November 6, 2010

And now for something completely different..

A letter from Cam Hartford, N6GA:


Please allow me a moment of congratulatory number crunching.

Zuni Loop Mountain Expeditionary Force
Overall, out of 2617 participants, we placed #65. Thanks to Jim Lowman for pointing out that means we placed in the top 2.5% nationwide. Closer to home, we were #4 out of 182 participants in the Southwest Division, which is SoCal plus Arizona. Still closer to home, in the LAX Section, we smoked 'em all!  We're #1! We're #1! Now where'd I put my big #1 foam hand....

Not too shabby for a bunch of geezers. Well, not Paul and Tim. Hang in there, someday you guys will make geezer status.

Tnx, 72, 73,


I know most visitors will be puzzling over this; it's NOT politics. When I get back form my USAFA meeting this after, I'll riddle this out of for all of you.

For those who do understand:


..dit dit.

UPDATE: O.K., sorry for not filling folks in about this and, yes, Odie, I did write about this before. It is the results of an amateur radio contest I participate in every year. I wrote about this as my second blog post ever:

..While not an avid devotee of CW ("Continuous Wave", as Morse code is called), I plug along at about 15-20 wpm depending n the state of mind, the ears, and the amount of time I can devote to it. But it is, as I said, a source of pride that I got my ticket before the qualifications were watered down. So, just call me an old "code warrior".

The one aspect of the hobby I am unabashedly fervent about is building and operating QRP radios. These are radios that emit 5 watts (or less) of power and, when atmospheric conditions are good, can be used to contact other hams half way across the globe. Also, these radios can be made very small and therefore operated off batteries and from exotic locations - like from your camp site in the mountains.

Talking with foreign or far-flung amateurs is called "DX" (short for "distance") and, while difficult with radios operating at 100 watts or 1,000 watts of output power, at 5 watts it requires a good deal of luck and skill.

I have a lot of the former, and a smattering of the latter.

The contest is called Field Day and takes place on the  third weekend of June and requires -- no, incentivizes --  operators to choose an outdoors location where they can set up and operate in a quasi-emergency location. Points are  awarded on the basis of the number of contacts a station or a group of operators will make and point multipliers awarded for the mode they operate in.

Every year, we repair to the Zuni Loop campground in the mountains near Wrightwood, California for this contest. Our QRP, battery-powered stations and the number of contacts regularly oput us up in the top echelon of those who participate ion this nation-wide (and now world-wide) contest.

This year were the bomb!

Disclaimer: through little or no skill on my part. Cam Hartford, N6GA, and others of stellar talent occasioned this triumph. So now, where's my foam hand?


1 comment:

  1. ????? you posted something like this before ... right? It has something to do with fire spotting lookouts?