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
Radio Man Won’t You Come and Fix my Radials?
My humble apologies to the former Canadian folk music band Tanglefoot who came from the general area I live in. I borrowed (and edited) one of their song titles for this post. Just when I thought I had the theory and practice of ground radials down pat, along comes another surprise. After several months of … Continue reading Radio Man Won’t You Come and Fix my Radials?
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
What in Heaven’s Name is a Rybakov Antenna?
I love to check out interesting, new antenna designs. The Rybakov isn't actually a new antenna, it has been around for a while; either I just hadn't come across it before or I had passed it over and forgotten about it. So when I read about it recently I just knew I had to find … Continue reading What in Heaven’s Name is a Rybakov 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
A Versatile Backpack Rig for POTA Activations
I recently posted about POTA becoming a competitive activity. Admittedly, I have caught the bug but I also still enjoy just getting out into the Big Blue Sky Shack and being all alone with just my radio for company. Competing for POTA awards involves rushing from park to park balancing QSO count with getting as … Continue reading A Versatile Backpack Rig for POTA Activations
Has POTA Become a Radio Sport Contest?
Parks On The Air (POTA) may have started out as a fun way to get outside into the Big Blue Sky Shack and play radio, but now it has become very competitive. Those who like to take a casual approach to activating parks can still enjoy their hobby their way, but others have a different, … Continue reading Has POTA Become a Radio Sport Contest?
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
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