The family and I are back from a terrific week spent at beautiful Diamond Point, NY, which is right on the shores of Lake George.
The weather was fine, for the most part, with rain only last Saturday upon our arrival and yesterday evening into this morning, which turned partly sunny and dry for the return trip.
I got a few chances to get in some QRPing in. Tuesday night, I set up the NorCal Doublet on the Black Widow crappie pole behind our cabin; but only got a chance to listen for a bit, with no time for any transmitting. 20 Meters was jumping with European stations! Bulgaria and the Czech Republic were booming in at 599 plus!
Wednesday evening towards dusk, I set up the Buddistick and worked Portugal, CT1POP on 20 Meters and a station on Long Island on 40 Meters, K2MMO. I was distracted from having any meaningful QSOs as I was once again pressed into doing more of a Ham Radio demo for curious fellow vacationers, which was fine by me. Working the Portuguese station was a real hit; and they were amazed that this could be accomplished with only 5 Watts of power.
The next day, I took my gear across the street to an open field behind a barn (with the owner's permission) and set up the NorCal Doublet on the Black Widow again. I was able to get it to tune up on 20 Meters quite nicely; but had no success on 40 Meters. The SWR was too high and the K1 kept rolling back the output power to between 2 and 3 Watts. While the Buddistick handled both bands easily, if I want to use a doublet, I am going to have to find an alternative to the NorCal Doublet. Maybe an 88 ft EDZ made from speaker wire might do the trick. This is something I will have to research further.
My operations on Thursday were mid-day; and there was a disappointing lack of activity at that time (from about 1600 to 1830 UTC). Also, I closed down early as I got word of a severe thunderstorm alert that was activated until 8:00 PM that evening. It turned out to be a bust; but about only 40 miles or so south of us, golf ball and quarter sized hail were shown on the 10:00 PM news.
On Monday, we had taken a cruise to Lake George's "Narrows" to see the many islands that are there, most of which are owned by the State of New York. It was neat to see how many folks take camping vacations on these islands. That would be the ultimate QRP camping vacation! Can you imagine sending your QTH as "an island in the middle of Lake George, NY"? That would be so cool!
73 de Larry W2LJ