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     This monthly column is dedicated to providing you with comments on and links to the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
QRP/Amateur related home pages on the world wide web.  I surf the internet one hour per  day during my lunchtime,
and will post new items of interest as I see them. Check back from time to time as this page will probably be updated
several times a month.  There are tons of QRP web sites on the world wide web so keeping updated on the latest
happenings can be quite time consuming. Why waste your time surfing the various QRP sites when I can do it for ya?

The Doug "Drudge" Report,  September 2000          


  WOW!, Thanks for all the supportive e-mails guys!!!. Glad to know that someone is actually reading this stuff....

  Well, to start off with, the ARKANSAS QRP Club site was visited on 28 August.... Talk about Hollow ....(Hello!,
anybody there?)..     Their  "Current" newsletter is dated March 1999. From the main index page, clicking on
Contest" got me NUTHIN!.... Clicking on "Projects" page uncovered  2 links, one to "Rigs" and one to
"Antennas"... Clicking on "Antennas" got me (you guessed it), NUTHIN!.... But lo and behold, clicking on "Rigs"
got me a Freebie... The rig section contains a write-up on N7KSB's "49'er" complete with Schematic... Well, I've
seen worse QRP web sites than this one, but not  many..... Maybe they will be more active in the future.....I wonder
how much it costs to join this club??

   A quick check of the main index page of the Alaska QRP Club, shows it's last update to be 01 June 2000.  The
main page says "Scroll down for latest updates". I did scroll down, but found nothing new....The "newsletter"
section hasn't been updated since March 1999,  however, they did include links to old newsletters from 1997 and
1998  :(        The "membership" page was updated back in December of 1999.  BUT.... They do offer FREE
Membership and FREE periodic updates via e-mail. Bravo to the Alaska QRP Club,   that's the way QRP should
be... FREE....

  A visit to the web site of the Austin QRP Club proved fruitful.   The "meetings" page is actually up to date!. 
And they have already posted their Field Day 2000 report, BRAVO! (that's more than I can say for myself.....
I still haven't posted the VQS FD 2000 report). Not much if you are out of state, but seems to be a good website
for the Austin, Texas QRP crowd...

   The Benelux QRP club website (Netherlands) is not worth visiting. Don't even waste your time with this one.
Clicking on "English" version got me NUTIN.. However you can join, and it appears to be free; unfortunately
they don't offer anything worthwhile.....

   The Northern Virginia QRP group (NoVaQrp) has been advertising a club site for quite a while, but still
nothing...... Wonder if they will ever get off the ground....

   I found the  West Florida QRP Club's  website to be dry as a fresh box of Saltines.... Once again NUTHIN
there... (At least they did post some articles by Doug KI6DS... I really hate to see an Amateur Radio Club
website that empty....Maybe the club has gone extinct, who knows....

   I found the website of the SP Qrp club (Poland) to be worthless as "Tits on a Boarhog".. Nuff said......

   I thought the best site I  found today was the QRPacific group (Oregon)...These guys have NO DUES!..
The site is updated with fresh material like Joe's  Messy Workbench of the Week... They even have info on
the new Ft-817 !!! .They  have a nice looking site and it's obvious that a lot of work has been done there.
Without monthly columns, I'll rate them an A-.

    Man I just flew in from the website of the Michigan QRP Club, and boy are my arms dirty..... (What a
piece of Junk).. Warning; You would be much  better off spending time at the SP Qrp club's website, or
washing your dirty underwear.....I won't even bother putting a link to them here. By the way, I've sent NO
LESS THAN 5 e-mails to them over the last year and a half asking them to include a link the the
Virginia QRP Society's web site with no luck. Guess they don't want to have anything to do with the
smaller QRP Clubs.. Well, all I can say to that is *%&#%   you too !!!

   Flying Pigs QRP Club International.. Now this a cool club.... I just checked out their site and it looks
great!!!. I didn't have a lot of time but what I saw I liked... Immediately upon entering their site I noticed
that  they have posted the schematic diagrams and parts lists for their projects. BRAVO!!!!. Way to
go Flying Pigs...(I did notice that the schematic for the MiniPig 10 wasn't accessible though)... I'm sure
someone will point that out to them and it will be corrected....They have an "Ugly Rig" contest dated
July/August 2000, so the site has been updated recently. They also have FREE membership.. After looking
at their Web site I've decided to join up, this is my kind of club and I'd recommend it for you too...I'll rate
them an 99.9 scale of 100. (Would have been a perfect score but there was no link to the Virginia QRP
Society  hi...)

  Guys I just visited the website of QRP ARCI.... It's a great site and there is a lot of good stuff
there ......They have fresh information on the MFJ Cub, including a Cub archive section. Their Contest section
is informative and updated, and they have a GREAT Technical/Projects page. Overall, I'd give them an A+
rating as a QRP Web site..... One thing though;  Why do we need the QRP ARCI?? We already have the
ARRL as the premier Amateur Radio Organization fighting for the preservation of our frequencies and all
of that jazz...... Actually I'm a member (#7993). Not a PAID member anymore though... There is just TOO
much free QRP related stuff out here on the internet for me to pay 10-15 or $20 per year to say that I'm a
member of any QRP organization. 

   Next issue I plan to focus my attention on the smaller, local QRP clubs.

   Well that's it for the basic Drudge report, now if you don't mind, I'll step on my Soapbox for a minute.......

   The presence of the QRP ARCI and other big QRP Organizations is why I'm here now, reporting the good,
the bad and the ugly of QRP Clubs located throughout the World Wide Web. I'm just one guy with one opinion,
but think about this for a minute:  What if we all stopped paying money to join QRP Clubs.....What if we just said
"enough is enough!" and refused to pay money for articles that we can find on the internet for free?? . What
would happen if we all refused to pay money for QRP Quarterly publications full of articles written by "well known
" QRP'ers that could just as easily place these articles on their personal or club websites monthly or quarterly
for our FREE reading enjoyment? NOTHING!!!! That's what... We would  still be licensed Amateur Radio
Operators enjoying the QRP aspect of our hobby....We would still enjoy building kits offered by various kit
manufacturers, we would still "hang around" 7040, 14060 etc...., we would still attend events such as "Atlanticon"
and "Pacificon" (Or would we?) Think about it; Would those big "Events" be scheduled if there wasn't any
($$$$) to be made?? Would there be anyone to coordinate something like "Atlanticon" if there wasn't any
money changing hands? I highly doubt it. If we all "snubbed" our noses at the big qrp groups and refused to
pay any money, eventually clubs like the Flying Pigs International, Eastern PA, VQS and others who are run
totally free, by volunteers would take over... The big name qrp'ers would eventually submit their material to
these Free clubs or their  own personal  or club websites for our FREE reading enjoyment..
    Imagine surfing the internet reading articles by KI6DS, the Amazing   Randy Rand, W4IM and others
without paying anything? Imagine hearing about the latest, greatest,  cool little 30 meter transceiver
somebody built with a handful of parts bought from various parts suppliers and having immediate access to
everything (schematic, parts list, suppliers, total costs) without having to buy his kit marketed through a club,
Wouldn't that be nice? What if some guy up in the Northeast who came up with a neat idea for a lightweight
backpacking dipole antenna fed with mini-rg74 coax decided that instead of making a buck off of his fellow
qrpers that he would rather share his story of how he built the antenna  complete with pictures/instructions on
his local  QRP Club web site??

   The QRP aspect of our hobby has turned into nothing more than a bunch of QRP organizations scampering to
make a buck from low power enthusiasts..... Around every corner I turn I see places to buy kits from the various
QRP clubs... What's going on here??? Just a few years ago, the average QRP "Joe" would come up with a neat
idea for a transmitter, receiver,  watt meter or whatever, and post the info for the QRP Brotherhood to enjoy...
Not anymore!. Nowadays, when a guy comes up with something, the next thing you know, its becomes  something
to sell you ....Heck, QRP clubs are already scheming to sell a product before they even hit the internet these days...
I'm on an e-mail reflector for the Northern Virginia QRP group (NoVaQRP).... Their web site isn't even operational
yet and they are already talking about club kits  (or projects)...I wonder  if this will TRULY be a club project (where
everyone buys the parts and builds it together while exchanging information via e-mail) Or is this another plan to
make some Money!!! Yes I said it,  Money!.. Lets give them a break though.... When their website comes on-line
I'll let you know whets up with those guys....
   Where does the profit go???? It doesn't' exactly cost anything to have a web site on qsl.net... Its free!!!!. Where
does the profit (if any) go??? I challenge the various qrp groups who sell kits to tell us where the money goes!!!.
How about it Norcal, NJ Qrp;  where does the profit go?? Does it get split between the members or does
the money go to someone's bank account??? How about it Northern Virginia QRP Group , have you figured out
what to do with the money you will receive selling your kits??? Let us know!!!

Hey I've got a novel idea for all the big money QRP clubs out there..... The next time you come up with a "Club
Project" try this.... Instead of marketing the project in kit form for us to purchase from you,  follow my suggestions

1. After the club members have built and tested the piece of equipment;  create a list of parts required,
including the project enclosure, knobs, connectors etc...
2. Post the entire project, complete with a schematic diagram, suggested vendors and total cost of the
project on your website for your fellow qrp'ers.
3. We can then order the parts ourselves, build the project ourselves, bypass the middleman (you), and save a few
bucks in the process. (or if we so desire, we can utilize the convenience of ordering the kit from you for a few
dollars more)...
Give us this option please....   

Simple, Very Simple.
I'm outta here folks...
see y'all in a few weeks....

your most humble Servant
Doug Drudge W4IDW
EPaQrp # 58, Flying Pigs # 130, VQS #001
The truth will set you Free