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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Glowbug Christmas

My "Mate for the Mighty Midget" receiver (with 6U8s)

Some excellent Christmas verse from Brad, AA1IP:

The Glowbugs' Christmas


T'was the night before Christmas
And all through the shack
Not a heater was glowing
In all of the rack.

Sitting totally silent and quiet that night
The old HRO shed nary a light.
The Johnson exciter and its homebrew final
Felt cold as leftovers, or seat-cover vinyl,

I drowsed at my workbench feeling tired and weary,
The print in the Handbook looked fuzzy and smeary.
I thought, "I'll make coffee", and groaned to my feet
When I heard a loud clatter outside in the street.

What the--? I wondered and turned on the lights
And there I beheld a wondrous sight:
A battered old van heaped high with components
And a grizzled old ham with a bagful of doughnuts.

I noted his callsign-- can't recall it today--
But a patch on the side read "FMLA".
I opened the door and hollered "Come in!
The coffee pot's heating, and we'll sit down and chin!"

He spoke not a word but whistled in Morse
A "GE OM", and "By golly, I'm hoarse.
Too many contacts, and hot rosin smoke."
I nodded and poured him a mug of jamoke.

He emptied the doughnuts in a pile on a plate
And explained in a whistle, "I'm running real late.
I've new 6L6s and fine 211s, 6146s and good 'SN7s.
And 866s and 0B2s, type 45s and mil-spec 807s."

"For the regennie crowd, 201s by the score
And good ol' type 30s and 19s galore.
I haven't neglected the passive-parts run
There's lots of good iron by old Thordarson."

I nodded and smiled, suppressing a chortle
As he reached in his pack and left me a 304TL.
He whistled, "I'm leaving, the coffee was great,
But I'm overdue in the neighboring state."

"Keep everyone building the rigs of their choosing
Or we'll lose the bands that we're lazy in using.
Transistors or tubes-- any project is fine--
Just keep on constructing and sharing on line."

He leaped to his feet and waved a gloved hand
As he sprang for the door and his rusty old van.
I heard him exclaim as he drove away from me,
"Merry Christmas, you Glowbugs, and to all 73!"


(With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore, who surely would have
been a ham had radio existed in his time. Alas, all he had
to build with was words.)

For new readers: the FMLA (Five Meter Liberation Army) appeared in a
series of short stories written by Michael N. Hopkins, AB5L (sk). If you have never
read these, you're in for a fun evening!

For QRP fans: the numerical references in the poem are for classic
vacuum tubes, several of which operate at QRP levels (whether or not that was the
original builder's intention) and (mostly) within the amateur bands.

1 comment:

  1. Thanx so much for a great carol. Christmas Eve is a time for a snow, Christmas tree, socks for Santa's presents and sockets - for his beloved tubes :-) Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, friends!



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