Amateur Radio WB3GCK QRP Portable from
The Outer Banks

July 7-13, 2001

For the first time in several years, our vacation plans took us back to one of my family's favorite places -- the Outer Banks of North Carolina. This time, we rented a house in the scenic town of Corolla. Corolla is in the very northern end of the Outer Banks. Having seen some pictures of the house beforehand, I pretty much knew what the antenna situation would be. So, I was able to plan accordingly.

On the day we arrived, I suspended a 40 meter doublet from the third story deck. I used a partially-extended Black Widow fishing rod to support the center insulator. To tie off the ends of the doublet, I enlisted the support of my nephew, Kyle, an 11 year old Little Leaguer. I taped some nylon line to a baseball and Kyle tossed it up over the tree limbs I pointed out to him. I ran 25 feet of 300 ohm ladder line down to the second story deck, which would be my operating position.

The equipment for the trip included a Small Wonder Labs SW-40 (1 Watt) and a Wilderness Radio SST-30 (2 watts). A built-from-scratch Z-match tuner, NorCal paddles, and an old homebrew Curtis Chip keyer rounded out the station. This was the first real field test for the Z-match tuner and it performed flawlessly.

I primarily operated early in the morning while enjoying a cup of coffee and watching the wildlife around the nearby lake. The most memorable QSO was with OK1GS. Mirek answered my 2-watt CQ one evening on 30 meters. He's a county hunter and I was pleased to give him Currituck County, NC, as a new one.

Although operating from a fully-appointed house with a swimming pool and a hot tub is not exactly roughing it, it was a very enjoyable trip. I'm hoping to get back down there again one of these days.

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Early morning operating

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Antenna on the upper deck, operating position on the lower deck

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Antenna center support

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40 Meter Equipment

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Close-up of the 40M setup


DATE     TIME  STATION    FREQ   MODE SENT RCVD        QTH            NAME   
07-08-01 11:40 AF4PP/QRP  7      CW   589  559   MARIETTA, GA         CHUCK     
07-08-01 12:16 KE3WN      7      CW   579  459   MURRYSVILLE, PA      PAT       
07-08-01 13:24 W3DWI      7      CW   589  469   CHAMBERSBURG, PA     ED        
07-08-01 14:31 K4ODI      7      CW   559  459   MACON, GA            JOHN      
07-09-01 14:31 OK1GS      10.1   CW   559  559   CZECH REPUBLIC       MIREK     
07-09-01 11:26 W8HFJ      7      CW   459  559   OH                   GLEN      
07-09-01 13:19 W8DEP/QRP  7      CW   579  559   NR COLUMBUS, OH      DAVE      
07-09-01 14:07 NS2H/QRP   10.1   CW   599  599   GREENSBORO, NC       DICK      
07-10-01 12:00 WD8JOL/4   10.1   CW   549        NAVARRE BEACH, FL    PARKER    
07-10-01 12:07 WB9JOX     10.1   CW   599  589   NR CHICAGO, IL       TED       
07-10-01 13:49 K1PUG      10.1   CW   569  589   HARWINTON, CT        HANK      
07-11-01 11:33 VE3JTP     7      CW   589  569   TORONTO CAN          JOHN      
07-11-01 11:47 WA4KDO/M   7      CW   559  539   NR FT KNOX, TN       ALAN      
07-11-01 19:10 W4ATL      7      CW   599  459   SUNSET BEACH, NC     SHERMAN   
07-12-01 14:24 AA1MY      7      CW   449  549   ME                   SEAB       
07-12-01 19:56 K3MZY/4    7      CW   559  229   SC                   LEO       
07-12-01 20:11 W1NSS      7      CW   579  459   LORTON, VA           TOM       
07-13-01 12:15 W3DOY      7      CW   579        NR PHILA, PA U.S.A.  TOM       
07-13-01 12:45 N3YWQ      7      CW   589  559   GREENSBORO, PA       STEVE     

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