I started my lunchtime QRP session fully intending to work the N3AQC QRP-pedition to the USS Requin which is docked by the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh. John K3WWP and Mike KC2EGL were there today, and I figured that maybe, just maybe, I might be able to hear them on 40 Meters. So I set up the Buddistick for that band - magmount base, all four 11 inch arms, untapped coil, extra long whip. I was able to get the SWR down to about 1.5:1 and I heard plenty of signals, but no N3AQC. They started at 10:00 AM, and by the time I was able to get to the parking lot, it was 1:30 PM, so I don't know if they were on lunch break also, or perhaps they had just called it a day by then, or perhaps they were on 20 and 30 Meters. But tuning around for about 15 minutes and not hearing N3AQC, I decided to switch over to the higher bands, as lunch time is only an hour.
So I took two of the 11" arms off, put the coil tap in its accustomed position and put the Buddistick back on the roof. Tuning around, at 14.018 MHz, I heard them - PZ5W - Suriname. The same station from yesterday, and they were even louder than they were on 15 Meters. So without even thinking, I dialed in a 1kHz up split and gave a call ... and was heard. I sent my info and completed the exchange and then looked down at the KX3.
In my haste, I hadn't touched up the SWR with the autouner. My SWR was 1.7:1 and the KX3's power had folded back to 3 Watts. So what I couldn't accomplish with 5 Watts yesterday, got done with 3 Watts today. That felt nice - really, really nice.
Looking at my watch, I saw I had about 15 minutes left before I had to break down and go back into the building, so I prowled around the band some more for a few minutes. Lo and behold, T2TT - Tuvalu coming in loud and clear! Argh! Ten minutes was not enough to even consider it a decent try, but I did - and failed.
But ...... tomorrow is always another day.
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!