DX on the Run QRP Style a CQ WW

DX on the Run QRP Style a CQ WW DX Story

johndxingdoc and i  Be very very quiet...Doc is doing CW

Greetings from the Flying Pigs of North Central Tennessee.

 Another time to excel in our hobby of choice QRP CW. We have made a annual outing of the CQ World Wide DX Contest (http://www.cqww.com/) for the last few years and we look forward to our trip to Evansville IN where we enjoy a day of radio and get to visit the local ham-fest. This year N5HOT-Terry, NV4T-Doc and myself KM6NN-John got together and planed our trip months in advance. The anticipation of the trip is just a part of the trip the way I see it and our preparation and discussions regarding our adventure wasted many hours over coffee and grub from our local watering hole (Mc Donald's on Riverside Dr.). Getting the KX3 ready for the trip was no problem as the rig is made for portable use and works great for what we wanted to do. A little on the job training on the operation of the KX3 was handled by Terry and in no time I was up to speed on the KX3 controls. Our work station consisted of a computer desk pad for our local gadget store and our note pad and assorted pencils. The KX3 sat a little off center of the desk top and I had plenty of room for the key and note pad. I like using a key that plugs into the KX3 other than the one that comes attached to the KX3 because I get a better fell and can hold onto the key during the maneuvering of the vehicle around rough road conditions. The radio seems to hold to the desk pad with the antenna connection and the rubber feet attached to the bottom. All and all it was a tight little operating location.
We started our journey around 0600 local time here in Clarksville and the weather forecast was for possible thunder showers. It was cool when I picked up Doc at his house and my cup of coffee was warm in my hands. As soon as Doc was on board we were off to N5HOT-Terry's house and then up up and away to Evansville. Terry let me know that 0600 am was more than early enough to show up because last year my anticipation got the better of me and Doc and I were sitting in his driveway at 0530 am....
This year I was the control operator on the trip and Terry was behind the wheel. Doc managed to hang on in the back seat and every once in a while made comments on the speed of the stations and would yell out a call sign when the operator would be ripping up the air at 40 to 45 words per minute. Even with the speed of the contest ops it was great to be able to send to them and have them come back to my 18 word per minute call.
I started out on 40 meters and noticed as before a lot of Japan stations were calling the big guns here in the states. I called and called and called but got no takers. I tried 40 meters until we stopped for breakfast in Hopkinsville KY but got no response. When we got out to eat we changed the antenna to 20 meters to give that band a shot. While Terry was putting on the antenna I checked the KX3 and found that we were only putting out 3 watts. Just another learning experience with the KX3. When the power goes below a certain limit the radio will reduce output power to 3 watts from 5 watts to conserve energy. My bad for not checking when I could not contact anyone. Another life lesson with the KX3.
Before we pulled out of the parking lot of the restaurant I was on the KX3 looking for contacts. The first one I came across was N2MF-Brian in Jamesville NY. He was coming in great and in no time he was in the log. Man I was on a one contact roll.. I moved just a bit and YT3A-Vojislav in Serbia made the trip and was in the log. As the day moved on we made more and more contact. When the rolling hills of Kentucky were on the low spots I could not get out very well but when Terry came to a hill I always got the operator I was calling. Most of the state side ops were calling Japan still but we made several contacts here in the U.S. When we got to a flat spot in the road it was much easier to make the contacts. Our last contact before reaching Evansville was N7WA-Michael in Kent Washington. He was booming into Evansville and I was torn between going into the ham fest and staying in the Jeep and working radio. But the air was a little cool so I opted to go into the warm building. Once inside Terry bought a new mag mount antenna base for the Jeep. Naturally he wanted to try it out so back to the Jeep we went and as he set up the antenna I got on the KX3. I turned on the radio and before I could move the dial I heard RL3A-Arcrosto in Russia was booming in and one call on the KX3 got him in the log. Now back to the ham fest where we bragged about our radio exploits to anyone who would listen. Loads of fun. After checking out everything and winning a door prize or two it was back to the Jeep for the ride home. I noticed that a lot of the ops were running high speed and sometimes it took several moments to figure out their call but it was great to send 5 watts to them and have your call sent back. What a trip for just 5 watts. On the way back we made 15 more contacts and by the time we reached Clarksville my head was buzzing. I didn't look up the whole time on the way back from Evansville so the trip seemed like it took only a few minutes. When Terry said we were home I was amazed. I was trying to get the last call and he was moving 4O3A-Ranko in Montenegro was buzzing right along at about 30 to 40 WPM and he kept sending the first letter of his call as a V. His section was 15 so we knew he was not in Canada. After listening to him for several minutes we decided he was trying to send a 4 for the first letter. Later inside Terry's house we confirmed that by looking him up on QRZ. What a great trip and how much fun can a few hams have without going to jail. Fantastic is the only word I can use to describe our adventure to Evansville.

 Thanks for reading about our little jerney and we hope to catch you on the air. 72 for now

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