Making Waves on the Cumberland the QRP way


Operation Headquarters


Pigging Out!


The Band is What


View from the Bridge


Hi all de KM6NN, I am back with the Flying Pigs making waves on the Cumberland.

Life has been keeping us busy and at our last get together we decided to take a brake and get on the air. Checking around town for a place to operate I found a location that had just what we needed. Lots of parking in a public area and trees and more trees for the antenna. Our location just happened to be on Riverside Drive in Clarksville Tennessee. For those of you that do not know Clarksville is the home of the Flying Pigs QRP International North Central Tennessee Chapter. First things first we met at Kelly's Big Burger for some comfort food. Kelly's is just down the street from our area of operation.

The operation area is an empty lot next to a service station. At one edge of the lot is a walking bridge that crosses Riverside Drive. This bridge made a great place to launch my line into the top of a tree. People walking by me on the bridge gave me a funny look as I was winding up my water bottle attached to the line. When I let go it was up up and away, right into the location I wanted. I tied off the line and ran down to the parking area where the antenna was rolled out and waiting. I attached the antenna to the end of the line and moved over to the other end of the antenna where I did another wind and toss into trees along the other edge of the lot. Second time was the charm here and I pulled the antenna tight and tied it off. Now for the long run up onto the walkway where a few tugs on the line drew the antenna nice and tight. The feed line was hanging right over our operating location. Today we were using the Mystery antenna from W5GI. This
 antenna works great and with the right radio it handles more than enough for our needs.

Getting back to the operation center (ha ha) we broke out the table and chairs and started unloading the paperwork needed to operate. The sun was shinning and a few clouds were moving in from the north west but for now it was all about the radio waves and the sun. What a great day to be out working QRP.

First out was Lewis' K-1. We set up the rig and started looking around the 40 meter band. Doc was on as the operator and he was working the band looking for anyone he could find. Most of the traffic on was operators in QSO with other stations. What a bunch of long winded CW operators. Man a fellow can't get a dit or a dah in edge ways. Doc called CQ for awhile but got no takers. So we moved onto 20 meters just for fun. Now here are the speed kings of CW. Doc is real good at CW and we found a good signal on 14029 calling CQ. His call was GA5CX and he was moving. Doc had his signal right on the money and could hear others calling him and they were getting good reports. (Doc was so excited that he used his own call along with our WA4PIG call. We got a big laugh out of that. Lewis called him a LID) The stations getting good reports were in and around our state so we knew the conditions were good. After calling for about eight minutes it was clear that 5
 watts was not making the trip this time. But you never know, with the right conditions 5 watts is more than enough to go the distance. We knew conditions were good when we heard N6GOW on 14044. Rick was located in Santa Cruz and is 87 and counting he said. He was in QSO with another station in 4 land. After he signed Doc started calling him. We called and called but no reply. Just not Docs day I guess.

Now it was my turn to take a trip on the band and see what I could drum up. After listening on 40 meters a bit I decided to go back to 20 meters. I listened around and heard operators from Evansville, IN and Halifax, VA then Murry, MN. About when I was getting frustrated I heard several stations on 14055 in QSO. KI4YAH-Charlie in Halifax VA was in QSO with KF5AHV-Tim in Bayou Vista TX. Now Tim was sounding real good so as soon as he signed with Charlie I jumped on the radio and gave him a call. WOW he came back and gave us a 599. He was for sure a 599 and after the next go around he said he was having some QSB problems. His signal was dropping also. After we signed off I started listening again and sure enough the radio gods were looking the other way and the band was fading. Just the luck of Lewis as he was up next and was looking forward to getting on the air. He will just have to wait for another day and time to catch some air waves. So with that said
 we broke down the station and started wrapping up the antenna. Just can't wait for the next outing of the Flying Pigs. After everything was packed away we sat around and soaked up the sun. Man was the day a good one. Thanks for your time and keep on making those waves. Not much activity but any time we can get out and hang up an antenna is a good time. It just don't get better than this.....

72, from KM6NN and the Gang