QRP TTF 2010 * Disappointed in Orlando!
April 25th, 2010 by kmack

On the road again… happy feet dance! K4UPG is loaded and ready for a good day by the lake operating the QRP To The Field event for 2010.

Packed up and ready to roll

K4UPG ready to roll to QRP TTF site

Kitchen Sink Approach

Loaded with ALL the options!

Then came the wind knots in the antenna launching rig! I wanted to get a doublet up as high as possible. Took nearly 2 hours to get my antennas up in the air. LESSON LEARNED: It is really helpful to have another person along to help untangle all the knots that wire and string seem to make all by themselves.  Getting  the antenna up quickly is a key to portable ops. Grrrrr!

Wind knot

One of several tangled messes that delayed the antenna deployment

LESSON TWO: After a delayed start, I spent a lot of time moving my portable table to keep out of the direct sun! With temperatures in the upper 80′s it was HOT and direct sun causes my Sierra to drift a bit which makes qso’s more difficult. Need to get a sun shade setup and not waste time moving my position.

The band conditions were pretty poor and I did not hear as many stations as I had hoped. The ones I did work were tough going and seemed like others could not hear me responding to their CQ’s.  I didn’t even hear a lot of Florida QSO party ops, but sounds like others that were farther away did. In 5 hrs I managed three whole qso’s with TTF stations. I did hear one Polar Bear– Martin operating as VA3OVQ but he could not hear me when I replied to his CQ.

Don't fee the Gator!

Warning sign about 30 feet from my operating site!

It was fun to be outdoors and playing radio! I did not get eaten by our neighborhood gator either! Maybe next time out will be better contact-wise.

6 Responses  
  • Alex Kaplinsky writes:
    April 26th, 20105:19 pmat

    Have you considered buying an inexpensive ($10 Walmart Special) Spincast reel and clamp it to your slingshot??
    AND it doesn’t have to very windy, or No wind and I get tangles galore
    throwing that line with small water bottle on the end around trees. Matter of fact I swear the line/bottle combo has a mind all of its own!!!
    73 Alex

  • Esteve writes:
    April 29th, 20105:19 amat

    Hi Kelly,

    Done be desapointing, conditions were very bad last Saturday.

    I was from the beach with Versatee vertical and fisging pole with 5m wire and 5m conterpoise and only did 3 contacts too.

    Hope to hear you one day.

    73, Esteve EB3EPR PB#207

  • kmack writes:
    April 29th, 20108:38 amat


    Great to hear from you! Thank you for the encouraging words too. I have my ear tuned to hear your call soon… We will connect on the air! The bands will improve too! Grrrrrrrr!

    Kelly K4UPG PB#173

  • kmack writes:
    April 29th, 20108:51 amat


    I’ve stopped using my spincast reel setup and gone to an archery reel on a stake in the ground. The archery reel setup allows the line to go higher, and I use a day glow yellow braided line that is teflon coated, 6x stronger, and very slick. It does much better in the pine trees that are so sticky bark-wise.

    But there is a steeper learning curve to adjust to in that switch. The spincast reel was OK, but the monofilament line is a bit too stretchy and weak and I was ready to try something new. As an avid fisherman, I never have liked spincast reels much as they don’t have much crank power, are prone to line twist, and limit casting distance due to internal friction. I also have tried spinning reels but they have their own issues and bait cast would have a braking problem that would create what we fishermen lovingly refer to as “professional overruns.”

    I am going to keep tweaking my archery reel until I figure out an even better option to try! Fun but frustrating, eh?

    Kelly K4UPG PB #173

  • Alex Kaplinsky writes:
    May 1st, 20109:40 amat

    I too love to fish and have used a Zebco 808 on my compound bow with fiberglass arrow walking the banks of the Trinity River looking for that elusive Gar.
    I never have used a spincast reel for fishing but love the open face reels. As for “professional overruns”, I believe I have called that occurance by many other names!!!
    Best 73 Alex K5uny

  • John N8ZYA writes:
    May 24th, 201010:41 pmat

    It’s always good to operate outdoors regardless of the number of contacts. Sometimes only one is good enough. Glad to see you’re in the field.

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