10 questions about your QRP operations
QRP Quarterly has a column asking 10 questions of QRP operators. I offered mine for the April 2019 issue. I don't think there's any issue with publishing it here in advance:
Q1: Favorite Mode:
A1: CW, although I enjoy the digital modes such as FT8, as well; I wish I would spend more time on CW and restore my speed to what it was decades ago!
Q2: Current QRP Radios:
A2: KX3 with 2m module
Q3: Favorite antenna out in the field:
A3: I use the EFT Trail Friendly from LNR precision; I pack arborist throwing line (great strength, weight, and slippery on bark) and an 11m carbon fiber pole weighing 1.25 pounds; for balconies and vacation operation, I use a Buddipole with a homemade clamp (significant thanks to K0XI) for a base
Q4: What contests do you participate in?
A4: I check WA7BNM contest calendar every weekend I'm free and try to make a few contacts in any mode; CWT; with K0XI leading the charge, we've mounted multiple serious 7QP adventures in remote county lines, Nevada; I join K6EI for every field but my CW isn't usually needed until the 4 AM shift! I love SOTA and tend to target anything unactivated I can reach - the California Sierras are great for this.
Q5: What is on your wish list?
A5: Making a portable FT8 setup as documented by OH8STN; a 432 transverter (Transverter Store) for VHF contesting; making an ultralight/small capacitance-touch paddle (based on TTP223)
Q6: Operating tips:
A6: Just jump in and try it; it doesn't matter if you make a mistake or don't make any contacts; did you setup an antenna and power on a radio? I've had many failed adventures (zero HF IOTA contacts while NA-023, total failure at W6/NE-210), but had a blast trying
Q7: Do you use any tablets, smartphones, or laptops in the field?
A7: My first filter is weight; my phone (see Q9 for apps) always comes with me; sometimes tablet for logging; laptop on all vacations; QRPWorks sidecar, although I haven't gotten smooth enough to send/receive CW and work the buttons
Q8: Batteries for Power choice:
A8: I use the KX3 battery option with NiMH - quick to setup, pack up, and light. I've got a 7.5 Ah LiFePo for car camping and a Habor Freight jump-start battery pack with lighter sockets
Q9: Smart phone apps:
A9: GPS Test; Heavens Above; PeakBagger; PeakFinder; SOTA Spotter; QST; Zinio (for CQ Magazine)
Q10: Do you pack a First Aid Kit out in the field?
A10: Yes, I have a small one with only the most basic ingredients; I'm always worried about weight, but should probably have a bigger/better kit.