Cooking Bacon on Wilma Rudolph Blvd.

 Clarksville, TN


Stories about QRP are better late than never and this is one. On Friday September 17, 2010 Lewis-KF4WK complained to me that we had not done a QRP adventure in awhile so like every good Flying Pig a plan was born to go out on Saturday to put a little bacon on the fire. Being dedicated CW operators we had to have coffee and donuts before an outing so after a morning fix at the local Flying Pig clubhouse off we went to the now closed Saturn dealership on Willma Rudolph blvd. in Clarksville Tennessee. After setting up a new cover to keep off the sun (curtsy of Lewis) the tables came out and the mystery antenna went up.

This outing was going to be a roll your own contest with Terry-N5HOT setting up his FT-817nd using his portable antenna. Richard-KJ4MXI setting up his KX1 and long wire antenna. Doc-NV4T with is new MFJ CUB QRP radio and the old mystery antenna. Lewis-KF4WK has this great K3 with a new Pan Adapter also using the mystery antenna along with Doc. As for me I was the comic relief doing all the odd jobs to make everything come together. What a job... The idea was that everyone was to put together all the equipment that was needed to set up a radio station in the field. Practice, Practice, Practice is the way to get better in every aspect of radio. Today was meant to make sure that all the equipment one would need would be identified so each operator could set up his own station at a moments notice.

On this day a visitor and future Flying Pig Frank Metcalfe-AA4AE attended our outing to gather valuable operating experience.  LOL While helping the guys set up their stations I noticed that Doc was intently operating his MFJ CUB radio he had just built using a headset to keep down the local QRM. I noticed he was connected to the mystery antenna and appeared to be involved in a QSO. Little did I know that he was using his own call of NV4T. What a violation of Flying Pig secret rules. For that infraction Doc was placed on Double Secret Probation.

He will not be eligible to work CW until the next time he gets on the radio.

Only the Boss HOG would do something like that.

Everyone set up their own radios and antennas in no time and were listening for anything that was on the air. Lewis and I retrieved the mystery antenna from Doc and set up his K3 with the new Pan adapter. (What a rig this K3 is, great stuff) With a little fine tuning on the Pan adapter I was off and running on 20 meters.

The signals were just pouring in and soon everyone shut down their rigs and came over to watch and comment on the fun I was having. I am not sure if you know this but a rule of all CW operators is to sit around and talk about radio while you are trying to copy weak signals. Man talk about QRM LOL.

First one in the log was KO1U-Mark in Haverhill, MA. This guy was doing great and had more things after his call sigh than I have ever heard before. Lots of stuff going on at his QTH. Next was SK3GM-Vlg from the Kungsgardens Radio klubb in Kungsgarden Nyland Sweden. You got me on the spelling because that is what is on line at Great contact and he was hooking it. Now back to the good old U.S.A. with K1BV- Theodore from Columbia, CT.he  was sounding great. I then called W0RW and right in the middle of the QSO the power failed on the K3. We did not notice that the Pan adapter was pulling a little more power than we normally have to use. A quick switch of the power supply unit and we were back on the air. But W0RW seemed to be gone. He missed my name right when I was sending "John". Oh well that is the QRP way. Always take along a backup battery.

You never know when you will need one. We worked two more op's on 20 meters before we gave up the bacon. NG7Z-Gaylord Schmatt in CEDAR RAPIDS, IA. (his address says CREDAR RAPIDS in and W7PU-Gary from the All Amateur Radio Club in Bellevue, WA., what a great contact. I was having so much fun I didn't notice that the guys were all back at their radios looking for contacts again.

When Lewis said it was time to pull the plug I knew it was over and we had put another group of contacts in the log. Now comes the brake down of all the stuff we put up to keep the sun off and the antennas that we had hanging all around in the trees. The other guys did not make any contacts but they now know what is needed to set up their own stations during a time of emergency. Thanks to all the gang for coming out and playing with the Flying Pigs.


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