Saturday, April 18, 2009

QRP TTF - To The Field

This appeared on the QRP reflectors today - from NA5N. Next Saturday will be QRP TTF.

QRPTTF – The Great Depression*
* Referring to the sun, of course
Saturday, April 25 1500Z thru April 26 0300Z

Other contests on April 25:
SP (Poland) DXRTTY contest
Helvetia contest
Florida and Nebraska QSO Parties


Date: Saturday, April 25, 2009
Time: 1500Z April 25 thru 0300Z April 26
Right Coast Time: 1100 – 2300 EDT (UTC –4 hrs)
Mid-west 1000 – 2200 CDT (UTC –5 hrs)
Mountain Time: 0900 – 2100 MDT (UTC –6 hrs)
Left Coast Time: 0800 – 2000 PDT (UTC –7 hrs)
Theme: Operate “in the field” from a WPA project or CCC Camp. Details below.
Bands: 15M 21.060 (if/when open), 10M 28.060 (Wishful thinking), (Calling 20M 14.060 Freq.) 40L 7.030 – 7.040, 40H 7.100 – 7.110, 80M 3.560
NOTE: 40L and 40H are considered two different bands for QRPTTF.
Bands not listed, like 160M, 1296 MHz moon-bounce, permissible
Mode: CW only
Power: QRP (5 watts or less)
Exchange: RST + Class + SPC
Class: W = WPA station
C = CCC Station
F = Field Station
H = Home Station
SPC = State/Province/Country abbreviation
Examples: 579 C NM (that might be me)
or 579 F PA (of course, that would be Ron Polityka)
Categories: Single Op, Multi-Op, Club (includes multi-station)
Scoring: QSO pts: 1 point for each QSO per band
SPCs pts: count once per band
Multiplier: 1 = Home station
2 = Field Station
3 = WPA/CCC Station
Scoring: QSO points times SPCs per band times multiplier = total score
Summary Sheet: Download from
(or email and I'll send you one)

DISCUSSION: QRP To The Field (QRPTTF) is a contest intended to promote fun and operation “in the field.” If at all possible, pack up your gear and set up somewhere without a roof over your head and get on the air. Grab a friend or two and make an outing or camping trip out of it. Bring your dog.

THEME: This year's theme is to operate from or near a 1930s “New Deal” WPA project, CCC Camp, or CCC project. I recommend you do an internet search for “WPA” or “CCC” along with the name of your state or county. There are gobs of WPA/CCC websites or local historical societies listing WPA/CCC sites and buildings. All state parks are WPA projects. The WPA built
court houses, post offices, schools, college dorms, city parks, bridges, dams, etc. Many CCC camps still exists as other things, along with building county roads, irrigation canals, diversion ditches, water wells/windmills, forest fire lookout towers, stock corrals, and marinas, to planting
grasslands and forests. If your local neighborhood park has some funky 1930s art-deco looking statue or something, it's probably a WPA art project. Never mind miles of city sidewalks marked “WPA” or “FERA” (Federal Emergency Relief Act, precursor to WPA). If all else fails, ask a local
around 80 years of age or older – he'll know. The list really is almost endless. Virtually every town in America has something built by the WPA or CCC.

As always, safety first. Many WPA buildings (court houses, post offices, schools) are still in use as public buildings. Other WPA schools and buildings are now privately owned (or abandoned). Seek permission to use or advise authorities if needed to keep Homeland Security from thinking you're a sleeper cell. (Ooops, this email just got nailed by an NSA computer). You do not need to be exactly on the WPA building or project; use common sense. Operate near the location as best you can (within line of sight) and sufficient to stay out of trouble!

THE LOUSY BANDS: Between our anemic sun, lousy propagation, crummy bands, RTTY, other contests, etc., it sometimes gets rough for us QRPers to break through the mess. Especially later in the afternoon or early evening when we're left with only 40M. Us QRPers need a break!!! On recent contests on 40M, 7.030/7.040 seems to be trashed, while I've always noticed the 7.100-7.120 portion of the CW band is quiet as a mouse with maybe 1-2 QSOs. Therefore, for this year's QRPTTF, I am declaring the HIGH end of 40M CW (approximately 7.100 – 7.110 MHz) as a separate band. Stations and the SPCs worked above 7.100 (40H) count as a separate band from the normal confused 7.030/7.040 (40L) band. Hopefully this will allow us to work more stations and serve as an experiment for future QRP activities.

OTHER CONTESTS: Work and help out those CW stations participating in the Nebraska and Florida QSO parties. Nebraska operates around 35 KHz above the band edges; Florida just below the QRP calling frequencies. Their exchanges are RST+SPC (almost like ours). Give them a contact and put another station in your log as well.

CQ: The recommended CQ for this contest is “CQ TTF” since other contests are ongoing.

A FIRST TIMER? SLOW AT CW? If you've never worked a contest before, or find the 35 word per minute exchanges of other contests intimidating, try QRPTTF. It's pretty low-key and built for fun. If you hear a station calling “QRP TTF,” give a call. Don't be afraid to say “PSE QRS”
(please slow down) if he's too fast for you. If you miss an element of the exchange, don't be afraid to ask for a repeat (“SPC?” or “QTH?”). We all fail to get the exchange at times. Often, by listening to a QRPTTF station working another, you can learn the exchange before you call. These are all tricks to help you with your code speed and get on the air. Remember, we want to work you as much as you want to work us!

Good luck and have fun, regardless of where you choose to operate from.

Courtesy of Paul NA5N

If you've never QRPed out of doors before, you are missing a treat. If the weather is nice (and maybe even if it isn't) consider giving this a shot. I Googled "New Jersey WPA" and I found out that there is a fountain in Roosevelt Park in Edison, NJ that is a WPA Project. I must have passed that fountain a million times in my lifetime; and I never even new. Now it looks like it's going to be my destination next weekend. The fountain is called "Light Dispelling Darkness" and was constructed in 1937 by sculptor Waylande Gregory.

See? You learn something new everyday!

73 de Larry W2LJ

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