Max & Lilly Venture to 40M CW band and hear a mysterious signal...
Max & Lilly tune 40M CW on their Ham Radio and hear a mysterious signal...
[For your entertainment]
Max and Lilly were sitting in their bedroom ham shack, huddled around their newfound ham radio. By now they have spent hours and hours tinkering with the VFO and adjusting the filters, trying to tune up on different bands, experiencing the ups and downs of the day and night time propagation patterns.
Their wire antenna, an EFHW (end-fed half wave) was strung between their second floor bedroom window and a mid-level branch on the backyard maple tree to the east. It seemed to favor the south, though they didn't know why, as they have heard amateur radio stations in the Caribbean Sea talking to many ham radio operators in the USA. Those signals were always loud and seemed to be very popular. They all reported using just 100 Watts and a vertical antenna near the beach, and boy they were the loudest signals on the bands when they were on.
One snowy afternoon while tuning around lower than they had ventured Max blurts out, "Lily, did you hear that? I think there is something in there!"
"I think so! Max, narrow the filter a bit," Lilly urged, as they listened to the static-filled airwaves.
Max turned the dial, and suddenly it was clear that they heard a faint, rhythmic tapping sound.
"What is that?" Max asked, his eyes lighting up.
Lilly listened closely. "I think it's Morse code!" she exclaimed.
The two of them leaned in, trying to decipher the message with their code sheet printout. It was slow going, but eventually, they were able to make out the words: "Ho ho ho, this is Santa Claus calling from the North Pole," with the QRN from the 40M band crackling and popping.
Max and Lilly couldn't believe their ears. First of all, Grandpa always told them it was "CQ CQ" and then a callsign. At this point, they had not heard that many real signals on their ham radio before, as they just were getting set up this week, let alone Santa Claus!
Excitedly, they switched to their flagpole antenna which seemed to have less noise and was omnidirectional (thus favoring the North Pole) hoping to make contact with the jolly old man. Just as Grandpa taught them, the angle was much better on the Flagpole vertical antenna for Santa's signal coming through from the North.
"Let's try to contact him, Lily!" Max exclaimed while positioning the vintage Vibroplex paddle into position.
After a few exciting attempts, they finally managed to transmit their own message in Morse code using Grandpa's call sign, "Hi Santa, this is Max and Lilly. We're two kids in South Dakota who love ham radio!"
To their surprise, Santa responded immediately: "Well hello there, Max and Lilly! It's so nice to meet you. I'm having a bit of a problem up here at the North Pole. A snowstorm has knocked out all of my satellite communication, and I can't get in touch with my elves to tell them what I want for Christmas."
Max and Lilly knew they had to help.
They spent the next few hours talking to Santa, giving him updates on the weather in South Dakota and around the North Pole too, trying to come up with a plan to get his message to the elves.
Finally, they hit upon an idea while searching the internet for clues: they would use their ham radio to send a message to the net control of a group of amateur radio operators that meet on the 20M SSB frequency of 14.292 in Alaska, who could then relay the message to the North Pole.
It was a long and difficult process, but eventually, they were able to get the message through. Santa was overjoyed, and he thanked Max and Lilly profusely for their help.
As the night wore on, Max and Lilly continued to talk to Santa, learning all about life at the North Pole and even getting a sneak peek at some of the toys he was preparing for Christmas.
When it was time for them to go to bed, Santa signed off with a hearty "Merry Christmas, Max and Lilly! I'll be sure to leave something extra special under your tree this year."
Max and Lilly went to bed with big smiles on their faces, already looking forward to the next time they could tune around with their ham radio and talk to people all over the world, including the sked set with their new friend, Santa Claus.
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We hope you enjoyed this story and were entertained by it. Maybe you remember a similar story in your youth. Ham Radio is fun again! Pass it on...
73 Greyline Performance
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73 Greyline Performance
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