Thursday, March 31, 2016

Portable Ops 11 & 12: Two New States and 2 x QRP!

This post is a two-fer, I didn't get a chance to write up #11 portable operations, so I just decided to combine them.

Do you ever have one of those QSO's where everything seems to go wrong??  I did when I worked WB3GCK.  Right now I don't have a true straight key, so I use one lever of the paddles on my KX3 set to HAND mode.  Sometimes the contacts don't make great connection and they dits and dahs sound funny.  Well during this QSO this was happening a bunch!  On top of that my KX3 started complaining about the voltage level of the battery.  So mid QSO I had to attached my external battery which required me to change where the KX3 was sitting - it was just a mess!

But Craig WB3GCK seemed very gracious and we just carried on.

So who did I work??

3/29/13 - I just had about 30 minutes to play between just two contacts...

KG7VTO (14714) - Bob had a great signal from Oregon on 20 meters, plus a great sounding fist.

KK6GLP - I have worked Mike before and his signal sounded great as usual from California.

3/30/13 - Had a ton of fun this day!  These were all from me calling CQ on 18.080...

N1WPU (1312) - Ted answered my CQ from Maine!  He was running 75 watts into a G5RV and had a really nice signal and fist.

WB3GCK (15052T) - Craig came back to my CQ and he was also QRP at 5 watts.  Craig is also a fellow blogger, and a blog I frequent!  He has just recently obtained Tribune status in the SKCC.  From reading his blog it looks like he was bitten by the same SKCC bug I have been bitten by!  You can read his blog here  This is actually the second time I have worked Craig.  The last time was back in 2013 when he was vacationing in North Carolina!

WB1AJX (12872T) - The last contact for the day was with Howard running his KX3 at 5 watts.  We had a nice exchange from Rhode Island to Kansas for another nice 2xQRP contact.

So for this day it looks like there was a pipeline from Kansas to the far Northeast of the USA.  I had never worked Maine or Rhode Island before - so that is awesome.  Plus to have two 2xQRP contacts was a real kick as well!

The main reason I moved to 17 meters was because there was at least one VERY LARGE pileup going on 20 meters - it ran from about 14.035 to 14.057 - completely spread out!  I never did figure out the DX everyone was trying to work - but the pileup was destroying the band.


  1. We all have those days when things just don't seem to work out and Murphy seems to be having a hay day. I too have had the battery on my KX3 go flat during a QSO, my key just start sending endless dit's and so on....makes things just a bit more of a challenge.
    73, Mike

    1. I think I want to get one of those small packs all the KX3 guys are using. My internal batteries last a couple operating sessions with lots of CQ calling, but it would be nice to get more from a small external battery.

  2. Hi Burke: Great to work you again. I saw your spot on the SKCC Sked Page. I don't remember the QSO being as bad as you describe, though. Actually, I'm impressed that you were using your paddles as a straight key! Anyway, thanks for the 2xQRP SKCC QSO. 72, Craig WB3GCK

    1. Thanks Craig - it was nice to work you again. I actually find the paddles to work pretty well - I just use one side. But I have not done the modification to the paddles that some have suggested - and sometimes they don't make solid contact. I have a "real" straight key in my near future.