Sunday, December 15, 2013

Winter Wonderland

The QTH is warm and cozy, but everything outside is frozen. It seems like the bands are as well. This AM a few stations were floating in, but most of them were from Europe and about to go QRT by the time I got on the air, so I switched it up.

I heated up the iron and turned on some old-time Christmas tunes. I soldered away and wound a toroid or two in hopes of getting my new QRPP beacon on the air before the new year. The build is going slowly, but that's because there are so many other things going on this time of year. I don't mind. I love the Christmas season and with three young children, it's a magical time of year, full of plays, shows, rides in the car looking at decorations, and of course...sledding.

I've been pretty lax on my CW lately. I fear I've forgotten more than I remember, so I guess it's about time to get back into it. I really want to be proficient enough to have a few QSOs before the New Year. I had no idea how difficult it was going to be to learn Morse code. I feel like I've tried everything available to me. CDs, apps, on-line tools have all proved useful, but not complete. I really wish I had someone local to work with, but I've visited two clubs in the area and honestly...I want no part in them. One is run like a prison camp and the other is exactly the opposite. Is it impossible to have a Radio club that is both fun and organized? I'm losing faith.

Winter has always been a time of rumination and soul-searching for me, so I apologize if this post is a little too much of a downer. Like all things in life, Ham Radio has seasons and maybe winter is for rebuilding and reinventing. If that's the truth: I've got some work to do, but first, I'm taking my kids out back to go sledding.


  1. I like the idea of a QRP beacon ...if they can hear you the band must be open. Let me know the frequency once it is up and running. The newest edition of QST has a small aticle about QRP awards. I may look into that since I once did France on CW at 1.5 watts (Small Wonder Labs 40/40).
    Your best opportunity for QRP is coming up with SK night. It is a relaxed event. I only participated once. Maybe this year....

    Clubs can be tough. I just went to one last week by invitation. They are a public service club and usually quite business-like. This was the Christmas party I attended. Very low key (pun). I only volunteered for a couple of events. When I once ran a club we had a presentation or group project at almost every meeting. We also had refreshments. Attendence was always up when I brought my apple pie.
    Did you make the 'one contact a day' resolution for 2014? That should spark things.
    Keep blogging.

  2. Ken, I'll let you know when it is up. I'm building it for QRPP on 40 meters using an Arduino to key it. I had a great club in CA, but since I've moved back East, it's been tough to find one worth attending. Maybe I'm just being nostalgic. Thanks for the encouragement and I'll catch you soon. 73