Posts Tagged ‘QRPTTF’

QRPTTF – 2015

It seems for me at least, that these event hardly ever go as I envision them. In my mind, I get onsite early, with plenty of time to set up, which goes like a hot knife through butter. I have plenty of time to spend on the air, and just make scads of QSOs, then break down and come home, tired but triumphant.

As Mr. Lennon wrote, "Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans."

I had planned to get to Washington Rock State Park around Noon. The park, which is on the first ridge of the Watchung (Wach Unc in Lene Lanape) moutnains, meets the  QRPTTF theme requirement for being a place somehow related to Native Americans. What actually happened was that my daughter was invited to a sleepover/birthday party, and I had to have her at her friend's house at 2:00 PM. So much for the early start.

Set up did go like the knife through hot butter, after I made it to the park. The new Joplin ARC antenna launcher got my antenna hoist line up over a 40 foot high tree branch on the first shot.  The EARCHI was up, literally in minutes.

I got on the air at about 1830 UTC and I spent about 15 minutes calling CQ QRP on 15 Meters with no takers.  I had a feeling that 15 Meters was going to be good today. It wasn't, at least for me. So I meandered over to 20 Meters and was answered by Craig N8KMY at 1855 for my first QRPTTF QSO.

It didn't start out as a QRPTTF QSO. He called me because in his words, he couldn't believe that I was QRP.  He is located in northern MI and told me that I was one of the loudest signals on the band for him. He repeatedly asked me to confirm that I was only running 5 Watts.

He was as loud to me as I was to him, so that's where the fun began.  First he lowered his power from 40 Watts to 20 Watts, when I told him there was no difference in his signal, he continued to lower his power down to 10 Watts, and then, eventually 5 Watts.  He was astounded when I told him (quite honestly) that there was no difference between his signal at 40 Watts or 5 Watts.  A new QRP convert? I certainly hope so! Craig seemed enthusiastic enough.

Getting him down to 5 Watts qualified as a QRPTTF contact. We had a nice ragchew for about 25 minutes. A bit longer than I had intended, but it's never a bad thing to promote QRP, and bring a new soul into the fold, right? So it was worth it.

Besides, as it turned out, the bands weren't exactly rip-roaring with QRPTTF activity. I ended up making only 8 QSOs. Six on 20 Meters and two on 40 Meters.

I worked, in addition to N8KMY, NK9G, WQ8RP, K7RE, K4UPG (Kelly, my fellow QRP Polar Bear - Grrrrrrrr), WB3T, KS8M and AA5TB.

What made the day, was when my fellow SPARC members, Marv K2VHW (my official QRPTTF 2015 photographer) and Drew W2OU came for a visit.  They kept me company in between QSOs and also stayed with me until I packed up for the return trip home. Around 5:00 PM, it started getting chilly again and QRPTTF signals were becoming about as scarce as hen's teeth. So only though I put in only 2 & 1/2 hours behind the key, I decided to call it an event and head home.

The important thing was that I had fun and enjoyed my time playing radio today. It feels like I don't get to do this anywhere near enough.

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

QRPTTF 2015 – First Announcement!

Living in New Jersey makes filling the requirements of this theme a snap!

Right off the bat, I'm thinking that I could go to Johnson Park in either Highland Park or New Brunswick and operate right on the banks of the Raritan River, which according to Wikipedia:

"The river has served an important water transportation route since the Pre-Columbian era. The name Raritan is also applied to the Raritan people, an Algonquian tribe that inhabited Staten Island, near the river's mouth."

Or perhaps I could go over to Piscataway Township and operate from there:

"The name Piscataway may stem from the area's original Native American residents, transplants from near the Piscataqua River defining the coastal border between New Hampshire and Maine, whose name derives from peske (branch) and tegwe (tidal river),[18] or alternatively from pisgeu (meaning "dark night") and awa ("Place of")[19] or from a Lenape language word meaning "Great Deer".

Or, I could even go to one of my favorite spots, Washington Rock State Park, as it is on the first ridge of the Watchung Mountains, which according to Wikipedia (again):

"The original inhabitants of the Watchungs, the Lenape, referred to the mountains as the Wach Unks, or ‘high hills’.[9][10] Evidence of the Lenape presence in the Watchungs can be seen in numerous camps sites that have been uncovered, mainly along the rivers coursing through mountains and in the small caves abundant in the volcanic rock. It is thought the Lenape favored the Watchungs for their profusion of natural resources, including abundant freshwater rivers and streams, a variety of forests, and plentiful fish and game.[11] They also took advantage of the rich soils and maintained many farm areas where they raised a variety of seasonal crops."

So I have plenty of places to choose from. Sometimes the themes that Paul comes up with can be somewhat of a challenge - for example, last year's "Cinco de Mayo" theme. There's not much in New Jersey that has a true Mexican connection.

This year's theme is pretty easy to comply with.

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

Preliminary QRPttF Results Posted

Paul NA5N posted the preliminary results of QRP to the Field 2014 to QRP-L last night.  For the whole enchilada, you can go here:

As you can see, W2LJ came firmly in the middle of the pack – a mere mosquito (Skeeter – Hi!) on the butt of the esteemed leaders.  So, rule of thumb ……. if you ever hear me in a QRP Sprint or any other QRP contest – have no fear! I am a Giver Of Points only, and will most likely never threaten your lead.  😉

Oh, and many, many thanks to Paul Harden NA5N for hosting this really fun QRP event year after year and doing all the hard work that it takes to keep something like this running.

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

Exceptional Service

Last Wednesday evening, just before turning in for the night, I placed an order with Amateur Radio Supplies for some antenna rope and wire. I placed an order for 150 feet of 14 gauge jacketed Flexweave and 200 feet of Dacron rope.

The next morning, I had an order confirmation in my inbox and by the end of the day on Thursday, I had received a “your order has shipped” e-mail. To be honest, my initial thought was, “Yeah, right!”.

Much to my surprise, the rope and wire arrived on Saturday via FedEx Home Delivery. Wow! I have to say that Amateur Radio Supplies made a believer of this sceptic. I certainly was not expecting such fast service, but was very happy to receive it.

This weekend is QRP To The Field. The weather for Saturday is looking “iffy” right now – partly sunny/cloudy with a 25 percent chance of showers in the afternoon. I will probably operate from the backyard and will have my son help me cut a few radiators to try out the 9:1 EARCHI UNUN a little bit more.

In order to prepare, I did the first lawn mowing of the season tonight after dinner. The front yard needs some work (re-seeding), but the back yard is in decent shape.

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

Two more QRPTTF videos

From Rem K6BBQ – QRPer and videographer extraordinaire:

From KB3ZHX – not strictly QRPTTF, but this video was done on the same day as QRPTTF (mostly Florida QSO Party QSOs – but hey, they counted towards QRPTTF!):

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

Some QRPTTF videos

From Sean KX9X:

From Dave NK0E:

From N6NA:

I submitted my meager little log today along with SoapBox and photos.  If you participated, please don’t hesitate to submit your entry. Click here to get to the QRPTTF page, where you can find summary sheets in .doc and .pdf formats.  As Paul states, “Thanks to all who participated this year and hope you all had fun, regardless of band conditions (not that great) or whether you worked 5 or 50 stations.”

So I repeat, please don’t hesitate to send in your log and summary, even if you only had 1, or 5, 25, 50 or 100 contacts.  Nothing warms the cockles of the organizer’s heart like seeing a bunch of logs come in!  It’s not extra work.  It’s affirmation that fun is being had by all; and that it’s worth it to repeat the event the next year.

And speaking of events, look for the official announcement concerning the upcoming 2013 NJQRP Skeeter Hunt here tomorrow and on all the QRP e-mail reflectors.

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


It’s just about 11:00 PM and the day is almost done. It was a busy one!  After this blog post is finished, then I am finished too!  I will head upstairs to hit the sack.

The day started off with a visit to the Doctor’s office.  Nothing serious, just some blood work as my cholesterol was just a tad on the high side when I saw him last autumn,  He wanted a follow up visit in six months, and today was the day.  Before I left however, my lawn mower repair guy called and said my mower was fixed and ready to pick up.  That was good news; but I really wasn’t expecting it until Monday.

After getting my arm stuck at the Dr’s office, I came home for a quick lunch. Then I packed up the car with my radio gear and went to pick up the mower.  On the way home, I headed off to Thomas Edison Memorial Park for a few hours of QRPTTFing.  I was surprised when I got there.  This what the memorial tower usually looks like:

My surprise was that I knew the tower was being refurbished.  But for some reason, I thought all the work had been completed.  It turns out that so far, only the accompanying museum has been refurbished.  This is what the tower currently looks like.  It should be finished sometime later this year or perhaps early 2014.

And in accordance with the QRPTTF theme for 2013, I was only a block away from NJ Route 27, which is officially part of the Lincoln Highway, America’s first intercontinental highway – definitely an historic trail.

So I set off to one side of a side street in order to set up shop. I supported the PAR using my Jackite pole and my drive on stand. It was configured as a sloper.  I could have used a tree, I suppose, but I didn’t want to take too many chances. As it was, the lady who was volunteering to staff the museum today drove past me very slowly a few times to see what I was doing.  I explained in advance, but I guess she just wanted to be sure I wasn’t tearing up the place.
The drive on stand worked perfectly, by the way!  Thank you all for your many suggestions.  What I did was to buy an 8″ corner brace, which in plain English is an “L” bracket.  Instead of bolting it to both the vertical and horizontal boards, though, I only bolted it to the vertical board.  I secured the “L” bracket in place to the horizontal board by driving onto it! And it worked great.  It was a bit breezy, and throughout my operating time, only the very top section swayed and at that, just a tiny bit.  Set up and tear down literally took only a few minutes. (Perspective with the camera phone is lousy as I tilted it up a bit to get this photo. The Jackite was actually vertical and was not leaning towards the Jeep as the photo might have you believe. Guess I would have needed a view camera with swings and tilts to get it right.)
Another surprise was that after I drove off this mast support, and disassembled it to put it away, I was expecting to see the “L” bracket imprinted into the wood. After all, there was basically 1/4 of a Jeep resting on it. But oak is hard wood, indeed. Not even a mark.
I worked the following stations – thank you all!
AB9CA – Dave in AL
KIØG – Bob in CO- SOTA
AD4S – John in GA
WAØITP – Terry in IA
K4AHO – Jim in FL
K4UPG – Kelly in FL
AA4GA – Lee in GA
KX9X – Sean in CT (QST Contest Editor)
NØKIS – Bruce in NE
N4EO – Jerry in AL
WD4EXI – Val in GA
K4BX – Bill in AL
W9WKP – Steve in NE (WØOOW)
W2JEK – Don in NJ
W3KC – Chas in MD
Only 17 stations, but I had to end this effort and come home and mow the lawn.  Not being able to do it until now because of the malfunctioning mower, it was beginning to look like a jungle!  After I got that done, I made dinner for the kids and then went grocery shopping. Can you say, “Whew”?
I wanted to see if I could work some DX on 20 and 30 Meters tonight to keep my totals up in the Club 72 QRP Marathon, which only has a few days left.  Right now, I’m in 8th place and I’ve been bopping around in the 7th to 10th place neighborhood. I’d like to finish strong, if I could, but I was just too tired to even try tonight.  Maybe tomorrow.
Good night!
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP – When you care to send the very least!

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