Thursday, June 20, 2013

Wire & Milliwatts!!!!

Reverse Beacon Report Running 900 Mw  June 20, 2013 NAQCC Mw Sprint
Simply amazing what a wire in the sky and 900 Mw will do!!!  The NAQCC holds milliwatt sprints a couple times a year.  Last night was the first time I participated.  I ran the K3 at 900 mW to my OCF dipole and was amazed at what happened.  Above is the reverse beacon report when I called cq in the contest.  The best contact I had was MS the closest was my neighbor in NH...pretty little 900mW signal really got out there..but I wasn't the only one!!!!

Take a look at the other!!!
NAQCC Results mW Contest June 2013

I was on the air for about an hour and a half and ended up with 15 contacts in the USA...7 on 20M, 7 on 40M and 1 on 80M...pretty cool for under one watt.  I missed several others due to not being more skilled with zero beating the station...something I'll have to work on.

Here is my 900 mW log for the sprint (copied from my Cabrillo file):

QSO: 14061 CW 2013-06-20 0038 K1QO          559  NH 1143  N1IX          559  NH   1130  
QSO: 14061 CW 2013-06-20 0042 K1QO          559  NH 1143  K4ORD         559  VA   904   
QSO: 14061 CW 2013-06-20 0044 K1QO          559  NH 1143  WG8Y          559  NC   4405  
QSO: 14061 CW 2013-06-20 0045 K1QO          559  NH 1143  AC8LJ         449  WV   6261  
QSO: 14061 CW 2013-06-20 0046 K1QO          559  NH 1143  N5GW          559  MS   5353  
QSO: 14059 CW 2013-06-20 0055 K1QO          559  NH 1143  KB4QQJ        559  NC   2086  
QSO:  7040 CW 2013-06-20 0111 K1QO          559  NH 1143  KD2MX         559  NJ   1091  
QSO:  7041 CW 2013-06-20 0111 K1QO          559  NH 1143  N1IX          559  NH   1130  
QSO: 14060 CW 2013-06-20 0120 K1QO          559  NH 1143  K4BAI         589  GA   644   
QSO:  3562 CW 2013-06-20 0130 K1QO          559  NH 1143  N1IX          559  NH   1130  
QSO:  7041 CW 2013-06-20 0138 K1QO          559  NH 1143  NW2K          559  NY   5407  
QSO:  7041 CW 2013-06-20 0141 K1QO          559  NH 1143  K4ORD         579  VA   904   
QSO:  7044 CW 2013-06-20 0149 K1QO          559  NH 1143  VE3KI         589  ON   3945  
QSO:  7041 CW 2013-06-20 0152 K1QO          559  NH 1143  KB3AAG        559  PA   1016  
QSO:  7043 CW 2013-06-20 0200 K1QO          559  NH 1143  KB9ILT        559  IL   5588  

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

WPX, ARCI Hoot Owl Sprint and MI QRP Memorial Day Sprint

Thumbs up to MI QRP Club....

What a nice friendly contest!!!   I will put this club's contests on my list for 4th of July, and Labor Day...nice group!!!  Nice way to end Memorial Day weekend.

The ARCI Hoot Owl Sprint was a disaster for me....with the WPX going on and taking up the entire real estate spectrum of the QRP band I couldn't find anyone calling for the contest..wish there was a way qrp frequencies could be accepted and respected.   I will continue to refuse to call a station who is obviously running qro in the qrp calling frequency..why can't  qrp'ers have their tiny space???

Memorial Day in New England turned out to be really bad, rain and seasonally cold so I did put in a small effort in the WPX contest.  My initial plan was to do the ARCI Hoot Owl Sprint on Saturday evening and the MI QRP Memorial Day Sprint on Monday evening but with the bad weather family plans changed and I had a bit more free time than expected.  

Conditions were really good on Friday night for the WPX but I was really tired and just couldn't stay about 9:00 I was starting to I'm really getting to be an old fart :(    When I woke up Saturday morning, I did the family thing, made bacon and eggs for hubby, called my 94 year old dad and had my usual 1 hour daily chat then took care of some household chores and made it back on the radio by early afternoon..yikes conditions had changed.   (This seems to be a reoccurring lesson I fail to learn...and I'll bang it in my head again, "take advantage of conditions when they are good..that's what coffee is for").

Sunday the weather started to get better so I wasn't on the radio for a good part of the day and conditions seemed a lot better than Saturday, 5W into EU was working better.  

I was really pleasantly surprised with the amount of  participation in the MI QRP Memorial Day Sprint.  I was only able to put in about an hour and a half but it was fun.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Radio, Memorial Day Weekend, and Family Harmony

After doing the ARCI Spring QSO Party, then trying to support a few friends in the GA QP, FL QP and doing QRP TTF in April I promised the family I'd ease off weekends and spend more time with family so my plan is to skip WPX Memorial Day Weekend.   (I kind of broke my promise when I continued to spend a lot of time in May with the New England QSO party and Day of the YL' I need to lighten up a bit.)

 NE QSO Party

 ARCI Spring QSO Party


However I do plan on the spending some time on the radio in the evening, less of an impact to family and I'll be able to keep some kind of balance and family harmony.

The following contests look like they should be a lot of fun this weekend:

ARCI Hoot Owl Sprint

MI QRP Memorial Day Sprint

(By the way the MI QRP info says Labor Day Sprint but K8NWD posted this to the QRP-L:)

MI QRP Memorial Day CW Sprint--CW, from May 27, 2300Z to May 28, 0300Z. Bands
(MHz): 1.8-28. Exchange: RST, S/P/C, MI QRP number or power. Logs due: 30 days.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

QRP Foxhunt Lull: Winter/Summer

YI really like the QRP Foxhunts on 40 and 80 Meters during the winter and 20M during the summer months:


They are really fun and have been great experience for me in a number of ways.   I've learned to work split, the hunts continue to help me improve my listening skills and copying weak signals...the fox hunts have some world class ops who work as fox and send to the pack of hounds...sometimes you might be in a pile up 1-2 deep with about 50 or more hounds!!!!

The Facebook QRP Foxhunt group with N9AW as group admin has been really neat!!!   It take the fox hunts to a new level by creating a group that is has bonded together like a band of brothers...I love the camaradaire....what a great group.  I typically don't do the 20M summer hunts since there is so much going on during the summer but I've been smiten with the radio bug after about a 2 year layoff and I'm sure I'll do the summer hunts this season.  In the mean time I downloaded GEN LOG and will start participating in the NAQCC sprints between fox hunt seasons.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Quick QRP Antenna Set-UP ideas

One of my goals this year is to do some fun QRP events outside.  QRP TTF was fun in April and I'm looking forward to more.  One thing I found from doing the event in April is a need for a faster and easier  QRP antenna setup.  In my search I came across some cool ideas from our own NEQRP founder, W1FMR, if you google his call with the words "end-fed antenna" a wealth of info comes up.  Jim has written for 72 and various yahoo-groups, plus he USES them, so why reinvent the wheel when I can learn from the best on this type of cool is that!!! (Jim is a major QRP 160 force...look for his position in #1 call area when the scores are finally tabulated in the CQ 160 2013 contest:)  Tons of info on great, quick and easy to setup endfed antennas from W1FMR on the web!!!!!   The link provided below is from the NJ QRP with several configurations:

Click link for more info:
End-Fed Half Wave Antenna

Jim Fitton, W1FMR, NEQRP founder (left) and at his side, his childhood ham friend, NY1Z  (and still his good buddy) at a recent NEQRP Luncheon celebrating Jim's 74 birthday....good going Jim you've added so much to my enjoyment of the hobby...thanks OM!!!!!  Wow these guys send spectacular clean beautiful code on Vibroplex bugs!!!


Wow...I am blown away. When I got home from the NEQRP Luncheon and Birthday bash for #1 (W1FMR) I received an large envelope from ARRL and in it was an A1 Operator certificate...yikes!!!

I am honored, thrilled, shocked and flooded with emotion...I wish I knew the people who nominated and seconded me!!!  It's the biggest honor in ham radio I can possibly imagine that two of my peers would nominate me for this!!!!!!!  I remember when I read W2LJ's blog in 2006 when he received his...I was in awe, Larry...his words still ring true and his thoughts are how I feel...I'm overwhelmed!!!!

Yes...I need to repeat the words of my fox hunting buddy, I agree Larry I am "Flabbergasted, surprised, shocked and humbled" too...I felt the same way when I opened my envelope too.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

QRP To The Field April 27, 2013

This was so much fun!! QRP To the Field, was held last Saturday, April 27, 2013. Ever since I've entered the hobby I've wanted to be able to have the confidence to operate in an outdoor setting and this was the day!!!! I was a bit shaky with the paddle attached to the KX3 I'm making more mistakes than I'd like, THEN I freeze up and more mistakes beget more mistakes..oh my...but I do keep trying to send. And, this was my first time hand logging and I need to keep neater logs but here goes:

W8ZPF 15:54 55N OH Fred
KB5FC 16:37 55N OK Joel
WD8RIF 17:07 55N OH Eric
KI4KG 17:10 449 GA Bill 4W
W2KJ 17:21 55N NC Joe
W4ZV 17:28 55N SOTA NC EM
AB4SA 17:31 579 GA John
K4UWH 1739 55N NC Charles
WA9H 17:41 55N IN Rod
KG8YT 17:43 55N MI Bruce
DL2WHI 18:21 55N DL Diet

AB1AV 18:34 55n SOTA W1/HAV203
W2M 18:40 55N NY

 Lots of fun!!!