Zero Bias – A CQ Editorial
Less is More
BY RICH MOSESON,* W2VU
CQWW RTTY DX Contest Results Delayed
Due to technical issues, the final scores of the 2014 CQ World Wide RTTY DX Contest were not ready as of the deadline for this issue. The results article will appear next month, along with the results of the 2014 CQ WW DX SSB Contest. We apologize or the delay. – W2VU
How’s the view from your ham shack? Mine is of radios and related accessories. If I open the blind on my basement window, I can see the underside of my front porch. Compare that with the views on our front cover this month. Author Adam Kimmerly, KJ6HOT, combines his love of hiking and mountain-climbing with his love for QRP, or lowpower, ham radio to present himself with ever-changing vistas from his “shack in a pack.” Adam has discovered the fun of the Summits on the Air program, which is the focus of our cover story, on page 10.
Combining low-power operating with portable operating is a theme of this year’s QRP Special, as we also focus on hamming from a cruise ship, as AH6CY explains in his article, “Have 3 Watts, Wil Travel” (p. 15). Plus, K1EHZ shares his design (p. 28) for a portable end-fed, half-wave antenna you can coil up and take with you to just about anywhere. Oh, and it covers seven bands!
Overall, though, our overriding theme for this QRP Special, and the essential message of QRP itself are that “less is more,” and that you can have tons of ham radio fun without cranking out big power. Admittedly, there are times when a situation calls for just a little more power to get your message through (I admit to not even thinking about using anything less than my full 100 watts to try to work the K1N expedition to Navassa —one contact, one band, one mode), and with that in mind, K4YFR and AJ4YN have teamed up to bring us the “Rockmitey,” some modifications to put the classic 1/2-watt “Rockmite” transceiver on steroids (p. 19).
Our QRP Special this year also includes the results of the 2014 CQ World Wide Foxhunting Weekend, on page 36. Foxhunting, or tracking down a hidden transmitter, is perhaps the ultimate in QRP. Foxhunt transmitters put out just a tiny amount of power, and the trackers use only receivers to hunt their prey. Perhaps foxhunting could be called “QR-zero!”
In this issue, we also wrap up our two-part history of ham radio and CQ magazine from 1945 to the present, as we continue celebrating CQ’s 70th anniversary (p. 44). Contesting Editor George Tranos, N2GA, responds to my comments in this space last month (along with an Op-Ed in the same issue) about what some of us perceive as barriers to participation in CW contests. His column on “The Joys of CW Contesting for the Non-CW Contester” begins on page 100. Plus, Digital Editor Don Rotolo, N2IRZ, has a column that should be of interest to your non-ham friends as well as your ham radio buddies: tips on keeping your computer secure. It’s a must-read for everyone (p. 72).
CQ Updates ...
Most of you got your December issues in early February. We deeply apologize for the delay, which started with us and then was compounded by the post office. Once we finally were able to get the issue mailed (horrendously late), the post office somehow managed to lose track of the magazines — all of them — for two weeks, before apparently discovering them in some back corner and getting them delivered. We started working with a new printer as of the January/February issue, which also means that the magazine is now starting out in a new post office. It is our hope that both of these changes will help us move more quickly back to our regular schedule. We greatly appreciate your patience and loyalty as we work our way through this difficult period. To those of you who stopped to talk with me at Orlando, thank you for your understanding and support. You make it all worthwhile.
On the topic of “less is more” as we work to get ourselves back on an even keel, effective with this issue, we are no longer publishing the CQ Plus digital edition supplement (the digital edition itself is continuing and will now be identical to the print edition). For those of you who read only the print edition, CQ Plus was an experiment we started a year ago, adding 50-60 additional pages of articles to each month’s CQ digital edition, integrating content from our discontinued sister magazines, Popular Communications, CQ VHF, and WorldRadio Online. Unfortunately, the economics were not there to support CQ Plus either, so we have been forced to discontinue that as well. Not all is lost, though, and here’s the “more” part: There is more great content in the pages of CQ. We have been able to carry over several columns from CQ Plus, and we will occasionally publish feature articles hat cover the broader aspects of the radio hobby. Details of updates that also introduces a few new members of the CQ “family.”
Looking Forward to Spring
As I write this in mid-February, the ground around the New York/New Jersey area is covered with snow and ice, and temperatures are dipping into single digits at night. Other parts of the U.S. have it much worse. By the time you read this, warmer weather will be beckoning us to take our hamming outdoors. We hope the articles in this month’s QRP Special will be helpful to you if that’s an aspect of ham radio that you enjoy. Even if you’re not a QRPer, we hope the warmer spring weather will encourage you to get outside and get moving. It’s good for your health, which is good for ham radio’s health as well!