I was itching to get out for some portable operating but the weather this weekend had been pretty lousy. I checked the weather radar this morning and saw that there was some clearing coming. I figured I had a couple of hours before the next band of rain moved in.
I threw my backpack into my truck and headed out to nearby Upper Schuylkill Valley Park. Given the dreary weather, there was no one in the picnic area. I headed for a picnic table that I had used once before and set up my equipment.
This was the first outing for my new KX3 and I was using a new LiFePO4 battery for the first time. I connected a straight key with the hope of making a few Straight Key Century Club (SKCC) contacts. I strapped my 31-foot Jackite pole to a wooden sign post and strung up a 30-foot vertical wire fed through a 9:1 unun.
There wasn’t a lot of activity on the bands. I eventually had a 2-way QRP SKCC QSO on 20 meters with K4ARQ in Florida. That turned out to be my only QSO today. I had a couple of “almost” QSOs that were either disrupted by QSB or QRM. In particular, NP3CW in Puerto Rico heard me calling CQ on 17 meters and gave me a call. As soon as I answered, a station in Mexico came on frequency and started calling CQ. A few other SKCC members attempted QSOs with me but propagation just wasn’t working in my favor today.
Dark clouds starting rolling in, so I packed up and headed back to my truck. My timing was excellent; it started raining on my drive home.
It wasn’t the greatest field trip I’ve had but it was a good practice session with the KX3.
72, Craig WB3GCK