Posts Tagged ‘Skeeter’

Just a reminder

that next Monday, June 20th, is the first day of Summer. And you know what that means ..... Skeeter numbers will start to be issued that day!

Beginning this year, the Hunt has been moved to the third Sunday in August in order to even out spacing a bit between FOBB, the Skeeter Hunt and the NoGA Peanut Power Classic.  Also, there are some rule changes for 2016 in order to more fully incorporate NPOTA into the Skeeter Hunt. Make sure to check them out at www.qsl.net/w2lj.

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

Just a reminder

that next Monday, June 20th, is the first day of Summer. And you know what that means ..... Skeeter numbers will start to be issued that day!

Beginning this year, the Hunt has been moved to the third Sunday in August in order to even out spacing a bit between FOBB, the Skeeter Hunt and the NoGA Peanut Power Classic.  Also, there are some rule changes for 2016 in order to more fully incorporate NPOTA into the Skeeter Hunt. Make sure to check them out at www.qsl.net/w2lj.

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

Skeeter Hunt – NPOTA News

Several things:

First - The NJQRP Skeeter Hunt for 2016 is moving from the second Sunday in August to the third. So please mark Sunday, August 21st on your calendar for this year's Skeeter Hunt.  There are two reasons for this. The most important is that yours truly has an outstanding monthly commitment each 2nd Sunday of the month.  That's the Sunday I go help out at the soup kitchen in the next town over.  I kind of blew that off the past couple of Augusts, and that's not right. There are some things more important than Amateur Radio, and this is one of those.

But hey, the organizer shouldn't go AWOL, right?  (That's how I feel, anyway). So I have moved it back a weekend to the third Sunday in August, where it shall occur forever more.  Another added benefit is that this makes the spacing between Flight of the Bumblebees, the Skeeter Hunt and QRP Afield and the Peanut Power Sprint a bit more even.

Second - I have gotten blessing from Sean Kutzko KX9X to incorporate NPOTA into the NJQRP Skeeter Hunt this year.  Is that COOL or what?  I'm not exactly sure how it's going to all work out. Maybe bonus points for activating an NPOTA unit for the Hunt - or possibly some special "memento" for activating an NPOTA unit during the Hunt.  I'll have to ruminate on that one for a bit - but there's time.



Third - On a personal level, Sean announced some new NPOTA units the other day. This was a biggie for me, because in the Northeast, the Washington - Rochambeau Historical Trail was added. This is the route taken by General Rochambeau's French forces and General Washington's Continental forces as they both marched on towards the siege at Yorktown, which all but brought the American victory in the Revolutionary War.


The Washington - Rochambeau Historical Trail is within a stone's throw from my house - literally. To make this situation even better, there is the Frazee house located on the trail in Scotch Plains, NJ - the next town over. Rather than try and explain the significance of the Frazee house in my own words - allow me to post something from the official Website.


"As the legend holds, after the Battle of Short Hills, General Cornwallis and his troops passed by the house while marching toward the Watchung mountains, located a few miles to the north. Known to the locals as a prolific baker, Aunt Betty was baking bread at the time. Hungry and tired, the troops smelled the bread and Cornwallis approached her stating, "I want the first loaf of bread that next comes from that oven." Betty is said to have replied, “Sir, I give you this bread through fear, not in love.” Evidently impressed by her courage, Cornwallis is said to have stated, “Not a man in my command shall touch a single loaf.” While history offers evidence that Betty lived in the house and did, indeed, bake bread, the story of the actual conversation is not authenticated by primary source documents.  The words allegedly spoken by the principals are found in the earliest authoritative source on the subject, F.W. Ricord's History of Union County, page 513, which is one of the sources cited in the National Register of Historic Places filing that led to the Frazee House being placed on the Register."


I'll have to look onto getting permission to operate from the property that the house is on. If that's not obtainable, there are plenty of other locations that can be operated from on the Trail, right in my local area. In fact, right in front of the Ashbrook Golf Course, is a monument to The Battle of Short Hills.

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

Web designers of the world

you can sleep soundly tonight!

You have no competition from W2LJ - whatsoever. I have finished the 2015 Skeeter Hunt Soapbox and have posted it to the Web. A bona fide Web designer probably could have done in an hour what took me a lot longer to accomplish. And I bet it would look a lot better, too. Mr. Originality or Mr. Creativity, I am not!

In all their non-glory, they are there for your perusal. Just click and go!

2015 Scoreboard

2015 Soapbox

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

2015 Skeeter Hunt Results

OK - I've made the 2015 NJQRP Skeeter Hunt Scoreboard public, the results are as posted.

Congratulations to all of you who participated (you're all winners in my book!), but special congratulations to the "Top Five":

N3AQC - The North American QRP CW Club - First Place Overall - Top finish in PA by a multi-multi station - 14,380 points

KX0R - George Fuller - Second Place Overall - Top finish in CO - Top finish by a single op station - 13,652 points

N0SS - Mid-Missouri Amateur Radio Club - Third Place Overall - Top finish in MO - Top finish by a multi op - single TX station - 7,276 points

N3CU - Ken McIntire - Fourth Place Overall - Top finish in PA by a single op station - 6,148 points

K4YA - Myron Cherry - Fifth Place Overall - Top finish in TN - 6,084 points

The entire scoreboard can be viewed at: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1lcRvpNb2jwgyJsqruCdecNiWXNpi6yz2l4vvJucp0UE/edit#gid=307219926

We didn't do too badly this year. 170 Hams signed up for Skeeter numbers (a record) and we had 60 log summaries submitted. That's about a 35% return rate.

As promised, the soapbox page will come shortly and I will announce when it's ready for viewing. Most nights this week will be busy as I will be volunteering with my CERT team for crowd control duties, as the Barclay Golf Tournament is being played out at the Plainfield Country Club, which is about 1/4 mile from my house.  Look for the soapbox announcement some time next week.

Thank you to all of you who sign up and those who participate, and those who help me get the word out about the NJQRP Skeeter Hunt. I'm already looking forward to 2016's event! And as always, if any of you have any suggestions as to how this event can be improved, I'm always willing to listen. Changes were made this year due to someone's input from last year and there was a good suggestion made to me after this year's event which will result in a small change in the way QSO points are calculated next year. I'm all ears, guys!

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

Busy weekend!

I know I promised the 2015 NJQRP Skeeter Hunt Scoreboard would be published today, so my recounting of my busy weekend isn't an excuse for not doing that. Actually the spreadsheet has all been compiled and is up on Google sheets, but is being held private for the moment.  I got an e-mail yesterday from Randy KB4QQJ. He had submitted his results last week and did not receive the confirming e-mail from me ...... and that would be because I never received them. So I asked him to re-send ASAP and I will post the link later today or tonight, either way.  If I have to change things around due to his entry after the initial posting, I will - but something will definitely appear at some point later today. From his brief e-mail to me, I don't think his entry will affect the top five finishers.

The weekend was busy chore-wise. And normally, I wouldn't consider that such a great thing. The HF bands have been so crappy, though, that at least I've been too busy to bang my head against that ionospheric brick wall.  The few times I did turn the KX3 on for a few minutes, I thought both my antennas had disappeared, with one exception I will talk about later.

I spent Saturday mowing the lawns, front & back, as well as completing all the trimming in the backyard. It's kind of amazing how much lawn I've reclaimed by beating off and cutting back all my neighbors' flora overhang from my two side fences. Not only does the backyard look bigger now, but mowing the lawn will be easier. Each time I got near the fence on each side of the yard, I was being treated to whaps in the face by low hanging bush branches encroaching from their yards. Not a problem now!

On Sunday, I had the great honor and immense pleasure to be interviewed by Eric Guth 4Z1UG for an upcoming installment of his "QSO Today" podcast. I have no idea when it will actually be released, but someday soon you'll be able to hear my voice and you'll suddenly realize why I've stayed a CW guy all these years!

All kidding aside, it was a fantastic experience. Eric is a warm and friendly person who immediately puts you at ease. It was just like having a QSO with a dear, old friend. The interview lasted for close to an hour, but it felt more like five minutes. Eric has done a lot of really cool podcast interviews with a lot of deserving and interesting Amateur radio ops, so why he selected me is anyone's guess. But you should do yourself a favor and follow the link I provided and listen to some of them. He's performing a great service to the Amateur Radio community by providing fascinating conversations for us to listen to. This series kind of reminds me of the old Edward R. Murrow "Person to Person" TV show, but on an Amateur Radio basis.

After I finished up with Eric, I dove into cleaning up the shack. I'm not proud to admit that over the past few months, it became a dumping ground and a pig sty (however, I am Flying Pig #612, so maybe that's appropriate?). I ended up spending about three hours, cleaning, organizing and pitching "stuff". I ended up filling four of those large 30 gallon green trash bags with stuff I should have tossed a long time ago, but never did. 

As a bonus, I "found" a few items that I have been looking for and had misplaced. For instance, last Winter, I had ordered a few kite winders that I wanted to use for storing the radiator wires for my EFHW antennas. As QRPTTF and FOBB approached, I knew I had them, but I couldn't locate them.  I had put them down in the shack, and just couldn't figure out where - exactly. I found them yesterday and they are now safely in my portable ops backpack. Of course, it's as we approach the end of the outdoor QRP contest season - but I have them. Yay!

I actually have room to move around and breath in there now!  Don't get me wrong .... it's by no means an immaculate shack. I still need to dust and I want to re-hang my DXCC, WPX and QRP-ARCI awards on the main shack wall before I will consider the job done. However, I can now bring a visitor into the shack without fear that they'll be swallowed up like one of those hoarders you see on TV.

I finished up the evening, by returning to the shack after dinner to see how 80 Meters was behaving itself. It sounded relatively quiet, so I guess that's another depressing sign that Autumn is on the way. (My regular readers know that I'm a Spring/Summer kind of guy and that Autumn bums me out because I know that Winter is not far behind.) I plunked down around 3.561 MHz and tried calling CQ for a bit. For my efforts (no real big effort!) I was rewarded with a QSO from Lee K4ISW in Chartlottesville, VA.  Lee just recently acquired a K3S and I was one of his first week's worth of QSOs on the new rig. Lee's K3S sounded great and Lee sounded happy - so I'm thinking a win/win situation is occurring at the K4ISW shack.

80 Meters sounded great after a Spring and Summer filled with static crashes and loud background QRN.  The return of 80 and 160 Meters into useful Amateur Radio bands is the ONLY good thing about Fall and Winter, in yours truly's humble opinion.

Take care guys/gals - QRP and CW on!

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

Skeeter Hunt Videos

I always ask for pictures for the Skeeter Hunt Soapbox. I'm not different from any of my fellow QRPers. I like to see how my peers set up, how they do things and compare it to what I'm doing if possible. That, and plus the fact that it's nice to put a face to the fist of the guys I have worked.

So far this year, two Skeeters have gone above and beyond the call of normal duty and have sent me a couple of short videos - so I will embed them here.

The first is from Nick WB5BKL, Skeeter # 84 from Texas:


and the second is from the fine Hams who make up the Burlington County Amateur Radio Club K2TD, Skeeter # 102 from Delanco, NJ.  This one is from a bit of a different perspective and is way cool (not that Nick's isn't!):


Thanks guys, for sending these in!  I think I'm going to have to ask Santa for a GoPro this Christmas so I can take videos of my QRP exploits, and share them, too. On second thought, maybe it's not such a good idea for you guys to see how I mess up - er, I mean operate. Hi!

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

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