A Quarantined QRP/P Field Day from the Backyard

On this COVID-19 Field Day I had planned to operate a “1C ONE” station QRP/Portable Afloat, from my SunCat 17 somewhere upstream the Ottawa River (as I had done already in FD-2017, from the cove at Pinhey Point: https://thewakesileave.wordpress.com/2017/07/03/va3pcj-field-day-1c-one-qrp-afloat-from-the-ottawa-river/). However, storm warnings in the forecast forced a change of plans. Instead, on Sunday 28, and just for short of four hours, I was able to operate, a “1E ONE” QRP/P station from my home backyard (FN25ej). Nevetheless, I was able to deploy the same portable equipment I would have used from the boat: The KX3 at 5W was powered via a deep cycle 48Ah battery (one of the two I use in the boat, which I had brought back home just for the purpose of FD). It had been trickle-charging in the boat using a flexible UniSolar 11-Watt solar panel and it did not need recharging during the time it was used to power the radio during the FD event (hence, I have applied for the “natural power” bonus). The first two hours were in CW with operation and logging being entirely manual. The last hour was in PSK31 mode (my very first QSO’s sixteen years ago had been in PSK31!) using the MacBook Pro on its own internal battery and the USB Signalink connected to the radio while also powered via the computer. Fldigi v. 4.9.18 was the software I used in the MacBook for the PSK31 coding and decoding as well for the logging of these few digital QSO’s. The antenna used was the PAR “Trail friendly” tri-bander, held vertically via a 14-meter telescopic S9 43 pole attached to the side-legs of a garden swing. The special transformer of the antenna was connected to the radio via a short coax. Eleven QSOs were logged overall: seven in CW and four in PSK31, all in the 20m band with the exception of a single CW QSO in the 15m band (N4CF in VA). 15m is a band for which the PAR tribander is not resonant, but which the ATU of the KX3 is able to readily tune). One contact was in Canada (VE2CRO, le Club de Radio Amateur Outaouais, just across the river) and one was DX: Bert F6KHA in Couerassa, near Limosges in France. Bert recognized my callsign from former SKCC contests and we exchanged brief salutations.  Un grand merci, Bert, yours was by far the furthest QSO reached by my QRP/P station on Sunday! Here are the eleven contacts (five of them have already QSL’ed via LoTW). 

AB2E 1D SNJ CW 20m (LoTW)
N9AU 1D WI CW 20m (LoTW)
VE2CRO 1D QC CW 20m
W9I 1D IL CW 20m
N4CF 1D VA CW 15m (LoTW)
F6HKA 1D DX CW 20m (LoTW & eQSL)
N8US 1D IL CW 20m
N8EUI 1D MI PSK31 20m         
W9RLL 1D WI PSK31 20m (LoTW & eQSL)
W8YIH 1E OH PSK31 20m
KB8DNQ 1D OH PSK31 20m

On the Field Day Summary Sheet, I have also indicated my affiliation to the Ottawa Valley Mobile Radio Club, something justified not only because I am a member, but also because my station was likely the closest (one block away) to the front gardens of the Ottawa Science and Technology Museum (now the “Ingenium”) where fifteen years ago I joined the OVMRC for my first overnight Field Day adventure, and also the venue where the OVMRC holds its monthly meetings. I doubt that my eleven QSOs will make much of a difference to the OVMRC overall score, but I was glad to be able to participate while remembering the good old days. 73 All ES Keep Safe!