by William Eric McFadden



Eric hadn't planned to operate QRP to the Field because of the lingering effects of a solar storm (A-index 17, K-index 2) and the need to prepare for the upcoming Athens Hamfest. However, the late morning weather was so lovely that Eric decided to participate and bicycled with his KX1 Mini Travel Kit from his home to the Athens West State Street Park to participate for an hour or so.

This year's theme was "Happy Trails" and participants were encouraged to operate on or near a historic trail. Eric's chosen location was within very easy view of the former Marietta & Cincinnati Railroad's right-of-way through Athens, Ohio. The M&C was one of the earliest east-west railroads west of the Ohio river (info: link 1 | link 2) and certainly qualifies as a "historic trail". Portions of the right-of-way are now a bicycle-trail that will eventually connect Athens to Zaleski and will include two tunnels and several bridges.

Arriving at West Street Park, Eric found an available picnic table, threw a line over a convenient tree-branch to support his 28' wire antenna, and began working stations on 20m with his Elecraft KX1 and Whiterook MK-33 paddle. Five QRPttF stations were worked and two Florida QSO Party stations were worked in slightly more than an hour. Stations were worked in AL, FL, NH, and TX. With the x3 multiplier for a "Trail" location, Eric calculated his score to be 72 points.

Stations Worked by WD8RIF

UPDATE: Official Results