RAC Canada Day: QRP and from the Gutter (literally)

Canada Day 2019 in the GU7TR

This RAC Canada Day Contest was a good way to test the reach of the GU7TR (the Guernsey-callsign-NOT antenna), while operating QRP with not more than 5W (both in CW and SSB —too lazy for adjusting PWR when changing modes). The GU7TR antenna, of course, refers to the stealth vertical currently in use in the QTH comprising the vertical portion of the downspout of the aluminium gutter of the house and likely also its horizontal piece bordering the edge of the roof at the back of the house (see right panel, above). The rig was the ICOM 703+ (the plus refers only to the fact that, before it was discontinued in 2010, the 50M band was added to it) and the GU7TR was tuned via the LDG RT-100 using as counterpoise the half-wavelength wires running along the inside of the fence in the backyard.

With such set-up I was not expecting miracles. Even less, considering the current conditions for propagation. However, although I was far from reaching the level of previous performances in the same contest, I was pleasantly surprised to see that I could complete a few (actually 38) contacts in as far as SK and TX (see left panel, above), using four HF (80M-15M). I did hear a few stations calling in the 10M band, but with huge QSB and none returned my calls). I made contacts in two modes (CW and SSB) for a total of fourteen multipliers and seven provinces (ON, QC, NB, NS, NL, PE and SK). Two RAC stations were logged (VA3 and VO2) but VE5, VE6 and VE7 were also heard. QSOs were completed with two colleagues from Ottawa: Bob VA3RKM and Mike VE3ZY. All the contacts have been uploaded to eQSL and LoTW and can be seen here: http://www.hamlog.eu/VA3PCJ.

Thank you to all the stations that patiently listen at my faint signal as well as my manual CW at 21 –25 WPM. My apologies to those that sent their SRI or had to give up after a few tries. Rest assured that I was the most frustrated of the two. 73!