Ol’ Man Murphy seemed to be my constant companion today! I foolishly thought I had everything under control. I was given yet another lesson in humility today.
I got to the park right at about 12:45 – a lot later than intended. Some home things came up, and I had to take care of them first. Really no biggie, but still, an unintended delay.
So I get to the park, and get out the wrist rocket. Load the pouch with my 1 ounce fishing weight, pull back and aim for a convenient branch. Instead of “BWWWWAAAANG”, I got a loud “SNAP”. One of the elastic bands broke. OK, take a deep breath, examine the situation. Thanks to the Swiss Army Knife that I always carry, I was able to make some field repairs that would hold me over. I finally got the wire up like I had it last year. I hooked up the KX3 and could not get a decent match! I have no idea why; but I figured I would worry about that later as I was already seriously into the first hour of the contest.
ALWAYS have a back up! I ran over to the Jeep and pulled out the Buddistick. W3FF’s antenna literally saved my bacon this afternoon. I got it set up and got going, one hour into the proceedings.
After that, the afternoon went well and was a success. I’m never in these things to win – just to have fun and rack up some QSOs. In all, I made thirty contacts. Twenty six were on 20 Meters and four were on 40 Meters. I was a bit disappointed with the lack of activity on 40 Meters. I thought there would be a lot more, especially as the afternoon wore on. I kept checking 7.040 MHz as well as 7.030 MHz, but except for the four QSOs that I made, there was nothing to be heard.
Something to do before the Skeeter Hunt in two weeks.
Figure out why the wires wouldn’t match. AND, make new wires out of something more flexible and light. I was using some wire that I had gotten from an SK’s estate sale that would have been more appropriate for a permanent wire antenna. I need to get something better for portable ops.
The little blue LiPO battery held up great! No problems with it going low voltage on me. By making sure the KX3’s LCD backlight was off, I was able to stay at the full “QRP Gallon” of 5 Watts out for the entire time I operated.
The filtering in the KX3 made an easy job out of working stations that were right on top of each other. In fact, at one point, John K4BAI came back to me informing me that we had already worked each other. John, if you’re reading this, I was working someone else who was so close to you, it was ridiculous. Yet, the KX3 was able to single the other op out for me with no problem.
Even though there was some frustration, the day turned out well. And, no more than a half hour after I got home, the skies got dark, the lightning and thunder started and we had real heavy downpours. But by that time, I was already adding my QSOs to AC Log on this netbook.
Hope you had a great time with FOBB today! Looks like Jim W1PID did – here’s his report:
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP – When you care to send the very least!