Putting the QRP Camper to Bed

It’s been a rough year for camping. With my physical issues, our camper has seen little action this year. Since we need to winterize the camper soon, my (far) better half and I took the camper up to nearby French Creek State Park for the weekend. We planned to use this last trip to clean out the trailer and get it ready for storage. Of course, I got on the radio over the weekend, too.

I set up my 29.5-foot vertical and KX3 after we arrived on Friday, but I didn’t get on the air until later that evening (around 0100Z). I started calling CQ POTA on 80M and soon had some chasers. Since the cell coverage is spotty in this campground, I entered my planned activation on the POTA website. The POTA system automatically spotted me, and seven chasers came calling. 

The WB3GCK "QRP Camper" in French Creek State Park near Elverson, Pennsylvania
The WB3GCK “QRP Camper” in French Creek State Park near Elverson, Pennsylvania

I jumped on 40M the next morning, while the coffee was perking. In less than an hour, I had ten more in the log. That qualified me for a late-shift activation. Thanks to all the nightowls and early risers for calling. I spent most of the day relaxing and doing some work on the camper.

By late Saturday afternoon, some heavy rain moved in, forcing us to hunker down in the camper for the rest of the day. I got on the radio again and worked some more POTA chasers and picked off a few New York QSO Party stations. I shut down around 7:30 P.M. (2330Z) with 35 QSOs in my log.

Back on the air Sunday morning (0800 local, 1200Z), I intended to make a few casual Straight Key Century Club (SKCC) contacts. I called CQ SKCC a few times and soon had a mini pileup. I had forgotten that the POTA spotting website would automatically spot me. So I quickly switched out my straight key for my paddles and proceeded with an impromptu POTA activation. After eleven quick POTA contacts, things slowed down, and I shut down to pack up. 

I ended the weekend with 46 QSOs, including two park-to-park contacts. Not too shabby for five watts, I guess.

So, that wraps up another camping season, albeit a short one. Now it’s time to finish winterizing the trailer and putting it to bed for the next five months. Hopefully, the QRP Camper will see more action next year.

73, Craig WB3GCK

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