Monday, August 12, 2013

2nd annual Skeeter hunt contest

The operating chair
The Skeeter hunt   is a great QRP contest that has really caught on with the QRPer's. It's only a 4 hour contest and offers extra points if you want to take on a challenge. Last year it was to brew up a home made key and use it in the contest. If you did this (supporting photo's needed) then you picked up huge bonus points! Well last year I was not able to come up with a homemade key so the bonus points were out the window for me. This year the challenge was to operate beside a body of problem for me as there are 3 rivers within 5 minutes or less for me.
Storm clouds
I scooped up my bonus points (passed along the pic's to back it up) but I was not able to make the same amount of contacts that I did last year. There were some factors to this, conditions had changed from last year, I worked an all nighter on Saturday so I was operating on more that 24 hours without any sleep and thus I did not spend as much time in the test........well a 1/2 hour less. I used my Elecraft KX3 operating on the internal batteries. The antenna was a mono band 20m whip from my car. I was going to use the Alexloop so I could take advantage of more bands...but...the weather conditions were looking very stormy. I did not want to take a chance and have the Alexloop damaged from rain.
The weather turned out to be great it did not rain but the storm clouds over head kept it cool and the sun off me. I operated from Riverside park which is a great park about 5 minutes from my QTH. Funny thing I never had anyone come up to me wondering what I was doing! In the past this has happened and it gave me a chance to explain ham radio. Something new in the contest this year is operating SSB, I did not take advantage of this and stayed CW and just single band.
A look towards the river
Some of the highlights were contacting TF/LX1NO (who was in the WAE contest) for whom you get bonus points for! Also I brought along an extra external battery just in case the AA internal rechargeable batteries died on me. To my surprise they lasted for 3 hours with me constantly calling CQ BZZ.
Another shot of the river.
So I was able to make 18 contacts with a total score of 1396. Funny thing my last years score was 1392.....So technically I did better than last year by 4 points!!!


  1. Great to hear and work you this time Mike! Been a good while since we have connected on the air! Hope we can keep it up. Looks like you had a nice spot. Was terribly hot here in Orlando setting a record for the date. I had antenna issues off and on all day as Murphy came along and bothered me.

    CU again!
    Kelly K4UPG

    1. Kelly good afternoon, It wasn't until the contact was said and done that I realized it was you. When you called me by name it tweaked my ear and then I connected the dots. We have had some real hot ones up this way over the summer. I would not want to had been out in 40C weather that's for sure. Yes it was great to connect up with you again...see you either on the air for a QSO or in another contest.
      Always great to work you.

  2. I bet that location is popular with the skeeters, Mike!

    I have a great photo of my alexloop in the rain:

    Rain didn't seem to faze it... it kept on trucking. The tuning did get a little touchy and I needed to re-peak it a couple of times though.

    Pity we never managed a 2XQRP QSO but that would have been a stretch for 20m.


    1. Good morning Martin, fortunately the skeeters were not out and there was a bit of a breeze as well that helps. I checked out the pic you had of your Alexloop and it does look as if it can handle the rain for sure. Maybe next time for the 2XQRP QSO!

  3. Hi Mike, this a test. I have problems with to post a comment. If it shows up here then I have no problem with your blog. 73 Paul

  4. Great /P location. Lots of fun I guess.

  5. Good morning Stefano, yes it's a very nice place my wife and I very often go for walks here. They also have a very nice board walk that goes through a bird sanctuary. Oh and yes the contest was a lot of fun.