QRP in the Field



Greetings from the North Central Tennessee Chapter of the Flying Pigs QRP International.  With a new call in hand and a need for RFI in our blood we were off and running for another great adventure onto the airways. Lewis, KF4WK, Doc, NV4T, John, KM6NN and our newest member Richard, KJ4MXI (FP# 2287) worked our way to a dead end road off Wilma Rudolph Blvd. in Clarksville Tennessee. The road dead ends into a grove of trees and was a perfect location for setting up our station. While I broke out the table and chairs Lewis and Doc got out the K-3 and key. With the table up and the radio set up all that they were waiting on was for me to put up the antenna.

With my trusty weight in hand I found the right tree and after several attempts I was able to put one leg of the dipole right where I wanted. Now to set up the other end. While looking around I found a light pole at the edge of a parking lot near where we set up. Lewis gave me that look of.... OK what are you going to do now. One of the lights on the pole appeared to be broken and I sure did not want to be the one to brake the other one. But not to let a small thing like a light stand in the way of QRP, I set up on the windward side of the pole. Without much trouble after a couple of tries I was over the top and pulling the antenna tight. Doc and Lewis were sitting at the table waiting for the antenna and had a anxious look on their faces.

With antenna in hand Lewis hooked up to the K-3 and sounds of joy sprang forth calling CQ CQ. With Doc at the key Lewis hit the auto tune button for the antenna and got the good old 1.1 to 1 SWR. Before I could get back to the car to get the paperwork for getting all this down on paper Doc was in QSO with the first call that came over the radio. John, N0EVH from Independence MO had been calling CQ when the radio came on and Doc made a quick call and bingo he came right back. With our new call WA4PIG, Doc had once again made the first contact. This just reinforced his standing as BOSS HOG of our chapter. John gave us a 559 report and his report was a strong 589. He was on the radio looking for some Polar Bears but could not pass up a good QSO. John also commented on the cool call (WA4PIG) for our chapter of Flying Pigs QRP International. About the time I set up to operate Richard, KJ4MXI showed up to join in the fun. 

With the first call in the log I went to work. I moved around 40 meters like I knew what I was doing. First I heard W9JVC, Ernest in La Salle IL. He had a good signal but when I tried to call him I got no come back. On down the band I went with high hopes and my effort paid off when I called K3KYR, Jeff. Jeff is located in Bombay, NY. He gave me a 329 with lots of QSB. His signal was a strong 559 and after a few tries he got our info and that we were working QRP with 5 watts. He was QRO with 200 watts. I love QRP radio. I then took a short brake while Lewis gave Richard a tour of the K-3. Richard is just learning CW and is looking for a good all around radio. The K-3 is one of the best I have seen and Lewis takes every chance he gets to show it off.

After the short tour of the rig I was back on looking for more. I heard KK0I, Jack working portable but he could not hear me. Then KC4VLM, Walter came on and was calling CQ. I gave him a call but got no come back. Things were looking a bit grim for me but I kept on giving it all I could. I heard VE3XND calling but he was so week I knew we  would not be able to work each other.

Then along cam AA3EJ, Dave in Philipsburg PA with a good signal. He was a 559 and he gave me a 449 with lots of QSB. I was excited and could just contain myself enough to give up my information. His last report to my call was that he was having trouble with my signal and I might want to QRO. Just my luck. But Dave was good copy on my end and I appreciated the call. The day was getting cooler because of the overcast conditions and when the wind started moving my paperwork around I knew we were getting close to closing up shop. At about the same time the band started to fade so with our outing coming to a close I reluctantly gave up and shut down the station. Not bad for the short time we were on the air. Three contacts and tons of fun.


72, from The North Central Tennessee Chapter of the Flying Pigs QRP International KM6NN, John FP# 2184