Tuesday, November 02, 2010

And so it begins

Another QRP Fox hunt season has begun.  It started tonight on 80 Meters and will continue Thursday night on 40 Meters.  The season will last until March of 2011.  A lot of hunts and a lot of fun.  I have volunteered to be a Fox for 80 Meters once again this year, with my first turn coming the Tuesday of Thanksgiving week.

Tonight the Foxes were N0UR, Jim in Minnesota and NK9G, Rick in Wisconsin.  I found Rick early on and was hearing him only weakly; so I decided to go look for Jim.  N0UR was loud and I bagged his pelt fairly quickly.  Jim and I seem to have a pipeline to each other.  It's a rare day when I cannot work him, or visa versa.

Rick was hard work on the other hand.  It took the entire hunt time allotment to snare him.  I grabbed his pelt with literally minutes to go.  When signals are weak, sometimes it takes patience (a LOT of patience!), timing and persistence.  Some times just tweaking your transmit frequency a hair; so that your received signal tone will jump out to the Fox's ears is the way to go.  Some nights, all the patience, timing, persistence and "tricks" net you nothing.  But that's the way it works in the world of DX pileups, too - and that's the purpose of these hunts ...... to hone operating skills for the bigger events where a QRPer might need every edge he or she can pull out of his or her sleeve.

If you have never tried a QRP Fox hunt before, thinking that it might be too hard or intimidating .... think again!  Jump into the fray and have some fun (and sometimes some frustration too) - but usually the fun outweighs the frustration.  One thing I guarantee you, you will learn the capabilities and limitations of your equipment, antennas and yourself, very quickly.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

This certainly looks like a lot of fun! I had no idea this type of foxhunt existed. As a new amateur you learn mostly about contesting and what not but things like this are often forgotten here in Europe.

Especially since foxhunting here consists of finding operators hiding in fields with a directional antenna. I have to admit, this looks a lot more fun for winter evenings!

Jspiker said...

Thanks for the fox hunt reminder!
Very clever picture too!