Amateur Radio WB3GCK 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.

Inverted Y Vertical

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			
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

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