Posts Tagged ‘history’

On this day, 48 years ago


Here men from the planet Earth 
First set foot upon the Moon
July 1969, A.D.
We came in peace for all mankind

Neil  A. Armstrong     Michael Collins     Edwin E. Aldrin Jr.
Astronaut                Astronaut                  Astronaut

Richard M. Nixon
President, United States of America

To read about the communications systems that the Lunar Module employed, here are two good links from the NASA Archives: https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19720023255.pdf and https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20090015392.pdf

The S-band transceiver was the primary transceiver used for TV, telemetry, biomedical data, and voice communications from the Lunar surface. It had an output power of  750 mW (QRPp!).  That signal then went to the S-band power amplifier, which boosted the signal to an outstanding "QRO" signal of 18.6 Watts.

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

On this day, 48 years ago


Here men from the planet Earth 
First set foot upon the Moon
July 1969, A.D.
We came in peace for all mankind

Neil  A. Armstrong     Michael Collins     Edwin E. Aldrin Jr.
Astronaut                Astronaut                  Astronaut

Richard M. Nixon
President, United States of America

To read about the communications systems that the Lunar Module employed, here are two good links from the NASA Archives: https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19720023255.pdf and https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20090015392.pdf

The S-band transceiver was the primary transceiver used for TV, telemetry, biomedical data, and voice communications from the Lunar surface. It had an output power of  750 mW (QRPp!).  That signal then went to the S-band power amplifier, which boosted the signal to an outstanding "QRO" signal of 18.6 Watts.

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

NPOTA success – WR03

The day dawned gray. misty and chilly, but it wasn't downpouring. So I collected this bag of bones out of bed. I showered, shaved, got dressed and packed the Jeep with everything necessary for a ride to NPOTA land.

As stated a few days ago, the destination was WR03, the Delaware National Scenic River, via Washington's Crossing State Park, in Titusville, NJ.  Thanks to the fact that there was hardly any traffic on an early Sunday morning, I arrived in about 45 minutes.



Everything was wet from the light rains and heavy mist that fell throughout the night. I made the decision to forgo using a soggy, leaf covered picnic table and used my camping table and folding chair from the parking lot, instead.  This was not the main parking lot, but a smaller one, farther in the park. It was literally a stone's toss from the river.



You can see the 25' piece of coax going up to the PAR in the tree.



The set up was the usual, the KX3 at 5 Watts to a PAR END FEDZ 40/20/10 in a tree.  I got really good height this time. The PAR was easily 50 -60 feet up in the air this time. And that was evident with the results - 43 QSOs in under 90 minutes. 20 Meters was LONG! I worked Belgium, Croatia, Hungary, Slovenia, Mexico, California, Montana and appropriately enough, Washington State.  40 Meters got me up and down the east coast and as far west as Minnesota.


I called it quits after about 90 minutes as the QSOs were drying up and I was starting to get a bit chilled.  Oh, and there were skeeters! But NOT the kind that I like. I was swatting at them the whole time I was there. Who would have thought that mosquitoes would be out and about on a damp, and chilly day in the high 50s?  After I packed up, but before leaving, I walked around to snap a few more photos.




This is a re-creation of one of the "boats" that were in use during Colonial times to ferry people and supplies across the river. It's really not much more than a glorified raft. So the painting IS right. Washington stood ...... and do did everyone else!

The house owned by the "ferry operator".

Later, when I had time to think about all of this, it was truly amazing.  2,400 men, some horses and artillery began silently crossing the river as soon as it got to be dark (There were British spies all over). Once they all reached the New Jersey side,they all marched the 20 or so miles to Trenton throughout snowy fields and made it there by daybreak. The effort just to get to Trenton must have been exhausting given the distance, the cold and the snow. Then they surprised the Hessians and won the battle without one Continental soldier being lost. Astounding!

All in all, it was another good NPOTA day. I thank all the chasers who worked me and I look forward to another adventure in a few more weeks - this time, maybe the NJ Pine Barrens.

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

NPOTA success – WR03

The day dawned gray. misty and chilly, but it wasn't downpouring. So I collected this bag of bones out of bed. I showered, shaved, got dressed and packed the Jeep with everything necessary for a ride to NPOTA land.

As stated a few days ago, the destination was WR03, the Delaware National Scenic River, via Washington's Crossing State Park, in Titusville, NJ.  Thanks to the fact that there was hardly any traffic on an early Sunday morning, I arrived in about 45 minutes.



Everything was wet from the light rains and heavy mist that fell throughout the night. I made the decision to forgo using a soggy, leaf covered picnic table and used my camping table and folding chair from the parking lot, instead.  This was not the main parking lot, but a smaller one, farther in the park. It was literally a stone's toss from the river.



You can see the 25' piece of coax going up to the PAR in the tree.



The set up was the usual, the KX3 at 5 Watts to a PAR END FEDZ 40/20/10 in a tree.  I got really good height this time. The PAR was easily 50 -60 feet up in the air this time. And that was evident with the results - 43 QSOs in under 90 minutes. 20 Meters was LONG! I worked Belgium, Croatia, Hungary, Slovenia, Mexico, California, Montana and appropriately enough, Washington State.  40 Meters got me up and down the east coast and as far west as Minnesota.


I called it quits after about 90 minutes as the QSOs were drying up and I was starting to get a bit chilled.  Oh, and there were skeeters! But NOT the kind that I like. I was swatting at them the whole time I was there. Who would have thought that mosquitoes would be out and about on a damp, and chilly day in the high 50s?  After I packed up, but before leaving, I walked around to snap a few more photos.




This is a re-creation of one of the "boats" that were in use during Colonial times to ferry people and supplies across the river. It's really not much more than a glorified raft. So the painting IS right. Washington stood ...... and do did everyone else!

The house owned by the "ferry operator".

Later, when I had time to think about all of this, it was truly amazing.  2,400 men, some horses and artillery began silently crossing the river as soon as it got to be dark (There were British spies all over). Once they all reached the New Jersey side,they all marched the 20 or so miles to Trenton throughout snowy fields and made it there by daybreak. The effort just to get to Trenton must have been exhausting given the distance, the cold and the snow. Then they surprised the Hessians and won the battle without one Continental soldier being lost. Astounding!

All in all, it was another good NPOTA day. I thank all the chasers who worked me and I look forward to another adventure in a few more weeks - this time, maybe the NJ Pine Barrens.

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

Walter Winchell

I was meandering around the web this morning and stumbled on to a page where famous key collector and curator Tom Perera W1TP had re-created the morse key setup used by Walter Winchell to introduce and punctuate his radio and later TV broadcasts. They were a pair of Vibroplex bugs.

The Vibroplex ‘Lightning Deluxe’ and ‘Original’ bugs
The Vibroplex ‘Lightning Deluxe’ and ‘Original’ bugs

I grew up in Sydney in the 1950s and remember how radio station 2UE would start their news bulletins with a brisk CQ CQ. They were probably inspired by Winchell. Another memory is watching ‘The Untouchables‘ on TV with narration by Walter Winchell.

It’s worthwhile reading Walter Winchell’s Wikipedia entry while you listen to and occasionally watch an archived TV show of his from December 1953.

The Walter Winchell Show 13 Dec 1953
The Walter Winchell Show 13 Dec 1953

Ironically in his early years as a gossip journalist he was close to prominent criminal identities and later became friends with J. Edgar Hoover. He was Jewish and in the lead up to the second world war was one of the first Americans to criticise Hitler and those in the US who supported him. Another of his targets was isolationist Charles Lindbergh. His fame followed his reporting the famous kidnapping and subsequent trial.

From the clip you can hear the rapid-fire delivery. In many ways it’s like a precursor to much of what we consume today.

Walter Winchell reporting – from a brilliant site about old mics – coutant.org
Walter Winchell reporting – from a brilliant site about old mics – coutant.org

He attacked the Klan and its supporters. After the war he aligned himself with the Senator Joe McCarthy’s hunt for communists. But within this short clip there are a couple of places where he briefly questions a couple of issues that were to haunt the US for the next couple of decades – Vietnam and cigarettes and cancer.

Complex and probably unattractive, what I want to know is if he actually knew how to handle those Vibroplex keys.

It was an NPOTA weekend …..

in more ways than one.

I worked about 5 or 6 new entities between Friday night and Saturday, so I am getting really close to my personal goal of working 100.  The bands have been good the past couple of days, after totally stinking during the middle of the week, so that was a good thing.

I have lived relatively near Morristown National Historical Park my entire life. I think I've been there once before NPOTA.  Yesterday, I decided to take Marianne and our dog, Harold up there for the afternoon, as dogs are welcome there.  It was a beautiful Spring day, Marianne had an extremely rare Saturday off; and I wanted to do something with her.  It seemed like a good opportunity to enjoy the gorgeous weather, walk the dog and get some good exercise in for ourselves. It's because of NPOTA that I discovered that dogs are welcome there. If I didn't see that while I was up there, activating the park, I wouldn't have known otherwise.

Much to our surprise, when we got there, we found out that a Revolutionary War re-enactment was taking place:






The highlight of the day was when one of the re-enactors came up to me and tapped me on the shoulder. He pointed to the American flag that is embroidered on the left sleeve of my jacket and he said to me, "Kind sir, a question, please. It appears that you have a United States flag on your coat; and yet there are so many stars?  Certainly more than 13!"

I answered, "It's a long and sometimes bloody story, and I don't think we have time to go through it all, but I would like to thank you and your fellow soldiers for giving birth to the finest Nation on Earth."

He chuckled, and I chuckled at our impromptu time travelling scenario. In the end, it was great NPOTA day, even though this one didn't involve Amateur Radio.  So hats off to the ARRL for reminding me about some of the really cool places that there are to visit around my QTH.

In the evening, I decided that I would go out early Sunday morning to activate Sandy Hook, which is part of the Gateway National Recreational Area - RC08.





I used the Jackite pole and my homebrew mast holder and the PAR END FEDZ 40/20/10.  In a little over an hour, I made over 40 contacts on 40 and 20 Meters.  Bext DX was Alberta, Saskatchewan and California.  Not bad for 5 Watts, and if at all possible, the PAR will be my preferred antenna for future activations.  

I would have stayed longer, but I had somewhere to go with my daughter Cara, so I made due with the time I had.  It was a bit brisk while I was there, but it was sunny and clear.  If you click on the bottom photo, you just might be able to make out the New York City skyline in the distance, on the horizon.

Sandy Hook was my third activation, and I hope to do at least two more in New Jersey - the Pinelands and the Appalachain Trail in the Northwest part of the state.  When we go up to Lake George this Summer, I also hope to spend one day at Saratoga and activate HP42 while I'm in the neighborhood.

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



It was an NPOTA weekend …..

in more ways than one.

I worked about 5 or 6 new entities between Friday night and Saturday, so I am getting really close to my personal goal of working 100.  The bands have been good the past couple of days, after totally stinking during the middle of the week, so that was a good thing.

I have lived relatively near Morristown National Historical Park my entire life. I think I've been there once before NPOTA.  Yesterday, I decided to take Marianne and our dog, Harold up there for the afternoon, as dogs are welcome there.  It was a beautiful Spring day, Marianne had an extremely rare Saturday off; and I wanted to do something with her.  It seemed like a good opportunity to enjoy the gorgeous weather, walk the dog and get some good exercise in for ourselves. It's because of NPOTA that I discovered that dogs are welcome there. If I didn't see that while I was up there, activating the park, I wouldn't have known otherwise.

Much to our surprise, when we got there, we found out that a Revolutionary War re-enactment was taking place:






The highlight of the day was when one of the re-enactors came up to me and tapped me on the shoulder. He pointed to the American flag that is embroidered on the left sleeve of my jacket and he said to me, "Kind sir, a question, please. It appears that you have a United States flag on your coat; and yet there are so many stars?  Certainly more than 13!"

I answered, "It's a long and sometimes bloody story, and I don't think we have time to go through it all, but I would like to thank you and your fellow soldiers for giving birth to the finest Nation on Earth."

He chuckled, and I chuckled at our impromptu time travelling scenario. In the end, it was great NPOTA day, even though this one didn't involve Amateur Radio.  So hats off to the ARRL for reminding me about some of the really cool places that there are to visit around my QTH.

In the evening, I decided that I would go out early Sunday morning to activate Sandy Hook, which is part of the Gateway National Recreational Area - RC08.





I used the Jackite pole and my homebrew mast holder and the PAR END FEDZ 40/20/10.  In a little over an hour, I made over 40 contacts on 40 and 20 Meters.  Bext DX was Alberta, Saskatchewan and California.  Not bad for 5 Watts, and if at all possible, the PAR will be my preferred antenna for future activations.  

I would have stayed longer, but I had somewhere to go with my daughter Cara, so I made due with the time I had.  It was a bit brisk while I was there, but it was sunny and clear.  If you click on the bottom photo, you just might be able to make out the New York City skyline in the distance, on the horizon.

Sandy Hook was my third activation, and I hope to do at least two more in New Jersey - the Pinelands and the Appalachain Trail in the Northwest part of the state.  When we go up to Lake George this Summer, I also hope to spend one day at Saratoga and activate HP42 while I'm in the neighborhood.

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




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