rest of the Normandy campaign. The town of Bedford had proportionately suffered the greatest losses that day. That is why the US Congress established the D-Day Memorial in Bedford, VA.

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



Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Silly thought

So how long do you think it will take for the first owner of a top-of-the line Elecraft K4, to apply for Vanity Call sign K4HD?

It's available.

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

Hey ...... I got some "stuff" done!

I was going to get a haircut on the way home from work last night. My local barber is open until 7:00 PM and I got there at just before 6:00 PM. There was one guy in the chair and one guy waiting. I figured there was enough time to squeeze in a haircut.

The barber was just finishing the guy in the chair. I was happy because I thought there'd be no problem with him getting two haircuts in before closing time - the one guy waiting and then me. The guy in the chair seemed to be a bit fussy. As he looked in the mirror at his finished haircut, he was asking the barber for some touch up here, and here and here and here ...........

I looked at barber and he looked at me. "I'll come back tomorrow.", I said. He looked at me gratefully and said "Thanks."  I think he was anticipating spending some unexpected time finishing a job that, to me anyway, looked like it was already finished.

That got me home earlier than expected, which allowed for some time after dinner to get some of the stuff that I had posted about, done.  I got both the Skeeter Hunt Webpage and the Skeeter Hunt page on this blog updated. I use Mozilla Kompozer for publishing the Skeeter Hunt and the SPARC Webpages. The more I use it, the less I forget. What I mean by that is, that there are certain settings I need to insure are correctly set before I publish an html page. If I don't set the parameters correctly, the changes don't take and I get confused (not a hard thing to do to W2LJ!). The more often I use Kompozer, the less likely I am to make a misstep.

I also got a prototype sticker done for our Field Day posters. I say "prototype" because I have to present this before the membership tomorrow night at our monthly business meeting. I'm sure many of you know how that can go. I tried to keep it simple and to the point. We'll see how it's accepted tomorrow night.





My apologies for the shaky photo of the poster. It was a lamp light situation as the flash produced a glare on the poster's glossy finish. It must have been the equivalent of about 1/30th of a second exposure on an SLR. But you get the idea. There's a huge white space at the bottom of the poster to put in location and time details. That sticker pretty much matches the space available. We'll see what changes membership recommends.

For some reason, I had trouble sleeping last night. I went to hit the sack at around 10:00 PM, slept for an hour and then was up from 11:00 PM to about 2:00 AM, tossing and turning. Hindsight being 20/20, I realized this morning that I should have gone down to the shack and either turned on the radio or melted some solder. I guess I was too anxious about falling asleep to fall asleep. Next time (which I hope doesn't happen) I'll go to the shack.

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

Monday, May 20, 2019

Upcoming "stuff"

Summer is fast approaching with Memorial Day weekend coming next weekend, here in the US of A. While the day itself has solemn reverence for remembering those who made the Ultimate Sacrifice in service to our country, the weekend also serves as the "unofficial" beginning of Summer.

There's lots to do in the upcoming weeks ahead, and a lot of that involves getting ready for Field Day. I have to get my posterior over to Home Depot to purchase 260 feet of wire for the 160 Meter dipole that I want to build.  Before I do that, I need to get over to Spring Lake Park with a tape measure to see if this is even going to be feasible. No sense of building a 160 Meter dipole of the trees aren't approximately where I need them to be in order to support it.

I also meed to get our Field Day posters finished so that our club members can get them distributed. Filling in that big blank box won't be difficult - getting membership to agree what we want to put there might be.

Sunday, June 9th is the 3rd Annual Cookie Crumble Contest. Huzzah! I have NOTHING scheduled for that Sunday this year. Our normal soup kitchen duty is being performed by another group next month, so the day is free for me and I intend to keep it that way.  I am hoping to set up from Cotton Street Park in town or maybe even Washington Rock again. Both parks have very tall tress in which to hoist up my PAR ENDFEDZ.  I also need to get over to either WalMart or Target for a new bicycle pump. I had mentioned in my post about SPARC's Special Event station that I couldn't use the antenna launcher. It turned out the pressure leak that I was experiencing was because of a hole somewhere in the pump hose. Later on that afternoon, I tried pumping the launcher with a pump the Vadney brothers brought and it worked just fine. It was NOT a leaky Schraeder valve like I had originally suspected.

It's going to be very weird operating these QRP events this year without running into WA8REI, N8XX or N2CX. Those were three call signs that I could usually bank on in QRP events. They will be sorely missed.

Yesterday was a very warm day, so I got the patio furniture cleaned up for the season. Hopefully, that will allow me some chances for outdoor operating this Summer when the weather permits. I'd like to do a lot more experimenting with the magloop to become even more familiar with its "ins and outs". I've used it quite enough to know it's a viable alternative to my permanent antennas; but I need to spend more time with it to become so familiar with it that I know it "like the back of my hand".

I also need to get the Skeeter Hunt Webpage updated for this year; as well as the Skeeter Hunt page of this blog - they pretty much mirror each other.

Wow! That's a lot of stuff to do in and amongst the other "normal" stuff that I have to do every week. It's a good thing that THIS kind of stuff is stuff I enjoy doing!

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

Friday, May 17, 2019

K4 photos

In an interest to keep up with the latest Amateur Radio news, here are some more photos of the K4, courtesy of the "The SWLing Post" blog:





I believe when all is said and done, you'll be looking at a minimum of around $4000.00 (US).

I guess that's what you pay for the newest, best and brightest top-of-the-line rig from a top-of-the-line company. As for me and my household, I don't think so.  I'm quite happy with my KX3 and besides, I have two kids in college.

What I am interested in, though, is that Jeff Davis KE9V stated that Hans Summers from QRP Labs said that the QSX radio should be on the market in a few months. A new QRP kit that I can build for under $200? Now that's something I can sink my teeth into!

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

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Not fake news....just a leak.




No doubt, more details will be coming from Hamvention tomorrow. (A hat tip to Jeff Davis KE9V, my on site Hamvention source).

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

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

I am at a loss for words, right now.

I saw this on Facebook this morning. I am shocked. And I'm struck that Joe passed on May 14th, the same date my Mom passed.


This was posted by Joe's son, Kevin. Joe was one of the pillars of NJQRP.

Joe was the permissive force behind the NJQRP Skeeter Hunt, along with George Heron N2APB. If it weren't for the two of them lending the prestigious name of NJQRP to the Skeeter  Hunt, I doubt that it would have become what it has. For that I will be forever grateful.

Joe was also quite the operator in the past few years. While he was never a stranger on the airwaves, Joe admitted to me during one of our talks that, when the NPOTA bug bit him, it bit him with a wallop. Throughout the 2016 NPOTA event, Joe was a familiar fixture on 7.034 and 14.060 MHz, giving out park contacts to anyone who could hear his signal. I have him to thank for boosting my own tally.


When NPOTA ended, Joe's appetite for activating parks did not! He and his son Kevin seemed to travel everywhere, putting parks on the air. When he activated Edison State park in April 2017, I took the opportunity to meet him for an eyeball QSO.

Joe was an all around "Ham's Ham". He operated, he designed, he built, he wrote, he mentored, he befriended - he did it all. He will be sorely missed,

Requiescet in pace, Joe.


72 de Larry W2LJ

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Thinking ahead to Summer

This unseasonably wet and chilly May has me yearning and pining for Summer. It's hard for me to believe that the Memorial Day Weekend holiday is less than two weeks away. It seems like I'll be grilling hot dogs and hamburgers with a sweater and cap on! All joking aside, the hot weather will be here before you know it and Summer will go by in the blink of an eye.

Keep in the back of your collective minds that the EIGHTH Annual NJQRP Skeeter Hunt will be taking place on Sunday, August 18th. As usual, sign ups for Skeeter Numbers will be accepted as of the First Day of Summer, Friday June 21st.  Please! NO REQUESTS before then! I'm sorry to do it; but early requests will be ignored. I want everyone to have a shot at a low number - for some reason, they seem to be coveted.

This year's requirement for the Points Bonus will actually be quite simple, but will take some thinking and ingenuity on your part.  To get the 100 Bonus Points for 2019, all you have to do is ........



display either one of these images somewhere at your operating position and submit a photo with your log summary.  Simple - right?  The most ingenious or unique way of working the logo into the station photo will get a special prize (in addition to the bonus points) - what that is, I have not determined yet. But it will be something special, I promise.

So hopefully, if someone asks you what the heck it is that your doing, you can point to the logo and "splain" to them that you're huntin' skeeters.

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



Safe travels!

Safe travels to all my friends and readers who may be travelling to Hamvention and FDIM this week.

May the weather be good, the traffic be light and may your experience be a fun and joyous one - and may the return home trip to your loved ones be safe and uneventful.

Godspeed!

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

Monday, May 13, 2019

Facebook re-post

Saw this on Facebook this morning under "Amateur Radio Funnies", and there is something to this that does bring on a chuckle.


I think many of us have been in a DXpedition pileup, or a pileup for a super rare one when someone starts to try to rag chew with the prized contact in question. And there have been times when I have had this impatient sentiment, too - but it also got me thinking.

Maybe it's due to growing older and perhaps gaining a little wisdom? - but sometimes I get tired of the competition and the quickie "UR 599 TU QRZ?" QSOs. It's nice, from time to time to have an honest-to-goodness relaxing rag chew with a DX station (or ANY station for that matter). After all, isn't that part of what Amateur Radio is all about? Making friendships, overcoming boundaries?

Making DX Honor Roll is a remarkable, honorable and laudable achievement and I have the utmost admiration and respect for those who have done so. But I never want to become jaded like that one Ham who sold all his equipment after receiving his Honor Roll plaque, because he thought "I did it all" and there was nothing else to be gained by remaining in the hobby.

I may not get on the air as often as I should, I will never make Honor Roll (I know that, for a fact), and I will probably pass one day with a bunch of unfinished projects taking up space in my shack, but I do enjoy the comforting thought that Amateur Radio is there in the background of my busy life, and will continue to be a source of enjoyment for me in the future.

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

Sunday, May 12, 2019

One of my best Amateur Radio purchases

One of the best Amateur Radio purchases that I have ever made is not what you might consider to be a "normal" Amateur Radio item. It's not a rig, or an accessory, or anything you might see in a everyday, run of the mill Ham shack.

One of my finest Amateur Radio purchases occurred back in 2016, when I purchased two of these from the ARRL back in the NPOTA days.


I thank God that I had the foresight to buy two, long sleeved NPOTA T-shirts from the ARRL

So why am I talking about this? Today, Mother's Day - May 12th 2019 has to be one of the most miserable Mother's Days, weather-wise, in memory. The high temperature for today was only about 45F (7C), and it's been on and off rainy, misty and raw - a very raw and unseasonable and most uncomfortable day.

A perfect day to wear one of my long sleeved NPOTA T-shirts.  Not only do these shirts bring back memories of one of the greatest Amateur Radio operating events that I have had the privilege to participate in, but they are also very beefy, soft and very, VERY comfortable. In fact, during the colder months,I practically live in these things on weekends when I'm not at work. I only wish that I had the foresight to purchase more than two. I will have these until they are threadbare. These will be with me for a very long, long time.

Kind of stupid, right? But I love these two shirts so much that, for me, they rank right up there with the best Amateur Radio purchases that I have ever made. Call me crazy - you'd be right!

72 de Larry W2LJ

Monday, May 06, 2019

Three Field Day ideas

This has more to do with Public Relations than the technical aspect of Field Day. You may want to consider these for your Field Day effort if you set up in a public setting with the intention of talking up Amateur Radio. These are a few new ideas that we (SPARC) came up with for our 2019 outing.

Guest book - I don't know why we haven't thought of this before! We will have a guest book by our public information table/display. It's useful for keeping track of guest operators, but also for anyone from the general public who has come by and shown interest in our hobby. Space for name and e-mail is probably sufficient - some people get uncomfortable with leaving too much personal information

Posters - We decided to purchase a pack or two of these from the ARRL:


We' will add the necessary info in the blank box, and we're hoping that the local merchants around town will be so kind as to display these in their windows or bulletin boards.

Signs - In addition to our club banner, we had some small signs/banners printed up by VistaPrint during one of their many on-line sales. It is a series of 1.5 X 3 foot signs that we will display in front of or close to important areas of our Field Day site.  We felt that these would be good to explain to people what is going on that may be too shy to actually come up and ask any of us about what's going on.

For example, one will say "Solar Power - we use this solar panel to charge the batteries that power our radios." This will go close to the solar panel.

"Portable tower/antenna - this ladder holds the antenna that we use to communicate around the country and the world." This of course, will be close to the tower, but far away enough to be at a safe distance from it.

We have a few others to go by the communications tent, by the information tent, and so on. We're not certain that these will have any real effect, but they were relatively inexpensive and it's our hope that they will give our Field Day site a more hospitable atmosphere. I know there's nothing like a smile and a handshake to foster that hospitality; but sometimes we're either under-manned for the moment; and sometimes visitors are not ready to "people". Hopefully the signage will fill in those cracks.

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

Saturday, May 04, 2019

It rained

Maybe that's the best way to describe our Fifth Anniversary outing at the park today. When I arrived around 10:00 Am, it was gray and dreary but still pretty much dry. Dave KD2FSI had been set up for a while and was trying his hand at working 7 Land QSO Party stations. He still needs Montana and Nevada for WAS, so he thought today might be the day.

I watched him for a bit and chatted with him for a bit more. I should have gotten straight to setting up my station instead, because as soon as I started, the sky opened up. It wasn't a gully washer and didn't rain hard enough to deter our plans, it just made setting up an uncomfortable affair.

I had planned to shoot a line up over a nearby tree and run the PAR END FEDZ over to it. That would have gotten the far end of the antenna up somewhere around 45 feet.

As I say, that's what I had planned.

Things didn't work out as planned. As soon as I pumped up the antenna launcher, I immediately lost air pressure. I suspected a bad Schraeder valve, or possibly a leaky joint somewhere. I didn't want to waste too much time, so I went to "Plan B".

It's always good to have a backup plan, and outdoor QRPers are a resourceful bunch. I like to feel that I fit into that category and every now and then, I do. I ended up parking the Jeep a little further away from our operating position and used my drive on mast and the 31 foot Jackite pole as my antenna support.

My Jeep, on the right, is supporting the Jackite. You can see the mast support by the front passenger tire.

I've used this set up before numerous times, so I knew it would work. It did, and once again I was not disappointed. As usual the PAR presented a very good match to the KX3 and my signal seemed to be getting out pretty well. At our 1500 UTC jumping off point, I made three quick CW contacts on 40 Meters and two fo them were with good friends Bob W3BBO and Cliff KU4GW.. Things seemed to be going well. Then Dave fired up the 20 Meter SSB station and at 100 Watts, he just wiped me out. Not wanting to be a killjoy, I figured I'd let him operate a while and when he wanted a break, I'd resume 40 Meter CW.

Dave KD2FSI operating 20 Meter SSB.

One of the guys must have told him the trouble I was having, because he went over to his van, brought out a little silver box and handed it to me. It was a 40 Meter pass band filter. I put that in line and "Whammo!" - problem solved. Both stations operated for the full amount of time, not impeding each other in the slightest.

Bill W2AOF logs as Marv K2VHW makes contacts on 40 Meter SSB.

All in all, it was a fun day. We didn't make nearly as many QSOs as we had hoped, but the ones we did make were solid. Our Club President, Bill W2AOF, went to a nearby sandwich shop and brought us lunch. Marv K2VHW made a coffee run to a nearby Dunkin' Donuts and brought back some much needed caffeine.

Dave W2OIL and Danny KC2YRC, friends of ours from the ETS of NJ Club (and Honorary Members of SPARC) were there and took a look at my antenna launcher (which they had made for me). They pressurized it with their bicycle pump and it held, no problem. That means my $5 cheapie Walmart foot pump finally gave up the ghost after 5 or 6 years - probably a leak in the hose or the filler valve. I'll need to acquire another before Field Day. I was relieved that it wasn't a problem with the launcher itself.

And wouldn't you know it? At the very end, the rain abated, the sun came out and it warmed up quite nicely. Nevertheless, we had fun, enjoyed each other's company and got some winter kinks out in preparation for Field Day next month. That's what mattered the most.

If you worked us, we thank you. If you heard us, but didn't get through, we thank you for trying. Maybe we'll have better luck in about six weeks when it's Field Day, and NJ2SP is once again on the air, this time as "3A NNJ".

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

Friday, May 03, 2019

This is just too cool - QCX 3d!

Posted by Eugene Kovalchuk on Facebook

https://skfb.ly/6KnvN?fbclid=IwAR2j7VZupHe7yXdP-BEWnBj7UVCifpUD_8J7LdJyd2WwFRYBvNf9XmAvEYM


This allows you pan, tilt and rotate and look at the QCX from just about any angle.

Wish I was smart enough to do stuff like this!

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

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

"The claims of my demise are greatly exaggerated."

With the announcement of yet another digital mode du jour. FT4 - there are some who insist on dancing (yet again, prematurely) on CW's grave.

As I've stated before, so many times ..... my personal opinion is that Amateur Radio is a big enough tent to accommodate everyone's interests. I did digi in the 90s. Granted, it wasn't PSK31 or the newer FT modes; but it was RTTY, PacTOR and AMTOR. These modes were quite exciting at first, but eventually grew boring to me. All the conversations that I was having seemed to consist of a bunch of key presses to release a bevy of pre-recorded macros. Spontaneous conversations took place; but they became fewer and harder to find. That's why I drifted back to CW as my only mode of operation.

Now, that being said, I realize that my case is not the case for everyone. If digi floats your boat - then bravo! Go for it with gusto, kid! I like it when you are happy! But at the same time, please don't look down upon me when I politely say, "Thanks, but no thanks."  That doesn't make me a fossil, a cranky old fart, a relic or a yesterday's stale bread. It's just that I know what I like, what I'm good at and what brings me a modicum of pleasure.

As an added note, I do not look down upon, frown upon or consider anyone less of an Amateur Radio Operator because they never learned or just plain don't like Morse Code. Again - more power to you! Engage in whichever mode it is that makes you happy that you spent time doing it. But at the same time, don't regard my favorite aspect of the hobby to be "old fashioned", "irrelevant", "useless" or "unneeded in this day and age" just because it befuddles you.

Perhaps my feelings about CW were summed up by a lot of what Dale Parfitt W4OP wrote in a post on QRP-L. I asked Dale if he would mind if I re-posted his post here. He most graciously granted me permission - here it is:

"I think the decline in CW may be more associated with the decline in civilization in general. Fewer and fewer people seem inclined to work hard and more and more seem to be embracing the concept of a welfare state, participation trophies etc. In the amateur sector, the exams have become a matter of memorization as opposed to understanding,  off the shelf rigs replace homebrew and the focus of amateur radio today appears to be chatting as opposed to furthering the technical aspects of the hobby.

CW is a skill that does require work. But so enjoyable, and high speed CW is more akin to holding a conversation. I could work piles of more contacts off the moon if I did one of the digital modes. But for me, it is all about hearing these weak signals and constantly improving my station. I won't go into the fact that some of the digital guys on the moon seem to have to communicate via the Internet to complete  the digital QSO.

On HF, a nice CW ragchew,  adapting to the other's fist, using my brain and dealing with the vagaries of propagation, QRM  is what it's all about. If I want to simply send a message, I can text someone or send an email. All this has nothing to do with me being an old fart (although chronologically, I am one) . I embrace design software, love surface mount, design a lot of my  rigs and build more than I operate.

YMMV,

Dale W4OP"

Thanks Dale! I guess chronologically, we're in the same boat; but like you - for me it's about the challenge - and constantly marveling about how my radio signal gets from Point A to Point B without the aid of anything else but my radio and antenna, my key and my brain. And I think there are quite a few of us who would still like to occupy a seat on this pleasure craft - so for those out there who think we CW devotees are nothing more than a bunch of aging, irrelevant fossils ....... pay close attention to Dale's "YMMV". It's an invitation for us all to engage in what we enjoy while maintaining our mutual respect for one another.

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

Monday, April 29, 2019

Getting ready for Field Day

Even though it's only April, SPARC is getting ready for Field Day,


I've added our NJ2SP Field Day info to the official ARRL Field Day locator, and we're in full preparations swing.  Once again we'll be operating 3A with a GOTA station. This year, though, I'd like to add a proper 160 Meter dipole so that we can make contacts on Top Band through out the evening. The W3EDP was successful in making contacts for us on all bands last year 160 Meters through 10 Meters, but on 160 Meters it was a compromise antenna. Only the loudest and nearest 160 Meter stations were able to hear us. With a proper resonant antenna, we should be able to make more than just a handful of contacts.

We're also intent on doing more to get the local Scouts to come visit and operate this year. We need to start advertising that to the local troops now, because once the Scouts scatter for the Summer, it will be harder to get the message out.

What does your club/organization do to put Field Day in the eye of your community? Anything?

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


Sunday, April 28, 2019

Not playing by the rules

One of the "rules" that always made me chuckle, was from the sages who advise QRPers "not to call CQ". Again, these are the wise ones who equate QRP with weak signal. No one is going to hear your signal, so why even waste your time calling CQ. You're only going to get frustrated, right?

Wrong!

I was down in the basement today, soldering a few more components onto the kit du jour. I decided to put in the easrbuds and allow the KX3 to call CQ while I was happily soldering away. What I didn't expect was to get an answer on the very first shot. I had to hurriedly put down the soldering iron when my query resulted in a call from Alex UR3HC in the Ukraine. We exchanged 559 reports and we both went merrily on our separate ways.

So this confirmed a couple of things for me (once again).

1) Don't believe all the people who bemoan the facts that "the bands are dead". They aren't - at least not always.

2) QRPers definitely SHOULD call CQ. Again, your signal is going to be decent - somewhere. It may not be 599, but it will be audible and answerable - somewhere. Sometimes that may be only down the street, sometimes it will be halfway around the world. You may get lucky, like I did today and you may not. However, you're never going to know unless you give it a shot, so don't be gun shy.

The other thing I wanted to mention is that next Saturday (May 4th, 2019), the South Plainfield Amateur Radio Club will be setting up a field station to put NJ2SP on the air for the purpose of celebrating the Fifth Anniversary of our founding.  We will setting up a CW station (QRP) and an SSB station (QRO) at Putnam Park, here in town. The park has a pavilion, so even if the weather is less than ideal, we will still be out there.

Look for us between the hours of 1500 to 1900 UTC, The frequencies that we will be hanging around will be 7.030 and 14.060 MHz for CW and 7.280 and 14.265 MHz for SSB.  An SASE will get you a QSL card with a special Fifth Anniversary sticker on it.



I'm the trustee for NJ2SP so if you look up NJ2SP or W2LJ on QRZ, both point to my home address.

This is an activity designed for the purpose of getting our newer members (also newer Hams) with less than a lot of HF experience, on the air. Hopefully it will entice a few who seem to get stuck on the VHF/UHF bands to set up HF stations at home.

Hope to work you!

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