2019 Skeeter Hunt Soapbox - Page 2

N2MO (N2JJF and KC2SVS) - Joe and I set up our radios in his backyard and we used a vertical and a Par end fed antenna. Bands were very noisy with noise floor around S5/6 but we made some contacts and that was the fun part.

KQ7TJ - My QTH was on the summit of Mount Rose, NV – elevation around 9,300’.  I got a late start so wasn’t up and running until about 19:30 UTC.  I only made 2 contacts, but had fun.  KD3CA, whom I worked, was booming in with a 599 RST.  Transceiver was an Elecraft K1 and Antenna a QRP Guys UnUN vertical. I just completed building my K1 this winter – 18 years after purchasing it from Elecraft – long story!  I am still getting used to the rig, and I think I’m not transmitting out on exactly the same frequency I’m receiving on, which probably led to my paucity of contacts:  I’ll be working on tweaking the K1 for better performance next time! 

Tom, KQ7TJ

NO2D - The money band was, not surprisingly, 20 meters, at least here in Colorado.  I tried 15 meters a couple of times, and even 10 meters, once.  Heard nothing on either band, and no response to my CQ BZZ.  Stations on 40 meters were very weak, but I did manage to snag a couple.  At least conditions were a bit better than they have been in recent Fox Hunts.   Thanks for running the sprint. 

Pete, NO2D




K2AL - Always fun.



KK4ITX - Deep QSB and boat motor QRM really hampered my reception, great day once the fog lifted.  Location Wells Harbor ,Maine.  Working on my fist ! For me each of these events are like waiting for Christmas !  I appreciate all of the work each promoter puts into these events and thank the groups that keep QRP and CW going. I am happy to make a contact and spend time explaining to curious folks just what I ‘m doing.


K9CW - It was good fun, Larry!  Thank you for organizing this on-the-air activity.73 de Drew K9CW

WI9EJR - This was Etienne’s first contest, other than Field Day (“it’s not a contest!”), so why not make it SSB on QRP in the worst possible propagation? We headed over to Sheridan Park in Milwaukee, overlooking Lake Michigan (in the photo background), near the popular Oak Leaf Trail pathway. Rick (NK9G), as usual, took us under his wing, loaned us a longer dipole than we usually use, and helped us get it up high up into the trees. We hooked it up to our KX3, and let Etienne go to town.

Etienne alternated the four hours between calling CQ and hunting around on 20m. The bands started pretty quiet, with him being able to hear a few people but not much ability to be heard. Strangely, his first contact was a QRP station in North Carolina, with both sides hearing each other really clearly. Later in the day Europe started coming in, but Etienne either wasn’t getting back them or just couldn’t break through the pile ups. Finally, by the end of the contest things opened up to the western US, but 20m was so full that it was hard for him to be heard.

All in all, it was a good day to spend some time out in the park and for him to play on the radio. QRP with phone is a tough racket, so hopefully he’ll learn morse sooner than later. And for those wondering, he’s eleven, just started sixth grade. He got his General last summer when we started ham radio.

Editor's Note - WI9EJR placed 1st in the SSB Category.

KD0V -  I didn’t have many visitors come buy this year and could spent most of the time operating. The weather was cool, cloudy for most of the day in Southern Minnesota for the event. I did get one MOSQUITO Bite! Had a great time and it was a wonderful way to spent a Sunday afternoon. The rig was an Elecraft K2 Serial Number 05526 and the key was a 1953 Vibroplex Blue Racer with a veri-speed to keep the speed blow 20 wpm. The antenna was a folded dipole 30 up in an Oak tree.

W2JEK - Much QSB and then near the end of the last hour signals improved.    72 /73   DON   W2JEK

AB9CA - Was a hot day here. Temp up to 95 at the ops position, heat index of 107. I set up in my pole barn, ran feeder out the window. Had a fan blowing on me, this helped a lot.

Antenna was a 56' inv vee, peak at 40'. In putting up the wire I tried a couple of 'short cuts', and, as usual, they turned out to be 'long cuts', not short ones.

As the photo shows, the rig was a K1, at 5w. Feeder was ladder line. Tuner was balanced line MFJ unit.

Condx seemed moderate. 20 was mostly short to intermediate. Logged OH PA MO WI TN there. Not many long ones. Only 2 from AZ. One CA. Few pesky Texans. 40 was short, as would be expected. Band breakdown on 20/40 was 30/22. 44 Skeeters, 8 non-Skeeters. One QRO running a POTA operation. Called on 15m for a while but got no answers.

With condx being as they are, we all ought to consider using some type of horizontal antenna. I think quite a few use verticals. Unfortunately verticals do not radiate any energy skyward. They cannot do NVIS type prop. And with 20 being in the dumps, 40 becomes more important. NVIS really helps there. If anyone runs a vertical they ought to see if they can make it an Inv-L for use on 40.

Thanks to everyone for the Q's. A special Thanks! to Larry for doing the work to make it possible. Hope to see everyone, and few more, next year! 73 de Dave, AB9CA

AC0XR - Conditions seemed fair this year, with some QSB at times.  I operated 20 meters exclusively, although I did check out 40 meters briefly but only heard one other skeeter way down in the noise. For equipment I used my Weber Tribander transceiver and a 20m vertical.  I had fun as always, thanks to Larry for putting on the event!  72 de Brady AC0XR

W3ATB - THANKS for all the work to make it happen. Believe me, I know running the Cookie Crumble and Leaf Peepers contests.

KC0PET - Josh, W0ODJ, #103; Bryan, K0EMT, #28; and myself operated as a multi-station site in Cedar City, MO.  The morning started with storms in the area, so we found a picnic pavilion.  The pavilion was quite large, so we could spread out and keep our antennas separated.  The sun did come out, though for most of the afternoon and the roof was good to keep the sun off.  In keeping with the theme of the event, this area has just recently receded out of flood waters, the area around the pavilion is pretty dry, but there is still some good stagnant water not far away for skeeter breeding.

I was trying out a 20 meter vertical that I put together on Saturday from a telescoping 12 foot antenna.  The antenna mounts on a crappie pole for a full 1/4 wave antenna with elevated radials and compacts down to about 3 feet long.  I spent some time during set up tuning and tweaking this antenna, there is a wire to extend the vertical to the right length that needed trimming and some trial and error to get the radials at the right height, the radials are also acting as guys.  I also put up a 40 meter inverted vee on a kite pole. 

My rig was a K2, power was a 7 AH SLA battery.  Paddle was a well used Code Warrior Junior, my favorite for portable ops.

I started off with a contact on 20 meters right away so hopeful for the new antenna.  However 20 meters was in poor shape, lots of noise from the storms most stations were difficult to copy and made few contacts on 20.  40 meters was also very noisy at first due to the storms but it cleaned up later in the event, 7/11 of my contacts were on 40 meters.  States/Provinces worked were PA, MI, WI, IN, IL, QC, and MO.

We were visited by Josh's Wife and young boys, Daniel and John.  Lots of questions from the boys about things, so maybe future ham operators?  The best question was from Daniel, "Why are there so many wires?"  Considering this is a "wireless" hobby there is some validity to that.  Perhaps an oxymoron of our hobby?  Anyone else have miles of wire in their ham shack and in junk drawers and closets to support their "wireless" hobby?  Also John was intent to make sure I didn't forget to grill the hot dogs!  We grilled hot dogs and brats and lunch was great!  The WX was warm and breezy but rather humid.

The included photos are the new 20 meter vertical, my cluttered K2 station (just like home), Bryan - K0EMT and K2 station, Josh - W0ODJ and X5105 station.

N0MII - I operated from Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park on a hot but pleasant day -- shade plus a light breeze. Although I thought there were no skeeters around... turns out I was wrong. I got about as many bites as QSOs! Several stations were weak, and I know I was to them... thanks for everyone's persistence and patience in completing QSOs. Had a fun time and look forward to next year. (Yes I'll PUT ON the bug spray... not just bring it and leave it in the car!)

WD8RIF - I had a great time and am looking forward to next year! Complete reports with more photos can be found here:


Eric, WD8RIF

VE2JCW - Thank you for the contest .. I had fun .. I send you my log .. but I confess not to be clever to compile the results ..all is in English .. and my friend who helped me just died ! So Ican send you my check log !! :)


I am ready for  the  next year!


VE2JCW   Jean

WV0H - Thanks for putting this on again this year. I had big plans to go out and about but wasn’t feeling up to the hot dry heat as they call it, so I set up my portable inverted L antenna in the back yard while I sat on the deck!

I ran an 85 foot piece of #26 PTFE wire up 33 feet from deck from my 35 foot telescopic pole and over 52 feet to my 42 foot telescopic pole at the far end of my lot. I used my homebrew L/C match tuner with a choke balun on input and a 12 foot counterpoise wire elevated 12 feet and 6 feet at end. I tied it to the top of the swing set.

I tried to get on 15 and 10m but there was no props there. I did try to scrape up a contact on 40 but W0ITT was just not patient with me enough to count him so no QSOs on 40m.

Thanks again,



N5GW - I had my K1 on battery & solar panel hooked up to a doublet hanging between two trees up about 40 feet. I was only able to work 1-1/2 hours because of waves of T-storms passing through. However we needed the rain and the cool-down was a nice break from a hot, muggy day, so I couldn't complain.


AG4P - Like working other QRP stations and reading on the soap box what they came up with for station, so here's mine.  Elecraft KX2 with home brew 20/40 end fed and end loaded vertical similar to LNR, taped to 40 ft spider beam telescoping mast.Skeeter hunt  40 meters was the band for me, 20 didn't get going here in the south for me. The BB 20 meters was the hot one, but did have different ant so I'll never know
for sure the difference hi hi. 73

K4UPG - For 10 years I've used the lakeside park in our gated community for my weekend QRP operations. 90% of the time, I am the only person there and the trees are tall and evenly spaced for a full size
40-30-20 meter segmented dipole to be hung at 45 feet and flat. (if my slingshot work properly.) This year for the Skeeter Hunt I planned to setup there and found a very full park with picnics, car waxing, and sunbathing. No place to park, people sunbathing where I normally setup--- YIKES!!! I was already late due to teaching my SS class and now had to find an alternative location in the HOA that is antenna averse! I ended up near our condo in a "park" with no tall trees so made due with an inverted L 20m EFHW on a 20 ft Jackite pole and my HB1B. Hot in the sun and over an hour lost I made a few contacts. 20 meters was active but signals were down in the noise except on the crest of waves of QSB. I normally hear up stations along the East Coast and into Wisconsin, but this time nothing heard from the East Coast and New England area and I had a solid Skeeter Contact from AZ. Whooda thunk it?

When the lightning alert on my cell phone app went off, I gladly cut things short, hauled in my wire and so only got to operate about 90 minutes but had fun anyhow. Great to see over 200 signed up and that
propagation didn't matter we made a few contacts anyhow! Thanks for putting this favorite event together Larry! Maybe next year I'll give out a few more contest points!

72 n GRRRRR,
K4UPG  Orlando, Fl

KI4MCZ - KX3 to a dipole.  We had to get ready for company Sunday so I couldn't stay on the radio very long.  I'll be better prepared next year!

NE5DL - 99 degs here in TX in the backyard. So trying to stay cool is first. Rapid QSB on 20M, and sorry to those I just couldn't pick out of the noise. Used a 20M long inverted L at 28 ft high for the  horizontal portion. KX3, KP3, Pico paddle, 4.5 Ah LFP battery. Worked one local station on 40M and she was a sked request.

N0JBF - Since almost all of the Mid-Mo ARC have submitted their logs and soapbox comments, I decided to join the fray even though I am somewhat embarrassed by my poor showing.

I had planned to operate from County Lake Park as usual since it is only a half mile from my QTH. When I checked the WX Sunday morning I decided instead to set up my station on my deck since there was a chance of rain. That proved to be a wise choice even though it didn’t rain.

After the MFJ telescopic vertical I used during Flight of the Bumble Bees turned out to be little more than a dummy load for my Elecraft

 K1 I opted to use a dipole for the Skeeter Hunt. The antenna of choice was a Windcamp 10 – 40 meter backpack antenna that I had used successfully before. However, it was not to be found! I remembered a 15 – 40 antenna I had built out of 400 ohm ladder line over ten years that was cut for the middle of the CW bands. I dug it out but didn’t really spend any time getting it ready.

Sunday morning, I lashed my 33 foot fiberglass mast to the deck railing and began preparations to hoist the antenna. When I pulled it out of the bucket I had stored it in it was hopelessly tangled with the strings used to tie off the ends. I spent over a half hour getting things straightened out only to discover the coax connections to the SO-239 connector were broken! Soldering them took more time.

 Finally, I had the antenna laid out and ran it up the mast. Once in the air some minor adjustments were necessary to keep the mast from collapsing. I hooked the coax up to the radio, and everything was golden. The SWR was 1:4 untuned and when I pushed the autotuner button it quickly came down to 1:1. I was on the air at 1745Z.

My station is a Elecraft K1 that I completed assembling after purchase. Power was supplied by the internal battery pack and an external pack. Both of which used 8 AA batteries to supply 12 volts. My key is a Brown Brothers BTL two lever Iambic. Antenna is a home built dipole in inverted V configuration at about 25 feet.

I worked 3 MO Skeeter Stations and 1 AL non-skeeter Station. 2 stations each on 40 and 20 meters. There was quite a bit of noise from the storms that had moved though Saturday night as well as QSB. I heard several stations, but they were deep in the mud and hard to copy. My antenna was oriented East-West which possibly contributed to my poor reception. AD0YM was located a mile Northeast of me and worked stations I couldn’t hear.

 In all it was a fun day and good practice. There’s always another sprint to operate in. Thanks to the NJQRP club for sponsoring the contest.

Richard Kreiser – N0JBF
Jefferson City,  MO

N8BB - I set up out back near a few ponds and did attract my fair share of skeeters. Mostly called CQ as I find there are fewer calling than doing S&P and did find a decent number coming back. My apologies to the ones I just couldn’t quite hear, thunderstorms in the area made it really tough to hear the weak ones. I am already looking forward to next year.  Werner  N8BB  KX3 H-B dipole up 23 feet with collapsible fiberglass pole.

W0MQY - I started the contest in my camping trailer due to thunder storms.  The antenns used was a Princeton EF 53' end fed sloper wire.  Attempts were made to find some skeeters but wasn't hearing any. Made test contact K9FW in IN but was a struggle.  It was decided that the antenna was not performing and moved inside to the home station.  The original setup was in my camping trailer as pictured here. After wasting an hour of the allotted time for the hunt I could tell it wasn't going well with all the qrn from the storms.  So made the decision to move to the home shack to finish the contest. Didn't get as many points or contacts as originally planned but I had a great time and learned how to do it next year.   Thanks Larry and all involved for a great sprint.   73  Joe  W0MQY