AF4O

My first FYBO and A LOT of fun.  Actually my first QRP field operating event
besides vacations and arrl field days  Thanks to the Arizona Scorpions for
sponsoring a fun event.

Big Hill Pond State Park is about 40 minutes from my house and a remote small
State Park with tall trees, big hill's (duh), a lake, long hiking trails, and
a non-electric tent campground.

I arrived late to the Park after a busy Friday at work.  I guess i was a bit
lazy on Saturday morning and this is why i cannot get into serious contesting, its to
much like work to me.  I work hard at work and don't want to work hard at
ham radio! If it gets like work, i do something else :-)  Contests like the
FYBO are fun though and most op's will slow down for my slow cw.  Thanks!

Looking forward to the event all week and weeks before, i thought i did my
planning well.  But Murphy was along for the ride.  First
i realized i had forgotten to pack my printed log sheet and the event rules,
then a binding post broke off my BLT, and last i never could get my EFHW to get
a null on 40.  Murphy did not win though.   I found scrap paper
in the truck, took the cover off the BLT and hooked the wire to the wire
inside by wrapping, and abandoned 40 (not much action here anyway on 40)
then trimmed the wire for 20 with a good null.

By the time i got going it was about 1630.  Twenty Meters was my only band for
contacts beside listening a bit on the others.  Oh, man how QUIET the noise floor
is away from power lines, neighborhoods, etc.  Now i know why you guys like to do
this type operation.  If my noise floor was this low at home, i would be thinking
my dipoles had fallen! Zero S noise floor and signals pop out like fish jumping out of
a glass still lake.  Wow!  I have been operating for 30
years in town, motels, etc to long…

The wind was gusty in the morning and i choose a picnic table on the opposite side of a
ridge.  Temps were near room temperature most of the day so i imagine allot
of ops thought i was operating indoors :-).  It was cloudy most of the day
but an overall beautiful February day coming off temps a few days ago as low as
10 degrees at night.  i caught myself drifting away from the radio
several times just enjoying the peace.  I had the entire picnic area
to myself with only a few cars going up the road about 50 yards away.

I am happy with the 12 contacts i turned in.  I just about worked NQ7RP first
thing but he faded after i gave my report :-( so im not sure if i am in his log.  Twenty
was up and down in propagation all day.  Can't wait for QRP field events when the
spots return.  As twenty seemed to be falling off about 2130, i packed up and left
for home.  A great fun day and this has me hooked on field operation.  Hope to
see that SW+ for some hiking trips soon.

Gear; FT-817 5w, BLT Tuner, Some wire over a tree (started with 66'
and some .05 wavelength counterpoises) and short ground rod for
counterpoise, a $20 lawn mower cranking battery bought on sale at
Walley World the past fall, and a cooler with sandwiches, jerky, beverages.

72
Chuck
AF4O

AF4O