DX from the Winnipesaukee River

I rode my bike this morning to the Winnipesaukee River and worked France, Sweden, Germany and Illinois.

The heat and humidity this week have been over the top. In the 90s during the day and really muggy. I thought I’d get a head start on the day by taking the old Northern Rail route to the Winnipesaukee.


The trail is beautiful. It’s a nice hard riding surface and winds its way through old farms and fields. The bike ride is only a half mile or so, but that’s plenty. Already it is 88 degrees.


I turn toward the river on the east side of this field and walk down a little knoll toward the river.


The river is full from recent rains. Lake Winnipesaukee empties into this river and then flows into the Merrimack River. It’s a favorite with kayakers because there are several sections of white water. Today there’s a cool breeze off the water. I set up on some rocks just a few feet above the water level.


I heave a wire into some nearby trees and connect it to a 9 to 1 unun designed by the Emergency ARC in Hawaii. I am running an Elecraft KX3 at 5 watts with the internal tuner. I set up for 17 meters. There are several strong stations here. First I work Chris F8DGY. He’s a strong 599 and he gives me a 569. “UR QRP doing fine job,” he sends. As I tune up the band a bit I hear Gary, K9LJN calling CQ. He’s also 599 and gives me a 579.


Next, I hear SJ0SOP calling from Sweden. This is a special event station for the Sea of Peace. He’s a strong 599 and also gives me a 599. Then I work Germany. DR20CFT is 599 and gives me a 579. This is also a special event station.

I’ve only operated for less than 20 minutes, but I promised my wife that I’d be home for lunch. I pack up and face the heat. It’s now almost five degrees warmer than when I started. For the next few days if I get a chance to operate outdoors, it’ll have to be early morning or late evening. This isn’t normal New Hampshire weather.

Jim Cluett, W1PID, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Hampshire, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

8 Responses to “DX from the Winnipesaukee River”


    Hi Jim,
    That sure is a very nice area.
    I think I would have tossed in some fishing gear along with the radio.
    I have the same tuner as you do but I just got the kit of parts and made my own.
    I do very good with just 35 feet of wire.
    I use the HB1B and I like the tiny rig.
    I’m in NJ and this heat spell will be here through the weekend.
    GL DXing
    Bob AF2

  • Scott W0SGM:

    WOW !!! Great fun I bet. Beautiful scenery. I just ordered one of those EARC antennas to use with my KX3.
    It’s been hot here in Iowa this week too with heat warnings for today through Friday…

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good evening Jim, it’s great to hear the great contact you had with 5 watts and a wire antenna. With the conditions the way they are you have given me the get up and go to take the KX3 out this weekend for some QRP activities!!! Once again very nice shots of the trail and I do agree it is hot hot out there. Today up this way with the humidity it was 113F!! I work outside and it is something else.
    Thanks for the QRP adventure report and long with the pictures hope you made it home in time for lunch!

  • Guys – thanks for the nice notes. It was nice to get out again. First rain… then heat… not great for outings. 73 Jim

  • Todd KD0TLS:

    Why did you choose to use the unun on that antenna? Also, why that instead of a balun?

  • Bob W2TAC:

    What’s the balun/box between your antenna and KX3? (I also use a KX3).


    Bob W2TAC,
    I got mine as a kit from http://www.earchi.org/index.html
    It has a plastic box.
    They told me no counterpoise is needed but use about 20 feet of coax but it does not have to be laid straight out.
    Works good but my end fed with 65 feet of wire almost vertical kicks butt:-)
    About three months ago I worked a sri-Lanka club station.
    BOB AF2Q




    $70.00 and a bit bigger but with a 45 foot wire it is a good covert antenna.
    I slop mie down from the 4th floow and it works just nice.
    The Ultimax 100 I think is good for 100 watts and the box is sealed and has a core for each band 80 to 54 megs
    His high power unit has no cores.
    If you run QRP then you want the zero SWR so I use a tiny tuner I made.
    If you have time,different size wires will give you a flat SWR
    Bob AF2Q

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