Skeeter Hunt Soapbox 2020 - Page 1

WB8ENE - This is my first Skeeter Hunt in a couple of years.  I operated about one hour, and all contacts were made on 40 meters.  I didn't hear a thing on 80 or 20.  Kind of glad I didn't set up outside.  It rained here during part of the hunt.  Rig is an Elecraft K3 and the antenna is a 135' ladder line fed doublet up about 15'.  Thanks for the contacts.  73, Art 

N3OS - Being eat'n up by skeeters more than tagging them okay - but this gave me the chance to have some outdoor fun and discover a problem with the PX3 to boot so I am thankful the event was put together. I put together a  funky 40m dipole and although it showed a good swr it apparently didn't send RF out the way I hoped. Such is life.

VA2SG - Was nice to get out and play radio a couple hours. 20 seemed pretty lousy... QSB was huge. Got 10 skeeters in log. Will try to be back nxt year. Thanks for all!

N4WD  -  First time, loads of fun. Lots of station heard, most all on top of each other, hard to get in to any. Reciever most be to wide here. Need to add some filtering looks like. Started out with 4 watts and ended with just little over 3 watts, battery load, LOL. Thanks to all we did work and hope to CUAGN.

Station, kit build 5 watts ( depending on power suppled ) OCF dipole at 40 feet. Tuner kit build and battery just old gelcell 12 volts. Would have used solar, but clouds played to much in the game.

Bruce N4WD

K4BAI - This was the most fun Skeeter Fun I've been in.  Plenty of activity and 20 and 40M bands in pretty good condition.  Listened to 15, but no signals heard there.  Sorry not to get you in the log.  I thought you called me early in the contest, but I couldn't hear you respond after my report.  Heard you only one more time and you were really weak then.

TS590SG at 5W to TH6DXX, zepp, and 40M dipole.  The wire antennas are all home made, but not the yagi, of course.

73/72, John, K4BAI.

AB9BZ - Started out on 20M with my Ten Tec Argonaut 509 to a link dipole hung on my 30' Jack-Tite pole in the yard. Heard a few stns who couldn't hear my call, I initially ran 1W on the Argonaut then switched higher power. I made a few contacts and had a great time. Thanks for a fun event. 72/73 AB9BZ

K5KHK - This was my first QRP contest/sprint, but it turned out quite well. I had to break things down from my backyard portable setup after two hours when thunderstorms rolled through the area. I was then able to squeeze two more contacts in five minutes before the deadline.

Thanks for organizing this.

Karl Heinz - K5KHK

W8DIZ - Attempted QSOs every 15-20 minutes from 1-5 PM EDT...nothing.

Heard maybe 5 stations the entire afternoon...some lightning static crashes too. Think my 33 foot vertical dummy load needs to be replaced with a dipole.

73, Diz, W8DIZ ... with Ozone hole over Florida

PS: Do I get a bonus even thought I made no contacts?

KX9X - This was my first QRP contest since moving back to Illinois, and my first entry in hte Skeeter Hunt in several years. I love this little event!

Took my trusty YouKits HB-1B, Palm Paddle (If only they were still made!), SOTABeams 40-30-20 Band Hopper and SOTABeams push-up mast to a hidden road in a cornfield about 3 miles south of my QTH in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. The nice thing about living in C-U is you get all the benefits of a college town, but drive 10 minutes in any direction and you're in farm country. I packed a picnic lunch, laid a blanket on the ground underneath a convenient tree, had my simple station set up in less than 20 minutes and started calling on 20 CW.

Try as I might, I just couldn't get anything going on 20 CW.Decent sigs out to the east and northeast, but didn't have many customers. I was happy to snag VE2DDZ in Quebec in short order. AK4JA in Georgia had an excellent signal.

But with few answers to my CQ, I QSY'ed. Took a listen on 15 and called CQ for a couple minutes, but heard nothing, so went down to 40. Jackpot! Found a clear frequency and called CQ, and the QSOs started coming in. Worked from Georgia to North Carolina to Missouri, with a couple Ontario stations for good measure. WA4AAK was impressively loud on 40m; 579 from Alabama. KE0TT in Minnesota was an honest 599. Great job, gents.

At the halfway point, I popped back up to 15m, hoping I'd heard the west coast. No dice. Back down to 20m, hoping conditions had improved, but they hadn't. A nice surprise was getting called by Steve, WG0AT in Colorado. Always good to work Steve. Of course I worked the Elder Statesman, K4BAI. I swear John has the best ears in the business. But after 15 minutes, I'd only worked 5 stations, so back down to 40 I went.

Wrapped up the last 90 minutes in fine fashion, working stations from New England to Kansas. Thanks K1SWL for New Hampshire on 40 meters! And what is it with so many stations in Georgia? Maybe we should send some of you gents to other states, to get a better spread of multipliers!

Wrapped it up at 2057z with W3TS in PA with a solid signal. Had everything packed up and back home in less than 30 minutes.

Thanks to Larry W2LJ for putting it together every year. WE appreciate your efforts, Larry!

Sean Kutzko Amateur Radio KX9X
AMSAT Volunteer Coordinator

N4ARY - Thanks for a great event! I had a blast in my front yard.I am already looking forward to next year!BZZZZ! 72, A-Ray N4ARY

N3AQC - I (K3WWP) worked 20 meters and got 16 QSOs in the first half hour and only 15 in the 3 1/2 hours. Where did everybody go after that big half hour. Mike (KC2EGL) says, "While unloading my gear from the car, I tripped over a cable outlining the parking area and did a face plant driving my eyeglasses into the bridge of my nose cutting both sides and driving the glasses up under my right upper eye socket giving myself a black eye. Yes, ham radio can be a contact sport. HI See attached photo. Other than  my clumsiness, it was a very fun event. Thanks Larry, for setting it up."

WA4AAK - Lots of fun! Worked portable in Monte Sano State Park (Alabama) with excellent weather. And no skeeter bites! 14 contacts on 40m, 8 contacts on 20m. Looking forward to next year... 72 to all, Evan WA4AAK

K7TQ - I did the first hour using my mobile rig in the driveway of the house.  The KX2 gathered no replies.  After a break for lunch, I operated my serial number 213 K2 from under the deck in the backyard using the Force 12 C4SXL at 60 feet.  Only in the last hour did I gather any replies.  Tough conditions here in ID plus hottest day of the year topping out at 97F.  Didn’t see any mosquitoes.  I guess too hot for them.  Good!

WB3GCK - The rainy weather here in southeastern PA made for lousy conditions for a portable QRP contest. So, I operated from the shelter of my truck in a local park. It was great to hear all of the activity this year. (I just wish stations wouldn't bunch up around the QRP watering holes.) Thanks to all the skeeters and especially to Larry W2LJ for coordinating this fun event.

W4RK - Great job on the 2020 Skeeter Hunt!  I had a competing event in another hobby that cut into my time but the 1-1/2 hrs that I had available was fun.  Really appreciate your effort! 73, BILL W4RK

K2PHD - Between rain and not so good band conditions no QSOs recorded. I will try harder next year. Picture of my FT-817nd in my car away from rain, homebrew antenna outside behind my car.

KE3V - I did pretty good the first couple hours, then by about 4pm, it seems or dry up. Oh well, it was still fun!

KD4MSR - Tnx to the organizers!  Conditions started out OK for the first hour; then things deteriorated quickly.  I tried all bands/freq.s with CW and had mild success.  Really only hear about four stations well that I just couldn’t work.  Lots of dead air.  I  also tried SSB on all bands.    Heard nothing on SSB anywhere except one guy in Florida with a mobile rig and 100 Watts chatting with someone.  No luck breaking in to get in one SSB QSO.  All in all—I played with my toys and had fun.  By the way, my wife loves the Skeeter logo.

I worked from my home shack with commercial qrp gear (X1).  But, luckily for me, my home, and therefore my shack, adjoins and overlooks a 100-acre greenspace surrounding this covered bridge and along a 100-mile paved bicycle rail/trail called the Silver Comet Trail that runs from suburban Atlanta to Anniston, Alabama.

TNX ES 73 AR SK DE KD4MSR, "Professor L.O. Power"

W8EWH - KX3 on battery power into sloping Packtenna Mini @ 25 feet.  20 and 40 meters only.  Bands quite noisy.  2 hours on the air.  More contacts than last year, so there is at least that.

W3BBO -Fun QSO party!  Great to work old friends and meet some new ones.  Thanks for all your efforts, Larry, much appreciated!  72 de Bob W3BBO


 1.       I shot my 225’ Homebrew End Fed Antenna over the tops of the trees behind my shed using my Rube Goldberg “line shooter” (first photo below) that works superbly well for the purpose.  About 188’ of the wire ran WNW to ESE at roughly 30’ feet AGL which is at 929’ ASL.

2.       The wire was connected to my Balun Designs Model 9130sw QRP 9:1 Unun.

3.       I ran the coax back to the shed with the first 50’ or so elevated about 3’ above the ground.  The shield on the coax serves as this antenna’s counterpoise.

4.       I then moved things around to make some room in the shed and set up a card table and chair.

5.       I set up my 40M QCX+ QRP 4.5 Watt radio, a 12v 20aH Lithium Battery and my LDG Z-11 Pro II Zero Power Antenna Tuner (runs on 8 AA cells inside it that are supposed to power it for roughly a year).  Interestingly enough, my QCX+ outputs 4.5 Watts into a 50 Ohm Dummy Load but only 1.9 Watts into the End Fed antenna.  That wire antenna was designed for use on 80 Meters and it works fairly well for that.  However, I’m considering building a shorter version geared more toward 40 Meters and maybe another specifically for 20M.  Or maybe an OCFD focused on 40M but will work well on several other Bands as well (so many options …. so little time …).

Unfortunately out of the 40-50 CQ BZZ calls I made during the first 2-1/2 hours of the Skeeter Hunt event I didn’t receive any responses.  Granted, my experience has been that 40M propagation is very limited during the daytime hours so I plan to assemble my 20M QCX+ Kit in preparation for the next Skeeter Hunt!  😊


Bob Ballard – KG5SQJ

N8RVE - Thunderstorm raged through northern OH at noon,  but by 1:30 all was quiet.  I wanted to work this along the Lake Erie shoreline, but the storm kept me from setting up so I just worked from the shack.  I had a little problem with the paddles as I usually use a straight key, so thanks to all of you that put up with an extra dit and resends.  All in all it was a very fun event, and now look forward to working the zombie shuffle in Nov.   Sorry I didn't get to work you Larry, and thanks again for all the fun in this event.  John N8RVE

N0MII - The weather was great! The band conditions... not so much. Still had fun! And managed to avoid mosquitos AND chiggers this year.

WA4ILO - This is a fun contest. As usual with contests, I'm sorry I didn't get started on time. I enjoyed every minute of the operation. Thank you for sponsoring this event.

WB4OMM - Wow! I think the sunspots are back!  Ran the full 4hours, never left the radio!  Started on 20M and was very successful so I stayed there. Very good signals.  Checked 40M after 3 hours, heard and worked one station – (AK4JA) and went back to 20M after hearing nothing for 15 minutes.  Worked 7 more stations!  Elecraft K1 running 5W to a HB 124 foot End Fed Wire with HB 9:1 Balun.  Worked from the Shack this year, many parks closed/restricted, and though it would be better staying home.  Had an absolute blast!  Thanks to all that worked me, and apologies to the few that I just couldn’t pull out of the noise.  Looking forward to going back out in the field next year.  72/73 to all, Steve WB4OMM.

KK4ITX - Had a great time on Mt. Agameticus in Maine although it was only around 65, cloudy and up to 15 mph winds....... made this Floridian chill to the bone ...... BUT NO MOSQUITOES except for me.  I built a Sotabeams EFHW and used a 28’ piece of wire hung from the top of a 20’ Black Widow fish pole lashed to the front of my car. Got to talk to four different sets of visitors about Ham Radio and handed out my cards and some SKCC cards too. I apologize to those 6 QSOs for my sloppy fist..... actually my brain, sometimes I forget the exchange contents. You guys were great !

K3RLL - With Covid the way it is, this old man played it safe and set up a 31' HB vertical in the back yard and my trusty ol' KX1 on my workbench in the garage. Conditions weren't great here and didn't hear many of our 273(?) registered Skeeter Slayers, but happy for those who heard my 3 watts. Kept going back and forth between 20m and 40m but it didn't sound like NJQRP Club paid their "Propagation Dues" this year. Tisk, tisk. Thanks for the fun and appreciate all the work put into this annual event. 72/73 … Don K3RLL

KG5IEE - Just learned about the SKEETER Hunt the morning of the contest.  I set up portable under trees next to my shop but close enough for an extension for a fan (Heat Index was 109). Used the FT-991, battery power. Buddipole, and a J-38 to operate CW.  This was also my first QRP contest.  Really enjoyed the SKEETER Hunt and look forward to next year.  Randal KG5IEE

W3TS - Started set up a 12:45PM then a cloud burst of rain...but I checked the weather report and it said 10 % chance!
So when that stopped I put up a random tuned doublet on a fiber glass kept getting tangled up...and that was not working out well. Switch to tree supported random doublet which didn't seem to be working well. Works a few stations then decide to switch to my 40/20M jumper dipole tree supported and that worked a bit better and it rained,a bit again... see weather report. Worked some more but the tree supported jumper dipole was not as good as I I got out the mast and elevated the doublet and finished out that way, which seemed to work the best! I knew this from past tries but had to relearn...a "high" dipole is very hard to beat. High as in 25 feet high in this case.
Rig was a KX1 at 4 watts.

I had fun and dried out.

73, Mike W3TS

KG4MTN - Had a great time and will do again next year.  Had to set up on my patio due to Covid, used my old K2 as transceiver loading thru a 4 State QRP Tuner to a long wire.  SIgs were not bad, lower QRN on 20M.  Unhappily a thunderstorm brewed up after the 1st hour so had to QRT.  WIll fine tune my portable station next time out.  Thanks for putting on a great sprint!!
72, Mike

W2KGY - W2KGY participated in the skeeter hunt on Sunday. I hiked up to Redoubt 4 on campus ( and set up an OCF dipole strung across the fort. My radio was very much homebrew: a 9V crystal pixie kit. I tried to use a MFJ mini key, but didn’t get any sidetone. I shorted out a spare pair of headphones to make a connection, but still nothing. I even used my pocketknife to short hot to ground, and only got feedback! I kept experimenting until my battery line snapped and decided to call it a day. Thanks for the fun event, I heard a lot of stations on my crystal. Without computer-assist hams get a lot slower (readable) on CW. Hope to participate again!

Thanks again.
CDT Nolan Pearce, KE8JCT
W2KGY Cadet-In-Charge

N5BGZ - This is the third time I've requested a skeeter number.  The first two life got in the way and I did not make it into the contest.  For this one, I had to.  See I got skeeter number 67... and I just turned 67 last month! 

There are three photos attached.  One shows the shed with the operating area on the table to the right.  You can see the antenna hanging just outside to the right of the door (look for the pink cord).  The second shows the operating area on the table.  And the third is the tuning part of the QRPGuys antenna.  The antenna goes straight up 33 feet to a branch of a tree then over another 30 to make an L. 

The shed is on 1/2 acre we own about 10 miles from the home QTH and next door to Peggy's Mom's place.  We keep mowers in here to mow the grass with.  Peggy and I take care of her Mom (who still lives on her own at 90!) and part of the job is mowing her 2 acres and our 0.5 acre.  Peggy was mowing while I operated!  I mowed after the hunt. 

I think we should have a "IT WAS HOT" bonus!  The temperature during the hunt was 102!  After the hunt a line of thunderstorms came through and it cooled off nicely (75!). 

Really enjoyed it!  I was late getting on and only got to operate the last hour. 

Thanks to John (K4BAI), Vernon (W4RK) and Peter (NN9K) for working me.
Mike de N5BGZ

WB5BKL - Very limited time working from home this year.  Nearly half of my QSOs were with Missouri.  That'll show me...   :-)   Had fun.