by William Eric McFadden


Two members of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team participated in the NE QRP Afield contest from Highland Park in Athens, Ohio, using the callsign WD8RIF. Eric, WD8RIF, was to arrive first, to met by Mike, AA8EB, later.

Eric arrived on site about 1900z to find the park overrun with young children attending a birthday party which occupied the shelter house. Undaunted--well, not very daunted--he threw a line over a tree far from the shelter house, hoisted up the 20m dipole, and set up the QRP+ station on a lawn chair he had brought. Sitting in another lawn chair, holding the paddle and log in his lap, he started making QSOs about 2005z and had a good run for about an hour.

During this good run, the weather became more and more threatening, and it got colder and windier. By 2108z Eric had worked about all the 20m stations he could hear and his CQs were going unanswered, so he decided to switch to 40m. Eric dropped the 20m dipole intending to pull the 40m dipole up on the same tree, and suddenly realized that the birthday party was over and he was alone at the park--the shelter was available. While he attempted to throw a line over a tree near the shelter, the wind really picked up and the clouds got scary, so Eric packed everything up, just in case the skies opened, and waited for Mike to arrive or to call on the repeater.

Mike arrived about 2200z, and while the pair discussed whether to brave the elements, the sky cleared, the sun came out, and the wind died. The two RATs quickly erected the 40m dipole, and set up the QRP+ in the shelter house. They worked 40m CW until 2346z, at which time they were almost literally chased away from the key by the mosquitoes.

In all, the team made 39 QSOs: 13 on 20m and 26 on 40m. Eric made all the QSOs but one. Stations were worked in FL, TX (8!), NM, OK, CO, NY, AL, MN, NJ, MO, AR, MI, GA, IA, NC, and MA.

This was a very fun event, and Eric and Mike look forward to next year!

Number of QSOs 39
points/QSO 4 (field location using high power QRP)
multiplier 18 (States/Provinces/Countries)
Total 2808 points


UPDATE! NE QRP Afield 1997 Final Results