Category Archives: CW

Bike. Radio. Japan!

I took my KX2 this morning when I went out to ride my bicycle. I found a good place to put up my dipole where I could be in the shade. After working 2 Japanese stations, I used my phone to record video of me working a third station so you can share in the joy of portable QRP.

Why not take your radio with you when you go out for a walk, a hike, bike riding, etc. You never know what will happen!

Four Days In May – 2016

I recently returned from the Four Days In May QRP event in Dayton, OH. Here are some thoughts on the fun of meeting QRP rock stars, seeing the debut of the Elecraft KX2, and hanging out with like-minded QRP Nerds.  I also share a couple of interesting QRP contacts.

Bottom Line: Plan to attend FDIM next year!

QRP ARCI: http://
Elecraft KX2:
Steve WG0AT:

New England QSO Party – From Bobcat Ridge

This past weekend, I took the Mountain Topper radios (3B and 5B) to Bobcat Ridge and worked a bunch of stations.  In this video, I show my antenna setup and work 5 or 6 stations. At the end of the video, I show all of the stations I worked.

Not bad for 3 watts and a wire antenna.  I was only transmitting for about 90 minutes, total.  The various contests running this weekend made it super-easy to work QRP!

FIRST LOOK: MTR-5B (Mountain Topper 5-Band)

LNR Precision ( recently released the first  production batch of their new Mountain Topper 5-Band QRP radio.

The MTR-5B is THE new pocket-sized QRP radio to have.  Highly Recommended!

As soon as I took it out of the box and hooked it up, my first contact was CN8KD in Morocco on 30m.  I take that as as good omen for all of the fun I will have with this amazing little rig.

In this video, I show you the improvements over the (still awesome) MTR-3B radio. I then hook it up to an antenna and take it for a spin, letting you see the new four-line LCD display and some of the many cool features.


ARRL International DX Contest

I played around in the ARRL International DX Contest this weekend for a total of about 8 hours. During that time, I worked 49 countries!

I’m NOT a contester. I’m not really even all that great at CW but I do enjoy it.  If I can do this, you can do this, too.

The contest exchange of information was:

DX Station: Call sign, Signal Report (always “599”) and Power Level

American Station: Call sign, Signal Report (always “599”) and State abbreviation.

In this video, I show you my station setup and then record my screen so you can see me working some DX stations via QRP.

Don’t miss the Bonus Track at the end of the video…


Build a Computer to CW Interface

Using a  well-known circuit, I show you how to build a simple computer interface so  your logging software can send CW through your radio.

The logging software simulates someone using a straight key.  It changes the voltage on an RS-232 pin and the electronic circuit uses a transistor as a switch, grounding the lines as though someone grounded the contacts of a straight key.

This interface will let you work a contest or pile-up using your logging software – without having to use a key or paddle.

The circuit diagram:

N3FJP website:

Tripp-Lite USB to Serial Converter: See it on

Using the Mountain Topper QRP Radio

I got the last Mountain Topper QRP radio of 2015 from LNR Precision (according to Ryan).

I’ve been having a ball with this gem for the past 10 days.  In this video, I tell you about the radio and then show you how to use nearly every feature.  It’s a long video that I made for those who may be interested in this jewel-like little rig… which should be EVERYONE!

Improving Your CW Speed with Morse Runner

A fun and effective way to improve your CW character recognition and gain speed is through the software program called Morse Runner.

Morse Runner is a contest simulator that lets you work a virtual “pile-up” (multiple people calling you at the same time).  You can control the parameters so that your session is as easy or as white-knuckled hectic as you wish.  This program really makes a game out of morse code.  Note: This program assumes that you already know your letters and numbers… it’s not for learning morse code but for helping you to improve your speed.

Download it from the author’s website: