My Most Recent QSO's

Saturday, October 4, 2008

QRP from the Outer Banks of NC

My trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina last week was my second activity from the “edge of the pond” this year. (My first was from the New York City area where I worked Spain and Italy)

I was near the beach at Nags Head and operating from the balcony of a rental home.
I found it easy to work Puerto Rico (KP4DKE) and Cuba (CO8LY) with a simple wire antenna and 5 watts of power.

This was my first use of my G5RV antenna and I heard a lot of Spanish speaking stations in the Caribbean. Because of length restrictions, I couldn’t properly orient the antenna towards Europe and besides, 20 meters, was hardly active last week. (Sometimes it’s there…and sometimes it not) I had hoped for the Eastern-Western direction but with a solar flux in the low to mid 60’s, I was happy to work these two guys on 40 meters.

I also had a great QSO with fellow NAQCC member N1LT who was running 4 watts from his location in Laconia, New Hampshire. Despite those more distant contacts, QRP X QRP contacts are always the best and most challenging.

(This was my most prized catch on the sea)

In the mornings, I was able to check into the Navy Amateur Radio net on 7245. A lot of these guys are in the Georgia and Florida area, and with me running QRP, sometimes it’s difficult to do from West Virginia.

As I was sitting on the balcony, near my last day at the beach, exchanging the essentials with a station at Pocona Summit, PA (WB2KKI), the rain started to heavily fall. I had to break down the radio, key, and battery and run inside to dry ground.

I was able to break down, and reconnect everything, from inside, in about 10 minutes. I sent the call sign again and Mike answered immediately. We continued the QSO for almost half an hour laughing about QRP and the weather.

Then the tornado moved in…..

It crossed the inlet about 10 miles below us, without any damage.
I’m now glad to be back in the mountains.

I see no reason to ever run more than 5 watts QRP with a simple wire antenna.
The G5RV gave me the option of operating on all bands and the scenery outside was wonderful.

I much prefer my radio shack in the great outdoors!

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