Reviewing 2011

Reviewing the year 2011,
it was a kind of turning point of my life.

[Jan] Start CW Clumn of CQ Hamradio Magazine
I took charge of monthly CW column of JA CQ Hamradio magazine from 2011-Jan issue till 2011-Dec issue.

[Feb] Sports Club Debut
I became a member of a Sports Club due to my wife and daughter's strong recommendeation.
Although I've been hesitating to go such facility, soon I was hooked.

[March] Natural Disaster & Nuke Accident
On the 11th of March, when the great earthquake attached northern part of Japan
I was in a meeting at 21st floor of my office building in Kawasaki-city near Tokyo about 250km south west from the epicenter.

The 21st floor swayed very much for long senconds after some interval we had bigger shock again.
I've been clinging on the desk and felt this building might be collapsed.
After a couple of minutes (actually may be less but I felt it much longer than some minutes), rolling was stopped.
After that I experienced the wolrd where no electric power, no telephone for long hours.
Only twitter communication through cell phone was barely available.
The most worry was that I could not confirm if my family is safe. (They don't use twitter!)
Since all public transportation means became unavailable and no one knows when the service will be restored.
I decided to go back home on foot.
I left the office around 6PM and arrived at home around mid night.
(The distance between office and home is about 25km or 16miles.)

I've never been experienced such a dark town without lights.
Fortunately my wife and son were safe in the home and listening portable radio with battery.
My daughter who is working at the down town Tokyo and she chould not come back home as it is too far to come back home by foot.
After train transportation restored next morining, She came back home. She cried when she saw my face.

Soon, we noticed that the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Pant had damaged by TSUNAMI. And the situation became worse day by day. And resulted to the worst way as everyone knows.
The radioactive contamination have been continuing since that time and no one knows when it will be stopped and cleared.
It's sure that the problem won't cleared within my life.

[Apr] On the air by Solar Energy
After the March disaster I realized that we have to study about survival skills and should prepare for next disaster.
Japan is geographically located on the most earthquake sensitive place in the planet.
With high possiblity a similar level of huge earthquake will attack near Tokyo anytime.
And we cannot rely on the electricity supplied by electric power company with poor risk management.
As a first trial, I decided to use solar energy for my hobby.
I've been using solar panel and battery to feed power supply to the amateur radio equipment since April.

[May] Turning 50
I turned 50 in May.
I recognize that the aging effects such as ear ringing (tinnitus), eye problem (myodesopsia, presbyopia)
and forget things to do rapidly (amnesia?) are becoming subjective symptoms.
It's sad.

[June] Becoming a member of FOC
Thanks to the kind support of the sponsors, I could become a member of FOC.
For me, FOC was a kind of admiration and final target of my CW oriented ham life.
So, when Bruce, K6ZB sounded about nomination, I said to him "not now".
But Bruce nominated me and kick my back to try the quest.

I was first nominated Bruce, K6ZB and Shin, JA1NUT in last November.
Then, Bert, W5ZR and Jurgen, DJ3KR.
Steave, W7QC also gave me kind intension for sponsoring.
But the G land was quite a big hardle for my small station.
I've been looking for explosion of high band condition.
The high bands have gradually getting better this spring and I was ready to put on a spurt at the end of nomination
period of 6 months.
Unfortunately, the great earthquake on 3.11 made my activitiy almost zero for about one month. I restarted radio mid April but with 100W solar panel and 100AH battery to protest against TEPCO nuke plant problem.
At the end of April, that's almost expiration of the nomination period, band condition on finally 15/17/20 smiles to me.
In the last two weeks of April, I got up around 5AM every morinig and watch the bands carefully just before the time I must go to the office.
Thanks to this efforts, I could worked several G stations and one of them became my final sponsor, Ron GW3YDX.
This 6 months was really exciting quest for me.
I'd like to say thank you again to their continuous support and encouragement on & off the air.

[June] Morse PR SPecial Station
The special event station 8J1MORSE, that commemorates the 220th anniversary of the birth of Samuel Morse and the first successful Morse Code communication across the Atlantic Ocean by Guglielmo Marconi in 1901, QRVed from 1st June, 2011 till end of Nov 2011.
Also, this special station is opened for remembering drop of Morsecode proficiency test from all class of amateur radio operators license exam.
For detailes refer to official website http://8j1morse.a1tokai.net/ and offical blog http://8j1morse.blogspot.com
I planned this project and promoted to CQ Hamradio Magazine and JARL.
This station was operated by members of A1 CLUB http://a1club.net/ .

[Aug] Performance on TV
In August, a Movie "Let Me In" has been road showed in Japan as title of "MORSE"
I was interviewed by a TV broadcasting co, JOCX TV about MORSE.

[Sep] Issue a Book for Morse Communication
A book for promoting Morse Communication "Hajimeteno Morusu Tsuushin" has been published from CQ Publishing Co. Ltd.
This book is for beginners who don't know Morsecode yet.

[Oct] Death of My Friend
One of my old friend who spent our college student days and at the school rowing club was killed by unexpected accident.
It was shock to us all who spent youth days together.
Remembering him and our sensitive young days, the remaining friends reunioned after long years interval.

[Dec] Introduction of Electric Vehicle
Since my 11-year-old Nissan Tino getting aged and worse in fuel consumption, I decided to change my car.
Considering my life style now and to be, I decided to try an electric vehicle.
Nissan Leaf has come just before new year.

Thus, lots of things were first time in my life even in this age and I feel it is important to keep basic as stable but keep looking and hearing news widely and do not hesitate to change myself if I believe it is the right way.

Thank you evrything in 2011 and I do hope the coming year will be a healty and happy new year to you and yours!

Atsu, JE1TRV