QRP with the BEE'S



Hello from KM6NN, John from Clarksville, TN.

The weather was looking like rain but the Grand Kids were chomping at the bit to go camping and fishing. Now Grand Pa was thinking QRP radio more than fishing so I was all for going. As it happened the Bumble Bees were flying during the time we would be camping so it was a no brain-er. It just so happens that K4RRO, Al McIrvin is a camp host at the Piney Campground located on Lake Kentucky about 45 minutes from my Clarksville, TN home. He talks about the campground a lot and is an active member of our radio club (Clarksville Amateur Radio Transmitting Society) This campground is a great place located on the southern edge of Lake Kentucky. The camping sites are very well kept and plenty of trees made putting up my 40 meter dipole a snap. Set up was no problem and the antenna was up before my wife got back from setting up the Grand Kids for swimming. Next the radio and battery came out from my stash inside the motor home.

A check of the 40 meter band turned up a special event station W9IMS, Bill calling CQ on voice. Turns out he was working a special event from the INDY 500. I know it was not CW but I had to take a chance. One call into W9IMS and he came back with a report of 57. Wow I was thinking my 5 watts and 40 meter antenna was on the money. After the QSO, I got down to business and started checking out my Icom 706 to make sure I was set up for the Bumble Bees.

A quick check and I found out why my call was answered so promptly. I was running 25 watts. Well it was the thought that counted. Ha...

So backing down the power to 5 watts I set out on a Bumble Bee hunt. To my surprise almost all the signals were between 7029 and 7041. Not a problem as I did not have to hunt up and down the band much.

First on the list was KC0PET calling CQ and KC0PET/BB. Richard BB # 68 was coming in great and his 559 was not hard to copy and my report was a 599. That was good to hear. Next was N3AO with a strong 599, Carter BB # 26 had a great fist and was quick to report his BB number from VA. Now a little up the band was NO4GA, the North Georgia QRP Club. A great signal of 599. Then away I went into the pile to pick out N0SS, Thomas running 5 watts on the same freq. His 599 signal was nice. Just in the noise on the same freq was N9NE, Todd BB # 91. His 559 was right on but a little week. Now I had been hearing K9DXA, Harry BB # 126. I tried calling him for quite a while before I was able to work him. His 559 and my 559 signal were week but I was able to copy him. Sure wish I had KF4WK, Lewis' K3 with me. I am sure I would have had more contacts than I did. With a few contacts under my belt and a load of fun and contest experience it was time to quit.

I noticed that the XYL was calling my name for the fishing thing so you guessed it. Next step the shore line and tying on hooks. Take care and see you on the air.

72, from KM6NN, John from Clarksville, Tennessee