Flying Pigs chasing Skeeters


Hello again from the Flying Pigs QRP Club International, North Central Tennessee Chapter.... wow with that said it is nice to be back on the air and having fun with all my ham radio friends. We have been trying to get in a little more radio time here in Clarksville Tennessee to keep the guys happy so we have been keeping our ears open for any QRP event that might come up. We recently worked the Flight of the Bumblebees and had a great time. When we got word of the Skeeter Hunt we just had to give it a try. After getting our Skeeter number from the New Jersey QRP Club ( we went looking for a good operating location. We needed something we could get under if we had a thunderstorm and could supply shade if it got hot. We also try to get a location where we can talk to citizens who always stop and ask what we are doing. After checking out several locations we picked the new Marina here in Clarksville. It is now called Liberty Park and is the newest addition to our fair city ( As it turned out we were spot on and found a great spot to operate. Lots of trees, nice covered benches and oh yea did I fail to mention .... bathrooms.... Always a nice addition to any QRP to the field operation. Our plan was to meet at the park right at the time of the Skeeter Hunt. One of our group KJ4MXI-Richard recently got a KX3 so we decided to give it a try. Also N5HOT-Terry brought along his K3 and all the fixings. I always like to get to a location early and make sure we have space to operate. It is a first come first serve park so I wanted to make sure we had enough room. As it turned out we were one group of several that decided to enjoy the day at the park. N5HOT-Terry arrived shortly after I did and we got right down to putting up the antenna and setting up the gear. We have done this so many times that we are up and running in no time. By the time we had the antenna up the guys started showing up. NV4T-Doc and KJ4MXI-Richard both arrived about the same time and KT4FQ-Jim was right behind them.
People were eyeballing our operation and asking questions even before we were set up. Terry who is our P.I.O. .... LOL was busy answering questions and pointing out equipment to people who knew a little about radio from their military involvement.
We finally got going and at 1710Z the KX3 locked onto our first contact. K9DXA-Harry Skeeter # 45 came in from Wisconsin with a great 559 signal. Six minutes later KB4WJA-Mike Skeeter # 84 in North Carolina jumped into the fray with another solid 559. By this time we had switched radios and were using the K3. Our outings have been with a K3 most of the time and we were used to the controls. The KX3 had a little learning curve and we were really eager to make those contacts so we switched radios. A lot of the Skeeters were working really close together and we also had other contests going at the same time so the QRM was a little much. But the K3 could cut a hair on the back of a Skeeter so we had no problem drawing out the signals. We moved around twenty meters and found some faint signals calling. Most notable were W1PNS-Pete Skeeter #25. He was 449 to us and we were a 339 to him. The best part of the QSO was the "oink" we got for the Flying Pig's call.... Great fun
|Another great find was the Goat man, WG0AT-Steve Skeeter # 64. He was working several contests at the same time and gave us a 559. His signal was a strong 599 into Tennessee. We went over to 40 meters and while listening around Doc-NV4T heard an old friend of his Larry-AA4GA Skeeter # 2 calling from Georgia. He jumped on him like a Blue Jay on a June bug and in no time Larry was in the log. Doc was having a great time and low and behold another friend of his Jay-AJ4AY Skeeter #3 came on. Doc again jumped on him and Jay joined the ranks of the Skeeters in our log. Seeing Doc have all that fun got Terry-N5HOT excited and he jumped in and quickly had AF4O-Chuck Skeeter #105 from Bolivar Tennessee was in the log. By now it was getting late and we noticed like in real life the later it got in the afternoon the more Skeeters were coming out. Forty meters began to come alive. Problem was everyone from the other contests also decided to get busy. Cutting out signals became a nightmare even for the K3. We finally got two more contacts before the finish came upon us. KA9Z-Alan Skeeter #10 from Illinois was a great 599 signal. What a fantastic signal into Tennessee. Last but not least we heard a faint signal coming from W3BBO-Bob was doing an good job from Pennsylvania. He was 579 and gave us the same 579. He was not a Skeeter but he was QRP 5 watts. What a great way to end one of the most enjoyable contests we have worked in some time. It took us no time to take down the antennas and remove all the equipment from the pick nick area. We were done in short order and were off to tell the others what a fine time they missed. We want to thank the New Jersey QRP Club for setting up this event, we had a ball. We finished with 11 total QSO's and had 10 Skeeters in the bag. Not bad for a bunch of Flying Pigs..... oink oink