|WB8ENE - I was only on the air a little over an hour due to helping the XYL with babysitting our grandson. Rig was an Elecraft K1, and the antenna was a Pacific Antenna PAC-12. I didn't hear much activity on 20, so I spent all of my time making contacts on 40. I tried using my Elecraft T1 to check the SWR of the antenna, but I ended up grabbing the W1 to more accurately measure the SWR and adjust the antenna. I didn't even think about taking pictures, but the setup was at a picnic table in the front yard under a maple tree. The weather was a bit muggy, but not bad for early August. I enjoyed the skeeter hunt, and hope to do it again next year. 73, Art WB8ENE||AI4SV - I ran an FT817 at 5W into an LRN end-fed 10/20/40 antenna hauled up about 30 feet into a tree. The operating location was a picnic table on a forest trail in Fairfax, VA. I had planned to start right at 1 pm, but I had a coax-failure and it took about an hour to work around it. I had a bit of local noise, so sorry if you could year me and I appeared to ignore you. I didn't hear anyone on 10m; other contacts were split between 20 and 40m. At one point, I got a call from a German station working WAE, but he didn't like my exchange and never came back to me. Good to hear everyone on the air 72! - Jack AI4SV|
|NQ2W - We had a change in plans so I had to operate from the home QTH. Used my K1 at 5 W to a 2-element mini beam at 25 ft and an inv vee at 40 ft. Only operated on 20 and 40. Thanks for the QSOs. Job well done Larry and the NJQRP Club. 72, Will, NQ2W||WD4MSM
- Thanks for the event. While
the propagation was not ideal, it was great to see so many stations on
the air fading in and out throughout the period. I missed many more
than I bagged. I used a KX3 with a Buddipole fashioned as a vertical
and powered by a 12 volt gel cell.
Our local Adventure Radio Group will be sure to run the contest next year as a group somewhere "in the field."
|WA8REI - There's a Skeeter on my bear tail, flick him off, flick him off! I had a church picnic this afternoon, so I operated only 3.5 hours from home. Rig: FT-2000; Pwr: 5 watts; Antenna: Mosley PRO 67B at 48 feet. 20 m. was the "skeeter dope" band. I eeked out 6 QSOs on 40, but I had to dig them out from under peoples' skin with a razor blade, bzz. It was more fun than swatting house flies however, bzz. Lots of familiar calls worked; 20 m skip favored the west and south from Michigan. Only MA and CT worked on the east coast. It was fun! 72 y'all. de Ken, WA8REI, bzz, bzz, dit, dit.|
- Had a great time. We drove one hour to the North end of Shenandoah at
Front Royal Virginia .Our picnic area was about 2000 feet. It was 80
degrees and less humid. Beautiful trees to hang
used a K2 with a EFT-10/20/40. My battery died ( I had
the night before) and cut my operating short. I had a blast. Next year
I will have backup power.
|WH6LE - Great contest! I've not much experience in contesting and very much appreciate the departure from the high power, computer driven, robotic type. Thanks and I hope to return next year! PETE WH6LE||W3BBO - Terrific day weatherwise, couldn't ask for better weather. Worked the whole 4 hours for 21 contacts...ugh! Mediocre band conditions, mediocre antenna, and mediocre operator! 40 meters seemed to be the money band. I thought I'd do better on 20 meters, but only 4 contacts on that band and nothing on 15 meters! Really great to spend the afternoon outside, though! Thanks for setting up this event, Larry. I did lousy, but a lousy day at the radio is still better than doing chores!||K2ULR
- A fun event... and nice WX
for it. I tried a different location this
year. Used my KX3 into an EARCHI 6-40 antenna.
- Operation Location: Lake
Hope State Park
Equipment: Elecraft KX3, AME Mini-B paddle, 28' end-fed wire (all built
Band conditions seemed terrible--lots of deep QSB. Few Skeeter
participants were heard on 20m and none were heard on 40m. I had to tear
down early due to approaching inclement weather. I still had fun and am
looking forward to next year.
- Thanks for running the skeeter hunt! A good event.
I’m claiming the lowest Station Class multiplier. Although I was running 5W on battery power, it WAS in my back yard. The antenna was temporary, but all my antennas are that way. I didn't have time to go afield - we had company until 3PM
73- Dave Benson, K1SWL
- After a cloudy morning, the sun finally broke through in the late
morning and it was a beautiful day for playing radio
We've had a bumper crop of mosquitoes this year but there was just
enough breeze to keep them at bay. I used my KX3 feeding a
doublet with 300 ohm ladder line. 20m was in good condition
that's where I made almost all of my contacts. 15m was barely
there, 10m was dead, and 40m netted one contact. I had a
time! Thanks for running the event again this year and I'm
looking forward to next year's event.
72, Jim – K0RGI
- Had a few cw QSOs during contest working from home with my KD1JV
Hendricks PFR-3A qrp kit radio @5 watts into 25ft dipole as non-skeeter
It was fun to catch a few skeeters. Will try to work portable as a skeeter at next event.
- It was a beautiful summer day here in rural Pennsylvania as I climbed
1450’ ASL Distant Hill to mount my offensive upon Skeeters of
world everywhere. Little did I know that I would be attacked by
spiders. Who invited spiders to a mosquito hunt? They were
everywhere and persistent.
Firing up a little late on 20 meters with my trusty “Yellow Wonder” PFR-3, it was surprising not to find more activity there. But later, down on 40 meters, the band was jumping. However, my favorite portable location appears to have developed some mystery S-8 level noise on 40 meters. My apologies to those kind enough to give me a call, but I was unable to copy. Fortunately, there were many stations on 40m louder than this new incessant noise out there in the middle of nowhere. Go figure? I guess its back to the hilltop cemetery next year. Surely it is still quiet there.
PICTURES - enclosed to commemorate this rewarding and enjoyable quest for Skeeters out there in radioland. This gets to be more fun every summer. Thank you. 72 de K3RLL
- That was fun, Larry. Before I
left for Country Vista Park just east of my QTH, I weighed my entire
station. It came in at 16-lbs, including water, chair, 3 masts, iPad,
tarp, guys, rig, battery, solar panel, camera, cloth, notebook, pencil,
You can read more about the station at http://wv0h.blogspot.com.
- Enjoyable day by the lake! I
teach a Sunday School class and it dismisses between 11:45 and 12:00
depending on how wound up I get. Confessed that I had another ham radio
event to run to and asked for forgiveness for splitting as soon as
class dismissed. Also since we have had daily strong thunderstorms, I
asked them to pray for a break so I'd get a good couple hours before
the lightning show started and ran me off the air.
Wish I could have gotten a good photo to show you how the oncoming storm split around my location and passed by on the north and to the south leaving me alone for the first 2 hours of the sprint! Moses must have smiled at how the storm skipped my lakeside pavilion for that time. At times the wind speed was 40+mph and I had to batten down the hatches. Good thing I learned to do that in the navy as the tops of the whitecaps on the lake were hitting me like rain in my position nearly 55 ft from the shoreline.
I got on the air earlier than usual and by 1720 had my first QSO with Terry, WA0ITP/P in Iowa! Terry was the strongest and most consistent signal I heard all day! Had to crank the RF gain down on my Sierra to keep from locking up the AGC! It seemed that the band and my jumper dipole had a path to PA and the Central US directions as I did not hear the usual GA, VA, NC, WV, MA, MD, CT gang this time. Also quiet from MI, IN, OH so not sure if it was bad wx there or just condx. Where were ya'll?
The storms did finally break through about 3:30 and I ended up taking down my antenna in a bit of heavy rain. Despite getting cut short on time again, I had a FB time and got to connect with several familiar callsigns, including my Snowbird friend from PA, Don K3RLL and blogger extraordinaire Larry W2LJ. Cannot wait until winter when the rain and lightning goes away and one can work a full 4 hour contest without bother! Thanks to all for a fun time by the lake.
- I worked the Skeeter hunt this afternoon from Old
Hill Village. I worked 5 countries and as far west
as Colorado. Had a great time. Story and Pics at:
73 Jim W1PID
|K0ALN - Fun event! Wish I could have been more productive. Could only hear stations on 20 and I had to fight for almost every one of my few successes. Fast and deep QSB and lightning/thunderstorms for some unanticipated "down time" gave me fits. Hope to see band (and weather) conditions improving as we head into fall. I'll try to be back again next year at the X4 level.|
- I set up on the grounds of Ahern State Park in Laconia, NH.
well mowed and I was in the shade between two large maple trees. Threw a
30' wire up into one of them and set up a small table and chair under it in
the shade. Operated using my KX-1. The 20 meter band was exceptionally
good that day. On 40 meters, 7030 was ok but didn't hear many stations.
Worked only two. On 7040 there was lots of noise.
The weather hear was great. Lots of sunshine and moderate temperatures.
Had lots of fun and looking forward to the contest again next year.
Tried to spell SKEETER but was shy of one E. Had six calls that had
I operated CW only.
- Another FB event! We had a lot of rain on Saturday and the
forecast wasn't all that
great for Sunday. So I decided to set up my portable
operation fairly close to home in case I needed to tear down quickly.
The WX gods cooperated though and it didn't rain at all, with temps
around 80, not bad. I operated Portable CW only, using my KX3 at 5
Watts powered by a 4.6 Ah LiFePO4 A123 battery pack, which ran the full
4 hours without a hiccup. The portable antenna of choice today was my
homebrew multiband doublet, fed with 300 ohm twinlead to a 1:1 balun
near the KX3. I had some nice trees at my location and was able to
shoot the antenna up to about 30 feet with my trusty slingshot. I
managed 41 QSO's spread fairly evenly between 40 and 20 Meters. I only
had one contact on 15 which was my one DX QSO with PR7AR. He was the
only station I heard on 15. I heard nothing on 10, although I called CQ
on both. I didn't chase WAE stations as I didn't feel that was in the
spirit of a QRP contest, even though X3 would have been nice. We had a
lot of QRN here in NC on 40, but 20 was fairly quiet. 30 of my 41 QSO's
were with Skeeters. That was very encouraging. Looks like the event
continues to grow in popularity. Thanks to all the QRP BZZ'ers for an
enjoyable afternoon and many thanks to the NJQRP club for sponsoring the
- It was a good skeeter hunt but I found wasps . . . twice. I
to retreat to the shop and get
a can of long range wasp slaughter the one with the 4 power scope
attached. I found
their happy home and drowned it and did a angry dance on top of it. I feel much better now!
I set up my 5 band portable antenna with just the 20 M radiator installed plus 16 radials.
It looked like a thunderstorm would roll in anytime but it never happened. I was set up near the antenna for a while until the sun broke through and I decided to add some coax and
move over about 40' to the shade of a pear tree. That worked well and the thunderstorm
never appeared although I could hear the rumbling of thunder in the distance.
The summer band conditions are always "interesting" and so it was. The QSB was
very severe at times and where the propagation was going was spotty. I had a couple of
broken QSOs where the stations just dropped into a black hole and never came out. I
thank those good operators who just hung on and were determined to complete a contact
even under severe fading conditions. I only managed to get in about two hours of
operating time but really enjoyed it, thank's for coordinating the Skeeter Hunt Larry!
|K7TQ - Off to the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest east of Moscow, ID for this year's Skeeter Hunt. A 20 m dipole up 45 feet between two pine trees, my K2, a 7 AHr, a 4 AHr battery, and a netbook running N1MM with a User Defined Contest I wrote just for the Skeeter Hunt was my station. For some creature comfort I packed in a roll up table and a lawn chair. I had a great view of pine trees all day long with a total of 33 Qs from 19 states and one province. I operated the entire four hours except for a short break for lunch. No skeeters but two bees were infatuated with the arm rests of the lawn chair and would not shoo away. One of them stayed the entire time.|
|N4KGL - This year the first hour was rained out here in NW Florida. I combined RaDAR mobility with the hunt. So I walked 1.2 km after the first five contacts then 1.2 km after the second five contacts. Since mobility was desired I used the KX3 and the Alexloop. I went mixed mode and made non skeeter contacts on SSB. Combining RaDAR with the hunt lowered the score but it was practice for future RaDAR Contests. Fun as always! Greg N4KGL|
|WA0ITP - What a great event! Thanks to the NJQRP club for sponsoring it, and to Larry for all the hard work. This is a premiere QRP outing, on par with all the others, and I look forward to it again next year. After removing dupes, I had 39 Skeeter to Skeeter Contacts and 4 non Skeeter ones, and I wasn't able to spell "Skeeter" for the bonus. Operating from an open sided shelter house in Pioneer Ridge County Park, this was my first year to participate and I enjoyed it immensely. The wx was excellent, with overcast skies corralling the temp in the low 80's. Not many mosquitoes to contend with, but despite using bug repellent I was "bugged" with flies. I went crazy when they bit, and so did my code. Thanks to all who stayed with me thru the unreadable stuff. 20M was cooperating well, and it was great fun working so many familiar calls and friends.|
I've learned that lofting a significant length of wire as high as I can usually works best for me. For this outing I deployed 100 feet of wire, (or wahr as we say in Four State :o) and used an ACØBQ spud gun to launch the far end over a 50 foot tree. A ZM-2 did the matching, making the MTR and ATS4 happy.
NK8O, Charles Powell arrived at the site shortly after I did, Charles is a visiting physician working at our local hospital, I hadn't met him prior to the Hunt, and this was a nice coincidence. He set up his KX3, laptop, Begali straight key, and proceeded to work a bunch of Skeeters. Great fist too!. I hope we can meet at the park for future events. Long time pal Steve Miller, NØSM, came out for a visit, making it a nice day all around.
Hope to cu next year.
|K2WO - With great
anticipation of this
year's event, I arrived at the chosen park in Titusville,
FL. It was a great spot, right on the Intracoastal
Waterway. It was a nice spot, with only a few
joggers/walkers passing by.
The weather was great, but of course being in Florida in August, it was HOT (94 F). Nevertheless, with the nice breezes and the protective metal cover of the park "hut", it was pleasant. I set up my KX3 with a Buddipole battery and strapped my 31 Ft. Jackite pole the a wooden stake at the site. For an antenna I used my trusty EARCHI End Fed, strapped to the Jackite. I was set up 20 minutes before the start of Skeeter Hunt 2014 and tuned on the various bands to see how they were. For some reason, I couldn't get the antenna tuned properly on 40 M. I think that the proximity of the metal roof was causing problems there, so no 40 M this year. Twenty meters was hopping and I worked K1OIK in Cape Cod prior to the event. He gave me a 579, so I knew I could get out on 20.
We were ready at 1700 UTC and the band was buzzing with Skeeters. My first contact was with N0SS who was VERY strong into Florida. Among the other strong stations was Larry, W2LJ, our beloved Skeeter Hunt coordinator, who I was fortunate enough to work. I was moving right along and then two things happened, the noise level started going way up and a Thunderstorm started brewing to the West, moving towards my location. I hung in there as long as I could, but by 1837 UDT I made my last contact with Will, NQ2W in NY and had to quickly pack up and bolt to the car. Being in the lightning capital of the world, I didn't want to be sitting under a metal roof when the storm arrived. I made it to the car just in time and then the sky opened up and we experienced a real frog strangler of a storm. As a result, I only made 14 QSOs, but still had a great time. It's always fun to get outside and operate. This is a great event and I look forward to next year's event.
- An unplanned family trip brought me to Massachusetts for the Skeeter
Hunt. I set up a 40M endfed antenna in the back yard of my in-laws
property. Whoops, I left the power connector home for the MTR. Went to
Plan B and used the TS480SAT at 5W and a LiFePO4 battery pack. (x3 mult
instead of x4, oh well...) Operated for about 2.5 hours on 40M cw.
Great fun! Perfect weather and no mosquito bites either!
Thanks for the Q's. See ya next year.
73, Steve WI2W
|N4EWT - I worked for about 80 minutes at the end of the sprint. It was good to catch you in the contest! I have been fairly dormant on QRP and the radio for a couple of years but I am getting back on the air. In general, QSB on 20M was tough this past Sunday into GA and I had to get many ‘agn’s’ to complete 4 of my 5. I hope to see you and many more in the NoGA peanut sprint this Fall! QSO’s included 3 into CO, 1 into NJ, and 1 with MA.||AB9CA
- I almost missed this one. I was engrossed in a project and it had slipped my mind.
NAQCC guys posted a note that they would be set up in
PA and that
reminded me. But because of the late start I did not
get the Inv Vee set
up that I had planned. Ran as a home station using
the K2 I built
several years ago. It has been a great rig. The antenna
was 100' wire up
about 45 to 50'.
Activity seemed to be pretty good. All of the activity was on 20. I did try 15 twice and 40, but no activity there. Stations as far west as CA
(although weak) and ID as well as into NY and QC. The band did not seem to be in very good shape. Most guys were weak and there was some nasty QSB. But I did stay fairly busy the first 3 hours. Q's in half hour increments: 12, 13, 8, 8, 8, 2. Thanks to everyone that stopped
by. Was a fun event. A special THANKS! to W2LJ for organizing and running it. Hope to see everyone next year. 73 de dave ab9ca/4
- I had great weather all day.
Only worked one station on 40M, the remainder were all 20M. You can see
the lower end of the 54' red hookup wire as a vertical antenna, and I
used a 17' counterpoise laying on the ground. The tuner matched it up
nicely on 20M and 40M. QTH was once again was on a bluff overlooking
Long Lake near Lac Du Flambeau, WI. Those Europeans must have great
ears! Thanks to all for another great Hunt.
Let's do it again next year.
- I operated multiop single
radio using my callsign. My friend Mitch, KA0IFW, brought an
dipole and some old military mast to raise it 20 feet, which was
awesome. We setup the dipole as an inverted V. As a side note
were right in the middle of the frisbee golf course. So there werent
many skeeters this year but we did dodge a few frisbees!! All in all a
success. Setup and teardown under thirty minutes.
Thank you for the opportunity.
|WB3GCK - I had a great time operating near the Hopewell Fire Tower in French Creek State Park in south-eastern PA. The weather was great and the bugs were tolerable. Band conditions were pretty good and this year 40 meters was the most productive band for me. Thanks, Larry W2LJ, for another great contest! 72, Craig WB3GCK|
- Nice contest. My first time. Did not get to
operate much, however.
SW-40+ at 1W to 40M quarter wave inverted L over ground system. (One of these days I'll stop fooling around with that rig and get it into a case. It's been around 10 years now . . . . )
72 ES TU,
Garry Nichols, WA1GWH
- I got off to a slow start Sunday, then managed to finagle the buttons
my K1 in such a way that I had to reset and reenter menu settings. Other
than that, I had a blast! I was swapping between the Skeeter Hunt and
the Straight Key Century Club's Weekend Sprintathon. Two logs, two
events, and the weather at King Street Park was great. Thanks again to
NJQRP for coming up with this event and keeping it going!
- Short op time. Station: KX3 and what I call an
EDP Jr - 45feet/17foot wires. On back patio with this temp
antenna strung up for
this event and then removed. Strong chance of rain. Looked bad. Highlight: Working pal Carter N3AO in VA.
Thanks for doing this. See you in "the Peanut" Sept. 28
- Lots of fun with friends. One contact due to trading turns
on one radio. Contacted KC0PET on 20 meters.
- IT WAS FUN THANK YOU FOR HOSTING THE EVENT!
- Multi-Op KM6NN-John, KG4YJX-Tom, KF4WK-Lewis, KT4FQ-Jom,
Well another Skeeter Hunt has came and gone. We had a great time and we had one new ham visit KG4YJX-Tom. We set up on the banks of the Cumberland River in Clarksville, Tennessee. The weather was hot and humid and the rain started about 1900 hours Zulu. Our last contact was with Don-K3RLL in Pennsylvania. It was good to make the contact. By the way Don, KF4WK-Lewis says Hi......Only one real skeeter byte resulted from this outing. We are looking forward to next year with more operators and some BBQ to go with our Skeeters. Thanks Larry and 72 oink oink....
I could not get enough letters to make Skeeter but I got enough to make "DARN"- K7RE, K9DXA, NQ2W...... just my luck....LOL...
John-KM6NN AKA: WA4PIG
- Rigs: 2 kit KX3s 5 watts. Antennas: 2 end fed wires supported by
fiberglass masts. Power from batteries. iPads for logging. QTH:
Pennington Park, Delanco, NJ. Operators - AK2S, K2QPN, K2SQS, and N2EI.
Others present - KC2MTO, NB2S, XYLs and youngsters.
We were hoping to do some phone but no activity. Conditions were no great. A lot of QRM on 20 from the WAE contest. We made the hunt into an impromptu club picnic. Great weather and a beautiful location.
|VE3XT - Moved to a new QTH two weeks ago and have no home antennae set up yet so this is a good opportunity to get on and operate. Good news is I found a perfect park, a 10 minute walk away. Bad news is I'm scheduled for a hip replacement August 18, so for now it's a 25 minute hobble and partially explains my first Q was at 1740 UTC with KX0R. Still had a blast, thanks.|
|N0SS - Mike Dolson, NØZH, Bill Gerth, W4RK, and Kent Trimble, K9ZTV, activated the Mid-MO Amateur Radio Club's memorial call sign, NØSS, in memory of our friend, Tom Hammond (SK), and used his name throughout the event. Signals emanated from Pine Ridge Camp Ground in the Mark Twain National Forest near Guthrie, Missouri. Although it rained all afternoon, we were dry and comfortable under our canopy and the sun conveniently made its appearance just as we started to lower the Carolina Windom strung between two fifty-foot pine trees. The KX3 performed flawlessly as did the Begali Dual-Lever Adventure. Propagation favored the east and southeast -- for the first time ever, not a single California "skeeter" was heard. Many thanks to Larry, W2LJ, for another great "Skeeter Hunt."|
|KX0R Skeeter Hunt Soapbox
This year the Weather Service predicted a chance of rain near Boulder during the afternoon, but with a much higher probability of thunderstorms for the mountains to the west. I decided to go back to a lovely site several miles south of town – it’s on a mesa forested with ponderosa pines,
right where the mountains begin, almost 1000 vertical feet above the Plains. Getting to the site requires backpacking all the gear up a trail and through the woods for almost 2 miles, but it’s scenic and refreshing.
The plan was to use a simple 2-element 20M Bird Yagi antenna. The Bird is the most basic one I’ve ever used – just two wires and some Dacron lines. Using my Mitchell 300, I popped a couple of lines across two 45-foot pines, tied in the Bird, connected the 9:1 transformer and the 450-ohm window line, raised the affair part way, tied 100-foot dacron lines to the ends of the elements, raised it to full height, and tied off the long lines to the element ends. This Bird yagi requires only two trees, but it does a nice job for the minimal effort required to erect it. The elements droop a bit, but the effect on performance is negligible. It’s much easier to find two good trees than four!
It was cool and clear during the morning – perfect weather! The grass was damp from a light rain the previous night, but there were very few bugs, and it was refreshing to be out there at the site on the sloping forested mesa. I could look east off the mesa’s edge, down to the plains, and
imagine the signals coming off the Bird at a low angle, reaching out to the Midwest, skipping out to the East Coast, and then bouncing off the North Atlantic Ocean and the ionosphere all the way to Europe! This was not a fantasy… I connected up the reliable ATS-3A to the BLT, plugged in the window line, switched on the homebrew 12V lithium-ion battery, matched up the tuner, and listened to all the Skeeters tuning up near 14.060. The Bird sounded really good – almost no local noise, very little QRN, and
The first hour went pretty fast, and then activity slowed a bit. Clouds were building in the sky, but it didn’t seem like there was anything to worry about. By about 1930Z I could hear thunder in the mountains to the west, and I was glad that I wasn’t up there like last year! There were loud cracks in the headphones from the local lightning. With no close bolts, I stayed on as the sky continued to darken. By the time I started hunting for DX during the last hour, the static crashes were loud enough to interfere with the calls and numbers.
This was the crux. It started to rain, so I put up my tarp, got under it, and continued to chase DX stations. The thunder got closer, there was a boom overhead, and then it all slid away to the east as the storm moved out onto the
I was thankful for the many patient Skeeters who gave fills and repeats to complete marginal QSO’s through QSB and QRM. I apologize to several stations who apparently could hear me OK, but I couldn’t copy their very weak signals with the QSB and QRN, despite several attempts. The Event was at least as good as last year!
Radio: ATS-3A, 5W - built by me from KD1JV kit
Battery: Lithium ion, homebrew pack
Tuner: Homebrew BLT, modified
Antenna: Homebrew 2-element Bird Yagi at about 40 feet
Feedline: Window line, 50 feet
Thank You for running this wonderful crazy event! It was a buzzz……
George Carey Fuller
- A fun day today with Mike KC2EGL, and a busy one, but then don't the
two always go together? Of course the big event of the day was the
Skeeter Hunt. Mike arrived around 9:30A or so and after chatting a
while and playing some computer games, we went to Ponderosa for Sunday
brunch. A quick stop at WalMart on the way home. Then we played some
more computer games for a
while till it was time to head to the Community Park for the Skeeter
Our regular pavilion was occupied when we got there, and it looked like they were set up to stay a while, so we went to the secondary pavilion which is kind of weather beaten and unused as shown here. It makes a good operating position though and has a bit more elevation than the other one.
After we unpacked and were setting up, one fellow from a nearby softball game wandered over to see what we were up to. We explained that we were ham radio operators and he didn't know what we were talking about. Mike asked him his age and he said 34. I kidded him saying what had he been doing those 34 years. He laughed, then Mike explained ham radio to him briefly.
We got our antennas up fairly easily. We both used the K3RLL jumper dipoles this time. I took some pictures of them, but antenna pictures don't show up well against a background of trees so I won't waste space here showing them. I'll just describe them a bit. As the name implies, they are dipoles cut for 40M (mine) or 80M (Mike's) with jumper clips along the way to shorten them to use on the higher bands. I set mine for 20 and Mike took 40. The center of mine was only up about 12 feet or so. Mike's somewhat higher. They both tuned beautifully to 1:1 with the KX3 built-in antenna tuner through the coax feedline.
We started operating just about 1700Z when the Skeeter Hunt started. Conditions were nothing like last year when we had a stream of QSOs coming at us pretty steadily. This year it was work and wait, work and wait. Most of my 20M QSOs were from W0 land and in looking at Mike's log, I saw he was working mostly up and down the east coast. It could have been because our dipoles were at right angles. One surprise was working our fellow NAQCC WPA Chapter member Don K3RLL in New Bethlehem, PA about 20 miles away. That was on 20M and we figure it must have been ground wave from his hill to ours. We were both about S3 to S4 but with very steady signals as expected from ground wave.
Mike and I both struggled along making the occasional QSO in between the long waits. It did get better as the afternoon wore on. I tried to work stations in the WAE contest since the Skeeter Hunt rules allowed that and even counted DX QSOs as 3 points vs. 2 for those domestic stations with a Skeeter #, and 1 point for other non-Skeeter domestic stations.
It was rough working the DX though vs. last year when I was easily working Europeans before and after the Skeeter Hunt. This year most of the time I wasn't being heard at all, or if I was heard, I had to do a lot of repeating. Oddly a couple of my most distant QSOs with LY9Y and OK2RZ were bang bang no repeats needed QSOs. Mike's computer battery gave out about a half hour before the end of the Hunt, and he shut down with 20 QSOs. I had 25, and I said I would like to make it a total of 50 if we could, so despite being a bit frustrated with the slow pace of the Hunt, I stuck it out for 5 more QSO so we could have 50. Actually when Mike recounted, he had 21, so we had a total of 51 which was 18 less than last year.
Back home again where we figured the score, got our logs together, and downloaded pictures we took. With 14 DX QSOs, 28 Skeeter QSOs, 9 other QSOs, 31 SPCs, a 4x bonus for homebuilt gear (our KX3s), and spelling the word SKEETER from letters in the calls we worked for a 100 point bonus we wound up with a preliminary score of 13,368 which was roughly 3,000 better than last year when we had 69 QSOs because of the DX QSOs and more SPCs (31 vs. 23). So we were pleased with the effort, and it was a nice day to be out in the field. Sunny and warm, but with nature's air conditioned breezes making it very comfortable.
Then it was back to Ponderosa for their dinner buffet, back home for my streak QSO (W1AW/2), after which it was time for Mike to head up north again after a very enjoyable day.
"This was my first time operatig in the NJQRP Skeeter Hunt and I must
say that I really enjoyed having another reason to take my rig out to a
local park. It turned out to be a beautiful day with mostly
sunny skies and 85 degrees. I chose to go to Pinnacle
Overlook which is a scenic area several hundred feet above the
Susquehanna River in Southern Lancaster County, PA. This spot
has some very beautiful views in a real serene setting.
I got there at around 11:00 a.m so I would have plenty of time to set up my equipment. I first got my 40 meter Center-fed Zepp up in the trees at about 40 feet, then I set up my FT-817ND & LDG Z817 Auto tuner. I made a few contacts just to make sure all was working, then I got in some R&R before hunting skeeters. At 1:00, the fun began, and I took advantage of the WAE contest by focusing on DX QSOs. The conditions on 20 CW were good and I ended up making 40 DX contacts. In between those, I checked out the QRP watering holes and spoke with 18 Skeeters, including AB9CA, KX0R, N0SS, WA4PIG, K4UPG, WB3GCK, and I snuck down to 40 CW quickly and snagged Larry, W2LJ. While I was making contacts, some curious folks stopped by, which gave me an opportunity to give them a quick demo. I always enjoy that as most people are intrigued that we can talk to people around the globe without any networks of any kind.
All in all, I had a great afternoon working the Skeeter Hunt, while enjoying the beautiful setting at Pinnacle Overlook. A special thanks to Larry, W2LJ for all his efforts in making this a great little event, and for giving us all another reason to get outside and enjoy the great mix of ham radio & the outdoors."
- Yard portable with homebrew
equipment. K2 @ 5W and portable trap dipole antenna @ 12 feet.
2014 Skeeter #159
- Had to work
unexpectedly on the day of the contest, but rushed home
and made a few hurried Qs before the closing bell.
Conditions were nice, although I might’ve just been fresh meat for the Skeeters hanging around 14060.
Station was an ATS-3B with a 20m EFHW thrown up into a tree.
Real fun getting on competitively with a truly portable rig while out in the wild with no repellant.
Thanks for the nice job in organizing the event this year!
|KG3W - Had Great Wx here. Nary a Skeeter , the insect, in sight. Ran 20 CW mostly with only 5 contacts on 40 mtrs. Used a 44 foot doublet at 20 feet Peak. Used 2 radios. My HB1B and my new MTR. Ran about half of my 20 mtrs. with the MTR. I set it up during the build for 30/20/17, so I had to use the HB1B for 40 mtrs. Results were not as good as last year but had a good time anyway. Randy in Idaho,K7TQ was my longest distance contact. Couldn't make California this year. 72 to all and see ya next time. de Scotty KG3W|
- I travelled by bike again
this year. I set up in Fritz Park on the shore of Lac Saint
in Beaconsfield, QC. I was about half an hour late getting to
park - if I had been five minutes earlier I would have got the last
shady bench. Still I had a great time on a beautiful sunny
I answered CQs on 20 and 40m, I didn't hear any activity on other bands.
Thank-you Larry for organizing the event and thanks to the NJQRP Club for sponsoring it.
|KX9X - After last year's
spur-of-the-moment effort from a low-lying park next to the Connecticut
River, I figured a higher elevation this year would yield better
results. I set up portable on a ridge of Talcott Mountain, elevation
800 feet; compared to last year's elevation of about 30 feet, I figured
I'd had it made.
I used my trusty Yaesu 817ND and a 70' doublet fed with 17' of 450-ohm ladder line and a 4:1 balun in an inverted vee configuration. The apex was at about 25'. The weather was perfect and I had a nice, shady spot; a great day to enjoy radio outdoors. My mascot, Jarvis the alligator, came along for the adventure, too. He's been with me on every radio expedition I've been on since the early 1990's; I don't even remember where he came from.
15 was good into EU for the WAE contest, but not as good as last year. 20 seemed strange; not many QSOs made there. 40 was excellent, working many regional Skeeters. I changed bands often. S &P'ed my way through the EU multipliers and called CQ on 40.
14 fewer QSOs and 5 fewer mults than last year. Still, fun was had, and that's the main thing. The Skeeter Hunt has become one of my favorite events; thanks to W2LJ and NJQRP for getting it off the ground.
Many thanks for the QSOs.
Sean Kutzko, KX9X