|BUBBA Summer QRP Sprint -
August 26, 2000
Craig LaBarge, WB3GCK
I decided at the last minute to go out into the field for this year's BUBBA contest. I figured, since it was such a nice day, what the heck... I headed over to Oaks, PA, and found a picnic table under some shade trees in a little park next to the Schuykill Canal. The weather was great and it was a nice day to spend outside playing with the radio.
[For those unfamiliar with BUBBA, it's a short, four hour contest sponsored each year by the Arizona scQRPion group. Temperature is part of the contest exchange and is also one of the multipliers for scoring.]
I took my NorCal-20 and setup an "inverted Y" antenna suspended from a 20' Black Widow fishing rod. The inverted Y is basically a quarter wave vertical with two radials. I built it from 3 pieces of #22 stranded hookup wire and an SO-239 chassis connector. About as simple as it gets. I fed it with about 15 feet of RG-8X coax. Given that the vertical support was only 20 feet high, the feedpoint was only about two and a half feet off the ground. The radials were sloped down to the ground and fastened to some twigs as used as impromptu stakes. This was the first time I actually used this antenna since I built it a few weeks ago. I hadn't had the opportunity to do any pruning on it. It proved to be a bit long but the SWR was an acceptable 1.8:1 at 14.06 MHz.
Power for this trip was provided by a 6 A-H gel cell battery (which, by the way, is in its 6th year of portable QRP operation and still going strong).
I managed to get set up and running about 10 minutes into the contest. Things started off fast and furious for the first hour or two but seemed to die down quickly after that. Once in awhile, the 20 meters seemed to fade right out. (When N4BP's signal drops down during a contest, you know the band conditions are fading!) During the 3rd hour, it was pretty hard trying to find stations that I hadn't worked yet. So, after three and a half hours, I packed it in. All together, I had 12 QSOs in the log with 8 multipliers. I managed to work the AZ QRP Club station, NQ7RP, so that was good for bonus of 10,000 points. My highest temperature was 85F with a relative humidity of 64% (Heat Index of 93.7F).
Bottom Line: Could have used some better conditions on 20 meters but it was a fun afternoon, all things considered.
CALL: WB3GCK BAND: 20M SPC: PA MODE: CW POWER: 4W CATEGORY: OUTDOOR UTC CALL RST-S TEMP-S RST-R S-P-C NAME TEMP-R 1817 N9AW 579 84 559 WI Jerry 72 1822 W4ED 579 84 559 GA Bob 92 1826 N4BP 599 84 599 FL Bob 95 1834 N5TW 559 84 559 TX Tom 92 1850 WA7LNW 549 84 339 UT Jack 84 1859 WA9TZE 599 84 559 WI Jim 75 1905 NQ7RP 599 83 559 AZ Floyd 80 1909 WD9IFF 569 84 539 IL Woody 75 1925 W7TAO 449 85 559 AZ Scott 70 1943 K7RE 559 85 559 AZ Brian 75 1954 W9CL 559 85 559 IL Claud 80 2056 K5KW 599 84 599 OK Don 98