AE4GX Contest Station

Sam, AE4GX sent me these photographs of himself operating from a portable location, details below:

Event: Norcal QRPTTF

Date: April 25th,1998

Time: Contest Time 1600Z to 2400Z

Location: Ellicott Rock Tri-state Corner of GA/SC/NC HIke Time (one way): 1hr 30min

Team: Les K4NK George K4PYM Sam AE4GX

Operating Time: approx. 3hrs (1650Z to 1950Z)

Equipment: Sam INDEX QRP+, LDG QRP Tuner, W3EDP 87ft wire, Ground Plane (2 radials)

Les Norcal40a, Tejas BackPackerII, MFJ manual tuner, Random wire

George Dentron 20 mtr CW/SSB xcvr , MFJ tuner, Zepp fed with 450 open wire

Team Score:

QSOs 21 X 5 = 105

SPCs 24 = 24

Location (field) = 4

Border factor = 3

Total = 105 X 24 X 4 X 3 = 30,240


Les K4NK and Sam AE4GX hooked up on the qrp-l list when we realized that we had the same goal for the Norcal QRPTTF contest on April 25. Ellicott Rock is located in the Chatooga River at the corner of GA/SC/NC. Les K4NK had actually scouted the site a few weeks before the contest but for the actual day we traveled a different trail to the site. It was supposed to be easier but longer. The 2 mile planned hike in was actually 3.3 miles. I was packing about 40 pounds of gear and the other team members about half of that. For our off of shape urban folks it took close to 1.5 hours to get to the site and another half hour to get setup. Sam AE4GX started off on 20 mtrs with GP and Index Labs and later switched back and forth between 20 and 40 using a Goundplane for 20 mtrs and W3EDP with LDG QRP Tuner for 40. The ground plane was lashed to a post on a small island in the Chatooga River about twenty feet from the operating site. The W3EDP longwire was Inverted L at about 25 feet. Les K4NK on NORCAL 40A and Backpacker II (20) setup with an inverted endfed wire. George K4PYM on Dentron 20m with a zepp and tuner. We found out quickly that multi-station operation caused TOO MUCH front-end overload for any one to work. So we began a little shift work. Both 40 and 20 mtrs sounded good considering that we were at the base of two mountains (hills) that were several thousand feet higher than us. But we did enjoy the great outdoors and the perfect weather. We heard many more stations than we actually worked. The activity on 40 mtrs was heavy at time. Things learned: Need much better RX front-ends to allow multi-station operation. Take less gear especially if your hiking any distance. Two simple antennas more flexible than just one.

Team score 30,320. Operating time: 3 hours.

Thanks to Sam for letting me have the photograph.

Frank G3YCC

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