Skeeter Hunt Soapbox 2020 - Page 3

KC0PET - W0ODJ, K0EMT and I operated from Little Dixie Conservation Area in Callaway County, MO.  The weather was great, actually cool for August in MO.  We were doing our due diligence social distancing by operating about 30-40 feet apart (not to mention some RF distancing between antennas).  I used my trusty K2 with a solar charged LiPo battery.  My antenna was a home brew G5RV that I finished up the night before.  The antenna uses a center insulator 3D printed of my own design that allows the antenna to be rolled up into a nice package for portable ops and can be slipped on a kite pole (although this time I put it up without a pole - see photo).  I had a little learning curve getting it up in the air, but finally got on the air.  The antenna seemed to work great on 40M and 20M, future activities will test it further.  In addition to about 45 minutes of operating, I did my good deed for the day by helping another park visitor with a flat tire.  We had a number of other park patrons inquire about what we were doing and had some great positive feedback!  I managed to work 6 Skeeters in 6 states including MN, NC, MI, FL, GA and MO, I won't be getting any awards, but it was a great afternoon.

K3UT - 2.5 hours operating time which includes a 20minute break for a rain shower. The heat got to me. And instead of skeeters I had gnats and flies. Was on my back porch in sort of shade. The temp at the end of the Hunt was reading 91.9F.

The Hunt was a chance to test out my newly built QCX+. Works great on 20 and all but the five 40m QSOs were made with it. For some reason, the QCX+ only puts out 2 watts, in spite of my coaxing. But the QCX+ doesn't know that it is almost QRPP. It worked like a charm. For 40m I used my K2. Both rigs were powered by a Bionno battery and bulit by me. The antenna was an end fed wire about 30 feet up in a tree.

No extreme adventures. A little rain, and when I came back, the cat had claimed my chair, and in moving the cat's chair I knocked over my beer.

Looks like I could have operated SO2R. I didn't think of that!

Most Skeeter Hunts I am operating from Maine. This year, because of the virus we aren't traveling, so this is our back deck, St Simons Island, EM91hd, IOTA NA-058, midway between Jacksonville and Savannah, separated from the mainland by a six mile causeway.

Thanks again Larry and NJQRP for organizing!

Phil, K3UT

A careful look will show my vertical that is embedded in the salt water marsh, without radials. My wire was up in the tree. Below is a view from my shack window. My actual operating position this afternoon was a little to the right of the flowering tree (Brugmansia) that you see. The view is East.

N2MO - Despite the rainy weather we were able to operate from Winding River Park in Toms River NJ. Used a par end fed antenna up in tree about 20 feet. We had the use of a pavillion which kept us dry.

W0MQY - Band conditions were horrible, noise level S5 throughout the sprint. There was a solar flare that lasted over 2 hours but not sure if it caused the high noise levels. It was a lot of fun and really enjoyed myself again this year. Thanks Larry for all the work you did to make this sprint possible. Looking forward to next year all ready. Score low, fun level very high. Thanks to all who put up with my poor cw.

72 Joe Porter W0MQY
Pittsburg, Kansas

AK3X - Was planning backyard portable ops but heavy rain kept me inside. Also planned to use my Small Wonder Labs DSW 20 and DSW 40 but needed the noiseblanker and attenuator in my Argonaut V. I did at least work K1SWL!  Only on for the last 40 minutes but glad to at least participate.

K0EMT - I got distracted before the event working on a EFHW matching unit.  So, I didn’t get set up and operating until in the second hour of the contest. I operated from Little Dixie Lake, Conservation Area in central Missouri.  I had a nice mostly shaded spot at a picnic table with mild weather for August.

The station consisted of an Elecraft KX3.  Morse Code was sent with a hand key.  I did have a set of paddles attached as backup.  Powered by a 12Ah Bioenno in a portable zero case.

I built and used a W2DU choke balun, a 9:1 unun and a wire radiator ~35.5’ long in a vertical orientation, 17’ counterpoise wire.

Majority of contacts were on 20m.  Seemed like there was lots of QRN, especially on 40m.  Fast and deep fading was observed on 20m.  Numerous contacts needing fills.  The SOTA contacts were phone, QRP both ways.  Of my 7 Park to Park contacts all but one was via phone.  The one POTA Morse Code contact was with a Canadian station.

KC0PET and W0ODJ were also at the same site as single ops.  We enjoyed some camaraderie during the event with some appropriately distanced rag chewing afterwards.  We also got to share ham radio with several visitors.

Thanks for coordinating a great event Larry!

KA3D - I was relegated to participate from home this year. Uhgg. Oh well still enjoyed. Thank You for all your hard work on this event! I hope all is well friend.

73, 72

KM3D - Enjoyed refreshing with old friends and new. I'll be back!

WA4ZOF - Operating from porch
My old KD1JV Tri-Band
Home Brew tuner & EndFed Half Wave slopping North.
Had fun many strong sigs
Weather typical Georgia heat!
I stayed for the whole show on 20 mtrs.

K4KO - Great fun, but HOT, HUMID, and unbearably noisy here on 40 & 20m from start to finish. Sadly no bites on 15 or 10m. Thanks to those who found me, and sorry to those I missed. Thanks Larry W2LJ and NJQRP!

KF7SEY - Family and I were out in the strawberry wilderness for some Summits on the Air. Hike took longer than expected but I was able to make some contacts. Used My KX2 and two different homebrewed antennas. EFHW and a linked dipole. Once we made it back to camp. I got on for the last 45 mins and made a few more contacts. I sported my Skeeter T-shirt for good luck.
Already ready for next year.



W2JEK - Had a good time in the SKEETER Hunt.  I set up as a portable in my garage with home brew rig and battery power. Had 16 qso's with 10 SPC. Antenna was a home brew end fed wire using a home brew tuner. Because of the rain I was going to stay indoors but the rain stopped at 12:30 so set up as a portable station as I had originally planned Had 12 qso on 40 with my OHR 40 rig and 4 qso on 20 wiyh my OHR 100A on 20 m. I tried 15 and 80 M but did not hear any qso's or make any qso's on either band. All 16 QSO were SKEETERS.I even had a visitor. A rabbit came into my garage, but only for a second. It saw me move and ran out. No points though.  HI   72  Don

VE3DQN - I really like this sprint. Couldn't set up at the idyllic cottage-on-a-lake scene like I had last year, but operating from my daughter and son-in-law's farm yard worked well. FT-817, T-1, and 105' inverted-V up 35' at apex. Unfortunately I forgot the starting time was 1pm (EDT) and began about 2pm. And then around 4:30 when the 40m band was starting to really hop, a huge thunderstorm rolled through. I grabbed all my electronics, ran to the car, and headed home.  73/72 Don VE3DQN

WV0H - Thanks for putting this on every year and this year with Covid, I decided to stay home and set up in the back yard, even though there's an S8 noise level.

No propagation on 20 or 40 for the first 3 hours! QSB terrible and setup/tore down 3 different antennas. I spent more time working on antennas than operating but the time I was on I found it very difficult to hear. Finally, in the last hour I was able to pull out NN9K and K7TQ! Moonbounce back in 1995 was easier...and oh, 93 degrees at close.

Tried but failed to work N5GW. Must of tried 4 different times to get him on 20 but the QSB was horrible.

This is the first year I had ash from the Colorado wildfires blowing around and falling on the setup. I wonder if all those clouds of smoke and ash attenuate HF signals...hmm.

K4PQC - Lots of nearby thunderstorms here in Bishop GA  making contacts difficult.  Using a K2 on battery and a wire loop antenna with homemade balun.  Missed the first half hour because of the storm activity.   Lots of fun.

VE7XF - Terrible condx! Fortunately, the scenery in my back yard was great.

N3AAZ - Fun Event

THANKS too, to our QAARC 2 meter CW Repeater NET allowing me to tweek my Farnsworth fist  (sending characters at 18-20 wpm but adding enough time between them to slow down to the rate of 13-15 wpm).   This technique allows both ends of the contest speed spectrum to come to me... high speed OPs will do the same (adjust to my word speed) AND low speed OPs know I will adjust to their word rate.

This event reminds me again how died in the wool QRP CW OPs are a cagey group and CW a unique language all it's own

72 hours of rain forced me inside

Last minute home brew XCVR setup developed an N3AAZ-oops finals got the virus (wrong LPF / ANT installed on QCX = SWR to the MAX)
Next year's goal, more than one homebrew xcvr setup piror to event

N1RBD - Hopefully I can work longer next time!   Still had fun

K0RGI - Propagation could have been better, but the weather here in east Tennessee was great for operating from my backyard. Only one contact on 20 - it never seemed to open up. 40 was difficult early on but opened up a bit as the afternoon progressed. Station here is a KX1 feeding a PAC-12 vertical. Thanks to Larry and NJQRP for putting on the event once again this year, and thanks to all the stations who pulled my signal out of the noise.

72, Jim - K0RGI

NK9G - Operated from one of my favorite spots on the west shore of Lake Michigan in a Milwaukee County Park. It was partly cloudy with a light breeze but those Mosquito's like sweet meet and they got me plenty before I broke out the Mosquito Repellent. Well I went out and hour and a half early with WT9X, Andre and as a new Ham he wanted to give it a try. We operated Single Op with our own antennas. Andre used a KX3 and I set him up with a Delta Loop  (at 55') for 20/40 Meters. He said it received fantastic. He heard Scotland and Ireland and a few east coast skeeter but did not work 1 station, But he had to leave an hour and 40 minutes into the Hunt for a family emergency.  He's not giving up, but understands CW is the place to be.
Because it was extra points for Home brewed antennas I decided to go all out and used my trusty 88' doublet (at 40') and I also had my 10' Magnetic Loop which I never made a QSO on for this event. I spray painted it flat black yesterday and being made of PVC it got hot and folded over, so back to the drawing board on the main support.
So I did not get on the air until 29 minutes into the Hunt do to trying to get the loop up to no avail. I thought conditions were not to hot. 20's signals here were weak, watery and QSB. 40 started slow but improved and proved to be the Bread and Butter band for the Skeeter Hunt.
It was great to see so many who signed up but from WI I worked no FL, TX, MA, CT, VA, OK, CO to name a few. Propagation south and to the west just wasn't to be found other than KS & MO.  I hope this keeps going with all the activity and Yet The New Jersey QRP Skeeter Hunt is My FAVORITE.
A Big Thank You to NJQRP Club and W2LJ for his efforts on this Hunt again.
See You all in the next QRP Operating Event!
Rick  NK9G

AA1SB -Thanks for running this event. Didn't do too well from my back yard, but still enjoyed it.

VA3RSA - This was my first Skeeter Hunt and QRP contest. Operated at home due to passing local rain storms. I have a high QRM noise level in my neighbourhood so it was difficult to make out most QRP signals. Also my 5W sigs were not very well copied due to long coax runs on my homebrew QRO antennas. Hope to do much better next year operating at local park well removed from the city where QRM is zero. Rig here is Icom IC-7300 running 5W. Morse key is J-38 straight key. Thanks for running the event! 73.

Thanks and 73,
Richard, VA3RSA

W4MPS - Another fun Skeeter Hunt. Tnx agn Larry.
My favorite spot, Jordan Lake, was closed this year due to covid. But I found a large soccer field here in town that worked out very well. Rig was a KX3, battery powered feeding a homebrew segmented dipole set up as an inverted Vee. 67% of my Q's were on 40, with the rest on 20. I didn't hear anyone on 80. WX cooperated as it was cloudy all afternoon, keeping temps and glare down. It sprinkled for 2 minutes, otherwise no rain. I managed 20 S/P/C but didn't hear any of our skeeter brethren out west. The farthest west worked was MO and WI, and it was great to work several VE's. Congrats and tnx agn to Larry W2LJ, as the Skeeter Hunt popularity seems to grow every year.
72, Marc, W4MPS (NC #173)

K2TD - Had to go to my sons house - operated from his driveway, KX3, bioenno battery, hustler antenna on a mag mount!  Aberdeen MD. Several club guys on using their calls - couldn't get together as usual due to virus concerns.  Didn't want to miss a year but only had a short time to op. Thanks for another good time!  This is the premier QRP sprint of the year.  Not what we had planned but a lot better than nothing. 73, Frank K2SQS

WK8S - It was a last minute decision to go portable so I chose our local high school parking lot where I could be in a somewhat clear, elevated spot well away from people. Since it was Sunday there was no one around. It was sunny, and hot with not much shade to be had so I operated from my car. I planted my antenna support on an elevated spot just above the parking lot and strung my wire down and tied it to the car. It all seemed perfect….until I started to operate out of my trunk with hatch open. After a couple of calls my automatic hatch started closing on me (and equipment)! It took me a while to figure out why it kept closing — RFI!  So I moved to operate out of the front seat. That didn’t stop the hatch from opening and closing sometimes but at least it did not affect my operating. LOL. Unfortunately, propagation conditions were abysmal which didn’t help my score. Forty Meters was closed - I did not hear a single signal there all day even from my home station. So it all 20 Meters. It’s always a challenge to operate from Manitou Springs with Pikes Peak and lots of mountains blocking signals to and from the West. However the Skeeter Hunt, as usual, was a fun event. I look forward to the next in 2021.

N4KGL - I operated outdoors portable from Dothan, AL. The temps were in the 90s but some shade helped. Tom WD0HBR allowed me to use the vacant lot next to his Mother's house. My rigs were the Wilderness Sierra kit on 40 meters and a Wilderness SST-20 kit on 20 meters. The antenna was the 68-foot end-fed that Myron WV0H built for me. I enjoyed spending time with Tom who helped me copy. Suzy enjoyed the afternoon as well. It was a pleasure running into my friend  Bobby AK4JA from Georgia on 40 meters. The Skeeters were not as plentiful as they could have been due to conditions, but enough for a fun afternoon. My photos are at

W4KAC - This was my first Skeeter Hunt.  I worked from the back yard with a temporary setup. Made many mistakes, but had a blast!  I was using a new Te Ne Key and was not used to it.  Holding it in my hand did not work well.  I really made a mess of a few contacts.  Apologies to N0SS especially.  I really boogered up the final with him.  Things did get better though.

The QSB was vicious at times.  Had a few failed contacts because of it.  Good signals would just drop to nothing.

Thanks for the fun.  I'll be back next year.
Ken, W4KAC

N0JBF - Since I am one of those individuals considered to be "at risk" for the Corona Virus I opted to work from my home shack. I had planned on using my new Micro BitX V6 but waited too long to get it hooked up. So I cranked the power down on the FT-1000MP as low as it would go and still move the needle on the meter. I had no more that sent my first CQ BZZ when WM0W, Mitch, anwered. Mitch is a fellow member of the Mid-Mo ARC and has become my first QSO in a number of QRP events. In addition to WM0W I worked four other Mid-Mo stations, including N0SS, for a total of five MO stations. Other states worked were IL, PA, and MS all with 599 signals.I heard a station in WY and another from Two Land but they were down in the mud. The four hours flew and made for a enjoyable afternoon on the radio. Can't wait for next year.


K2AL - Worked the contest from the home shack with my Elecraft K1.

Made all my 16 contacts on 40 CW. Listened briefly on 20 but did not hear anything.

Great fun. Worked nine states and Ontario.



AK4JA - Shown below are the two transmitters I used in the 2020 Skeeter Hunt.  The one on the left is the 40 meter transmitter and the one on the right is the 20 meter transmitter.  Both were crystal controlled.  I called CQ on the crystal's frequency instead of using "Search & Pounce".

This was my first Skeeter Hunt and I have to say that I had a blast.  My station was at home this year but next year I hope to participate from the field. I enjoyed this year's event  so much that I'm already making plans for next year!  Thanks to the stations that I got the opportunity to work. I worked 20 meters for most of the event and finished off on 40. I used a straight key, homebrew tube QRP transmitters and a homebrew doublet antenna (bonus points for homebrew antenna!) After this year's Skeeter Hunt, I decided to turn the two single band transmitters into a dual band transmitter for convenience sake.  Shown below is my new dual band 20/40 Meter rig that I plan on using next year <wink, wink>

73 de AK4JA

AC7A - Just about zero propagation down here in Southern AZ. I had to operate from the backyard because the national forest has been closed due to the huge Big Horn fire a few months back. Only worked two stations, AB9CA and WB4OMM in the first 90 minutes. It was already 102 degrees at that point and only getting hotter so I decided to pull the plug early. I used a temporary, homebrew antenna. A 31' fiberglass pole with a 40 meter inverted-V attached to it, fed with 300 Ohm feedline. I used a switchable 1:1/4:1 current balun at the K2 output. In total, I only heard 6 Skeeter stations. The two I worked, one that just couldn't get my call copied correctly, and three that weren't hearing me call them. My thought about these things is as long as I work one station it was worth the effort!

AB9CA - Great fun even if prop was not all that great. The ant was a 56' vee, peak at 40', fed with ladder line and matched with an MFJ-974 balanced tuner. Rig was a battery powered FT-857 rolled back to 5w.

Prop definitely favored certain areas. The top SPC's from here were PA and NJ with 12 each, then GA with 11. Close to half of my Q's came from the top 3. After that it gets thinner: MO 5, ON FL WI 4 each, NC 3. I think all the others were 1 or 2. Only 1 from the west, AC7A in AZ. And only 1 from TX, KG5IEE. None from CA WA or OR.

SPC's in order worked, with dupes removed:


Not much from west of the Mississippi.

20m was the main band with 48 Q's. The rest, 31, were on 40. Tried 15m 2 or 3 times but nothing heard.

QSB was bad. Lost 3 or 4 to that. Sorry if you were one of those, but you simply disappeared. Had to ask for a number of repeats.

Great fun! Already thinking about next year! Maybe prop will cooperate by then?? Wouldn't it be nice . . . . .

73 de Dave

WG0AT - Just a "FUNderful” QRP ‘test!! … thanks, Larry! 

Great to get my buzz fix this year!  Setup on a small hill on east side of our 10-acres in the scrub oaks where Boo happily chewed away until it was goat nap time …meanwhile I spent first hour getting my wire antenna tangle in the pines. Next hour on 20m using my kit built MTR2 with home made paddle … very FUN! Tuned back and forth S&Ping to knock off half dozen Qs  ...forgot how relaxed the QRP contests can be! After running pile ups with SOTA it’s nice to sit and enjoy a relaxed pace of making contacts with QRP buddies for a change! … broke for lunch and brought back my other rig (repackaged MTR5b) with 2-paddles (1-QRPguys kit, other a DIY Bic lighter reworked into a paddle) The last final hour becomes a little more hectic with WPM increasing as folks see the finish line approaching …a great QRP ’test and fine group of OPs!! And four hours is perfect length of time! Oh, btw all my electrons used to make buzzing RF were green this year! Used solar panel to charge my battery!   See you next year in 2021 (maybe a brighter year!?)

73, Steve/wGOAT (& Boo Goat)

N8BB - Thanks Larry, another fun day in the yard with a simple dipole. Love these events.

Werner  N8BB

K4VLP - I was portable on my golf cart in a nearby park, using a KX2 and AX1 on 20m. While I was able to hear a fair amount of skeeter ops on CW, I was not heard except locally. At least the afternoon thunderstorms held off during the contest hours which allowed an enjoyable afternoon under a shady tree, with the temps staying in the low 90s so WX conditions weren’t as brutal as they could have been.

AC2YD - Thanks for a great contest! ... worked 8 in the space of about an hour, all 20m, then got distracted with trying for a new continent, in the Brazilian CVA DX contest ... GOT IT!  2 Brazilian stations (finally) heard my 2W from NJ!  I'm not counting those in Skeeter Hunt score, though.  Rig:  Softrock RXTX Ensemble (kit), Quisk s/w transceiver, 1/4-wave vertical with 32 radials.

-- Ben, AC2YD --

N2PQW - Several members of our club, Ocean Monmouth ARC, had arranged to meet a local park in Toms River, NJ to work the contest.  WX turned out to pretty icky, so only 2 of us braved the elements.

N2JJF operated CW using the club's callsign, N2MO, while I used my own, in voice mode.

I used my trusty YAESU FT-991A and a pair of 28aH AGM batteries for power.

Antenna was a home-brew 1/4-wave vertical for 40m, constructed of 1/4" copper water tubing. A loading coil is about 5ft from the base to keep it short and manageable. The whole affair was vinyl-taped to a
fiberglass mast, and guyed for support.  A few elevated radials were stretched out to complete the system.

My contact rate was not spectacular, but I'm not an old hand at QRP operating, so perhaps as well as can be expected.

Regardless of the results, it was certainly fun to get to the park for an afternoon, and continue to hone my skills as an Amateur operator.

Attached, please find some photos of the arrangements, along with my Log and Scoring sheet.

Thanks for continuing to promote this event!  Maybe next year Amazon will ship us the good WX on time.

David Drapkin  /  N2PQW
2020 Skeeter #196

K2PQ - I had no idea the Skeeter test was still around until a friend mentioned it. Thanks Larry for keeping this going.  A day hike in the NJ Pine Barrens a few steps from my home would have been fun.  But high heat, rainy weather and relentless real Skeeter's squelched that idea.  Planned to set up in the back of my property.  Steady rain moved me on to my porch.  Didn't hear that many Skeeter's but worked those I heard.  N8BB  first in the log. Really big signals from KR4AE, WD8RIF and K4VIG.  
Rig KX2 @ 5W ....Ant 40 meter dipole at 25 feet.
Thanks all for some fun on another stay at home covid day.  72. Frank K2PQ



AB4PP - Had good weather after a week of storms.  Got in there and did a lot of S&P And then called CQ for a while.  None heard on 80 or 10 or 6. I did pick up one on 15. Had a great time with two short breaks.

NX1K - Stayed inside and limited operating time (mostly the last hour) due to being 46th wedding anniversary.  Fun to hear some familiar calls and some new ones. 


AG4P - I either picked a bad location or the bands were not in good shape, the 8 stations I did work have great receiver's, I could tell I was weak, 73 AG4P  Roger  TN

W2LJ - NJQRP Skeeter Hunt Day 2020 arrived much as it did for 2019 - gray and gloomy. But this year, there was a difference - rain was added to the mix and there was no clearing come mid morning. I fully intended to set up outside on the patio table under the big umbrella anyway. I went out there around Noon to wipe the table dry, and to get the antenna up. As I was standing there, wiping down the table, water kept dripping down off the umbrella and onto my back. "Oh, this is NOT going to work" was the thought that entered my mind. I don't mind cloudy, I don't mind humid, I don't mind cool (it was only 66 F at the time), but I DO mind wet.

The decision was made to operate from the shack. There went the X4 multiplier and the home brew antenna bonus up into a puff of smoke. However, I'm not in it to win in any case. As Contest Manager, I consider myself ineligible. I do like to put forward the best effort I can, though.

The bands seemed plenty busy once starting time rolled around. 40 Meters was best for me. I worked a few on 20 Meters, but signals were very weak. QSB was terrible on both 20 and 40, but at least the signals were louder on 40 and I was able to deal with it.  I tried listening and calling CQ on both 15 Meters and 80 Meters for a bit, but it seemed that both those bands were about as inhabited as Robinson Crusoe's island. No one there but me - not even Friday.

I came upstairs at about the halfway point for a needed "Nature's Call" break. Wouldn't you know it? As I looked out the living room window, the rain had stopped and the sun was trying to break through the clouds. I was tempted to quickly set up for doing the second half from the backyard, but it occurred to me that that would be a scoring mess. Even though my score doesn't count, how do you score a 1/2 home operation and a 1/2 backyard portable operation? As it turned out it was the wise choice. By the time the closing bell rang, the gloom and spritzing rain had returned for an encore performance

At 2100 UTC I had finished up with 30 QSOs in the log. Not my best effort by any means, but still a lot of fun. Thanks to all who participated and made the Skeeter Hunt possible. I may do the background work to get it going, but you guys are the ones who are the wind beneath its wings. Without you there's no NJQRP Skeeter Hunt, and for that I am eternally grateful. MY reward in all of this is hearing stories about how you folks had a good time. There's so much un-cool stuff happening in the world today and we need to get a break from it, even if it's just for a few hours. If I can help bring some enjoyment to people's lives for even a little while - it's all well worth it.

2021 will mark the 10th running of the NJQRP Skeeter Hunt. I have to think of something special for the occasion.

72 de Larry W2LJ