W4H Sticky

W4H - 2nd Anniversary of the 470 Amateur Radio Group
Start Date: November 1, 2009
End Date: November 15, 2009
Frequencies:Voice - 24.450, 14.260, 7.260, 3.860
PSK31 - 14.070, 7.070.
QSL Info: Note the amateur's name and send QSL to the call that is working the W4H event. For example if you work me as W4H I will also give you my home call and tell you to QSL to me AJ4IJ.
More Info: The 470 Amateur Radio Group website

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

All Ham's Day Picnic & WAS Update

On Saturday, September 20, 2008, Teresa (KI4ZQO) and Jack (KD4TNY) held a wonderful "All Ham's" picnic. We had tons of food, and lots of friends, and I just wanted to say thank you to them for such a wonderful time. I met just about everyone I talk to on 2 meters on a regular basis, and then some. There was a wonderful turnout, with more than 65 people. And the weather was absolutely beautiful. It's officially fall in East Tennessee -- My favorite time of the year. For the ones that weren't there, maybe I'll get to meet them at the Ten-Tec Hamfest this coming Saturday.

We all had a lot of fun... Here's a couple pictures:
Cathy (KI4YPO) & Ashby (KJ4EGJ)

The Picnic Area & A Few Hams

Rick Sr. (N4JTQ), Cathy (KI4YPO), & Ashby (KJ4EGJ)
with Larry (KB4ITS) & Ricky (KG4WYW) in the background

Tailgating in the parking lot - from left to right
??, Lucy (KE4RLK), Rick Jr.'s wife, Rick Jr. (KG4QPG), Bob (KB4ABF)


WAS Update! Thought I'd add my new updated WAS map. I'm going to have to get to work on this!
Click for Larger Version

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

1 QSO, 4 Minutes, 5 DX

I have a habit of writing about my AR firsts. This is one of them. Last Friday, while Dad (KU4ME), Tim (AJ4JD), and I were running up and down the band, (they were looking for Rt. 66 contacts) we spotted an Irish station in the dx window on 80 meters. I wasn't up for much talking, but I couldn't resist getting Ireland. Dad tuned me up (I've still yet to learn how to work those things confidently), and I sat down to make contact with Ireland when I noticed that there was another station in there wanting to make contacts as well. This wasn't new to me... I'd heard two stations working together before. I kept listening, jotting down the info for the log, when I heard there was another station, then another, and then another! Five stations working together... I had to get them.

So I threw my call out a couple times, and finally broke through the pileup on about the third time around. By then, I had everyone's names and calls written down.

I first made contact with G0KPW (whose name I wasn't sure about, but think it might have been Jerry) in England. Then EI6S (George) from Ireland, GI0VJE (Chris) from Ireland, GW4RIB (Wyn) in Wales, and lastly G4AMN (Chris) in England.

All I've got to say was, that was really cool! Glad to have got to make their aquaintence.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Germany Confirmed! Woo Hoo

Wow... Thanks to Norbert (DK6NF) for my first ever dx QSL card sent to me first! Plus, that confirms Germany for me! And it's a very spiffy-lookin' card, too.

Hey Norbert -- when you get your card back from me, notice the orange streak on the envelope. I removed your card and the return envelope from the main envelope, and when I moved the card away, there was this creepy bug laying there! I smeared it before I realized that I'd probably just mashed a German bug. (Hi Hi) So sad for it... especially since it had traveled so far. That's okay though. My XOM (AJ4JD) said it was probably a good thing that I did, because if I hadn't it probably would have taken out all the black walnut trees. Just kidding! (Hi Hi).

Thank you, again, for the wonderful card.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

TN QSO Party 2008

I had a blast participating in the TN QSO Party this year. I made 89 phone contacts on my own, and Tim (AJ4JD) and Daddy (KU4ME) made enough to boost our team (The Toadtown Team) to 140 contacts. I had a ton of fun calling CQ (mostly on 75 meters so I could get TN counties) from Union County. I made quite a few people's day, since Union County is one of the rarer ones to get.

I don't know how we faired against everyone else, but it was fun nonetheless, and we will likely be in the multiple operator, high power group. Maybe we'll win something! HAHAHA

Doesn't matter to me if we don't though. I still had fun.

Well... off to get ready for tonight's ARES meeting. I've decided to write my thesis (which is really an applied project -- meaning, they want to see results) on the need for an individual ARES group in our county. I've already contacted a few people, just for information on how to contact others, but I have to have everything reviewed by the board at the school before I proceed any further... That means, lots of writing and researching for me over the next few weeks. So, if you see that my postings are scarse, please don't fret. I'm still here... still active... and will be playing radio galore every extra minute I get.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Author of 1,000 Marbles - Jeff Davis

Well, I have to say, I'm usually taken aback when I get a comment. I rarely receive them, but it seems when I do they are of quality.

A couple days ago, I wrote about an email that I had received from my good friend, Cathy. I mentioned in it that it really made me think about my days left. I also quoted the email to share it with you.

Now, I'm happy to be able to say that the Author of 1,000 Marbles has found this excerpt and has introduced himself to me. Being the person that I am, I give credit where credit is due.

Mr. Jeff Davis, KE9V, wrote 1,000 Marbles many years ago as a short story. It wasn't long before everyone was using it... putting it in emails, requesting its use in newsletters, etc. (You can read more about Mr. Davis' story here: http://ke9v.net/stories/1000marbles.html) In 2001, and with what seemed to be a lot of work (and hopefully, not too many Saturdays full), Mr. Davis published "1,000 Marbles," which includes his short story and 1,000 unique and life-enriching ways to spend your day off.

I want to send out my thanks for Mr. Davis, who contacted me first (look at the comments on the Saturday's Marbles post), and point you all in the direction of this book.

The ISBN number on the book is 0740715534. I found used copies of it at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I'm sure there are others floating around, and new copies at some other places, but it's just too darned early for me to hunt through them all.

73 to Mr. Davis, KE9V, and Kudos! to you for such a wonderful story!!!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Saturday's Marbles...

I received an email today from a fellow Ham. It's not often that I take the time to sift through junk mail -- but since it came from my dear friend Cathy (KI4YPO) I took the time to read it. Needless to say, I was in tears by the end (and I'm not an emotional person... at least not in that way). So, here it is... the golden email that caused me to think about my Saturdays in a different light...

"The older I get the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it's the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it's the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.

"A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the garage with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time.

"Let me tell you about it.

"I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind; he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was telling whomever he was talking with something about 'a thousand marbles.' I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say.

"'Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you're busy with your job. I'm sure they pay you well but it's a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. It's too bad you missed your daughter's dance recital' he continued. 'Let me tell you something that has helped me keep my own priorities.' And that's when he began to explain his theory of a 'thousand marbles.'

"'You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic.. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years.'

"'Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900, which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now, stick with me, Tom, I'm getting to the important part. It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail', he went on, 'and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays. I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy. So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack next to my gear.'

"'Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away. I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life.'

"'There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight.'

"'Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure that if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time.'

"'It was nice to meet you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your family, and I hope to meet you again here on the band. This is a 75 Year old Man, K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!'

"You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the antenna that morning, and then I was going to meet up with a few hams to work on the next club newsletter.

"Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss... 'C'mon honey, I'm taking you and the kids to breakfast.' 'What brought this on' she asked with a smile.' 'Oh, nothing special, it's just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. And hey, can we stop at a toy store while we're out? I need to buy some marbles.' "

**note** K9NZQ is not found in the QRZ database. I'd imagine this is made up, but it still brings a small tingle in my heart.

Scavenger Hunt Sticky

Thanks to all for helping me with the Scavenger Hunt!