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QRP Portable Operation - II

QRP with K3WWP - Column #63. This column I'll continue my discussion of QRP portable operation. Last column I walked you through setting up and testing my portable station at my cousin's house. This column I'll go through my results in the CQWW DX contest from that station. If you haven't read the previous setup column and have access to it, I'd recommend reading it as it will make this column more meaningful.

I started out shortly after 0000Z Saturday just listening for a bit on 40M. I was right - reception away from my home valley location is vastly superior. EU signals on 40M seemed about the same as what I would get at home on 20M, or 15M. Wow! I wonder how easy it will be to work them if they are this strong. The pileups were tremendous as usual at the start of a contest, but I did make 3 easy QSO's with TM6X, IK2CIO, and VP9I before I quit to go spend time with my cousin. I thought I'd return later around 0400Z or so when EU is usually good for me on 40M at my home QTH. By then the tremendous pileups should be somewhat diminished.

I got back to the rig at 0430 and EU was still just as good on 40M. I actually started with an AF station when I worked EA8EA very easily. That at least was similar to my results at home. The northeast part of Africa is easy to work from home and it was also that way at my cousin's. In fact my next station was CT9M from the same general area. The ITU HQ station 4U1ITU followed. Then came TG0AA. Further down my log were very easy QSO's with D4B and CN2R. At bedtime I had a total of 24 contacts on 40M, mostly EU stations from 4U, S5, OK, SP, DL, GM, I, ON, GW, and F.

I got up the next morning at 1420Z and ran a string of stations on 15M before going down for breakfast. All were EU stations from DL, HA, F, S5, OK, G, GM, 9A, and OH plus HC8N and KP2/N4EXA. Thanks to G4IFB in that time period for giving me an honest RST report of 449.

I didn't do a lot of operating Saturday as I spent a lot of time with my cousin. In fact, another half-hour or so around 1630-1700Z was it for the first day (UTC). In that half-hour I probably beat my biggest pileup of the contest when I worked P40TA through a lot of stations. I pretty much decided that my goal for the contest was just going to be to see how many different countries I could work. I finished the first day with only 47 QSO's.

The second day I had more time to spend in the contest and I started out at 0000Z on 20M and worked some Caribbean stations plus 5U5Z whom I had chased earlier without success on other bands. The 20M QSO was pretty easy. After 45 minutes on 20M, I went down to 40M where I was still amazed by the strength of the DX signals there.

I started off with EA6IB - an easy QSO through a small pileup. IH9P seemed very popular and each time I'd tune him in, there was a pileup after him, but I did finally get him. Some of the common EU countries were missing from my log. I never did work or even hear a Romanian station the whole contest. HB9 was another one, but after not getting one for the first half of the contest, I worked 2 on 40M within a minute and another one about 25 minutes later. I thought I might still need Prince Edward Island (the Canadian province) on some bands so I worked any VY2's that I heard although otherwise I made this just a DX contest for myself and avoided the W's and VE's. I worked VY2ZM and VY2TT easily on a few different bands.

One of the frustrating stations was DJ4AX. He was just booming in on 40M, but couldn't seem to hear me at all the many times I called him both Friday and Saturday night, but I was determined and finally did get him at 0632Z on Sunday. A very popular station was PX0F and he always had a huge pileup, but again I persisted and finally got him at 0639Z Sunday. Sometimes I get too stubborn for my own good and am determined to work a specific station even though I don't really need the QSO that badly. DJ4AX was definitely in that category. However since I was trying to work as many different countries in the contest as I could, I did want PX0F for that reason. Some other countries worked on 40M during that session were YU, PJ2, CT, LZ, T9, OE, 9A, and UA1. I went to bed shortly after working PX0F to conclude my Saturday (local time) in the contest.

I've been noticing that my columns have been running a bit long lately and I don't like to take up more space than necessary in the Keynote as many other folks have things to say here also. So I'll quit here and next column I'll finish up with my Sunday results. I appreciate all the feedback I get from these columns, all of it very positive. Many times in a QSO, I will get a comment from the ham about how he enjoys and finds very useful these columns and/or my web site dealing with CW/QRP. That really makes my efforts with the column and web site worthwhile as I do it to entertain and help my readers, not for any ego trip on my part.

Remember it is your input that keeps these columns going. Let me know if there is any topic you would like to see discussed or you can share your experiences with QRP. I'm available via the web site - http://home.windstream.net/johnshan/ or email or regular mail - John Shannon, 478 E. High St., Kittanning, PA 16201-1304. Till next column, 73 and good QRP DX. -30-