Saturday, September 04, 2010

You young whipper snappers

and your little radios that fit into mint tins that let you work all over the world! Why, back in my day, radios were radios! They dad gum weighed a ton and they had tubes that would glow in the dark and warm up the entire shack! And when we didn't use 'em to warm up the shack, we'd toss 'em into our beds on a cold winter's night to keep the sheets warm! And Glorioski , our Watts were Watts ..... we didn't have tiny circuit boards ...... we used to warm our soldering irons in the fire and heck, how do you think the term "bread board" came to be, anyway? We used to build our radios on REAL bread boards and lookie at what we considered to be QRP !!!!!!

That's right, Boy-o, back in the day, QRP was a manly 100 Watts, not the puny 5 Watts that you spoiled young'uns use to talk around the world today! And our signals used to travel around the world ..... uphill both ways!

All kidding aside, I knew I had this somewhere! I was looking through some of my old special event certificates when I came across my original QRP-ARCI membership certificate, complete with my original call sign. In fact, except for QSL cards, this is one of the few certificates that I have that has my original call, KA2DOH, on it.  And back then, "QRP Quarterly" was a distant dream, off in the future.  The QRP-ARCI newsletter was a mimeographed (remember mimeographs?) thing that you would get via the regular mail.

It was only a few years later that QRP was changed to be the 5 Watts we have come to know and love. Sometimes, when I tell newer Hams that QRP used to mean 100 Watts or less, I get "that look". Well, here's the proof!

The weather has changed along the east coast. We are getting our first taste of Autumn. It was sunny today and very breezy, and for the most part, temperatures stayed in the 70s for most of the day, although it did go into the low 80s for a brief period this afternoon. As a result, 40 Meters was quite nice tonight. It was very quiet with hardly and summer type static crashes; and signals were loud, too. I had a nice chat with Hal KD8AC out of Youngstown, Ohio. Hal was using his K3 at 50 Watts to a centerfed Zepp at 35 feet. We gave each other 599 signal reports and it was armchair copy throughout the whole QSO.

Boy, Hal's K3 sure sounded good! What's that Super Jackpot Lotto up to now, anyway?

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

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:24 PM

    OUTSTANDING BLOG!!! I am NOT one of those young whipper-snappers...and I still use radios that glow in the dark...including my original Novice receiver (Heathkit HR-10) but I don't have the EF Johnson Viking Adventurer..still looking for that. My latest acquisition: Drake 2B with the 2BQ Q-Multiplier. It's basically is a regenerative IF amp that is placed in line with the normal IF chain to boost the selectivity! What a beautiful sounding radio!!! Keep up the great blog, Larry.

    VY 73 es GUD DX!

    Rich Arland, K7SZ
    Bent Dipole Ranch
    Dacula, GA Grid: EM83bx

    Cogito Ergo CQ! (I Think Therefore I Ham!)
    (With apologies to Rene Descartes, 1596 to 1650)

    Author: "The ARRL's Low Power Communications, the Art and Science of QRP"
    Column Editor: "The Learning Curve" CQ Magazine
    Column Editor: "The Beginner's Column" CQ-VHF Magazine
    Column Editor: "QRP Power" QST Magazine (Jan 2000-Dec 2003)