As far back as I can remember, I have had a fondness for words and language. Even in the second grade, learning the roots of words, their suffixes and prefixes, and so many things surrounding grammar- it was all just fascinating to me.
Through Middle School and High School, English class was what I enjoyed the most. As a young adult, a newspaper columnist in the Reno Gazette Journal taught me by example that grammar can be flexible and sometimes you can just break the rules altogether and still have a result that makes perfect sense and is fun to read.
By the late 90’s and early 2000’s I was building websites for small businesses and also contributing content to the website of the company I worked for at the time. Whether it be creative content or technical, it was always fun, and more and more often I found myself being called on to write things for people.
In 2013 I started the Tidbitsfortechs.com site which is mainly for computer related troubleshooting/repair information- my way of giving back to a community that helped me make a living when I desperately needed to Google for a fix. (It’s worked out well for that purpose, helping many to solve some rather unusual problems).
Around that same time I started working for a company that encouraged writing by allowing everyone in the company to post on the company blog. I took great advantage of that and it helped my career quite a bit, both in helping me become a better writer but also helping recognize some of my own strengths which I’d previously been unaware of.
I started MiscDotGeek in May 2015 in order to have a place to post my projects- something that was a bit more free-form, subject wise, compared to my Tidbitsfortechs site, because it says the main subject in the title: Miscellaneous. It’s morphed into a Mostly QRP blog, because that’s been my obsession for the last few years- and it’ll stay that way for a while, I’m sure!
At the core of it is wanting to write about anything I want. And while this post isn’t specifically about QRP stuff- it kind of is. You’ll see why.
Some of my earliest milestones were the result of letters to the editor in the Reno Gazette Journal. It was a thrill to see my writing in print, and one such letter was even recognized as being a “letter of the month” or some such thing.
Another milestone was reached when, through a connection on LinkedIn, I was commissioned to write some articles on a freelance basis that have been published on a well known web hosting related website. Those were extremely well received and have resulted in yet more freelancing work.
I’ve also been privileged to write articles that have appeared on the public blog of the web hosting company I work for.
As a result of all of these things, my name is on many bylines around the web. But there was a medium that it had never graced until now.
In the fall of 2020, I was contacted by the webmaster of the QRP Amateur Radio Club International (QRP ARCI http://www.qrparci.org/), who saw a link to one of my articles on Facebook. He asked if I’d be interested in submitting an article for publication in the club’s printed publication, QRP Quarterly.
Right away I started working on the rewrite of an article that already exists here on MiscDotGeek, the L-Match Tuner build for QRP Operation. The rewrite includes not just my expanded understanding of what a tuner does, but also some easily made equipment for measuring the tune of an antenna without an SWR meter. You can find this article in the January 2021 issue of QRP Quarterly:
Reflection and Thanks
I have to admit that when I received my BITX40 in the mail in December 2016, after just recently getting my General ticket, I never saw this coming. If you’d told me that I’d be writing articles for QRP Quarterly, I’d have laughed. But here we are.
With the help of many hams (including such QRP ARCI hall of famer’s as Hans Summers and Ashhar Farhan, and Peter Parker VK3YE’s excellent YouTube videos) I’ve been able to expand my knowledge and understanding radio to a point I never would have though possible.
The purpose of this post is to share my joy of achieving a personal milestone, because without the ham radio community at my side, I’d never have been able to get there.
73 de W7RLF