Thursday, April 04, 2024

The internet - a double edged sword.

No doubt about it - the internet is a double edged sword. There's a lot of fake news, garbage, hate, bigotry and plain ol' vanilla stupidity to be found on it, and particular that's true for social media. But if you know where to look, there's a ton of golden nuggets to be found as well.

For as long as I've been writing this blog (20 years now), I've always had the blog role listed on the right side. There have been blogs that have come and blogs that have gone - but each one that I list, I think has value for those of us who love Amateur Radio, and in particular QRP, Morse Code and Portable Ops. By the way, if you know of any real good ones that have escaped my attention, please drop me an e-mail, or bring it to my attention in the comment box. I'm always open to adding to the list.

Just the other day, I added a list with links to YouTube video channels that I think are worthy of your time to pay attention to. I do not have the equipment or time to develop my own video channel and you wouldn't want to risk listening to my New Jersey voice for more than five minutes anyway. The ones I have listed are IMHO, quite excellent. I could never do a job that would even come close to what these guys have done and continue to do. The same thing goes for my offer about blogs - are there really good YouTube channels that I have missed? Let me know!

The last topic that I'm going to touch in this post is about Facebook. Facebook is the double edged sword within the double edged sword. There is so much garbage on there that if you look at it for any length of time, you'd swear your eyes were starting to bleed and you'd also swear you'd never darken the halls of Facebook again. Yet, if you give it a chance, there are so many good Facebook pages that offer so much good Amateur Radio information.

To do it justice, I think I'll have to open another box on the right with links - but for now I'm going to list several Facebook groups that I really enjoy and have found useful and worthy of my time:

Morse Code Fans -

Parks On The Air (POTA) -

Amateur QRP Radio -

CW Bugs, Keys and Paddles -

Wire Antennas for Amateur Radio -

QRP 14.060 MHz -

QRP Outdoor Radio -

There are so many more! If you truly think that Facebook is a vast desert wasteland, with no redeeming value whatsoever, and you swore to yourself you'd never bother with it - I'd ask you to just do a search on your favorite aspect of Amateur Radio - you're sure to find something. Granted, even some of what you'll find is garbage, but you'll also be pleasantly surprised by the good groups, as there's a lot of good information and ideas being passed back and forth.

And OK, one final, final topic. While we're on the subject of the "plus" side of the internet, it also allows for greater and widespread publicity of the operating evenrts and contests that we all enjoy so much. A case in point,  Paul NA5N put out the official announcement for QRP To The Field (QRPTTF), which will take place on Saturday, April 20th.

The annual QRP TO THE FIELD (QRPTTF) will be held SATURDAY, APRIL 20, 2024  0800-1800 your LOCAL time (The 3rd Saturday in April).

RULES: (or  home page entry)


Operate from HOME, OUTBACK (your backyard) or in the FIELD

Scoring change: Bonus points for *working* OUTBACK or FIELD stations for a higher score.  SOTA and POTA stations worked count as a FIELD station.

KL7, KH6, KP4 and DX stations can work anytime they wish during the contest period for best local and time conditions.

Exchange is compatible with most logging programs.  Logging name optional.   

You may have to add up the Outback and Field stations worked manually.

Summary Sheets are a spreadsheet for calculating your score in both Microsoft Excel (.xls) or Open Office (.ods) formats.

Now to express my ignorance.  I do not have any Apple or Linux machines.  If you know of a program to convert between Excel and Apple NUMBERS, please let me know and I'll add the link to the rules webpage for Apple users.

Here in NM, it's been 73F one day, rain and snow the next.  Hopefully, we'll have a nice, warm Spring day for QRPTTF and favorable band conditions. QRPTTF is a fun day to get on the air and QSO fellow QRPers, old and new, at all skill levels, whether from your home shack or outside.  Not a 35wpm contest.  Chit-chat after the exchange is certainly allowed!

QRPTTF is administered strictly through QRP-L.


72, Paul NA5N

Socorro, NM


72 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least!

1 comment:

  1. Zheeeeesh... Now, there are MORE places to visit instead of improving my CW.
    Thanks Larry for all the great links.