by William Eric McFadden

Two members of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team operated the 2003 E-PA QRP Club TAC. Mike Hansgen, AA8EB, and Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, operated the event from a boat launching area on Africa Road at Alum Creek State Park in Delaware County, Ohio.

Upon arrival and after choosing the operating location, Mike and Eric cut and suspended a W3EDP wire antenna. The station consisted of Eric's QRP Plus and newly-acquired LDG Z-11 QRP Autotuner.

Only Eric operated, with Mike helping to log. The bands--20m and 40m were tried--were quiet and signals were sparce.

There were two goals for this event for this event: to get the SEORATs back into the field after a two-year hiatus and to test the Z-11 tuner with the W3EDP antenna. Both goals were met. While only Eric wiggled the key, Mike helped copy the weak signals and performed the logging chore. (He was indespensible, too, in getting the wire into the trees.) The Z-11 quite handily tuned the 'EDP. The only problem was that in the bright sun the Z-11 LEDs were hard to see.

Either the bands weren't good or participation was low. Both 20m and 40m were tried and very few signals were heard, and those that were heard displayed deep QSB. Contacts were made on both bands, resulting both from CQs and from hunt-and-pounce. N3EPA was heard--with quite a strong signal--but he didn't hear our many attempts at responding to his CQ. A total of eight QSOs were made on the two bands.