by William Eric McFadden



Two members of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team traveled to Delaware State Park near Delaware, Ohio, for a few hours of play in the second day of the 2010 QRP ARCI Fall QSO Party. Participants were Mike Hansgen, K8RAT, and Eric McFadden, WD8RIF.

Mike and Eric quickly erected Eric's MFJ-1910 33' mast, stabilizing it with Eric's recycled rooftop-tripod. This mast was used to support the center of Eric's lightweight 88' doublet. To support the ends of the doublet, Mike threw lines through two conveniently-located trees using his slingshot, for a north-south broadside orientation. About half-way through the two-and-a-half hours of operation, the doublet legs were rotated about 90° and arranged as an inverted-vee, for an east-west broadside orientation.

The rest of the station consisted of Eric's Elecraft K2, LDG Z-11 autotuner, homebrew 4:1 balun, and and was set up on a picnic table. The K2's internal memory keyer was keyed with Eric's K8RA P-2jr paddle.

Only Eric operated, and he used his own callsign. Operations began with the first QSO at 1828 UTC (2:28pm local) with a 20m QSO with K7TQ in Idaho. A total of twenty QSOs were made on the 15, 20, and 40 meter bands before operation ended at 2055 UTC. Five QSOs were made on 15m, and stations were worked in AZ, FL, ID, HI, and SD. Eleven QSOs were made on 20m, with stations worked in CO, FL, ID, LA, ME, MO, NH, SD, TX, and Spain. Four QSOs were made on 40m, with stations worked in PA and NY. Eric calculated the QSO points to 90, the power multiplier (1 to 5 watts) of 7, an SPC multiplier of 16, for a total score of 10,080 points.

The chosen operating location at Delaware State Park worked very well. Trees provided respite from the sun and were available to support the antenna in various configurations.

(As Eric and Mike were cleaning up, they found a pair of raccoons in the dumpster. To help the raccoons escape, they placed a broken branch in the dumpster.)