Rainy Polar Bear Outing

Today was the monthly Polar Bear Moonlight Madness Event (PBMME). While the weather had warmed up to a balmy 50°F, it came with a bunch of rain. The weather was lousy, but the bands were pretty good.

I headed back to Black Rock Sanctuary for today’s outing, and it rained the entire time I was there. So, I hunkered down in the truck for this one.

The WB3GCK portable QRP shack on a rainy afternoon
The WB3GCK portable QRP shack on a rainy afternoon

I started on 40M and was greeted with loud static crashes from the storm passing by. Despite the QRN, I had two-way QRP QSOs with W9ILF in Indiana, WI8J in Michigan, and fellow Polar Bear, Mike VE3WMB, in Ontario.

I ventured out in the rain to configure my 19-foot vertical for the 20M band. The pipeline to the West Coast must have been wide open. I worked two California stations and had a two-way QRP QSO with K7QF in Washington state. I also had an SKCC QSO with K5DMC down in Mississippi for good measure.

There was a 10M contest going on, so I headed up there to see what was going on. My vertical was only giving me a 2:1 SWR on 10M, but that was good enough to work a contester 5 miles away.

I went back to 40M for a bit before packing up and ended up with a nice two-way QRP QSO with K4JJW in North Carolina. Dick was really booming in with his 5 watts.

My homebrew vertical wrapped up for the rain
My homebrew vertical wrapped up for the rain

After tearing down the antenna in the rain, I got back in the truck to head home. As my luck would have it, the sun was trying to break through the clouds. That figures!

Nonetheless, I had fun today. Now it’s time to go dry out some antenna parts.

72, Craig WB3GCK

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