December 23, 2002

It was the day before the night before Christmas and all through the 
house not much was stirring. The girls had gone out for some last 
minute shopping.

I had this goofy idea ... why not load up the lights on the Christmas 
tree in the living room for an antenna? Nice holiday QRP experiment...  
So I gave it a try. I worked Norway on 20 meters and Scotland on 15 
meters with 5 watts and a little tuner.

When I told Fred, GM3JKS about the setup, he sent back: 
"Congratulations on the 5 watts and Christmas tree lights for antenna. 
This is a first. Hope your family is impressed." I told him they were 
out shopping and they probably wouldn't be a bit impressed!

The whole thing was magic, but not on the scale of Santa, his sleigh 
and the coming down chimneys. It was, after all, thirty feet or so of 
wire wound spirally around the tree. 100 lights in all. And they didn't 
glow or anything. I'd hooked the tuner up to the ground side of the 
plug, and I'd strung out a 20 feet or so of counterpoise along the 
floor. I'd worked England from the dining room table before with a 3 
foot antenna, so I knew it was all possible.

But it was fun. More than that... it was a little Christmas ham magic, 
and I think I'll try it again next year.

Happy New Year from Jim W1PID.

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