for not posting all week. Whew!  What a week!  It was so busy this week, that I only managed to get one lunch time QRP session in.  The other days, I ended up either working through lunch, or got saddled with “must attend” conference calls during lunch hour.

Last Monday, I had to serve out a jury duty summons.  Here in Middlesex County, you are summonsed for “either one trial or one day”.  You report to the county courthouse with your juror badge, which is mailed to you ahead of time. The badge has your name and a juror number. People are randomly picked throughout the day in groups of 20 or 30 or more. If your number gets called, you go into a courtroom as part of a “panel” where you may or may not be selected to serve on that jury. If your number isn’t selected for any panels and you’re not picked from a panel to be on a jury that day – you go home. My number wasn’t selected for any panels, so I came home and now I don’t have to concern myself for reporting for jury duty for another three years.

Since the week was so busy, I rewarded myself this morning by attending the OMARC Fall Hamfest, down in Wall Township, NJ.  I attended their Spring Hamfest, which was held on Dayton weekend.  I liked it enough to go back.  Again, it’s a small event, but it’s very nice, nonetheless.  Attendance was decent and the people there were really nice, and the weather was absolutely gorgeous, so it made for a pleasant morning. (Great job, folks from OMARC!  I’ll be back next year, for sure.) My only purchase was a 25 foot length of RG-8X coax with a male PL259 on each end.  This will be used to connect my PAR ENDFEDZ when it is sufficiently high up in a tree.

But, I was given a great idea by two guys who were selling military surplus fiberglass antenna masts.  In particular, I really like this:

They anchored the bottom section of mast in these tripods. I asked them if they were selling them, as one of these puppies would be just perfect for holding my Jackite pole.  They informed me that they don’t sell them, and they acquired theirs at Lowe’s. They are the tripods used to support quartz work lights. Perfect!  I have to look into getting one of these. The two gentlemen had 26 feet worth of mast being held by this particular tripod.  It was slightly breezy and yet it was anchored like a rock.  Looks like a promising concept.

The other thing I noticed at the Hamfest was just a personal observation.  Something that to me, is one of the marked differences between CW and Phone operation.  A little background – you all know that many times I have stated that I am not a big VHF/UHF talker.  I have my handheld mounted in my Jeep because I do enjoy listening to the local repeaters on the way to work and on the way back.  If you’re like me and you do mostly listening, you get accustomed to “the regulars” on the different repeaters and you get to know voices and the personalities behind the voices – and after a while, you form a picture in your mind of what you think the face must look like that goes with the voice you are hearing.

I was walking around this morning and amongst the various conversations going on, I heard some familiar voices – some of the guys I listen to each morning and each afternoon.  I looked up and, Wow!  In each case, the face that I had mentally pictured looked absolutely NOTHING like the actual person!

Then I realized, that this is not something that happens while operating in the CW Mode …… at least for me. Conversing with a guy in code does not cause me to conjure up the face behind the fist.  I love looking at QRP Quarterly and the photos from FDIM and the various QRP “Cons” because I can finally see the faces behind the fists. But for some reason, I am never taken aback by seeing a photo of some QRP op, or other CW op and saying to myself, “He just doesn’t look the way I pictured him”. The only thing that I can think of that may be the reason behind this (for me at least) is because voices are distinctive in tonal quality, while CW fists are distinctive in rhythm and pattern.

Crazy, huh?  These are some of the thoughts that run through my head while mowing the lawn. Maybe I should see someone about this!  😉

Oh, before I forget …… tomorrow is the inaugural Peanut Power QRP Sprint. Hope to catch you all on the air tomorrow afternoon!

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

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

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