Friday, October 24, 2008

Get on the air this weekend!

This weekend presents the perfect opportunity for the hard core CW op. This weekend is the CQ WW DX Contest - SSB portion. And to boot, there doesn't appear to be any major RTTY contest scheduled for this weekend either!

So the CW bands should be relatively QRM free, hopefully. Please keep in mind that not EVERY DX station is a contest hound; so there should be some pretty good stuff to grab if you listen hard enough.

I intend to get on the air this weekend for the first time in a bit to see what I can hear. Maybe I'll be able to grab a new country or two if I'm lucky. A lil' less competition never hurt!

73 de Larry W2LJ

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Winter Foxhunt Season

for 2008-2009is fast approaching! We will be doing 20 and 40 Meter hunts again this year beginning the week AFTER Election Day.

Normally, as part of the Fox Hunt Committee, I schedule the Summer season. Jerry N9AW is indisposed and is not able to handle the Winter season this year; so yours truly is looking for volunteers to be the QRP Fox.

If you're interested please go to for a schedule and applications, as well as all the information you need about QRP Foxhunting if the concept it new to you.

It's a ton of fun ....... join us!

73 de Larry W2LJ

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Busy weekend!

Tonight is the Run For the Bacon, which is the monthly QRP Sprint sponsored by the Flying Pigs. It will run for two hours from 9:00 to 11:00 PM Eastern time. If you're so inclined to enjoy a little friendly competition, you need not be a member of the Flying Pigs to participate. C'mon and join us!

I got new tires for the Explorer today. Sears was running a "Buy three get one free" sale on selected brands. I had a slow leak on the rear passenger tire and this was long overdue. I'm glad I can face the coming winter season with one less worry (unless you count paying these babies off!).

I went up to Long Valley, NJ yesterday afternoon to pick up an elliptical trainer that I had won on eBay. It was a great deal; one of those rare ones. I got a Gold's Gym elliptical, which sells at Wal-Mart for $389.00 for only $32.00 !!!! The seller put no reserve on it; and I guess he only had a few sparse bids as it was a "pick up only" kind of deal. So I lucked out.

The reason for this? A couple of months ago I went to donate blood; and was turned away because my blood pressure was too high. Talk about getting a scare! Subsequently, I went to a doctor and have had a physical and have found out that I'm in pretty good shape except for my blood pressure and the fact that I can stand to lose a few pounds.

Micardis is keeping my blood pressure under control; but I have to do something in order to drop about 20 or so pounds. Hence, the elliptical trainer. I'm finding out that it's nowhere as easy to maintain an even weight as it was when I was in my 20s and 30s. Getting old sucks, pardon my language!

Moral of the story? Get active if you can. Walk, run or do whatever you have to do, to keep the "silent killer" from affecting you. There's more to life than just radio.

73 de Larry W2LJ

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I just "re-upped"

I just received my latest issue of "The Keynote", the journal of the FISTS organization and saw that my current subscription expires on 11/11/08. So I hopped onto PayPal and ' re-upped" for two more years.

When you join FISTS, you receive a membership number and it's your for life. Mine is #1469 which I got when I joined back in the early/mid 90s. If you want to receive the magazine though, you have to subscribe to it, just like anywhere else.

Is it worth it? I think it is! I like the articles and the way they are written. And of course, it doesn't hurt that I agree with the entire mission of FISTS, which is the preservation and furthering the widespread use of Morse Code.

I like the fact that "The Keynote" publishes a lot of "volunteer" written articles. I'll have to think about something to write about and submit it and see if it gets published.

73 de Larry W2LJ

Monday, October 13, 2008


I would be somewhat remiss, if I did not mention the passing of a well known Central New Jersey Ham. I was paging through a recent copy of QST recently; and happened to peruse the Silent Key page. Much to my surprise, I saw the call W2FNT, which belonged to John Kakstys.

I knew John; but not personally. I guess a lot of Hams here in New Jersey and the greater metropolitan area could make the same claim. John ran a used Ham radio shop out of the basement of his house in Linden, NJ.

I don't quite remember how I first heard about him; but I have been to his house a few times throughout my Ham career. The first time was in 1979 when I was desperate to become "un-rockbound" during my Novice days. Somehow or other, it was brought to my attention that John had a Globe VFO that would work with my Drake 2-NT. A trip to his house one night after work was quite an experience. Walking into his basement was like walking into "Ham Toys R Us". It was great! He had all manner of boat anchors and varied Amateur Radio gear. You could spend hours talking with him and other Hams, and listening to different radios.

Over the years, I bought a couple of used pieces from John. He was always a good sport about returns and refunds if you discovered that what you bought wasn't quite what you had expected.
Back in the 70s and 80s, after the "Golden Age" of radio stores; but before eBay and the Internet, guys like John were invaluable if you needed something in between Hamfests; or if you didn't feel like doing the mail order thing.

As the Internet came into its own, I saw John at all the local Hamfests, trying to reduce his inventory. He was getting older (as we all were) and the basement "store" had become too much of a burden; and I guess he was forced to abandon it. But I'll always remember John's basement as the place "where real radios glowed, and you could smell the dust burning off the warm vacuum tubes".

73 de Larry W2LJ

Saturday, October 11, 2008

On the radio this weekend

Sorry that I haven't been postng much, lately. Work has been a bear and I have been way too exhausted in the evenings to play much radio. But I sure hope all you guys are still having fun out there!

This is what's doing this weekend:

Worked All Britain HF Contest (Phone) ...QRP Category
Oct 11, 1200z to Oct 12, 1200z
Pennsylvania QSO Party (CW/SSB/Digital) ... QRP Category
Oct 11, 1600z to Oct 12, 0500z
Oct 12, 1300z to Oct 12, 2200z
EU SPRINT CONTEST (CW) ... 100W category
Oct 11, 1600z to 1959z
FISTS Fall Sprint (CW) ... QRP Category
Oct 11, 1700z to 2100z
North American Sprint (RTTY) ... QRP Category
Oct 12, 0000Z to 0400Z
SKCC Weekend Sprintathon (Straight Key CW) ... QRP Category
Oct 12, 0000z to 2359z

Courtesy of N2CQ

73 de Larry W2LJ

Friday, October 03, 2008

This weekend on the radio .....

For those QRP contesters out there, these events may interest you:

German Telegraphy Contest (CW) ... QRP Category
Oct 3, 0700z to 0959z
TARA PSK31 Rumble (PSK31 only) ... QRP Category
Oct 4, 0000z to 2400z
EU SPRINT CONTEST (SSB) ... 100W category
Oct 4, 1600z to 1959z
California QSO Party (CW/SSB) ... QRP Category
Oct 4, 1600z to Oct 5, 2159z
RSGB 21/28 MHz Contest (CW/SSB) ... QRP Category
Oct 5, 0700z to 1900z
N2APB (AmQRP), WB3AAL (EPAQRP) and others
for assistance in compiling this calendar.

This was made possible through the courtesy of Ken Newman, N2CQ.

73 de Larry W2LJ

Thursday, October 02, 2008

NAQCC turns 4 !

We invite all ops to come help the North American QRP CW Club (NAQCC) celebrate its Fourth Anniversary.


By working our special event station N3A which will be active during the whole month of October.

A handsome certificate and/or QSL card is available to everyone who works N3A and requests one or both.

We also have 3 special certificates for the FISTS members who make the most different band QSO's with our N3A stations during the month and in the FISTS and NAQCC sprints.

N3A will be operated from all 10 US call areas with the appropriate portable designator - N3A/1, N3A/2....N3A/0.

All 10 calls will be active in the FISTS sprint on the 11th and our NAQCC sprint on the 14th (15th UTC).

Full details including an operating schedule and how to request the certificate and QSL are on the "N3A Operation" page on the club web site - search "NAQCC" in your favorite search engine, or follow this link to our website (

Join us in celebrating our Fourth Anniversary, share the fun and earn a few certificates and special QSLs!

This is also a good opportunity to join NAQCC. Lifetime membership is free and you will receive your membership number, membership certificate and starter kit FREE! No cost or obligation on your part.

Tom, WY3H (NAQCC President)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

This is way cool!

I was born in 1957, the year of Sputink. Throughout my kidhood and right through adulthood, I have been and remain fascinated with anything having to do with space travel and exploration. I have the editions of NY Times, NY Daily News and Newark Star Ledger describing the Apollo 11 moonwalks safely tucked away in plastic bags.

As a kid, I had every Revell model made that had anything to do with Projects Mercury, Gemini and Apollo. I even have cassette audio tapes (somewhere) of the WCBS TV coverage of the Apollo missions - can you say Walter Cronkite and Wally Schirra ?

So when I saw the following on QRP-L, I just had to re-post this here.

Dear QRPers!

Devoted to 51'st anniversary of the 1'st Sputnik launch. October 4-5 special event RU-QRP Club station UE3QRP/3 will active on International QRP freq's. QTH: Zvyozdny Gorodok (as Star City in Russian, nr Moscow), Cosmonauts Training Center. QSL via UA3LMR.

The same dates, from Baykonur Space Port (Kazakh Rep.) will QRP active UA9LAK/UN7 (op. Alexander, ex Space Radio Communications Engineer).


72 from Oleg V. Borodin RV3GM (RU-QRP Club Hon.Sec.)
=== In QRP We Trust! ===

I hope conditions are good enough to hear and work them this coming weekend!

73 de Larry W2LJ