Craig LaBarge, WB3GCK
In August of 1999, I spent a great week camping on Wellesley Island in the Thousand Islands region of New York State. Wellesley is designated as Island NY010R in the U.S. Islands awards program. In between fishing on the St. Lawrence River and sightseeing, I managed to get on the air for a bit each day.
The first QSO of the trip was with fellow EPA-QRP member, Carter, N3AO, on 30 meters. Carter was also one of the last QSOs of the trip. We connected up on the last day on 40 meters early in the morning. For both QSOs, Carter took a proactive approach to finding me. Rather than tuning around listening for me, he started calling me on the QRP frequencies during the times he knew I would most likely be on the air. His strategy worked! On both occasions, I had just turned on the rig and was tuning around looking for an open frequency when I heard him calling me.
Although band conditions weren't too great, my homebrew "Pop-up Vertical" antenna mounted on my pop-up camper did a respectable job. One of the highlights was being called by a French station who was also on a camping trip outside of Paris.
The rigs used on this trip included my trusty old MFJ-9030 (3W on 30M) and a Small Wonders SW-40 (950mW on 40M). The rigs were powered by a 7 A-H gel cell battery.
Here is my log from the trip:
Band: 30M Mode: CW DATE UTC CALL RST-S RST-R QTH NAME 8-9-99 2024 N3AO/QRP 579 599 Paoli, PA Carter 8-10-99 0009 F6GYH/P 569 549 Nr Paris Bernie 1113 KA0YXX 599 579 Des Moines, IA Bill 1152 K9SK 599 589 WI Dale 2128 AE0V 569 339 Grand Island, NE Rich 2213 WB9JOX 559 539 Burbank, IL Ted 8-11-99 1249 K2PTS/QRP 559 589 Chicago, IL Steve 1304 KE4QZB/QRP 579 569 Charlotte, NC Brian 1323 NG9B 599 559 Chesterton, IN John 2219 WA8KOQ 579 559 Wink 8-12-99 1235 WA4YGN 589 349 Vinton, VA Paul 1924 W3PA 579 339 Bedford, PA David 2155 F5SGI/P 569 449 Jean 2220 WN9U 589 559 Nr Milwaukee, WI Gary 8-13-99 1927 NG1A/VY2 579 579 PEI Fred 8-14-99 1253 WN9U/QRP 549 549 Gary 1936 W4LVP 589 339 Johnson City, TN Bill Band: 40M Mode: CW DATE UTC CALL RST-S RST-R QTH NAME 8-14-99 1103 N3AO/QRP 599 589 Paoli, PA Carter