First Spring Outing
March 2013

Hanz W1JSB and I hiked down to the Pemigewasset River today.
It was our first radio outing of the year... and it was fantastic!
We worked Germany, Romania, Slovak Republic and Wisconsin.

We walked down the steep hill into the Corps of Engineers flood
control area along the road. In the winter it's used only by
snowmobiles, cross-country skiers and sometimes horseback
riders. The snow is just starting to melt. We've had two days in
the mid-40s. The brook is showing signs of life. It's grand.

We walked in about a mile and turned toward the river into a
field. We found a little bare spot of ground near some bushes
and decided to set up there. I flung the water bottle with the
antenna line into a tree and Hanz pulled it up.

We used the HB-1B at 4 watts on 20 meters with a 33 foot end fed
wire. I took the first turn and right away heard OM1ADX
calling CQ. Martin in the Slovak Republic had a beautiful signal.
He gave me a 559. Hanz  made a video of the QSO.

After that, Hanz took over. He worked two stations in a row toward
the lower end of the band. First he called DL6LBI in Germany.
Ingo answered him right away and gave Hanz a 579. The Wisconsin
QSO Party was in full swing so there were plenty of WI stations for the
asking. Hanz worked K9LGU. The really interesting QSO came next.
Hanz went up to 14.060 and heard a very weak station calling CQ.
It was Catalin in Romania... YO8RIX and he was only running 500 mw with
a K1 and a loop antenna. Amazing.

It was so much fun to get out in the warm sunshine and operate again.
The winter's been long. On the walk back Hanz and I talked about some
of the places we plan to hike to with our radios this summer. There will
be lots of good exercise and radio expeditions ahead.