Sunday, August 12, 2012

The first annual skeeter contest....done!!

Packing up for the contest
I took part in the first annual Skeeter contest sponsored by the NJQRP club the first years theme was to go to  your favorate outdoor operating place and get involved with the contest. Well up this way the weather was not looking like it was going to co-operate. My fav place to operate was out in the open and very vulnerable to the weather....namely rain!! I decided to head out to a location that offered some trees as
The weather to look forward too
shelter just in case of a sprinkle, as for a down pour my car was beside me and the rest of the contest could be finished from there. I was using my Elecract K2 and this by the way this was the first contest  this rig has ever done as battery powered. My key was the Mini Palm Paddle which by the way worked great!! My antennas were mono band mobile whips on the back of my car. I operated QRP at 5 watts Oh and the K2's battery lasted for 4.5 hours at 5
watts with me calling CQ and not searching and pouncing.
The weather was a mixed bag from nice sunny skies (very rare) to very threatening overcast that did let go
The setup...with a bit of rare sunshine

with rain at times.Over the last month the temperatures have been in the upper 30's and low 40C...today it was nice and cool almost to the point of putting on a long sleeve shirt (which was used to cover the rig during light rain). The location I chose was about 15 minutes from my home and offered a pic-nick table, trees and what I consider a luxury when operating out and about a portable washroom!! The bands were busy with not only the Skeeter contest but the WAE contest as well. I did have some European stations involved in the WAE contest respond to my "CQ Buzz contest" Thats ok they gave me their report and serial and  I asked for their power output and then they moved on this made it a skeeter contact....I believe anyway???
Covering for rain drizzle
I confined my operating to 20m as it seemed to be a "buzz" with skeeters but at 14.060 for some time there was some SSB going on, not sure if anyone else heard it but they were there right on the CW QRP calling frequency. While calling CQ I did have someone come back to me at the same time a passer by asked me what I was doing and showed an interest in ham radio. So I sacrificed the contact for taking time to talk with this gentleman about the hobby. So if your reading this blog I was not ignoring you just had to promote the hobby.....:). I had to end the contest around 4:40 as the Elecract K2 was telling me that the battery is getting to the point of no return so it was time to shut things down.
When it really rained
I made in total 19 contacts including DJ5AV from Germany and YU2A from Serbia. 12 of  the contacts were fellow Skeeters as they had Skeeter numbers. One contact was just an average QRP op not in the contest but wanted to know what he had to give me as an exchange so he could count in the log. Over all I had a great time even though the weather was touch and go at times.
Finally...a must have!!!
See all you Skeeters next year!!!



13 comments:

  1. Thanks for participating, Mike! I'm glad you had fun and there will be another next year!

    73 de Larry W2LJ

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    1. Larry it was a blast and I will be submitting the log Moday. I will also email pic and comments to the soapbox via the email you provided.
      Mike

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    2. Thats Monday.....IPhone typo

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  2. Hello Mike, nice activation. The weather looked like my last portable activation ;-(. Have I told you I like your car....
    73, Bas

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    1. Good afternoon Bas, yes the car is just great both Julie and I have one and just think that are perfect. I was surprised I was able to get a good SWR on this car since it is so small...but the mono band antennas work great for portable operations.
      Have a good week Bas
      Mike

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  3. Looks like you had a woderful time. I was not in the contest but also heard SSB on 14.060.

    Regards,
    Jim - W2KLM

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    1. Hello Jim, Yes it was a very nice time spent in the out doors. The weather was touch and go at times but overall it was a very nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
      Mike

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  4. Great to hear you on the air during the Skeeter Hunt. Condx were good but had some QRM and QRN on top of you so had to dig a bit when the QSB kicked into gear. Your sky looked like mine except we had too much lightning for comfort. I had to take the antenna down and run for cover at 1840. Better safe than sorry here in the lightning capital of the USA. Thanks for the QSO!

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    1. Good afternoon Kelly, yes it sure was a great contest I never did make contact with Larry as you did. I was listening for him but never did hear him. The weather here was touch and go but thank goodness there was no lightening at all or thunder. Thanks for the contact in the contest and your signal was great up here.
      Have a good week Kelly

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  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. It was a duplicate from Kelly, same comment that was sent in the above posting.
      Mike

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  6. Hi Mike, dark clouds, rain and a lot of qrp fun. Good results into Europe! 73 Paul

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    1. Good morning Paul, yes it did rain but when I did get home Julie told me that there was a major down pour at home. I missed that and was glad. I was shocked as well that my mobile whip and K2 made it into Europe on two occasions during the contest.

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