Pastina Noodle telegraphic messages
Figure 1. Transatlantic QSL Burro
Marconi pictured with his "ham contraption"
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2013- Michael, N6MQL

When I was in my 20’s I found myself in dire straights and in need of money. I came across an interesting ad in the local LA times. It read, Non taxable foreign workers needed. A strong back and communications radio skills are required and a weak sense of smell is a must.... 3 weeks later I found myself on tour with a famous group of elephant trainers. We were crossing the gobi desert of India. Me in tow as the communications director and chef dung scooper. When communications weren't needed it seemed that pooper scooping was.

After weeks of walking behind a line of Elephants we found ourselves stuck in a nasty sand storm. It didn’t look like it was ever going to let up. We were forced to make camp for an extended amount of time. Over that period we quickly started running out of food and water.
The head trainer came to me with an emergency communications need. He wanted me to radio for help, summonsing a C130 to pick us and the elephants up as soon as possible. Finally, my job as a radioman would be put into action and I could loose my large snow shovel type tools.

When I approached the gear I found that it was covered with sand both inside and out! To boot, there was no longer any power in the batteries. I had to think of what to do. I spent the next two hours opening the radios and trying to blow out the sand. It was of no use! I finally went to the head trainer and explained what had happened.. He quickly grabbed one of the smaller elephants, well as quickly as an elephant could go, he had the elephant blow as best it could from it’s trunk straight into the radio equipment..removing all of the sand inside.

With that I was able to put the radios back together and get onto figuring out how we were going to get radio power, then devise a portable antenna.
After some time of thinking I was able to come up with the idea to take some of the elephant dung and two of the shovels I was using previously, and create a make shift battery out of the two different metal handles connecting a wire to them.. One shovel being the positive lead, the other the negative.
I then grabbed the rest of the wire and tied it between two of the elephant tails and had the trainers walk them in opposite directions, one up a sand dune, and the other to the bottom. I was set with a perfect sloper antenna.

I started transmitting my SOS signal and found that I just wasn’t getting enough current to the radio to put out a strong enough signal. I loudly shouted to the other trainers, YOU NEED TO SCOOP THE POOP, YOU NEED TO SCOOP THE POOP, pointing to the positive lead shovel, I shouted to the first group of trainers You, pile it there, Then to the other group of trainers while pointing at the negative shovel, I shouted, YOU, Pile it there!
Groups of trainers began passing along dung from hand to hand.. Not unlike you would do in a fire brigade. As they piled the dung higher and higher on each side I could see the current rising and the radio began putting out a full 5 watt signal.
After only 10 minutes of transmitting my SOS I was able to reach a local tribesman in the Punjabi area of the country and he was able to call for our air relief help.

We were rescued 12 hours later and I vowed never to scoop another pile of dung again.. After the rescue I quickly packed my bags and headed back to the United States of America.
With that experience I added my field ‘training’ to my newest resume. I have to admit, this is what started my carrier as an engineer.. Having worked with so much dung in my last job, I found it fitting to take a job in the TV and Movie industry.
I kept my vow to never shovel poop again, well, that was until I had my first kid child, and had to start changing diapers. I guess things never change.

The End.


2014 - No Contest


2015 - Charles WG6CFS

The Bogus Adventures of Commander C.F. Story

It was early winter 2013. My beautiful wife and I had decided to plot a course for the island of Pahtunga Loa Powii, a small atoll just south of the Fiji Islands. Our 150 ft super-yacht, the Boganaut, was fully fueled and stocked for adventure!
It was while scuba diving with my stunningly hot, super-intelligent, brain surgeon wife, that we were attacked by angry North-Korean terrorist movie critics; hell-bent on administering bad manners and utter inconvenience on any American capitalist swine that might be scuba diving in that same area.
These terrorist barbarians suggested that my beautiful lawyer wife may not be as hot as she thinks she is. Then, my Rolex watch was viciously criticized as most likely a fake!

This is when things took a turn for the worse. I promptly informed our antagonists that their hair was stupid and that all of them required immediate dental care. The terrorist then became truly enraged and resorted to physical violence!
As my gorgeous super-model martial artist wife parried an attempt to muss her hair, I sprang into action and splashed sea water into the eyes of the nearest of the cinema-communist-fascist pigs.

My Olympic gold medalist way-hot mama ol' lady and I made a break for our trusty yacht. Once back on board, it became obvious that we were going to have to call for help.

That's when my Extra Class mega-babe XYL and I truly took matters into our own hands. We had noticed that the moon was in perfect position for an EME relay! I flew below-decks and brought up the 500 KW generator to bring all batteries up to full voltage. We then slewed the 144 MHz moon-bounce array to the heavens and commenced to blast the lunar surface with 1500 Watt bursts of Morse code indicating our plight and coordinates to any that might hear.
After an agonizing 30 minutes, my eye surgeon wife [did I mention that she's pretty damn good looking?], spotted a US Air Force C-17 deploying a single parachutist that we later learned to be none other than Senator John Kerry.
My beautiful wife and I never knew what heinous fate befell those twisted souls. We simply went on to our next bogus adventure...

2016 - Kevin KR6AI

A few years ago our small radio club was assisting the local Red Cross during a bad series of storms which had completely knocked out all power in the small town of Nowhere,CA. We were in contact with FEMA and they were trying to locate us on their GPS system without much luck. They did promise us that they would have a plan of action ready for us in about 3 weeks. Well next thing you know a particularly violent lightning strike took out our generator. This was not too much of a problem because we had battery back up. That is until FEMA started sending all the forms to fill out so that they could send a rapid response team from New York. All that data going back and forth was quite a drain on our battery. Well now we were in a pickle as our batteries were getting depleted and we were realizing that FEMA thought we were in Nowhere, New Jersey.

Quickly realizing that we needed to find a way to recharge our batteries ASAP to let FEMA know we were in California not New Jersey we huddled up trying to brainstorm a solution. Suddenly one of our members jumped up and started mumbling things about Tesla and other incoherent ramblings while rapidly punching formulas into his ever present scientific calculator. In just a few seconds he screamed I got it and before we could blink he grabbed a J pole, Big Mike, and a power cord. While we all were looking a little befuddled, he quickly pushed Big Mike out the door with the Antenna and wire in hand. Our member quickly explained to us as he connected the power cord wires to our battery that he had calculated that Big Mike had enough body mass to reduce the voltage level from a lightning strike to where it should quickly charge our battery without destroying it. Before he could finish there was a mad dash to the door by all of us to rescue poor Big Mike. Of course that is precisely when the lighting struck. I think you all can guess it did not go well for Big Mike or our battery.

Being a good time to take matters in hand, I walked over to our resident genius and grabbed the calculator out of his pocket. Tearing the 9 volt battery out of it, I quickly connected it to one of our QRP rigs and was able to contact FEMA via CW and let them know we were in California not New Jersey. They quickly dispatched a FEMA team from a hotel 5 miles away where they had been attending a culinary convention.
Well in case you were wondering, Mike did survive and he is getting some color back in his hair. The club graciously replaced the shoes that he was blown out of. The battery was eventually located in orbit by the space station which was able to recover it and identify it by the club call sign written on it. Needing a power supply for a vital piece of equipment the ISS crew made good use of this lucky find. The battery had enough juice in it to power the vacuum flush mechanism indefinitely.

Our club genius did in fact get a research grant from NASA to develop this battery technology. It has not gotten anywhere, since Big Mike is not willing to participate in the scientific studies.
Kevin KR6AI

2017 - Carol KP4MD

"How I came to love Radiotelegraphy"
You could say it was in our blood. Well, probably so because according to our family genealogist and palm reader, Mr. Marconi himself was my great great grandfather twice removed. He was the youngest of a litter of eight born on a pig farm somewhere in the toe jam of the boot of Italy. He was exceptional even as an infant as the first words out of his mouth were dots and dashes. As a child he was a picky eater, preferring penne and pastina noodles that he would arrange to form telegraphic messages.
Marconi first experimented with ham radio, the release of pig emissions into the ether, on the family farm. When one pig's emissions successfully crossed from one end of the farm to the other, his donkey returned to confirm the contact. That was the original QSL Burro.

Marconi later attended the prestigious Istituto Porco in Salami. He claimed to have invented ham radio with ideas plagiarized from Heinrich Hertz and Nikola Tesla. Tesla had already discovered that space has inductance and then invented his famous "Wireless Coil", that is, a coil without wire. Marconi doctored a photo of himself with a "ham contraption" that secured his patent grant for radio. All later patent disputes were silenced by the untimely demise of Tesla and his friends at the hands of the Cosa Nostra.

The mob also provided start up capital for Marconi's famous Marconi and Cheese Company that equipped ocean vessels for wireless pig emissions. Marconi himself perished on the ill fated maiden voyage of the Titanic, sunk by the excess weight of his transmitting swine.

Grandpa was also a "chip off the old block". He could copy Morse Code blindfolded and in reverse before he was out of diapers. While a college student, he designed the Gelato 599 transmitter, invented antenna grease and the wet noodle antenna, and was elected president of the "I Tappa Key" fraternity. Gramps was a pioneer in electronic warfare. Once back in the old days of B&W TV and roof aerials, Grandpa was working a rare DX entity on 20 CW when the S9 buzz from the neighbor's TV flyback transformer harmonics came on and blanketed the HF spectrum every 15.75 kHz squashing the QSO. Grandpa then fired up his trusty cathode-keyed 4CX50000 Hartley oscillator and enjoyed watching the corona discharge from his neighbor's TV aerial and listening to the expletives emanating through the window.

Yes, radio is in my blood. I could recount how my dear mother tapped loving messages to me during the months before she brought me into this world, how she taught me how to carefully weave coaxial braid and how to embroider with Litz wire, how to insulate wires with spaghetti from our pantry, and how our kitchen pots and pans were authentic potentiometers and panadapters. I leave you, my dear reader, with this blessing that my dear grandmother taught me when I was a little girl. "May every waking day greet you with the heavenly melodious chirping of gray line CW. Amen."
Carol, KP4MD