Amateur Radio WB3GCK QRP Portable from
The Outer Banks (again)

July 7-13, 2002

This was my fourth time vacationing on the Outer Banks and my second year in Corolla. As always, I had a great time. We rented a large house in Corolla (along with my brother's family, my mother-in-law, and a few friends of the kids).

On Sunday night, after unloading all of our stuff, I proceeded to string an antenna. I was blessed again this year with a 3rd story deck and some perfectly spaced trees. I lashed a partially extended Black Widow fishing rod to the deck to serve as a center support for a 40 meter doublet fed with 25-feet of 300-ohm ladderline. I used the same antenna last year, so I knew it would work well for me. I used some twine taped to a baseball to get the ends of the antenna over some tree limbs. For this step, I employed my two nephews, Jeff and Kyle; both all-star pitchers. They both hit their target on the first "pitch." Their accuracy was uncanny. There was a table and chairs conveniently located down on the 2nd floor deck for an operating position.

I started operating bright and early Monday morning. My simple station was the same as last year's trip. My trusty SW-40 (950mW), my SST-30 (just a hair under 2 watts), and my homebrew Z-Match tuner. I used a 7A-H battery for the whole week. (I gave it a quick charge up halfway through the week even though it didn't really need it). This battery, by the way, is the first gel cell I ever bought and it is now in its 8th season of portable QRP operation. I guess I got my money's worth out of it!

Looking back at my log, I didn't hold to my advertised operating schedule too well. Most mornings I was up early and on the air by 6:00 AM (local). I also missed one morning due to a scheduled fishing trip and one morning because of rain. Despite my erratic operating schedule, two fellow EPA-QRP Club members managed to find me. I worked W3EEK twice on the first day and N3AO was my next-to-the-last QSO for the trip.

Operating a few hours each day on 40 and 30 meters, I made 29 QSOs (many of those were QRPers). Among these were some truly memorable and fun ragchews. I worked Dale WB8WOJ/3 three times during the week. He was also on vacation, camping in the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania. He was also running QRP and using a "walking staff" antenna. I don't know the details of his antenna but he had a nice signal into NC with it.

I worked KB9YIG/QRP twice from Indiana; once on 40 meters and once on 30 meters. On 30 meters he was a comfortable 559 with 500mW from his K1.

Marc, N4DR/QRP, was at a Boy Scout camp near Narrowsburg, NY. Marc was giving a demonstration for his scouts and, he reported, they were fascinated by ham radio. Some future hams, perhaps?

I also worked 3 mobile CW stations. Those mobile CW operators never cease to amaze me with their coordination and concentration! WA3BKD was signing "/MM." Turns out he was in a boat on the Ohio River in West Virginia.

I also chatted with Wink, WA8KOQ, down in Tennessee. Although I've never met him in person, I've been ragchewing with Wink on 30 meters CW for many years now. Just like with N3AO, I always seem to work Wink when I'm on the road. It just isn't a trip without working one or both of those guys!

Oh yeah... I almost forgot. I also snuck in a quick DX QSO with TO8CW.

So, no major DX-pedition or anything; just some laid-back fun on the radio.

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Rental House

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Operating Position

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Antenna center support

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WB3GCK/4 on the Air


07-08-02 11:15 KB9YIG/QRP 7      CW   579  559   SPRINGPORT, ID       TONY      
07-08-02 11:27 W3EEK/QRP  7      CW   589  559   TAMAQUA, PA          CARL      
07-08-02 14:22 W3EEK/QRP  7      CW        589   TAMAQUA, PA          CARL      
07-08-02 23:28 T08CW      10.1   CW   599  599   GUADELOUPE                     
07-08-02 23:31 WA8KOQ     10.1   CW   599  559   SIEVERVILLE, TN      WINK      
07-09-02 11:51 WA3PTY/QRP 7      CW   559  549   HUMMELSTOWN, PA      AL        
07-09-02 12:04 K8MTH      7      CW   599  559   BERKELY, OH U.S.A.   MAC       
07-09-02 12:21 K3VV       7      CW   579  569   COOPERSBURG, PA U.S. KEN       
07-09-02 14:11 KB9YIG/QRP 10.1   CW   549  559   SPRINGPORT, IN U.S.A TONY      
07-10-02 00:31 KG8YT/QRP  10.1   CW   579  569   MARQUETTE, MI U.S.A. BRUCE     
07-11-02 18:36 KB0ROB     10.1   CW   579  539   BEMIDJI, MN U.S.A.   HAROLD    
07-11-02 23:48 KN4ZQ/8    10.1   CW   599  579   THREE OAKS, MI       DAVE      
07-12-02 00:12 VE3MFR     10.1   CW   589  579   HEAPLER, ON CANADA   JON       
07-12-02 10:19 VE3PTV     7      CW   579  569   APPIN, ON            ARCHIE    
07-12-02 10:41 W4NKP      7      CW   589  569   HIGH POINT, NC       JOE       
07-12-02 13:18 WB8WOJ/3   7      CW   569  579   ALLEGHENY MTNS, PA   DALE      
07-12-02 13:38 K8LEN      7      CW   559  449   PEKIN, IN            PAT       
07-12-02 14:04 WA3BHM/M   7      CW   559  569   BEDFORD, PA          JOHN      
07-12-02 14:35 N4DR/QRP   7      CW   559  559   NARROWSBURG, NY      MARC      
07-12-02 20:14 WA3BKD/MM  7      CW   559  539   OHIO RIVER           ART       
07-12-02 20:31 WB8WOJ/3   7      CW              ALLEGHENY MTNS, PA   DALE      
07-12-02 20:50 W2KJ/QRP   7      CW   559  549   WILMINGTON, NC       JOE       
07-12-02 23:16 NB9U/M     10.1   CW   579  339   CHICAGO, IL          CHUCK     
07-12-02 23:40 K9GHD/QRP  10.1   CW   589  589   BELLE RIVE, IL       SAM       
07-13-02 00:07 KC8SIV     10.1   CW   599  599   SARANAC, MI          TIM       
07-13-02 10:24 WA1HHK/M   7      CW   559  559   BOOTH BAY, ME        STEVE     
07-13-02 10:52 WB8WOJ/3   7      CW   569  559   ALLEGHENY MTNS, PA   DALE      
07-13-02 11:11 N3AO/QRP   7      CW   579  549   PAOLI, PA            CARTER    
07-13-02 16:00 WB4JHK     10.1   CW   599  599   TULLAHOMA, TN        WALT      

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