Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A great weekend for portable op's

The setup by the Lake 

This past weekend the weather was great and the propagation seemed to be fair. So that meant it was time to take the Elecraft KX3 along with my bike and hit the trails again. I went out on Saturday and Monday (It was a long weekend up this way) to see if the Ham god's would smile on my QRP signal. On Saturday there was a CW contest in full swing which meant there was contesters with keen ears wanting to make contacts. On Saturday I setup at the same location I blogged about on Friday. The park located where we live was not too busy and I was able to scoop a nice picnic table. I was using the same setup the KX3 and mono band 20m whip mounted on my bike. I heard DL2SAX calling CQ test but I was not able to raise a contact from him. I did make contact with CO2RQ from Cuba who was in the contest. This contact told me my signal was getting out as up to this point I had not made any contacts with this setup. I then hung out at the QRP watering hole calling CQ there did not seem to be much action and I was beginning to wonder if Cuba would be the only contact. Then WL2LG came back to me, Len and I had a very nice QSO my report was 229 and I gave him 559. We had a nice QSO talking about antennas, rigs and weather. For Saturday that was it for my contacts.
A visitor 
On Monday I got out a bit later and the park was very active and finding a picnic table proved to be very challenging. The spot I had been at for the last couple of days was taken. I did find another spot about 15 minutes away from my first spot but again it was on the lake with a nice breeze. I setup and was on 20m in no time calling CQ at the QRP watering hole again. I did hear K4BBH and VE4AK but they did not come back to me when I sent out my call. I did notice on Monday the conditions had changed to the point where an S8 signal in no time was down at the noise floor. I did make one contact for the day with W2KJ, Joe was in North Carolina. He has a good signal that without warning would fade down to the noise floor. The Audio Peak Filter (APF) on the KX3 saved the contact for me as I was able to dig Joes fading signal to readable levels. We both were QRP at 4 watts and both of us were using Elecraft KX3 rigs. My RST was 329 and I gave him 559 and that seem to be it for my contacts for the day. I packed up and when back home satisfied with only one contact considering the conditions and my minimal setup.

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