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Category: QRP Portable Operation

KL7/VE7ACN Now Active on Several HF Bands

KL7/VE7ACN Now Active on Several HF Bands

Mikhail, KL7/VE7ACN is currently providing many stations around the world with their first contact(s) from Alaska. His location is Coffman Cove, Prince of Wales Island, with IOTA designation NA-041.

KL7/VE7ACN Currently Active from Coffman Cove, Prince of Wales Island, Alaska

Mikhail plans to be active from this location until Mar 20, 2017.  He has been operating many HF Bands, and his current frequency can usually be observed via the Reverse Beacon Network at http://www.reversebeacon.net/

Mikhail has been widely worked on 160M this week.  I recorded him Wed morning around 0640z to demonstrate how strong his signal was–an honest 599–the strongest signal I have ever heard from the West Coast on Top Band.

Mikhail easily copied my QRP signal on 160M, but I almost missed him.  I had been monitoring his activity via the RBN on my iPhone while lying in my sleeping bag, waking myself every half hour to check if he had made the move to Top Band.  Seeing that the RBN was still reporting him to be on 80M, I reached up to turn my Argonaut VI off to conserve battery power, and at that precise moment I heard a loud CQ in the headphones…I couldn’t believe it when I heard, CQ CQ de KL7/VE7ACN K !  It was pure dumb luck that he came up on the random frequency I had left my rig tuned to just as I was about to roll over in my sleeping bag for another half hour round of sleep (this was 2:30AM local time).    A few minutes afterwards, with few responses from his CQ’s, Mikhail QSY’ed to another band.

KL7/VE7ACN may be your best chance in a long time to get Alaska into your log on your band(s) of interest, especially for East Coast stations.  He obviously has an ideal location with optimized antennas and a great set of ears.

Please note that Mikhail will only be active on 160M for another day or two.  More information can be found on his website at  https://www.ve7acn.com/kopiya-rus-kl7-ve7acn-iota-na-041

Here’s a short YouTube video I shot to give you an idea of how strong Mikhail’s signal was:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGeChl9_QkU

Thanks to Mikhail, VE7ACN for a job well done!

Here’s wishing you good DX,

72,  Paul  AA4XX

An NCQP QRP Expedition to Eastern North Carolina

An NCQP QRP Expedition to Eastern North Carolina

One of my favorite Ham Radio related events is the annual North Carolina QSO Party, which takes place the last Sunday in February.

The goal of this contest is for ham radio operators within the state of NC to activate as many of the 100 counties as possible.  Most NC participants operate from home, but others take their stations to roads less traveled in order to activate the rarer counties.

During this contest, NC stations work stations throughout the USA, Canada, and the world, while stations outside of NC are specifically trying to contact as many NC counties as possible.

DAR/HYD Counties

For NCQP 2017, I decided to return to one of my favorite places, the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, parts of which encompass large areas of Dare and Hyde Counties.    I surveyed the refuge the day prior to the contest in order to assess the possibility of a DAR/HYD County line operation. The access road below is typical of the many miles of gravel roads within the refuge.

 

Typical gravel road within the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge

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KnightLite’s FYBO 2017

KnightLite’s FYBO 2017

Each year at this time, the the Arizona ScQRPions sponsor the Freeze Your Buns Off QRP Sprint.

Stations who set up in colder environments receive higher points multipliers:

Temperature: 65F=x1, 50-64F=x2, 40-49F=x3, 30-39F=x4, 20-29F=x5,<20F=x6

A small group of hearty KnightLites braved the cold temperature using the KnightLite’s Club Call, WQ4RP.

Rob K3COD and Joe WA4GIR were operating 40M and 20M respectively upon my arrival at Harris Lake State Park near Raleigh, NC.  The temperature on Joe’s thermometer was reading 37F, which provided a points multiplier of 4.  Both stations were using inverted vees supported by nearby pine trees.

 

Rob K3COD and Joe WA4GIR Operating FYBO 2017

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NJQRP Skeeter Hunt 2016

NJQRP Skeeter Hunt 2016

The NJQRP Skeeter Hunt is always a fun event, with this year being no exception.  This year’s Skeeter Hunt encouraged portable Skeeter stations to set up in one of our many national parks, as well as back yards, fields, lakes, or any place that a prospective skeeter might find enticing.

My wife, Sue, and I decided to drive down to Surf City, NC to spend some time at a campground by the sea in order to get in a few miles of walking and to allow me to set up an antenna in the salt marsh for the Skeeter Hunt.

An Interesting Diversion

During our 2 hour drive to the coast from Raleigh, Sue was sharing a very interesting magazine article regarding the tiny village of St. Helena, which to our surprise was only a few miles off our route.  We decided to take a detour in order to see if we could find the Saints Peter and Paul Russian Orthodox Church, which was constructed by a handful of Ukrainian Immigrants who relocated to the fertile NC coastal plain  in the 1920’s from the US Midwest as well as from the Old Country.

St. Peter and Paul Russian Orthodox Church 1         St. Peter and Paul Russian Orthodox Church

This lovely church was constructed in 1932, as evidenced by the cornerstone below.  This church is now entirely supported for by its congregants, all three of them!

See if you can decipher the line above the date

Cornerstone of Saints Peter and Paul Russian Orthodox Church

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A QRP Odyssey to Portsmouth Island

A QRP Odyssey to Portsmouth Island


Throughout my life, I have often felt the need to seek nature’s solitude.  When I was a young lad, I would walk a couple miles to my best friend’s house, and then we would continue walking to one of several farm ponds on the outskirts of our small town to do some fishing or to explore the surrounding woods.

Years later, I still find myself seeking quiet, out of the way spots, whether it be deep in the woods, along a riverbank, or at the sea coast.

I invite you to return with me to one of those special places, Cedar Island, which I first visited in 2003, and have later returned to several times.

 

Cedar Island Sign

 

Cedar Island is easy to find.  You take NC Hwy 12 East until the road dead ends at the Pamlico Sound.  As you approach Cedar Island, you will see vast areas covered with sawgrass and narrow waterways.

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CQ US Islands Contest de AA4XX Harker’s Island

CQ US Islands Contest de AA4XX Harker’s Island

Harker’s Island is located down east, about as far east as you can drive before the highway gives way to the sea.  Fortunately, the island is readily accessible by car via a causeway.

 Harker's Island casueway allows access by car

I selected Harker’s Island as a good site to operate the US Islands Contest.  It’s a rather lengthy (3-1/2 hr) drive from home, but this island has a lot going for it–beautiful vistas of neighboring islands and villages, friendly locals, first class seafood, and several ideal locations to set up antennas.

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Winter QRP Expedition to Lea Hutaff Island

Winter QRP Expedition to Lea Hutaff Island

One of my favorite places in the world is Lea Hutaff Island, situated off the SE coast of North Carolina, between Topsail Island and Fiqure Eight Island.

There are no people living on the island, but this was not always the case. The Lea family house is the only dwelling still standing on the island, and it is not uncommon to see waves breaking underneath during high tide.

Last remaining dwelling on Lea Island

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