Flying Pigs making Bacon on Pilot Rock



Greetings from the Newly formed: Flying Pigs QRP International, North Central Tennessee Chapter.


Myself, KM6NN-John (fp #2184) and Lewis, KF4WK (fp #0147) could not wait to get back on the air and make some bacon with our new club call: KJ4NUC


So at our Clarksville Amateur Radio Transmitting Society (C.A.T.S.) regular monthly meeting, it was decided that we needed to make some Bacon from Pilot Rock. For those of you who do not know Pilot Rock is a high spot in our local area near Hopkinsville, KY. It is a gathering spot for many young people to go and hang out and look at the view. The location was once a lookout point for the Forrest Service who maintained a fire tower at that location for many years. The tower was damaged by a severe storm and was torn down for safety reasons.

The plan was to invite anyone who wanted to come along and work QRP CW and SSB if someone desired. The climb to the top of this QRP site is very steep and not many want to take the time to make it to the top.

That said Lewis and I set the time for the afternoon for our search for Bacon.

The trip takes about 45 minutes from our home QTH but it is a nice ride and the time went by fast. Our expectation was high because the KSQP party was going to be going on during our operating time. On arrival at the trail head we saw several vehicles parked and people were coming down the trail. After traffic had passed we loaded up and started off on our climb to the top. Lewis had his KX1, from Elecraft and the Buddy Pole. The whole station was in two small bags. I on the other hand had the backpack with a 12 volt power supply my NS40 transmitter from 4states QRP club and a small folding table to operate from. Not to mention paper, log sheets and assorted direction devices....

After the trip up the hill, with several stops for rest and photos we made it to the top and while I set up the KX1 and table Lewis went to work on the Buddy Pole. The weather was wet the day before we decided to make the trip up the hill, but today the sun was shinning and a light breeze was blowing out of the south. The sun was bright and it seemed to be shinning right on me. Ha.. With the antenna attached I set out to learn how to use the KX1. The rig is a great little radio with more features than most. We started using the internal power from the radio and a quick check told us that we were putting out 1.8 watts. After searching for signals I noticed that we were not getting much on the band. A few adjustments with the Buddy Pole, moving it pointed North/West proved to be a plus and the band started to give up a few more signals. I could hear N4ZMP (Orin) in a QSO with K1GIG (Arline). After they signed I called N4ZMP but he could not hear me.

I heard several QSO's all on the same frequency and my attempts to contact them met with no results. I got a quick lesion in operation of the KX1 by Lewis and after using the filter I was able to tune in the signals a little better. Now to just get them to hear me. After a few more attempts I decided to change out the Buddy Pole for the wire dipole antenna that I carried up the hill. While I set up the antenna Lewis got to work and broke out the external power supply for the KX1. With the external power pack I was able to light up the operating dial and get a whopping 2.8 watts output. Now I can make some Bacon smoke.

I changed my operating location because of the sun moving over the top of the hill leaving me in direct sunlight... way too hot.... so moving to the shade resulted in me sitting on the ground with a large assortment of critters. Lucky I am not so sweet... I could hear many more signals with the dipole and I heard AD0DX (cool call) in QSO with KS0KS (another cool call) KS0KS is a club call for the Santa FE Trail ARC in Olathe, Kansas. They had a great signal and after waiting for them to sign I gave KS0KS a call and BINGO they came back to me with a cool 599. Their signal was a 559 but very clear. Next up I heard KF0XV, Joe calling CQ KSQP so I gave him a call and he came back with a 599. His report was a 559. I was in HOG HEAVEN. Now I could smell the bacon so I heard KI4KGK, Bill from Atlanta GA. calling so I gave him a shout... no good he could not hear me... Next I heard AC0E, James from Garden City Kansas. You guessed it no good either.

I was thinking my bacon was getting burned. I knew my body was as the sun had changed location again and I was back in the heat. I looked up from operating and saw Lewis with his shirt open and a smile on his face so I knew we were having more fun than anyone should. While we were operating a couple of young lads and their father came up the trail and asked what we were doing. My press information officer Lewis began telling them what was going on and the boys quickly became interested in my operating. As I displayed my skills with the radio one of the boys turned and caught his foot on the coax and away went the KX1 close behind the lad as he walked away. Lucky I was tuning the band as he turned or the KX1 would have been taking a hike down the trail. Oh well just another of those things that can happen with our fun hobby. With two contacts in the log and with the heat on and the signals fading I told Lewis it was time to take the long walk back to the  truck and find some liquid refreshment to cool ourselves. Packing was faster than setting up and we were soon saying so long to Pilot Rock and the fun that just had to be against the law.


72 from John and Lewis

DE: KM6NN and KF4WK saying 72 ... -.-