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

Monday, September 30, 2013

The 2013 Peanut Power QRP Sprint Was Fun

I decided to try the Goober category in the Peanut Power QRP Sprint sponsored by the North GA QRP club – I ran 1 watt using a KX3 from the front yard of home QTH. My antenna was a 40 meter inverted vee and 20 meter dipole with common coax.

25 contacts with PP numbers = 175
1 contact without PP Number = 3
Total QSO points = 178

40 meters 14 QSOs
20 meters 12 QSOs

40 Meters SPCs GA and AL
20 meters SPCs TX, MI, IL, NJ, MA, MD, OH, ON, QC, MN
Total SPCs = 12

Score = QSO points X SPCs = 178 X 12 = 2136

I don't usually do this well at 5 watts. Great Event! The North GA QRP club turned out. I had 13 GA contacts on 40 meters. I enjoyed meeting Larry W2LJ and Bobby AK4JA in the sprint.

Greg N4KGL

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Hotel Ops Near LAX with the Buddistick.

On the evening before departing CA for FL, I was on 4th floor of hotel near LAX with my Buddistick out the window. The radial was inside the room. I worked WA, IL, NM x 2, and NY on 20 meters CW. On 20 meters PSK I worked Culver City, CA nearby. The rig was KX3 with Ham Central Terminal. This exceeded my expectations for hotel ops and sure was fun.

Sand Dune Ops from Oxnard Beach CA

It is hard to beat operating RaDAR portable from a sand dune with a great view ocean side and shore side. The rig was the KX3 with Ham Central Terminal and the Alexloop. On 17 meters I worked W7AAL WA, JA1OCC and WA4OZF AL PSK. 15 meters AA6AC CA and JA3DAY. It took a few repeats with the JAs but they were very patient. Then I discovered the SKS sprint was going and worked KF7WNS OR and K7VM WA on 20 meters. My external battery tanked and I switched over to internal batteries at the end. The sunset was beautiful. This wraps up my California Ops near Oxnard. I am pleased I could get in plenty of operating. I especially enjoyed working the JAs. N4KGL

Sunday, September 22, 2013

RaDAR Ops from Oxnard Beach CA

Sunday was another day off on my business trip. I decided to continue Rapid Deployment Amateur Radio (RaDAR). I started the day at the Oxnard Beach Park with the same setup I had on Saturday for QRP Afield. It was a one kilometer walk from the hotel so my contacts were good for two QSO points.

Oxnard Beach Park
I was pretty slow going  but I worked CA, CO, OR, OR (PSK), and WA. The first OR contact was KE7LKW Bicycle Mobile with a KX1 and a MP1 antenna on the back. Stewart send the photo below.

KE7LKW KX1 Bicycle Mobile I worked near Dalles OR.

The next part of today's RaDAR adventure was to hike back one kilometer to the hotel and out to the beach. Never mind the salt spray on the gear, it was worth it. The Alexloop was a convenient antenna as I don't have any poles out here.  I starting out working T47RG Cuba and YN2PX Nicaragua on 17 meters CW. Then to 17 meter SSB to call CQ. I was answered by JA3JOT Teru. This was awesome to be called by a JA and as I say Made My Day. I finished out with OK on 17 CW and IN on 20 CW.

Oxnard Beach Setup

My KX3 and gear on a beach chair at my feet.
RaDAR is Rapid Deployment Amateur Radio originated by ZS6BNE. The Monthly RaDAR Challenge is on-going. Today's RADAR outing was 2 points each for the five contacts at the park. It is two points per QSO if you walk at least one kilometer to setup.. Then the five beach contacts were 10 points since I walked one kilometer to the beach. I also got a 3 point bonus for at least one CW contact, a 5 points for at least one QRP contact and a 7 point bonus for at least one digital mode contact. OK I calculate 35 RaDAR challenge point. RaDAR encourages you to move 1 kilometer per five contacts. I must say the venues were very scenic today. If you like this RaDAR idea visit the RaDAR Google Plus Community.

QRP Afield from Oxnard Beach Park CA

I am in Oxnard California for a business trip. It just happens that the QRP Afield contest was on my day off Saturday September 21st. The Oxnard Beach Park is a 1 kilometer walk from my hotel and a great venue for portable operations. I hiked over and found a picnic table. I setup the Alexloop and the LNR Trail Friendly End Fed. I used a palm tree support the end fed and sloped it generally East. The end fed was handy for 40 meters and 20 meters. I used the Alexloop a some on 20 and for all the 15 and 10 meter contacts. All contacts were CW at 5 watts using the KX3.

I started on 40 meters where my four contacts were not QRP Afield participants. So I took some time with them as the hams you run into would like to rag chew. One ham queried me on why QRP folks are QRS. Well that is different story. It is key to talk them out of the power they are using for the exchange. I did not run into any New England QRP Club hams. They sponsored the event.

Then, I worked a half dozen on 20 meters around 14.060. Among those were W0RW pedestrian mobile in CO and AB9CA in South Alabama, and Steve AA5TB in TX. I went up to 15 meters for a three including N1ABS/1 running 2 watts in New Hampshire. Then I checked out 10 meters and worked AA6CA. I think he was nearby and said I was rare DX. A couple more on 15 meters and back to 20 meters for a string of four. Next was the highlight of the day, I snagged JA3FCG on 21.055. Tosy gave me a 579 on the Alexloop at 5 Watts. Very cool my first JA. I wrapped up with a couple more on 20 meters. The summary is:

40 meters ID, CA, CA, AZ
20 meters CO, WA, CO, AL, CO, TX, TX, CO, KS, UT, BC, CO
15 meters NH, ME, OH, NJ, Japan, CO
10 meters CA

The QSO total was 23 over about eight hours in the park. I did have to work and connive for them but it shows what QRP can do.  

I must say the Oxnard Beach Park is a nice one. It filled up in the course of the day and had a steady stream of joggers, bike riders, and many other interesting conveyances. The dog owners were out with all types. There were BBQers and I was really tempted to beg a burger but I didn't. A birthday party had a pinata which I had never seen one in person.

KX3 and Alexloop at picnic table

Palm tree supporting far end of Trail Friendly End Fed.

JA contact on HCT I used for logging.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

August was RaDAR Active

RaDAR is Rapid Deployment Amateur Radio originated by ZS6BNE. The Monthly RaDAR Challenge is on-going. My best RaDAR Challenge Ops point wise was August 3rd from Top Sail State Park. I walked 2.5 kilometers to the picnic area and made 5 QSOs. In the the Radar challenge if you walk 1 kilometer and setup the QSOs are 2 contact points each.I got bonuses 7 for at least one digital contact, 3 for at least one CW contact and 5 for at least one QRP contact. So contact points plus bonus is 10 + 15 = 25 total.

August was a very rainy month but as you see below I got outside fourteen times. The most operating was the Skeeter Hunt in Dothan AL. I operated with Tom WD0HBR. Notable also was the 40 meter RaDAR On-The-Air Meetup on August 24 and a semi-pedestrian mobile outing on August 31st. Both were at Top Sail State Park

Of course a highlight of the month was attending the Huntsville Hamfest, attending the Monte Sano event. I gave a on RaDAR talk for the QRP forums. A special thanks to Eddie ZS6BNE, Marcus NX5MK and Craig NM4T for help with the RaDAR talk. I also enjoy posting and reading posts on the Google+ Rapid Deployment Amateur Radio Community. There are 63 members in the community now.

Radar Outings:

8/1 EM70DE97QB Night ops in front yard Alexloop
8/3 EM60UI Top Sail State Park AlexLoop
17 PSK Cuba
17 USB MO Mexico
8/5 EM70CE82 RaDAR Lunch Alexloop
20 CW PA
8/8 EM70CE82 RaDAR Lunch
20 CW NJ Alexloop
8/11 EM71HE Dothan AL Skeeter Hunt with Tom WB0HBR Broadside Doublet & Alexloop
  20M CW CO, PA, MO, ON, WI, ON, ON, DE, TX
15M CW France
8/16 EM64QR Huntsville, AL Alexloop
20M SSB Cuba
8/19 EM70CE82 RaDAR Lunch LNR Trail Friendly Endfed
8/20 EM70CE82 RaDAR Lunch LNR Trail Friendly Endfed
8/24 EM60UI 40 Meter On-The-Air Meetup 40 meter Dipole
8/26 EM70CE82 RaDAR Lunch Alexloop
8/27 EM70CE83 Pete Edwards Field
8/29 EM70CE82 RaDAR Lunch LNR Trail Friendly Endfed
8/30 EM70CE82 RaDAR Lunch LNR Trail Friendly Endfed
8/31 EM60UI Top Sail State Park On foot RaDAR Alexloop
17M SSB ME, El Salvador, MA, MN, MN

EM70DE97QB Night ops in front yard 

EM70CE82 Lunch Site

EM64QR Huntsville behind La Quinta

EM60UI Topsail State Park 40 Meter Meetup

EM70CE83 Pete Edwards Field

EM60UI Topsail State Park 8/31 On-Foot RaDAR

EM71HE Dothan AL Skeeter Hunt

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Quick Setup Time for RaDAR Ops

The goal of the monthly RaDAR challenge is to encourage development of equipment and operating skills for Rapid Deployment Amateur Radio. This is good preparation for RaDAR contests or emergency scenarios. RaDAR contests typically have time constraints that increase the challenge.

I tested a quick setup configuration on August 31st at Top Sail Hill Preserve State Park near Destin FL. I call it semi pedestrian mobile. The main feature is having an Alexloop deployed on a four foot mast with a spike at one end. Setting up the antenna is merely planting the spike and you are ready to operate. The pole for the Alexloop is a 4 foot military mast section placed over a step in style electric fence post. the electric fence post is taped to the mast at the bottom and provides the spike.

The KX3 is in a camera case that has the top removed and my battery is in a sling pack. So you wear the radio setup and carry the Alexloop/mast at the center of gravity. Gee nobody was around to take a picture of this affair in action Saturday. I was asked if I was tracking bears.

So my on-foot adventure started at the parking lot at the park. I started into the park listening to 17 meters SSB. I planted the Alexloop along the trail and worked KB1QX in Maine. He was QRP at a park himself. Not having anymore luck at the time I proceed along and came upon a picnic table. Well I could not resist the opportunity and planted the Alexloop, I worked YS1GMV in El Salvador and K1PGS in MA. Concerned I was running out of sunlight I doubled back. I made a call along the way but no luck. I thought the band was going out. When reaching the parking lot I took advantage of a picnic table there and worked KC0IGT MN and KD0ETC who was portable in a state forest near Lake Superior. The last QSO was good as Steven had a nephew Trip who was 14 years old who spoke to me and was having a lot of fun.

The walk in the park was 1.8 km over about 2.5 hours. my APRS track using N4KGL-5 is at!mt=roadmap&z=11&call=a%2FN4KGL-5&timerange=3600&tail=3600 The park is at EM60UI.

This configuration is one I'll consider for the November 2nd 2013 RaDAR America Contest. The RaDAR concept was originated by Eddie ZS6BNE. See Eddie's blog at this link. Marcus NX5MK introduced RaDAR in America. See the site at The RaDAR contests are the first Saturday in April and November. Meanwhile there is RaDAR Challenge. See this link for the RaDAR Challenge rules. If this RaDAR idea appeals to you checkout the RaDAR community on Google plus at this link Note, you do not have to join the community to participate in RaDAR.

The gear at home. Note the case and the pack are worn while in transit.

The battery in in the sling case

KX3 in camera case with top cut off.

Alexloop planted along trail.

I took advantage of a picnic table along the way.

a pond at the park