Posts Tagged ‘clubs’

New club in town

There's a new QRP Club, or new Yahoo Group, if you will. It's the California QRP Club and membership is open to any QRPer. Residence in the Golden State is not a prerequisite. is the link.  And as Doug Hendricks KI6DS, posted:

"The purpose and goals of the California QRP Club is to promote QRP. We don't have dues, we don't have officers, and we don't have business meetings. We do have monthly get togethers in San Jose, and we will be a co-sponsor of the qrp activities at Pacificon next year. The club will have two caretakers, Steve Smith, WB6TNL and Doug Hendricks, KI6DS. They will be responsible for the running of the club. We will not do anything that involves the exchange of money to the club. If there are expenses, Steve and Doug will pay them.

We will also issue membership numbers, only upon request. You may get yours by sending an email to directly to Steve. Do not send your request to this list. It will not be acted upon. To get your California QRP Club membership number send an email to Steve Smith at [email protected] with "CalQRP Membership number" in the subject line. Steve will assign a number to you.

I plan on doing more issues of QRPp, but it will not have a regular schedule and will be posted as a downloadable file in the file section of this list.

The first announcement that we would like to make is that the club has an Amateur Radio Club License, and the call sign is WA6GER. We are dedicated to preserving the memory and legacy of Jim Cates, and plan on activating his call at least once a month. More on that later. This was formerly the club Vanity Call Sign of NorCal but it was allowed to expire and was not renewed. When the 2 year grace period for renewal had passed, the FCC cancelled the license and WA6GER was returned to the available call sign database where anyone could have claimed it. Steve Smith did the leg work to secure the call and I want to thank him publicly for it.

Everyone is invited to join the California QRP Club, and you may do so by going to (Ed. note - see link above). and signing up."

So there you - new group in town.

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

Want a crowd

at your next Club meeting?  Plan a presentation or an activity! Publicize it well and ahead of time and you're sure to draw out some people - new faces as well as old.

Photo courtesy of Drew W2OU

Thanks to Drew Moore W2OU for arranging for Mike Terruso WA4LOQ to come to our ETS of NJ meeting last Friday evening to talk about his high altitude ballooning experiments.  What started out as a science project for his son is turning into a combination of ballooning and Amateur Radio for Mike. In fact, ballooning is what got Mike in gear to earn his Amateur Radio license, as he realized it's potential to help him in his endeavors.

The technology that he uses is interesting. A combination of radios, cameras, Raspberry Pi's, GPS devices, temperature and humidity sensors - it was all fantastic to listen to. I've embedded his YouTube video which is a compilation of stills (taken at 5 second intervals) of his maiden launch last October.  The balloon was released near Lebanon, PA and landed in Boonton, NJ. It's an hour long video, but you can skip around it if you wish to see the "near space" photos which clearly show the black sky of space and the curvature of the earth's horizon. As Mr. Spock would say - "Fascinating!"

Mike is a "maker" in the sense that he did all his own research and started his project from scratch using materials purchased and/or cobbled together on his own.  His next launch is scheduled for sometime in May.  He is going to add Amateur Radio to the mix this time and will be getting cooperation from the local radio clubs in tracking and recovery.
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

January Special Event – Straight Key Century Club and K3Y/0

All month long, during January 2015, a group of volunteers using the special event callsign, “K3Y” with a slant-region number (i.e., “K3Y/3” or “K3Y/0”), were on the amateur radio HF bands (and some, on six meters).  I was one of these volunteers, operating nearly every day of the month for at least one hour, but some times a few hours per day.

“K3Y,” the Straight Key Century Club’s annual January celebration, commemorates the club’s founding in 2006 following the American Radio Relay League’s Straight Key Night. A small group of participants wanted to extend the fun of SKN throughout the year. The SKCC is the result.

For the first three years, the club’s founders used K1Y, K2A, and K3Y as the celebration’s special-event calls. But someone cleverly noticed that a 3 is nothing more than a backwards, curvaceous E. This “KEY” event has operated under the K3Y call ever since.

The on-air party is open to members and non-members alike. It runs from 0000 UTC Jan. 2 through 2359 UTC Jan. 31. It’s a great time to introduce others to the joys of hand-crafted Morse code using straight keys, bugs, and side swipers.

In this video, you can see this operation at my ham radio shack, as I am the control operator of the special event station, “K3Y/0”, during one of the many shifts. “K3Y” is the special event callsign of the Straight Key Century Club (SKCC). The special event operates each January.

In the following video, you can see some of the QSL cards associated with this year’s operation, and then some other QSL cards in my collection.

+ The SKCC website is at

+ The “K3Y” special event page is

+ My page is at

+ My Morse code page is


FYBO 2015 – this Saturday!

Freeze Your B____ Off 2015 is this coming Saturday - the opening event of the 2015 Outdoor QRP Operating season!  If the weathermen are correct, and these days, who knows? Anyway, if the weathermen are correct, Saturday will be the last day before a significant three day snow event here in Central New Jersey. As of right this second, the forecasted high temperature for Saturday is expected to be 39F (4C), with overcast skies. That would be a 4X multiplier at the very least.

So I have several options. I can operate from outdoors - probably the picnic table in the back yard, but that's still covered with ice from last Monday's ice storm - it's never gotten above freezing since that nasty little clipper came through here. I can also operate from inside the Jeep. The advantage there is that all I have to do is plop the Buddistick on the roof - after I chip away the ice that's still on the top of it! But, with the heat off, the temperature inside the Jeep will be the same as the outdoors. Operating in this manner wouldn't qualify for the Mobile category, but it would be much dryer than the picnic table. I have time to decide - there's no hurry, and it will depend how adventurous I feel and how clogged up my head is on Saturday. Don't want this slight head cold that I am dealing with to develop into bronchitis or something worse.

FYBO rules haven't changed much, with the exception that this year, teams are being allowed. Here's the URL for the page with the latest rules posting:

I guess I should make sure all my batteries are charged up for this weekend!

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

FISTS / SKCC Joint Sprint this Saturday

Looks like I'll have to get some bug practice in before the weekend. This is going to be a toughie, though - a Saturday afternoon before Christmas. I definitely won't be able to put in a full four hours, but I am a member of both organizations and I do need to start working on my SKCC Tribune award. I've been treading water as a Centurion for years now.

72 de Larry W2LJ - FISTS 1469 - SKCC 49C
QRP - When you care to send the very least!


Congratulations are in order to fellow QRPer and blogger, John N8ZYA. In an e-mail this morning from the President of the NAQCC, Paul Huff N8XMS, it was announced that John has been selected to serve as the new Vice-President of that fine organization.

A most appropriate and deserving choice!

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

Summer – it’s finally here!

After a long, cold Sprinter (that’s what you get when Winter seems to last endlessly into Spring), Summer is finally here! Yay! And as promised, as of today, numbers are being assigned for the 2014 NJQRP Skeeter Hunt.

The Hunt will be held on Sunday August 10th this year – and right now, the best place to see the rules is at I am trying to get the QSL.NET page updated with the new bonus points rules, but the server seems to be down right now.

Yes – bonus points this year for gathering enough letters from callsigns to spell out the word “SKEETER”. 100 extra points will be added to your score if you accomplish this feat. In any event, the NJQRP Skeeter Hunt is a grand time and folks seem to enjoy themselves a lot, so send me an email ([email protected]) and reserve your Skeeter number today.

Today was also the Raritan Valley Radio Club annual hamfest, which is held at Piscataway High School, in Piscataway, NJ.  The weather was absolutely beautiful – perfect for a hamfest!  It was sunny and it got up into the high 70s.  Very nice, but yet not exasperatingly hot. And as you can see from the two quick photos that I snapped with my phone, there was not a cloud in the sky. Unfortunately, it was perfect sunburn weather. Reporting time for the hamfest workers was 5:00 AM and as I was driving to the hamfest site, I had realized I had forgotten to bring sunscreen.  I discovered the hard way that there are NOT a lot of places open at 5:00 AM where you can buy sunscreen!

There were plenty of vendors and lots of buyers. The ARRL had a presence with the appearance of Bill Hudzik W2UDT, our section Vice Director. (Psst!  It helps that he’s a club member!) We also had a VE Exam session, where three people earned their Technician licenses, and we also had one upgrade to General and one upgrade to Extra.

In the top photo, you can see the huge mast sticking up from an old broadcast van that Brian N2MPM had acquired. Running up the mast was a PAR END-FEDZ antenna that Alan W2AEW using to make QRP contacts.  If you follow this blog, you know that I have mentioned Alan’s YouTube videos in the past. He does an excellent job producing videos on how to use test equipment and other neat technical tutorials. If you haven’t subscribed to his YouTube channel, then you are cheating yourself. After you read this go over and subscribe – it’s definitely worth it.

Here’s a video he took of today’s festivities:

Pulling off a hamfest like this is a huge undertaking. Thanks to the direction of our two Hamfest Committee Chairmen, Drew W2OU and Rich W2PQ and all the members of the RVRC, this comes off flawlessly – year after year.

In between my duties of assisting with the parking and placement of the vendors, and being the lead in administering the VE session, I did get a chance to look at the various wares on the tables.  I purchased some BNC to PL259 adapters and some large alligator clips that we will to connect to batteries that we will be using next weekend during Field Day. Not a big spender much to the discontent of the vendors, but much to the delight of my wife.  😉

I’ve been up way too long and am making way too many typos – even more than I usually make, so it’s off to the sack for W2LJ. (Thank God for spellcheck.)

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP – When you care to send the very least!
Skeeter #12 for 2014

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