I had a class this morning that meets one Saturday a month. It started last September and ends next month, and it runs from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. You can see that that's a good chunk of the day. So it was SOTABEAMS WSPRLite to the rescue! It's kind of like a Ronco counter top oven - "set it and forget it". So I hooked up my WSPRLite to my W3EDP, set it up for 200 milliWatts on 20 Meters and let it go to town!
I figured that I'd let it run, see how the W3EDP gets out and still do the things I had to do today.
This WSPRLite is so cool! It's a software defined WSPR beacon in a package about half the size of an Altoids tin. It's powered by the USB port of your computer. You pick the band and power output and hook it up to your antenna. You wait until 2 seconds past any even minute and you press the little black button on the right to kick things off. The beacon transmits for 110 seconds and then waits for the next opportunity when the frequency is clear. I set it so that it would randomly transmit about 20% of the time; and you can let it run for up to three days if you want.
In the meantime, yesterday, while checking my e-mail, I saw that Joe Everhart N2CX co-founder of the NJQRP Club was going to be activating Edison State Park for Parks on the Air. It's designator is KFF-1615 and it's all of about 15 minutes from my house. So I e-mailed Joe back with my cell phone number and told him to text me when he got there; and I would come out and meet him.
After class I came home and broke out the lawnmower and got the front yard done. As I was walking to the backyard, I felt my pocket buzz. I whipped out my phone and read a text that Joe was on site and setting up. I dropped the lawnmower like a hot potato and high tailed it to the park. After all, what QRPer in his right mind would miss the opportunity to talk with a QRP Legend, right? When I got there, I saw Joe had finished setting up and was operating from his car.
It was getting out all right! Into the midwest USA and into Europe on 200 milliWatts! The W3EDP seems to be doing OK!
It turned out to be a good day, after all. I got to attend my class, got my chores done and got to hob-nob with a QRP giant - while giving my wire antenna a check out at the same time!
And here I thought the day would be a bust, Amateur Radio-wise!
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!