2nd annual Skeeter hunt contest

The operating chair
The Skeeter hunt   is a great QRP contest that has really caught on with the QRPer's. It's only a 4 hour contest and offers extra points if you want to take on a challenge. Last year it was to brew up a home made key and use it in the contest. If you did this (supporting photo's needed) then you picked up huge bonus points! Well last year I was not able to come up with a homemade key so the bonus points were out the window for me. This year the challenge was to operate beside a body of water......no problem for me as there are 3 rivers within 5 minutes or less for me.
Storm clouds
I scooped up my bonus points (passed along the pic's to back it up) but I was not able to make the same amount of contacts that I did last year. There were some factors to this, conditions had changed from last year, I worked an all nighter on Saturday so I was operating on more that 24 hours without any sleep and thus I did not spend as much time in the test........well a 1/2 hour less. I used my Elecraft KX3 operating on the internal batteries. The antenna was a mono band 20m whip from my car. I was going to use the Alexloop so I could take advantage of more bands...but...the weather conditions were looking very stormy. I did not want to take a chance and have the Alexloop damaged from rain.
The weather turned out to be great it did not rain but the storm clouds over head kept it cool and the sun off me. I operated from Riverside park which is a great park about 5 minutes from my QTH. Funny thing I never had anyone come up to me wondering what I was doing! In the past this has happened and it gave me a chance to explain ham radio. Something new in the contest this year is operating SSB, I did not take advantage of this and stayed CW and just single band.
A look towards the river
Some of the highlights were contacting TF/LX1NO (who was in the WAE contest) for whom you get bonus points for! Also I brought along an extra external battery just in case the AA internal rechargeable batteries died on me. To my surprise they lasted for 3 hours with me constantly calling CQ BZZ.
Another shot of the river.
So I was able to make 18 contacts with a total score of 1396. Funny thing my last years score was 1392.....So technically I did better than last year by 4 points!!!
Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

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