January 17th, 2010 will be the day my QRP adventures on CW officially begin. I did some local testing with my personal friend Sean, KL1SF on SSB. I had to solder up a connector to get my Navy Flameproof key working with my newly acquired Icom IC-703Plus. That was my first order of business this morning.
After getting my connector soldered up and my key hooked up to the rig, I tuned 20 meters looking for that first victim of my Alaskan QRP signal. It just so happened it was Bob, K8MXC. Bob was operating SKCC's special event callsign K3Y/8. As luck would have it, Bob caught me on my first call. After an exchange of the necessary logging information, a few minutes later I sat back with excitement as I logged my first 703Plus QRP QSO.
I had the IC-703Plus at 5 watts output to my 4 element tri-bander at 43 feet. The band was not that great as there was still some heavy QSB. Not only was this a first for me, but what made it neat was my QSO happened to be with K3Y/8. I am originally from 8land so that just made my first contact that much "cooler". Shortly after that QSO, I worked Ron, AC2C in Maryland operating K3Y/3. This can sure be addicting!!!
The used radio I purchased did not come with a CW filter so after this mornings first QSO, that will be at the top of my priority list!! Oh how you get used to hitting the filter button and the noise around you goes away. When you don't have that ability, you have to rely on your internal mental filtering. My internal filter is too wide for that kinda operation!
I'm getting familiar with my new addition before I venture out into the backcountry to operate /P. I had an Icom 706MIIG for several years but I have to familiarize myself with the menus of this radio yet. Once I get some operating in a controlled environment under my belt, I will venture outdoors and operate with the Polar Bears in a more uncontrolled environment!
Two thumbs up to Bob, K8MXC for making my first QRP contact a success and enjoyable. I always try to look for low power stations to give them Alaska but now the tables have turned. I will report my successes and failures but either way, I'm going to have fun and if anything, it will make me a better operator.