Today was a GOOD lunchtime QRP session.

The good news is that I am comfortable enough at the new job, where now I don’t mind heading out to the car to conduct lunchtime QRP sessions. You always kind of wonder at a new place …. what will they say, you know ……. about that guy that sticks the antenna on his car roof and starts doing something with a small radio ….. is he a spy?  A drug dealer?  Some kind of foreign agent?  As it turns out, the parking lot is HUGE and nobody pays me any mind.

The past few days, I was getting skunked. No contacts, and in fact I wasn’t even hearing much of anything. And silly me, the last thing I think is “dead bands” – nope, the first thing I think is “Crud!  What did I do to the rig?”  “Did I mess up the antenna?”  Stuff like that – the first thing I think is that it was me,  I screwed something up!

But today ……. today allayed all my concerns.  Today, 17 Meters during lunchtime was almost magical.  In short order I worked Milan OK1KW in Praha in the Czech Republic.  Milan was calling “CQ FISTS” and I answered and we ended up having a very pleasant QSO.  Milan was 589 in NJ and I received a 549 in return.

After ending the QSO with Milan, I heard Frank OV1CDX calling “CQ DX”.  I figured to myself, “Hey, I just worked the Czech Republic, so why not Denmark?”  I put my call out  a few times and Frank answered. He was a good strong 599 in NJ and I earned a 559 in return.  Cool – the band was hot!

So now the decision comes about ….. “I have 15 minutes left. Do I tear down and head back in, or do I try for one more?” No contest! Try for one more, as the signals were abundant.  And I did, and I made it!

This time I worked Serge R6YY.  This was the tough one of my session, as I had to send my information to Serge several times.  Thanks to his fantastic ears, we were able to complete the QSO.  Serge was only 579 here in NJ, and I was only 439 in return.  A tough one, but we did it!

Not bad for 5 Watts to a Buddistick mounted on a magmount plunked on the roof of my Jeep, eh?
Next time someone tells you that QRP is a waste of time and that “You’ll never work anyone with only 5 Watts”, just smile right at them, chuckle to yourself and just walk away.  You’ll walk away, and they’ll be left standing there, thinking to themselves, “What does he know that I don’t?”
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP – When you care to send the very least!

Larry Makoski, W2LJ, is a regular contributor to and writes from New Jersey, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

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