Saturday, October 24, 2020

Saying goodbye to an old friend

 


It's time to say goodbye to the maple tree in the back yard - my trusty antenna support over the last 22 years. My neighbor came by today to tell me that his cousin, who has a tree service business will be by sometime this week to take it down.

Unfortunately, it's time. The trunk has carpenter ant damage and the tree is not the most healthy. The trunk is hollow in places and were we to get another Sandy type of storm, it would most definitely go horizontal. So tomorrow, the W3EDP will come down as well as the VHF/UHF J-pole, so that will not get damaged when the crane is moved into my neighbor's driveway.

Once the tree is down, some sort of mast will go up in that corner of the back yard to take place of Ol' Mapley.  For the foreseeable future, I will have only the Butternut HF9V and perhaps the AlexLoop for the time being.

Good bye, ol' friend - thanks for holding up my wire antennas!

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

This is the stuff I dream of

 A good Amateur Radio friend, Marc W4MPS recently activated a POTA site. Here's a video he published:


Wow! What a beautiful setting! And beside the superb radio operating by Marc, how about that dronesmanship? Eh? Don't those aerial views just add to the beauty of it all?

I would love to travel out West and activate parks like this. Being able to take in the natural beauty of God's creation AND have fun on the radio at the same time - what could possibly be better than that!

This reminds me of another time and another place in a totally different circumstance. Marc helped the South Plainfield Amateur Radio Club activate our local Spring Lake Park back in 2015 for Field Day. Marc was in New Jersey visiting his daughter and he stopped by to give our  CW effort some much needed assistance. The view was nowhere as spectacular and the weather left a lot to be desired.


You can see by the jackets and ponchos being worn that the weather was less than deluxe for that Field Day. Actually, after it was over, we all wondered how it was that none of us came down with pneumonia. It was chilly for late June, and very damp and wet. The funny thing was, that after Field Day weekend, that year we did not get another wet weekend until well into Autumn!

Thanks, Marc, for sharing your video. Make sure to take us along on any further adventures!

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

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Making a comeback?

 The "Run for the Bacon" Sprints, a monthly event held on the 3rd Sunday of the month, and sponsored by the Flying Pigs Amateur Radio Club Inc, have been on the contest scene for years. But like a lot of things over the years, participation has dwindled.

In an effort to correct that course, the Sprint time has changed to a little bit earlier start as a means to increase participation. For example, on the East Coast, the old time was from 9:00 PM to 11:00 PM local time. For someone who has to get up early to go to work the next day, that's a big hurdle.

The time has been changed - to a start a couple hours earlier. In my case, it's now from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM, much more appealing. In fact, the RFTB is occurring tonight and I just may jump into the fray. It's getting darker earlier so contacts on 80 Meters should be a real possibility.

For the details, please visit - http://qrpcontest.com/pigrun/

Hope to hear you on the air tonight!

73 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Thursday, October 15, 2020

A good friend - now an SK.

I found out from my good friend Bob W3BBO that a mutual friend of ours, Rich Alderiso AA2KS had become a Silent Key this past July.


I first met Rich when I became a member of the Piscataway Amateur Radio Club. His call sign was AA2KS, he lived in North Edison and he ran (with his brother) a wholesale produce business out of Newark.

The love of his life was his wife Patty. When our group of friends decided to make the trip to Dayton in 1994, we concocted our plans over an amazing Italian dinner at Richie's house. Patty was an awesome cook and we enjoyed our planning sessions as much as we enjoyed the trip to Dayton itself.

Through PARC, we embarked on several special events together. Rich was a participant in trips to the Edison Memorial, the Twin Lighthouses at the Atlantic Highlands and to Long Valley, NJ to activate a special Halloween event for "The Ghost of Long Valley".

Our trip to Dayton in 1994 was taken in Richie's brand new Cadillac; and we'll never forget how he made us wipe our shoes off with a towel before we were allowed to get in.

Field Days were not complete without Richie' presence. He always arrived early with something from his business in his trunk. Whether it was a load of fresh peaches, or fresh watermelons, he always helped to make PARC Field Days extra special.

Richie was multi-talented and Amateur Radio was not his only hobby. He was also a builder of musical instruments (cellos) and he was also into clock making. Eventually, Richie and Pat moved from Edison down to the Jersey Shore to be closer to his daughters - and that's where we lost touch.

It saddens me that another Ham Radio acquaintance has passed on. I'll always remember Richie for his quick smile, the way he could crack a joke, for his friendship and his hospitality.

God bless you, Richard - may you have nothing but good propagation up there in the Big Ham Shack in the sky. You will be missed - it was a pleasure and honor to have known you.

72 de Larry W2LLJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Propagation is a fickle thing.

Yesterday, and again this morning, I have been trying to work my friend Bob W3BBO in the Pennsylvania QSO Party. You would think that between Erie, PA and Central NJ, either 40 Meters or 80 Meters would be a sure thing, right?

Nope.

I keep Bob's call listed in HamAlert so I know that when he's on. He was spotted multiple times on 40 Meters yesterday and 80 Meters AND 40 Meters this morning. Every time I run downstairs when I get notice of a spot, I tune on or close to the frequency that he's been spotted on - nothing. Can't hear a peep. I'll betcha a dollar to a donut that were he to switch to 20 Meters, somehow I'd be able to hear him - which goes against all logic as far as I'm concerned.

While listening for Bob, I was hearing a lot of SKCC stations on the air. I am guessing that this week is the SKCC Weekend Sprint. I'll have to dust off the ol' bug and practice with it, off the air, and maybe join in and work a few next month. I would try today, but straight key sending is holy terror on my wrist and my bug sending would send folks running for the hills swearing to "Never work that W2LJ guy again!"

Speaking of upcoming events, this made it to QRP-L this past week. Notice of the 2020 Zombie Shuffle:

Zombies and Zombettes:

That time of the year again.  The 23rd Annual Zombie Shuffle QRP whatever-it-is will be held Friday, October 30, 2020 from 1600 to midnight YOUR LOCAL TIME.  This should allow for a little 20M at the beginning before forced to 40 or 80M.

Rules are here: http://www.zianet.com/qrp/ZOMBIE/pg.htm

Pretty much the same ole malarky QRP fun that is senseless and pointless with ridiculous scoring for getting on the air and working a few fellow QRP Zombies.

Bonus stations this year will be sending "2020" as their Zombie Number for an even bigger score and additional multipliers.  We'd like to see Bonus Stations in the East, Midwest, West and VE.  So, if you're planning on operating for an hour or two and want to be one of the coveted Bonus Stations, please let me know (na5n@zianet.com).

If you've never participated in the Zombie Shuffle, give it a try.  Just some silly Halloween fun to work some fellow QRP stations.  Not a high speed QRQ contest; stations will match your speed if you're a bit rusty or new to CW.

We'll never have a more Zombie year than 2020!!! :-(

72, Paul NA5N

Grand Zombie #004/2020

AIN'T THAT THE TRUTH !!!!

72 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least