New Year’s Day

Is always a kind of lazy day at the W2LJ household. Marianne and I are not big party-ers and in fact, last evening, we had to wake up to watch the ball drop in Times Square on TV.  We were both fast asleep quickly after.  Our two kids were up later than we were, talking with their friends online.

I got on for a bit last night for SKN.  I don't know if it was just bad band conditions with the remnants of that CME lingering; or perhaps it was my atrocious bug fist. I made no contacts last night.

During the day today, I did a bit better. I worked five different NPOTA activations (6 QSOs):

N8XX - TR04 - North County National Scenic Trail
W1BXY - NS76 - Weir Farm National Historic Sight
NC8IN - NS55 - Ninety Six National Historic Sight
NR3P - SS01 - Assateague Island National Seashore
KK4ZUU - BP02 - Mnasassas National Battlefield Park
K7UPJ - NS55- Ninety Six National Historic Sight

I just realized now that I worked NS55 twice. Basically, I was dial twiddling, working the ones I could hear decently.  There were a few others, but QSB was so bad on 20 Meters at times that I bypassed a few, thinking conditions would get better.  They didn't, and going back to try and work those again, I found them to be gone. Sometimes the Propagation Princess is a cruel mistress!

Only N8XX and NR3P were CW, though. I had to break out the microphone and resort to SSB for the others.   As Yoda would say, "A disturbing trend in The Force, I sense".

As mentioned in an earlier post, the 2016 NJQRP Skeeter Hunt will be featuring NPOTA - but let that be just a foot note.  I would hope that a lot of you who read this blog regularly will step up the plate and activate NPOTA entities using CW (and QRP).

Remember, it doesn't have to be an elaborate set up, with multi ops and crazy antenna installations that last all day.  This NPOTA program was tailor made for portable QRP ops!  Go to one of the entities, throw a wire into a tree, or perhaps break out the Buddistick, Buddipole, Alex Loop - what have you. Get on the air for a few hours and hand out some contacts!

Also, remember that this is a year long celebration.  There were a bumper crop of NPOTA activations on the air today. It seems that everyone wanted to be active on "Day One", but there are 365 days left (this is a Leap Year, don't forget).  So get out there and have some fun.  That's what this is all about - going outdoors, setting up and having some fun.

This is OUR specialty, guys!  Let's show them how it's done!

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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