Sunday, July 07, 2013

From the mountaintop

I headed up to the top of Mount Prospect to operate in the QRP ARCI Summer Homebrew Sprint. It's not on the SOTA list, but it affords a fantastic view of Lake George. I headed up there one day last year, but unbeknownst to me at the time, we were experiencing a geomagnetic event, and there was nothing to be heard on the bands.

This year was different. I headed out early and set up the PAR ENDFEDZ, using the Jackite pole and my drive on mast support. One thing you notice when you get up there is how quiet it is. There weren't many people up there, even though it's an easy drive to the top and its a local tourist attraction. All I was able to hear was the breeze rustling through the trees.

Set up went easy, like a hot knife through butter. It turned out that there was a conveniently placed picnic table there, which provided a perfect operating location. Within minutes I was calling "CQ QRP".



The Sprint was scheduled to run from 4:00 - 8:00 PM EDT. On the way up, I noticed that the observation area is only open to 6:00 PM, so my participation was going to be limited. I worked the following:

AB9CA
WB5CTS
KB5JO
VE3EDX
KB5FCF
N7RVD
K4BAI
K4KJP

All these stations were worked on 20 Meters. I tried going to 40 Meters for a while, but the static crashes and QRN were so vicious that I didn't stay there long.  When I went back to 20 Meters to call CQ again, I knew it wouldn't be for long as I would have to begin packing things away soon for my return trip down the mountain.



That's when I had my "winner" QSO of the day. My "CQ QRP" was answered by DK7IT, Fred in Stuttgart, Germany. Fred was a loud 599 and I received a 579 in return. Fred was attracted by the "CQ QRP" and told me that he was not accustomed to hearing such clear QRP signals from the States. He was curious as to what the setup was, so I gave him the rundown. Admittedly, Fred's great signals were due to him running 100 Watts into a 3 element Yagi, but I guess the mountaintop location sure helped my QRP signal.

After my QSO with Fred, I quickly repackaged everything and made it down the mountain in time before closing.  Not a ton of contacts were made, but I had a lot of fun and the DX QSO, which turned out to be a real "honest to goodness" QSO was icing on the cake. The cheeseburgers that I grilled for dinner when I got back to the cabin weren't half bad, either!

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

1 comment:

VE3WDM said...

Good morning Larry, seems you are having a great time on holidays. Very nice setup and as you said and I noticed right off...very few people up there. Very nice shots of the setup and as you said it sure would be icing on the cake getting into Germany. I very rare if at all add QRP at the end but it seems that's what netted you the contact. Maybe I will start doing the same when not at the QRP watering hole.
Mike