N0LX/MM During NAQCC mW Sprint
Boating in CW Mode
17 June 2008
This evening I participated in my first ever CW contest. In keeping
with my habit of making life interesting, I decided to try contesting
from my eight-foot rowboat. Using 1 watt, I made five contacts during
the one-hour contest to Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, and
Ontario, Canada. All but Nevada qualify for 1,000 miles-per-watt. Below
are some photos of the boat taken just before setting out.
Boat with 33' EFHWA for 20 and 40 meters
Prospect Lake, Wheatridge, Colorado
Although the toroid-loaded antenna
works on both 20 and 40, I decided to stay on 20 meters for the short
sprint - mostly due to high noise levels. The 33-foot pole is sold by
MFJ. I am a huge fan of end-fed half wave antennas - in part because
maximum radiation happens halfway up the wire, in the clear, and
because at QRP levels, I need no radials or counterpoise.
The Yaesu FT-817 hangs in a case from an MFJ-259 analyzer. Also seen above is the homebrew matching unit at the base of the antenna.
An iRiver MP3 with an "line-in" phone jack records both sides of a QSO.
also plug into the player. The MP3 player rests in the case's pocket,
and the Palm paddles balance on a mini logbook Velcroed to my leg.
With the weak signals and noisy conditions, I kept my
transmissions short and did not sign NØLX/MM. I was disappointed
to see the hour go by so fast and look forward to the next QRP sprint. Here is the NAQCC contest results page