Portable QRP operations in the park.

Hunting for that one contact
In Canada it's the Thanksgiving long weekend and I thought I would add Friday as a vacation day to make it an extra long weekend. The weather has been great all week very summer like and far from fall like. I decided to take advantage of this fine weather and get outdoors with ham radio! This time it was going to be our local park with my car, so instead of the Endfed antenna My plan was to warm  up the mono band HF whips. Apon arrival in the park I check with the website "band conditions" and it was showing all green on 30m. I thought "what the heck" I setup and the band was dead! I checked with band conditions again and low and behold the band was now deep on the red. It was off to the standby band.......20m. Going up and down the band I did find it quite but with the hurricane riding up the Eastern U.S. , it's Friday and lots are working and then the band conditions not idea the slow band made sence. I came across a station calling CQ at 14.041 followed by "up". Hmmm I thought....dxpedition or rare call. I engaged the dual watch on the KX3 and I listened for a bit and found there was no pile up in fact there was no one calling him! The call was AN400M that to me seemed like a special event station but at this point I was not sure from where? I set my KX3 for the common split of 2K and threw my call at 5 watts out there. He came right back to me with the standard 599 to which I replied the same adding TU and 73.  From there I was just spinning the VFO around 20m and really did not find much. I did come across 2 other stations signing AN400G and AN400I and that convinced me I contacted a special event station. I tried calling these other station but was not able to make the contact. It was then time to pack it up as there was a Blue Jays game to watch at 1pm today. While at the local watering hole waiting for the Blue Jays game to start I went on   QRZ.COM to find out it was a special event station out of Spain. They were offering a silver, gold and platinum awards but I was not able to get on their website it was not loading so I was not able to get anymore info.

Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

2 Responses to “Portable QRP operations in the park.”

  • Larry Nixon VE7VJ:

    Thanks for pointing out the Band conditions web page. I had not seen that before.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    You are very welcome Larry it’s a very nice tool to have available. I have noticed in the past with using it that the bar graph can change very fast from green to dark red. But it is a very useful tool to get an idea how things are on the bands.
    73, Mike

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