“Going Cold Turkey”


Big Island ARRL News, 02 January 2017, 17:10 hrs, UTC, Post #87.


Accessed on 02 January 2017, 17:10 hrs, UTC.

Author:  Larry Makoski (W2LJ).

Please click link to read the full story.


The “QRP–doing more with less” blog written by Larry Makoski (W2LJ) is one of my favorite reads when I pull the plug and get set for a night’s sleep at my Hawaii Island QTH.  Larry’s laid-back style makes for an informative and entertaining read, even if QRP isn’t your forte.

In this post, Larry discusses the concept of “Going Cold Turkey“–quitting something abruptly–as it applies to Amateur Radio.  In this case, Larry refers to the overwhelmingly popular “National Parks On The Air” event which notched over one million contacts during 2016.  Larry admits that the contest highlighting the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service reignited interest in Ham Radio for many of us who were getting a bit too comfortable in our operating routine.  Larry, an avid QRP contester from New Jersey, says the NPOTA became quite addictive–not as bad as smoking or drinking to excess, but just as hard to break.  All told, Larry adds that the NPOTA helped many radio amateurs find a new meaning and purpose in their pursuit of National Parks contacts:

“For many, NPOTA became an opportunity for us to rethink how we thought about Amateur Radio. A lot of us had to shed all previous notions and start thinking outside the box. For many it was the first time they ever operated outside the home Shack other than Field Day. NPOTA became a fantastic opportunity to learn about what works and what doesn’t.  Many of us became more in tune with our equipment, using it in ways we never had before, expanding our capabilities and experiences. It was an opportunity for many to build and experiment with new antenna systems, new power systems, new ways of doing things that were previously taken for granted. For many of us, it also became a school for learning (real fast!) how to improvise when piece of equipment was forgotten; or how to make quick (and sometimes not so pretty) repairs when something would break or malfunction.  Through it all, we became better Amateur Radio Operators because of it; and there’s no amount of money you can place on that.”

A great comment that should encourage all radio amateurs to renew their community, state, regional, and national friendships with those they have met on the air. Why not go a step further and become an ARES volunteer and serve your community directly?  Events and contests such as the NPOTA can help you become a more efficient and skilled operator–something valuable during emergencies.

I hope 2016 had some inspiring moments for you. May you have prosperity and good fortune in 2017.

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Thanks for joining us today!

Aloha es 73 de

Russell Roberts (KH6JRM)

Public Information Coordinator

Hawaii County, ARRL Pacific Section

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