Thursday, August 31, 2023

One of the reasons that I like Elecraft

I'm an Elecraft fanboy. I'm not ashamed to admit it. I know that Elecraft is not everyone's cup of tea and I fully accept that. But here's one of the reasons, that I like them so much. They pay attention to their customers.

A new KX2 user has been having problems with his KX2 since he recently got it. He's spent time on the phone with Customer Service and at their request, he shipped the unit back. Needless to say, the shipping costs back to Elecraft came out of his own pocket.

He detailed his problems on the Elecraft, hoping another KX2 user who might have had the same issues could lend some advice. He was answered by Wayne N6KR - ONE OF THE OWNERS OF THE COMPANY!

Wayne ordered the Customer Service department to bring the KX2 directly to him. To Wayne, it sounded like the problem was a firmware issue and he wrote the firmware, so he wants to take care of it - personally. In addition, he has ordered the Customer Service department to reimburse the user for the costs in shipping the KX2 back to the factory.

I've never gotten customer service like that from a photography company when I've had a problem! Never got it from Canon, Hasselblad or any other camera company that I've dealt with. When I was at Sinar Bron, as an industry leader, the concept of exceptional customer service was constantly drilled into us. Eventually it became like second nature and it was truly disappointing when it was not received in return,  The only company from which I've ever received service like that was the original Heathkit, as I outlined in my recent post about my SB-104A. Thankfully, I've never needed that kind of service from Elecraft, but it's comforting to know they stand behind their product, and would provide it.

72 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Battery City

Progress, of sorts.

I think that the little SLA that I used on Sunday is OK. I put it on my little ACME battery charger (No. I did not get it from Wile. E. Coyote!) Sunday evening and the voltage indicator light changed from amber to green overnight. I checked the voltage again when I got home from work last night and it was still holding steady at 12.9 Volts, so I don't think it's internally discharging at any great rate.  Of course the proof of the pudding will occur when I attach the KX3 to it to see how it handles a load. I'm kind of confident in this one, though.

The bigger SLA has been charging for two overnights (6:00 PM to 5:00 AM) now. I don't run the charger during the day when no one is home - call me overly cautious. It still has not changed from amber to green, which I thought it would have by now. That indicates to me that something might not be up to snuff - but I'll give it a bit more time. I have a feeling it's lost some capacity to actually hold a charge. While on the charger the battery is cool to the touch, though, so it's not like it's going to burst into flames or anything. Again, I'll have to closely monitor the voltage drop if and when I connect it to the KX3.

The big deep cycle Powerwerx battery - not sure what to do there. I'm going to attempt to charge it up once again this weekend and will monitor the voltage drop under load. I still have a feeling this one is shot.

To that end, I purchased a deep cycle 12 Ah Li-ion battery and charger through eBay.  I put a bid on it the other day and quickly got outbid. The auction ended at 10:00 PM last night and with about 4 minutes to go, I upped my original bid by $ 4.00.  Luckily, that was enough to win, and it should be here by the end of next week - maybe as early as this coming Friday.

In any case, going forward, I will have that battery, and the smaller SLA in the ammo box. I will also have another small, cell phone sized "blue pack" battery in the backpack. With all three, I should have plenty of electrons for any POTA outing, QRP Sprint and even for Field Day.

Funny - when I just mentioned the "blue pack" battery, I was originally going to describe it as "about the size of a pack of cigarettes". How times have changed! I think there's probably more folks out there who have never purchased a pack of cigarettes than there are that have.

72 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

So what does a QRPer need an amp for, anyway?

 Good question!

And actually, this might surprise some, but there is an SSB (eeek!) net on 75 Meters (double eeek!) that I try to check into on Sunday evenings - that would be the St. Maximilian Kolbe Net.

The net meets each Sunday at 8:00 PM local time here on the east coast and it's a gathering of Catholic gents who also happen to be Amateur Radio ops like Fr. Max SP3RN was.

Net control is Lloyd K3QNT who is located in Pennsylvania. Realistically, 5 or 10 Watts QRP is not going to make it on 75 Meter SSB - unless I had a 100 foot tower with a beam atop it!  The KXPA100 allows me a boost up the power to about 75 Watts, which is sufficient enough to make me heard by Net Control, as well as other members of the net.

The bonus was that while I was getting ready last Saturday for the Skeeter Hunt, I actually stumbled upon my MH-3 microphone for the KX3. I hadn't used it for so long, I had forgotten that I had stowed it in my QRP backpack.

I was able to check into the net on Sunday evening for the first time in a real long time. I hope to make it a weekly happening. I've always found HF nets to be kind of a "weird" thing. Unless you're centrally located between all the participating members, odds are you're not going to hear everyone. They're still kind of fun, though, and if nothing else, they provide a little lesson on propagation.

72 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to end the very least!

Monday, August 28, 2023

2023 NJQRP Skeeter Hunt

I thought it was going to be a good day. I got everything set up relatively early, in my favorite Skeeter Hunt haunt - Cotton Street Park in South Plainfield. The weather was almost perfect! Sunny, not terribly hot, but the humidity was still on the high side, which was a bit uncomfortable, but not terrible.

Things started out going swimmingly. I wasn't banging out contacts, but then IT happened. I was in the middle if a QSO when I got the "Low Batt" warning on the KX3 display. Like ........ what?

I was using my Powerwerx deep cycle battery. Sure, I had depleted it during Field Day, but I charged it back up right after.  When I was getting ready on Saturday, I was going to top off my little blue lithium battery to have as back up. When I took it out of the pouch that I store it in, I noticed it was bulging. From the laptops I am familiar with at work, I know that's not a good sign. I put it on the side and will dispose of it properly when I get time. Seeing that option go down the drain, I decided to top off the Powerwerx, just to be safe. I put the charger on and within just a little bit the charge indicator turned from amber to green. I thought I was good to go.

So, getting back to the story ........ I disconnected the KX3, brought it with me in the car and headed home to grab some SLAs that I had in the shack.

I had no idea if they had charge in them, or how much, but I was desperate.. I had a little trepidation about leaving the antenna up and all my other stuff there while I ran home, but it's less than a mile away, and that park is never really crowded, so I kept my fingers crossed. I didn't want to waste all that time taking everything down, only to come back and put it all up again.

When I got back with my two SLAs, the first thing I saw was that everything was there, undisturbed, as I had left it. The second thing I saw was that the little battery had some charge in it, still; but the bigger one was totally dead. 

So I decided to make like Gary Sinise who portrayed Astronaut Ken Mattingly in the movie "Apollo 13" and like him I tried to figure out what ever I could to conserve what little battery power I had left. I powered down the KX3 to 2.5 Watts and gave up on the idea of calling CQ and holding a frequency. It was going to be "Hunt and Pounce" for the rest of the afternoon. Certainly not ideal by any means, but al least I was mitigating a total disaster (in the small scheme of things - not being to operate in the NJQRP Skeeter Hunt is not the end of the world, no matter how disappointing for me that might be.) I kept switching between the little SLA and the Powerwerx to take advantage of whatever electrons they were holding on to.

My takeaways - 40 Meters was pleasantly populated. The past couple of sprints I have participated in, 40 Meters was dead, but yesterday there were a lot of Skeeters there. 20 Meters was also great. I tried listening on 15 Meters a couple of times, but there was nada, zilch, zippo there that I could hear.

QRPers have great ears! Even with only 2.5 Watts out, I got answered by everyone I called. I was so grateful for that - I ended up making about 27 contacts. I was hoping to stretch that to 30 (originally I was hoping for 40+ before The Great Battery Incident), but I had to give up at just before the last hour when I took both batteries to their last breaths.

So it looks a Bienno is in my near future. I will charge up the SLAs and see if they hold a charge, as I will do once again with the Powerwerx. But I have a feeling like I can't depend on the Powerwerx with any degree of confidence. The thing is that when I bought it, it was "pre-owned" and it's lasted me at least about 10 years since I acquired it, so I can't complain. But the one thing I re-learned between last weekend and this weekend is that when these batteries go - they go! Not much in the way of a warning!

One would think that lesson would have been very fresh in my mind, because last weekend, I had to replace the battery in my Jeep.  It was fine, even my son Joseph has borrowed it Saturday afternoon without a problem or even the hint of a problem. When I got in it Saturday evening, I pushed the starter button and all I heard was "Rrrrr . rrrrrr" and nothing. I successfully jump started it on Sunday morning and then proceeded to the local Valvoline Oil Change place and had them replace the battery with a brand new Interstate battery. I guess I'm good there for another 5 years.

Getting back to yesterday, even though it was not an ideal day, it was still super fun. I not only enjoy the Skeeter Hunt for myself, but I really get satisfaction that you all enjoy it. I've said this a lot over the past 12 years, but the NJQRP Skeeter Hunt is not what it is because of me. It is what it is because of you! If there's no enjoyment and no participation, there's no NJQRP Skeeter Hunt. My cap is tipped to all of you and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

See you all next year? Please?

72 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least!

PS: My apologies for the videos and the narration. Now you know why I'm a CW op!

Friday, August 25, 2023


For grins and giggles, I did a search on "Elecraft". Not looking for anything, just want to see what's out there.

It looks like plain vanilla K3 100 Watt transceivers are going for roughly $1300.00 give or take a few hundred.

The K3S 100 Watt version is going for roughly $4000.00 give or take a few hundred.

PX3 Panadapters can be gotten for around $1000.00 to $1200.00 - although I did see one for $750.00

Windcamp travel cases for a KX3 and a battery for $250.00 to $300.00. Are you kidding me? $300.00 for a case from China?!?

Someone has a package going for a KX3, PX3 and KPA100 amp for $4000.00

A KX1 for $670.00 with an enticing Bencher paddle thrown in,

I think they need a new slogan - "Elecraft, it's not just a radio, it's an investment!" I have to admit, it makes me kind of wonder how these "I have one of each" guys do this? I had to sell off most of my radio farm including my K1 and my K2 (and a lot of other stuff) to afford the KX3 and amp that I have now. And as much as I love my KX3, I also have to admit - I do miss my K2 (because these two hands built it). That said, my KX3 was built from a kit, too - but it's not exactly the same.

72 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Thursday, August 24, 2023

I've always wanted one of these


But not being "Mr. Deep Pockets", all I've been able to afford is one of these, and it's been sitting in a box down in the shack for way too long.

The problem is that I've never taken the time to learn how to use it properly. That's about to change. I've been watching some YouTube videos, especially the one by my friend and fellow QRPer, Alan W2AEW. He makes it pretty easy to understand and there are plenty other YouTube videos and articles on the Web showing how to use this thing. I just need to take the time and educate myself.

A lot of times (actually, more than a lot), I don't give myself much credit, or have confidence in myself, and I tend to get intimidated by or resist change to new things. My sister will be the first one to tell you that my worst enemy has always been "me". I have to remind myself that I made it all the way to Amateur Extra by applying myself. If I can do that, I think I can master some of the basic functions of a Nano VNA.

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

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

I know, it's only Wednesday

 but this is more like it!

Maybe a few morning showers, but clearing out in plenty of time for the Skeeter festivities!

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

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Uh Oh !!!!!

Fortunately, Sunday is far enough away where the forecast can change. But even if it doesn't, I'll just hang out in the backyard instead of going out to the park, and do the Skeeter Hunt from home.

There's not enough room in the backyard to put the MFJ-1982LP into service, but there it enough room to hang the PAR ENDFEDZ 40-20-10, and still count as portable; or maybe the EARCHI end fed that is 40 through 10 Meters. I haven't deployed that antenna in a long time, and it would grant me access to 15 Meters. As much as I would like that, the Skeeter Hunt is important enough to me to stick with the proven PAR. I know it works well and I can count on it.

Oh well, we'll see. It hasn't rained on a weekend here in quite a while. I hope that trend will stick around for at least this weekend.

"Rain, rain, go away! Please come back some other day ...........................!"   
(It worked when I was a kid ........ sometimes!)

Hmmmmmmmmm .............................

Meanwhile, Ambient Weather and PWS Weather are both calling for partly cloudy conditions on Sunday.

I guess time will tell. 

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

Monday, August 21, 2023


The reason for moving the Skeeter Hunt this year - yesterday was spent at a retirement celebration for our Pastor, Fr. John Alvarado, who has been our Pastor for the last 23 years at the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in South Plainfield, NJ. Fr. John is four years my senior, making him 70 years old. He required and underwent quadruple bypass surgery this past January. Thanks be to God, the surgery and recovery have been a success and he is doing extremely well. The responsibilities of Pastorship of close to 2,000 families have taken their toll over the years, and he once again asked to be allowed to retire and this time our Bishop decided that it was time and in Fr. John's best interest.

We were able to have a photo taken as we were leaving the event - myself, Fr. John, my son Joseph, my wife Marianne.

23 years is a long time to be at any one place these days. I will always be thankful to Fr. John for having enough confidence and faith in me and my abilities to allow me to serve in various Parish ministries. I wish him many happy years of retirement, good health and peace - and above all a lot less stress!

72 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Productive day

I had a good day yesterday. After I finished the grocery shopping and yardwork, I was able to grab a short catnap before my weekly Skype session with Bob W3BBO.

Afterward, I went down into the shack and installed one of those new S40A1 diodes that I had ordered for my Astron RS-35A. After soldering the wire back on and installing a new fuse, I crossed my fingers and hit the switch. The fuse didn't blow, I heard that satisfying hysteresis hum and measured 13.65 Volts at the output terminals. Huzzah!

That inspired me to put the KXPA100 back in line. Surprisingly, I remembered how all the cable connections went and everything seemed to work fine - for a few moments. And then came some agita.

When I would try and tune up on 20 Meters, I would get an "ANT FLT" - antenna fault error on the KX3 display. The receive went dead - everything remained on, but I couldn't hear anything on 20 Meters. I checked the other bands and they were fine. I went back to 20 Meters, took the PA offline and everything was perfect! 

What the heck?

It turned out that when I would switch the KX3 over to 20 Meters, for some reason unbeknownst to me, and perhaps only to God, the KXPA100 would switch from ANT1 to ANT2.  I only use the ANT 1 input and I switch between the Butternut HF9V and my W3EDP using an antenna switch. This makes it easier to disconnect antennas before a thunderstorm. I only have to disconnect the coax going from the antenna switch to the back of the KXPA100 instead of disconnecting two antennas from the back of the amp. It was a simple matter of hitting a button on the front of the KXPA100 to make sure I was on the ANT1 input. From there, I switched to the other bands, and then back to 20 Meters to make sure the amp stayed on ANT1 and did not change over to ANT2. Success and a sigh of relief!

The beauty of the KXPA100 is that it allows me to stay at 5 Watts all the time. ONLY when I increase power output above 10 Watts does it kick in and go to work. However, it has the same internal ATU as the KX3 and as long as it is powered on, the KX3 will use the KXPA100 ATU no matter what the power.

That done, I worked four POTA stations, including EC1R in Spain on 20 Meters. I tried calling him with 5 Watts several times with no answer. I then dialed the output up to 50 Watts and was answered, first call. I got a 559 report and I gave him a 579 report.

It's comforting to know everything works. 

72 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least!


Saturday, August 19, 2023

A teenage wasteland

I've never been a big VHF/UHF guy. I've always been a HF CW guy. And now I think I know why.

I recently have been checking into the Middlesex County Chat Group Net which meets every evening at 8:30 PM local time on local repeaters. It's a social net that was started and continues to be run by my friend Marv K2VHW. It started with the onset of COVID as a way for local Hams to keep in touch with each other and not go stir crazy.

This morning, I was listening to a daily morning net that's held on the W2LI repeater. Their group is down at the Twin Lights down in the Atlantic Highlands activating for International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend.

After listening to both of these nets, I have to wonder why I even bothered dusting my handhelds off and charging them up. The nets and the participants themselves are fine and fun to listen to. But what's with the juvenile QRM tactics? Throwing dead carriers, singing, moaning, wheezing, belching, snorting and varied other sound effects.

Seriously? Your life is so devoid of meaning that the only joy you get is to interfere with a bunch of people who are just trying to enjoy their hobby? That is so very sad.

Maybe it's just the proliferation of inexpensive radios. Maybe it's just an increase in mental illness. Whatever it is, it's extremely annoying. I've seen kindergarteners with better manners than these idiots who have nothing better to do with their lives.

72 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Friday, August 18, 2023

A gentle reminder .......

 That the NJQRP Skeeter Hunt is NOT this coming Sunday, but is on the following Sunday,  August 27th.

We have over 200 Skeeters signed up for the 12th Annual event and there's still time to get your own number, if you want one. It's not necessary to have one to participate, but having a number adds to the fun a little bit, IMHO.

Just send an e-mail to with your name, call sign and the state you'll be operating from and I'll add you. Skeeter numbers will be assigned right through the day before, Saturday the 26th.

I know it's a week and a few days away, but here's hoping for good weather for everyone! And if for some reason, the weather is bad at your QTH and you can't get outside to operate, don't let that deter you! Your multiplier might be smaller, but there's still a good time to be had!

This year we have 20 some "Palindrome Skeeters" with numbers that read the same forward and backward - for example, yours truly is Skeeter # 181 this year. Work any Palindrome Skeeter for an extra 100 Bonus points each for a maximum of 1,000 points added to be added to your score.

All the info about the Hunt can be found on the Skeeter Hunt page of this blog, or at

72 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Thursday, August 17, 2023


I have no idea why this memory popped into my head while driving into work today. Maybe it was because I had the VHF/UHF on in the background and I was half listening to a Ham radio conversation.

As I was driving, my mind drifted back to all the trips I made to the Heathkit store back in the 80s. There was one on NJ State Route 35 down in the Eatontown area, about 25 miles or so from home. I would go there to get a "real life" look at all the stuff in the catalog. I spent a lot of time drooling there.

Eventually, I saved up enough money from my job to order a SB-104A transceiver I think what drew me to the rig most was that it had a feature, where at the push of a button, the power amplifier transistors were taken out of line and the unit became a 1 Watt transceiver. Shades of things to come, eh?

I spent a lot of hours building those circuit boards! After I got them done, I started inserting them, one by one, onto the main chassis as per the manual. When I got to about the third one, when I inserted it, the rig would go dead. It would just turn off. Take the board out, everything was fine.

I checked that board from ground to Heaven a million times. I couldn't detect any misplaced components, any solder bridges .......anything! I followed the troubleshooting procedures in the manual until I was blue in the face. I couldn't figure out what was wrong.

Back in those days, Heathkit's famous promise and tag line was "We will not let you fail!".  I admitted defeat, packed up everything into the shipping box and brought it down to the Heathkit store in Eatontown. I had built dozens of Heahtkits by this time with nary a problem. This was my first (and as it turned out, only) failure.  

I brought the box in, explained to the Tech what was going on. He gave me a receipt (back in those days, everything was still done on paper) and told me to call back in a few days. And so I did. He told me to come back the following week. I was working at the camera store at the time and I had to work Saturdays, so Monday was my day off - perfect day for another trip to Eatontown.

When I got there, of course my first question was, "So what did I do wrong?" and much to my surprise, the answer was "Nothing". The look on my face must have been one of astonishment, so the Tech explained to me that the fault was actually in one of the factory pre-built boards that were part of the kit - and that when I inserted my board in, the problem manifested itself.

Apparent to him, not to me!  This was before my deeper education into electronics that would come a few years down the road. My troubleshooting skills at the time were not up to snuff. I expected the Tech to bring out my box with the fixed board and all the rest, wish me good luck,  pat me on the back and send me off on the way back home. To my further surprise, he came out from the repair area with my SB-104A totally finished and aligned! He told me that since it was a factory fault, the least he could do was complete the assembly and alignment process - gratis!

Wow! Fast forward some 40 years, and I'm not sure if there are many companies that would stand behind their product like Heathkit used to. I went on to build many more kits, including some non-Amateur Radio ones, like their professional stereo system. When their Master Builder program began I had way more than enough kits under my belt to qualify.

A few years later, I think it was 1987, I had graduated from DeVry with a degree in digital electronics and was working at Sinar Bron doing electronics repairs on studio strobes. I wasn't getting paid what I thought my skills were worth, and I started looking for a better paying job. I found one at a DoD contractor, to build circuit boards for the guidance systems inside cruise missiles. 

After the interview, I had to undergo a "soldering test". I was given components and a schematic diagram and I had to sit down and assemble a circuit board under the watchful eye of an officer from the United States Navy.  After I finished, he looked at the circuit board and asked me, "Where did you learn to do work like this?" and of course, I answered (with a smile) "Heathkit!". 

I was offered the job on the spot, but there was a caveat. It was explained to me that since this was a DoD job, if there were any military budget cuts, as last one hired, I'd be the first to go. I was thinking that the Reagan years would not last forever, and add to that, the commute from home would be expensive and a traffic nightmare, and that ultimately, the job didn't offer that big of an increase in pay to make it worth my while to accept.

The bright side turned out to be that the HR person where I was working found out through the grapevine that I was looking for a better position. She went and told the boss, who in turn promoted me to Service Manager, along with the increase in pay to just around what I was hoping for. I would stay on at Sinar Bron for another 20 years.

Thank you, Heathkit!

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

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

This was the culprit

 In my Astron RS-35A power supply. The symptom? Fuse blows as soon as you hit the power switch.

The culprit is one on the two main S40A1 diodes. Right now the one I removed is nothing but a fancy piece of wire. When you test it with a VOM, you get a reading of a direct short in both directions. Fortunately the other one is okay.

I'm going to order more than one, probably three. Not only is it good to have spares, but if I purchase just the one, the shipping costs are almost equal to the price of the diode! The version I took out of the power supply was rated for 800 Volts - the version I was able to find online is rated for 1200 Volts, so I should be fine, just fine.

Last time I had the same symptom in my 15 Amp supply, it was that one of the pass transistors had failed and shorted. I actually checked those first in the 35 Amp supply, but they all tested fine. I have an ample supply of those on hand should the need ever arise to replace one of those again.

By the way, if you have an Astron power supply that is broken and needs troubleshooting, and you're a neophyte to electronics repairs and have no idea where to start, may I recommend these two documents?

I left Sinar Bron 16 years ago this past April after a 22 year stint there. That was the last time I did electronics troubleshooting on a daily basis. This was a rather simple job, as linear power supplies are not that exotic. It was nice to see that I still have some of that ol' touch, and that the skills, instincts and thought processes are still there. Office work tends not to be as "stimulating", shall we say? I mean there's a bunch of problem solving and mental agility required, but it's not like knowing how to read a schematic and getting your hands dirty, and knowing in the back of your mind that you're dealing with some extremely high, and even lethal voltages. That requires a certain edge.

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

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Skeeter Hunt Soapbox comments and a change

I was originally not going to publish soapbox comments for the 2023 Hunt on the NJQRP Skeeter Hunt Webpage. I did not do that for 2021 or 2022 - I just let whatever comments that were posted to the Facebook page suffice, and I provided the link on the Skeeter Hunt webpage.

I've received a couple private e-mails expressing disappointment with my decision, as it would appear that there are some Skeeter Hunt participants out there who do not subscribe to Facebook, or ever care to. In fact,  I have a Hunter boycotting this year in protest for this very reason.

Because I care deeply about what you guys think and want, I've decided to resume posting soapbox comments to the Official NJQRP Skeeter Hunt Webpage for 2023 and in the meantime, I will get all the soapbox comments for 2021 and 2022 published as well. No, I didn't discard them, I still have them in a specially marked e-mail folders. I'm probably crazy, but I guess it's worth the effort, and I hesitate to disappoint dedicated Skeeter Hunters.

So please bear with me as this is a lot of work. For 2023, please feel free to post them to the Facebook page, if you want - but also include them with your 2023 Log Summary submission. They will appear in both venues.

Now, as far as certificates go. I was also lax there. Well, not so much lax as the costs of printing and mailing have become prohibitive since this all started back in 2012. So I will get to the backlog of certificates AND the 2023 certificates as well .........but they will be-e-mailed to you as .pdf files. You can print them out for yourselves, if you so desire, and hang them on the wall (or as wallpaper for your computer), or use them as a dartboard material or even line the bottom of your birdcage.  As far as certificates go, I'm going to take the lead from POTA and distribute them this way.

I hope everyone is agreeable with this.

72 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Monday, August 14, 2023

Not much done over the weekend

Other than yardwork, grocery shopping and helping out at soup kitchen on Sunday, not much got done radio-wise. I did manage to change out the power cord on a 20 Amp Clegg power supply that rightfully belongs to Middlesex County.  Someone had cut the power cord off of it and basically left it for the radio room at the County EOC.  I told John Garmendi, N2DV our ARES/RACES Bureau Chief that I could put a new cord on it, and I finally did. However I need to get one of these for it:

I don't need a package 0f 10, 25, 50 or 100. I just need one. Maybe this coming weekend, I'll drive up to Greenbrook Electronics in North Plainfield to see if I can just by a reasonable amount. For now, I have two cable ties acting as a motion limiter, so that the new power cord can't move about and the jacket get scraped by the chassis.

While I'm at it, I still have to trouble shoot and repair my Astron 35 Amp power supply.  The fuse goes as soon as you turn it on, indicating a massive short somewhere, probably the bridge rectifier.  Once I get that fixed, I just may put my KXPA100 amp back on line. Not that I use it that often, but maybe one of these days, I'll get in the mood to try and bust a major DXpedition pile up. I haven't gone QRO in years and I think the last time I used it was to QSO with a country that was an ATNO for me. I need the 35 Amp power supply to be working properly to put it back on line. I'm not into chasing DX like I used to be; but you never know when the bug might bite again.

After that, maybe I'll get to building one of the many kits I have in queue. Over the weekend, I've kind of decided against purchasing a QMX from QRPLabs. Fantastic kit, no doubt as Hans Summers offerings are superb, but I have my KX3 and it meets all my needs. I'd rather save my shekels and hopefully one day purchase a RigExperts antenna analyzer.

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

Saturday, August 12, 2023

By Golly ....... it worked!

Thursday evening I finally bit the bullet and programmed the QYT K-8900D that I purchased from Amazon a couple of weeks ago.  I now work in the IT field, so you'd think that this would be like second nature to me, but no. To me computers are still part black magic. I was dreading the process.

I was expecting COM Port errors, communication errors between the radio and the laptop, all sorts of things that would make me go screaming into the night. I was pleasantly surprised when the whole process went like a hot knife through butter. 

I fired up CHIRP, connected the radio to the laptop using the provided cable and pressed the "Download radio profile" tab and half expected the computer and/or radio to laugh at me. To my amazement, the little progress bar quickly sped across the screen and what was factory programmed into the radio appeared on my laptop screen. No snickers, no guffaws, no knee slappers.

I then made what changes I wanted to, crossed my fingers and pressed the "Upload profile to radio" tab. Again, the little green progress bar whizzed across my laptop screen and I was finished. The entire deal took less than five minutes

No looking for drivers, no looking into COM Port settings, no muss, no fuss. I was relieved.

I put the unit into my Jeep Friday morning. The K-8900D that was in there has some wear and tear on it, so it will go down to the shack to be used to check into the various ARES/RACES nets that I participate in each month. This older unit is missing a knob, which seems endemic to these units. I have no idea where it went. I think it was sucked up into a black hole and ultimately arrived at the same location where missing socks from the clothes dryer go.

I saw replacement knobs being offered on eBay by some guy in Lithuania. I purchased a packet of two and they should be here later this month. I'm not used to things going like they're supposed to.

72 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Friday, August 11, 2023

QRP Sucks!

I see this in so many places, but particularly on the POTA Facebook page - often uttered after failed attempts to activate a park. It's frustrating to see, but I have to keep reminding myself that it's a subjective statement.

The better question is - "Does QRP work?"

And the answer is yes! ........... and no.

As I've stated before, QRP is a mindset. If you go into it thinking "Woe is me! I only have 5 stinking Watts to work with!" - well, then you're probably going to fail. I'm probably preaching to the choir out there, but if you're a newbie to QRP, then this treatise is for you!

In reality, if you look at the math ............

If 100 Watts out gives you an S9 signal (on a perfectly calibrated S Meter) on the receiving end, then reducing the power by 4 times to 25 Watts will bring you down to S8 on the receiving end.  Reducing power by another 4 times to approximately 6 Watts will bring you down to S7. Only two S units! One more Watt less will mean diddly at this point.

Mathematics aside, there are other factors that can insure your success. One HUGE one is putting up the best antenna that you can. Some of the antenna arrangements that I see being implemented are not what I would choose under the same circumstance. Coil shortened verticals require a good ground plane. Mounting one on a vehicle or very close to salt water are the ideal. Planting one on the ground that consists of poor soil with perhaps only one or two radials is a recipe for disappointment. If at all possible, a wire in a tree or supported by some kind of portable mast mashup is much preferable, at least in my mind and my experience.  EFHW, dipole, sloper, or whatever, as high as you can get it will always bring you the best bang for your buck.

Equipment aside, you need to have a decent knowledge of how propagation works and what bands to get on or stay away from. 80 Meters during the day will leave you in the dust. Conversely, the higher bands at night MAY be open to some places, but night time IS a better time to stick to 40 and 80 Meters.

Then there's the mental aspect of it all. Like I said at the top, if you go into a QRP operation expecting to fail, the odds are you will.  If you require instant gratification for each time you tap the key or squeeze the mic, then QRP is not for you. If you have patience and can accept the possibility of not being heard by everyone in the world, then you're better suited for QRP. I've said many times that the mindset of a QRPer has to be, "I'm just another fish in the Amateur Radio sea. I may be a smaller fish, but I am just another fish." I've been a QRPer for so long that I don't even think of my power level when I turn on the rig. If I hear someone and work them, that's fine. If I don't, then that's OK too. There's always another time and another opportunity.

Success in QRP requires a good antenna, good knowledge of propagation and band conditions (where to be and when) and the proper attitude. If you have these, you're good to go, if not, then the best I can say is "QRP works for me, but maybe not for thee."

72 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Ham Heaven

There's a lot of things in life that I care deeply about - family, friends, my Faith, my community. My grandfather used to say that other than things like these, you have to have other passions in your life to make your time on Earth enjoyable. Mine of course, are Amateur Radio and baseball.  Ever since I was 10 years old, when my Dad took me to Shea Stadium to watch this certain phenom rookie pitch, I have been a baseball fan.  In particular a New York Mets fan, but really a baseball fan. Baseball captivates me. It's a battle between pitcher and batter. Anything can happen at any given moment. I've been known to watch Winter League baseball games in order to satisfy my appetite for the game.

My favorite baseball movie is "Field of Dreams" closely followed by "The Natural". There's a line in that movie, delivered by James Earl Jones that just went straight to my heart the first time I heard it. I particularly like this version narrated by the late and great Vin Scully:

When I saw this video that Kevin K0KLB posted on the Skeeter Hunt Facebook page, I just had to post it here:

It may be a bit "corny", but it resonated with me - my two passions combined!

Oh, and by the way, that rookie phenom pitcher my Dad took me to see? It was a kid by the name of George Thomas Seaver, who would become known as "The Franchise".

72 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Wednesday, August 09, 2023

Well, you learn something new every day!

I got involved in a discussion on the KX3 Facebook page. A Ham who just recently received his KX3 was telling about how he was not overly enamored with the Elecraft KXPD3 paddles that attach to the transceiver. I had a pair, and I was not thrilled with the action and feel either, and said as much.

I have and much prefer the QRPGuys Single Lever Paddle which I bought a while ago. In fact, I like this little paddle so much that I purchased a second, just to have in case the kit was ever retired. And sure, enough, it has been.

When I purchased mine a few years back, the kit was around $25, give or take a few bucks. It's not the most stylish or elegant looking solution, but I really like the action and feel of this little guy.

I told the poster on Facebook about these (they came single lever or iambic) and suggested that maybe he might find someone willing to sell theirs.

My comment was commented on by Michael Harnage W1MT that they ARE still available from I didn't even know this company and website existed!  It's run by Ken – WA4MNT, and Karen – KF4EEL. I strongly advise you to check them out as they have neat things for sale as well as a lot of useful information. In particular, my eye landed upon an adapter kit that will allow you to use low Z earbuds with a crystal radio that normally allows only the use of a high Z earphone,

So, indeed, you learn something new everyday and today was a good one. Thank you, Michael!

72 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Tuesday, August 08, 2023

Obviously there's more than one way to skin a cat.

I was looking at some POTA activations on Facebook and I'm amazed at some of these setups. And I've come to the conclusion that POTA-teers are definitely a diverse bunch!

On one hand you have the guys who come loaded for bear. They are ready for anything and their setups feature 100 Watt rigs in rack mount cases that look like a hernia in the making. Everything is included except the kitchen sink and a smoker for the brisket The table that these configurations are set upon seem to be screaming, "Make it stop!"

Then on the other hand you have the approach of the extreme minimalists These guys bring to the table (wait, they DON"T bring a table!) nothing but a rig the size of a postage stamp with a antenna crafted from almost invisible magnet wire, and an UNUN stuffed into a thimble, a 9 Volt battery AND it all fits in a tube sock! Everything is so small that if you don't paint everything with day-glo paint, it might get missed and left behind!

I'm kidding of course, but talk about diversity in approach! And if nothing, the photos are interesting to look at. The bottom line, I guess, is how much fun you had.

I'm of the mindset of folks like Jim W1PID, Tim W3ATB, Tom K1SWL, Steve WG0AT and other QRP brothers and sisters. They pack equipment somewhat in the middle of the two extremes. Their goal is to get the station up and running in a minimal amount of time with the least fuss. I have to agree with their philosophy, if I'm going to travel to a park, I want to operate, and not spend the day messing around with set up and tear down.

But as I said, to each his own - as Jerry Seinfeld said one more than one occasion "Not that there's anything wrong with that!"

72  de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Monday, August 07, 2023

US National Lighthouse-Lightship Weekend - How'd you do?

As mentioned last week, US National Lighthouse-Lightship Weekend, was this past weekend. How'd you do? Did you work any? Did you activate any? I hate to admit it, but I did so much around the house on Saturday, that all I did yesterday was nap, and hang around, generally doing nothing. My only activity was to smoke a brisket and make some homemade potato salad for dinner.  All my radio plans for Sunday vanished like a wisp of smoke.

It was too late for this year, but I'm thinking this would be a great operating event for the South Plainfield Amateur Radio Club in 2024. I can think of three lighthouses not too far from us, right off the bat.

The Sandy Hook Light USA-731 is also located in POTA K-0680. This one is probably the easiest to operate from. Sandy Hook is part of the National Recreation Gateway and there's a ton of space. The only caveat is that during the Summer you have to pay to get on the Hook. Off season it's free and I activated the park for NPOTA back in October 2016.

The Navesink Twin Lights USA-530 in Highlands, NJ is located in POTA K-0180. This one is actually the closest to us. We'd pass it on the way to Sandy Hook.

The Barnegat Light USA-039,  perhaps New Jersey's most famous lighthouse (affectionately known as "Ol' Barney"), is located in POTA K-1609. I'll have to check this out, as it may be a park within a park. I'm not sure, but Barnegat Lighthouse State Park may also be part of Long Beach Island State Park, known in New Jersey as LBI.

So this is double dipping - activate a lighthouse for US National Lighthouse-Lightship Weekend AND a park for Parks On The Air at the same time. How cool is that? And there are probably a few more that I haven't even considered. Cape May Light could be another, but that might be too long a ride in Shore traffic on a Summer weekend in New Jersey. If the weather is good, roads leading to the shore points (as we call 'em) become parking lots on Friday evenings and again on Sunday afternoons.

Now all I have to do is convince membership, and I already have a plan. Head down early Saturday morning before traffic gets super bad - set up and operate into the afternoon, and then on the way back home stop at one of the many fine seafood restaurants in the area for a nice dinner. I think they'll buy in!

72 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Saturday, August 05, 2023


My daughter Cara got picked for Jury Duty. That means travelling to the Middlesex County Courthouse in New Brunswick, NJ. The other evening, I drove her there to show her where the Courthouse was, where to park and all that. She's somewhat familiar with New Brunswick as she's a graduate of Rutgers University, but the College Avenue campus is on the other side of town closer to the township of Somerset. Unless she's been downtown via Rutgers Campus Bus, I doubt she's ever been downtown on her own before.

I don't get into New Brunswick all that often myself, anymore. But for about 5 years, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, I was in the "Hub City" every day. I worked at and eventually became the manager of "The North Brunswick Camera Center Annex". Our main store was on Livingston Avenue in North Brunswick and we had this satellite store in New Brunswick on the corner of George Street and Bayard Street. Our biggest customers were Rutgers students (photography courses), Rutgers employees and the University itself had an account with us. Another big customer was Johnson & Johnson (the company) and some of their employees.

"Mr. Click" was our mascot and part of our logo.

I've told this story before. My apologies for repeating it, but the memories came flooding back so strongly while I was driving around the city.  It was while I was working at the Camera Center that I studied for my Novice license. The New Brunswick newspaper, "The Daily Home News" had a weekly column, "Calling CQ", on Sundays. about Amateur Radio and local Amateur Radio events which was written by Bob McGarvey. Bob is now an SK, and for the life of me I can't remember his call sign. Anyway, I never missed his column and one Sunday in late August he wrote about a Novice licensing course that was going to be given at North Brunswick High School as part of their Adult Continuing Education program. I think it was Tuesday nights, if memory serves me correctly.

It was to start in early September and run for eight weeks, and non-residents were welcome (for a slightly higher fee). The final week would be a review and the exam, which was given by a General Class op or higher. Our instructor was Ed O Donnell K2YJE (SK) and our text was the ARRL's "Tune In The World With Ham Radio" - I still have my copy!. Does that phrase ring a bell? It should - I believe that "Tune in the World" was the theme of this past Field Day. Our material for learning Morse Code was the ARRL cassette tapes. There were probably a dozen or a few more of us in the class.

Those eight weeks went by fast and they were fun! We had a good time and come November I'll never forget how anxious we all were about the code test. You had to solid copy one minute's worth of code (5 WPM) back then - there were no multiple choice tests like there were to be later on. Our instructor told us we'd get a few minutes of practice to "warm us up" for the actual exam, for which we were grateful.  After the five minutes of code were sent, he looked at our papers and we all passed! 

Unfortunately, back in those days, the exams were sent to the FCC to be graded. We had to wait 4 - 6 weeks before we got our results and our call signs. Mine came rather quickly, in Mid-December. I was at the camera store and it was near the end of the business day. About 4:00 PM or maybe 4:30 PM the phone rang and I was told it was for me. I picked up the receiver and it was my Mom on the phone. I thought maybe something bad had happened at home, but no ...... she informed me that an envelope had arrived from the FCC - did I want her to open it?  Are you kidding me? Please! Yes! Of course!

Not only had I passed the exam, but my callsign was KA2DOH. I was probably walking about 10 feet off the ground! After trying to get my license in High School and becoming totally disgusted with Morse Code, I had actually done it! I was a Ham. Little did I know that I was to embark on a life long love affair with that very same Morse Code that I had so thoroughly despised in High School.

That camera store is still there some 45 years later. North Brunswick Camera Center has long since gone out of business. It's now called George Street Camera. I actually went in there a few years ago when I had jury duty myself. It was achingly familiar, but not quite the same. I guess Thomas Wolfe was right - "You can't go home again.". But I'll always have fond memories of those days in New Brunswick and that one day in December 1978 in particular.

72 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Friday, August 04, 2023

"QRP Homebrewer", anyone? If not, how about some lighthouses?

News about the fledgling attempts to revitalize the New Jersey QRP Club seems to be getting around. My blog post has been picked up and seems to be making the rounds. So much so that I received this e-mail the other day:



I read with interest your post about resurrecting the New Jersey QRP Club (which I leaned about from the Amateur Radio Daily blog.)

My name is Kay Savetz, and I curate the Digital Library of Amateur Radio & Communications. DLARC is a project of the Internet Archive (the not-for-profit online library best known for The Wayback Machine.) DLARC is growing to be a massive online library of the past and present of ham radio and related communications. It is funded by a grant from Amateur Radio Digital Communications. You can see what we have so far at 

I would like to include the QRP Homebrewer magazine in the archive. It looks like there were 10 printed issues, with plans to release them on CD-ROM which may not have actually happened. Do you happen to have the issues on paper, or digital, or in any format? I would love to scan them and make them available in the DLARC library.

This will provide a long-term backup of the content.  They will also be full-text searchable. It would look a lot like this: 

Here's more information about the DLARC project:

Thanks and 73,

Kay Savetz

Kay Savetz, K6KJN

Internet Archive's Program Manager, Special Collections


Does anyone out there still have any issues? I'll have to look through my collection of QRP periodicals. I may have a few, but I very highly doubt that I have all ten.

If you do, and are willing to have them scanned, please send me an e-mail ( and I'll send you Kay's e-mail address.

Now for the lighthouses. This weekend, August 5th and 6th is US National Lighthouse-Lightship Weekend, which celebrates the establishment of the United States Lighthouse Service.

The Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society (ARLHS), founded by James H. Weidner, K2JXW (SK), will be asking amateur radio operators to participate by contacting lighthouses across the United States.

The suggested calling frequencies for SSB are 1.830, 3.530, 7.030, 10.130, 14.030, 18.070, 21.030, and 28.030. On CW, they're 1.830, 3.530, 7.030, 10.130, 14.030, 18.070, 21.030, and 28.030.

These frequencies can be crowded and are only suggestions. Amateur radio operators can use any clear frequency +/- 20 kHz of these suggestions. For digital modes, common operating frequencies are used. On VHF and UHF, repeater operation is allowed, but using the national calling frequencies is encouraged. Of course the ARLHS advises operators to be courteous, use good operating practices, and listen before they transmit. The ARLHS World List of Lights (WLOL), which was updated on June 19, 2023, is a comprehensive collection that contains information on 15,527 lighthouses in 234 amateur radio call areas. You can also find the times and dates of operation for the special events on the website.

The International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend 2023 (ILLW) will take place on August 19 - 20. Each year ILLW attracts more than 500 lighthouse entries located in at least 40 countries. There are few rules, and it is not a usual contest type event. Participation is also free and, there are no prizes for contacting large numbers of stations.

Another good reason to get on the air!

72 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Thursday, August 03, 2023

How do they do it?

For me, Facebook is a means where I am able to keep tabs on what other Amateur Radio ops are doing. There are so many good groups and pages devoted to QRP, CW, portable ops, antennas, etc. All the stuff that holds my interest.

One question though - the POTAteers and SOTAteers - how the heck do they find the time to go out and do so many activations?  I marvel at and admire their effort and abilities.

There must be something drastically wrong with me. Weekdays are out of the question, of course, as I'm still working full time. I get home from work and I'm ready for dinner, maybe Jeopardy if I'm not committed to going to a club meeting or some kind of CERT thing, or Church thing. Then it's off to bed by around 9:00 PM or so. I don't even have the energy to stay awake and participate in the QRP Fox Hunts anymore. Those begin at 9:00 PM and run to 10:30 PM Eastern Time. That just cuts too much into my sleep time, as I'm up every morning at 5:00 AM.  If I jump in on a Fox Hunt and if it takes me to the very end to finally get a pelt,  I'm still wired for another hour or so from the exhilaration (or disappointment) of the chase before I can fall asleep.

My Saturdays seem to be filled with stuff to take care of around the house, whether that be yard work, grocery shopping, cleaning - whatever. Sunday comes around and I'm zombified. I can sit down on the couch for a few minutes and the next thing I know, I'm waking up about an hour later (if not more)! When I was just a little shaver, I was always amazed at how my Dad could be sitting in his chair, watching a ballgame on TV and then be sawing wood a few minutes later. Now I understand.

If all goes well and God doesn't laugh at my plans, I hope to retire in two years. Maybe then, I'll be able to get some serious POTA activations completed! That's the plan, anyway.

Before I close out this post, Bob N4REE mentioned in a comment under that ARRL Life Membership post that I made last week, how he'd like to see that old N2ELW Life Membership plaque. Here it is, Bob.

I suppose if someone were to request N2ELW through the vanity system, they could put their name on a label and cover up my name. Of course, this would be for show purposes only (as hokey looking as it would be!) - impress your friends, woo the ladies! LOL!

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

Wednesday, August 02, 2023


I think, perhaps, it was during Field Day, or at a recent SPARC meeting that our Club President, Bill W2AOF and I got to talking about portable operating and antennas. He told me that he likes to set up his KX3 at the cabin that his family owns in the Pocono Mountains near Lake Wallenpaupack in Pennsylvania.

The problem is that he was not satisfied with his temporary antennas that he had been setting up. For whatever reason, throwing a wire up into a tree seems to be a tricky and time consuming proposition. Since I've never been to his cabin, I'm assuming the deck from where's he's been operating doesn't afford the greatest of antenna situations. There may be a steep drop off of land which makes navigating on the ground tricky, for all I know. In my mind, I imagined trying to get a wire up in a tree while at the same time trying to be careful that I don't roll down a steep hillside. My luck, I'd break an ankle or worse.

Bill is semi-retired and owns his own business now. He's been particularly busy between that and his duties as Assistant Manager of Emergency Operations for a neighboring town next to South Plainfield. As a result of that busy-ness, he and his wife Nancy were headed up to the lake for a few days of much needed R & R.

I was totally unaware of his plans, when an inspiration hit me. I have two magloops, the AlexLoop and my homebrewed one. I can't use them both at the same time, so I texted Bill the day before they were going to leave (unbeknownst to me) and I told him, "I have something for you."

He told me that he was busy that Saturday morning, involved in a food distribution event in the town for which he volunteers, but would be home after 2:00 PM. I waited until he texted me that he was home and took the homebrewed magloop over. He was surprised and delighted, and I was surprised to find out they were leaving for Pennsylvania that very afternoon or evening. Timing could not have been better.

Later that week, he told me he had the loop set up. I had texted him some basic instructions along with some photos that I took from some of the times I had deployed it when I had used it for National Parks On The Air. I guess my instructions were good enough, because later that week he texted me back saying his first two contacts were with Latvia and Croatia on 20 Meters.

So this brings satisfaction on several levels - first, I was able to give away something that was taking up space in the computer room of our house. That made Marianne a bit happy. Second, I was able to give something to a friend that fulfilled a need that he had. Third, the thing that I gave him actually works! I mean, I know it does as I've used it successfully myself for years, but seeing it also work for someone else makes my heart feel glad.

Is a magloop the ideal for this situation? In my old school mind, a dipole or other wire is always the ideal. If and when that becomes impossible or close to impossible, or an even dangerous solution, then the magloop becomes the ideal, especially when it's a situation of just casual operating. As the old sayings go, "Any kind of antenna is better than no antenna." and "Even a bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work."

72 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Tuesday, August 01, 2023

Skeeter Hunt participation

Just out of curiosity, with a few moments to spare, I decided to calculate Skeeter Hunt participation. and produce some statistics.  I don't have the complete data of number of signups for 2012 and 2013 - only the number of log submissions received. I'm not a math whiz, but this is how I figured that it has  panned out:

2012 - 50 Log Submissions received.

2013 - 71 Log Submissions received

2014 - 163 signups, 63 Log Submissions received  - 39% participation rate.

2015 - 167 signups, 62 Log Submissions received -  37% participation rate

2016 - 180 signups, 80 Log Submissions received  - 44% participation rate

2017 - 152 signups, 52 Log Submissions received  - 34% participation rate

2018 - 182 signups, 87 Log Submissions received  - 47% participation rate

2019 - 213 signups, 104 Log Submissions received  - 48% participation rate

2020 - 330 signups, 143 Log Submissions received  - 42% participation rate

2021 - 256 signups, 125 Log Submissions received  - 48% participation rate

2022 - 231 signups, 100 Log Submissions received  - 43% participation rate.

2020 had a record number of signups (330) as well as the record number of Log Submissions received (143). That, of course, was COVID year and the FOBB was cancelled that year, and I think people were itching to do something, anything that resembled semi-normal that year.  2019 and 2021 hold the record for a 48% participation rate. All these percentages are approximations as there may have been people who participated, but did not send me log summaries. Right now participation is hovering around the mid 40s% range, which I guess isn't terrible for an event like this. 

I know that participation depends a lot on things like outdoor weather conditions and the like. Lets hope that for 2023 everyone experiences spectacular weather on August 27th this year, and that no one wakes up to a "surprise" that will prevent them from joining us in having some fun! That's happened to me once or twice and it's a disappointment when something breaks or stops working around the house that has to be cared for immediately and otherwise makes a mockery out of your intended plans.

In other news, we've been in the news!  We got a mention in the ARRL Letter for July 27th:

And thanks to Noah, KC1NWN a first time participant in the Hunt, I found out that we got a mention on the latest "This Week In Amateur Radio" podcast. That's how he found out about us. I guess the Skeeter Hunt is becoming "discovered" and that's a good thing. Anything to boost participation! (Within reason that is, I am NOT dressing up as a mosquito and/or making social media videos!)

72 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least!