CQWW VHF N1PRW Hilltopper QRP
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webform at b41h.net
Mon Jul 19 20:29:21 PDT 2010
CQ Worldwide VHF Contest
Class: Hilltopper QRP
Operating Time (hrs): 4.8
Band QSOs Mults
6: 13 5
2: 15 5
Total: 28 10 Total Score = 280
A backpack hilltop QRP effort on the summit of Mount Wachusett in Princeton,
Massachusetts at altitude 2006' in FN42.
- Yaesu FT-817ND
- Elk 2M/440L5 portable log periodic
- Yaesu factory-supplied 6m rubber duck
- 12V gel-cell battery
Max power: approx. 2.5 to 5 Watts
I hiked up Mount Wachusett in the afternoon Saturday and set up in the shade
next to the pond, getting on the air by 2030 UTC. Weather was hot with hazy
skies with the distant but unrealized threat of late thunderstorms. After the
sun went down I set up out in the open at a picnic table. I stayed for about
five hours and hiked back down the mountain by moonlight.
There weren't many openings during the time I operated. 6m got hot after 00:25
UTC Sunday, but I had battery problems and 1/2 power by that time.
The biggest problem this expedition was battery life. The 12 Volt gel cell
dropped down to 11.5 Volts two hours into operating. The lower voltage forced
the FT-817 to cut to half power, about 2.5 Watts. I will bring the heavier,
higher capacity battery next time.
I was well prepared for 2m but the band didn't perform. On 2m I did pick up
FM29 during a brief moment that the band sparked to life, but other than that
it was adjacent squares only.
I used the factory ducky for 6m, so after my power dropped I was barely getting
out. I missed out on the 6m band opening when it happened. I heard loads of EN,
EM and FM but couldn't hit it. I should just cut a wire dipole and coil it up
in my bag for the next trip.
Then the breeze stopped and the quiet air swarmed with mosquitos. I put up with
the crippled power for another hour while getting eaten by mosquitos and then
called it a night.
One problem successfully solved for this trip was the use of a $15 folding
music stand to support the Elk 2m log periodic. Portable antenna stand --
solved! On the cheap too. It even came with its own fitted nylon carry bag.
Overall, a good effort but with results not much better than contests where
I've operated for a third of the time. I've finally found a good lightweight
antenna mount for 2m, but I haven't built a reasonable portable 6m antenna
Expedition photos here:
Thanks to all contacted, and especially those with the patience to pull my 6m
out of the mud. 73
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