In between chores and other duties (grocery shopping, etc.) I did a lot of calling "CQ QRP DE W2LJ" today in honor of the 2010 QRP ARCI Fall QSO Party. I did a lot of CQing and a lot of searching and pouncing and had a lot of fun in the few hours that I was able to participate today. And the fun was the most important part. I am not in these contests to win, I am a Contest Point Giver as my friend K4UPG likes to point out (the coiner of the term). My QSO/hour rate was atrocious at best; but lest I repeat myself, I had fun - lots of fun.
The set up here (as always from home) was the K2 to the Butternut HF9V on 15 and 20 Meters and the G5RV for 40, 80 and 160 Meters. Several surprises - the most heartwarming of which was that 15 Meters was wide open today! I worked a Spanish station that was calling "CQ ARCI". I nabbed EA2LU, Jorge at 15:51 UTC. He had a nice 559 signal coming across the pond from Pamplona, Spain. I also managed to work good friend and fellow blogger, John AE5X. I haven't worked John for a while; and he had one of the loudest signals I heard on 15 Meters today.
Another highlight was working Bob N4BP on three bands - 15, 20 and 40 Meters. Bob always has an impressive signal into NJ. And if you want to know why, look up his call on QRZ and then look at his QTH on the satellite version of the map. His tower and antenna are visible from space! Here's what his signal sounded like at my QTH.
Another surprise was working Ken W4DU on 20 Meters. Ken is the President of QRP ARCI and working him was a special treat. He also had a VERY loud signal on 20 Meters into NJ from GA. Here's what he sounded like:
Although he didn't answer him right away, you can hear that Ken was called by WØNTA - Dick in Colorado. I didn't work Dick today and regret that. I haven't worked him in a while; but have him in my log many, many times as he is a very avid QRP Contester.
Shortly after working Ken, I came across another Spanish QRP staion. This time it was Guru EA2IF. We completed a QSO at 20:35 UTC. Guru didn't have a QRP ARCI number, so he gave his output power of 5W as his number. Five Watts from Madrid to South Plainfield works out to be about 725 miles per Watt. Not bad ..... not bad!
And yet another surprise was working Rich K5TF on 40 Meters. A quick check in my log told me that the last time we had worked each other was back in 1993 via RS12/13. Now that's a long time between QSOs! I wasn't even aware that Rich was a member of QRP ARCI until today. And see? We QRPers DO have other interests besides just QRP ragchewing and contesting - we even enjoy satellite work! We're definitely not a one dimensional bunch.
I also had a few contacts on 80 Meters tonight; and even listened and called CQ a few times on 160 Meters. The contest runs until tomorrow evening, so I will be anxious to see if 15 Meters will be open again tomorrow and am looking forward to working some more QRP friends both old and new!
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!