Around the World for Morning Tea

I wrote this short article for our club newsletter in hopes it will encourage some members to upgrade from technician class.

It is a strange privilege we have… this ham radio hobby. This morning while having a quick cup of tea, I travel around the world in under 10 minutes visiting briefly with Israel, Italy, Slovenia and Aruba.

I am transported from my radio room upstairs to places far away. Outside there is fresh snow and it’s 10F. It’s definitely not snowing in Aruba. I stop for a quick visit with Carl, P49V. He’s 2100 miles to my south… at 75F the flowers are blooming. It’s a great place to begin my journey.


I have chatted with Carl before… once in 2010, and again in 2011. We don’t linger for long… just to say a quick hello and exchange signal reports.

I turn the dial and I’m in Israel! 5500 miles away between Egypt and Iraq. Who would imagine. Udi says “Hello,” and wishes me well on my journey.


This strange breakfast navigation is made possible by some modest radio equipment and a simple wire hung from the trees outside. I am using Morse on the 15 meter band. Pure magic to many, rather a common occurrence (though magic none-the-less) for those more practiced in the radio arts.

Between sips of tea I turn north and west to central Italy. It’s somewhat closer to home at 4500 miles. Vanni, I5ECW and I have visited before a few years ago. He sends, “Ciao, Ciao,” and I am on my way to Slovenia to visit with Dan.

Dan, S59N lives south of Austria in central Slovenia. He sits in his shack using mostly homemade equipment. We have chatted nearly 20 times since 2004.


I say “Good Afternoon” to Dan (he’s in a different time zone) and reach again for my tea cup. Barely ten minutes have passed since I turned on the radio set, but already I’ve traveled to the far reaches of the world. I’m ready for some oatmeal.

Jim Cluett, W1PID, is a regular contributor to and writes from New Hampshire, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

7 Responses to “Around the World for Morning Tea”

  • Randy K7AGE:

    Such a nice way to start the day. Randy

  • LarryW2LJ:


    It was articles similar to this that fired up my imagination as a youngster and got me interested in Amateur Radio in the first place, so many years ago. I think you should put together a compilation. Directed toward “beginning Hams”, I think it might get them out of the VHF/UHF rut that so many find themselves in. I’ve always found HF operating to be endlessly fascinating and captivating and I think your posts do such a good job in bringing that out.

    I also think the general public (especially young folk) might be interested in your stories and they might bring more into the fold.

    Speaking with someone in a foreign country, connected only by a radio is STILL a unique experience – even in the days of cell phoones and the Internet. There’s still something magical about it and I think it has a very wide appeal.

    Thanks so much for all you do for the hobby!

    73 de Larry W2LJ

  • Richard KWØU:

    Nice discussion, and I wish that kind of propagation was back more often. But any day with a little DX is a victory of sorts. I first got interested in the hobby with short wave listening was common. Somehow tuning in a distant station means more than going to a website, though it can be hard to convince those who want instant gratification that this is the case. I guess people in every generation may complain that the next one is losing something when technology makes life “too easy”. Meanwhile, let’s hope, as Larry said, that new folks will become interested in this fascinating hobby.

  • Guys… many thanks for the comments. Funny, I almost didn’t post this because I was afraid it wasn’t very interesting or perhaps too commonplace. Glad I did post it. Vy 73 JIm W1PID



  • John KC2WEX:

    Thank you for a great article. I am a tech and eventually I will get my general. With articles like this I am sure to study more often. good luck in future articles like this that says to a tech, on word and up the excitement is there or as we say in social circles, seek and ye shall find.

  • k8gu:

    I agree with the others…a wonderful story!

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