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QRP and the Internet - Keynote # 3, 2002

One of the problems with writing a column is the following. Should I assume that all club members have read all my previous columns and therefore I must come up with something new for each and every column - or - should I assume that since the club continues to grow, there are always new members who could benefit from material that I presented before and it is OK to repeat info from earlier columns? This month I'll take the second course and repeat some material I haven't written about in 3 years now - QRP and the Internet.

There is a wealth of information available on the Internet about virtually any subject anyone could think of. All you need to find it is a good search engine. Personally I find Google to be the current best of the bunch of the many that are available. Just go to www.google.com and type in the info you want to search for. As an example, I just typed in "k3wwp" (without the quotes) and Google found 1,450 web pages that contain my call letters in just .04 seconds. Google also has a nice search toolbar that integrates nicely with Internet Explorer.

On my own personal web site I have a ton of info relating to CW and QRP information which I will describe briefly(?) after explaining the purpose of my web site. It's there to encourage those of you who for one reason or another can't put up big antennas and/or run high power to still be active in ham radio. My site shows what can be accomplished with just 5 watts or less of output power into minimal wire antennas. You CAN be successful in ham radio with those limitations. I try to demonstrate that by showing my results with QRP, CW, and a random wire or dipoles in my attic or on my porch roof.

I believe that I am succeeding in my attempts because I have gotten many comments from hams over the 5 plus years that I've had my web site saying they've decided to try ham radio again from their apartments or other space limited situations.

You can access my site from home.windstream.net/johnshan/.

My site is divided into sections, then pages within those sections. For example if I mention 'CW-FISTS Club' in the following paragraphs, that means go to the CW section, then to the FISTS Club page in that section.

Now let's finally get to the contents of my site after that intro. On 'Home-Main' you'll find a brief intro that includes a guestbook, monthly poll, brief list of CW contests for the coming weekend, and site news. Also the first of many features that shows QRP works - info on my streak that consists of making at least one QRP QSO every day since August 5, 1994. Included are the first QSO's from each of the previous 10 days of the streak.

We've got to move more rapidly now, as space is limited in these columns. Looking for something specific on my site? Go to 'Home-Index - Search'. See my station and antennas on 'Home-Station Pictures'.

My Awards section shows my progress in the various major awards. This section, I think, really is encouraging to many hams since it shows you can get the major awards with a minimal QRP setup.

If you're a contester, the Contesting section contains a calendar listing all (hopefully) contests that include CW. If you're new to contesting, check 'Contesting-Tips' or read my Contest Reports to learn the tricks and skills I've used to win many contests over the years. Yes, you can be a winner with a minimal setup.

If DX is your bag (is that phrase still in vogue?), then 'DX-Find a QSL Route' will help you get that sought after QSL. This page provides direct access to most, if not all of the QSL route info available on the Internet. I'm proud that this feature was written up on the ARRL web site back in September 2001. Are you new to DX? Then 'DX-Working DX - Tips' is for you. Also there are tips for getting that rare DX QSL. This busy section also contains links to DX Spots, Buro info, and more.

My Logs section lists all my QRP QSO's from 1964 to the present. Might be interesting to see if you've ever worked me if you're not sure. If you have, and want a QSL for any reason, I QSLL 100 percent here, with or without an SASE.

Propagation is another section I'm proud of and that is very popular with visitors. It contains current conditions, predictions, and my personal observations from the previous day.

Are you looking for a QRP rig? 'QRP-QRP Rigs' contains a listing of virtually all known QRP rigs with a capsule summary of each, links to their web sites, and reviews of some of the rigs contributed by you, my visitors. Unsure of the QRP frequencies? That info is in this section also. Then there is more info on my streak that I mentioned earlier.

In 'Visitors List - K Calls' you can read many of the comments I referred to in the intro to this column. There are also pages to cover A, N, W, DX calls and Non-Hams as well. There are comments from folks in all 50 states, all continents, and over 109 countries.

Before we conclude, I should also mention my Links section. If you didn't find what you were looking for on my web site, the info is probably available on one of the sites contained in my categorized links.

Whew, that was quite a hurried tour of my web site. I hope you'll take the time some day to visit if you haven't already done so. Even if the things I listed in this column don't strike your fancy, there is much more there that I didn't have the space to describe.

Oh, and I almost forgot - all back issues of my column are available in 'CW-FISTS Columns'.

Send me your questions, column ideas, etc. to K3WWP, 478 E. High St., Kittanning, PA 16201-1304 or via Email. Till next month, 73. -30-