TTARS expedition

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From: JEFF M. GOLD (JMG@tntech.edu)
Date: Tue Apr 19 1994 - 19:39:06 EDT


HI all,

just stopped by work on the way home to clean up emergencies and
email.

Well about the TTARS expedition.. bottom line.. SUCCESS.

Took Friday off from work to go up early and set up the equipment
and camper. One of worst storms of the year.. had the repeater
emergency net set up due to tornados.. one hit the West side of
town. Terrible rain and flooding. Spend the afternoon watching tv
till the rain let up enough to drive to park. Got to the park and
set up the camper just before the next storm hit and terrible
downpours.. decided to wait till Sat. to set up stations.

Saturday.. got up real early and the WX was perfect .. clear and
starting to warm up. Set up the ZS6??? and the MFJ HI Q loop.
Hooked up the old Yaesu 301 and the MFJ SSB. everything working
fine. Made first contact on 40 meter SSB with another special
events station.. good signal and audio report. Let WD4GZW take
over now that I knew the station was working. Almost immediately
he made a contact.. the guy couldn't believe we were using low
power (just about 5-7 watts) .. another guy cut in and they had a
3 way QSO.. The 2 other guys ended up going down to 5 watts and
giving each other signal reports.. they couldn't stop talking
about how impressed they were that low power worked on SSB.. had a
comment that one knew that QRP was possible on CW, but never even
gave a thought to QRP/SSB. New converts? Got some great quotes for
an article.

A little later the students arrived. Talked them in on simplex 2
meter frequency. One operated the Yaesu, the other the MFJ. After
a couple of hours they asked about setting up a dipole.. happen to
have an extra 20 meter dipole in my car..let them set up the
antenna using the old bow and arrow method.. 2 shots.. killed 2
trees... The dipole worked great on 20.. worked Spain, and some
DX.

Yes, the bands were TERRIBLE.. but still managed a good amount of
contacts.. the students learned a lot about operating procedures
and were impressed with how well QRP worked.. even with battery
power, dipoles and bad band conditions.. I let them work most of
the time on SSB.. they were really into it...

So, didn't break any records with number of QSOs.. think we worked
about 65 stations on Sat (The bands were MUCH worse on Sunday, so
went hiking with the family).. but the expedition in my opinion
did what it set out to do.. QRP worked, and people on the air even
tried it out and were impressed and got some new hams into HF and
gave them a reason to upgrade.

Thanks to all of you who tried.... we will be doing this again.

73

Jeff, AC4HF


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