Posts Tagged ‘misc.’

It really does work.

When I got home from work last night, the temperature outside was 10F (-12C).  My basement shack was a relatively balmy 57F (14C). Just before it was time to go downstairs for the 80 Meter QRP Fox hunt, I changed from the "regular" sweatshirt that I was wearing to a "hoodie" type sweatshirt.

I plugged the earbuds into my ear holes, and pulled the hood up. I was able to remain comfortable, not quite toasty warm, but comfortable in the shack for my duration of the hunt.  I do have to admit that once I nabbed the second Fox of the night, Randy NC4RT at about 0244 UTC, I shut everything down and hightailed it upstairs. But as the tip was given freely to me last winter, I pass it on to those who may also need it.  If your shack is semi-unheated, as is mine, covering your head makes all the difference between shivering and operating comfortably.

It looks like the coldest weather of this round has left us. It actually warmed up overnight and was 20F (-7C) when I woke up this morning, but snowing. Until the next Vortex comes to visit (and I'm sure there will be more!) the basement should warm up to the low to mid 60F range (15-17C) and playing radio down there won't be so bad, at all.

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

Gift ideas for Hams

It's December, and that means Christmas and Hanukkah are right around the corner. And sometimes for a Ham, "The Holidays" presents a quandary.  Imagine this scenario - your lovely XYL comes over to you and asks, "What would you like for Christmas, Dear?"

You look lovingly into her eyes and say, "A 60 foot Rohn tower with a 3 element beam". And then you get THAT look - and you know instantly, in your heart of hearts, that your request has gone over like the proverbial lead balloon.

Or maybe the wife of your best Ham bud calls you and asks, "What can I get Jim for Hanukkah this year? And no, I'm not getting him a 60 foot tower and a 3 element beam".  What do you say? Somehow, I don't think K3, or IC-7800 or FT-DX5000 would go over too well, either.

So, as we get closer to the gift giving season, I'll post some items that I come across that may help break the "What do I get for my favorite Ham?" log jam.  My aim will be to keep to suggest gifts that won't break the gift giving budget while at the same time would be a gift that almost ANY Ham would enjoy receiving.

I came across this one this morning on Facebook (see- Facebook is actually good for something!). I thought this was unique, and I sure wouldn't mind having one of these hanging from my shack wall.

This is a little plaque commemorating the 50th anniversary of the ARRL postage stamp. It was issued by the United States government for two reasons - to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the ARRL, and in gratitude of all the valiant work performed by Hams during the Alaskan earthquake ans tsunami that occurred that year.

You can get this little beauty from  It's reasonably priced and will not break the bank.

Suppose you are a CW aficionado, or perhaps your Ham bud is.  The following is always a perennial favorite - the Morse Express Christmas Key.

The above photo is the key being offered for 2014.  These keys are small enough to be used as a Christmas Tree ornament, but yet are fully functional. One of my most favorite straight keys of all times is the 2004 Christmas Key which my lovely Marianne gave me that year. It has a fantastic feel to it and is perfect as a traveling portable QRP ops straight key.

Please note that I am in no way connected with any of the companies offering these fine wares. I receive no recompense and I have not even been asked to endorse any of these items. This is just W2LJ offering a public service to those of you out there who may be stymied by either of these two  questions - "What can I give?" or "What would you like?".

To be continued as I come across neat stuff!

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

Thanksgiving 2014

A very Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving to all my Amateur Radio friends. Enjoy the day with family, friends and food!

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

For any readers from the greater NYC region

The following came from Mike Lisenco NY2BB, our ARRL Hudson Division Director:

Gordon "Gordo" West, WB6NOA, author, lecturer and creator of many Ham Radio study guides and related products will be in town this weekend and next week. 

He will be at KJI Electronics this weekend, where he will be holding Technician and General Class license review classes followed by an exam session.  Advanced registration is required as space is limited.  Go to for more information.

He is the scheduled guest speaker at the Suffolk County Radio Club Meeting on Tuesday, November 18 at 7:00 PM (Time change! From 8:00 PM to 7:00 PM!).  Guests are always welcome so feel free to attend:

Grace Lutheran Church
240 Mastic Road
Mastic Beach, NY

For more information, the club website is:

He will also be at the Great South Bay Amateur Radio Club on Thursday November 20th at 8:00 PM:

Babylon Town Hall
220 East Sunrise Highway
Lindenhurst, NY. 

Talk-in on the W2GSB repeater 146.685 MHz 110.9 HZ PL For more info go to the club website:

This information appears too good not to share - so I re-posted.

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

Veteran’s Day – 2014

A very Happy Veteran’s Day and a very big “Thank You” from the bottom of my heart to all the Vets out there – as well as those currently serving. In my mind, as soon as you put on the uniform, you’re a Veteran. You have defended our freedoms so well for 200+ years, a debt we can never re-pay in full.

Also, a very Happy 239th Birthday to the Marines! Semper Fi, Marines!

Lastly, a Happy Veteran’s Day to my Dad. I was rummaging through some papers in my desk when I came across the Certificate of Condolence that the White House sent upon his passing in 2001. My Dad was a WWII Army Vet who loved to talk about some of the European “sites” he saw during his tour in Europe (including the Passion Play at Oberammergau). He never spoke about combat, though – not uncommon for his generation, it seems. I also came across his wallet sized copy of his Discharge Papers. He was not an Amateur Radio operator, but he was a graduate of the Signal Corps RADAR and Repeater School (which probably explains in some way, my love for Amateur Radio).  I also noticed for the first time that he was a recipient of medals for Combat in the European Theater, as well as a Good Conduct medal and one other. He NEVER spoke about those.

For all the Vets who have passed – Eternal rest, grant unto them Oh Lord, and may Perpetual Light shine upon them. May their souls and the souls of all the Faithful Departed, rest in peace. Amen.

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

Here’s a little something I came up with

This was designed to be printed on 4X6 Glossy stock and then laminated. You can jam in your portable ops bag, in case you're always forgetting the US QRP frequencies like I do.

Feel free to save the JPG as an image on your own computer and print it out, if you like. I also have it as a doc file if you'd like to edit to suit your needs. An e-mail request will get it sent to you.

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

So long for now ….. sort of!

So long for now, sort of!

I have decided to ask Matt W1MST, the Editor at to end the mirroring of this blog there.  I know this may appear to be kind of sudden, but actually, this has been a decision that I have been trying to discern since this past Easter.

The content of this blog is mostly about QRP and CW as you all know. So actually, I do cater to a rather small niche in the Amateur Radio world, and the things of which I write are not of interest to everyone – or even a large portion of everyone.  In addition, I have also been known to throw in random posts here and there that are of a religious or political nature, when the mood strikes me.  And I also regale my readers with my wacky sense of humor now and then.  They say that writers should write about what they know best, and that’s what I try to do – and at this stage of my life, I’m not going to change that.

That’s fine for people who actually come to looking for that kind of thing.  They know what they’re in for when they walk through my door. But to be foisted upon folks coming to a “general interest” Amateur Radio site?  I think maybe not so much.

So, readers, if you like my ramblings – please feel free to come to at anytime, 24/7/365.  The door is always open and you’ll always be welcome. And per chance, should you not like what you see there – you’re always free to “change the channel”.

My thanks to Matt W1MST and for the continued support over the past few years. Matt has been a most gracious host, ever since he asked my permission to mirror this blog over there. Certainly, the service he offers to the Amateur Radio community is a treasure. I will continue to keep the link to active and open in my blog roll.  I hope you’ll feel free to bounce back and forth between us.

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

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