Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A slight change in venue .....

Lunchtime QRP operations from the new work QTH have been, to say the least, discouraging. Since my first successful attempt back on June 5th; I've been getting skunked pretty continuously. I made excuses ...... low sunspots, low activity; but too many days went by where I didn't hear ANYTHING! So I decided to do some cogitating and try and reason the situation through.

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks! I looked up into the sky at the eastern edge of the parking lot, to notice high tension lines. Funny, but I never really noticed them before. In an industrial park setting, they seem like just part and parcel of the landscape. I guess they were masking all the signals that I thought weren't there.

So what to do? I wasn't about to give up so easily without a fight.

This morning, before heading off to work; I fired up the computer here at home and went to the Google page. I typed in my work address on Google Maps and zoomed out a bit. Hot dog - I found just what I was looking for! Not more than five minutes away by car is a very big, wide and open municipal park. I skedaddled there over there at lunch time; and got down to business.

There were several nice groves of trees complete with BBQ pits. Unfortunately, no picnic tables but for today I was able to deal with it. I brought out my backpack containing the K1 and all the amenities and also, the PAC-12. Operating from a park this beautiful meant going in amongst the trees and not sitting near the car to depend on the Hamsticks. The groves are open enough where there's plenty of space; but yet no worries about being too secluded that it makes you feel uncomfortable.

Setting up the station and turning on the radio revealed almost no hash or white noise! And I was greeted by a 579 CQ by Jim WD4NVH in Alabama. Wow! We had a brief QSO until QSB did us in; but things sure were better operating from the park. I hope to get there everyday this summer that the weather is decent.

On a side note, Serendipity must have been with me. As I left the park, I noticed that I had been in the Joseph Medwick Memorial Park. For those of you who don't know, Joseph Medwick was better known as "Ducky" Medwick who played with the St. Louis Cardinals "Gas House Gang" of the 1930s. Ducky was born in Carteret (the town I work in); and so the park was named in his honor.

My two passions - baseball and Amateur Radio brought together. Hmmmmm, I sense a new commemorative QSL card design needs to be come up with!

73 de Larry W2LJ

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