Column #85 by John, K3WWP - In a QSO with Gary N2ESE this evening (1/30/08), he mentioned that he had just visited my web site and was delighted to find all my past Keynote QRP columns posted there. That got me to thinking that I haven't mentioned that for quite a while. For the newer FISTS members who haven't read all my columns, and think for whatever reason they may be interested in doing so - yes, all my past columns from #1 up until a couple columns ago are archived on my web site. I'll give you the URL later on. I try to keep the most recent 2 or 3 columns exclusive to the Keynote for a couple months before posting them on the web site.
Then thinking some more (whew!), there are a lot of new FISTS members recently for various reasons. I believe one main reason is that folks are re-discovering CW since it is now somewhat of a "forbidden fruit" after the ARRL and FCC turned their backs on the mode. And we all know that forbidden things seem to attract the most attention in our society today. But that's getting off on another path.
With the large number of new FISTS reading my column for the first time, I think I should point out some of the other features of my web site. First of all it is devoted strictly to promoting CW use on the bands, but with a twist in that I promote CW at QRP power levels with simple wire antennas and point out in many ways how those three things work so well together.
My site is divided into sections and then pages within those sections. I think that makes for easy navigation around the site via a navigation toolbar at the left side on all but a few pages.
Let me briefly describe each section and how it may be of interest to you. The Main section is pretty much an intro to the site and also contains a poll question about CW/QRP matters, my guestbook, station pictures, my web Diary, FAQ's, and a complete site index. The diary has become a very popular feature since its introduction a couple years ago. I often venture into other topics besides ham radio, but that seems to add to the popularity. My polls have been popular since day 1 of their inception. I recently posted #100 in the series. Also found here is a listing of the last 10 days of my streak of making at least one QRP/CW QSO every day. The streak is now over 5,000 days (as described in my column a couple issues ago) and still going strong.
The Awards section is not there for bragging, but to show what can be done using CW, QRP, and minimal wire antennas. This has encouraged many to give such a setup a try just to see if it would be possible for them also. They quickly found in most cases, it indeed was, and they are now enjoying ham radio a second time around - as a CW/QRP op.
The Contesting section is not for everyone as not everyone is for contesting, but for those who do enjoy this fascinating aspect of hamming, there are several helpful features here. First a calendar featuring only contests that include the CW mode. You won't find any SSB, RTTY, PSK, etc. contests here. There are tips for contesting with QRP gleaned from my own personal experiences in some 800 contests over the years plus some comments from other QRP contesters. Like the Awards section, a list of my results over the years shows what can be done with QRP/CW and simple wire antennas.
My site was originally conceived as a county hunting site, but quickly outgrew that as my interest in county hunting declined. Still a County Hunting section describes how WA8EOH and I founded the CW County Hunters Net and CW County Hunters Contest back in the mid-1960s.
The CW section contains a mish-mash of things CW. Here is where you will find all the past issues of this column mentioned above as well as a bit more about FISTS. Briefly, pages on CW procedures and abbreviations, a zero beat circuit, CW stories, and using a straight key can be found here. I particularly like the stories page because it contains testimonials from teen-agers explaining why and how much they like to operate CW. Please if you know a teen-age ham, have them read these stories. They just may turn him/her on to CW.
The DX section contains a QSL address lookup that is among the tops on the Internet according to many who use it, and the many sites that link to it with favorable comments. Also here are my DX QSL collection picturing one card from each of the 199 countries (entities) I have confirmed, tips on working DX with QRP and then getting DX QSL's after you work them, buro info, and links to DX spots although I don't believe in or use them myself.
The Homebrewing section contains just what it says - info on my homebrewing experiences with accompanying pictures. I often get asked about my antennas - here is where all the info on them can be found.
Every site seems to have a Links section - mine does too.
My Logs sections gives access to a brief listing of every QRP QSO I've ever made - almost 50,000 of them.
The Propagation section gives a brief account of recent propagation conditions via tables and charts plus a simple overview of what propagation is all about.
The QRP section details the streak, has a listing of most of the current QRP rigs with links to info on them plus personal reviews of a few by me and my site visitors, and also contains other info such as QRP frequencies and some of my yearly QRP stats.
We're approaching the end now. My QSLing section has the same QSL address lookup as the DX section, plus some stats on my QSLing percentages of return over the years for various means of QSLing.
Finally my Visitors List section contains a list of most everyone who has visited the site over the years gleaned from guestbook signings, emails, etc.
Whew, that's a lot. Come see my site at http://home.alltel.net/johnshan/ and experience it for yourself if you haven't done so. 73 de John, K3WWP -30-