First Blood Drawn at Ft. Defiance QRP style

- And still not a shot fired !


What a title..... Now that I have your attention I will tell you how we made some great contacts at a local civil war site here in Clarksville Tennessee.

Always looking for a place to work QRP, we have been keeping an eye on one of our local landmarks here in Clarksville. We decided to work our magic at the new parking area of the newly constructed visitors center for Ft. Defiance.

Information on Ft. Defiance can be located at,_Tennessee

As always we started our adventure by fortifying ourselves with coffee and donuts at our local clubhouse Donut Delight located on Providence Rd. here in Clarksville. After a little conversation about band activity and who should be the next president of the United States we adjourned to Ft. Defiance to set up our equipment and antenna.

Naturally being somewhat new to the area I missed the turn and wound up about two blocks from our final operating location. After a few phone calls asking where I was, I found my way back to the right spot and began unloading my equipment. The Mystery Antenna (Thanks to went up with just a little effort. Seeing as I kept getting the line caught in the trees I feel that the antenna went up in almost next to no time at all. LOL By the time I had the antenna up the guys were tired from laughing at me so they had to sit down and take a brake before getting on the air. Lewis-KF4WK, Terry-N5HOT and our new member Frank-AA4AE were all set up and ready to go so with great expectation I sat down at the K3 and started searching. To our dismay the K3 had a key glitch and would not operate to our high standards. So Lewis broke out the K1. This guy has every radio that Elecraft Radio has made. I could go on for hours about their radios but with limited time I will just say that the radios are cool. Today the K3 needed the internal computer reset. Lots of computer stuff around now days. Moving right along I will get to the title of the story. As it happens Lewis is a thin skinned kind of guy and when he reached into his kit bag to get out the K1 he grabbed a hookup wire and cut his hand.

When he put the radio down on the table I noticed BLOOD on the radio. Then on the table.... my goodness this man was bleeding on everything. A few wipes and band aids later and we were back on the air.

At first I heard on VE5DC-Jerry in Canada in a QSO with KL7MJ, I was so excited that I did not write down the frequency. I waited for a short time and they faded out. Just my luck. So I moved on to 40 meters and started writing down information. I try to keep track of what is going on so my stories are at least understandable. I could hear K0IMI-Lynn calling CQ. I jumped on his call and on the first try he came back to me. Lynn is from Overland Park, Kansas and had a great signal. During the QSO Lynn explained to me that he was operating remote from his office in Kansas City via the Internet. This radio stuff is getting cooler and cooler. I am not sure how he was doing it but I know that I am going to find out. I have used Echolink before but only on SSB. I am not sure yet how he did it but a few emails should clear it up.The possibilities of using CW on the Internet working remote brings a lot of neat ideas into my head.

Lewis says that I am getting a little too much on the technical side, using computers. A good radio and wire antenna in the field is where it is at. LOL All this coming from a man who has four Elecraft radios and talks on a Droid phone.

I moved down the band a little, still on 40 meters and found N3RS-Ron in Glenmoore, PA. Ron was working a contest out of his hometown in Section 8. Good signal (solid 599) and nice fist. I moved up just a few KC's and found W9QB-Bill in Gary, Indiana. Bill was sounding great and we had a FB QSO. Lots of info passed back and forth. A little more time and it would have counted as a Rag Chew. LOL Now I moved on to 20 meters to see if a little DX was on the air. The day was nice and sunny in Clarksville and it looked like the bands were opening up. I could just hear a VE station in a QSO with a K7 station. They were week but it sounded like the band was opening up some. I moved a little up and found W9OAW -Gab in Ashland, WI. in a QSO. I could not hear the other side so I waited for an opening. Long winded son of a gun just kept sending CW. No joy here so I moved a little more and found VE1BC calling CQ VE1BC/QRP (John in Kingston, NS) now that is my kind of CQ. I jumped on his call like a bird on a bug and got him on the second try. Someone kept tuning up on top of my signal but John could copy me FB. It was neat being in a QSO with another QRP operator and his name was great. JOHN LOL. John was running 3 watts out of a Yaesu FT 817. His antenna was a 3 element Yagi. He said that he was finally getting some snow. I was happy with the sunshine so enough said about that. By now I was getting a little tired so I tried to get the other guys to operate. They said they were having more fun watching me than getting on the air. These guys must not get out much. I had other places to go and family commitments so I shut down at about 2045Z. Another fun day in the QRP neighborhood. Thanks for stopping by and reading our happy tail of QRP in the field.


72 from John, KM6NN and the Flying Pig Gang    DIT DIT


Soon to come is a visit to the Jefferson Davis Monument in KY. Info to follow by email. Web info about Jefferson Davis can be found  at  give it a look see.   72.....