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Tue Dec 14 23:07:36 EST 2010

>        A Ham's Night Before Christmas
>(Yet another corruption of Clement Clarke Moore's
>classic Christmas tale, this time distorted by
>Gary Pearce KN4AQ, and the Raleigh Amateur
>Radio Society, Raleigh, NC, December 2, 1996.)
>'Twas the night before Christmas,
>And all through two-meters,
>Not a signal was keying up
>Any repeaters.
>The antennas reached up
>From the tower, quite high,
>To catch the weak signals
>That bounced from the sky.
>The children, Tech-Pluses,
>Took their HT's to bed,
>And dreamed of the day
>They'd be Extras, instead.
>Mom put on her headphones,
>I plugged in the key,
>And we tuned 40 meters
>For that rare ZK3.
>When the meter was pegged
>by a signal with power.
>It smoked a small diode,
>and, I swear, shook the tower.
>Mom yanked off her phones,
>And with all she could muster
>Logged a spot of the signal
>On the DX PacketCluster,
>While I ran to the window
>And peered up at the sky,
>To see what could generate
>RF that high.
>It was way in the distance,
>But the moon made it gleam -
>A flying sleigh, with an
>Eight element beam,
>And a little old driver
>who looked slightly mean.
>So I thought for a moment,
>That it might be Wayne Green.
>But no, it was Santa,
>The Santa of Hams.
>On a mission, this Christmas,
>To clean up the bands.
>He circled the tower,
>Then stopped in his track,
>And he slid down the coax
>Right into the shack.
>While Mom and I hid
>Behind stacks of CQ,
>This Santa of hamming
>Knew just what to do.
>He cleared off the shack desk
>Of paper and parts,
>And filled out all my late QSLs
>For a start.
>He ran copper braid,
>Took a steel rod and pounded
>It into the earth, till
>The station was grounded.
>He tightened loose fittings,
>Resoldered connections,
>Cranked down modulation,
>Installed lightning protection.
>He neutralized tubes
>In my linear amp...
>(Never worked right before --
>Now it works like a champ).
>A new, low-pass filter
>Cleaned up the TV.
>He corrected the settings
>In my TNC.
>He repaired the computer
>That would not compute,
>And he backed up the hard drive
>And got it to boot.
>Then, he reached really deep
>In the bag that he brought,
>And he pulled out a big box.
>A new rig? I thought!
>A new Kenwood?  An Icom?
>A Yaesu, for me?!
>(If he thought I'd been bad
>it might be QRP!)
>Yes! The Ultimate Station!
>How could I deserve this?
>Could it be all those hours
>that I worked Public Service?
>He hooked it all up
>And in record time, quickly
>Worked 100 countries,
>All down on 160.
>I should have been happy,
>It was my call he sent.
>But the cards and the postage
>Will cost two month's rent!
>He made final adjustments,
>And left a card by the key:
>"To Gary, from Santa Claus.
>Then he grabbed his HT,
>Looked me straight in the eye,
>Punched a code on the pad,
>And was gone - no good bye.
>I ran back to the station,
>And the pile-up was big,
>But a card from St. Nick
>Would be worth my new rig.
>Oh, too late, for his final
>came over the air.
>It was copied all over.
>It was heard everywhere.
>The Ham's Santa exclaimed
>What a ham might expect,
>"Merry Christmas to all,
>And to all, good DX."
>©1996 Gary Pearce KN4AQ
>Permission granted for any print
>or electronic reproduction.
>kn4aq at

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