Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Coming up this weekend

 CQ 160 Meter Contest -

Winter Field Day -

UBA (Belgium DX Contest - SSB -

REF (France) DX Contest - CW -


There does not appear to be any State QSO Parties until February. Have fun!

It seems that Winter Field Day is becoming more popular with every passing year. Thanks, but no thanks for W2LJ. Winter is my least favorite season and I have no desire to sit outside somewhere in the freezing cold. I'm not that adventurous anymore ....... 20 or 30 years ago - maybe.

72 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Admittedly, I am a dinosaur.

While strolling through Facebook today, I came across a posting on the POTA page about getting started in POTA CW.

I whole heartedly agree with Bob, more CW ops are needed on POTA. So I clicked on the pdf and this was the opening paragraph:



Bob Lewis – N8GU

Undoubtedly, CW purist operators would probably think that using devices to decode and send Morse Code as being heresy. We use devices to decode digital modes like FT8, RTTY, PSK31, etc. Why not use devices to decode and send CW? I look upon these devices as being the entry point into the fun world of CW and as a stimulus for users to actually learn CW. Operating activities such as POTA (Parks on the Air) have caused a resurgence of interest in CW as well as radio manufacturers creating low power radios and portable antennas that are great for CW transmissions.

I love the idea of people wanting to learn CW. No disrespect intended, my only sticking point is that it seems more than likely to me that if you're going to use a CW decoder and rely on your computer or transceiver to send the CW for you, then this is going to become a crutch and in the long run will actually hinder your ability to learn CW. I'm not saying you won't learn CW this way, but I think it will take you a lot longer and is the scenic route instead of the express. But that's just this writer's humble opinion.

I speak from personal experience. I wanted to become a Ham when I was 16 and in high school. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get the code. I gave up. I was a quitter. After college, with some free time on my hands, I buckled down and learned the code the traditional way. Lord knows, if I had CW decoders and a computer or transceiver where I could push a button and have flawless Morse sent for me when I was 16, I may have been in the hobby earlier, but I'm doubting that I would be as proficient with a key as I am today - and I'm by no means "Mr. CW" - just your normal CW op.

I know a lot of folks won't agree with my opinion. Just ask my XYL ...... she'll tell you how often I am wrong!

72 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Coming soon to a frequency near you!

Saturday, February 4th will be the kick off to the 2023 Outdoor QRP Contest Season with the Arizona SQRPions FYBO - "Freeze Your Butt Off" contest.  This is always a fun event, and in New Jersey at least, it's impossible to know much in advance if we'll actually freeze our buns off. Some years have been brutally cold, some years have had Spring like temperatures. Whatever the temp, it's always fun and if I set up outdoors, it may be with the magloop.

So far this Winter, we've been having relatively mild temperatures with only one memorable cold snap to speak of. Any snow that's fallen in the Garden State has been in the extreme NorthWest corner in Sussex and Warren counties. A meteorologist that I follow closely on Facebook is saying that may change real soon. To him, it looks like the pattern of the Gulf Stream may be changing, bringing more frigid air for the majority of the rest of us New Jerseyans. Just my luck that FYBO may end up being a real freezer. Good for a multiplier, but not good for someone who hates the bitter cold.

This coming weekend is the North American QRP QSO Party, SSB iteration, which has a QRP category. Another contest this weekend with a QRP category is the Hungarian DX Contest. While I'm sure this is meant mostly for Hungarian QRPers, this is a good opportunity for QRPers on this side of the Atlantic to add Hungary to your QRP DXCC tally if you haven't already got them.

From comments I've been seeing in email reflectors and on social media, keep checking the higher bands. Seems they've been open lately.

72 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Is this a new thing?

 A good friend of mine, John Wyatt W2VTV posted this on Facebook.

He received a certificate from the ARRL for 25 years of membership. Have any of you out there gotten something like this from the ARRL?

Let's see ....... I've been a member sine 1979 - that's 43 years.  I've been a VE Examiner since 1994 - that's 28 years. I became a Life Member as N2ELW back in the 80s and received the associated plaque. When I changed my call to W2LJ in 2000, I had to pay for a new one. 

I guess being a Life Member they figure they've lost money on me over they years - so no certificates marking the milestone years. Oh well, they would have looked nice on the shack wall.

72 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Friday, January 13, 2023

Better late than never

News of this article has been around on social media for the past few weeks. I do realize however, there are some Hams who disdain that platform and might not be aware of this article which appeared in a recent edition of the Smithsonian Magazine. So I am posting a link here - 

It's rare when our hobby (and Morse Code, in particular) gets mentioned anywhere outside of our own circle. I thought it fitting to make mention of it on this blog ....... as that's what it is devoted to, and it's nice to see our passion get some recognition.

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