Europe on 5W SSB from the Trail

by Jim Cluett, W1PID

Hanz, W1JSB and I went skiing at noon today
and worked some great DX with 5W SSB.

We started out at the Sanbornton Town Dump
and headed east on a snowmobile trail.

After a few hundred yards we ditched our skis
and decided to walk. The snow was sticking so
badly to the skis, it just made more sense to walk.

We went in about a half a mile to the edge of a large
field. There was a small patch of bare ground under
a pine tree and it looked great for a little QRP operation.

Hanz brought his Yaesu FT-817 and a 20 meter Par
Electronics end fed antenna. The antenna wire is
33 feet and has a little matchbox at the end. He
tossed a line over a branch of the pine tree. It went
up 35 feet.

Within a few minutes Hanz was set up and he had
a microphone in his hand! "Microphone?!" I chided.
"Oh man," I thought... "what's he going to do with
that?" He soon showed me.

After a quick scan of 20 meters Hanz called 9A3BSL.
The station was booming in, and he came right back to Hanz.
Ljubo was in Croatia and gave Hanz a 55. Ljubo copied
Hanz's signal 100% while Hanz told him he was
out for a hike and sitting on the ground under a tree.

I couldn't believe it! First try and a solid contact into
Europe with the tiny rig. Soon Hanz was tuning around
again.  HB9KNA in Switzerland had just finished a QSO
and was calling CQ for the West Coast of the USA. He
called, but no one answered. He called again. This time when
there was no answer, Hanz spoke into the Mic... "How
about a QRP station?" Hanz asked. "Yes, the QRP station,"
answer Mark in Switzerland. So Hanz snagged another.
"Very solid signal from your 5 watts," Mark said. He was
running a kilowatt and gave Hanz a 55.

With that we packed up the gear and headed back. "I'm
psyched," I kept telling Hanz. "That was so fantastic! So

Maybe I'll have to find my microphone.