Crested Butte, Colorado QRP-Portable
This was taken from Cottonwood Pass - on the way to Crested Butte
This weekend my wife and I took a
three-day trip to the small mountain town of Crested Butte, Colorado.
It was my intention to work ham radio into the schedule after all
of the day's activities were done. I set up late Friday night, but was
chased back inside minutes later by a heavy rainstorm. Saturday
brought the same weather, but finally cleared up after 9:00 p.m. I only
had time for a few CW QSOs on 40 meters, and copy was rough with fading and static crashes, but had a nice time operating from
the balcony in the dark. As you can see from the photos below, the
place has a metal roof. Not the best situation when you have a
shortened halfwave vertical and it is only two feet from part of the
roof. (continued below)
Where we stayed
The third-floor balcony
Parallax error doesn't do this photo justice. The
antenna was 20 feet tall, but only about half of that was above the
roofline facing the west. That means at best half of my five watts
made it over the roof to the only contacts I made: two to CA and one to
OR. I wonder what happened to the other half as it reflected off that
roof? I was using my new 4-band, end-fed halfwave
a Yaesu FT-817 with internal AA batteries. I'm glad I could operate
using CW with headphones. The town below us became deafeningly
quiet at night, and had I used a microphone I would have been heard for
two blocks at anything over a whisper. Note: the antenna was only up
Saturday night for the couple hours I was on the air. I set it up
again Sunday morning just to get these shots during daylight.
Looking north. All contacts were made to the west (left) directly over that roof!
The balcony view looking east. That's Mount Crested Butte on the other side of town.