Posts Tagged ‘special events’


Just a reminder. I will be on the air tonight (Wednesday) and tomorrow night (Thursday) as N2A, the NAQCC Special Event Station from 0000 to 0200 UTC on or about 7.040 MHz.  That's the plan, anyway. Mother Nature might have other plans as a cold front is about to march through our area. I am hoping that the thunderstorms they are predicting are a "no-show".  Sooooooo, listen for me on 40 Meters and I will hand you NAQCC #1100 and a short QSO.

On Friday night, from 0000 to 0300 UTC, I will be on 80 Meters on or about 3.560 MHz.  I hope to be busy for the whole time - sending CQ over and over without any responses is about as exciting as watching grass grow or paint dry.  I will spot myself on QRPSPOTS. So please, keep me company if you can.

I will schedule some time Friday afternoon as it becomes available.

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


This week, from October 13th to the 19th, the North American QRP CW Club (NAQCC) is celebrating the 10th Anniversary of its founding.  There will be N#A stations on the air - N1A, N2A, N3A - all the way through N0A.

Yours truly will be on the air as N2A as follows:

October 16th - from 0000 to 0200 UTC on 7.040 MHz  (Wednesday evening EDT)
October 17th - from 0000 to 0200 UTC on 7.040 MHz  (Thursday evening EDT)
October 18th - from 0000 to 0300 UTC on 3.560 MHz  (Friday evening EDT)

Coincidentally, I will be taking a vacation day from work this Friday, October 17th - so after some chores, I will probably get on during the day to try and work some of the higher bands.

As you can see from the table, I was on 20 Meters last night. It was dead - deader than a door nail! So towards the end of my shift, I checked with the Reverse Beacon Network to make sure that there were no N2A stations on 80 Meters and I shifted over there. It was better. Not much, but I did manage to make a few QSOs.

For all the information about the NAQCC's Anniversary celebration, you can go to  All the QSL information is there. To see a list of activity that's already been planned, go to  Keep in mind, this is activity that has been pre-scheduled to this point. More will be added as operator's personal time permits. I know that I probably won't be able to add my additional Friday or Saturday daytime operating time until relatively close to when it's actually going to happen. In addition, I'm not sure that I will operate from home or perhaps the local park. So check the schedule often as it will most likely be amended - a lot!

As I mentioned before, another good tool to check for NAQCC Anniversary activity is to simply go over to the Reverse Beacon Network and simply plug in the N#A call for any, or perhaps the particular district your interested in QSOing with. For example, just enter N2A where it says "search spot by callsign" under the map. That will tell you where WA2NYY, WK2T, K2YGM or myself happen to be at any particular moment.

Oh, and if you try to work me as N2A, please be patient! I am trying to make these QSOs just a tad more than "TNX UR 599, 73 DE N2A". Not ragchews, per se, but definitely more than get-it-done-with-quick. 

UPDATE: Thanks to the following, who kept me company during lunch and got in a QSO with N2A (me) in the process - Steve AB0XE, Andy KD4UKW, Anthony KK4VAU,  Van N4ERM - all on 20 Meters - 14.060 MHz. Oh, and Van ..... not sure what you were using as far as rigs go, but your signal almost made my earbuds pop out - 599 +++!  Great signal from North Carolina!

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

Special Event Alert

This coming weekend is International Lighthouse/Lightship Weekend. Here’s an article I caught online:

I’ve had the opportunity to work various lighthouses and lightships the world over throughout the years and it’s always been fun.  Back when the Piscataway Amateur Radio Club was in its hey-day, we activated the Twin Lights Lighthouse in Atlantic Highlands, NJ.

That was a few years back, and my memory is fuzzy on the details.  We did a lot of special event stations as a club, and I don’t think this activation was actually connected to ILLW.  It may have been, but I don’t recall it being so. 
New Jersey is home to eleven lighthouses. They are:

I’m not sure how many, if any, will be activated for ILLW Weekend.  Even though the Skeeter Hunt falls the weekend before ILLW Weekend, maybe next year we can make lighthouses part of the theme and do some “pre-activations”.  What say?

Here’s a little video “advertising” a Spanish lighthouse that will be activated this coming weekend. The link was provided by fellow ETS clubmember, Don K2DSV.  This definitely gets the juices flowing, thinking about all the exotic lighthouses that will be on the air this coming weekend.

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

The bands are slipping

Band conditions seem to have vastly deteriorated from what they were just a few months ago. It’s not that propagation is non-existent, it’s just that it seems to have left us in a bigger hurry than I would have thought.

I went out at lunchtime today (around 1730Z) to find activity on 15 Meters to be nil.  A quick scan of 17 Meters revealed not so much.  Just a few months ago, both these bands were hopping with all kinds of DX. It wasn’t all that rare to hear Europe, South America and Asia all at the same time! It wasn’t all that rare to hear a good amount of activity on 12 and 10 Meters just a few short months ago.

Since 15 and 17 seemed inactive, I went to 14.061 MHz and called CQ after QRLing to make sure the frequency was dead.  I was answered by fellow New Jerseyan, QRPer and blogger, Chris KQ2RP who gave me a 559 from Maine.

After that, I worked fellow Polar Bear, Ken WA8REI who is having a hard time enduring the heat and humidity in Michigan.  It’s hard to put up with the Temperature Humidity Index when you have so much fur! 😉  Ken was a good solid 579 here when the QSB wasn’t wreaking havoc. We had a nice little chat and then it was time for Ken to go, and my available lunchtime minutes were growing short, too.

Before heading in, I decided to check out 17 Meters one more time.  There, blasting in at 599+ was GA14CG, the Special Event Station for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland.  There was a bit of a pileup, but he was so loud that I figured that I could work him, if only I could place myself correctly.

With time running short, I was able to eventually find the right spot.  GA14CG was using the ol’ racetrack pattern scheme. Start at a frequency, move a bit higher after each call, reach a high point and then continue to work stations, moving a bit lower after each QSO until arriving at starting point and starting the process all over again. Essentially, he was doing laps, which I guess was appropriate considering it’s the Commonwealth Games.  I placed myself correctly on the return trip home and got into the log. They’re on the air until August 3rd, so you have plenty of time to work them.

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

Always keep twiddlin’ that dial

even when it seems like there’s nothing out there.  You never know what might come up!

It’s a beautiful sunny day here in Central NJ, so as per my custom, I headed out to the Jeep, the KX3 and the Buddistick at lunchtime.  From the get go, it seemed very disappointing.  There wasn’t a whole heckuva a lot of DX activity. What I was hearing were stations I have worked before and you don’t want to keep pestering guys on the same bands, just to get a contact in the log.

I started calling CQ at the 20, 17 and 15 Meter QRP watering holes with no takers.  I was slightly discouraged (Momma said there’d be days like this), and was ready to pack it in and head on back to my desk, slightly early.  That’s when I decided to give 17 Meters just one extra twiddle before coming in.

TM70UTAH – Courtesy of Reverse Beacon Network

Bam!  There was TM70UTAH loud as all get out!  This is a Special Event station, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Allied landing at Utah Beach on D-Day in 1944.  First call and they were in the books!  I have to admit, I was so excited when I heard them that I had to send my call a few extra times as I fumbled it in my eagerness to work them.  I did hear a confirmation of W2LJ come back to me and I was smiling ear to ear. Next,  just a few KHz down, I heard SP3DOF calling “CQ DX”.  One call and I was in Jerzy’s logbook.


Wow! A WWII Special Event station and a Polish DX station worked within a few minutes of each other – a red letter day as far as I’m concerned.  And all this was after I was tempted to throw in the towel for the day. So it’s a good reminder (to myself included) to keep throwing that fishing line back into the water.  You never know what’s going to land on the hook.

TM70UTAH site – Courtesy of QRZ.COM

The funny thing is, that TM70UTAH wasn’t even mentioned in that ARRL article on D-Day Special Event stations that I posted from the ARRL just a few days ago.  So in addition to TM70JUN, keep an ear open for TM70UTAH. I would like to work both of them!

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

Upcoming D-Day Special Event Stations

Courtesy of the ARRL:

Several special event stations will be on the air to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day — the Allied invasion of the Normandy Coast of France in World War II.

In France, TM70JUN will be on the air from June 6 — the actual anniversary date — until June 20. Modes will be SSB, CW, PSK, RTTY, and JT65 on HF and 6 meters. Special event station TM70BMC will operate from Mont Canisy June 5-8.

W9D will be active on SSB, CW, and AM on HF through 6 meters June 6-8 from the First Division War Museum in Winfield, Illinois.

VC3JUNO from Canada will be on the air from June 6 until July 31 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day; “Juno” was the code name for the beach where Canadian forces landed.

The Riverway Amateur Radio Society will sponsor special event station GB70DDL from June 1 until June 28 from the Sea Cadet headquarters in Stafford, England.

On June 6, 1944, 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the Normandy beaches. The attack was a major turning point in the war. More than 5000 ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the invasion, in which more than 9000 Allied soldiers were killed or wounded.

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

FDIM and Dayton

Once again, I do not have the good fortune of being able to attend FDIM and Dayton.  Attending FDIM is like, #1 on my wish list, but not this year and probably not next year, either.  Joey’s Confirmation is this weekend and next year, Cara’s will be the same weekend. So maybe FDIM 2016?  I can always hope!

But even though I’m not there, I do have the symposium running on a separate tab and I am listening, while working. is the link, for those of you not in the know.

What I am listening to is mostly over my head.  I’m not a technical wizard by any stretch of the imagination.  Most of these guys making presentations are using transporters while I’m still rubbing two sticks together, trying to make fire.  That said, it’s still fun to listen to. Craig Behrens NM4T gave a talk that I am actually able to follow and enjoy – same for Rev. Dobson’s talk on regenerative receivers earlier this morning. And right now there’s a fascinating talk being given about WWII POWs building clandestine radios by Dave Cripe NM0S. Man, I wish I were there!

All this talk of Arduinos has me curious.  There’s a guy who comes to all the NJ Hamfests who sells beginner kits and I have that ARRL Birthday Month coupon kicking around – and they have a good book on Arduino experimenting, if I remember correctly.  Intriguing (like I don’t have enough to do!).

This afternoon during lunch I had a cool QSO with Gary WA2JQZ who was operating the Marshall Spaceflight Center ARC station WA4NZD. Gary was using a Yaesu FT950 at 5 Watts to a dipole.  He was a good 579 or louder here and I got a 559 in return.  I had actually worked Gary a few weekends ago during QRPttF. So we talked about that among other things.

And I hope I’m not “talking out of school” here, or giving away state secrets, but Gary shared some information that I am going to pass on.  Please listen for N4A later on this year, sometime towards the end of July. The Marshall Spaceflight Center ARC will be using that call to run a Special Event station honoring and commemorating Apollo 11 – which of course, landed on the Moon in July – July 20th, 1969 to be exact.  I’m not sure when they will be on, but I am sure there will be announcements in all the usual places.

As a Baby Boomer, I was a huge manned spaceflight fan/geek.  When I hear about something like this, I make every effort to work the space flight themed Special Event stations – even if it means picking up a microphone (ugh!)

UpdateCongrats to TJ Campie, W0EA (fellow blogger) who won one of four TenTec Rebel radios, which were given as door prizes today at FDIM. It was neat to listen in as his name was announced.

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

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