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.

Cockpit view

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.
Headphones 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.

It's a small lake, but it's free and only ten minutes from home! Here is the Google Map link to the lake.

 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.


Jake, NØLX