SKCC 5123T----- FISTS 14979----- Flying Pigs 2331----- NAQCC 3610-----QRP ARCI 14176-----Polar Bear 257

Saturday, January 28, 2012

St. Andrews State Park Portable & Pedestrian Mobile

St Andrews State Park on Panama City Beach was a great opportunity for QRP Portable. I met there with other members from the Panama City ARC. I started out with the You Kits HB1B transceiver on 40 meters. I used a 66 foot half wave wire supported by 20 foot crappie poles. It was end fed with the SOTA tuner. The first QSO was Corpus Christi K5LYT. The second was interesting as it was AB4CT Patricia in Montgomery AL. She said it was her first CW contact.

Then it was time to suit up for pedestrian mobile and walk out on the pier. The PM rig is a 3 watt Wilderness SST and a Hendricks BLT tuner. The antenna is a 13 foot wire supported by a crappie pole, a Buddistick coil and a counterpoise drag wire. It went well. I was assisted by Bob and Linda Dunkin and Mike Retherford local hams. I was able to work K3Y/3 in PA and VE3GNS in Toronto. Of course pedestrian mobile leads to a few questions and most were pretty interested when they found out what I was doing.

I later went back to the HB1B and a 33 foot wire for 20 meters. This wire was sloping up to a 20 foot crappie pole. I had four contacts including a solid one with Joe KD2JC in Howell NJ who happened to also be using a HB1B. So I had a good day outside in the park. The sun was out and the temps in the 60s.It was good to see and hear the surf. After all living in Panama City, FL I should do this more often.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

K3Y/4 Ops Second Day

I continued as a K3Y/4 op Monday for about five hours. A local ham, Bob WB4BLX, found me first thing on 40 meters. I worked eight more there. On 20 meters I had a string of 14 contacts. The last one was a DL9 from Germany. Contacts were rounded out with two on 30 meters, six on 17 meters. The last QSO was on 40 meters was with Kelly K4UPG a fellow QRPer and Polar Bear Club member in the Orlando area. The total for the two days was 54 contacts in 20 states and one DX country. All contacts were at 5 watts. My participation was a very small part of the month long Straight Key Century Club Sixth Anniversary Event. SKCC members are working on various awards including sweeping the ten call areas with K3Y contacts. If you are interested in CW join the fun. Membership is free. The club has over 8700 members. The SKCC website is

Sunday, January 15, 2012

K3Y/4 Ops First Day

I operated as K3Y/4 for six hours Sunday from my Dad's workshop in Dothan, AL. I have an Off Center Fed (OCF) dipole pretty high in the pines. The antenna has had light use to date and this was an opportunity to prove it out. I used my IC 703 and was pleased to find I can tune up all bands within the range of the internal tuner.

I began the morning session on 80 meters hoping to snag at least one contact and no luck. Then I moved to 40 and picked up a couple. I think Sunday AM there are just fewer station out there. I was pleased to work my friend Thomas WD0HBR across town. I then picked up one contact on 30 meters. Moving on to 20 meters yielded a half dozen. The afternoon started with a contact on 17 meters my first in a long while for that band. Then a good run of nine on 20 meters. I was running out of time and decided to revisit all the bands. On 40 meters I was called by Mike K4MTI in Panama City. Then I worked Vermont on 15 meters. One of my notable contacts was John N8ZYA in WV on 20 meters. He was using an indoor Isotron and we both were QRP.

So this was a confidence builder for the OCF dipole and lots of fun. All contacts were at 5 watts. I am looking forward to my second day tomorrow. I will be operating from Panama City.

Greg N4KGL

Saturday, January 7, 2012

My Pet Rock Talks

Well my pet rock is a one watt Michigan Mighty Mite one transistor QRP transmitter. The rock refers to the crystal that controls the frequency. The three hour Pet Rock Event sponsored by ARCI QRP was an opportunity to put the MMM to work.

Being rock bound is a different way of operating if you are used to the usual rig with a Variable Frequency Oscillator (VFO). My Crystal is stamped 7.030 MHz but it tunes up closer to 7.029. So you can call CQ or answer a CQ that happens to be close by in frequency. No chasing contacts up and down the band.

Any one watt contact will make you feel lucky. So I was pleased to work Allan W4MQC in Bokeelea, FL. That is on Pine Island near FT. Myers FL.  Allen was running 5 watts with a FT-817.

The next contact was with my buddy Thomas WD0HDR in Dothan, AL. When I heard the call I copied W D 0 ok a zero call area and then the H gave it away. He did have an email tip that I was going to be on. I was weak there but good copy. Tom is running 5 watts with a MFJ 9040 with a modest long wire from his HOA neighborhood.

The last contact was Jim in W4QO Roswell GA. Jim was running a K3 to a loop. He said he also had a Rockmite on 7.040 working the Pet Rock event. It just turns out Roswell is on a direct line thru WD0HDR's location

You will see in the photos I was using a HB-1B for the receiver and using a manual T/R switch. My antenna was my 135 foot doublet. I did have a surprise as I checked the Reverse Beacon Network to see where I as being picked up by the CW skimmers. I was being picked all too well at 21.087. That is the third harmonic of 7.029. I guess that is why they have a few more parts in most transmitter designs.

It was a fun event!

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N4KGL to WD0HBR QSO  click Movie


Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Day Pedestrian Mobile

I got no further than the backyard. I was testing some refinements to my PM setup. First, I am using the ALICE frame without the pack. Second, I am hanging the rig from the shoulder straps and Third, I am sticking the key to the top of the BLT tuner. Last, I have a clipboard attached to a shoulder strap for logging copy. Contacts today included:

K4MTI Mike Panama City, FL SKN
AB0TO/QRP  Dave St. Louis MO
K3Y/2 Dave NY SKCC Anniversary Station

All were 3 watts using the Wilderness SST. Thanks folks. Looking to go on a hike soon.

Greg N4KGL