Thursday, May 27, 2021

Cookie are crumbling

In these United States of America, this coming weekend is Memorial Day Weekend. This day is meant for the solemn remembrance of the men and women in uniform who paid the ultimate price in defending our freedom and Constitution.

Over the years, this three day weekend has also come to mark the "unofficial start of Summer". Of course the REAL first day of Summer this year is June 22nd, and we all know what happens that say .... right?

But before that, another big QRP operating event will occur on Sunday, June 6th. That is the Cookie Crumble Contest sponsored by Tim W3ATB and Emily WC3R.  The event got its name from Emily's famous chocolate chip cookies that became a mainstay and a frequent topic of conversation during National Parks On The Air in 2016.

It's a fun event and is always a good time ..... AND it's a good excuse to dust the winter cobwebs off your portable gear (if you haven't already by now) and get your fanny outside to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air - although that's not a requirement (being outdoors)for participating.

All the details can ne found at

72 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Things have been strange

 My apologies for the lack of posts. It's been a topsy-turvy month. I got laid off from work a week ago, the company that I was contracted to lost their contract. The good news is I might be back to the same job with the new contractor in a week or two, so it's not all that dire a situation. Right now it's just wait and see. In the meantime, I've been keeping myself busy and out of trouble by doing things around the house that I put off for lack of time.  

I did attend bits of Virtual FDIM yesterday and kudos to QRP-ARCI for the fine job they did. I especially enjoyed a two hour Q&A session that they held last night with the presenters of the programs. Very enjoyable and educational. I am sure that in 2022 that things will be back to normal enough to gather in person. I hope they continue to offer a virtual session for those of us who cannot attend in person for reason or another.

This afternoon, I made a few more "bullets" or projectiles for my pneumatic antenna line launcher. I repaired the one that broke at W2AOF's house a few weeks back and then made two new ones. 3/4 inch PVC and end caps and some cotter pins did the trick.

I got on the air this afternoon and worked a couple of POTA stations. One being Sean KX9X and the other WW5C. I went to the POTA spotting page and saw that the overwhelming majority of activations were either SSB or FT8. I'm going to have to do something this summer about swaying that balance back to CW if I can. The weather this week is supposed to be decent, so maybe this Thursday I can head up to Washington Rock Park again and put K-1635 on the air for a while.

I'll close with a reminder. Tonight is the QRP-ARCI Hootowl Sprint. It's been trimmed down to an hour.. from 8:00 to 9:00 PM EDT. Hopefully, I'll hear some of you on the air tonight.

72 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Sunday, May 09, 2021

Giving a helping hand

First off, I don't know if I have any YL readers who are also Moms; but if I do - Happy Mother's Day to you! Enjoy your day - I don't know what we'd do without you.

Secondly, sometimes the best Amateur Radio activities are not performed on the air. Yesterday, I had the chance to help a Ham get back on the air. Our SPARC Club President, Bill W2AOF, has been a Ham for a long time, as you can tell by his call. He recently got back into the hobby a few years ago after a long hiatus.

He had put up an economy vertical on the roof for his HF rig, which is an Elecraft KX3. Unfortunately, he wasn't hearing much. At our get-together for World Amateur Radio Day, Bill was impressed by the 40M End Fed Halfwave that was being used by one of the stations. He was able to hear signals on his radio that he hadn't been able to at home.

As a result, Bill ordered a G5RV which arrived on Friday. He texted me yesterday, asking if I would bring my antenna launcher over to his house The weather wasn't the greatest, heavy over cast with bouts of drizzle, but as they say ...... perfect antenna weather!

Bill has very tall pine tree on one edge of his property. On the first try, we did not charge up the air tank with enough pressure and only got the line up about 30 feet or so, nowhere near satisfactory. On the second try, I was able to get a line into the branches at about the 50 foot level. The tricky part of course, is getting the projectile, or "bullet" as I call it, to come down to street level. Many times, it will get caught up in branches on the way down, necessitating another try. Luck was with us this time.

One end of the G5RV went into the tree and then we shot another line from the back of the house to the front of the house, so we could pull the rest of the antenna into the backyard. Bill had the remnants of a clothes line pole in the corner with the rope pulley still on it. This was to be the other anchor end. In effect the antenna would become a sloper.

Much to our dismay, while pulling the antenna into the backyard, the wire got hung up on the corner of Bill's chimney. As a result, he had to get up on the roof to free the wire. Luckily, Bill owns a one story ranch, and it was not a chore that he was unaccustomed to. While he was up there, Bill took the coax from the vertical and hooked it up to the feedline for the G5RV. With the antenna now free, we got the other end into the backyard for the final part of the installation

At this point, Bill thanked me and I headed home. A little while later, I got texts letting me know that successful QSOs had been made with Serbia, Spain and Croatia - all with 5 Watts!.  Bill is on his way to DXCC and I had the satisfaction of knowing that I had helped someone get back on the air. How cool is that?

73 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Saturday, May 01, 2021

I can hear the buzzing already!

 Great news! If you don't subscribe to any of the various QRP e-mail reflectors, you might have missed this great piece of news, which I am re-posting here:

"In concert with today's National Arbor Day, The Adventure Radio Society is announcing the return of the Flight of the Bumble Bees on the last Sunday of July. This year it is July 25.

Applications for field stations' Bumble Bee number requests will be opened on Friday, June 25 - one month before this year's BB event. Full details about 2021's FOBB will be posted at that time on the ARS homepage at: There have been no changes to the rules used in previous years.

This event is open to all radio amateurs running 5-watts RF power output or less. Both home and field stations are encouraged to participate.

It's never too early to plan!

73 and  TNX for your ongoing support of ARS,

Richard Fisher, KI6SN

Co-founder, the Adventure Radio Society"

I know you all dearly missed FOBB in 2020. It's a good sign that things may be finally returning back to normal. Thank you so much, Rich for hosting this event and for all the work you do behind the scenes.