Back handed compliment

The weather today in Central NJ was a very sunny 72F (22C) when I headed out the door from work at lunchtime.  I wanted to accomplish two things.  I wanted to try the 18 MHz wire that I cut for the PAR ENDFEDZ, and I also wanted to set up the Jackite pole again using my drive on mast holder.

I went to the same park that I went to last week; but I went to the other side.  This was away from the tree-filled picnic area and towards the soccer fields and some other baseball fields.  I set up right in the parking area:

Set up went very fast, and since the 17 Meter wire is much shorter than the regularly supplied 10/20/40 MKII radiator, I needed to use a piece of coax that I normally carry for when I use the Buddistick.  I called CQ and was answered by Mike K8NS who lives in Florida, in the Daytona Beach area.

Mike was 589 here, and he gave me a 569 in return. Copy was solid in both directions. Mike was using an Icom IC-725 to a vertical antenna.  My PAR ENDFEDZ was more or less a vertical, although it did slope somewhat.

It was just turning 90F (32C) for the day at Mike’s QTH; but he informed me that there was a nice off shore breeze that was keeping things bearable.  I couldn’t stay too long as I had to get back to work; but it was a rewarding effort.  I made a QSO, the wire worked well and the drive on mast support continued to work like a charm.  A very productive lunchtime, indeed.

What’s that about the blog post title, you ask?  Well, off to the right of me, about 75 yards or so was a very big, open field.  There were some older gentlemen there flying RC model planes.  I was watching them while I was operating; and I guess they were watching me.  One of them came over, of course, to ask what I was doing and I started explaining about Amateur Radio (you would think model RC pilots would know something about radio).  He asked me if I was actually working anyone, so I took the earbud jack out of the KX3, so he could hear me as I worked Mike K8NS.

“Morse Code ….wow! People still use that?”

“Yes”, I replied. “It’s still very popular”.

“Isn’t that nice.  It’s good to know there are folks out there using older technology than what I use.”

I started explaining about SDR, microprocessors, SMD technology and all that; but I was getting a glassy-eyed stare (and you could almost hear the crickets chirping), so I ended up just letting it go at that.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP – When you care to send the very least!

Larry Makoski, W2LJ, is a regular contributor to and writes from New Jersey, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

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