Duh-tective sends his confession and apologies!

Made one of those last minute decisions to go out and operate in the last minute announced QRP-ARCI Welcome to QRP Event. Packed my trusty Sierra and End Fed Half Wave with Stuner (ala Stu KI6J) and went down to the lake park to take over the shelter. Hurricane Irene’s leftover wind gusts of up to 30 mph made the launching of antenna supports a bit more challenging than normal, but I used a bit heavier sinker than normal and only need one do-over shot to get my two lines in the air.

QRP ARCI Welcome Aug 11
K4UPG setup for QRP ARCI Welcome to QRP Event 2011

Ran my EFHW in a L configuration with the vertical side up to about 33 feet and the horizontal side going to a nearby tree that was well placed for hanging my antenna. I started on 40 m and shortly after light off worked QRP contest regular W4BAI and felt good about the day. But either the band or the connection quickly began to let me down with signals diminishing quickly into the noise floor. Reluctantly shortened the antenna to switch to 20m and for some reason signals there were even lower in strength… and the antenna was not loading. Hmmmm! Could not get the LED to even dim–what could cause that? Changed my coax from rig to tuner, double checked the banana plugs and all seemed well there, but no match and the signals I heard were WAY down in the mud. I tried to check freq with a QRL? on several spots and called CQ until I was tired of pounding brass with no response heard. No fun…

Then the DUH-tective showed up and solved the problem.

Seems I had not switched the band module in the Sierra and it was still on 40m but the antenna was a 20m EFHW. DUH… my sincere apologies to anyone that got qrm’ed by my QRL’s and CQ’s into a mis-matched antenna. This is one time that I was glad to be running QRP at only 2.4 watts out. A quick band switch and I worked another contest regular K0ZK and then in the next QSO worked NE5DL for both QRP ARCI and SKCC number exchanges in two different QSO’s. Had a bit of distraction in the middle of our first QSO as the rain started and was pounding into my back as the 30 mph winds sent the rain horizontally! A bit more with Dave and I called it a day before the rig got wet. Good thing the DUH-tective showed up.

Black Racer Buddy
My sole visitor was a Black Racer about 4 ft away from me!

Hey, I was outdoors, saw a nice looking 3+ft long Black Racer snake about 4 feet from my operating position and made a couple QSO’s despite the goof ups. Who could ask for more?


  1. says

    Good morning Kelly, I too was on but for some reason shut things down after about an hour. I was only able to pickup the Kansas QSO party. I was not able to find any QRP ARCI folks.

  2. kmack says

    Yes, it was a very slow one with all the Hurricane Irene prep and disturbance plus a late announcement it did not draw much attention. It is interesting how many get on the air for QSO parties vs just rag chewing and making contacts. There’s a message in that behavior but I am not smart enough to put a label on it. :-) Too bad I didn’t hear you. Grrrr!

  3. Alex says

    You cannot use DUH as I am the Chief DUH and HUH in modern hamdom!!!!
    I was checking out “Another” Swiched L tuner( why am I addicted to tuners?) a few nights ago and couldn’t figger out why it wouldn’t tune a 20M or a 30M EFHW, this was before labeling. Turned out I was swiching all L’s Out instead of In plus I neglected to solder One side of the Variable cap(HUH) so the L’s really didn’t matter if they were in or out!! Double DUH !!!

    73 Alex K5UNY

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