[3830] ARRL June VHF K4AQ Single Op QRP

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Tue Jul 12 20:16:27 EDT 2005

                    ARRL June VHF QSO Party

Call: K4AQ
Operator(s): K4AQ
Station: K4AQ

Class: Single Op QRP
QTH: EM86qr/Wise Cty, VA
Operating Time (hrs): 2.1

 Band  QSOs  Mults
    6:   5     3
    2:   7     3
  432:   2     2
Total:  14     8  Total Score = 128




My first ARRL VHF QSO Party:

MHz      QSO     Pts    Grid
 50        5       5      3
144        7       7      3
432        2       4      2
          14      16      8

1. My first ever 50 MHz QSO, any mode. Did it on USB. (Thanks, AA4ZZ.)

2. My first ever 144 MHz SSB QSO. (Thanks, W4NH operated by W4ATL, an SECC and
SEDXC club member.)

3. My first ever 432 MHz SSB QSO. (Thanks, W4NH, unknown op.)

I operated from the High Knob Lookout parking lot (Wise County, VA), about 4100
feet MSL.

(I was on a 10-day TDY business trip in Wise, (southwestern) VA, during the ARRL
VHF QSO Party. Home QTH is Atlanta, GA.)

Yaesu FT-817 all-mode QRP transceiver, 5 watts, MH-31 stock mobile microphone,
1/4-wave verticals (Hustler mobile 54-inch mast for 50-MHz, dual-band 144/440
magmount), paper logging during QSOs (then transcribed the log into WriteLog for


Best DX 100-150 miles on 6m and 2m, near Charlotte, NC; for 432 MHz, 100 miles
(near the Cherokee Reservation and Blue Ridge Parkway). This VHF/UHF newbie was

I heard W5UWB in EL17 (Orange Grove, TX near Corpus Christi) on 50 Mhz with a
booming signal. He was busy working the Central States and did not return my

Had a very nice QRP-to-QRP/p ragchew with John WN4OAA near Tri-Cities (about 40
miles south of High Knob). He tail-ended another QSO and asked me to QSY up 5
KHz. He heard I was using an FT-817 which is the rig he was also using BUT with
an 8-el yagi. ;)  During our QSO he QRPp'd to 500 milliwatts and was still solid

Before driving up to High Knob, I was looking for Bear Creek Lake aka Wise Lake
(0.85 mi from our physician call center), to check on the fishing, hi. I found
the lake, checked it out, took photos and was called back to the call center
because of a technical problem.

   Before finding Wise Lake, I tried operating from a mountain top (2700 ft MSL)
on the Coeburn Mountain Rd. I heard AA4ZZ (near Charlotte, NC) and called him
but he could not hear me. (I worked AA4ZZ later from High Knob on 6 and 2

   It is amazing how much difference 1400 ft could make. I could see High Knob
7.5 mi SW across the Coeburn Valley from my 2700 ft spot. High Knob did not look
that much higher either.


I returned to High Knob and found Paul Combs AK4U (from Kentucky) and his young
family beginning to breakdown his rover stn in a mini-van after making 99 Q's.
(They were on-site around 0130 ET that morning.) Paul took the time to show me
his stn setup with mostly homebrewed yagi antennas, a foldover homebrew mast
with rotor that was on a "converted" boat trailer. Paul made his 100th contact
(with me observing) and then a few more "insurance" QSO's while his wife watched
patiently. ;)

I could have continued in the contest after AK4U left the area and would have if
Darin NT4XT (Marietta, GA), who wanted an HF sked with me, did not get on HF to
work me. 

   NT4XT was able to get on the air so we tried 20ssb with "no joy" but 40ssb
worked great in the late afternoon. I had to use 50 watts though (QRP was
difficult copy). I believe NT4XT was running 50-80 watts. I used the Yaesu
FT-897D transceiver with Heil Pro-Set Plus headset and Hustler mobile antenna
system with the SGC SG-211 MiniTuner. We had a long ragchew until I had to QRT
so I could drive the winding narrow mountain road down the mountain while it was
still daylight.

--Matt, K4AQ (back home in Atlanta, GA)

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