|2016 NJQRP Skeeter Hunt Soapbox|
|N2CX- Combining the Skeeter hunt with NPOTA was a great idea. I enjoy both but the totality is greater than the sum of the parts.|
was only able to operate the first two hours of the hunt that morning.
An electrical storm moved into the mountains just before the third hour
of the hunt. I scrambled to get the antenna taken down and the gear
back up to my truck once I was aware the storm was moving in. The
conditions were very so-so as it seems they have been for the past
several years. Not a lot of skeeter stations heard here in the SW.
I have attached a few pictures from my setup up at a Mount Lemmon picnic ground. The elevation is about 8000' at the picnic ground point. I find the higher elevation doesn't seem to provide better propagation than I have at my home QTH which is at about 2700' elevation, but the summertime temperatures are much more tolerable up there and the man made noise is definitely lower.
|WI2W - Bzz Bzz - Had fun operating Bruce's KX3 to a homebrew 40M EFHW antenna. Only operated for a short while and got out of the park just as the raindrops were coming down. Thanks for the Q's and see you next year! 72, Steve WI2W|
|N8XX - TR04, North
Country National Scenic Trail.
It's less than 2 miles from where I live, so I've been there about 7 times. Others have visited it often, since it runs about 5400 miles from New York to North Dakota in a rather circuitous route. As of today, there have been 197 activations, >8500 contacts, so it's not exactly "rare" :)
But it still attracts attention!
Got on late, we went on our usual Sunday Lunch with a crowd. Always Fun, Fun, Fun, even though I even had to "hunt" for Q's some of the time rather than being a "magnet" station like it was on 1 January!
72/73 de n8xx Hg
QRP >99.44% of the time
|NX1K - Had a great
time even though I could only operate for the first sesqui-hour.
I was portable in Vermont. My whole family (11 of us) were in a rental house for the weekend. I brought the equipment from home, set up a temporary antenna, and used my HB-1B on the deck overlooking the mountains.
|N7CQR - I was
working from a city 'SOTA' spot known as Nansen Summit in Portland
using my new KX 2 and an Alexloop.
Highlight was working Steve WG0AT from a summit in CO!Here's a shot looking NNE.Propagation was very so-so with stations
popping up for a minute then totally dissapearing. Patience was the name of the game...still fun.
Dan Presley N7CQR.
|W8DIZ - Invited some
friends and XYL to help me set up.
"Built" a 44 foot dipole and raised it to 17 feet in trees, connected my 20 meter 1Watter S/N#1
to 12V gel cell
QRV only 2 hours...sigs not strong...only made 7 Qs...had fun.
TNX KX0R, WK8S, NK9G, NN9K, W3BBO, W2LJ(yea that guy) and AB1LT.
No skeeters flying...just lots of gnats (mini-skeeters) and fire ants(ouch).
- I operated the last hour of the Skeeter Hunt after a tiring weekend
doing a Lighthouse activation with N1QLL in down-East Maine. That
earlier effort was a struggle, especially
with SSB and despite running 100W. It was a real pleasure to get back to QRP operation for the Skeeter Hunt. We QRP types expect signals to be weak, and we'll we're willing to copy them.
As a result, My 'rate' was much better in the Skeeter event than it had been in the earlier event. Already looking forward to next year!
73- Dave Benson, K1SWL
- The Mid-MO ARC of Jefferson City, Missouri, operated this year's 2016
Skeeter Hunt event using call-sign NěSS, the club's memorial call
formerly held by Tom Hammond, SK.
Signals radiated from property owned by K9ZTV in historic Westphalia, Missouri, located 22 miles from our QTHs in Jefferson City.
Equipment included a kit-built KX3 (s.n. 21); an Aerial-51 Model 404-UL Asymmetrical Inverted -Vee with apex at the top of a 60-foot Spiderbeam fiberglass telescoping mast;
a Rolls HA43-Pro headphone amp; and a Begali Adventure paddle. Propagation was decent enough to work 20 states and 3 NPOTAs. For the first time in all the Skeeter Hunts we've done,
we never heard from California. A big thank you to Larry and the New Jersey QRP Club for another excellent event.
- I live in Mantiou Springs and enjoy going over to Bott Park in nearby
Colorado Springs. I can often talk my wife into a picnic lunch, as I
did this time, during an outing.
It’s a very nice small park which is little used. It has a couple of tables under a small awning which is perfect to operate from.
I use a KX2 at 5 watts to a vertical antenna. The antenna is composed of a variety of parts. The base is an old dowel with a spike in it (from a early St. Louis Vertical) with some
PVC fittings which I added a BNC and two bolts. One bolt is for radials and one 3/8x24 to connect to the mast. The mast is 4 - 1 foot sections of threaded aluminum rod, followed by
a Buddipole coil to a 110 inch collapsible whip. I use 6 radials - 3 cut for 20M and 3 for 40M. Coax is 30 feet of LMR100. All fits into a 2 foot nylon tripod bag.
I must say conditions were better for this contest than I’ve experienced all summer with sunny skies, nice temperature and 20 Meters cooperating for most of the contest.
It was a very enjoyable day!
Manitou Springs, CO
|K2AL - Operated
portable from Barnard, Vermont.
Used K1 with battery power. Antenna was doublet at 35 feet.
Could only work about 1/2 hour in contest as had to leave for home in New Jersey.
But always great fun.
Tnx for your efforts in running the sprint.
- First time on the Skeeter hunt — had lots of fun — will be back
nextyear! Worked only 20M SSB. Used a KX3 at 10W
(constructed the day before — so first time out) hung flat-top in thepine trees on W6/SC-001, Cerro Noroeste (did not do a SOTA activation,but did have
QSOs with two SOTA activators). Did not hear Skeeters (only one Skeeter contact), but did try to break the pile-ups on a few lighthouses (only two successes).
- Setting up in a thunderstorm seemed a bad idea, so I bailed. And
since I had taken down the antennas at home to set them up portable,
and the same thunderstorm was happening at home, I didn't operate from there either. Next year!
|KE3KQ - This
was my first Skeeter Hunt and I had three goals - Get outside on a nice
day, construct a balanced line doublet antenna and tune-up my portable
K3SFX would also be working the hunt at the same field location (nice and high with a small 2 picnic table sized pavilion) with a separate antenna so it was great to have a co-conspirator.
First I had to construct a new (for me) antenna and that was the doublet. I used 22’ legs and 450 ohm 43’ balanced feed line to a balanced line tuner. It is a simple antenna but it took me longer
than I intended resulting in being late for the hunt starting time. Packing everything up for the field took more time than planned likely because I was trying out some new equipment.
Lastly I was late because in my haste, I drove off leaving my battery still on the charger - oops! When I finally got the battery in the car, it was already raining. It turned out to be more a
Larval Skeeter hunt. Rain and water was the theme of the day. K3SFX was on time and up and running for a couple hours before I started to set up - in the rain. I got the doublet in place
after about an hour leaving only 1 soaked hour for the contest. I wanted to try a voice keyer for calling CQ on SSB and that worked ok but it kept me from working any CW given the
shortened time and did I mention I was drenched. So I did some calling on 40m, 15m and 10m in checking out the doublet. It seemed to be working but SSB can be challenging on QRP.
Finally, on 10m I made a contact all the way into Brazil. He was QRO but he claimed I had a good signal into Brazil with me running about 9 watts SSB. All the rain didn’t much matter after that.
Sorry, no pictures as I left my underwater camera at home<grin>. Everything is finally dry now and next year is going to go much better! 73
|K7TQ - Another fun QRP event. I just stayed home this year. Thanks to Larry and NJQRP for putting it on.|
- Since the afternoon thunderstorms had chased AJ4AY and I out of the
local park in FoBB, I decided to set up for this one on my back porch.
Much better protection here than at the rather small shelter at the park. Plus, here I could break out my fans and sit in moving, hot, sticky, air rather than still, hot, sticky, air.
Moving is much better!
Put up an Inv Vee for 20m and a vertical for 15m. Did not put up anything for 40m and that may have been an error.
The afternoon temps were about as expected - heat index at the start was 99F and it was still 99 at the end.
The activity level was good. Ended up with about 51 in the log. Was able to work throughout the entire event. Storms did not chase me off.
Unfortunately did not hear many stations from out west. Guess the props were not there. Did work Thomas, AC7A, in AZ and Randy, K7TQ, in ID, but no CA, NV, NM.
Only a few from CO and TX. Mostly an east-of-the-Mississippi event this year. Maybe next year props will be better.
Despite going to 15m and calling a few times did not work anyone on that band. And did not get a single RBN spot either.
Ran the trusty K1 at 5w from an SLA battery. Used the QRPGuys keyer/paddle. That worked OK. Earbuds and P&P completed the outdoor 'shack' for this one.
All-in-all a pleasant afternoon on the air. Thanks for the Q's and see everyone next year!
Thanks again Larry!
73 de dave
- Tough conditions! Every once in a while a signal would pop out of the
noise, but usually turned out to be 100W. Only one QSO on
rest all on 20M, too early in SFL for 40M. Shut down an hour before the end of the sprint due to big thunderstorm.
- Here are pictures taken of me at the Bloody Marsh Monument site on St
Simons Island (MN-29). This site is part of the Fort Frederica National
Monument (MN29 also),
but is a tiny annex located a few miles away. Turned out it was a lovely site for operating with this new picnic table located directly under trees and with the nearby trees makes an excellent
site for an end fed wire (which is what I used) or a dipole or two.
It was hot - around 96 degrees - and there was no breeze, even with the great marsh view. After a two hours I was beat.
Jeff Lackey, K8CQ, stopped by and worked the bands for a while. In fact he worked you on 20 around 1800. Wish I had been at the key!
Because we were listed as an activation, we had a visitor - K4KVR, Dave. He is a long time amateur. Although he’d been here all his life, we’ve never met. He says he is just a listener now,
so I will work on him to get his code going again and get him on the air - QRP.
We used a K2 and a Par EndFed 20/40 wire that was about 30 feet up in a tree, sloping down to just over the operating site. Bands were quiet, sometimes even silent,
but we did work an EA8 (unless he was a pirate). Most of the activity was on 20 because there was QRN on 40 - go figure - we were out in the woods, not close to anything electrical
that we could see. The K2 NB worked well, although there wasn’t much on the band.
W4MZA: St Simons Island Radio Club
K4KVR, Dave (visitor but not operating)
A HEARTY THANKS TO YOU FOR PUTTING THIS FUN EVENT TOGETHER! SEE YOU IN THE PEANUT POWER SPRINT!
|N2FYE - My first
Skeeter Hunt and first foray into QRP.
The real skeeters already find me delicious so I decided to operate from home. Also, forecast 100% chance of rain; it arrived just as the contest ended.
Kenwood TS-480 at 5 watts into G5RV Junior inverted vee at 25 feet. Managed 15 contacts with 13 mults including 1 DX and 4 NPOTA.
Thanks for a fun event. I'm hooked, see you next year!
- I joined in to the hunt during the last 1/2 hour of the contest.
Worked N3AQC , WA1GWH (he was using only 1 W) K3GW – all on 40 meters.
I used the preamp on the IC718 a couple of times to bring up the signals and I could copy through my noisy environment. I was using 50 watts at my home station into an LNR quad band
66 ft end fed wire. – Good fun trying to pull in those signals. I also went up the band to between 7.110 through toabout 7.122 and I worked a station calling CQ SKCC up there but he was
not in the contest. QSB quite pronounced on 40 meters. – Im now using this IC-718 that I bought used about 4 years ago from an old ham who was going QRT with ham radio.
I must admit now.. Im spoiled with it!! I'm not much on modern radios with all their menus and digital modes ect.. but I enjoy using the IC-718 and I have found its menus simple and easy
to use and pleasant to use. I do like dialing the RF power to anywhere from 1 watt to 99 watts. Even though I was running 50 watts I still got only 569, 559 and 469 reports.
73 Earl VE3AB
|N3JV - Tough conditions in central Florida, but had a good time! Next year will operate portable for more of a challenge.|
- I operated in Valley Forge National Park (HP46) and it rained
steadily for most of the time I was there. I had to operate
inside my truck. Iended up with
29 QSOs before I finally bailed out.
Thanks to Larry W2LJ for organizing this contest and for all of the skeeters out there yesterday.
72, Craig WB3GCK
|W1PID - What a fun
time! I had some commitments at home and could
only operate for about a half an hour. I used a KX3 at 5W to a
30 ft vertical wire and a 9:1 unun. Even though the conditions were
poor, there was a lot of activity which was nice to see. I operated
at the edge of an old hay field not far from home. Here's the view
from my operating position.
|K0RGI - What a fun
time! I had some commitments at home and could only operate for about a
half an hour.
I used a KX3 at 5W to a30 ft vertical wire and a 9:1 unun. Even tIt was a beautiful day in Wisconsin with
sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 70's. A breeze kept the pesky little bloodsuckers away
the poor props did the same for contacts.
I set up at a local park adjacent to the Ice Age Trail (TR05) with a full-size Buddipole 20m vertical that I'd
used very successfully during the previous week's Second Saturday Sprint. I soon found that the propagation
gods were not going to favor me.
I heard very little activity on the band and managed a single contact before I finally gave up after a couple of
hours. I kept checking conditions hoping for some improvement but it never happened. I'm including a
picture of my setup at the park and a band conditions report from just before I decided to pack up for home.
Even with the poor conditions, I had a great time and am looking forward to next year's event.
My thanks to W2LJ and the NJQRP for this wonderful event.
72, Jim - K0RGI - Skeeter Hi all, put together a lightweight 10/40 ocf Sat morning & hung it in a tree in the backyard apex at 20 ft. and managed to swat a few Skeeter's with the 817 on the back patio. Got chased off a couple times by passing rain showers but still got a few. Thanks to all the
Skeeters out there. See ya next year. Mark WG8Y#22
- I had a good time participating! Operated in a local park--
took over a dugout at an unoccupied ball field. Had a chance to try a
linked EFHW and it worked great.
- Hi all, put together a lightweight 10/40 ocf Sat morning
hung it in a tree in the backyard apex at 20 ft. and managed to swat
a few Skeeter's with
the 817 on the back patio. Got chased off a couple times by passing rain showers but still got a few. Thanks to all the Skeeters out there. See ya next year. Mark WG8Y
|AA3LY - Experience
is a great teacher, but the tuition is high.
KM3D - Awesome Event! I really enjoyed the Skeeter Hunt! My friend Dan (AA3LY)
talked me into running with him in the Skeeter Hunt after my several years
of 'non-QRP' hamming (and it did not take much).
We had severe weather, but had the shelter of a motor home. Our main problem was getting
antennas up in the middle of a series of Pennsylvania thunderstorms. I chose a 20m doublet;
my rig was a self-built Elecraft K1 with antenna tuner . . . and yes, it does need more 'exercise' <grin>.
Our QTH: Middlecreek Wildlife Refuge in Lancaster County, PA. (just south of the Lebanon County line).
Many thanks from me to Dan, AA3LY, for making this possible - and I sincerely hope to be back next year!
QSLs for my contacts are always available on request - I was really glad to be a part of this!
- I had a great time. I had some technical issues with my K1 and long
wire but it is a fun event. There was more activity that I expected
and the band gods were smiling. Next year, I will remember that there really are Skeeters going BZZ BZZ when sitting in a park near the woods
and take some Skeeter spray.
- Station transceiver is a TenTec Rebel using heavily modified (by
myself)Rebel Alliance 1.1 software, aftermarket 40/20 bandswitching kit
home-brew LCD display for frequency and other operating parameters.Tuner is a home-brew unit fashioned after the Emtech ZM-2, and there's a
4-State QRP HyperMite audio filter (200 Hz.) built from the kit in the blue Altoids box. The antenna is an end fed 1/2 wave vertical with a 9:1
balun copied from the EARCHI Design in Hawaii. And finally, the station was run off of a 15 AH gel cell. So even though the Rebel is a commercial unit,
I'm calling the station homebrew and portable for the 4x Station Class Multiplier. If you don't think this is appropriate, you're welcome to change the Multiplier to 3x.
I've participated in the SKCC Weekend Sprintathons on many occasions, but this was my first Skeeter hunt. Worked Search and Pounce most of thetime and mostly on 20 meters.
It was tough going, but enjoyable.
|N5NAA - Set a low
bar to clear next year :)
Thunderstorms - 2.
Locations - 2. Thunderstorm #1 drove me from a hilltop park with good reception but no shelter to my front porch. Good shelter but QRN and low antenna, then thunderstorm #2 arrived.
QSOs - 3. (K7TQ, KX0R, N4BP). Good ears.
Glad to participate none the less, and will start looking for a really quiet location with shelter for 2017 and hope for better weather.
- Operated from my camp northwest of Thunder Bay. Lots of fun. Looking
forward to next year. Many thanks for this event.
73, Mike VE3EDX
|AK0M - I set up in
the front yard, tossed a homebrew 40/20m end-fed halfwave antenna up
trees, and managed to get in on the last 90 minutes. No Q's on 40... 20m was spotty with quite a bit
of QSB. KX0R and N4BP were the strongest stations here in Iowa. Rig was my KX3 at 5w.
Was an enjoyable way to spend part of a Sunday afternoon!
No photos taken this year, but I'm including a recent one from the same "QTH".
72, Steve AK0M
- First station in the log was KX0R, in my last Skeeter outing in '14
he was my first QSO. I'm thinking some one laid a conduit between Th.
Bay and CO.
He was the only station that was consistently strong here all afternoon. As always a great event and a huge thank you to Larry for doing this.
- Now for my Skeeter Operation....Early last week I started looking for
place to operate along Lake Michigan.It's always nice to watch the
go by all day long. Anyway I found 3 places along a 4 mile mile stretch in the Milwaukee County Park. So the battery is charged, the 817 is packed and my
88' doublet I repaired. Let's Go, NOT! Ended up with an infection in my foot Saturday night that I could not get a shoe, sandal or slipper on.I had to scrub my
portable Skeeter Hunt Operation.
Plan number 2, do it from the shack. and it was fun anyway. I used my KX3 with my beam and rotatable dipole. Raw log is 52 QSO's. First
contact was with W2LJ and the QSB was bad for the first contact. Anyway a second repeat and I got him. The rest of the day was interesting. It was
slow at first but it did improve. AC7A Tom operating from Mount Lemon, Good signal, Lucky Guy to operate in the mountains near Tucson. NX1K/1 Mark a
Milwaukee area guy with a good signal. W8DIZ, great to hear him as it's been a long time. Lucky contact with W1PID with a good signal from NH. N4BP has
got to have the best score as he just keeps working em. Nothing like working em from down south. A few VE's VE3LFN, VE3IDS, VE3XT and VE2DDZ.
WA1GWH at 1 Watt, Not to bad. Just another Good Day for QRP. Thanks to all who gave me another swat.
Hope to be in the field again shortly doing QRP again.
|VE3LFN - Another
great Skeeter Hunt is in the books & what a fun time! Got to my
favourite roadside park nice & early but was greeted by quite
an unusually brisk
onshore breeze off the St.Clair River at Cundick Park just north of Sombra, Ontario. The temperature change quickly saw to it that my xyl & I quickly changed from a
t-shirt to a sweatshirt & then proceeded to put the station together. Just as starting time neared we were greeted by the first passerby who was curious enough to walk up
& start asking questions about the setup, the first & only time in 5 years! Long story short,it turned out he was a trucker who was on a 2 week holiday at a nearby campground
who of course had already had an interest in cb radio. I gave him the tour of my portable station in hopes of interesting him in becoming a ham some day, you just never know
where this could go. While band conditions seemed to improve as the day went on, weather conditions deteriorated to the point where I had to qrt an hour early.
It was a fun & gratifying day in the field & I`m looking forward to the next Skeeter Hunt in 2017.
Thanks Larry for a great event!
|N1DN - Great
Event! My goal for the day was to hand out Skeeter #164 and
Transmit from the New England Trail.
This section of the NE Trail is the Metacomet Trail - A Connecticut Blue Blazed Hiking Trail and is TR-06 on the
NPOTA Website. From the public parking lot at Penwood State Park, a short but steep hike brings you to a plateau
on the trail complete with Bolder and trees - a great operating site. I was using my Yaesu FT817 with internal battery
at 2.5 watts, EndFed 40-6m Antenna from KX3Helper, and a micro iambic hand held key. I was able to spend about
1 hour on the air, with a storm front approaching from the west. Wow, the QRP watering holes were really busy.
It's always a pleasure to operate QRP events as people make a special effort to pull your signal out of the crowd. I was
able to log 7 QSOs, all with Skeeter Numbers spanning 7 States and including 2 NPOTA activations. During the brief
operation I had a few friendly trail runners come by, but thankfully no black bears. Yes, we have a bear situation around here.
That's a story for another day. Thanks NJQRP Club for a great event!. 73/72 Phil, N1DN
- Surprised that conditions were as good as they were since the bands
here have been rather poor of late. Tried 40 meters around 7.030,
7.040, and 7.114, and|
15 meters at 21.060, but heard nothing at all on any of them. Also called CQ to no avail. Thus, everything was on 20 meters, all clustered around 14.060. Wish we
could have spread out more, which I did when I called CQ. Lots of fun and I managed to stay awake and working the entire 4 hours. Thanks to Larry and all who made
the Skeeter Sprint possible.
Pete, no2d. Parker, Colorado
- This year I headed back to one of my favorite sites in the Roosevelt
Nation Forest a few miles west of Boulder, CO. The forested,
flat-topped mountain |
is at about 8900 feet elevation, and getting to the site requires backpacking the gear about half a mile up a game trail through the woods.
The weather was the best possible – cool, dry, and sunny, with only a light breeze. There were very few insects, except for all the Skeeters on the bands!
I erected a simple 2-element Bird Yagi antenna for 20M. The Bird is the most basic yagi I’ve ever used – just two angled wires and some Dacron lines. First I cast
fishing lines across four 45-foot pines. I used these pilot lines to pull up larger Dacron lines. Then I laid out the wire antenna, connected the 9:1 transformer and the
450-ohm window line,and tied on the Dacron lines. Gradually I raised the wire beam to full height, making a few adjustments to keep it symmetric.
The Bird antenna was pointed due east and could not be rotated. I had the system up and ready to operate in just over an hour.
The station consisted of:
Radio: ATS-3B @ 5W - built by me from KD1JV kit
Battery: 12V lithium ion, homebrew pack
Tuner: Homebrew BLT, modified
Antenna: Homebrew 2-element Bird yagi at about 40 feet
Feedline: Window line, 60 feet
GPS: Garmin Vista C, for time and compass
As soon as I connected up the gear, I could hear skeeters tuning up near 14.060! The Bird sounded really good – almost no local noise,
very little QRN, and strong signals.
While I was listening on 20M, I heard my friend John N0TA on 14.0625 – he was activating a local SOTA summit only a few miles away. I called him and we
exchanged 599+ reports. Fortunately he finished his activation just before the Skeeter Hunt started!
The first hour of the Big Event went by quickly – there seemed to be more stations on than last year, despite relatively low solar activity.
Many skeeters kept buzzing along through the whole four hours. I was amazed to get many new numbers during the last hour.
The Bird yagi covered most of eastern North America effectively. I logged many East Coast Skeeter stations, from Florida all the way north to Quebec.
Many other contacts came from closer stations all over the Midwest. My antenna has a broad forward lobe, about 90 degrees wide in
3db down, and it worked well for this event. The few stations I managed to contact on the west side of the beam were very weak, as expected.
Thanks to the many patient Skeeters who gave fills and repeats to complete marginal QSO’s through QSB and QRM. I apologize to several
stations who apparently could hear me OK, but I couldn’t copy their signals because of QSB and QRM.
I thought this year’s Skeeter Hunt was the best yet! The high level of participation was great, and many operators showed their skills.
Larry, Thank You for running this wonderful QRP event! It was a buzzz……
- Thanks Larry for organizing the 2016 Skeeter Hunt and thanks to the
NJQRP club for sponsoring it. I operated from Mont Hereford in |
Southern Quebec (SOTA NR VE2/ES-010). It was a very windy day on the summit, but I found a nice sheltered spot to set up my 88' doublet and KX3.
Mont Hereford is a popular spot in the summer so I was glad to be a little out of the way of the many sightseers although I did have a great conversation
about amateur radio with the manager of the community access to the summit. He was up there with his family on a summer Sunday.
I worked search and pounce exclusively this year, all my contacts were on 20 and 40, about evenly split between them. I did listen on other bands,
but heard no CQ BZZ. I was happy to get some familiar calls in the log and was happy to get W2LJ in the log again this year, armchair copy at Mont Hereford.
My CW certainly continues to improve, maybe I'll try running next year :-).
I'm including some pictures, the first shows the view from the operating position, the second shows my antenna barely visible from the summit lookout.
The last two show the station.
|N5GW - Three things are essential for mid-day summer field operations in the deep south: shade, a fan, and an ice chest containing |
sports drinks (Gatorade, not beer!). Skeeter repellent is also necessary except during this particular sprint for an obvious reason. Fortunately
the heat index in the woods here was only 102 instead of the usual 110-115, allowing an old guy to survive. I had the K1 on a battery hooked
up to a K1EL memory keyer, hb tuner and CFZ with its apex over a 50 foot high oak limb. 20M was the main band, but QSB was bad at times.
I only heard/worked a few nearby states on 40M and only one QSO on 15M.
|K2WO - I was able to get on the air promptly at 1700 UTC on 20 Meters |
and the band was truly “Buzzing”. All went well until about 1804 UTC
when Murphy arrived on the scene. I was working Jim, W1PID.
He was booming into Florida, but on my exchange the KX3 died and
we were unable to complete the exchange (Sorry about that Jim!).
It turned out that the DC connection to the external battery was bad
and while I thoughtthat the KX3 was being powered by the external battery,
it was actually powered from the internal AA batteries.
They died. After figuring that out, I was back in the mix. Overall, there were
lots of great signals on the band. I tried 40 meters, but only heard one
there, Paul, AA4XX. Fortunately, I was able to work Paul.
I made it until 2030 when the rain came. As soon as there was a break
in the rain, I packed up and headed home.
It was another fun Skeeter Hunt and I want to thank Larry, W2LJ,
for all the work he does making this the best QRP Field event each year.
Thanks also to the NJQRP Group for sponsoring the event.
Thanks also to all the great OPs out there whom I had the pleasure
of working this year.
|KT1K - Tuff slog but lots of fun...CU next year 72 Bob|
- Always a lot of fun doing these Skeeter Hunts. I thought adding in
the NPOTA may be confusing, but none of the stations I (K3WWP) worked
seemed to have any trouble with it. |
Tom mentioned a couple folks he worked seemed a bit confused. I think possibly being a NPOTA station brought many more than the usual number of Non-Skeeter QSOs into the event.
Of the 52 QSOs I made on 40 meters, only 24 were Skeeters. Here are some pictures of the National Park (Trail) TR04 from where we operated.
And a picture of the backs of Tom (L) and John (R) hard at work making those QSOs. Note the Trail in the upper left corner of the picture.
Antenna pictures never show up well, but here is K3WWP's jumper dipole and mast (L) and WB3FAE's Inverted L and masts (R)
On a personal note, I think that is the first time I sat still for four straight hours in any contest or sprint. I never got up once. Also the first time I held a frequency for four hours.
I stuck strictly to 7041.18 just calling CQ for the 52 QSOs. Since we knew there would very likely only be 2 contest bands available (40 and 20), Mike KC2EGL did a separate
NPOTA activation on the 30 and 17 WARC bands after helping Tom and me to get our stations set up. It was surprisingly very tough going on those bands with only a couple of
QSOs made despite quite a bit of interest in the NPOTA this year. Thanks to the NJ QRP Club for organizing these Skeeter Hunts, especially Larry W2LJ.
They sure are an enjoyable way to spend an August Sunday each year especially when doing a multi op activation as we did.
|K4UPG - Enjoyed the Hunt despite very noisy and QSB prone 20m band. Listened a bit on |
40m but was a ghost band for me. Ran my HB1B to a dipole at 45 ft up in the pine trees and
nearly flat on both ends. Took a lot of time to get it up that with strong winds fighting my slingshots.
Temp was 96F and high FL humidity. Being next to Lake Fredrica helps some as the breeze off the
water brings a bit of relief. But the skinny pine trees don't create a lot of shade. I had to keep moving
my table to stay in the shade as the sun was moving. My hands were cramping near the end and it made
sending with a straight key on an unstable table a bit challenging.
Loudest signal KX0R all day. Worst miss... W2LJ Larry you were so loud when I called you, but by time
you replied your signal vanished for the rest of the day. I sure was disappointed to never hear you again
so we could finish our QSO. Heard several Polar Bear friends being worked by others, but didn't hear the
PB's signals at all. Conditions were up and down the whole time but there seemed to be lots of activity even
though I couldn't hear well enough to make contact.
Next time I hope to get a sub teacher for my SS class so I don't miss the first 45 min of operating.
Thanks to all for the contacts! Lots of fun.
72, Kelly K4UPG
|K4YND - The weather forecast was for heavy storms|
starting around 1:00pm. I canceled the plan to activate
NP51 and went with the tent in the driveway, and the
SOTA beams linked dipole setup portable in the front
yard ( neighbors think I’m nuts)
Very hot and humid so I did have a fan running in the tent.
Sort of stretching it on being a Skeeter, but I did not want
to throw in the towel. Storms chased me back in the house
for two hours. My apologies to Skeeter #12, I did not copy
your call correctly. QSB was bad for me but I did work,
KX0R,N0SS,AB4QL, WB4OMM, WK8S, K7TQ,
K2WO, AB9CA,and NO2D. Had a great time.
Larry thanks for putting in all the work on this.
- Operated at Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center in Dayton Aviation
Heritage National Historical Park (HP11) with my built-by-me Elecraft
A full report with photos can be found here: http://wd8rif.com/npota_activation_hp11_20160821.htm
This was our third NPOTA activation of the day. It was great fun to be able to combine the NPOTA activation with Skeeter Hunt.
I had a great time--thanks for organizing Skeeter Hunt!
|NK6A - My first time in this contest. Operated from the Topanga Overlook in the |
Santa Monica Mountains with my new to me KX2 ( third outdoor operation). A 45 minute
drive up the coast and over the hill. As soon as I left the ocean the temps started to climb.
Found the one picnic bench in the shade and set up my Alexloop and KX2. First station I
heard and very loud was Randy, K7TQ. I heard so much more than I worked. Getting very
crowded around 14.060 so I moved up a bit. Tried calling CQ but went back to search and
pounce. Jumped to 40 and found only one station in UT. I knew the antenna would be a
compromise but I did not want to put up any wires because of all the visitors. A few flies and
thankfully no skeeters to bite me.
|WB5BKL - K2/10 @ 5W to various wires. I was rained |
out - and stayed home. I bet I was not the only one.
We are having an unusually wet August here in the Texas hill country.
One QSO on 15M and the rest on 20 and 40M.
My thanks to all, including the NJ QRP Club and W2LJ. Had fun.
|WA1GWH - Was using an SW-40+ at 1W and a dipole at 15 ft|
- The day dawned sunny and warm, and everything needed to go hunt
Skeeters was sitting in the living room, waiting to be loaded into the
The kids and I attended Saturday evening Mass, so with that obligation taken care of, I was awarded with a quiet Sunday morning.
As Noon approached, I loaded up the Jeep and made the 7 or 8 minute drive over to the historic Frazee house in Scotch Plains, which sits right on the
Washington-Rochambeau Historic National Trail (TR23).
The house in abandoned and in dis-repair, but a major effort is being made by several organizations to restore it to its original, Revolutionary War era state,
complete with gardens and out buildings. The wooden cutout is a drawing of Betsy Frazee. Legend has it that Lord Cornwallis was marching his troops back
o their base after the Battle of the Short Hills. As the British marched past the Frazee house they smelled the bread that Betsy was baking. Cornwallis was
going to commandeer provisions, and demanded a fresh baked loaf. Supposedly, Betsy gave him one saying, "I give this to you, Sir, out of fear and not out of love."
According to the legend, Cornwallis was so moved by her bravery that he marched his troops on without taking any bread - but probably took everything else
that wasn't nailed down!
I set up across the gravel driveway, making sure that I was well within the 100' limit for activating a national historical trail. Not sure how many visitors might
show up, and how "protective" they might be, I decided not to throw any wires up into the trees. Instead I used my drive-on mast support, my Jackite pole and
my PAR END FEDZ 40/20/10. Set up went easily and I was able to walk around and take these photos before the Hunt started. I also chatted with a few
visitors who drove up and asked me what I knew about the garden and the restoration effort.
At 1700 the Hunt started and I jumped into the fray. There was plenty of activity on 20 Meters, which was so good to hear. There was not as much activity on 40 Meters,
but I was pleasantly surprised that background noise was low on both bands. That allowed me to work several stations that were pretty weak. It's always nice when you can
work stations that don't have to be 599 to overcome the noise floor.
The station set up was the same. The KX3 with the Palm Micro paddles, and I used my deep cycle battery for power. I went to Dick's Sporting Goods to buy an ammo box to
make toting the battery a lot easier.The cooler with water bottles was essential. Although it wasn't as beastly hot as it has been, the humidity was pretty high and it felt hotter than it
actually was. It was very nice to be able to grab a few swigs of cold water throughout the Hunt.
As the Hunt progressed, the partly cloudy skies changed to totally cloudy. From about 1900 UTC, it spritzed droplets of rain on and off. Nothing to cause me to go QRT until
about 2017 UTC, when with about 45 minutes to go, the rain changed from a spritz to a bone fide drizzle. Not wanting to get the equipment wet, I packed up and headed home.
My goal was to make at least 40 QSOs and I ended up making 41. I worked 19 different S/P/Cs and 6 different NPOTA entities.
It was a very delightful day and I thank all of you who participated and especially the New Jersey QRP Club for sponsoring the hunt and making it possible.
And last - but very much not least, I'd like to thank all those diligent QRPers who activated NPOTA entities. By my tally, the following were
activated - NP51, NM05, TR23, TR01, TR05, SS05, RC17, HP11, TR04, MN29, NS60, HP46, HP30, RC04, TR10 and TR06. And these were just the ones
I knew about beforehand. I'm sure there were a few entities activated on the spur of the moment.
So thank you, one and all, those who participated and those I worked. If it weren't for you, the Skeeter Hunt would not be the
success that it has become. I'm already looking forward to the 2017 Skeeter Hunt!
72 de W2LJ