Posts Tagged ‘QRPTTF’

A few things

Two things pointed out to me by Bob W3BBO, who directed me to the “ARRL Contest Update” e-mail, which I had just kind of glossed over without reading properly:

This was submitted by Paul WØRW, of QRP Pedestrian Mobile fame. QRPTTFers – keep this in mind!
“This coming Saturday, April 27th, is Morse Code Day! Samuel Morse was born in 1791 and his invention of a telegraph and an effective coding method for text created the first “on line” medium, truly changing the world. The special event station W2M will operate from Locust Grove, Morse’s villa, from 1400Z to 1900Z. (Thanks, Paul WØRW)”
No better way to honor Morse Code Day than by getting out for QRPTTF and pounding on some brass, eh?  Also, this relating to Morse Code from the ARRL:
“More about Morse with Morse Code Day coming up – if you are interested in Morse Code in baseball, here’s an audio file from KCMO on the early days of baseball reportage (featuring an ex-President) and there is some secret Morse at Fenway Park in Boston. (Thanks, Rich K8MEG)”
Secondly – and this is really cool!
“Dave K1TTT has put one of those unmanned video drones to an excellent purpose – checking out the antenna farm without a climbing belt! Dave is using a Parrot AR-Drone 2.0. It’s hard to tell who is having more fun with the drone – Dave the operator or Pablo the excited dog! (Thanks, Tim N3HX)”
This is what Dave did with it. Personally? Dave’s a much better man than I. I would probably have totally wrecked the drone and the antenna!
Lastly, this little tidbit from the ARRL that looked extremely interesting:
“Speaking of maps, Rick ZL2HAM has created ViewProp a terrific new mapping program that takes a stream of spots or Reverse Beacon Network reports and plots them on any of a collection of maps from DX Atlas. Not only are the receiving stations displayed but the path between them, with color indicating the band and variable persistence, among other interesting options. It’s fascinating to see the different bands opening and closing as the Earth rotates. Both globe and flat map presentations are available in this beta test version. If you’d like to help complete the test process before ViewProp 1.0 is released, check in on the software’s website or join the online discussion group.”
Mondo thanks to Ward Silver NØAX for supplying us with all this really, really great information.  Ward is a true gentleman and his efforts should be appreciated by all of us. His Contest Update e-mails are truly one of the best benefits of being a League member.
On a personal note, I hit some snags coming up with my latest and greatest version of a drive on antenna mast support for my Jackite pole.  The base of the Jackite pole is 2 3/4″ in diameter, and the weight of a length of 3″ pipe is more than I want to deal with. So I am in the process of designing something totally different.  When this hacked-up, jerry-rigged Rube Goldberg is done, I’ll post about it here. Any suggestions for improvement will be welcome.  But rather than describe what I’m doing, I’ll supply pictures, because words alone will not be adequate to describe this upcoming abomination.
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP – When you care to send the very least!


BOGO – Buy One, Get One free.  Two for the price of one.  You know what I’m getting at here, right?

Unfortunately, I am NOT announcing a cool bargain on Amateur Radio equipment. If that were the case, I’d probably be at the head of the line. But BOGO does have something to do with QRPTTF for me, this year.

QRP To The Field is just a couple of weekends away.  This year, the theme for the event is “Happy Trails”. As Paul NA5N describes it on the official QRPTTF Website, “About every community has an historic trail or two …… from the biggies like Route 66 or the Santa Fe Trail, to a local old wagon trail, mining or lumber road. About all railroad lines, active or abandoned, are old trails.”

Paul proceeded to provide a link to a list of historic trails, highways and railroads, which I clicked on. And there, right at the top of the list of Historic Highways was the Lincoln Highway.  Holy!  That’s what we now call Route 27 which runs through Edison, just the next township over from South Plainfield.  A quick trip to Wikipedia informed me that the Lincoln Highway is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.  With Wikipedia’s indulgence, I am going to paraphrase some history.

“The Lincoln Highway is one of the first transcontinental highways for automobiles across the USA. The highway turns 100 years old in 2013.  It was conceived and promoted by Indiana entrepreneur Carl Fisher. The Lincoln Highway spans the United States coast-to-coast from Times Square in New York City to Lincoln Park in San Francisco.  It passes through New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada and California.  When originally built, it measured 3,389 miles long. After some re-alignments were done over the years, the road currently measures 3,142 miles.”

Thanks to Paul NA5N, I learned more about this road than I ever knew before (isn’t Amateur Radio a wonderful thing!?!).  I have seen some street signs along Route 27 that still call it “The Lincoln Highway”, but I had never bothered to investigate its history before.  But where does the BOGO come in you ask?  It comes in here – as Paul states: “Many old historic trails are also today’s super highways (like Route 66, the Lincoln Highway, etc); we don’t expect you to operate from an Interstate junction!  Find a nice operating spot within a couple of miles if you can to ensure your safety.”

Immediately, I thought of a real neat place to operate from that is literally just a couple of blocks away from the Lincoln Highway:

The Edison Memorial Tower, which was dedicated in 1938 and was built on the spot where Edison’s Laboratory was located. It was here that the incandescent light bulb, as well as many of Edison’s other inventions were conceived and produced.  The original buildings have since been relocated to Dearborn Michigan by Henry Ford so this tower and its accompanying museum (which has a parking lot where I can operate from) were built to memorialize the spot.  The tower and museum were just recently renovated and were reopened last year after being closed for a long time due to deterioration.

I am envisioning a special QSL card, designed for the day which will include photos of both the Edison Tower and something having to do with the Lincoln Highway.  Two “special” QRP outdoor events for the price of one – BOGO! This is going to be fun!

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

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