K6F (op AA5B) QRP Afield, the good and the bad:
The special callsign attracted some additional QSOs,
but a lot of people seemed to stumble over it.
The Field-Day style portable station had an A4 tri-band
yagi at 30 feet fixed east. Yes, it made me 5 dB louder
to the east, but 15 dB weaker to the west and probably
20 dB weaker to the north -- areas where I usually have
lots of QSOs when QRP camping and contesting with my
Because SSB was allowed in the QRP Afield rules this year,
I gave it a try. Near the MUF (15 meters most of the day),
my signal seemed to be pretty good but there wasn't much
activity. Near and after sunset on Saturday, 20 phone was
very good. Overall, QRP phone is much more painful than CW.
I needed to be back in Albuquerque Sunday morning, so I
used up all of my 8 hours of allowed operating time on
Saturday. I missed out on the Sunday morning session
(I could've been /p and worked a lot of the QRPA stations
again), but at least I got a lot of other things done on Sunday.
The station was in a shallow canyon in Gallup, NM along
the old Route 66. A 40 mtr dipole 30 feet in the air in a
canyon isn't as good as my usual setup on a ridge at
10,600 feet! I had some trouble getting anything but
the nearby states on 40.
It seemed that activity in the contest was way down
compared to last year. Lack of advertising, increase
in apathy, or just conditions?
Ended up with 280 QSOs in 8 hours, all on Saturday.
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