As the lyrics in Mary Chapin Carpenter's song, "The Bug", go .... "Sometimes you're the Louisville Slugger, sometimes you're the ball". Today, I was NOT the ball.
My lunchtime QRP session was a rousing success, if I do say so myself - almost on par with a W1PID session (minus the gorgeous scenery, of course). 17 Meters was hot, and in rapid succession, I worked ON8VP - Peter in Belgium, and then UY5VA - Vic in the Ukraine, and then HK1ANP, Fred in Colombia.
The best QSO of the session was on 20 Meters, though. After working the DX on 17 Meters, I QSYed down to 20 Meters and called CQ on 14.061 MHz. I was answered by Jim ND9M, from Panama City Beach, Florida, who was running his Yaesu FT-817 at a QRPp power level - 500mW. Copy was solid both ways, although there were bouts of severe QSB. Even at peanut whistle power, Jim was putting out a 559 signal at worst, and when the QSB would let up, he would peak at 579. I received a 579 (with QSB) report in return. Oh, and Jim's fist? A delight to my ears!
Jim was using his FT-817 to feed an off center fed dipole at a height of about 25 feet. I would imagine that his close proximity to the Gulf of Mexico did not harm his signal's propagation in the least.. The QSO ended up being a very enjoyable 25 minute long rag chew. I sure hope that I can meet up with Jim again soon, and that we can pick up where we left off. He was beginning to tell me that he used to be located in Lakewood, New Jersey when the clock started running out on me. That's the only problem with these lunchtime QRP sessions - time restraints! Many are the times that I wish I didn't have to break down and head back into the salt mine, especially on a day like today.
Before I turn in for the night, I got to thinking (which in my case, is sometimes a dangerous thing). I sure hope that when I post about these successful lunchtime QRP sessions, that folks don't get it into their heads that, "There he goes, patting himself on the back again!"
That's not purpose of these posts. I sure as heck don't consider myself to be anywhere near the top caliber of QRPers. Like I've stated many times before, I'm just a ham and egger, nothing special at all. I just want to share the idea that if I can have some success at this, then you can, too. Don't let any anybody discourage you from giving QRP a shot, and from joining in on the fun. If I can do this, then you can too, and you'll probably be more successful at it than me!
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!