NJQRP Skeeter Hunt Day 2020 arrived much as it did for 2019 - gray and gloomy. But this year, there was a difference - rain was added to the mix and there was no clearing come mid morning. I fully intended to set up outside on the patio table under the big umbrella anyway. I went out there around Noon to wipe the table dry, and to get the antenna up. As I was standing there, wiping down the table, water kept dripping down off the umbrella and onto my back. "Oh, this is NOT going to work" was the thought that entered my mind. I don't mind cloudy, I don't mind humid, I don't mind cool (it was only 66 F at the time), but I DO mind wet.
The decision was made to operate from the shack. There went the X4 multiplier and the home brew antenna bonus up into a puff of smoke. However, I'm not in it to win in any case. As Contest Manager, I consider myself ineligible. I do like to put forward the best effort I can, though.
The bands seemed plenty busy once starting time rolled around. 40 Meters was best for me. I worked a few on 20 Meters, but signals were very weak. QSB was terrible on both 20 and 40, but at least the signals were louder on 40 and I was able to deal with it. I tried listening and calling CQ on both 15 Meters and 80 Meters for a bit, but it seemed that both those bands were about as inhabited as Robinson Crusoe's island. No one there but me - not even Friday.
I came upstairs at about the halfway point for a needed "Nature's Call" break. Wouldn't you know it? As I looked out the living room window, the rain had stopped and the sun was trying to break through the clouds. I was tempted to quickly set up for doing the second half from the backyard, but it occurred to me that that would be a scoring mess. Even though my score doesn't count, how do you score a 1/2 home operation and a 1/2 backyard portable operation? As it turned out it was the wise choice. By the time the closing bell rang, the gloom and spritzing rain had returned for an encore performance
At 2100 UTC I had finished up with 30 QSOs in the log. Not my best effort by any means, but still a lot of fun. Thanks to all who participated and made the Skeeter Hunt possible. I may do the background work to get it going, but you guys are the ones who are the wind beneath its wings. Without you there's no NJQRP Skeeter Hunt, and for that I am eternally grateful. MY reward in all of this is hearing stories about how you folks had a good time. There's so much un-cool stuff happening in the world today and we need to get a break from it, even if it's just for a few hours. If I can help bring some enjoyment to people's lives for even a little while - it's all well worth it.
For the next two weeks, I'l be collecting log summaries and on Labor Day weekend, I will publish the 2020 Scoreboard. Certificates and soapbox will follow as soon as I get the chance and time to work on them.
2021 will mark the 10th running of the NJQRP Skeeter Hunt. I have to think of something special for the occasion.
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!