Sunday, April 8, 2012

Mixed Bag of Fun Even With Absorption and Wind!

QRP ARCI Contest Rig
This weekend was one of those weekends where I did not have all weekend to play radio but for those hours I did, I wanted to operate in 3 separate contests. The first of the three was the PODXS 070 Club PSK31 Flavors Contest. This was a rolling contest by local time so the contacts I made were all Search & Pounce (S&P). The second contest was the QRP ARCI Spring QSO Party. I was excited about trying to work stations while running QRP (5 Watts). The bands started out pretty rough and I had stations CQ'n in my face however, 20 meters started to become a bit more cooperative as Saturday progressed and I was able to log a few QRP QSO's. My trusty Icom 703Plus (seen pictured above) was set at 5 watts output to my Mosley TA-34-XL 4 element tri-bander. With the exception of non-members, I don't know how much power the other stations were running. Non-members gave their power output rather than the required ARCI membership number. I recently renewed my membership after having it lapse a few months. I've become interested in running QRP and enjoy running it portable as well. Now that the weather is becoming a bit more favorable, I'm looking forward to some portable operating.

My third contest, I wanted to make an appearance in was the SKCC Weekend Sprintathon. I very much enjoy using my Navy Flameproof CW Key and this was a good weekend to blow the dust off of it. Saturday was by far the best day play in this contest as once Sunday arrived, the bands folded due to ionospheric absorption. It just so happened that an incoming weather system started to once again produce winds which created lots of QRN. So between the solar conditions and the wind, Sunday was a bit rough when it came to adding contacts to my logbook. 

With the Easter holiday, the bands were quieter than normal. We received thee inches of fresh snow on Friday so we are not out of the woods yet for winter weather. April will usually produce a good snow storm or two but once May gets here, it will be time to defrost the camper and get ready for summer fun! I also need to complete my HF radio install in our truck! Antenna has arrived and just a few more small parts are needed and I can begin that creative project. Thankfully, I have an understanding wife and I don't have to "Lobby for the Hobby." 

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