Field Day 2009
This was the first Field Day activity for me in over 25 years and the very first time with QRP rigs; the equipment consisted of a SST-20M, SST-40M, Z-Match tuner, VizBug and a 40M inverted V up 21 feet via a telescoping fiber glass mast from The Mast Company. I had planned an assault on 20M during the day and 40M at night but the signals on 20M were so weak here that I had little hope for making many contacts with my 3 watts so I switched to the 40M transceiver and did quite well considering that it’s been a couple of decades plus since I’ve operated in any contest. Running QRP was great because I never became the focal point of a mini pileup so I could leisurely make my log entries and then search for another contact. QRP is something quite new for me, I used to seriously chase DX with a KW, beam and wire antennas at 55 feet; it just so happened that the weekend I finished the SST-20M the 2009 CQ DX contest was in progress and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could work just about anyone with my 3 watts and low linear loaded dipole as long as they were a couple of S-units or more above the band noise. I’ve also had a chance to make some casual QRP to QRP contacts primarily on 40M and while the low power and the resulting weak signals make it a challenge at times it is a heap of fun!