Thursday, February 11, 2016
Jock Irvine N1JI has done an excellent job with this promotional video for our club. Watching this production makes me proud to be a member of such an "all volunteer organization" whose focus is on QRP CW operations and simple wire antennas.
This project took many long hours to tweak the audio and gather the pictures necessary for the proper display, in the correct order, to make it pleasing to the eye and the ear. He has done an excellent job splicing it together as a finished product.
I played only a small part in the video by providing the background music. Several months ago, Jock contacted me because he knew I played several instruments. Like himself, we both see music as an art form much like Morse code.
I consider the Ukulele to be the small QRP model of the guitar and thought it would work well as background music without distracting from the voice narrative. Much like QRP radio, the Ukulele is easily transported, very versatile, modestly priced, and easy to use in the field. Whether used at a campsite or sitting at a picnic table they're both great tools for relaxation. I've used both while sitting around a campfire.
I've had several hams ask me how I produced the background music in the video. The sound you hear in the video is actually two "mono" tracks recorded individually and mixed together to form a "master track". I was able to transfer the end result to my desktop and save it as a WAV file. I'm a long way from having it mastered but am looking forward to learning more and recording more as the weeks pass.
I used a Tascam DP-006 multi-track digital recorder. There's a learning curve to using this device. This was my first recording and I was lucky, after several attempts, to arrive with a finished product.
The video seems to be going very well for the club. I think the production explains our philosophy and operating modes very well.
Lifetime membership is Free -- so why haven't you signed up?
Posted by Jspiker at 2:54 PM
Thursday, January 21, 2016
I received an unexpected surprise in the mail this morning. I worked Oleg (UR5FA/MM) back in May of 2011. It's unusual to work a QRP station at around 5,000 miles, especially from a ship off the coast of Brazil. We actually worked each other "twice" on two different days from two different grid squares. (GK57 and GK91). Oleg was running a "long wire" stretched between the masts of the ship. He was the communications officer of the ship and running 5 watts of power.
Another unexpected surprise was to find him on the NAQCC membership list! (#4528)
I immediately sent my return card to him. I'm really proud of this (paper) card. Oleg included a SASE which is now in the mail.
Here is is a picture of the ship.
It's been three years since the original contact on the slow freighter. I've been listening for him again, ever since the original contact. Perhaps I will work him again on the next long voyage from the Ukraine?
Posted by Jspiker at 12:07 PM
Saturday, December 12, 2015
photo of XE1RK dog
Dave Higley (KD8WA) and I were sitting at a picnic table at the Wave Pool Park in Hurricane West Virginia yesterday morning. We heard XE1RK from Mexico City barking at around thirty words a minute . A lady from the park asked us if we had seen a little brown dog wandering around the grounds. Sorry to say but we were much too focused on the event at hand. I hope she finds the lost dog.
The Mexico City station was the perfect example of "good operating procedures" when he immediately matched my sending speed of around 20 wpm. I'm sure that if I reduced my speed to 13 wpm, he would have gladly done the same.
Dave (KD8WA) who was with me, has been an active SSB ham for many years but has now decided to enter the QRP CW fraternity. He is "testing the waters" so to speak. Twice today, we've worked DX stations which have "matched the sending speed of the inquiring station". Our other DX contact was 6Y5WJ in Jamaica, who by the way, was just as accommodating.
I'm sure it was comforting for Dave to hear this "on the air" courtesy. I can remember those days very well from my early days using Morse Code.
It was a beautiful day with temperatures supposedly reaching the lower 70 degree range. I don't think it quite made it while we were doing the event but perhaps close. The slight breeze made it feel a little cooler.
We operated from around 10:15 am till 2:00 pm from this location. We used an end fed PAR antenna cut for 40-20- and 10 meters. The leafless trees made getting the antenna about 35 ft into the air a quick event.
We worked 19 stations at our event yesterday.
Some of the highlights yesterday was working our club President N8XMS who was 599 from Michigan and N4KGL in Florida who was using an "Alex Loop" from a portable location. We also had great signals from W7GVE in Arizona, KC0DD in Iowa, and it's always good to hear Don (KD3CA) in Pennsylvania.
Information from K1SWL (nice call) has me listening for two hikers in New Hampshire this morning. I've previously worked both W3ATB and W1PID in "hiking mode". On our last NAQCC field event I heard them both working a station in France. (It doesn't get any better than this).
Yesterdays event brought back the true joy of operating from a field location. Simplicity at its best with an added addition of "adjusting the sending speed to the inquiring station". Yesterdays event makes me proud to not only be a NAQCC operator, but also to be a member of such a unique fraternity of CW ops.
Stations worked yesterday were:
WB3T W3ZMN N2CX K4KRW K1SWL KD3CA K3SWZ WA8SAN N8XMS 6Y5WJ WA4SPJ K7TQ K4ARQ N0AR WA2FBN XE1RK KC0DD N4KGL W7GVE
Posted by Jspiker at 9:14 AM
Saturday, December 5, 2015
Our club member John Shannon (K3WWP) and former NAQCC Vice President reached a milestone on November 25th, 2015.
Many of us have been following retired NAQCC VP John, K3WWP’s, amazing and inspirational QRP QSO streaks. John is currently in his 22nd year of making at least one QRP CW QSO per day using simple wire antennas.
That’s right, not a single day missed in over 21 years!
On November 25th he reached a significant milestone on his DX sub-streak - 1000 consecutive days making at least 1 QRP CW DX QSO using simple wire antennas!
You can read all about this great accomplishment in the Member Submissions section of the NAQCC December newsletter.
Posted by Jspiker at 1:54 PM
Friday, November 20, 2015
Santa Clause should be moving full speed now with the holiday season fast approaching. Two years ago, I found him testing his wings and the new rig on a pre-flight in the skies over Finland. I'll be listening closely this year for another broadcast. I hope you will be able to make a contact too.
Posted by Jspiker at 7:29 AM
Friday, November 6, 2015
Steve Ashcraft (KC4URI) met me yesterday at the Cedar Lakes Conference near Ripley WV. We operated a NAQCC Special Event Station and worked fourteen stations between 10:30 am and 1 pm. I used an end fed PAR antenna up about 40 feet and my Icom 703 during the event.
It was comforting to hear and work stations from the South of Georgia and North to New Brunswick in Canada. Thirteen of the fourteen stations I worked were NAQCC members and I talked the lone station in Indiana into joining our group. I considered it a great day!
I found our club member F6HKA, who lives in France, talking to a couple of QRP hikers here in the United States. I patiently waited for the end of his QSO and threw out my call sign. He came back to me, on the first attempt, and gave me a 569 report.
We had a very nice QSO about operating from a picnic table here in West Virginia. I knew he was a club member but he proudly informed me of his membership in the NAQCC Club. We talked about the beautiful day with temperatures near 24 (C) and the joy of operating QRP from a picnic table. I needed to return to Charleston and he needed to eat dinner so we ended the QSO and wished each other a great evening.
This little critter seems to enjoy listening to CW. Time after time again, it walked across the radio or my hands as I sent CW.
Stations worked yesterday were: KI4KXO KD2JC KA0ENU N2CX W8GDP K3JZD N2JJF K1AVE WA4SPJ AJ4SB KM3D W9PP VE1MAM F6HKA
Posted by Jspiker at 10:20 AM
Friday, October 30, 2015
I love a well designed QSL card and was happy to receive this one from our Florida Chapter Special Event station. I worked Steve with 5 watts while he was sitting at a picnic table in New Smyrna Beach. There's nothing more fun than operating "portable".
Posted by Jspiker at 12:27 PM