A Frustrating QRP Weekend in Hell and Chasing Bumblebees

A deep QSB was noticeable in the two HF bands that seemed open during this last weekend (40m and 20m): a signal would be 559-579 in one exchange and disappear in the next. I imagine that the very low SFI (071) and relative high SW (~400) and EF (~900) may have accounted for this. However, the background noise was low and the Geomagneitic Field remained “Very Quiet” (K=1).

On Saturday I set off to work “All Africa, Asia, Europe and Oceania” in the Feld Hell Club WAAAEO Sprint… My rig at the QTH was the Icom 703 at 5W; the antenna was the end-fed long-wire and the T-60 IBM was communicating with the Icom via Fldigi and the Signalink USB. Half-a dozen stations were heard and, quite literally, seen in the bands, none of which was from outside the North American continent. The only one to acknowledge my QRP signal was Steve KI4GGJ/P (FH 5120) operating portable from Alabama (EM62).

On Sunday, for the ARS FOBB and as BB Nr. 91, I returned to the front gardens of the Science and Technology Museum to operate portable with the KX3 at 5W and the PAR EndFedz “Trail-Friendly” Tribander in a “number one” (an asymmetric inverted “V”) configuration. The QSB seemed even deeper than on Saturday and I was barely able to contact a couple of stations. However, the reward was to log two QRP-QRP CW contacts: one with Steve WA2AF in NJ (in 20m) and another one in 40m with N3AQC, Bumblebee Nr. 0 (zero), the official FOBB station of the NAQCC, operated from the Kittanning Pennsylvania Community Park by John K3WWP and Mike KC2EGL.

The following composite shows the Feld Hell QSO captured from the Fldigi window and the conditions during the FOBB on Sunday:

FH&FOBB

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