Sending speed in Morse Code (CW) is measured in words per minute, but how long is a "word"? In the English language the simplest word is the indefinite article "A". A contender for the longest word may be the name of a village in Wales called Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. So the word PARIS has been chosen to … Continue reading The Hidden Secret in CW’s PARIS Standard
So, is the VP2E Antenna Directional Enough?
Another fine day in February in Southern Ontario saw me out on a beach on the southern shore of Georgian Bay testing my unbalanced version of the VP2E antenna. In the previous post I shared my observation, from EZNEC modeling and a trial POTA activation, that moving the support mast towards the feedpoint end of … Continue reading So, is the VP2E Antenna Directional Enough?
The VP2E – A Strange (But Proven) Antenna
As an avid POTA activator I was quite excited to come across a new-to-me wire antenna that is rapidly field deployable, fairly stealthy, directional and which has some gain. I would like to thank Germany-based SOTA operator Ed Durrant DD5LP, G8GLM, VK2JI for introducing me to the VP2E. As is my custom, I read Ed's … Continue reading The VP2E – A Strange (But Proven) Antenna
20m Band – The Long and the Short of it
Another recent POTA activation turned out to be a useful learning experience for me. It was a moderately cold February day. The temperature had dipped to -20degC overnight, but by afternoon it had risen to a relatively balmy -7degC. It was also the occasion of the Polar Bear QRP Ops February Polar Bear Moonlight Madness … Continue reading 20m Band – The Long and the Short of it
I Fell Off the QRP Wagon and Regretted It Already
Only use enough power to make the contact. That's the advice often given to hams. How much is enough? One way to find out is to get on the air and start making waves. Or, I thought, check the propagation numbers, evaluate the site elevation and make a turkey-brained guess about how much power I … Continue reading I Fell Off the QRP Wagon and Regretted It Already
A Magic Ground Mobile Antenna
Let me start by confessing; I don't operate HF mobile. So my "mobile" HF antenna is only suitable for stationary "shack-in-a-truck" operations. Driving requires my full attention ... and so does CW operation! I mount one of my two portable vertical antennas on a short aluminum pole which in turn is mounted on the hitch … Continue reading A Magic Ground Mobile Antenna
Snow and Freezing Spray – QRP Madness
Saturday 7th January was the date of the first Polar Bear Moonlight Madness Event (PBMME) of the year. In fact, as a new member of the group, it was my first ever PBMME. The group is called the Polar Bear QRP Ops. It is an amateur radio group who are active with portable QRP operation … Continue reading Snow and Freezing Spray – QRP Madness
Let’s Dump RS(T) Signal Reports!
How much use is a signal report - really? In theory it is a good idea to tell the ham at the other end of the magic, invisible wire how well you are receiving their signal. In practice the report you send is of little to no use whatsoever. Why is that? I can cite … Continue reading Let’s Dump RS(T) Signal Reports!
QRP On Deck
We had a little light snow today and the temperature was hovering just below freezing, but I wanted to get outside and check out one of my old QRP rigs. The radio of the day was my Hendricks PFR-3. The "PFR" stands for Portable Field Radio. The PFR-3 is (or was; I'm not sure if … Continue reading QRP On Deck
Winter POTA Activations? No Problem!
Southern Ontario had a long, balmy Indian Summer this year. Indian Summer is defined as a warm period following the first frost. It was quite unusual to be able to continue Parks On The Air activations right into mid-November using exactly the same kit I used in the summer. But then winter came suddenly and … Continue reading Winter POTA Activations? No Problem!