Posts Tagged ‘qrp arci’

K4UPG FOBB 2013 Antenna on da Ground!

Grrrrrrrr! and then more Grrrrrrrr’s! FOBB 2013 was a gud one! Grrrrrr!

Anticipated rain and thunderstorms and was not disappointed. Accordingly, I took up my backpack and walked about 1/2 mile to set up under a small pavilion in our housing development’s lakeside park. So far, so good. Originally I planned to have an EFHW for 40m and another one for 20m. Upon unpacking, realized my 40m wire was in my other pack at home. SHUCKS. I had already put a shot over a 40′ high branch and pulled up a paracord to hook to the wire which was not available. Oh well… it happens even to the best of us, eh?

Grrrrr! So I tried to set up the 20m EFHW and after another great shot with my 1 1/2 oz sinker and pulling up a line realized the tree wasn’t going to give me a good shot as it was too close and not very high. Grrrrrrr=ed a bit more!

K4UPG site FOBB Pic

K4UPG FOBB 2013 BB#23

Rethinking mode kicked in and was glad I got out early so all the wasted time did not mess me up. Pulled out my handy 20 ft Jackite and a 17 ft crappie pole and decided to give up on a typical K4UPG “hang ‘em high” antenna and do a very Lazy L. I tried to orient it for a bit of slope towards 330 degrees which shoots from FL to Iowa and provides decent coverage of most of the US. Turned out that low antenna worked great but I think the band was pretty doggone decent for a change too.

So about 15 min before FOBB start time fired off a CQ and made a contact and shot the breeze for a bit to warm up. Nice QRP to QRP contact but not counted for contest. Just for grins. I did notice a few “early out of the blocks ops” were calling CQ BB about 10 min before the clock struck go! Grrrrrrrrr! Sync those watches gentlemen!

Contest Started:

First station heard was Cam out in California N6GA but no joy when I responded to his CQ as there was a mini-pileup on him. Grrrrr… Heard a few more 6′s during the day but no peep from Rem Bear or any others I recognized. I did end up with eight PB’s for the day though and a great TU and Grrrrr to my fellow PB’s: AF40 Chuck- PB 153 TN my last contact of the day (more later); Snowbird FL Bear Don K3RLL PB 187 in PA with his new KX3; Jeff K9JP PB 175 in MI was the loudest signal of the day and blew my ears out till I got the RF and AF turned down Grrrrr! didn’t recognize you as a PB… sri bout dat; N1EU Barry in NY PB 336 got a Grrrrr!; N3AAZ John in MD PB 276 sri 2 ya… missed a Grrrrr!; W1PNS Pete in MA PB 348 got a Grrrrrr!; W5ESE Scotty beam me up Bear PB 287 missed a Grrrr too; WA8REI a perennial PB contact for me gave me a PB 21 style Grrrrrrr! I was closing a contact and Blackjack Bear called me on the guy’s freq so kept it REAL short and sweet as I felt like if we tried to QSY there was too much traffic and we’d not make the connex. Sri Ken Bear was a messy QSO cuz of that. Missed hearing Larry W2LJ this time and listened fur some of you udder PB’s but no connex. Grrrrrr!

All in all worked 25 QSO’s in 17 states and all of them were BB’s! Lightning came up as I was finishing my QSO with AF4O and it was TOO CLOSE. Almost blew me out of my seat but I held onto the key and finished up. Sitting there holding the wire and I started singing, “Antenna on the ground, antenna on the ground, when da lightning is around get your antenna on da ground” to the tune of the famous “Pants on the Ground” song by “General” Larry Platt.

Thus ended a nice outing after 2 hrs and 45 minutes but I truly enjoyed this one. Great number of participants and bet I could have almost doubled the numbers if the lightning did not end the day. Was hearing a lot of new calls just prior to shutting down. At least I got to give the serious contesters some points this year. Maybe next year will be my turn fur sum extra Q’s ? Grrrrrrr!

72 from Orlando, Kelly K4UPG PB 173

From the mountaintop

I headed up to the top of Mount Prospect to operate in the QRP ARCI Summer Homebrew Sprint. It’s not on the SOTA list, but it affords a fantastic view of Lake George. I headed up there one day last year, but unbeknownst to me at the time, we were experiencing a geomagnetic event, and there was nothing to be heard on the bands.

This year was different. I headed out early and set up the PAR ENDFEDZ, using the Jackite pole and my drive on mast support. One thing you notice when you get up there is how quiet it is. There weren’t many people up there, even though it’s an easy drive to the top and its a local tourist attraction. All I was able to hear was the breeze rustling through the trees.

Set up went easy, like a hot knife through butter. It turned out that there was a conveniently placed picnic table there, which provided a perfect operating location. Within minutes I was calling “CQ QRP”.

The Sprint was scheduled to run from 4:00 – 8:00 PM EDT. On the way up, I noticed that the observation area is only open to 6:00 PM, so my participation was going to be limited. I worked the following:


All these stations were worked on 20 Meters. I tried going to 40 Meters for a while, but the static crashes and QRN were so vicious that I didn’t stay there long.  When I went back to 20 Meters to call CQ again, I knew it wouldn’t be for long as I would have to begin packing things away soon for my return trip down the mountain.

That’s when I had my “winner” QSO of the day. My “CQ QRP” was answered by DK7IT, Fred in Stuttgart, Germany. Fred was a loud 599 and I received a 579 in return. Fred was attracted by the “CQ QRP” and told me that he was not accustomed to hearing such clear QRP signals from the States. He was curious as to what the setup was, so I gave him the rundown. Admittedly, Fred’s great signals were due to him running 100 Watts into a 3 element Yagi, but I guess the mountaintop location sure helped my QRP signal.

After my QSO with Fred, I quickly repackaged everything and made it down the mountain in time before closing.  Not a ton of contacts were made, but I had a lot of fun and the DX QSO, which turned out to be a real “honest to goodness” QSO was icing on the cake. The cheeseburgers that I grilled for dinner when I got back to the cabin weren’t half bad, either!

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

QRP ARCI Summer Homebrew Sprint

Is this coming Sunday from 20:00 to 24:00 UTC. That’s from 4:00 to 8:00 PM EDT for those of us here on the East Coast. I will have to participate as W2LJ/2 (technically), as I won’t be home. Tomorrow we’re leaving for our yearly sojourn to Lake George, NY.

Of course, the KX3, Buddistick, and PAR ENDFEDZ 40/20/10 will be accompanying me. Not sure if I’ll operate from near the cabin with the Buddistick, or perhaps from a park, or even from a nearby mountaintop with the PAR.

In any event, I am looking forward to some well deserved R&R. I anticipate a lot of reading, and a lot of radio in addition to all the fresh mountain air and cool lake breezes.

I have some good books loaded on my kindle, including James Rollins’ new one, “The Eye of God”. If this Sigma Force novel is as good as his others, I should burn through it in two or three days. For the past several years, I have been able to read two books during our time up north. In addition to Rollins’ new one, I also have several of David Baldacci’s novels loaded on the kindle.

FYI, any requests for Skeeter numbers will be processed when I return. So if you send me an e-mail, I will acknowledge it, and I may even issue you a number. However, I won’t be able to update the online roster until I return.

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

As I ponder the CME aftermath…

Guess my ears are too old and mummified from all those years as a broadcast personality (our favored term for “disk jockey”), but all that hiss and sizzle from the CME and local thunderstorms this weekend sent me in a different direction. I did give some guys Alabama for their QSO parties, and I always enjoy doing that. But the band noise, generally yucky conditions, and my continued depression over not working VK9CZ had me doing other stuff I’ve been putting off. And with all that rain, that stuff did not include antenna maintenance or yard work. I’ve successfully postponed that for a few more days.

What it did involve was my next adventure with self-publishing. I make my living writing books and finally got around to doing one on my favorite hobby for the past 52 years…ham radio! RIDING THE SHORTWAVES: EXPLORING THE MAGIC OF AMATEUR RADIO ( No big-time publishing house was interested in doing the book. Neither was the ARRL. They say non-technical books don”t sell well for them, and I understand. They’ve been kind enough to sell the book in their online bookstore, so bless them!

Anyway, I went a different route and published the book myself. It has been available for a while in paperback as well as for the Kindle e-book reader. But this weekend…while the bands hissed at me like an audience does a villain…I busied myself getting it formatted and uploaded for every other conceivable e-book reader out there. That includes the Apple iPad, Barnes & Nobles’s Nook, and the free-to-download Adobe Digital Editions reader. Success! After a couple of false starts, of course. Man, the technology around book publishing is changing quickly, just as it is in all media and our wonderful hobby. (By the way, I blog on such stuff at and sometimes here on I also finally got around to designing and setting up a store where I can make available shirts, sweatshirts, coffee mugs and other items to help people promote our hobby with the message: “I ride the shortwaves. Ask me about amateur radio.”. It’s at

Another bit of good news helped through the CME aftermath, too. I got word from the ARRL that not only will the League be selling my book at Dayton, but they asked me to do some signing events. I look forward to it! Please drop by and say hello if you make the pilgrimage…no purchase necessary!

I’m already going to be hanging around the QRP ARCI “Four Days in May” event on Thursday, May 16. It’s at the Holiday Inn in Fairborn, not far from Wright-Patterson AFB. I’m there with Rich Arland K7SZ, author of the ARRL’s QRP book. Rich has been shoving and pushing me to get deeper into QRP, and I think I may finally be catching the bug. Or maybe it is just the ragweed. I do occasionally turn down the power to 5 watts and see what I can do. The challenge is something of a thrill.

Just not when the A-index is 45!

Don N4KC

Over and done

So another QRP ARCI Spring QSO Party has come and gone.  It was definitely fun.  As strictly a “Giver of Points”, I had set a personal goal to make more than 50 contacts between chores and other commitments (you can tell I’m not a big time contester, eh?)  I beat that!  I got a chance to sit in the chair for just a little bit more time today and I finished up with 62 QSOs in the log.

The highlights today were:

1) Working EA4CWN on both 15 and 20 Meters.  Alfonso was operating at the 2 Watt level, so that was way cool.  He was 559 on 15 Meters; but with the same power was 599 on 20 Meters.  I tried real hard to work DL2BZG (I think that was his call) on 15 Meters, but he just wasn’t hearing me.  EA2LU, EA4CWN, HB9DAX and almost this DL2 station – I’m not used to hearing this much DX in a QRP ARCI contest!

2) Working my good bud, Bob W3BBO on 40 Meters.  I think this might have been our first KX3 to K3 QSO.  Last time I worked him with my KX3, I think Bob still had his Yaesu.

3) Working Lloyd K3ESE on 40 Meters. Lloyd has gotten away from the hobby. He used to be a steady standby in the QRP Fox hunts. I haven’t heard him in years, so it was good to hear his CW again.

Oh, and Hans W1JSB did a video of our QSO last night.  Here’s how I sounded in New Hampshire (neat radio he has there!)

Thanks for the QSO and the video, Hans!  It’s always cool to hear what you sound like from the other end. And I didn’t flub the exchange, either (whew!).

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

Good radio day

It was a good day to be a “Giver of Points”.

I worked 44 stations in the QRP ARCI Spring QSO Party in various little spurts of operating time today.  I also handed out a few points to Polish stations in the Polish DX Contest.  And I grabbed a few other DX QSOs in order to keep up with the Club 72 QRP Marathon.

Regarding the QRP Marathon, in a field of about 33 stations, I am currently sitting in 9th place.  How long do you think that’s going to last?  But here’s a thought – to qualify, the two stations have to be separated by 500 kM.  So, if I get back into the QRP ARCI QSO Party again tomorrow using 1 Watt or perhaps QRPp, maybe I can score some good QRP Marathon points!

The high points today – working Jorge EA2LU on both 15 and 20 Meters, working HB9DAX on 20 Meters – both of these were QRP ARCI QSOs, so they were all 2X QRP.  And this evening, I worked W1JSB on 80 Meters.  You might know W1JSB better as Hans, Jim W1PID’s hiking buddy.  Hans was running 1.5 Watts and had a killer signal.  I also worked Ann K1QO up in New Hampshire – Ann is one of my Fox hunting buddies.  She is a superb op with a great fist and a great signal – it’s always great to hear her on the air.

I also scored two QSOs on 160 Meters – the W3EDP is still doing great in that regard.  Even though it’s only April, 160M seems to be in full Summer time mode – static crashes galore!

I’m beat – going to hit the hay for now!

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

QRP ARCI Spring QSO Party Next Weekend!

From the QRP ARCI Website:

Saturday 6 April 2013, 1200z – Sunday 7 April 2013, 2359z

This is one of the “Big Ones” !

The Spring QSO Party and the Fall QSO Party are the two most popular QRP ARCI Contests. This contest is also a very good way for you to increase your QSO totals if you are involved with the 2013 QRP ARCI operating event known as ‘The QRP Challenge’ where the goal is to work at least 100 QRP ARCI club members to qualify for The BIG 13 Award. You can also use the Spring QSO Party to increase your QRP totals for various QRP ARCI Awards.  Or you can just get on the air and have some fun whether you’re a serious competitor or a casual participant the Spring QSO Party is for you !

You can enter as an all band, single band, high band or low band station and then pick the antenna and power category that matches your personal setup and compete with similar equipped stations around the country and around the world.

Read the complete rules and get on the air for the Spring QSO Party !

Thanks to Hank N8XX for posting the reminder!

I am so glad about this!  It seems like the last few years, the Spring QSO Party has fallen on Easter weekend.  I may actually get to participate this year.

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

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