by William Eric McFadden



Two members of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team (RATs) participated in the 1997 NorCal QRP to the Field exercise. The operators were Mike Hansgen AA8EB and Eric McFadden WD8RIF. The pair operated under the callsign WD8RIF. Other obligations allowed operation for only about three hours plus setup and tear-down time.

The theme for this year's QRPttF was "Weird and Strange Occurances". The SE Ohio RAT's operation took place under the retired fire tower in the Waterloo Forest in Southeast Ohio. The state of Ohio still permits individuals to climb this 90' steel tower; in this day of lawsuits and liability concerns, what could be stranger than that? This location is also to be used for the ARRL Field Day in June.

The station consisted of an original Index Labs QRP Plus running five watts, an MFJ-949 antenna tuner, a 40m full-wave delta loop, a 20m dipole, a 10Ah gel cell, and a 10watt solar panel with charge controller. Keying was via a Super CMOS II keyer built by WD8RIF, and a pair of Bencher iambic paddles. The 40m delta loop was suspended from a rope tied to the tower at the 90' level which sloped to the ground, leaving the upper vertex about 60' high and the horizontal bottom leg up about 10'. The 20m dipole was suspended between the 30' level of the tower and a nearby tree. (The pair had intended to run a 20m delta, but it was forgotten at home.)

The weather was sunny with temperatures that climbed into the 60s.

Both operators had a good time operating for the short period available, and are looking forward to a QRP Field Day in June.

The operation netted 31 contacts with stations in 23 states: VA, NY, VT, WI, MO, NJ, GA, MI, MN, PA, OR, WA, AZ, TX, NM, AR, FL, CA, MD, AL, CO, TN, NC.


QSO on 20m CW 10
QSO on 40m CW 21
Power Multiplier (5 watts) 5
Location Multiplier (Field Location) 4
Equipment Multiplier (Commercial Eqpt) 2

(#QSO) x (power multiplier) x (location) x (equipment) = score
31 x 5 x 4 x 2 = 1240

All operations were CW.

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