Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Christmas 2005

Christmas Day 2005 has come and gone, even though the Season officially lasts until January 6th, Santa was very, very good this year to my wife and kids; and he was especially nice to me, Ham radio-wise, this year.

Through a hint from my wife, Santa brought the 2005 Christmas Key, a miniature ornament sized; but fully functional straight key. This lil' key is an object of beauty to a veteran CW op. It's perfectly sized for portable operations; but will probably end up never leaving the house! It is surprisingly stable and does not "walk" when being used upon my bench.

Through a hint from my Mom, Santa also brought a Hi-Mite for 15 Meters. This is a great little rig from Dave Benson K1SWL and Small Wonder Labs. It's based upon the famous RockMite series; but includes a VFO so as to be more flexible than the crystal controlled, single frequency RockMites. My Mom was fascinated that a radio kit could arrive in such a small envelope. I explained the situation to her and told her that I would show her one of my Rockmites so she could see just how small a radio can get. As I grew up she remembered the days of the big boat anchors with tubes that glowed. She came to recognize that radios were getting smaller through the various transceivers that I had owned throughout the years; but she wasn't quite ready to believe how small these Small Wonder Labs wonders really are.

Finally, through a hint from my sister, Santa brought a copy of the new ARRL book on basic radio concepts. It's a good book to have, even for a seasoned Ham like myself. I've never been a technical wizard of the likes of Dave Benson K1SWL or Steve Weber KD1JV. Maybe by reading this book and becoming even more comfortable with the basic principles, I can at least begin to understand more thoroughly the genius behind the masterpieces they offer.

All in all, it was an especially good Ham radio Christmas. I had not seen the likes of one of these in a few years. Mind you, I enjoy getting the customary shirts, PJs, and other more traditional "Dad type" of presents; but it was an extra special treat to find a few Ham radio items under the evergreen.

73 de Larry W2LJ

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