by William Eric McFadden



Two members of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team operated the 2004 Freeze Your B___ Off, an operating event sponsored by the Arizona ScQRPions. Drew McDaniel, W8MHV/9M2MC, and Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, operated the event from a tent at QTH WD8RIF near Athens, Ohio. Only one antenna was installed and each operator took turn with the rigs.

Eric and his son, Miles, erected the tent and suspended the W3EDP wire antenna in the trees a few hours before the event. Eric set up his QRP Station in a Bag in the tent. As expected, the LDG Z-11 antenna tuner did a fine job tuning the 'EDP.

Drew arrived about 12:30, after getting lost avoiding high water from recent rains, and set up his Elecraft K2. Eric quickly abandoned his dear QRP Plus to try out the K2. He agreed with Drew that the K2 is a very fine rig and commented that maybe he should replace his venerable IC-735 with a K2. Eric was very impressed with the selectable IF filtering and the high performance of the receiver.

Few signals were heard on 40m, and no stations were worked there. More signals were heard on 20m, and Eric made six QSOs on 20m before running out of stations to work and Drew made three QSOs. No signals were heard on 15m.

The lowest temperature recorded at the key was 30 degrees, at the beginning of the operation. The temperature rose to 42 degrees by the time operations ended about 2pm. Both operators agreed that they each had a good time operating the event.

Drew left shortly after 2pm due to a pressing engagement, taking his station with him. Eric dropped the W3EDP antenna and packed up his station, leaving the tent up to take down when it would be possible to hang the tent in the garage to allow it to dry.