QRP to the Field 2017

I missed the QRP to the Field (QTTF) contest last year due to family obligations.  I almost missed it again this year for the same reason.  I had some family coming in this weekend but I managed to sneak out for a few hours to make a few contacts.

The theme this year was, “A River Runs Through It.”  Stations operating near a river get a higher multiplier for their score.  Living near the Schuylkill River, I have a lot of options.  I decided to head over to Upper Schuylkill Valley Park, which is one of my regular operating spots.

A view of the Schuylkill River from Upper Schuylkill Valley Park.

A view of the Schuylkill River from Upper Schuylkill Valley Park.

The weather forecast was calling for periods of rain throughout the day, so I opted to operate from inside the truck.  As it turns out, that was a wise decision.  It rained most of the time I was operating.

My "stationary-mobile" set up for QRP to the Field

My “stationary-mobile” set up for QRP to the Field

I set up my trusty 30-foot vertical on the back of my truck and set up my KX3 on the center console.  I was quickly on the air but I wasn’t hearing much.  Between some solar storms and static from the rain, band conditions were pretty lousy.

My operating position in the truck.

My operating position in the truck.

After a while, 40 meters opened up a bit.  I had a brief run of stations there.  Twenty meters remained pretty dismal.  I heard W0RW/M out in Colorado early on but could connect with him.  I eventually worked Tom K4AKC in Alabama.  Besides that, I didn’t hear much of anything on 20 meters.

After about two hours, I had to leave.  The rain started picking up, so I quickly took down the antenna and headed home.  I ended the day with 10 contacts on 40 meters and just 1 on 20 meters.

As I was packing up, a large group of kayaks traveled down the river.

As I was packing up, a large group of kayaks traveled down the river.

I sure could have used some better band conditions and weather but, all things considered, I was happy with the 11 stations I managed to work.

72, Craig WB3GCK

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