K3WWP - QRP and the Internet - Keynote # 4, 1998
This month some info about QRP and the Internet. I know more and more of you have Internet access because a large percentage of the visitors to my Internet site mention they came because they saw my URL in the Keynote or came via the FISTS web site. Also I can tell from the constantly expanding list of members that have Email. For newcomers to the Internet, a URL is like a street address telling where to find my site among the millions of sites on the Internet. The URL for my web site is http://home.windstream.net/johnshan/.
What can be found on the Internet? I would accurately say, virtually anything. It's like having every library, museum, reference source, etc. right in your own home. The problem is finding the specific info you want. To get around this, there are special web sites devoted to searching the web to find what you want. For example, you can go to the Altavista site, tell it to search for QRP, and it will return a very long list of URL's directing you to web sites dealing with QRP. Or if you wanted to find my web site, but forgot my URL, you could ask one of the search web sites (or search engines) to find K3WWP. It would then return my URL, and you could go directly to my site. It would also return many other web sites (some search engines list around 300 URL's) that contain my call letters.
Most web sites also have a list of links or URL's to other sites that deal with similar material. For example on my site I have, among many others, links to other sites that feature material on QRP and CW.
Let's deal now with a few specific topics. I get a lot of feedback from this column asking about the various QRP kits that are available. The easiest way to find out about these kits is to look on the Internet. Most all kit manufacturers (and most every business in general, as well) now have Internet sites to promote their products. If you want to see info about the QRP kits, come to my site, go to my Links section, and then to my QRP Equipment page. From now on, I'll shorten that to Links-QRP Equipment (section-page) when I refer to a page on my site. There you'll find links to the Norcal 38 Special, Oak Hills Research, Ten-Tec, and Small Wonder Labs, just to mention a few.
If you build your own QRP gear, go to Links-Hmbw Info Parts where I list many manufacturers and distributors of parts such as Digi-Key, Mouser, etc. Many of these sites are set up so you can order any parts you need over the Internet connection while you are visiting. Do you still use vacuum tubes like I do? Well, this page has links to tube suppliers also.
Are you into QRP contesting? I know several of you are. Check out Contesting-May (or whatever month you're interested in) where I have a list of all the contests that involve CW for that month. With each contest listing, there is a link to the rules, and an indication if the contest gives bonus points for QRP or has a separate QRP entry category.
Contesting-Tips gives many helpful tips that should help the QRP contester to better their performance.
Interested in finding out just what can be accomplished using QRP in everyday operating? Check out Awards-DXCC (or WAS, WAC, etc). There I list what I have done using 5W or less into simple wire antennas. It's something you can do also, if you give QRP a try.
The QRPer is always interested in getting his hard earned QSO's verified. A feature of my site I am especially proud of is QSLing-Find a QSL Route. On this page you can type in the callsign of the station you are interested in getting an address for, and the info will be returned to you. I don't do all the hard work, I just bring together many of the popular callsign server sites into one convenient place. This way, if you can't find that address in one, just try another one. This one page provides access to callsign info from most countries of the world. It's one feature I use myself all the time.
While not strictly a QRP matter, you will also be interested in CW-Links or Links-CW Information. I can't begin to tell you all the info available here. You'll just have to try it yourself.
And finally, Special Features-****. Here you'll find among other things, Teenage Hams and CW. For CW to continue we need the teens to use it. This feature has reports from teens telling why they love CW.
Well, I'm out of space again. Sometimes I could go on and on in these columns, but I realize Keynote is a forum for everyone, and my info is not any more important than anyone else's, so I try to limit myself to one full page to allow room for everyone else.
Once again, my URL is http://home.windstream.net/johnshan/ for much info about QRP. Want to contribute to my column? Email me or regular mail at John Shannon, 478 E. High St., Kittanning, PA 16201-1304. Thanks to the many who have already written and contributed. 73 -30-