North American QSO Party
Saturday August 18th was the SSB portion of the North American QSO Party, sponsored by the National Contest Journal. This and the fine hot and sunny weather created an excellent opportunity for a mini-Field Day.
Originally planned to be held in one of Surrey’s southern parks, we relocated at the last moment because of difficulties satisfying Surrey’s requirements for insurance coverage in time for the event. Fred (VE7IO) came to the rescue by kindly offering use of his yard, which worked out extremely well. Many thanks to Fred.
Fred and Brett (VE7GM) both set up portable stations (both using ICOM IC-7000s). Fred set up his just-completed Grab & Go kit with a random wire antenna (64 ft long with matching counterpoise) tuned with an AH-4 tuner. Brett set up (and fine tuned) his just-completed ZS6BKW (multiband variant of the well-known G5RV) and powered his rig using a PV panel connected to a battery.
Deme (VE7CRT) turned up bright and early and worked with Fred to rack up our first contacts while Jay (VE7OFH) and Brett completed setup of Brett’s system (delayed by a bad piece of coax).
Most of the contest activity was on 20m, which was very active. Contacts were easily made with hams in Texas and Florida using Fred’s setup. There was little activity on 40m, and 15m was essentially dead.
Eric (VA7NX) called in on 2m to coordinate a possible 2m simplex contact with the group from the slope of Mt Hansen in the Silver-Skagit area as a Summits on the Air (SOTA) exercise, but the heat and tough climb prevented Eric from reaching the peak.
Don VA7GL dropped by to say hello later in the day, but was on a short leash due to ongoing home renovations so couldn't stay to operate.
A great time was had by all participants, and it was a great opportunity (as these events often are) to try out new gear or use old gear in new ways.