Sunday, August 10, 2014

2014 NJQRP Skeeter Hunt

First off, I don't know who was hunting who. I thought I was hunting Skeeters, but I think they had other ideas - and I was the hunted:

And that was nothing compared to my legs! I didn't think the little buggers would be so active during the day, so I didn't bring my OFF wipes with me. I'll remember this for next year!

I set up in my favorite park here in South Plainfield - Cotton Street Park.  There are plenty of 50 - 60 foot trees which just beg to have wire strung through them. It's a quiet park and there's not the overwhelming amount of traffic that Spring Lake Park (our Field Day site) gets. There were people walking through and playing, but no one came over to investigate what I was doing. I guess I've become a fixture - "Hey, it's that crazy guy with the radio again!"

Off to the right, you can see the coax going up , up , up.  Here's a better shot:

Today, I ended up using the PAR END FEDZ. I stayed on 20 and 40 Meters only, so it turned out to be the ideal antenna for the event.  The antenna launcher worked flawlessly again, and I would dare say that the end of the wire was up at the 60-65 foot level.  I don't know if it was just me, but there was bad QSB and it seemed like one second, a station would be 599 and ESP the next second. As far as stations worked per band,  I ended up with almost a 50/50 split between 20 and 40 Meters. I listened briefly on 15 Meters, but it seemed like it was dead.

The equipment was the usual, but you might take notice of the new paddles. That's a set of Pico Palm paddles that I recently bought from Rick K7MW.  The magnets hold the paddles securely to the Velamints tin that I use to store my earbuds.  They worked flawlessly!  If there were any CW mistakes (and there were) it was my fault, not the paddles.  They feel and work just as nicely as any full sized set of paddles.

I ended up working 40 different stations. 34 Skeeters, 6 Non- Skeeters, no DX, 19 different S/P/Cs, and I did work enough stations to spell out "SKEETER" for the 100 point bonus.  I ended up with 5,876 points. The loudest stations I heard were K3RLL, KX9X, N0SS and WA0ITP.  I worked my bud, Bob W3BBO and he was about 569. Later in the day, I heard him again on the same band, this time working WB3T. Bob's signal had increased to an honest 589/599.  The bands seemed a little crazy today.

I'd like to thank not only the stations I worked, but ALL of you who participated.  This is so much fun for me - not only the event itself, but the planning and the corresponding back and forth with all of you. You guys really make this event worthwhile. My mailbox is already filling up with log summaries and I will work on those during the coming evenings.

There WILL be a Skeeter Hunt in 2015!  Hey, what better way is there to spend a beautiful Summer day than by being outside with your radio, making contacts with all your friends?

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


  1. Great to hear you during the Hunt Larry! Bands did have lots of QSB but not as bad here as it sounds like you dealt with there.

    Had to dodge a storm and quit early but had a blast (literally) in the 40+mph wind gusts here in Orlando. Had to tie things down and it was quite a distraction for a time.

    Appreciate you and the NJ QRP Club for hosting this event. Seems it has become one of the largest and best of the annual events. Looking forward to more fun in the future.

    Kelly K4UPG Skeeter #31 in Orlando, FL

  2. Anonymous12:15 PM

    Larry, I'm curious, how long is your coax on that setup...I know Parfed says you need a min length but I seem to know several guys using only several feet. Thanks in advance!
    Randy, KF4O

  3. Randy,

    That was the same 25 foot length that I use with the EARCHI. Truth be told, I have successfully used the PAR END FEDZ in the past hooking it up directly to the KX3 without a piece of coax being used as a counterpoise. For instance, I used it that way in last year's Peanut Power Sprint and made 40 some contacts on 20 and 40 Meters. One of the main benefits of using coax though, is that it allows you to get the radiator even higher.

    73 de Larry W2LJ

  4. Good evening Larry, sorry this is the first hunt that I missed! I knew I would be working on Saturday night and all day Sunday. I did not want to take a Skeeter number as I knew I would not be able to make the contest. The weather here was just great for it too.

  5. We were all set to join in the Sunday afternoon Skeeter Hunt QRP contest from Mt Herman (9K'). Having collected trash all morning with local group at USFS closed shooter site we were stoked and ready!

    When we finally got to our RF site on top it was raining but we went ahead and setup. The bands were very noisy with local rain QRN! Made only 3-Qs! Nutz! ...but had a fun improvising a trap from a trash bag I had for emergencies.

    Also tried using the KX3Companion App on a Nexus 7 but lack of Qs wasn't a real test for it and went back to S&P - manual mode of fingers on the paddles!

    Plus one LOUD clap of thunder had us packing up and descending fast! Next year! 72, Steve/Peanut

  6. For got to mention my antler was 54' of wire in the tree! Steve