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Flight of the Bumblebees 2009
Jul 27th, 2009 by kmack

I have been like a kid on Christmas Eve thinking about this event. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate and I chose to stay closer to home than originally planned. In this low power (QRP) ham radio event, the Bumblebees were to hike, bike, or travel via water to the spot they would operate. As bee #86, I donned my backpack (overly packed by the way) and headed to the lakeside park in our housing development which is about 3/4 mile from my home. It was about 90+ degrees Farenheit at 11 am when I set out to my site.

The sky looked good, except the clouds were building to the Southwest… So I setup camp and decided to use the shelter rather than be out in the open in case rain came. Good choice!

So I setup my Buddistick for 20m using my MFJ 207 Analyzer. I soon had the SWR down to 1.3/1 and after hoisting the antenna into the air on my semi-official BEE colored painter’s pole it went down to less than 1.2 to 1! Good enough for this ham! Signals were a bit down and there was a good bit of QRN which would get worse. Since it was early, I ate lunch and watched the herons work the shallows of the lake while I waited for the 1 PM starting time.

Bumblebee 86 on the way out~ note the BEE colored hat

Bumblebee 86 on the way out~ note the BEE colored hat

Buddistick up and away

Buddistick up and away

She's up and ready to rock n roll

She's up and ready to rock n roll

From the bottom looking up!

From the bottom looking up!

My Rig setup. Nice view, eh?

My Rig setup. Nice view, eh?

Unfortunately, the weather decided to roll in and 15 minutes  after the start I made my first qso. Then the lightning sirens went off and I pulled down the antenna and played it safe. After two hours of watching the rain and lightning show and a few herons on the hunt for food, I got a window of good weather and put the station back on the air.  Two more qso’s in the next 20 minutes and then the rain and lightning moved back in on me.

Here comes the lightning and rain again!

Here comes the lightning and rain again!

So with only 39 minutes to go, I decided to roll up the coax and trek home. I had lots of fun despite the challenges. I’ll be there next year, the Lord willing!

A New Thing? Central Florida QRP Group is Forming!
Mar 14th, 2009 by kmack

This morning  14 March 2009, five Central Florida qrp ham radio operators met at a Perkins restaurant in Altamonte Springs at 0730 EDT. We were dreaming and scheming about getting a group together for portable ops, homebrew building sessions, elmer, and on-air cw practice and other activities. Some pretty sweet qrp rigs were on display too.

No officers, no members, no dues, just come and participate… any takers? Let us know and we’ll be glad to help you get hooked up. Contact K4AHO or K4UPG via the qrz.com info.

More details to come soon.

72,

Kelly K4UPG

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