Between a rock and a hard place

That’s where I found myself tonight, as one of the two Foxes in the 40 Meter QRP Fox Hunt. As a Fox, you try to find a relatively clear frequency, where you can work the Hounds rather easily. And that’s precisely what I thought I did tonight. I found a frequency, called “QRL?”, and hearing no response in the negative, I began working Hounds. For the first few minutes, things were going great. Then I found myself giving the Fox exchange to stations who weren’t coming back to me.

After that sinking-in-the-pit-of-my-stomach “uh oh” feeling quickly passed by, I snuck a peak at the Cluster, to realize that I was being encroached by one of the W1AW/X pileups! A lot of those stations had no interest in me, and probably couldn’t even hear me, for that matter.

So I quickly QSYed to calmer waters and decided to operate simplex instead of split. Even though there was a lot of QRM and the band was treating me to a lot of QSB, a very quick after-the-event count shows that I handed out close to 60 pelts.

A post-hunt e-mail from Todd N9NE informed me that I had managed to position myself right in between W1AW/8 and W1AW/4. I’m glad I didn’t know that! Some things you’re better off not knowing, and I think that is one of them.

My ears hurt a little bit from trying to pull out some weaker call signs from among the loud QRM, but I am pretty satisfied by my effort. I wanted to work at least 60 stations going in, and I made that a goal for myself. Looks like I just made it.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP – When you care to send the very least!

Larry Makoski, W2LJ, is a regular contributor to and writes from New Jersey, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

Leave a Comment

Subscribe FREE to's
Amateur Radio Newsletter
News, Opinion, Giveaways & More!

Join over 7,000 subscribers!
We never share your e-mail address.

Also available via RSS feed, Twitter, and Facebook.

Subscribe FREE to's
Amateur Radio Newsletter

We never share your e-mail address.

Do you like to write?
Interesting project to share?
Helpful tips and ideas for other hams?

Submit an article and we will review it for publication on!

Have a ham radio product or service?
Consider advertising on our site.

Are you a reporter covering ham radio?
Find ham radio experts for your story.

How to Set Up a Ham Radio Blog
Get started in less than 15 minutes!

  • Matt W1MST, Managing Editor

Sign up for our free
Amateur Radio Newsletter

Enter your e-mail address: