The origin (summer 1997) of the QRP
Corner for HARA consisted of only three acitive members but, they are always looking for more
local hams that are interested in low power operations. QRP for these original three members of
the QRP Corner started when they each eventually got their hands on the NORCAL 38 Special, 30
meter transceiver kit. For an original cost of $25.00 each, it sure has produced an awful lot
of fun and friendly competition. Amazed by what five watts or less could do, the group (or gang
of three) proceeded to build other various QRP kits. These QRP projects led to a weekly project
night through some of the winter months in this cold and snowy climate. A few others do attend
these project nights sessions, but now we have to entice these folks and others to the joy and
satisfaction of working others across the world via QRP.
The three members, Bill N8NRG, Bruce KG8YT, and Greg KI8AF promote CW QRP as much as possible.
If one was to listen to the local two meter repeater, at times you'd have to believe these three were
at odds with one another, but it's all in good fun and hopefully interests others in the fun that
this group is having.
Bruce, KG8YT: I have been licensed since 1979, when the
local ham club in Bay City, MI (where I taught high school English for 30 years) offered a novice
class. My son, Eric, who was 16 at the time, showed an interest in getting his license also, so
the two of us joined a group of approximately 30 people interested in getting our tickets. Two
months later the group had shrunk to six people, all of whom got their Novice license and, within six
months, went on to get their General Class license. When I started, I learned the code out of
necessity and, since I could not afford anything fancy in equipment, my on-air operation was confined
to a used Heathkit HW-16 rig, which I bought from one of the club members. (I didn't know one
rig from another at the time.) Once Eric (KA8DNA) and I got over our initial nervousness, our
fear of the code started turning to fun, and we began making contacts all over the world and soon
became dedicated cw operators.
When I retired and moved to the U.P. in 1995, I finally had more time to spend with ham radio.
Not long after that Bill, Greg, and I made the decision to buy and build the now-notorious Norcal
38-Specials, and the spirited race for QRP W.A.S. began and still has yet to finish. (It's
still almost a dead heat at 46, 46, and 47 states so far.) The fun of operating low-power
reawakened my interest in ham radio with a jolt, and it wasn't long before I, like the rest of the
group, was looking into buying (and building) a more sophisticated rig. My choice (like Bill's)
was the Wilderness Sierra, a 2-watt multi-band transceiver, which has now supplanted my Yaesu FT-757
GXII as my main rig. As I write this, I have just come up from the shack, where I just finished
a nice QSO on 20 meters with a ham in California who was running only 250 milliwatts. For me
personally, that's a bigger thrill than working the most exotic DX imaginable with a kilowatt!
Greg, KI8AF has been licensed since June
1996, not long by most standards but, I sure enjoys CW and QRP. Maybe because CW has been apart
of my life for many years, from those early days as a boy scout to my days as a Communications
Technician in the U.S. Navy back in the late 60s and early 70s. My primary QRP station consist
of a OHR 500 transceiver, Norcal 38 Special, SWL+20, WM-2 wattmeter, ZM-2 ATU, TE NE KE paddles, and
CMOS keyer. Station power for my QRP set up is from a 12 volt deep cycle battery with an additional
battery and power pack as back up if necessary. All were kits that have been built by myself
with the exception of the paddles. The main antennas are a dipole fed with 450 open line (zepp)
and a inverted Vee for 30 meters. Various other kits are in stages of being completed or should
I stages of being uncompleted. Hopefully by the fall of 2001 I'll have a portable station set up at
my camp (cottage) in the woods about 40 miles to the south of my home QTH. My goal is to get on
the air much more than I presently do so as to improve my CW skills. My first QRP contact was
08/16/97 with WV0E, Joe in Alton, Iowa on 30 meters, with my first DX QRP contact being on 08/19/97
with GI4PCY Al in Northern Ireland.
As of May 2001 I've added the Elecraft K1 to my QRP rig line up. Boy, what a nice little
rig. Worked the recent HootOwl and TAC contests and was I pleased with the all around operation
of the K1. Wouldn't take much for a dedicated QRPer to find this rig a joy to operate.
This will be the rig to take out in the field or to my camp.
KI8AF WEB Page: www.qsl.net/ki8af
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