Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Louisville Slugger kind of day

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!


  1. Hi Larry,

    Don't worry about sounding like you're patting yourself on the back: you don't sound like that at all. I always like reading about your lunchtime QRP contacts--it makes me want to go out and do the same thing.

    Jamie, N1RU

  2. Larry,

    You are not bragging. In fact it is your successes that got me fired up about doing lunch time sessions!

    I can't believe how much fun it is. I have only made it out one day this week - but I worked Irelend! This was a special contact, because on that day it had been exactly 3 months since my faterh-in-law passed - he was an awesome Irish Catholic! Special day to work Ireland on this somber day.

    I would like to think he helped amplify my little 5 watts!

    Keep it up - read your blog daily.

    Burke Jones

  3. Anonymous3:54 PM

    Hi Larry,

    Your successful lunch time exploits have motivated me to try likewise. I put my Buddistick on my truck, fired up a whopping 5 watts from my KX-3, and had a nice 15 minute CW QSO with a station in Alberta Canada. I was a little weak from So. Cal but it was solid copy both ways.


    Tedd K6OI

  4. Don't ever think that you are bragging. You are a real inspiration to anyone that wants to learn more about QRP.