I missed the QRP to the Field (QTTF) contest last year due to family obligations. I almost missed it again this year for the same reason. I had some family coming in this weekend but I managed to sneak out for a few hours to make a few contacts.
The theme this year was, “A River Runs Through It.” Stations operating near a river get a higher multiplier for their score. Living near the Schuylkill River, I have a lot of options. I decided to head over to Upper Schuylkill Valley Park, which is one of my regular operating spots.
The weather forecast was calling for periods of rain throughout the day, so I opted to operate from inside the truck. As it turns out, that was a wise decision. It rained most of the time I was operating.
I set up my trusty 30-foot vertical on the back of my truck and set up my KX3 on the center console. I was quickly on the air but I wasn’t hearing much. Between some solar storms and static from the rain, band conditions were pretty lousy.
After a while, 40 meters opened up a bit. I had a brief run of stations there. Twenty meters remained pretty dismal. I heard W0RW/M out in Colorado early on but could connect with him. I eventually worked Tom K4AKC in Alabama. Besides that, I didn’t hear much of anything on 20 meters.
After about two hours, I had to leave. The rain started picking up, so I quickly took down the antenna and headed home. I ended the day with 10 contacts on 40 meters and just 1 on 20 meters.
I sure could have used some better band conditions and weather but, all things considered, I was happy with the 11 stations I managed to work.
72, Craig WB3GCK