by William Eric McFadden



Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, and Miles McFadden, KD8KNC, participated in the 2015 running of the North Georgia QRP Club Peanut Power Sprint contest at Highland Park in Athens, Ohio, with Eric's KX3 Travel Kit.

The KX3 station -- click to enlarge After a late departure from home due to uncharged batteries, Eric and Miles arrived at Highland Park about 2010Z. Parents with children were at the park but the picnic shelter was unoccupied so the station was set up within the shelter which proved to be a nice when rain started falling midway through the sprint.

Eric's plan had been test his one-piece, speaker-wire 44' doublet and his homebrew 1:1 air-core balun. He and Miles quickly erected the MFJ 33' mast but had to fight the tangled 44' doublet before they could raise the doublet to the top of the mast as an inverted-vee. The KX3's antenna tuner easily found a match on each of 20m and 40m for the 44' doublet and air-core balun.

Eric operating -- click to enlarge Band conditions on 20m and 40m were significantly better than Eric had experienced during the QRP Afield event just two weeks prior. Many Peanut Power Spring stations were heard first on 20m and later on 40m.

Eric started operating on 20m and his first QSO was with WV0H in Colorado at 2038Z. Over the next fifty minutes Eric worked another eight participating stations before switching to 40m to work another seven participating stations. Eric was able to run a frequency on each band for a short while. Stations were worked on 20m in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Texas, and Wyoming and on 40m in Georgia, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. (In addition, just about halfway through the event, Eric switched the KX3 to 50.4MHz and, using the same antenna, participated in the ACARA's "5pm 6AM weekly net from the park.)

Eric was pleased with the performance of the single-piece, speaker-wire 44' doublet and the air-core 1:1 balun on 20m and 40m.

Time (Z) Freq. Callsign SPC NR / PWR
2038 14061 WV0H CO 76
2042 14062 K7DD AZ 190
2044 14061 N4BP FL 82
2051 14062 K4BYF FL 84
2052 14062 K5BGB FL 38
2058 14062 WA5IEK MS 5w
2116 14062 N4ZY FL 218
2123 14062 KN5L TX 5w
2130 14062 WC7S WY 199
2133 7060 W4MPS NC 54
2135 7060 KO8S MI 56
2139 7063 KA2KGP NY 5w
2146 7061 K3JZD PA 195
2154 7063 W4KLY GA 3
2155 7063 N8P MI 177
2156 7063 N8BB MI 55