QRP Afield 2004

1.3MW klystron (2.8 GHz)

1.3MW klystron (2.8 GHz)

I’d been looking forward to this contest for several months. Part of the fun of these outdoor events has always been the planning stage – trying to figure out a new place from which to operate. But torrential rain from Hurricane Ivan and a dying klystron in the radar at my work QTH changed my plans.

QRP Meets QRO

One day before the contest, I put up a G5RV at about 70 feet. Tests with the KX1 showed absolutely no interference as the online radar channel pumped out over a million watts from its rotating antenna about 20 feet above the G5RV. The offline channel radiated the same amount of power into a dummy load. Still no QRM – things are looking good!

I started operating around noon local time. Activity was sparse but picked up sharply a couple hours later with an equal amount of activity on both 20 and 40 meters. The first QSO of the contest was only the 4th QSO on my new KX1 and by the end of the contest I knew that me and this little rig are going to become good friends. It was fun working the familiar calls and being called in answer to my “CQ CQ CQ Test” by OM3TBO on 20 meters.

Thanks to the New England QRP Club for a great event. FWIW though, I can’t help but wonder if activity would be improved if the duration of the contest and the allowable claimed time were the same. As it is, there is a lot of variation in starting and ending times among the operators which makes for a slower-paced contest since fewer are on the air at any given time.

xmtr

Transmitter cabinet