Saturday, March 30, 2019

              Well spring has certainly sprung.  Not a lot of QSO’s are going on.  I’m just not finding the time.   However, I’ve been wanting to operate during lunch.  As luck would have it my good friend Mike NR9R called me on Thursday and wanted to know what I was doing for lunch.  I let him know my thoughts but that I forgot my radio and antenna at home.  No problem!  Mike had his, so I swung by Subway to split a sandwich and met Mike at the park.  In no time we had the hamstick with ground mount and radials set up and we were enjoying food and a QSO!

We answered a CQ and Stan N1ZX responded with a RST of 319.  He was booming into Indianapolis, IN from Florida.  He congratulated us for the QSO in the park so he was copying enough to know what we were up to and wanted to know how much power we were running.  He was also impressed with my SKCC number because it’s below 1000.  Way too soon it was time to pack it up and get back to work.   That work thing really kills the better part of a day. 
              Yesterday I was driving to work and a new ham hopped on the local repeater looking for me.  It’s my regular watering hole on the commute so if your looking or me you will find me on the W9IRA 146.700 repeater.  Anyway, this guy let me know he was looking at the QCX single band radio from QRP Labs.  I don’t think I know anyone who has one so I don’t have good advice.  However, he is technician class license and on a budget.  He is looking for advice to get on HF and thinks CW might be the best way to go.  This is perfect.  This really interests me!  I have often thought if technician licensees had the privileges that they do when I got licensed maybe I would have just stayed there and enjoyed CW on HF and 2 meter.  Anyway, I think this is one reason QRP is so attractive.  It’s inexpensive and very effective.  The barrier to entry is learning code.  I invited him to our QRP Firefly get together this Wednesday night to get collective thoughts.  If you have any thoughts about please comment and I will pass your advice along. 
              Today we have rain and it’s cooling off again.  The temperature has dropped to 40 degrees and will continue to drop until we have the possibility of snow flurries.  That’s spring! 

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