QRP from the Seashore

Judy and I drove over to the beach today. It was glorious! We got lots of sun, had a fantastic walk, and I operated in the CWT sprint for a few minutes. The highlight of the operating was making a beach-to-beach QRP QSO with K4KRW in North Carolina.

We drove over to Rye Harbor in the morning and had a picnic lunch as soon as we arrived. Then we walked a couple of miles along the beach. After this Judy lay down on the shore to soak up some sun. I rode my bike about a half mile inland to play radio for a while. I’d brought a kite, but there wasn’t quite enough wind to lift an antenna… so I went in search of some trees. I found a wildlife area not too far from the road. A narrow path leads through the woods to a platform overlooking a beautiful inland marsh.

Except for the heat (high 80s in the shade), the spot was perfect. I had a 30 foot tree nearby and set up the wire as a sloper. The little deck even had a chair and a bench to operate on. I ran the KX3 on 20 meters and right away worked IK0YVV in Italy. Marco gave me a 559. Then I worked Gilly, WA5SNL in Texas. He also gave me a 559.

After signing I tuned up to the QRP frequency. K4KRW, Richard, was calling CQ. To my delight, he was operating from a beach in North Carolina with a KX3 and an end-fed wire. But… his wire was lifted by a kite! After arriving home, I found an email from Richard with a photo of his operating position.

We had a great QSO and exchanged 559 signal reports. What a thrill to work another KX3 operator on the beach!

Now the CWT sprint had started and I joined in. I only operated for 10 minutes, because by now my shirt was drenched and I’d had enough of this heat. Here’s my log. I’ve changed it to reflect the other station’s QTH instead of the CWOPS member number used in the real exchange:

19 Jul-17 1840 14.028 IK0YVV CW 559 579 Italy Marco
19 Jul-17 1848 14.029 WA5SNL CW 559 579 TX Gilly
19 Jul-17 1854 14.060 K4KRW CW 559 559 NC Richard
19 Jul-17 1902 14.036 AA3B CW 599 599 PA Bud
19 Jul-17 1903 14.035 K9CT CW 599 599 IL Craig
19 Jul-17 1903 14.034 AD8J CW 599 599 NC John
19 Jul-17 1905 14.032 K4RO CW 599 599 TN Kirk
19 Jul-17 1907 14.026 N4ZZ CW 599 599 TN Doc
19 Jul-17 1908 14.036 N2SR CW 599 599 NJ Tom
19 Jul-17 1909 14.034 NR4M CW 599 599 VA Steve

With this I packed up and headed back to Rye Harbor. This is really a beautiful spot. Wild rugosa roses form a hedge along the road and fill the air with fragrance. Next to the harbor is a little state park with facilities. It’s a perfect place to spend the day.

Jim Cluett, W1PID, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Hampshire, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

6 Responses to “QRP from the Seashore”

  • Henry Koenig WD8Q:

    Jim, It sounds like you hd a great day at the beach. The KX3 is quite a neat radio. Wish I could afford one. You made some pretty impressive contacts with the KX3. 73, Henry

  • Henry- thanks for the note OM. The KX3 is a lots of fun, but so are lots of less
    expensive small rigs. I used the HB-1B outdoors for quite a few years. vy 73 Jim W1PID

  • Richard Swanson,K0RDS:

    Jim, Sounds like lots of fun. Hope that I will get to do that this year after my retirement. Looking forward to spending more time with my Icom 703. Maybe another QRP Ghost Town run. 73, Richard, K0RDS


    So glad to see someone on my old stomping grounds @Rye beach. Am new Ham w/general in Fl. Looking forward to trying the KX3. Impressive.stay cool.

  • kd2dug:

    ya know,… when i check out the arrl newsletter from time to time, and i think you’re the same person….when i read your stuff, i imagine myself in a similar situation. it’s always peaceful,………. hypnotic.

    well, i read you rode your bike a whole 1/2 mile. i’m hoping that didn’t gas you. lol. can the antenna wire serve as the kite string?

    rye beach? i never heard of it. life is a learning experience. i live near the new jersey shore. i live really close. how’s the water temp at rye beach? can one surf?

    and the beach to beach contact. kool way!

    nice posting. : > )

    yours truly now, recently, an fcc general class privileged amateur radio operator.


  • Gary Jamerson, kf4cnm:

    Hello Richard,

    My name here is Gary Jamerson Kf4cnm. I see you had some nice success with your radio the Elecraft
    KX3. Do you live on the Outer Banks of N.C. ?

    I purchased my KX3 when I passed the General license exam. It was my present to myself. I have
    yet to transmit on this radio. Plus I also own a year old a Yaesu FT857D with filter for both SSB and CW.
    It seems like ever since I passed the General I just do a lot of listening. The reason being that I
    am not able to put up an outdoor HF radio antenna up due to restrictions. I live outside of ORLANDO, Fl.

    I am in the process of installing RG-213 cable to my attic and connect it to a Alpha Delta antenna and
    maybe a dipole.
    Attic is just to hot to install antennas this Summer. Are average heat Temp. Has been
    94 degrees F. I will have to wait till this fall when the attic temp. drop. I am originally from the west
    Coast of CA. It is dry out there and humidity is significantly less .

    I do have a condo on the eleventh story of a condo complex on Atlantic Ocean beachside facing east and west.
    It would be nice to make contact to S.A., Central America ,
    Europe and the Islands South East from New Smyrna Beach , Fl. I hope I have success.
    It will depend on the atmospheric Conditions and the Antennas I use. I plan to be on 40
    Meters at night. Will be using one End Fed antenna and a mag loop.

    I am looking foreword to seeing what contacts I Ican pickup this Tuesday and Wednesday nights.
    Maybe I will make contact with you.

    Keep enjoying amateur radio.

    Gary Jamerson

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