Monday, March 13, 2017

QRP by the harbour report

Inspired by Peter, VK3YE's famous "QRP by the bay" events, we decided to try a Sydney equivalent titled "QRP by the harbour".

About a dozen enthusiasts turned up at McIlwaine Park at Rhodes on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

We put up an inverted V antenna for 40m suspended from a 6m squid pole lashed to a park bench - the ends of the dipole were tied to branches of nearby trees. There was also a short vertical for 80m and an end fed for 80m but in the end I think the 40m dipole worked the best.

Being a contest weekend there was no problem getting contacts but for me the highlight was a contact with Peter VK3YE who was pedestrian mobile in Melbourne, both ends QRP. Here's the antenna:

Here's a close up of the light weight balun and how the antenna wire is carried on a $3 mains extension cord winder from a hardware store.

Some experienced field operators, such as Peter Jensen, VK2AQJ, brought impressive portable gear:

Lessons learned

To publicise the event, I copied Peter VK3YE and created a Facebook page, but I also created a Facebook event for this year's event.

The page will serve as a promotion for future events and the event was useful for people to confirm that they were going to attend and also share the event. To promote the event I decided to spend up to $30 on Facebook, in the end it only used up $16 of the budget but I think it was worth while as the event was shown in local Facebook users news feeds who have shown an interest in ham radio. You get these nifty reports too:

Peter, VK2EMU promoted the event on the ARNSW Sunday broadcasts for the weeks leading up to it and also on VKHAM. I had a note in Low Key but I fear it was too late.

The only downside of the location was that while we had chosen it because of the proximity of both rail and bus stops, there was rail work going on so no trains were running and because of this buses were irregular. Being a lovely day, the car park was full and it was hard to find a good spot to set up.

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