QRP Afield

September 2009

It was a mixed day...

QRP Afield is the New England QRP Club's annual
outdoor operating event. This year the weather
was fantastic. I checked the bands at about noon.
Sounded pretty good and I hooked up the 40 meter
rock mite... about 400 mw. Right away I worked Ron,
WB3AAL who was hiking on the Appalachian Trail
in PA. He gave me a 569! Good start. I planned
to be operating by 2:00 pm, but I got off late.

My pal Carter, N3AO called, all ready for a contact.
I told him to hold on... I hadn't started yet. Give me
an hour. So I hiked up to Knox Mountain with the
new Chinese rig... the HB-1A. It's a neat little peanut
whistle for 40, 30 and 20 meters. 4 Watts and a hot

Here's my setup on the porch of the cabin:

I put up an inverted L. It went straight up about 25 feet
and over another 35 feet. It didn't tune well, so I added
a 17 foot counterpoise. Still no luck. I switched to a
33 foot counterpoise. Still no tune. So I added another
20 feet to the antenna and things got better. I think
something was wrong with my tuner, the Elecraft T-1,
because I never had anything quite like this. Anyway
Carter and I tried 40 meters. No go. I could hear him 339,
he didn't hear me. So we went to 20 meters. That was
worse. We settled on 30 meters. That's against the
QRP Afield rules.  We broke the rules and made the

Well, I stayed about 40 minutes. Things on the QRP frequencies
were dead except for N4BP on 20 meters. I worked Bob in
Florida and that was it. No other QRP stations heard, so I
slid down the band and worked TK5EP in Corsica. We exchanged
599's.  I went to 40 meters and worked WB4DCM in NC. Charles
was working the QCWA sprint, and we exchanged year first licensed
and chapter numbers.

Where were all the QRP guys? I don't know... never heard them.
The day still wasn't spoiled.

The hike to the Knox Mountain cabin is always a treat. Today
had all the hallmarks of early fall. Some reds here and there,
a chill in the air, blended with the persistent song of crickets.

Hope the rest of you QRP guys had as much fun as I did.

72 Jim W1PID